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so low as to seek his sole reward in the first, or shrink from the performance of his duty from fear of the latter. The command of the Master, “ Occupy till I come,” is imperative on the servant, whether he be entrusted with five talents or with one. The recompense which awaits him in either case, is secondary and unimportant—to do well is his chief concern. It cannot therefore be supposed that, to the approbation of his Divine Master, any man is indifferent; it is only so far as he should be incapable of hearing or knowing the award of his fellow-men, that this amiable moralist felt his heart would be unaffected, and his ear deaf, alike to their praise or censure.
If time were impatient to date my last paper, it would not affect me with thoughts so cheerless as those just quoted. The Christian thinks little of the grave but as a place where the weary are at rest; as a spot sanctified by having been the abode of Him who is become the first-fruits of them that slept; or as the soil in which the germ of a glorious body must lie till called into life, beauty, and immortality. Let us then improve time for securing an interest in Him who is the resurrection and the life, and we shall not have to regret whether the years be few or many which shall divide the eye that is now reading, from the hand that is now writing.
For this end, it seems that the peculiar duty of the young is to seek after wisdom, and to lift up the voice for understanding ; to learn in early life what they are to believe concerning God, and what duty God requires of them. Now, in respect of this knowledge, it has been well said, that “ child may learn more from the first pages of the Bible, in one hour, than all the philosophers in the world learnt without it, in a thousand years.” The greatest critic of antiquity, who wrote on the sublime, has declared that all the eloquence which he found in the writings of the Greeks and Romans, was surpassed by one sentence in the books of the Jews; and it was tbis, “ God said, let there be light, and there was light.”
In the first pages of the scriptures, my dear young readers, you will learn that God is from everlasting to everlasting, that he is without beginning of days or end of years. They teach us also his infinite power, wisdom, and goodness, in forming out of that mass of matter of which the earth was
created, this beautiful world for the abode of man, then empty or void of plants or flowers, birds or animals, fountains or springs of water, and covered with darkness as with perpetual night. When God said, “ Let there be light,” then that wonderful thing sprang into being, which gives warmth to the air, fertility to the earth, beauty and color to plants and flowers, and joy to all on which it shines. For light in creation is like the smile on the face we love, that brings gladness into the heart it beams upon. Truly light is sweet, and it is a pleasant thing for the eyes to behold the sun.
· As God divided the waters into seas, lakes, and rivers, so he gathered the light into orbs or lamps of fire-sun, moon, and stars, which like globes or splendid vases, are hung on high; and there are the beautiful and glorious chronometers that measure out times and seasons, days and years to man.
But this earth, though lighted up at first with so much splendor, still wanted an inhabitant. This temple, illuminated with a flood of light, was still without a worshipper; for though the morning stars sang together, and the sons of God shouted for joy, yet they were not the denizens of earth, they had a heaven of glory of their own.
At last God created man after his own image; his own moral image, full of truth, benevolence, and purity. He was endowed with high intellect and unbiassed judgment-free to stand or fall. Thus man became the High Priest of this temple; the possessor of this earth ; the king of every creature; for unto him God gave the dominion.
The melancholy history of man is too well known to you to require repetition. I need not tell you that he fell from the estate in which he was created. You know, I trust, by this time, that man now is, that every little child now is, till born again by the Spirit of God, as void of all good, and in a state of moral and spiritual darkness as deep, as was the earth before God created the light, or gathered it into a tabernacle, and bade the sun hang his everlasting lamp on high. The same process of creation that brought fertility to the earth, beauty, and color, and fragrance to vegetation ; warmth to the air, and glory to the firmament, is necessary before in your case the moral darkness can be dispelled.
But while the process is the same, the means are different, In every instance indeed it is God who must say, « Let there be light.” The spiritual light that is to illuminate your mind must come from him; he only can make it beam on your understanding, warm your heart, enlighten your conscience, quicken your faith, irradiate your life. This is that light which is above all the order of the stars; which is described as the day-spring from on high; and which is more beautiful than the eyelids of the morning. This illuminating influence can reach you only by his power, who brings forth Mazzaroth in his season, and guides Arcturus with his sons; who binds the sweet influences of Pleiades, and looses the bands of Orion; who sends lightnings, and they go, and say unto him, Here
But while the power is with God, the means are with you; and those which he has appointed are prayer and the reading of his word; for the entrance of his word giveth light; the commanılment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes ; God's way is in his sanctuary, there he confers his blessings, there be ye to ask and receive them. Christ the Sun of righteousness—the Lord our righteousness, is the light of the moral world, all are in darkness who know not him. Faith is the opening of the eye by which this uncreated radiance is beheld, gazed upon, desired, implored; which once seen and felt is never to be forgotten, ever to be prized, and cherished like the vestal tame which, once extinct, could only be rekindled from the source of light. But O how different in its effects. That but lighted the altars of superstition, threw its cold and sterile influence upon heathen ceremonies and sacrilegious rites. This, like the sun which on the third day of creation shed his beams upon herb yielding seed after his kind, and fruit-tree yielding seed after his kind, brings forth in the soul of the believer fruits worthy of Paradise-for the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, meekness, goodness, and faith; so that beholding a Christian in this state, we think of the blessing of Joseph, and are ready to say, “it is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well, whose branches run over the wall," and its clusters are like the elusters of Eshcol.
It is because of this enlightening, vivifying, and purifying influence, that the people of God are called children of
light and of the day. Christ is the light of their life; and as the beams that issue from him are not only vital, but sanctifying, so they who live in this light are transformed by it, and like the disciples on Tabor, their very garments become white and glistening ; that is, their outward walk is blameless, irreproachable, unreprovable; their thoughts, words, and affections are pure, transparent, guileless, and in the sight of God, being viewed clothed with Christ's righteousness as with a robe, he sees in it neither spot, nor wrinkle, nor any such thing : hence it is written," he will bring forth their righteousness as the light,” radiant, effulgent, glorious—"and their judgment as the noonday”-serene, cloudless, shadowless, invincible! They who enjoy the beams of this spiritual sun communicate the krowledge of it to others. However much despised or contemned, they are nevertheless the light of the world; each in his separate sphere holding forth the truth as a lamp to the feet, and the law as a lantern to the paths of those around him. By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by love unfeigned, by the word of truth, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, they testify that they are born from above by the grace of the Holy Spirit, and shining in this moral lustre, they glorify their Father which is in heaven. We warn you
indeed that men will be found who will scoff at this light; deride the light; who would fain put out the light—but poor feeble man, ** dressed in a little brief authority,” can do you no harm. Put out the light! he might as soon unsphere the sun, or tread the everlasting stars under his feet !
But, my beloved readers, as in the natural, so in the moral world, this divine illumination does not burst upon the mind all at once in its meridian splendor. There is first the grey dawn, the faint twilight of the morning; then, here and there a streak on the horizon—then the day-star-then the day-spring -and last comes the shining light which shineth more and more unto the perfect day. Thus it will be with your first enquiries after Christ. Dim at first will be your perceptions of the value of his salvation of the worth of your own soul-of the love of your divine Saviour. And even after you have beheld the light, and been warmed by its beams, and quickened by its power, it will be only by little and little that you will feel all
the vigor of its purifying, self-denying, and humbling influences; it will be only by little and little that you will know its comforting, its strengthening, its elevating efficacy-and these you will, and must seek after till the last hour of your life—till this sweet light sets, as sets the morning star—in the full blaze of day-the full effulgence of heaven and glory.
If hitherto any of you have walked in darkness, my heart's desire and prayer to God are, that he may say in your behalf, “ Let there be light.” If any of you have already known and felt its divine and renovating power-then arise shine, and diffuse it in your sphere ! It may be that the orbit or path in which you move is but a small section of some great city; or the little circuit of your native village; or the narrower limits of your own domestic circle. Nevertheless, as the light you bear is of a moral and spiritual nature, your influence may be greater than that of the whole celestial luminaries; for though they declare the glory of God, they cannot reveal his mercy or his grace; though without speech or language, they can tell of his wisdom and his power ; but they are mute regarding the terrors of his justice, the beauty of his holiness, the purity of his untainted righteousness; neither can their voice, sweet as it is, and full of ineffable and perpetual harmony, utter the wonders of his love !-But even were your path, my beloved reader, more circumscribed than any which I have supposed, still the efficacy of your intercession through the divine advocacy of our great Higla Priest, might reach to the utmost bounds of the habitable earth, and your prayer should be-shall I say--will be ? in behalf of the millions sitting in darkness, O God," let there be light!"
STABLE HAPPINESS IN A CHANGING WORLD. “I have a goodly heritage,"—for “ the Lord is the portion of my inheritance and of my cup."
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Obedience." It was not my intention to present to my young friends any
farther extracts from the correspondence of Mrs. Arnold