Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

riches, will appear from the following sentences, written by him at the commencement of a private account-book, in the form of a ledger, begun in the year 1790:

"Prov. xxviii. 20, 22.-'He that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent. He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye.'

"Deut. viii 18.-But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God, for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth.'

"If rich, be not too joyful in having, too solicitous in keeping, too anxious in increasing, nor too sorrowful in losing.

"No man hath worldly things without their wings.

[blocks in formation]

"The first concern is to lay up trea-structive girl may easily consume many sure in heaven."

The same sentences he copied into another account-book, begun in 1794. -Life of T. Wilson.

ADVICE TO A YOUNG SERVANT;

OR, CHRISTIAN FIDELITY. "Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things: not answering again, not purloining, but showing all good fidelity," 1 PET. ii. 18.

THAT YOU may clearly understand what this duty of Christian fidelity comprehends, I will mention a few practices to which it stands opposed:

1. The first is what the Bible calls "eye-service;" that is, obedience in the presence of the master or mistress, but neglect, or slight performance of their orders, in their absence.

2. Squandering of time, or indolence. A faithful servant, having engaged for a certain remuneration-that is, maintenance and wages-to give her time to her employers, feels herself bound diligently to employ the whole of it, to the best possible advantage, in obedience to their commands, and in promoting their interests. It would be as dishonest, after you have sold all your time, to waste part of it, as it would for a grocer, after he had sold a pound of tea, and received the money for it, to take out an ounce for his own use, or to throw it away.

3. Betraying of secrets either ex

pounds' worth of property in the course of the year, which ought to be in her master's pocket, either to help to support his family, to relieve the poor, or to help forward the cause of religion. And what is that better than robbery?

5. Fidelity will preserve a servant from the sin of taking to her own use, or giving to another, any portion of the property of her employers without their express consent. Some girls, seeing that their mistress has got plenty, and, perhaps, will not notice if a little is taken, think there is no harm in helping themselves to tea, sugar, cakes, thread, tape, or other trifling articles; or of giving food to their visitors, or to a charwoman to do their work for them. But these are not faithful servants; and, though they may escape detection, they can neither have the testimony of conscience, nor the approbation of God.

Lastly,-Fidelity is opposed to one thing more, which is too frequently disregarded; that is, to concealment of any kind by which their employers may be injured. A faithful servant will honestly confess her own faults, abhorring all the mean tricks of arti fice and falsehood; and should the evil designs or practices of others come to her knowledge, she will give timely notice of anything by which her master may be injured in his person, character, family, or interest.

I will just mention one of the bright

est evidences of Christian fidelity— namely, general good-will; which will influence the manner of performing every service. The apostles, who, as they wrote under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, never enjoined anything trifling, nor ever omitted anything of importance, expressly enforce this: "with good-will doing service." Now, it makes a vast difference whether you do a thing grudgingly, or whether you do it heartily and with a good-will. It is much more pleasant to you to do the service, and much more acceptable to the person for whom it is done. Good-will in a servant has many ways in showing itself. A servant does not show good-will who flounces out of the room before her mistress has finished speaking to her; or who bangs the door, to show her pet; or who refuses or grumbles at taking an order from the young people; or who looks with scorn, or answers with rudeness, any friend who happens to call, especially if that friend be in an humble rank of life. I have known some girls who were over-civil to any rich and gailydressed visitors, from whom, perhaps, they hoped to get something; but who could never give a civil word, or a gracious look, to very worthy relatives❘ of the family, from whom they had no such expectations. They served not with good-will, but with selfishness.

Another mark of good-will is, a respectful and favourable speaking of the family whenever circumstances require it. I have sometimes noticed a marked difference in the manner and tone of a servant's answer to a simple inquiry after the health of the family. One girl would answer with a rude, contemptuous indifference, that seemed to say, "I don't care whether they are ill or well." The countenance of another would express sympathy and anxiety when she had to speak of illness; and her eye would glisten with pleasure and gratitude when she could report any amendment. It was easy to see which of the two served with "goodwill."

Good-will appears in a cordial regard to the interests of the family, and a steady attention to whatever may promote them. There was a worthy

tradesman, whose business had been long sinking to decay, and who was on the point of giving it up in despair of success. His mind was, of course, in a distressed and agitated state. As he happened to pass by the chamber-door of his servant, he distinctly heard her pray: "O Thou, who commandest the feet of the buyer and of the seller, be pleased to regard the circumstances of my master; direct customers to his shop, and enable him to provide for his family." The thought that his trying circumstances were committed to God by a pious, praying servant, darted encouragement into his mind. He resolved to struggle with his difficulties a little longer. It pleased God to answer the prayer of humble faith, and to visit the family with returning prosperity. How lovely to see a servant thus showing "good-will!"

Many servants, in such trying circumstances, would have deserted the family, or have murmured at any little privation they might be called to suffer, and, perhaps, have mischievously exposed the affairs of the family out of the house.

There is one particular more in which good-will appears; that is, in a meek and patient receiving of reproof, and a sincere desire to amend and give satisfaction. A girl who, when she is reproved for a fault, returns a saucy answer or a sullen look, or goes about banging the doors, proves herself destitute of that good-will which is enjoined in Scripture, and which is to be expected especially from those who, as Christian servants, are bound to adorn the doctrine of God their Saviour in all things.

Christian servants are in no respect whatever released from common obligations; but their duties, on the contrary, are enforced by higher motives and additional claims.

A Christian servant is both stimulated and encouraged to common duties by the presence, the notice, and the approbation of God, which it is her privilege habitually to realise. She is sustained through duties and trials by Divine aid, constantly vouchsafed in answer to prayer-a source of strength to which ungodly persons are strangers;

and she is bound, by the holiness and honour of her Christian profession, to an exemplary deportment in all the common relations and circumstances of life. If her employers are fellowChristians, she owes them Christian respect, co-operation, and forbearance; if they are otherwise, it becomes her duty to recommend religion to their notice; not by the display of an obtrusive, overbearing, and censorious spirit, but by a quiet manifestation of the excellent effects produced by religion on her own temper and conduct. -Abridged from the "Young Servant."

A WARNING TO YOUNG MEN. YOUNG MEN OF ENGLAND!-The inspired penman has declared, "Strong drink is raging." Have you never known the forcible expression literally verified? We will give you a striking instance:

A Wesleyan Sunday-school, in a northern county of England, numbered amongst its scholars a young man of great promise. He was docile, gentle, orderly, well-behaved; and his teacher cherished pleasing hopes that he would become a useful and exemplary member of society. Alas! that hopes which rose so bright should set so soon. He left the Sunday-school, and chose for his companions the profligate and intemperate. He joined in their convivialities, and soon became a drunkard. For a few years he pursued the way "which leadeth to destruction ;" and every step he took plunged him deeper

and deeper into the yawning gulph of intemperance, which was shortly to swallow him up. On Christmas-day last he was thoroughly intoxicated, and aloud his vain boastings were heard that he would be drunk every day of the new year! He was taken ill shortly after-he continued to get worse-brain fever ensued-medical aid was of no avail-the minister of religion stood by his bedside to point him to the Saviour,-but, alas! he was insensible, and the day before the morning of the new year had dawned, his spirit had left the earth to stand before the tribunal of God! Thus, at the early age of twenty-three, he has found a drunkard's grave!

"Strong drink is raging." Our tale is not yet concluded. One new year's day that young man was bound in his grave-clothes, and his late home was "the house of mourning." But what do we say? the house of mourning? | Ah! "strong drink" will cause a mother to "forget her sucking child"—a father his favourite son; it is "raging." At the foot of the corpse sat the father in a state of-what shall we call it ?beastly intoxication!

Young Men of England! we implore you to take warning-we beseech you to abstain. None are safe who tamper with strong drink; it is raging. Shun it then as you would do an adder. Hate it with a perfect hatred. Let the firm resolve be yours,

"O take it back! I'd rather have
You plunge a dagger in my breast;
This would but lay me in the grave-
That rob me of eternal rest!"

The Fragment Basket.

A WORD TO PARENTS. SIR,-Having, in the course of my reading, met with the following awful account, which I do not remember seeing in print before, I send it you for insertion in one of your valuable Magazines should you think it suitable:

Dr. Edmund Calamy relates, that some persons of the name of Mant, in whose family he resided for some time,

had a son who discovered the most impious and wicked disposition. When confined in prison, he wrote letters professing penitence; but, as soon as he had an opportunity, he returned to his former sins.

This young man had been the darling both of his father and mother; and the latter had set her affections upon him to so great a degree, that when she found he was such a monster in

wickedness, she became deranged, and attempted to destroy herself, in which she at length succeeded. The wretched youth, so far from being suitably impressed, now ran on to greater lengths in wickedness.-Having once more professed penitence, and applied to the Rev. Samuel Pomfret to intercede for him with his father, he was made ready for sea; but unhappily became connected with a gang of villains, and on the very night before he was to set sail, he robbed Mr. Pomfret; but being apprehended, he was pursued, tried, and condemned to die!

On the Wednesday preceding the sabbath on which he was sentenced to die, his father entreated Dr. Calamy to accompany him that evening to his cell in Newgate, to converse with him, and to give his opinion as to the propriety of seeking to obtain a pardon for him. The doctor went, and found him in a very awful state of mind, resenting various things in which he conceived his father had done him wrong; and saying, that he might obtain a pardon for him if he would but part with some of his money. In vain did the doctor expostulate with him on the improper feelings he manifested; and entreated him to humble himself before God on account of his sins, as the only way of engaging his friends to obtain for him a reprieve. His reply was: Sir, I scorn anything of that nature, and would rather die with my company." The doctor reasoned with him on the existence of a hereafter; charging him with the death of his mother; taxing him with the murder of some persons abroad, whose blood he had actually shed; and showed him the heavy punishment he must endure in an eternal world unless he returned to God, repented of his sins, and prayed for pardon through the atonement of the Lord Jesus. He admitted the truth of all these things, but was filled with trifling unconcern. He frankly said, he had no hope of being better in his character, and that he was rather satisfied he should grow worse. The next morning he was visited by Dr. Jekyl, who asked him whether, during the whole time he had been confined in Newgate, he had once bowed his

An

knees to God, making it his earnest request to him to give him a sense of his sins, and to create in him a tender heart? He admitted that he had not, nor did he think it of any use. offer was made to him, that if he would engage to pray morning and night for the grace of God, an effort should be made, with every probability of success, for a reprieve, and subsequently a pardon; but he would make no engagement, and died on the day previously appointed.

On the day of his execution the father of this unhappy young man told Dr. Calamy, that when the culprit was very young, being their only child, he was exceedingly ill with a fever; and that both his wife and himself, thinking their lives were bound up in the life of the child, were exceedingly importunate with God in prayer, that his life might be spared. A pious woman expostulated with him on the vehemence he manifested; and said she dreaded the consequence of his praying in such a way, and that it became him to leave the matter to an infinitely wise God. At length the father said: "Let him prove what he will, so he is but spared I shall be satisfied." The old man added: "This I now see to have been my folly; for, through the just hand of God, I have lived to see this wretched son of mine a heartbreaking cross to those who loved him with the greatest tenderness, a disgrace to my whole family, and likely to bring my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave. I read my sin in my punishment very distinctly; but must own that God is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works."

[blocks in formation]

which many now present must have formed a part,) addressed his hearers for the same benevolent purpose as that for which I am about to appeal to you. Among the hearers came three evil-disposed young men, with the intention of not only scoffing at the minister of God, but with their pockets filled with stones, for the purpose of assaulting him. After the minister had spoken a few sentences, one of the three swore, and said, 'Let us be at him now;' but the second replied, No: let us hear what he makes of this point first.' The minister went on for some time, when the second said, 'We have heard enough now-throw;' but the third interrupted, saying, 'He is not so foolish as I expected; let us hear him out.' The preacher concluded his discourse without being interrupted; and then went home with the blessing of his hearers, and the approbation of his God in his heart. Now, mark me, my brethren: of those three young men, one of them was executed a few weeks ago at Newgate for forgery; the second, at this moment, lies under sentence of death at the jail of this city for murder; the other," continued the minister, "through the infinite goodness and mercy of God, is even now about to address you. Listen to him."

IMPROVE TO-DAY.-To-day only is yours; the past has slipped away like quicksilver through your fingers, bearing on its stream its testimony to be deposited in the presence of God against or for you. The future is a nonentity -it is not-and therefore it is not ours. Hence the present is the intensest moment of our existence; it is big with eternal and irreversible results; it rolls away laden with men's souls, to separate in twain on the right and left of the judgment throne, carrying some to glory and others to shame and everlasting contempt. To day is the beginning of an arc that completes its circle in eternity, its zenith, heaven! and its nadir, hell!-and your soul must culminate in joy with the one, or sink into a starless aphelion of woe and night with the other. The past is gone, and no eloquence can recal it-the future is not come, and no insurance can guarantee it-the present alone is yours:

[ocr errors]

Work, therefore, while it is called today."-Christian Wreath.

MIDDLE CLASS OF SARAWAK.-The nakodahs of Sarawak are now men of wealth, and traders on a large scale, some of the boats recently built being as large as 100 tons. They sail annually to Singapore, carrying sago and the other productions of the coast, which they exchange for European goods, Javanese cloths, and brass-work, and the coarse basins and earthenware manufactured in China, and brought down by the junks. Until within very recent times none of these people would have been known to possess money suf ficient to build a boat, knowing that it would assuredly have been taken from them. Their improved condition is also seen in the appearance of their houses, which three years since were built entirely on nibong posts and of atap leaves; but, finding that the European influence is likely to be permanent, (which at first they feared might not be the case,) all the better classes have within the above-named period raised houses on posts of balean, and with wooden sides, which would be consi dered palaces in the capital city of Bruni.

BROKEN-HEARTED WIVES-Whom drunkenness has beggared, here is a word of encouragement to you. Take it for your text, and preach it with prayers and tears, till he who is now your curse becomes your comforter! "Look at me now, you that knew me three years ago,” said a reformed man. What was I then? A poor miserable outcast, deserted by all but my poor What made me so? suffering wife! Rum! But now it is different-I am surrounded by friends, I live respectably, and comfortably; my wife is happy; and I am happy. What has wrought this change? The Pledge! Then will not you forgive my zeal in persuading you to sign it?"

To bestow fulsome flattery upon a person to his face, betrays a want of delicacy; yet not less so, rudely to rebuke his errors or mention his faults, and not have a tender regard for his feelings. It is not improper, and may sometimes be very kind, to mention to an individual what yourself and others

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »