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sures of sin, which are but for a season; and incline me to study my Bible, that I may learn from it the way of salvation. I am dead in trespasses and sins, but thou canst quicken me. I am grievously unconcerned, but thou canst give life and light, and grant me the mighty aid of thy Spirit. Let not one that waits on thee be ashamed. Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief, and do for me exceeding abundantly above all what I can ask or think. For the sake of our blessed Lord and Sa. viour Jesus Christ. Amen.
I T . B. P. .
CONSCIENCE. OUR Great Creator has placed within us a certain feeling, which gives us notice when we do wrong and when we do right;-and this is called Conscience. ;
If we act according to what we believe to be right, then we feel happy and peaceful; if we act contrary to what we believe to be right, then our conscience within us gives us pain, and then we feel unhappy and disturbed. Now, since it is our business, in this world, to cultivate such dispositions as may prepare us for the enjoyment of the next, and consequently to abstain from such works as are contrary to this our preparation, and to do such works as are suitable to it, how thankful ought 'we to be that the proper disposition for a Christian is marked out in the Holy Scriptures, and the wicked 'works pointed out which he must avoid, and those good works likewise stated which he is to practise : --and that, besides this, he has within him “conscience” for a monitor to tell him when he has acted according to these scriptural rules.
But there is no good gift that may not be abused, and no good doctrine which may not be perverted.
. It is very common for persons when they have done what most Christian people would call wrong, to say, their conscience does not reproach then they have nothing to accuse themselves of and they have, therefore, nothing to fear.” sino !! “Now here is a mistake as to the right office of conscience. Conscience does : not teach us any thing new; it does not give us any rules of right and wrong, but it gives notice to the mind whether the rules, already there, have been observed or not. This being so, our conscience will accuse us, or'excuse us, according as we act by our rules of right and wrong. If, therefore, our rule of ac. tion be such, that we think but little is required of us, then we are satisfied, if we do that little. But if we feel the high importance of cultivating a spirit of devotion, and purity, and perfect truth, and strictly honest and upright dealing, then will our conscience reproach us whenever we act at all contrary to these just principles; and we shall feel disturbed at such things as others would look upon with unconcern, and do without scruple. Hence it is, that sincere Christians, who take their rule of life from the pure and perfect law of Scripture, have a tenderness of conscience wholly unknown to those whose rule of life is false and imperfect.
s i asing • It is our duty then to see that our rule of action be right; if not, we must not depend on our con- . science giving us warning in due season. We know that the Heathen nations, who had no revealed religion for their, guide, had still “ a conscience bearing witness, and their thoughts aceusing, or else excusing one another * ;", but their conscience is never considered as a standard of right conduct, but only a witness of their obedience or disobedience of such rules as they had..pr. ;**
Rom. ii, 15. "
* Rom. ii. 15. : .* H 5 .
Just so it is even with those who are called Christians, who do not make the Christian Scriptures the guide of their conduct : their standard of right is often as low as that of Heathens ; whilst they, at the same time, cannot plead the saine excuse. The Heathens will, we believe, be judged according to their opportunities : and so shall we : but, our-op, portunities being so much greater than their's, a much purer and more perfect course of conduct is re-, quired. * We should remember, too, that there is such a thing as a “seared conscience," a heart so callous and indifferent, that, on the commission of sin, no pain is experienced within, no sting of conscience is felt. This is a truly hardened state of mind, and belongs only to those who are deeply sunk in pro: fligacy and crime. But there is more or less of this indifference according as we are more or less influ, enced by just principles of Christian responsibility and duty.
Let us then beware how we indulge in what is wrong, and so trifle with our conscience ! Let us look to the rule of conduct which is given us in the Scriptures, and let us seek, by divine help, to walk by that rule, and we shall then find we have a secret · monitor within which will give us a warning voice whenever we are led from the known path of duty. We shall then find no pleasure in forsaking the right way; but, to be happy, we shall see that it is needful to act according to what we know to be right. And let it be our great blessing to know, that if the pain of doing wrong has brought us to true repentance; and if we are, by divine grace, led to desire, for the time to come, to walk in the Christian path of holiness and truth, we have “ an advocate with the Father," who will plead his merits for the pardon of our past offences; and we shall then be enabled cheerfully to proceed in our course of appointed duty, till we arrive at that
blessed state of eternal happiness, which is the constant end and aim of a Christian's wishes and desires.
Tries to take us in a snare,
And entreats us to beware.
And are tempted to deny,
« Do not dare to tell a lie.”
And would fain omit to pray,
“ Sliould not God be sought to-day ?).
Far abroad our thoughts we send;. .
And entreats us to attend. ;
Tempting to revenge an ill,
“. Do command your temper still."
This good monitor within,
Warns us to beware of sin.
While this friendly voice would call,
Hymns for Infant Minds.
LETTER FROM A FATHER TO HIS SON,
. . March 9, 1824. MY DEAR Boy, I TOLD you in my last letter, that, during the reign of James the First, there was great dissatisfaction The Cottager
Cotton and discontent among the people. This was a very great disadvantage to his son, Charles the First, when he came to the throne. This king was of a mild and gentle disposition, and would have been glad to have been at peace with all men : but yet, such were the times in which he lived, that he was in constant trouble and distress. When his father died, the nation was engaged in a war with the Emperor of Germany; and the expence of this war obliged King Charles to apply to the Parliament for money. They would not grant him so much as he required, and he was obliged to try other methods, and to persuade the people to grant him supplies without the aid of Parliament; and this caused great murmurings throughout the nation. War was made against the French too, but this was unsuccessful, and increased the general discontent. There was soon an open quarrel between the king and the Parliament. Several members of the House of Commons were accused of sedition, and committed to prison, and many were made to pay large fines, besides their imprisonment. This increased the opposition to the King, and excited great compassion for the sufferers: Los
Another circumstance, at this time, gave great distress to the King. There was a Duke of Buckingham, who was a great favourite of the King, and this brought him many enemies among the people. This Duke of Buckingham was at Portsmouth for the purpose of hurrying on an expedition against France. Whilst he was in a room surrounded by his officers, and was talking to one of them,' a man, named Felton, struck him in the breast with a knife. The Duke had only time to say, “the villain has killed me,” and he then instantly fell down dead. No one saw the person who gave the blow, but a hat was soon picked up, which it was immediately supposed belonged to the murderer. Whilst they were con