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prayer; it shows him his poverty, and anceship with Boaz, and a more than oropens at his feet a mine of wealth; it dinary degree of respect for his character, displays the feebleness of his naked hands, grounded on that knowledge. There is and gives him armour of proof-weapons something so decided, so manly, honourwherewith he may pull down the strong-able, straightforward, and, withal, so esholds of his enemy. I desire-because I sentially wise and judicious, in this noble greatly need it—to have the poor peasant's specimen of an ancient believer, that we distinction ever before me, with David's are attracted by the description, and never prayer, “ Keep thy servant also from pre- doubt but that, if Boaz were now living, sumptuous sins;" and, in reference to and within our reach, we should bestow those around me, the Apostle's indignant on him a large share of our confiding expostulation, “Who are thou that judgest friendship. another man's servant ?" The habit of The first appearance of Boaz is very censuring others goes hand in hand with striking: he comes from Bethlehem, to that of applauding self; and it is no overlook his extensive harvest-men, and unprofitable exercise to watch the risings salutes them, “ The Lord be with you !" of the former inclination in our hearts, a greeting not often heard in our fields that by its guidance we may detect the from master to man. He then casts his latter.
eye on Ruth, and, having ascertained who 0, the preciousness of that Book which and what she is, addresses her in language is able to make the basest and most des- so beautifully paternal, taking at the same pised of our ignorant fellow-creatures wise time such care, not only for her personal unto salvation through the faith which is comfort, but for her fair fame, that we are in Christ Jesus! This poor man had been constrained to share in her grateful adbrought up in strict and bigoted adherence miration of his unexpected courtesy. to a system which throws the sinner al- Then, again, the refined delicacy of his together upon his own will-worship and order, privately given to the young men, meritorious works, for acceptance before to scatter in her way the corn which she God. Yet the entrance of that word, in came to glean, so as to increase her gains its single majesty and simple truth, gave without the appearance of bestowing an him such light as dispersed every shadow alms, is a shining point in this beautiful from his darkened understanding, and, picture. The sobriety, kindness, and rectaking him off from all vain dependencies, titude of feeling, with which he answers threw him entirely upon the guidance of her subsequent appeal, when lying at his Him who worketh in us both to will and feet, partakes of the same delicacy as the to do of his good pleasure.
former; while the plain, business-like proceeding of the next day, conducted, how
ever, with a tact that shows he was not a BOAZ.
little interested in the nearer kinsman's
anticipated refusal, completes the chaOne of the innumerable beauties of racter; exciting in the mind a feeling of Scripture narrative is the bold and free, gratification, that to one so singularly yet delicate, touch wherewith the inspired loveable as Boaz should belong the high writers were enabled so to sketch the out- honour of being, within three generations, line of a character as to bring the indi- the parent of David. vidual before us more vividly than a How is it that we meet so rarely with finished painting, executed by other hands, persons of this stamp, in the daily walks could do. In Boaz we have a striking of life among even the truly spiritual ? instance of this. The short book of Ruth There seems in Boaz a certain fearlessintroduces him to us in three situations ness of dispositon that would have prevenonly: first, as superintending his reapers ted his holding back the truth under any in the fields; then, as receiving his kins- circumstances, whether addressing the woman's appeal ; and, lastly, as effecting day-labourer, the attractive young female, the redemption of the patrimony. Yet, or the elder in the gate. I could not dovebrief as the recital is, I think we seel, tail the character of Boaz into any plan while reading it, an intimate acquaint- lof expediency, so much in vogue among
us; nor fancy him shrinking from the time earning from the former the title of straight course in any matter, on a com- time-servers, which, perhaps they do not parison of the probable numbers who might deserve; and from the latter, that of be with him or against him in that path. double-faced hypocrities, which they cerSimplicity and gouly sincerity mark the tainly are not. man: they do not abound among us as Decision is the prominent characteristic might be wished. Personal interest, se- of Boaz. He does not whisper his pious cret prejudice, and a most unworthy ti-i greeting in the ears of such among the midity, greatly mar the beauty of the reapers as he knows will value and reChristian walk. When fully convinced spond to it, but proclaims his acknowledgthat such or such a course is accordant ment of, and dependence on the Lord, with the known will of God, and likely to through every corner of the field, so soon produce happy effects in glorifying him as he sets foot in it. He does not secretly and promoting the cause of truth, how ofien say, “My young men will suspect somedo we see that open path abandoned on thing, if I manifest concern for that engathe strength of the miserable apprehen- ging young woman, therefore I will keep sion, “What will the world think? What it to myself;" but lays on them an injuncwill my neighbours say ?” Rashness is a tion, expressive of a lively interest, yea, a mischievous error; but is not fearfulness marked partiality, the origin of which the sin of our day? Do we not regulate they might not know. He does not invite our proceedings, our demeanour, and dis- the other kinsman to a private conference, course, rather by the rule of men's liking, and try to manæuvre him into a surrender than by that of their palpable need ? of his right, but boldly takes his seat in Some, seeing their friends lukewarm and the most public part of the city, and exeindifferent on points which, nevertheless, cutes his honest, though clever design, bethey know to be of great moment, refrain fore the world. The more I contemplate from attempting to stir them up, lest their Boaz, the greater are my respect and afown influence should be lessened by com- fection for him; and the heartier my deing in contact with the prejudices of the sires to see him acknowledged, not merely other party; that is to say, they let their in words but by deeds, as a model for sword rust in the scabbard while surrounded God-fearing men, in every grade of sociby enemies, for fear the blade might flash ety, and every walk of life ; more particutoo brightly in the eyes of some drowsy larly among such as, by property or pubcomrade, who prefers sleeping to fighting. lic station, possess the influence of Boaz, Others, again, withhold their hand from and whose example goes far to encourage doing good when fairly called upon to do or to reprove the timid, temporising, inconit, apprehensive that some may suspect sistent spirit, that forms a wrinkle, a spot, their motives, however upright they may and a blemish, on that which ought to be be in the sight of Him who searcheth the presented before God free from any such hearts. This error, with a long train of thing. consequences deducible from it, may be traced through every order of men, marring their usefulness in the church, the THE CONSTELLATION. senate, the profession, the family, the workshop, and, perhaps, more than all others, One of the first objects that attracted the press. Satan's emissaries have no my infant attention was the constellation of such qualms; they utter fearlessly their Orion. There is no personal event of any boldest conceptions, and push the practical moment within my recollection, no change application of evil principles into universal in a life replete with sudden and unexoperation. It is among those who have pected changes that I cannot in some way the right on their side that we trace the connect with the principal stars of Orion. hesitating caution which ought rather to To ascertain upon a starlight night, at bedbelong to their opponents. And what is time, what was the relevant position of my the consequence? They discourage the sparkling friend, ever formed a matter of zealous, impede the active, thwart their careful investigation, when I happened as allies, and help the enemy; at the samel a child to be domiciled beyond the paternal
roof; and I believe it is the case to the houses recently quitted; and the onward present time. No scientific inquiries, no path was lost in a confused distance. stores of astronomical knowledge, are con Perhaps there is no time when the mind cerned. It is one of those predilections, or so eagerly turns inward, to brood again involuntary associations, that neither time over an habitual sorrow, as at the close of nor change can affect; unless, as the lapse a sustained effort to appear light-hearted of the one, and the bereavements of the and serene. It was my case, with many other, draw closer the tie that endearing aggravations, just then; and the desolaterecollections have strengthened with every ness of that frozen scenery was but a type passing year. Many a wild and beautiful of the dreary waste that my spirit disthought of childhood, many a romantic idea played. I walked forward, endeavouring of opening youth, many a soothing reflec- to fancy myself alone; and with gloomy tion of riper years, seem to hang in clus- satisfaction, if such a word was then ters upon the magic form of Orion; reveal- admissable, I secretly claimed the characing themselves to me, while I gaze “in ter of an outcast from all that was pleasdreamy mood” upon its familiar outline. ant, all that was cheering, all that was alIn all there is a sweetness known only to lied to joy, or hope, or consolation, in a such as love to look into the past: but cold and comfortless world. In this mood more than the luxury of reveries I have I looked slowly around me, then raised found in that constellation.
my eyes in listless abstraction, above the I can realise the scene with heart-thril- heavy line of snow-capped woods, and ling accuracy, when one glimpse of that there, sparkling among myriads of stars, bright phantom as it then seemed, was with an effulgency as indescribable as was worth to me all the splendour of a thou- the piercing keenness of the atmosphere, sand noon-day suns. My nominal home I beheld Orion. was then in another hemisphere; the At And in Orion I beheld my distant, longlantic rolled between me and all that could lost home; I remembered the magnificent constitute a home. Winter, such as our limes that shaded my favourite walk; England knows not, nor can conceive of, I saw the tall spire of the venerable minshad set in with a severity unusual even in ter, from behind which the constellation that climate. At a very late hour I was used to steal upon my sight; I beheld the returning from a scene of giddy mirth, purple clusters of the vine that mantled where the laugh and the song had fet- my father's house, and the smiling faces tered a youthful party round the supper- that rejoiced beneath them. What though table until midnight struck unheeded, and the abode was now another's home, and a reluctant separation sent them on their the party scattered, and the paternal head respective paths. Mine lay along a track laid low in the dust beneath that massive sufficiently defined by the tread of many cathedral roof, and in the scenes that rose feet, and the pressure of many sleighs; to my mental view I could never, never but on either side of the unbroken, though more rejoice; still, for a moment--and undulating, surface of snow stretched off such a moment too, of mid-winter without in the dreariest monotony imaginable. and within---they were again my own, To the right it terminated in low lands, with all their sunbeams and flowers, glad and the undistinguishable course of a looks and loving smiles. My heart beat river; on the left, a drift, that covered freely, my step rose lightly; and when the with its swell the intersecting views of short sweet vision dissolved in tears, they wooden fence--for no hedge-rows blossom were tears of resignation, almost of thankthere---became by degrees level with a fulness. Any sensation is preferable to higher range of fields; then, sinking for a that of a warm and loving heart striving, space, it rose again at the horizon, not in against its nature, to become a misanthrothe flat line that marked the opposite ex- pic icicle ; and from such a wretched tremity, but in those peculiar masses that struggle Orion had delivered me. show a forest, or rather an impenetrable It will be evident that at the time refer. wood of low, thick trees to be buried be- red to, I had not learned to take heed neath them. We had ascended a rising to the light shining in a dark place, nor ground, which shut out the cluster of I to watch for the rising of the day-star in
my heart. I considered the heavens the j a circuit of some miles must be made to work of God's fingers, but without a refer- reach the only track by which the ascent ence to the vileness of man, or the amaz- can be gained, and that, after a short ing love of God in Christ to him. In fact, space, disappears, leaving the traveller to I knew neither the one nor the other. his own choice, in the four hours' hard laI grieved not as a sinner, but as a suf- bour by which he may expect to reach ferer; and the consolation to be drawn the pinnacle of his ambition. And little from visible things well suited an earthly of a traveller's soul can he possess who does nature. Far higher and holier thoughts not consider that attainment an abundant are now interwoven with those splendid recompense for his toil. monuments of Divine power--the architec Viewing Slieve Donard's height from ture of the heavens. But though sin the demesne, I had remarked what apatoned for, and salvation wrought out, and peared an object about as large as an oran incorruptible, undefiled, unfading in- dinary mile-stone, topping its crest; and, heritance laid up for God's people, are the although making all reasonable allowance substance of the tale which the heavens for the deception that so vast an altitude are telling to earth; still a soft and might occasion as to size, I was amazed to shadowy recollection of all that sweetened find myself within a heap of stones, the iror that saddened bygone times, cleaves to regular outline of which might probably the starry forms that won my childish enclose as much ground as a moderateattention, and have hovered around my sized dwelling-house stands upon. In path to this hour. They are chroniclers some places the wall thus formed was of much that would otherwise be forgotten, several feet in thickness, and between and which it is profitable to remember. seven and eight in height: at other points They tell a tale of sin, of ingratitude, re- only a few scattered stones marked the bellion, and presumptuous pride, on the boundary of the principal heap, within one side ; of long-suffering mercy, forbear- which was a well of excellent water, and ance, forgiveness, and blessing, on the close beside it a large slab of dark grey other ; cf dangers wantonly dared, and stone, supported by heaps of various dideliverances miraculously wrought. With mensions, and formerly used as a Romish a voice more eloquent than angel's tongue altar. could utter, they deliver the admonitory Amid the exultation that naturally folwords, “Thou shalt remember all the way lowed the success of our arduous underwhich the Lord thy God hath led thee, taking, and the enjoyment of plentiful good these forty years, in the wilderness, to cheer rendered delicious by the sharp humble thee, and to prove thee, to know edge that fatigue and our elevated posiwhat was in thine heart, and whether tion, with the help of a rough sea-breeze, thou wouldst keep his commandments had imparted to our appetites; in spite, or no."
too, of the overpowering extent of our magnificent view, embracing England and
Scotland in its range; I felt oppressed at SLIEVE DONARD.
heart, and could have stolen away-in
truth, I did steal away---from the merry In the county Down, where the mag- group, to indulge the sadness that I could nificent range known as the Mourne not dispel. What extent of effort was remountains terminates on the coast, there quisite to bring an active unencumbered rises what may well be called the king of frame to that spot, I had sensible experithat giant group.
Slieve Donard is ence of in every limb and sinew; yet the nearly 3000 feet above the level of the sea stones that by hundreds and thousands at its base, abrupt in its ascent, and pre- ay heaped about me, many of which I senting at the highest point a dome-like could not, by any exertion, have listed elevation of extraordinary grandeur. Im- from the earth, had all been brought from mediately beneath this towering summit the plain below by the hands of devotees lies the exquisitely beautiful demesne of to the blinding and destroying system of Lord Roden, Tollymore Park; but on that popery. side the mountain is wholly inaccessible: It cannot be doubted, that my feeling,
in the first insiance, was one of deepest |rying of one of these stones, from the compassion for my deluded fellow-sinners, beach yonder, to this elevated spot ? and increased abhorrence of that crafty Bodily exercise, I know, profiteth little ; device, which, by making merchandise of and I might bring the church of Newtheir souls, maintains itself in supreme castle, lying far below, to the crown of power, and holds them in abject bondage. Slieve Donard, and be farther from the The prevailing impression, however, was kingdom of God at the close than at the of' a more personal nature. I read a re- commencement of such a task; but have I buke in every object before me. Calcu- ever put forth my energies, to serve God lating the ponderosity of the burden, the in the Gospel of his Son, with the honesty length and extreme laborioustess of the wherewith these poor people have exerted way, and considering the debility proba- themselves to serve them which be no bly induced alike by the privations of po- gods? From the depths of self-abaseverty and the imposed exercise of fasting, ment I even ventured then to cast a how could I look upon the evidences of thought beyond myself, and asked, Are what a false religion could stimulate its Protestants, enlightened, unfettered, spirvotaries to achieve, without being struck itually instructed Protestants, as much in to the heart by a consciousness of my own earnest in Christ's cause as these their defearful lack of zeal and devotion in what I graded fellow-subjects are in that of antiKNOW to be the truth? Many a poor, christ? I fear we are too willing to act and emaciated creature had, " for the glory of to suffer according to the will of God, as God,” as they term and consider it, borne they ignorantly are to strain every nerve those burdens up to the spot where I found in violating that will. A thousand inthem: how often had I, for the glory of stances in my own experience, where a God, encountered as large an amount of little extra self-denial, a little more deterlabour, suffering, and privation ? Many mined energy and perseverance in an una diseased creature had dragged his feeble, pleasant task, might have greatly reperhaps crippled, limbs and exhausted dounded to the glory of God and the good frame to the top of Slieve Donard, to of his people, arose to my remembrance, plunge them in the so-called holy well, filling my eyes with tears, and my heart hoping to find a healing power in its with remorse. And often, when tempted to spring. Alas for my careless, lagging, Aag in some work and labour of, God I do reluctant steps, over smooth, and even flow- hope that I shall, by the Lord's blessing, ery paths, to bring my death-stricken soul find a powerful stimulus in the recollection within reach of the waters of eternal life ! of that broken heap of stones on the lofty
The error of the poor Irish devotee con- summit of Slieve Donard. sisted in attaching a notion of merit to his difficult service, and in supposing that thereby he made God his debtor to a cer
THE DOG. tain amount. My sin lay in the habitual neglect of far easier duties, by the per
Of all the footmarks that betray the formance of which I might before men conquering tread of Satan over the manifest somewhat of gratitude for the blighted fields, originally created so fair free gift of what the poor papist blindly and so good, there surely is none more untoiled to purchase, and toiled to the last in equivocally his own stamp than that of vain. The conviction that struck me so cruelty. , He who has proclaimed his deeply was this: I confess daily that it is name, “the Lord, the Lord God merciful my bounden duty to yield myself a living and gracious,” is never more insultingly sacrifice to the Lord, and to love Him braved than when man, the creature of with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. his hand, dares to exercise the power delNow here is an evidence of what may be egated to him for the benefit of his fellowaccomplished when those faculties are earthworms, in oppressing and torturing really and in earnest devoted to an object them. To a mind not hardened against and an end; and what have I ever done, all right feeling, even the gratification of or attempted, even with the offered strength surveying rare and beautiful specimens of of Omipotence to aid me, equal to the car- | living animals is embittered by a degree