Imágenes de páginas

those whom talents and opportunities have formed for influence upon the wide theatre of public lile; and the result shall show that present happiness springs in the heart of him who consecrates his powers, in all their freshness and strength, to the glory of his Vaker, and the good of his fellow-men; while it leaves the breast of him to be the abode of gloom, who buries his talent in the earth, shuts himself up in his cloister, and attempts to enjoy God by forsaking the world. God is not there. Superstition, not religion, built the cell of the hermit, and the walls of the convent. God is not there. And a thousand-fold more to be admired and imitated is the flaming zeal of a Xavier, who swept over sea and land to make proselytes to Romanism, than the stupid sanctity of him who should bury himself in the earth for forty days, without meat or drink, that he might become holy by the process.

God made us social. It was never good for us to be alone. There are sympathies of our nature that attest our kindred with our Father who is in heaven; sympathies that go out after others, and bind the family of man in one vast brotherhood; linking our hearts to hearts on the other side of the globe; so that, when a widow leaps on the funeral pile of her hus. band, when a mother drowns her babe in the Ganges, when the flesh-hook tears the back of a poor Hindoo devotee, or the car of the idol crushes the bones of a prostrate victim, my heart and yours feel the pang. It is a god-like attribute of human nature. It is Christ-like-the same principle that brought him from his throne, at the very summit of glory, and made him a homeless exile on the face of the earththat wrung tears from his eyes when he looked down upon Jerusalem--and blood from his hands and feet when he hung on Calvary, with the weight of a world's guilt pressing on his soul. Sympathy-Christ-like sympathy—the electric fire that pervades the universe of mind; so that if the obscurest sinner on the broad footstool of Jehovah repents of sin, and turns to Christ, there's not an angel on the remotest corner of creation but claps his wings with ecstasy when the tidings reach his ear.

This is the element of our nature that forbids us to be happy unless we are doing good. Leave the angels to themselves and great men to themselves, and take the children of a single family, or the youth in a single school, and test the principle there. that circle of bright spirits, which is the happiest ? The one who seeks to engross all sources of pleasure to her

self; who takes a present of fruit or flowers, and carries it to her own room, to consume or adınire it all alone ; who mingles but little with her companions, and never joins in their sports unless they will play her game, and play it in her way; in a word, who shows by all her looks and acts that self is her idol, and those around her objects of interest only as they serve to promote her selfish ends—is she the happiest ? Or that other girl, perhaps less favored with the gifts of Providence, but adorned with simple grace, whose smiles are sweet as the dewy morn, and whose heart is open as the day; who has a word of kindness for each one she meets, and a hand to lend wherever she may add to the joy of those she loves; who lives not for herself, but for others; and is erer ready to deny herself a pleasure, if by self-denial they may partake; who finds no pleasure that is not doubly sweet when shared with friends ; and whose heart goes out continually, like a living stream, in acts of kindness to all whom she can reach. Which of these two think ye the happier? We shall not differ in the answer : and if in these extremes of being, in the family of heaven and the families of earth, the principle holds the same, we are ready to apply it to the subject now before us.

The greatest happiness is to be found in the greatest usefulness.

If happiness is found in usefulness, enlarge the latter and the former swells, as the stream expands, and flows with a broader, swifter current when the fountain rises. In a social circle that seeks by industry, Dorcas-like, to provide for the wants of the poor, there is pleasure in the thought that one sad heart will be made lighter, the sorrows of one family assuaged in consequence of that combined labor. Extend the charity, and cause the hearts of a hundred poor widows to sing for joy, and a thousand orphans to rise up and call you blessed, and the thrill of joy is ten times more ecstatic. Perform one act of kindness to a soul that needs your kindness, and your heart shall feel the genial influence of that promise, “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” But let your acts of kindness be like that of your Father's toward you, constant, copious, and beyond all desert, and the exercise of such benevolence shall be like a well of water springing up unto everlasting life. You will not forget the vanity of such works as a ground of merit before God. If such they are regarded by him who performs them, they cease to be acts of kindness to others, and become mere impulses of selfishness. You



give that you may receive again. I am speaking of that pure benevolence that spends itself in the good of others; that loves to do good because to do good is sweet; that finds a brother or a sister in every sufferer, and without calculating the profit or the loss, is willing to undertake its relief. That is the benevolence of God.

Now let that current of charity widen, and swell, and flow, and the heart from which it gushes shall find that like the treasury of heaven that never fails from giving, its fountains shall be always lull. There is that withholdeth, and it tendeth to poverty. It is true in a higher sense than in the charity of dollars. It is true of that moral sympathy that seeks after objects of interest. Heaven would be bankrupt if there were no beggars, for heaven's bounty to feed. Our hearts would wither and perish in our bosoms if we could not love and bless those we love. It is the joy of God and of good men to do good; and the wider the sphere, the more numerous the objects of that beneficence, them ore abundant the outpourings of the heart and the band, the richer the return that comes like the breezes of Paradise, regaling the soul with celestial odors, and waiting it up

into pure companionship with Him who loves a cheerful giver.

This joy is found while yet we are in the service. Who doubts that Howard, and Henry Martyn, and Harriet Newell, and Mrs. Judson, were happy while they lived and labored away from kindred and country. Some of our loveliest missionary women have written with their dying hands, or directed their surviving friends to write their solemn declaration, that they had found it sweet to suffer for Christ and the hea. then, that they had been happy in life, and were happy in dying in the cause.

And then the joy that comes when the service is ended! Think of the martyr's joy in glory now! What rapture from the harp now swept by the hand that a few months ago was chilled in death among the mountains of Persia! O, what would I not give for one drop of the bliss that overflows the cup which David Brainerd drinks eternally! That is the joy of those who lived and died for Christ. There are degrees of bliss in heaven. One star differeth from another star in glory And the brightest in the firmament shall they shine who have turned many to righteousness.



Fair daughter of heaven, in beauty advancing,

How pleasant the silence impressed on thy face !
The stars in the east round thy blue steps are dancing,

As slowly thou treadest th' ethereal space.
O pure child of night, who can shine in thy presence ?

In envy the stars turn their bright eyes aside.
Each dark cloud rejoices, and comes, in his pleasance,

To brighten beneath thee his brown, gloomy side.

But where, when the darkness with thy rays doth mingle,

O where dost thou hasten, fair light, from thy course? Say, hast thou a hall, like the blind son of Fingal ?

Dwell'st thou 'neath the shadow of grief and remorse? Yes! those have now fall’n who joyed with thee at even;

Thy sisters, who shone with thee once, are no more. And thou too shalt leave thy blue path in the heaven;

One night thou shalt fail, and thy bright course be o'er.

[merged small][ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][graphic][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small][graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]


“Izram, a Mexican Tale," and "Osric, a Mlis sionary Tale.” Those who have purchased the beautiful volumes of Charlotte Elizabeth's works, will want this, and find themselves richly paid in the purchase.

Notes, Critical, Illustrative, and Practical, on the Book of Job; with a New Translation, and an Introductory Dissertation. By ALBERT BARNES. New York: Leavitt, Trow, & Co. 2 vols. 12mo.

These volumes are accompanied with an introduction of 126 pages, a part of which appeared some time since in the Biblical Repository. The reader will here find a learned discussion on the questions, Whether Job was a real persor. -where he lived—when he lived-the author of the book-its character and design-canonical authority and inspiration—the practical religion developed in it—the state of the arts and sciences in Job's day-exegetical helps to the book, &c.

This book will be read with deep interest. It is one of Mr. Barnes' best commentaries. It sheds light on many dark passages, and answers questions which have been asked with a great deal of wonder and curiosity.

The National Protestant. “ No peace with Rome.” Edited by Rev. C. Sparer. New York: 112 Nassau street.

This is the name of a periodical which has been laid on our table. Mr. Sparry has rendered some essential service to the cause of truth in his exposures of Popery. The numbers of the work before us are made up chiefly of historical facts, embellished with cuts and illustrations. The cuts, we perceive, are copied from the work of Rev. John Leger (French edition), who was pastor of one of the churches of the Waldenses in the valley of Piedmont, and is of undoubted authority.

The cuts in the original, which would be considered too indelicate to be presented before the American community, have been modified by Mr. Sparry. The work is neatly executed.

What must be the nature of that religion which is characterized by such scenes of obscenity? We have wondered why some one has not given us a good translation of Leger's History of the Waldenses.

Flowers by the Way-Side ; containing a series of very well written articles.

The Suppliant ; or, Thoughts designed to encourage and aid Private Devotion.

An interesting and instructive volume. Sub. stantially a reprint of an English work.

History of the Huguenots. Every Sabbathschool scholar should read it.

The Martyr Missionary of Erromanga; or, the Life of John Williams, who was Murdered and Eaten by the Savages in one of the South Sea Islands.

An abridgment of one of the most interesting biographies which the missionary enterprise has been instrumental in giving to the world.

The People of China ; or, a Summary of Chinese History.

This is an authentic account of the country and its inhabitants. There is, perhaps, no quarter of the globe to which the attention of all classes of people has been turned with more interest, within the last year, than Cuina.

The above books are published by the American Sabbath School Union. We think there has been a decided improvement in the publications of the Sunday School Union for the last year.

A new and complete edition of Robinson Crusoe has been put forth by A. V. Blake, 77 Fulton street. If the bare announcement meets the eyes of the children, there will be no rest till the prize is gained; and in truth Crusoe and Friday are better company for the youthful fancy to be reared in, than the half of what is issued from the press professedly as religious fiction-save the mark!

Kind Words for the Kitchen, or Illustrations of Humble Life. By Mrs. Copley. New York: Published by M. W. Dodd, Brick Church Chapel, 1815.

This is the first American edition of Mrs. Copley's work (late Mrs. Hewlett), whose popularity as an authoress is well established upon both sides of the Atlantic. It is very appropriately dedicated to Mrs. JOANNA BETHUNE. The book is designed for domestics. It should first be read in the parlor, and afterwards in the kitchen. It will do good in either place. Every lady who is placed at the head of a family should remember that she cannot have a well regulated family without a well regulated kitchen.

The Convent Bell, and other Poems. By CHARLOTTE ELIZABETH. New Yook: Published by John S. Taylor & Co., No. 145 Nassau street.

Consisting chiefly of “The Convent Bell,"

« AnteriorContinuar »