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A COVETOUS AND CRUEL HUSBAND.
"In the town of Mendon, about fifteen miles from Boston, in the colony of Massachusetts Bay, as that State was then called, about the year 1745, there lived a young man, son of a wealthy farmer, who, with his father before him, had been noted for a stingy disposition. Money was an essential ingredient in every feast of enjoyment which their imaginations could picture. No one was esteemed but for his money, and however unlawful the means, and small the channels through which it flowed into their coffers, it made no difference. In these sentiments the young man, heir to the estate, was educated. He married, his wife's fortune was not a mean one—perhaps it was greater than his; but her warm heart threw the whole into his hands without jointure; and so she became the wretched wife of a miser.
"Several years elapsed before the young miser entirely withdrew his civilities from his amiable wife. Until her fortune, at the death of her father, fell entirely into his hands, the love of money forced from him some respectful attentions. After this he cut loose from all restraint, and treated her with great neglect. As his landed estate was enlarged, his soul seemed to contract; and not only his wife, but many of his neighbours, saw the baneful effects of his growing covetousness. He could think of nothing, say and do nothing, with satisfaction, but that which related to worldly gain. This one object filled his eye by day, and in robes of golden net work danced in his dreaming visions by night. To touch the precious metal thrilled through his moral frame sensations of the most exquisite delight. This was mental alcohol to him—the high wine, which alone could rouse and set in motion his otherwise torpid soul. For money, the usual means of comfort in his family were sold. For money, the faithful and trusty horse and modest chaise, which his wife brought him, and the use of which was considered necessary to her health, were (alleging them too expensive) sent to auction; and in this way, and for frivolous reasons, were all the comforts of his wife withdrawn from her. Under such treatment it was no wonder that her health should evidently decline: yet her constitution being naturally good, her disease was slow in its approaches, and as it was unseen, its fatal tendencies were unheeded by all except her own conscious mind. Those moments in which it may be said that the moral affections die with disappointed hope, were to this woman moments of profound secrecy. To God only she poured out her sorrowful heart for the blessing of repentance on her loved husband, and that the grace of resignation might be given to herself.
"Many months passed ere a flower of such prime vigour lost all its fragrance. As it hung its head, and bowed to its destiny, the sweetness of its character seemed to- be more and more apparent. Her mild and heavenly smiles, which played about her countenance while her cheeks were flushed with the rose colour of a hectic fever, gave something angelic to her appearance; so that all observing persons were struck with wonder at the contrast between her and her husband. During her long and lingering weakness it was found that nothing could assuage her never-ceasing thirst so much as the moderate and constant use of fruit. But to procure it, such especially as was suited to her peculiar case,—the sweet and juicy orange and the fragrant and acid lemon, as they were brought fresh in vessels from the West Indies to Boston,—required money; and money could not be had except by appealing to the indurated bosom of her covetous husband. Nothing supported her under this necessity but a consciousness of the justness of her claims on his purse, once equally her own, and the absolute need in which she evidently stood of something to cool the palate of her parched mouth. She made these appeals again and again, as the arrivals of the fruit vessels were announced; but she made them in vain to a bosom indurated by covetousness.
"The frequent mention of fruit, however, did not pass unheeded by his own self-indulging disposition, out of which the love of money sprung. He was known frequently to go and look at the fruit as it lay exposed in the market; and as he did so, to manifest evident tokens of a great desire to eat some himself. But the thoughts of paying for it could not be endured; so he would pass it by. On one occasion, however, he was observed to eat immoderately of fruit, but on inquiry he was found to be gormandizing from the basket of a friend, who had thoughtlessly asked him to taste a bit. Such are the debasing tendency and effects of covetousness!
"But this is not the end of this tragic story. The sweet suffering wife of this covetous man, having exhausted much of her disposable personal substance in procuring things necessary to her invalid state, and having long since relinquished all hopes of obtaining relief from her husband's purse, had recourse at length to her own manual industry and mental ingenuity. While young, she had been usefully educated, and had learned fine needlework and embroidery. To these useful arts she applied herself now in her day of necessity, and with some success. Having procured from a shop in town the loan of a little muslin and lace, she was in hopes to make an article that would sell again with profit. The design succeeded, and the return by sale was in copper coin of royal stamp, of good King George the Second, sufficient to buy one pine-apple; and the next step was to send for it, and bring it from market. The lady hated concealment. To send by any other than her loved husband for anything of personal enjoyment to herself, would in her eyes look clandestine. Without further deliberation, therefore, she applied herself in her sweetest manner to her husband. 'My dearest,' said she, 'to-morrow you go to market, and will you have the goodness to attend to a little matter of business for me? Will you purchase—' 'I have no money to make any purchases for any one,' said he, turning quickly away. 'But,' said she, laying her soft and trembling hand on his withdrawing arm, 'here is some money, which I beg you to lay out for something that is necessary for my health.' As she spoke, there was an earnestness accompanied with dignity in her manner, which arrested the respect even of a miser j and when he heard the sound of money in the affair he stopped and listened; while his wife, recovering her feelings, already lacerated by his rough denial of her reasonable request, went on: 'These few half-pence are my own, the fruit of my own industry; I made a cap, and beside what the materials cost me, and which I have paid for, I have, as the return profits of the sale, what is contained in this little linen rag. Now will you,—for I desire to ask the favour of no one else but my husband—will you, my husband, take it all, more or less, and lay it out in the purchase of some fruit for your faithful wife? My wish is that you buy a pine-apple.'
"Her strength had sufficed to pronounce these words with firmness; but she said not, nor could she say another I there was something unearthly in all this—a solemn sweetness in her countenance, which stirred up the heart, and drew forth a tear from all.—The husband took the money as his wife held it towards him, and though this was in silence he agreed thereto, and ratified the covenant to do and perform the duty expressed by his wife. It was a long day that succeeded the heart-stirring scene just described. As it drew to a close, the window which overlooked the road to Boston was frequently visited by the languid eyes of one whom all the household regarded as the most innocent, patient, suffering person in it. The sun declined, and her husband did not come, it grew dark, and no one made his appearance at the gate; when no object could be distinguished, she left her post, and praying in her heart that her husband might be preserved and herself submissive, she turned to the parlour; at length a waggon was heard, then the hoarse voice of her husband giving orders to his market hands, then he entered and passed unceremoniously to the fire, and stamped his muddy feet. While this was doing, how eagerly did the eye of his wife strain to meet his! But 'twas plain he purposely turned from her: at this, summoning up all her courage, she placed herself directly before him, and asked for his health and success in the business of the day, monosyllables were all she received in reply, still the anxious inquisitor went on and said, were the pine-apples all gone? The answer was, 'No.' Did you buy one for me?' Yes.' 'Where is it?' 'It smelt so good,' said he, 'I sat down, and ate it all up myself!' The frail ligatures that bound the spirit of this poor, suffering woman, to her tender earthly frame, at this unfeeling reply gave way. The life-cords of her heart now burst asunder. She fell back in her chair, and as she breathed her last, and rolled her meek eyes to heaven, she pronounced distinctly these words— 'May you never be satisfied!'
"The prayer was a prophecy. Though from her gentle heart the malediction was evidently involuntary, the curse was fulfilled. The mean miser lived a monument of the wrath of God poured out on covetousness, always feeding, but never satisfied. An unrepenting consciousness of sin, in being the murderer of his wife, bereaved him of his reason, but altered not his passions. As a lunatic he lost his estate, and all his life was spent in asking for supplies to his voracious appetite. These supplies were given him: still he cried for 'more ;' and with a body increased to an enormous size, he sat at the corners of the streets, and eagerly devoured the crudities which the thoughtless boys threw into his ever-open and craving mouth. God suffered him to live as an awakening example of the Divine wrath on the idolatry of covetousness. Avoid it then as the greatest evil.
Reminiscences of Bishop Chase.
A MEANS OF HELPING THE MISSIONARY FUND.
To The Editor. Dear Sir,
The annexed I have just received from one of the most intellectual and scientific friends in our Connexion, and which I conceive to be not unsuitable for a niche in our Magazine, both as a monition and monitor, for present and after timej in connexion with Missions and Missionaries; and thus the more generally these important suggestions are circulated, the greater will be the advantageous results accruing to the cause of missions.
T. P. R.
Extract of a letter from Dr. C ,
of P .
"I will take this opportunity of laying before you a suggestion, which
has many times passed through my mind, and which has obtained the approbation of several friends to whom 1 have named it. It relates to our Missions, and the hint has been derived from the practice of the Moravians, whose Missions in the East were for a long time supported by these means. I would propose therefore, that our Missionaries should be instructed to collect together whatever natural curiosities shall fall in their way: shells, corals, sponges, and a variety of other things, that will require little trouble, cost or skill, to procure and preserve, —and to send them to the Missionary Committee, for sale in London. I am sufficiently acquainted with what takes place among the students of nature, to warrant the success of such a plan— ,of which I will give you a further account, if it should meet your approval. There is nothing in it to take off the attention of the Missionaries from their
The Penzance Branch of our Home and Foreign Missionary Society held its annual services in Queen-street Chapel, commencing on Sunday the 14th of November, when two impressive discourses were delivered in behalf of the Society: that in the morning by the Rev. John Gibbons, of Helston; and that in the evening by the Rev. Thomas Pennock, from the island of Jamaica. On Monday evening the Public meeting was held. Great public interest having been excited in consequence of Mr. Pennock's intended visit on the occasion; the chapel was well filled at an earlier period than could have heen expected from the unfavourable state of the weather. The meeting commenced with singing, and after prayer offered by the Rev. James Edgar, minister of the Association; T. P. Rosevear, Esq. of Barn Park House, Boscastle, was called to the chair, who, after an introductory speech on the importance of active personal effort—man's extensive responsibility to the Redeemer of the
human family, and the requirements of Christ on the mind, body, and estate of every enlightened individual for furthering the Saviour's great object, of the establishment of his spiritual kingdom in all the world, and after stating the object of the meeting, he requested the Secretary, Mr. W. Rodd, to read the report. After which resolutions were moved and seconded by the Rev. John Gibbons, of the Association, the Rev. T. C. Finch, of the Baptist church, the Rev. T. Pennock and others. The resolution moved by Mr. Pennock, was introduced by a unique and uncommonly interesting speech, developing, in an able manner, the extraordinary nature and character of the rise, progress and prospects of the Wesleyan Methodist Association in the island of Jamaica. The Rev. gentleman, it appeared, had laboured in the West India Islands, upwards of twenty years as a missionary, and in the course of his speech, stated, in a clear and succinct manner, his reasons for leaving the Wesleyan Conference body, and the consequent formation of the Jamaica branch of the Wesleyan Methodist Association, with its present cheering position, after all the decided and ungracious opposition manifested by the agents of the Connexion from which he had seceded; noticing at length the encouragements he had met with from the Kingston municipal authorities, and other authorities of the island, together with the Christian-like kindness and sympathy of the Baptist brethren, the Rev. Mr. Knibb, and other excellent ministers of that church, some of whom have since gone to their heavenly rest. Mr. Pennock, in the course of his speech, gave an interesting account of the remarkable and unexpected assistance he had met with from the sympathetic kindness and pecuniary aid afforded by a number of Hebrew merchants in Kingston, in the season of extreme difficulty, in fitting up the first Association chapel in that city, who in three weeks contributed, with other respectable natives, to the amount of several hundred pounds for that purpose; and that many individuals of that nation, not unfrequently, attend the ministry of the Association at Kingston, one of whom, a very talented youth, was converted under the first sermon he (Mr. P.) preached in that chapel, and is now become an able, and highly acceptable minister of the Christian faith in the Wesleyan Methodist Association in the island of Jamaica, declaring to both Jews and Gentiles, that Jesus is indeed the Christ, the sent of God.
Mr. Pennock also presented a very interesting account of the success of the Association in its commencing attempt to raise up a native ministry and self-supporting churches, unaided by funds from the mother country; the commencement indeed, of a new and important era in the work of missions; seven or eight talented native men are now, as ministers of the gospel employed by the Association as Missionaries in Jamaica. Mr. P. not only afforded an ample detail of the rise, progress and present position of the Association Mission in Jamaica, but also some exceedingly interesting statements in regard to the personal and religious acquirements, and men
tal expansion of the sons of Africa, more especially visible since the passing of the act of entire emancipation, thereby exhibiting to every unprejudiced individual the fact, that "mind is not confined to colour or clime." The address, which was continuously interesting for nearly two hours, was admirable both in detail, and incident; and closed with an earnest appeal in behalf of the Association Society's Missions. The succeeding resolutions were moved and seconded by Messrs. James Edgar and Weston, Association ministers, with animated speeches. Thanks were also tendered to Mr. Pennock, for his very interesting and efficient aid, and were signified in a very impressive manner by the large congregation standing. Thanks were also voted to the collectors, for their efficient and gratuitous services; to the chairman and the Rev. T. C. Finch, Baptist, for their continued kindness in attending the Penzance annual meetings. The doxology was then sung, and a dismissive prayer having been offered by the Rev. James Edgar, the large assembly which had again and again throughout the evening evinced its unqualified approbation of the proceedings, retired highly gratified with the mental treat which had been afforded. The collections at this anniversary exceeded those of any former year.
Other meetings of the same interesting character have been held, we understand, at Boscastle, Camelford, Wadebridge, Bodmin, Lostwithiel, St. Austell, Redruth, Helston, Mullion, Liskeard, Polruan, Polperro, and Devonport.
A new Chapel, belonging to the Congregational Methodists, in connexion with the Wesleyan Methodist Association, was opened for divine worship on Sabbath the 10th of October; when sermons where preached in the forenoon by the Rev. W. Anderson, of the Relief Church, John Street; in the afternoon by the Rev. A. Keene, mi