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month, and we feel it to be a responsible matter, but we desire to enlist your co-operation in endeavouring to gain access to a still larger circle of readers. Will you ask your young friends to become subscribers for the JUVENILE of 1864, and tell them we will do our best to let them have sixpennyworth a month for their penny? We want to issue 50,000 JUVENILES, next month, and to have to print the same number for each month of the year. If our young friends, and others, will help us, it can be done. We thank all our friends for their kind assistance, and now wish them all, in the best sense of the words, "A Merry Christmas, and A Happy New Year!"
London, December 1st, 1863.
VENTNOR, ISLE OF WIGHT.
THIS fast rising and celebrated watering place is situated near the eastern portion of the Undercliff, the narrow strip of land of about half a mile in width, extending from Bonchurch to Blackgang Chine (a distance of about seven miles), between the wall-like precipice of rock, about 600 feet high on the north, and the sea on the south. Till about thirty years ago this spot was scarcely known, being a quiet hamlet of about a dozen cottages, a mill, the well-known Crab and Lobster Inn, and one hotel. At the census in 1851, the number of houses had increased to 500, and the inhabitants to 2578, and it still continues to increase. This may be justly attributed to the salubrity of the climate and its sheltered position from the north and east winds, being thus particularly suitable to persons threatened with consumption. The variety and beauty of the scenery from Bonchurch, through Ventnor, St. Lawrence, and Niton, to Blackgang, is scarcely to be equalled in any part of the kingdom; it is the "Garden of England, and the British Madeira;" for in this little strip of land the climate is mild and the soil dry; frosts are only partially felt; the myrtle, geranium, and many other foreign plants, flourish luxuriantly in the open air during the whole year.
THE SABBATH: ITS OBSERVANCE A BLESSING TO MANKIND.
(Continued from page 33.)
HAVING thus noticed in a brief manner the Sabbath and its change from the seventh to the first day of the week, I shall endeavour to consider,
Thirdly, the blessings accruing to mankind from its proper observance.
The Sabbath, which we have seen is of Divine appointment, has lost nothing of its value from the lapse of ages, the progress of civilization, or the increase of secular knowledge. It is regarded by almost all classes of the community with pleasure. Whatever be the motives with which it is hailed, as a day of physical repose it is welcomed by all. But those who observe it in the service of God, retire at the close of it with an approving conscience, with
spiritual blessings of an invaluable nature, and a strong belief that God's smile will be upon them during the week. Hence the propriety of the following lines,
"A Sabbath well spent, brings a week of content,
But a Sabbath profaned, whate'er may be gained,
The advantages accruing from the observance of the Sabbath are very great. In the first place, there are physical advantages. Physically, the Sabbath supplies man with relaxation from labour. The prospect of uninterupted toil, would be little better than the prospect of uninterrupted pain. In this condition, a gloom thick and dense as that which broods at the midnight hour, would gather and settle upon the hopes and prospects of the labouring classes. But this sacred day is interposed between the waves of worldly business; it allows us a precious interval wherein to pause, to come out from the thickets of worldly concerns, and softening the rigours of our earthly condition, it enables us to anticipate a more perfect and enduring Sabbath, compared with which the earthly one, valuable and sacred though it be, is but an imperfect type. Indeed, if we had not one day at intervals for rest, man's days would be considerably shortened. And from experience it has been found that both man and beast can do more work by resting one day in seven, than by working the whole of the seven days.
But, waving all other temporal advantages, we will glance at the blessings of the Sabbath spiritually.
The observance of the Sabbath forms one of the most impregnable bulwarks of the nation: it is the strongest pillar of the state. Take away this, and an inundation of ignorance and vice would instantly overspread the land; and effects would follow far more injurious to Christianity than all the writings and blasphemies of infidelity. To prove this, we need but refer you to those countries where the Sabbath is in part, or altogether disregarded; to France, for example, with its balls, its theatres, and its open shops. Nay, we need not go so far away, the spectacles we have at home in those who disregard it, tell us what would be the consequences were it banished.
Therefore, we say mankind is benefited by observing the Sabbath. For it is on this day that the mighty moral agencies of the Christian religion are brought to act on society. On the Sabbath we repair to the sanctuary for the acquirement of spiritual knowledge. There we are informed of our diseases, and pointed to a cure; we are also reminded of the duties we owe to God, ourselves, and our
fellow-men. We are instructed and exhorted to be sober, chaste, upright, and diligent; yea, we are taught everything calculated to elevate us in virtue and holiness, and thereby make us good members of society.
Prayer is one of the exercises of the sanctuary, and there is a power in this exercise which must not be overlooked. Prayer," it is said, can move the hand that moves the world." On the Sabbath, thousands of ministers, as the mouthpiece of myriads of their fellow-men, are engaged in besieging the throne of grace, with earnest supplications for the temporal and spiritual welfare of mankind. And is it too much to suppose that their prayers are sometimes answered? To suppose the contrary would be dishonouring to God, as well as undervaluing the efficacy of prayer. All, then, may be participators of the temporal and spiritual blessings sent in answer to earnest prayers. Verily, "the effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
Again, consider what a mighty influence for good is exercised by our Sabbath schools. And remember that these glorious institutions, with all their moral, intellectual, and religious influences, owe their existence to that one day in seven, which frees man from the tasks of worldly business, and allows him leisure to make acquaintance with his Maker. Thousands, through this means, have been brought from the sinks of moral degradation, and raised to the ranks of respectability and honour.
And, in the last place, the observance of the earthly Sabbath, prepares us for the heavenly and eternal Sabbath. The Christian, cast down with the cares and toils of life, feels that but for the command to restrict his thoughts for one day in seven to the exercises of religion, he would soon be almost absorbed in worldly occupations. But Sabbath occupations restore to religion its ascendency over the mind and endow us with new spiritual strength for the engagements of the week. And Christians in general feel that they owe much of their growth in religion to the Sabbath. In religiously observing it, they are supplied with a pledge and foretaste of future glory, where the followers of the Lamb shall for ever rest from their labours. Let us, then, direct our thoughts to the Sabbath of glory, in which every other Sabbath shall finally issue; and try to rise on the wings of faith and love, in a due observance of this sacred day, to those heavenly joys which are above.
"Those Sabbath bells, their joyous tune,