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“ And therefore," I said, “ he appointed the Sabbath to strengthen them, and recover them from the mischiefs of that exposure—as, after a hard-fought battle, the general orders his legions to repose, and gives balms and ointments for their wounds. Labour was in the curse pronounced on man for sin ;that is, the necessity of labouring for the things that perish. And no sooner did mercy in the Redeemer's name remit a portion of that curse, than it remitted, too, a portion of the labour :—as if it had bidden us return one day in seven to paradise, to forget our banishment in undisturbed enjoyment of our God. Are we so proud as to say we need it not? Are these labours so congenial, that we should desire it not? Is it this permission to forget and forego every thing but what our hearts are set upon, that you speak of as a shackle from which the children of God are freed ?” The entrance of the husband broke off the conversation.
The second Sabbath offered me a different scene. I heard my beautiful Amelia up before her usual time, sorting, and tying up packets of school-books. To breakfast she came, with her bonnet on, and her cloak on her arm ;-scalded her throat with tea, and said she had not time to eat:-she had to hear twenty children their lessons before church time; —and quickly she disappeared. We found her again at the church door. Be it enough to say, the service was delightful :—the sermon all that it could be to incline the heart to holiness and peace. My sweet Amelia looked pensively happy as we bent our way homeward, till catching sight of a clock, “ Dear!” cried she, “it is half past one!—my scholars will be waiting ;"—and before we reached home, she was seated in the hall, surrounded by women and children. I stopped to listen, and found
she was teaching them to read and spell. It was nearly three, when seeing them disperse, I begged Amelia to take refreshment, and asked her if read. ing and spelling were religious instructions. She said, “Not exactly—but when they had learned to read, they could read the Bible.” I was just going to say, that was a contingency that hardly seemed to warrant the unnecessary teaching of those things on Sunday, when a loud knock at the door announced nothing less than a carriage. “On Sunday," I thought, “and here”—when in came an elderly lady, flushed, and out of breath. “My dear child," she said to Amelia,“ don't lose a moment~ I'm come for you, and you must go—Mr. W. of York is going to preach at the New-Street church :—make haste -it is two miles off—I've got the carriage—I don't use it of a Sunday, but this is too great a treat to lose :- I just heard it by chance—there is not a moment to spare.”—“0, thank you !" cried Amelia, “How delightful! I was going to the Sunday-school; but for once"-and into the carriage she jumped. “Dearest me!" said the good old grandmother, in the arm-chair from which she was too infirm to move—“ that child will kill herself-but there she's always after good—not a bit has she had to eat! Well, times are altered :—when I was young, good people went to their parish church, and read their Bible, and thought that was enough.”.
We sat down to dinner, but Amelia had not returned. We were in progress when she came. “ There, now,” said the old lady, “sit down and speak to me a word if you can—but eat some dinner first-I have not heard the sound of
sweet voice to-day, nor any of the good things you know how to cheer my heart with.”. -“ Dearest grandmamma,” said the lovely girl, “ I delight to talk to
you; but you know what a day Sunday is to me; I never have a moment to sit down." When we were ready for church, there walked in a group of young people, whose errand ran thus—Amelia must go with them to-night to Old Street--there was a Missionary from Nova Scotia—a most interesting young man, not more than three-and-twenty, and had preached one hour and a quarter this morning : he had been among the savages—it would be a most interesting sermon—she must go. Amelia hesitated a moment, but her blue eyes beamed impatience at her own delay—“I should like to go—but I was going to church with grandpapa : he will not like to be left. I do long to go." The old gentleman understood her looks. There, go, dear, go if you like; I never cross young people in these things. Don't understand it; didn't use to be so in my time. Take care of yourself, that's all.” We went to church, and heard a most beautiful finishing to the morning's discourse, which we had not perceived it wanted, but by which we now found it doubly valuable.
Amelia rejoined us long after nine o'clock; for the sermon, as she told us exultingly, had been nearly two hours long. The colour was gone from her cheek, and the brightness from her eye; and she threw herself on the sofa. In vain she tried to read; in vain the old lady, who had heard nothing, entreated to be told what she had heard. Amelia was exhausted beyond any effort to recover herself. “ Dear Amelia,” I said to her as we were going to bed, “ have you enjoyed your Sabbath ?”—“0
I hope so, but I am very much tired.”—“ Do the better for this day of rest ?”—She smiled at the word. “Rest I have had none, but I must be the better for all the good I have heard.”—“May you Vol. II.
not have heard too much?" “ No, that cannot be : is not preaching the nourishment appointed for our souls?' It is more needful than the food we eat." “ But there is such a thing as reflecting on what we hear. And then you have had no time to yourself all day.” “No, that is the worst of it: but we must not live for ourselves.” “ And yet, I think the Sabbath was given us for our own sakes, to rest and refresh our souls.” “From weekday labours—but we should spend it in well-doing, and imparting spiritual good to all who"_"Who need it; and you, then, are not of that number ?": “ Indeed, yes; I need everything; I feel very sad, and quite confused. I know I should profit more by being in my chamber, in communion with God; but then”-“ But then you are the only person for whose benefit your
Sabbath was not intended.”
I arrived on the following Saturday at the house of a friend. She apologized for the absence of her daughters all the morning. “Saturday,” she said, " is a particular day among us: we feel like schoolboys finishing up their task to be ready for a bolyday. We write all necessary letters; if any little matters are in agitation among us, we try to arrange them, to get them off our minds; particularly we try to disencumber our memory of little things, such as orders, promises, &c., that they may not obtrude themselves to-morrow. In short, it is an universal settling day among us. And
would be amused to see how the little ones mimic and burlesque our plan:-arranging their toys, giving back what they have of each other's, and settling all differences. You will see them in every corner of the house, collecting what they have left about, and hunting for what is lost.-If I want one of them, it is •O, mamma, you know it is Saturday, and we are so busy.
I never let them see me smile at their odd devices of arrangement, for I love to see them imbibe our habits, before they can share our feelings."
At dinner I learned that all arrangement was at an end. Indeed I could see it, for the house looked as I have seen others look when every thing is put in order for a rout. Fresh flowers were in the chimney, fresh perfumes on the table; work, books, and drawings, all were laid away. I foolishly asked, if company was expected ? “ Yes,” my friend replied,
we shall have company; but not such as will trouble you. We do nothing on Saturday evening but prepare for Sunday. We collect our ignorant neighbours together, to instruct them in religion, and prepare their hearts for Sabbath occupation; and as far as we can remove any little anxieties that may be on their minds, or disputes that may be between them. We give them tea, and while the elders instruct them, it is the privilege of the little ones to sit up half an hour later than usual, to wait upon them: one not lightly prized, I assure you. When this is done, we like to sit down and talk together, or perhaps read together, if any thing particularly interesting has come in: but we do not like to have any matters of business brought in; and our girls have made it a forfeit to isarrange their minds by the introduction of any unwelcome subjects. It sometimes causes us a little mirth, to determine whether the forfeit has been incurred.” Sunday came. When I appeared, the youngest
and asked if I was sure I was in a good-humour—I said, “ I hoped so.” “Because," she said, “ nobody must get up in a bad-humour on a Sunday." The parents smiled, but did not check her:I had before remarked the stillness of the house.
child ran up