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of falling back on our mitigations, for he seems to have kept a sort of debtor and creditor account, not only of the present, but of the past. He looks not at a part of God's dealings with him, but at the whole, and exclaims, “What ! shall we receive good at the hands of God, and not receive evil ?” Are we doing as Job did—thankfully remembering our past mercies, and setting them against our present trials? This, whether we adopt it or not, is a wise course, an upright course, and the only course we ought to pursue.
Neither past mercies, present mercies, nor future mercies, should be forgotten in the long list of our mitigations; nor should we think lightly of newlydiscovered alleviations, professional skill, medicine suited to our case, kind ministerial aid, the visits of affection and friendship, the gentle voice that soothes our griefs and the kind hand that smooths our pillow. When our trials are sharp, it is a comfort to know that they will be short, and, let the worst come to the worst, we can look beyond them.
But, after all, our best mitigators will ever be God's word, God's promises, and God's presence. Having these, in all our weakness we may wage war with
trouble, whether it be care, poverty, sickness, pain, or death.
Men, brethren, kindreds, people, tongues, and nations, Count up your mercies and your mitigations.
DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH YOU ARE
I ONCE heard of a man-nay, he was well known to me—of whom it was said, he was so rich that he knew not the amount of his wealth. Embarrassing as such a situation may be, it is the very position in which I now find myself. Yes, it is a truth, that, put down what I may, and calculate as I will, I do not know the full amount of my possessions.
Many men have larger estates than I have, and greater houses, and more money in the bank, and then they keep their carriages; but this does not signify. Large estates are not possessed without anxiety; I never buy them. Great houses are seldom inhabited without great cares; I never live in one.
I can take care of all my money without troubling the bank to do it for me, and I have good and sufficient reasons of my own for not keeping my carriage. If, reader, God has given you a grateful heart, and enabled you, in any measure, having food and raiment to be therewith content,
bear with me a little in my light-hearted remarks, and give me credit for some end and object in making them. Haply they may be the not inappropriate precursors of more weighty observations, convincing you that you are really richer than you suppose.
When I see, as I sometimes do, the iron chests and tin boxes of those who have title-deeds, securities, and other representatives of property in their possession, I say to myself, “What a comfort it is to me that my title-deeds require neither tin boxes nor iron chests !” And if I see at the bank, when I happen to be there, which is a rare occurrence, a man pulling out of his breast-pocket a huge leathern pocket-book, bulging out with bank notes of different kinds, I again indulge in my pleasantry, thinking to myself, “Who would carry about with him such a huge, lumbering, unwieldy book as that? why, I can contrive to carry my notes in a much narrower compass.” No small mercy it is, when regarding those who are better off than ourselves, to be kept from envying our neighbours.
It is not quite a week since a friend kindly took me a drive for an hour or two in Hyde Park, at a time when all the fashionable world” was said to be there; and truly if fine horses, fine coaches, fine footmen, and fine people can properly be considered a fair manifestation of the fashionable world, it might be said, on that occasion, to have been very fairly represented. Reclining in their several vehicles,
Rank, beauty, wit, and wealth, lolled at their ease,
Accustomed as I am to common scenes, and companionizing as I do with less elevated people, I cannot meet with a duke on horseback followed by a groom much better mounted than himself,
-a duchess showy as a full-blown peony, reclining in an open coronetted carriage, drawn by four beautiful grays,a lord in his Stanhope in easy chat with a popular baronet, and a lady and her lapdog in a well-cushioned coach with bay horses and bright harness -I cannot, I say, meet such personages, with a crowd of others of similar station, without regarding them (not rudely, I hope) with much interest and curiosity. This was the case with me on the occasion to which I refer.
It was no small part of my gratification to be able to see so many possessors of greatness and grandeur without wishing to exchange positions with them, and without envying the wealthiest among them. Willingly, had I possessed the power, would I have made them all ten times happier than they were. It suddenly struck me that the park was a public park, and that I, as one of the public, was one of its proprietors; nor did I know that any duke, duchess, lord, baronet, or lady in London had a better title to, it than myself. I could walk, ride, and drive in it as often as I chose, and see the assembled throng there, and partake their gratification, whenever I thought proper. “ From this time forth,” said I, “my share in the park must be regarded by me as a part of my property.”
What a defence against peevishness and repining, “envy, hatred, malice, and all uncharitableness," is a contented and grateful spirit! Where God has given it, he has given a treasure which we cannot too often acknowledge. Truly, “Godliness with contentment is great gain :" 1 Tim. vi. 6.
The steward of a very wealthy squire (who was then on a sick bed, paralyzed and in pain, with little hope of ever rising from it) some time since took me over the estate on a fine, windy, sunshiny day. He told me the names of the farmers; he pointed to the hills and the valleys, the meadows, and the running brooks, and said that they all belonged to the squire. “Belong to him, poor man!” thought I; "they belong a great deal more to me than to him; for I can see them, ramble among them, and enjoy them, while he can do neither the one nor the other. It seems that I am a rich man, after all. Many things are common to all God's creatures, like the balmy air and the glowing sunshine.
The breezes blow, the warblers sing,