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CALL ON ONE PROUD OF HIS DRESS. Come, Arnold, we have no time to lose. The meeting begins exactly at twelve o'clock, and the chairman is punctual to a minute. I am glad to see you ready; but you look a little finer than I like a young man to appear. Neatness in dress is commendable, but not finery. When young women pay more attention to the outside of the head.than the inside, and young men are more careful of their shirt-fronts than of the hearts that beat beneath them, it is no good sign. It must be rather an humbling thought to those who are fond of dress to consider that the respect they obtain is not paid to them, but to their clothes.
I once heard that a gentleman's servant of the name of Simon, who was considered silly, was found bowing and scraping to his master's wardrobe. His master asked him how he could be such a fool as to act in so silly a manner. “For the matter of that,” replied Simon, “I am not a greater fool than my neighbours, for they all bow to a handsome suit of clothes, and turn up their noses at a suit that is threadbare. If you doubt this, master, let me put on your clothes, and you dress yourself in mine for a while, and we will go and seek our fortunes together, and see who will have the most respect paid to him.” The gentleman by no means relished this proposal, and was often heard to say afterwards, that silly Simon was one of the shrewdest men he had about his premises.
This tale will not burden your memory much, if you remember it; and it may perhaps dispose you to estimate more properly the decorations of the body, and render you more desirous to adorn your heart with kind affections, and your spirit with Christian graces. It is of no use our attending meetings formed to extend the Redeemer's kingdom, if the love of the Redeemer be not in your bosoms. If we love him, we shall obey and imitate him, and be more anxious to adorn the doctrines of God our Saviour, than to decorate our bodies with proud apparel. But come, we must move onwards, not having a moment to lose.
CALL ON A WORKMAN. Visitor. It will not hurt you, my friend, if, when you have the opportunity, you read over this tract, called “The Good Old Way.” There are so many new ways pointed out now-a-days, that it is a matter of fear or of great doubt whither they will lead. There can, however, be no mistake about “the good old way;" for the Bible tells us that the wayfaring man, who
walks therein, though a fool, shall not err. But let me ask you a simple question, Do you know your right hand from your left?
Workman. If I may be bold enough to say so, that question is a simple one indeed. I should think that few people could be found so ignorant as all that comes to.
Visitor. We read in the prophet Jonah, that in the ancient city of Nineveh there were six score thousand persons in such a situation.
Workman. That must have been a queer sort of a city, I take it, and the people who lived there a sad set of folks. If it had had half the schools that we have now, every man, woman, and child among them must have known more than they did. . Visitor. Perhaps so, though many people think that these six score thousand persons were young children. But Nineveh was a very wicked city; and as the inhabitants chose evil rather than good, so they were ignorant of the things which belonged to their peace. In this sense, then, they knew not their right hand from their left.
Workman. Oh, if that is what you mean, there are folks enough in such a situation; for I suppose there are now as many drunkards, and sabbath-breakers, and thieves among us, as ever there were in the city of Nineveh.
Visitor. Then the greater the pity, and the stronger the necessity of our understanding for ourselves, and our teaching to others also, the knowledge of “The good old way.” I shall leave the tract with you, and trust that when I next ask you if you know your right hand from your left, you will not only understand what I mean, but be able, also, to give me a satisfactory answer.
I must now take my leave.
CALL ON THE LAME. Visitor. This is a pleasant evening, Mr. Johnson, and I see that you are disposed to make the most of it by walking out.
Mr. Johnson. Yes, for it is a glorious sight to see the setting sun. I cannot take so much exercise as those who are upright, but God is merciful to me; he suits the back to the burden.
Visitor. In his goodness he can make amends for every bodily infirmity. Though you are halt, he can make you “run without weariness, and walk without fainting,” in the way of his commandments. We make sad mistakes when we judge of the state of our fellow sinners by their outward circumstances. A domestic in the royal household once pitied a poor Christian,
and boasted of his own better fortune, saying that he had the promise of the king to keep him in his service. “ Pity me not,” meekly replied the humble servant of Christ; “ for I have the promise of the King of kings that I shall reign with him in glory.” Now, if you are blessed with the favour of God, like this poor Christian, you stand in no need of pity; for it is better to go halt into eternal life, than having the use of your limbs, to run headlong the downward road to destruction.
Mr. Johnson. Very true, sir. I am quite satisfied, unworthy as I am, that my infirmities have been the means in God's hands of keeping me from many sins and many sorrows. They have another good effect, too; they teach me to feel for all that are afflicted in like manner.
Visitor. Ay, that is one of the special uses of affliction. A friend once told me, that he did not know whether for several years he had met with more than a dozen people with crutches, till having the misfortune to break a rib, it was necessary for him to use crutches himself. The very first time that he went out with them, he was surprised to find so many people in the streets hobbling about like himself; but, af erwards, he was convinced that no more people used crutches than formerly, and that it was his own infirmities which had opened his eye; and