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tionary, but move in it as the year moves, and leaving the “ word of the beginning of Christ,” go on unto perfection?
The Word of the beginning of Christ!" There are elementary principles then, in christian doctrine, as these terms are paraphrased. But this does not seem to us to be the whole idea. To begin Christ is to have something more than a knowledge of the leading points of gospel truth. The character, as well as the creed, is to be taken up at once; and the milk, as well as the strong meat, of the word of God, is to be so received that we may grow thereby.
It is beautiful to elicit by a dispassionate perusal of the Bible, how thoroughly it is taken for granted that Christians are Christians. They put on Christ, not as the theme of a speculative system of theology; but as a living, influential, soultransforming reality. In him they live, and move, and have
But is it equally clear that those who are now reading this paper and believe themselves to be even much farther forward in the christian course than those purblind Hebrews who had need to be taught again the first principles of the oracles of God—is it clear that they have so learned Christ as to have begun in Him the life of righteousness assumed here to be the index of a genuine conversion to the light, the love, the liberty of the everlasting Gospel ?
We rejoice to think that the beginning of another year may to some be “the beginning of Christ ;” and that, as the seasons brighten into glorious summer, the heart may grow not only stronger in the faith, but warmer, and richer in all the graces of the Spirit. But our hopes are not without a cloud. We think sometimes of the few tokens for good which follow in the wake of this little work, and we think too of the low standing, and worse, of the low standard, taken by many of our correspondents when they beset us with strange questions, that as well as being “ill to solve," would minister but little edification if fully answered. But doubts and discouragements are not for the New Year. The vista that it opens to us is a highway for joyful aspirations, and we hear its echoes, as the still small voice invites us forward_" Fear not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God. will strengthen thee, yea I will
keep thee; yea I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."
Let then our motto be, “Hope on-Hope ever !” And what shall be the burden of this hope--what can it be better than that those who have not yet began Christ, may know in its full power, what this beginning is ; and that those who have already made him theirs, may go on unto perfection?
But what is it to begin Christ? We have no difficulty in understanding what it is to begin any secular study or pursuit : why thould there be so much of mystery in beginning Christ? We have alphabets and hand-books written by uninspired men to teach us natural science. We read them, we study them, we practise the principles they recommend; we imitate their authors and expounders, and thus begin our scholarship in worldly wisdom. But in our sublimer studies of the Truth we have appliances far more helpful. Our books are from the hand of God himself; the principles they recommend are graven on the fleshy tables of the heart, by the Holy Spirit, and we see them living in all their purity and perfection, in the meek, the lowly, the infallible Jesus,-the most majestic, and yet the most imitable of all examples. In worldly sciences our teachers, may be wrong, uncertain, or inapt; but in our perfect model, as Christians, we can lack nothing. Come then, on this, the first day, the first week, the first month, of another year, and listen to the voice that whispers “Learn of Me."
“ Learn of Me!” The mystery is resolved, the problem is unriddled, in these few, these simple words. Why should we perplex ourselves with further questions ; or, taking the invitation as we find it, say in our hearts, “Who shall ascend into heaven to bring Christ down from above, or who shall descend into the deep to bring up Christ again from the dead ?" Is it not enough to have the assurance of God himself that there is no need of this? The Word in the heart and in the mouth, is Christ received, Christ begun, Christ confessed, Christ preached in deed and in truth !
Let the Word, then, be studied ; let it be prayed over ; let it be felt. It is this that testifies of Christ—that tells us all he did and suffered for us, that sets him evidently before us. As God is seen in the face of Christ Jesus, so Christ is reflected in the face of his Word—it is the brightness of his glory, the express image of his person. Beholding Ilim in this glass, we shall be changed into his image ; and by the Spirit of the Lord he will be begun, continued, and perfected in us.
If then to those who have not yet received Christ, we may hold out these encouragements, what may we not say to those who walk in the light of that promise which includes all others, “Lo! I am with thee.” Have you ever realized the full glory of that resolve of the apostle's—" I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus?" Let the New Year roll as it will, our privilege is a high and holy one-to walk with Christ throughout it. To follow, to learn, to trust, is our vocation. Apprehended of him, who dare tamper with souls, as we march heaven-ward? We are his willing captives, feeling that his living, leading grasp is on us still; and that He and His ather are one in the delightful promise—“I will strengthen thee, yea I will help thee, yea I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” But he who leads us is our teacher too. Whilst he whispers “When thou goest, thy steps shall not be straightened, and when thou runnest thou shalt not stumble," he is not unmindful that we have much to apprehend—much to seize on-in our glorious transit. Oh! lean upon Him, and realize the fact that help has been laid upon the Mighty; but do not let these leanings degenerate into indolence. Hear him, as he walks with you through the Coming Year, pointing out your duties and your destiny; and saying, as occasions open, and the map of providence unfolds“ Take fast hold of Instruction -Let her not go! Keep her! for she is thy Life.” And trust Him too, for whom can you trust better than one whose self-communings have been thus summed up—“No-I will not leave thee: no-no-I will never forsake thee."
LOOK TO THE END.
The following narrative has for its title, “ Look to the End." Now, the moral of the story in its complete sense, the end only can develop. In the mean time, should any of our readers be disposed to think the opening incidents too childish, we would
reply—all have been children in their turn. In early youth the seeds are sown which ripen into wisdom or folly in mature age,“ Look to the End.”
We can promise that our children shall speedily grow up to an age more suited to the majority of the readers of the Youths' Magazine. Yet we wish to create some interest for our heroine during her childhood, though who the true heroine may be, the sequel only can determine. I was about twelve years of age when I left my
father's house to be placed at school in a country town about fifty miles from the metropolis. This establishment was conducted by a maiden lady named Percy, who was my godmother, and who had always taken a lively interest in my welfare, which it was evident she thought would be best consulted by placing me under her immediate care ; though this was an object by no means easy to accomplish, as I was an only daughter, and my parents felt the separation a severe trial.
My father was a clergyman with a narrow income, which circumstance rendered him anxious to secure for his children the advantages of a liberal education. We were early taught that we must depend upon our own exertions, and whilst our home was made happy, our dear parents took especial care that we should not be deceived, as so many young persons are, as to our real position and circumstances. Our beloved father used frequently to assure us, that a good education and correct principles were blessings most capable of being turned to good account in this world ; “and if,” said he,“ to these should be joined true piety, I shall have nothing left to wish for, so far as my children are concerned.”
As I was intended for a governess, it was represented to my father that his tender treatment, joined to the indulgence of home, might unfit me for the situation I should be called upon to fill in after life, and it was at length decided that to school I must go. To confess the truth, I was pleased with the idea, for I longed to live amongst companions of my own age and sex, and many were the joyous anticipations in which I indulged. Besides, it was with me as with most spoiled children ; being generally gratified in my whims, and a person of first-rate importance at home, it never entered into my calculations that I could be of
less consequence elsewhere, than I found myself in my father's house.
Well do I recollect my impatience for the day to arrive on which I was to join my young companions; nor had I a single regret or misgiving, until the evening before my departure, when my attention was arrested during our family worship, by the solemn, yet, tender manner, in which my father committed me to the Divine protection, praying that the new situation in which I was about to be placed, might be blessed to my spiritual, as well as temporal good. His voice faltered as he committed his little lamb to the keeping of the “Good Shepherd," and in spite of all my efforts, I found it impossible to restrain my tears. When we rose from our knees, this kind parent drew me towards him, and gave me some parting advice suited to my age and understanding ; pointing out my faults, and directing me to ask for grace to overcome them.
“ You are about to leave your parents, my Caroline," he added, “but there is a heavenly Friend who will never forsake my little girl, if she gives her heart to him. This is the Friend of sinners—the blessed Saviour, who knows what children feel, and feels for them, a love far exceeding that of the most tender parent. Were I assured that my darling really loved this Best of Friends, and would make it her study to show her love to him by keeping his commandments, I should feel quite sure that she would be happy at school, and not only happy, but useful to the dear children around her.” So saying, my father presented me with a beautiful pocket Bible, bound in purple morocco, which he advised me to keep in my bed-room, and endeavor to read daily.
The following morning I set out on my journey, accompanied by my father, and two young ladies, several years older than myself, who had been some time at school. It was a clear, frosty day, towards the end of January; and, as I was unaccustomed to travelling, I thought the motion of the coach delightful, and fancied I should never weary of riding, and looking at the varied scenes which presented themselves as the carriage rolled along. No doubt my noisy vivacity was disagreeable to my companions, who, having been to school before, were not quite 80 sanguine in their expectations. However, I became tired long before we arrived at the end of our journey, and remember little