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testimonials in its favour have issued (unsought) from individuals, whose rank in intellectual society gives value and authority to their approbation. Some of these have expressed a willingness, if others would join them, to guarantee the Editor from all risk for the ensuing year.
With such a pledge, she would not hesitate to continue her humble, yet pleasing, and she trusts, useful exertions ;-but without it, here they must terminate.
Should this statement meet the eye
any publicspirited individuals, who may feel inclined thus to patronize the work, they are requested to address a line to the Editor, before the 14th of December,- until which time she will hold herself ready to prosecute her labours : but should this appeal to the public feeling fail to elicit satisfactory encouragement, she must now most reluctantly bid her Readers
St. Aldate's, Oxfords
November 27, 1826.
Chastened Anticipations for the New Year. “ If the Lòrd will, we shall live, and do this or that.”—James iv. 15. THE mind of man naturally anticipates, or looks forward to futurity, and realizes scenes, circumstances, and enjoyments yet to come. This disposition is in itself innocent and profitable ; it is at once an evidence of the soul's immortality, and a stimulus to enterprize, diligence, and perseverance. Who would exert himself to-day, if he did not expect to-morrow?
But this, like every other tendency of the human mind in its degenerate state, is prone to misdirection and abuse : our anticipations in general, are too low and bounded in comparison with the dignity and the duration of our nature; and, considering our constant and entire dependence, too much formed without reference to the will and permission of the Supreme Arbiter of events. Forgetful of our greatness, instead of anticipating and aspiring after glory, honour, and immora tality, we cling to a clod, or eagerly pursue the vanities of an hour; and, forgetful of our littleness too, we act as if possessing a certain and extended term of human existence, and an absolute controul over circumstances and events ; and we arrogantly make our calculations, and pronounce our decisions. To-day or to-morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy, and sell, and get gain," and form the connexions of life, and share richly all its enjoyments The disappointments incident to man, in this state of uncertainty and imperfection, might well teach us more
modesty and hesitation ; but we are backward to learn, and an express precept from Heaven was necessary to induce us to moderate our expectations from earth, and elevate them to heaven ; and, indeed, we have on this subject, “line upon line, and precept upon precept, Among many others, the apostle James strikingly admonishes us against presumptuous anticipation, checking it by the humbling consideration, "ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, which appeareth for a little while, and then vanisheth away ;” and suggesting a more becoming spirit and language, “For that ye ought to say, if the Lord will, we shall live, and do this or that." The sentiments which this passage inculcates, appear to be those of habitual consciousness of our entire dependence on the Divine disposals, and habitual acquiescence in them. Let us ever realize the fact, that our intentions will be carried into execution, our purposes be effected, and our plans succeed, just as far, and no farther, than as “ the Lord will :" and let us cherish a willingness that it should be so, and this will tend very greatly to keep us in a proper frame for discharging the various duties of life, and for meeting its events, whether of a prosperous or an adverse nature.
Under the influence of these sentiments, let us form the anticipations of the opening year. As they respect provision for the supply of our daily wants, probably most of our readers, as well as ourselves, have to de pend, in part or in whole, on their own exertions for the support and comforts of life; but let us not forget our higher dependence. From whom do we derive the ability to labour ? Who is it that has hitherto made our hands sufficient for us? And on whom are we just as dependent as ever, for the continuance of that capacity, and for its success? “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it; it is vain to rise up early, and sit up la
and eat the bread of carefulness," unless the blessing of the Lord be added to the labour of our hands, to our basket and our store. Then let us not forget to seek that blessing, constantly committing our way unto the Lord; trusting in him, and doing good, while we plead his faithful promise, “so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.” Such a course, among other advantages, will be a preservative against engaging in any pursuit on which we cannot ask and expect his blessing. Can we say, if the Lord will, we shall live, and sin against him? No, He cannot will this, nor can we cherish such a thought if we habitually realize his presence and controul.
As it respects our domestic connexions, parents are anticipating the welfare of their children, planning and acting for their maintenance, their improvement, their general advantage. Children, perhaps, are anticipating the close of the period allotted to education, or their quitting the parental roof, to enter on the busy scenes of life; young persons may be anticipating pleasing connexions in life, and dreaming of years of happiness in reserve for them :- let each admit the thought, and let it have its due weight,—"If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this or that.” Some fatal disease may be stealing on with silent haste, to cut you off from your
cherished prospects—some accident may in a moment close your mortal existence-some unforeseen event may occur to thwart all your projects, and cut off your fondest expectations; therefore prepare for disappointment-and if it comes, think not that some strange thing has happened to you, but endeavour to recognize the hand that inflicts sorrow, as well as imparts enjoyment, and seek a Friend whom no circumstances can alienate, a portion that nothing can wrest from your grasp.
Recollecting the frail tenure on which we hold our dearest earthly connexions, let it be our care to improve them, while they are continued to us ; let
parents seize every opportunity of impressing useful and pious instructions on the minds of their rising offspring ; let children carefully and obediently receive those instructions ; let both keep in mind the account to be given, of privileges and opportunities of improvement and usefulness, and so act, that whenever the connexion may terminate, the tears of separation may not be embittered either by remorse or fearful apprehension.
“ If the Lord will,” we shall extend our time another year-let time be more than ever redeemed for his glory, for our soul's vast interests, for the good
of our fellow-creatures~" If the Lord will,” we shall live, and enjoy the means of grace, the reading of his word, the ordinances of his house : let them not pass, as hitherto, neglected or comparatively unimproved, but
“ seek the Lord while he may be found, and call pon him while he is near;" or having found an interest in his great salvation, let us grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ," and “walk worthy of the Lord unto all well pleasing.”
Adopting this sentiment, we acknowledge our mörtality. “ If the Lord will, we shall live,--but—if he see fit, we shall die:--and what if this year we should die ? Are we ready for death? “ The sting of death is sin,”have we fled for pardon and life to Him who died that sinners might live ?—“Except a man be born again, he cannot enter the kingdom of God," are we born again? are we become new creatures in Christ Jesus? Let not these all-important subjects be any longer trifled with; the time is short-death is near; let not a moment's delay intervene, ere we commit our immortal interests to the hands of the Redeemer, and seek earnestly the influences of his grace, by which alone we can be rendered useful in life, and happy in death. May it be our happiness to adopt the delightful sentiment of an eminent Christian,-“ If the Lord will that I live, he will be with me;—if he will that I die, he will take me to be with him : to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."
Help to the Practical Study of the Holy
The Book of Job. We are now entering upon a distinct class of the sacred writings, which is sometimes called Hagiographa, or holy writings; and sometimes the poetical part of Scripture, having been principally written in metre or verse. This class comprehends the Book of Job, the Psalms, and the writings of Solomon.
In the historical books, instruction is presented to our minds, rather by the way of picture or example ; hut in the books now before us, it is conveyed in a more