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We judge our earthly friends by what they do, rather than by what they say; and why not judge of our heavenly Friend by the same rule. Ask, then, the question, Christian reader, what has God done for thee? or rather, what has God not done for thee? Has he not made thee? given thee thy faculties of body, soul, and spirit? placed thee in a beautiful world ? afforded thee the means of grace, and the hope of glory? Yea, given his Son to die for thee upon the cross, prepared thee a mansion of boundless bliss, and put into thy hands His holy word to comfort thee on earth, and guide thee in the way to heaven? Surely the past, present, and future, will hardly suffice thee in setting forth His glory:
“To sing his praise let heart and soul be given,
Sing loud on earth, and louder still in heaven ! The past has already been the present, and soon will be the future. Hours, days, and years, like riches, make to themselves wings and fly away ; let them bear on their wings some record of our love, our gratitude, and joy. Let us so ponder on what is, was, and will be, that the past, the present, and the future may give praise to the Redeemer, and promote the peace of our own souls.
THE FOLIAGE OF TREES. Every bough that waves over our head in the summer time contains lessons of wisdom. It is positively true that every leaf is full of instruction. Indeed the foliage of trees is the most wonderful subject of contemplation and delight. Read the history of leaves, and marvel! Each leaf is employed in receiving and transmitting gases from the air, in certain proportions, to the plant. These great operations, having been effected during the summer months, and this agency of the leaves finished, they fall to the ground, not as an useless incumbrance, but to convey a large portion of fresh soil, peculiarly fitted for the nutriment of vegetation. The beautiful foliage which has cooled us with its shade, and glowed with all the splendid
fruitfulness, at length return to the soil in the lonely days of autumn, not to encumber it, but to administer health and vigor to a new series of vegetation, and circulate in combination concealed from every human eye.
REPLY OF A CHILD TO AN INFIDEL. An infidel remarked, within hearing of a little girl of thirteen, that all things came by chance, and that the world, like a mushroom, sprang up in a night. “I should like to know, sir,” she said, “where the seed came from.”
WE MISS HER.
The parting stroke we feel ;
And at the evening meal.
Where she was wont to play ;
She told us ev'ry day.
When our daily work is o'er,
She joins with us no more.
In whom we took delight,
To bid us all good night.
O'er life's wild ocean driven,
How wonderful are the arrangements, by which our gracious Creator supplies the daily wants of his great family! In every season of the year, we have abundant proofs of God's kindness towards the children of men. But especially these are manifested in the season when the fruits of the earth are reaped and garnered, and when our ample ricks, barns, and storehouses, testify that God has provided a plentiful supply for feeding man, and the lower orders of living creatures.
Our heavenly Father has this year granted unto us a very abundant harvest. The crops of grain have been much more than usually good. From the great abundance of
corn, bread has become cheaper, and the poor can thus obtain a larger share of those things that are needful to their comfort and support. We ought therefore to praise the Lord for his goodness ; ever remembering that “ the earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof;” that he causeth the earth to bring forth her increase ; sendeth fruitful showers, causeth the sun to shine which warms the earth, and ripens its fruits ; and giveth the appointed
weeks of harvest. The Psalmist truly says, “He openeth his hand and supplieth all things living with plenteousness." We may well say, as David said, “O that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, for his wonderful works to the children of men !”
The Jews were directed by Jehovah to acknowledge their dependence on Him, and their gratitude for the fruits of the earth, by presenting to the priests, as God's ministering servants, the first-fruits of the harvest. God directed Moses to say to the Jewish nation.—“The first of the first-fruits of thy land, thou shalt bring into the house of the Lord thy God.” Exodus xxiii. 19.
Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, when ye be come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest; and he shall wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted for you.” Leviticus xxiii. 10. “And the Lord spake unto Moses saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye come into the land whither I bring you, then it shall be, that when ye eat of the bread of the land, ye shall offer up an heave offering unto the Lord. Ye shall offer up a cake of the first of your dough for an heave offering ; as ye do the heave offering of the threshing floor,
heave it. Of the first of your dough ye shall give unto the Lord an heave offering in your generations." Numbers xv. 18, 21. 6 And it shall be when thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance and possessest it, and dwellest therein ; that thou shalt take of the first of all the fruits of the earth which thou shalt bring of thy land that the Lord thy God giveth thee, and shalt put it in a basket, and shalt go unto the place which the Lord thy God shall choose to put his name there. And thou shalt go unto the priest that shall be in those days, and say unto him, I profess this day unto the Lord thy God, that I am come unto the country which the Lord sware unto our fathers for to give us. And the priest shall take the basket out of thine hand, and set it down before the altar of the Lord
JEWS CARRYING THE FIRST-FRUITS TO JERUSALEM.
thy God. And thou shalt speak and say before the Lord thy God, A Syrian ready to perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous ; and the Egyptians evil entreated us, and afflicted us, and laid upon us hard bondage ; and when we cried unto the Lord God of our fathers, the Lord heard our voice, and looked on our affliction, and our labour, and our oppression ; and the Lord brought us forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm, and with great terribleness, and with signs, and with wonders; and he hath brought us into this place, and hath given us this land, even a land that floweth with milk and honey. And now behold I have brought the first-fruits of the land, which thou, O Lord, hast given me. And thou shalt set it before the Lord thy God, and worship before the Lord thy God." Deuteronomy xxvi. 1--10.
Thus did the Lord require the children of Israel to bring to him of their first-fruits. They had to bring the first-fruits of their grapes, of their corn, and of their flocks, and to present them unto the priests; and thus to acknowledge that God is the bountiful Giver of all good things. They were required to bring first-fruits of corn in the sheaf. Leviticus xxiii. 10. They were required to present heave-offerings, as first-fruits of the threshing-floor, when they began to thresh out the corn. Numbers xv. 10. Also as first-fruits, two wave-loaves of bread. Leviticus xxiii. 17. The sheaves were presented at the beginning, and the loaves at the end of the corn harvest.
We are told by Jewish writers, that in the baskets which contained the first-fruits were, usually, wheat, barley, olives, dates, pomegranates, and figs. Wine, oil, and wool, were also presented as first-fruits. These thankofferings were for the use of the priests who served in the house of the Lord. We are also told that, when the people brought up their first-fruits to Jerusalem, it was done with great pomp and ceremony. All the persons coming from cities within a prescribed circuit,came together into one city, and lodged there. In the morning, a voice was heard,