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if you can find the sherry; for I am al- and a few other minor disadvantages and most certain there is an odd bottle left. difficulties which a compliance with the The gentlemen shall have it and wel. request of Mr. Hollowblast would involve,
Many other indulgences were gave in her acquiescence to the proposal offered us by the old gentleman, invari- made to her, and retired to prepare a dorably enhanced in value by a seeming in- mitory for our accommodation. difference to his own interest and a pro The next requirement made was that fessed concern for ours; but we prudently Mary, the servant, should give up her declined any other than common com bed; an arrangement to which no obforts, being very well satisfied with our jection was made on her part, so that accommodation. _At last that most im- every impediment being removed, my portant inquiry, How we were to pass the companions stretched their weary limbs night, became of necessity a subject of in the spare bed of Mrs. Williams, and I discussion.
passed the night on the curtainless couch It is wondrous what a change is pro- where Mary, the domestic, was wont to duced in the mind by an hour's social repose. converse! When we first entered the The morning came, and we assembled abode of Mr. Hollowblast, he appeared at the breakfast table of Mr. Hollowblast. as if he would begrudge us a chair to sit | The moans of the aged gentleman during upon; but afterwards he seemed to be the night, told me that he was labouring lying in wait for opportunities of pressing under some bodily affliction ; but he made upon us comforts and luxuries in abun no complaint to us. The winds were dance. Even the difficulty of providing abroad, and the snow lay thick upon
the us a place of repose for the night was ground, and we had arranged, after an overcome by his sympathy and com- inspection of the old Abbey, to ascend miseration.
the Black Mountains; a substantial break“Mary,” said he, we must manage fast was, therefore, a very necessary preit somehow, that these gentlemen may liminary to our undertaking. not have to sit up all night; it grieves And now came the winding up of our me to think of it. They are not accus account with our sympathizing, hospitatomed to sit up; and besides, they are ble, and generous host. He said that he weary, and stand in need of a good night's made no charge; he could make no rest. Go and ask our neighbour, Mrs. charge; we were gentlemen, and he well Williams, to step up here; tell her I want knew that we should act like gentlemen. to see her particularly.
It was, to be sure, an awkward season of In a short time, Mrs. Williams made the year, and a late hour at night at her appearance, and then our considerate which we had come upon him ; and he host made a most pathetic appeal on our had no doubt that we should consider that behalf. “ Neighbour Williams,” said it had put him about a good deal, but he he, “these gentlemen have walked a long would leave the matter entirely to ourway, and come unexpectedly to see the selves. He hoped that he had done his Abbey. It is a sad awkward time of the best to make us comfortable; there was year, and late at night, too; but I have nothing in his house which he had not done all I can to make them comfortable, offered to us, for he had seen a good deal for I have seen something of life myself, of the world, and knew what it was to be and can feel for them. Now, neighbour at a distance from home, and to come in Williams, we are at sad fault for a bed: wet and tired after a journey. you have got one, I know, that is at With these, and other observations, liberty; and if
it for these and not forgetting to remind us that he gentlemen, I shall take it as a favour should have rather liberally to recompense done to myself; it will be but for one his neighbour, Mrs. Williams, he connight, and I shall be very, very much trived to get from us about double the obliged to you. We ought to do what amount we should have paid at a regular we can for one another; and I hope you inn. will not refuse me the bed for these gen " What is man!” How clingingly tlemen, for I am sorry for them from my alive to his real or supposed interests !
When a new principle is implanted in his Mrs. Williams acted her part admir- soul, he can practise self-denial and disably, and after some natural remarks interestedness; till then, self ! self ! is about the 66
very late hour, room to but too apparent in all his deeds. The make tidy,"
"" bed to air," "clean sheets,” | Christian character is a lovely one, and
rendered still more so by the strong con cisiveness, pungency, and force, do we trast afforded by a worldly mind. It find them passing it on ourselves. This, would be enough to make us yearn for it must be admitted, is a striking feature heaven if it were for nothing else than to of our constitution, and one that debe stript of our selfishness.
mands attention. What then, I ask, When we parted with old Mr. Hollow- is the meaning and the import of that blast, he rose from his arm-chair to shake secret power which we call conscience ; us all by the hand. The same cap which which, while it approves and affords adorned his brows the preceding night, pleasurable reflections when we have was on his head, and his legs were de- done good, admonishes us, on the other fended from the cold, by the same ample, hand, of evil, upbraids and smites us blue, broad-ribbed worsted stockings as when we have done wrong ; punishes we had before seen. We left him under us, invariably, with inward smart and an impression that we should meet no
we have yielded to our more till the last trumpet should sound, passions in opposition to our reason, and that impression was correct; for soon when we have consulted present pleaafter we heard that he was gathered to sure at the expense of known duty ? his fathers.
What is this stern, this solemn voice We visited the old Abbey, and lingered that utters in the soul of man, when no amid its snow-capped, ruined walls. We one hears. it but himself, “ Man! thou climbed the Black Mountains, and stood art guilty ?” What is this which makes on their highest eminence, admiring the the heart to palpitate and tremble, while goodly prospect of the country around; the aspect of the outward countenance but neither the ruined Abbey, nor the is calm ? What is it that haunts the broad-breasted mountains are so vivid in culprit in the dark—that gives a susmy remembrance as the grotesque figure picious eye and unsteady hand, even of old Mr. Hollowblast.
where detection seems impossible, and is not apprehended that makes the
thief to flee when no man pursueth him, CONSCIENCE.
and infests his bed with dreams and It is certain that all men are inevi. images of terror ? I tell
and tably conscious of being the subjects every man feels, that that voice is the of a supreme moral government. The echo of another; that that inward consense of right and wrong, peculiar to viction is but the utterance of the verus; our instinctive discernment of things, dict of a higher judge. Every man as virtuous or vicious, of good or ill feels it, we repeat, that he is held desert; shows that we are positively within the grasp of a power from which subjected to moral law; that there is he cannot disengage himself; that he is actually prescribed to us, by some au the subject of a government above, and thority or other, a rule of conduct. independent of human arrangement and . Every law of our nature must have convention. From all known facts of originated with Him who gave us our human history we are warranted to being; for the creature could no more affirm, it is universal. No matter how give laws to its own being, than make obscure a man he is, he is sensible that itself. If we are the subjects of moral the moral feelings and moral doings of obligation, the Creator made us so: that his own soul are under the immediate natural rule of our actions, which the ken of Heaven. No matter how great sense of moral obligation implies, is a he is; he may preside in courts and rule which he has enjoined. And there seats of law, but on his own tribunal are circumstances which seem solemnly to he is sensible, Felix-like, that he himintimate that we are under His constant self is before the bar of an unseen judge. discipline, and ultimately responsible for No matter how famed he is, he is the use which we make of that rule. sensible that there is a judgment which Especially does this seem to be inti- is not arrested by public opinion, and mated by that faculty of instinctive self- whose awful verdict falters not amid the reflection peculiar to our nature: that plaudits or reproaches of a world. Nor secret, mysterious, authoritative, moni- does it matter much what are his pecutory power, which is seated within us. liar sentiments; this inward witness tells If upon the actions of others we find the truth, in spite of every modifying our minds constantly passing a moral system, and against every falsifying judgment; with infinitely greater de- I creed. It matters little even how reck
less and how bold he is. He may long , it is his high will, and the very end have laughed to scorn the terrors of his for which he made them—the noblest conscience, and gorged himself with end for which they could be made--that, opiates till he is all but delirious or regulated by his authority, they might mad; or he may have fettered that subserve the moral purposes of his conscience, and bound it down by efforts government, and, approved by him of unnatural blasphemy and sin: but accordingly, with' his favour might be anon and evermore it mutters, and it blest.–J. Griffin. thunders and shakes his inmost soul, and with its fierce inflictions seems to drag him to the bar of his Creator, and UNDESIGNED COINCIDENCES OF antedate his doom.
Let it not be said that all this is the It has been argued, with great truth mere death's head of superstition, or the and force, that the undesigned coincibugbear of the nursery. This terrific dences which appear in the sacred power of conscience is felt in circum- writings, strikingly illustrate the veracity stances of danger, and on the near ap- of their authors; and it is a matter of proach of death, the most severely by regret that they have hitherto attracted those very persons whose creeds and so little attention: we purpose, therefore, opinions it might have been expected to furnish a few specimens of them, in would render them least liable to super- the hope that they will interest and prostitious fears. It is not the religious, fit our readers, and lead some, at least, but the irreligious, whom conscience to the valuable works from which they agitates the most. They may before are taken. have mocked, or scorned, or cursed all In the eighteenth chapter of Genesis notions of religion and of God; but in we find recorded a very singular converscalamity, and sickness, and peril of ation which Abraham is reported to death, the scorners are either silent in have held with a superior Being, there confusion, or in mingled fear and hope called the Lord. It pleased God on this betake themselves to prayer. In such occasion to communicate to the Father of circumstances of trial, these high-minded the faithful his intention to destroy forthand sound-hearted scoffers at religion with the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, commonly betray the hollowness of their of which the cry was great, and the sin principles and the falsehood of their very grievous. Now, the manner in creed.
which Abraham is said to have received Then let me ask the calm and the sad tidings, is remarkable. He does thoughtful reasoner, What does all this not bow to the high behest in helpless intimate ? Whence this inevitable be- acquiescence~ The Lord do what seemeth lief of the existence of a Supreme good in his sight—but, with feelings at Being ? Whence this common consci once excited to the uttermost, he pleads ousness of moral obligation? Whence for the guilty city, he implores the Lord this instinctive sense of ultimate ac not to slay the righteous with the wicked; countability to an invisible judge? Is and when he feels himself permitted to it all nothing but illusion? Can it speak with all boldness, he first entreats be here, amid the most solemn im- that fifty good men may purchase the pressions and suggestions of nature, that city's safety, and still encouraged by the confusion and contradiction are intro success of a series of petitions, he rises duced? The question, be it remem in his merciful demands, till at last it is bered, is not whether these are old argu- promised that even if ten should be ments or new ones ; but what is the found in it, it should not be destroyed true force of them ? And who, deeply for ten's sake. pondering these things, can resist the Now, was there no motive beyond that conviction that such impressions are the of general humanity which urged Abrasilent, but distinct and undeniable mo ham to entreaties so importunate, so nitions of truth, telling that there is an reiterated ? None is named. Perhaps infinite, almighty, righteous Governor such general motive will be thought of the world ; that he takes continual enough: I do not say that it was not ; cognizance of the principles and conduct yet I think we may discover a special of men, and rules them by moral laws; and appropriate one, which was likely to that to him they are amenable, and act upon the mind of Abraham with still will certainly give account; and that greater effect, though we are left entirely
to detect it for ourselves. For may we history might be read many times over, not imagine, that no sooner was the and this feature of truth" in it never intelligence sounded in Abraham's ears, happen to present itself. than he called to mind that Lot his
And here let me observe, (an observanephew, with all his family, was dwelling tion which will be very often forced upin this accursed town, Gen. xiv. 12, on our notice in the prosecution of this and that this consideration both prompted argument,) that this sign of truth (whatand quickened his prayer ? For while ever may be the importance attached to he thus made his supplication for Sodom, it offers itself in the midst of an inci, I do not read that Gomorrah and the dent in a great measure miraculous : and other cities of the plain, Gen. xix. 28; though it cannot be said that such indiJude 7., shared his intercession, though cations of veracity in the natural parts of they stood in the same need of it-and a story, prove those parts of it to be true why not? except that in them he had which are supernatural; yet where the not the same deep interest. It may be natural and supernatural are in close argued too, and without any undue re- combination, the truth of the former finement, that in his repeated reduction must at least be thought to add to the of the number which was to save the credibility of the latter ; and they who place, he was governed by the hope that are disposed to believe, from the coincithe single family of Lot (for he had dence in question, that the petition of sons-in-law who had married his daugh Abraham in behalf of Sodom was a real ters, and daughters unmarried, and ser- petition, as it is described by Moses, and vants) would in itself have supplied so no fiction, will have some difficulty in many individuals at least as would fulfil separating it from the miraculous circumthe last condition—ten righteous persons stances connected with it, the visit of the who might turn away the wrath of God, angel, the prophetic information he connor suffer his whole displeasure to arise. veyed, and the terrible vengeance with
Surely nothing could be more natural which his red right hand was proceeding than that anxiety for the welfare of re to smite that adulterous and sinful generlatives so near to him should be felt by ation.—Blunt's Veracity of the Five Abraham-nothing more natural than Books of Moses. that he should make an effort for their escape, as he had done on a former occasion at his own risk, when he rescued this very Lot from the kings who had taken him captive-nothing more natural than that his family feelings ABOUT three miles from the town should discover themselves in the earnest- (of Adalia) my servant found that his ness of his entreaties-yet we have to great coat had fallen from his horse ; collect all this for ourselves. The whole riding back for two miles, he saw chapter might be read without our poor man bringing wood and charcoal gathering from it a single hint that he from the hills upon asses. On asking had
any relative within ten days' journey him if he had seen the coat, he said that of the place. All we know is, that he had found it, and had taken it to a Abraham entreated for it with great water-mill on the road-side, having passion—that he entreated for no other shown it to all the persons he met, place, though others were in the same that they might assist in finding its peril—that he endeavoured to obtain
On offering him money, he resuch terms as seemed likely to be ful- fused it, saying, with great simplicity, filled if a single righteous family could that the coat was not his, and that it be found there. And then we know, was quite safe with the miller.
My from what is elsewhere disclosed, that servant then rode to the house of the the family of Lot did actually dwell miller, who immediately gave it up, he there at that time, a family that Abra- also refusing to receive any reward, and ham might well have reckoned on being saying, that he should have hung it up more prolific in virtue than it proved. at the door, had he not been about to Surely, then, a coincidence between go down to the town.
The honesty, perthe zeal of the uncle and the danger of haps, may not be surprising, but the the brother's son is here detailed, though refusal of money is certainly a trait of it is not expressed; and so utterly un character which has not been assigned designed is this coincidence, that the to the Turks.--Fellows.
NEW YEAR'S DAY.
and flowers have been wonderfully preIt is said to be the custom, in some served : insects, rèptiles, birds, and nations, to mourn at the birth of a child, beasts, have all partaken of a Father's because of the anticipated evils which care; and his rational creatures have it is destined to endure in this vale been enabled, by employing the higher of tears. This is, doubtless, to form powers with which he has gifted them, a false estimate of human life, in which, to provide for the supply of their more on the average, pleasure far predomi- numerous necessities and comforts. nates over pain; and surely the contrary And now a new scene appears. The custom of rejoicing when another rational sun has changed his course, and begins and immortal creature is brought into again to take a wider circuit in the existence, is much more justifiable. But heavens. Soon his warmth, and glory, I am not certain that the same principle and genial influence will return. Nature will appiy to the birth of a new year. will burst anew into life, and beauty, There are so many recollections of past and joy. The husbandman will once delinquencies and omissions, and of more ply his labours, while hope cheers losses that can never be repaired, to his toil, and unite with anticipations of the future
the lark, high-poised, so much to regret as well as to fear, Makes heaven's blue concave vocal with his lay; that the thoughtless levity with which and, all around, the cattle browse on the this first day of another annual cycle tender herbage as it rises, and the bleatis generally ushered in, seems to be ing lambs play amidst the flocks scattered altogether misplaced. We should cer- over the neighbouring hills. tainly do, what is at once more reasonable As the year advances, summer will and more edifying, were we to spend again begin to smile, and will cast from the first hours of a new year in solemn her green lap a profusion of flowers. · meditation, both on the past and on the The seed thrown into the bosom of the future.
earth, will germinate and grow : the But in such an exercise, while there tender blade will rise and shoot, someis cause for self-accusation and for sorrow, times watered by the rain and dew; there is also ground for gratitude, for sometimes cherished by the genial heat hope, and for enjoyment. The protect of the sun's direct rays; sometimes ing care of an overruling Providence, shaded from his too fervid beams by the is a fruitful source of these feelings, gathering clouds, and refreshed by the whether we regard external nature, or morning and evening breeze. reflect on our own individual experience of At last comes autumn, crowned with the guidance and protection of a Father's plenty. The orchards teem with golden unseen hand. It is to the former of fruit; the full ears of yellow grain wave these subjects, that the peculiar nature in the fields; the busy reaper sings as of this work seems at present to call our he toils; the barns are filled with food attention.
for man and beast, and the hopes of When nature lies in the sleep of win the husbandman are fulfilled. : Amidst ter, all seems dreary, and desolate, and a thousand varied and most bountiful hopeless. Day after day, the sun, whose preparations for the sustenance of animal beams had shed light and life over the and vegetable life, during the rigours world, takes a shorter and lower path of an ungenial sky, winter returns, and in the heavens ; his brightness and again prepares the earth, by a night of warmth decrease; chilling blasts sweep rest, for the labours of the coming year. the plain ; the flowers fade; the leaves These wonders of divine Providence fall; the grass no longer springs for the need only to be mentioned, to show with cattle; the sound of music is hushed; what consummate skill and goodness the earth becomes rigid; the surface God accommodates the seasons to the of the waters is converted into crystal ; comfort, the convenience, and the hap, the snow descends, and covers all with piness of every thing that lives, and its cold and cheerless mantle.
especially of the human family. The Nature, however, is only in a state of labour to which man is doomed strengthrepose. Rest was necessary to recruit ens his bodily powers, and rouses, exher exhausted strength. But during ercises, and sharpens his mental faculher repose, the hand of Him who ties. The changes, too, which are con“ slumbereth not,” has been working tinually taking place, are highly conduin secret. The germs of future plants cive to his improvement and happiness.