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not easily provoked," not soon stirred up to anger, has nothing to do with the evil spirit of violence and wrath.

“ Charity thinketh no evil.” A true Christian, feeling no ill will toward others, will not believe that others have an evil feeling towards him. He desires to think the best of others; to put the best construction on their actions, whilst he is lowly in his own eyes, and ever watchful to judge himself. He feels that to judge others belongs to God.

“Charity rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth :" it has no delight in seeing the faults of others, or in pointing out their sins, it rejoiceth in seeing Christian truth prevailing, and is happy when ungodliness and iniquity

give way to heavenly truth. “ Charity beareth all things,” bears with the faults of others, and tries to cover and conceal them, when no good purpose can be answered by exposing them: she « believeth all things," thinks and believes the best of others, till she has stronger proof of their guilt than the voice of idle report or malicious slander.

But "charity hopeth all things.” Even if guilt be proved, it “ hopeth” the best; it hopes that the sinner may be led to see his error and his danger, and by the grace of God, may be brought to repentance and to salvation.

“Charity endureth all things," bears with patience the trials, and afflictions, and distresses of this life, from a sure confidence that God will make them all work together for good, if we seek to love Him, and pray for that spirit of submission with which He blesses those who trust in his promise, and who can say with the Apostle,“Our light afflictions, which are but for a moment, work out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."

V.

RHYMES FOR THE PARISH.

(The Clothing Club.)
Now, husband, show you care for me,

Show that you for your children care,
And let both friends and neighbours see,
You something to our wants will spare.

“ You know to-morrow is the day

The Clothing Club' begins to run,
And if we but our sixpence pay,

Our course of credit is begun.
“ Our children now, in tatters clad,

See, how about the doors they go,
A sight that well may make us sad;

It fills their mother's heart with woe.
“ But spare 'one sixpence in the week,

And soon another sight you'll see ;
'Tis all they want,-'tis all I seek ;-

Oh, spare it to your babes and me.”
So urged the wife:-and now, behold

The change that one short year has wrought,-
Each back well shelter'd from the cold,

With much besides “the Club” has brought-
Two blankets, and a pair of sheets,

Stout shoes for Joe, a frock for Sue,
A smock that wind and weather meets,

And for the wife a gown so new.
And have they through the by-past year

That weekly sixpence ever miss'd,
Or lived on poorer, scantier cheer,

Or with a comfort less been blest?
Ah no: both babes and mother tell

How many blessings they have gain'd,
Since “ father"-whom they love so well-

Has from the public-house abstain'd;
And what he there was wont to pay,

Or bid be added to his score,
Brings home instead, each Saturday
To spend it on himself no more.

R. A. S.
Church Eaton, January 1842.

MIRACLE OF THE LOAVES AND FISHES.

St John vi. 1-14. A FORMER number of this work contained a few observations on the miracle of the loaves and fishes. I pointed out some useful lessons to be reaped from it. At the same time I remarked that they were by no means all the instruction which the miracle conveyed. Our blessed Saviour had higher objects in view than merely to feed the multitude, or even to teach them to show kindness to each other, to be careful of their worldly substance, and to be thankful to God for His temporal gifts; for this mighty work of creating food for their bodily wants, was evidently introduced for the purpose of drawing their attention to a matter of the very highest importance, the salvation of the soul, and the proper food for its nourishment and support.

We read, that when, after seeing this miracle, the multitude would have made Christ their King, He departed secretly to the other side of the sea of Galilee, and they, when they found He was gone, eagerly followed Him. Christ knew very well why they were so anxious to find Him. It was not, it appears, from any desire to learn more about heavenly things; for He said unto them, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracle, but because ye did eat of the loaves and were filled;" and He exhorts them to beware of such worldliness, to beware of losing the precious opportunity they now had of hearing from the mouth of their longpromised Messiah the words of eternal life. “ Labour not,” saith he, “ for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life." Seek me not that ye may again be filled with that bread which keeps life in the body only for a short season, but rather seek me for a supply of that food of which if a man eateth he shall live for ever. “I am the bread of life,” come down from heaven to feed a starving world ; eat, therefore, and be filled, and ye shall hunger and thirst no

It is as if He had said, believe in me, not as the reliever of your bodily wants, but as the healer of your souls, accept my offers of pardon and mercy; have a firm sense of your need of my spiritual help; and a hearty desire to please God in sincerity and truth; and as ye have now seen the bodily wants of the great multitude supplied with five barley loaves and two small fishes; so also shall ye see the spiritual wants of the thousands and tens of thousands who come to me for the true bread of life, in a like manner miraculously supplied. Though you know not in what manner the nourishment comes to their souls, it shall never be wanting; though you know not how it works, yet its blessed effects shall be manifest, for my grace, even under the most trying circumstances, shall always be sufficient for all who follow me in sincerity and truth. This then was the nature of that food which Christ earnestly exhorted them to labour after. When, therefore, we read the history of this miracle, we should be very careful not to overlook the spiritual instruction which Christ intended us to reap from it. And for the increase of our faith and love it may be well for us to bear in mind, that though we were not present at this glorious display of Christ's power, yet we every day of our lives witness a similar display of his love towards us ; though from its very commonness we take no notice ofit. For by what less than a miracle is it that day by day we are fed? think of the millions of people on this earth who are entirely dependent on God's bounty, and who look to Him for their supply of food in due season; and what but the most wonderful increase of the fruits of the earth can be sufficient for the support of so vast a multitude; yet countless as they are we see their wants cared for, and abundantly supplied by that liberal hand which filleth all things living with plenteousness. Whilst, then, we receive these temporal mercies, and are thankful for them, and acknowledge the power and goodness of God in so bountifully providing for us, we must be careful not to rest satisfied with them; for Christ admonishes us, in this miracle, that there are far greater and more glorious mercies in store for us. These things do but supply the wants of the body, which will soon be laid in the dust to want no more; but the food for the soul which

more.

prepares and fits it for endless enjoyment after the vain show of this world is past, from its superior worth alone deserves to be sought after by us with eagerness and desire. Here, too, from this miracle, we learn where to seek this heavenly food, even from Jesus Christ, and from Him alone. He is the bread of life, which came down from heaven to give life and immortality to as many as feed upon Him, through faith in his name. For as in this miracle we see that the food all passed through his hands ere it was distributed to the hungry multitude, so He is now, and ever will be, the source from whence flows every blessing to man. By whatever hands the blessing may come to us here, if we have been in want and are suddenly relieved, if we have been in affliction and are comforted; if from sickness we are restored to health; above all, if we have been roused from our spiritual drowsiness and neglect of the things of God, to a sense of our wickedness, and of his lovingkindness, whether it be by the warning of his minister, or by the reading of his Holy Word, or by some calamity frightening us; rest assured Christ is the author of that mercy, for through Him alone every thing that is good flows to fallen man. To this fountain then it behoveth us to look up for the supply of all our wants, but more especially for that greatest and most glorious of all the mercies which He vouchsafes to bestow upon us, that one thing needful, the spiritual food for our souls, the bread of life, which can alone make our lives peaceful on earth, and our happiness eternal in heaven. To obtain this food, we learn from the miracle that we must be sincere and honest in our Christian profession; not taking up religion and pretending to be disciples and followers of Christ, like the hypocrites, only for the sake of the loaves and fishes, i. e. the temporal comforts which are to be obtained from it on this earth, but from a just and holy feeling of the vast importance of the spiritual blessings which the Gospel holds out to us, from a heartfelt wish to please God our Father, humbly to walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ our Saviour, and through the aid of the Spirit to lay hold on eternal life. When such are our motives for following Christ we may confidently trust that we are feeding on the bread of life, which, after nourishing our souls in this world, and keeping us stedfast in the faith, and strengthening us in every good work, shall at last, after all the temptations and trials of this mortal life have passed away like a dream, bring us into the presence of God and our Lord Jesus Christ, where is fulness of joy and rest and peace for evermore.

J. M.

CONTENTMENT. "I NEVER hear you complain,” said Jane Foster one day to her grandmother;" and here you live all alone, and you are rather lame, and very poor too ; I wish I could be as contented as you are. And there is old Mrs. Ford is always grumbling; no day is fine enough for her—her children and grandchildren are always in the wrong; and though she seems pretty well for her years, yet she has

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