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by him to his study. “You have a melancholy welcome, my dear Louisa,” he said, as he embraced her, “but I am easier now than I was some hours since ; your sister has taken her medicine, and is in a refreshing sleep: she must not be disturbed; and now although it may seem somewhat cruel at this time, I cannot refrain from pointing out the error into which you have fallen, from want of consideration and calculation. He that would build a tower, must count the cost before-hand, and not begin an arduous work and leave a willing neighbour to ruin himself by finishing it."
“When you determined to bring up a little orphan girl, in a way which, in order to its completion would have required an immensity of labour, of time, and of money, you ought well to have considered your resources, and not have idly quitted the work in its progress, laying the whole burthen upon another.”
« I do not attribute the illness of dear Margaret to the actual labour she has had with Catharine : few
young people are impaired by exertion-many more by idleness; but I do not mean to say that she may not have been hurt by uneasiness, and feeling that she was labouring in vain, and by a sense of the carelessness of her sister, in imposing a burden upon her which she herself so lightly threw from her own shoulders,”
The kind father then embracing his daughter, dismissed her to watch by the bed of Margaret, and I am happy to add, that he never again had reason to rebuke her so severely, on account of any inconsistency in her dealings with her fellow creatures,
Some trouble was encountered in the attempt to reduce Catharine to order, and it was several months before she found herself quite happy under the same treatment as that under which her sister had already enjoyed 80 much comfort, and so many means of improvement, notwithstanding which, before this little girl was quite six years of age, she had fallen greatly into the humble and useful habits of Rose. And from that time the divine blessing descended, as kindly dew on these tender plants, promoting in the summer of their days, a flourishing verdure, and in their autumn, a rich and abundant harvest.
M, S, s.
SCRIPTURE MAXIMS, ILLUSTRATED BY SCRIPTURE
He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house ; but he that hateth gifts shall lide.-—Proverbs xv. 27.
In tbe maxim before us, we have a strong contrast between vice and virtue, a striking reproof of covetousness, and a strong recommendation of generosity. One is recorded for our warning, and the other for our imitation, so far as the circumstances of our situation will admit.
The first part of this maxim is connected with the entrance of the children of Israel into Canaan, Very soon after that event, the city of Jericho was taken in a remarkable manner, and a proclamation was made by Joshua, the general, prohibiting that indiscriminate plunder which is too often practised on a vanquished enemy. (Joshua vi.) After the death of Moses, God himself had proinised Joshua the most complete success in all his enterprises ; and it appears from the narrative, that his mind was greatly encouraged thereby; (Joshua i. 1-9, and iii. 9-13.) yet, contrary to his expectations, a detachment of his army was defeated before Ai, a neighbouring place. Joshua was greatly perplexed thereby: he had recourse to prayer, and was informed by God himself, that the true cause of their disasters was a breach of the law above mentioned ; and directions were given for the discovery and punishment of the offender, Achan was the guilty individual, wbo, being detected, confessed his crime, and suffered death accordingly, with all his family. (Joshua vii.) It has been well observed, that “ covetousness is so bound
up in the heart of a natural man, that it may be said to be a part of his very nature. Ainid all the revolutions of time, the succession appear."*
of ages, and in every variety of climate, this noxious weed will
Like plants which only thrive in one spot, there are some sins which are mostly confined to one period of life, but the selfish principle of covetousness appears in every part of it; none are exempt; children with their toys, men in the concerns of trade show this vice, and even in old age itself, it is perhaps, more
re frequently found, and more deeply rooted, than at any preceding period.
“ Thus ench man has his ruling passion,
“ Positive and griping to the last.” No wonder that in the case before us, divine vengeance followed such a flagrant instance of transgression, and that a brand of lasting infamy should be placed on the offender. The circumstance is recorded to warn future generations against falling into so great an evil; and the truth of this part of our maxiin is hereby fully established.
What a noble contrast to the above does the conduct of NEHEMan present to our view. He appears to have been distinguished for his rank and qualities, which raised him to the office of cup.bearer to the king—a situation of great honour and emolument in the Persian court. After some time, he was appointed governor of Judea, in which post he continued twelve years. We are told that it was the custom of his predecessors to exact froin the people the means of supporting the luxuries of their state; but Nehemiah, knowing the poverty, and pitying the distress of the people, not only refused the stipulated allowance, but, at his own charge, kept a plentiful table for 150 daily guests, besides strangers who occasionally visited him. So far was be from exacting more than his due, that he declined taking even what he was justly entitled to, and lived upon what he received in the King of Persia's court, and his own estate in Judea; and the reason which he assigns for this noble self denial is, " because the bondage was heavy upon the people.” (Nehem. ii. 1–8. and v. 14—18.) This conduct is recorded to the honour of the
* I know not whose words these are.
VOL. II. 34 SERIES.
generous and patriotic governor; the meinory of it survives in the sacred records, stamped with the seal of divine approbation; it lives in the breast of every real Christian, and will survive the wreck of time itself. We hereby perceive the force and truth of the remaining part of the maxim—" He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house, but he that hateth gifts shall live."
Mr. Flavel veryjustly asks, whether the public interest of the Christian religion is not of greater importance than any private interest of our own; and he adds, “It is a famous saying of Terantius, captain to the emperor Adrian, when he presented a petition that the Christians might have a temple by themselves, to worship God, apart from the Arians, the emperor tore his petition and threw it away, bidding him ask something for himself, and it should be granted. Terantius modestly gathered up the fragments of his petition again, and nobly added, "IF I CANNOT BE HEARD IN God's CAUSE, I WILL NEVER ASK ANY THING FOR MYSELF.
We learn from this maxim the necessity of watching against covetousness, which is so deadly a sin as to be prohibited in the Decalogue. We may also observe, that there are things which we may fervently desire, without a breach of the above command. “Covet earnestly the best gifts," (1 Cor. xii. 31) especially Christ, who is the gift of God, and from whom alone we can obtain eternal life and happiness.
(Continued from page 101.) Eliza Wilmot had so far profited by the mortifying lesson she had received, that she resolved never again to boast anquaintance with any author, whose pages she had not diligently perused. But it was beyond her usual plan to enquire whether the same cause which produced that unpleasant exposure, might not occasion other effects, equally undesirable. Hence, though with regard to book-knowledge, she became far more accurate and ingenuous; yet respecting persons and occurrences she was still “ a presumer.' In this failing there was
* Flavel's Saint Indeed, Part I. p. 148.
not, indeed, that attempt at deception, which rendered her former fault peculiarly blameable; and thus far, to herself it was less disgraceful; but it was, in fact, more calculated to injure others, and indicated, besides, that loquacious disposition, which can arise only from vanity; and that feeling of self importance, which makes its possessor always desirous of having something to communicate. The
young ladies were one morning seated in the gardenJane diligently employed with needle-work, and Eliza turning over her cousin's pattern book, in order to select one for a veil, which she was about to begin, and would, probably, never finish. They were chatting agreeably together, when the good old vicar, who had been for his daily walk into the village, entered the garden, and seated himself beside them.
“ You are tired, grandpapa,” said Jane, “ or else you are not well this morning: let me fetch you a glass of wine and a biscuit." " Thank
love; I am not at all ill, but I have had an unpleasant duty to perform just now. I have been obliged to commit an impostor to prison-a female vagrant of the name of Smith ; who pleaded in apparent agony, and declared that the life of a sick relative, almost depended on seeing her."
Jane's light footsteps had already ascended the lawn, in search of some refreshment, which might remove from her parent's cheek its unusual paleness. She soon returned, bearing a little waiter, and after presenting to him some jelly, said with a smile, “I wish some one could be found to relieve you from this painful and fatiguing office.”
“ I almost wonder, sir,” observed Eliza, “ that you ever consented to undertake it. It seems so incongruous for a clergyman."
“In what respect, my love ?"
"I do not know exactly,” replied Eliza, " but it seems altogether so. I heard a gentleman who was dining with papa, make the observation." Then suddenly recollecting fierself, she added, “ religion, you know, is all peace and consolation ; and magistrates have to be all severity.”
The old gentleman smiled. “I am afraid, Eliza, if I were to adopt your assertion with as little examination as you