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did several things, which, though they seemed nothing particular at the time, afterwards came fresh to my mind, and left a lasting impression there. The old man had been evidently failing in strength for several months. He was not insensible to the fact, nor unwilling to admit it. At nearly fourscore years of age, Anthony had been enabled to say, almost as Moses did, and he said it with a like feeling of humble gratitude and entire consecration, “My eye is not dim, neither is my natural force abated" There was no vainglorious boasting of what he could do; but my uncle often observed that Anthony still did a better day's work than many a young man.
A liberal provision for old age had long been secured to Anthony by his considerate master, and it had been repeatedly proposed to him to relinquish work, and retire to enjoy repose and leisure. But Anthony loved work, and felt himself happier in his regular employment, than in altogether abandoning it. He loved reading, but he could not read all day long. He had a few neighbours on whom he liked occasionally to call, and by whom his calls were highly valued ; but he could not spend all his time in visiting. These things he had been accustomed to regard as recreations, and to find leisure for them in the shreds and patches of time, which, by early rising, and methodizing his work, he contrived to afford; and it seemed to him that he could both gain more good, and do more good, by adhering to his old allotment of time, giving his days to work, and his odd minutes to other pursuits, than, as he expressed it, by “setting up for a gentleman, and not knowing what to set about next.”
So the old man still remained at his post, my kind uncle taking care to slip in such additional subordinate assistance as secured him against being overburdened with work.
But, unwilling as Anthony had been to relinquish work for the sake of personal repose, he no sooner began to feel himself unable fully to discharge his accustomed duties, than he was anxiously desirous that a successor should be engaged, and that his master's work should neither be neglected, nor he continue to receive a salary which he did not earn.
“I had better give up, sir,” said Anthony, “lest my example should do harm. If there is nobody properly to look after them, the youngsters may get into a habit of slighting their work ; and if they see me do but half a day's work, and yet receive my pay and satisfy my master, they may think half a day's work is enough for them to do."
“ You will not do harm to others, Anthony, I am quite certain,” replied my uncle : “my only concern is that you do not over exert yourself. You fully meet my wishes if you just look round, and give orders, and indoctrinate the rising hands into your methods, which have been so successful and satisfactory; and while you cannot help manifesting to them the regard you feel for my interest and gratification, there is no danger whatever of their learning from you, either indolence or eye service.”
From that time, it was an understood thing that Anthony was still to maintain his post as head gardener, his duties being almost entirely transferred from actual labour to superintendence and instruction. He could not help now and then
taking the spade or the hoe out of the hands of a young man who held it awkwardly, or plied it lazily, and just showing him how men used to work when he was young; but he was more frequently found explaining to the men the best methods of performing the various operations of gardening, recommending the best sorts for propagation, and pressing upon them the importance of watching opportunities in the weather, and observing stated times for particular performances. I have heard him say, if certain seeds were sown earlier or later than such a time, the plants would be sure to run; if some things were not set between such and such days, they would be destroyed by the wire worm,
similar observations, the results of long experience; and he often enforced his injunctions with the remark, “ Now do pay attention to this ; for perhaps it may be the last time that I shall be here to remind you of it.” I have known the young men laugh at old Anthony's whims, as they called them ; but have also known that the failures he predicted actually resulted from a neglect of his directions.
Anthony was not less assiduous in pressing on those to whom his influence might be supposed to extend, attention to greater matters than the successful cultivation of a garden-integrity, fidelity, truth, temperance, choice of companions, observance of the sabbath, present decision in religion. He would speak of the happiness resulting from a right course of conduct in these particulars, and the misery inseparably connected with the way of transgressors. These addresses, too, he would wind up with some such sentiment as this, “ Now, my dear young master, (or my lad, as the case might
and so you
be,) do not forget this. Through the course of a long life, old Anthony has proved the truth of this; and if this should be the last time of his speaking to you, as it very likely may, he would wish to leave the impression on your mind that it is true,
will surely find it, if you should live as long, or twice as long, as he has done. Take this for old Anthony's last saying : The way of transgressors is hard ; but wisdom's ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
The old man kept about as usual. One Saturday evening he paid all the men. They afterwards remarked that that evening he took special care to see that all the frames were properly closed, and all the tools put away. It might be so, though he could hardly be more careful than he habitually was; but people are apt to notice things afterwards. And that night he gave to each a word of exhortation, which seemed particularly solemn, and took leave of them with good wishes that seemed particularly tender and earnest—when it proved that that time was the last. For soon afterwards, he retired to his chamber, and next morning was found dead upon his knees, with his Bible
open before him. On hearing of the old man's death, I recollected that the last time I saw him, my uncle and he were talking together of the happiness of being found ready whenever the summons of death might come. I believe the conversation originated in some instance of sudden or accidental death that had recently occurred. Anthony mentioned the strong confidence and triumph expressed by a friend of his, who habitually prayed when he went to rest at night, that if it were the will of God, he might wake in heaven.
said Anthony,“ is essential to readiness for death, it has never yet been attained by me ; but I know whom I have trusted, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed to him against that day. Let that day come how and when he please, I hope then to be found in him nothing else I have, or depend on, or desire ; and more than this I cannot say.”
“Nor need you desire to say,” returned my uncle. Preparedness for death and heaven doe's not consist in rapturous frames and feelings, but in simplicity of dependence, and sanctification of heart. The soul that relies on Christ alone for pardon and acceptance, and that lives far above the highest possessions and pleasures of this world, while not disdaining its humblest duties, possesses, I conceive, the most unequivocal evidence of preparation for a better. I have often been pleased with the anecdote related by Dr. Doddridge, who, calling on one of his people, a tanner, found him in the tan-pit with his arms stripped, washing hides, and at the same time singing a hymn. The good man apologized for being found by his minister in such a situation. And how,' asked the minister in reply, 'can a Christian be better found, than with his heart employed in humble praise, and his hands in useful labour? For my part, I desire no more, than that
Master, when he comes, may find me so doing.'
“Sir,” said Anthony to my uncle, “ you have spoken of having the heart raised above the world ; that is a great attainment. I am afraid, when we think we know anything of it, we mean the world that does not belong to us—not the world that does : at least it is so with me. I find