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A CHRISTIAN GENTLEMAN.
A Christian is God Almighty's gentleman : a gentleman, in the vulgar, superficial way of understanding the word, is the Devil's Christian. But to throw aside these polisht and too current counterfeits for something valuable and sterling, the real gentleman should be gentle in every thing, as least in every thing that depends on himself—in carriage, temper, constructions, aims, desires. He ought therefore to be mild, calm, quiet, even, temperate,-not hasty in judgment, not exorbitant in ambition, not overbearing, not proud, not rapacious, not oppressive; for these things are contrary to gentleness.
DESPISE NOT SMALL THINGS.
Thrift is the best means of thriving. This is one of the truths that force themselves on the understanding of very early ages, when it is almost the only means; and few truths are such favorites with that selfish housewifery shrewdness, which has ever been the chief parent and retailer of proverbs. Hence, there is no lack of such sayings as, A pin a day is a groat a year. Take care of the pence, and the pounds will take care of themselves.
Perhaps the former of these saws, which bears such strongly markt features of homelier times, may be out of date in these days of inordinate gains and still more inordinate desires; when it seems as though nobody could be satisfied until he has dug up the earth, and drunk the sea, and outgallopt the sun. Many now are so insensible to the inestimable value of a regular increase, however slow, that they would probably cry out scornfully, A fig for your groat! Would you have me be at the trouble of picking up and laying by a pin a day, for the sake of being a groat the richer at the end of the year?
Still both these maxims, taken in their true spirit, are admirable prudential rules for the whole of our housekeeping through life. Nor is their usefulness limited to the purse. That still more valuable portion of our property, our time, stands equally in need of good husbandry. It is only by making much of our minutes, that we can make much of our days and years. Every stitch that is let down may force us to unravel a score.
Moreover, in the intercourse of social life, it is by little acts of watchful kindness, recurring daily and hourly—and opportunities of doing kindnesses, if sought for, are for ever starting up-it is by words, by tones, by gestures, by looks, that affection is won and preserved. He who neglects these trifles, yet boasts that, whenever a great sacrifice is called for, he shall be ready to make it, will rarely be loved. The likelihood is, he will not make it; and if he does, it will be much rather for his own sake than for his neighbor's. Many persons, indeed, are said to be penny-wise and pound-foolish; but they who are penny-foolish will hardly be pound-wise, although selfish vanity may now and then, for a moment, get the better of selfish indolence: for Wisdom will always have a microscope in her hand.
But these sayings are still more. They are, among the highest maxims of the highest prudence, that which superintends the housekeeping of our souls. The reason why people so ill know how to do their duty on great occasions is, that they will not be diligent in doing their duty on little occasions. Here, too, let us only take care of the pence, and the pounds will take care of themselves : for God will be the paymaster. But how will He pay us? In kind, doubtless, by supplying us with greater occasions, and enabling us to act worthily of them.
On the other hand, as there is a law of continuity, whereby in ascending we can only mount step by step, so is there a law of continuity whereby they who descend must sink, and that, too, with an ever-increasing velocity. No propagation or multiplication is more rapid than that of evil, unless it be checkt; no growth more certain. He who is in for a penny, to take another expression belonging to the same family, if he does not resolutely fly, will find he is in for a pound.
" COMING OF AGE."
Everybody is impatient for the time when he shall be his own master. And if.coming of age were to make one so, if
could indeed “bring the philosophic mind,” it would rightly be a day of rejoicing to a whole household and neighborhood. But too often he who is impatient to become his own master, when the outward checks are removed, merely becomes his own slave—the slave of a master in the insolent flush of youth, hasty, headstrong, wayward, and tyrannical. Had he really become his own master, the first act of his dominion over himself would have been to put himself under the dominion of a higher master and a wiser.
called by our name.
We can feel the truth of this in the case of a dear friend, of a brother; still more in that of a husband and wife, who, though two persons, are in every interest one. Were this love extended to all, it would once more make all mankind one people and one family. To this end, the first Christians sought to have all things in common: neither said any of them that aught of the things which he possest was his own, (Acts iv. 32.) In proportion as we grow to think and feel that the concerns of others are no less important to us than our own, in proportion as we learn to share their pleasures and their sorrows—to rejoice with them when they rejoice, and to suffer and mourn with them when they suffer and mournin the selfsame measure do we taste the blessedness of the promise that we shall inherit the earth. It is not the narrow span of our own garden, of our own field, that we then enjoy.
Our own prosperity does not bound our happiness. That happiness is infinitely multiplied as we take interest in all that befalls our neighbors, and find an ever-flowing source of fresh joy in every blessing bestowed on every soul around us.
JOHN KEBLE. 1805.
Rev. Joun KEBLE, vicar of Hursley, near Winchester, (born about the year 1805,) is extensively known and read as one of the sweetest sacred lyric poets of the present century. He attained considerable eminence as a general scholar in the University of Oxford, and held for some time the honorable post of “Professor of Poetry” there. He now confines himself chiefly to his duties as parish minister in the beautiful region near Winchester.
Mr. Keble is the author of “Child's Christian Year;" “ The Christian Year;" “ Lyræ Innocentium ;” “ Prælectiones, Academicæ Oxonii Habitæ ;” “ The Psalter or Psalms of David in English Verse;" and various “ Sermons." He is also understood to be the writer of the very able article on “Sacred Poetry” in the thirty-second volume of the Quarterly Review.
“ His compassions fail not. They are new every morning.”—Lament. iii. 22, 23.
Hues of the rich unfolding morn,
Oh! timely happy, timely wise,
“Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.”—Luke xxiv. 29.
When the soft dews of kindly sleep
Watch hy the sick : enrich the poor
THE DOVE ON TIE CROSS.
“Nevertheless, I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but, if I depart, I will send him unto you.”— John xvi. 7.
My Saviour, can it ever be
And Thou art more than mother dear:
How can I live without Thee here?