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with more satisfaction than they receive the report of his improved health; as they calculate on gathering up the spoils which he will necessarily leave to be divided amongst them. No! if I envy any, I envy the man whose heart is made of tenderness; who feels that it is more blessed to give than to receive; who is the living and the active representative of Him who went about doing good; whose ear is familiar with the tale of woe; and whose spirit goes forth, like the angel of mercy from the throne of the Invisible, to minister sympathy and relief to the mourning widow or the child of
We had the pleasure of meeting at the Villa the Rev. Mr. Guion, and the Rev. Mr. S-, who was making a tour of charity on behalf of the Jews, and who was expected to preach in the evening for the Rev. Mr. Ingleby; when Mr. Llewellin narrated the tale of woe we had just heard, which had a powerful effect on all present.
Mr. Ingleby. "We can scarcely venture out amongst the members of society, without being convinced that this world is correctly denominated the valley of weeping. Some few, I grant, are permitted to live as in the land of Goshen, and have the light of the divine favour shining in their tents; but the great majority groan under the pressure of calamities which they have neither power to remove nor mitigate. In some respects we all suffer in common; but there are trials which the sufferer feels to be peculiar to himself. He mourns apart from the community of grief-deems himself an exile from general sympathy--and often utters the selftorturing exclamation, Woe is me, for I am undone !"
Mr. Guion. "I apprehend, Sir, that every mourner regards his afflictions as possessing some peculiarity which belongs exclusively to his own case."
Mr. Ingleby. "He may; but he may be mistaken. If he extend his inquiries, he may often meet with others who have sustained the same losses-who have been visited by the same bereavements - and who have endured the same calamities."
Mr. Guion. "But occasionally we meet with some whose accumulations of sorrow give them a pre-eminence in suffering. I have often seen a widow, surrounded
by her fatherless children; but I have never seen one whose history records such details of woe as the forlorn sufferer whose history we have just heard.”
Mr. Ingleby. "No. Hers, if not an unparalleled, is an extraordinary case; and it exhibits to us, in a form which cannot fail to impress even the most volatile, the instability of earthly possessions, and the progressive tendency of sin when it is indulged. Had her unfortunate husband had the scene of his ignominious death imprinted on his fancy in the visions of the first night after he returned from the billiard-room, he would have said, 'Is thy servant a dog that he should die in this manner?" But he was led on from one stage of evil to another, becoming more hardened as he became more depraved, till at length he fits himself for destruction."
Mr. Guion. But is it not surprising that men are so infatuated that they continue to pursue a course that must inevitably bring them and their families to ruin? Do they never pause to think of consequences? or do they derive so much real pleasure from the indulgence of their evil propensities as to counterbalance the tremendous risks they run?"
Mr. Llewellin. 'Yes, Sir, they often pause; as we can easily conceive the fell murderer does, before he executes his dreadful purpose; and they often think; but their thoughts trouble them:-they are the spectres of woe, the messengers of condemnation; they wring and torture the remaining sensibilities of the mind. Ah! could we trace the progress of that unhappy man who has just offered up his life to the injured laws of his country, bequeathing infamy to his family after having reduced them to beggary, we should possibly often see him alone-in agony--reproaching himself for his folly, his cruelty, his perfidy-resolving to break away from the fascinating charm which enslaved him-wringing his hands, and smiting his breast in the anguish of griefbetaking himself to prayer, and fixing the determination to redeem his character, and bring back the long-lost happiness of domestic life;-we should see him coming away from these high resolves and torturing reflections, invigorated and refreshed-pressing to his heart, still closer than ever, the wife and children of his youth— and rejecting with disdain the next temptation to evil.
But such is the fatal tendency of sin, when it has once gained an ascendancy over the mind, that these ‘compunctious visitations more. generally accelerate its triumph than destroy its power. I once knew a young man who had been enticed to a play. He was then introduced to a society of men whose avowed object was to corrupt each other. But he had not proceeded far in this path to ruin before he was overtaken by a storm of mental agony, which raged with such desolating fury, that his reason was driven from her seat-his health was sacrificed-and his life in danger. But it pleased the Father of Mercies to restore him. He now resolved never more to return to his former companions. He made the most solemn vows; and, that they might have a more powerful effect, he wrote them in the blank leaf of the Bible which his pious mother gave him, just before her departure to heaven. And yet, within one month after he had transcribed his solemn vow in the page of that holy book, he presided at one of their meetings; and from that fatal night he devoted himself to the service of sin."*
Mr. Ingleby. "It is to be regretted that when one is ruined by his evil course he does not perish alone; he generally takes down others with him to the abyss of misery. What sorrow and what infamy has this unhappy man entailed on his widow and children!"
Mr. Guion. 66 But, Sir, ought we to discard a child because his father has been unfortunate? or exile a widow from the charities of life because her husband has been depraved?"
Mr. Ingleby. "Certainly not. They have the
stronger claims on our compassion."
Mr. Roscoe. "There is, Sir," addressing himself to the venerable Mr. Ingleby, "a fine provision made, by the Author of our being, for objects of wretchedness, in that sympathy which is implanted in almost every bosom. It is true, that some have lived to see this native charm of the human character despoiled of its ex cellence; and they have sunk down into that mental callousness which the most plaintive notes, or the deepest moans have been incapable of softening. They are as
If the reader wishes to know how this young man died he may see No. 7 of this Series, page 10.
composed in an hospital, where disease is wasting away the health and the strength of the young, and the aged, as in the shady retreat of a rural scenery; and send from their presence the child of sorrow with as much disdain as an upright judge would reject the fee of bribery."
Mr. Stevens. "I have often observed, with considerable regret, that too much familiarity with the objects of wretchedness has a tendency to injure the finer sensibilities of the most humane and compassionate."
Mr. Ingleby. "Why, Sir, the spirit of deception is abroad, and it often attempts to practise its insidious arts upon us. When detected, it not only excites indignation against the impostor, but awakens suspicion which impeaches the testimony of the virtuous sufferer. And as it is by an imperceptible process that every passion gains an ascendancy over our minds, the most humane sometimes sustain a material moral injury while unconscious of having received any demoralizing impression. I would not have benevolence entirely free from suspicion, but I would not have her uniformly governed by it. I remember once being deeply affected by a tale of woe, and instantaneously afforded all the relief in my power; but on inquiry I found that it was fictitious and such was the influence it assumed over my mind, that I refused listening to the next applicant, whom I afterwards discovered to be an heir of glary in the depths of trouble."
Mr. Guion. "It is a question with some whether we should, in this country, where there is a legal provision made for the destitute, ever contribute any private charity?"
"And some are for the entire abolition of this legal provision, leaving them entirely dependent on the resources of private charity."
Mr. Ingleby. "The provision which the State has very wisely and humanely made for their assistance, was never intended to supersede the necessity of private charities. This provision is made by Acts of Parliament; but will a good man consent that the representatives of the nation shall vote out benevolence from the commuity of feeling by a numerical majority? Shall the powers of this world strip the religion of a better of one
of its brightest ornaments, by denying her the privilege of feeding the hungry-clothing the destitute-and redecming from wretchedness the outcast children of misery by the donations of her wealth? Oh no!"
Mr. Guion. "But the noblest charity is sometimes maligned by the spirit of this world. Hence we have many, who rank high in the scale of benevolence, who will press forward with their liberal donations when the temporal wants of others are to be supplied; but if you solicit their co-operation to supply their spiritual, you generally fail. They will subscribe for the support of an hospital or an infirmary, but not to a Sabbath School or a Missionary Society; or if, by the force of example, or the power of persuasion, they are induced to contribute, they seldom give in proportion to the importance of the institution."
Mr. Roscoe. "Nor, Sir, ought this to excite our surprise. But few, even in this Christian country, estimate the value of their own souls; but few perceive their moral danger; but few prize that restorative scheme of mercy which has been given to us by the inspiration of the Almighty. A death-like stillness pérvades the greater part of the community on the momentous question which ought to absorb the attention of every intelligent mind-What must I do to be saved? How, then, can we reasonably expect, that they who do not see the absolute necessity of scriptural truth for the promotion of their own happiness and moral improvement, will cordially co-operate with others in its diffusion? They assent, from education or custom, to the divine origin of Christianity, while they are ignorant of its nature and requirements; and as it is established by law, and every parish is provided with its church and its minister, they conclude that every exertion on the part of private individuals is a work of supererogation, The delusion, Sir, is as extensive as it is fatal; and how can it be expelled?"
Mr. Ingleby. "Only by Him who caused the light of morn to shine out of the darkness of chaos; and, as we now see the day-star rising, we may indulge the hope that ere long the Sun of Righteousness will shine forth in the greatness of his strength, and disperse the mists of ignorance and of error which envelope the