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avocations bear him daily into contact with bis fellows, into the intercourse of society, into the heart of the world. Never, in the highest and holiest sense, can any one become a religious man, until he has acquired those habits of daily self-denial, of resistance to temptation, of kindness, gentleness, humility, sympathy, active beneficence, which are to be acquired only in daily contact with mankind. Tell us not, then, that the man of business, the hustling tradesman, the toil-worn labourer, has little or no time to attend to religion. As well tell us that the pilot, amid the winds and storms, has no leisure to attend to navigation, or the general, on the field of battle, to the art of war ! Where will he attend to it ? Religion is not a perpetual moping over good books—religion is not even prayer, praise, holy ordinances.

These are necessary to religion—no man can be religious without them. But religion, I repeat, is mainly and chiefly the glorifying God amid the duties and trials of the world ; the guiding our course amid the adverse winds and currents of temptation, by the starlight of duty and the compass of divine truth ; the bearing us manfully, wisely, courageously, for the honour of Christ, our great leader in the conflict of life. Away then with the notion that ministers and devotees may be religious, but that a religious and holy life is impracticable in the rough and busy world! Nay rather, believe me, that is the proper scene, the peculiar and appropriate field for religion—the place in which to prove that piety is not a dream of Sundays and solitary hours ; that it can bear the light of day; that it can wear well amid the rough jostlings, the hard struggles, the coarse contacts of common life—the place, in one word, to prove how possible it is for a man to be at once “not slothful in business,” and “ fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.”

Again, carry holy principles with you into the world, and the world will become hallowed by their presence. A Christ-like spirit will Christianize everything it touches. A meek heart, in which the altar-fire of love to God is burning, will lay hold of the commonest, rudest things in life, and transmute them, like coarse fuel at the touch of fire, into a pure and holy flame. Religion in the soul will make all the work and toil of life, its gains and losses, friendships, rivalries, competitions, its manifold incidents and events, the means of religious advancement. Marble or coarse clay, it matters not much with which of these the artist works, the touch of genius transforms the coarser material into beauty,

and lends to the finer a value it never had before. Lofty or lowly, rude or refined, as our earthly work may be, it will become to a holy mind only the material for something infinitely nobler than all the creations of genius-a pure and godlike life. To spiritualize what is material, to Christianize what is secular—this is the noble achievement of Christian principle. If you are a sincere Christian, it will be your great desire, by God's grace, to bring every gift, talent, occupation of life, every word you speak, every action you do, under the control of Christian motive.

Rise superior, in Christ's strength, to all equivocal practices and advantages in trade ; shrink from every approach to meanness or dishonesty ; let your eye, fixed on a reward before which earthly wealth grows dim, beam with honour ; let the thought of God make you self-restrained, temperate, watchful over speech and conduct ; let the abiding sense of Christ's redeeming love to you make you gentle, self-denying, kind, and loving to all around you ; then indeed will your secular life become spiritualized, whilst, at the same time, your spiritual life will grow more fervent ; then not only will your prayers become more devout, but when the knee bends not, and the lip is silent, the life in its heavenward tone will « pray without ceasing."

The Christian life is not a thing of periodic observances, or of occasional fervours, or even of splendid acts of heroism and self-devotion, but of quiet, constant, unobtrusive earnestness, amidst the commonplace work of the world. This is the life to which Christ

Is it yours ? Have you entered upon it, or are you now willing to enter upon it ? It is not, I admit, an imposing or an easy one. There is nothing in it to dazzle, much in its hardness and plainness to deter the irresolute. The life of a follower of Christ demands not, indeed, in our day, the courage of the hero or the martyr, the fortitude that braves outward dangers and sufferings, and flinches not from persecution and death. But with the age of persecution the difficulties of the Christian life have not passed away. In maintaining, in the unambitious routine of humble duties, a spirit of Christian cheerfulness and contentment—in preserving the fervour of piety amidst unexciting cares and wearing anxieties—in the perpetual reference to lofty ends amidst lowly toils—there may be evinced a faith as strong as that of the man who dies with the song of martyrdom on his lips. It is a great thing to love Christ so dearly as to be “ ready

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calls us.

to be bound and to diefor Him ; but it is often a thing not less great to be ready to take up our daily cross, and to live for Him.


The sparrow

WHEREVER there is a cottage, with a corn-field hard by, you will find a settlement of sparrows. Though it frequently happens that the same roof shelters both them and the swallows, the one bird differs entirely in character from the other. has none of that neatness and elegance of appearance, none of that gentle timidity of disposition, which makes the swallow such a favourite guest with us. If any bird can be called vulgar, it is the sparrow.

He is a low, cunning fellow, with a great many bad habits, and the consequence is, that he meets with nothing but persecution and contempt. His market price is assigned in the New Testament :-Five sparrows for a farthing. His dirty, rusty coat, stumpy shape, hurried, ungraceful flight, and tuneless voice, everything about him betrays his mean origin. But the shameless little cynic takes his revenge on society for treating him with coldness. Possession, custom, authority, nothing is sacred with him. As the fox drives the badger from his domicile by cunning, the sparrow harries the swallow of house and home by open violence. He likes the solid, tight, little, selfcontained house, with the vaulted chamber. He breaks into it at some unguarded moment, and when its owners attempt to expel him, he repulses them obstinately and audaciously, vociferating as loudly as if he were the injured party. If, however, he cannot find a dwelling ready-made to his hand, and must set to work himself, he takes but little pains with his nest, and a most confused, unhandsome, tag-rag affair it turns out. Such as it is, it is chiefly the work of the female, for the sparrow, being no gentleman, makes his wife work harder than himself. A greedy fellow he is too, and fond of dainties, though he is not fond of work. He picks the first ripe cherry from the tree, and the last does not

He stuffs himself with the ripening grain when it is full of milky juice. Yet our epicure can content himself with coarser fare, and in hard times little comes amiss to him. He will eat grubs, caterpillars, spiders, and all sorts of vermin ; still corn is what he likes best. He follows the sower to the field, the thresher to the barn, the ostler to the binn, the horse to his crib, the hens to their scattered handful, the pigeons to the dovecot ; nay, horrible to relate, he is even accused of picking holes in the crops of the young pigeons to get at the grain within.

escape him.

During three quarters of the year the sparrow lives in affluence. On gardens, fields, and meadows, he makes his raids, and in harvest he is merciless to the reaped corn. He collects a multitude of his friends and kindred, and for whole days you may see the tribe whirring about from sheaf to sheaf. But when at length the fields are empty, and all the migratory birds are gone, then the sparrow retires to his winter quarters, to the streets of towns, to yards, and courts, and stables. The days of feasting are over, and the days of fasting have begun. The noisy braggart has become silent ; cold and hunger press him hard.

Then you may see him cowering among his fellows, his feathers puffed out round about him, his head drawn in between his shoulders, so that nothing of it is visible but beak and eye; or he shivers lonely in some sheltered corner, on a window-sill, or at the lee side of a chimney-stack. Yet let there but come some bright half-hour, that thaws a patch of snow from the roof, and the careless, joyous spirit of the vagabond wakes in him again ; he hops, and flutters, and chirrups about, as brisk and gay as ever ; for he knows that the winter-time does not last for ever, and that spring will not forget to spread his table anew.-After Masius.


Views with respect to the probable improvement of the world are so conducive to the comfort of those who entertain them, that even, although they were founded in delusion, a wise man would be disposed to cherish them. What should have induced some respectable writers to controvert them with so great an asperity of expression, it is not easy to conjecture ; for whatever may be thought of their truth, their practical tendency is surely favourable to human happiness ; nor can that temper of mind, which disposes a man to give them a welcome reception, be candidly suspected of designs hostile to the interests of humanity.

One thing is certain, that the greatest of all obstacles to the improvement of the world, is that prevailing belief of its improbability, which damps the exertions of so many individuals; and that, in proportion as the contrary opinion becomes general, it realizes the events which it leads us to anticipate. Surely, if anything can have a tendency to call forth in the public service the exertions of individuals, it must be an idea of the magnitude of that work in which they are conspiring, and a belief of the permanence of those benefits which they confer on mankind by every attempt to inform and to enlighten them.

As in ancient Rome, therefore, it was regarded as the mark of a good citizen, never to despair of the fortunes of the republic ; so the good citizen of the world, whatever may be the political aspect of his own times, will never despair of the fortunes of the human race, but will act upon the conviction that prejudice, slavery, and corruption, must gradually give way to truth, liberty, and virtue ; and that, in the moral world, as well as in the material, the further our observations extend, and the longer they are continued, the more we shall perceive of order and of benevolent design in the universe.




and prayer.

Whilst I was

On the fifth day of the moon, which, according to the custom of my forefathers, I always keep holy, after having washed myself, and offered up my morning devotions, I ascended the high hills of Bagdat, in order to pass the rest of the day in ineditation

As I was here airing myself on the tops of the mountains, I fell into a profound contemplation on the vanity of human life; and passing from one thought to another, Surely, said I, man is but a shadow, and life a dream. thus musing, I cast my eyes towards the summit of a rock that was not far from me, where I discovered one in the habit of a shepherd, with a little musical instrument in his hand. As I looked upon him, he applied it to his lips, and began to play upon it. The sound of it was exceeding sweet, and wrought into a variety of tunes that were inexpressibly melodious, and altogether different from anything I had ever heard : they put me in mind of those heavenly airs that are played to the departed souls of good men upon their first arrival in Paradise, to wear out the im.

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