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Well, my dear Miranda, the promise of God is remarkably made good to you, that when your father and mother forsake you, then the Lord will take you up. I was this day reading the case of Solomon, on whom, when he chose wisdom, God not only conferred that gift, but also every other inferior mercy; and I could not help thinking the case of my dear child exceedingly similar. She chose the fear of the Lord, which is the true wisdom, and did not think it any hardship to lodge and board in a poor cottage ; and behold, He who has the property of this and every other world in his possession, is exalting her far above what she would have had reason to expect if her father had given her all his possessions.
I rejoice that Mr. Neville and Signior Albino are so far brought to the knowledge of the truth. I trust that he who has begun the good work will carry
I hope, my dear child, that you look back with wonder and gratitude upon the kind providence of God, by which you have been guarded and preserved all the days of your life ; and I trust that if you should be so happy as to be the wife of Mr. William Neville, you will gratefully remember the humble state from which he shall have called you, and endeavour by a frugal, discreet, and wise management in your family, to make some compensation for your want of fortune. There are too many instances in which young women, exalted from a state of poverty to a state of affluence, have been the worst of wives, Pride has made them giddy, and has caused them to run headlong into almost every excess; yea, they have frequently become vain on account of their imagined excellence, which they have had no other ground for supposing themselves to be possessed of than because their husbands took them without fortunes. I cannot forbear saying that Mrs. Barnwell manifests too much of this disposition; for notwithstanding your father married her without a shilling, and he is now engaged in an extensive chancery-suit, she spares for no expense. She has done little else but go from one shop to another. I have been obliged to see all her cheap penny: worths; for if I could have believed her, she understood every thing so well, that she got the tradesmen's goods for less than they cost. It was with much reluctance she left London yesterday. The country, said she, is a wretched dull place: it is fit for nothing but to make people melan, choly. For my part, I am surprised that any people of condition can bear to live among a herd of rustics.--I should not have mentioned one of these particulars (for Mrs. Barnwell is far from being singular) had it not been with a view of directing you to sail a contrary course.
I shall conclude with giving you a caution. Mr. Neville and his son speak very complaisant things to you, and of you. Beware, my child, lest you be intoxicated with praise; for it is frequently poison poured into the ear,
which taminates and pollutes the soul. You have many excel. lencies; but I doubt not you have many defects. Learn therefore more and more not to think of yourself above what you ought to think. Pray give my kind respects to Mr. William Neville and his sister, and Thomas and Masy Livingstone.
I am, my dear niece,
From Miss Barnwell to Mrs, Worthington.
I RECEIVED your affectionate letter, and was sorry to hear that my mother was so disagreeable to you: but I expected to hear nothing better concerning her. She is certainly an expensive woman, and thereby does herself an injury; since she is wasting that which in all probabi. lity she will need for her family. With regard to the severe speeches of my father, I am only sorry for his sake. It was predicted that parents would hate their children on the Redeemer's account, which is a strong proof of our natural enmity against God, or which is the same, against VOL. II.
his gospel. But I have reason to bless God for his great goodness to me, and I hope that the many renewed instances of his mercy will enable me to trust him in the darkest dispensations.
I am not the less obliged to you, Madam, but it was unAccessary to ask my father to give me a fortune. I showed Mr. William Neville your letter, and he told me he would accept nothing from Mr. Barnwell but his daughter, and that he should think her a princely donation. I begged him to consider the caution in your letter, and told him, that I believed many a wife had been spoiled in courtship. The men, said I, endeavour to make them believe they are goddesses, and to persuade them how much they are devoted to their service. And when the matrimonial knot is tied, whatever the woman may have promised concerning honour and obedience to him who is now become her head, yet having been acknowledged a superior being, and the reins of government being put into her hands, she frequently, like other monarchs, will not lay them down again but per force.
I believe, Miss Barnwell, replied he, that what you say is true, and that it is dangerous to administer food to the pride either of ourselves or others. But I know that my dear girl will consider that I view her bright side only; and that all the praise I bestow upon her is in consequence of my .comparing her with her fellow-mortals. She will compare herself with the divine law, which requires her to love the Lord her God with all her heart, and with all her soul, and her neighbour as herself; and then I will venture to say she will find no room to be proud.
Last night, when we were all together, Signior Albino told us he had read the correspondence a third time, with great care, and he believed without prejudice, and that he is convinced the arguments against the catholic religion, merely as a national religion, are conclusive. But, added he, as it is not in this country the national religion, we have nothing to do but to leave out every thing, both in doctrine and in ceremonies, which has been added by the caprice of men, and which has no clear foundation in the Word of God.
And this, in fact, said Mr. Neville, will be doing nothing more than many sensible and pious catholics have supposed ought to be done. They despaired of its ever being done, because they thought it must be the work of such a multitude of persons, erroneously taking it for granted that a part could not be reformed without the whole. But surely it is right for us to do what we ought, let others do what they may.
We all cried out that we were willing to be catholics upon this condition. It was agreed, therefore, that till we should have an opportunity of closely examining the New Testament, our worship in public, in the family, and in privato, should be as simple as possible ; and that we would rather be obliged to add what we might perceive to be necessary, than be forced to lop off luxuriances.,
Mr. Neville desired that so good a work might be begun that evening, asking the opinion of his son in what mannner it should be conducted.
I think, Sir, answered he, it would not be improper to read two or three chapters out of the Old and New Testaments, and to conclude with prayer. This was the practice of a friend of mine in France,
Should the prayer be with a form, or without one? said father Albino,
Without one, Sir, in my opinion, answered Mr. William Neville ; for we have many accounts in the word of God of prayer without a form, but not one instance of praying with
This was acknowledged by all; and my dear friend, at his father's request, began with reading the first chapter of Genesis, and the first and second chapters of Matthew, in. tending to go through the whole in order. He concluded with a short, but solemn and pathetic prayer, in which he blessed God for opening our blind cyes, unstopping our deaf ears, and bringing us out of darkness into his marvellous light; and prayed that he would perfect the mercy ber gun, and that he would give us his Spirit to lead us into all truth. He acknowledged our sins, and implored mercy in the name of Jesus Christ. And he finished with praying for all the subjects of Christ's kingdom, and for its enlargement; for our friends and enemies; and for the
nation and its rulers. Father Albino and Mr. Neville acknowledged, that they were persuaded that all ostentatious additions made by men to this unornamented worship, were as unnecessary as lighting candles to assist the sun; and they blessed God for making them perceive the folly and wickedness of human inventions intended to make the religion of Jesus more perfect.
You will be glad to hear, Madam, that Mr. Neville has made our friend Thomas Livingstone his bailiff, and also that, as the housekeeper is on the point of marrying, Mrs. Livingstone will have the offer of the place, for which she is well qualified, as Thomas married her out of a gentle. man's family. Mr. Neville told me, that as they were friends to his daughter, he was determined to be a friend to them. But, added he with tears, much more so because they are the friends of the Redeemer.
The mercy which God has shown to Miss Neville and her friends has had no small share in lessening her disor. cer, which was a good deal pervous. She is so well satis. fied, she says, of the safe arrival of her sister in the heavenby Capaan, that her grief on account of her death is mixed
All my friends, when they know I am writing, desire their love to you. Mr. Neville and father Albino have spoken of you lately with great esteem. I can only add that I shall ever continue,