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“Not at all: I am only inquiring into the nature of your guilt; and thus far I see no reason to despair.'
“I have hated God,' rejoined the self-condemned, and openly avowed my enmity in sight of his Divine operations.'
“Thus far your case is lamentable, indeed, but not hopeless, still. Our hearts are naturally at enmity with God : and I do not see why the open avowal of this, drawn out by the sight of the law into visible form, must necessarily and always constitute the guilt of which you accuse yourself.'
“I feel that I am cut off from salvation.'
“It is difficult to reason against your feelings; but they are no proof on the present subject. Let me inquire whether
you desire the pardon of your sins ?' “ • Assuredly, if it were possible.'
“Do you regret the conduct of which you accuse yourself?' «
Certainly. “Do you sincerely desire repentance ?' "“I would give the world, if it were mine, to be able to do so.'
“Then it is not possible that you have been guilty to an unpardonable extent: for these are characteristics of a state of mind faithless, but far from being desperate; and they come within the design of the gospel invitation.'
“There was something simple and touching in this mode of ministering to a mind diseased; and it produced an effect which, probably, no other process could have accomplished. Mr. L. did not long survive this interview; but his living and dying hours were those of a favoured christian.”
Dr. Henry's “ Letters to a Friend," p. 221–225.
ON SMALL BOOKS. IT was around a large table in a coffee-house, spread over with newspapers, books, and periodicals, that some half dozen persons, apparently strangers to each other, were assembled. Topics of different kinds were introduced, and at last the printing-press became the subject of general conversation.
“The printing-press," said one, who had a magazine before him, “is a mighty engine in society; it has done more towards the extension of scientific knowledge, in a few years, than could otherwise have been achieved in a century. How many discoveries are now generally known, which before were but partially known ! how many false theories exploded, which formerly were regarded as axioms ! Science, by recording and making known its progress, is receiving a continual accession to its resources.'
“ If the printing-press has assisted science,” observed a pale-faced young man, "it has been equally influential in literature. What an increase in original works, and excellent translations, has taken place! Argument in prose, and pathos in poetry, are everywhere to be found; and where one man formerly had a taste for literature, twenty have now a fair pretension to talent."
" True," replied a man plainly dressed, who had been occupied in reading a newspaper, “printing has done much for science and letters, no doubt, though I know right little, myself, about the one or the other; but I think it has done more in other things. The many are not now led by the nose by the few, as they used to be, in matters of opinion : the prejudices of men, by jostling together in newspapers and periodicals, have, like pebbles in a brook, lost much of their roughness; and men who before looked at each other as though each had been drinking vinegar, can now meet, and talk pleasantly, even though there be a shade or two of difference in their opinions. I take it that the press has convinced many a man, clever in his own estimation, that there are folks in the world equally clever with himself. So long as a man keeps among those who are accustomed to give way to him, he may domineer and strut about like a cock on his own dunghill; hut when he once puts his opinions in print, it is ten to one but he meets with his match, and learns not to crow so loudly on another occasion.”
“ The advantages that mankind derive from the printingpress,” remarked a middle-aged gentleman dressed in black,
are unquestionably great; though I do not think that any of
you have pointed out those that are most valuable to society. Great as are the interests of men in this preseut state of existence, they shrink into nothing when compared with the interest we have in an eternal world. Science may be assisted, literature extended, and the prejudices of common life allayed, without giving man more than a temporary benefit; it may be for a few short
only for as many moments; but the press, in spreading abroad the Holy Bible, the word of God, the gospel of Jesus Christ, has conferred an advantage which extends through eternity."
At this moment a benevolent-looking old gentleman, who had been sipping his cup of coffee at a side-table, in silence, turned round to express his opinion. He was evidently no stranger to books or men, and proved, by his observations, that the temporal and eternal welfare of mankind was the desire of his heart. “ The printing-press,” said he, “is an extended and important subject, which, like every other subject, is regarded by us in different lights, just as our habits, interests, education, or prepossessions, influence our minds. To me it has always appeared that one of the most influential and important departments of the press has never received, from men of general knowledge, that consideration to which it is entitled : I mean the department of small
“ Looking, as I do, on children, as on little men and women, who will, after a while, be as active in doing good or evil, as grown persons are now, I cannot but think that those books which influence their minds to love what is good, and to hate what is evil, are entitled to the consideration of the wisest and best of men. Large books are read, comparatively, by few people, and but few people, comparatively, can be influenced by them; but small books are pondered by an innumerable throng of youthful minds, over whom their influence is great. Large books have to grapple with opposite opinions, and to overcome prejudices; but small books sink into the ductile minds of youth unresisted. They, if I may so speak, bind the strong man at a season when his strength is not in operation. They enlist him on the side of virtue, before he has declared on that of vice.
“I question if any large work ever sent out into the world has done more good than the Divine Songs of Dr. Watts, which may be had for a penny or twopence. There is something in good paper, fine type, beautiful engravings, and splendid bindings, which imposes on the judgment of the general reader, and leads him to think more highly of the contents of a book than he would if the work appeared in the humbler shape of a small and less-adorned volume; he is thus led to undervalue much that influences society.
“ The printing of small religious books is now greatly on the increase, not only here, but in other countries; and perhaps science and literature, and assuredly the common affairs of life, will suffer nothing by having the minds of young people well stored with principles likely to prove a blessing to them here and hereafter. As eternity is more important than time, so religious publications must rank before those of science and literature; and as youth imbibes impressions more readily than maturity and age, I am almost persuaded to believe, that, of religious publications, the department of SMALL BOOKS is the most influential.”
FRIENDLY QUESTIONS. ARE you young? Lose not a moment. Improve your youth, and serve yourself by serving God. "I love them that love me, and those that seek me early shall find me,' Prov. viii. 17. Are
you old ? Fear not; you are the nearer heaven, if your affections are fixed on things that are above. "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life,” Rev. ii. 10. Are you
rich ? Let not riches be a snare to you ; they have made ten thousand times ten thousand men poor indeed. “Godliness is profitable unto all things, having the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come," 1 Tim. iv. 8: but “What is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul ?” Matt. xvi. 26.
Are you poor? Let not that discourage you, for He to whom belongeth the silver and the gold, and the cattle on a thousand hills, can give you lasting riches. “Hath not God chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom, which he hath promised to them that love him?" James ii. 5.
Are you in health ? Trust in a spider's web rather than depend on living a life free from pain and sorrow. “Man that is born of a woman, is of few days, and full of trouble,” Job. xiv. 1.
Are you sick ? God can sanctify your affliction, and make the sickness of your body the health of your soul.
Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now have I kepa
thy word. It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I might learn thy statutes," Psa. cxix. 67. 71.
Are you rejoicing ? Be on your guard, lest your joy be turned into heaviness, and your music into mourning: “ Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling," Psa. ii. 11.
Are you desponding ? Cheer up, and trust in God, for if He be for you, it matters not who or what is against you. “ The Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended,” Isa. Ix. 20.
If you live, and continue in a life of unrepented transgression, whoever you may be, and whatever you may possess, your end must be evil, for, “There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked,” Isa. xlviii. 22. “The wages of sin is death,” Rom. vi. 23, and “The soul that sinneth, it shall die,” Ezek. xviii. 4. But if
believe the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins, and was raised again for our justification,” Rom. iii. 25. if you have a good hope through grace, whether you are young or old, rich poor, in health or in sickness, rejoicing or desponding, your end will be for good; for “the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day,” Prov. iv. 18. “Say ye to the righteous that it shall be well with him," Isa. iii. 10. and, “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord,” Rom. vi. 23.
LOVE OF THE BRETHREN. “LOVE is the very bond of perfection,” Col. iii. 14; it couples all virtues together as in a chain; it conjoins all christians in the mystical body: where love is, there are all other virtues ; where one christian is, there are all the rest in heart and affection. Love, which is a sacred fire kindled in the heart by the Holy Spirit, first ascends up to God, its primary object, who is to be loved for himself, and then it goes on to our neighbour, its secondary object, who is to be loved for God's sake. This is the way of love; if it ascend to God, it will go out to our brother; if it go not out to our brother, it never ascended to God. Hence St. John saith, “He that shutteth up his bowels of compassion from his brother, how dwelleth the love of God in him ?" 1 John üi. 17. The love of God can no more be severed from the