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PHILIP'S Papa had given him a nice piece
of ground for a garden; there were several
rose trees growing on the border, and two or
three gooseberry bushes, with some flower
roots, and slips of different shrubs. There
were also an apple and a plum tree. Philip,
greatly delighted, promised himself much
pleasure, and credit too, from this garden:
he determined to make it the neatest and
best managed spot on his Papa's land.
No sooner were the lessons of the morn-
ing finished, than you might see little Philip,
6 THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
with busy and important looks, carrying his
small spade across the lawn, and going dili-
gently to work in his garden : it was care-
fully dug, and then raked, and presented a
very clean and pretty appearance. His Papa,
to encourage such industrious habits, gave
him a number of seeds, and told him what
was the proper season for sowing each kind.
Then, as spring advanced, he bade Philip
take care to let no weeds fix themselves in
the soil, but to watch the young plants as
they sprung up, and protect them from injury.
For some time Philip observed his Papa's
directions; but after a while he became tired
of bestowing so much attention; and, satis-
fied that a hard day's work would put his
garden in order whenever he was inclined
to take the trouble, he gave himself very
little concern about it, and suffered it to re-
main for several weeks in a state of the great-
One morning his Papa called to him, as
he was amusing himself on a distant part of
the lawn, and walked with him to his little
THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN. 7
garden: it was in a very flourishing condi-
tion, so far as appearances went, for every
thing looked quite green: but Philip knew
that the greater part of those fine plants
ought, long ago, to have been rooted out.
"Pray, Philip," said his Papa, "which
are the flowers, and which the weeds, in this
garden of yours ?"
Indeed, Papa, I hardly know, it is the
worst soil I ever saw : the weeds come up so
thick, and grow so fast, that it is not possible
to keep the ground clear from them."
"Not possible, Philip !"
"I mean, it is hardly possible, Papa : un-
less I was to give up all my play-hours, and
work like a slave, I could not keep my gar-
den in any decent order. Why did you give
me such a spot, where weeds grow faster
than I can root them out ?"
It is in no way different from the rest of
the soil, my dear. If I paid as little atten-
tion to my garden, as you do to yours, it
would be in the same state."
That is very provoking," said Philip.
8 THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
It is very lamentable," replied his Papa;
" when we consider the reason of it."
What can the reason be, Papa, that weeds
will thrive, do what you can to hinder them,
and useful plants take so much labour and
care to bring them forward ?"
I am surprised at that question, Philip.
Have you forgotten the sentence pronounced
in consequence of Adam's disobedience?
' Cursed is the ground for thy sake : in sor-
row shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy
life : thorns also, and thistles shall it bring
forth to thee ?' This accounts for the abund-
ance of useless and noxious weeds ; while the
labour requisite to cultivate what is valuable,
is expressed in those few emphatic words;
' In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat
bread.' On this little plot of ground, Philip,
we now behold a sad, though silent testimony
to the certainty of God's word a fulfilment
of what was declared nearly 6000 years ago."
Philip seemed surprised, he looked thought-
ful, and at last said, "I wonder how it is that
I never recollected this, when fretting to see
THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
my garden so full of nettles, and other rub-
It is the blindness of our hearts," replied
his Papa, that renders us so slow to per-
ceive what God has placed continually before
our eyes. There is not an object in the crea-
tion but would lead our minds to the Creator,
and to His Word, if those minds were not
like th ground before us, fertile in produc-
ing all that is bad, and never giving birth,
even to a good thought, without assistance."
"If such is the nature of the ground,
.pa," said Philip, I do not deserve much
blame for the state my garden is in. You
see, weeds will grow."
"That is so far from excusing your in-
dolence, that the knowledge of it ought to
make you doubly watchful and diligent. If
I reasoned like you, and left my garden to
its fate, our table would be unprovided with
vegetables, and we should have but little fruit.
Labour is the lot of man : to compel him to
it, God has thus smitten the earth with a
curse : but when humbly and cheerfully sub-
10 THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
mitted to, that very curse produces a bless-
ing, through the continual goodness of our
Lord, who in wrath remembereth mercy."
"What blessing, Papa ?"
Health, and abundance : the supply of
our own wants, and ability to relieve those
of others; and thus likewise it is with our
souls. Far, very far gone from original righ-
teousness, the imagination of man's heart is
evil from his youth : yea, every imagination
of the thoughts of his heart is only evil con-
tinually. Gen. vi. 5. The fruits that spring
up in the fleshly soil of the carnal mind -re
poisonous, and bring death to the soul: be-
fore it can be made to yield the fruits of the
Spirit, it must be changed, and turned more
completely than you turned this earth with
your spade, and the good seed of the Word
carefully sown; and the heavenly dew of Di-
vine grace, the beams of the Sun of Righ-
teousness, must visit it continually; or all the
labour that we can ewitow is vain."
What is the Sun of Righteousness, Papa?"
"Jesus Christ He alone gives light to a
THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
world darkened by sin. The sun possesses
light and heat in itself, and communicates
them to this globe on which we live; and so
it is that Jesus Christ, who has in himself the
light of life, and the perfection of righteous-
ness, imparts both, to those who believe. You
know what He says, While ye have light,
believe in the light, that ye may be the chil-
dren of light.' Man, like the earth, is under
a curse: but the Lord Jesus Christ, to re-
deem us from it, consented to become a curse
for us, and to suffer the penalties of our guilt.
Ad now He, the Sun of Righteousness, is
risen, with healing on his wings, and shines
upon our souls, from his throne of glory in
the heavens, far more brightly than the sun,
in the firmament yonder, shines upon our
heads. Observe, Philip, by the light of that
sun you may easily distinguish the weeds that
infest your garden, and carefully remove them
from it: in like manner, the light of the Gos-
pel will show you the many evil things that
defile your heart and life, and encourage you
with the promise of Divine help, to use all
12 THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
diligence in overcoming them. The longer
you neglect the work, the more difficult you
will find it. You may suppose it will be as
easy a week hence as now : but you are mis-
taken: every day the root strikes deeper,
and becomes more fixed; the stem acquires
strength, the branches spread, and the whole-
some plants that you wish to preserve, will
either be choked beneath them, or so en-
tangled, that you must pull up all together.
Go to work immediately, my boy; and let me
not apply to you the reproach of the wise
man, I went by the field of the slothful, lad
by the vineyard of the man void of under-
standing ; and lo, it was all grown over with
thorns, and nettles had covered the face
Philip's Papa walked away after saying
this; and the little boy lost no time, in com-
mencing the work of reformationl in his garden.
This was no easy task; the weeds had
overgrown the flowers, and twined them-
selves about their tender roots; and many a
delicate little plant of mignionette, larkspur,
THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
sweet pea, and other nice annuals, did poor
Philip behold, unintentionally pulled up with
the weeds, and lying withered among them :
besides, he got some severe stings from the
nettles; and several had struck so deep, that
the stem broke, when he pulled violently to
up-root it, leaving him the prospect of seeing
it shoot up again; and, in the mean time, it
would be draining the nourishment of the
soil from the better plants around it. Moss
had covered the crooked arms of the goose-
berry bushes, of which their sickly looks
showed the bad effects; and, in tearing it off,
he was continually scratched by the thorns,
now grown quite numerous and sharp. Still
he persevered, though with less good temper
than he began: and when the dinner-bell
rang, he left his employment, tired and dirty,
with scarcely one quarter of his work pro-
His Papa perceived his discontented looks,
and the numerous scars that disfigured his
hands, but said nothing. After dinner, they
walked upon the lawn, and Philip proposed
14 THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
returning to his work. "To stoop down
immediately after eating a hearty meal," re-
plied his Papa; "that is not wholesome:
but let us see what you have already done."
They walked to the spot; and Philip beheld
with grief, the sickly drooping aspect of the
plants, now free from weeds, and the naked,
broken appearance of the soil, that seemed
so green and flourishing before.
"This is the consequence of neglecting
the work too long, Philip : the roots of these
flowers have been rudely shaken, and their
leaves suddenly exposed to the sun, from
which they were before screened by the tall
weeds: but do not let this discourage you.
Proceed in removing all that ought not to be
here: the dew of evening will revive your
sickly plants, and they will acquire fresh vig-
our from the absence of their worthless com-
Gardening is troublesome work," remark-
ed Philip, as he carefully smoothed down a
part of the rugged surface of the bed.
It is instructive work," replied his Papa;
THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
" and it is a sweet occupation, when properly
carried on. To dress and to keep the garden
of Eden, was the employment of man in his
first blessed state of innocence and holiness,
before sin had called down the wrathful de-
nunciation to till the ground from whence he
was taken. I have already pointed out to
you, the resemblance between this earth and
man's heart in its polluted state; and, oh
my child, how can we enough admire and
adore the long-suffering, the patient forbear-
ance, with which the Lord deigns to work
on the stubborn soil of these hearts, to check
the ever-growing weeds of pride, envy, dis-
content, disobedience, unbelief, and the in-
numerable sins that hourly grieve His Holy
Spirit! How tenderly He nourishes, sup-
ports, revives, and ripens the few good plants
that have there taken root under His hand !
Have you not been tempted to wish, Philip,
in the course of your labour this morning,
that the garden had never been yours ? and
did you not consider the trouble and vexation
far mtie, than all the pleasure and profit youth
hoped to derive from it ?"
16 THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
"Indeed, Papa, I cannot deny that I fek
so; and only that it would have been like
despising your kind gift, I would let it re-
main a wilderness of weeds for ever."
Then think what is the loving-kindness
of God our Saviour, whose own will being
the sole and sovereign guide of all His do-
ings, He might justly have left us to perish
in our polluted state: and would no more
have missed our paltry world from the im-
mense creation which He sways, than you
and I would feel the loss of these few
paces of ground, if you left them to be
choked by weeds. Yet, tenderly regarding
us, the Lord bears long, and patiently, with
our continual offences; and it is not until he
sees his mercy obstinately rejected, that he
utters the terrible sentence, let him alone '
a sentence which leaves the sinner to be filled
with the fruit of his own devices, and to reap
the wages of sin in everlasting death."
"Papa," said Philip, "I shall now find
enough to think of while I am working in my
garden, and I will pray, that my thoughts
may be profitable to me."
t' Right, my dear boy, the apostle tells us
to do all things to the glory of God; and this
employment may bing much glory to him, in
the improvement of our souls. Let it also
be a lesson to you, not to defer the work of
rooting out whatever you know to be wrong
in your temper or conduct. Evil thoughts
and inclinations are best checked on their first
rising they acquire new strength from every
neglected moment. Remember, we are to
be fellow-workers with God, and what an
honour is that, Philip It is ours to plant
and to water, His to give the increase. We
must labour to sow the word of divine truth
in our own hearts, and those of all around us,
seeking in prayer the blessing, without which
we should spend our strength for nought.
You expect your garden to recompense your
toil, by bearing rich fruit and fragrant flow-
ers: do not forget, that God requires the
same return from you; and that the doom of
the unprofitable servant is that of the barren
tree, Cut it down why cumbereth it the
ground !' and ponder often upon those sol-
TUE B ]g~AtIT11FUL OAAD19140
18 THE BEAUTIFUL -GARDEN.
emn words, The earth, which drinketh in
the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bring-
eth forth herbs, meet for them by whom it is
dressed, receiveth blessing from God but
that which beareth thorns and briers is re-
jected, and is nigh unto cursing, whose end
is to be burned.' "
My barren heart, unfruitful soil,
Ill thou repay'st the Master's toil;
Unsightly weeds and thorns will grow,
Where grapes should ripen, roses blow.
Proud nettles fix the stubborn root,
How deep they strike-how high they shoot f
To pain the eye, and sting the hand,
That chose and dressed the thankless land.
Envy, like baneful hemlock, springs,
And poison taints her leafy wings;
While worthless brambles spread around,
Full armed, like unbelief, to wound.
And bear'st thou yet, O Lord, with me,
So profitless, so false to thee ?
Oh from my breast these weeds remove,
And pour the showers of grace and love !
Fain would I breathe, throughout the air,
The fragrance of accepted prayer;
And fruits of sweet obedience bring
To thy bright throne, my God and King.
THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN,
MORAL OF THE BIRDS STEALING THE FRUIT.
PHILIP had a sister, who came from school
at midsummer, to pass the holidays at home.
With a great deal of pleasure he showed her
his garden, in which were not only many
beautiful flowers, but some fruit nearly ripe;
and of this fruit they meant to make a feast,
as soon as it was perfectly fit to gather,
" We shall have a plate of strawberries," said
Philip, and with gooseberries and currants
we may fill two more."
But, in the mean time, there were others
who reckoned the same fruit as their own
property. These were the birds; who, fly-
ing about in quest of food, frequently lighted
on Philip's garden, and regaled themselves
with whatever had ripened.
Philip missed his currants and strawber-
20 THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
ries, but was at a loss to guess who had rob-
bed him. He called his sister, and said, I
am sure my fruit is taken away, though I can-
not tell by whom."
Not by me," answered Fanny, but cer-
tainly some is gone."
Philip examined his strawberries, and, find-
ing one of them very much pecked,. remark-
ed, it must be done by the birds.
"Oh! yes," replied Fanny, "I dare say
they come here to feed themselves, and take
a bit to the young in the nest, pretty crea-
Pretty creatures, indeed pretty thieves
you mean. I'll not be robbed by them, I
But how will you hinder it !" said Fanny.
"Papa was lecturing you on the benefit of
early rising; and you see the birds under-
stand it; for they come long before you are
awake, and treat themselves at your expense."
Philip was too fond of his bed : he had
been reproved for it; and Fanny's remarks
increased the ill humour which he felt on
THE BtAUTIFUL GARDEt.
discovering his loss. It is a pity that chil-
dren, or grown persons either, will indulge a
teasing disposition, and, for the sake of being
witty, as they think, excite in another such
feelings as are sinful. Wrath and strife are
numbered by the apostle among grievous of-
fences, works of the flesh," which they who
live after shall die: yet how often are wrath
and strife provoked, to gratify a wanton love
of making others feel uncomfortable, and
raising a laugh against them! Fanny was
wrong to mortify her brother; and Philip
was wrong to resent it.
Whether I rise early or late, Miss Fanny,
is no affair of yours: and, as to the birds, I
will stop their plundering tricks."
I don't think you can," said Fanny.
Oh never fear; a few shot will spoil
their appetite for my currants."
And so you would really kill the little
innocents, and put an end to their delightful
singing ? But perhaps the concert begins too
early in the morning for your taste ? I am
sure Papa won't let you have a gun."
22 THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
I will get somebody else to shoot them,
though : and, when my fruit is safe, I promise
you, not a bit of it you shall touch, for your
spite and impertinence :" and Philip, seeing
his Papa at a little distance, ran off to him in
great anger, just as his sister began to hum
the lines of Dr. Watts's pretty hymn:-
" 'Tis the voice of the sluggard, I heard him complain,
You have waked me too soon, let me slumber again."
It is quite painful to repeat such a scene as
this; but I have witnessed many like it, even
among brothers and sisters; and too plainly
saw that they were sowing the seeds of jea-
lousy, dislike, and disunion: but, when the
admonitions of Scripture, and the language
of pious writers, are brought forward in a
taunting, reproachful manner, as the hymn
was by Fanny, it is hard to say how much
mischief is done, or how much guilt incurred.
Nothing hardens the heart against holy pre-
cepts, like hearing them proclaimed in the
spirit of pride and opposition. Surely such
have a fearful account to settle with Him,
THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
whose sacred Word they make the instru-
ment of their private displeasure or dislike.
Quite out of breath with haste and anger,
Philip met his Papa, and exclaimed, Papa,
ought not robbery to be punished with death ?"
"By the laws of the land, certainly," re-
plied his father, "the convicted thief is con-
demned to die: but why do you ask the
"Because, Papa, the birds have stolen my
fruit, and will leave me nothing worth gather-
ing: and I request that you will bring your
gun, and shoot them for me."
Yes, Papa," said Fanny, who had now
joined them, the poor birds have picked a
few strawberries and currants, to satisfy their
hunger; and for this, Philip wants you to
murder them all, guilty and innocent toge-
"Cannot Philip watch his garden better ?"
Oh no, Papa; it would be too great an
exertion for him to get up early enough; and
he makes his laziness an excuse for his cru-
24 THE BEAUTIlUL GARDEN.
There, Papa," said Philip, that is the
way in which she talks to me."
"Because I hate cruelty," said Fanny,
very angrily, and I would rather the whole
garden was spoiled, than that the poor little
birds should be killed so barbarously."
My children," said their father, gravely,
"I fear I shall find much to censure on both
sides : sit down by me, and tell me what has
passed between you."
They did so, each endeavouring to leave
as much of the blame on the othei as possible.
I grieve to see you so deficient in the
great Christian principle of love," observed
their Papa, as they concluded. "That cha-
rity, without which, the apostle Paul declares,
he should be nothing, though he possessed
the greatest gifts, that man could receive-
that charity, which 'doth not behave itself
unseemely,' would have taught you, Fanny,
to reason gently with your brother, to avoid
hurting his feelings, and to abstain from the
needless mention of the fault which he is en-
deavouring, as I hope, to overcome ; it would
THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
have repelled the inducement to indulge your
corrupt nature, in 'bitterness, clamour, and
"But I do hate cruelty, Papa."
"So do I, Fanny; and, above all, the cru-
elty of laying a stumbling-block in a brother's
way, causing him to sin. That you are hu-
mane towards the brute creation, I have no
reason to doubt; but in this instance you
seem rather to have acted on a principle of
opposition; and while increasing Philip's dis-
pleasure, and thereby strengthening his inten-
tions, you have gloried in exhibiting your
humanity, and keeping your temper, after
trying his severely."
Fanny hung her head, much abashed, and
at length said, "Pray, pardon me, Papa;
and you also, Philip; I meant well, but have
I am sure I forgive you heartily, dear
sister," said Philip.
And I also," added her Papa, hoping
you will bear in mind what has passed; and
remember, that not only meaning well, but
26 THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
doing well, must "be, to yourself and others,
the evidence of your being led by the Spirit
of God. For the fruit of the Spirit is in
all goodness, and righteousness, and truth.'
And now, Philip, I must admonish you,
that you likewise have been sadly wanting
in that charity which is not easily provoked.'
You made up your mind, to do what your
sister justly called a cruel action; rented
her interference; put the worst eortstruction
on her remarks, and meditated a revenge, by
refusing to share with her the fruit of your
garden. All these things are very contrary
to the love, peace, gentleness, long-su'fering,
that distinguish the real Christian. You re-
member the weeds, Philip ? I see your ground
has not since been neglected; but, my dear
boy, I fear the far more precious garden of
your soul has not been so diligently watched,
and kept free from evil intruders."
I will be more careful, Papa, in figure.
I was very much vexed to find my fruit going
so fast, after all the pains I took with it."
"Disappointment, Philip, will attend us
THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
through life, in one shape or another: he
who bears not trifling losses with composure,
will scarcely be resigned under more severe
visitations. But tell me, do you never think
how your rebellious sins grieve the Holy
Spirit of Him who has planted you, as a
young tree, in the garden of his church;
wateord you with the dew of his grace, and
bad4 yog, flourish under the ordinances of a
pure worship ? He comes seeking fruit: and,
alas does he not often find the branches
bare and barren, or the little that was ripen-
ing; plucked away by the enemy of your soul,
with ePry temptation that he brings against
you ? I. hope. you will consider this, and let
your.gardea still be your teacher. We will
now spe-k of the birds. Do you really wish
me to destroy. them?"'
Indeed, Papa, I don't see how I can prew
serve any of the. fruit otherwise; but, if you
thak it wrong, I wiltsubmit."
"I; d. not think, it right that you should
lose the. produce of your ground, Philip;
more espegilyW as you have bestowed so
28 THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
much labour upon it; but, were it my owif
case, I could not consent to deprive the little
creatures of life for following the dictates of
nature, and satisfying the cravings of their
hunger, even at my expense. In my large
garden they would commit great depreda-
tions, but I have various modes of keeping
them at a distance : nor do I grudge a little
trouble and contrivance, to avoid taking away
their lives at this season. In the winter, I
do not object to having some of them shot for
"What difference does it make, Papa?
besides, they do not rob the garden in winter."
"The difference consists in their having
their young to provide for at this time. I
cannot, but in a case of great necessity, bring
myself to destroy or to injure a bird that has,
probably, a little helpless family depending
upon it for warmth and food. I picture to
myself the poor unfledged nestlings, shivering
with cold as the evening begins to close upon
them, opening wide their beaks, and sending
forth the most piteous cries of hunger and of
?Hu. BRAUT11VL GA 1rNO*
pain: a scene of distress that must increase
till death puts an end to their lingering tor-
ments. By a wanton shot or blow, 1 may
occasion all this anguish; and though I might
lie down on my pillow quite unmindful of the
misery which I have caused, yet Icannot
think that He, whose tender mercies are over
all his works, disregards, or will fail to punish
such a deed of cruelty."
"I have thrown stones very often at
birds," observed Philip, thoughtfully, and
hit, though I could not kill them."
Crippled them, probably," said his fath-
er, and so prevented their regaining their
nests; and added' to the sufferings of the per-
ishing young, the agony of the fond parent,
straining its'disabled litbs in vain attempts to
fly with that succour, without which, as in-
stinct teaches, its little ones must perish."
Let the birds eat my fruit," exclaimed
Philip, not a feather shall be hurt by me."
It isa benevolent resolution, my boy; but
we will save your fruit also. Tie linen and
woollen rags of difrent colours to pieces of
30 THI BEAUr~trUL GARDEz.
stick, and place them near, -the wind will
give them the appearance of life, and frighten
the thieves. I will also lend you some net-
ting which you may spread upon your cur-
rants; and with an old coat stuffed with
straw, you and Fanny may make a formidable
image, to stand as a sentry over your proper-
ty. All those things you will observe in my
garden. To load a gun and fire it off is less
trouble, certainly; but with what feelings can
I offer up the sacrifice of praise to Him who
'openeth his hand, and filleth all things living
with plenteousness, if I spread misery arid
death among numbers of innocent creatures,
because they claim to share in His universal
"Ah Papa," said Fanny, "I see how
much better it is to reason against cruelty,
than to exclaim against it; and that example
goes farther than either."
"I find a profit in my little losses by the
birds," replied her father. "They give a
useful lesson. There are few things more
baneful in their effects, or more prone to root
THI BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
themselves in the human heart, than the co.
vetousness against which we are so repeated-
ly warned in Scripture. Our Lord most em?
pbatically bids us, 'take heed and beware of
covetousness;' it is called idolatry ; it is the
root of all evil; the parent of cruelty, and the
offspring of base selfishness. While we look
only to what we may gain, our very blessings
become a snare and a curse. The inferior
creatures, given for our use, are subjected to
every abuse; and out of their needless ago-
nies we wring the paltry profit, in pursuit of
which our minds are perverted, and our hearts
hardened. 'The righteous man regardeth
the life of his beast;' he will not urge it be-
yond its strength, nor embitter its short ex-
istence by devices to make it a source of
greater gain: and I believe we rarely find
the money thus acquired by the thoughtless-
ness of cruelty or avarice, devoted to the
service of God, or the real welfare of our
fellow-ereatures. The dreadful scenes of
West India slavery show what man is capable
of, when he makes a god of his gain. Oh,
THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
my children, what a heart-breaking subject is
that! Thousands, and tens of thousands of
our fellow-creatures, men, women, and poor
little children, bought in a market like cattle,
and compelled to toil beneath a burning sun,
too generally under the most cruel usage:
even should their owner be himself humane,
the poor slaves are left to the management of
others who are hardened, by long use, to the
greatest contempt for the feelings of the ne-
gro, both in body and mind. Seldom is any
care taken for their souls: nothing is told
them of Christ, the Saviour of sinners they
toil like brutes; and in brute ignorance they
are allowed to die. And all this springs from
the covetousness of men called Christians.
The same vice, in a less odious shape, pro-
duces the various acts of cruelty, by which
the brute creation is made to writhe beneath
the tyranny of man, who should be its merciful
ruler. For our service and for our food all
are given, as far as our just wants extend.
May we never carry our dominion farther !
THR BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
Come, Philip, let us try how we can con-
trive to secure our ripening fruits from the
wasteful attacks of the feathered tribe; but if
some bold plunderer, impelled by hunger or
the cries of its nestlings, should brave our
mock sentries and pierce our defences, let it
bear off its prize unmolested; and we will
pray continually for that Spirit, who teach-
es, that 'it is more blessed to give than to
receive,' for new supplies of that charity
'which seeketh not her own.' While devo-
ting our most zealous endeavours to relieve
the bodily, and yet more, the spiritual wants
of our immortal fellow-creatures, we shall
view with complacency the little morsel snatch-
ed from our abundance by the birds of the
air, and recall to mind the sweet lesson which
they are made to teach us-' Your heavenly
Father feedeth them.' May he feed us, my
children, with the bread of life, andyield us
refreshment from the fountain of living wa-
34 THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
Thy mercy, my God, is the theme
That fills the wide world with thy praise,
Thy mercy that rolls like a stream,
Refreshing earth's wearisome ways;
Redeeming the sinner from death,
Thy mercy exalts him to heaven;
To all that have being and breath,
The gifts of thy mercy are given.
But, Lord, thou wilt turn from my prayer,
Nor deign my thanksgiving to heed,
If I, who thy mercy declare,
Offend by a merciless deed;
For terrible justice will reign,
And vengeance address from thy throne
The hands that can wantonly pain,
And hearts that no pity have known.
Then save me, O Lord, from the sin
Of daring to hurt and destroy;
And as I thy mercy would win,
Be mercy my constant employ.
The gifts of thy Spirit bestow,
Adopt me a child of thy love;
And nought let me covet below,
Wi* treasures so glorious above,
THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
PHILIP had paid a visit to a friend who
lived at some distance: he returned late in
August, after an absence of three weeks, and
hastened to his garden. Great care had been
taken of it; and with delight he beheld the
apple and the plum-tree laden with fine fruit.
" How good is the Lord," said Philip to
himself, in giving us such abundance of
delicious nourishment As I travelled along,
I saw the rich harvest gathered in, the trees
of the orchards bending with fruit, and even
the hedges ripening in clusters of bright ber-
ries for the little birds to feast on. Surely
God is not in all our thoughts, even when we
have his bounties spread before our eyes on
every side. 'Blessed be the Lord, who daily
36 THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
loadeth us with benefits.' Bless the Lord,
O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his
Philip's Papa came up while he was thus
secretly pouring forth his thanksgivings to the
God of his life: and seeing him so thought-
ful, inquired what was the subject of his re-
flections. On hearing it, he expressed much
pleasure. A delightful contemplation, in-
deed, Philip : David found it so. 'I medi-
tate on all thy works. I muse on the work
of thy hands. I stretch forth my hands unto
thee. My soul thirsteth after thee, as a
thirsty land.' It is the privilege of reason-
ing creatures to trace these bounties to an
invisible Benefactor: but how slow of heart
is man to believe, and inquire after God I
The soul, renewed after His likeness, can de-
light in communion with Him, and say, 'I
have set GoawvPays before me;' but the wis-
dom of the natural man is 'earthly, sensual,
devilish :' it looks no higher than the beasts
do, who gaze upon the earth, crop its fruits,
bask in the sunbeam, or recline beneath the
THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
shade : it seeks but for present enjoyment, in
the gratification of sense; and with a rebel-
lious ingratitude, too much resembling the
evil spirits, it turns the very mercies of God
into occasions and instruments of sin,"
As I was coming along, Papa," said Phi-
lip, I saw them in many places bringing
home the harvest; much rude merriment, and
even cursing and swearing I heard; but not
one expression of humble thankfulness to the
Lord of the harvest."
"It is too generally the case, my dear boy.
We do not often hear in our corn fields such
language as that recorded in the book of Ruth,
' And behold, Boaz came from Bethlehem,
and said unto the reapers, The Lord be with
you ; and they answered him, The Lord bless
thee.' The farmer casts the grain into the
ground, watches the progress of the blade
towards maturity, sees with joy the refresh-
ing showers fall, and the warm beams ripen
it: he looks upon the fields, rich as with
waving gold, reaps the treasure, and gathers
it into his barns; and all this, often with-
38 THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
out a thought of Him, whose wonderful skill
Swatereth the earth, and maketh it bring
forth and bud, that it may give seed to the
sower, and bread to the eater.' I am fre-,
quently reminded of those sweet lines of the
Yet, wandering, oft, with brute, unconscious gaze,
Man marks not Thee ; marks not the mighty Hand
That, ever busy, wheels the silent spheres,
Works in the secret deep, shoots steaming thence
The fair profusion that o'erspreads the Spring,
Flings from the sun direct the flaming ray,
Feeds every creature, hurls the tempest forth,
And as on earth the grateful change revolves,
With transport touches all the springs of life.'
Alas how often is the produce of the corn.
field, the meadow, the orchard, proudly spread
forth, and eagerly hoarded up, as if we could
say, 'My power, and the might of my hand
hath gotten me this wealth,' while He who
gives, or rather lends us that without which
we must perish, is utterly forgotten. But
though we forget the Lord our Maker, He
marks our iniquity, and will, ere long, utter
the dreadful summons, 'Give an account of
TitZ UNAUTIPUL OARIENO
thy stewardship, for thou mayest be no longer
I wish, Papa," remarked Philip, that
the Jewish custom of the first fruit offerings
was continued among Christians; people would
then be compelled to remember God."
But of what value would such forced re-
membrance be, in the sight of Him who is a
Spirit, and must be worshipped in spirit and
in truth? Recollect the reproach, 'This
people honoureth me with their lips, but their
heart is far from mef' and the indignant re-
jection of their hypocritical service, in the
first chapter of Isaiah. He can offer no ac-
ceptable sacrifice to the Lord who does not
first give his heart; and when that is given,
every lesser oblation will follow."
"But Papa, how can we offer the pro-
duce of our fields to God, as the Israelites
did, unless we had the same religious forms
to observe ?"
I am surprised at your question, Philip;
think a little, and your may answer it your-
40 THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN. /
Philip considered some time, and at last
said, I suppose, by spending it in works
of charity; for it is written, 'He that hath
pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord.' "
You are right, Philip : but tell me, what
do you understand by works of charity ?"
Feeding the hungry, Papa, and clothing
the naked, and relieving the distressed."
That is part of the duty certainly, but it
is not the only, nor even the greatest part.
Suppose, Philip, I was to see a man labour-
ing under a disease, of which I knew that lie
must surely die, if not speedily put under the
care of a doctor, and at the same time suffer-
ing from want. Suppose I give him meat
and clothes, but say not a word of the Phy-
sician who can cure him ; though the Physi-
cian is my friend, and has charged me to
bring all such unhappy objects to him; what
would you think of me ?"
Indeed, Papa, I do not think you could
act so unwisely, or be so cruel."
Yet such, only far more unwise and cruel,
is the conduct of those who satisfy themselves
THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
With giving mere outward relief to their fel-
low-creatures, and never think of directing
them to the Saviour, who alone can heal the
fatal disease of sin, under which every child
of Adam is perishing."
But we were talking of offering the fruits
of our land, Papa; and you know it is by
words only we can direct others to Christ."
Oh, not by words only, my child Let
your light so shine before men, that they may
see your good works, and glorify your Father
which is in heaven.' Without works of love,
our words will be but as sounding brass, and
a tinkling cymbal.' Yet we must speak the
word, God's word, so that all shall hear; and
we may soon prove how necessary the worldly
goods we possess are to this important work.
When I recommend true Christianity to the
poor, when I tell them, Except ye repent,
ye shall all likewise perish;' Except ye be
born again ye cannot see the kingdom of God,'
I refer them to the Bible for the truth of my
declaration, and exhort them to search the
Scriptures. To make this possible, two things
42 THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
are requisite: first, we must give the poor
such instruction as shall enable them to read
the book of God; and secondly, we must
supply them with that Book, for it cannot be
supposed the scanty earnings of a labouring
man will suffice for more than the bare sub-
sistence of his family. We have School So-
cieties, and Bible Societies, for this blessed
purpose: they are supported by voluntary
contributions; and now tell me, Philip, can-
not the fruirof our fields be converted injo
an acceptable offering to the Lord, for tie
most sacred of all uses."
Oh yes, Papa, yes indeed : and I almost
think, the Jewish ceremonies were dbne away
with, that Christians might have more to be-
stow in the manner which you describe."
Not exactly so: the Jewish rites were
shadows, foreshewing the coming, and the
work of our Lord Jesus Christ, and discon-
tinued when He appeared: but, doubtless, the
Christian is expected to consecrate no less of
his worldly substance to the work of glorify-
htg God, than the Jew did; I may nuly say,
THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
much more is required of him. In the fourth
chapter of the Acts, you may see to what an
extent of bounty, the grateful feelings of the
first converts led them.
"But we have a wider ground to contem-
plate. I have only spoken of our School and
Bible Societies at home. What shall we say
of the many hundred millions of Heathen, who
never heard of Christ, more particularly those
who are under English government; the
vast population of Hindoos in the East, and
fte poor, helpless, suffering negroes in the
plantations of the West Indies? To the first
we owe this deed of justice, because we have
taken possession of their fine and rich coun-
try : to the last, because our fellow-subjects
have torn them from their native land, and
keep them in such bondage as is dreadful to
think of. And then the multitude of Jews,
who still despise and reject the Lord Jesus,
as their forefathers did. To these, surely,
we must proclaim the tidings of salvation.
Go ye into all the world, and preach the
Gospel to every creature.' The world is a
44 THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
large field, Philip. To obey this command,
we must not only have Bibles to send, but
ships to bear them to the distant nations;
Missionaries to deliver them, and to recom-
mend them, in the languages of the people;
schools to instruct the young, in lands where
nothing but sin and idolatry were ever taught
or learned before; books of instruction to
assist them; printing-presses, to furnish cop-
ies of the Scriptures at a vast distance from
home ; and Such sums are required to carry
on this stupendous work, that our hearts
might well fail us, had we not that glorious
assurance, 'The earth is the Lord's, and
the fulness thereof.' The silver is mine, and
the gold is mine, saith the Lord of Hosts.'
God can furnish us instantly with means to
effect His gracious designs ; but He is pleased
to call on us for voluntary offerings. Blessed
is he who obeys the call. Wo unto the re-
bel who withholds his hand, refusing a share
of the rich gifts, when demanded by the
bounteous Giver !"
Philip was awe-struck, and deeply affected;
THE BEAUTIFUL CARKDi. 40
he folded his hands, and, looking upon his
little garden, exclaimed, in a low, but very
fervent tone, Oh that I had fields and or-
chards! how gladly would I bring my thank-
offering to the Lord of Hosts !"
I hope you would, my boy," said his fa-
ther: "but, instead of thinking what you
might do in such a case, consider what you
may do, even as you are."
Why, what can I do, Papa ?"
In the first place, Pray ye the Lord of
te harvest, that He would send forth la-
bourers into his harvest'--the poorest may
do that, with full assurance of being answer-
ed. While the poor man is thus supplicating,
God may, and does, put it into the heart of
the rich to contribute : and He also accom-
panies with power the efforts which are made
already, for the accomplishment of that great
and glorious work-the universal spread of
divine knowledge. But prayer must not be
unattended by exertion: by little instances
of frugality and self-denial, you may often
drop a mite into the treasury ; and was not
46 THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
the widow's mite most emphatically accepted
To give out of our abundance is easy r but
to cast in all we have, few indeed possess a
faith so triumphant."
Papa," said Philip, I know some who
do give a great deal for these purposes; yet
I cannot help thinking they might contrive to
give a great deal more."
Yes, by denying themselves in what the
world accounts the necessary attendants of
their rank in life ; but which, it is to be feared,
the Lord regards very differently. We must
take heed how we judge others, Philip; but
let us be strict in examining ourselves, and
asking, how much we do give up for Christ,
and how much we might give up. It is a
serious inquiry, and one which we are loath
to make: but the Lord weighs our actions
against our ability; and it is our wisdom to
ascertain how the balance stands. Look at
the abundance which surrounds us. Why
does the earth yield her increase, instead of
*being doomed to perpetual barrenness by a
blighted curse ? It is because the seed of
THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
the woman has bruised the serpent's head;
and, at the very moment when justice pro-
nounced the sinner's doom, mercy interposed.*
Yes, the Son of God took upon Himself that
overwhelming curse, and became our salva-
tion. Why do we stand here, in life, and
health, and competence, the profusion of
God's gifts around us, and before us the bles-
sed hope of everlasting joy ? It is, because
Christ left a heavenly throne, 'and took upon
Him the form of a servant, and was made in
the likeness of man: and, being found in
fashion as a man, He humbled himself, and
became obedient unto death, even the death
of the cross.' For us He lived in wretched-
ness, and died in agony and shame; and,
while we rejoice in the effects of His media-
tion, He tells us, that His object was to bring
many sons to glory, and demands from us
the aid He has enabled us to bestow. Shall
we, can we, dare we refuse ?"
Philip looked very serious for some time;
and then said, "You found me, Papa, giving
thanks to God with my lips; I hope you
48 THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
have now taught me how I may show forth
His praise with my life. I will constantly
pray to be made industrious and careful; and
I will watch for every opportunity of help-
ing, by word and deed, to make the Gospel
known, both in our own land, and among the
And the Jews, Philip; never forget God's
ancient people : He has not forgotten them,
but will gather them again to be one fold un-
der one Shepherd. It is ours to cry unto the
cities of Judah, 'Behold your God.' It is
His to remove the veil frnm their hearts, and
turn them to Himself in penitence and faith.
May the Holy Spirit breathe in our souls the
encouraging exhortation, 'Be ye steadfast,
unmoveable, always abounding in the work
of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your
labour is not in vain in the Lord.' "
And, when I see the blade springing, or
the fruit ripening," said Philip, I will re-
flect, all that I have on earth, all that I hope
in heaven, was purchased for me by the suf-
ferings of my blessed Redeemer. He has
THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
done every thing for me. What can I do
for Him ?"
Lo what an ample feast is spread
On earth, by her Almighty Lord!
The fruit is blushing ripe and red,
And juicy herbage heaps the board.
The yellow harvest crowns our land,
Their grassy store the meadows give;
Jehovah opes His bounteous hand,
And deals a gift to all that live.
No good will He withhold, who gave
His Son to die in sinners' stead;
No mercy can we vainly crave
From Christ, who to redeem us bled.
What shall our grateful souls return,
For pardon, peace, abundance given?
With zeal let every bosom burn,
To fill the spacious courts of heaven.
Hear, Israel, and, ye Gentiles, throng,
Come, and receive th' engrafted Word,
Till earth have learnt salvation's song,
And every kingdom own the Lord,
50 THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
ANALOGIES IN THE WORKS OF NATURE AND GRACE.
"MY poor garden!" said Philip, as he
stood beside it on a frosty morning in Janu-
ary, who would suppose that such a miser-
able heap of deqd sticks, was so lately gay
with green leaves, bright flowers, and rich
fruit? See, Fanny, how dry and withered
every twig appears. I almost think all my
plants are really dead."
I dare say not, brother," replied Fanny,
" for you know Papa's large garden has just
the same appearance : there is life at the root
still; and, when the snow is dissolved, and
the sun begins to shine, we shall see the
bushes sprout again as green as ever."
Fanny is right," said her Papa, there is
life at the root, Philip; the branches abide in
THE ttAtrTttTL GARDIR.
the root, and they will not fail to receive of
its fulness, obtaining power to bring forth
fruit in their season."
I know what you are thinking of, Papa,"
said Philip, it is of our Lord's declaration,
in the 15th chapter of St. John's Gospel, I
am the vine, ye are the branches,' and so he
goes on to show how, by abiding in Him, we
are able to bring forth much fruit."
Very true, my dear boy, such was my
thought; and what can be more suitable to
a scene of gloom like this, when nature is
lying dead around us, and all the art of man
must fail to revive a stem, or to produce a
single leaf, if the Lord revisit not the earth,
with the warm beams, and soft showers of
spring ? Here we see a solemn emblem of
both the deaths, through which every child of
Adam must pass."
How can that be, Papa? It is written,
he that overcometh shall not be hurt of the
sedbnd death: surely none but the wicked
taste of that."
"That passage refers to final, everlasting
62 THE BEAUTIFUL GARDENs
death, the eternal exclusion of the soul fronr
God's presence; the chains of darkness;
weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth; the
worm that dieth not, and the fire that is not
quenched, in the place of torment prepared
for those who forget God, or despise His
Oh, dreadful place !" said the children,
drawing closer to their father, may the
Lord keep us from it."
Amen, my children : He will keep you
from it, if you abide in Jesus Christ, as
branches in the root: otherwise your lot
must be, to be cut off and burnt.
The two deaths of which I was speaking
are, first, our natural state, in which St. Paul
describes us, as dead in trespasses and sins.'
We have no power to offer to the Lord one
acceptable deed, word, or thought in this
state, any more than the bare bushes before
you, have at this moment, to free themselves
from the frost and snow that envelop them,
and to bend with clusters of fruit. How
dreadful to reflect, that such is really the count
THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
edition, at this time, of hundreds of millions
among our fellow-creatures, who know not
the Saviour's name; and, alas! of millions
more who call Him 'Lord,' Lord,' but do
not his will, neither seek his salvation! It is
winter, my dears, cold, barren winter, in the
souls of many, whose looks are as gay as the
flowers in summer, and who believe them-
selves enjoying the sunshine of God's love."
But, if they think so, Papa, surely they
are to be pitied rather than blamed : they are
Who deceives them ?"
"I suppose the Serpent who beguiled Eve
by his subtlety," said Fanny.
"And their own hearts," added Philip :
"for it is written, 'The heart is deceitful
above all things, and desperately wicked.' "
"Yes," replied his Papa, "those are the
sources of our guilt and misery : a deceived
heart hath turned them aside,' a heart de-
ceived by Satan to forsake its God; and so
becoming the root of all evil things, and de-
stroying those who follow its devices and de
64 THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
sires; but, pitiable as is the condition of such,
say not they are less to be blamed; they
perish for lack of knowledge, because they
neglect or despise the acquisition of it. Re-
member our Lord's reproof of the unbeliev-
ing Sadducees, Ye do err, not knowing the
Scriptures.' Our part on earth is to learn
God's will, and perform it; to inquire, 'What
shall I do to be saved ?' and to glorify God
in our body and spirit, which are his. For
this, we, in a Christian country, have abun-
dant help. The Bible teaches us all that we
need to know on those subjects, and assures
us of assistance from on high; wisdom, direc-
tion, and strength, if we earnestly seek them
in the appointed way; but if, instead of so
doing, we turn a deaf ear to the injunctions
of the Lord, and choose to enjoy the pleas-
ures of sin for a season, welcoming the temp-
ter, and rejecting the Saviour, what can be
more just than to give us the wages of sin,
and leave us to dwell forever with the evil
spirit, whose service we preferred on earth ?'
THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
But you said they believed themselves
enjoying God's love," observed Philip.
"' Yes : but theirs is a wilful and a wicked
delusion. It is wilful, because they know the
Bible contains the revealed Word of God, and
while they neglect to search the Scriptures,
they must be ignorant of his will, with which
they might acquaint themselves, and be at
peace with him. It is wicked, because, in
so doing, they show themselves to be the
odious characters described in the first chap-
ter of Proverbs : 'They hated knowledge, and
did not choose the fear of the Lord : they
would none of my counsel; they despised all
my reproof.' Observe the condemnation that
follows: Therefore shall they be filled,with
their own way, and eat of the fruit of their
own devices: for the turning away of the
simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of
fools shall destroy them.' These people, my
dear children, acknowledge the name and
power of God : they profess to believe in a
future judgment, when the wicked shall go
away into everlasting punishment, but the righ-
56 THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
teous into life eternal. Yet, declaring their
belief in all this, they suppose, because they
are not now punished heavily for their sins,
God is well pleased with them. He maketh
his sun to rise on the evil and on the good ;
and sendeth his rain on the just and on the
unjust:' but while enjoying the goodness of
God, which would lead them to repentance,
they use it to harden their necks against re-
proof, and when conscience reminds them of
any particular act of guilt, they listen rather
to the flattery of Satan, who whispers in their
heart, Truly, God hath forgotten.' They are
engaged to renounce the world, the flesh, and
the devil: but while cleaving to the world,
pampering the flesh, and suffering the devil
to take them captive at his will, they do re-
ally renounce God, and choose the destruc-
tion which Jesus Christ died to deliver us
And is this the state of all who are not
truly pious, Papa ?" asked Philip.
"All such, without exception : they have
not spiritual life in them. You remember
THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
what our Lord says to one of his churches,
'I know thy works, that thou hast a name
that thou livest, and art dead.' In this gar-
den, Philip, it is hard to distinguish the plants
that have been destroyed by the frost, from
those which will again revive, by means of a
vigorous root; but the returning spring will
make it manifest to all: and while the gar-
dener prunes and nourishes the budding tree,
he will remark the withered stem that puts
forth no promise of fruitfulness, and cut it
down, to be cast into the fire and burned.
Many warm beams, many refreshing showers
may descend upon these worthless sticks;
but they will descend in vain. Where no
living root supports the tree, it is fit only
for fuel; where no vital faith unites the pro-
fessed Christian with the Saviour, all the
means of grace will visit him in vain. With-
out me ye can do nothing,' is our Lord's as-
surance; and He who knows our works, will
.judge us accordingly. How important, then,
my children, is it to obtain a saving interest
in that all-sufficient Redeemer! Abide in
58 THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
him, and you are safe: neglecting his great
salvation, you must perish."
I suppose," said Fanny, when a sinner
believes on the Lord Jesus, and begins to live
a life of piety, it is like the breaking out of
leaves and blossoms all over these melan-
choly-looking stems-such a change !"
A change indeed, my dear, from death
to life. A change that causes joy among the
angels in heaven, though often overlooked, if
not despised, and mocked, by the hardened
offenders who surround us. While I gaze
upon this wintry scene, and anticipate the
delightful approach of spring, my thoughts
are led on to that blessed season, when the
earth shall be filled with the knowledge and
glory of the Lord: when the world, now
lying in wickedness, spiritually dead, shall
hear that powerful word, 'Arise, shine, for
thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord
is risen upen thee;' when songs of praise
shall burst forth on every side, and the river
of the water of life make glad the universal
city of God. It will be a summer season,
THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
indeed, my children, when that prediction is
fulfilled,# From the rising of the sun even to
the going down of the same, my name shall
be great among the Gentiles; and in every
place incense shall be offered unto my name,
and a pure offering; for my name shall be
great among the heathen, saith the Lord of
"It will be pleasant to think of these
things, sister," said Philip, when we walk
abroad in the winter."
Yes," replied Fanny, and of the resur-
rection too; for I am sure that is the second
thing Papa is going to mention."
"You are right," answered her father.
SWhen the soul has been raised from the
death of sin, and the whole man enabled to
walk in newness of life on earth, he falls into
the grave like the withered stem of a perennial
flower, only to arise in a far more fresh and
beautiful form. Wonderful, indeed, is the
change from the dreary aspect of winter to
the rich profusion of spring; but though a
just and striking, yet it is a very faint re-
60 THU BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
presentation of the amazing work that shall
be wrought on our sleeping dust. When the
earth shall no more cover her slain, when the
sea shall give up the dead which are in it,
when all the generations that have been swept
away from their dwelling-places shall again
appear, not one missing from the innumerable
multitude; when a body is given to each,
fitted to shine in the glorious mansions of
heaven, or to endure forever, unconsumed,
the burning torments of hell;--then, indeed,
shall the type be fulfilled, to which we now
give so little heed ; and many thousands shall
lament, with cries of anguish, that they re-
garded not the yearly warnings set before
their eyes in the vegetable world; nor con-
sidered that they too must die -they too rise
"Indeed, Papa, I shall not be among
them," said Fanny; for, ever since I could
reflect at all, I have thought of death when I
beheld the leaves wither, and of the resur-
rection, when they sprouted out again."
I am glad to hear it, my dear, but re-
THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
member, that merely thinking on the subject
will not avail. The criminal looks forward
to his approaching trial, and may often think
upon his judge; but he gains no advantage
by so doing, unless it render him more dili-
gent in preparing his defence. Our resurrec-
tion will be immediately followed by a trial,
on which depends far more than our mortal
lives : unless our cause shall rest with an ad-
vocate who cannot fail, we are lost. Such an
advocate there is, even Jesus Christ, the one
Mediator between God and man. If the fre-
quent meditation on eternal things lead us
more earnestly to seek an interest in Him,
and more importunately to beseech his help
for us who are unable to help ourselves, the
subject is truly profitable; but beware of
mistaking a habit of this kind, for a serious
'looking for and hasting unto the coming of
the day of God.' Many are thus deluded,
and consider themselves truly pious, because
they are led from the contemplation of visible
things, to reflect on things that are not seen;
but this may be done by those who never
%PA PEXHN ZAUTIPUL GARDEN*
heard of Christianity: it is no more than
what is expected of the most ignorant hea-
then. As the apostle remarks, when declar-
ing the wrath of the Lord against those who
did it not, For the invisible things of Him
from the creation of the world are clearly
seen, being understood by the things that are
made, even his eternal power and Godhead;
so that they are without excuse : because that,
when-they knew God, they glorified him not
as God, neither were thankful.'
This acknowledgment of the Creator's
hand in the works of creation, when not ac-
companied with faith in the gospel of Christ,
is what we call Deism, or natural religion,
by which no soul can be saved. But the
believer, seeing God as a reconciled Father,
in the face of Jesus Christ, delights to observe
every resemblance between the natural and
spiritual world, and finds matter of prayer,
praise, holy fear, and diligent watchfulness
in all that he beholds. Happy is it for you,
my child, if your meditations on the closing
Autumn and the opening Spring, on the
THE BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
dreary Winter and luxuriant Summer, fix
your mind with increasing solemnity upon
that hour, 'when the dead shall hear the
voice of the Son of God, and they that hear
shall live :'-yea, when all that are in their
graves shall hear his voice, and shall come
forth; they that have done good unto the
resurrection of life, and they that have done
evil unto the resurrection of damnation.'
That hour approaches fast."
I cannot think of it without trembling,"
said Philip; "yet, while I tremble, I can
often rejoice too ; for I know whom I have
believed, and am persuaded that He is able
to keep that which I have committed unto
him against that day.' I thank you, dear
Papa, for showing me how much may be
learned from my little garden: and I will
pray for grace to remember your instructions
that what I have heard on this spot may not
turn to my condemnation, through forgetful-
ness and sinful neglect."
64 TH9E BEAUTIFUL GARDEN.
Awake from the slumber of sin!
Arise from the death of despair!
Call, call on thy God, his compassion to win,
His wrath is tod dreadful to dare!
O thou who art resting secure
On the world and its guilt-loving ways,
What hand will be strong, or what heart can endure,
When the fire of His vengeance shall blaze ?
Thou bearest a name, as of those
Who live in His service and love,
But dead is thy soul in its fatal repose,
While tempests are darkening above.
O rouse thee !-and Christ shall bestow
The beam of his light-giving eye;
Then guidance and grace will attend thee below,
And glory await thee on high.
Thy flesh may repose in the grave,
While hope bids thy spirit rejoice;
The Lord will remember the form that he gave,
And dust shall revive at his voice.
As blossoms in Spring-time shoot forth,
From roots that were rugged and cold,
Bo thou shalt arise from thy dwelling of earth,
And heaven in its beauty behold.
THE PRESENT AT SCHOOL EXAMINATION.
"I THINK I am sure of one premium, at
least," said little Edward, as he placed him-r
self upon the form among his school-fellows.
It was examination day; and many a
young heart was beating quick with the hope
of approbation and reward, or with the fear
of disgrace. Some had looked forward to
this period, and applied to their tasks, as
knowing how carefully they would be exam-
ined; and commended or punished accord-
ing to their deservings: while others had
chosen to forget that such a day must come,
and idled away the time which they would
now have given a great deal to have.at their
You will own these boys were both foolish
and faulty. How much more so are they
who neglect to bear in mind the final exami-
nation at the great judgment-day; by sinful
and unprofitable lives, treasuring up for them-
selves wrath against the day of wrath !
In the centre of the school room was
placed a long table, covered with books of
various sizes, and of different value. There
were Bibles and Testaments, both large and
small; the histories of Rome, of Greece, and
of England. There were volumes elegantly
bound, and pamphlets just stitched together.
The school was extensive, and it was wished
that every one who had exerted himself to
the best of his ability, however little that
might be, should carry home with him some
mark of encouragement, to remind him that
diligence and perseverance were not over-
Like the servants to whom their Lord en-
trusted the talents, some had five, and some
had but one ; yet these last could not be ex-
cused for hiding and neglecting it because it
was small: and even the youngest and the
simplest child at school may make something
of the reason and the opportunities which the
Lord has given him to improve.
With anxious hearts ard busy faces, the
little boys arranged themselves around the
table; and were examined with great care
and patience by their teachers, as to the pro-
gress which they had made in their studies.
Edward was a clever boy, and proud of his
cleverness. He loved learning, not so much
for the information that he gained by it, as
because it obtained for him the admiration of
others. His father's mantle-piece was adorn-
ed with certificates of his improvement in
different branches of study; and it was his
delight to hear himself praised by visitors in
the holidays, who were ready to take notice
of the numerous rewards that he had earned.
Now, Edward had set his heart upon one
particular premium, the Roman History, nice-
ly bound, and making two very pretty vol-
umes, which he thought would handsomely
fill up a vacant space on his little book-shelves.
He allowed himself to think of this until no
other prize was of any value in his sight; a
great fault, often committed by children, and
grown people too; who, instead of thank-
fully receiving whatever the bounty of Provi-
dence assigns them, would choose for them-
selves, and become discontented and unhappy
in the midst of blessings, because the wisdom
of God sees fit to withhold some one thing
that their folly deems necessary to their hap-
Edward passed his examination with much
credit, and one of the first premiums was ad-
judged to him; but, instead of the Roman
History, a very neat Bible, in an excellent
large type, was placed in his hands. Many
of his school-mates had wished for that Bible,
but Edward regarded it not; and the eyes
of the foolish little boy filled with tears, as
he saw the elegant History of Rome pre-
sented to another, who, perhaps, would have
gladly exchanged with him.
The next day Edward returned to his
home, and related his disappointment to his
parents, who thought his desire for the Ro-
man History a mark of great learning and
taste ; but, since he had distinguished himself
so well, they did not much care what prize
Edward's father lived in the country not
far from the sea-side, in a most delightful
and healthful situation: and, at this time, a
brother of his mamma's, who was in a very
sickly state, had just arrived there to enjoy
the benefit of the sea breezes, and rest a
little from the toil and bustle of his employ-
ments in London.
Mr Lewis was a young man of the most
pleasing manners and appearance. He was
gentle and serious, but not at all gloomy or
severe. His bad health only served to show
forth his patience in enduring it, without a
murmuring word or discontented look; and
Edward, who was really a kind-hearted and
affectionate boy, soon became very much
attached to his uncle, who had not seen him
since he was an infant, and who was much
pleased at the attentions which his nephew
delighted to pay him.
Young hearts are soon won; and it was
only three days after Edward's return from
school, that he went bounding over the
grounds in search of his Uncle, whose society
he already preferred to his hoop and ball.
Mr Lewis was seated under a fine old oak,
the high and knotted roots of which served as
a bench; while the softest moss, interspersed
with many delicate little flowers, formed a
carpet beneath his feet. A rich and exten-
sive tract of country lay spread before his
eyes; and, at a distance, the mighty ocean
bounded the prospect, whose deep green
waters were seen in beautiful contrast with
the pale yellow cliff, that with a graceful,
yet abrupt curve, interrupted the view to the
right. Thin clouds were floating past the
sun, occasionally casting all the varieties of
light and shade upon the lovely scene below.
Mr Lewis had a book in his hand, into
which he frequently looked, and then raised
his eyes again to gaze upon the prospect that
surrounded him ; and so intent he seemed,
that Edward doubted whether he ought to
disturb him, until his uncle, seeing him at
some little distance, kindly beckoned him to
Is not this a pretty place, Uncle ?" said
Edward, as he seated himself beside him;
" and do you not find the breeze from the
water very refreshing ?"
"It is beautiful, indeed, my dear boy:
and I am deriving both refreshment and in-
struction while I look around me."
Is that a Bible, Uncle ?"
Yes. It is God's word, which I always
find the best commentary upon his works;-
they explain each other."
I love the Bible too, Uncle," said Ed-
ward, and got much credit for my answer-
ing on Scripture questions last half year."
And which, Edward, afforded you the
greatest satisfaction, the Scriptures, or the
credit that you got for studying them ?"
Edward looked a little embarrassed, and
did not immediately reply.
It is quite right to take pleasure in the
well-earned approbation of your teachers,"
continued Mr Lewis, and I was glad to
hear that you obtained a premium at the last
Yes, Uncle, but not the prize I wished
for. There was a Roman History that I
should have liked better to get, and it was
just of equal value with the Bible that I got."
How of equal value, Edward ?"
I mean that it was not reckoned a higher
prize; and it would have been a nicer book
Then you had a Bible already ?"
"Why, no, Uncle, not of my own; but it
is easy to borrow one on Sunday; and I had
gone through all my Scripture proofs, and do
not want it on other days."
Do you mean to say," said Mr Lewis,
that you have already learned all that the
Bible can teach you ?"
'" Oh, no I should suppose not; but then
you know I hear it read at church, and often
have a chapter set me by papa in the holidays.
The Bible, Uncle, is a very holy book, and
not to be thrown about, and used every day
like a profane history."
The last sentence was spoken with the air
of one who thinks he has found a good argu-
ment to support a bad cause.
Where are God's words to be found,
Edward ?" asked Mr Lewis.
"In the Bible, Uncle."
"Then read these four verses for me,"
said Mr Lewis, pointing to the sixth chapter
of Deuteronomy, and to the sixth verse.
Edward read :-" And these words which
I command thee this day, shall be in thine
heart: and thou shalt teach them diligently
unto thy children, and shalt talk of them
when thou sittest in thine house, and when
thou walkest by the way, and when thou
list down, and when thou risest up; and
thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thy
hand, and they shall be as frontlets between
thine eyes; and thou shalt write them upon
the posts of thy house, and on thy gates."
To whom was this commandment given,
"To the Jews, Uncle."
"What was the distinguishing mark of
that nation ?"
"They were God's chosen people; were
they not, Uncle ?"
Yes; and the word of God, which can-
not pass away, is equally binding on us as on
them, in every thing excepting the sacrifices
and ceremonies, which foreshewed the com-
ing of the Lord Jesus, and which were done
away with, by his death fulfilling all those
types and shadows."
"Then," said Edward, "we are com-
manded to write the Bible on our hands, and
on our door-posts ?"
No, my dear boy, not literally, but in a
figure of speech; as the Lord, when declar-
ing he never will forget Zion, says, 'I have
graven thee upon the palms of my hands;
thy walls are continually before me.' The
meaning of the passage which you have just
read is, that we must have the word of God
as continually present to our minds, as any
thing written on our hands, and as every ob-
ject around us would be to our bodily sight.
And how are we to get our thoughts so oc-
cupied by it, E~ward ?"
By continually reading it, I suppose,"
replied Edward, rather sullenly.
By reading it often, and meditating on
it much," said his Uncle, and that we can
do without interfering with our other busi-
ness.-How many times a day do you eat,
Three times, Sir; at breakfast, dinner,
And what you eat at one of those meals
is to support you until the next supply; and
all your nourishment is dispersed through
your whole frame, and makes you grow and
thrive. Is it not so my boy ?"
So it is with our spiritual food. By
reading, as by eating, we receive what is
necessary to nourish our souls; and by med-
itation, accompanied by silent prayer, the
benefit is dispersed through our heart, mint
and feelings, showing its effects in a holy, uI
blameable, and useful life; just as your fresh
colour and growing frame prove that you
take enough of wholesome fo6d, and that it
agrees with you."
But, Uncle, I know many people who
are as good and useful as you could desire,
yet do not read their Bibles except on Sun-
And I have seen many wax figures, Ed-
ward, well dressed, well painted, and as large
as life, which neither eat nor drink. To look
at them, you would call them men and women,
but a little examination proves them to be
mere cheats. So it is with such people, in
the sight of God. He has made religion as
necessary to the life of our souls, as food to
that of our bodies; and to those who reject
the spiritual food thus prepared for them, he
says, 'I know thy works; that thou hast a
name that thou livest, and art dead."
How can they be dead, Uncle, when I
see them every day walking about, eating
and talking ?"
What threat did God pronounce, when
forbidding Adam and Eve to eat the fruit of
the tree of knowledge ?"
Ia the day that thou eatest thereof, thou
shalt surely die.'
Right; and did they die on the day af
their transgression ?"
No, Uncle, they lived long after."
How, then, do you explain it ?"
I don't know, Sir."
One proof, my dear, that you have not
yet studied the Bible enough. By the act
of disobedience, Adam lost that spiritual life
which was given him when created after the
image of God, and became dead in trespaal
ses and sins. Read the first verse of the
second chapter of St. Paul's Epistle to the
And you hath he quickened, who were
dead in trespasses and sins."
Now read the fortieth verse of the faith
chapter of St. John's gospel :--.
"And ye will ot come to me that ye
might have life."
It is the Lcird Jesus who says that to
the unbelievers who reject his words T)Er
to the fifteenthl chapter, and fifth and itth
Edward Yread, I am the vine, ye are the
I lIa PRMIUMO
branches. He that abideth in me, and I in
him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for
without me ye can do nothing. If a man
abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch,
and is withered ; and men gather them, and
cast them into the fire, and they are burned."
Now," said Mr Lewis, do not all these
passages tend to the same proof, that men are
dead in the sight of God, until quickened, by
His mighty power, unto newness of life, and
sustained in it by the same power ?"
"But will the Bible quicken us, Uncle ?"
"The Bible shows us at once, our danger,
and the way of escape. It proves that we
are sinful, lost, ruined creatures, without hope,
and without power to save ourselves. It tells
us that the just and holy God will assured-
ly punish sia, and can admit nothing evil
into his presence. It represents to us the
wonderful mercy of our blessed Lord Jesus
Christ, who, to deliver us from the wrath of
Jehovah, took our sinful nature upon him;
and being himself pure and without spot,
offered himself up as a sufficient t sacrifice for
THE PREzIUM, 79
our sins, and a costly ransom for our souls.
It sets before, us what we must believe and
do: exhibits the snares and perils that the
great enemy of God and man surrounds us
with; and teaches us how to resist him, and
to escape them. It dihorts us to prayer,
and gives us encouragement, example, and
matter for our prayers. Without prayer, you
cannot obtain any spiritual blessing, nor main-
tain any communion with God ; and without
reading the Scriptures you will have very
little desire to pray. We are like people
wandering in the dark among traps and pit-
falls, and near the edge of a great precipice,
while the Bible is as a bright lamp held out
to us to direct us in the only safe path. You
cannot be a child of God if you do not do
his will; and cannot do it unless you know
it, and it is by the Bible 4e is pleased to
communicate that knowledge. Do you be-
gin to see, Edward, that the Bible is more
suitable to be an every-day book than your
profane History ?"
Why yes, Uncle; but the Bible is a
grave book, and if I read it so constantly, I
should become a sad mope, and never could
There is no merriment in hell, Edward,
and that dreadful place will be your portion
if you neglect the great salvation which the
Scriptures set forth. Besides, there is no
foundation for what you suppose to be the
effect of reading the Bible. I have known
people naturally melancholy and discontent-
ed, become cheerful and happy by studying
it; but I never in my life, saw an instance of
a person becoming unhappy because he had
a good hope of going to heaven."
Edward paused a moment, and then said,
$ Uncle, I remember it is written concerning
wisdom, that Her ways are ways of pleas-
antness, and all her paths are peace.' "
Lost true, my dear boy, quietness and
assurance for ever,' is the portion of God's
people. 'Rejoice in the Lord always, and
again I say rejoice.' 'The ransomed of the
Lord shall return, and come to Zion with
Hongs, and everlasting joy upon their heads;
they shall obtain joy and gladness; and sor-
row and sighing shall flee away.' Are such
expressions as these likely to make us gloomy,
Oh no, Uncle; and I often wonder that
you who are so weak, and sick, and suffer so
much pain, and read the Bible constantly,
are not melancholy."
"How can I be melancholy, Edward,
when this Bible tells me that all these things,
pain and sickness, and all others, are work-
ing together for my spiritual good ? That,
He, who spared not his own Son, but deliver-
ed him up for us all, will, with him, also
freely give us all things. When I think on
what my sins deserve, and see the Lamb of
God bearing the chastisement that would fall
on me, how can I be melancholy? When I
feel that the Spirit of God is bringing these
things to my remembrance, and enabling me
to love the Lord Jesus, who has done so
much for me, must I not rejoice ? I know
that in me, that is in my flesh, dwelleth no
good thing; and since God has promised a
82 THM PREMIUM.
new heart and a new nature to all who seek
that blessing through his Son; and since I
know that I have sought that blessing, and
feel peace and joy in believing, surely the
song of praise, not the moan of lamentation,
becomes me. .Yet I do lament, Edward,
daily lament my many offences against this
holy Lord God, my Saviour and Redeemer;
but I am assured that his blood cleanseth
From all sin, and that in him I have a power-
ihl and all-prevailing advocate with the Fa-
4her, I know whom I have believed, and
that he will never cast off, nor forsake me.
I am sinking into the grave, but I do not
shrink from that prospect, because the sting
of death is taken away, and the grave van-
quished by my Saviour, who died for my
sias, and rose again for my justification ; and
when this body returns to dust, my spirit will
enter into his presence, and rejoice there for
Edward looked at the animated counte-
nance of his Uncle, and then cast down his
eyes~.-they were full of tears. At last he
TI M PRENMuM.
said, Uncle, indeed I am a very sinful bay,
doing many things that I know ate wrong,
and neglecting the Bible, because I knoWiIt
would show me my sin, and frighten me for
the consequences of it. But I will trifle no
more with God's displeasure. I will get that
precious Bible, precious above all books in
the world, and I will read it daily, with prayer
to God, that I may be made wise unto sal-
Mr Lewis did not live long after this. He
died, rejoicing in hope of eternal life; and
as often as the holidays restored little Edward
to his home, he was to be seen under the old
oak, with 'the Bible in his hand, from which
he learned more and more the will of his
God and Saviour, and by its means became
better acquainted with his own sinfulness,
Nreakness, and inability to help himself. He
found that by the operation of the Holy
Spirit, and by no other power, he could re-
ceive a new heart, and become conformed to
the image of Christ, and made meet to be a
partaker of the inheritance of the asiats in
~L~Il 9 nrrr! r
light. This help, he found, was to be ob-
tained by prayer; for the Lord has promised
that they who ask shall receive. Edward
asked in faith and sincerity, and obtained
what he sought. He was convinced how
foolish and criminal are they who set their
affections on earthly things, which cannot
continue long; neglecting that awful eternity
which is at hand. He saw the waters swell
and subside, the trees bloom, and fade, and
bud forth again; and grow old and wither
away-all these things constantly reminded
him how changeful is this transitory life : and,
by the grace of God, impressed him with the
duty of improving every moment allotted to
him in this passing scene.
Edward's friends saw the alteration pro-
duced in him, and even those who did not
understand the cause of it, were delighted dt
the effect; for when Edward became in re-
ality a Christian, and learned to place all his
hope and dependence on the righteousness
of his Saviour, he felt that he was bound also
to follow the blessed example left by the
holy Jesus to his followers. He lived in
prayer; in a frame of cheerful resignation to
all the will of God; and in the constant per-
formance of every good work among the
poor, and all around him. He looked back
with grief and shame on the many precious
hours that he had formerly wasted in vanity
and unprofitableness, and found that to re-
deem the time" was no less his happiness
than his duty. What he had learned he also
delighted to teach, and many among his own
relations, his school-fellows, and the children
of the poor, had reason to bless the Lord for
the grace bestowed upon Edward, whose ad-
vice and example led them also to inquire
into' the things that belong to their peace.
Edward often thought of his dear Uncle as
one amongst the heavenly host, and counted
that day happy when he sat to listen to his
holy advice, which, as a means, brought him
to the knowledge of himself, and of his
I KNzw a little girl, and a very little girl
she was then, who used to take great notice
of every thing about her ; but, because she
did not like to ask questions, she often made
strange mistakes, and puzzled herself to no
purpose, when she might have learned a great
many useful things, which from her ignorance
it was not possible she should find out of her-
self. This is very silly : when children have
kind parents or friends, willing to instruct
them, they ought to be thankful, and to ask
for all the information that they want.
This little girl, Eliza, among other mat-
ters, was greatly distressed about a willow
tree, which grew before her papa's house, in
the little garden. It was a pretty weeping
" tEH WILLOW TREEI
willow, but not very large. Eliza had takers
notice, that, when she sat in the parlour be'.
lows stairs, and looked across the street, the
willow was so tall as to hide from her sight
the house of a neighbour over the way : but
if she went to an upper window, the tree
hardly reached the knocker of the neigh-
bour's door, and she looked over the top of
it with great ease; and the silly child thought
that the willow stretched itself up, or threw
itself down, as if to teaze her ; and she was
teazed, and used to lie awake at night think-
ing what could be the reason of it.
At last one morning, at breakfast, Eliza's
papa, seeing heP constantly looking out at the
window, 'asked what she saw there to amuse
her so much. Eliza would not tell an un-
truth; so she said, "I am thinking, papa,
how odd it is that the willow tree should grow
higher than Mr Dav 's house."
"It is not near lso high, my dear."
"No, papa, not always," said Eliza;. "it
was little enough when I looked at it half an
hour ago, out at the study window, above ;
THE WILLOW THEg.
but now it is so tall that I can't see Mi
Her papa smiled; and explained to Jer
that all the difference was owing to her look-
ing at the tree from above or from below.
And he stood up, and bade her observe that
his head seemed to her higher than the oppo-
site window, when he stood near her. Then
Eliza wondered how she could have been so
silly; and was ashamed to have puzzled her
little head so long, when her kind papa would
have set her right in a minute, if she had
When Eliza grew up, she often thought of
the willow; and I will tell you some reflec-
tions that it brought to her mind.
There are many things of no great conse-
quence that we keep close before our eyes,
and look up to them till we fancy them very
grand; and they hide from us other things
much better than themselves, as the small
willow tree hid the large house from Eliza.
Some children think so much of their toys,
that they neglect their books i others are so
THE WILLOW TREE.
fond of looking into silly story books, which
they call amusing, that they have hardly any
time or wish to study the blessed Bible, or
listen to instruction. Some take great pride
in fine clothes, and will not see how wicked
and ugly, in God's sight, are the hearts which
they try to hide behind these gay dresses.
Many care for nothing but play, and are
always about some foolish amusement or
another, thinking it of more importance than
knowledge and piety, because they allow it
to keep these better things out of their minds.
Some desire to be rich, or beautiful, or famous,
when they grow up ; and never spare a look
towards death -and judgment, which are be-
hind all those worldly enjoyments.
In these cases, and many more, we may
suppose that we see little Eliza, with her
eyes fixed on the willow, thinking how tall
and grand it is ; while indeed the reason is
only that she keeps so near to it, and looks
up. But when, by GodB mercy, children
are able to look down upon what the world
loves, they are, like Eliza at the study win-
1THE WILLOW TRME.
dow above stairs, able to see all the better
prospect beyond, and not finding the willow
at all in her way.
Solomon was a very wise king ; but he
became much wiser by considering these
matters. He had great riches, and learning
and all the good things of this world; but
he found that they were all vanity and
vexation of spirit." They stood in his way,
and hindered him from looking to the glories
of heaven. Like Eliza's willow tree, they
shut out the best part of the sky, and he got
weary of them. Then he sought the wisdom
which God gives to those who ask it; and
found himself far happier in looking down
upon the world, than ever he had been in
looking up to it.
Eliza lost a great deal of time in thinking
about the willow, and in running up and down
stairs, while her little companions were busily
employed at their tasks; and afterwards she
was sorry to find how far they had got before
her. She was quite right in wishing to un-
derstand what she saw, but quite wrong in
THE WILLOW TREE.
not applying to those older and wiser than
herself. So it is in too many cases, where
we choose to trust to our own wisdom, and
do not like to seek that which cometh from
above. We often hear children say, "I
don't think there is any harm in it," or, "I
dare say it will not be wrong," when they
wish to do a thing which they are afraid is
not right. Now, at such times, instead of
guessing about it, they should try.* remem-
ber whether the Bible does not speak of such
actions as sinful-whether they are such as
the holy and pure Son of God would have
done, when He was upon earth; for we are
commanded, Let this mind be in you which
was also in Christ Jesus," and we are told to
follow His example.
When Eliza was about ten years old, her
papa went to live in another place ; and after
shew grew up to be a woman, she visited
again the house where her childhood was
spent. The willow tree was gone : it bore
no fruit, and therefore was only for show;
and the people, who wanted something use-
THE WILLOW TREE.
ful in their little garden, had thrown it away.
Then Eliza recollected what our Lord says
in the parable of the barren fig tree; and
how, because he found no fruit on it, He said,
" Cut it down ; why cumbereth it the ground ?"
Eliza reflected how many of her dear little
friends, who used to play with her under the
willow tree, were laid in the cold grave al-
ready, and she was very sad when she thought
that somi of them had been like the unfruit-
ful tree, for she knew the terrible doom of
such, ast ye the unprofitable servant into
outer darkness; there shall be weeping and
gnashing of teeth."
Dear children can you bear to think that
the righteous Judge may one day say this of
you? If He does, it must be your own
faults; for Jesus Christ has told us how wil-
ling He is to receive little children, and to
bless them. Some people go on in sin, for a
long life, and do not hear of the love of Christ
in saving poor sinners until they are quite
old; and then they look back on the years
that they have so wickedly mis-spent, and
THE WILLOW TREE. 93
are afraid tdcome in their old age to Him
whom they did not serve in their youth : but
they should not be afraid to come to Hitn,
because He will not cast them out, but will
receive them, and wash away their sins in
His precious blood, and give them a new
heart, and enable them to pass their few re-
maining days in His faith and fear.
Some young people, when they hear the
aged invited to repent, and to believe in Jesus
Christ, that their sins may be otted out, are
so very foolish and wicked aAso say to them-
selves, When I am old, I will do so too:
there is time enough yet. I will live in pleas-
ure, and not trouble myself now about re-
ligion; but before I die, I will repent and
believe in Jesus Christ." What! do not
children die, and middle-aged people too ?
There are graves of all sizes in the church-
yard. I have often seen a little coffin, that
the nurse could carry under her arm, with a
small baby in it that died on the lap; and I
have seen one or two men, bearing a larger
child to the grave : and I have seen six men
94 THM WILLOW ARnm.
stbeping beneath the weight of i heavy coffit,
containing the body of a strong, stout man in
it, who seemed as flourishing a little while
before, as the green willow tree; and like it
was suddenly cut down. And while God is
showing us thus how frail we are, can we talk
of putting off to another year the work of
Him of whom the Psalmist says, To-day,
if ye will hear His voice, harden not your
hearts," and who said to the ungodly rich
man, Thou I, this night shall thy soul
be required of tee ?' No; you must obey
Hir now, because He calls you now. You
are not like those poor creatures who do not
know the danger their souls are in. You
have Bibles to read, and the Bible tells you
that you are sinners before God, and that He
knows the things that come into your mind,
every one of them, and will judge you for
your wicked words and thoughts, as well as
for your wicked ways. It tells you too, that
Jesus Christ died on the cross to make sat-
isfction for sins; and that if you will believe
Sin Him, they shall he remembered no more
TrH WILtOW irB' 9W
against you. And while tellifig jb4d ~1isj IW
Bible also tblls you that 1' NbWA b ithe It
cepted time; behold, now is thfe d& 61 Mi
ovation Jesus Christ must save yo~ Fr1Cdf
the power of sin in this lifb, if yoti Btret e'
from the punishment of sin hetaftear, H
even asks you to be saved. 8~ Sft, ~ek
hold, I stand at thd door and knodk." H#9
stands at the door of your heatts, ttl diuftMi
you to let Him in, that He may c&At 6t .ill
the evil things which are in h'tnd doaie ~td
make it a place fit for Him t rell t. Aitd
do you think the Son of dod is tb tah
knocking and calling to you alt the tnmthing
of your youth, and the day of middle fifth
and till the night of old age eomes oh, et~
if you were sure of living to be old ? and
then, when you find you must die at last, you
will let Him in, not because you love Him,
but because you would rather be happy
among the blessed spirits, than be tormented
forever with the devil and his angels. Oh,
do not expect that God will be so mocked
All those things which now keep you from
,0 THE WILLOW TREE,
4'P, will perish like the willow tree, and
0lave no fruit; and you too, like the tree,
roust be cut down and cast into the fire, un-
less you listen to His merciful call, Come,
ye children, and hearken unto me, I will
teach you the fear of the Lord." If you
were a little lamb, would you not rather be
taken care of by a kind shepherd in a safe
pasture, than run about the streets to be wore
ried by dogs, and destroyed by cruel people'?
Behold, Jesus is the good Shepherd, who
giveth his life fr the sheep, and He is willing
to gather you with His arm, and to carry you
in His bosom, and to give unto you eternal
life; so that you shall never perish, neither
4s~4 any pluck you out of His hand,
THE WILLOW TREE.
Bent downward, like the willow leaf,
We fix our eyes below,
Where crawl the forms of sin and grief,
And weeds of folly grow.
Look up, ye simple ones, and view
True wisdom stored in heaven;
Ye need but ask, and unto you
The precious gift is given.
Serve God in fear; his hand shall lead
Your wandering hearts aright:
Serve Him in love; your souls shall feed
In pastures of delight.
Serve him in faithfulness below,
Through scenes of doubt and strife ;
In heaven He'll bless you, and bestow
A radiant crown of life.
AH butterfly, pretty butterfly let me
catch you," said Anne, as she ran after a
very beautiful little red one, that was sport-
ing over a bed of flowers.
But the butterfly did not choose to be
caught; it often rested, as if to invite the
child's approach, then, as soon as she stretch-
ed out her hand, away it flew, leaving her
farther off than ever.
Still Anne followed; at last it alighted on
a rose, and seemed inclined to make a long
visit, for it folded its pretty soft wings, and
was very quiet, Now, butterfly, stay a
minute, and I shall have you," said Anne,
as she drew near with great caution, She
struck her band quickly down, but missed