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THE AMERICAN PUBLIS H E R 8.
The story of Henry Milner, which occupies the following pages, has never before been published entire in America : it appeared in three successive parts in England,—the first of which only has been accessible to readers in this country. The favour with which it was received by the British public, the high encomiums bestowed upon it by the critical press, the number of editions through which it has passed, and the avidity with which the first portion was purchased and read on its republication in the United States, unite in inspiring the publishers with a hope that the entire work, now presented, at a price so low, will be acceptable to the public, and extensively useful.
We have many histories of little boys, who, being brought up according to the fashions of this world, have made themselves great and clever men, and have obtained riches and rewards in this life. I am now going to tell you the history of a little boy who was never taught any thing of the fashions or ways of this world ; but was accustomed, quite from the time of his babyhood, to think only of pleasing God, and making himself such as the Lord loves.
His teachers were holy and humble people, and God blessed their instructions, for they trusted in his promises, and were not confounded. They believed in the Lord, neither did they turn aside from his commandments to give worldly instruction to their little pupil, or to endeavour to make him wise for this world as well as for the next. i
HENRY MILNER, for that was the nanie of the little boy whose history. I am about to relate to you, lost his mother while he was a very little baby, and before he was quite four years of age he was also deprived of his last surviving parent.
Mr. Milner, the father of Henry, was descended from a noble family; but, as he was a younger child, and had many brothers and sisters, he had never been a rich man, and had only two thousand pounds to leave his little boy, which indeed was quite enough to provide for his education and comfort as a little boy, and to help him to get on in life as he got older.
When Mr. Milner felt himself near death, he sent for his tutor, a certain elderly and respectable clergyman, of the name of Dalben, of whose manner of living I shall give you an account by-and-by; and when Mr. Dalben arrived, he entered with him into the following discourse :-"You see me, my beloved tutor, lying on my death-bed, and about to depart to that dear Saviour, whom you first (with the divine blessing) taught me to love and serve. To you, my dear sir, under God, and to your simple and holy instructions, I have owed all the happiness I have enjoyed on earth, and all the joy I now have in the prospect of death; and if you will grant me one favour, the last I shall ever ask you, you will remove the only subject of regret which remains to me on leaving this world.”
Mr. Dalben replied, “Give not the glory to me, my dear pupil; for, though it has pleased God in some degree to bless my labours with respect to you, yet the best that can be said of me is, that I am an unprofitable servant, and one who has done his Lord's work with a cold and unbelieving heart. But, to waive this matter; what, my son, is your request ? if it is in any way in my power to grant it, be assured you shall not meet with a denial.”
In answer to this the dying man extended his pale cold hand, and rang a bell, which was soon answered by a decent maid-servant, bringing in a little boy between three and four years of age. This child was dressed in a white frock and muslin cap, having ringlets of fair hair peeping out from under the cap and falling upon his neck. This was little Henry Milner, who, at the sight of his father, used all those expressions of animated joy with which children commonly serve themselves ere yet they have acquired the full use of words, whereby to convey their ideas.
The infant sprang from the arms of his nurse upon his father's bed, and put up his blooming mouth to kiss the pale lips of his beloved parent.
The eyes of the poor father filled with tears, and, turning to Mr. Dalben, he said, “ Can you love this little boy? could you take him to your heart, and make him your own son ?"
.“I understand you, my friend,” said Mr. Dalben; “and unworthy as I feel of the charge, yet, if it is your settled wish, upon mature reflection, to leave your child under my care, knowing me as you do, and all my ways