Page images

niy husband felt very sorrowful, not for his distrusting and inquiring at every turning. own sake, but that he had brought so much When the doctor sends home your medicine, poverty on me, whom he had so dearly lo- tion't you so fully trust in bis ability and ved : 1, on the contrary, was unusually good will, that you swallow it down in full cheerful: for the blessed change in his mind confidence? You never think of inquiring bad more than reconciled me to the sad what are the ingredients, why they are mixchange in his circumstances. I was con- ed in that particular way, why there is more tinted to live with him in a poor cottage for of one and less of another, and why they are a few years on earth, if it might contribute bitter instead of sweet ! If one dose does not to our spending a blessed eternity together cure you, he orders another, and changes in heaven. I said to him, Instead of la- the medicine when he sees the first does you menting that we are now reduced to want no good, or that by long use the same mediall the comforts of life, I have sometimes cine has tost its effect; if the weaker fails. been almost ashamed to live in the full en- he prescribes a stronger : you swallow all, jyments of them, when I have reflected you submit to all, never questioning the skill that my Saviour ni. only chose to deny him-or the kindness of the physician. God is self all these enjoyments, but even to live a the only being whom we do not trust, though lite of hardship for my sake ; not one of his He is the only one who is fully competent, bumerous miracles tended to his own com- both in will and power, to fulfil all his profort: and though we read at different times mises; and who has solemnly and repeatedthat he both hungered and thirsted, yet it ly pledged himself to fulfil them in those was not for his own gratification that the Scriptures which we receive as his revealed orice changed water into wine ; and I have will.' often been struck with the near position of Mr. Simpson thanked me for my little that chapter in which this miracle is record- sermon, as he called it; but said at the same ed, to that in which he thirsted for a draught time, that what made my exhortations prra of water at the well in Samaria. * It was duce a powerful effect on his mind was, the for others, not himself, that even the hum-patient cheerfulness with which he was ble sustenance of barley bread was multi-pleased to say I bore my share in our misplied. See here, we have a bed left us; I fortunes. A submissive behaviour, he said, had, indeed, nothing but straw to stuff it was the best practical illustration of a real wiih, but the Saviour of the world, · had faith. When he had thanked God for our not where to lay his head.' My husband supper, we prayed together; after which smiled through his tears, and we sat down we read the eleventh chapter of the epistle to supper, It consisted of a roll and a bit to the Hebrews. When my husband had of cheese which I had brought with me, finished it, he said, “Surely if God's chief and we ate it thankfully. Seeing Mr. Simp-favourites have been martyrs, is not that a son beginning to relapse into distrust, the sufficient proof that this world is not a place following conversation as nearly as I can re- of happiness, no earthly prosperity the remember, took place between us. He began ward of virtue. Shall we after reading this by remarking, that it was a mysterious Pro-chapter, complain of our petty trials ? Shall vidence that he had been less prosperous we not rather be thankful that our affliction since he had been less attached to the world, is so light? and that his endeavours had not been fol- Next day Mr. Simpson walked out in lowed by that success which usually attends search of soine employment, by which we industry. I took the liberty to reply: 'Your might be supported. He got a recommenheavenly Father sees on which side your dation to Mr. Thomas, an opulent farmer danger lies, and is mercifully bringing you, and factor, who had large concerns, and by these disappointments, to trust less in wanted a skilful person to assist him in keepthe world and more in himself. My dearing his accounts. This we thought a fortuMr. Simpson,' added 1, we trust every bo- nate circumstance; for we found that the dy but God. As children we obey our pa- salary would serve to procure us at least all rents implicitly, because we are taught to the necessaries of live. The farmer was so believe all is for our good which they com- pleased with Mr. Simpson's quickness, remund or forbid. If we undertake a voyage, gularity, and good sense, that he offered us, we trust entirely to the skill and conduct of ot his own accord, a little neat cottage of his the pilot; we never torment ourselves in own, which then happened to be vacant, thinking he will carry us east, when he has and told us we should live rent free, and promised to carry us west. If a dear and promised to be a friend to us.'--'All does tried friend makes us a promise, we depend seem for the best now, indeed ;' interrupted on him for the performance, and do not Mrs. Betty - We shall see,' said Mrs. wound his feelings by our suspicions. When Simpson, and thus went on you used to go your annual journey to Lon- T now became very easy and very hapdon, in the mail coach, you confided yourselt py; and was cheerfully employed in putting to the care of the coachman, that he would our few things in order, and making every carry you where he had engaged to do so; thing look to the best advantage, My husyou were not anxiously watching him, and band, who wrote all the day for his employ

See John, chap, ji.--and John, chap. iv. ler, in the evening assisted me in doing up

our little garden. This was a source of much farmer; •för I fancy you will get but poor pleasure to us; we both loved a garden, and employment on earth with these scrupul us we were not only contented but cheerful. notions, and so send home my papers füreitOur employer had been absent some weeks ly, and pack off out of the parish,'-Out of on his annual journey. He came home on a your cottage,' said my husband, I certainSaturday night, and the next morning sently will ; but as to the parish, I hope I may for Mr. Simpson to come and settle his ac- remain in that, if I can find employment.'-counts, which were got behind-hand by his I will make it too hot to hold you,' replied long absence. We were just going to the farmer, so you had better troop off bag church, and Mr. Simpson sent back word, and baggage ; for I am overseer, and as you that he would call and speak to him on his are sickly, it is my duty not to let any vagaway home. A second message followed, or- bonds stay in the parish who are likely to dering him to come to the farmer's directly: become chargeable.' he agreed that he would walk round that “By the time my husband returned home, way, and that my husband should call and for he found it too late to go to church, I had excuse his attendance.

got our little dinner ready; it was a better • The farmer, more ignorant and worse one than we had for a long while been aceducated than his ploughman, with all that customed to see, and I was unusually cheerpride and haughtiness which the possession ful at this improvement in our circumstanof wealth, without knowledge or religion is ces. I saw his eyes full of tears, and oh ! apt to give, rudely asked my husband what with what pain did he bring himself to tell hemeant by sending him word that he would me that it was the last dinner we must ever not come to him till the next day; and in- eat in this house. I took his hand with a sisted that he should stay and settle the ac- smile, and only said, “the Lord gave and the counts then. - Sir,' said my husband, in a Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of very respectful manner, I am on my road the Lord.'-'Notwithstanding this sudden to church, and I am afraid shall be too late.' stroke of injustice,' said my husband, this - Are you so,' said the farmer: 'Do you is still a happy country. Our employer, it know who sent for you? You may, how- is true, may turn us out at a moment's noever, go to church, if you will, so you make tice, because the cottage is his own, but he haste back; and, d'ye hear, you may leave has no further power over us; he cannot your accounts with me, as I conclude you confine or punish us. His riches, it is true, have brought them with you; I will look give him power to insult, but not to oppress them over by the time you return, and then us. The same laws to which the afiluent you and I can do all I want to have done to- resort, protect us also. And as to our being day in about a couple of hours, and I will driven out from a cottage, how many pergive you home some letters to copy for me sons of the highest rank have lately been in the evening.'-'Sir,' answered my hus-driven out from their palaces and castles; band, 'I dare not obey you; it is Sunday.'- persons too, born in a station which he ne

And so you refuse to settle my accounts ver enjoyed, and used to all the indulgences only because it is Sunday.' 'Sir,' replied of that rank and wealth we never knew, are Mr. Simpson, 'if you would give me a hand-at this moment wandering over the face of ful of silver and gold I dare not break the the earth, without a house or without bread; commandment of my God.' Well,' said exiles and beggars; while we blessed be the farmer, but this is not breaking the God, are in our own native land ; we have commandment; I don't order you to drive still our liberty, our limbs, the protection of my cattle, or to work in my garden, or to do just and equal laws, our churches, our Biany thing which you might fancy would be bles, and our Sabbaths.' a bad example,' 'Sir,' replied my husband, “This happy state of my husband's mind *the example indeed goes a great way, but hushed my sorrows, and I never once murit is not the first object. The deed is wrong mured; nay, I sat down to dinner with a in itself.'--'Well, but I shall not keep you degree of cheerfulness, endeavouring to cast from church; and when you have been there, all our care on Him that careth for us.' there is no harm in doing a little business, We had begged to stay till the next mornor taking a little pleasure the rest of théing, as Sunday was not the day on which we day,'-'Sir,' answered my husband, the liked to remove; but we were ordered not to commandment does not say, thou shalt keep sleep another night in that house; so as we holy the Sabbath morning, but the Sabbath had little to carry, we marched off in the day.' 'Get out of my house, you puritani- evening to the poor lodging we had before cal rascal, and out of my cottage too,' said occupied. The thought that my husband the farmer; for if you refuse to do my had cheerfully renounced his little all for work, I am not bound to keep my engage-conscience sake, gave an unspeakable serement with you; as you will not obey me as nity to my mind; and I felt thankful that a master, I shall not pay you as a servant.'-though cast down we were not forsaken : 'Sir,' said Mr. Simpson, I would gladly nay, I felt a lively gratitude to God, that obey you, but I have a master in heaven while I doubted not he would accept this whom I dare not disobey.'-' Then let him little sacrifice, as it was heartily made for find employment for you,' said the enraged!

his sake, he had graciously forborne to call, but not my duties,'-Now you are wrong us to greater trials,

lagain,'interrupted Mrs. Betty,ʻ your duty is And so you were turned adrift once now to take care of yourself: for I am sure more? Well, ma'am, saving your presence, you have nothing to spare.'-'There you I hope you won't be such a fool to say all are mistaken again,' said Mrs. Simpson. was for the best now.'-'Yes, Betty : Hel. People are so apt to fancy that money is all who does all things well, now made his kind in all, that all the other gifts of providence Providence more manifest than ever. That are overlooked as things of no value. I have very night, while we were sweetly sleeping here a great deal of leisure ; a good part of in our poor lodging, the pretty cottage, out this I devote to the wants of those who are of which we were so unkindly driven, was more distressed than myself. I work a little burned to the ground by a flash of lightning for the old, and I instruct the young. My which caught the thatch, and so complete-eyes are good ; this enables me to read the Jy consumed the whole little building that Bible either to those whose sight is decayed, had it not been for the mercifui Providence or who were never taught to read. I have who thus overruled the cruelty of the far-tolerable health ; so that I am able occamer for the preservation of our lives, we sionally to sit up with the sick ; in the inmust have been burned to ashes with the tervals of nursing, I can pray with them. house. It was the Lord's doing, and it was In my younger days I thought it not much marvellous in our eyes.'-'() that men to sit up late for my pleasure ; shall I now would therefore praise the Lord for his good think much of sitting up now and then to ness, and for all the wonders that he doeth watch by a dying bed? My Saviour waked for the children of men !'.

and watched for me in the garden and on I will not tell you all the trials and afflic- the mount; and shall I do nothing for his tions which berei us afterwards. I would suffering members? It is only by keeping also spare my heart the sad story of my hus- his sufferings in view that we can truly pracband's death.'-'Well, that was another tise charity to others, or exercise self-denia! blessing too, I suppose,' said Betty. -Oh, to ourselves.' i it was the severest'trial ever sent me !' re- Well,' said Mrs. Betty, I think if I had plied Mrs. Simpson, a few tears quietly lived in such genteel life as you have done, stealing down her face. I almost sunk un- I could never be reconciled to an almsder it. Nothing but the abundant grace of house; and I am afraid I should never forGod could have carried me through such a give any of those who were the cause of visitation ; and yet I now feel it to be the sending me there, particularly that farmer greatest mercy I ever experienced ; he was Thomas who turned you out of doors.' my idol; no trouble ever came near myl Betty,' said Mrs. Simpson, I not only heart while he was with me. I got more forgive him heartily, but I remember him credit than I deserved for my patience uu- in my prayers, as one of those instruments der trials, which were easily borne while he with which it has pleased God to work for who shared and lightened them was spared my good. Oh! never put off forgiveness to me. I had indeed prayed and struggled to a dying bed! When people come to die, to be weaned from this world, but still my we often see how the conscience is troubled affection for him tied me down to the earth with sins, of which before they hardly felt with a strong cord : and though I did ear- the existence. How ready are they to make nestly try to keep my eyes fixed on the eter- restitution of ill-gotten gain ; and this pernal world, yet I viewed it with too feeble a haps for two reasons; from a feeling confaith ; I viewed it at too great a distance, Iviction that it can be of no use to them found it difficult to realize it—I had deceiv-, where they are going, as well as from a near ed myself. I had fancied that I bore my view of their own responsibility. We also troubles so well from the pure love of God, hear from the most hardened, of death-bed but I have since found that my love for my forgiveness of enemies. Even malefactors husband had too great a share in reconciling at Tyburn forgive. But why must we wait me to every difficulty which I underwent for a dying bed to do what ought to be done for him, I lost him, the charın was broken, now ? Believe me, that scene will be so full the cord which tied me down to earth was of terror and amazement to the soul, that cut, this world had nothing left to engage we had not need load it with unnecessary me. Heaven had now no rival in my heart. I business.' Though my love of God had always been Just as Mrs. Simpson was saying these sincere, yet I found there wanted this blow words, a letter was brought her from the to make it perfect. But though all that had minister of the parish where the farmer made lite pleasant to me was gone, I did lived, by whom Mr. Simpson had been not sink as those who have no hope. I pray-turned out of his cottage. The letter was ed that I might still, in this trying conflict, as follows: be enabled tv adorn the doctrine of God my Savirur.

MADAM-I write to tell you that your • After many more hardships, I was at old oppressor, Mr. Thomas, is dead. I atlength so happy as to get an asylum in this tended him in his last moments. O, may alms-house. Here my cares are at an end, my latter end never be like his! I shall not

soon forget his despair at the approach of me off with so poor a portion as wealth ; I death. His riches, which had been his sole feel I shall die.'-'It is very hard, indeed,' jov, now doubled his sorrows; for he was said Betty, so good as you are, to be taken going where they could be of no use to him ; ofl' just as your prosperity was beginning.'and he found too late that he had laid up no You think I ain good just now, said Mrs. treasure in heaven. He felt great concern Simpson, because I am prosperous. Sucat his past life, but for nothing more than his cess is no sure mark of God's fav Jur; at unkindness to Mr. Simpson. He charged this rate, you, who judge by outward things, me to find you out, and let you know that by would have thought Herod a better man his will he bequeathed you five hundred than John the Baptist ; and if I may be alpounds as some compensation. He died in lowed to say so, you, on your principles, great agonies; declaring with his last breath, that the sufferer iš the sinner, would have that if he could live his live over again, he believed Pontius Pilate higher in God's fawould serve God, and strictly observe the vour, than the Saviour whom he condemned Sabbath.

to die, for your sins and for mine.' • Yours, &c.

In a few days Mrs. Betty found that her : J. Johnson' new friend was dying, and though she was

struck at her resignation, she could not forMrs. Betty, who had listened attentively bear murmuring that so good a woman should to the letter, jumped up, clapped her hands, be taken away at the very instant which she and cried out, “Now all is for the best, and came into possession of so much money. I shall see you a lady once more.'-'Iam, Betty,' said Mrs. Simpson in a feeble voice, indeed, thankful for this money,' said Mrs. I believe you love me dearly, you would do Simpson, and am glad that riches were not any thing to cure me ; yet you do not love sent me till I had learned, as I humbly hope, me so well as God loves me, though you to make a right use of them. But come, let would raise me up, and He is putting a perius go in, for I am very cold, and find I have od to my life. He has never sent me a sinsat too long in the night air.'

gle stroke which was not absolutely necessaBetty was now ready enough to acknow-ry for me, You, if you could restore me, ledge the hand of Providence in this pros might be laying me open to some temptation perous event, though she was blind to it from which God, by removing, will deliver when the dispensation was more dark. Next me. Your kindness in making this world so morning she went early to visit Mrs. Simp-smooth for me, I might for ever have deploson, but not seeing her below, she went up red in a world of misery. God's grace in stairs, where, to her great sorrow, she found afflicting me, will hereafter be the subject of her confined to her hed by a fever, canght my praises in a world of blessedness. Betty,' the night before by sitting so late on the added the dying woman, 'do you really bench reading the letter and talking it orer. I think that I am going to a place of rest and Betty was now more ready to cry out against Ijoy eternal ?'-'To be sure I do,' said BetProvidence than ever. •What! to catch a ty. ---Do you firmly believe that I am going fever while you were reading that very let- to the assembly of the first-born; to the spiter which told you about your good fortune; rits of just men made perfect, to God the which would have enabled you to live likea judge of all ; and to Jesus the Mediator of lady as you are. I never will believe this is the new Covenant ?'-'I am sure you are,' for the best ; to be deprived of life just as said Betty, And yet,' resumed she, you you were beginning to enjoy it!

would detain me from all this happiness; Betty,' said Mrs. Simpson, 'we must and you think my merciful Father is using learn not to rate health nor life itself too me unkindly by removing me from a world highly. There is little in life, for its own of sin, and sorrow, and temptation, to such sake, to be so fond of. As a good archbishop joys as have not entered into the heart of used to say, 'tis but the same thing over man to conceive ; while it would have betagain, or probably worse : so many more ter suited your notions of reward to defer my sights and days, summers and winters; a entrance into the blessedness of heaven, repetition of the same pleasures, but with that I might have enjoyed a legacy of a few less relish for them ; a return of the same or hundred pounds! Believe my dying words greater pains, but with less strength, and -ALL IS FOR THE BEST. perhaps less patience to bear them.'-- Mrs. Simpson expired soon after, in a *Well,' replied Betty, I did think that frame of mind which convinced her new Providence was at last giving you your re- friend, that God's ways are not as our ward.'- Reward ! cried Mrs. Simpson. ways.'

O, no! my merciful Father will not put

[blocks in formation]



Mrs. JONEs was the widow of a great (mended by his Lord with him who had ten : merchant. She was liberal to the poor, as and it was not poverty, but selfish indolence, far as giving them money went; but as she which drew down so severe a condemnatian was too much taken up with the world, she on him who had only one. It is by our condid not spare so much of her time and formity to Christ, that we must prove ourthoughts about doing good as she ought; so selves Christians, You, madam, are not that her money was cften ill bestowed. In called upon to work miracles, nor to preach the late troubles, Mr. Jones, who had lived the Gospel, yet you may in your measure in an expensive manner, failed ; and he took and degree, resemble your Saviour by going

his mistortunes so much to heart, that he about and doing good. A plain Christian, . fell sick and died. ! Mrs. Jones retired, on a who has sense and leisure, by his pious exer

very narrow income, to the small village of tions and prudent zeal, may, in a subordinate Weston, where she seldom went out, ex-way, be helping on the cause of religion, as cept to church. Though a pious woman, well as of charity, and greatly promote, by she was too apt to indulge her sorrow; and his exertions and example, the labours of though she did not neglect to read and pray, the parish minister. The generality, it is yet she gave up a great part of her time to true, have but an under part to act; but to melancholy thoughts, and grew quite inac- all God assigns some part, and he will retive. She well knew how sinful it would be quire of all whose lot is not very laborious, for her to seek a remedy for her grief in that they not only work out their own salworldly pleasures, which is a way many vation, but that ihey promote the cause of people take to cure afflictions; but she was religion, and the comfort and salvation of not aware how wrong it was to weep away others. that time which might have been better To those who would undervalue works of spent in drying the tears of others.

mercy as evidences of piety, I would sugIt was happy for her, that Mr. Simpson, gest a serious attention to the solemn appeal the vicar of Weston, was a pious man. One which the Saviour of the world makes, in Sunday he happened to preach on the good that awful representation of the day of judge Samaritan. It was a charity sermon, and ment, contained in the twenty-fifth chapter there was a collection at the door. He cail- l of Matthew, both to those who have need on Mrs. Jones after church, and found glected, and to those who have performed her in tears. She told him she had been such works; performed them, I mean, on much moved by his discourse, and she wept right principles. With what a gracious because she had so little to give to the plate, condscension does he promise to accept the for though she felt very keenly for the poor smallest kindness done to his suffering memin these dear times, yet she could not assistbers for his sake. You, madam, I will venthem. Indeed, sir,' added she, I never ture to say, might do more good than the so much regretted the loss of my fortune as richest man in the parish could do by merethis afternoon, when you bade us go and do ly giving his money. Instead of sitting here, likewise.'--'You do not,' replied Mr. Simp-brooding over your misfortunes, which are son, "enter into the spirit of our Saviour's past remedy, bestir yourself to find out ways parable, if you think you cannot go and do of doing much good with little money ; or likewise without being rich. In the case of even without any money at all. You have the Samaritan, you may observe, that cha- lately studied economy for yourself; instruct rity was bestowed more by kindness, and your poor neighbours in that important art. care, and medicine, than by money. You, They want it almost as much as they want madam, were as much concerned in the du-money. You have influence with the few ties inculcated in my sermon as sir John rich persons in the parish ; exert that influwith his great estate; and, to speak plainly, ence. Betty, my house-keeper, shall assist I have been sometimes surprised that you you in any thing in which she can be useful. should not put yourself in the way of being Try this for one year, and if you then tell more useful,'

me that you should have better shown your Sir,' said Mrs. Jones, 'I am grown shy of love to God and man, and been a happier the poor since I have nothing to give them.' woman, had you continued gloomy and in

Nothing ! madam?'' replied the clergy- active, I shall be much surprised, and shall man : Do you call your time, your talents, consent to your resuming your present way your kind offices, nothing? Doing good of life.' iloes not so much depend on the riches as oni The sermon and this discourse together the heart and the will. The seriant who made so deep an impression on Mrs. Jones, improved his two talents was equally com-i that she formed a new plan of life, and set

This was first printed under the title of The Collage Cook.

« PreviousContinue »