« AnteriorContinuar »
our conduct. If Abraham had not believed that God would bestow the blessings. He promised, he would have remained in Ur of the Chaldees; but he did believe it, so as, for the sake of it, to leave coun, try, home, and kindred, and go he knew not whi. ther, only knowing that God had called him to it, and would be with him. Abram's feelings were as acute as those of other men, but his faith enabled him to rise above them. Canaan was three hundred, miles distant from Haran, and separated from it by great rivers, and a vast and perilous desert; and no, doubt he felt as keenly as we should do, how absurd his undertaking must appear in the eyes of his idos latrous relations ; but, disregarding alike their per. suasions and ridicule, and the dangers of a strange land; upon the bare word of God, he went out, with those whose safety was more precious, to him than his own, leaving all he knew and loved, for unknown friends, and untried scenes. And, in the very leaving of our native country, there is something most painful *. There are a thousand habitual pleasures connected with the scenes of our child. hood, of which we are not even conscious till we have lost them. Unless you had tried it, you can scarcely conceive how the new climate, new animals, new diseases, new customs, new food, strange couns tenances, and the strange language of a foreign country, press upon the mind.--How you look in vain for some fond familiar face, and long and listen for the well known sounds of your native language. But all this Abraham encountered, and he encountered it not on the favourable report of a fellow creature, or in expectation of any present advantage to himself, for we read in Acts vii. 5. that God gave him none inheritance in it, no, not so much as to set his foot on, only He proinised that He would give it to
: * The writer of this, we know, speaks from experience. -EDITOR.
him for a possession, and to his seed after him," but he believed that God would be his portion, and “ while he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”
"Now wbatsoever things were written aforetime, were written for our learning ;” and this history of the calling of Abraham, among the rest. We are exhorted to walk in the steps of his faith. If you are now living without God in the world,” He calls upon you, to “ come out, and be separate." Not actually and literally to leave your country, and kin. dred, and father's house: but to come out from your ungodly friends, in the spirit of your mind : like Abraham, to take God for your portion, and to live as a stranger and sojourner upon earth, baving your affections set upon a better country, that is, a heavenly. And if you do this, He will be with you, and bless you for ever.
T. B. P.
; ON TRUTH. Thomas and Sarah Trueman were respectable cottagers who lived in the village of C in the north of England. They had been fellow-servants, , many years, in the family of a farmer in that 'neighbourhood, and their good behaviour had so completely gained them the favour of their employer, that he and his wife (from the time they set up for themselves) had never ceased affording thein every little belp that Jay in their power, and shewing, by many kind offices, their approbation of their good conduct whilst under their roof. Often, when money was short, from some unexpected loss, or when times were somewhat hard with poor Thomas, did his former master help him out of bis difficulties ; for, would he justly remark to his vise,' - Thomas bas saved us many and many a pound, which an idle man would have wasted, or a dishonest one turned to his own account; and he shall never want for assistance so long as I have bread to eat or a shilling in my pocket;" and then,
would Mrs. Halford say, “Sally was a careful hardworking 'girl as you'd wish to see; I never found her gossiping with the flaunting girls in the village, nor spending the time she ought to devote to my business, in making up frills and finery for herself.” Thomas and Sally had, it is true, both enjoyed the great blessing of a good education, having been the children of honest, industrious, and religious parents; who had constantly endeavoured to instil into their minds i steady principles of religion, and to impress upon them the necessity of conducting themselves in áll the affairs of this world, as those whose hopes are firmly founded on the bright inheritance promised to the righteous, through the merits and jntercession of their Redeemer, in a better. Was it surprising, then, that, in after life, their behaviour should bear the ample testimony it did to the truth of the Proverb,"train up a child in the way he should go, &c?"
But to go on with my story. Their Cottage was the neatest and prettiest, in the village; and, rich in the blessings of health and contentment, they envied not the larger possessions, or superior station, of some of their neighbours. ,, r,' ,
One :child, a girl, was the only offspring of this humble pair, the object of their tenderest affection; which was shewn, not by indulging her in every wayward, humour, and caprice, but by early checking those inclinations to evil, which, if not constantly combated," grow with our growth, agd strengthen with our strength; and by teaching her, from the first dawn of reason, that the eye of God was always upon her, and to dread as the severest of punish, ments His displeasure, and the reproaches of her, own heart. Sarah Trueman would have liked to have brought up her little girl without assistance; but, in her early days, the children of the poor had not the means of acquiring knowledge which they now posa; sess, so that, though she was qualified to instruct her in needlework, (that essential branch of female know.
ledge in all situations) she was unable to teach her to read, and it was her earnest wish that her child should be capable of seeking information in the Sacred Volume, not merely for her own benefit, but also that of herself and her husband, who, (except what they acquired from the public service of the Church, which they regularly attended) had hitherto been entirely dependent, for the most important of all instruction, on the kindness of others. With this view, the child as soon as she was eight years old, was sent, for an hour or two every day, to the village school, where her general good conduct and , obliging disposition, soon gained her the approbation of her mistress and the love of her companions. But Jane's happiness was soon overcast by an unexpected stroke of affliction. Her father was at. tacked by the small-pos, which was quickly communicated to his wife; the disease, as is often the case when taken in the natural way, assumed suddenly an alarming character; and in the short space of three weeks, was poor Jane deprived of both her parents. She was herself preserved from infection by the precaution taken in her infancy of having her. vaccinated ; owing to this circumstance, 'she was enabled to have the comfort of attending constantly upon her parents during their illness, and the mournful gratification of receiving their blessings and their last advice.! . ; · As soon as the funeral rites were performed,' she prepared to quit ber late home, uncertain what her future destination might be. She was forlorn and distressed, (how, under her present circumstances, could it be otherwise) but not forsaken; for, who ever saw." the righteous forsaken, or his seed begging their bread ?* No sooner' was her situation known, than the neighbours flocked from all quarters to offer good little Jane an 'asylum in their families. The offer of Mrs. Halford, the old and attached friend of ber father and mother, was that which she felt most inclined to accept, determining however to remain a burden on her kind friend as short a time as possible, and to make berself useful, while under her roof, by all the means in her power, Her wish was to go out to servioe, for she was active and bandy, and felt that, though very young, (being scarcely eleven years of age) she could make up for that disadvantage, by increased diligence, and resolved to apply for the first vacant place she heard of, where a girl was kept to run of errands, and help the other servants, in any respectable family that Mrs. Halford should approve.
It so happened, that, about this time, a girl, of the above description, was wanted, in a large family a few miles distant. At the earnest request of Jane, Mrs. Halford took her to the lady. Mrs. Grantley was struck with the appearance and manners of the poor little orphan : not that she was pretty, but she looked sensible and modest: she was neat too, and cleanly in her person, and had a remarkable gentleness and quietness in her voice and manner. To all enquiries receiving a satisfactory answer, and hearing besides of the misfortunes of the poor child, Mrs. Grantley agreed to receive her into her service, Accordingly, a few days afterwards, Jane took leave of her bene. factress with many thanks for her past kindness, to enter on the duties of a situation so new to her. She found herself an inmate in a magnificent house, amongst a multitude of servants, all of whom seemed disposed to treat ber with kindness. For several months every thing went on smoothly s but the hour of severe trial at length arrived.
It chanced, one morning, as she was executing her daily task, of dusting the drawing room, that she inadvertently threw down the housemaid's broom, which rested against a pier table, whereon was placed an expensive alabaster vase. It was an article of peculiar beauty, and rendered doubly valuable to the owner, as being the gift of a friund whose re