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desirable. It has been the laudable object of this church, as far as her means would enable her, to prevent the sad necessity of her members being driven to this last resort of suffering humanity. Boxes are fixed at both the doors for the reception of the weekly contributions of the pious and the humane, that they may preface their acts of devotion to their God with an act of considerate charity to their poor brethren. The deed of kindness may be done in the manner in which our divine Lord hath expressly commanded such deeds to be done :-Take heed that ye do not your alms before men: but when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth; that thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father, who seeth in secret, himself shall reward thee openly. In this lovely usage of pure and undefiled religion, persons in every condition of life should claim it as their privilege to be permitted to unite. The great rule is, “If there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what a man hath, and not according to what a man hath not.' The gentle but piercing eyes of the Saviour deigned not to notice the oblation of the vain and haughty Pharisee, but fixed themselves on the humble offering of the poor widow, whose extreme poverty abounded to the credit of her liberality, and hath given to that liberality an honourable place in the unperishing records of redeeming love.
“ As the twig is bent, the tree will be inclined. Hence the importance of habituating our children to early acts of charity. Young people should
be told in tbe morning, that in the house of God there are children who are poor, and have no father to provide for them, while they themselves fare sumptuously every day, are creditably clothed, and live in the warm and fostering bosom of parental love. The tears of sympathy fall from their eyes, and angels gather the descending pearls. Early habits of contributing, if but a mite, will grow strong by indulgence, and as life advances become a fixed principle of vigorous action, securing succour and relief to the generation following. The Son of God hath made himself a party in those deeds of goodness; he hath identified himself with the pious poor man; and will tell us, at a period when his voice shall not, as now, be drowned by the rude clamour of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, that inasmuch as we did it unto the least of these our brethren, we did it unto himself.
“ It only remains, that I convey to you the grateful sense which the aged man, bowed down under the pressure of years; the widowed mother, and her helpless family; the industrious mechanic, anxious to labour for his numerous children, but, through the palsied state of trade and manufactures, destitute of calls to labour with his hands ; the grateful sense they cherish of your past beneficence, and the glowing concern of their nourished hearts for your eternal interests.
“ These thoughts are respectfully submitted to you, under the full conviction that if there has been any diminution of late in the amount of the accustomed weekly oblations, it must have been occasioned in some by their not having been apprised of the nature of the service; and if in others by inattention, that it is inattention easily to be recalled from its wandering, and the heart recovered to a tone of feeling in unison with the Divine command, and the best affections of the renewed mind.”
Among his papers we have found other occasional addresses to the congregation, which shew the strict and conscientious fidelity with which he discharged his ministry, watching for the souls intrusted to him as one that must give an account. Not only did he preach the word instant in season and out of season; he also reproved, rebuked, exhorted, with all long-suffering and doctrine. The following warning, read to the church, in the name of the Session, on a day appropriated to humiliation and fasting, portrays the criminal nature and baneful and ruinous effects of certain delinquencies, from which few worshipping assemblies, it is to be feared, can plead exemption.
“ The elders have seen, and are deeply affected at, the partial attendance which is given on public ordinances. The primitive Christians continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread and in prayer. Good men are followers of God, who loveth the gates of Zion more than the dwellings of Jacob : they thirst for the living God, and say, When shall I come and appear before God? I will go · unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy. These things are seen with the more con
cern, as they are sad symptoms of declining religion in the soul, and of growing insensibility to God's authority over the conscience, The Session come forward therefore, in their regular way, to warn, to admonish, to reprove, and to beseech in the bowels of Christ Jesus. Forsake not, we say, forsake not, beloved brethren, the assembling of yourselves together. Come regularly, come timely, come devoutly, to the house of your Father and your God; he waits there every Sabbath to be gracious to your souls. Grieve not his good Spirit by indulging in sloth ; by profaning his day in exercises which are either sinful or doubtful; or by such irregularity of worship as will discourage your brethren, hinder your own solid improvement, oppose the spirit of your vows at your admission to fellowship, and foster a disposition which in many has carried them away altogether, not only from their former connexions, but from the faith of Christ. Force not the elders of the church, whom the Holy Ghost, by means of your own deliberate choice, hath set over you for your good — force them not to their strange and most painful work (a work to which the irregularity of some hath too much called them), the work of putting away from the fellowship of the visible church. Oh! distressing alternative! either to cut off, or have their own robes tinged with the blood of souls! Awful declaration ! 'He that, being often reproved, hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.' They particularly warn the young and inexpe
rienced, who, coming into this large city, may find themselves unrestrained by a father's eye and example. The consequences of the evil complained of, in some have been loss of innocence, of character, of sober habits, followed with the loss of substance, liberty, and with the hazard of ignominious death. The beginnings of all have been, the neglect of secret devotion, and of regular attendance on public ordinances.
“ Closely allied to partial and irregular attendance on public ordinances, is the profanation of the day of God. The Sabbath is profaned in various ways: sometimes by idleness or sloth; or by conversation which is worldly, trifling, and unholy — such conversation, like the birds of heaven, carrying away the precious seed of the word, effaces every good impression made on the heart, and, like a blight, withers every opening blossom of religious purpose: it is profaned by the careless performance of the sacred duties of the day, through the influence of a cold, heartless frame of mind; for many seem never to recover their spirits till the Sabbath is over; and the holy rest which the Sabbath enjoins is felt by them to be a heavier burden than the toil of the other days: it is likewise profaned by neglecting to prepare for the public services of religion in the closet and in the family, and by bringing the world with us into God's house. Worldly thoughts are weeds which strangle the growth of pious dispositions in the soul, and thieves which haunt us, to steal our treasure or to wound our minds.