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anger is outrageous; but who is able to been shielded by the hallowed influence of stand before envy?” The spark, however, parental and domestic piety, to enter upon soon enkindled to a flame. Joseph is cast city life in his professional or mercantile into a pit, then sold to the slave-dealers ; | career, finds himself associated with some and then they proceeded from “worse to | fast young man, who, fixing his basilisk eye worse," till they crowned their wickedness | upon the inexperienced youth, ceases not by the falsehood and cruelty of carrying | till he has first loosened his religious prin. home to their aged father the blood-stained | ciples, then allured him to the saloon, the coat of many colours.
gambling-table, and the house of infamy, But not to weary the reader with illus till, from “worse to worse," at length betrations, let him only turn for a moment to coming bold in iniquity, the unhappy the bistory of Pharaoh. What a series of victim of evil influences bursts asunder, as cruelties were inflicted upon the poor cap so many green withes, the once strong tive Jews by this capricious tyrant! Al bands of a mother's love, tramples a father's ready taxed to the limit of their strength, counsels in the dust, and sinks to rise no and bad as their case was, he would show more. As an illustration of the indeit could be woree still, and therefore com structibleness of moral influences it has manded them to make bricks without been remarked, that a captured negro flung straw. But that he would be even “worse alive into the sea in the Middle Passage and worse," he seemed resolved to ripen produces from his last gurgle an actual his soul for ruin, and to accelerate his own physical effect which extends over the destruction, by decreeing the murder of the whole ocean, carrying to the most distant innocents. What a confirmation do these shores a witness against the crime. instances furnish of the truth of the in We may, however, reflect not only on spired declaration, “ When lust hath con- | the seminal character of sin in its proceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, gress and divergence in time, but as it when it is finished, bringeth forth death" will stand out in the aggregate of the last (James i. 15).
great barvest-day, and, further, in the Be it, moreover, remembered, that a endlessly accumulating agonies of its final higher criminality attaches to sin from its retribution ; for “worse and worse" would contagiousness. This leprosy is infectious ; be an appropriate inscription on the portals and bad as it is for a sinner to plunge his of hell! Millions of years where the “worm own soul into hell, it is worse to drag dieth not and the fire is not quenched” otberg down with him.
will not have reached the maximum of The character of one of the kings of suffering. It is a “bottomless pit.” Ever Israel was awfully crimson with his own sinning, the lost will be for ever sinking, crimes, but, worse still, it is on record, deeper, yet deeper still. “Worse and worse" “ Manasseh made Judah to sin.” Nor will be the agonizing cry of the lost soul, does it matter how humble or obscure the as the cycles of eternity are running their sinner may be : bis idle word, his wanton everlasting rounds. innuendo, his personal example, may exert If such will be the tremendous issues of an influence the breadth and length of | sin, the counsel of an old divine deserves which no human thought can conceive. our serious regard : “ When thou art
Dying impenitent and unpardoned, what / tempted to any sin, look not on it as a an overwhelming thought it is that in the single sin, but remember its name is legion final judgment we shall be held responsible - it has a troop in its train. Yield to the for all the effects which follow and operate importunity of one sin, and that will send on others from every look, word, and action more beggars to your door, and they will of our individual lives!
come with a stronger plea than the former. Who can trace the worst of the sin of the The best way is to keep the door shut to heartless seducer ? Plucking from the con all, lest when thou intendest to entertain servatory of a happy home some fair flower one only, all will rush in with it. Is it not only to crush and despoil it, and then cast written, 'He that offendeth in one point it away to a life of infamy, or the death of is guilty of all'? So by tampering with a heart-broken suicide!
one sin, and that, as you may think, a little But the manly sex are equally exposed one, thou bringest the whole law upon thy to the seductive influence of those by whom back, which will arrest thee upon God's they are surrounded. Many a youth who suit as a trespasger and transgressor of all has left his father's house, in which he has | its commands."
Another class whom qur motto concerns / be abroad, but are like some pictures are the undecided hearers of the Gospel. / which look best at a distance. They belong, We do not mean that there is in the sight moreover, to Bunyan's family of the “Byeof Oniniscience a middle class between the ends, that live in the town of Fair-speech," regenerate and the upregenerate; for as in who had some carnal object to obtain, the wide world, so in a worshipping assem some one to please, or some worldly gain bly, to the eye of God there are only saints to secure by their profession. The Phariand sinners, as in the final judgment there sees, the Judas's, the Demas's, were all of will be but the righteous and the wicked. this fraternity, and it is admirable how But there are multitudes, whom we should the great allegorist describes their downneither designate abandoned sinners nor ward progress from bad to worse :despisers of religion, who statedly and re “ They first draw off their thoughts all gularly occupy their seats in the sanctuary; they can from the remembrance of God, who acknowledge the claims of the Gospel, death, and judgment to come. Then they but do not yield to them ; who believe the cast off by degrees private duties, as closet truth, but have never received it " in the prayer, watching, &c. Then they shun the love of it.” Now it is bad for such to sit company of warm and lively Christians. one year unconverted under the sound of After that they grow cold to public duty, the Gospel ; but surely it is worse to con as hearing, reading, and godly conference, tinue so for two, or it may be for twenty and the like. They then begin to pick years : with every such revolving year their holes, as we say, in the coats of some of the position is “worse and worse." The ear godly. Then they begin to associate themlistens, the understanding gives its torpid selves with carnal men. Then they give assent, but still the heart is a heart of stone. way to wanton discourses in secret. After There was once some feeling, some con this they begin to play with little sins victions, some resolutions : ministers and openly. And then, being hardened, they friends began to cherish the vain hope show themselves as they really are. Thus that there was some good thing” in being launched again into the gulf of them. But it is worse now : those convic misery, unless a miracle of grace prevent tions are silenced, and the resolutions are it, they everlastingly perish in their own broken, and one of the last sad signs are deceivings. Truly our Lord's declaration now upon them; they are, as the Apostle is true concerning such : 'The last end of describes, “past feeling” (Ephes. iv. 19). | such men is worse than the first.'" It is one of the last and worst symptoms Finally, we feel our illustration would not of bodily disease when mortification sets in, / be complete without allusion to the backand all pain has ceased : so with the soul sliding Christian. There is first the backwhen it is “ past feeling " under the Gospel / sliding of heart: that is bad. It should ministry; when for the hundredth, or, it be cause of deep lamentation when a may be, the thousandth time, the terrors child of God loses his “first love." of the law or the melting accents of the To such we press the inquiry of the Gospel are alike disregarded, you are still Apostle, “ Where is, then, the blessedness unmoved, a moral petrifaction, the result ye spake of ?” the blessedness of that of a progressive hardening of the heart; till, Divine communion when faith could lay from bad to worse, you realize at last that its hand on the atoning Sacrifice, and love solemn declaration, “He that being often could pillow its head on the bosom of Him reproved hardeneth his neck, shall sud whose sympathizing heart beat respondenly be destroyed, and that without sively to every throb of joy or sorrow that remedy" (Prov. xxix. 1).
moved within thine own? There is yet a class of nominal profes What, may we ask you, has become of sors, such as have gone further than mere that delight you once took in the sacred hearers. They have put on Christ by a oracles? How came the honey of that public profession, but not having the “root hive to lose its sweetness to your taste, of the matter” within them, they soon the gold from that rich mine to have lost find, or make, occasion for “ falling away,” its charm in your eyes, and the light of rendering it too obvious that the only that lamp from heaven to shine so dimly place religion had in their hearts was a I on your path ? Oh, it is bad when the burying-place. If all the truth were closet is slighted, and the ways of God are known, it would probably be seen that | even partially forsaken! Time was, when they are not at home what they seem to liyour soul, in anticipation of the Sabbath,
was as the chariots of Amminadib; but Father's house, are all open to receive you ; now in your way to the sanctuary it is as and instead of the moan of the prodigal in if you travelled in the chariots of Pharaoh, a far country, there shall be the song of when they dragged so heavily because their the restored in your own loved home, wheels were taken off. This we say is bad; | “Though thou wast angry with me, thine but if grace prevents not you will go from | anger is turned away, and thou comfortest 6 worse to worse,” till the “ backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways"! In conclusion: if these lines should Should this meet the eye of such an one, | warn any sinner, and lead him to repentlet him arise at once from the swine and arce; if they should be the means in the the husks, and go to his Father, the kind, hand of the Spirit of awakening any mere forgiving Father, who sees the first peni. | hearer of the Gospel ; if they should lead tential tear that is starting in the eye, and any empty professor to see his danger, any is now on the way to meet you, saying, backslider to take unto him words,' and “Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that return unto the Lord ; if they should in. thou hast transgressed against the Lord thy duce in us all a “closer walk with God” God. Turn, Ő backsliding children, and - then, instead of going from “worse to I will receive you graciously, and love you worse," our path will be onward and upfreely."
ward, from better to better, till, from grow. You know from the first moment of your ing in grace here, we rise to the heights of backsliding it has been “worse and worse" glory above, where, doubtless, our knowwith you: oh, then, return at once; the ledge and our bliss will be eternally inFather's heart, the Father's arms, the creasing, BETTER AND BETTER for ever!
Bearing me down with hopeless, crushing weight;
A heart bereaved, a household desolate.
Keeping me low upon a couch of pain,
At night for weary day to come again.
The sunken eye, the hunger-wasted form;
With no safe shelter from the winter's storm,
'Tis no "presumptuous sin" against my God;
That such is not my cross, I thank my God.
Of little duties pressing on my heart,
Of inward struggles, overcome in part.
My heart is weary of its daily care ;
I pray for grace my daily cross to bear.
It is not heavy, but 'tis everywhere.
I dare not lay it down-thou keep'st it there.
That, taking up my daily cross, I may
Through clouds an ! darkness, unto perfect day.
Tales and Sketches.
heart, and set in motion thoughts that GOING TO FIND HEAVEN.
had never before stirred her little pulses. Such a child as philosophers reason She was carried to the grave, and saw the over and sceptics sneer at was little Lena form of her mother lowered down; and Summers. Her father had died broken though she grew pale with the fearful hearted when she was but two years old, tension of her grent grief, that strained and her mother, too feeble to struggle every nerve of the little body, yet she did against the harsh barriers reared by | not weep. poverty, sickened after three years of sor It was remarked what keen notice she rowful widowhood, and left her little took of all the surroundings; and the “strange child,” as the neighbours called sobbing sighs that came up from her little her, alone, in a world too cold and cruel heart were mixed with a sort of triumph in for one so shrinking and sensitive. Her
eye and manner, as they were conveying father had been an artist, her mother a her home. poor minister's orphan. Both were phy The minister who buried the parish poor sically unfitted for the battle of life, and took her on his knee when they had relay down almost before the strife began. turned, and, charmed by the beauty of her
'It was in a flourishing town that Mary infant face, talked to her as people usually Summers breathed her last, in a pretty talk to children at such a time. Mamma cottage, a few rooms of which she had was very happy, he assured her, and rented, hoping to find employment that heaven was a beautiful world, where there she might support her little child. There
was neither sorrow, death, nor sin. the neighbours found her one day, in Mamma would never be sick up there, sensible on the floor, the cheek of the child never want for anything. Papa was there pressed against her cheek, which was wet too, and, both together, they were waiting by the falling tears of the little Lena, who for their little daughter, who, if she was was moaning as if her heart was broken. very good, might go to them. The poor widow never awoke from that All this Lena interpreted in her own long fainting-fit, and Lena sobbed, as she childish way. Heaven was a veritable hung about the cold clay, “Oh, mamma! place to her, where her mamma was living ; where is my dear mamma?"
but how could she stay without her little “My child, mother has gone to heaven," Lena ? Nobody kissed her and loved her said the woman who had dressed the poor the way mamma did, and the child made a corpse decently; and she took Lena on her deliberate resolve. She could find heaven
some way; she could be good, very good, “But Lena wants mamma," said the and go look for the beautiful place which little one, placing the tiny fingers over the ! she believed in with a child's holy faith. streaming eyes, while it was pitiful to hear Many were the consultations held over the great sobs of the heaving chest.
the poor little child; and it was at last « Lena will go to heaven some time, if decided to place her in the poor-hous?, she is good," said the woman, her lip until some better disposition could be quivering; for what heart would not be made of her. The people immediately touched by the sad grieving of a little around were very needy; most of them child ?
had large families, and could not afford to “Lena go-find heaven ?" asked the keep her. “What is everybody's business," child, suddenly ceasing to sob. “Lena the old saying is, “is nobody's business." good: Lena find heaven ?"
Some of the neighbours, seeing the child To this question the woman replied with gone, concluded that others had attended a few common-place words of sympathy; | to her, and that she was safely housed. A but the little girl listed herself in her lap, day, nearly two, had passed when they and began to look intently at her mother. discovered the fact that little Lena had Nor did she afterwards, save when she gone-no one knew whither. They searched slept, lose sight of the cold clay. Some here and there without success : nobody new impulse had touched the spring of her remembered having seen the child, who
must have gone away towards night, and “Pray look, papa, at that beautiful little been hidden by the darkness.
girl! What is she doing?" It was true that the little one, taking Squire Ellison knew in his heart what advantage of the absence of her friends, she was doing: as for the boys, they had and full of her great mission, had started i never bent the knee in prayer. Beautiful one day to find heaven. The sky was she was indeed : a pureness of tint-too Ter cloudless, the earth smiling in beauty, as fair long to be mortal, and radiant as new the child hurried along, dressed in her fallen snow—made the face seem almost little white cape-bonnet, which her mo angelic. Blue, large, and soft were the ther's hands bad fashioned just the day eyes, with that clouded colour beneath before she died. Heaven she knew was | them that gave such depth and spiritual beyond the sky; but away off in the clearness as is seldom seen, and when seen distance did not the sky and the earth preseges to the mind of the beholder an ti seem to meet? And if she walked till she | early but beautiful translation. found that place, would there not be some · "Let's stop, papa, and ask her.” door there, some great, beautiful angel to "Certainly, my boy. Ned, stop the let her in to her mother? Yes, she firmly | horses. Now, will you get out, children? believed there would be, and trudged on And what are you doing, baby, so far till the twilight fell, and she could not see away from home? How did you get here where the sky and the earth met. By this in the woods ? It's two miles from any. time her little feet were very tired, for where. Where are you going, my little she was not much used to walking; and | lady ?" she had eaten sparingly, so absorbed was The child as first was frightened ; then. she in her great mission.
encouraged by the kindly smile, she looked It was very sad to feel that heaven was up and said, in her infantile accents, yet so far off. It would take her a great “I going to heaven, to find mamma." many days to get there ; and while she She had to repeat this twice before the was on the way who would give her food equire would believe his ears. and a bed to sleep in ? She had always “Whew!” he whistled : “ you've got a said her little prayers, and her mother had long way to go, little lady." taught her to ask God for what she “What does she mean, papa ?" asked specially desired; so, kneeling down by the | the boys. road-side, amid the fragrance and beauty of "She means that her mother is dead, the hedge-roses, she prayed fervently that children ; poor little kitten! I can't make the dear Lord would show her the way to it out. Where is your mother, baby?”. heaven, and give her something to eat. “Up in heaven," lisped Lena.
It happened that a rich man was driving “And your father?" along that way in a handsome barouche. “Father's up in heaven with mamma; His little eons, three in number, kept him | and Lena's good, and sbe'll find heaven, company, amusing him with their prattle. and go up with mamma and papa." Squire Ellison, as he was called, had built “The poor little innocent !" ejaculated up a beautiful village, where, not long ago, the squire, with watery eyes. had been woods, and rocks, and waterfalls. “Papa, let's take her home," suggested He was a godless man. He cared nothing one of the boys. about religion, took his Sabbaths for “Where are you going to get some holidays, built a church, but never en supper ?” asked the equire. tered it after its dedication, and laughingly "Lena ask God," was the simple reply. asked whether he was not prospered “ God give Lena some supper.” about as much as those fellows who made "I declare! what a silly fellow I am," such canting pretensions to be better than exclaimed the equire, turning away to wipe their neighbours. It seemed so. Never his eyes. “The creature bas preached a was there a happier family-circle than his. better sermon to me than ever a minister His children, all boys, were amiable, truth did. Come, little one, you mustn't stay out ful, and affectionate; but it remained yet in the road to-night, whoever you are. Make to be seen whether the foundations were room there, boys : we must take this birdie secure; whether their principles were built home, and give her some supper." So Lena le upon the sand, or upon the rock of truth was en sconced in the beautiful barouche, bt that should never be moyed,
her little face looking put gravely upon in The child was on her knees.
one and another. Mrs. Ellison was de la