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to believe that she was in fault, she insisted that the master kept him at work against his will, and she went to complain of this to the wife of the butcher. The whole matter was explained to her, and she saw clearly that her husband was only acting according to his own inclination. She was very angry; but the butcher's wife did not wait to listen to her, as she was busy, and left her to vent her ill-humour on the next person she might meet. From this time she of course disliked the wife of the butcher. One day she sent her son to the shop to ask if his father was there. The butcher said he was engaged, and could not come to him then. Jane went to the shop soon after in a violent passion, and demanded to see her husband. The butcher told her if she would wait a few minutes James would come to her, but he was then busy. Upon this, Jane began abusing him in the most violent way, and also applied the foulest epithets to his wife, who was behind the counter. After using their best efforts to soften her anger without effect, they thought the wisest plan was to call in the police; and as the butcher did not like to leave his wife alone with Jane, he desired their daughter, who was dreadfully alarmed, to call a policeman. The girl was proceeding to the door for that purpose, when Jane raised her fist, and repeated the same violent and offensive language. The poor girl stood motionless for a few moments, when her eyes became suddenly suffused with blood, and after staggering forward a few paces, she dropped down and expired. Two surgeons were sent for, but in vain. She was quite dead; and as the medical gentlemen were of opinion that her death was caused by the excitement produced by Jane's violence, she was taken into custody 2.
Can any one doubt that Jane was thus guilty of breaking the sixth commandment, "Thou shalt do no murder?" Had she not gone to the shop with an intention of venting her passion upon those within? If not, how could she have ventured to go there at all? for she must have felt a temper rising within that she had long ceased to be able to controul. But though she had intended to give
2 A fact.
way to her passion, she had not, we will hope, intended to be the death of any one. But she had been warned that such might be the consequences of her intemperate conduct; and the uplifted fist showed that she had already advanced one step farther towards breaking the sixth commandment, even in the letter.
Let this story be a warning to all my readers, but especially to the young. If you wish to save yourselves from misery in this world, as well as punishment in the next, learn betimes to govern your temper; watch most carefully over the first beginnings of ill-temper, in whatever form it shows itself. Submit willingly to any punishment that may be a means of correcting it. Pray earnestly and continually to God to help you, and by his grace to correct what is wrong, and to give you a meek and quiet spirit. How happy might Jane have been, had she been a person of religious principle, and had she conquered her temper instead of indulging it! Her husband, her children, her home, might all have proved blessings and comforts to her; but from want of this one all-powerful principle, for want of this only cure for all our faults,she was miserable herself, and made all around her miserable; and at last bore upon her conscience the heavy guilt of another's death.
Remember, that no one can tell into what sins passion may lead them. No one can say, "Thus far I will go, and no farther." The moment we wilfully indulge in any sin, the devil is encouraged to claim us as his own; and when once he is our master we shall be led on farther and farther in the ways of sin. To go on in sin requires no effort on our part, for ours is a fallen nature: to resist temptation and correct our faults is the difficulty; but this resistance must be made, this difficulty must be overcome by the help of God, if we mean to obtain victory in the end, and look forward to the glorious inheritance provided for God's true and faithful children.
At a future time I will endeavour to impress these truths still more upon you, by giving you another instance of the easy and insensible steps by which we are led to break the commandments of our holy and merciful God.
THE SINFULNESS OF THE HEART OF MAN. "It is a people that do err in their hearts."-PSALM XCV. 10. THE Scripture hath concluded all under sin; and yet many respectable persons would be shocked and astonished to be told that they are in danger of hell. But the Scriptures awfully declare, "the wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the people that forget God." There are in the Bible many texts to this effect. We shall find that there are two great classes of sinners, which include all mankind; the sinner in the sight of man, and the sinner in the sight of God. "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts;" for if there is a people who have erred" only" in their hearts," yet the Lord hath sworn that "they shall not enter into his rest," so long as they wander and err from his ways, though but in heart. If, then, we have erred in our hearts, and forgotten God, we are in danger of the sinner's condemnation. And where is the man who can clear himself of the vile ingratitude of forgetting his heavenly Father? Who is he who has never erred in his heart? St. James says, "if any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man ;" and if he have not offended even in thought, he may surely claim the heavenly reward as a debt. Reader, if you are one of those who "do many things gladly," I would desire to convince you thoroughly of sin, that so you may "turn to the Lord with all your heart," and you shall thus find rest unto your soul;" for "in returning and rest shall ye be saved, in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength." I seek to show you that you are a sinner in the sight of God, because his word says so; because Jesus "came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance," and because He says, "Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." It is not to discourage but to animate that I talk of your guilt and danger. I want you so to feel your sinfulness as to remember and adore the exceeding great love of our only Lord and Saviour Jesus. Christ. I desire that you may acquire, from a feeling of deficiency, the spirit of St. Paul, who, though he counted all things but loss that he might win Christ, yet counted not himself to have attained. I desire to urge you on
"from strength to strength," not resting satisfied with doing well in the sight of men, but desiring to " sanctify the Lord God in your heart," to become daily more likeminded with Christ, who pleased not Himself, but sought only to work the work of Him that sent Him. Do you ask, with the Jews of old, "What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?" Jesus Himself has provided the answer: "This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." Faith is the gift of God, as St. Paul informs us. Ask Him then to increase your faith, and to fulfil you with his grace, that you may be enabled to show your faith by your works; for a saving faith will work by love. "Add then to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity." But remember that you must be edified, or, as the word literally means," built up" on faith. Faith is the foundation, and the deeper that is dug in the Rock of ages, the firmer will the building stand amidst the storms of temptation, and "the waves of this troublesome world."
Perhaps some good sort of person may say, "I know I am not perfect; but where is the use of making me miserable by telling me that I am still a sinner, and therefore in danger of hell? if the case be so, then have I cleansed my hands in vain.'" No, my friend; as far as you have gone, it is well; for "to him that ordereth his conversation aright, will I show the salvation of God." But, take heed of even "seeming to fall short" of this great salvation. There are two rules adapted to the two classes mentioned before; and to disregard one will make the other of none effect. "Cleanse your hands, ye sinners, and purify your hearts, ye double-minded." Now, the double-minded are those who "do err in their hearts;" they may have done that which is right, but not from a right motive. The glory of God has not been their aim in all they do has it been yours? If not, besides washing your hands in innocency, you must seek to cleanse your heart, to purify your mind. "The blood of Jesus
Christ cleanseth from all sin;" and the Spirit of God must "create a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within you." C. W. P.
I WAS Visiting, not long ago, the sick-bed of a very old man, who was rapidly wasting away under the influence of a fatal disease. He was lamenting before me many of the sins of his former years, and exclaiming how much more happy he should have been on his dying bed, if he had not fallen into those excesses "of which he was now ashamed." Although not without the hope of pardon, he seemed deeply to feel the sinfulness and disgrace of sin, and the sad havoc it had made with his peace and happiness through life. He was also greatly lamenting the careless state of many of the younger persons in the place, telling me what he thought were the principal dangers and temptations to which they were exposed. He dwelt more than any other upon the practice of smoking, which he said had come in altogether "since his days" in the village, and had been the source of a much deeper demoralization than ever had been then known. He declared his belief, that the greater part of the excessive drinking which is so notorious now among them, had arisen from the introduction of this practice; and that the ruin of scores of men whom he could have named, was apparently owing to their having begun to smoke. Previously, he said, to the time when this fashion was brought into the village public-house, a man would occasionally come to take a little beer, and go away in a very short time to his home, without having lost either much of his money or any of his wit. And although he admitted that it would have been much better to have brewed a little table-beer himself, and drunk it at home without going to the public-house at all; yet his going was not productive of the same evils as that habit is at present. But now the case was far otherwise. They did not only go for little needful refreshment, and for half an hour's sit by the fire; but went in every Saturday night, and also (I am ashamed to add) for some portion of the sacred