Imatges de pàgina

the infinity of grace which is in Jesus, " for of His fulness have we all received, and grace for grace." Now if, in unions for prayer, one voice only were the exponent of the feelings of all, the channel of blessing would surely be much narrowed. • There are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all; but the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.” Sketch an object from one point of view only, and, may-be, you get a correct outline ; but it is a flat, one-sided view. Now, combine with this another outline, sketched from the stereoscopic angle, and the picture will start into relief before you with a strange, almost living reality. Thus truth, in itself essentially one, has many aspects in which it is presented to varied minds, and it is through blending these we apprehend its reality and fulness.

On the other hand, it has been found inexpedient to urge those to conduct the prayers of others who are painfully nervous in praying before them. In the presence of an Almighty God, of heartsearching purity, when we really draw nigh to God and feel He draws nigh to us, every other presence should be lost sight of except that of the Mediator, the Man Christ Jesus. If we cannot. succeed in banishing the recollection of the presence of comparative strangers, it is probably better to wait till we are sufficiently familiar with them to do so. Perhaps, in such a case, if none could be found willing to offer extempore prayer, the difficulty might be bridged over by writing prayers beforehand, which could be read at the time.

The results we have already been permitted to trace in this one small circle of mothers, make us the more earnest in urging others. to make a similar experiment. In the first place, the refreshment and enjoyment of the hour itself is very helpful to those whose daily recurring duties claim from them a constant supply of grace and wisdom. In

many the springs of spiritual and mental life are so delicately poised, that they soon lose their elasticity ; they bend under the pressure of anxiety, or are worn out by the little frets and cares of life; they need an occasional repair, to be strengthened and renewed. Such have come weary, and gone away invigorated and refreshed.

“It is the happiest hour of all the month," said one dear friend, and the expression was echoed by one and another, whose bright faces testified it was no hollow compliment. Another, when ill, left her bed to join us; and many little arrangements evidence the unwillingness of any to absent themselves for any but grave reasons. One who has, since she joined us, left the neighbourhood for a distant part of this wide city, always contrives still to meet with us. “I gain too much to be willing to give it up,” is her testimony.

In January, shortly after the beginning of our mothers' meeting, one of the members mentioned a beloved son going to leave the parental roof for a distant land. He was a precious child, who had

responded to careful parental training by conduct which was habitually dutiful and affectionate. His outward walk was blameless before man; but, with the keen-sighted instinct of true affection, behind the veil of natural reserve, his mother detected all was not right with God. The altar was built, the wood was laid in order; the heavenly flame was wanting to kindle the acceptable sacrifice. One thing he lacked, but that one thing was the essential of life, the numeral without which all earthly endowments are mere cyphers, but which, placed first, gives its value to each.

Together we pleaded that, if it were God's will, this loved one might, during the four months which must elapse before he left home, give evidence that he was born again; that, ere he quitted his father's dwelling, he might learn to look up to a heavenly Parent, and say, “My Father, Thou art the guide of my youth.' The prayer was offered in submission to God's will; for while we know He willeth not the death of a sinner, we may not dictate times and seasons to Him. It was signally answered. When the ship sailed, his happy mother told with overflowing heart of what God had done for her son; how heartily he had devoted himself to his father's God; how natural reserve had melted before the warmth of new and spiritual affection. He had joined with them in praying aloud; at first it was in broken, stammering accents, but before he left, his prayers were the outpouring of a heart overflowing with believing love. We asked when the change began, and heard that while he believed others had long reckoned him a child of God; it was only in January he truly began to seek God. January ! the very time we had united in prayer for him. Truly it is written, “While they are yet speaking I will hear.From "Mothers in Council.

UNHAPPY MARRIAGES. OW many an anxious thought a loving mother has in looking forward to the future of her daughters, as to

what their lot in life may be! The mother knows from her own experience the peculiar trials of a woman's

life; and she often longs that if her girls should marry, they may have good husbands, and thus be spared the countless miseries that await the wife of a worthless man.

What great advantage would arise if all mothers were careful to train their daughters to look on the subject of engaging in marriage as a very serious matter, requiring the utmost care and most prayerful consideration before entering upon it, instead of allowing them to think of it only as a thing to be joked about, as so many appear to do!

We must all have noticed how often young girls seem to marry merely as a matter of course, and with almost as little consideration

as if they were buying a new bonnet or dress. I have often heard a gentleman speak of the case of a young woman in his factory, who one day announced her intention of marrying a man who had only come to work there a few days before. Her employer expressed his surprise, and asked her whether she thought it wise to marry on so very short an acquaintance. Her reply was, that “she didn't know; the young man asked her to marry him, and she thought she would; but if her master disapproved of it, she would give it up at once, for she cared nothing about him-nothing at all!” Surely, in such a case as this, there could be little reasonable prospect of a united and happy wedded life. This may appear to some to be an extreme case; yet I fear there are too many girls who are quite as ready to rush into a marriage without consideration as the young woman I have mentioned. Marriage is one of the most important steps we take in life-a step that, once taken, cannot be undone or retraced; it is for life. How important, then, that mothers who have daughters to bring up should train them to consider how necessary it is for them not to enter into marriage with one whom they do not feel that they can willingly love, honour, and obey !

What young woman would like to promise to honour and obey a drinking or immoral man, or one who was in the habit of giving way to outbursts of passion, or using bad language, if she had seriously weighed these things? She would feel that the kind of husband she needed was one who would lovingly help her on her way to heaven, and not one who would in any way hinder her; and unless she had the opportunity of marrying one who would thus help her, she would prefer not to marry at all, and brave all the consequences of being an “old maid”-a lot which we should all agree in thinking much less terrible than that of being the poor careworn wife of a bad husband, perhaps having to work, not only to maintain herself, but also (as, we know, is too often the case) to maintain both her husband and children!

Perhaps some who are placed in very trying circumstances, where their children are almost inevitably exposed to temptation, and surrounded by bad examples among their neighbours, may be ready to say, "It is no use for me to try to mend matters : I can do nothing that will have any effect." But do not be so easily discouraged; it is an old saying that “where there is a will, there is a way," and there is a great deal of truth in it. It is astonishing how often a way


open for doing a thing, if we only set ourselves diligently to find it, and if we are determined to lose no opportunity of trying to do right. But when we feel how weak we are, and how little we can do, let us seek help from God; for “to them that have no might He increaseth strength” (Isa. xl. 29). There is every encouragement given to the Lord's people to ask of Him for all they need; and He will not refuse the anxious mother's cry unto Him for grace to be enabled to guide her children aright, and

to bring them up in the fear of the Lord, if she comes to Him in simple faith, pleading the Saviour's promise,“ Whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”-From "Mothers and Daughters."


R. ELLICOTT, the Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol, remarks that, “Wantonness in the child, if unchecked, is sure to deepen into cruelty in the man; while, on the other hand, it is certainly true that, few

things can be taught more easily to children, or learned more readily by them, than tenderness and mercy to the animal world.” A distinguished French school-master says that, in 1851 he began to introduce into his school the teaching of kindness to animals, and that this teaching had the best influence on the lives and characters of his pupils, making them not only more sensitive to the sufferings of animals, but also more gentle and affectionate toward each other. The histories of Friends, or Quakers, furnish very striking exemplifications of the power of humane education—not only to prevent crime, but even to prevent war. “While all the other colonies were engaged in fierce and bloody wars with the Indians," says the historian, “ William Penn maintained the most friendly relations with the tribes about him."

Dr. Kirk, in a recent address, says of cruelty to animals : “It closes the heart to all sweet, gentle, humanizing influences. Children are refined or brutalized by their treatment of animals ; so are men. Every blow the man strikes recoils, debases him, puts him further off from the King of Heaven. We must teach children to love


domestic animal.” The venerable Dr. Lord, of Buffalo, in a sermon on cruelty to animals, speaks as follows; “How can the evil be remedied ? First, by a proper training in the family, the school, and the church. Children, who are naturally imitative, are taught cruelty in the streets. This must be counteracted by the parent, the teacher, and from the pulpit. It is easy to unchain the tiger in the heart; hard to overcome and subdue the habit of cruelty. Our public schools should be made nurseries of mercy as well as knowledge, and our teachers should rank amongst the worst offences all deeds of cruelty.”

Another clergyman writes : “There is great need of inculcating humane sentiments in our day and Sunday-schools. We cannot afford to permit youth to form cruel and destructive habits.”

It is certain that animals cannot be effectively protected by laws alone; because not one case in a thousand of cruelties, even to the larger animals, will ever ocour in the presence of persons who will undertake to prosecute.

A. G.


PRAYERLESS FAMILIES. OU that are heads of families, but yet have not had a heart to set up the worship of God in them, I am afraid God hath little from you in your closets, who hath none from you

in your families : it is no breach of charity to suspect your care for your own souls, when you show

none for your relations. If ever thou hadst been acquainted with God, and tasted any sweetness in secret

communion with Him, couldst thou thus rob thy family of so great a blessing? Could you find such a treasure, and hide it from them you love so well? Have they not souls as precious as thy own ? Art thou not willing they should find the way

to heaven as well as thyself? Yea, art thou not God's trustee, to take care of their souls as well as their bodies ? Dost thou owe no more to thy child, or thy servant, than to thy hog or horse ? Their bodies are looked to, and wilt thou do no more for the others? How knowest thou but thy holy example in the duties of God's worship among them, may leave such impressions on their hearts as shall never be worn off ? Did

you never hear

any, to the praise of God, acknowledge that the first turn towards heaven they ever had, was by living in such a godly family, where, with the worship of God, a savour and sacred sense of the things of God did secretly steal into their hearts ? Certainly, were our youth more acquainted with the duties of religion in private, the minister's work would be much facilitated in public. It is no wonder to see that tree thrives not, which stands but little in the sun; and as little wonder to see them continue profane and wicked that but once in a week come under the beams of an ordinance. One well compareth the public ministry to the mason that builds the house, and family governors to them that make the brick. Now if you, by neglecting your duty, bring clay instead of brick, you make the minister's work double. The truth is, the neglect of family worship opens a wide flood-gate to let in a deluge of profaneness. Thou livest now without the worship of God in thy family, and perhaps in a few years from thee many other families may arise, and most likely they will follow thy copy: indeed, it were a wonder that they who are taught no better should do otherwise : and so irreligion is likely to spread apace. When thy head is laid in the dust, thy profaneness is not buried in thy grave with thee; no, thou leavest others behind to keep it alive. O how dismal is it to lay the foundation of a sin to many generations ! The children unborn


and curse such. “If I had heard my father pray,” may the child say in a dying hour), “or had I been led into the acquaintance of the worship of God by his example, then had not I lived like a heathen, as I have done." "Well, as you would not have your

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