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self but as an upper servant of God's household, on whom a superior responsibility is made to rest, and who, therefore, “ seeketh not her own” but God's honour ? If this be so, I shall claim no peculiar deference to be paid to my opinion, because it is mine ; no flattering attentions to my person; no infringement on the inclinations and tastes of those around me, simply that mine may have the preeminence. Whatever station I am in, I shall consider the affections of others (even if by my own undeviating tenderness I should seem to have a just claim to them,) as theirs, freely to bestow, believing it to be my part gratefully to receive them. Leisure and ease I shall be ready to resign, whenever the claims of God's service and the necessities of my fellow-creatures require my attention, though the call be repugnant to inclination, and convenience be made the sacrifice. Even to add to their momentary gratifications, my own must be taught to yield, so that they be innocent, and no way likely to infringe on any higher claim, which God, or my neighbour, possesses over me. And, when all this is done, Christianity enjoins that I seek no praise, that I demand no compensation for the benefit, or the pleasure which has been bestowed. This, indeed, would be a wide extension of that, against which the prohibition already exists. For, in this case, should I not seek that which, clearly, could in no sense be said to be my own ? To whom should the praise be given, but to Him of whom cometh the sufficiency, and “our sufficiency is of God.” To ourselves then let us ascribe, as we justly may, every deficiency which attends our daily performance of this prescribed command ; and to Him be the honor, the praise, the adoration, for every power of resisting self. His grace it is which worketh it in us, and to Him be all the glory!
THE AFFLICTED MOTHER. AT
S I embarked on board a Steam Boat. The deck was crowded with a noisy and motley group of colliers and market people, and I took refuge in the cabin below. There, in a dark corner, sat three poor women, who quietly and respectfully made room for me beside them. One was a quakeress; she had retired with characteristic modesty from the confusion that reigned above, and sat the picture of neatness and peacefulness-her hands folded across her grey shawl-waiting her emancipation from so uncongenial a situation. Her right hand neighbour had a sickly infant on her knee which she sadly mismanaged, and in piteous cries it spoke the severity of its little sorrows. There was something in the appearance of the third female that deeply interested me. She was deadly pale, her garb of the poorest kind, and her woe-struck, though peaceful countenance, told of many sorrows meekly borne. In her hand she held a basket of tracts and little books for sale.
At the time of my entrance, she was endeavouring to pacify her neighbour's child, and to infuse some common sense into its mother. I joined my en
deavours to hers, but in vain.” “Well sir,” she said, “it is sometimes a blessed thing to hear them cry, it shews there is strength to struggle. I have seen them when they could only moan—when I should have blessed the Lord for one such cry as this.” “Our friend," said the quakeress,“ has been sorely afflicted, but I tell her the Lord is surely with her, for she bows with the spirit of meekness."
I asked her story—it is the story probably of hundreds. She told it with all the simplicity of truth-with all the earnestness of misery..
“ My husband was a book-binder, but his health left him. He worked in his bed when he was too weak to sit up. We sold our furniture to pay his doctor— but all would not do :-he lay helpless in his bed for weeks, with hardly a rag to cover him. I, and my seven little ones, did what we could to earn a morsel of bread-my poor John could do no more! It was the Lord, and he was very merciful, for he sent a kind lady, who put my husband into the Infirmary. There he is well looked after, though it it had so pleased God I could love to nurse him myself. Oh! if he come back to me in health, I shall have more than I can desire or deserve !”.
“ About a month ago, three of my little ones fell ill of the hooping cough- they fell sick one by one
-they coughed day and night-I would have given my life to ease their pain—but it was not to be som I saw them die, one by one and they looked peace. ful when death was on them! I laid them side by side in the same grave, and I tried to say, “They are taken from the evil to come!” I shall go to them, though never, never can they return to me.” She stopped, and with the back of her hand quietly wiped away the tears from her eyes. I laid my hand on hers, and said, “Your dear children are happy, far beyond what even you could have desired for them. They are in the hands of God! and He is with you in all your trouble. Underneath you is His everlasting arm supporting you. This is His doing. He must do well; whom he loveth he chasteneth.”
“I know it, I know it!” she exclaimed. “Thank you sir, for those blessed words. Yet ungrateful as I am, I cannot yet love His correction. I fear I do not say from my heart, “thy will be done'-not mine. I have yet another precious child sick at home, the pride of my heart—and a blessed daughter she has been to me but I believe she must go, for death is in her sweet face. I thought, when I left her this morning, I should hear her speak no more, but I was forced to seek a morsel of bread for her and myself. And why should I desire to hear. more words from her in this world ? they cannot be better than her last. “Dear mother,” she said, and smiled, all suffering as she was, “perhaps I shall be gone to heaven before you come back ; but I shall find Jesus Christ there, and I will pray him to come and comfort you, and take care of you.”
“Oh, sir! you are a kind Christian ; if you have little ones at home, do not love them too well ! May you find them again in health, and never know how hard it is to see their little dying agonies, and kiss their cold lips for the last time! Yet do not think I complain; I have much, much more than I deserve. Sometimes I have thought my heart would break, but it was wicked to doubt-for God has never failed, in my greatest need, to raise up friends ; and when I think of a happy eternity to come, I feel that the sufferings of this life are not worthy to be compared to it.”
She ceased--and shall I be ashamed to own it, my tears flowed fast; yet I secretly blessed the Christian's God, who can make his servants to triumph even over misery like this. “Godliness is,” indeed. “profitable unto all things; having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” Our little voyage was done. The time had been short. Yet our hearts were warmed with a kindness as of many years standing. With the sincerest interest and respect I assisted my poor friend to disembark : and at parting put a few shillings into her hand, for the use of her invalid. “ There,” she exclaimed, “ did I not say right? the friend in need is sent me again. Sir! He will bless you, who receives the cup of cold water as given to himself. I will praise Him for you and for me : He will hear the blessing of her who was ready to perish. Oh may He bless you, now and for ever !”
She returned to her sad home and her dying child -“sorrowful, yet always rejoicing.” I, to my solitary inn, where, in the visions of the night, my meditations were sweet, for they rested on the reward of Christian sorrows meekly borne, on purified affections,-on holiness, and happiness, and heaven! Some struggling rays of comfort break through the deepest gloom ; even this dark valley, one by one, the rolling, threatening clouds disperse -the Sun of Righteousness, himself, breaks forth at last, and all is meridian day!
H. M. P.
A RESTORED FEMALE. ABOUT four weeks ago, the matron of the Asylum, 57, White Lion Street, told me that one of their