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in private or public, at home or abroad, night or day, Sabbath or week day, at Church or at business, he is always honorable, polite, respectful, and pure. These are the accomplishments which will commend and secure esteem. And it is not necessary to them, that we possess much science and book-knowledge. Any young man can be respectful, honorable and pure. And be that is so, will secure from a hundred hearts the commendable phrase, He is a fine young man.
Such a young man will select his company. He will not be so easily pleased in his associations, that he can be at home anywhere.
The gaunt animals that howl around the bawdy-the toady batrachian reptiles, of the genus Bufo, who crawl about the grog-shop-the slippery slimy, and empty looking larvæ, that prowl about in the midnight hour-nor even the gentleman rogue, or light fingered gentry, have any attractious for him. Their poisonous fumes, and corrupting influences, are to him as death-stings to the heart and character. He cannot associate with serpentine allies, and enjoy their funny foul-mouth language, nor their hissing, stingy sneers and mockery. His exalted spirit and manly habits lead him among kindred souls. Hence he is found only among honorable men, and where the moral air is pure. As we judge the man by the company he keeps, so his associations induce a repetition of the phrase, He is a fine young man.
How has he become so worthy that name? The answer is easy and plain. He has not given loose reins to his depraved passions-he has not neglected the cultivation of his heart—he has not walked in the counsel of the ungodly--but as Paul exhorts Titus, he has been "soberminded”-discreet. He has profited by the experience and reproof of the aged; his father's corrections and warnings have not fallen upon his ears in vain, but remembering the fifth command of God, to “Honor thy father and thy mother,” he has the prospect of living in peace, safety and honor. Such have been, at least, some of the ways by which he came to be called a fine young man.
Mark, he is a fine young man. A fine or good old man is, it is true, deserving of commendation ; but how much more so, when this can be said of the young. There is an inward, natural impulse or feeling, that persuades us to expect all old men to be good-however, experience and observation tells us otherwise—therefore a fine or good old man, while we love and respect him, does not awken in us the same peculiar feeling of special praise, as when these qualities are found in the young. It is a praise of great force and meaning, when a young man bas drawn from many lips, He is a fine young man.
As it is a voluntary expression of praise and honor, so it is full of prophecy for the future. We picture to our minds for him, future peace, prosperity and honor. We see him go up, step by step, the grades of success and worth, until he stands on the platform of earthly power, learning, usefulness, honor and glory. Such a young man, if he carries out in faithfulness the elements of character that now induces the commendable phrase, can never stand beneath the most noble of his kind. May every young male reader of the Guardian, so live, that he shall draw upon himself from others, the laudable expression, He is a fine young man.
DREAMS OF THE BIBLE.
BY R. P. T.
NOTWITHSTANDING the forgetfulness and ingratitude of the chief butler, Joseph was destined, in the wonder-workings of Providence, to be brought to the favorable notice of the king. Though he had to suffer as a criminal for two whole years, he bore his uprighteous imprisonment with a true christian spirit, and waited patiently for the glory of the Lord which should be manifest in his deliverance. This was eventually brought about by the seemingly accidental dreams of Pharaoh.
1. "And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed : and behold, he stood by the river. And behold, there came up out of the river seven well-favoured kine and fat-fleshed ; and they fed in a meadow. And behold, seven other kine came up after them out of the river, ill-favoured and lean-fleshed ; and stood by the other kine upon the brink of the river. And the ill-favoured and leanfleshed kine did eat up the seven well-favoured and fat kine. So Pharaoh awoke.
2. “And he slept and dreamed the second time: and behold, seven ears of corn came up upon one stalk, rank and good. And bebold, seren thin ears and blasted with the east wind sprung up after them. And the seven thin ears devoured the seven rank and full ears. And Pharaoh awoke, and behold, it was a dream.”—Gen. xli. 1: 7.
In the simple fact of the repetition, we trace a similarity between this circumstance and the dreams of Joseph ; yet as in the former case, and as the young Hebrew afterwards declares, " the dream of Pharaoh is one." Being, therefore, so deeply impressed upon the King's mind, it is bat natural that he should be filled with anxiety, especially after all the magicians and wise men of Egypt, to whom he was accustomed to appeal in every trying emergency, were unable to give him any satisfaction. The dreams in themselves seem to be simple enough, and we would be inclined to think almost suggestive of their own interpretation, as were those of Joseph to the minds of his father and brethren. And why the laws of divination made use of in other cases, failed in their application to this, we can perhaps only understand as we regard the same divine agency which has troubled the spirit of the king, likewise troubling the minds of the magi with bewilderment, so that the “weak things of the world might be made to confound the things that are mighty."
It was only in the midst of such embarrassing circumstances that Joseph was thought of, and, as a dernier resort, was summoned to try what he could do towards revealing the mystery that had so completely baffled the skill of all the wise heads of the nation. Thus it was also in the case of the young Hebrew prophet, Daniel—all to show the superior wisdom and glory of God, as contrasted with the ignorance and folly of men.
In this we have a miniature type of the world, in which we have exhibited the disposition of men when occupying positions of imagined superiority. Like Joseph, who was only permitted to show himself to an ignoble king of earth when it was supposed his services could be turned to good account; so individuals in the more humble and retired walks of life are oftentimes unnoticed and unsought, until they can be used as tools to further the interests of their superiors; or until by the power of genius and the force of true moral, upright characters, they be. come the honored of the earth. So selfish do pride and riches make the human heart, that all must be treated as slaves and inferiors who are not equally cursed with the one and regarded as sufficiently fortunate in the possession of the other. Just like Pharaoh, if anything is to be made by such association, then men will stoop not only to the prison of an innocent victim, but to the very lowest grades of Society.
But Joseph, again the type of the true man, ever faithful to his character and to bis God, was always the same, whether men fawned or frowned upon him. He knew that God alone coulā interpret dreams; yet when ehallenged to speak in His name and for His glory, he could do naught but obey. His obscurity and silence had continued under a long and trying suspense, but now he was about to appear to the world again in his character of true greatness.
The dark cloud that had gathered around him in the land of his exile, portentons with dire calamities, was about to be pierced with rays of light that should dissipate it forever. And now behold him in humble posture before the king, still desiring to throw himself into the back ground in order that God might have the glory, as he answers bis sovereign's request for an interpretation of the mystery, “It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.”
The dreams signified, in brief, both the greatest plenty and the greatest want. The seven well-favored and fat kine (or cows), and the seven full ears, betoken seven years of plenty, which should be swallowed up in turn by seven years of famine, so dreadful and devastating, that scarcely a trace of the years of plenty should be left behind them.
The wisdom displayed in this interpretation not only elicited the highest encomiums of the King—while, we may suppose, it utterly confounded all the wise men of his court, but it, at the same time, secured for Joseph the highest honor and dignity in the land, with the single exception of sitting upon the throne.
No man was regarded better qualified than he to carry out the suggestions offered to the king in view of what was so soon to transpire; for he was recognized and acknowledged as "a man on whom the spirit of God is."
The sequel is too well known to need repetition here. The preeminence he had now attained was but the fulfilment, in part, of his own prophetic dreams. And though the pathway that led to it was rugged, and the time was long delayed ; yet, by faith, Joseph knew that the Almighty would make a clear vindication of His truth, power and wisdom, from the imputations of ungodly men.
Now it is that Joseph shines as a Sun in the firmament, while his fa
ther and brethren appear as so many attending luminaries brought into notice again, as members of the same family group, only as the borrowed light is caused to shine upon them. And now it is that his sheaf stands erect, whilst those of his brethren do obeisance to it. Who can sufficiently admire in all this the wonderful and inscrutable wisdom of God, and the unswerving fidelity of Joseph !
How wonderful the successions in the plans of Israel's God in bringing Joseph into Egypt as a forerunner of his nation's bondage- and how still passing wonder their miraculous deliverance from a cruel captivity of four hundred years !
Like the dreams of Pharaoh- which form again but a connecting link in history-80 also the whole life of Joseph teaches that, to a!l men and at all times there is an admixture of good and evil. This is characteristic of all things terrestrial. The years of plenty were succeeded by an equal number of famine-typical of the constant ebb and flow of plenty and scarcity in every cycle of quick revolving years, --so the night of Joseph's misfortunes were succeeded by a day made more brilliant by the darkness preceding.
Let us here learn lessons of humble submission and trust to that Al. mighty Ruler “who doeth all things well,” and who will in His own good time translate us from this world of darkness and misfortune to that celestial sphere, where the ill-favored years of our earthly pilgrimage will be forgotten iu the full and perfect fruition of heavenly joys. Let us learn to expres anew our faith in the Providence of God, “whereby, as it were, He upholds and governs heaven, earth, and all creatures ; so that herbs and grass, rain and drought, fruitful and bar. ren years, meat and drink, health and sickness, riches and poverty, yea, all things, come, not by chance, but His fatherly band.”
A MOTHER'S LOVE.
Oal there is an enduring tenderness in the love of a mother to a son, that transcends all other affections of the heart. It is neither to be chilled by selfishness, nor daunted by danger, nor weakened by worthlessness, nor stifled by ingratitude. She will sacrifice every comfort for his convenience; she will surrender every pleasure to bis enjoyment; she will glory in his fame and exult in his prosperity; and if misfortune overtake him, he will be dearer to her from his misfortunes; and if disgrace settle on bis dame, she will still love and cherish him in spite of his disgrace; and if all the world beside cast bim off, sbe will be all the world to bim.
Car anything be found in the English language prettier than the following:
“ The eye that shuts in a dying hour
May open the next in bliss—
Rre the farewell is beard in this."
THE RIGHT TRAINING OF WOMEN.
THE Church of England Review has an article on female education, from which we take the following passage:
Much remains to be done in windowing out of people's minds ridiculous ideas of a certain purely factitious style of living, without which it is impossible to keep house. There are plenty of young men who have to unlearn the foppery of expenses disproportioned to their means, and the sordidness of luxuries which feed, not self-respect, but gluttony and pride. The possibility must be secured to daughters and younger sisters grown to be rational, appreciative companions ; girls who, if they ever married, will choose and value their husband for what he is, and be interested in his calling and his opportunities of observation-women who will estimate the grave and sweet realities of wife and motherhood, beyond any accident of precedence, of superfluity. By dismissing false and foolish notions of respectability, by refusing the cheap fascinations of a paltry education of display, by discountenancing restraints misdirected or too rigorous, by cultivating an intelligent and unassuming mode of intercourse, by a careful foresight in assisting young people to prepare themselves for the exertion and cost of one day being the centre of a peaceful, hospitable home; in these and other ways much may be done to remove obstructions to that gradual acquaintance and that unaffected respect and attachment which lead on to happy marriage.
In the mean time it will be well to think, with not only the sympathy, but the veneration they deserve, of many among those who will never marry, to assist in multiplying the too few occupations suitable to woman, or open to them; above all not to preach, by implication or otherwise, that woman's life need never be dwarfed to a negation, or consumed miserably away, by causes completely out of her control. There are women strong enough to keep their footing in the world singly, without a loss of womanly dignity and sweetness, and to organize around them the moral elements at all events, of an independent existence. They whose steps are feeble need the more to be helped rather than hindered in the struggle with their fainting and more yielding self. If they fall here, is it at all certain that in wedded life their lot would bave been auspicious ? Alas! how many a faltering will has been bent and “given" beneath sanguine, unfulfilled resolutions, to reclaim and humanize the husband who has pulled the wife down instead to his own mean and wretched level. Marriage is not a lottery, but it is mere wilful blindness to forget that in all its higher aspects it may be wofully inverted or apallingly debased. Not all the grand provisions of tender ties and gracious instincts which surround one of the greatest of divine ordinances will make people pure or happy who insist on being peevish or frivolous, or worldly, sensual, or devilish.
Wedded life is a great and holy mystery, and a source of power for good, often far beyond estimation; but unless there be at least one soul filled with unselfish love, and strong in an unflagging faith, the formal union between two persons is no guarantee whatever for a will ennobled, or affections enlarged or cleansed. And the faith which so works by love can make a sunshine in a shady place without an infant's or a husband's