Page images

Mary Smith, the narrator to me of this story. And

you have seen the fatal effects which are produced by a love of vain company. If you are faithful in the work of self-examination, I think you will discover a proneness more or less to these dispositions ; but you will resolve to indulge them in greater moderation, and flatter yourselves you may always say to them, “hitherto ye shall go, and no further.” This is the dangerous rock on which numbers suffer shipwreck. The passions have been compared to the sails of a vessel, they are absolutely necessary to its use ; but as they are skillfully directed or not, they lead to the desired haven, or sink it in the quick-sand. It is religion only that can teach you the art of governing and directa ing your affections, and as you attend to its influence, will be your happiness in life, your peace in death, and your destination to joy or woe in eternity


Walk and Conversation with Mr. Peach.

As I get out this morning on my walk, uncertain what course of observation to pursue, I cast my eye bebind me, and discovered Mr. Peach advance ing in a kind of pace between a walk and a run, by which he cleared so much ground that he overtook me in a few moments. Really, ”said I, “you might be mistaken for one of our modern pedestrians ; I suppose you have hasty business to transact this morning." " By no means, Sir," returned Mr. P.“ this is my usual pace, and I have found my account in aiming at speed in all my business. Gentlemen like those trades-people best, who use dispatch. Tis well-known in these parts, that if any gentleman will be certain of being dressed to the time for a coach, a visit, or any other engagement, he must send for me." Being assured by Humphrey, that no such engagement urged him on at present, I requested him to slacken his pace,

that we might enter upon a little conversation, to which he readily assented, after observing that it was a great proof of Christian humility in a gentleman to be willing to walk side by side with a poor man, on a public road, and that he hoped he should always know his own place, though the gentlefolks did favour him with so much notice. He then resumed the subject of his fast walking.

This ability given to my limbs,” said he, “ led me into temptation some years back: for two dashing young gentlemen from London came into the neighbourhood, and took it into their heads they should like to lay wagers on my walking. They proposed a distance and time, which, I inadvertently said, I was pretty certain I could accomplish. They put a twenty found note into my hands, and concluded I suppose I should set out directly. But I was not to be caught in a moment neither. I returned them the note, but promised to consider the matter. Now here was my error, we should never parley with temptation. My conscience made honest, I trust, by the grace of God, instantly said, this is gambling they ask you to encourage. Well, Sir, in consequence of not resisting the devil immediately, he would not fly from me, but fole lowed me home ; and like as it happened to holy Job, he was permitted to try my virtue by means

of my wife. She, good soul, as she is in the main, *. had her eyes full of the golden dust, and talked of our want of this to 'prentice out our biggest boy.

Then, says she, you perhaps may be given more the next time you walk; and for what I know, it : may be better for your health than sitting so much as you do to wig-making ; (I sat more then, because there was more necessity for me to work hard when I had young children about me: now. I pick and choose my customers, so have fewer) as well as more profitable, and besides you will be known to the London gentry, and mayhap may be set up in business there by some of them. Thus she went on, and I heard her talk very well pleased. But my all-gracious Lord did not quite withdraw the motions of his: good Spirit: Aye, if he was ready to do this, what would become of the poor tempted believer ! When night came, and the hour for reading the Bible, I was roused; and as I took it off the shelf, I was enabled to reprove her for her idle talk, say. ing, “To the law and to the testimony, if they speak not agreeably to your words, there is no truth in them.". Now I am convinced from that evening's experience, there is no weapon so good to combat Satan with, as God's word. Indeed might have known that, by attending to the account given of our Lord's temptation. He said to him, "It is written." Good Mr. Bunyan loo, directs his Pilgrim to this rule; but some-how op ether, we are not deeply impressed with these things, till we prove them for ourselves. It had always been such a favourite chapter with me, (as I believe it is with most poor Christians) that from

being so often read, my Bible generally opened on the sixth chapter of St. Matthew. I read it, and my wife as well as I, was beat off by it from all our worldly-carefulness. We could then recollect plen-ty of texts, such as “ Be ye not partakers of other men's sins :” “Abstain from all appearance of evil :" "Whether ye eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

The next day I plainly told the gentlemen the state of the case, and how it was impossible for a Christian man to encourage any sort of gaming. I warned them too, in the most respectful manner I could, against indulging in the sin themselves. They went away laughing, but I do not despair but what I might thus in sincerity speak, might one day or other be remembered by them. Where such an opportunity occurs for reproof, I think none should suffer sin on their brother : and,“ Cast thy bread upon the waters, and thou shalt find it after many days," is an encouraging text. A peculiar blessing followed our resisting thus in the strength of God's word this temptation, for a few weeks after, I was offered by a pious man in the next town, the advantage of taking my son without a 'prentice fee, a thing one never hears of scarcely; tho' were I to choose, I would rather take such a sober lad as Tom without money, than most of the boys as they go, with. His master never repented his generosity ;-and Tom is now

« PreviousContinue »