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mulated by poignant sauces, which heat and vitiate the blood, and render the body liable to distempers. Their excesses disturb their repose, and their children are afflicted with infirmities through the course of a languid life, which seldom reaches to old age.”
I come now to recreation. And here I must premise, that a morose gloominess is no part of Christianity. If the heirs of eternal glory be not cheerful, I know not who should be so. It is true that routs, balls, and assemblies have lost their power of delighting us, because at them we can neither give satisfaction nor receive it. Yet the friendship and conversation of the children of God much more than balance the loss of such frothy pleasures. It is more than probable you will not think, with the polite world, that it is worth your while to go fifty or a hundred miles to a horse-race; but still, in your library, in your garden, or in the field, you will find an ample compensation. A little reading and practice will give you a competent knowledge of botany. There you will learn, that the weeds you trample under your feet, and which perhaps you may look upon as useless cumberers of the ground, are so many alembics, in which the Almighty Physician prepares healing juices and remedies for mankind. If you choose to be more exquisitely, yet as innocently gratified, endeavour to improve your knowledge in the different parts of natural philosophy. It will not be difficult for you to obtain a general knowledge of astronomy, so far at least as to excite your admiration of the wisdom of that God who created, and who governs these innumerable worlds of light.
I have known you proud, Miranda, in telling me that your father did this or that; and I have commended the honest pleasure. But now you may take a survey of the august dome under which you are placed, and may cry out, when you view those stupendous bodies which per-' form their revolutions round the sun, together with those myriads of stars which probably are other suns surrounded by attendant worlds, All these were created by, and belong
to my Father! Do you think the finest opera-air ever gave such heart-felt pleasure as such a thought? No. In real delights, in the most sublime pleasures, Christians are more extravagant and luxurious than the most expensive prodigals.
It becomes those who are determined to serve either God and mammon, or God and pleasure, in the world's sense of that term, to remember Lot's wife. They look back with longing eyes upon the things of time and sense, as she looked back upon Sodom; and they will be made fearful monuments of his vengeance, who is a jealous God, and who will not suffer any to look behind them after having put their hand to the plough.
The amount of what I intended to say concerning the use of your
time is this. Let it be entirely spent in walking with God. Whether you are engaged in prayer, in reading the Scriptures, in meditation, in labour, in eating and drinking, or in recreation, let all be done to his glory. At the same time, beware of a spirit of formality and selfdependence; and trust only in the perfect obedience and atonement of the Son of God for eternal life. Wishing you to be much in earnest, as I trust you are, about the one thing needful, I continue,
My dear Miranda,
From Miss Eusebia Neville to Mrs. Worthington.
DEAR MADAM, I RECEIVED your kind letter, and have also seen your letter to Miss Barnwell. Your directions for the spending of time I have read with pleasure.
I feel my unhappiness more and more in being in a family where I can have no religious conversation, and where we look upon one another as travelling to everlasting perdition. My poor sister continues very unkind. She tells me that the bishops in the time of queen Mary. were too lenient; and that things would not have been at their present pass, if for every one whom they burnt they had burnt a thousand. I have no doubt, continued she, that the massacres, as they are called, at Paris, and other places, which these heretics make so much noise about, were deferred till every other method had proved ineffectual
This was part of the conversation this morning at breakfast. But I am glad to say that my father did not appear to relish these inhuman speeches. He enjoined my sister silence; and told her and father Albino, who was equally violent, that it was his own opinion, with deference however to those of better judgment, that the bishops had been too rash and precipitate, and that more gentle remedies would have been attended with better success. This point my father and the priest disputed for some time; and I am sorry to add, that my dear parent allowed, that when every other remedy had been long tried in vain, then, and not before, such unfruitful and pernicious trees ought to be cut down as cumberers of the ground. How different this from the gentle, meek, and benevolent spirit of the Redeemer! Our heavenly Father suffers long and is kind. And his only and well-beloved Son-went about doing good unto all, and evil to none; and with his dying breath prayed even for his murderers, saying, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. He is indeed the Prince of Peace. He suffers not his children to render evil for evil, but commands them to do good to, and pray for, their implacable enemies. When the Samaritans would not receive him, some of his disciples, too much in the spirit of antichrist, desired permission to command fire to come down from heaven to consume them; but he told them that they knew not what manner of spirit they were of.
Signior Albino justified his fiery zeal, by asserting that the heretics are enemies to all righteousness, and that
they who suffered in the reign of queen Mary were sinneps of the deepest dye, being the spawn of that arch-heretic Calvin.
And I suppose, Eusebia, said my father, you are what heretics call a Calvinist. My child, I would sooner be an atheist than a Calvinist.
Ah, my dear father, said I, you and my friends know not what you may yet be. The Lord of the universe frequently arrests us when we are upon the full career to destruc. tion. Saul, at the time that he was breathing out threatenings against the friends of Jesus, was stopped by an almighty hand; and he never forgot the distinguishing mercy.
And pray, said Signior Albino, what was the reason that St. Paul obtained mercy? He himself assigns it ;-he tells us that what he did was done ignorantly in unbelief.
And did not, replied I, his fellow-travellers, and the greatest part of his nation, reject the Messiah, through ignorance and unbelief as well as he? How was it then that he only found mercy, and not they also ?
What, cried my sister angrily, would you persuade us that every body may not be saved if they will ?
By no means, replied I; it any person is willing to be saved by Jesus Christ, that person is in fact already saved.
My mouth was stopped by my father's telling me, that these were things with which we had no concern; and that the church had wisely kept the Scriptures out of the hands of the common people. Father Albino applauded the observation, and finished the conversation by gravely asserting, that the Bible had made more heretics than all the books in the world besides.
My thoughts almost continually dwell on my dear Miranda. How unwisely has Mr. Barnwell acted! He and Mrs. Barnwell are now at Bath, where she has lost at play upwards of two hundred pounds. My father told us he was informed of this by a friend of his just come from that place. Miranda did not choose to go, so that I cannot tell whether she knows of it yet. Poor girl, how unhappy must she be in such a family.
Gaming is a vice which springs from idleness and covetousness. Time, though it be so precious, hangs upon the hands of the indolent. Unwilling to employ themselves as they ought, they have recourse to gaming. When they are become dexterous at this idle amusement, then covetousness steps in, and informs them how they may gratify their thirst for gain. Well! this is a vice which no Christian, I think, runs any hazard of falling into. If Christianity only taught its votaries to be content with such things as they have, it would be infinitely useful to mankind. I must say in behalf of my father, that he always abhorred gaming. He often remarks, when he sees people playing at cards, that he looks upon them as pickpockets and highwaymen in the bud; and that the best reason which can be assigned for their conduct is, their being unqualified to bear a part in any profitable conversation. So much does he despise gaming of every kind, that he never would have a ticket in the lottery. It is a way of raising money, he says, which is calculated to make servants rob their masters; and to make debtors rob their creditors, by laying out that money in tickets with which they ought to pay their debts. Indeed, Madam, my father is an excellent man in many respects. The great certainty he has of his being sincere, is the principal reason that he cannot doubt the truth of his sentiments : whereas sincerity, merely of itself, does not prove us to be either right or wrong. A mussulman may be sincere. Many of the Jews were sincere in crucifying Christ. Yea, a man may be sincerely wicked. Sincerity is only valua. ble when it is the fruit of divine teaching, and when it manifests itself in a steady adherence to the words of the apostles and prophets.
The religion of protestants is another thing which con. firms him in his sentiments. And, indeed, I cannot pray that he should become such a protestant as the generality of protestants are ; for of what use is it to protest against the errors of the church of Rome, if, instead of false reli. gion, we substitute no religion, as it must be confessed