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house, so as to give glory to God."" The narrator opened a drawer near him and produced the paper, desiring me to read it: its contents in substance were as follows :
“ If you wish for a blessing on your week's work, you must begin by obeying your Lord's command, to keep holy the Sabbath-day ;' and that may be done even by a public-house keeper, though it will cost him the most forecast how to do it. Be sure to clear your house as early as possible on a Saturday night, that you may have time to settle your week's accounts, and so have your mind clear from money concerns in going to the house of God, which I pray you may never forsake; and I wish you may have trust-worthy servants to leave in care of your house, that your wife and you may go there together; but if not, you must go by turns. Never
open your door on the Sabbath to any of your neighbours, who only want to loiter away their precious time: no body but the traveller ought to be seen in a public-house on the Lord's day. You must, I suppose, dress a plain dinner, but never have an ordinary on the Sabbath, only on market-days. Never draw a drop of liquor more for a customer, who has had too much, for then you make yourself a partaker of his sin, and will share the punishment. When the stages draw up, be as much in sight as possible, in order to check the profane conversation which generally takes place
at that time. You will in some shape or other be called to the duty of reproving sin every day; and if
you do it in the spirit of love and meekness, and in a prudent manner, you may safely trust that you will not lose customers worth keeping. Let there be a Bible in every room of your house, and may you have grace to look into it yourself every day, and then you will need no more particular directions from me."
“ This," said I, as I returned the paper to the owner, “ is good advice; but I should suspect hardly possible to be followed, at least by those who would make money by the calling."
“ If, Sir," returned he, “ I had followed it, my gains might have been less ; but I should have been a happy man. Now it so happened, that neither my wife nor I liked our new calling so well as we expected, so we resolved to make as much money of it as possible, in order to retire from it, and then we purposed to think about good things. We worked late and early, and soon had such a large trade, as to be the envy of our neighbours, and the ruin of one or two in the same business. Being near a populous town, we fitted up tea-drinking gardens for the pleasure of Sabbath-breakers; and in short, we did exactly the reverse of all my good father advised. In the mean while, we had two daughters born ; and we calculated on their use
fulness, which we took care should soon be en: joyed. Before they were eight years old, they might be trusted to the tap, and sent round to carry beer to our customers. Being sharp fine looking girls, they were given enough to find them in clothes,--and as for learning, we thought that might be deferred till we retired ; which
wę settled should be, when the eldest should be eighteen. I recollected that I never took to learning early my. self, and that about that age I had a fancy for reading, which always remained with me, as you may guess, Sir," pointing to a small book-case in the corner.
Though the possession of books does not always prove a taste for reading, I have no doubt in the present case, but that one in the humble walk of life who expressed himself so well, was indebted in some degree at least to them.
He proceeded"When our girls began to grow up, we let them know our plans ; but how were we surprised to hear them both express their sorrow, at what we supposed would have given them pleasure. The truth was, they were grown fond of vain and low company ; and our eyes were opened too late to our folly, in expecting it to be otherwise. We saw them grow bold in their behaviour to the customers, and pert to us. How did we then repent of our covetousness in keeping them at
home, instead of sending them to school, out of the way of such temptations. I now wound up my business and took this cottage, in the hope of saving my girls from more evil. But, oh, Sir, guess if you can the anguish I endured, at finding only a few days before our intended removal here, they had both left me. I have reason to suppose they were inveigled away by some officers, who frequented our tea-drinking gardens ; and an acquaintance told me, he thought he saw one of them dressed very fine at the play-house a year afterwards.' I have taken every step by advertising and enquiries, to hear of them, but in vain. This happened ten years back. My poor wife pined away, and died two years after our retirement from business; and I believe I should have died too, if my mind had not been relieved by religion.".
After a pause, which my sympathetic feelings eould not allow me to interrupt, the sorrowful man continued. “I see my sin in my punishment, and tho’ severe, 'tis not more than I deserve. To go on for twenty years acting against light, and the remonstrances of conscience in leading others into sin, oh, Sir, ought I not to go mourning all my days."
“In one sense, undoubtedly you ought," replied I ; "and if you are a sincere penitent, you eannot avoid it. Thus I suppose it was with Da
vid, for in the psalm he wrote after he knew his great sins were pardoned, he declares that they were ever before him ; and most likely the disciple who denied his Lord, never enjoyed the peace of mind, which his fellow disciples did. Yet methinks, you indulge rather too desponding a temper. You should look at the mercy, as well as the justice of your
God. Think how he might have cut you off, and given you no season for repentance.
Surely such humble and grateful thoughts as you ought to entertain, may be allowed to produce sacred joy; and in this point of view, while sorrowing you may be always rejoicing.'”
“ I believe,” replied the unhappy man, that I look more miserable than I am, for I do experience a great measure of joy and peace in believing ; and I strive to throw off my melancholy by working in my garden, reading good books, and sometimes talking with a few of my neighbours; but something daily happens to remind me of my sins. I cannot see a poor man reeling home on an evening, (and alas, there being so many public-houses in this neighbourhood I often see that dismal sight) but I think how many I have suffered to return from my house in the same state. I cannot take up a newspaper, but I read of the fatal consequences of idleness, gambling, and Sabbath-breaking; and when I read of the kind people, who spend their time and money in the instruction of poor children, what pangs of