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:The Stranger i..? 308 me to adopt a different course. At my time of life, · with every thing to learn, I saw no chance of sue
ceeding in any sort of trade. I had therefore no choice but that of taking a little farm, in the hope; that, by diligence and attention, I might at last attain to some knowledge of this business. I bors rowed a small sum to begin with; and five and twenty years have now elapsed since I first engaged in that employment; but, besides paying off my debt, I have never been able to do more than just supply myself with the necessaries of life, and should not always bave done that, without the help of the small sums which I received from my father, antil the time of his death, some months ago. No aceount of the event itself, or of the state of his af fairs, was sent to me till within the last few weeks; when a letter from his lawyer acquainted me that my name was not mentioned in his will, and that his property, which had been considerably diminished by the extravagance of my halfbrother, was left equally divided between him and his mother. This I own was an unexpected stroke to me. I had not seen my father for several years, for my company had long ceased to afford bin any pleasure, so I thought it best to discontinue the visits I before occasionally made him, and as he lived to a great age, and his faculties were a good deal impaired before his death, it is probable that no recollection of me was left on his mind. I cannot however help suspecting some unfairness towards me, and it is with a view to learn the truth, and, if possible, to obtain redregs, that I have undertaken the journey in which it has pleased God that your humane and charitable exertions, and those of my kind host and hostess, should be the means of preserving me from perishing. My prospects of success are more than doubtful, but, whatever my. future destiny may be, “ I have learnt in whatsoever
The purtat of the best of May to return . He that
state I am, therewith to be content:"—the decreer of the Almighty: must be right, and He who has supported me through long years of adversity, by whom our lot in life is cast, and under whose controul' are all its events, will yet provide for me in such a manner as his good Providence knows to be best." ..
Here ended the Stranger's history.- On the morrow 'he pursued his journey, but not until, amidst expressions of the liveliest gratitude on his part, and good will on that of Mr. Wilson, the latter had obtained from him a promise to return, in case he should fail in attaining the object of it. He did fail completely, for the will was so worded, that nothing could be claimed by him as a right, and his unfeeling relatives turned a deaf ear to all his entreaties. He then traced back his steps to the village which contained the hospitable mansion of Mr. Wilson; and, in a comfortable, habitation provided for him by his benevolence, he, .some years afterwards, in the presence of his benefactor, breathed his last, blessing and praising God, who, though he had tried him in the furnace of affliction, had nevertheless not cast him away in the time of age, nor forsaken him when his strength failed : who, in exchange for the deceitful pleasures of this life, had blessed him with peace of mind, and, who, when every earthly hope failed, raised him up a friend to soothe the infirmities of his declining years, and enabled him with the eye of faith, and perfect trust in his Redeemer's merits, to look forward to those joys “ which eye hath not seen, por ear heard, neither have they entered into the heart of man to conceive." ; : .
.A. Z. - May, 1825.
Frugments of a Sermon.
The following Remarks were copied from a loose
Serap of Paper, and appear to be part, perhaps
the Conclusion, of a Sermon on the Resurrection. SURELY then it is the great work of a Christian, constantly to examine himself, and to see whether he is in a right state of preparation for that kingdom to which his Saviour has risen, and where he is gone to prepare a place for his faithful followers, Our work then here is the cultivation of a right spirit, a mind fitted and prepared for an eternity of holiness and purity, from whence every thing that is evil will be banished, and all that is good will be the eternal employment; and where all love, and all praise to the eternal Godbead will be the triumphant song of the redeemed. This truth should be ever before us—" He that doeth good shall rise to the resurrection of life, and he that doeth evil to the resurrection of damnation." This is our work then to strive to do good”—first to seek to banish all that we believe to be wrong, and then to cultivate all that we believe to be right-to "cease to do. 'evil, to learn to do well”-to increase in holiness, in charity, in uprightness, in the honest practice, the incorruptible course of a Christian. Great things are said of " faith” in the Scriptures-> of its justifying, its transforming power--much of the mercy of God through the merits of Christ, in pardoning sin—much of the help of the Holy Spirit to assist us, and to sanctify us; but nonə of these are to lead us to forget the great duties which we are taught to practice, or to draw our thoughts from the responsibility which belongs to us. The mercies of God are to be received by us with devout thankfulness, as the strongest motives, towards leading us on in the right path of holy watchfulness and duty.
Cling then to the great promises of the Gospel; . . . . . R 3 ...
receive its gracious privileges, and let your hearts be Faised in gratitude for them all; but still, ever ask yourselves whether you are really striving to walk in that way of obedience to which you are sure that you are, called. Our Church provides you with outward means, by which you may attain inward grace: neglect none of these means ; but still ask yourselves constantly whether this inward grace is attained. And the best rule to shew us whether it be indeed so, is to ask ourselves whether there be within us a heart desirous of conforming itself to the divine will, a wish to encourage pious thoughts, and to unite in pious exercises, and an anxious and conscientious wish to forsake all that we believe to be contrary to God's will, and to live in a watchfül obedience to all his heavenly commands, &c.*
INSTANCE OF THE BENEFIT OF FAMILY
PRAYER. A RELIGIOUS tradesman, talking with a clergyman on family worship, related the following very inter resting fact of himself,
" When I first began, business for myself, I determined, through God's blessing, to be very particular in having family prayers, and, for many years, I never missed. Morning and evening, every one of my family was present, nor would Isuffer my apprentices to be absent on any pretence but illness. In a few years the great benefit of this practice was very plainly to be seen. Such, how. ever, was the great increase of my trade, that I was getting rich apace, and every moment of my
time was so, taken up with my customers, that. I · began to think (such was the snare into which pros
perity led me) that family prayer occupied to much of our time in the morning Many scruples arose in my mind, but all length worldly thoughts
: Benefit of Family Prayer..: 364 gof the better of these scruples, and I determined to excuse the attendance of my apprentices. Soon afterwards I determined, in order to save my own time, that I would say my prayers with my wife in our own room; then the prayers became shorter, till at last they were very short indeed; but I tried to persuade myself, that, as I did not quite give them up, I might be excused, as my family was becoming very large, and it was my duty to provide for them, by doing all I could to turn my very flourishing business to the best account, as I fool: ishlý thought. My conscience soon became hardened, and I seemed to be left to my own devices, when it pleased God in his great mercy to awaken me by a singlar providence.-One day I received a letter from a young man who had formerly been my apprentice, at a time when I was most regular in family prayer. Not doubting but I continued this Christian practice, his letter was chiefly on this subject, and was worded in the most respectful and affectionate manner. But what was my surprise and my shame when I read these words? “Never, my dear master, shall I be able sufficiently to thank you for the privilege with which you indulged me in your family devotion. Eternity will be too short to praise my God for what I learnt there; it was there I first learnt to feel the sinful inclinations of my heart; it was there I was first taught the way of salvation, and the gracious promises of the Gospel. You have an increasing family, and other apprentices ; may they be trained, as I was, to seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and then they may be assured, that all else that is good for them in this world of trial, will be added unto them.” I could read no further. Every word flashed condemnation in my face. I trembled exceedingly; and, filled with confusion, and bathed in tears of sorrow and repentance, I fell on my knees and implored forgiveness of that