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and unsatisfying possessions, is a conduct marked by delusion and fraught with destruction. There, are indeed, who prefer the body to the soul, the shadow to the substance, and time to eternity ! Miserable, infatuated mortals !
“ What will ye do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation that shall come from afar ?” Has my reader neglected his soul ? Is he still neglecting it ? Let him pause ; let him contemplate the misery before him ; let him seek the Lord, nor rest till he has obtained pardon through the atoning blood of Jesus and acceptance with God, and a title to heaven through the meritorious obedience of 6 the Son of His love."
THE FIRST RESURRECTION is an event most strikingly represented as the glorious expectation of the saints of the Most High. “ Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection : on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ." Rev. xx. 6. " The dead in Christ shall rise first." 1 Thess. iv. 16. The resurrection morn will behold the true believer in all his glory and splendour : then the body and soul shall be re-united, and be mutual partakers of what“ eye hath not seen, and ear hath not heard, and heart hath not conceived." Of the glory of the body the apostle has given an animated description in 1. Cor. xv. 42—44.
- It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption : it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory : it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power : it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.” And thus purified, it is made a fit habitation for the sanctified immortal spirit, to be for ever with the Lord. Eternity will prolong the union, and consummate the bliss. Raised to everlasting life ; raised to fulness of joy and delights, ever springing from the throne of God. 0! to have part in the first resurrection ! the scene is transporting
Yes ! and before we rise
Should constant joys create. Let us of review these topics ; let the youth present to God the FIRST FRUITS of his love and zeal; let the Christian adhere to his first love, the warmth and energy of his heart in the
service of Christ. And let the careless sinner tremble at the thought of the second resurrection ; for living and dying without God, the second death will have power over him, and he shall be cast into the lake of fire, and tormented day and night, for ever and ever! Wakefield.
HAND-WORK, HEAD-WORK, AND HEART-WORK.
Mrs. CHESTERFIELD was an old and venerable lady, whose household consisted of a young grand-daughter, and a young servant : for this aged Christian, though possessing largely both spiritual and mental treasure, was far from abounding in this world's riches. The best and dearest of them was her child Mary : yet her constant prayer was, that she might not prize too highly, even this valued gift; but use it with such united wisdom and tenderness, as might improve instead of injuring it.
Beneath her fostering care, the character of Mary Chesterfield was beautifully forming; and by the Divine blessing on maternal instruction, at the age of eighteen, she appeared adorning her humble happy station in all the beauty of holiness. While many at that age possess no other than exterior attractions, Mary's excellency consisted in reflecting the graces of Him, who is the “ altogether lovely.” Being enabled in an eminent degree to keep one end in view, she was comparatively little exposed to that excitement of the passions, which is so frequent in the season of youth. Aiming at the Divine glory, the advancement of her own spiritual life, and the happiness of all around her, she was delivered from those selfish earthly schemes, which keep the mind in a continual turmoil. Peace dwelt in her bright eye and tranquil brow; nor was it possible to witness the quiet cheerfulness and self-possession with which she performed her varied duties, without exclaiming, “ happy they, who are permitted to rest for comfort on that gentle breast! surely theirs, in promise, is all the repose that earth can offer.” And, truly, Mary's excellence was not of a nature to disappoint such hopes; not like the flashing meteor, bright and evanescent; but rather resembling that morning light, which shineth more and more unto the perfect day. Yet did the pleasant gourd fail; and they who had raised their seat
beneath its shadow, were taught, (0, how forcibly!) that “he builds too low who builds beneath the skies.” This, however, is not the lesson I am now intending to inculcate.
It was the sabbath evening, the first sabbath of a year, whose date is unimportant. The little servant had drawn the curtains, and stirred afresh the fire, in their small, but pretty parlour. The toast stood ready, and a bright kettle poured forth its steamy columns: the tea-tray, and a light cake of Mary's making, completed the preparation. As the young woman placed them on the table, her venerable mistress, looking up with an expression of pleasure, enquired, “What, is it half-past six, Martha ?"
“ Yes, ma'am,” replied the girl, looking pleased also, “ Miss Chesterfield will soon come from the Sunday school.”
The old lady laid aside her spectacles, and the holy volume which had filled her time so pleasantly. She made the teaadjusted her shawl, and directed Martha to place a little stool before the chair, which she had already set for her young mistress. Then, as the servant left the room, Mrs. Chesterfield raised her heart in thankfulness for all their mercies : half-whispering to herself, “ Now, when my child comes in, with feet as cold as her heart is warm, she will find every comfort ready for her.”
Scarce was the thought uttered, ere a light quick step, brought in the beloved one for whom it rose. Martha received the cloak and bonnet; while Mary, looking round with a sweet smile, imprinted on her parent's cheek a kiss of gratitude. Then taking possession of the enjoyments of her peaceful home, she said playfully, “ It was a warm kiss, grandmamma, when it left my heart, but I am afraid after its passage through my lips, it is more likely to freeze than to warm you.”
66 Cold wine warms,” answered the old lady, “ and your love, dear child, is the wine of my life: at least,” she added, checking herself, and looking somewhat more serious, “ when I am speaking of an earthly vintage.”
Cheerful and serious, pleasant and profitable, was their converse during the social meal. They recalled the sermons they had heard,
both had together attended the house of God, and they rejoiced in the sweet feeling of refreshment, with which they were prepared to enter on another week.
6 I think," observed Mary, “ I never heard Mr. Witherspoon
more excellent; and dear Mrs. W. gave me a sermon for the new year. I will read it, if you please, when Martha comes in.”
“ Do, my love : it was very kind in her to think of us. And in the mean time, I would address a few words to you on the same subject. You have often, Mary, heard me speak of your aunt?"
“ O yes, grandmamma, I know her as well as if I had lived with her a twelvemonth, and love her as well too."
“ And you know she was removed from me by the same fatal malady, which deprived you of your own dear father ?"
“ Yes,” replied Mary, dashing away a tear, which bore witness to the power of her early recollections; and suppressing, at the same time, a slight short cough, that she had hitherto prevented her aged relative from observing, and which, with the thoughtlessness of youth, she herself totally disregarded.
“ It was well,” continued Mrs. Chesterfield, “ that my beloved child was enabled early to seek the God of her fathers; to improve the hours she had, before her day of life was fled. Never have I known any one so skilful in extracting profit, whether from events, books, or conversation. I remember, a few months before her death, how much she was struck with a passage, dividing christian duty into hand-work, head-work, and heart-work. What I wish to advise you now, dear Mary, is, from this time to make the same arrangement. Lay out your daily plans in this three-fold point of view; and examine at night your failure or success in each particular.”
“ I will, grandmamma,” replied Mary ardently, “ it is such a simple arrangement, I do think it will be very useful to me."
Martha soon arrived; not to be wearied by a formal service, but to hear those things dwelt upon, with interest and animation, whose blessed effects, in producing holiness and happiness, she daily witnessed. Social and private exercises closed the evening; and truly might it be said, when they retired to rest,
Joy went with them, one and all,
their pillow spread.” Years had passed away; and it was again the sabbath. The same neat parlour might be seen. Martha's hand, with double care, if possible, had provided every comfort; the aged venerable christian sat in her accustomed place; but she no longer expected
the entrance of her child. The place which had once known Mary, now knew her again no more for ever. The earthly vintage had failed, to allude to the good old lady's former expression. Speaking in the language of the world, we should say, “ the sparkling wine-cup was dashed from her lips.” Such, however, were not the words of the patient sufferer. While feeling acutely, she could yet acknowledge, that this cup of blessing was graciously removed, lest in its sweetness she should seek her portion, lest she should forget the grapes of Canaan, even the wine of heavenly consolation; lest she should be estranged from the bright anticipation of those rivers of pleasure, which are at God's right hand for evermore.
So thought this childless widow, as she sat by the solitary hearth ; and no trace of murmuring or discontent, clouded her pallid countenance. Earth and its shadows, as forming any part of her portion, seemed to have fled for ever; yet not to leave an aching void, for that void was filled by heaven, with its blessed and glorious realities. She had finished her meal, and raised her eyes in thankfulness, when with a trembling hand she drew forth a little roll of paper, which hitherto she had not ventured to examine. The first that presented itself, recalled in a moment, by its date, the happy evening described above. With mingled tears of joy and sorrow, she perused its affecting contents.
Jun, 2nd. “ My beloved parent has this evening suggested a threefold arrangement of my daily duties ; namely, hand-work, head-work, and heart-work. I would make use of it, while, with deep self-abasement, I examine the past year; and in humble dependance on Divine grace, enter upon the employments of the present one. First, with respect to Hand-work; I fear I am in this especially deficient, as it falls in least with my natural taste. Do I cheerfully and actively engage in every domestic employment, as it rises; or do I not rather try to persuade myself, that such trifling things can have no connexion with my Christian character ? Does dear grandmamma derive all the comfort from me she has a right to expect? Does she see things nicely and promptly attended to, so that every corner of home may bear witness to an affectionate intelligent care? Am I willing to manifest kindness to my friends and my poor neighbours, when it involves personal exertion ? Conscience tells me I have too often conferred with flesh and blood, on finding that some favorable pursuit