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GOD REIGNS. On a bright and beautiful morning, I was requested to visit a young lady, lately in the bloom of life and vigour of health, but then afflicted with a severe inflammation of the eyes. I was ushered into a darkened room, succeeded by one still darker, where lay the object of my visit. Nothing was visible, for every avenue to the admission of light had been carefully closed. After some inquiries as to her sufferings and prospect of relief, I said, “You are shut out in these dark rooms from the visible world. The light is sweet, the birds are uttering their songs of praise, the air is perfumed with the fragrance of herbage and flowers, and the landscape in all directions presents a scene of great variety and beauty. Your companions are buoyant in health, and in the full spring-tide of life can give free exercise to all their powers. Some are seeking Christ--some have chosen that good part which shall not be taken from them. What is now your consolation ?” After a short pause she replied, “It is that God reigns." An indelible impression was made on my mind, accompanied with emotions of surprise and joy. I could not but feel, here is a faith that triumphs over the things of time or sense, and gilds the dark chamber with light and joy. Yea, God reigns !—the great God, who made the sun and the organs of vision; who made the landscape of nature with its endless forms of variety and beauty. He reigns in the dark and gloomy, as well as in the bright and joyous moments of life. He reigns on earth; he reigns in heaven ; he reigns in eternity ; he reigns for ever. Blessed be his glorious name, for ever and ever ! - Presbyterian Herald.
I HAVE NEGLECTED MY SOUL. A MINISTER of the Gospel, in the neigbourhood of London, was sent for, one tempestuous winter evening, to visit a poor woman who was supposed to be very near death. The man of God, anxious to be the means of imparting comfort at such an awful time, heeded not the cold or the storm, but went forward on his errand of mercy; and having with some difficulty found out the woman's abode, he entered her miserable dwelling. The rain beat through the broken roof and unglazed window; no fire was in the grate, and scarcely any furniture in the room ; and on a bed of straw, and covered only with rags, pale and panting for breath, lay the object of his visit. “My friend,” said the good man, “you seem to be in miserable poverty. In your weak and diseased condition you suffer much for the want of the common necessaries of life.” “Oh! sir," said the poor creature, raising herself up, and fixing on him her dying eyes, “my miserable abode, these rags, my poverty, my want of all comfort, are nothing. I count them all as nothing, because I feel the want of my soul ! 0, sir, my soul! my soul! I have neglected my soul ! My life is nearly gone; nothing, in this world, if I could have all that its riches and honours could procure, would be of any use to me; the only thing which appears of any value now is my never dying soul. O that my time might but come again! I would attend to the wants of my soul.” But her time had not to come over again ; and she djed! Reader, shall the day come when you will have to say “My soul, my soul! I have neglected my
LOVE OF THE BEAUTIFUL AND GOOD. THERE seems to be a strong fascination in young minds for all that can excite feeling of horror, aversion and wonder. They like to feel their cheeks curdling, their hair creeping, their eyes distending, and their souls in a great tumult of half-horror and half-delight. Like the story of the maniac who swallowed nails and bits of iron, because he fancied they would strengthen him, they swallow murders, robberies, police reports, and dying confessions, fancying that they are strengtheners of virtue, while instead of that they corrupt the mind until the whole moral being is sicklied over with their bad influence. My
young friend, if you would keep your mind pure, seek out the good, the lovely, and beautiful. Let murderous tales and stories of bad boys and girls pass by, for children are imitative, and when they read the story of a bad child they want to act as he did to see how it will feel. Did you ever hear the anecdote of a priest, who asked a confessing landlord if he ever mixed sawdust with the shorts for the horses of his guests? He said no, he had never thought of it. When he came for absolution next time, he confessed this sin among his misdeeds. To some minds the suggestion of evil is often a strong temptation. Therefore, surround yourself with everything that is cheerful, bright, pleasant, and good; everything that excites happy thoughts and feelings and a tranquil state of mind. You will have to see enough that is wicked with your eyes, and bear enough that is bad, with your ears, without drinking it in any other way. Try also to cultivate a love for the beautiful. Don't patronize toy-shop windows, where ignorant people have stuck paste and paper together into distorted likenesses of humanity, to jeer, deride, simper, squint and make faces, at everybody that passes. Select softhaired, lovely dolls, with graceful forms, or the beautiful toy machinery that is made now to imitate all the departments of mechanical arts. Little children can do a great deal in the way of amusements to improve themselves. Think of this. Try it for awhile, and see how much happier and better you will become.
LETTERS TO THE YOUNG.
NO. XVII.--MILTON'S PROSE WORKS.
( Concluded from page 196.) Milton, lifting up his hands to “ that eternal and propitious Throne, where nothing is readier than grace and refuge to mortal suppliants," thus commences the sublime Invocation with which he closes his first prose composition. “Thou, therefore, that sittest in light and glory unapproachable. Parent of angels and men ! next, thee, I implore Omnipotent King, Redeemer of that last remnant whose nature thou didst assume, ineffable and everlasting love! And thou, the third subsistence of the divine infinitude, illuminating Spirit, the joy and solace of created things! one Tri-personal godhead! Look upon this thy poor and almost spent and expiring church, leave her not thus a prey to these importunate wolves, that wait and think long till they devour thy tender flock; these wild bears that have broken into thy vineyard, and left the print of their polluting hoofs upon the souls of thy servants.- 0, let them not bring about their damned designs, that stand now at the entrance of the bottomless pit, expecting the watchword to open and let out those dreadful locusts and scorpions, to re-involve us in that pitchy cloud of infernal darkness, where we shall never more see the sun of thy truth again, never hope for the cheerful dawn, never more hear the bird of morning sing. Be moved with pity at the afflicted state of this our shaken monarchy, that now lies labouring under her throes, and struggling under the grudges of more dreaded calamities.
“O thou, that, after the impetuous rage of five bloody inundations, and the succeeding sword of intestine war, soaking the land in her gore, didst pity the sad and ceaseless revolution of our swift and thick-coming sorrows; when we were quite breathless, of thy free grace didst motion our peace, and terms of covenant with us; and having first well-nigh freed us from anti-Christian thraldom, didst build up this Britannic empire to a glorious and enviable height, with all her daughter-islands; stay us in this felicity, let not the obstinacy of our half-obedience and will-worship bring forth that viper of sedition, that for these fourscore years hath been breeding to eat through the entrails of our peace; but let her cast her abortive spawn without the danger of this travailing and throbbing king. dom : that we may still remember in our solemn thanksgivings, how for us, the Northern Ocean even to the frozen Thule, was scattered with the proud shipwrecks of the
Spanish Armada, and the very maw of hell ransacked, and made to give up her concealed destruction, ere she could vent it in that terrible and damned blast.
“O how much more glorious will these former deliverances appear, when we shall know them not only to have saved us from greatest miseries past, but to have reserved us for greatest happiness to come! Hitherto thou hast but freed us, and that not fully, from the unjust and tyrannous claim of thy foes; now unite us entirely, and appropriate us to Thyself, tie us everlastingly in willing homage to the prerogative of Thy eternal throne.” * * * * Then, amidst the hymns and hallelujahs of saints, some one may perhaps be heard offering at high strains in new and lofty measure, to sing and celebrate Thy divine mercies and marvellous judgments in this land throughout all ages; whereby this great and warlike nation, instructed and inured to the fervent and continued practice of righteousness, and casting far from her the rags of her old vices, may press on hard to that happy emulation to be found the soberest, wisest, and most Christian people at that day, when Thou, the eternal and shortly-expected King, shalt open the clouds to judge the several kingdoms of the world, and distributing national honours and rewards to religious and just commonwealths, shalt put an end to all earthly tyrannies, proclaiming Thy universal and mild monarchy through heaven and earth ; when they undoubtedly, that by their labours, counsels, and prayers, have been earnest for the common good of religion and their country, shall receive above the inferior orders of the blessed, the regal addition of principalities, legions, and thrones, into their glorious titles, and in super-eminence of beatific vision, progressing the dateless and irrevoluble circle of eternity, shall clasp hands inseparable in joy and bliss, in overmeasure for ever.” Such, my young friends, was the manner in which the sublime Milton breathed out his soul to God in behalf of his country. I am conscious of not having done him anything like justice in my poor letters about him. My object has been to hold up his character to your admiration, and lead you in seeking to promote the