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mingled feelings of pleasure and gratitude. “Let us praise the Lord,” said Mrs. Netherton, “who has preserved you, dear Sophia, from all evil, and redeemed me from destruction. A short time since I had the grave full in view, and it appeared that I should shortly go the way whence I should not return; but see what God has wrought for me and for you! If I had any desire to live, it was for my dear Sophia, and, in submission to the will of God, I did pray that I might be spared a little longer. May my future life be spent in His fear, and improved to His glory.”
During their stay at Brighton, an incident occurred that, in its consequences, was of the most important character; a vessel from a distant port abroad, had been driven in by stress of weather, and so much damaged, that it was necessary she should undergo considerable repair. One of the party on board was a gentleman who applied for lodgings at the house where Mrs. Netherton resided, and, upon his arrival, he was recognized as the son of her dear friend, Mrs. Mountstuart, whose husband dying a few years after their marriage, had committed her son William to the care of some worthy friends, as his guardians. During his absence from England, his mind had been seriously impressed with the importance of religion ; the Bible became his constant companion, and by the teachings of the Holy Spirit, he was guided into the truth, and knew, experimentally, those inestimable doctrines of the cross, which, before his departure from his native land, he had understood in theory only. How much did he prize the means of grace, and how lovely to him was the place of God's resort! During his stay at Brighton, he was a frequent visitant at Mrs. Netherton's, and, by degrees, a correspondence was formed between Sophia and himself. His obliging manners and amiable temper strongly recommended him to her regard; but it was principally on account of his piety, that, with the advice of her aunt, she consented to encourage his addresses. The vessel being thoroughly repaired, the day was fixed for sailing, and a temporary separation took place. In a few days Mrs. Netherton and her niece took their departure, and arrived home in safety. They were shortly joined by Mrs. Mountstuart, and her son, and in the space of six months, Mrs. Netherton had the pleasure of seeing her niece happily united to one who proved himself worthy of her choice; while she afforded a striking illustration of the text : “A good wife is from the Lord." Penryn.
ON THE RESURRECTION OF THE BODY. The doctrine of the resurrection of the body is one of the most cheering on which man can fix his thoughts, for, deprived of this hope, his existence, while on earth, would be clouded with misery, and distracted at the thought of the fearful and unknown hereafter which lay before him. But this truth could not be made known either by the discernings of our bodily senses, or by the research of our intellectual faculties. And had we not received a certain intimation from the inspired oracles of God, we must have remained destitute of the blessed hope which it imparts, as well as of the consolation it is fitted to convey to us, amid the calamities and bereavements of our mortal condition; and we could have entertained only vague and faint hopes. But, blessed be God, the cloud and the mist have been rolled away from the prospects of man; and a voice hath spoken comfort to the mourners, and them that sit in sorrow. And now that the words of promise shine bright upon the pages of the sacred volume, we are enabled to perceive that this doctrine of our holy faith is in most beautiful harmony with the dictates of sound philosophy. The Christian knows, and is assured, that hereafter he shall enjoy the pleasures that are at God's right hand, in blessed companionship with those who were the children of grace on earth, and have become the heirs of glory in heaven ; that “ after his skin though worms destroy his body, yet in his flesh shall he see God.” How replete with consolation is this assurance to the weary and heavy-laden! Beset by temptations, encompassed by afflictions, and scoffed at by the men of the world, he is comforted by these words of heavenly consolation, “ In my Father's house are many mansions ; if it were not so, I would have told you : I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go away, I will come again, and will take you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also.” He can now walk without dismay through the dark valley, knowing that the “everlasting arms are around him; nor is it altogether a valley of darkness to him, for a ray of heavenly light chequers the gloom. He fears not the dark and stormy waters that roll between him and the land of promise. And while the immortal spirit is yet struggling with the bands of clay, a voice says to him, “ Fear not to go down to the grave; I will go down with thee, and will bring thee up again.”
From the Bible alone do we derive information regarding the resurrection of the body. Human reason could not discover it. It is true that it could form some conception of the immortality of the soul, and philosophic minds have argued this truth from its lofty powers and capabilities; from its plans and views reaching far onwards into a fathomless futurity. From these and other grounds did they conclude that it was possible that it might survive the stroke of death, and be admitted into a separate state, where its powers and capacities should be fully unfolded. But it was only at particular seasons, and at times of solemn meditation, that this thought occurred to them; and it never exercised the slightest influence over their conduct. They had a vague idea of its possibility, but they were far from being convinced of its probability. At all events they had not the most distant or obscure idea of the resurrection of the body; and when they saw the body of some beloved friend consigned to the tomb, they gave it over hopelessly to corruption. They mourned over those whom they lost with hopeless sorrow, and went down to the grave themselves in desolation and despair.
But, to the Christian, this truth is revealed in terms so clear and plain, that he who runs may read. He knows, in very deed, that the corruptible shall put on incorruption, and the mortal be attired in immortality. He knows that the souls of those departed friends who fell asleep in Jesus were, at death, made perfect in holiness, and did immediately enter into the glory that is within the veil ; and that their bodies are now resting peacefully in their graves, and shall rise, in the great day of reward, to receive the imperishable crown. Then indeed shall they learn the full truth and significance of those heavenly words, “ O death, I will be thy plagues, O grave, I will be thy destruction.”
How precious then is the soul! How ought men to strive that they may become followers of them who through faith and patience have now inherited the promises ! And, if even a deistical writer has remarked that the soul of man outweighs in value a million of worlds, what a high estimate ought Christians to form of it when they think that “life and immortality have been brought to light by the gospel”—that the eternal Son of God rose from the dead
as the first fruits of them that slept”—and that He went down to the chambers of death, that he might confer eternal life on his
followers, and redeem them, who, through fear of death, were all their life-time subject to bondage.”
What an ardent desire ought Christians to feel for the advancement of the Redeemer's kingdom! How indefatigable ought they to be in their endeavours, and how instant in their prayers that the “ glad tidings" may be published to them that dwell in the dark places of the earth, the habitations of ignorance and horrid cruelty; and how strenuous in their exertions to bring within the pale of salvation the morally and spiritually blind of their fellow-countrymen! They ought ever to remember that the highest service that can be done to a land, is to render it one spacious nursery in which men may spend profitably the infancy of their spiritual existence ; thus transforming it into a vast temple in which they offer up the adoration of humble and devout worshippers, preparing for the higher and holier services of the heavenly sanctuary. The eternal welfare of the inhabitants of a land surpasses all other objects in magnitude and importance; inasmuch as when the whole world shall have been consumed in one all-involving conflagration, when the bright luminaries of the sky shall have been quenched in darkness, even then shall the souls of the righteous dwell in undecaying youth, amid the fruition of unfading pleasures, throughout the countless
ages of eternity. “I heard a voice from heaven," says St. John,
saying unto me, write, blessed are the dead which die in the Lord; yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours, and their works do follow them."
A. R. B.
THE DECLINE OF THE YEAR. THERE are many delightful associations connected even with the approach of Winter. We are never so deeply sensible of our blessings as when we are about to lose them, and for this reason the sweet but baleful influences of Autumn affect our spirits more powerfully than all the glory of Summer, or the freshness and brilliancy of Spring. We cling with a kind of childlike trust to the sadly-beautiful scenes that surround us at this season, and make them much more a part of ourselves than those which are presented to us at other times, and under other circumstances. There seems indeed to be some kind of analogy between the deathtinge breathed upon created nature at this period of the year, and
the blight of sin that has passed over ourselves, and tarnished our “ original brightness.” A pensive tenderness clothes every thing about us, and the slant sun-beam that now and then throws over the fading landscape a serene and chastened splendour, appears to bear an intimate relation to those holy ardors that light up the mourner's heart, when the “excellent glory” of the Highest shines into it to give us the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ; and to assure us in the midst of the decay of many hopes, and the alienation of many friends, that we are neither comfortless nor forsaken,
We have often gazed and thought upon the “ glorious beauty" of Autumn, with tearful eyes, and hearts that seemed to open under the impressions which it sent home to them in swift and sweet succession—the crystal clearness of its skies--the gorgeousness of its setting sun, and the solemn rising of that “ark of fire,” the glowing, gentle moon,
“ She that never sleeps, “ But walks about high heaven all the night!”. And when with all these things we have been compelled to connect the speedy advent of Winter, its coldness and dreariness, we have paused and shuddered, and turned sick at heart, till a purer and sweeter solace than any that can be found in nature has been poured into our bosoms, and the garment of praise has been given us for the spirit of heaviness.
When the scenes which we have witnessed in the last days of Autumn are called up beneath the gloomy skies of November, or amidst the rigours of its stern successor, they appear to be invested with a richness that never belonged to them, though perhaps they were more lovely, and whilst they were yet with us were prized more highly, than any throughout the whole round of seasons. The dreary monotony of the first of these months, and the chill and gloom and turbulence of the other, are sometimes brightened by a vision of golden fruits and crimson foliage and eddying leaves, and the tossing to and fro', and “turning to the light” of the rocking branches of some lofty plane or aspen, as the sudden shower falls upon it, or gives place in an instant to a welcome burst of sun light. It is then that we first appreciate rightly the charms of such a landscape, and wonder whether we