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ners, we have no right, and if believing sinners, we have no reason to complain; for all our concerns are in the hand of our best friend, who has promised that all things shall work together for his glory, and our final benefit. My trial is great; but I am supported, and have many causes for daily praise.'
Chap. iv, ver. 18.-But I have all, and abound : I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odor of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God.
“ Last week,” says General Burn, “just as my heart was poring over the disappointment I met with in my expected promotion, and anticipating all the miseries of accumulating debt, a dear friend of mine, in the military profession, called upon me; and taking me aside into a private room, made me promise I would ask him no questions, which, when I had done, with some hesitation, he put a bank note into my hand, saying, he was desired to give it me, but with the strongest injunctions never to divulge from whence it came. I put it into my pocket without looking at it, repeatedly thanking him, and my generous benefactor, for the very acceptable present. Dinner being upon the table, we went in, sat down, and dined; my mind all the time occupied about which of my creditors I should pay off first, imagining I had perhaps a ten or twenty pound pote, which I longed to look at, but was ashamed to do it before my friend. Soon after dinner, I took an opportunity to step out of the room to satisfy my anxious curiosity. But oh! how was my heart filled with grateful emotions when I found two notes, one of five and the other of a hundred pounds, a present of an hundred guineas! To attempt a description of my feelings at that time, would be in vain ; those who have experienced the overflowings of a grateful heart can only guess at them. I was so overcome with a view of the Lord's goodness, that I knew not how to express myself, and was afraid my friend would think me insensible of the favor bestowed. When he was gone, and I had communicated the purport of his visit to Mrs. B. we both wept, and in broken accents with eyes and hearts directed to heaver, expressed our obligation to the God of all our mercies, for his seasonable and ample supply, in apswer to our united and repeated prayers. -I have now enjoyed the pleasure of paying all my debts, of contributing to the relief of others, and of purchasing many articles absolutely necessary to my family. Oh how good the Lord bas been to us, unwortby as we are of the least of all bis mercies !"
COLOSSIANS. Chap. i, ver. 13.-Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.
When Libussa, princess of Bohemia, had first ennobled and then married Primaslaus, who before was a plain husbandman, in remembrance of his first condition, he brought with him a pair of wooden shoes. Being asked the cause, he answered, " I brought them, that they might be set up for a monument in the castle of Visegrode, and shown to my successors, that all may know the first prince of Bohemia was called from the cart to this bigh dignity; and that I myself, who am brought to wear a crown, may remember I have nothing whereof to be proud." Let the Christian be humble and grateful, when he contrasts his former with his present state.
Chap. i, ver. 28.—Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom ; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.
During a recent voyage, sailing in a heavy sea,
near a reef of rocks, a minister on board the vessel, remarked, in a conversation between the man at the helm and the sailors, an inquiry whether they should be able to clear the rocks without making another tack; when the captain gave orders that they should put off, to avoid all risk. The minister observed," I am rejoiced that we have so careful a commander.” The captain replied, “it is necessary I should be very careful, because I have souls on board. I think of my responsibility ; and should any thing happen through carelessness, that souls are very valuable!"The minister, turning to some one of his congregation, who were upon deck with him, observed, “ The captain has preached me a powerful sermon ; I hope I shall never forget, when I am addressing my fellow creatures on the concerns of eternity, that I have souls on board."
Chap. ii, ver. 15.--And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
Mr. Venn, in his last illness, exhibited at times, in the midst of extreme feebleness of body, signs of great joy and gladness. Some of his friends, who visited him in his declining state, endeavoured to encourage his mind, by bringing to his recollection his useful labors in the Lord's vineyard. While one of them was enlarging in the same strain, the dying saint, raised from a state of oppressive languor, and deeply sensible of his own insufficiency, with great animation exclaimed, “ Miserable comforters are ye all,I have had many to visit me, who have endeavored to comfort me, by telling me what I have done. He hath spoiled principalities and powers,-He hath made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in his cross.' This, sir, is the source of all my consolation, and not any thing I have done.”
Chap. ii, ver. 23.—Which things have indeed a show of wisdom in will-worship and
humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honor to the satisfying of the flesh.
Thomas a Becket, who was afterwards primate of England, was a strange compound of affected bumility and real pride. While he performed the lowly office of washing the feet of thirteen beggars every morning, his supercilious, obstinate, and turbulent spirit, assumed a proud, overbearing, spiritual authority over his sovereign, whom he was the habit of treating with all the insolence of a licensed censor.
Chap. iii, ver. 2.-Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth.
66 I could mention the name of a late very opulent and very valuable person,” says a writer in the Gospel Magazine, “ who, though naturally avaricious in the extreme, was liberal and beneficent to a proverb. He was aware of his constitutional sin, and God gave him victory over it, by enabling him to run away from it. Lest the dormant love of money should awake and stir in his heart, be would not, for many years before his death, trust himself with the sight of his revenues. He kept, indeed, bis accounts as clearly and exactly as any man in the world, but he dared not receive, because he dared not look at that gold, which he feared would prove a snare to his affections. His stewards received all, and retained all in their own hands, till they received orders how to dispose of it.”
Chap. iii, ver. 19.—Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.
Dr. Franklin relates, that being with a party of his friends overtaken by a storm in one of the American islands, he took shelter in a public house kept by a German. Upon their desiring that more wood might be brought to the fire, the brute desired his sickly wife to go forth in the storm and fetch it, while a sturdy young negro weoch stood by doing nothing.
Being asked why he did not send the girl rather than his wife, the brute replied, " That wench is worth eighty pounds to me, and if she should catch cold and die, I should sustain a great loss; but if my wife dies, I can get another, and perhaps money into the bargain!" How harsh and cruel this treatment! How like the description given by the apostle in the first of the Romans,— Without natural affection, unmerciful!"
Chap. iv, ver. 1.-Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal, knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.
A poor black boy, the property of a slave-bolder in Africa, having heard of the preaching of the missionaries, felt a strong desire to go and hear about Jesus Christ. For this purpose he crept secretly away one evening, but being obliged to pass under the window of the house, his master observed bim, and called out, “ Where are you going ?” The poor fellow came back trembling, and said, “ Me go to hear the missionaries, massa. 66 To hear the missionaries, indeed ; if ever you go there, you shall have nine and thirty lashes, and be put in iroos." With a disconsolate look, the poor black replied, “Me tell Massa, me tell the great Massa."
66 Tell the great Massa,” replied the master, “ What do you mean?" “ Me tell the great Massa, the Lord in heaven, that my massa was angry with me, because I wanted to go and hear his word.” The master was struck with astonishment, his color changed, and unable to conceal bis feelings, he hastily turned away, saying, “Go along, and bear the missionaries." Being thus permitted, the poor boy gladly complied. In the mean time, the mind of the master became restless and uneasy.
He had not been accustomed to think that he had a Master in heaven, who knew and observed all his actions; and he at length determined to follow his slave, and see if there could be any peace obtained