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vinced of the necessity of praying for constant guidance, instruction, and correction from God. This is my daily prayer: Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting,' Psa. cxxxix. 23, 24. I hope and trust I shall not be found mistaken at last.”
CALL ON A SWEEP. As I have just called on your neighbour, there can be no harm in stepping in a minute to speak to you, Edward. I have not time to sit down, so never mind wiping your chair. It is not an easy matter for you to keep things clean about you, I dare say; your business must be attended to, and as long as you are a sweep, and work as you now do, we expect to see you sooty. Who would employ a sweep with a clean face, and dressed in a new suit of clothes, and a pair of white cotton stockings ? Not I, most assuredly. And it is not a black face, but a black heart, that is a reproach. - We cannot all choose our employment, or else, perhaps, you would not have been a sweep. It is not what we are in this world, that is of so much importance, as what we shall be in the world that is to come. A sweep has a soul to be
saved as well as the sovereign that sits on a throne; ay, and will occupy as high a seat in heaven, too, if he loves God, and lives a life of faith and obedience, relying alone for salvation on the merits of Jesus Christ. I shall put a tract in the window for you, Edward ; now let it be read carefully with your wife next Lord's day, and see if you cannot get some good from it. I hope that you are kind to your poor boys; they have a hard life of it, and many a time has my heart ached on a cold winter's morning to see boys limping along the frosty ground, with bad shoes and no stockings, shivering from head to foot as they carried their brushes under their arms and their empty bags on their shoulders, crying “Sweep! Sweep!” You have been brought up to the business, and know what the poor lads have to bear; though it is much better for them, no doubt, now, than it was before machines were used. Be kind to them, and let them feel that if they have a hard business, they, at least, serve a good master.
I have heard strange reports, Edward, of sweeps encouraging their boys to thieve and steal whatever they can; and I have heard say, that many a pot-hook, candlestick, and silver, spoon has been carried away from a house in a soot-bag. Now, set your face against this, for a dishonest penny does a man more harm than
a hundred pounds can do him good. God can see what is in the middle of a soot-bag, as plain as what is placed in the sunshine, and will punish the breaker of his commandments. The way to get on in the world is to be industrious and careful, blessing God for what we have, and trusting him for what we want; for if we are not content in the state that we are already in, it is ten to one if we should ever be contented with any other. He who can commit his soul to God's keeping, and his affairs to God's disposing, is a richer man, Edward, than he would be made by having a thousand pounds safe in the Bank of England.
CALL ON A YOUTHFUL FRIEND. How are you, James; how are you? Now, I have only five minutes to spare, and in that five minutes I will tell you a tale.
A father once set out with his son on a visit to a neighbouring village, that lay at a little distance from the place where they were; but instead of keeping the turnpike-road, the father purposely entered on a common, here and there spread over with brambles and gorse bushes, where he wandered backwards and forwards for some time. The son was very patient, but at last he cried out, “ Father, it is not at all likely
that we shall get to the village so long as we wander among the gorse and bramble bushes.” “ If you think so,” said the father, “we will leave the common directly;” so once more he got into the turnpike-road.
Not long after he took his son into a large garden, where abundance of fruit and flowers grew. This pleased the boy very much; but, after a time, he once more cried out to his father, “ I do not see that we are much nearer the village than we were before, and we shall never get there while we stop in this garden, that is certain.”
“That being the case,” said the father, “it will be very foolish to idle away our time here any longer;" so getting again into the turnpikeroad, he went straight forward to the village. On returning home again, the son began to question his father: “ Father, what made you go into the garden, and among the brambles and gorse bushes,” said he; “ when the only way to get to the village was to keep straight along the turnpike-road?”
“ To tell you the truth, my boy,” said the father, “I did it to teach you a lesson, and to point out the folly of seeking for a thing in a place where it is not likely to be found. You have been quick enough to perceive this folly in my conduct, take care that you never let me see it
in your conduct. As you proceed on your earthly pilgrimage, the roses of pleasure will bloom on the right hand, and on the left will grow the thorns and briers of discontent; linger not among either of them, but travel straight forward along the turnpike-road of duty, and you will find that happiness which otherwise you will look for in vain.”
Remember this story, James, and then, perhaps, you will some day be thankful for having listened to it.
CALL ON A FATHER OF CRUEL CHILDREN. · Mr. Lewis, it is not a pleasant thing to make a complaint to a father about his children, but I have just met your two boys sitting on the top of your little loaded cart, drawn along all on a gallop by a lean dog, that looks for all the world as though he were half famished. Oh! here they come, and, with your leave, I will speak to them before you.
Do you think it right, boys, when your cart is loaded, to get to the top of it, and compel that poor wretched-looking dog to drag you along at a gallop? I am ashamed of such cruelty, and trust that your father will prevent it in future. There is quite enough in the cart, without your making it heavier.