« AnteriorContinuar »
night, they all agreed that Mr. Kemp was very kind, he was in the right on't, and that they had never spent a more contented day; and when they rose to go, Michael said, “ that if they wished any of their children to walk forward with them, he had no objection, only to let them be back in time." So it was all settled, and the party set out gratefully and happily.
As they walked by the way, “I cannot think what it is that makes every one speak ill of your master and mistres; they rail about them, and call them William was of the party. “Well, and what do they call them, neighbour ?" Why, saints, and that they could not speak without turning up their eyes.'
Well, I have lived with master more than eleven years, and I have lived with him when he was a servant himself; and he was always good and kind, and as for his being a saint, I do not see any harm in that, though I do not suppose he would like it himself, because he is so very humble. But there was St. Paul,
was St. Paul, St. Peter, St. James, and these were all good men.
I should think so. But since I have taken to read the Bible, I have found out a secret, that it is from scorn that they call them saints, not from any respect. You see what an honour it would
be, if they meant to liken them to such good people as St. Paul and St. John, who were beloved by our dear Saviour, and who wrote such beautiful accounts of him, that one would not think that any man could be like them." “ No, William, no more they could,” said William's sister, “ unless God's own Spirit made them so; and let us take care how we mock at him, that's serious work; our day is coming, and what says the Scripture? I will mock at their calamity, and I will laugh when their fear cometh.' These conversations sunk upon the hearts of the little audience, and the peace of the house remained undisturbed. They submitted to all Michael's regulations, gave up Sunday's feast, and felt the comfort of keeping within the limits appointed by God.
I know not why it should be, but so it certainly is, that when the mind is once brought in subjection, and the conduct regulated, the very persons who were most disposed to do wrong, are the most severe upon other culprits. They seemed to have forgotten that they were themselves liable to the same error; I could account for it upon religious principles, and could clearly perceive that none but those out of whose eyes the beam were taken could see clearly to pull out the mote; but it seems as though
memory failed in this instance, that those who so lately joined the giddy party, and wished to share the pleasures of the sabbath-breaking, should now be loud in their censure of others. But we may
But we may best give this in a short dialogue.
It was after the second annual meeting at the Brow, that Rose and Ann Medway were assisting to do some needle-work with Betty Smith, Ann exclaimed, « Well, what a pleasant meeting we had.” “Yes," said Rose, “and no stain upon the conscience." “ That's what I think,” said Ann, " is the comfort of it. How can people enjoy themselves when they be breaking God's commandments, as master says ?” A slight tinge passed over the brow of Betty Smith, and her cheek was suffused. Why, dears,” said Betty,
you see they do not think, that's it.
But they ought to think,” said Ann Medway. “ O dear me,” said Betty Smith, “ how soon people do forget.” Forget what ?” said Ann. Rose began to guess what Betty meant, and was silent; but Ann went on.
“ For my part, I wonder how they can be happy."
" Ask Ann Medway that question,” said Betty Smith;
ask her how she could be happy this time two years.
Me, Mrs. Smith, why, I never went.” “ That is true; but who
" Well now,
would have gone if their master would have let them ?” Why yes, I know that, but I had never been there; I thought it was something mighty pleasant, but how could I tell Mrs. Smith?” my girl," said Betty,“ do you turn to Matthew, xviii. 28. You are just in the same spirit with this poor man; you see, though he had got the money and been forgiven, yet how hard he was upon his fellow. Now you, Ann, who wanted to go, and you, Rose, who would have liked to have gone. You see you are blaming, and condemning, and forgetting the sins of your own hearts." They both cast their eyes down, for they felt the truth of what Betty was saying. * And what should we do, Mrs. Smith ?” said Ann. Why, dears, ye should walk humbly, and ye should remember what ye were yourselves, and have pity upon others.”
It was far more difficult to convince Ann than Rose, such is the advantage of early association with good people, however slight. I can only compare it with the effect which dwelling near the Jews had upon the neighbouring nations : they gained the knowledge of God and his laws almost intuitively, and there is an outward decency of conduct which such knowledge generates, and which otherwise
they would never have attained to. Thus, for instance, the infidel who acts in the light of revelation, while he denies that light, and ascribes that to nature which unassisted nature could never attain. To take a view of all the islands we have visited in their original state; you will find them worshipping idols, eating human victims, and delighting in the most cruel reprisals in war. These are the fruits of poor unassisted natural reason; we need but read the Missionary Register, and see what is doing in the four quarters of the globe, to bear testimony to the truth of my observation. Absurd, superstitious, idolatrous cruelty, are found every where, till the light of revelation dawns. Ask the poor widow of the Hindoo wherefore she devotes herself to a cruel and untimely death? She would reply, “ That some hope of dwelling in an ideal state of happiness with her departed husband leads to this rash desperation.” Ask the fifty courtiers, who, following the light of a wild superstition, immolate themselves upon the grave of their king; they will tell you, that some fanatical expectations in attending their deceased master in his new state of being has wrought them to this frenzy. But not to multiply instances, human nature left to itself is full of the