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get as much good at home as by attendance up- fined craftiness, or decent selfishness, and exteron divine worship. But let us ask him if he be. nal propriety, a seeming respectability. Let no lieves in the efficacy of prayer, in the profit of man think to put these things instead of heart reading the Scriptures, in the need of religious religion, and let him begin his religious life by melitation and rievotion ? and does be, wben he remembering the Sabbath day to keep it holy. absents himself and family from the place of But, says another class of objectors, I see no public worship, spend the day religiously in such reason why one day of a week should be singled services ? Again we say, let his own conscience out and called holy, why an hour on Sunday is judge him, and if he does none of these things, any more sanctified than an hour on any other let him hide his plea in shame and be silent. day. I hold it to be superstitious to make such Besides, if he has so far cultivated these services a distinction. I consult my feelings in regard as to need no religious instructor and guide, let to the day. Nobody can oblige me to attend him be a tercher and example to his feebler public worship or contribute to it; churches are brethren who need his influence and assistance. sustained on the voluntary principle, and I am

But, says another, “religion does not consist free to do a. I elect in this matter. I don't be. in these things.-many persons attend public lieve in rites and forn.s and ceremonies; all worship influenced by wrong motives. I look days are alike. I am no professor of religion, to a noral and upright life for my testimony; and I am not a member of the Church. I go to practical religion is the great need of the time- hear different denominations of preachers, and I integrity in business, fidelity to trusts, a regard don't believe in a bired ministry, and I don't see for the truth, candid and unprejudiced judgment, that church-goers are any better than I am.-It and a due respect for the privileges and rights of is painful to telieve there are any persons in a others; this is my idea of religion.” But let us community like ours, ready to urge such objecask him, where did he get his idea of religion ? tions, but those words are current and familiar And what is the foundation of it? What is the to the ears of most of us. Who singled out one incentive to practical religion, as he calls it? day of seven to hallow it? The Sabbath is not True religion springs from the heart and affec. of man's institution; it was made for man, pot tions; from the worship and reverence of God, by him. Is there indeed no distinction of hours and the study of his holy word; from prayer and and seasons in life ? No difference in the sacredmeditation, from a desire to obey his commands; ness of grief and the bilarity of recreation ? no and he has said, “Remember the Sabbath day difference in the lonely hours of sickness and to keep it holy;" this is one religious duty, and pain and the hours of frivolity and ease? no difhe ought not to leave it undone. Nay, it is the ference in the hour of sleep and the hour of very appointed means of practical religion. He death? And he who ordained sorrow and sickmust be diligent and faithful in business, but he ness and death, ordained and set apart the Sabmust also serve the Lord; nay, if he refuse to bath also, and in his wisdom has cominanded serve the Lord thus, there is great reason to sear that some seasons of life shall be hallowed and he will fail in his integrity and practice; he may more sacred than others. Superstition is a far have a good worldly policy, and may understand different thing from veneration and worship, and expediency, and propriety, and prudence, and our objector is likely to have neither. And if he consistency; he may have a regard for the would bring up the morality of his daily and world's opinion and reputation, may never trans- weekly life to the standard of the Sabbath, ingress the laws of the land, the usages of trade, stead of degrading the holy day to the level of or trample upon the strict rights of others; he his worldly life, he would begin by remembering may be as honest as bis neighbors, and pay his the Sabbath to keep it holy. There is no com. just debts, and speak the truth; and yet for all pulsion to observe the day but the compulsion of this, be may be without religion, “ without God truth and his conscience; and as for forms, his in the world.” He may have no worship except - daily life is full of them; and " if he will have for mammon; no grace or charity; and no love nothing to do with religion, religion will have except for a name or station, for wealth and something to do with him." He cannot live things which perish in the using. He may be and escape his obligations; they are imposed shrewd and selfish, worldly and avaricious. This upon him by an omnipotent Power, and till he is not practical religion, nor morality. It is can sever his acts from their consequences, he only the semblance and shadow of it, only a re- cannot disobey the laws of God with impunity. VOL. XX.

He is, in this respect, the subject of an absolute 43

Pure unto the very centre,
Wbile high thoughts like angels enter

At the open door.
Alice, Alice, little Alice,

When this goodly sight I see, In thy woman-heart's rich palace

Keep one nook of love for me!

monarchy, and he cannot stay the hand of the Almighty; he has no choice; he is not free; there is no alternative for him ; obedience is the law of his being, his necessity and dignity, his duty and privilege, his only peace and blessedness, and his true liberty and glory.

The uses of the Christian Sabbath are too many and various to be enumerated in the brief time now allotted, but we cannot withhold the expression of our opinion that it is the great instrument and means of the moral, social and religious condition of the Christian world ; that it is with many the only season of spiritual culture; that it is the safeguard and bulwark of our virtue, the guide and incentive to purity of life and devotion ; the birth-day of great and ennobling thoughts and resolves, and an indispensable and ordained institution for Christian. izing and saving the world; and in the words of an infidel we believe, that “if the Sabbath were abolished, the Bible would become a useless book, and we should hasten back to barbarism." Submitted in Christian love and fellowship,

C. L. GORDON, Chairman. Brooklyn, N. Y., May 28, 1851.

Alice, Alice, little Alice,
Sure the verse fails out of malice

To the thoughts it feebly bears ;
And thy name's sweet echoes, ranging
From quaint rhyme to rhyme, are changing

Unto voiceless prayers. God be with thee, little Alice !

Of his bounteousness, may he Fill the chalice, build the palace, Here—unto eternity!

[English paper.

" AS ONE WHOM HIS MOTHER COMFORTETA."

A SERMON written on the death of Mrs. MAET

TOMPKINS, who died in Boston, Mass., Jan. 7th, 1852, aged 63 years.

BY HENRY BACON.

TO MY GODCHILD, ALICE.

ALICE, Alice, little Alice,
My new-christened baby Alice !

Can there ever rhyme be found
To express my wishes for thee
In a silvery flowing, worthy

Of that silvery sound? Bonnie Alice, Lady Alice !

Sure that sweetest name must be A true omen to thee, Alice,

of a life's long melody.

Isai. Ixvi. 13: As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you.

God is very compassionate in using the ten. derest names to encourage our trust in him. If we will read the Bible thoroughly for this purpose, we shall discover a gradation of names which God has identified with himself, that range from inanimate things up through all the variety of objects that suggest pleasant associations, till we find Him employing the comparison of the text, “As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you."

What a tenderness seems inevitably connected with the idea of a Mother performing the part of a Comforter! She comes with nature's prerogative to enter into our most secret soul, to penetrate to every avenue of seeling, and to pour the refreshing word wbere no other hand can reach. To dwell on this theme may give us aid to value the Ministry of the Living Mother, and to go to God at once when she is no more.

The text implies that there is something pecu• liar in the comfort which a Mother bestows. It is Gou who speaks. The word is, “ As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort | you,”—I, the Almighty, the supreme controller

Alice, Alice, little Alice,
Mayst thou prove a golden chalice

Filled with holiness, like wine ;
With rich blessings running o'er,
Yet replenished evermore

From a fount divine ! Alice, Alice, little Alice,

When this future comes to thee, In thy young life's brimming chalice

Keep some drops of balm for me!

Alice, Alice, little Alice,
Mayst thou grow up a fair palace,

Fitly framed from roof to floor,

of the bearts and ways of men, and who bend- open and open like the glory of the heavens to eth my providence above them in all minute- the telescope, showing new depths of beauty, ness and breadth. I, that made the Mother's and winning us more and more to contemplaheart, that poured its infinite wealth of affec- tion and study. It may be God meant no more tion, that gave its endurance, and made it over- in the text than an allusion to maternal affection. flow with tenderness and love. I, that am the It may be He meant ten thousand times more. Remover, that taketh away “lover and friend,” | It may be he would have the comparison before that transfereth the smile of the mortal face to us illuminated by all the experience which life the countenance of the immortal. I, that know- affords of a Mother's love-by the lights which eth it is simple nature to weep over the severed are lit above her grave where memory is so ties of years, to feel the shudder that comes strangely quickened and the strong man is a when the loved form is given to the tomb, and child again-by all the mournful thoughts that remembereth that faith, with all its visions, is come when we think of the offices no other benot sight. I, as the Mother that bore thee, will ing can fill, and her untransferable tenderness. comfort thee in thy sorrow.

There is no danger of humanizing God by this If we would appreciate the kindness of God, process. O no! If there be any thing we can we should ask ourselves some such question as

comprehend of the celestial and divine-any this ;-What is there peculiar in the comfort thing that is pure as the light that flashes from which a Mother betows? What is she to us that the wings of a seraph, it is Maternal Love. It she should be thus singled out? How is she the is something that preceded our birth; that markimage of God? These questions I will attempt ed every step of our infant progress; that enterto answer, for the preciousness of a comparison ed instinctively into our inmost experience ; that is enhanced as we magnify the basis on which was of unquestionable disinterestedness and init is made.

tegrity, tenderly apologetical of our faults, holily But here let me say, I own it may be that no

hopeful, the Image of Eternity. If the glory of thing more was meant in the text than the

God shone in the face of Christ, it shone also in awakening of the common reverence towards

bis mother's face. The thoughts that have been the Mother, and letting that speak of the com

given to Mary have made the heart more worpassions of God. If we go no farther than this, shipful towards Jesus. And one thing I have we have something very beautiful. There is a

marked in all history, and that is, that just in world of feeling connected with filial love that

proportion to the real greatness of a man, his lives unexpressed. The word Mother sounds a power to search into the heart and soul of things, deep that analysis never reached. There is an

has been the recognition of the greatness of the infinity in the heart that no philosophy can fath

Mother's Love. It is the sure token of a small om; and it may be that all the text intends is mind, of narrowness of thought, of littleness of to send the great thought of God, of his love, in

soul, where there is no greatness of thought to that infinity, as light plays around the circles about the Mother. The histories of the wise when the lake is moved and the eddying waters

and good are the histories of the reciprocation of sparkle in silver rings. If this be all, it is a

the mother's love. That is the key to the segreat all--a vast good-a beautiful prophecy of

cret of the spiritual force that impelled to greatthe tenderness of that Religion which was to

ness and glory. come, and which has come, in and through At least, it will be an innocent indulgence to Christ Jesus.

give the most enlarged meaning to our text, and And yet a great thought-a tender and beau- look into the peculiarities of the comfort which a tiful idea dropped from the speech of the High- Mother bestows on her afflicted child. As a est, should not be put away hastily as though Mother comforts, so will I, says the adorable Je. its depths were sounded by the first glance, and hovah. It is a word of celestial music, and may as though it would be profane to imagine that linger like the Christmas Chimes of our childGod meant the best things we can draw from hood that win us from the desolations of other that word. There is a greater danger of mak- years. It is a word we need; for when the dying God's expression of his love mean too little, ing and the dead are around us, our “refuge of than too much. That many significations should strength and very present help in trouble" is not be given to the same expression, or passage, the Sovereignty of God. “ He doeth all things is a rule of right interpretation ; but it is quite well.” But there is a winning charm cast over another thing to dwell on a thought and see it the thought of Divine Sovereignty by the idea,

ers.

that he has the love that will comfort as a moth- passing away of all the flesh that bore the smiles er; and we are affected by the union as when and grace of infancy. As by intuition, she reads the mellow rays of the sunset cast their beauty what is but mystery to others; and where othover the awful grandeur of the mountains. ers marrel at some turn in the life of the man,

What then is peculiar in the Comfort a Moth- she only thinks of the prophecy that pointed 10 er bestows? How shall I speak of this peculiar- that result years ago. Like Mary she keeps all ity? I attempt an answer by saying,

the little mysteries of the young soul, and popFirst, Her comforting is the conforting of one ders them in her heart, trusting to the interprewho loved us ere we saw the light of day. Her tations of the future. " What thou knovest not anxieties went before our birth, and nearer to now, thou shalt know hereafter," is to her a : her heart have we lain than to the heart of any perpetual assurance in reference to her child, other. And such is the love of God.

We sing

and thus she learns to know him better than any right when we sing,

other. When we thoroughly'know a persco, “ Before these beating bearts did move,

and are in daily and hourly contact wiih him,

we influence that person more than we are Thy tender mercies us pursued.”

aivare of; spirit conforms to spirit; temper We think too little of this. We think too little

moulds temper; and character acts on characof the love that went before our being--that was

ter. So with the Mother and her Child. Talent expressed in purposes, that was manifested as

flows in the Female line rather than that of the the love of God for Adam by the arrangements

Male. The history of the wise and good is rein Eden ere the form was moulded. I heard the ally, as I have said, the history of their Mothprayer of a preacher criticised a while since, be- Beautiful and touching are many stories cause he thanked God for mercies bestowed be. of the impoverished mother who has kept her fore we were born. “I could not tell what he

soul rich, and by the influence of her nobility of ineant," said the critical hearer. But the preach

beart, has breathed into her children the energy er had read the like idea in his Bible, where the

of an aspiring life. She knew them better than far reaching mercies of God are celebrated, and

others. The lowly garb was noihing. Her where, written as it were in a book, the order to

soul looked into theirs; and when the successes be developed from unfashioned materials, is re

of the future showed the advances of the virives membered to the glory of God, by whom we

of the son, the graces of the daughter, oikers were fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm might express surprise, but she felt none. It cxxxix. 14-16. Beautiful is the love of the Cre. was but her expectation. ator shown in that love that precedes our exist

But more thoroughly than the Mother God ence; that dwells upon the object to be given ;

knoweth us. He reads what only eternity can that makes life more sacred because of a life

open to the Moiher's eye. And how can re within life. When He comforteth as a Mother

doubt the reachings of his love to bestow the comforts her child, it is the comfort of a love that

comfort we need in our hour of bitter sorrow? discerned the coming of our being and compas.

To lore and not to know, is the fate of some. sed the issues thereof. Why should we ever

Terrible are the issues where this exists. The doubt the coniinuance of that tenderness, or the

heart overrunning with affection, but ignorant wisdom and goodness of all the changes be per

how to pour that love into the heart of its object mits and the discipline he calls us to endure ?

to meet the exigence of a great sorrow, to reDoes not int love foreshadow the Future ?

move the cloud of darkness, and fringes the But agiin; The comfort which a Mother be

gloom with prophetic light. But it is not so

with the Mother. It is not so with God." He stows is the comfort of One who knows us het. ter than any other. He that traces a river from

is greater than our heart, and knoweth all the little tioy spring where its waters first origi

things.” And one of the sweetest of all the honate, can tell you best of what it is. He has

ly strains of Keble is where he touches this truth, become familiar with its feebleness and its grad

after speaking of the imperfection of human ual growth into strength and power. Its whole

sympathy, and how a more persect knowledge development lies open to his view in the map

of us possessed by our friends might drive them

from us:which his memory keeps of it, not to be rivaled by the pencil of the artist. So a Mother and the

“ Then keep the softening veil in mercy drawn, growth of a child, its real being-that being

Thou who canst love us, tho' Thou read us true, which survives the waste of the body and the

As on the bosom of th' aerial lawn

Melts in dim haze each coarse ungentle hue. Thou know'st our bitterness-oui joys are thine

No stranger thou to all our wanderings wild ; Nor could we bear to think, how every line

Of us, thy darkened likeness and defiled, Stands in full sunshine of thy piercing eye,

But that thou call'st us children : sweet repose Is in that word - the Lord who dwells on high

Knows all, yet loves us letter than he knows."

The comfort which a Mother bestows is the comfort of one who not only loved us the earliest and knows us best, but who with this love and knowlege marked our infant steps and entered instinctively into our inmost experience. Her history abounds with instances of that springing at once to the motive that sways the will, which the Grecian mother illustrated when her babe was near the precipice and reaching to pluck the flower where death must come should the act be accomplished. So the comforts of God transcend the ordinary means of soul communing with soul. There is something mystical and strange in the swaying of the will which comes of God when we know only the beautiful result. We are won, and that is all we know. As one whom his inother comforteth, so God comforts the soul, carrying it into a higher realm than that of reason and logic, and strengiheping it by an interfusion of soul more subtle than light, and as unreachable by analysis in respect to its essence and origin.

Yet farther; A mother's comfort flows from one of unquestionable disinterestedness and integrity. There is no questioning as to the why and wherefore of a mother's comfort. It is the action of simple nature. It is not obedience to a form. It has nothing to do with ceremonials. It comes not oppressively with words of usage and custom, of eulogy and commiseration, or with a compassion that is soon to die away. It may be silent and still, but out of that silence and stillness will come a wondrous strength, as from God to the soul in meditative prayer, or when the Saint is lifting the face quietly to the Night, and from her urns of coolness drinking repose. So with the love of God. It is no mat. ter of contingences. It is not to be bought. It is not so much for so much. It is the action of bis own essential nature. “ Not that we loved God, but that He first loved us.” “ We have known and believed the love that God hath to us.” “Keep yourselves in the love of God.” Sometimes it would seem that there was no such

love in God. Theologians make his love so much a legal matter, a matter of diplomacy, a thing of embassy. Christians are sometimes bewildered and cannot say whether God loves them or not, because it is such a thing of conditions, and the conditions are so mystical. The comforting love of a Mother ought to help them to faith in Divine Love. There is disinterested love-love that was spontaneous—that answered to the demands of nature,-nature in her silence, looking up so pitifully from the face of the infant; nature in her eloquent pleading, where guilt turns away every heart but the mother's from her son.

And here comes to my thought the last comparison upon which I shall venture: The comfort which a Mother bestows comes from one who is pre-eminently pitiful-tenderly apologetical of our faults, holily hopeful, the Image of Eternity. So is the comfort of God. Too often is this forgotten, and God made but a stern Taskmaster. How just He is, how inflexible in not, by any means, clearing the guilty from ret. ribution for sin, is made plain enough; but men forget that he keepeth mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin." "If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not.That is the tenderness of God, -upbraidings are laid aside for the encouragements that will inspire to new struggles for good. The Bible is rich with God's tender judgments of man, “winking at times of ignorance," and taking the part of the scorned and despised as having a portion in his love and the greatness of the redemption in Christ. In our sorrow, our Mother comes not to plunge the barbed arrow further into our heart--to make us hate ourselves the more-to magnify our short comings, and to dash out our little hope. She comes as a strong nature to support a weak. To make us feel the presence of hope, effort, endurance, success. In our humiliation we slide back to the feebleness and dependance of childhood, and we look with infant eyes into that face that was once all the world to us. Again we are leaning upon a love that is all our strength--that is the best image of God to us. Yes, there is something in a Mother's comfort that sends us hopefully to God; that gives us assurance of his pity; that insures us his compassion; that tell us he will not plead against us with his great power, but will put strength into us. Job xxiii. 6. A feeling springs up like that in the heart of the little girl who heard the preacher describe in an awful

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