« AnteriorContinuar »
cian would suffer materially in his reputation, who should hesitate to render professional assistance because his patient is unable to recompense him. The wbole body of the poor in this town with the ex. ception of those actually in the alms-house, are supplied with medical attendance as freely as the rich, wholly by the gratuitous services of the profession. I have known many physicians whose practice was near. ly half, and some much more than half, of this kind; entirely unrewarded by any pecuniary consideration; and it is something like this throughout the country.
Now, why should it be expected of us, in addition to all this, to devote so large a proportion of our income to charitable uses? The Mosaick law exacted but one tenth. But we are called upon to give a seventh part, and without reference to the portion that will remain for the sustenance of our families. Are physicians in general so rich as to enable them to support such an allowance from their income ? I do not complain of the rewards of the profession. In this vicinity they are liberal; and are worthy of the estimation in which the character and services of physicians are held. But if a few physicians become rich, the number is very small, in comparison with those who acquire little more than a livelihood. And I believe it will readily be granted, that considering the fatigues, the privations, and the great responsibilities to which the members of the profession are subject, they are not, to say the least, more amply rewarded than other men.
It appears to me, therefore, that if the practice of a physician upon the Sabbath is voluntarily extended, beyond what the necessities of his patients require, it is a breach of duty, for which no appropriation of the fees, however excellent, can atone; and if his practice is thus limited by his duty, that the proceeds of it are as rightfully devoted to any of the purposes of lawful gain, as any other part of his income.
Physicians, as well as others, ought unquestionably to give of their substance, and to give freely to the various objects of benevolent and religious charities; and I trust that, as a class of men, they will not be found peculiarly deficient in a disposition to do this. But I conceive that the amount of their benefactions should be apportioned according to the extent of their income, and of the demands to which it is exposed, rather than to any contingency of manner in which it is obtained. St. Paul's directions to the Corinthian Christians was : “ Let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered
FOR THE GOSPEL ADVOCATE.
AN EXTRACT FROM FABER ON THE PREDESTINARIAN CON. .
TROVERSY. - * In all ages of the church, nothing has so much injured the cause of truth as an extravagant and bigoted adherence to system and party,
• Cor. xvi. 2.
combined with the pride of never giving up an opinion which has been once advanced. Prejudice in favour of any particular system blinds the eyes of the understanding ; party spirit produces, at once, extreme rashness and determined pertinacity, and the stubborn pride of human nature has, afterwards, no inconsiderable share in perpetuat. ing those controversies to which a love of system originally gave birth. What a man has once asserted, he is ashamed and unwilling to retract; he fears the laugh of the world and the reproaches of his own party, and he will often have recourse to the most disingenuous sophisms rather than honestly confess himself to have been mistaken. These sophisms, being very easily detected, are sometimes exposed with rather too much sarcastick triumph, whence, a certain irritation of mind is produced, which usually vents itself in seizing the earliest opportunity of making reprisals. The more severely each party is treated, the more it becomes wedded to its own peculiarities ; and, instead of endeavouring to heal the breaches in the church, it strives to recede, as far as possible, from the ground occupied by its adversary."
FROM THE CHRISTIAN GUARDIAN.
NARRATIVE OF LITTLE EMILY.
(CONTINUED FROM PAGE 66.) The next morning I prepared myself for a walk to the cottage in the wood, which was the residence of my Emily, intending to have accompanied the little fair one back again, when she came, as I expected she would, for strawberries. At the usual time, therefore, I looked for her; but she came not. An hour or more passed away in expectation ; but no little figure in black appeared tripping along the pathway. Mr. Grahain began to be uneasy, and walked two or three times to the garden-gate to look for the dear child.
At length some one came out from the wood; we at first thought it was our Emily, but we presently could distinguish a woman in a gray cloak. She ascended the hill, and coming in at the garden-gate, told us, in reply to our eager questions, that she was the daughter of the poor woman in whose cottage Mrs. Norton (our Emily's mamma) had lodged ; and that she now came to tell us, the poor lady had died early in the morning, leaving no directions what was to be done, excepting only a letter, which had been put into the post. “But we know not,” added she, “ what to do with poor little miss, who takes on so bitterly, that we fear she will do herself a mischief; and as she loves you, madam, and the gentleman here, my mother has made bold to send me for your advice.”
On hearing of the poor lady's death, I burst into a flood of tears, and loudly lamented my negligence in not having once visited her;
but, after a few moments, I rose to follow the woman, requesting Mr. Graham to send a man-servant after me to the cottage, in case any as. sistance might be wanted.
As we approached the cottage, a neat old woman, on whose venerable countenance the tenderest feelings of sorrow were depicted, came forth to meet us, and to say how thankful she was for my kindness in coming down.
“Where, my good woman," I said, “ is my little Emily ???
“0, madam," she answered, “it would have cut you to the beart had you seen her yesterday. She came in from your house about eleven o'clock, as blithe as a bird, and ran up to her mamma with the strawberries : but the poor lady had taken a change wbile little miss was away, and was even then dying. She could not take the strawberries which the sweet babe offered her; yet it was plain to see she was pleased and touched with the kind attentions of the dear little miss; for she prayed earnestly for her child, her lovely Emily, as she called her, and some of her words were these : O my God! I leave my child without anxiety; for her Redeemer is mighty, he will plead her cause with thee."" (Prov. xxiji. 11.)
I could bear to hear no more of the old woman's discourse ; but entering the cottage, passed through the lower apartment to a narrow staircase, which ascending quickly, with a beating heart I entered the chamber of death.
There, on a decent bed, lay the poor corpse, neatly laid out; but the figure was so death-like, so emaciated by long or sharp sickness, as to convey no idea to my mind of what the poor lady might have been when in health. By the side of the bed, on a little foot-stool, sat the lovely Emily; who, having removed the lifeless arm from the position in which it had been placed by those who had laid out the corpse, and resting her cheek upon the pale cold hand, (overcome with fatigue and sorrow,) had fallen into a deep sleep.
The apartment was meanly furnished, though it contained several little things which pointed it out as having been the residence of one who had fallen from a state of comparative affluence. But what affected me most was, the little basket of strawberries, for which the sweet daughter had a second time paid the price of a self-denying act rarely practised by children. She had procured those strawber. ries as a gratification for her dying parent; but it was a gratification which came too late to be enjoyed.
Having gazed for some minutes on this scene, I turned round to the old woman and her daughter, who had followed me up stairs.
I know not what my countenance expressed, but the old woman seeming to discover in it something of disapprobation, said softly, but earnestly, “Indeed, indeed, madam, we could not get little miss away; she would not leave her mother, but was ready to die with grief whenever we attempted to remove her."
“Then,” I answered, “now must be the time to separate them;" and hearing my servant below, I called him up, and directed him gently to lift up the sweet child, and convey her with as soft a motion
as possible to our house. This was done as I wished. Into so sound ą sleep had she fallen, that he raised her up without waking her, and carried her away ; leaving me standing by the corpse.
Very affecting thoughts passed through my mind as we were removing the child from the remains of that tender parent, who had so carefully watched over her from early infancy.
"O poor corpse !" at length I said, “I remove your Emily-her tears will never again moisten your cold hand; but I will, God permitting, supply your place. Yes," I said, kişsing the hand on which the sweet child's cheek had so lately rested, “I will be a mother to your Emily--but, 0, I am not worthy to fill your place.I have hitherto lived as without God in the world. The bible has not been my companion, as it was yours“I have lived a stranger to my Saviour; a lover of pleasure rather than a lover of God."
Speaking to this effect, I fell on my knees by the bed, and still holding the hand of the corpse, I prayed in a manner which I never had done before, not with the lips, but with the heart; my affections, I humbly trust, being under the influence of that Holy Spirit who helpeth our infirmities.
The import of my prayer was, that, if it should please God to place the little Emily under our care, be would give us grace in every respect to supply to her the place of her departed parents, and to carry on that Christian education which her mother had so piously and successfully commenced. I prayed also for myself and my husband, that wben the time of our departure should come, we might be enabled to trust our cause to the Almighty, and say of ourselves, as the departed lady had said of her child, “Our Redeemer is mighty, be will plead our cause with thee.”
On my arrival at home, I inquired eagerly after Emily. She was a wake, and was sitting on Mr. Graham's knee, who was endeavouring to comfort her. She received me with sweet affection, and asked me if she might not go back and sit by her mamma till she was laid in the grave. I endeavoured to persuade ber not to think of such a thing.
" It would make me happy," said she. “O dear Mrs. Graham, let me go once again !let me kiss my mamma's hand only once, more !"
I did not know what to say, or how to talk with her on the subject; but I rather put her off, for the present, than absolutely refused her. request.
I took ber in my arms, and beld her to my heart, and spoke to her of dolls and play things, which I would send for her from London. But in the midst of all this, to which she seemed to have listened from politeness rather than interest, she said, “O ma'am, talk to me of mamma! Where is my mamma now? Is she with papa and my little sister ? and are they all with my Saviour ? Are they clothed in his righteousness? Is my mamma very fair now? is there no spot or stain of sin about her ? Please, ma'am, to talk to me about these things."
13 GOSPEL ADVOCATE, VOL. III.
How could I talk to her about what I did not understand ? I was not acquainted with religious subjects: I feared, even before this child, to show my ignorance; so I said, “My dear, my heart is so heavy and sad, that I cannot talk." . " Please then to read the bible, dear ma'am; read about our Saviour;" she answered. “I think that will comfort me; the bible tells about heaven.”
“I will, my dear child,” I said, “ I will read the bible, and Mr. Graham will read it also, if you will but stay with us, and not want to go away: and we will serve God together; and, with God's help, we will prepare ourselves for that time when we shall all go to be united with your dear parents in the house of our Saviour above."
She seemed pleased with this, and said, “ Shall I never leave you, ma'am ?"
“ No, never, never, my sweet child,” I said, “so long as God will allow us to dwell together.”
“Will you love me, ma'am ?” she replied ; “ please to love me.”
“ Love you! I have always loved you,” I answered, " and now I shall be your mamma.”
" Mamma !" she said ; “no, not my mamma--you shall not be my mamma-my mamma is dead; but you shall be my aunt, my own aunt, my darling aunt, and I will never leave you.”
In saying this she clasped her arms closely round my neck, and broke out afresh into tears.
Shortly after the funeral we quitted that part of the country and proceeded to Wales. Here Mr. G. and I employed ourselves diligently in the education of this orphan child, whom her relations allowed us to adopt for our own.
My mornings were devoted to her instruction, and our evenings to reading. The events of the last summer had given a serious turn to our thoughts; and that love for the bible which our little adopted daughter brought with her into our family, led us to read it more fre. quently than in former days, partly for the purpose of satisfying her, and partly with a desire of increasing our own acquaintance with it. We now also began to take delight in other religious books; while our attendance on the outward observances of religion became less a mere matter of form than it once had been. Yet I mean not to boast; since all this time, I may truly say, that my growth in grace was exceeding slow, my backslidings very many, and my love of the world continually interfering with my religious duties.
Eight years thus passed away since Emily entered our familyeight years of uncommon happiness, perhaps of more happiness than was consistent with our spiritual good; and our dear Emily bad now attained her fifteenth year, growing up, under the blessing of God, an exceeding lovely young woman. Never did I see, in'any young person, vivacity so tempered with an abiding fear of God, or natural and acquired endowments so sweetly shaded by Christian humility. Though she described herself to be (and that truly) a miserable sinner, in whom, naturally, dwelt no good thing; yet her conversation