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A CALL ON A FAMILIAR ACQUAINTANCE.
Have you an umbrella that you can spare me; for I must hasten home, though I have to go through the rain ? Ay, that will do very well; though it is an old one, it will keep me from having a wet skin. I shall send it back as soon as I get home, for I do think that the neglect commonly practised in not returning borrowed umbrellas is very blamable. If it were a fine day, friend Norton, I should not be over fond of carrying this old oilskin umbrella ; for it looks as though it had been in some museum of curiosities for the last fifty years; but necessity works wonders, and overcomes many a proud feeling of the human heart.
What a poor defenceless creature is man! He takes measures to protect himself from every drizzling shower, while the animals below him in the scale of creation can endure, unprotected, the rudest blasts. That is a blessed text in Isaiah which thus speaks of the Redeemer :-“A man shall be as an hiding-place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest,” Isa. xxxii. 2. What a mercy to be protected through time and eternity! Eternity! what an overwhelming thought! “ Millions of ages crowding on millions of ages! millions of ages crowding on millions of ages! and again, millions of ages crowding on millions of ages, are but the beginning of eternity!"
A CALL ON A SICK SUNDAY SCHOLAR. I could not go by, without calling to see how you are getting on, Sarah. Oh, come! you look much better than I expected, and are, I hope, sensible of God's mercy in giving strength to your poor feeble body; but a little patience will be required before you can again join us at the Sunday school. Have you taken any of your physic to-day?
Sarah. Yes, sir; and mother says that I shall only want one more bottle.
Visitor. I dare say you are not sorry to hear that. Physic is by no means a pleasant thing to take ; but, for all that, it is absolutely necessary; the bitterest draught often does us the most good. David said that it was a good thing to be afflicted ; and God's people, young and old, have found it to be so, as well as David. We often learn more, or, rather, are taught more, of ourselves and God's goodness, in one day of affliction, than during a month's good health.
Let me advise you to put up this prayer, and let me hope that you will put it up with sincerity: “ Accompany, O Lord, with thy blessing, this sickness of my body, that it may prove to be for the health of my soul; and let my body, soul, and spirit, be devoted to thy service, and to thy glory.”
There are two things, Sarah, on which you should reflect—the past and the future. On the past, that you may more clearly see your errors, and the goodness and forbearance of God towards you; and on the future, that you may amend your paths, and live a life more in agreement with God's holy will, and in humble dependence on his grace. I will not weary you with much talking. Think on the little I have said. Farewell.
A CALL ON A SINCERE SEEKER AFTER TRUTH.
I open your door to say, How do you do? for I saw you through the window reading your tract, and comparing it with your Bible. That is the right way, Alan: try every tract by the word of God; and if it do not agree with it, the best place for such a tract is, between the bars of the kitchen grate. I know, Alan, that you are one of those who are watching and waiting, anxious to drink of the brook of God's promises by the way, and to lift up your head.
We strangely neglect ourselves, when we neglect God; we sadly wander from our own peace, when we wander from his commandments. We are never so truly independent of this world's joys and sorrows, as when we are, in heart and soul, totally dependent on our heavenly Father. Oh, that is a blessed season, when the soul, feeling itself pardoned, sanctified, and saved, through the immeasurable mercy of Jesus Christ, is ready to cast itself, with every joy and every care, upon the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world !” Every thought, word, and deed, are then in accordance with the will of God, in sweet agreement with the word of God, and nothing is desired but to be made more meet to partake of the grace of the Redeemer, to be one with the Saviour, and to behold his glory.
Watch and wait then, Alan ; “ For every one that asketh receiveth ; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened,” Luke xi. 10.
“ Pilgrim, burdened with thy sin,
A CALL ON AN IDLE WORKMAN. What, at home, still, John! It is but an hour since I met your master, who told me he was so busy, that he could not execute his orders fast enough; and here are you, losing the best part of the day!
“He that would thrive, must rise at five," and set to work as soon as he is up, too. What a thing it is that you should stand so much in your own light! Here you can complain with anybody of the want of work, of the low rate of wages, of the high price of provisions, and of the difficulties that a poor man has, now-a-days, to support his family. You can talk of rent and taxes, and cry out against those who are better off than yourself; but do you think of mending the matter by idleness? Will that raise your wages, or lower your provisions, rent, and taxes? There is nothing like making the best of even a bad bargain. Did you never hear the old saying, “ At the working man's house, hunger looks in but he dares not enter;" or, “ Industry pays debts, while Idleness increases them ?” You know very well that it can make no difference to me whether you work or play. Your industry will not put a penny into my pocket, nor your idleness deprive me of a farthing; but I cannot see you lessen your