Imatges de pÓgina
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vided for the Hebrews being kept distinct from the nation among whom we shall soon read of their coming to sojourn. If a family from any other country were to come and live among us, there would be nothing to prevent their mixing and intermarrying with English families; and in a short time they would no longer be looked upon as strangers. But, in this case, by permitting such prejudices, God separated the Jews, in the very infancy of their nation, from the people among whom they lived. The laws he afterwards gave them in the wilderness had the same tendency; and accordingly they were looked upon by the heathen, who were their neighbours, as mean and narrow-minded people, obstinately attached to their religion, and uncharitable towards others. A pagan writer, who lived a short time before Jerusalem was destroyed; and the Jews dispersed, thus describes their state: "Their lawgiver Moses, that he might the more effectually bind the nation to himself, gave them rites wholly new, and altogether contrary to the rest of mankind. So that what we deem sacred, they reckon profane; and again, what we count abominable, is freely allowed among them."

T. B. P.

FORETHOUGHT.

You are at present in full employment, your wages are good, and you have no family to provide for; look forward a few years, see yourself surrounded by a flock of young ones, all dependent upon your exertions; a hard winter comes, illness lays you by for a time, your place is given to another, and the small supply bestowed by an overburdened parish, is all you have to keep you and your's from

famishing. If this be possible, (and the case of numbers around you shews that it is,) would it not be wise to put from two to four shillings a week, according to your means, into a saving's bank, and thus prepare to meet the time of need? This, according to the sum deposited, will amount to either five or ten guineas in the course of a year. If you do so, you cannot, it is true, live so well, or dress so well, at present, as if you spent the whole of your wages upon yourself; but you will thus "provide things honest in the sight of all men," and, by a wise economy, keep yourself above want, when a trying time comes, instead of spending extravagantly now, and becoming dependant by and by. Whether you are a servant in place, employed at a manufactory, or as a labourer, you would do wrong to lay out upon yourself alone, what is sufficient to support a family. But you may say, "I have poor relations; I have parents, who look to me for all their little comforts; am I to stop my ears against their claim?" By no means; "If any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." The duty of a Christian is plain in such a case; and, if you are one, should you have no relations who stand in need of assistance, yet there are others to whom you may be of some use; still you may provide a little store against the day of want, to prevent your being burdensome to others, and to shew that your principles make you industrious and frugal, as well as kind and liberal.

T. B. P.

CHRISTMAS DAY.

OH! day most welcome and most blest,
When, quitting his high heavenly rest,

Christ took our form on earth;
Let us begin it with his praise,
From earliest dawn our voices raise,
To hail the mystic birth.

Nor praise alone our voice employ,
But, while our hearts beat high, with joy,]
With gratitude, and love,

Let us implore our gracious Lord,

To us that spirit to accord,

Which brought Him from above.

Good will to men, and peace on earth,
The holy angels at His birth

Announced in joyful songs;

Oh! give us, Lord, sweet charity

Towards all mankind, and peace with Thee!
To whom all peace belongs!

M. P. H.

DO WICKEDNESS AND MISERY GO TOGETHER?

THERE are some prudent, calculating, successful men in the world, who have been so accustomed to see all their undertakings prosper, that they believe prudence to be the sure way to riches; and, if they see a man in want, they immediately set him down for a careless, imprudent fellow, and declare that his poverty is all his own fault: and, priding themselves on their own good management, they turn, with a sort of hard-hearted indifference, from a man in distress, thinking that he has earned his own misery, that he justly deserves his sufferings, and that he ought to be left to his fate. Now, if riches and prosperity do produce this indifference to the sufferings of others, then, instead of being blessings, they are the greatest of evils; for no character can be more despicable than that of a man whose mind is wholly wrapped up in his own interest, and who shuts his eyes, his ears, and his heart against the wants and sufferings of his fellow-creatures.

And, even suppose a man's distresses were brought on him by his own imprudence, this is no reason why those who are able to help him, should see him starve. Perhaps the man has never been taught one single lesson of prudence from the hour of his birth; the manners and the examples of those he has lived with, may have tended to teach him every thing that was bad. And what then was to be expected? Besides, there is much affliction in the world, which no care or prudence could have prevented. We should therefore never be so hasty in our conclusions, as to be certain that every sorrow and misery has been brought on by imprudence and folly; for it is not the truth. In this world we must expect that there will be much sorrow, and many causes of grief and suffering: these are permitted by an all-gracious Providence as our trials in this state of discipline; they serve to wean us from a too great love of this world, and teach us to expect perfect happiness only in that state hereafter, where sorrow and sighing will be no more. The trials of a Christian will" work together for his good."

There are sufferings indeed very different from these; miseries which men, by their own wickedness, do bring upon themselves. Sin does bring sorrow, even in this world-a dreadful foreboding of the state to which it leads in the next. And, if we take a view of the misery and wretchedness with which the world abounds, we cannot help seeing that it is chiefly brought on by wickedness; and that, wherever we see a mass of wretched, miserable people, full of complaints, always in trouble, covered with rags and dirt, and harassed with debts; if we enquire into their manner of living, as well as listen to their complaints, we shall generally find that their habits are just such as might be expected to lead to the consequences under which we see them suffering. Now this remark is not intended

to shew that we are to refuse all help to these miserable beings, but to shew what a real charity it is to try to lead them to the knowledge and practice. of what is right-and that the true way to keep them from misery, is to keep them from sin.

There is, in almost every town, some narrow street, or alley, which contains the most miserable, dirty-looking people in the parish. If you hear of any person in a state of the greatest distress and want, you will commonly find that the person lives. in this miserable street; if you go through it, you will see the people all in rags and wretchedness. Now, if you enquire into the state of these people, you will generally discover that they are the worst people, as well as the poorest, in the parish, and that they are poor, because they have made themselves so. They are often very dishonest-and dishonesty, though it may gain one day's unfair support, seldom makes any one prosperous, and generally leads to ruin. These people have no character, and therefore no regular employment. What they gain, goes in drink. Quarrelling, swearing, and fighting, are the consequence; their children see and hear all this, and they are therefore brought up to be just like their parents. They hear no word of good advice, they see no good example, they read no good books-and so another generation is produced, which will go on exactly in the same course. If a child, from one of these wretched places, gets into a National School, some good is learned, and he may carry some good home with him to his parents' house; but, in general, these are not the sort of persons who send their children to school; so that, however much good is going on by education among one set of people, a great deal of wickedness is, at the same time, going on and increasing among another; and then it seems to excite surprise, that national education' should not do all the good that was expected of it, as if it could do

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