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So excellent a friend would be a severe stroke to me, though she, I doubt not, would be an infinite gainer.
I am, my dear Eusebia,
From Miss Eusebia Neville to Miss Barnwell.
MY DEAR MIRANDA, Our friend Thomas found an opportunity to give me your letter the day after he received it; but I have been so much employed in transcribing, in packing up my clothes, and in attending to other matters, that I have scarcely time to write to you before we set off. I entreat my friend to unite her prayers with mine that I may be kindly received by my brother. But I have learned to draw small expectations from that, or indeed from any other quarter. My hopes are entirely placed on him who can make the wolf dwell with the lamb, and the leopard lie down with the kid.
To-morrow, with the divine permission, we shall begin our journey. There will be only my father, Signior Albino, and myself, beside the footman. My sister has been very poorly with a cold for this week past, and the journey would have been put off a little time on her account; but she desired it might not, as she should hear how her brother did, with which she should endeavour to satisfy herself. She also told my father, that she dreaded crossing the sea, and the more so as the time approached.
I am not sorry my sister does not go; for I am obliged to confess, that she has taken every method to show her unkind, ness to me, on account of my heresy, as she calls it. This has grieved me very much, it being a dreadful thing to may
persecute the servants of Christ. We well
say con cerning such, that they know not what they do. It is a hard matter to make war with him out of whose mouth goes a two-edged sword. It is indeed good to be zealous; but how necessary is it to take care that our zeal be regulated by knowledge.
You may depend upon hearing from me as soon as possible. I shall direct my letters to Mrs. Worthington ; but you must not expect them to be very long. I am not afraid to cross the water. I consider that there is an appointed time to man upon earth, and that his days are like the days of a hireling. Whether the transition from time to eternity take place by sea or land, is in my esteem a matter of small importance.
You would wonder if I were to take no notice of what you said about Mr. Charles Clifford. I can only observe, that, if he is really become a Christian, I am exceedingly glad for his sake. My mind is too much employed about other things to think of marrying or being given in marriage.
It would have given me singular pleasure to see my dear Miranda before I undertook this long journey : but as I cannot obtain that satisfaction without giving my friends uneasiness, it may be prudent to defer it to some happier period. Before you receive this, I shall, if God permit, be on the road to St. Omer's.
Commending you to the Father of mercies, I am, with sincere respect,
My dear friend,
From Miss Barnwell to Mrs. Worihington.
DEAR MADAM, Our dear Eusebia set off on Monday last to see her brother, in the company of her father, Signior Albino, and the footman. I am under no apprehension that they will be able to persuade her to take the veil; and with regard to force, I am persuaded her father is a person of too much honour and veracity to think of breaking his word.
The day after she set off, a letter was brought me by Thomas Livingstone. I was walking in the closes which border on the lane leading towards the Abbey, and saw the good man through the hedge, mounted on his ass, and coming toward the Hall. I called to him, and found, as I expected, that he had a letter for me.
Ah, Thomas, cried I, is it not some mortification to you, who have seen better days, or at least more affluent, to ride on an animal which the world have agreed to account disreputable ?
Miss, replied he, stroking the neck of his beast, a Chris. tian would seldom err, if, in most things, he determined to go counter to the judgment of the multitude. For my part, I esteem the lion, the elephant, the horse, and even the ox, less honourable than the despised ass. The ass has been ennobled beyond all other creatures by him who is the fountain of honour. The Lord of glory made his public entry into his kingdom here below upon this humble animal. He is on this account esteemed by Christians to be superior in dignity to the whole brute creation besides, notwithstanding he is despised by mankind in general; who, aspiring after grand and magnificent things, are not disposed to take the yoke, and to follow the example of the lowly Jesus.
Well, Thomas, said I, but you would have some regard paid to decorum. If, for instance, you were in a state of
affluence, you would rather be ashamed of your honest companion, would you not?
I shall never have the trial, Miss, answered he ; but certainly were I capable of being affected with shame on such an account, I should have just reason to be ashamed No, I hope I shall never think it beneath me to ride upon
the same kind of creature which my Lord and master rode upon. With regard to the decorum you speak of, Christians ought to remember that the customs of the people are vain. The fashionable and extravagant vices of the day are exceedingly alarming; and if the destruction of Sodom was owing to pride, idleness, and fulness of bread, we have reason to believe that the same cause will pro. duce the same effect in this kingdom. Besides, you will find, my dear friend, that mankind in general will as much despise those whom the Redeemer chooses out of the world, as they possibly can despise the beast he rode on. Christians are no more scandalized at the ass on which he rode, than at the manger which first received him, the cross on which he expired, or his subsisting on the alms of his pious followers. We shall be happy in proportion as our minds are brought to be meek and lowly, and to resemble the Lamb of God. The proud man is a self-tor. mentor. If he think himself overlooked, or disregarded, :it is more than he can bear. But the Christian expects no better treatment: and when he is despised, and his name is cast out as evil, for the sake of Jesus, he bears it patiently, and even joyfully, knowing that his reward is great in heaven.
I told my kind instructor, that I approved of all he had said. And, indeed, my dear aunt, if you knew but half the unkind treatment I have met with, you would not think these observations improperly timed. I was loath to part with Thomas; for how different is his conversation from that which, I hear at home, where I am afraid the most High is never thought of from one week's end to another, nor mentioned except in a vain and too frequently in a blasphemous manner.
I have been hesitating whether I had best tell my aunt, that, for these four days past, I have lived in the kitchen with the servants, and have not been suffered to come into my father's presence. I expect that he will never suffer me to come near him any more.
I have already told you, that I have frequently had an opportunity of hearing Mr. Lowe. Mr. Law heard of it, and told my father that he was surprised at his letting me associate with such poor people. He came home exceedingly angry, and told me that he never thought he should bring up a child to be guilty of any thing so mean. He added that he was going to make his will that afternoon, and, unless I promised never to enter a meeting again, would leave me only a shilling; and that if I continued to put myself upon a level with such a rabble, I must not think of being his companion ; for he knew his rank and station in life better than to be an associate of those who had no virtuous pride, and who manifested a meanness of spirit which placed them beneath contempt.
I could not speak for weeping. My father exclaimed two or three times, Well, Madam, am I to expect an an. swer? At this moment Mrs. Barnwell came in, and said, that she always thought obedience to parents was a capital article of religion. Indeed, Madam, I can perceive that she does' every thing in a covert manner to set my father against me. I replied, that my father was sufficiently angry without her saying any thing to enrage him. Upon this she flew into a passion, and said that Mr. Barnwell was too good natured by half; that he had humoured me till I was headstrong; that she would care no more about me ; and that he must take it for his pains. This exasperated him still more ; and he took an oath, that, unless I would that minute promise that I would never enter a meeting again, I should never eat nor drink any more in his presence, nor presume to come into his company. I begged him to consider, that his requiring such a promise was laying me under a necessity of disobeying him. I understand you, Madam, said he ; I beg you to walk down