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Nor voice can sing, nor heart can frame, May every heart confess Thy name
A sweeter sound than Thy blest name,
O Saviour of mankind.
O hope of every contrite heart,
O joy of all the meek,
To those who fall, how kind Thou art!
But what to those who find? ah, this,
Jesu! our only joy be Thou,
As Thou our prize wilt be. Jesu! be Thou our glory now, And through eternity.
Oh, Jesu! King most wonderful! Thou Conqueror renown'd! Thou Sweetness most ineffable! In whom all joys are found!
When once Thou visitest the heart Then truth begins to shine; Then earthly vanities depart; Then kindles love divine..
And ever Thee adore; And seeking Thee itself inflame
To seek Thee more and more.
Thee may our tongues for ever bless,
The image of Thine own.
O Jesu! Thou the beauty art
Celestial sweetness unalloy'd!
Oh, my sweet Jesu! hear the sighs
My being's hope and end!
Stay with us, Lord, and with Thy light Illume the soul's abyss ;
Scatter the darkness of our night
And fill the world with bliss.
OPENING OF THE YEAR.*
A HAPPY, happy Christmas! and
We heard them in our childhood, when With spirits light and gay,
A merry, bright New Year!
How sweet the kind old greetings sound We dreamt not that life's joyfulness
To every heart and ear:
No matter how care-burden'd, and
No matter how deprest;
A something in their welcome makes Them dear to every breast.
Could ever pass away;
And though long years of carelessness Have sober'd many a heart;
A joy still lingers round them, which Can never quite depart.
* From "Spiritual Songs," a most admirable volume of original Hymns, by J. S. B. Mousell, LL.D.
"FROM a love of cxperimenting on hu- | field, has been crowned with laurels. This manity, and in some cases, from a deep chieftainship among the tribes has drawn disaffection to the Divine law and order its dark lines and written its scenes of of things, men have sought to rupture blood on the page of British history. the family compact, and to some extent The domestic relationship is productive have succeeded in loosening the most en- of evil, as well as good. It is favourable dearing and delightful relationships of for the growth of wickedness. Tares life. But violated law has inflicted its will ripen luxuriantly in it, as well as penalty, as it always will do, on so wanton wheat. and daring a doing. The framework of "What myriads of families there are government has been shaken, the solidity on this green earth, and also in our own of society has given way, and disorder, much loved isle, without hope and withlawlessness, and tyranny, have held sway out God! The household, where God's for a season, under the pretence of pro-law and God's authority are banished— moting equality, fraternity, and freedom. where no Divine oracle has ever been Liberty without law, is no liberty, but a consulted-where no altar has ever been wicked national licentiousness, profitable built-and where no sacrifice of prayer to no one, but perilous to all. has ever been offered, are the tabernacles of the wicked. They are not homes, but hiding-places of the unrighteous. Each is a 'congregation of evil doers;' and, like the dark places of the earth, they are frequently the habitations of cruelty.'
"The family constitution has often been perverted, and has been the nursery of unrighteousness. It has been powerful for a time for the resistance of right, and for the oppression of the weak. It has taken the shape of clanship, where the members of one large family have measured their strength in deadly strife, with a neighbouring family. In this warfare the man with the strongest arm and with the boldest front in the battle
Family Godliness. By the Rev. James Gregory. Snow, Paternoster-row.
"With another state of things we have to do. The family compact, from its deep native relationships, and from its tender
intimate associations, has a fitness for great good. Perhaps a really deep-toned vigorous piety can only be reared under healthy home influences. The natural
some; but may this be tempered and controlled by the life of God in the soul, and be all the more blissful from having its roots in a true household piety. Let us have, where it is possible to have it, grace, beauty, poetry, music, and what. ever is softening and refining in influence, throwing a halo of light and blessedness and joy about the hearth and home; but underlying all this, and pervading all this, may we have a godly Christlikelife. Let us in our dwellings daily draw near to the fount of light and life,' till they are pervaded with a rich evangelical element-the oxygen of the Christian atmosphere, which is able to save the soul.
affections of parents and children, are the | with much that is youthful and gladchannels for the conveyance of these to all the members of a household. They are the great arteries that lie near the heart of humanity, and to handle them roughly and rudely, is to interfere with healthy family action; but to use them wisely, and to cherish them assiduously, is essential to a godly domestic economy. Acts of kindness are longer remembered, than acts of teaching and reproving. The young mind, too, is susceptible of right impressions. There is a moulding age in all our households, a spring-time of life, when character is either marred or made. 'For a child is in a new world, and learneth somewhat every moment. eye is quick to observe, his memory storeth in secret, his ear is greedy of knowledge, and his mind is plastic as soft wax.' The household rule is a government, whose prevailing law should be the law of love; but to make this rule what it ought to be, requires practical wisdom, and thorough earnestness. Where these have been obtained, family management has not been a barren enterprise, but like the diligent wise working of a mine, rewarding the worker with rich treasure; or, as the skilful cultivation of a field yielding its appointed crop. Truth is imperishable, and if we sow it bountifully, we shall reap also bountifully.
"If Christian families have ever been the spring-head of benevolent and holy influences-if it is here that the dews of heaven are first imbibed and collected-. if here the refreshing waters of pure and undefiled religion commence their earliest flow-if in the bosom of such families, we have the first settings of earnest thought, and the buddings of manly piety, and the best form of holy fellowship, it behoves us to 'look well to the ways of our household.' We plead for a real spiritual life in our homes. Let us have all that is manly in action, useful in life, solid in principle, in worth, in character, but all springing from a deep inward religious life. Let us have the joyousness of childhood in our homes, innocent glee and mirth, parents partaking in the loud laugh, and welling up in full sympathy
"The absence of this tone of piety in our professedly religious households, is a matter of sore lamentation. Domestic piety is, we fear, rather waning than waxing. The streams of our Christianity are multiplied and broadened, but we have not, as formerly, a deep, strong, rushing current.
"A system of training which does not insist on this as one of its first things, is not sound. Good books are good things. Good company is a good thing. Good preaching is a good thing. Good counsels are good things. But these can never stand in the place of Bible teaching. Gospel truth is manna to the hungry soul -milk for babes in Christ-food for children-strong meat for young men. It is the life-blood of our faith, and the staff of our spiritual being. A home without a Bible is a house without furniture-the ark without the covenant-a vessel without rudder and compass-a field unfenced. The Times newspaper says, 'We question if any person, of any class or school, ever read the Scriptures regularly and thoroughly without being, or becoming, not only religious, but sensible and consistent.
Scriptural instruction is too much undervalued, and therefore not urgently and faithfully plied.' This is not a quotation, but an editorial opinion; and a striking admission from the greatest organ of public sentiment in the civilized world.
"The newspaper well written, with its bold manly comments on men and things,
"Public worship, as to form, is an easy thing, but homestead godliness requires real-heartedness and constant watchful
is becoming a prime organ of teaching to | spirit of so acting has been caught by the the religious world. Many Christians Church, and many have more love to serve spend much time over its pages, and read God in the crowded congregation, than it, apparently, with deeper interest than in privacy of retirement. they do the Bible. Newspaper reading in excess has had an injurious effect, imparing the vigour of family godliness, and has given rise to a deep craving for a kindness, or its glow soon departs. The lamp of photographic writing and preaching, must be daily trimmed and fed with oil, which we do not think the strongest thing the fire daily tended and supplied with in our world. Literature with its charms, fuel, or both will expire. And equal and politics with all their interest, can never constancy is demanded in keeping alive become a substitute for Bible teaching. the kindled coals of devotion on the altar They cannot nourish the root of Domestic of the heart. Religious parents, in the Piety. They contain no sentiments to majority of instances, do not feel deeply sanctify and save the soul. In many their family responsibility, nor apprehend religious families, evangelical truth is not clearly the far-reaching consequences of earnestly taught as an indispensable ele- home influences. The public ordinances ment of spiritual life. The children have of grace are valuable and indispensablenothing more, daily, than a chapter hur- the service of song is attractive-pulpit riedly read, and a prayer as hurriedly appeals and teaching stir up hearts and said. And THIS course of instruction is intellect-the fellowship of the saints is curtailed, by sad omissions arising from profitable-the godly gatherings to ply domestic disorder and the professedly the people with appeals to liberality on urgent calls of business, as if prayer and behalf of our religious institutions are provender hindered a journey.' The same needed-acting in concert with likechildren are carried through a round of minded men and genial spirits is stimuSunday teaching from the pulpit, but it lating and praiseworthy-the works of palls upon them, because it is not spoken benevolence must have their largehearted of at home with solemn interest; and workers. In these things many religious there is no effort to simplify it, and suit men find all the religion they have. But it to their capacities. So far from this, these can never be a substitute for doit is often openly and coarsely handled, mestic piety. Where this is sedulously and gives rise to caustic, ill-timed remark. cultivated, we find the pith, the marrow, Real Bible teaching requires us to go into and the back-bone of our common Christidetails to put ourselves into sympathy anity. Multitudes, by thus acting, rewith those we teach, and also with the verse the order of a true religion, which truth taught to give forth the precious inserts its leaven in the centre, working food in morsels, not in masses, and as is thence to the circumference-from the most adapted to the opening mind of individual to the mass; but many prefer youth. In doing thus we are to be un- working from the circumference to the wearied, as if diligence could never be centre-from the mass to the individual. sick at heart, and teaching our own, never sore of foot. In a fastidious, book-surfeited age like ours, there is a danger of the Bible being a too much unused, undervalued volume in the religious dwellings of the land. There are weighty reasons for dealing with it far otherwise.
"We are passing through a busy bustling age, one of ceaseless activity and of national enterprise. Men have learnt to act in concert with each other, and by so doing have reached great results. The
"In professedly religious families there is, oftentimes, a sad lack of needful authority and obedience. There is no aptitude on the part of parents to govern. Their rightful moral influence has gradually diminished in their households. They hold the reins so loosely, as almost to invite their children to wrest them from their hands. They give their commands in so feeble, faltering a tone, as to warrant early disobedience. Their counsels are ill-conned, ill-timed lessons, as far as
ness, an humble confession of our own | hand-let us determine as it regards the great unworthiness, and the resolution, unknown future," whether we live, to so becoming always, and to-day so peeu- live to the Lord, or whether we die, to liarly becoming-"I will walk before die to the Lord," that "Christ may be the Lord in the land of the living." magnified in us, whether it be by life or "As for me, I will serve the Lord." by death."
The thought of God's forbearance towards us manifested in sparing us till now; notwithstanding all our unworthiness, should prompt us to immediate consecration to God. None of us can look back without seeing the ravages which death has made. He has cut down one and another of those with whom we were once intimately associated, and has thus made the world appear to us as a place of sepulchres. That we have been spared when so many have fallen around us, cannot fail when we think of it to fill us with wonder and thankfulness. That it is entirely of the Lord's mercies that we are spared, none of us can doubt. Many a time have we by our departures from God, and our rebellions against him, done much to provoke him to cut us down. Again and again has he spared us that we might bear fruit to him, but we are still cumberers of the ground. He has borne with all our past unprofitableness and unworthiness, and thus it is that we are alive this day. Shall we abuse his goodness any more? Shall we resist his grace any longer? Shall we continue to possess his Gospel without prizing it as we ought? Shall we continue to profess his truth without seeking to walk in strict accordance with its requirements? To do so is to act a most ungrateful and unworthy part. Let us rather regard all his goodness as at once calculated and intended to lead us to repentence, the repentence which will yield meet fruits in future holiness of heart and life, that henceforth we may not walk as others do, and as we have before done, but as God requires us ever to walk. With death before us, and the great realities of the day of final account in prospect, and eternity in all its grandeur opening up to our view-feeling that the time is short, and that the end of all things is at
The thought that we live in peculiar times, and that these times have peculiar claims upon us, in whatever sphere of life we happen to move, should prompt us to immediate consecration to God. Many things concur to invest our times with importance. They are times of unwonted activity, and of unceasing excitement-times when great changes are manifestly taking place in the world, and when the judgments of God in various forms are abroad in the earthtimes when unprecedented facilities for the diffusion of divine truth are opening up everywhere, and when in all places there is a sighing and a longing on the part of men for the true and the good, much as they may be mistaken as to the way of obtaining them. War has been raging with intense fury, and it is likely still to lead to much carnage and desolation. Commercial distress has prevailed to a fearful extent, and it is now involving thousands in deep anxiety. Pestilence has been cutting down its thousands in some lands, but our land has been exempted from its ravages. In such times, we as God's people have a most important part to act. We must be as the guides of the erring, and the instructors of the ignorant. We must show the bewildered mind that there is One who is ready to deliver it from all its struggles, and to lead it into all truth. We must cheer the sinking heart by exhibiting to it the power and love of Him who is a refuge from every storm, and a covert from every tempest. We must be prepared to give to all around us a fair and a just exhibition of the spirit and object, the character and influence of our holy religion, and to carry out fairly and thoroughly its great and beneficent requirements. But in order to this we must seek to be ourselves eminently devoted to Godguarding against allowing ourselves to