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one, and I had money enough to pay for it, and I had a right to buy it if I chose.”
“ Certainly! no one could question your right to spend your money in your own way, my dear girl. I am only trying to help you to spend it with more discretion. It seems that this quarter, you have done with your allowance what many other people do with their whole fortunes-expended it without duly considering all the claims which might come upon you."
“ What is the harm, mamma, if I like to go without till next quarter-day?"
“ If either of our servants were to spend all her wages on a silk gown the first day I paid her, and she were then to go slipshod or untidy the rest of the time, or borrowed some of your garments, what should you say ?”
Why, I should complain that she had been very foolish and extravagant.”
“ And if your papa were to empty his charity purse into the hat of the first beggar who accosted him, and then refuse relief to the sick couch of the industrious poor around us, what should
“ I think he would be rather extravagant to the beggar, and rather mean to the poor people here, who have some claim upon his help when they really need it.”
“ Well! my dear Julia, have you not pronounced sentence upon your own conduct ? How many a spendthrift carelessly flings away thousands, and is then obliged to resort to the most miserable expedients to procure a wretched and precarious subsistence. Extravagance in luxuries is often compelled to indemnify himself by parsimony in necessaries.”
“ But, mamma,” continued Julia, " surely charity cannot be extravagant."
“ That depends upon the motives which prompted it. If you give profusely merely to mitigate your pain at witnessing distress, or to gratify the thirst for approbation, you yield to your own propensities ; but if you give to others simply to benefit them, charity would ascertain how that benefit could be best promoted, would it not?
“ Certainly, mamma! Ah! I see now what you mean ! I must confess, that I did not stay to consider any other plan of charity, though it seemed probable that there must be some grave reason for the benevolent persons I perceived rejecting that young girl's harrowing tale! And as to the muslin dress, dear mamma, I am sadly afraid, I did buy a penny-worth of cakes when I only wanted a halfpenny-worth; for a much less expensive dress would actually have been more usefnl.”
“ Well, my love, conviction of your error is the first step towards amendment, which I shall hope to trace in your future proceedings."
Mamma had on so many previous occasions relieved her daughter from the perplexities her extravagance induced, that she now wisely left her to its natural consequences. Julia deliberated with herself many times during her convalescence, and as she was steadily determined not to incur debts, she expended two or three of her few remaining shillings in purchasing an ordinary pair of clogs, such as used to be worn by our grandmothers, and are still in vogue among the humbler classes. Moreover, she courageously wore them in wet weather, till her next quarterly allowance was due, rather than omit those claims upon her benevolence, which are doubly valuable when punctually rendered.
Young people improve most when encouraged to correct their own faults, and it is astonishing how greatly a little perseverance in any proper course of self-denial strengthens the character, especially when the recollection of our Great Example and the hope of His approving smile, sweetens every little hardship endured for His sake. Doubtless, when Julia's associates smiled contemptuously at the old fashioned clogs, the thought of “ inasmuch as ye did it to one of these little ones, ye did it unto Me,” sustained her spirits to forego her own luxuries, rather than deprive an old goody of the cup of tea which “ her dear Miss Julia was so kind as to provide for her refreshment," which, indeed, was almost the only thing the sickly appetite could relish. Be it remembered withal, that but for the young lady's extravagance in the outset, she would have been rich enough for the latter, without the penance of the former.
Herbert, too, had some trials and many mishaps, before he became the prudent merchant, the liberal and careful financier, and the worthy treasurer of public funds; but the attainment of
such honourable distinction was less difficult to him than the overcoming of that moral extravagance and parsimony which exhibited itself in ultraism and bigotry upon his favorite opinions.
While a student, Herbert was rash in his judgment of the kings and revolutions detailed in history—the taxes and state quarrels which fan the flames of party spirit; but as he examined the statements on the other side, he discovered that the previous arguments for his own views were not quite so unanswerable as he had imagined.
So, in philological theories and scientific speculations, as his knowledge increased, he became more diffident of his own notions—more liberal towards those of other people. But it was chiefly upon religious subjects that his excellent father felt most solicitous for Herbert. Far too independent to be contented with the sentiments early inculcated, unless, to use his own phrase, “ he felt certainly convinced of their superiority to all others;" he adopted successively " various phases of faith” and practice, ere he became established on that Rock whose foundation standeth sure, because planted by Eternal Truth ; whose written revelation is so entirely free both from latitudinarianism and bigotry.
Happily for Herbert and Julia, their parents were the friends of their children ; and free discussion was encouraged in the domestic circle, where immature judgment was guided, right decision assisted, and youthful absurdities and prejudices met in the indulgent spirit which dissipated, instead of merely repressing, them.
Inspired Truth was ever the standard by which every opinion was tried, and to whose verdict all yielded. “ The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.”
E. W. P.
PRECEPTIVE BIOGRAPHY.-BERNARD GILPIN. The life of Bernard Gilpin is a History of Conscience. Born and bred a Papist, his eyes became gradually opened to the truth, and his convictions reaching, and becoming rooted in,
an honest and good heart,” resulted, as might be expected, in his conversion to Protestantism.
Such a biography must needs be instructive, and at the present time peculiarly seasonable. From day to day we hear strange stories of Conscience leading men in the opposite direction-conducting them from seeming truth into downright error, and bringing into the bondage of superstition those who appeared to be walking in the light and liberty of the gospel. The thing is impossible. Conscience never leads men astray. We read much of a good Conscience in the bible, but nothing of a bad one. It may be defiled from extraneous causes, and may become seared and dead-it may be rocked to sleep, or drugged into inaction or impotence, but it cannot be coaxed
When a pervert to Romanism or Puseyism, therefore, tells us, he is following the leadings of his conscience, we believe he is himself deceived, or willing to deceive others. All that conscience has to do with the sad story is to remain quiet; and this even it cannot be prevailed upon to do until it has been worn down or starved out-overlaid by formal observances, and stifled by the substitution of the letter for the spirit whenever it has attempted to lift up its voice. Bernard Gilpin was born in the year
1517. His forefathers had been seated at Kentmire-hall, in Westmoreland, from the time of King John, and his father, Edwin Gilpin, now possessed it.
An incident of no uncommon occurrence in those days, nor, indeed, amongst Romish eclesiastics in our own, appears to have told powerfully on the conscience of the child while yet an infant. A begging friar came on a Saturday evening to his father's house, where, according to the custom of those times, he was received with great hospitality. The plenty set before him was a temptation too strong for his virtue, of which he had not sufficient to save appearances. The next morning, however, he ordered the bell to toll, and from the pulpit expressed himself with great vehemence against the debauchery of the times, and particularly against drunkenness. Mr. Gilpin, who was then a child upon his mother's knee, seemed for some time exceedingly affected with the friar's discourse; and at length, with the utmost indignation, cried out, “ He wondered how that man could preach against drunkenness, when he himself had been drunk only the night before."
Education was then a very different thing from what it is at present. Grammar schools, as they were called, and colleges, were the only establishments where instruction was administered, but little that was practical or really useful was there taught. Discipline and the appliances for self-tuition were sometimes picked up, and if rightly used in after-life, proved advantageous to the formation of deep and curious scholarship. Knowledge was imparted to the mind, but never led out again to such uses as it might have served in benefiting society, although, generally, it was not exactly of the right kind to do this. Perplexed systems of logic and the subtilties of school divinity, were not very marketable in the world, and those who were best versed in such lore, were but ill qualified for usefulness.
The first years of Bernard were spent at a grammar school, whence he was removed to Oxford, described as at that time the seat of ignorance and superstition. At the age of sixteen, Mr. Gilpin was entered, upon the foundation, at Queen's College in Oxford, where we are informed his industry was very great, and easily reaped what knowledge the soil produced.
Erasmus about this time drew the attention of the learned world. With a noble freedom he shook off the prejudices of his education, boldly attacked the reigning superstitions of popery, and exposed the lazy and illiterate churchman of those days. Such a behaviour could not but procure him many enemies: and provoked objections to whatever he could write. At Oxford, particularly, he was far from being in general esteem. Our young student had, however, too much of the true spirit of a scholar to take any thing upon trust, or to be prejudiced against an author from popular exceptions. Without listening, therefore, to what was said, he took Erasmus into his hands, and quickly discovered in him a treasure of real learning, which he had in vain sought after in the writings then most in esteem.
But as he had now determined to apply himself to divinity, he made the Scriptures his chief study, and set himself with great industry upon gaining a thorough knowledge of the Greek and Hebrew languages, in the study of which he was