صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

The ex.

ings, that idleness and vice are concomitants. perience of every man, at all conversant with the different individual characters, which compose the mass of society, has told him this. We would not be supposed to assert, that because a man is indolent, he is necessarily vicious; but we will say that idleness, for the most part, is the grand cause of that profiigacy, and corruption, which spread wide their contaminating, and pestilential influence. I say to my readers, in view of what I have witnessed of the mischievous effects of a want of a worthy and useful occupation; I say to the youth of my beJoved country, beware of the disastrous and lamentable consequences, which will almost inevitably be entailed upon you and your associates, by the formation and growth of indolent habits. We are accountable for the influence which we exert over each other. And sad will be the account of him who exerts an ipfluence upon his fellow beings but to ruin and destroy. The miseries which inay be the result of our pernicious example, will not end with our lives; but many future generations may suffer from their blighting influence.

Man is a social and an active being. Such is the con. stitutional frame of our natures, that almost up remitted employment seems necessary for the health of our bodies and the improvement of our minds. Indeed, it may be questioned, whether in our constitution, there is made any provision for the gratification of those propensities, which lead to idleness, without any infringement of those duties, which we owe to ourselves, to our fellow creatures, and to God.

It is indeed believed that we may make the assertion, without any exposure to the impu. tation of falsehood, that a state of idleness is a state of crime.

Man is a social being. His duties are of a social na. ture. They extend to all those opportunities of doing good, both of a personal and relative kind, which pre. seat themselves at every step of his progress through life. Man is an active being. It may perhaps appear that the mind, by constant tension, may lose its strength and vigour. The bow should not always be kept bent if we wish it to retain its elasticity;. The savage is too great a philosopher not to know this. But the subject of controversy should be whether all our actions should


not be of the useful kind. All our actions exert a moral influence either upon ourselves or others. They either yield us or others benefit, or they are occasions of mischief. If then, we can fix upon no set of actions which are absolutely neutral--which have no moral influence the one way nor the other, we must decide the character of the action from the effect which it produces. Now we believe it is rarely the fact that the actions of the idler are the sourees of good; it will therefore follow that they are sources of evil.

Idleness is a vice, which appears under a multiplicity of forms, and under the greatest variety of disguises. There are those who profess idleness in its full dignity ; who sleep every night till they can sleep no longer, and rise only that exercise may enable them to sleep again ; who prolong darkness by double curtains, and who never see the sun but to tell him “how they hate his beams;" whose whole labour is to vary the posture of indolence, and whose day differs from their night, but as a chair, or couch differs from a bed. These are the true and

орен votaries of indolence, for whom she steeps her most soporific poppies, and for whom she weaves her thickest mantle of oblivion; who drag out their lives in a state of apathy and insipidity; and who are alike insensible to bappiness and misery, renown and disgrace.

But idleness predominates in characters, in which it is. sometimes little expected to exist; because it is a vice which rarely awakens attention or concern. Some indofent persons are always perplexed by the greatest hurry and bustle; always have so much to do that they cannot perform half they wish. They astonish the world with ibe boldness of their designs. They are ever in a state of preparation, laying plans, accumulating materials, and preparing for the main thing. But nothing must be expected from the workman, who is always in search of his tools. That painter never showed himself a great master who was preeminently curious about his brushes.

There are others, whose highest ambition is to be seen occasionally in good company; to talk familiarly with the most respectable; to be able to tell the freshest news; or relate the queerest stories ; to be the first to introduce a favourite common saying; to gratify their circle with predictions of distinctions and favours from

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those, in whose power it is to bestow them, and to prate with wonderful volubility concerning their own indifference in regard to them.

Upon the man, who is disposed to spend his time according to the dictates of the strictest economy, thousands are laying their contributions. He who has not decision enough to withdraw from their company, or to drive them away by cold indifference, must expect to pay a tribute of his time to the multitude; to the boaster, who blusters only to be praised ; to the loiterer, who makes appointments which he neve intends to keep; to the complainer, who whines only to be pitied; to ihe coun. sellor, who asks advice which he never intends to follow; and to the talker, who talks only for the sake of talking. Thus life is crowded by a host of invaders, whose conduct is fraught with the greatest mischief, and is generally followed by the most pernicious consequen

It is perhaps beyond our power to put ourselves in possession of our time, and rescue the day from this succession of usurpers. But some stop might be put to this unmereiful persecution, if all would seriously reflect, that whoever pays a visit, that is not desired, or talks longer than the hearer is willing to attend, is guil. ty of an injury which he cannot repair, and takes away that which he cannot give, the pernicious consequences of whose conduct not only continue through time, but stretch into eternity.

I have but one more view to give of this subject, and I will then take leave of my readers. I have spoken of indolence in its general moral influence. I might speak of its pernicious effects upon some of our religions institutions, when found to exist in those who should be most active in promoting their interests. The present is a day of religious efforts, and benevolent exertions. Mauy, very many, are now engaging in the most poble and useful enterprizes. But it is to be feared that there are many youth in our country who do not feel the warm animating spirit of benevolence, prompting them to strenuous and liberal exertion. Let every youth in our land awake to his duty, and obey the imperious call which is made upon him." The activity or the indolence of the present generation, will tell loudly in its effects upon future ages. It is too late to be inactive. It is

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too late to suffer ourselves to remain spell-bound by our already formed or growing habits of indolence and want of benevolent exertions. From one end of the communi. ty to the other let onward be the Christian's watch-word, andonward the reply.

*B. Y*.




For as the rain cometh down and the snow from heaven, and

returneth not th ther, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so shall my word be that goeth out of my mouth ; it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.


The evangelical prophet had very clear anticipations of Gospel times. After describing the Messiah of Israel as a suffering Redeemer, and proclaiming the decreo that He should see the travail of his soul and be satisfied, by becoming the author of justification to many per. ishing souls, Isaiah called for shouts of joy from the earth, and anthems of praise from the Gentiles for the blessings of the Gospel. He proceeds to use the language of the Gospel invitations, “Ho every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no a money come ye, buy and eat, yea buy wine and milk with. out money and without price."

'While he proclaims the mercy of the Gospel, he predicts the success which should attend it. Through its influence many nations should flock to the Holy One of Israel. The manner and consequences of their being gathered to Christ are exbibited in the form of directions. They would seek . the Lord and call on his name; they would forsake sin. ful ways and unrighteous thoughts, by turning to Jehovah ; and thus obtain pardon and salvation. God's houghts and ways, in, thus reclaiming rebel worms are represented as infinitely above man's thoughts and says:


He then adverts to the means which were to change the face of the moral world. To exhibit their influence, he traees a striking analogy in Jehovah's government of the natural and moral worlds. “ For as the rain cometh down and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it to bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater ;” so is God's word which is published : it shall not return anto him void ; but it sball accomplish that which he pleases and shall prosper in the thing whereto he sends it." Analogies in the kingdoms of providence and grace will again occupy our attention.

First; Snow and rain descend from above. Crea. tures have not the power to bring into existence a single fake of the one or a drop of ihe other. Even their knowledge of the existence of rain is not intuitive, but eommunicated. Nor could any adequate conception be formed of the change which cold produces opon water in converting it into snow and ice without personal knowledge. Inhabitants of the torrid zone have denied the existence of such phenomena because they had never fallen under their observation.

We have abundant evidence that the truths of God's word are from above. Their sublimity, purity, and util. ity, prove their origin divine. Nor would fallen man possess any correct knowledge of the divine perfections and government without a revelation. Just what God has been pleased to reveal of his character and will, we can know with certainty. . Beyond the limits of this revelation, all is but conjecture. "Because we may not understand the connexion of certain truths in revelation and their dependence upon each other,' only proves man's ignorance, without militating in the least against those truths. What we know not now we may know hereafter. It becomes us therefore to receive the truths of God's word with reverence, humility, and gratitude.

SECONDLY; God sends his rain and snow in such countries, at such seasons, and in such measure as Infinite Wisior sees best. In some countries rain is almost, and snow is quite, unknown. African deserts are continually scorched with a vertical sun; while under the tropic of Capricorn it rains nearly half the year.

The periods at which rain and snow shall fall in this lati:

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