« PreviousContinue »
though you may not have all you could wish, God will take care of your best interests, if you live to his glory. Every step in the way of religion is a step towards heaven; crooked as the path may appear, its termination is in the bright and blessed world above. But she resolved
2. To adopt Naomi's people. “ Thy people shall be my people.” Ruth knew that people to be the people of God; and from what she had seen of her good mother-in-law, she concluded that they were a very holy and happy people; but this is not always a correct way of judging for or against religion, by the conduct of one or two of its professors; though, till we know anything to the contrary, it is the only rule by which we can judge. Some professors are a disgrace to the holy name by which they are called ; while others are so much better than the common mass with which they are associated, that we are apt to suppose that all are, as they ought to be, equally holy. But we have a surer word, to which we do well to take heed ; unlike Ruth, we have the entire scriptures in our hands, by which we can try the spirits whether they be of God; and ascertain what are the proper grounds of a religious profession. He is not a Christian who is one outwardly ; neither is that baptism which is outward in the flesh. But when we have discovered who the people of God are, then let us say, thy people shall bo mine. O that many a heart might address the speaker to-night, and say, “ Thy people shall be my people !” and could I hope that there was only one ready to say so—I would reply, “Come with us, and we will do you good !” Instead of attempting to pursuade you to go back, we would urge you, by every consideration, to go forward.
Adopt the people of God as your people, for assuredly if you cannot find true pleasure in their society, you will look for it in vain elsewhere.
(To be continued.)
HOME, THE TRUE SPHERE OF WOMAN.
From “ Every-Day Duties. By M. A. STODART.”
THE FIRST SERVANT.
(Continued from page 90.) SARAH could not but be conscious of her value in the family, and by degrees she rose in self-importance, and her mistress was despised in her eyes. Still she was really attached, and generally behaved with great kindness and attention, especially in time of illness; but she suffered herself now and then to thruw out a galling taunt or invidious comparison. These were generally borne in silence; but sometimes, in a moment of irritation, Eliza would venture sharply to reprove the impertinence. This generally led to some haughty retort, Well, if I do not give satisfaction, I am very willing to leave.” Then a few days of sullen silence succeeded, after which an explanation took place, in which the mistress generally had to make some sort of concession, and matters again went on harmoniously for a time. At length, on one occasion, Sarah had mortifyingly displayed her superior ascendancy over the children, which the mother very naturally, but perhaps in her circumstances imprudently, resented, and declared she would not put up with it. Sarah declared neither would she. And it issued in a separation.
Now came the trial of strength. Had Eliza been diligent in improving herself during the five or six years that she enjoyed the valuable services of Sarah, she might have fitted herself to take the management of the house, and to direct the movements of a stranger; but, instead of doing so, she had suffered herself to become more and more inactive. She knew not what was in the house, nor where it was to be found, nor in what proportions it was to be allotted out for use, nor how long
it ought to last, nor when or where a fresh supply should be obtained. Hence she was incapable of giving directions to her new servant, and was left at the mercy of one who proved to be an extravagant and selfish as Sarah had been frugal and faithful. The children and the nurse-girl had been subject to Sarah, but they had not been subject to their mother and mistress, neither were they disposed to yield subjection to new authority. All therefore was anarchy and insubordination.
The difference soon attracted the notice and excited the dissatisfaction of the male head of the family; for though little disposed to interfere while all went on orderly and comfortably, he could not but perceive that order and comfort had forsaken his dwelling. The inconvenience was acknowleged by Eliza, and the remedy sought in changing her servants. Several successive changes produced no real improvement; and, at length, the habitual discomfort of home excited that restless kind of dissatisfaction which cannot long exist without irritation of temper. Who can wonder that even a kind-hearted and partial husband began to perceive that the root of the defect lay in the inefficiency of her who ought to preside over and direct the whole, and that he should sometimes give vent to his feelings in a gentle remonstrance, and sometimes in an expression of reproach, which was sometimes kindly received, but more frequently pettishly resented? Yes, the beginning of altercation between a really affectionate pair began in the disadvantageous comparison between domestic comforts in the days when Sarah was the servant, or rather the mistress, and those in which the mistress held, or rather neglected to hold, the reins.
Matters had gone on in this way nearly a year, when Sarah happened to call to see her former mistress and the children to whom she was really attached. The cordiality with which she was welcomed both by mother and children, was mingled, in the former, with feelings of confusion at the untidy, disorderly condition of the house, which could not escape observation. She stammered out an awkward apology about the carelessness and untidiness of her servants, and declared that she was wearied out of attempting to improve them, and must endeavour to suit herself by changing again.
Sarah threw out a hint that she was not very comfortable in her situation, and had some thoughts of quitting it at the end of the year.
Eliza eagerly caught the suggestion, and proposed to her to return to her old place, which, after stipu. lating for increase of wages, prerogatives, and indulgences, she consented to do; and in the course of a month she was reinstated in her former sovereignty, with an assistant of her own selecting.
Order and comfort in the household department seemed restored as with a magic hand; except as the mistress had daily to endure some reproachful remark on the waste, destruction, and injury of property during the past year, which Sarah declared had exceeded the fair wear and tear of twenty years, or, as she sometimes qualified it, “ at least seven, not to tell a bit of a story."
However, notwithstanding the rueful catalogue of things broken, misapplied, lost, or injured, which she pronouncd it impossible ever to set to rights, things did in a great degree come to rights, much to the honour of Sarah's skill and industry in accomplishing impossibilities.