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service of our church, I feel there are many to whom this injunction is needlessly addressed. There are many even from the most distant parts of the parish who set the best of examples, alike creditable to themselves and gratifying to me. But there are others whose consciences must tell them, that herein they are found wanting ; that Sunday after Sunday is allowed to pass without their ever quitting their homes, for the purpose of offering up their prayers in the house of God.
Wherefore do you absent yourselves ?-Is public worship unnecessary?
The Lord hath said " I gave them my Sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them;" ought not the duties of the day therefore to be respected by all who call themselves his followers? Are you unwilling? Whence this backwardness? Do you disbelieve his word ? Remember it is the fool only who hath said, “ there is no God,»---and that wiser and better men than yourselves have found that a Christian's hope was all and every thing in life. · Is it your excuse that you can employ yourselves more profitably at home?
Reason with your conscience, and let it, in your secret and serious hour of thought, answer whether your absence has indeed been better or worse employed. As a man soweth, so also shall he reap.
Some say, “ We have other business on hand,”
So say those who are over careful concerning the many things of life. Such were the excuses of the unwise guests in the parable * Beware lest, like theirs, your repentance may come too late. Bear in mind that " where there is a will, there is a way.”
Others say, “Why should we pray in public, if we can pray in secret ?”
Verily do I believe that the private prayers of him
* Luke xiv. 16.
35 who reasoneth thus are as abundant as the fruits on the barren fig tree. He who sought them, found none.
As an old proverb saith, “It is never a bad day that hath a good night," so too, a well spent Sabbath may go far in laying the foundation for a good week; like the mantle of Elijah, it may cast a double portion of its spirit over the days upon which its influence falls. If six days are allowed to earth and the things thereof, let heaven have its portion of the seventh. He who would enjoy that one and eternal Sabbath provided for the people of God in the world to come, is improvident if he turns not to their best account the weekly Sabbaths prepared for him in this.
May these remarks profit those for whom they are intended. They are few in number, but they contain wherewithal for a thinking man to ponder much. In offering them, I can have no personal interest,-it is for your good alone they are proffered, by one who has your present and eternal welfare at heart. As a minister long connected with this parish, it is my earnest desire to see those, amongst whom I have passed so many years of my life, assemble themselves together with one heart and one mind, in harmony and good fellowship, to offer up their prayers and thanksgivings to their heavenly Saviour, united as one family here on earth, that as such we may meet again, when “dying in the Lord,”—“ our works shall follow us.”
As Thomas Simpson, an old labourer of Calford, was looking out at his cottage, an old acquaintance of his, William Sprott, of the neighbouring village of Lenton, came towards him, looking as if something bad had happened; and thus Thomas addressed him:
T. Why, what is the matter, William? you look all wild! what is the matter?
W. Matter! Why I never saw such a sight in my life. Here's half the young fellows of the parish killed or lamed for life. My master Wilson's great house is all down-all level, crash, to the ground; and it has done such a mischief as the people of our parish will remember for many a day.
T. I am grieved, indeed, to hear it. What a sad loss for Mr. Wilson! And what a distressing thing for all the families of the poor people who have been killed! and what dreadful sufferings there must be for those who have been lamed or maimed for life! How happened the house to fall ? And how happened so many poor men to be about the house when it fell?
W. Why it's a terrible story. These poor men pulled the house down themselves.
T. What! pulled the house down themselves-on their own heads?
W. Yes, it is the truth, indeed.
T. Why, what could they mean? what good could this do them?
W. Why they did not mean to hurt themselves, you may be sure; but then they were ignorant, and did not know the danger of pulling down a house.
T. And so they brought all this ruin on themselves?
W. Yes, indeed, did they. It is a sad story.
T. But how was it? Why Mr. Wilson has been in the village more than thirty years; and I thought he was well respected. How was it all? Tell me all about it.
W. Why, you know, our master holds the biggest part of the land in the parish.
T. Yes; and I thought he employed a great many men, and was a great good to the parish.
W. O yes. I am old enough to remember when he first came, and how he set about farming with spirit ;
The Self-Destroyers.. and how he found work for all the labourers; and how the butcher, and the baker, and the shopkeeper, and the blacksmith, all felt the better for his custom: we all found what a benefit it was to have such a person to spend his money amongst us.
T. Yes; but now he must go and I doubt the parish will miss him sadly.
W. O yes, I know they will. I told those foolish lads so, before they set about their mad work.
T. But what made them do it? I want to hear about it.
W. Why, you know, when Mr. Wilson first came to the parish, corn was dear, and he got on well, and he employed plenty of men, and could afford to give them good wages : he set about improving the farm; and every man in the parish was employed. There were three or four of us threshing together in his barn for almost a constancy, and we could not thresh out the corn fast enough ; and sometimes the corn rose suddenly, and we had not enough ready to send to market, and so master had losses. Those farmers that had threshing-machines could get a great deal ready at once, and brought a deal more to the market than our master could do, and so they got a great deal of money.
T. And why did not your master have a machine too?
W. Why he did set up one, when he saw that there was so much benefit from it. .
T. And did the men like it?
W. O yes, they liked it well at the time. The machine did, in a day or two, as much as would have kept us labouring in the barn for week after week; and so we that used to thresh now got to work out of doors, and master would commonly choose, if he could, to have us at the machine, when the weather was bad, and ugly for out-door work. .
T. And do you think you were any worse for the machine ?
W. O no, we were all the better; for, when master could send his corn to market at the best time, and so do well for himself—it was, to be sure, the best for us; for he had then money enough to find work for us and for our lads all over the farm. There was plenty of manure brought in to do the land good, and there was draining, and planting, and all sorts of improvement going on; work enough for us, and for other people that came in to help us.
T. But now you seem to have more men than are wanted ?
W. O yes, a good many families of young children have sprung up, and other workmen got to settle amongst us; so that we have many more hands than we used to have; and so master has not work enough for them all.
T. But you have other farmers in the village ?
W. Yes, two or three; but all together they cannot find work enough for the men; that is to say, they cannot get profit enough to employ them and pay them as they used to do.
T. And so the wages are lowered, I suppose. But then, is not bread cheaper than it was in the war time, when wages were so high?
W. O yes, bread is cheaper, and many other things are cheaper; so that the men are willing to take less wages, seeing that it comes to all the same thing in the end.
T. Then, what is the disturbance about?
W. Why some of the labourers are very poor indeed; their wages are very low now—that is true enough.
T. Yes, I believe so; but you say that your master only lowered them a little, according to the times, -as his profits would not enable him to pay more.
W. O yes; I don't think there is any fault in him, as to that point; but, you know, when men are very badly off, they are not likely to stop to consider the matter fairly and properly..