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1846.]

The Ark of God on a New Cart.

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with the extent of the desolation. But before he lifted a finger to repair, he called for the book of the law of the Lord, and before all the people, read out of that book, till all understood the meaning. He was disposed to do the work of the Lord in God's way. The law was in Uzzah's hands. It was plain. He need not have erred. His motive did not excuse him.

He sinned, and he died before all the people. The lesson taught by this history is this,—" A right thing must not be done in a wrong way.

1. From all that appears, the motive of Uzzah was good. He was disposed to do in the most honorable way, the work assigned him. The ark could have thus been brought; he could have kept it steady. But all this did not avail. I was a wrong way to do a right thing in itself. Human law requires the same thing—an act to be right, must be rightly done. Men elected to office, must be legally chosen. Nothing is more common than for men to contest an election, on the ground that it was not done in the lawful way. Men can hold property to which they are entitled of right, only by securing it in a legal way. It is idle, in a court, to talk of a better way. The right way is the only one that can avail. Men may be wronged in person, character, or property. They can seek redress, but if it be done in a wrong way, they not only get no redress, but become criminals themselves. Men do as they please, but if they act wrong, their liberty is taken away. Men in prison have as much abstract right to freedom as we, but their liberty they did not use in the right way; it was taken from them. A man's own can be held in no other way. A want of form-a wafer omitted in a deed, has taken from legal heirs a princely estate. 2. Obedience to this principle is the secret of temporal

Wisdom and wealth are desired by most men. The path to each is open. To secure either, men must not only desire and strive; but obedience to law must be given; men must strive in the right way. Labor, good intent and

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desire are not enough. Some men toil enough to be rich, read enough to know, but they put the ark on a new cart, and then attempt to keep it steady; and then fail.

3. We see the same spirit in the work of benevolence. Some are ready for every work. They desire to do good. They follow in the lead of any one who promises to reform our race. They meddle with all plans ; support all schemes. They deplore the evils of the times, and wish to remove them, but inquire not of God. They do not pause long enough to know what is the will of God. They cast out the spirit of evil, and hurry on their way, unmindful of the seven more evil spirits that stand ready to enter. Men must do good in a right way, else like Uzzah they will die before the new cart of their own reform.

4. Religion has been harmed by placing the ark upon a new cart. Uzzah has not been the only victim. Men wish to do good—mean so to do. No scheme is devised that does not meet their approbation. They get tired of the old plan of salvation—the old way of saving men ; this incessant warfare day by day with the devil ; this slow conquest over the prince of this world. They wish a swifter mode. They get up a new cart, and censure all who ask for the old path and the old way. They keep the church in commotion, the religious community in a state of ceaseless agitation. They deal rebukes about and finally fall, dragging down others with them in their ruin. Such do evil that good may come. They violate positive law on the plea of expediency, and create evil that years of tears and labor will not remove. Radicalism is not the gospel of peace-ultraism is not the lever of reform that God distinguishes and blesses. Wildfire is no improvement upon the spirit of God. No machinery of man's device can dispense with conviction of sin; no agency can take the place of a living ministry, in the conversion of the world. Many have been the trials; more than once has the ark been placed upon a new cart, and its momentary progress 1846.] The Ark of God on a New Cart.

231 marked with shouting. But it has been in the end the death of the ministry and the church too, who have chosen another way to do the work of the Lord.

5. The spirit of this subject is the great obstacle in the way of the salvation of men. By all interested in salvation, this inquiry is raised, “What must I do to be saved ?" One answer has been returned in all ages. “Repent "_"be converted”_" believe on the Lord Jesus.” No man need err. Men do not wish to be lost, neither do they wish to do the will of God. They are willing to do more than God demands, but not what he demands. They will do what is not asked. They leave undone what is required. They will wash in Abana, but not in Jordan. They will go on pilgrimages to distant lands, but refuse to look to the Lamb of God for salvation. They are confident that their plan is better than God's. They are better in life, than those who prosess more. They climb a higher and more difficult way to get into the fold, but refuse to go by the door, and think it hard that after all their toil, they shall be considered only as thieves and robbers.

All such acts are departures from the straight way that leads to life. All improvements upon the plan of salvation given in the gospel; all royal roads to heaven which dispense with conviction for sin, and holiness of heart; all efforts to make the gate wider, and the road to life more broad, are but imitations of the conduct of Uzzah, when first he placed the ark upon a cart, steadied it, and then died. Imitate him in the first, and in the last his portion will be yours.

Men who live in sin, disbelieve Christ, disobey Christ, violate positive law, will find their portion with the lost in that day when God shall take away the soul. Men must wash, and wash in Jordan. They must believe, and believe on the Son of God. They must look, and look on the Saviour. They must walk, and follow Christ. They must strive, and strive lawfully. They must do God's work, in his time, in

his way, or perish for ever. “To obey is better than sacrifice." As of old, men are sinners. As of old, they must forsake their

way,

and turn to the Lord to be saved. Men must then, toil, labor and continue even to the end, or they cannot see God in peace. Men must inquire to know the will of God—with all their hearts must they do it or die.

M. H. S.

TRIBUTE TO THE MEMORY OF ROBERT RAIKES,

FOUNDER OF SABBATH SCHOOLS.

Thou shalt not sleep, immortal Raikes !

Amid th' unnoticed throng;
My bosom warms, my muse awakes,

To greet thee with a song.

Blest was thy work! when Britain's land

Was darkly overhung;
Thou didst erect, with gracious hand,

A beacon for the young.

Oft in imaginative thought,

I view the humble school, Where young disciples first were taught,

Beneath thy kindly rule.

'Twas not a proud, attractive place,

A lowly cottage-room ;
And yet it was ordained to chase

The clouds of moral gloom.

Its walks were set apart to bless,

The children of the poor ;
And, hence, the scene of usefulness

Did not remain obscure.

The spring begins to overwhelm,

A widening current flows; Till Sabbath schools throughout the realm,

Successively arose.

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Oh ! may thy glorious work extend,

And fill a wider sphere ;
Till the whole universe shall spend
The glad millennial years !

(London) 8. S. Teachers' Magazine.

THE BIBLE AS A TEXT BOOK.

A correspondent of the Boston Journal, in giving an account of the oration of Charles Sumner, Esq., before the Phi Beta Kappa Society, at Cambridge, says;

“In adverting to the august teachers of mankind,' as he termed them, furnished by ancient Greece and Rome, it was gratifying to the Christian heart, to notice, with what ingenuousness aud distinctness he avowed the utter inferiority of all their moral teachings, to what might be found in the Sermon on the Mount, and in the two great commandments, on which hang all the law and the prophets.

When such unqualified testimony to the superior wisdom and excellence of the Scriptures, as a system of morals as well as religion, is given from the highest seats of learning, it is matter of surprise that they are not generally adopted, and systematically used among text books, for the instruction of

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