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sad indeed if all forsake us then. Some families are in a more peculiar manner tried in this respect, and they experience breach upon breach. I knew a family, during my residence in W-shire, who exactly answered this description; and I think it may be somewhat instructive to mention a few particulars respecting them.
When I first knew them, there was a father and mother, one son, and eight daughters. The father was a respectable tradesman, but he was unfortunate, and unable to continue his business. The elder daughters immediately commenced dressmaking, for which they were well qualified. They put their younger sisters to school, and the brother was an apprentice to a draper. Thus did these young women, with patient industry and filial affection, provide for themselves and parents a maintenance and independence, in a manner truly praiseworthy. Their conduct was duly appreciated, for few families were more respected. One sister married ; but it pleased God soon to call her hence. The brother was out of his time as an apprentice, and many bright visions respecting him were indulged. Being an only brother, the girls were very much attached to him. He came home, I remember, to see his family, and it was in anticipation for him to begin business on his own account; but alas! he was taken ill, and consumption soon made another breach in the family circle. I believe God was pleased to "refine him and choose him in the furnace of affliction." The trial was a great one; but there was no idle grief indulged: their hands did not hang down; but with untiring perseverance and resolution, they paid all the expenses of his illness and funeral, and endeavoured to pursue their occupation as usual. There were now four sisters constantly employed, and the difficulty was to know when they would be able to accomplish all they had to do. Five o'clock in summer seldom found them in bed, and the night was often far spent when they retired to rest. Two of the sisters soon became as industrious in their religion as in their earthly calling. Oh, that Christians would but remember to be 66 diligent in business as well as « fervent in spirit!". It is not running from place to place, neg. lecting family duties, that proves our love to God and his service; but it is “patient continuing in well doing,” or, as our Catechism beautifully expresses it, “not to covet or desire other men's goods; but to learn and labour truly to get mine own living, and to do my duty in that state of life unto which it shall please God to call me.” The sisters were both lovely, but very different, in character. K. was reserved in disposition. S. was open as the day; her faith was firm, her hope was as an anchor, sure and stedfast. K., on the other hand, saw herself a sinner, almost too great for pardon; but she looked still to the Cross, and trusted to her Saviour alone for that measure of comfort which it seemed good to Him to give. S. soon began to suffer from what she feared was a cancer. Her fears proved too true, and she had to submit in a few weeks to a most painful operation. I saw her before the event took place. There was the same cheerful, holy confidence, and, with her usual sweet smile, she bade me farewell, saying, “You will pray for me: it is the Lord, let him do as seemeth Him best.” She bore the operation well; but in the night some of the ligatures gave way, and copious hæmorrhage took place, which caused great weakness. She recovered, however, and returned home; and though looking extremely delicate, she was able to work as before without inconvenience. When I returned home, I found poor K. very ill with dropsy, and many fears were entertained for her life. She was restored to some degree of health, and all dropsical symptoms gave way to medical treatment. She was patient, thankful, and hopeful, and evidenced the power of God in enabling her to cast all her care on Him. In a short period both sisters were pronounced in consumption, and their medical attendant knew not which would be called first. They slept in the same room, and read the Bible together; and S. would point out many precious promises to K., to strengthen her faith. Poor K. was taken first, and when near her death, was greatly encouraged by her sister. The faith and patience of S. B— held out to the last. Her only regret was, that she could no more assist her dear sisters ; but they were more than thankful that they were permitted to administer to the temporal comfort of the afflicted ones. What a lesson is this to many! Look at this family. I never heard a murmur from any one of them. No; they were too much occupied in doing their duty, to indulge in idle complaining,
If this short memorial of K. and S. B-should stir up any to cheerfulness and diligence in duty, and resignation in affliction and difficulties, then a good purpose has been answered. I will just add, that, at the present time, there are only remaining two of the once large family mentioned in this paper. I trust that all the rest
sleep in Jesus," and that those still spared will press on to join them, so that they may be a family in heaven.
THERE are few subjects so unwelcome to some as that of debt. And the reason is, they are in debt themselves, and feel uneasy under the guilt they are accused of, while still they are not willing to make an effort to save themselves from the disgrace, and their creditors from the loss and injury which their imprudence has caused. But it is said, that there never was more need to speak about it than there is at this present time. In the first place, there is a great deal of debt in the country just now, because last winter there was a great scarcity both of provisions and money,consequently large bills were run up at the baker's, the butcher's, and the grocer's; the second cause, however, why a word of counsel is now particularly seasonable, is, that in many places, especially in country villages, this year, there is plenty and prosperity : so that those who are in debt for last winter's consumption, ought to pay off a good large score this winter, as well as from the wages of the summer and harvest which are past. It ought only to be in the very greatest necessities that a Christian man should allow himself to get into debt at all. Why should a labouring man expect to pay better another week than this week, if he has always much about the same wages ? And if he cannot now pay a debt of ten shillings, how can he expect to pay
better a debt of twenty shillings? If he reflects upon this, he will never ask credit to any amount beyond a few shillings. If any one goes much beyond that, and ventures upon such an imprudent step as to have a pound or two against him in any of the tradesmen's books, he may be sure that he has no real intention of ever paying; and that is neither more nor less than intending to have for nothing all that he buys of them, or, in plain words, intending to steal. He thinks only of himself: he thinks nothing of the tradesman's interest and loss : he loves himself; he hates his neighbour, and tries to get all he can out of him. This is the plain truth about the chief debts which labouring families run up. They have no right to be on the books at all. They should always have their money in their hands when they go to the shop; and if from having to buy an article of clothing one week, or any other extra thing, they have rather less money left than at another time, it would be wisdom and prudence to live more plainly that week, and with great self-denial, rather than begin a debt which it will give them great trouble to pay. The evil day will come, when pay they must, and have no more credit at the shop; and the difficulty they will feel at having to pay a large sum all at once will be so great, that it is worth some present privation to avoid it. Perhaps the best counsel that could be given them would be, not to have any meat that week in which their pockets are low, or to deny themselves butter or sugar, or something else, and live almost on bread only, so that they pay for
all, and have no debt on their back to weigh them down afterwards. How happy and comfortable will the following week be, after this wise and honest plan has been followed, when they find they have all their wages their own, and can with safety buy a few more comforts than on the last, and enjoy them with a good conscience! So long as we are beforehand we may enjoy what God gives us ; but directly we are behind hand we cannot enjoy any thing, or ought not to do so, for God does not then give it us; we take it ourselves, without the mearts of having it honestly.
HOW TO TURN LEAD INTO GOLD. Some hundred years ago, there was a notion in this country, and in other countries, that there was a way of turning the base metals into richer ones, by certain methods which they called alchemy. Some of the men who were called learned in those days, fancied that there was a sort of stone which would help them in this work; and these wise people puzzled their heads for a long time to find out this famous “Philosopher's stone." We may be pretty sure that they never found it. A wiser man than any of them, who called himself “ Poor Richard,” showed that there was a way of doing this; and he explained to the people the right way of setting about it. "If a man is industrious to earn money,
and careful against throwing it away foolishly after he has got it, in time his halfpence become shillings, and his shillings become pounds; and thus it is that we see many a careful and sober man brought into a very comfortable and respectable station in life, although he began with nothing but his own industry. So Poor Richard told the people, that “ Industry was the true Philosopher's stone."
“Get what you can, what you get hold:
That's the stone that will turn all your lead into gold.” It is true that this masim may have led people to a covetous, griping disposition. To have such a disposition is a great deal worse than being poor. But the rule, properly understood, may keep many a man from want and beggary, and make him ashamed of being a burden on others, when, by proper diligence and care, he was quite able to take care of himself. Many a hårdworking man has to pay to the poor-rates to support
his next-door neighbour, a careless and extravagant fellow, who has brought himself to poverty by idleness of drunkenness, or by any of those ways by which, instead of turning lead into gold-gold is turned into lead; and he has nobody to thank but himself for all his troubles.
HOW TO TURN GOLD INTO LEAD.
Nobody seems to desire this; but many people are