« AnteriorContinuar »
his acts of charity. He knoweth he can do nothing_of himself, yet labours to work out his own salvation. He professeth he can do nothing, yet as truly professeth he can do all things. He knoweth that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, yet believeth he shall go to heaven both body and soul.
19. He trembles at God's word, yet counts it sweeter to him than honey and the honeycomb, and dearer than thousands of gold and silver.
20. He believes that God will never damn him, and yet fears God for being able to cast him into hell. He knoweth he shall not be saved by nor for his good works, yet he doth all the good works he can.
21. He knoweth God's providence is in all things, yet is so diligent in his calling and business, as if he were to cut out the thread of his own happiness. He believes beforehand that God hath purposed what he shall be, and that nothing can make him to alter his purpose; yet prays and endeavours, as if he would force God to save him for ever. 22. He prays and labours for that which he is confident God means to give; and the more assured he is, the more earnestly he prays for that he knows he shall never obtain, and yet gives not over. He prays and labours for that which he knows he shall be no less happy without; he prays with all his heart not to be led into temptation, yet rejoiceth when he is fallen into it; he believes his prayers are heard, even when they are denied, and gives thanks for that which he prays against.
23. He hath within him both flesh and spirit, yet he is not a double-minded man; he is often led captive by the law of sin, yet it never gets dominion over him; he cannot sin, yet can do nothing without sin. He doth nothing against his will, yet he doth what he would not.. He wavers and doubteth, yet obtains.
24. He is often tossed and shaken, yet it is as Mount Sion; he is a serpent and a dove; a lamb and a lion; a reed and a cedar. He is sometimes so troubled, that he thinks nothing to be true in religion; yet if he did think so, he could not at all be troubled. He thinks sometimes that God hath no mercy for him, yet resolves to die in the pursuit of it. He believes, like Abraham, against hope; and though he cannot answer God's logic, yet, with the
*James i. 2, 12.
woman of Canaan, he hopes to prevail with the rhetoric of importunity.
25. He wrestles, and yet prevails; and though yielding himself unworthy of the least blessing he enjoys, yet, Jacob-like, he will not let him go without a new blessing. He sometimes thinks himself to have no grace at all; and yet, how poor and afflicted soever he be, he would not change conditions with the most prosperous man under heaven that is a manifest worldling.
26. He thinks sometimes that the ordinances of God do him no good, yet he would rather part with his life than be deprived of them.
27. He was born dead; yet so that it had been murder for to have taken his life away. After he began to
live, he was ever dying.
28. And though he hath eternal life begun in him, yet he makes account he hath a death to pass through.
30. He believes his soul and body shall be as full of glory as they that have more, and no more full than theirs that have less.
31. He lives invisible to those that see him, and those that know him best do but guess at him: yet those, many times, judge more truly of him than he doth of himself.
32. The world will sometimes account him a saint, when God accounteth him a hypocrite; and afterwards, when the world branded him for a hypocrite, then God owned him for a saint.
33. His death makes not an end of him. His soul which was put into his body, is not to be perfected without his body; yet his soul is more happy when it is separated from his body, than when it was joined unto it; and his body, though torn in pieces, burned to ashes, ground to powder, turned to rottenness, shall be no loser.
34. His Advocate, his Surety, shall be his Judge; his mortal part shall become immortal; and what was sown in corruption and defilement shall be raised in incorruption and glory; and a finite creature shall possess an infinite happiness.
GLORY BE TO GOD.
THE UNGRATEFUL DEBTOR.
A PLEASANT looking young lady was making her way through the neat little garden before Farmer Glasby's
house. A large, comfortably built house it was; and as the young lady observed the marks of prosperity which surrounded it, her face brightened, and she said to herself, "I shall certainly get something here."
She rang at the bell, and was shown into a small parlour, where Mrs. Glasby, a stout smiling woman, soon joined her.
Well, Miss Ashford! I am sure I feel myself honoured! Do sit down, miss, in this arm chair; and won't you let me bring you a glass of wine?" So saying, she wheeled a large cushioned chair from the corner, and placed it ready for her guest.
"Thank you, Mrs. Glasby," replied the young lady, "but I cannot stay this morning. I only wanted to ask you if you and husband would become subscribers to your the Missionary Society? My father wishes me to go round every week, collecting what I can, and I thought it would be better that each family should settle beforehand the sum they find it convenient to give. Then each Saturday I will call for it, and put it down in my book."
And here the young lady opened her bag, and took out a little square book, in which already the names of a few subscribers were entered.
"I don't expect more than a penny each from most of the cottages," she continued, "but even that small amount is something. And I thought, perhaps, Mrs. Glasby, that you might like to give a little more."
Mrs. Glasby's manner suddenly altered, and became formal. She smoothed down the plaits in her black apron. and said in a somewhat stiffened tone, "Well, miss, if you'll allow me, I'll just speak with my good man upon the subject."
"Oh, certainly," replied Miss Ashford; and Mrs. Glasby withdrew.
Her husband was in the kitchen, partaking of a hearty dinner. Still stouter and more rubicund than his wife, he looked a man well to do in the world.
'Farmer," said Mrs. Glasby,
daughter; she wants us to give something to the missionaries!"
"Missionaries!" exclaimed the farmer pausing, with his knife uplifted; "no missionaries for us, and that you may tell her. Charity begins at home,' so I say." "But hadn't you better come and see her yourself?" said
his wife, perhaps unwilling to deliver so ungracious a message. Whereupon Farmer Glasby rose from his seat, and stalked into the parlour.
"Your servant, miss," he said, as Miss Ashford rose on his entrance; "I hear you've come begging for the missionaries. But, as I said to my wife just now, Charity begins at home,' and we've got no more than we want for ourselves at present. My wife gives out six pails of soup in the winter weeks, and I'm never behindhand with my poor rates; and when there's a collection I put half-acrown in the plate, and that's enough for me. Blacks, and folks like them, may fare for themselves; or for all that, there's plenty of rich people who can help them, if they've a mind. So if you please, miss, I'll beg to decline my name being entered in your book."
Miss Ashford looked disappointed, but inwardly resolved to consult her father, and, for the present, bade the Glasby family adieu.
"We'll have no new fangled ways, though we've got a new vicar," said the farmer, as he watched her leave the garden.
A few days rolled away, and Farmer Glasby was one evening passing through the lane, when he met Mr. Ashford, who saluted him kindly, and turning, walked on by his side.
"A fine year for the crops, Farmer Glasby?"
"It is indeed, sir," said the farmer, as fine a year as ever I have known. Now just see that field of wheat." And he began an oration, which lasted for some time, concerning the relative merits of the wheat and the barley.
They're both as good as they can be, and that's saying a great deal," was his final sentence. And then turning to the clergyman, he observed, "Sir, you seem out of sorts this evening."
Well, Farmer Glasby, I must confess I am. I have lately heard a tale of base ingratitude, and it weighs upon my mind."
"And what tale may that be, sir ?" said the farmer, who was of a curious disposition.
"I have no objection to repeat it to you. I myself know the man whom it concerns. Years ago he incurred, through his own guilty extravagances, some enormous debts which he found it perfectly impossible to pay; utter ruin seemed awaiting him; shame and despair over
whelmed him; and had not a generous friend come forward with offers of assistance, I fear he would have fallen by his own hand.”
"Poor fellow! I can believe it," said the farmer.
"Well, this friend was a rich man, but he actually sold the whole of his property, in order that he might cancel the other's debts."
"Eh! the whole? What kind of a property was it?" cried Farmer Glasby,
Yes, the whole. It was a very precious property, more costly than words can express. With the price of it he paid the man's debts, and afterwards loaded him with gifts. Indeed, all the prosperity he has since enjoyed has been owing to his friend.'
"I should think so! But that was a friend in a thousand," said the farmer. "Wouldn't the other one be anxious to do something for him in return ?"
"So I should certainly have supposed. But what do you think I have heard? That generous friend, now in a foreign country, wrote a few days ago to the man, asking the loan of a trifling sum-"
"If I were him, I'd have sent it double," said the farmer.
"Would you? This man was not of your way of thinking. So far from sending the sum double, he refused to send any sum at all.”
"Ay; wrote back a prompt refusal. Do you wonder now that the thought of such ingratitude depresses me?" "No, indeed, sir! But who is the villain? Does he live anywhere near here? I should just like to give him I what he deserves."
"Then you think he deserves ill, Farmer Glasby?"
"Deserves ill, sir! Why, no word in my catalogue would be too black for such a fellow!"
"Must I tell you his name then?"
Ay do, sir; and if I can pay him out, I will."
Very well," said Mr. Ashford, turning round, and looking him full in the face, "Farmer Glasby, I will speak in the words of an old prophet-Thou art the man !'"'
"I?" cried the farmer, starting back, and turning very red.
"If you've ever heard such a tale as that of me, sir, I should like to know who told it you."
My daughter told me," replied the vicar, quietly; and