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Bible-reading boy had found another friend in the excellent Lady Noble, who had taken him under her protection, placed him in the school at N, where he was educated, clothed, and fed, and taught the science and practice of navigation and seamanship. While Bill continued at this school, he was sometimes permitted to go home to see his mother, who being sick and ill, he desired the more to see her. On these occasions he used to save his own dinner, that he might give it to his mother; and while he sat by her bed-side, he would read to her words of comfort, and encouragement out of his Bible. His mother used to say to him, when she saw him take his Testament out of his bosom, Dost still love thy Bible, Bill?' "O yes, and I hope I ever shall, dear mother.' • Then, Bill, mind what the lady said, dear lad-thou'lt never want a friend.' I never have, dear mother.'
"Some time after this, young Edwards being qualified for the employment for which he had been educated, and about to come out of the school, his patroness, Lady Noble, being dead, a friend's interest was necessary to put him into a good situa tion. No sooner did he want a friend than a friend appeared. Bill was sent on board a ship of war, under the particular care of the captain. He was appointed cabin-boy, and personal servant to an officer on board; and the last account that my dear mother heard of her Bible-reading boy was, that he had been seen nailing up the Bethel-flag to the mast-head of his gallant captain's ship; and, as its beautiful drapery unfurled its ample folds, and floated on the breeze, Bill, reading the words in golden letters with which it was embroidered, said, 'Ay, there goes the Seaman's Friend; and may that Friend who sticketh closer than a brother, be as gracious to them all as he has ever been to me!" "
As Mrs. Neville finished her story we crossed the lawn towards the house, and looking around upon the sea, we beheld the moon rising through the haze, in immense apparent magnitude, but so low upon the horizon, that the furze and brambles on the common we had left, shewed their feathery sprays against her disc. "Ah," said Mrs. Neville, gazing intently on the scene, "the days come when the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun seven-fold! VOL. 11. 3d SERIES.
We, my children, have beheld the dawn of this glorious light in our own day-the Lord hasten the time when these gallant ships and Bible-reading boys, shall become the swift messengers to carry the glad tidings to the ends of the earth, and to the islands of the sea-to the nations and people, who, crowding their distant shores, ardently long and look for their appearing!—So saying, we entered the house, and crossing the hall, found we had just returned in time for prayers. MARGARET.
SOME years ago, a large family of my nephews and nieces were left destitute, and being myself in tolerably affluent circumstances, I put out my eldest nephew into a respectable trading situation, where it was necessary for him to provide his board and other personal expences, for which purpose I allowed him what I thought, with frugality, was quite sufficient for him.
The young man had received a religious education, was amiable, and of an active turn of mind, and I did not doubt would do well. As he was placed at some distance from my little country retirement, I did not see him for above a year after that event took place, but I heard from time to time, that he was going on well, was very industrious, that his conduct was moral and regular, and that he attended church twice a day, and I felt much satisfied.
At the end of this time, I had a few hasty lines from him, to say that if it was perfectly agreeable to me, he would pay me a visit, as he happened to be at liberty for a short time.
I was extremely pleased at the idea of seeing my young friend, and the day was fixed: the coach by which he was to come, ran about a mile from the village. I was walking in my garden when the young man made his appearance, with a porter behind him carrying a small portmanteau, to whom he hastily threw a shilling, as he laid down the box.
Young man, I thought to myself, you might have spared that shilling, your mother would have been glad of it, and you must be accustomed to carry heavier parcels than
these; however, I said nothing at the time, but proceeded to welcome my young friend.
He made himself very pleasant, had a great deal to say to me, and the day passed off very pleasantly; though from his discourse, it seemed to me that the ways of the world were much more wonderful than they used to be in my younger days, and things much more gay and fashionable in the plain part of society than they used to be; however, I listened, and as I wished to see my young companion exactly as he was, I did not think proper to check his openness in any way, though I sometimes made him smile at my homely questions. So passed the first day :-the next was Sunday, and I was very well pleased with his behaviour. As soon as breakfast was over he went out of the house, as he thought, unobserved by me, and after walking carelessly about the garden for ten minutes, he seated himself at last in a yew-tree arbour, which looks down my grass walk, and taking out of his pocket a small bible, he read in it very quietly till the bells began to chime for church, when jumping up, he ran into the house, and came down in so gay a waistcoat, with so brilliant a pin in his shirt, that I quite stared at him, and so, I believe, did all the people at our little village church.
He had no wish to walk out after service, though he asked many questions about the people we saw at church, in short, he spent the day as quietly as I could have wished, and as it seemed, as much in accordance with his own habits as mine; but after our early tea, I proposed to him to walk with me to see an old servant, who was very ill. We passed through our Squire's park, which pleased him well. Just as we reached the fine oak plantation, which crowns the little hill where the pheasantry is built, and caught the view of the village church, a group of our little Sunday school children, who had assembled at the foot of the hill, began to sing in soft voices the evening hymn: it was an interesting and a touching scene, and led us immediately, as these little circumstances often do, into free religious conversation. I was much pleased with every thing my companion expressed, until at the close of our conversation, with a sudden start, he exclaimed, "but after all, I begin to doubt whether the promises are really fulfilled to
the truly religious, or else why should we see those who serve God and deny themselves exposed to so much outward distress." I was going to enter into some explanation of the uses of adversity, and repeat to him that text, every son whom the Father loveth, he chasteneth," when it occurred to me, that the young man spoke from feeling, and not conviction; and that I should not be able to say any thing to the purpose, till I had gained a little more private knowledge of his character. I therefore made some general reply, and then waived the subject.
My nephew was to remain with me till the following Friday, and, therefore, as he was a good deal confined in his business, I employed the Monday and Tuesday in shewing him such curiosities as our neighbourhood afforded, and to make it more agreeable to him, I invited several of our young people of a respectable and orderly character to bear him company, and we took refreshments with us, that we might dine amidst woods, or ruins, or cottages, as was most agreeable to us.
My nephew's spirits were raised by new scenes, fine weather, and pleasant companions; and when he talked in the gaiety of of his heart, and often, seemingly, quite unmindful of my presence, I could detect nothing of an immoral or improper nature escaping from his lips: though certainly, he seemed not a little gratified by displaying to our rustics his knowledge of many town habits-I mean such as prevail, or are supposed to prevail in high life. The words genteel, fashionable, &c. were continually on his lips; he talked of various things being necessary which I had scarcely heard of; unavoidable expences, and the impossibility for people of small means to live as any body would like to live; besides, he produced many little articles from his pockets and different parts of his person, which certainly were not bought for nothing, and which might have been very well dispensed with; and seeing these were admired, he described. other similar valuables which he possessed at home-all these things I laid up in my mind, but did not say more at that time upon the subject than I thought absolutely necessary. For those who know and feel the vanity of the world, must now and then speak a word of truth in the ears of the inexperienced, for truth will ever be found the best antidote to vanity.
The following day I took the first opportunity when breakfast was over, of making some enquiry respecting the private affairs of my young friend: he seemed rather embarrassed and desirous to turn off the subject, but finding that I was determined to pursue the enquiry, he replied "that he had found considerable expences at first setting out, his wardrobe had required considerable additions-country clothes did not do in a large town; the habits of the persons he associated with, were very different to those of his own family in the country,' as to outward appearances." He then proceeded to complain of some disagreeable circumstances in his situation; enlarged upon the superior advantages of some higher branches of the business, of their greater gentility, and freedom from what he found unpleasant in his present station. I told him that there were difficulties in every situation, and that "it is not all gold that glitters;" but we were here interrupted by a friend, who came to call upon us, and during the remainder of the day, my young friend was either absent and out of spirits, or unnaturally high, and entirely indisposed to calm conversation. The next morning, after our first salutation had passed, I said to him, perhaps rather bluntly, "we will come to the point at once, give me leave in the character of your guardian and sincere friend, to look at your accounts."
"Sir," said the young man, "I must be honest-I do not keep very accurate accounts, nor do I see the advantage of keeping them. It is easy enough to know when one's money is gone without looking into one's account book."
"But you cannot tell how it is gone," I replied, "without an account book. Money may be spent in necessaries, in almsgiving, in superfluities, or in folly," I continued, looking firmly at him, "and it is important for you to know in which of these ways your money has gone, and let me tell you that circumstanced as you are, you have no right to spend more on yourself than is absolutely needful for your decent appearance; your brothers and sisters would be glad of what you spend on superfluities, to supply them with necessaries." The young man coloured, but did not look offended, and a silence of some minutes followed; then laying my hand upon his shoulder, I said to him in the kindest manner I could assume,