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the divine blessing, been truly impressed with a sense of his sinfulness, and the value of Christ, and was eventually admitted to the Lord's table. Collingwood was moral, and well conducted; but though he confessed the value of religion, yet he never manifested a determination to win Christ and be found in him. He had received a Bible on quitting the Sunday school, but this he had given to a relative on his leaving England, as, a token of regard.
Horton beheld with delight the success of his friend, who expressed his gratitude for the support he had received. happy to say, my dear Leonard," said he, "that my business answers well; far beyond my expectations; and my house, I rejoice to add, is now well furnished."
"Not entirely so," said Horton.
"Indeed! what omission have you discovered?"
"I have carefully examined, but I have not seen one article, which ought to be in every house, and without which, it cannot be said to be well furnished."'
"Well, I thought I had omitted nothing, that was necessary to comfort and convenience; but I shall be obliged by your naming the article."
"Allow me to say, my dear friend, that a house is not well furnished where there is no Bible."
Collingwood's face reddened, he felt his friend's gentle rebuke, and frankly acknowledged the remark was perfectly just. Yet although he had read the Bible frequently, and was consequently acquainted with much of its contents, he had not read it with the eyes of his understanding enlightened by the Holy Spirit. He could not say with David, "How precious are thy thoughts unto me, O God; how great is the sum of them!" After he said, a pause Well, Leonard, I must see, and get a Bible; for, certainly, it is not well to be without it, and had I thought of it, I would have procured one."
I hope you will," rejoined Horton, "for I think, on reflection, you will agree with me, that a house cannot be well furnished, without a Bible."
Horton, after many expressions of regard, and wishes for the prosperity and happiness of his friend, took his leave. The sentence, "not well-furnished," occupied Collingwood's thoughts
during the rest of the day, and he determined, that when Leonard made another visit, he should find the house "well furnished." The next time that the Bible collector called for his free subscription to the Parent Society, he expressed his desire to have a quarto Bible, and instantly advanced the amount. In the course of the day, he received the blessed volume, and said as he laid it on the parlor table, "Now then, my house is well furnished.'" It struck him that he should like to know how his friend Leonard would explain his idea of the Bible, as an essential part of his furniture; and, perhaps, our young readers have entertained a similar desire. We shall let Leonard Horton speak for himself. A conversation was held soon after between the friends; it commenced in nearly the following way :
"I am very happy, Thomas, that you have procured that holy volume. In using it, may you derive constant profit and hallowed pleasure!"
"I hope I shall; when we were together at the Sunday school, I always took pleasure in reading the Bible, and retain much of what I there learned, but the necessary attention to business prevents me from adhering so closely to my religious duties as I ought to do."
A little contrivance, my dear Collingwood, will enable you to conquer many difficulties that seemed invincible; and if your mind is properly influenced, and you remember that you have a soul as well as a body, you will find the Bible the most valuable thing in your house, and it will be in daily use."
"I always prized your conversation, and shall be glad to hear some further remarks which will elucidate your observation, that 'a house which has no Bible in it, is not well furnished.''
'By means of this, not only the house, but the man of God who occupies it, is thoroughly furnished. In conducting your business, many things will arise to harrass and perplex you; capricious customers to be pleased, and, notwithstanding all your care, returned bills to be met, and unpleasant letters to be answered. You will often want advice as well as comfort, reproof as well as encouragement. Availing yourself of every assistance in managing your temporal affairs, you have your waste book, journal, ledger, cash-book, bill-book, files for letters,
invoices, directory, almanac, and other necessary things, and thus you furnish your counting-house. The Bible is designed to guide you in still higher affairs; it calls you aside when your heart is too much occupied in temporal pursuits, and gently whispers, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." This is to be your directory. When your mind is burdened with weighty cares, it will be your comforter, and say, Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee." When difficulties arise, it will point you to the promise of God, "I will instruct thee, and teach thee in the way that thou shalt go. I will guide thee with mine eye." When you experience losses from bad debts, failures, insolvencies, and other sources, it will whisper sweetly, "In heaven you have a better and an enduring substance." When you are congratulating yourself on the improvement of your affairs, on the increase of your capital, it will admonish you not to trust in uncertain riches, but to lay up for yourself treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust corrupt, and where thieves cannot break through nor steal. The Bible will thus be a resting-place on which you may recline when your spirits are languid; a mirror wherein you may trace your true likeness; a table spread with spiritual food, that will prove sweet to your taste; a lamp to your feet, and a light to your path. Each day will discover its utility. It will form of itself, a library of instructing, saving, sanctifying knowledge. The more you use it, the greater will its benefit and value appear; it is a medicine for every disease, a balm for every wound, a supply for every want; a telescope which will bring the realities of eternity near, and a map which will infallibly conduct you to its manifold enjoyments."
“Enough, Leonard; already I see the force of your remark. How could I neglect to purchase a Bible?"
"As a proof that you esteem it, use it, read it for yourself, and read it for the benefit of your family; and forget not to implore the enlightening influences of the Holy Spirit, without which the Bible will be a sealed book; food that will not nourish, medicine that will not heal, a staff that will not support. Reading and prayer must be associated; reading gives thought to prayer, and prayer gives expression to thought.
"God's kindest thoughts are here express'd,
Able to make us wise and blest;
Its doctrines are divinely true,
Fit for reproof and comfort too.'"
The conversation here terminated, and Leonard took an affectionate leave of his friend, not without hope that his remarks had been, and would continue to prove, useful; a hope that he had the happiness to see realized. Not only was Collingwood's house well furnished, with a copy of the Scriptures, but his heart was eventually, by the saving grace of God, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. May the reader's heart be well furnished also! L. L.
DISASTROUS EARTHQUAKE IN THE WEST INDIES. (Described in a letter from one of the Moravian Missionaries, dated
Antigua, 18th February, 1843.)
Ir was a lovely morning, and the prospect around was most delightful. We were all upon the ramparts, at Monk's Hill, watching the approach of the steamer from England, and I was in the act of steadying a telescope on one of the great guns, when I felt it begin to vibrate; I knew at once what was coming, and seizing my wife by the hand, and calling to the others, I immediately rushed from the ramparts. We had not gone far,
before the motion of the earth became so violent, that we were no longer able to walk, and were obliged to take hold of each other to keep on our feet. It was a most awful moment, and our lives were in great peril. A little from us, the houses were falling; just above us, on a rising ground, a heap of cannon balls were heaving and rattling in a most fearful manner, and on our right, the long signal-staff was bending from side to side, and threatening every moment to fall upon us. I believe the shock lasted about three minutes. When it subsided, we looked over the island, and towards Montserrat, and in every direction, we saw clouds of dust ascending, a sign of the widely-spread ruin. I then took the telescope and looked for Lebanon, and you may imagine what my feelings were, when I discovered, that the south gable of the church, just over the school-doors, was down. I knew that about 140 children would be in the school, and how many of
these might have perished! As we descended the slope of Monk's Hill, we perceived a strong smell of sulphur. We immediately set off for Lebanon, and as we went along the way, it was quite distressing to observe, that the mills, boiling-houses, and negro-houses, were nearly all down. We soon met some of the children from our school, who brought the mournful tidings, that three of their companions had been killed by the falling of the church, and others more or less injured. On arriving at home, I found the roof of the church indeed standing, supported by portions of the wall, but the greater part was a mass of ruins. While we gazed upon the work of desolation and death around us, and wept, our people came about us to comfort us, with the assurance, that it was the Lord's doing, and He did all things well. We immediately visited the wounded, and sent for a medical man to attend them. In the large village near our church, where a great many of our people live, scarcely a house is left standing; all is desolation. Yet I have not heard one murmur or complaint; they all say 'It is the Lord's doing.' They feel and acknowledge, that in this visitation, mercy has been mixed with judgment, for had it taken place in the night, many thousands would probably have perished.
'In looking over the ruins I could not help remarking, how providential it was, that we were absent at the time of the shock. Had we been at home, either my wife or myself would have been giving a Bible-lesson to about fifty children at the very time, and in that part of the church that was thrown down. Our house, which is of wood, I am thankful to say, is not injured, but every out-building of stone is flat on the ground. In the evening, many of our people met at our house, to thank the Lord for his sparing mercy, and to seek his protection for the time to come. joined in singing the verse :
"Should earth lose its foundation,
He stands my lasting rock;
No temporal desolation
Shall give my love a shock:
No object, small nor great,
Me from Him separate!"