« PoprzedniaDalej »
6 I never
ridiculing some pious people, who passed by her on their way to the house of God, and boast, that since her marriage, a period of twelve or fourteen years, she had never entered the church door, except when she had occasion to go to be churched. Her brother-in-law, a pious clergyman, entreated her to forbear ; and, if she had no regard for her own soul, to consider the injury that such conversation might inflict on the souls of her children; and the remorse that she would probably feel on her dying bed, in looking back on the influence of her language and example. Her reply was, care for what parsons say ; they are paid for saying it. As for death, I do not choose to think about it. I should like to live—two hundred years
long as ever I can; but without growing older than I now am. And then, if I must die, I should wish to die and know nothing about it ; but at any rate I will not care about it now.” «•I don't care' what he
be true for what I know; but he is no better than other people, and I do not see why I should mind him.” It is a pity that the advocates of truth should ever weaken their cause by the loss of personal respect. But still it is great folly to reject what is true, and good, and valuable, on account of the channel through which it comes. Good news may be brought by a leper, 2 Kings vii. 9. A wise man, for his own sake, will examine the testimony, and act
the truth. There is the “Don't care” of despair. “Things are come to such a pass, that it is impossible for them to be mended. I don't care what becomes of me.” This is sad and sinful, as well as most distressful state of feeling. It is, however, in all
cases, a delusion, though in some a fatal delusion. Does the desperate expression refer to worldly circumstances?
“ Beware of desperate stops; the darkest day,
Live till to-morrow, will have pass'd away." Think of the power of God, who can turn the shadow of death into the morning. The case cannot be more desperate than that of Jonah, who was yet brought up from the belly of hell, to sing, “ Salvation is of the Lord,” Jonah ii. 9. Does the expression of despondency refer to the salvation of the soul? Instead of giving up in hopeless despair, think of the Saviour's boundless love and grace ; listen to his call,
“ Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth,” Isa. xlv. 22. Say, “ The call must needs be addressed to me, for I am not beyond the ends of the earth;" and, “ From the end of the earth will I
unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed : lead me to the rock that is higher than I,” Psa. lxi. 2.
WHAT WE HAVE BEEN USED TO,
AND WHAT WE EXPECTED.
I have frequently been led to observe, and indeed to experience, that a very large portion of human misery results from the disappointment of expectations which we never ought to have entertained. Hence, in the moment of sorrow and disappointment, our trouble is frequently aggravated by the internal conviction of reason and conscience, perhaps by the ill-timed retort of officious friendship, How could you expect any otherwise ? How could you indulge such groundless expectations ?
In one of my school vacations, a family party was formed to visit the lakes of Westmoreland and Cumberland. During our stay at Keswick, I accompanied my uncle and Mrs. Mortimer in a ride to a ladies' school, a few miles distant, where my cousin was charged with some commissions to the daughters of a friend, who, on account of distance from home, remained there during the holidays. The young ladies were quite as much pleased as school girls usually are, with the visits of friends and communications from home; they
were, however, disposed to avail themselves of the liberty of speech afforded them by the absence of their governess, (who politely withdrew soon after introducing her pupils,) to pour forth complaints of the restrictions and regulations of school, which were by no means agreeable to them : and they particularly requested Mrs. Mortimer to inform their mamma, that things were very different from what they had expected—not at all what they had been used to. My uncle and cousin exchanged glances, which at once conveyed to my mind the impression of their being rather sceptical as to the reality of the grievances. Perhaps they felt some embarrassment in steering clear of either encouraging a spirit of discontent and insubordination, or neglecting to listen to just complaints in order to obtaining redress. The questions and remarks of their friends, elicited from the young ladies a full concession that there was no deficiency in kindness or attention on the part of their preceptress; nothing wanting that was really essential to their health, comfort, or improvement; and yet they declared themselves far from comfortable, and quite certain that they should make no progress in their education. As far as I can recollect, at this distance of time, the domestic grievances complained of were
-thick bread and butter ; butter rather too salt; plain rice puddings without sauce ; a regular time allowed for undressing, and then the candle removed from each bed chamber ; each young lady required to make her own bed, and no distinction allowed between young ladies who had been accustomed to the most genteel style of living, and those who were merely tradesmen's or farmers' daughters. The enumeration of these items was
accompanied with some touching appeal, as, “You know, ma'am, it is what we have never been used
“We never expected any thing like this and I am sure mamma would not approve of it.” “ Did you ever hear of such a thing ?” etc.
Mrs. Mortimer heard all patiently ; but it was evident that she did not sympathize with her young friends in many of their complaints. Her remarks in reply, though couched in the gentlest terms, tended to direct their attention to their own vanity, pride, and self-indulgence, as the real causes of their discontent. She really could not consider any one of the matters specified as worthy to be considered a hardship. Simple food and regular hours were most conducive to health ; and the improved appearance of the young ladies fully estabÎished the beneficial effects of their present system on themselves. The cultivation of habits of useful activity she considered one of the most important branches of education ; and the equal blending of young persons well disposed and well instructed, though not of precisely the same rank and habits, was advantageous, rather than otherwise, as tending to enlarge the views, to call into exercise the benevolent dispositions, and to correct the too common, but, wherever it exists, the mean and vulgar prejudice, of supposing that wisdom, goodness, respectability, and politeness, are confined to any one particular rank or class of people.
The first class of objections set aside, the young ladies proceeded to express their utter disapprobation of the modes of tuition in Mrs. 's establishment. It was so very unlike what they had been used to, and so very different from what they had expected. Among other causes of dissatis