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with me, because I endeavour constantly to employ myself in his work. I am content, solitary as my condition may be thought, to remain here as long as he sees fit; nay, I strive to be thankful for every added day, as it gives me a fresh opportunity of proving my devotion to him. But when the summons comes, which will take me to Him, my Creator, Father, Friend ! to be where my glorified Master now is, and to join those dear ones whom while on earth he taught me to love, I trust that I shall meet it joyfully, fully confident in the gracious promise, that “ all who die in Christ, will God bring with him." But to ensure this joy, this triumph even in the presence of the “king of terrors," I must “ be stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.”
Here the widow, much affected, paused for some time ; but her uncle remaining silent, she thus went on.
Lady. With respect to the poor people, upon whom I bestow what time and money I can spare, I am careful to prevent the latter from being an encouragement to idleness. Extreme want and hopeless poverty, I ani persuaded, oftener lead to that than even mistaken charity. What I give is chiefly be. stowed upon the aged and the sick, and to afford instruction to the young. We cannot be deceived with respect to the real claims of these; and for their gratitude, I never propose that to myself as an incitement to benevolent actions, though I rejoice where it appears, as a proof of good dispositions in the person who shows it.
To me it is no sacrifice to give up what are called the pleasures of life. In the house of my guardian, with whom you know I lived for some years before my marriage, I had an opportunity of knowing their real value; and I am convinced, that though the amusements and the vanities in which persons of large fortunes often dissipate their time and money, may
appear tempting to those who are not sharers in them, they are far from affording real or lasting satisfaction. Often have I witnessed hours of discontent, vexation and disappointment, for the merest trifles. Sick of themselves, and tired of the company which it cost them so much to entertain, they have been miserable from that weakness of mind which arose from the worthlessness of their daily pursuits and employments.
Of this wretchedness I have'partaken, feeling restless and unhappy, without in reality knowing what I had to complain of ; and in this state of apparent prosperity and cheerfulness, but frequent and increasing discontent, every good disposition which nature had bestowed upon me would have been absorbed and lost, had not your nephew rescued me from this worse than Egyptian bondage, a slavery to the foolish fashions of the world, and taught me to live in obedience to the laws of Him " whose service is per. fect freedom."
Mr. Mansfield. Few ladies but yourself would have been prevailed upon to quit the pleasures and luxuries of a great house, for the dulness and simple fare of a rural habitation in a country village ; and I think even you must in some respects have regretted the change.
Lady. The true affection and regard which I felt for your nephew made his company a constant delight and improvement to me : every hour of it that I enjoyed, raised my heart more and more from the empty and unsatisfying enjoyments of the present scene, towards that better country to which my dear instructor was so soon removed.
Mr. Mansfield. And could your spirits bear to be continually employed on serious subjects ? Had you no heavy, melancholy hours ?
Lady. Did you find us melancholy? Did you perceive any traces of such hours, during the few weeks that you spent with us ?
Mr. Mansfield. I must own that I never did. There was an appearance of satisfaction and happiness in your husband's countenance and manner, as well as your own, that I will confess surprised and puzzled me. His close attention to study, and to the duties of his office, which I had many opportunities of observing, seemed a slavery to me, accustomed as I had been to a life of business ; yet it appeared no fatigue to him. Once I recollect his going in a wet and stormy day, a walk of several miles, to see a person who had just had a considerable loss by the failure of his banker, which affected him so much, that he was taken dangerously ill. My nephew, I remember, gave me a full account of the poor man's situation, saying that he could not possibly carry on the business by which he had maintai ed and hoped to provide for his family, without the immediate Joan of a pretty large sum of money. Your husband, like his father, had a sweet, yet penetrating eye, and he turned it full upon me, saying, * I can be answerable for the bonesty and industry of this man, and hope I shall be able to get it for him, though I know he can give no other security for its repayment.” I knew by his look and manner what he meant, and should have offered something towards it, though I am not fond of lending money ; but just at that time I had made a large purchase in land, and had only enough left for my current expenses.
Lady. I well remember the time and circumstance that you speak of. My dear husband, that evening, consulted me upon the matter, and we ageed to supply him with a thousand pounds, which prospered so well, that he has since been enabled to enlarge his business, and though he paid regular interest for it from the first, he last year returned the whole sum.
Mr. Mansfield. A thousand pounds was a great deal of money for you to risk out of your small property.
Lady. It was so; but this was a great occasion.
The credit, the well doing, nay, perhaps the very life of a worthy man seemed to depend upon it, and the excellence of his eharacter very much lessened the risk.
Mr. Mansfield. He might have been unfortunate a second time, and I think you had hardly a right to venture so large a part of your child's future ortune, especially as your constant charities would have prevented your laying by any thing to make
Lady. Suppose, dear sir, an opportunity had been offered us, of making a very great advantage of that sum :- would you have blamed our imprudence for running an equal risk ? It would not have caused our ruin, if we had lost it.
Mr. Mansfield. I have run some risks myself in the way of trade, though I never went the lengths that others did ; but then I had my fortune to make, and the old saying is “ never venture, never win.” Nothing great is to be gained without great exertions.
Lady. Upon that principle we acted. We were striving for a kingdom ! a heavenly kingdom, a crown of glory that fadeth not away! And what could be more likely to further us in this great object, to recommend us to Him in whose hand the disposal of it is, than doing our utmost to assist a worthy, suffering fellow creature ? “ In as much as ye have done it to the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me," says our blessed Lord ; and who that has heard these gracious words, can hesitate to perform a kind and generous action, whenever the happy upportunity offers itself ?
Mr. Mansfield. I cannot say that I have thought much about these kingdoms in the clouds; but I have contrived to get a pretty solid property here upon earth, which, though it may not be of the very glorious kind that you speak of, I can see, and reap some present benefit from. As to what will happen hereafter, we know little about it; but I hope I shall fare as well as my neighbours, though you perhaps think otherwise.
Lady. God forbid that I should judge any man. 6 To his own master he standeth or falleth.” But I will own that I am greatly hurt by your expression of “ kingdoms in the clouds.” If you are so unfortunate as to doubt concerning the revealed will of God, and want faith in the promises which he hath given us by his Son,- I do indeed pity your condition. To live in the world without feeling that we are under the constant care and protection of its Almighty Ruler, whatever may be our rank or possessions in it, must be most forlorn and wretched.
Mr. Mansfield. Why to own the truth, though I have obtained considerable wealth, I cannot boast of much happiness : nor have I any notion of the sort of happiness which you seem to enjoy. Tell me in what your religion chiefly consists?
Lady. First and principally in the love of God. To feel and know that there is a Being of absolute power, infinite wisdom, and perfect goodness, who gave us life, and every moment watches over us ; who is our tender father, and will “ make all things work together for good to those who love him!” To be fully assured of this, should reconcile us to all the evils that can befal us during our short abode upon earth : indeed it cannot fail of doing so by every one who feels this mighty blessing as he ought. Thus faith in the revealed will of God, at once removes from our minds all the misery and trouble which would otherwise spring from the trying and calamitous events of life. The true believer may be « troubled on every side, yet not distressed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken ; cast down, but not destroyed;" looking meekly up to heaven, he resigns his will to the will of his Creator, knowing that the end of righteousness is peace and assurance for ever !"