Page images

resign to the will of God, and meditate on his gracious promises to those, who by “patient continuance in well-doing, seek for glory, honour and immortality." If it be said by any that God is a Sovereign, and chooses the season in which we shall be called to the knowledge of his ways, I answer, this is a truth which affords strong consolation to the aged, who are warranted to hope they are of the number made partakers of grace at the eleventh hour; but furnishes no pretence for youthful delay. The master of the vineyard is described as going out at different hours, and calling whom he would: and so does he now by the preaching of his gospel, and the disposals of his providence. The youngest hearer is called, and if he neglect the invitation, he can plead no excuse. Why should he not suppose he is chosen for a monument of mercy, to glorify his Lord by devoting his best days to his service, and by being made an honoured instrument for the good of others ? “ Secret things belong to God alone.” All who hear of salvation have a right to hope, that to them is the word of salvation sent; and all who turn away from the joyful sound have reason to fear it may never be repeated. No mention is made in the parable of the labourers in the vineyard, of objections being made to the call given. They all went immediately, and received their promised wages. Far different was the case of those bidden to the marriage. They made light of it, going their ways to their farms and their merchandize--and they were destroyed.

I took leave of Mr. Humphrey Peach (or Preach, if the reader likes his name of character best) with sentiments of great esteem, and the intention of frequently joining in conversation with him. I felt too much gratified at finding a new proof of the ability imparted to those in an humble station for usefulness. How much occasion might numbers of the rich, the learned, and the great, find to blush in the company of this pious barber, while they saw his disposal of a few pence, heard the plain sense, the dictates of an enlightened reason, by the word and Spirit of God, which he spokę, and saw his love of fame confined within 'the just boundaries which they so frequently overstep; and by so doing, plunge themselves into ruin, and lose the talent entrusted to their care!


The Village Politicians..

PUNCTUALLY to the hour proinised, Mr. Peach appeared with my new. wig ; the description of which it is unnecessary to lay before my readers, suffice it to say, Mr. P. assured me, it reduced my age at least ten years, to the eyes of every unprejudiced beholder. As soon as I had leisure to withdraw my attention from my own face, I ohserved an air of sadness spread over his naturally cheerful countenance, at which I expressed my concern and curiosity. No one shews a little fretting,” replied he, sooner than I do ; and I must own I have fretted ever since I saw you, Sir, at some news my wife and daughter brought home that evening from the village just by. must know, five or six honest-hearted fellows, as one may call them-one of them a relation, and all of them acquaintances of mine, have taken it into their heads to meet together, twice a week, at a public-house, to drink and talk about politics,

For you

I tremble lest they should come to an untimely end. I understand all their conversation tends to abuse their lawful governors, and encourage a discontented and riotous spirit.


No one knows what a flame a little fire may kindle. One fool makes many. I was in London at the time of the great riots, and little thought I, when I heard a few boys cry out, no popery, what the end of it would be. Exeept for the purpose of preaching and praying, no good ever came of a parcel of poor men meeting together. Why, we hear how rich men cannot meet without drinking, gaming, or quarrelling." ¢ But Mr. Peach," in. terrupted I, “you would not eut off your poor friends from society. Man you know is a social

" So he is, Sir," returned he, and what can be more social and pleasant that to turn into a neighbour's house for an hour or two after work, and eat a bit of bread and cheese ; the children all quiet in bed : or to stand on a fine summer's evening at one's door, and converse freely with a friend, only taking care, that neither lies nor scandal be brought forward by either of us. Now this is what any worldly man may enjoy without hurting his health, or his pocket." I then asked Humphrey, what the employments of these men were. head man amongst them," returned he, “is Farmer Grumbleton, and I am the most afraid of mischief from him, beause he buys stock every year, and

« The

money you know, Sir, makes a man of consequence, and able to bribe in his own cause. The next is the Blacksmith of the village, and he's the last one would wish to be of a mutinous spirit, because his shop is often full of post-boys, coachmen, and horse-jockies, who ride all over the country retailing the folly, which he deals out in wholesale. Then there's Will Shape just out of his time, who is got already into a main good business for making smart liveries, and though the shell is not off his head, he seems a knowing chick, amongst the servant maids and foot-boys. I'm not much afraid of my simple Simon of a cousin, the stone-mason, only I know the last fool has him, and as he sits sawing in his box at the road's side, there's no saying who may pass by to urge on his wild fancies, pricked up at his political club. Poor soul, if he comes to be hanged, I'm sure 'twill be in the place of a wiser. As for Joe, the miller, he'll swear black's white, to please Farmer Grumbleton; and Matthew Spade, the nurseryman, is a scholar, and drives the quill, so he may do more harm than all the rest put together." “ And truly,” added I, “in my opinion, is the likeliest to come to the dreadful end you anticipate for the whole set.-Well, can any thing be done to prevent mischief amongst them?"

“ Why, Sir," resumed Mr. Peach, that's what I have been casting about and about in my

« PreviousContinue »