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evidence of a dishonest intention, and of a leaning towards the communist doctrine that property is robbery. But the proscription may be understood in a wider sense, and the spirit of the text evidently prohibits all hasty and unadvised changes, and the defacing or detriment, no less than the entire obliteration, of all appliances and means for defining and determining rights. It preaches a wholesome conservatism, and exalts rule, order, and certainty, in opposition to a false standard, or none at all, and their inevitable concomitants, “confusion, and every evil work.”
In this its largest, but we fully believe, its authorized sense, let us for the present receive it. Let us look before, behind, and around us, at the moral and intellectual landmarks and boundary stones which are associated with our progress hitherto, and with the mercies and lovingkindnesses that have brought us safely through the year now about to close.
The first that calls for notice is our Ebenezer-our Stone of Help. We will halt beside this way-mark, and look backward. Three hundred and sixty-five days—the mercies of each of which were new every morning, and fresh every evening, have passed over us since we closed our last volume with mingled notes of woe and gratulation! Disease, in its most appalling form, had then desolated many a home; but the plague, stayed as we believe, by the intercessions of the church, has not been allowed again to visit us. Thrones have been shaken; wars, and rumours of wars, are rife around us. Alarmists have again and again prophesied that our dear country was about to be involved in the general derangement; but their predictions have been so often falsified, we will not yet fear that God's faithfulness, hitherto so great towards us, will fail in time of need. Sing we to the Lord, for He hath triumphed gloriously! And hitherto the Lord hath helped us.
Popery, with all her cunning craftiness, has at length spoken out too loudly for her own safety. Her trumpet has given forth-no uncertain sound; and men are every where preparing for the battle. Our trust has never been in man, or man's systems. We set up our banners only in the name of the Lord. The Word of God, and its product when received into an honest and good soil-holiness of heart and life--are the only weapons of our warfare. With these only let us fight, and we shall find them mighty to the pulling down of strong holds. How little are all human views when propounded for the sake of working out God's designs. Men are but sorry fellow-helpers in the grand schemes of His good providence. Associations are planned and organized for carrying out the petty jealousies and unschooled ambition of a party. He that breaketh in pieces the oppressor gives the word; and the world at once sees that the “great principles” for which these little minds had sacrificed much greater, were lighter than vanity-gratuitous, and utterly useless in the scheme they were intended to establish. He that sitteth in the heavens laughed, the Lord had them in derision-and in a moment brought about without their aid what for ages
and generations they had toiled so stoutly to accomplish. So it has been in Politics—so will it be in Religion. be that God intends again to shake not only earth but also heaven. What then? That which cannot be shaken will remain, and we need no more. Hitherto the Lord hath helped us.
But does not this Stone of Help stand intimately associated with another land-mark in our Christian courseour Beacon Stone-our watch-tower, our Mizpeh, set up as a memorial that God's eye is ever on us in our dealings with the world? Has this pillar never been a witness that we have passed over, for harm, to those whose good only we should have sought? Can we say, with a quiet and assured conscience, on looking backward through the year that is just leaving us, “ The Lord watch between thee and
He has watched; but has His eye alone guided us?
Amongst the way-marks of the year, we have surely a Stone of Privilege-a pillar of Bethel, to set up. “Surely the Lord is in this day, if not in this place !" we must have said to ourselves every recurring Sabbath. Loose and latitudinarian demagogues would rob us of the rest that soothes alike our souls and bodies upon one day in every seven, but they cannot do it. England is still a land of Sabbaths, and woe worth the day, if ever it should come, when she shall cease to be so. But are our Sabbaths really such-seasons of refreshing to our world-worn spirits, and Bethels for communion with the God of Jacob? Can we see, as we look through the dusky past, the angels of God ascending and descending on those hallowed spots, where our hearts burned within us as we talked face to face with Jesus? How many are the stones we have set up and consecrated, by sweet and holy associations, as witnesses that God had been with us, though we knew it not? We need not be over curious to know this if the unction be still upon us, and we have gone from strength to strength in our progress heavenward.
There has been, doubtless, many an occasion during the past twelve-months, calling for some Stone of Memorial, for signal and unlooked for and, to us, marvellous providences Let every month bring its witness that God has been better than our fears—better often than our very hopes. Let us set up our twelve stones as Joshua didour monthly record of mercies—that our children after us may ask, in all the earnest simplicity of their loving hearts, “ What mean ye by these stones ?” We owe it to God-we owe it to ourselves—we owe it to them. Let our little ones learn the poetry of that beautiful and touching epithet, “The God of our fathers.”
Nor will we leave the year behind us without a trembling glance at those Stones of Warning which stand in the old ways that wicked men have trodden. During the past year, God has in a signal manner confounded and frustrated the evil designs of infidels and revolutionists. He has granted their requests, but has sent leanness to their souls. We wanted to be like them once, but we now see that they were our ensamples, to the end that like them we might not lust and fall! O that men were wise, and understood these things!
THE YOUNG PEOPLE'S PARTY. FRUIT and wine were on the table, but the family were more attracted by the bright fire which played on the hearth, than by the delicacies of the palate; and they settled themselves with one consent in a sociable circle, with papa and mamma duly installed in comfortable easy chairs on either side the wide chimney piece, who listened amused at the lively nothings of the cheerful group, which were nevertheless sufficiently characteristic to betray the speaker's distinctive mental habits to an observant stranger.
At this juncture a footman entered with a salver of elegant looking notes, one of which he presented to each of the young people.
“Invitations, I suppose ?" exclaimed Isabella; “one to each of us! very stylish! and envelopes of the newest fashion too!"
“Dr. and Mrs. Greaves request the favor of our company to a young people's party, on Tuesday evening, the 14th. Tea and Coffee at 7 oʻclock,” said Archibald, reading part of his card aloud ; "why I thought Dr. Greaves was quite a philosopher, and despised all such vanities.”
“The philosophers seldom despise any lawful means of rendering themselves agreeable to others,” remarked the father.
“ I shall be afraid to talk before such a wise man, lest he should expect me to know every thing under the sun,” interposed Philip
“If he be such a wise man, Philip," answered his father, laughing, “he will doubtless be wise enough, not to expect learned discourse from very young persons, who cannot be supposed to have studied very deeply, nor to have had time to verify the opinions they may be forming."
“We have a whole fortnight before us, so I vote we study hard, and prime up our faculties for the occasion;" exclaimed Edward.
“And then make opportunities to bring out your wisdom," added Harold sarcastically. "No! no! Edward, depend upon it, Dr. Greaves's penetration will detect, and he will only smile in pity at your putting all your little stock of learning into your shop windows, as poor tradesmen do who have nothing on their shelves."
“I wonder how we shall employ ourselves,” said Isabella, “ for I have heard that Dr. and Mrs. Greaves do not approve of dancing at parties."
“We must dress very plainly, I think,” interposed Jane, "for I once heard Mrs. Greaves say, she felt quite melancholy to see young ladies dressed out much, because she was sure they must have wasted either time or money in their adornment.”
“True enough too!" rejoined Isabella, “as I have found to my cost, when I have had a fit of fashionable mania.”
“Let us practise our new duet, Isabella ! I suppose we shall have some music.”
“Don't you remember, Jane, Dr. Greaves's remarks at the last lecture on music, in which he dwelt so much on the value of expression in music, instead of the rapid execution that many people deem all sufficient?”
“Ah! he did, and we all agreed that his views of music seemed to rank it far above a mere amusement!"
“Well, then! to gain a correct mode of playing any musical composition, ladies, methinks you should study the composer's history and general cast of mind,” said Edward thoughtfully; "pray, is this the reason you have been studying the lives of musicians lately ?”
“Yes! we found we knew nothing about the origin or intention of most of our pieces.”
“James White told me that Dr. Greaves has a cabinet of minerals and shells,” remarked Harold, “I think they look very pretty, but I question whether I know a specimen of silver ore, from a lump of tin! or gold from copper! so I must study such subjects, I think.”