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earthly things, than the Christian experiences in all his calm and steady warfare. For instead of suffering the unruly throng to gather all their strength, and then opposing them by his own ineffectual weakness, his aim is to oppose them as they rise, and to meet them in the unconquerable strength of Jehovah. Life, with every child of Adam, is a ggle and a conflict : fight then the good fight of faith, not the fruitless and harder battle of passion and despair.
Such is the general advice we may draw from this animated exhortation, “Let us run with patience the race set before us, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.” But it seems to admit also of individual application. In the circumstances of life, and the objects we meet, a peculiar race is set before each of us, marked by its own peculiar difficulties. The apostle implies this, when he says, Lay aside, not your sins merely, but the sin which doth most easily beset you, in order that you may run the race set before you :” thus making his admonition particular, as well as general. So profitable does it appear in this point of view, that I propose making it the subject of a future paper.
I am the more inclined to do so, from having lately heard the same idea beautifully enforced, under another scripture emblem;—the Church considered as a temple. “ Those lively stones,” it was observed, “ which form collectively one spiritual temple, in and by which the Lord is glorified, have severally their own appropriate place and office. Some are for beauty, some for strength, but each has an individual character to sustain, to the praise of the glory of Divine grace.”
S. S. S. (To be continued.)
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS.
The following is part of a dialogue between Alcuin (an AngloSaxon divine, who lived about the eighth century,) and the son
of Charlemagne. The questions are asked by the prince; the answers are Alcuin's: many of the instances show elaborate trifling, but some are ingenious :
What is a word ?— The betrayer of the mind.
What is life?— The gladness of the blessed ; the sorrow of the wretched ; the expectation of death.
What is death?— The inevitable event; the uncertain pilgrimage ; the tears of the living ; the confirmation of our testament; the thief of man.
What is the body ?-— The home of the mind.
An unknown person, without tongue or voice, spoke to me, who never existed before, nor has existed since, nor ever will be again ; and whom I neither heard or knew ?-It was your dream.
I saw the dead produce the living, and by the breath of the living the dead were consumed ?- From the friction of trees fire was produced, which consumed.
I saw a man with eight in his hand; he took away seven, and six remained ?—Schoolboys know this.
What is a silent messenger?--My letter.
I saw a flying woman with an iron beak, a wooden body, and a feathered tail, carrying death ? - She is a companion of soldiers.
How is man placed ?--As a lamp in the wind.
SHORTNESS OF LIFE.
The shortness of life is continually forcing itself upon us by the passing bell, the funeral procession, and the weekly voice of public prints. Yet its very commonness, which ought to alarm us, tends only to lull us into a strange security. This is observable in large towns, where multitudes are continually summoned into eternity; whilst in villages, where deaths are less frequent, a solemn awe is usually excited, at least for a time.
Our happiness cannot be perfect here below; for at what degree soever our ills seem to stand, they may still increase; whereas every one of our pleasures is circumscribed by certain limits.
VOL. IX. 3rd SERIES. od
CROSS NEAR BODMIN. Tuis cross stands at about six miles on the right of the road from Bodmin to Launceston, and is said to be one of the most interesting relics of antiquity in Cornwall. The upper part, either from age or other causes, is imperfect.- Excursions in Cornwall.
It is singular that this lonely memorial, of which, by the kindness of a correspondent, we are enabled to present a figure, stands upon a spot notorious in history for the perverse spirit of its population. “ BODMIN,” says Camden," is situated between two hills, not very healthfully, extended from east to west. It was made a Bishop's see; about the year 905, when the discipline of the church was quite neglected in those parts, by Edward the elder, that its Bishop might every year visit the county of Cornwall, in order to reform their errors; for, before that, they resisted the truth to the utmost of their power, and would not submit to the apostolical decrees.”
It is possible that the cross represented above may bear witness to the zeal of this very diocesan ; and charity forbids us not to hope, that it was a "zeal according to knowledge.”
THE LAST HOURS OF ELIZABETH S
The subject of the following sketch held early intercourse with the spiritual world.—God, and Christ, and "holy angels,” frequently occupied the thoughts of her childish and unformed mind. It is impossible to say at what period she first took delight in the unseen realities of religion ; though it was only towards the last two or three years of her life that her views became distinct, and Christian principle was developed. We now know, indeed, that her name was written in the Lamb's Book of Life, before the foundation of the world, but, at what particular time God sent forth his Holy Spirit to impart the knowledge of eternal life, was perhaps unknown, even to the subject of his divine tuition.
In the close of the last year, Elizabeth S. left her residence in the North, with the intention of spending the winter with her friends in London--but it was to breathe out her soul among us, and lay her body in the earth that was already consecrated by the ashes of departed relatives :--thus are our trifling plans made to subserve the all-wise, but oftentimes mysterious, purposes of Jehovah.
The season of social, and to the Christian mind, of devout enjoyment, the festival of the Saviour's nativity, had scarely passed away when she became seriously unwell; her illness rapidly increased, and soon assumed an alarming character. She was immediately informed by her widowed parent of the critical nature of her illness, and heard it apparently unmoved. After lying silent for some time, as if in deep thought, she said, “Mamma! I have always been afraid of hypocrisy ; I have but one fear, and that is lest I should have, in any thing, deceived myself. Oh!” she exclaimed, with evident emotion, “ • if, after all, I should prove a hypocrite.” The writer saw her soon after, when the difficulty of respiration was so great that she could scarcely speak. She more than once requested me to remain in her room ; I complied, and soon discovered her reason for wishing it ;-beckoning me to her bedside, she said, “I am better now, I want to speak with you about my soul, while I am able ;” she again repeated her fears lest deceived in having thought herself a subject of divine grace. I attempted to point out some of those scriptural tests which tend to assure the soul of its being a partaker of the grace of God, inquiring if she had not, in past times enjoyed communion with God, and experienced the secret intimations of his favor in her soul. Oh, yes ! she had indeed known these things, but then she was so excitable, so soon carried away by her feelings; and this suggested the trying question, “May I not be mistaken ?” Perceiving this to be a temptation of the
evil one, I endeavoured to turn her attention to the work of Jesus, and spoke to her of his death, and the prevalence of his intercession. “But," she rejoined, “ I am so great a sinner.” When the cases recorded in Scripture of those who, after living a long life in sin, eventually obtained mercy, were instanced, she exclaimed, “I am more sinful, none can have been as sinful as I have; there are no sins like mine :" and at intervals, she murmured, vile, polluted, guilty, ungrateful, base thing that I am.” I reminded her of the unfailing compassion of God in Christ Jesus. “ Yes,” she replied, “but God is holy too,-. Oh, he is so holy! The word of truth, however, was dropping as the gentle rain, and distilling as dew upon her fevered spirit; for after remaining some time in silent thoughtfulness, she said with a firm voice, “ Then even so great a sinner as 1, may hope for mercy, through the Lord Jesus,” and soon after added, “I can rejoice a little.” The spiritual conflict was now over ; “the accuser liad made his last assault;
she had Aed for refuge to the hope set before us in the gospel, and felt herself justified from all things by the death and resurrection of Christ.
Fear now gave way to the brightest anticipations; all her desire was to depart; and the object which continually filled her spiritual vision was Christ. While the paroxysms of pain were upon her, she would frequently request her watching sister to put her hand upon her forehead, and tell her if it was not damp, saying, “ Surely this is death!” and appeared disappointed when told it was not so. At her desire a looking-glass was brought to her, and she remarked with satisfaction in her countenance, that she looked much worse, and should soon be with Jesus. The hours, even the minutes, were now counted ; indeed, while she could support herself the watch was seldom out of her hand. As the evening of one of these days of solemn expectation was closing in, she said, “I trust I shall be gone by midnight,” and when mid. night came, and her spirit still tarried, “I thought I should have left you before this.” To her physicians she said, “Do not be afraid to tell me I am dying; I have no fear of death ; I am going to Jesus, and shall be so happy.” They wished her to encourage the hope of recovery, fearing that her anxious desire to depart tended to aggravate her disease ; and upon representing to her the prospect she had, in the event of her being raised up again, of serving God and her fellowcreatures in life, she was enabled to resign herself entirely to the divine disposal.
An interval of comparative ease ensued, but did not last long. Her sufferings returned, and she told me that, while dozing, the ingratitude of Hezekiah was so powerfully impressed upon her mind, that when