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in his account of the Zenaida Dove, which inhabits the cays, or small islands in the Gulph of Florida. "A man, who had once been a pirate, assured me, that several times, while at certain wells dug in the burning sands of a well known cay, the soft and melancholy cry of the doves awoke in his breast feelings which had long slumbered, melted his heart to repentance, and caused him to linger at the spot in a state of mind which he only who compares the wretchedness of guilt within him, with the happiness of former innocence, can truly feel. He said he never left the place without increased fears of futurity, associated as he was (although I believe by force) with a band of the most desperate villains that ever annoyed the navigation of the Florida coast. So deeply was he moved by the notes of any bird, and especially those of the dove, the only soothing sounds that he ever heard during his life of horrors, that through these plaintive notes, and these alone, accom. panied by the gentle persuasive whispers of the Divine Spirit on his heart, he was induced to escape from his vessel, abandon his turbulent companions, and return to a family deploring his absence. After paying a parting visit to those wells, and listening once more to the cooings of the Zenaida Dove, he poured out his soul in supplications for mercy, and once more became, what one has said to be 'the noblest work of God,' an honest man."
AND in what position does the ravished disciple behold him? Not sitting at the right hand of majesty. He is standing as if on the point of hastening towards him with his aid. He is standing as if thereby he meant to say to him, "Be of good cheer, my son! Here is thy shield and the sword of thy victory." He is standing as if calling out to him, "Tremble not, neither despond; I am waiting for thee with open arms." How happy is the highly favoured disciple! The bliss is almost too great-how shall he support it! Every thing within him exclaims, "My Lord and my God!" "Hail, Saviour, in thy glorious exaltation, a thousand times, hail!” And tears probably streamed from his glistening eyes. Had his triumphal wreath and crown of glory been shown him in the clouds above; had the prospect been unfolded to him of the golden streets in the eternal city, and the palm-groves of Paradise; had he been
given to hear from afar the high praises of angels on their golden harps, and the hallelujahs of the just made perfect-oh, this would also have been lovely, and an encouragement in the conflict. what would it have been compared with such a sight-compared with the manifestation of the fairest upon earth, or in heaven itself?
Oh! how sweet and strong is the union of affection between Jesus and his sheep; how incomparable, and above all comprehension and expression! One of his little ones is in danger: a reason sufficient for the Divine Friend immediately to rend the heavens, and personally appear to him in the clouds. And nothing more is necessary than the mere manifestation of himself to his oppressed follower, and the last remains of fear vanish from his breast, and he treads upon the necks of his enemies. Like the lark, which, intoxicated with the odours of spring, and melted into love and joy, exultingly soars aloft into the calm, pure air; so Stephen's soul hovers above in the light of the countenance of his Jesus: and that which otherwise distressed him-affliction, shame, death, and the terrors of the grave-all is now overcome, abundantly, suddenly, in a moment, in a look.
Yes, in one look! Oh, that you all were acquainted with this mystery! Believe it, my dear friends, as often as you see us sorrowful and oppressed; and if we are so occasionally, it is only a sign that we are not in our element. Our station is no longer beneath the cross, and a mist hangs before the eyes of our faith. Let the fog only subside, and the sun again break through the clouds, that the image of my Divine Friend may again pourtray and transfigure itself in me, and let me again lay hold of and embrace him. I am then a hero, and ascend on wings as an eagle; then death no more affrights me, nor sin any longer troubles me; I then laugh Satan to scorn, and clap my hands at the hosts of hell, and even when in difficulties, ye shall see my countenance shine as on a nuptial festival. The sight of Jesus is my triumph and my strength; the sight of Jesus is health to the sick, and victory to the dying; the sight of Jesus is my source of sanctification and my armour for the fight; yea, that which causes me to run in the way of his commandments, and smile in the furnace of affliction, is the clear view, by faith, of the sun of my life, of my Jesus.
THE VALLEY OF BACA.
THE Valley of Baca, (the valley of weeping, the vale of tears,) was the dry, desolate, gloomy valley through which the pilgrims passed in their stated journey up to the house of God, in Jerusalem.
But so great was their desire for the courts of the Lord, they went with such songs and gladness, that they minded nothing of the dreariness of the way. The lightness of their hearts made that dry and desolate valley seem as if filled with fountains of perennial water, and blessed with frequent and abundant rains. "Who passing through the Valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools. They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God." (Ps. lxxxiv.)
1. Our earthly life is a pilgrimage, and it passes through a vale of tears. The world furnishes not the supplies for our happiness. We must toil upon the ground that God has cursed; and in sorrow must we eat our bread, till we return to the dust out of which we were made. "Man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward."
2. But there is a way to make the Valley of Baca a well, and to cause the rains to fill the pools. Here the word of God pronounces one sort of people "blessed;" they go from strength to strength; every one of them in Zion appeareth before God. They are not unhappy in the Valley of Baca; they do not grow weary; they do not sink down perishing of thirst in a dry and weary land. Every one of them comes safe to Zion above; every one of them appeareth before God.
3. The springs of this blessedness are in the heart. the man." What man? He whose pilgrimage leads through a land well watered and pleasant as Eden? He who has health, honour, large possessions, who is free from diseases and troubles? No; the man who is "blessed," is happy, though he passes through the Valley of Baca. I knew a man, (he has lately gone to heaven,) a young man smitten with sickness; all his earthly plans blasted; all his earthly hopes laid low; while yet a helpless family was around him, dependent on his exertions for their daily bread. Eight long years passed away, and each passing year only added to the apparent misery of his condition. Distressing pains unjointed his very limbs, and drew together the extremities of his tortured body. For six long years he lay in total darkness. All seemed to think that life must be to him a burden. "Oh no," said
he, "life is sweet." Often have I heard him recount his mercies; but never did I hear him utter one murmuring or impatient word. "I feel," said he, "that my afflictions are good for my soul. I might have forgotten God. I did not know my mercies. I was unthankful." Often his neighbours heard him giving songs in the night. He drank from "the upper springs ;" from the "nether springs" he was cut off.
This is what the word of God says "Blessed is the man"-not who is exempt from trouble-but in whose heart are the ways of them, who, "passing through the Valley of Baca, make it a well."
4. That spring of happiness in the heart is confidence in God, "Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee." One who is reconciled to God, and feels it; one who loves God, obeys God, submits to God, confides in God, makes Jehovah his shepherd, his sun, his shield, his fortress, his high tower, his everlasting portion. Nothing can harm that man; God has given him quietness; who then can make trouble? Christ is his; life, death, things present,
things to come, all are his.
Could infinite power, and infinite love, bestow any thing better upon the child of God in his present character, or better for his eternal good? Is he not blessed? Is it not a wonder that such a man should ever go mourning and complaining through the Valley of Baca?
1. Christian, are you happy? If not, you ought to be.
2. Reader, are you without Christ and without God in the world? Alas! to pass through the Valley of Baca, and then to have no hope of being welcomed into Jerusalem above! How much are you to be pitied, poor Christless soul! With such a fountain of evil in your heart, no power nor goodness can make you blessed. If your pilgrimage lay through Eden, your rebellious heart would make it a vale of tears. There is One, and there is only one, who can give you rest.
RECIPES FOR REPINING.
CHRISTIAN, art thou poor? Do the cares of life press heavily upon thee? Seek thy poorer neighbour. Notice his almost shelterless hut, his tattered garb, his scanty meal, and observe with how little man can subsist. Return to thy better home, and be content.
Art thou suffering from disease? Revolve in thy mind whether there are not those about thee whose distresses are greater than thine; and if none such are personally known, think of the wretched condition of many who have sickened upon the waste desert, without friends, without medicine, without food. Think of those, and repine not.
Art thou traduced by enemies? Remember that One infinitely better than thou was not only evil spoken of, but suffered persecu tions of various kinds, and finally died in an ignominious manner by the hands of wicked men.
Do friends prove false-hearted? Know that there is one who sticketh closer than a brother; and that, if even thy father and thy mother forsake thee, the Lord will take thee up.
Are poverty, sickness, persecutions, in fine, all the "ills that flesh is heir to," thy portion? Consider that thou hast a treasure which the glittering, gaudy world cannot purchase-a conscience void of offence, sweet communion with God, and a cheering hope of ere long passing to that blissful land where "the wicked cease from troubling," and "the weary be at rest," where joys per. petual and unalloyed will be thine.
PROFIT AND LOSS.
Most people guard very carefully against what are called losing bargains. If they buy or sell, or barter, the gain or loss must be considered. And this is not necessarily wrong, because men must provide for their real wants, which they could not do without care and skill in matters of trade. Touching this point, there is one question not enough looked into by those whom it concerns. It is a question which was put long ago, by one who understood the true economy of life. It is this: "What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" This is a fair question of profit and loss, and ought to be answered. Ye men of wealth and wisdom, ye men of reason and sound judgment, ye who study into all matters of traffic and exchange, will you not take up this question? And remember that if you would bring out a true result you must answer by rule. The author of the question has given us a true standard of valuation. If we take any other standard, or falsely apply this, we shall decide wrongly and fatally. If, for instance, you conclude that you have