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tion, I can well conceive, in the close of life, to every faithful steward, after that the day's fatigue of the market for spiritual food is over, to be able to take up the same language as the apostle Paul ; 'I have kept back nothing that was profitable; I have not shunned to declare the whole counsel of God; I have fed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood; and now I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace!'
When I came down from my chamber, I found my friend waiting breakfast for me; for the hour was by this time past eight: and, as his custom was, he proposed, inviting as many of the family as felt disposed, to attend our morning prayers. The mistress of the house, with one servant only, accepted the offer. And after my companion had read a portion of God's word, he followed it up with prayer. -;' 'When the mistress and the servant had withdrawn, we sat down to breakfast; my friend having first implored the usual blessing on our food.
'Bountiful Father of mercies, who art supplying the daily wants of the millions which are looking up to thee from all parts of the universe; we desire grace to praise thee for this seasonable and suitable portion of food, which thou hast spread before us for the support of our perishing bodies. And we entreat thee for grace from thy Holy Spirit in the use of it, that we may receive this and every other blessing, as coming from our reconciled Father and God in Christ Jesus. Vouchsafe, dearest Saviour, to sit at the table which thou hast furnished; and may we be among those, 'which shall sit at thy table in thy kingdom;'and while, as thy children going home to thine house, thou art refreshing us thus by the way, though all the benefit be ours, let thine be all the glory. Amen.'
We had scarcely finished our repast, when the mistress of the house came in to inform ua of
the situation of a poor man in the street, who had been bed-ridden for fifteen years. 'He is a very pious creature,' added the mistress, 'and a great number of gentry go to visit him. I thought it might be pleasant to you tohear of him.'—' That it is,' replied my friend,' and we thank you for it. We will go to see him. Where is his dwelling V—' Five doors only below our house,' she answered, 'and the waiter shall show you.'
When we came into the poor man's room, though every thing manifested the indigence of his circumstances, yet it was that kind of poverty which recommended itself by its cleanliness.—There stood a lady at the foot of his bed, in conversation with the sick man. 'How do you live?' I heard her say as I entered the chamber. 'Live, madam!' replied the poor man, 'I am in very good circumstances; I am not only rich by reason of present possessions; but I am heir to a large estate.'—' Astonishing!' said she, 'you were pointed out to me as a very poor man, and I came to give you some relief.'—' That you may still do, madam, if you please,' answered he, 'for the riches I possess, and the inheritance to which I am born do not at present make me above charity. I am only 'rich in faith and an heir of the kingdom.':
—' Oh!' replied the lady, 'is that all? But in the mean time how do you manage for this world;'—' My God,' cried the poor man,' supplies all my need, according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound. I am instructed both to be full, and to be hungry: both to abound, and to suffer need.' When my worldly stock is reduced low, and I have 'neither scrip, nor bread, nor money in the purse J tnake use of bank-notes.'—' Bank-notes!' exclaimed the lady. 'Yes, madam,' he answered, f here is a book full of them ;'- taking up a Bible which lay upon the bed, and opening it p 'and oftentimes I find many folded up toge'ther in the same place to which I open; Lookhere, madam,' he continued; .'see, here is a promise suited to every poor man's case, f When the poor and needy seek for water, and there is none, and their tongues faileth for thirst: I the Lord will hear them. I the God of Israel will not forsake them. I will open rivers Swing h.places, and fountains in the midst of vallies*.' And the high value of those promises, is that they are sure and certain. Faith draws upon the Almighty Banker, and his is all prompt payment.' While the poor sick man said this, * Isaiah xii. 17,18 -
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he opened the Bible to another part, and he exclaimed again, 'See madam, here is another promise to a soul under doubts and fears. 'I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way wherein thou shalt go; I will guide thee with mine eye*.' And thus, madam, in every state and every circumstance of life, in this blessed book are assurances exactly suited to the wants both of my body and soul. Promises of provision for the way; deliverances under danger; preservation in seasons of affliction; support under trouble; direction in times of difficulty; and the Lord's assured presence in every time of need. 'Fear thou not; for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God. I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousnesst.'
The lady, without adding any thing, put a piece of money into the poor man's hand, and withdrew. What her sentiments were, I know not. But, as soon as she was departed, my companion addressed the sick man. 'I am much delighted,' he said, 'to see you, my friend, so cheerful. It is a pleasing consideration, that your sickness is sanctified.—But are