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the Gospel, and in thousands who practically exemplify it before men; but what thousands are there in communion with the church who evidently care much more for the world, and are far more exact in imitating the world, than in following Christ! They never think of undertaking any enterprise of mercy, and but coldly join in any effort to raise a breakwater against the swelling tide of corruptions. They are a burden to the spiritual and living church, and hinder her from many a victory; for in their love of the world, they are traitors to Christ. In many ways this love displays itself; and we shall endeavour, by God's help, faithfully to point out some of them.
Reader, ask thyself, Am I that self-contradiction,-- a worldly Christian? By profession, dead to the world, and yet really alive to it; loving, seeking, delighting in it? Let thy confession and thy prayer be, “My soul cleaveth unto the dust : quicken Thou me according to Thy word.” Bradford.
THE BIBLE. A Nation must be truly blessed, if it were governed by no other laws than those of this blessed book. It is so complete a system, that nothing can be added to it, or taken from it. It contains everything needful to be known or done. It affords a copy for a King, and a rule for a subject. It gives instruction and counsel to Senate, authority and direction for a Magistrate. It cautions a witness, requires an impartial verdict of a jury, and furnishes the Judge with a sentence. It sets the husband as lord of the household, and the wife as mistress of the table ; tells him how to rule, and her how to manage. It entails honour to parents, and enjoins obedience to children. It prescribes and limits the sway of the Sovereign, the rule of the ruler, and authority of the master; commands the subjects to honour, and the servants to obey; and promises the blessing and protection of its Author to all that walk by its rule.
It gives directions for weddings and for burials. It promises food and raiment, and limits the use of both. It points out a faithful and an Eternal Guardian to the departing husband and father ; tells him with whom to leave the fatherless children, and in whom his widow is to trust; and promises a Father to the former, and a Husband to the latter. It teaches a man how to set his house in order, and how to make his will. It appoints a dowry for the wife, and entails the right of the firstborn, and shows how the younger branches shall be left. It defends the right of all, and reveals vengeance to every defrauder, over-reacher, and oppressor. It is the first book, the best book, and the oldest book in the world. It contains the choicest matter; gives the best mysteries that were ever penned. It brings the best of tidings, and affords the best of comfort to the inquiring and disconsolate. It exhibits life and immortality, and shows the way to everlasting glory. It is a brief recital of all that is past, and a certain prediction of all that is to come. It settles all matters in debate, resolves
all doubts, and eases the mind and conscience of all these scruples. It reveals the only living and true God, and shows the way to Him; and sets aside all other gods, and describes the vanity of them, and of all that trust in them. In short, it is a book of laws, to show right and wrong; a book of wisdom, that condemns all folly, and makes the foolish wise ; a book of truth, that detects all lies, and confutes all errors; and a book of life, and shows the way from everlasting death. It is the most compendious book in the world ; the most authentic and the most entertaining history that ever was published. It contains the most early antiquities, strange events, wonderful occurrences, heroic deeds, unparalleled wars. It describes the celestial, terrestrial, and infernal worlds, and the origin of the angelic myriads, human tribes, and infernal legions. It will instruct the most accomplished mechanic, and the profoundest artist. It will teach the best rhetorician, and exercise every power of the most skilful arithmetician, puzzle the wisest anatomist, and exercise the nicest critic. It corrects the vain philosopher, and exposes the subtile sophist: it is a complete code of laws, a perfect body of divinity, an unequalled narrative ; a book of lives, a book of travels, and a book of voyages.
THE EXTERNAL EVIDENCE OF THE INSPIRATION AND
DIVINE AUTHORITY OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES.* Of what does the external evidence consist ? of miracles and prophecy. What is a miracle ?
An extraordinary event, contrary to the common course of nature, brought about either by the agency of God Himself immediately, or by some person acting under His authority and by His permission.
How do the miracles recorded in the Old and New Testaments prove that the Scriptures were given by the inspiration of God?
Because as these extraordinary acts could be performed by no power but that of God, they mark clearly the interposition of the Almighty, and prove the Divine commission of the person who performed them; and therefore both Moses and the Prophets, Jesus Christ and His Apostles, appealed to the miracles which they wrought, and which are recorded in the Scriptures, in proof of their Divine mission and authority.
Have not miracles been wrought by some who supported religions not revealed in the Scriptures ?
Pretended miracles have been wrought by them; but they did not possess the characters necessary to mark true miracles.
What are these characters ?
This is one section of a most useful Tract, “Plain Reasons for being a Christian," (Religious Tract Society,) by the Rev. Thomas Hartwell Horne, B.D. It contains the substance of Mr. Horne's“ Deism refuted," and, to an inquiring mind, furnishes matter for abundant meditation, with great simplicity of style.-Eds.
DIVINE AUTHORITY OF THE HOLY SCRIPTURES.
First, That the fact or event stated to be miraculous be sensible and easy to be observed. Secondly, That it be performed publicly, and before credible witnesses. Thirdly, That it have some end in view, both important, and worthy of God. And, fourthly, That it be handed down to us by authentic records, from the time that the miracle was performed.
Do all these characters appear in the Scripture miracles ?
They do. As, for instance, when Korah, Dathan, and Abiram rebelled against Moses and Aaron, the earth suddenly opened her mouth and swallowed them up, and their families, leaving all the rest of the people. Now this miracle was, first, easy to be observed, as it was in open day; secondly, it was publicly performed, being witnessed by all the congregation of the children of Israel; thirdly, it had an important end in view, namely, to establish the authority given by God to His servants, Moses and Aaron; and, fourthly, it was recorded, about the time it took place, in an authentic history, as we have proved all the books of the Old Testament to be. Again, the raising of Lazarus to life by our blessed Lord has also all these marks: first, it was easy to be observed ; secondly, it was performed in the presence of many persons, and some of them adversely disposed ; thirdly, its end was to confirm the authority of Jesus Christ; and, fourthly, it has been handed down to us in the Gospel of John, (which has been shown to be authentic,) and who was himself present at the time when this miracle was performed.
What is prophecy ?
How are the prophecies recorded in the Old Testament a proof of the Divine authority of the Scriptures ?
Because they respect events so distant and improbable, that no human foresight could ever have anticipated them : they furnish, therefore, the highest evidence that can be given of a supernatural communication from God.
What is the great subject of the prophecies of the Old Testament?
The redemption of mankind; the predictions concerning which are so full and clear, that almost every act and circumstance of the life and character of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, the most illustrious personage that ever appeared upon earth, is there distinctly foretold.
How do the prophecies recorded in the New Testament prove the Divine authority of these books ?
From the exact completion of those which have received their accomplishment; among which we may notice particularly those delivered by our Saviour concerning the conduct of His disciples,–His own sufferings, death, and resurrection ; to which may be added those relating to the destruction of Jerusalem, which He foretold so particularly and circumstantially, that no one, who reads the descriptions of that event, given by the unbiassed historians of those times, can have the smallest doubt of our Saviour's Divine foreknowledge.
THE FACTORY-GIRL. One Friday afternoon, Mary Graham was busy in her garden, before the teaparty assembled, when she heard a sauntering step on the other side of the hedge, and Nelly Tod made her appearance, humming a tune : her face was flushed, and she was dressed in tawdry and rather dirty finery, with a necklace and long dangling earrings. Mary's quick eye saw at once that she was trying to hide a deeper feeling than usual. Nelly stood silent for a little while, watching Mary as she watered her geraniums, clipped the faded roses off her pretty moss-rose tree, and carefully tied up some favourite clove-carnations.
“ Ye're gey happy wi’ your bits o' flowers there, Mistress Mary,” said she at last. “What's the use o' them?” But before the words were well out of her mouth, her mood suddenly changed, and she said, with tears in her
eyes, “O Mary, I wish I could change places wi' you!”
“That would be a fule wish, as they say,” answered Mary, smiling kindly: * but what ails you, dear ? tell me a' about it.” And, leaving her flower-beds, she made Nelly sit down beside her in the little arbour that had been gay with roses, and sweet with honeysuckle, all the summer.
“I whiles wish I'd never seen ye, Mary; for afore the readings, and afore ye talked to me, I never minded what I did; but noo, I'm aye plaguing mysel' about this being wrang, and that being wrang, and a' the time I'm never doing right, and there's no use trying.”
“It depends on how you try : it's no use half-trying to be good, if ye're hankering after what's bad a' the while. Are ye sure ye're trying wi’ your whole strength, Nelly ?"
“I'm feared no," answered Nelly; " but if I were onything but a mill-girl, I think I wad do it. Ye dinna ken how hard it is, wi' a' the lads and lasses jeering and misca'ing you if you dinna gang wi' them."
“But where are ye bound for the now?” said Mary, looking at her dress: "you're out o' the mill early."
" Ay, it's a half-holiday, and there's to be a dance in Bob Lawson's sister's house. I didna care to gang, but Jean Maxwell and Nan Brown set upon me, and Bob Lawson,-he said he'd tak up wi' that conceited hizzy, Sukey Simmons: set her up for a beauty! and so I'm gaun.”
“You'll no stir a step the night, dear,” said Mary; whose voice had sometimes a curious mixture of gentleness and determination in it.
“ The chapter's to be on mill-girls, and you'll stop to hear it.”
At this moment shouts were heard along the road, and Nelly's name was called out by half-a-dozen voices at once. She changed colour, and stood quite silent. When she was discovered, there was a general laugh. “Ay, there she is wi' the auld maid that minds a' body's business but her ain: come wi' us, there's a braw lass. We're awa’ for a walk round by the brigg, and hame by Stony-Side Quarry; and we'll be in time for Sally Lawson's dance."
The insult to Mary Graham, however, had roused Nelly's spirit, and it was with no very gentle voice and manner that she declared her determination to stay where she was. She remained firm, though Mary could see that she winced under the loud laughter and jokes with which the party took their leave ; and especially under Bob Lawson's assurances that he would dance all night with “bonnie Sukey Simmons."
“ Bob Lawson's no a good friend for the like o you, Nelly. I'm sorry to hear you named thegither,”
"I dinna care a prin for him; but a' the girls are mad about him, and Sukey Simmons is aye trying to wile him awa’. There's them I wad far rather talk to than Bob; but they never look the airt I'm in,” said poor Nelly, sadly. After a few minutes' silence, she added, “I wad like weel to leave the mill, and gae into service, or learn the dress-making; for I'll do nae gude whar' I am." " What does mother
to that?" asked Mary. "She says it's a' nonsense, and why canna I do as she did afore me; and that she canna spare the money: and sae I cam' to ask your advice."
“My advice to you, Nelly, dear, is to stay in the mill: there's no a better work or a better place to be in, for them that can keep from the evils of it. To my mind it's cowardly to run from our duty because we daren't do it."
"I kenned ye'd say that, Mary; but then I'm no you, and it's impossible for me to be gude.”
“Hout," answered Mary: “ Impossible's just a blockhead o' a word, as a great French General once called it. I'm sure Mary Macdonald, and Anne Foster, and Jess Lindsay don't find it impossible."
“Na, but then they aye herd thegither, and the lads ca’ them saints, and the lasses say they'll never get married : but I wadna care for that,” said Nelly, “only they dinna want my company."
“It's near the tea-time now,” said Mary ; “but, O my dear lassie, when you're aye thinking this is impossible, and that is impossible, I wish you knew the meaning of that word, 'I can do all things through Christ strengthening me.'” Nelly made no answer ; but she gave Mary a hearty kiss, and went off to change her dress, of which she was a little ashamed. To Mary's great satisfaction, there was an unusually good attendance: she had made known beforehand the subject of the chapter, and not only the better set of mill-girls, but several others, were drawn there by curiosity. When Nelly returned, she was surprised and pleased to find room made for her between Mary Macdonald and Anne Foster, the very girls whose acquaintance she most coveted, who, prompted by a little private communication from Mary, received her with the greatest kindness, and often during the reading that followed, their eyes were turned towards her with such looks of loving interest, that her hcart felt strangely melted.
[And now begins the reading on Factory-Girls.]
Factory life, like every other, has its good and its bad side. The regular and moderate hours, the good wages, the easy work, and the instruction now provided and enforced, present very great advantages; and when a mill-girl possesses the additional ones of living in her father's house, under the eye of a mother, learning from her, and assisting her in the house, and putting part of her earnings into the common store, thus increasing the comfort and respectability of the household, there can scarcely be a more prosperous condition for a young woman. This is, however, the brightest and not the most common side of the picture. Frequently the mill-girls come from a distance, and it is only on occasional holidays that they can see their home-friends : in this case they generally board in a family, which, when respectable and friendly, also has its advantages; or two friends take a lodging together; or they live in a “bothy," with other workers ; or one is alone in a lodging. These two last alternatives are the worst ; the one almost always leading to bad habits and bad company; the other, from its dreariness and loneliness, driving the young girl to seek relief from home-sickness and depression by plunging into all kinds