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ries bave, in truth, nothing at all to do with real enjoyment. Cleanliness has, however, a great deal to do with it. However coarse and homely our food may be, let us have it clean. Let our knives and our forks, and our spoons, and our plates, look al. ways clean. In cottages, and in small families, where there are not things enough for regular changes of knives, forks, and spoons, and where some must therefore be wiped, let these be well wiped ; let there be always a jug of hot water at hand, that the dirty ones' may be dipped into it, and then rubbed, and be thus made perfectly clean.
Your Footman says, “ To clean steel forks, let there be a small oyster barrel, (or something of that kind) with fine gravel, brick-dust, or sand, mixed with a little hay or moss: it is to be moderately damp, pressed well down, and always kept damp. By running the prongs of the steel forks a few times into this, all the stains of them will be removed; then have a small thin stick, shaped like a knife, with a leather round it to polish between the prongs, having first carefully brushed off the dust from them as soon as they are taken from the tub.”..
This manner of cleaning forks, brings to my mind a circumstance which, some years ago, often excited my attention ; and it serves to explain its meaning, which I then was puzzled to understand.
In looking out of my up-stairs window, I used, every morning, to see my neigbbour's footman on the grass-plot of his master's garden, with a number of forks in bis hand, every one of which he thrust backwards and forwards into the ground. I now see that this was done to clean the forks. This hint may be useful to some of your fork cleaning readers.'.
s e. Yours, &c.
DYING HOURS. To the Editor of the Cottager's Monthly Visitor.
SIR, . .i
. " It will afford you pleasure to learn, that I find your Cottager's Monthly Visitor a most useful work in my family. I hope it is now generally known, and much read by the poorer and middling classes. By many of the rich I am sure it is read, and with much advantage. It is in the hope that the scenes I have lately witnessed may be productive of good to all classes, that I am induced to give you an account of them, hoping that, if you have space, you will give it a place in your “ Visitor.”
It is now more than three years since I had the happiness of witnessing the union (after an engagement of eight years) of a young woman of religious principles and virtuous habits, with a young man of correct moral conduct, united, as I then believed, to a reverence for religion. This couple was blessed with competency, the result of constant industry, and they loved each other tenderly and reasonably. They have since had two fine boys, the one now two years old, the other an infant; they were, in every respect, what would be called an industrious happy young couple, beloved by all who knew them, not living only for themselves, but for their aged parents and helpless relatives also ; for whom they made all the provision they could. .
Unfortunately, however, the writings of profane men fell into the hands of poor Thomas. His faith was shaken, he reasoned and lie doubted, and his mind became disturbed. He first read these books to gain knowledge, and he continued to read them until he nearly lost his soul. How dreadful must be the punishment that awaits those who write bad. books! They know; their conscience tells them, that they are teaching lies. They are wicked themselves, and delight to make others so ;--but they sball answer for all the souls which they have brought into condemnation.
About three weeks since, Mary wrote to me to say that her husband was dreadfully ill, that he had lost his senses, and that, for four hours, he had been so violent, that four men could scarcely hold him. I could not go to her that week, but the next week I did. I found Thomas in his bed. I met the phy. sician who had humanely and skilfully attended him; his opinion of him was most unfavourable; the complaint was disease on the brain. At times he was quite sensible, at others raving. But, before be lost his mind, he felt ill, and he wept bitterly, and said to his wife, “I have been very wicked, I have read those shocking deistical books, I have denied my Saviour ;-but, if I live, I will never look into those works again.” He was often unhappy in his mind during his illness. In the intervals of reason, which were long and frequent, be said he was going to hell, and that God would not forgive bim. "He bid his wife pray for him. We all did pray for him ; at last he prayed to God to forgive him; and he 'clung to that Saviour whom he had almost denied. He desired to receive the Sacrament; the clergyman came to him, and read to him, and poor Thomas seemed to pray with him, but was too weak to partake of the Holy Elements. Two days after this, and after an illness of fifteen days, he breathed his last, at the age of thirty-one. Well would it be if sinners could behold the misery that unbelief causes on the bed of death! Surely they would then be persuaded to flee to their Saviour, now that it is time. Let them not think, that, if they persist in reading such works, if they go on living without God in the world, and denying their Saviour, at the last they shall be saved. Can they say, that they will, in their last hour, have a moment of reason? Can they' say that God will then hear their cry, and be merciful to them? Have they pious wives and friends who cry day and night to God for them? If they cannot sanswer " Yes" to these questions, and to many others which might be put to them, let them not delay. Death often cometh suddenly; eternity follows; in the grave there is no repentance. I beg of you, dear Sir, not to let any one suppose that the statement which I have made is an invention, I my. self witnessed some of the scenes which I have described; the wife related the rest to me, and in the anguish of her heart, she said, “Oh that every body who does not believe in Christ could have witnessed my poor husband's death, that they could have known how he then clung to that Saviour whom he bad before almost denied.” · Mary is now a destitute widow with two helpless boys; but that her husband, even at the last, saw the truth, at the last returned to the faith of his Saviour, and through Him earnestly sought for pardon, is a comfort, which allays her sorrow beyond every other consideration. :. · May all who witnessed this awful event, improve by it! May all who hear it, or read of it, learn how uncertain is life, how certain is death, how dreadful the day of account, when no preparation has been made for it!
Since the death of poor Thomas, I have attended the dying hours of a poor and religious young man. From his youth up he had loved and feared God. He lingered for a year in a decline; bis sufferings have been very great, his alleviations comparatively few. Yet, Sir, so happy was his mind, that I could have envied bim his wakeful nights, his feverish pulse and cold chills, his painful cough, indeed all he suffered, to be assured of the same comfort in death.
His hopes were not presumptuous, not founded upon any merits, or supposed good works of his own. His heart told him, that, wben he compared his conduct with the holy rules of Scripture, he had come short, and must therefore confess himself a sinner, and build his hopes of heaven only on his Saviour's merits and intercession. To these he trusted,—and he did not trust in vain. His last words to me were, "My heavenly Father has heard my prayer, and he is calling me Home,”.
Now, Sir, I would ask, is there any thing which gives so much happiness even in this world, any thing which so regulates the tormenting passions, any thing which so lessens sorrow, adds to joy, or promotes peace, as the religion of Christ? Is there any thing which gives such comfort in sickness, or supplies such peace on the bed of death?
And Christ's religion is, moreover, the very truth. Light shines upon us, but, if we prefer darkness to light, it is our own fault, and we shall be judged accordingly. In the hour of death we can be satisfied with nothing but the truth ; for we are on the brink of that eternity, which is the portion of the Christian and of the unbeliever too. To the former, it will be a portion of joy such as hath not entered into the heart of man to conceive; to the latter, the worm which dieth not, and the fire which is not quenched.
You will, I trust, Sir, excuse the freedom with which I have expressed my opinions; they come from my heart, and are the result of sober consideration. They are now called forth by the scenes which I relate. I have been present with many on their bed of death, I have seen, that sin, even wben deeply repented of, has always embittered the close of life ; and that habitual piety has rendered the severest sufferings welcome. Would that Christians would more frequently visit the bed of sickness, and attend the pillow of the dying! Sometimes they might be the happy means of leading a wanderer home,