« PreviousContinue »
having been at such a scene since her conversion, but having lived quietly in Mr. C.'s family, she was not aware that she had lost her relish for the sinful follies which too often take place at these entertainments, and she requested Mr. C.'s leave to attend the wedding.-" Poonah,” he replied, I am not very fond of such things; however, if you wish to go, I will not deny you." She went. It is the custom of the Hindoo women to cover themselves with ornaments, on which they set great value; they wear bracelets round their arms and wrists, and, not contented with a single ear-ring, have the rim of the ear bored all round, and hung with large gold rings. All these Poonah had laid aside as unbecom. ing the character of women professing the Christian religion, who are instructed to adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; " not with broidered hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but with good works.” (1 Tim. ii. 9.) The first salutation, therefore, which she received, on entering the company, was, “Why, sister, what a figure have you made of yourself? where are your ornaments?” She answered, “ Sisters, I thought you invited me for my company, and not for my dress; I shall be as agreeable without my ornaments as with them.". 0, Poonah is become Christian, and she is all for the next world now.' “Why, sisters, we are all going to the next world, so is it not as well to think of it sometines ?"_" And she is come to preach to us too! let us alone : you may be for the next world, but we are all for this.”
Then they began to sing and to shout, and to throw oranges and cakes at one another, till Poonah, like Noah's dove, finding no rest for the sole of her foot, was glad to return to Mr. C.'s, and never asked leave to go to a drummer's wedding again.
Now let me remark that there is an important purpose to be answered in observing the difference of feeling and conduct between the holy and the unholy.
No change takes place in the temper and disposition of the mind after death; "there is no work, nor device, por knowledge, por labour in the grave." He whom death finds sensual and worldly, will remain sensual and worldly through eternity, and therefore would have no enjoyment in beaven even if he could be admitted into it, for what gives pleasure to others will give no pleasure to those who have not a taste or capacity for that kind of pleasure. A fine prospect or painting is no delight to a blind person, and music gives no satisfaction, but, on the contrary, is weari. some to one who has no ear for it: and so the enjoyments of Heaven would give no delight, but, on the contrary, be a weariness, to those who have no relish for heavenly joys. Worldly people desire to go to heaven, it is true, when they die; but it is as a refuge from punishment not from a desire to be with Christ. The Sabbath is a weariness, the society of devout people is tiresome and unpleasant to them here; how then could heaven, which is an eternal Sabbath, and into which none are admitted, but those who are conformed to the image of their Saviour, afford them any delight. You may object that “the spirits of just men are made perfect" on leaving the body. But this does not mean that any change takes place in the direction of the inclinations and affections, but only that the holy and beavenly desires and tempers which were implanted and existed in the soul'before it lest this world, are set free from all sinful mixtures and imperfections. A converted Hindoo oa his death-bed, expressing no desire for recovery, was asked why he wished to die? To go to heaven," be replied. “Why do you wish to go to heaven?” “ I shall never sin, I shall be with Christ.” But would be have desired to be with Christ if he had not loved him ? and he would not have loved him if he had not believed that it was nothing but the bitter agonies and sufferings of Him who " was made sin for us," that saved him from perishing in his sins.
But the ungodly feel nothing of their sinfulness and danger. Christ is nothing to them, they “ see no beauty in him that they should desire him," and thus are shut out from one grand source of the believer's happiness in heaven, that of being with his best and dearest friend : with him who is all his salvation and all his desire.
Then again the poor Hindoo desired to be in hea. ven that he might be free from sin: but unholy persons, so far from desiring to be free from it, only desire to indulge in it; they are not perhaps aware of this, and may even be shocked to hear such, an accusation, but it is because they accustom themselves only to consider as sinful what the world cries out against; as lying, drunkenness, gross swearing, and violent anger : but every thing is sinful which is contrary to the will and law of God, as the least degree of envy, murmuring, or impatience ; all love of the world, and looking to it, and not to God for our happiness; and seeking our own comfort and advantage without considering that of others. I know that even the real Christian is not perfectly free from these evil tempers, nor will he be so, as long as be'remains in this world, but still he does not serve these things, and “ yield his members instruments of unrighteousness unto sip," as the worldly man does. He prays against them and strives against them, and longs to be free from them; and it is his greatest grief that he cannot do the things that he would, and glorify God as he would.”
Now then, try yourself by these marks. You hope to go to heaven when you die. But recollect, that if you have not the Spirit of God within you to shew you your sinfulness; to lead you to Christ as your Saviour dying " to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself;" and to make you love him for bearing your punishment in your stead-and if you have not the same spirit within you to sanctify your soul, and make you hate sin, and strive against it, and love
God and his ways, and word and day; you would not be fit for the bappiness of heaven, even if you could be admitted into it.
T. B. P.
MARY SIMMONS AND HANNAH RANDALL; or,
EARLY TEACHING. MARY Simmons had been brought up by religious and conscientious parents, who were naturally anxions that she should thrive and prosper in the world ; but who were still more desirous that she should have the heart, and principles and conduct of a Christian. She was early taught to pray. As soon as she was able to understand to whom she was to pray, her knees were bent and her little hands were clasped, night and morning, to her Father in Heaven. As she grew older, she saw a good example in her parents, and she endeavoured to be like them. The practice of family prayer, which she always saw at home, taught her to consider this as a necessary part of a Christian family. When she was old enough to go to school, her father chose to send her to a National School (rather than to any other) because the daily business of the school always began and ended with prayer. Here Mary took great pains with her learning; she was thankful for this opportunity of improving herself; she was very wellbehaved, and respectful to her mistress, and paid great attention to all that was said by the ladies who visited the school; for she wisely considered that, as these ladies took the pains to instruct the children and advise them, it must be from a desire to do them good. “Surely, then,” she said, " if these ladies take so much trouble for the sake of teaching me, the least I can do is, to give attention, and to try to profit by what they say." Mary saw plainly enough
that she had, before her, a great opportunity of gaining knowledge, and she saw that she had the advantages of religious reading, and religious exercises ; “but then," said sbe," of what use can it be to grow wiser, if we do not at the same time grow
Of what use is it kneeling down to prayers, if we do not really wish for that grace which we ask for?And of what use is it to ask for the assistance of God's Holy Spirit, if we do not really wish to have our daily conduct such as that Spirit would inspire?” Mary bad indeed been brought up to see and know the blessings of Christian Faith, and the necessity of placing a constant guard upon her conduct, as becomes those who know what the Christian relia gion means. Her father and mother had none of the little, mean, dirty, dishonest habits, that so many people practise without scruple; but they were strict and upright and honest in all their deal. ings; just the same when they were not seen, as when they were seen, knowing indeed, that the eye of God was always upon them. In such principles Mary had always been brought up, and her parents bad the comfort and happiness of seeing that their prayers, and their care, and their instructions were not thrown away upon her. Both at home and at school, Mary's behaviour was such as to bring joy and comfort to her anxious parents. The time, however, came, when she was old enough to go to service, and, as she did not wish to be a barden to her parents any longer than she could help, she engaged herself in the service of a family not far from her father's home. She went with a full wish to do what was right in ber place, and to be satisfied with it: but she had not been there long before she found that this situation was not likely to suit her. There was pothing amiss in the behaviour of her master or mistress to her, but yet it was not a family where religion was considered as of much consequence, so that she felt it very different from the way in which she had been brought