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Thou must depart, - not from beloved sins, with the dying profligate, they have been left long ago : not like the world, ling, from thy pleasures ; - the object of those is where thou art going: not from thy riches, as the miser doth; thy riches are unsearchable, and all thy treasure is above: not froin thy dearest friends, as they who have their portion here; for thy best Friend is gone before. Hast thou nothing to leave then? Yes, All thine abhorred sins, all thy temptations, all thy trials, all thy burthens, all thy sorrows, tears and woes, all thy fears; - to these thou mayst say with thankfuluess and joy, Farewell for ever.
MEANS FOR PREVENTING SLEEP
IN TIIE HOUSE OF GOD.
Mucu bas been already said on the impropriety of sleep: ing in time of divine worship. Mivisters have often reproved from the pulpit, and writers have repeatedly declaimed against it in print. The practice, however, is still indulged ; and it is lamentable to see how many convert the house of God into a place of repose; and thus grieve the Holy Spirit, and render the ordinances of divine appointment ineflectual. Bodily disease, and excessive labour on the week days, have been alleged as causes; and there is no doubt but these may naturally tend to indispose for public worship. But what shall we say to them who cannot plead either of these, and yet are often found in this habit? It appears to me, that there is another cause, which has not been sufficiently attended to by professors in general; and that is, a 100 great indulgence of the appetite, - a species of intemperance which untits both the body and the mind for devotion. I know not how it may be in other countries; but it seems that, in England, Sunday is considered as a day in which many think themselves at liberty to eat and drink niore than on any other day in the week; and among those who consider this day as a day only of leisure and amusement, we do not wonder at it; bu how protessors of religion should adopt this practice, and why it is that they cannot deny themselves a little, is strange indeed! Yet what is more common than to hear of such dressing large and expensive dinners, and asking a number of their friends on that day, as if it were a season appointed for feasting and conviviality, rather than for the worship of God! Is it any matter of surprize, therefore, to see people, who have been taking inore than their usual quantity of animal food, and perhaps drinking inore than their usual quantity of stupifying liquids, overcome with sleep when they come 'to sit down in the house of God? Surely, eating and drinking a few ounces less on the Lord's Day, in order that they might be more wakeful, worship God in a better frame, and bear their minister with greater pleasure, cannot be thought either an unreasonable or an iinpracticable thing
We often hear them say, indeed, that they are sorry they were overcome, and that they wished to keep awake, and be attentive; but that really it was not in their power. To this, perhaps, we may give credit. But what is the reason? Does this sleepy habit arise from a naturally heavy tenperament of body? No; for on other occasions they are as lively as any one. Does it arise froin their disrespect to their ininister? No; they own they feel an attaciunest to him; and believe him, in many respects, to be superior to others. Does it arise from the subject to be discussed, which they suppose to be of no importance or utility to themselves? No; lain persuaded, that though these may be sometimes the causes, yet, in general, it will be found, that attention has not been paid to the predisposition of the body for public worship. It is not required that the Sabbath-day be a fast-day; but it is required, that no more should be taken than will be found necessary for strengthening and refreshing, and so preparing the aniinal frame for a decent and becoining bebaviour in the house of God. - Now, should this paper fall into the hands of any persons who have hitherto been in the habit of sleeping during worship, let me intreat them to try the experinent; - let thein guard against preceding indulgence, and I have no doubt but they will find a diference. Should a sleepy fit come on them, let them stand up, or change their posture in any other way, so as not to incommode others, and disturb their devotion. I cannot but think, if these means were tried, many might subdue a habit which is disgraceful to their characters, an insult to God, and a great trial io ministers.
To what is above stated, many arguinents might be subjoined, as to the impropriety of the practice, but we shall only select one; and that shall be the reflection of a minister of the gospel, on viewing some of his Hock in this unhappy situation: “I have been thinking," says he, “ during the week, What subject I shall choose, that will be most profitable for my people; and afier having fixed upon one that I thought would be suitable, I have been endeavouring to consider the best manner I should treat it, in order to impress it on their minds. The Sabbath arrived; I ascended the pulpil; and now, thought I, God is waiting to be gracious, - Jesus has proinised to be in the midst, -angels are looking on with eager expectation, - the Holy Ghost is waiting to communicate his influence; and all Heaven seems to be in readiness to shout praises to God, if but good is done in his name! But alas! these reflections have been no sooner indulged, the text named, and the subject announced, than I have beheld some nodding, others putting diepselves into a commodious posture for sleep, and others
actually slumbering! A death-blow, thought I, is given to all my designs, and to all the pleasing thoughts that occupied my mind. Why have I been studying? For what have I prayed? Can God be in this place? Can I take any confort to iyself? It is as if my instructions were of no weight, my sermons of no consequence, and all my attempts to do good in vain." Thus the preacher has retired to his closet with sorrow, under the idea of the little utility of his ministration; and been almost ready, with Jeremiah, to say, That he would“ speak no more in the name of the Lord.”
( ye that profess to worship and love God, and who have never once tried to use the means against this evil practice, let me intreat you, by the sacred commands of God, by the respect you should pay to your ministers, by all that is decent and interesting, by all the promises of the Divine Presence, as well as by all that is consistent and reasonable, to reforma practice which is such a cancer to your protit, a stumblingblock to the weak, a plea for the wiched, and an offence to God!
A PLAN TƏ PROMOTE BENEVOLENCE. Sir,
To the Editor. I am much pleased with the proposition in your Supplement, page 564, to set apart a small portion of your Magazine for "Plans for doing Good;" and do not doubt that you will receive frequently sufficient matter to fill a page or two, that may produce much benefit...
Almost every plan that can be suggested for the temporal or spiritual good of our fellow-creatures, must necessarily be attended with more or less expence; which in times like the present, appears, 10 many persons, an obstacle not easily surmonnted. The times, it must be confessed, are not the most favourable; but it is contended, that they are not more difficult than at a short time past, when the Religious were not backward in exertion : nor do I think they ought now, if they properly consider the subject. In times that are inost pressing, the calls on our benevolence are most frequent; and it is then we have the greatest need to exert ourselves; not merely in our usual routine of doing yood from our abundance ; but by extraordi. nary efforts, and musual privations.
At a period less auspicious than the present, I submitted, through your Miscellany (vol. ix, page 5-1) a Plan, to facilitate the raising of the Means, in unfavourable Times, to promote Benevolence:- perhaps, adverting to it again, with a few additional hints on the subject, may not be unacceptable. I then thought, and am still of opinion, that with many persons the
superfluities of the table and of dress will bear retrenchment: a very small daily diminution of which would afford means, not only to encourage the existing Societies; but also to estaba lish others that are needed.
The next objects to which I beg leave to call your attention, are watering-places. These, it bas ofien been noticed, have not falleo short of visitors, through the distress of the tiines; and the increasing buildings at those places sufficiently prove it. Nor is there reason to suppose, that the proportion of the religious world resorting thither has decreased. Now, without going into the consideration of the propriety of professors frequenting them, who have no particular disease requiring seawater and air, will it not be suitable, at present, to defer such excursions until the deinands on their benevolence are not so pressing? And can any, who love our Lord Jesus Christ in'' sincerity, resort thither for pleasure, while they deny aid to any plan that has for its object the promotion of his cause in the world, or the relief of their fellow-creatures? Let me not be understood as denying, that salutary benefits to certain diseased persons, are derived from the sea; but I cannot admit the excuses (I will not call them reasons), set up by many who, annually, resort thither. Cun persons who have ordinary health, and who live in confined situations in town, that leave their homes for a montli, and return to them for the remaining eleven months, expect, after such transitions, lore® permanent health ! or, Do we see that those only, who make these annual visits, have good health? Can any one prove that we have better health than, our predecessors, who lived before the last fifty years, when many of the principal watering-placeswere no more than small towns, where hardly a decent lodging could be obtained? Let us chcerfully then, for this yeur at least, cast into the treasury the expence of such an excursion, and try, whetlier using a little more early exercise in the air, near home, may not, with the Lord's blessing, contribute :s much to the health of soul and body, as a trip to a sea town.
But let me beg further your attention on the subject of keeping horses unnecessarily for pleasure, either for carriages or the saddle; the expence of which, for each horse, is nearly sufficient for the maintenance of a small family, and would afford ample means for doing good. But the whole of the evil is not in the expence of the keep of these animals; it must be remeinbered, that one horse of this description consumos as much corn as is necessary for a family of five or sis persons; and every one must be sensible, that if less food for horses .was required, there might be cultivated more land for the growth of wheat, or the feed of cattle.
But there is another point, on which I beg to suggest a lint; and trust, it will be allowed the consideration it deserves, more from its importance than the manner in which it is stated in a It is on the education of children, especially females, froit which I presume retrenchments may be made, that will afford some “means of doing good," as well us contribute to their improveinent. I shall not speak of what is not generally allowed by religious parents ; but confine myself to what is practised among professors, not in the higher circles only, but in the iniddle rauks of society, of whom there is a great majority. Among these it is very common, according to the fashion of the day, that their daughters should learn the French tongue : this is attended with some extra expence, which otherwise might be employed in doing good, and their time better spent in ac. quiring a fuller knowledge of their own language, in which too inany, who have learned French, are very defective.
I believe there is, in general, no extra charge at schools for learning English grammar. A tolerable acquaintance with the latter would be more useful, while less expensive than the very superficial knowledge generally acquired in this country of the foriner. On this subject, I cannot do better than refer to Mrs. H. More's Strictures, vol. I. p. 100 to 104. But there is another part of female education on which I beg to offer a thought or two, namely, MUSIC:- In most tradesinens' fainilies a musical instruinent is a part of the furniture ; and the teaching of girls music is preferred to what would tend to fit them for society, and to fill properly the situations for which they are intended. Would it not be more suitable that young females should be instructed in some measure, according to their rank, in the principles of geography or astronomy, and the study of history *? These might be attained at less expence, while they must be considered as accomplishments preferable to thruming a tune on a piano-forte. The attainments, in general, made in music, only quality them to play a tune indifferently; which is often tiresome to themselves, and disgusting to their hearers. What advantage can religious parents expect, even if their daughters arrive at proficiency ? it would only lead them into improper company, expose them to great temptations, if not excite in theu desires to be performers t. Parents, who then, selves have not been taught music, as many have not who were educated before it was so much the fashion, frequently look no further than the pleasure of hearing their childrev play hymntunes or religious odes; but these, they will soon be informed, are not proper practice; and the teacher will wish to lead thein to songs, &c. which, to say no worse, are not always very delicate. What Mrs. More says upon iliis subject is so appro. priate, I beg leave to transcribe it :-“ Dare I appeal to Christian parents, whether music, which fills up no tritling portion of their daughters' time, does not fill it without any moral end,
* See Mrs. H. More, Vol. I. p. 133.
+ Mrs. More, Vol. I, p. 115.