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life, and light, and joy, that once burned so brightly in the pure, mild atmosphere of a hallowed home, is now, amidst the damp, chilling air of this cold world's society, or the rude blasts of its turbulent gaieties, becoming dim. mer and dimmer every day; till at length, perhaps, in some hour of deep, dark tribulation, when you look to it for some ray of comfort, some gleam of hope, you will feel as if you were left in utter darkness, and be ready to exclaim, in an agony of despair,—“My lamp is gone out !"
Look to another trial, where you may reap in sorrow, what you have sown in sin: for deliberate disobedience to a positive divine command is sin !
If you have a family, what a new field of perplexity and sorrow may here be opened before you.
You, and the partner of your heart's dearest affections, can take no sweet counsel together, what plans to adopt for training up your beloved children for a Saviour's service on earth, a Saviour's presence in heaven. Your wishes, aims, and solicitudes, on behalf of your children, are diametrically opposed to his on every point : you wish to educate them for heaven,-he for earth : you for eternity,—be for time: you desire to offer them up to God,he, (not intentionally ; but he is blinded by the God of this world; and in his blindness,-appalling thought for you !) he is willing to sacrifice them to Satan.
What will you now do? Will you thwart your hus. band's wishes, oppose his plans, object to his arrangements, in your agonising solicitude to snatch your beloved ones from the grasp of the destroyer ? What a scene of everlasting contention and dispute will your home become! Peace and harmony will no longer abide there; joy and gladness be no more found therein; but in the cold looks, the alienated affections, the angry retort of a once fond husband, you will pay the dreadful penalty of disobedience to God's command.
Will you, then, to escape this dreadful penalty,-oh! will you, with all a Christian mother's yearning love towards her children, far dearer to her than the life-blood in her veins, will you give up the fruitless altercation; resign your offspring to Satan, in despair; and calmly and contentedly look on, to see them sacrificed, and this by their own father's hauds, on the shrine of worldly ambition, wealth, or pleasure to see them dragged down, by him you love most on earth, to that place " where the worm
dieth not, and the fire is not quenched ?". You cannot do this : then what will you do? Oh! is there any
sacrifice of feeling you can now be called upon to make, that would not be immeasurably preferable to the sacrifice you meditate,—the sacrifice of your domestic happiness, of your spiritual welfare, of the souls of your children, and the approbation of your God ?
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE OF THE FISHEK
WICK-PLACE AUXILIARY TO THE SYNOD OF ULSTER'S HOME MISSION.
In presenting their Report, for the present year, to the members of the Congregation who are Subscribers to the Synod's Mission, your Committee have to offer their gratitude to Almighty God, that there has not been any diminution in the amount of Subscriptions. There is an apparent deficiency; but it is only apparent, as there was allowance made for the support of a Scripture-Reader, in the account of last year, which is not reckoned in the present. The gross amount raised in subscriptions this year, is greater than in the former. But we feel it to be a serious inquiry,ếought the members of the Church to be satisfied with the present rate of contribution ? Are we, as individuals and a Church, doing what we ought and might do, in a cause which we acknowledge to be vitally important, and to which we have voluntarily pledged ourselves? We have obtained credit for liberality in the eyes of men; but how does the Head of the Church regard the effort we have made? Can we say, or would He say, we“ have done what we could ?" We dare not think so.
Much remains to be done; and your committee, under a full con. viction that there are resources in the Church that have never yet been drawn upon, would earnestly press the following considerations on all its members. 1. As individuals, what proportion is there between the amount contributed to this cause, and the property which God has committed to our stewardship ? Let us reckon what is expended on dress, and furniture, and luxurious living, and pleasure, and say whether there might not yet be much abstracted from these, and devoted to the cause of God. Let us weigh the sums that are given for the support or relief of the bodies of men merely, and inquire, whether there is a due proportion between these, and those that more immediately respect the soul? The largest subscription is £2. Is this as it ought to be? or are there none who might contribute five, ten, or twenty pounds ? We judge no man, we condemn no man, - we are unacquainted with the circumstances of others; but we earnestly entreat them to examine and judge themselves, as they shall give account to God2. As a Church, are the members contributing as generally as they ought to do? The whole number of Subscribers is about 120, while the members of the Church are not less than 700. Many of these may be unable to subscribe,--some may never have been directly applied to; but, with all the reasonable allowance that can be made, there is surely a fault somewhere. Whoever professes the Gospel, and takes no interést, nor uses any means to further it, is liable to the charge of insincerity; and, should he persist in this neglect, after faithful admonition, he has reason to fear the righteous displeasure of God. We anxiously entreat every member of the Church to consider what he can do for the fur. therance of the truth, and not to stand back. Is the congregation taking that place, which, for the sake of influence and example, it ought to take in this good cause, among the Churches of the Synod ? It would, indeed, be an unworthy motive in a Christian Church to seek a prominent place, for the mere purpose of exaltation or display. But the Apostle Paul teaches us, that we ought to provoke one another to generosity by a holy rivalry. And it is well known that a single man, or a particular Church, may give a new tone and impulse to a whole society, or to all the Churches of the district. Considering the ordinary influence of example, it would not be too much to say, that the doubling of our subscriptions would produce an effect that would be more or less felt over the whole body: and surely, in this light, the importance of coming forward with liberality cannot be too highly estimated. 4. Have we been careful to bring all those means that were within our reach into operation, for the promotion of this cause ? Such are the babitual remembrance of it before God in our private, domestic, social, and public prayers,—the establishment of prayer-meetings, for the special purpose of circulating information, and commending the work to God,-placing Missionary-boxes in the various families that
congregation,-engaging the young to take an interest in it,—and, by conversation and meditation, endeavouring to understand the subject better, and manage it more successfully. Must we not own, that we have left undone much that we ought to have done; and is there not yet too much reason for the complaint, “ all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's.” It is not in the spirit of censure your Committee would venture to say these things; but as intrusted with the management of what they feel to be an important cause, they would stir up all their brethren, and seek to animate their own labours by a faithful exhibition of their common duties and obligations. Nor can they conclude, without reminding their brethren of a few of those motives which now peculiarly urge the cause of the Synod's Missions on the attention and support of all its members. 1. A missionary spirit has been awakened in the Church, which it is above all things desirable to foster. We have witnessed, with supreme pleasure, that the Synod has promised to call upon its Presbyteries and Churches to render an account of their exertions on behalf of Missions. Thus it is taking the true position of a court of Christ; and we should encourage it in doing so. 2. God is opening many effectual doors to the labourers in this cause. Neglected Presbyterians are roused, and seeking the ministration of the Word on every hand; Presbyterians are searched out and found in remote districts, where they have long lived unnoticed and unknown; the Irish speaking population are flocking to learn the story of the Saviour's love, in the Scriptures of their own beloved tongue; the land is before you, in the length and breadth of it, and in all places are there people ready to receive instruction. Nothing is wanted but men and means. 3. This cause has given rise to some efforts of a peculiarly interesting and important nature. Such are the rendering of the Psalms of David into Irish verse, undertaken by Dr. M'Leod,—the translation of the Shorter Catechism into Irish, in which the Synod's agent is engaged as he has leisure,-and the rendering of various other productions, in both prose and verse, into the Irish tongue. Surely it is not a small matter to have been the means of originating or fostering such efforts of philanthropy as these. 4. Out of these efforts for our own land, it is hoped the Synod will be animated to attempt a Foreign Mission. There are indications and promises of such an undertaking already; and when that consummation is effected, then shall our Church stand as she ought to do, nurturing all her own children within her bosom, while she is stretching out her arms to the unenlightened nations of the earth.
COLLECTING STIPEND ON THE LORD'S DAY.
"So the people rested on the seventh day.” Exod. xvi. 30.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX PRESBYTERIAN. Sır.-In glancing over the pages of our “big ba'bible,” we can easily find that the seventh day was set apart for holy rest, not only by the Israelitish people, but also by God himself; for we learn, that, having finished the works of creation, he, the mighty Lord, who called light out of darkness, and beauty and harmony out of rude disorder, rested from all the works he had made, on the seventh day. On that day, the peasant, as the first gray streak enters his little window, casts aside his scanty covering, and starts from his lowly bed; mindful that his weekly work is overpast, and that this day is sacred to holy rest:-and, though he has barely wherewithal to satisfy the demands of his fretful little ones, even for a single day, yet would he feel the blood boil indignantly through his veins, were his ungodly taskmaster to call him forth to break the stilness of the Sabbath morn, with spade or pick-axe; and he would even dare to disobey.
The merchant, who for the past week has been busied among the ponderous volumes of his trade; who has toiled at the expiring lamp even till midnight's silent hour, to strike the forTune-telling balance, would feel, for days and weeks, the gnawings of the inward worm, were he but for one moment to withdraw from holding sweet converse with his Maker, to put the last finishing-stroke to his worldly account-book on that day. Then, how comes it to pass, Sir, when the peer and the peasant,--the merchant and mechanic,--the king and the beggar, lay aside worldly affairs, -and worldly speculations,and worldly amusements, that some of our Presbyterian ministers, --some of our Presbyterian Christian ministers, do profane the Lord's day, by suffering their elders and committees to transact worldly business, and gather in the ministerial dues, op that day.
Is it not a shame, to think that such a practice is carried on by any member connected with that venerable body? And, Sir, I do assure you, that such a thing is practised, aye, and that in the very house to which I myself belong, to enrich the coffers of a truly pious minister, and orthodox divine,-mone who would shrink, as from an unholy thing, to buy or sell upon that day; but who, nevertheless, suffers the sounds of the sacred silver to commingle with the far sweeter sounds of his own eloquence, unheeded and unreproved. Should such things be? Surely not. For how can a preacher enforce keeping holy the Sabbath-day-resting from all worldly works,-refraining from all worldly employments, if, at the same moment, his hearers are aware that he, in that instance, permits the violation of the Sabbath bimself.
It may here be asked, “ and pray, Mr.Censor,when and how should it be collected ?” I answer, We have two solemn feasts, yearly, at each of which times we attend, during three weekly days, to drink in the glad sounds of salvation, as they drop from the preacher's lips. Now, would it not be more seemly to set an hour apart on each, or every of those days, for the ingathering of the dues ? For then, when the Sabbath'morning should arrive, the people could attend upon the preacher's words, without baving their attention drawn off by the sound of silver and of brass.