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With him she had many conversations; and by tbese he found, that it was a long series of disappointments and afllictions that had so weighed down her spirits, and rendered her unfit and unwilling to enter into any society, and consequently had given so gloomy a cast to her character. She lamented much to him, that her time had been spent, rather in vain regret over vanished earthly enjoyments, than in the pursuit of heavenly treasures."
The sun, which all day long had been hidden by clouds, now suddenly burst forth in brightness, throwing a delightful lustre on “ The Hermit's Chapel,” and gilding the gothic windows of Wilmot-Hall in the distance. JANE observing it, said, “ And may we not hope that the Sun of Righteousness shone, after her dark cloudy day, on the last hours of poor Mrs. Wilmot; and that she is now in the land of light and of joy? After her death, the shades with which Ann had enveloped her character were all dispelled, and that most justly. Her avarice was effectually disproved, when, on the opening of the great chests, they were found full of family relics, of scarcely any value but from their antiquity; and among these were the crucifix and beads, wrapped in a paper on which she had written lines that showed her to be no Roman Catholic. As to her bad temper, Ann has never mentioned it, but has adorned her with every virtue, since the day the will was read, in which she found a comfortable pension settled on herself for life. Many poor families, too, at a distance and around her, who had been accustomed to receive sums of poney anonymously, found out their benefactress, when their supplies ceased at her death, and rose up to call her blessed. Many books in
ON THE DUTIES OF CHILDREN.
the library, by their fresh pencil-marks, and various manuscripts which she left behind, showed her to be no idler, but revealed a mind and heart that sought consolation in communion with itself and in perfect retirement. That she did not find it, in any adequate degree, was evident: man's heart is too sinful and too wretched to find solid peace, till comforted and renewed by the Holy SPIRIT. But, surely, on the review of her life, we must rather pity than blame her. Now you find, GEORGE, how much too severely you and her neighbours judged Mrs. Wilmot. The mistakes so frequently made relative to characters should lead us to hope, that there is, even where we cannot discern it, a bright side, a hidden virtue, a concealed excellency; and should teach us how just, as well as how lovely, it is, to learn and manifest the charity that " hopeth all things and thinketh no evil.” 0.
ON THE DUTIES OF CHILDREN TO THEIR
(Continued from page 304.) 66 4. In close connexion with the preceding observation we remark, that a disposition to listen to a parent's instruction, is clearly implied in the obedience of a christian child : (Prov. xiii. 1 :) “A wise son heareth his father's instructions, but a scorner heareth not rebuke.” This disposition is at all times a pleasing indication of that humility which is the brightest ornament of every Christian. But in the character of the young, this grace ever appears with the most distinguished advantage.
" There is one simple principle, which, if properly considered, would render young people the less averse VOL. VI.
to receive both instruction and reproof from their parents, viz. that experience is somewhat in life, and that those who have had the benefit of it, are in most cases better judges than those who have not. While this is stated as a general proposition, few would think of calling it in question. It should, however, be recollected, that it is practically denied in every case where a young man refuses to take the advice of one who, he has the fullest reason to consider, has his best interests at heart, and who, from his enlarged experience, is likely to be a better judge in the case to which the advice refers, than himself.
66 Permit me to suggest a familiar illustration of this part of my subject. Suppose a number of persons ascending a mountain, and that some, from having got so far before the rest, had reached a certain emi. nence, from which they had a commanding view of the ground they had passed ; that they now clearly saw where they had departed from the right track, and that the dangers to which they were exposed, and the inconveniences to which they were subjected, -at one time floundering in a quagmire, at another on the brink of a formidable precipice,-arose from these deviations; and that now from the eminence which they had occupied, they could point out to those that followed which was the right path ;-you would certainly conceive it great folly and obstinacy in those who were beginning to climb the mountain, totally to disregard their advice, Now, this is a just picture of the conduct of those who refuse to avail themselves of the experience of such as have gone before them in life, and, in cases where experience is obviously of the utmost importance, will rather judge for themselves.
“ It is impossible to calculate how large a portion of human misery is the result of the violation of this very simple rule, that of profiting by the experience of others. The more minutely, however, we examine the connexion of events in the history of individuals, the more shall we be convinced that this portion is a very extensive one. All who have passed a certain period of life, see the errors into which they fell. Even where there is no charge of gross violations of the divine law, they can tell of those bad habits which have entailed on them many inconveniences and distresses, or which have prevented them from making those attainments in knowledge or active usefulness whichy by the early cultivation of habits of a different description, they might have reached : and yet such is the folly of human beings, such their blindness and obstinacy, that one generation is found blundering on after another; treading in the same path, instead of improving by the experience of those who have gone before them. If I shall succeed in leading any of my young readers to become exceptions to this too general description of human character, I am certain they will acknowledge in the issue that I have furnished them with a secret of incalculable value.
" While I am speaking of the importance of children being willing to bow to the instruction or reproof of their parents, it may be useful to mention a very striking example of the melancholy effects of disregarding parental admonition, which came under my own observation several years ago.
“ A gay and thoughtless young man, who had often opposed a pious father's wishes, by spending the Sabbath in idleness and folly, instead of accompanying his parents to the house of God, was taking a ride
on a Sabbath-morning. After riding for some time at great speed, he suddenly pulled up his horse, while the animal, by stopping more suddenly than he expected, gave him such a sudden jerk that it injured the spinal marrow; and when he came to his father's door, he had totally lost the use of the lower extremities of his body. He was lifted from his horse, and laid on that bed which was destined to prove to him the bed of death; and there he had leisure to reflect on his ways. It was when in this situation I was asked to visit him, and he then discovered the deepest solicitude about the things that belonged to his eternal peace. He eagerly listened to the representation that was given him respecting the evil of sin, its dreadful consequences, and the ground of hope to the guilty. He seemed much impressed with a sense of his need of pardoning mercy, and thankfully to receive it in the way that God hath revealed. Many parts of the conversations I had with him, have now escaped my recollection, but some of his expressions I shall not easily forget. On one occasion, when referring to his past life, and finding himself now unable to attend public worship, he exclaimed, "Oh! what would I give now for some of those Sabbaths which I formerly treated with contempt!' He seemed deeply to feel and to deplore his guilt in having so heinously misimproved the precious opportunities of waiting on the public ordinances of religion, which, in the day of health, he had enjoyed. While, on another occasion, he expressed his sense of the infinite importance of the Gospel, I suggested to him the propriety of his telling his dissipated companions, when they called upon him, the light in which his former life now appeared to him. In reply, he told