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prevail upon her husband to join with her daily in prayer, using some form which may be adapted to their peculiar situation and circumstances. Such a practice will greatly tend to strengthen and hallow their union, and bring a blessing upon it. It is also calculated to show them their mutual wants and mutual dependance on a higher power, and to stop the very beginning of difference and disagreement.
On the subject of private prayer, Mr. Bowdler put upon paper a few hints, which will probably be thought to show his usual good sense.
"Hints concerning Private Prayer.
"Use some form of prayer every morning and evening without fail; let nothing prevent you. And if, by some extraordinary circumstance, you have not time to use your usual form, yet at least fall down on your knees, and ask God's pardon and protection for Christ's sake.
"Say your prayers in the morning as soon as you can after you are risen, that worldly affairs may not get possession of your mind and distract your attention; and till you have said your prayers, endeavour to keep your mind fixed on God and his providential care of his creatures, or on some serious or religious subject. For this purpose, the repeating hymns, psalms, or the like, is very useful. And further helps may be found in Spinkes's Devotions.
"Say your prayers at night as late as you can before you get into bed; and after you have said them, endeavour to keep your thoughts from rambling on worldly affairs, and turn them rather to reflect on a future state. The repeating psalms or hymns will be of use in this also. And this practice will tend to prevent frightful dreams, and promote calm and quiet sleep.
"If you find that by using constantly one form of prayer you repeat it by rote, without attending to the meaning, change your form; or use different forms on different days.
"If the forms you find in books are too long, leave out the parts which appear to you the least material, and change any thing you don't like. And whatever form you use, don't confine yourself strictly to it, but pour out your thoughts freely before God. If you have done any thing amiss, beg his pardon for that particular offence. If you have escaped any danger, return him thanks for that particular preservation. If you have received any particular blessing or advantage, return him thanks for that in particular. If you are going to engage in any thing of importance, ask his assistance. If you have any doubt, beg his direction. In short, consider him as your best friend; as a friend from whom you can conceal nothing; who can help you in every difficulty and distress; who will never be offended with you but when you do wrong; and who will never forsake you unless you forsake him. And, therefore, accustom yourself, on all occasions, to open your heart freely to him. And don't be afraid, because you cannot, perhaps, find proper words to express your thoughts; but express them as you can; for he knows your thoughts before you utter them, and will hear the prayer that proceeds from a sincere and humble soul, however it may be expressed. But as he knows, and you do not, what is best for you in this life, in your prayers for worldly prosperity, and for deliverance from worldly evils, remember always our Saviour's words: —" Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done." And remember, also, that all our petitions are to be made in the name, through the merits, and for the sake of Jesus Christ; for petitions put up in his name are those which God has promised to hear; and it is by his merits, and for his sake alone that we can hope for pardon and.favour from God."
Being unable to obtain an extension of his lease at Sevenoaks, Mr. Bowdler removed in 1793 to Pickhurst farm, in the parish of Hayes, near Bromley, in the same county. Here he occupied a small farm, an employment which he had learned in his early days to take delight in, healthy, useful, and agreeable. The pleasure and usefulness of farming will depend upon the taste, and skill, and success of him who engages in it. The advantages are many. Whatever leads a person of rank or property to mix with those who are placed beneath him, and thereby to learn their real character and situation, their wants and their errors, their merits and their failings, must tend to check all that is proud and lofty in the superior, and improve the condition and demeanour of his inferiors; to stimulate every generous and benevolent feeling on the one side, and on the other to relieve distress, appease discontent, refine the manners and sentiments, correct the morals, and inform the understanding. These beneficial results follow, perhaps, not so much from an union of the highest and lowest classes, as from the intervention of those who hold a middle rank; and among the many great blessings enjoyed by this country, one of the greatest is that it possesses a race of well-educated gentlemen of moderate fortune, scattered over every part of it, not unworthy or unfit to mix in the first society, yet maintaining an easy and familiar intercourse with the labourer and the artisan. Much and reasonable fear was expressed some years since, lest this important class should be extinguished by the distress of the times, or their utility diminished by their being driven from their homes, and their fortunes greatly impaired. And something of this kind, no doubt, happened. There is, however, in the people of this country a spirit and a principle, — a busy, active spirit; and a principle of religion, or at least of benevolence and desire to be useful; which operate universally, and lead the gentleman to visit the cottage of the labourer, and perhaps carry thither with his own hands a bottle of milk or a basket of food, to contribute to the clothing or instruction of his children, and introduce cleanliness and comfort, decency and civility, the Bible and the Prayer-book. Thus, without stepping beyond his province, he affords friendly support and useful assistance to the parish priest, who finds his labours much diminished through the example and benevolence of his well-informed neighbour. It were pleasant to draw a picture of a parish thus happily situated, with a few families, respectable in their
circumstances and conduct, and respected as they deserve; and a pastor learned, godly, benevolent, full of piety and good deeds, walking his daily rounds, instructing and enlivening by his conversation the table of his richer neighbours, relieving the poor and diseased in his flock, commending and encouraging the good and industrious, reproving the idle and profane, distributing freely yet judiciously the fund which his own wants can spare, or his friends supply; presiding at the parochial meeting, and mediating calmly and fairly between the unwillingness of those who give relief, and the importunity of those who demand it; instructing the children and the ignorant, leading the devotion of his congregation, and animating them by his own, teaching sound and wholesome doctrine, and feeding them with the bread of life and the cup of salvation. Let not this be deemed a fanciful picture of ideal excellence: it is but an imperfect portrait of him who for 48 years has presided over the parish which has been lately named, beloved by those who have witnessed his good deeds, and those who have shared his bounty. May his latter days be blessed with a gratifying remembrance of the past, and cheering hope of the future, with the serenity of an approving conscience, and that peace which passeth all understanding!
In the business of the parish or the district, Mr. Bowdler took little part. His early knowledge of law made him, perhaps, a little fearful of acting as .