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young man was, of course, frightened, falling into such hands so unexpectedly, when he believed himself to be in the company of generous friends. Between his perturbation and their tearing at his clothes, they possessed themselves of his pocket book, containing $150, and his gold watch!
When they had robbed him, one drew a dirk, and said, "Now say we are gentlemen!” which they actually compelled their victim to say; after which they left him and disappeared. Can any thing be imagined more inhumar, and devilish than this whole affair! And all this at the edge of the town, with houses near on all sides !
After a moment, he sought a Justice, but he would not act in the case! Was not he perhaps an accomplice of these rogues? Who can know how far-reaching are these organized bands of pickpockets?
What makes the whole matter more sad, is the fact that this young man had saved that money with much care, with a view of using it in pursuing a course of studies preparatory to the ministry! Alas! that sach hands should spend the money consecrated to so sacred an end. May God have mercy upon those poor wretches, who seem, to all human appearance, to be hopelessly sold to Satan; and may this example serve to put upon their guard, all unsuspecting young men, who have occasion to visit any of the cities. For this purpose we have recorded it.
THE TEACHINGS OF NATURE.
Is it not the design of our kind Maker, in surrounding us with so many mercies, to make us happy? How grateful should we be, that He allures our hearts from the fleeting phantoms of this transient world to the service of a pure and heavenly being; and thus, in a measure, return our gratitude to Him who is the creator and preserver of all things ? And, though we may learn of nature, look around us where we will, if we feel disposed to profit by her instructions, yet how few there are that do gain knowledge from her teachings.
The glorious Sun sets day after day, apprising us that it has borne us one day nearer our eternal home, and teaching us that, as it enlightens and imparts vigor to the earth, so is the gospel God's instrument to enlighten our hearts, and impart to us a zeal to do good. The flowers, although by some considered insignificant things, teach us humility and love; and that, as the hand of God is essential to their perfection, so is His hand needed to guide us in the right path through this wilderness of sin. The dews of heaven, as they are dispensed alike on the just and unjust, teach us unostentatious charity. The moon and stars, as, in their paths, they silently traverse the broad canopy of heaven, as though conversing and holding sweet communion with God, teach us to lift our thoughts above the things of time, and hold high converse with those of eternity.
Even the merry little birds, warbling forth their cheerful notes, and praising their Creator, should tune our hearts to melody, and teach us the lesson that we too ought to try to cultivate a cheerful and thankful heart for the many blessings with which we are surrounded. Nor would we forget the teachings of the hardy oak that, as it braves the storm and tempest, 80 ought we to bear up under our afflictions, believing that all things do work together for good to them that love God.
Even silence has its lesson. The grave, darkness, and the lonely waste, all admonish us to think of death, and tell us that by neglecting a preparation for it, darkness will overwhelm us! The lightning, the thunder, the waves, and the mighty deep, all tell us of the mighty power of God, and bid us fear and obey Him, to think of ourselves, of death and eternity.
The lessons which nature imparts to us are not only calculated to instruct us, but if we will permit our minds to muse upon them, will also make us feel grateful, and lead us to exclaim with the Psalmist, What is man that thou shouldst be mindful of him-or the Son of Man that thou visiteth him ?” What is it that makes the inhabitant of Iceland happy in a land that we would call and think unpleasant? It is simply this: because his chief intercourse and enjoyment is with nature, while men engaged in the busy pursuits of the world, surrounded by all that is gay and fashionable, seldom take pleasure in viewing the noble structures of their Creator.
The study of Nature is the cheapest of all others; for while the chemist has his apparatus, the student of literature his library, the astrologer his telescope, we have but to cast our eye abroad, and we will behold what never man could make.
After contemplating nature and her beauties, we would ask where the Infidel grounds his views? While he takes Nature for his God, he yet refuses to acknowledge her teachings, for she, if truly understood, would inevitably lead him to see, in her wonderful works, the hand of the true God.
M. S. D.
THE MARRIAGE RELATION.
A GOOD BOOK.
BY REV. H. HARBAUGH. A good book, like a good man, is a good companion, and exerts a good influence on those who keep its company. It has been well said that books are the prophets of those who possess them. Show me the books which a young person reads, and I will speak a good prophecy as to his future character and fate. A good book, in these last days of froth, and foam, and trash, is as when one meets a familiar friend in a strange city.
We have lately met with a good book. It is written by Rev. A. Wanner, and has just been published at the Printing Establishment in Chambersburg, Pa. Its title is, “The Family; or Marriage Relation, and Religious training of Children." "This is really a good book, sound and sensible, and exactly suited to the times. It is full of direct and pungent remark; and will make an impression wherever it is read. We heartily hope that it may be placed in many families. The first part of the work, containing seven chapters, is devoted to the Marriage relation. We earnestly advise our young readers to possess themselves of this book, and study well the wholesome truths which are here brought forward on every page. We have long since been convinced, that there is no point to which it is more necessary to call the attention of the present generation than this. We are convinced, that any amount of falso and mischievous views prevail in regard to the earnestness and solemnity of that step which exerts so important an influence on the whole of after life, and which has so determining an influence upon every one's eternal destiny. We have frequently expressed these convictions in the Guardian, and from the pulpit; and have also given the reasons upon which they are grounded. But as long as the godless, sentimental trash of our modern novels and tales are afloat and read, it is necessary not to be weary in giving line upon line, and precept upon precept, for we are convinced that here is the source of the greatest part of the mischief.
The number of unhappy inarriages throughout the land, and especially in what are falsely called the “upper circles," is known to all; for the misery connected with them is not confined to a corner. Look at the number of divorces-look at the number of quiet separations-look at the number of unequal and jarring yokings, which are common to every neighborhood, village, and social circle! There must be causes for the effects. What are they? The carelessness and prayerlessness with which these unions are formed—the dreamy and romantic notions of matrimonial life cultivated by newspaper love tales, and by a certain class of larger novels--that impious recklessness which does not stop to ask a solitary question in regard to the religious character of the intended partner for life, the want of all faith in the marriage relation as a religious, a divine institution—the absence of a serious and prayerful sense of dependance upon that providence which must be humbly acknowledged in the smallest affairs of our human life-in a word, unlike the instance at Cana in Galilee, Christ is not at the wedding.
Those cases of unhappy marriages in which there is open jarring, though they are more shameful, they are scarcely more miserable than those in which the one gradually discovers an entire want of sympathy and congeniality in the other, and is compelled to endure it in silent misery. The worst form in which this unhappiness can appear, is in those cases where there is, in one of the parties, the absence of all religious sympathy! Where the one is an heir of heaven, and the other an heir of hell !--and such an union for life! It was a practice anciently to punish culprits, by tying a dead carcass fast to their backs, after which they are compelled to carry it with them, with all its hatefulness, until it rotted away of itself! Strong as the figure may seem to others, to us it seems not a whit too strong to set forth that most horrid and monstrous of all unions, in which two persons, who are, in the deepest ground of their spirits, as far apart as light and darkness, as Christ and Belial, as heaven and hell. For our own part we should most decidedly prefer the carcass, for we would have the assurance that it would not hang on us so hopelessly and so long.
We make no apology for this strong language. We are in earnest on this subject. We are convinced that it is high time for all who have a voice that others will hear, to speak out as with a trumpet on this point. Let there be no compromise with such fellowships—so plainly, and so repeatedly forbidden in the word of God--so flatly contrary to every common sense conception of propriety-and so awfully disastrous in their consequences.
Where is there a Pastor, who could not furnish, from his own pastoral experience, examples as thrilling as the one which we here quote, in conclusion, from Mr. Wanner's book ? It is a graphic picture; and what is worst of all, it is so true in hundreds of cases.
“A young lady of amiable disposition and excellent character, was waited on by a civil and respectable young man. Several years previously she had made a public profession of her faith in Christ. Her connection with the Church was a happy one. It afforded her much satisfaction and real enjoyment. She was happy in Christ. But alas! the day of temptation came. The young man above referred to, began his visits. At first these were regarded with indifference. At length, however, he gained her affections, and finally her confidence. He was frequently seen at public worship where she attended. The prayer meeting he often attended and from it accompanied her home. He did not only countenance religious meetings, but spoke very favorably of them. He positively asserted that it was his delight to attend them. Thus the impression was made, that the step would be perfectly safe. It was supposed that he might be gained for the cause of Christ. An engagement ensued. They were married. For the time being, all went off smoothly. After a little a farm was rented and occupied by the newly married couple. Here the real character of the man was soon discovered. He plunged headlong into the affairs of the world, dragging his wife with him. She remonstrated, but without effect. It was soon evident, that, for the remaining part of her life, she was doomed to an almost intolerable servitude. As her hus. band, from day to day, became more devoted to the service of the mammon of this world, bis inattention to her and her wishes increased. When she expressed her desire to attend the house of God and the public means of grace, he most commonly offered some excuse or other to justify him in refusing to comply with her wishes. Hence, she was obliged to walk to church, a distance of five or six miles, or stay at home. The former she could not do, after laboring hard six days. To stay at home was all that remained for her. And here she had but little comfort. For his friends and relatives made of the Sabbath, a day of visiting and frivolity, so that, in consequence of their presence, she had and could have but little or no time for devotional exercises. She now saw her error. But, unfortunate woman, it was too late! Bitter tears could not undo what she ought never to have done, at first. Her treatment and circumstances grew worse and worse, until she was reduced to the greatest misery. Her pale countenance, her loss of health and depressed spirits, all gave evidence of the deep and sore afllictions through which she had passed. Her sun bad hid hebind a dark cloud, whilst the future threatened her with still
greater evils, than the past had brought upon her. So many, who