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him. He could not receive his friends, or must receive them alone, because I was always engaged. He could not have his children with him, because I was drawing up reports, and could not be disturbed. As he had no participation in my pursuits, and I no longer took any interest in his, sympathy decreased between us ; communion of thought and feeling became less frequent; the prayers of each went up to heaven alone ; and while he resumed those solitary studies, of which, in the earlier part of our union, he so often communicated the benefit to me, having now no time to learn, I lost the only intellectual, and I believe I may add, the greatest spiritual advantage, that had ever been bestowed on me. My grandmother-she is dead. The attention of menials, and all that money can purchase, lightened her declining years: but I had no time to administer to her sufferings. In short, while my name has stood in public as the patron of all good, and been echoed and lauded from institution to institution through the land, the savour of holiness has not characterised my house, nor its peace abided in my bosom. I am now five-and-thirty. The loss of health, from fatigue and irregularity, confines me to the house, and has obliged me to give up all my undertakings. And now it seems to me, that for seventeen years I have laboured, though ardently, in vain. I have succeeded in nothing. The good I have done is known only to God: that which I have left undone looks me every moment in the face, in the disorder of my neglected family, and the sinfulness of my neglected heart.”
So reads our narrative. In the few remarks a Listener is allowed to make, I cannot comment on the particulars of the story. I hope there are few
so unfortunate; but it is worth attention. All these things mentioned are great and important duties; they are the things of which the Saviour said, “ These ought ye have done, and not left the other undone." Each of them, I believe, is somebody's duty; but all of them not anybody's. And in this day of pious occupation, it is especially necessary that each one should know his own calling. From the impulse of a good desire on the whole, though not unmixed with the pride of importance, and the love of distinction, there is a great eagerness to be doing all that we see others do, to appoint ourselves to what Heaven never appointed us, and to engage in a multiplicity of projects without considering our circumstances or capacity. Meantime the duties, less stimulating, and less acceptable to our ardent spirits, that may belong to our home and condition, are distasted and overlooked ; and our minds, I fear, too often left waste and uncultured. This needs to be particularly guarded against by the young and inexperienced in the present state of society. It is contrary to the whole bearing of the divine precept. All there is required to be done in order." Each one is to pursue diligently his own calling. If ministry, on ministering ; if teaching, on teaching ; he that exhorts, on exhortation ; he that ruleth, with diligence. Are all apostles? all prophets ? all teachers? We may covet, indeed, the best gifts; though still Paul says, there is a better way: but we must wait till they are bestowed, before we attempt to exercise them. An earthly monarch appoints different
persons to different offices of his state, according as they are capable; and strange indeed would be the confusion, if each one would appoint himself to all. Yet of such confusion, I fear, the kingdom of Christ is in danger, from the misguided zeal of his
cut inexperienced servants. To be the medium of comarme municating blessings from heaven to earth, is the YT greatest honour that can be conferred on any human
being; and may justly be—nay, must be, if our I hearts are right—the first desire of our bosoms. But
honours are conferred, not ravished. Watching for it everywhere, ready for it any way, and when the
finger of Providence points the way, as ready to folTini low it in meanness and obscurity, as before an ap
proving crowd, our path of usefulness will be shown us, as soon as we are capable of being useful, or
worthy to be used. But if so much wanting in hui mility as to assume our capability, we take possesvision of everybody's post, follow everybody's calling, 3 and restlessly covet everybody's success, we shall vit probably learn it in the bitterness of defeat and disdos appointment.
THERE are follies and vices to which, however much we may deplore them, we find it but little difficult to ascribe a cause. The pleasure of sin to a corrupted nature, is sometimes clearly obvious, and the fitness of folly to delight a fool, cannot be disputed by any one. When we find the world's proud heroes exulting over vanquished foes, the ambitious vaunting their
acquired powers, and the avaricious boastful of their hoards, we feel no surprise : however false their estimate of good, the gratification of the passion is a temporary pleasure. So, to descend to smaller matters, we are not surprised that a vain woman should he gratified by admiration, or an envious woman by the depression of a rival, or an artful woman by the success of her intrigues. Pitiable and disgraceful as these passions are, we perceive the object of desire is fitted to gratify the folly that pursues it. And before such a gratification can cease to be one, the evil propensity must be itself eradicated. But in my thoughtful wanderings through the world, I have marked one folly, the pleasure of which I have been totally unable to discern. I see it every day, I hear of it every hour, I meet it at every turn, yet cannot find for it a motive or an aim ; neither a fitness to gratify any known feeling in the bosom of many who pursue it. I mean the love of dress. So far as dress can improve our personal charms, I can understand it: for then it
gratifies the desire of admiration, and to a limited extent is not blameable; for personal attractions are the gift of Providence, and, therefore, to be estimated in due proportion to their worth. But the love of dress exists equally where no such result is expected: age and decrepitude cannot extinguish it. I have observed it in excess, where there was not an expectation nor even a desire to be seen; nay, I have known it to pursue the miserable invalid to her death-bed, amid the full consciousness that earthly admiration was no more for her. And if it be so, that it is without reason, aim, or motive, it must surely be of weaknesses the weakest ; of follies the most foolish. And yet it is a weakness—for we hesitate to call it vice—the most prevalent in every class of society, the most costly in money, time, and thought; and, strange to say, most obstinately outliving, in the serious and the sensible, every chastened and subjected passion.
The question naturally suggests itself, why is it so ? Is it the result of education and habit, or of nature? Facts sufficiently attest, that it is inherent in our nature, or, at least, that we are all by nature prone to imbibe the disposition. Why else does the savage, who gives no heed to the comforts of his rude dwelling, or the cleanliness of his voracious meal, delight to deck his hair with coins, and string beads or buttons for his sable bosom? We feel little disposed indeed to blame or to wonder, that where all higher gratifications are unknown, where minds are uncultivated, and objects of desire are so few, and time and thought so much unoccupied, the ornamenting of the person should be so high a source of interest. But with us it will scarcely be urged in excuse for this folly, that it is a natural propensity. It is the business of education to raise us above the