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THE CHILDREN'S CORNER.
The Children's Corner.
THE RUDE BOY TAMED.-"Fifty years ago," said the venerable Jeremiah Flate, "I was master of the Orphan Asylum, in Stutgard, and had a whole room full of children to instruct. It was my custom to pray every morning for meekness and patience in the fulfilment of this arduous duty. One day, as I was walking up and down among the children, I obsérved a boy, about twelve years of age, behaving rudely. I reproved him. He continued his rudeness, and became worse. When school was over, I sent for him into my study, praying, in the mean time, for wisdom and composure of mind. He stamped in, and banged the door after him in a violent passion. Why did you bang the door so violently?' I asked. "I did not bang it;' he replied. "Yes you did my boy,' said I. 'I tell you, I did not,' was the answer. Upon this I went up to him, took his hands, and asked him, in a gentle voice, 'Do you know, my son, against whom you are sinning? it is not against me, but against your Saviour, your best friend. Examine yourself, and try to find out why you have behaved in this manner.'
"The boy's heart was touched; he burst into tears, and entreated me to forgive his wicked behaviour. 'I bad determined this morning,' continued he, to teaze you by my disobedience, till you should beat me, thinking you would suffer much more from it than I should. Pray, pray forgive me; I will never do so again in all my life.' I pointed out to him from what a great temptation he had been delivered, and then dismissed him, with the assurance that I had long since forgiven him. He left me, but still appeared almost inconsolable. In the afternoon, having finished my classes, I was sitting alone in my little study,
when I heard a knock at the door. The boy came in, his eyes red with weeping, and saying it was impos. sible I could have forgiven him, for he had behaved towards me like & devil. He begged I would tell him once more that I had forgiven him, repeating that he would never vex me again, not even by a look. I again assured him of my full for giveness, but told him he must ask pardon of his Saviour, against whom he had chiefly sinned, and who would certainly hear his prayer, if his repentance was sincere. The boy however left me, still crying.
"I had scarcely risen next morning when my little penitent came again, crying so bitterly that I was quite astonished. He said the remembrance of his conduct the day before had prevented his sleeping, and entreated me with his whole heart, to continue to love him as I had done before. He could not imagine what had led him to form such a naughty resolution, and assured me he had determined not to allow any punishment to overcome his obstinacy, but had been quite unable to resist the kind and gentle means I had used to convince him of his fault. He begged me to tell him how it had been possible for me to bear with his wicked behaviour as I had done. To this I answered, Dear child, I cannot exactly explain that to you, but it is because I have myself received much mercy from the Lord, that I have been enabled to show mercy toward you." Thus spoke this venerable man, and concluded his narrative with the satisfactory intelligence, that the boy had from that day become his best scholar, and was still living in Stutgard, estecmed by all who knew him as an honest and virtuous citizen."
THE FARMER'S DREAM.
THOMAS HOWNHAM was a poor day labourer who lived in a lone house, or rather a hut, upon a moor called Barmour Moor, about two miles from Doddington, in the county of Northumberland, having no other means of supporting a wife and two small children, but the scanty earnings obtained by keeping an ass, on which he used to carry coals from Barmour coal-hill, to Doddington and Wooler; or by making brooms of the heath, and selling them round the country; yet poor and despised as he was, says the relator of this remarkable anecdote, in my forty years acquaintance with the professing world, I have seldom met with his equal as a man devoted to God, or one who was favoured with more evident answers to prayer.
My parents, at the time when this singular circumstance took place which I am about to relate, lived at a village called Hanging-Hall, about one mile and a half from his hut. I had frequent interviews with Thomas, and in one of them he was very solicitous to know, whether my father or mother had sent him any unexpected relief the night before; I answered they had not, so far as I knew; at which he seemed to be uneasy. I then pressed him to tell me what relief he had found and how? After requesting secrecy, unless I should hear of it from any other quarter (and if so, he begged I would acquaint him) he proceeded to inform me, that being disappointed of receiving money for coals the day before, he returned home in the evening, and to his pain and distress, found that there was neither bread, nor meat, nor anything to supply their place in the house-that his wife wept for the poor children, who were crying and continued crying till they both fell asleep; that having got them to-bed and their mother with them, who being worn with fatigue and sufferings, was also soon asleep ;-it being a fine moonlight night, he went from his house to a retired spot at a little distance, and found great pleasure in meditating on that precious passage, (Hab. iii. 17, 18.) Although the fig-tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vine, the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat, the flocks shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls, yet will I rejoice in the Lord; I will joy in the God of my
THE FARMER'S DREAM.
salvation." In this place he continued, as he supposed, about an hour and a half, and found great liberty and enlargement in prayer, such heart-loathing, and soul-humbling views of himself, and of his interest in the grace of God, and the love of his adorable Saviour, that though he went thither on purpose to spread his family wants before the Lord, he had such delightful views of Jesus by faith, that all thoughts about temporal things were taken away.
Under this sweet and serene frame of mind, he returned to his poor cottage, when, by the light of the moon, he perceived through the window something upon a stool or form (for chairs they had none) before the bed; and after viewing it with astonishment, and feeling it, he found it to be a joint of roast meat, and a loaf of bread about the size of our half-peck loaves. He then went to the door to look if he could see any person, and after raising his voice as well as eyes, and neither perceiving nor hearing any one, he returned and awoke his wife; then asking a blessing, he awoke his children also to share in this comfortable repast; but he could give me no further account.
I related this surprising circumstance to my father and mother, who were much astonished with it, and enjoined secrecy upon me, and in secrecy it would have remained, had it not come to light in the following singular way:-After an absence of twelve years from my father's house, I returned to my native village, to pay them a visit; when one evening at a friend's house, the conversation turned upon one Mr. Strangeways, commonly called Stranage, a farmer who lived at Lowick-Highstead, which place went by the name of Pinchme-near, on account of this miserly creature who dwelt there. I asked what was become of his property since his death, as I apprehended he had never done one generous action in his life-time. An elderly woman in the company said I was mistaken, for she could relate one that he did, which was somewhat curious:
She said she had lived with him as an housekeeper-that about twelve or thirteen years ago, he ordered her one Thursday morning to have a whole joint of meat roasted (having given her directions a day or two before to bake two large loaves of white bread). He then went to Wooler market, and took, as usual, a piece of bread and cheese in his pocket. In the evening he came home in a very bad humour, and soon went to-bed. In about two hours he called up his man
THE FARMER'S DREAM.
servant, and ordered him to take one of the loaves, and the joint of meat, and carry them down the moor to the cottage of Thomas Hownham, and leave them there;-the man did so ;finding the door on the latch, and perceiving the family fast asleep, he put down the meat and bread, and returned to his master's house.
The next morning old Strangeways called his housekeeper and the man in, and seemed in great agitation of mind. He told them that he intended to have invited a Mr. John Mool, with two or three more of the neighbouring farmers (who were always teasing him about his niggardly disposition) to sup with him on their return from market, and as he proposed to take them by surprise near home, (for two or three of them passed by his door) he did not give them the invitation at market, but just as they came to the spot where he intended to break the matter, a sudden shower of rain fell, and they all rode off, before he got opportunity. On going to bed he did not rest well, but dreamed he saw Hownham's wife and children starving for hunger. He awoke, and tried to put off the impression, but fell asleep again, and again the second and third time had the same dream. He lamented afterwards that he had been so overcome with the nonsense as to send them the bread and the joint of meat, but since he had done it, he could not now help it, and charged her and his man never to mention the matter, or he would turn them away directly. -She added, that since he was so long dead she thought she might relate it as a proof that he had done one generous action in his life, though he was afterwards sorry for it.
Thomas Hownham was a poor man, but his poverty did not lead him to dishonesty. Though industrious in providing for his family, yet his family were sometimes reduced to great straits; in this case he did not steal from his neighbours to supply their wants, but called upon God, and God heard him, by inclining one of the most unlikely of his neighbours to send him needful relief. The hearts of all men are in the hands of God, and he can turn them to fulfil his purposes.
Though our daily supplies do not come to us in so remarkable a manner as this meal to Hownham, yet they are as truly from God, for the eyes of all living wait on him; he knows their necessity; he opens his hand daily, and supplies their wants. But what is still more gracious, he has provided a Saviour for our souls, Jesus the Son of his love, who died for sinners, even the chief. He commands all sinners every
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where to repent and turn to JESUS, that they may not perish but have everlasting life.
The old farmer seems to have set his heart so much upon his property, that he was very unwilling to part with any of it to relieve the distresses of others. Such a temper is condemned by God, and perhaps by the reader. Friend, how many generous actions have you done, in obedience to God, and in imitation of his Son Jesus Christ, who, though poor in this world, went about continually doing good to the bodies and souls of men? Has the love of Christ ever influenced you to do anything? If it have not, your state is wretched and dangerous. Consider your ways. Confess your sins unto the Lord. Look for pardon orly through the atonement and intercession of the Son of God, and remember that without holiness no man shall meet the Lord in peace when he shall come to judgment. If y f you have not a Bible, buy one with the first money you obtain. Men have more occasion for it than for any piece of furniture in their houses. It makes known the only way to be happy either in this world or the world to come. How strikingly does the above fact illustrate the following lines by the Rev. J. Newton :