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with too full a gale of zeal an hundred lie becalmned with lukewarmness.
In the close, Beware of attributing to duties what is proper to Christ. A chief reason, doubtless, (though little notice be taken of it,) a chief reason it is of dryness and barrenness in holy performances that we have an overprizing opinion, and overvaluing esteem of them. For the softening and melting, the raising and enlarging, the comforting and reviving the heart, these are all the works of Christ and his Spirit, not to be attained by labour and toil, but by humility and faith. Hear David, “The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry." First, God's eyes are upon their persons, and then his ears are open unto their prayers. It is not the duty we perform but the promise Christ gives, or rather Christ in the promise which brings rest to the soul. And may he vouchsafe thee, (O thou afflicted soul!) a gracious portion of this spiritual rest as a pledge and earnest of that full in heritance, even rest eternal. Amen.
INGRATITUDE. The ingratitude and discontent of the English poor has been a subject of surprise to foreigners, of indignation to persons generally, and of deep regret to the Christian, time out of mind; and, whilst it proves (if proof were wanting) the deep depravity of the human heart, it is consoling to believe that in some, we may hope in many cases, ignorance is the cause ; ignorance, I mean, of the advantages they possess beyond the poor and destitute of other countries. To remove this evil, if it be only from the mind of one poor individual, is the object of the following statement: and may the only author of all good bestow a blessing upon the weak attempt.
First, my dear friends, I would direct your attention to Ireland, a country very near to our own. There are no houses to receive the widow and the orphan as with us; if they procure einployment, which is difficult, the wages scarcely provide them food. They wander about in want and misery ; the land uncultivated, the country unimproved, the consequences are such as may be expected, they fall into the commission of every vice. Theft and murder are common among them; and they go about the country in crowds, turning up the soil in which wheat and potatoes have been sown, and in their distracted misery destroying all that comes in their way. Poor deluded creatures ! depriving themselves of the means of being better provided for another year! And shall it be said that in England, where no such misery exists, there are wretches who will set fire to the farmer's store-that of the very man who is every year assisting towards their support. How inexcusable is such conduct! What can they say at the awful day of Judgment ? Perhaps you will ask, what is the reason that those who are able in Ireland do not, as among us, stand forth to assist their poor brethren? Many answers may be given to this question. They do assist ; they feel most sensibly their people's misery; no country in the world
duces kinder hearts than Ireland ; the English too have sent many thousands of pounds for the relief of these poor creatures, but their state seems to mock at
human efforts. It is in the one thing needful that they fail.
The minds of the poor beings I have been describing are darkened by the superstition of a false religion, and most fervently should we pray that the efforts made by those Ministers of the everlasting gospel, with which Ireland is now blessed, may be abundantly rewarded. Compare your state with theirs ; you have the Lord's own book, the holy Bible, which they have not, wherein to look for direction, how best to please God on earth and lay up treasure in heaven; there you are instructed in all that is necessary for your peace in this world and never ending joys in that which is to come. In that blessed book you are assured by the never failing promises of an unchangeable God, that “all things work together for good to them that love God;" that “contentment is great gain ;" that “godliness is profitable for all things,” and that God appoints our lot. If then your's is a poor one, be assured that the supreme Governor knows what is best for us all, for he does all things well. Oh it is the want of religion in the heart which makes you discontented and unhappy; not outward circumstances, but inward sin, rebellion against the will of God, and a blind ingratitude for your many mercies. I beseech you, ere it be too late, before the door of mercy be for ever closed, to take the blessed Bible in your hand, to pray earnestly that its holy precepts may be written upon your hearts; that the Holy Spirit may convince you of your need of a Saviour, and enable you to lay hold of him as the only refuge for the sin-sick soul. I could point you to Italy, where one third of the inhabitants have not a roof to cover them, but beg about the streets all day, and sleep under sheds, porticos, or in the market houses at night. To France or Germany, but what avails it? Any who will take the trouble to enquire may know that the poor are more cared for in this than in any other country in the world ; and instead of repining discontent, they ought to pray that God would enable them to praise him continually for being inhabitants of a land where the truth is faithfully preached as it is in Jesus, (a blessing beyond all price,) encouragement afforded to industry and sobriety, a home provided for the sick and aged; where (as in all the world,) the wicked alone are truly wretched, and since these choose the way of sin they must expect, as the word of God assures us, sorrow here, and tenfold misery in the world beyond the grave, “where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”
- Dread Winter spreads his latest glooms,
And shuts the scene.' The last month of the year is a period peculiarly suitable to reflection. 66 Commune with thine own heart." We should look behind us. We should consider the present. The remembrance of past and still continued blessings should awaken our gratitude, strengthen our confidence, and excite our diligence.
From the commencement of our little Periodical, now nearly five years since, we would hope that our desire, at a small cost, “ to make plain the vision;" to be instrumental of scattering light where there is darkness ; of increasing light where God, of the riches of his grace, has already caused it to shine,* has been steadily kept in view. And though we have had to contend with a variety of opinions, and some have cast us out rather unceremoniously, the Cornish Parochial Visitor' has still a place in the hearts of many with whom he would at this solemn season unite in serious meditation.
In reflecting on the past, many doubtless have been our individual trials. The wide hand of death may have broken through our deepest earthly attachments. We may have seen the dead carried to their long long home, and the mourners go about the streets. Some may experience in their fading strength that solemn
* See Vol. I., January, 1832.