« AnteriorContinuar »
juror, and for suffering themselves to believe in the notion of witchcraft. The latter belief seems nearly to have cost the life of a very harmless old woman ; and, if she had died, the prisoners would have been hanged for it. As it was, indeed, they might have been tried (on Lord Ellenborough's Act) for their lives; but the mercy of the Grand Jury, at the recommendation of the judge, put them upon their trial only for an assault ; their punishment is therefore only imprisonment. We hope this punishment will be of use. We believe that most of our cottage readers are a great deal too wise to be led away by such idle notions; they will despise such folly, and detest such wickedness. They know that they are in the hands of a great and good Being, who does not use such means to bring about his purposes. We read, in Scripture, of miracles : but these were wrought by the aid of the Almighty, to teach a thoughtless world to believe in those whom he had sent; thus we believe that our Saviour Christ, was possessed of divine power; and that the Prophets and Apostles had really their commission from above. But, now the truth of the Gospel is established, the Almighty works no longer by miracles, but by means; and, for the sake of healing the diseases of our bodies, he has bestowed upon us the various herbs of the field, and many other things besides,—the uses of which are learned by patient examination, and experience and study: and, in the use of these means, medical men are enabled to be great helps in relieving the pains and diseases which belong to our mortal state. But what can only be got by diligent study and experience, some quacks and impostors pretend to have got without these means; and some people, alas ! are foolish enough to believe them. We hope, however, that there are but few people so easily imposed upon. We have, ourselves, lived a good deal among the poor, and we bave generally found them very willing to listen
to sound and good instruction, and advice. We have met with some foolish people, certainly ; but very few, indeed, who have not been much wiser than to believe in quacks and conjurors,-in moun- ? tebanks and witches.
. .. V.
THE BENEFITS OF SORROW.
To the Editor of the Cottager's Monthly Visitor.
Do tell me mother, what our minister meant, when he was here the other day, by saying that sorrows were our greatest blessings. I had not time to stay and listen to him, or I dare say he would have explained bimself; but, as I walked on, I tried to remember some sorrows which had bappened to me, and which I could not see to be a blessing. First, there was father's breaking his leg, which threw him out of work for a long time, and we were nearly starved : was not that a sorrow? Then I remember, at school, just when I was expecting that I should get to the head of the class, I bad that bad fever, which took away my memory; and, when I went back, I had every thing to begin again, and I never could learn as easily as before. Then little John died, and I loved him so dearly that I am sure his death was a sorrow. .
All this was addressed to a sickly looking woman, who, seated by a cbeerful fire, with contentment and serenity in her face, seemed as if sorrow was to her disarmed of its sting, and as if she had indeed found her minister's words to be true.
Stop, my child, she said ; for if you mention so many griefs, I cannot follow you ; but, before I answer your questions, tell me, which do you think
is of most value ;-a life of happiness here, or an eternity of joy hereafter?
Child. Why mother I suppose nobody can hesitate about that; for this world can only last a little while.
Mother. Well, let us consider whether a real blessing was not designed, in each of the sorrows you named. And first, in your father's sad accident, it was indeed plain that an unseen hand was at work to “ bring good out of evil,” for he who had bitberto lived without God in the world, had now, in the confinement of a sick bed, leisure to review his past conduct, and see that those joys which he had pursued to the destruction of his soul, could not afford one pleasing subject for meditation"; those friends who had followed and misled him, would not now come near a poor man who could not join in their sinful pleasures ; and it was then that, aided by lhe advice and assistance of our good minister, your dear father began that plan of amendment, which, with tbe blessing of God, he has since been enabled to follow: and, when he rose from his sick bed, it was as a better and a wiser man than when he had been laid there. He determined, henceforth, to abandon the public house, which had been his great scene of temptation ; and, thus, besides the inestimable benefits which he had received to his soul, you and I, my child, had reason to say that this sorrow bad been converted into good for us also, for he now brought home his wages ; and, instead of being half starved, and nearly naked, as in former times, we were well fed, and well cloathed, and had a home of peace and love; and I, many a time, blessed the kind Father, who had made this short chastisement “ yield afterward the peaceable fruits of righteousness to them who had been exercised thereby." Nor were these the only blessings which flowed from this sorrow; for the kind lady at the hall, having heard of our misfortunes, called here ;
and, besides, the assistance which she then gave us, she bas ever since continued one of our best friends, and many a moment of my late illness has been cheered by her heavenly and comforting words. It was owing to her, too, that you were got into the school. This, however, was, you say, the scene of one of your great afflictions ;-but this trial, too, I hope I can prove, was in the end a real blessing ; for, though your learning was stopped by the illness which you named, and that just as you and I were expecting you to excel all your school-fellows, yet I can now feel, my child, that there was something not quite Christian in the motive wbich was actuating us both ; there was, I fear, too great a wish for human applause mingled with our feelings, of triumph. One moment, however, was sufficient to destroy the boasted superiority; and, as I hung over your sick bed, and thought I might at that moment lose you, how did these trilling concerns vanish! and, bending in lowly supplication before my God, how earnestly did I beseech Him to spare you a little longer, that your instruction might be carried on upon better principles ! He graciously heard my prayer; and, though our fears for your memory were realized, yet if this has taught us with whom alone is power, and we have gained humility by your loss, shall we pot exclaim with the pious David, “ It is good for me that I have been afflicted."
But now I must turn to that sorrow which I did indeed find the hardest to bear, and which, at first, wrung my heart with an agony which told me 1 had not yet learned, with sincerity, to say, “ Thy will be done ;" for my little John had twined himself so closely round my heart, that I found it hard to yield him again to his God; and, when the illness first came, which at length put an end to his earthly being, I could only say, “Oh my God, I would fain follow where Thou leadest, but human
nature shrinks from such deprivations." He graciously vouchsafed, however, to let me feel that human nature was not left unsupported'; and, even in these bitter moments, many a consoling text of Scripture was presented to my mind, which helped me onward through my days of sorrow. :
At length the moment came when we were to part; and, as I heard his little feeble voice repeating, “ Mother I am going home to God," I felt that it would have been selfish to have detained him, even if I had the power. No! said I to myself, “ I shall go to him though he cannot return to me.”
And did not this loss teach thee also thy lesson, my child ? It shewed thee, in a manner never to be forgotten, that youth was no security for life ; and it spoke to thee in a voice not to be disregarded, “ Be ye also ready!"-If then we have learnt so many lessons by our griefs, shall we not say with our good minister, that sorrow is indeed a blessing ?
Thank you, thank you, dear mother, said the little girl, while the tears were yet streaming from her eyes ; all that you say is indeed true ; and when my Saviour comes, may I be found watching, that He may say to me these comforting words; “ Well done good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”
M. C. L. Jan. 20th, 1823.
GODFATHERS AND GODMOTHERS. The following short passage, from Herbert's Coun. try Parson, may be of use, in shewing the important däty which belongs to Godfathers and Godmothers. Very frequently this office is undertaken, without any consideration of the weighty duty that belongs to it. And, on the contrary, many good people, from a fear of not properly discharging the duty of the office,