Images de page

ions which had been happily interrupted by her introduction, as a slave, into the family of the father of the faithful; and the angel of the Lord said unto her, "Return to thy mistress, and submit thyself under her hands." How many reflections here naturally present themselves to our minds! First, it is better to be a servant in the family of a servant of God, than to wander at liberty among those who know him not, or, knowing him, forget and neglect him. "I had rather," said David, "be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of ungodliness." To come away from the house of Abram, and go to her relations in Egypt, is to turn her back upon the promises of revelation, and consequently to prefer the interests of this world to the hopes of that which is to come, is grievously criminal.

Secondly, we have here a proof that the relative duties of men are regarded and exacted by God. It is said that Sarah dealt hardly with Hagar. But this was so far from warranting Hagar in fleeing away from her mistress, that the order of the directing angel is express and particular: "Return to thy mistress," and not only so, "submit thyself under her hands!" As the divine providence knows what is best for us, so no blessing is to be expected from God, except by abiding in the post and station where he has placed us; and there is no station in life in which the presence of our gracious Master may not be enjoyed, as long as we remain contented with his appointment, and seek his blessing and guidance in the discharge of our ordinary calling. "Servants, be obedient unto your masters in all things; not with eye-service as men-pleasers, but as the servants of Christ, doing his will from the heart."

But the most striking lesson which the narrative teaches us, is that of the wonderful compassion and tenderness of our blessed Redeemer to his erring servants. Hagar had strayed from the path of duty, and the angel of the Lord watches her, even after her departure, and interposes for the purpose of inducing her to return. He found her even after she had left the family which the Lord had distin

guished by his special blessing. He found her in the wilderness, and the direction he gives to her is, "Return.” Hagar sought not the guiding voice; but it followed her, and may remind us of that wise prayer of David, in the last verse of the 119th Psalm, "I have gone astray like a sheep that is lost. Oh! seek thy servant." The strayed sheep sought not to return, but was sought and found by the angel in the wilderness, who led her back in safety. How beautifully illustrative this of the words, leaving the ninety and nine just persons, and seeking the poor strayed sheep! We are hence taught to beware of thinking, when we see our neighbour going astray, and falling into errors which seem very inconsistent with the line of strict duty, that therefore God has cast him off, and he may consequently be unto us as a heathen man and a publican. If the patience of God towards offenders were not greater than ours, alas! who could stand in his presence? But the Lord is very pitiful and of tender mercy. He is full of compassion, long-suffering, and of great goodness.

The next observation I would make on this incident of sacred history, is the comfort it is calculated to afford to all Christians in a state of dejection and distress. How dreary was the situation of Hagar, wandering in the lonely wilderness, when not a human being knew where she was, and, so far as she could judge, no man cared for her soul! She had probably cherished the fond hope of being herself the mother of the promised seed, to which Abram had so looked forward. But now her own thoughts bewildered her; and she had thrown both herself and her expected child upon the wide world, without a guide or a friend; nor did she know where to look for either counsel or comfort. Yet, amidst all this perplexity and distress, the angel of the Lord, we are taught, found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness. How cheering a proof that God is with us, even when we are unmindful of ourselves, and that, when the world is a wilderness to us, and we seem to be forsaken or forgotten by all who dwell in it, there is one eye which still searches out our path, one Being on whom we





Price Sixpence, Third Edition,

AN EPITOME OF PHRENOLOGY. "One of its chief recommendations is the smallness of its size, and the cheapness of its price. It is indeed a Multum in Parvo."Spectator." This tidy, neat, and cheap tome presents a lucid compendium of Phrenology."-Tait's Magazine.-"The price of the book places it within the reach of all, and to those who are about to enter on the study of Phrenology, it cannot fail to prove peculiarly acceptable and useful."-Midland Counties Herald."Mr. Goyder is well known as a zealous Phrenologist, and as the author of several good works on that Science."-Sheffield Iris.


Price Three Pence Coloured; Three Half-pence Plain,

The People's Edition of the

PHRENOLOGICAL CHART. "This is a very cheap, well executed, and useful Chart of Phrenology."-" No Phrenologist should be without this Chart, which is calculated to be alike useful to the learner as an Elementary Treatise, and to the adept as a reference map; while its neatness renders it, when nicely mounted, no mean ornament to the Library. Its price adapts it to the masses."-Northern Star.

Price 2s. 6d., Second Edition, The


"It is a sensible Treatise on Covetousness and Avarice, written in a truly Christian spirit."-Tait's Magazine. "It is replete with excellent sentiments."-Intellectual Repository." It displays considerable powers of reasoning, a great command of language, and some eloquence."-Kilmarnock Journal.-" We award the work an unqualified recommendation."-Scotch Reformcrs' Gazette." It exhibits the odious vice which it condemns, in a novel, and frequently in a very striking light of contemplation."—Northern Star. "The work is written in an eloquent, easy, and untechnical style, and cannot be too strongly recommended to general perusal. All will be benefitted by considering well the subject of which it treats."-Sheffield Iris.


[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]
« PrécédentContinuer »