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It is scarcely necessary to say that her house was always a scene of antidiness and disorder; and her husbạnd, who was a man of sober habits, was often under the necessity of seeking elsewhere a quieter resting place after the fatigues of the day. ;
But the most awful consequence of this meddling spirit was, the neglect of the great duties of religion. Mrs. Ford thought not of the state of her soul, nor of that great day when she would be called upon to declare how she bad employed the talents entrusted to her care. 1. She seldom went to church; the neglected business of the week pressed upon her attention, when the sound of the church-going bell” met her ear; and when she was seen in those hallowed courts, it is to he feared that she was not led there by any right motives, for it was generally observed that she was there only when there was something more than common to attract attention, either a marriage, or some particular christening, or the first appearance of the squire's family at church that season.
After an absence of some years I returned to the village where Mrs. Ford had lived. Upon enquiry, I found that she was no more. The shadows of death had surrounded her before she had made her peace with God: she did not “die the death of the righteous;" and, of those who watched beside her dying pillow, there were none who wished their end to be like her's.
My cottage friends will, I hope, believe that it is with pain that I dwell upon these particulars. I relate them, in the hope that they may prove å warning to some. I fear that we are all too prone to trouble ourselves about the concerns of our neighbours, as much as, and sometimes more than, our own, forgeting that the time allotted us here, is not more than sufficient to fulfil the great purposes for which we were sent into the world.
It is evident, beyond debate, that the meek and lowly virtues have in themselves no tendency to produce any part of those miseries with which mankind have afflicted each other. If we were humble, we should never have become the authors of all those evils which have regularly sprung from pride. If we were meek, we should not impatiently feel injuries nor give pain in those numerous instances in which it is created by wrath. If we were gentle, we should not do injuries to others. If we were forgiving, we should not revenge them on others. If
we were moderate ; we should prevent the evil effects which always spring from ungoverned passions ; particularly
from envy, wrath, and the passion for pleasure. If we were placable, we should cut off tbe 'mass of calamities which is found in alienation of beart, unrelenting aversion, and irreconcileable estrangement of affection; and instate in its place that enjoyment which springs from the cordial reconcilement of minds previously the seats of real, though imperfect good-will. If we were patient, we should neither murmur at God, nor at each other, and should at the same time lessen half the evils which we feel by a quiet submission to the band of our Creator. Who does not see, that, if these virtues had their full and proper influence on human hearts and human affairs, man would assume a new character, and the world a new face? Who does not see, that a great part of the guilt and misery now felt would vanish; and that in its place would be found happiness and peace?
Dwight's System of Theology. VOL. HI.
SMALL-POX, To the Editor of the Cottager's Monthly Visitor.
SIR, The frequent deaths wbich of late years have occurred, owing to the neglect of vaccination ; and the prejudice, which a few failures of success has created against that valuable discovery, induces me to hope that the narration of a melancholy event, which bappened in my own neighbourhood, may be found useful.
The only child of a labourer, in a very retired part of the country, had been prevented from receiving cowpox by her father ; who declared that he bad no faith in it; and, though her mother was anxious to try it, she could not persuade ber husband to consent. The cbild was a most promising girl; from the time she was old enough, she bad attended our Sunday School; she was quick and diligent in her learning, active and grateful in her behaviour; and consequently gave great satisfaction and confort to her instructors. " What she learnt at school she carried home; and her mother, who, in her younger days, had not led a religious life, has declared to me that she often received much useful instruction from the lips of her child. This girl was about ten years old when she went to a fair where she met some children who had lately had the small-pox, but whose parents imagined that all danger of infection was passed. In this they were, however, ạnhappily mistaken; shortly after this, the fatal complaint appeared on this little girl; and, after several days of great suffering, she died. The loss of a child under any circumstances is a heavy aflliction, but must in this instance have been felt with tenfold severity by the father, from the reflection that he bad not tried all in bis power to prevent it.
The mother of this poor child is indeed a desolate being I have often seen ber, since her loss, approaching and returning from the church on a Sunday by herself; no longer forming one of a cheerful group of mothers with their children. She feels that she is childless,-she now walks alone.
THE DANGER OF DELAY. To the Editor of the Cottager's Monthly Visitor.
SIR, On Easter Eve, the Curate of the large and populous parish of A- was called upon to sign a certificate for an old man, who had a small pension to receive from one of the public charities. The Curate remarked, that his person was unknown to him, adding, "I do not remember that I have ever seen you at Church,-certainly not at the Sacrament:” The Old Man replied, “No Sir, I seldom come; of late years I have not been at either.”
Curate. Wby not? what reason could you have for leaving off such a custom, after having once adopted it.
Old Man. Indeed I can hardly tell why I don't come to Church; but lately I have been trying to read my bible at home, and as I have got a sort of explanation with it, I hope I understand it.
Curate. Then, if you really read and understand your bible, you know very well what your duty is in respect to attending public worship and partaking of the Sacrament.
Old Man. Indeed, Sir, I know it is my duty, and I sometimes think I will take it up again and come'regularly.
Curate. Well, but you are an old man; your time is short, it will not do to put off these good intentions. - And why should you put them off ? to morrow is Sunday,-Easter Sunday,—when you may (for I see nothing in your present frame of mind to prevent you,) appear at the Lord's table.
Old Man. To-morrow Sir! I doubt whether I can come to morrow;s do not feel prepared.
Curate. Let your thoughts be given wholly and devoutly to the subject, and that will be your preparation; and let me see you there :--for remember there is danger in delay.
The Old Man departed, probably intending to follow the advice which he had received, but the next morning, as the Curate was proceeding to the Parish Church, he was informed that the Old Man, for whom he was thus interested, had been taken ill on his way home, immediately after this conversation, and had died in the night! this opportunity was gone; an awful proof of the danger of delay.
Truly yours, &c. &c.
T. Oxford, April, 10, 1823.
EXTRACT FROM BENSON'S SERMONS. The Gospel is entitled to the character it assumes, and is pre-eminently the Gospel of the poor. To the poor in wealth it is the greatest treasure, for it bequeaths to them the wishes of an heavenly inheritance. To the poor in power it is the greatest strength, for it gives them the arm of the Almighty for their support. To the poor in spirit, it is the greatest consolation, for it encourages them to patience, and cheers them under suffering, by the prospect of a place and a period, when all tears shall be wiped away, and sorrow and sighing shall be known no more. And, above all, to the poor in knowledge it is the greatest wisdom, because it is able to make the most ignorant man wise unto salvation.