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From the first breath of life divine,
Begun and ended by thy power.' We took leave of the aged, venerable couple. I had not then been accustomed to converse with the pious poor ; and I felt astonished at the clearness of their views, and their suitable way of expressing them. Since then, I have had many opportunities of observing how religion informs, and elevates, and refines the soul. The mind being unfurnished has room to receive the glorious truths of Christianity, in all their fulness. Such believers, therefore, can literally say, “Thy word have I hid within my heart; it is my meditation all the day. And this constant study of sacred Scripture, with its beautiful images and language, gradually tunes their hearts, and moulds their expressions, till they acquire an indescribable richness and power. Long did the remarks of Thomas and Rachel remain upon my mind; indeed, throughout the whole period of my Christian profession, I have scarcely found a greater privilege, than to sit at the feet of those, who though poor in this world, are eminently rich in faith, and heirs of glory.
Our day's pleasures were not yet ended ; for we had engaged to spend a long afternoon the Rectory. Ten minutes intervening between our return and our dinner hour, Louisa found it abundantly sufficient, to make the necessary preparations. It never entered into Louisa's calculations, to be all negligence at one time, and all finery at another. Her appearance and manner were always lady-like, because always characterized by christian simplicity; while her perfect ease and artlessness, her freedom from self-seeking and affectation; threw over her a charm and elegance, for which many a young lady has labored in vain.
By five o'clock, we were all seated in Mrs. Mason's pleasant drawing-room, the windows of which led out upon a velvet lawn, adorned with flowering shrubs, and surrounded by extensive grounds, laid out with taste and beauty. The church, with its adjoining burial-ground, lay on the right; and in front a lovely, richly wooded landscape. Throughout the evening, we had in one way or other, quite the appearance of a communicative party. The first knowledge taught and learned by the young people,
was that of various stitches, and the means of applying them, to produce such ingenious and elegant inventions, as were occupying the nimble fingers around me. Some I found were destined for India, to aid our Missionary efforts there; while others had been bespoken by friends at home, and the profits promised to local charities. After a while, we were summoned to take tea upon the lawn, where Mr. Mason soon joined us, as well as some of the male members of our various families, who had been enjoying a game at cricket in an adjoining meadow. Conversations combining an innocent and profitable mixture of grave and gay, succeeded; enquiries were made respecting schools and districts; langour was roused, or zeal tempered, as occasion might require. Even my friend received a little kind and salutary advice.
“Both your class and district, Louisa,” observed Mr. Mason, seem to be in a pleasant, encouraging state. Has Caroline Birnie visited with you this month ?”
“Not much, Sir. She has never called for me; and as I have been sufficiently at leisure, I have not found it any burden to go alone.”
“Perhaps not so much, as to take Caroline with you,” said Mr. Mason, smiling. “But there is a text which will come into my mind, Louisa, something like this — We ought not to please ourselves; but let every one of us please his neighbour, for his good to edification.?
“But I do not fancy,” replied Louisa, somewhat timidly, "it would please Caroline to visit from cottage to cottage.”
Possibly not. Nevertheless, edification might arise now, and pleasure come afterwards. Indeed we are not quite sure, that a delicate fear of intruding on your enjoyment, may not hold Caroline back; and if so, the sooner you remove such an impression, the better. But suppose she has no inclination, which is probably the truth; then it would be a work of kindness to endeavor to excite one: for such intercourse and such engagements are calculated to be a source of the greatest benefit. Seriously, I shall feel obliged if my more established helpers, will try to interest their younger friends. It was with this view, I appointed two visitors to each district. Influence is an important talent, and one, which I fear, we
are sometimes less ready to use with our equals, than among the poor."
A blush rose on Louisa's countenance.--"I will call on Caroline to-morrow, Sir,” she said: “and endeavor to be as kind and helpful to her, as I ought to have been long since.”
“Thank you, Louisa.”—And Mr. Mason accompanied the words, with a slight bow, and a smile of approbation.
Many other topics of an interesting kind, filled up the social tea-hour. We then strolled for a while about the grounds ; enjoyed some excellent music, on our return to the drawing room ; were permitted to share the highly privileged season of family worship; and after partaking of a light and simple repast, separated, with souls refreshed, strengthened, and stirred up for the exercise of love to God and man.
How different from the effects produced by visiting, when its accompaniments are--beforehand, elaborate preparation :-at the time, display, excitement, excess:-afterwards, indisposition, envy, and discontent.
Such were my morning and evening visits, during my pleasant sojourn with my estimable friend. The agreeable and profitable remembrance is still present to my mind : and I can only pray for myself and my youthful readers, that in all our social intercourse with others, we may impart and receive advantage, especially spiritual good. May our Saviour himself draw near, and be with us; till like the disciples of old, our hearts burn, and our lips celebrate the wonders of redeeming love.
S. S. S.
GOD IN THE WINDS AND WAVES. When popery and tyranny were pouring in upon us like a flood, and our liberties, both civil and religious, were going apace, God, in his mercy, raised us up a deliverer, the great and glorious King William. I have been much affected with reading the account, which a celebrated historian gives us, of the voyage of our deliverer and his army from Holland to England, God and Providence were remarkably to be seen in it from beginning to end. Soon after the feet sailed out, they were taken with a storm at sea, which lasted a night and a day; by which they
were shattered and driven all back again. God would let them see, at their first setting out, that they could not proceed without his permission-they could do nothing without him. Thus he gave them notice to eye his providence; and at the same time, by a very watchful providence, guarded the fleet from any real harm ; so that not one ship was lost, and but one man. This delay gave time and opportunity for fitting out a strong fleet to oppose and hinder our deliverer's coming to our rescue ; and so the danger of the expedition was now greater than before. But God is most seen in the Mount of Danger. At length the fleet, with our deliverer, sets out a second time; and now they have a fair wind to bring them over; and at the same time, it is directly against their enemies, so that they could not come out to meet them. The prince and his fleet are driven, by a strong wind in the night, quite beyond the place where they intended to land; which brought them into such imminent danger that the admiral declared all was lost. But on a sudden it calmed a little, and the wind turned to the south, and a soft and happy gale carried the whole fleet safe into Torbay, where a place was found, which they came to by mere accident, so convenient for landing the horse, that if the whole island round had been sounded, no properer place could be found for it. No sooner were they landed, but the wind turned about quite the contrary way, and blew another storm, from which their feet was well sheltered; but their enemies' fleet, which was now got to sea, was quite shattered by it, and rendered unfit for any more service that year, and so we were masters of the sea without a blow.-Jennings.
PRAY ALWAYS. AWAKENING providences loudly call for prayer, especially whilst God is holding his rod over us, and keeping our minds in a painful suspense. But, come what will, we can never meet it better than in a penitent, praying frame; not to say that this is the
very best means to secure to us and ours, a singular preservation. Remarkable is the story which is related concerning an earthquake at Berne, in Switzerland, A. D. 1584, by the violence of which, a mountain was carried to a considerable distance, and covered a whole village that had ninety families in it; one half-house only excepted, wherein the master of the house, with his wife and children were earnestly calling upon God. This story is related by Polanus, (Syntag. 841,) who was an inhabitant of those parts.
The word Asylum is derived from the Greek, and signifies a place free from robbery or spoliation. This is the idea of an English home; for here, it has passed into a proverb that every man's house is his castle. The following quotation from Dr. Roden's account of Hanwell Asylum, beautifully illustrates these remarks.
“ I have often wondered,” said I, to an Italian gentleman, who was by my side on the eminence called Bello Sguardo, at Florence—“I have often wondered that no language of Europe possesses an equivalent for the English ‘Home.' ” - Casa mia ?” said he.
No, that is by no means the sense of it.” “ Chez moi ?” “ Still less,” said I. “ Dimora-stanza—in Spanish ?” “ No.” “ In German?”
“ No," I replied, “ it is still hause, (house) equivalent. All these expressions allude to the habitation, and not to the focus of feelings which constitute the English word, 'Home.'»
“ Besides," added I, “ when a man has several houses, as you have, one of them must be his favorite.” At this moment, he caught, with the telescope I had lent him, a view of a little cottage, high up the Appenines, to which he resorted in hot weather, or when he wished to be free from interruption.
“Ha! Ecco il mio asilo,” he cried.
“ There's the word,” said I, “ that means the English home. Asylum is the word.”
Heaven is the Christian's Asylum-the focus of his spiritual feelings. He is a stranger and a pilgrim, in the best of earthly homes : for none of them realize the full force of a refuge beyond