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Thoughts on the Duty of Cheerfulness.
Tuis humble stone an awful truth makes known,
THOUGHTS ON THE DUTY OF CHEER
SUGGESTED BY THE SEASON OF HARVEST.
It may perhaps appear unnecessary to endeavour to point out the duty of being grateful for the gifts of Providence, when the season of harvest seems almost to compel us to see the goodness of that Almighty Being, whose bounty provides so abundant a supply for our wants, and whose promise never fails, that, “ While the earth remaineth, seed-time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night, shall not cease." These are gifts which every one can value ; and for which every one ought to render his hearty thanks. The whole earth seems to utter a note of rejoicing. We often, indeed, hear expressions, from which we may be led to hope that the Giver of these blessings is not forgotten. "A fine harvest, or a fine crop, thank God!"-But are such expressions really the grateful returns of the heart, or are they merely a form without meaning? This is known to the Searcher of all hearts; let it be well considered by every one who uses them. To the reflecting Christian, the season of harvest will doubtless suggest many an impressive thought drawn from Scripture, mingling with his deep thankfulness, during all the active exertion which the season calls for. He will remember with pleasure how often our Saviour used this season as a comparison, knowing how universally it would come home to the feelings and comprehensions of men of all ages and countries. He will remember that our Lord has called the world a harvest, and those who teach the Gospel the labourers appointed by the Lord of the harvest. And, again, in the parable of the sower, Christ compares the seed which is sown in good ground, and brings forth much fruit, to the happy effects of hearing the Gospel on an honest and good heart, which brings forth the fruits of righteousness. And, again, he uses the comparison of the harvest, still more solemnly, to describe the day of Judgment, when the tares which Satan has sown in the
world shall be rooted up and consumed. All these thoughts, and these ways
of remembering God, are good; for they are drawn from Scripture, and we join with pleasure in the grateful rejoicing of those who are partakers of these blessings. But, there are still many who have little share in this world's abundance; and there are others who are so weary and heavy-laden in mind or body, that they cannot enjoy these things if they do possess them: and even among
those who do now rejoice in all the pleasures of life, and strength, and health, there are many who may soon be lying on the bed of sickness, or who may soon be overwhelmed by distress.
But still I would use the apostle's exhortation to “ rejoice always," because it is those who are afflicted, either bodily or mentally, and those who may be so, whom he calls upon even in the midst of their troubles “ to rejoice in the Lord;" yes, to “rejoice always," for however destitute, afflicted, and cast down they may be, all true Christians, at the present day, have the same causes of religious cheerfulness which animated St. Paul and his com
Thoughts on the Duty of Cheerfulness. 417 panions, which made them “ eat their meat with joy and gladness,” and made them “go on their way rejoicing,” even though their way was through the greatest dangers and difficulties, the severest trials and bitterest temptations. Their minds were cheerful and their hearts were thankful in the midst of the deepest afflictions; they had “joy and peace in believing,” in believing that Christ Jesus had lived and died and rose again to be the Saviour of mankind, their Saviour ; from the knowledge that their light afflictions, which were but for a moment, would work out for them a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; from the promise which Christ their Saviour had given them of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, to sanctify them, and to fit them for that happiness which He has promised to all who love and seek him. Their happiness in the midst of sorrows was a proof that their trust was in Him.
Thus was fulfilled to them the promise of “ the life that now is, as well as that which is to come;" thus it is that a Christian mind gives the greatest happiness even in this world, thus it is that the “ meek do inherit the earth." Let us all seek for the same cause of cheerfulness. It is the same spirit, the same hope, which cheered and animated the saints of old. How great was David's cheerfulness when he said "O come let us sing unto the Lord, let us heartily rejoice in the strength of our salvation.” “I will sing of mercy and judgment, unto Thee, O Lord, will I sing.' 6. The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom then shall I fear?" Even in the midst of trouble he says, " I will go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy. It is the same mind which was in Isaiah, when he writes, “ The meek also shall increase their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.” And, again, “ Thou shalt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed
Thee.” Many are
Many are the passages of this kind. The Psalms are full of such cheerful words, but I mention only a few of them; but these are sufficient to shew that cheerfulness is a religious duty;
this is very different from boisterous mirth; it is a cheerful religious thankfulness in the midst of abundance, and cheerful religious submission in the midst of pain and sickness of body, or heaviness of spirit
. All things are intended to work together for good to them that love God—for all, then, let us be thankful. Rejoice evermore.
(From an anonymous Correspondent.)
ON THE DUTIES OF THE MORNING.
See the time for sleep bas run:
Who Thy sacred Spirit love !"
the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.
(September.) LETTUCES sown in beds for autumn use, or to stand the winter, may now be planted regularly out. Those which are backward, may be planted out at the latter part of the month, and will perhaps stand till Spring the better for being late. If no lettuce seeds have been sown, the beginning of this month might do to sow them in. Those that are planted out may be set pretty thick, for several of them may die in the winter. If not, they can then be thinned out, using those that are taken up as they are wanted. Look to your cauliflower plants, draw the earth round them, and water them, if the season is hot and dry. You may also plant out some good cabbage plants for coleworts. Take the strongest from the seed-bed, and leave the weakest to gain strength. Plant out more celery in trenches, if wanted. Water what has been planted if necessary, and earth it up. If you have endives, tie them up to make them white and handsome, a few days or a week before they are wanted. Thin and clean the spinach bed, hoe turnips on a dry day. Gather all sorts of seeds that are ripe: the best way is to cut off the branches, and place them in the sun to dry; when they are