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luxuriant in life and beauty; and the voices of ma-1 had been disturbed by the fluctuations of hope and nifold birds, happy beyond utterance, were pouring fear, relative to her proposed plans of employment. out the living strains of joy, love, and harmony. While there was a reasonable prospect of effecting Our children, as happy as they, were playing on them, she resolved they should be effected; and the daisied lawn; and the elder one frequently run- now that prospect was completely veiled, she rening across the path of his aunt, aware of her in- signed them with meekness. In either alternative, firmity, challenged her with an amusing mixture her strength of character was brought to severe of fear and confidence to catch him.
trial; and it was nobly sustained. In her love of But Martha's mind was too highly wrought to be independence, there was nothing of pride or caplayful; it was dwelling with uncommon interest price: in her reliance on her friends, there was noon all the sounds and sights by which she was sur-ihing of careless obtrusion, or of sullen regret; her rounded. She too was happy ; but it was a trou- reliance was exercised only as it was necessary; bled happiness; it was the happiness we feel in the and then it was exercised with a truly delicaie, presence of a friend from whom we are about to be cheerful, and obliging confidence. Her mind was separated. I understood her state of feeling; and not under the intiuence of worldly opinion in this winding away from the little prattlers, we pursued conduct; it was regulated by Christian and conour path in silence, which was only broken by sim- scientious motive; and those who are ruled by any ple remarks on the objects before us. She carefully thing less, will undoubtedly fail in this double test visited all her favorite plants; she spoke of many of character. of them with more admiration than ever before; Of course it became my duty and pleasure to and we jointly paid them any little attention which throw round Martha's confinement what comforts I they happened io require.
could command. We had previously sent the childPained and wearied by her exertion, I led her to ren down to her; and now, to render her situation her chosen seat for repose. It was embowered in less solitary and inconvenient, we determined to the fresh and thick spreading foliage of the nearer make it a partial residence; with the understanding trees; and the last rays of the sun were glowing on that I would see as much of her as my public duties the trunks of the more distant ones. The whole permitted. This arrangement operated most benescene was becoming more calm and peaceful; and ficially on the mind of the beloved invalid. She iwilight was touching all things with its own soft now felt the cottage to be entirely a home to her; and pensive hues. Martha fed upon it in quiet and for her amusement, she took a share in the doecstasy. “How beautiful it is !-How beautiful it mestic management of the little family. This is!" she repeated; while the play of the muscles brought her necessarily into communication with round her lips showed with what mixed and strong the servants; and, as the children and Maria were emotion her heart was filled.
mostly with her, she was effectually relieved from Quite unwilling to shorten her pleasures, I yet every sentiment of desertion or banishment. feared the effect of excitement, and proposed re- If ever this sentiment possessed her, it was under tiring to the cottage. “One more walk, brother,” other circumstances. It would be on the holy Sab was her reply: "Nature is so beautiful to-night.” bath, which called away the members of her house. We took another walk-and another. At length hold to the higher services of the sanctuary. It her measure of strength was exhausted, and we was then she would feel that she was shut up from turned towards our quiet habitation. Her
the house of God and the people of God, whom she caught the latticed window of the room to which loved ; and frequently, when the children, with she was about to ascend, and from which she might Maria, came in dressed to take their parting kiss, never come down! The big tears started from her the silent tear would fall and mix with the emeyelids, and were suppressed again. We approach- braces. Yet she did not waste sacred time in useed the entrance; her spirit recoiled from it, like the less regrets. She regulated the movements of those bird from its cage.
One last look, brother !" said about her on this revered day with the watch in her she, as she turned round on the spot which had so hand, and was particularly careful that no one often contributed to her innocent gratification. She should leave too late for the very commencement looked again and again; and then, mastering her of public worship. feelings, she turned resolutely away, and passed For herself, she generally sought lo occupy the into her dwelling. It was indeed the iast look she time similarly to what she supposed those were doing was taking, and she was entering her habitation to who were more privileged; and she often found
pleasure and assistance in reflecting, that her engagemenis were those of the manifold congrega
tions of the saints. While she was thus holding a CHAPTER XX.
spiritual communion with the church of the living INSTRUCTION. 1820.
God, it was unattended with any reproaches of conHow commonly are events the very reverse of science; she had never trifled with the means, while what we expect ihem to be! Those occurrences they were in her power. It had, indeed, been often which we are looking for with restless expectation, painful to see what she endured in giving her alare charged with disappointment and vexation; tendance; but it was continued to the very last. and those which we wait for with shuddering fear, Although the chapel to which she had to go was bring with them "blessings in disguise.” Martha not a hundred paces from her present abode, the could not enter on the measure which she was now last time it received her she was above twenty miadopting without anxiety and alarm. It was cer- nutes in reaching it; and was throughout the serrainly wise and remedial; but the very idea of con- vice distressed with pain from the exertion. finement, for at least many months, could not be re- Martha was now thrown very much into new ceived without pain. Yet, no sooner was the expe- circumstances, compared with those in which we riment made, than half the terrors which surround- lasi traced her efforts of usefulness, and she was ed it were dissipated ; and very considerable ad- anxious to turn them to account. But it will provantages were as quickly enjoyed. The irritation bably be inquired, “What could she do ?" Those which had attended exertion passed off; her sleep, who have followed her history thus far will be preher appetite, and her tone of spirits were restored; pared to admit, that the devoted inclination to do and suffering only " ordinary pain,” she was ready good may remain, while they will be disposed 10 to think she suffered nothing.
question the present ability and opportunity. Her mind also returned to that equanimity which But it may generally be said, that those who will
come out no more.
do good shall do good; so much are the will and was preventing what had been already cultivated the act, in this case, identified, that we have insensi- from sinking into weedy desolation. bly learned to designate both' by one name, which Her next concern was to improve her situation, literally is of more limited accepiation-benevolence. as the centre round which her little household was Certainly no situation could promise much less of revolving. The servants were in her estimation an continued and successful effort than Martha's at important charge; and, while they were ministerthis period; she was always a sufferer, frequently a ing to her in carnal things, she was desirous of revery considerable one ; she was confined, not only warding them by those which are spiritual. She to her chamber, but to her bed; and, by her change laid down simple plans of reading and conversaof dwelling, she was cut off from some little facili- tion, which were rendered as pleasing as they were ties for usefulness which her intimate acquaintance likely to be profitable; and certainly she did not with the former hamlet of the village supplied. labor in vain. Thus circumstanced, if it shall be found that she But the children were the particular objects of was able to give efficiency to her predominant de- her domestic attention. Living now, as they mostsires, the conclusion may fairly be, that none, even ly did, in her presence, and contributing largely to in privation, sickness, and seclusion, are deprived her recreation, she had great delight in uniting with of the occasion, or exempt from the responsibility, their mother to superintend their early education; of doing what is emphatically "the work of our a period of instruction which, if it requires but litgeneration.” Let us pursue the inquiry.
tle of school accomplishment, cannot be rightly met In relinquishing what was impracticable in her without just views of human nature, and of the former benevolent pursuits, she did not indiscrimi- springs of human conduct. These views Martha nately abandon them all. Her affections and her had derived essentially from the Scriptures and habits were now so blended with the welfare and observation; they were enlarged and confirmed by society of children, that a prevalent concern was to the careful perusal and comparison of all the best preserve one class still for her instruction. It was treatises on the subject; and she had acquired a proper to confine it to those of her own sex; and, as peculiar aptitude in making them available by longmany respectable neighbors, who could readily give continued practice. a common education to their family, were anxiously
Yet it was not by any superior skill, or any marequesting admission for their children, Martha gic of method, beyond the limits of common acquihad an opportunity of selecting her objects, where sition, that her efforts were rendered successful; it her designs were most likely to be available. To was by the power of sympathy: Education was her and to her young pupils, the Sabbath afternoon never to her a formal task, and therefore it was not was the most favorable period, as they did not re- so to her little pupils. She put her heart into the emquire, and she did not desire to imparı, any other ploy, and made herself one with them. Sympathy than religious knowledge.
pervaded all she said and did, and became a key to In all her intercourse with children, Martha never
ihe understanding and the passions. By this myshad a more promising band of scholars than this. terious power she could call in the wandering alShe became most earnestly interested in their wel- tention, and touch the dormant affections; she could fare, and it was discovered so effectually, that they the temptation to disobedience; she could render
subdue the propensities to perversity, and anticipate soon formed towards her the strongest attachment. her authority the more effectual, by making its Indeed, there was throughout something peculiarly yoke easy and its burden light. By sympathy she affecting in the communion which existed, in this knew how to seize those favorable
moments for ininstance, between the teacher and the taught. It was affecting to see them in succession approach the struction which come over us all; and was prepared bedside of their friend, in clean and well-adjusted
to detect the first shoots of rising conceptions, and dresses; and presenting, with a gratified smile of to assist the gratified child in giving them a •good-nature, some little offering of love, either fruit conscious existence in mind and memory, when or flowers, which they had solicited from their pa- By sympathy, she knew how to select her subjects
they would otherwise have prematurely perished. rents, for the luxury of having it kindly received. how to clothe them with illustrations; and when It was affecting to see these children, blooming in the faculties of each child had been sufficiently exhealth and void of care, forming themselves into a quiet and listening circle around the couch of the riness and disgust. Sympathy enabled her to mark
tended and employed, without urging them to weasufferer; while she, deviating for the happy interval distinctly the opening variations of temper and of from the prescribed posture, and supported on pil character, and to mould them by the gentle touch or lows, was preparing to impart her instructions. firm pressure to her will, without which a misapAffecting it was to hear her accompany the reading plied firmness might have urged fear into hypoof the Scriptures, with the simple explanation, the crisy, ora mistaken lenity ripened heedlessness into practical remark, the heart-breathing, affectionate indolence. Her imagination, her judgment, and entreaty, which finally found utterance in prayer; her practical knowledge were only the prepared while the guileless countenances of her little audi- instruments of education ; they were directed, ani tors would be moved sometimes to smiles, some mated, and sustained by the living soul of symtimes 10 tears, always to serious attention. It was
pathy. affecting to see that they were brought sensibly nearer io each other by this short but happy inter- her instructions were of a religious nature; and,
Never was her sympathy so fully awake as when course; and that they could seldom part with satisfaction without some kindly words, and the antici- as nothing is thought so difficult at this early stage pated kiss, which, if ever it merited the name, was is important to remark, that Martha was eminently
as rightly to interest children in divine subjects, il surely “the kiss of charity."
successful. Our children were never so attentive Meanwhile, Martha was influencing her willing to her as when she spoke of heavenly things. They friend, Maria, 10 supply her lack of service, by al- were nearest her heart; and they were felt to be so . tending her school at the widow's in addition to her even by infancy. Whenever allusions were made former engagements; while she kept some hold on to religion, it was always as to something higher the children and their families still, hy talking with and better, and far more important than the things the elder ones occasionally, and continuing the cir- which led to it; and when it was made the subject culation of her library among them. Thus, while of a regular lesson, it was as a treat rather tban a really occupying new and valuable ground, she task. It was thus introduced with pleasant asso
ciations; nor did the issue lead to disappointment. I license was procured; preaching was regularly Religion, made impressive by her own seriousness, commenced on the Sabbath evening; and a Šupday and clothed in her own happy smiles, and glowing school was readily established, which was taught in in the warmth of her own affections, was so attrac- the afternoon of the day. The attendance was eager tive and wonderful as effectually to interest the cu- and overflowing; and quickly some good fruits aruse riosity and feeling of the children. It was impossible from it. to be a partial spectator of her tenderness, earnest- The report of these proceedings, and of the sucness, and love, in aiding the new-born perceptions cess which crowned them, gave Martha such joy to spring into the light and joy of an unseen and as angels know. The place was associated with spiritual world, without an involuntary application some of her happiest recollections; it was connectof Goldsmith's similitude
ed with some of her most earnest prayers; her hope “Just as a bird each fond endearment tries
concerning it had been long deferred; and now that
all, and more than all she had imagined was acTo tempt its new-fledged offspring to the skies ; She tried each art, and checked each dull delay,
complished, and accomplished when she could have Allured to brighter worlds, and led the way.”
least expected it, she could not think of it without
shedding the joyous tears of benevolence and graBut it was not enough to this imprisoned invalid titude.* to be thus blessing her family, and occupying, by her The wine of joy on Martha's mind shed not an own and her friends' exertions, a sphere of accus-intoxicating, but an invigorating influence. Her tomed usefulness beyond the domestic circle; her labor had not been in vain in the Lord, and therevigilant and benevolent eye perceived that there fore she resolved to abound in it. She had long were yet other advantages supplied to her from her thought that a much more extensive effort might be present situation. She was now living in the vici- made for the religious instruction of the rising genity of the college, at which a number of young men neration than had yet been tried; and with the inwere preparing themselves for the Christian minis fluence she now possessed among the students who try. She had long been desirous that, while quali kindly listened to her proposals, and the assistance fying for larger scenes of labor, their attention she could raise elsewhere, she concluded she might might be directed to the claims of a neighborhood safely press them 10 an experiment. in which they were temporary residents. Hitherto The experiment was made. A Sabbath school, delicacy had withheld her; but now that she was distinct froin Martha's own select class, was origidwelling with her brother, and that she was the sub- nated in her own habitation, which soon swelled to ject of such bodily infirmity as would prevent any such magnitude that it was necessary to move it to misconception of her motive, she thought she might the coilege chapel; where it continues to flourish make the attempt consistently, and therefore re- under the patronage of the presiding tutor and his solved to make it.
family. Already the field of instruction and beneOpportunities soon arose in the calls of some of volence here presented to the laborer had been enthe senior students on the family, and they were tered by Mr. Raikes in a spirit worthy of the name readily embraced. She was gratified to find that and the family; and now the combined exertions of they were likeminded with herself; and that, if the church and chapel promised to occupy it in the they had not heeded the events of the surrounding length and breadth thereof. villages, it was because, in the strangeness of a new One step leads to another. This endeavor to raise situation, and the pressure of new duties, united a school where many works of charity were already with the transitory term of their continuance, they in action, made a more regular visit to the dwellings had not properly occurred to their thoughts. They of the poor necessary. The object was not to rehad now a kind and modest monitor; and they, in cruit for a new and opposing interest, but to urge a Christian temper and with a most obliging kind- the duty of worshipping God somewhere ; and of ness, were ready to become the executors of her giving the children, by some means, the advantages suggestions. They quickly learned to appreciate of religious instruction. Inquiries were made as her character; and still reckon among their hap- to the supply of Bibles in the respective families; piest hours at this period, those passed in her society and, of course, in these researches, an abundance conversing of the good things of the kingdom, and of distress was discovered. Children were willing planning for its prosperity. They took fire from her to be taught who had not garments in which they altar, and bore it away to strengthen the flame where could decently appear; parents were willing to lait did exist, and to kindle it where sin and death bor who vainly asked for occupation. The times were reigning in unmolested darkness.
were just then pressing on the agricultural poor; One of Martha's earliest and most urgent repre- and want and sorrow became residents in those cotsentations was in favor of Newgate-street. It had tages which ever before had been enlivened by innever been out of her mind or her prayers since dustry and contentment. her first visit, and she had entertained considerable Martha considered this outward distress as a call confidence about it; but hitherto liitle had arisen to in Providence to exertion. She thought that the give her encouragement. It had remained as it is deplored scarcity of bodily supplies might possibly described, with the exception of a few visits from be overruled to create an hungering and thirsting Maria. But it was too distant for the female foot for the bread which giveth eternal life. Yet she to reach it with frequency, and the impression could not overlook temporal and present want, while made by an occasional visit is weak and desultory. urging the desires to pursue a spiritual and durable
This was the time, Martha conceived, to make a portion; and the difficulty was, how to meet those better attempt; and she succeeded in interesting her new coadjutors in the work. One of them visited Last June I had a mournful pleasure in visiting the spot and explored the neighborhood; and was this place, and addressing the huruble villagers. The at once impressed with the duty of endeavoring to room in which we met was confined, but it was full; benefit its inhabitants. He sought the opinion of and the preacher was so placed as that he could be as the people, and found them well disposed to bis in- well heard and seen without as within. Those within tentions. He inquired for suitable accommodation were serious and attentive; and the mothers with their for the purposes of worship and the management little ones, unused to worship, took their stand among of a school; and he obtained it at the cottage which the flowers in the garden without. It was an interest first received my sister when she visited the hamlet. ing specimen of village preaching. Some efforts are The principal persons around were consulted; a | making to provide a neat little place of worship
claims of the body without expenses which she variations of judgment and of denomination, every could not sustain.' However, she roused herself Christian would hail every other Christian as his and her assistants to the occasion. Help was sought brother and his friend; and the church of God from the hands of affluence; and she applied to her would shine forth glorious as the sun, fair as the friends in and out of the family for cast-off gar- moon, terrible as an army with banners; ana would ments, tracts, Bibles, and useful books. The appeal sustain one victorious conflict only with those who was well made, and as well received. Subscrip-war against “the Lord and his anointed;" and who, tions came in to support the school, and sufficient to in warring against them, war against the peace of give outward apparel to the more destitute children; humanity and their own salvation ! and parcels arrived, enclosing money and clothes
“Oh for the day, whenever it shall beam, to be made up for the suffering poor, so as to exceed
Which gives us back the coat without a seam; even eager expectation. Martha's peaceful cottage now wore a busy though
When from all quarters of the earth combined,
One universal church shall knit mankind. still a peaceful aspect. What with the presence of
To build the heavenly Salem then shall rise, children; what with the cutting out and making up
With one consent, the great, the good, the wise. of garments; what with the attendance of distress
All sects united in a common band, ed persons; and what with the frequent little cabinet consultations with her companions in works of
Join faith to faith, and mingle hand in hand;
Together lift the sacrifice of prayer, mercy; it assumed to the imagination the ditierent appearances of a seminary, a manufactory, an asy
And the slain Lamb's eternal supper share!" lum, and a levee room. But whatever were its varying appearances, it was always sacred to charity
CHAPTER XXI. while her spirit presided in it; and now it is sacred
1820—21. in memory by these and yet tenderer recollections, to those who were certainly not careless spectators ALTHOUGH the hand of heavenly wisdom may of her doings, but who could afford her only poor lead us to drink at the springs of pure happiness, and occasional assistance, as they were employed they will not, in this life, remain untroubled. Rein another and a distant sphere.
ligion had revealed to Martha in its enjoyments It is little to say that Martha was happy in these and pursuits, the only unpolluted sources of happibeneficent pursuits; but there was one incident ness; but she was still exposed to those regrets and arose from the mass, which, as it gave her much anxieties which more or less attend a state of imgratification, may find its place in closing this chap- perfection and discipline. ler. Among the spreading distress which revealed Some of her regrets, in the fall of this year, itself, was that of the family belonging to the indi- arose from her communications with London. She vidual who was alluded to as giving my sister so heard of changes transpiring, and friends becoming much annoyance and pain on her first visit to Ches- ill, nigh unto death, and restored again to health hunt. He had run the course which his ominous and activity, while she lay in the saine helpless beginning promised; had failed in his trade; was state; and ihis would sometimes give a lengthened imprisoned for debt; and, in consequence, his wife and hopeless form to her confinement. She received and children were destitute. The ill-trealment many expressions of affectionate esteem and desire Martha had received, the unhallowed reprobation from her former coinpanions; and they awakened of her religious profession, were not checks, they simnilar desires, once more to meet them and cowere motives to her kindness. She behaved to the operate with them in the flesh. But especially she wife with marked attention; she consoled her un- had to regret the wastes of mortality in her old and der her trials; and she gave her what assistance beloved connections. Particularly one of her dearshe could. She might readily have given this as- est young friends, in whose welfare she was intersistance from the stores of which others had made ested as in her own, bad become a happy mother, her the almoner; but this, in the peculiarity of the had sickened, had languished, had died, had been case, would not satisfy her mind. To stand well buried, and the infant had sunkinto the same grave; with her conscience, and to enjoy the full exercise and Martha had not been able to utter one word for of forgiving love, she must give of her own; and her consolation, shed one smile on her sorrows, or it was with a most free and willing hand she dis- drop one tear on her grave. posed of the last shilling in her purse for the aid of The suspense which hung over Martha's situaThis family.
tion gave her occasional concern. Though a priThis is illustrative of her generosity of feeling; soner, and enduring much afiliction, there was noyet another slight incident of this period may be thing in her present bodily estate to excite alarm alded as illustrative of her generous opinions. In for the issue; while, therefore, she had conteniedly the wide distribution of the Bible and Testament resigned all worldly pursuits
, she was often perwhich was now effecting, many of the poor ex- plexed to decide whether it were her duty to prepressed a wish to subscribe also for a prayer book, pare herself for future usefulness here, or to look coupled with a fear "that perhaps the lady might only on eternity. not like that.” They, however, were mistaken in If suspense, however, gave her some perplexity, their judgment of the lady; Martha immediately she did not permit it to betray her best interests. obtained a supply of the Common Prayer book, and She was aware of its sinister influence, and kept a whoever desired to contribute for one was at full strict watch against it. “You would imagine," she liberty to do so.
observed to her sister, “that death would be no surBut these are poor illustrations of liberality as it prise to me; but I have been so long in this position, shone in ber character. It seemed to have nothing that I do not perhaps expect a change any more than to struggle against; it flowed naturally from her as others. The mind may be held in a middle state water from a fountain. There were no unhealthy of suspense, till it becomes nearly indifferont to it." constrictions about her head or heart; nor was there in her correspondence with a friend, she say:any unnatural and dangerous enlargement. Her “The state of my health has been extremely criti. liberality was not of that spurious kind which gives cal; it is now better, and I may unger as I am for no value to principle--no blame to doubt and igno- many months; and, perhaps, after all, it may ter. rance; it arose, not from the neglect of truth, but minate differently to what can be expected. Yes, I from confidence in the truth. Would that such a may yet perfectly recover, and trip with as light a liberalitý prevailed! Then, whatever might be our fooi over your green as any lass of sixteen! But, whatever the event, I desire to be ready for my last contents formed an important link in the chain of summons! O how differently does death appear knowledge; but they were not to be trusted as the when seen obscurely at a distance, and when stand- guides of unformed opinion, and young impassioning just before one ready to give the blow! Truly ed feeling. With a regulated mind and most seri. it is a serious thing to die. O that our lives may ous views before her, Martha now read what was be one habitual preparation for this last conflict !" valuable in the writings of these exceptionable wri
Prayer has a reflex action. The desires we breathe ters, not only without danger, but with benefit.animate the efforts we make. Never were desires She despised the sly sophistry of the infidel histomore fully realized than those she here expresses. rian, who would travel willingly out of his way, to Suspense could not weary her; hope could not al- make a side-thrust at a religion he had taken no lure her from the post of watchfulness. She knew pains to understand. She pitied the poor poet, who, not the hour when the Son of Man should come, in the conflicts of an ambitious and carnal spirit, and therefore she was anxious to be always waiting was alternately aspiring to dwell among the stars, for his coming. She sought to make her calling and floundering in the mire of sensuality and seland election sure, knowing that this blest assurance fishness. She condemned the moralist, professedly vould alike aid her in this life, or prepare her, with Christian, who, seeking to illustrate moral conduct, faith and without "sudden amazement,” for the as connected with revelation, in the most elegant opening of another.
and interesting manner, feared to incur the world's It will scarcely be supposed, after the statements blame, by any decided allusions to those peculiarities of the preceding chapter, that Martha's regrets at in revelation, which distinguish and exalt Christhis period, were sometimes increased by a sense of tianity from every false system. uselessness. Yet it appears, from what her hand has The more she became acquainted with general at intervals minuted, that she was subject to depres literature and with the literary world, the more she sion on this account. She refers to the "useless life was convinced, that real science and real happiness she is leading," "requiring the help of others, and were inseparable from religion. The only invaluable to do nothing in return," and "fears that her able lighis of the world, whether civil, moral, or life will be run out before she had done any thing for literary, were those which shone from heaven; and Him who gave it;" and if ever she now thought of without them, the gleams of reason, the glow of her situation with pain, it was uniformly in connec- feeling, and the sparklings of genius were such as tion with these impressions.
would blind, bewilder, and deceive us.
The uncerIf such anxieties as these, in such a person, were tainty of all things, even of those which she most not expected, they are yet capable of explanation. admired and pursued, was more apparent to her; Though Martha was the living centre of so much she pressed the Bible closer to her heart, and fixed devoted activity, her humility prevented her from her faith and hope more assuredly in the haven of a ascribing these exertions to herself; and the very better world. Would that the same course of study bustle that would often be created by the execution of had always led to the same conclusions! But it has her own plans, while she kept one fixed position, often been commenced with a mind ignorant of rewould occasionally affect her with a sense of help- ligious truth, and unaffected by religious principles; lessness and inutility: The high standard to which and nothing is so seductive on a young and aspiring she always brought herself had also the same ten- spirit as the pleasures of literature. Unhappily dency: Compared with her principles, compared these pleasures, in an unprepared state of mind, with her obligations, compared with what her Sa- cannot be safe or innocent. The great mass of our viour had done, and commanded her to do, she had existing literature is an array against godliness, done nothing. An elevated standard had given and it is yet mostly in the hands of those who, in elevation to her mind. She looked not at what was pledging iheir devotedness to the muses, are too done, but at what was to do; and while she sighed much disposed to stone or despise the prophets. over woes unhealed, sins unsubdued, a world un- Martha had now spent nearly six months on her regenerated, her mightiest effort was but as a drop bed in nearly the same position; but neither the inof heavenly rain falling on the great salt waters. definite term of her confinement, nor the transitory
As these regrets did not influence Martha to dis- regrets which sometimes gave a pensive coloring to regard her spiritual interests, so they did not divert her thoughts, nor yet the serious direction of ber her from those which are intellectual. She did not mind to high and benevolent pursuits, had deprived allow the idea, that her mental improvement might her of her wonted cheerfulness in domestic life. never be useful to her in this life, to break up her Her chamber was not the place of complaint, reststudies. She connected the sound cultivation of the lessness, and vapid wishes; it was the happiest mind with a future life, and the nearer, therefore, room in the house, and it was made so by its chief she might approach it, the more important and in- inhabitant. When we were away, many of her teresting was the duty. She considered “that spi-( thoughts were employed to make it attractive; and ritual and intellectual treasures are the only ones when we were present, she was anticipating us by we can carry with us to a better world, and that every little act of kindness, catching and returning we ought to value and pursue them accordingly,” every look of love, and shedding over her guests Acting under such sentiments, she still gave herself the soothing influence of her glad words, undissemdiligently to reading and meditation; her pleasure bled smiles and frank good-nature. It was evident increased as she advanced; and never have I met that all this sprang from her heart, and that, while with a more palpable proof of the advantage accru- she was intent on promoting the happiness of others, ing to a young person from the careful perusal of she was positively the most happy of the little comwell-selected books. This will have been traced pany. This conduct insensibly led us to associate already in her past progress; but it was still so con- ihe idea of comfort with her chamber; if the childspicuous at this period as to require observation.- ren had met with any troubles below stairs, they Her understanding was yet more enlarged; her fed to it as a sanctuary; and if their parents dejudgment ripened; her fancy quickened ; the store sired an hour's quiet enjoyment, they were comof her conceptions enriched; and, consequently, monly disposed to seek it here rather than elsethe means of mental gratification improved and where. How unlike the sick-room as we frequently multiplied.
find it! where peevish complaint and selfish passion In her present course of reading, it was deemed are multiplying themselves in sorrow, by driving Jesirable that she should be introduced to some those from their resence who should be their most ooks, which had hitherto been proscribed; their tender comforters.