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a book of much original thought, in steamboats, and on horseback, while visiting distant customers. No man in his right mind should keep up this vain plea of no time for the improvement of the mind. All are bound to do something, and to “do it with their might.”

The Latin motto, Dum vivimus, vivamus, is an excellent one. Nobody need fear to follow it, in the true, philosophical sense of the saying. The great object of life is to live well. But in what does good living consist? In meats, drinks, equipage, or wealth? Thousands are living as though it were so. But true wisdom gives a widely different answer. "A man's life consisteth not in the abundance of goods which he possesseth.” To be surrounded with temporal blessings is not to live well. There is a poverty more to be deplored than that which besets the pocket, or the dwelling of the lowly and destitute.

It is the poverty of the mind. He is the subject of it, who, in his longings and graspings after bodily ease and enjoyment, forgets that he has a soul. Such a man is poor, although he may have thousands, or even millions at his disposal. He has yet to understand, that a wellstored, well-regulated mind is of more value than all earthly considerations; and that they who live for the moral happiness of others, according to the Christian precept, are living to themselves, and to their God, and will be truly blessed in all their appointed time in the earth. Doddridge has correctly stated the true secret of living:

16. Live while you live,' the epicure would say,

And taste the pleasures of the passing day ;' • Live while you live,' the sacred preacher cries, * And give to God each moment as it flies.' Lord, in my heart let both united be ; I live in pleasure while I live to thee."

This speaks the sentiment of a Christian heart. And so does the language of Dr. Scott in the following extract. “ Time is an universal talent, which every Christian should redeem from useless ways of killing, that he may employ it in some beneficial manner; for idleness is intolerable in a disciple of him who went about doing good. Every man has influence in his own circle, however contracted, and may improve it to good purposes. For did we duly consider our obligation to God our Saviour, the great end for which our lives are continued, and the near approach of death, a desire would be excited in our hearts to live to his glory, and to serve our generation; and this would influence us to improve all our advantages to this purpose. And were every professor of the Gospel thus 'steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord,' the blessed effects that would follow, may in a measure be conceived, but can never be fully estimated."*

Life is short; and as it is the gift of an all-wise Creator, and as we can make it, in a measure, happy and profitable, if we will, it should be our aim to redeem the time allotted us, under the direction of that wisdom which is from above. It is indeed humiliating to think, that there should exist those created in the moral image of their Maker, endowed with bodily capacities every way fitted for happy exertion, with minds capable of constant progression, infinite improvement, who can consent to waste away some of the best portions of their lives in frivolous pursuits, rounds of dissipation, empty pleasures, and sickening indolence, till death takes them away, and the grave closes the scene. What base ingratitude to the Giver of "every good and perfect gist”!

* Scott's Essays.

The improvement of time, then, as we stated at the beginning of the chapter, is one of the most important considerations that can enter the human mind. It should be impressed upon the young heart in faithfulness and truth, and should never leave us in all the successive stages of life's journey. The very thought, that with us time may suddenly and shortly close, should make us all diligent, and induce us never to put off till to-morrow, that which can be done to-day. The poet speaks admirably,

when he says,

“ Begin, be bold, and venture to be wise ;

He who defers his work from day to day,
Does on a river's bank expecting stay,
Till the whole stream which stopped him should be gone,
Which runs, and as it runs,

for

ever will run on."

Christian reader; let us give all diligence to the heeding of these admonitions, drawn from the word of divine truth, and the wisdom and experience of the wisest and best of men.

Let us look to our Master, Christ, the pattern of diligence in goodness and truth; and, as professors of his name, heed the advice of the apostle, with which I close this chapter. “Therefore, let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep, sleep in the night; and they that be drunken, are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and for an helmet the hope of salvation. For God hath not appointed us unto wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ; who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.”

1 Thess. v. 6-10.

CHAPTER VII.

READING OF THE SCRIPTURES.

EXCELLENT was the advice of the Saviour; “Search the Scriptures." And it is highly important that Christian believers, in every age, comply with this advice. To attempt any good progress in the Christian journey, without much attention to the word of God contained in the Bible, would be like the intention of the traveller to reach a certain place, when he had never made himself acquainted with the road leading to it, and who would take no measures to inform himself concerning it.

It is pleasing, when we come to speak of the study of the Scriptures, to find ourselves in such elevated company; the great, the wise, the good, of various times and places, who, in the true spirit of devotion, have left their testimony for the world in favor of the “book of books." Let us linger for a few moments in their presence, and hear their statements, and prepare our minds by that which we may hear, for a direct inquiry into the most profitable manner of reading the Scriptures, so that they may indeed prove unto us "profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

The eulogy of Sir William Jones, upon the Bible, is full of truth. “ The Scriptures contain, independently of a divine origin, more true sublimity, more exquisite beauty, purer morality, more important history, and finer strains both of poetry and eloquence, than could be collected, within the same compass, from all other books that

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were ever composed in any age, or in any idiom. The two parts of which the Scriptures consist, are connected by a chain of compositions, which bears no resemblance, in form or style, to any thing that can be produced from the stores of Grecian, Indian, Persian, or even Arabic learning. The antiquity of these compositions no man doubts; and the unrestrained application of them to events long subsequent to their publication, is a solid ground of belief that they were genuine productions, and consequently inspired.”

When Locke was asked by a young man the shortest and surest way to attain a knowledge of the Christian religion, in the full and just extent of it, his reply was, him study the Holy Scriptures, especially the New Testament. Therein are contained the words of eternal life. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter.” Milton, the great poet, has said, “ There are no songs comparable to the songs of Zion, no orations equal to those of the prophets, and no politics like the Bible, for excellent wisdom, learning, and use." Boyle has written, “It is a matchless volume; it is impossible that we can study it too much, or esteem it too highly.” And Selden, “ There is no book upon which we could rest in a dying hour, but the Bible." And Steele, “ The greatest of pleasures with which the imagination can be entertained, are to be found in sacred writ; and even the style of the Scripture is more than human.” And Sir Isaac Newton, “We account the Scripture of God to be more than human.”

Bishop Porteus, in one of his theological productions, holds forth the following opinions in relation to the great charter of the Christian faith. “Other books may afford

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