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moved to pity, when we bring this complaint before him, that “ by reason of the frailty of our nature we cannot always stand upright.”
2. But it becomes us not for ever to lie down, bemoaning our sad weakness. We must vigorously betake ourselves to prayer. So this Col. lect teaches us. In it we ask for two things : 'strength,' that is, strength of grace to support us: and protection,' that is, the wise and powerful providence of God to carry us through all temptations.And this prayer exactly corresponds with the promise given in 1 Corinthians x. 13; and is probably grounded upon it. « There hath no temptation taken you, but such as is common to man : but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."
To sum up all in few words -- Offer your prayers in faith, and God will be your very present help in time of trouble. He who saved Noah out of the midst of the world of the ungodly; He who enabled Joseph to maintain a holy conduct in the house of Potiphar ; He who recovered David and Peter from their falls; He who protected Daniel in the den of lions—this same God is your Father, your sun and shield. Pray to him as you have been taught, “ Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” The prayers of Jesus are offered up with yours, and must prevail. Concerning all his disciples he says, “I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world ; but, that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.” Frequently meditate for your comfort on that hearty thanksgiving of the Psalmist : “ In the day when I cried, thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.”
ADDRESSED TO A MOTHER ON THE DEATH OF HER INFANT BOY
SIX MONTHS OLD.
From his soft and tranquil sleep;
Ere himself knew why to weep.
Fading at the first rude blast;
To his heavenly home he past.
With angelic choirs above ;
O'er thy head with childlike love.
Thou shalt see him yet again ;
Heaven will re-unite the chain.
THE PRISONERS OF AUSTRALIA.*
THE DANGER OF NEGLECTING THE RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION OF FEMALE
If it be a peculiar prerogative, which surely it is, to hold place among the higher appointments of God's moral government, such appointments are necessarily replete with cares and responsibilities, which counterbalance the advantages annexed to superior or influential stations, beyond such, perhaps, as belong to those of more implied inferiority. But the mistress of a family, who, in that honoured character, let her rank in life be what it may, really fulfils her place, as a christian example to all who stand within the pale of her authority, may emphatically be styled the “ blessed among women.” Ages yet unknown shall bear the record of her praise, and when time itself shall be no more, the Lord will recognize her as “ His own" for ever, in that day when He shall “ make up bis jewels,” for the glory of His Father's kingdom. For who can limit the influence of the righteous ? their works follow them, as good seed multiplied to a rich harvest of heavenly fruit, which, from generation to generation, spring up, a countless host of never-ending blessings. But, alas! how small is the proportion of Christian mothers and Christian matrons, who are thus faithful to their charge! How many, who, amiable and wellprincipled according to this world's designation, engage in the deep responsibilities of the matronly office, without one serious thought of the sacredness of that most solemn stewardship, which she thus pledges herself to fulfil; involving not only her own account with God, but the happiness, ay, it may be, the very salvation of many, who must fall under her jurisdiction ! And yet, we cannot think it would be so, if it were known to what extent, evil and sorrow, disgrace and shame, follow as the consequences of her neglect or bad example. Oh! to such, then, would I now appeal, whether as wife, mother, or mistress, by the strong testimony of living evidences, which cannot, will not, surely be offered in vain. For I can bear witness that, so far as their history is known to me, few are the exceptions among the many convicts, both at home and abroad, whose first fall may not be traced to the temptations and wicked examples to which they were exposed, during the first years of their servitude, in families of well-connected and respectable society.
To detail the individual history of such, would fill many pages, perhaps volumes ; but as illustrations from real life may carry with them more striking and interesting evidences of the evils to which allusion has been made, than the most elaborate moral of mere theory could do, I will offer a few such examples from the simple annals of humble history ; concentrating in these few, the lamentable consequences which, unhappily, are not confined to exceptions, but are rather, the too general result of neglected servants.
Perhaps one of the most touching cases which I can remember, amongst many others of similar story, was that of a young woman named Amy, a child of poor but honest parents, who had trained her well, and given her the best advantages which their situation admitted, in the sequestered village where her father was employed as a farm labourer, and was a thriving man, until a long and severe illness reduced him to poverty: his subsequent death dispersed his little family. Amy was much beloved in the circle of her lowly home, as an, artless and obliging girl ; and was soon well recommended to the service of a lady, who, finding •London servants so bad, resolved to try some from the country : she had married a man possessed of considerable property, and was the mistress of a very large estabJishment. To poor Amy the situation offered every temptation, and cordially was she congratulated by her village friends upon the bright prospects to which she seemed so unexpectedly destined ; her mother alone expressed something like anxious foreboding, lest 'Amy should grow proud,' and forget her station among the great servants' of a great lady ;' but their circumstances admitted of no choice, and giving her child the best advice in her power, especially entreating her never to forget her religious duties, nor the 'sabbath day,' she parted from her with that aching heart, which is, perhaps, inseparable from the maternal character, when, for the first time, the tie of a child's dependence upon herself is loosened at least, if not for ever broken. But she, too, was soon called from such earthly cares, and the orphan Amy was left with no other dowry save her own principles and industry! She entered her new home with the buoyant hopes of sixteen; all around her was splendour and luxury ; and even her wages, as an under housemaid, far exceeded the expectations to which she had been trained. Her mistress had herself engaged her, during an accidental visit in the neighbourhood whence Amy was removed; and there was so much of sweetness and condescending kindness in the lady's manner; so much in her whole aspect, which, at once, claimed the love of those whom she addressed, that the mother of Amy felt comforted in believing that her child would be under the authority and guidance of so gentle a spirit. But, alas, that spirit beld little, or no influence over the dependents of her own power. All authority was assigned to the housekeeper, and other upper servants of the establishment; while their mistress remained ignorant, not only of the tyranny exercised over the subordinate members of her household, but of the yet more important evil of vice and immorality practised, without restraint, by many of them. And, it is a remarkable fact, that from the first hour of her engagement to that of her leaving the situation, a period of nearly three years, Amy never but once again saw the mistress by whom she had been hired! The poor girl soon found all was not gold that glittered ;' that, in entering service, she had entered a world of wickedness, surrounded by examples such as she had been taught to shun. The account of her first sabbath there was peculiarly touching, and it was related to me by her own lips, on her dying bed. Accustomed, at home, to regard it as “a day set apart," she, as was her wont, dressed herself in all her best, to be in readiness for church, having, with great alacrity, got through all that she considered was her due portion of work. Meeting the housekeeper, she was immediately asked, "Why in the name of wonder she was dressed out at that time of day and having simply answered, that it was time to go to church, the housekeeper exclaimed, · Bless the girl! why, your betters cannot get to church : much less you, who are wanted high and low! Don't you know, child, we have more to do here on Sundays than on any other day of the week ? so, like a good girl, go take off those nice clothes again, and do all you can to help us, both up stairs and down. This was not spoken unkindly, far from it; but Amy thought of her mother, and her home, and she wept bitterly. Some weeks elapsed, and she made no effort to do what seemed coutrary to the general rule of her master's house, but rather became more reconciled to its ungodliness. A letter, however, received from her mother, reminded her of duties which she was neglecting; and in accordance with the wishes of that honest parent, she determined to seek an interview with her mistress, to obtain from her, permission to go to church, at least once on every Sunday. An opportunity for this soon occurred, although only through an accidental meeting. Her mistress listened with smiles to her request, but merely replied, “You are a good girl for wishing to go to church, so I cannot be angry with you ; but you must ask leave of Mrs. Harding, for perhaps you cannot always be spared, and you know, work must not be neglected. When we go to the couniry, you will, I dare say, have more time ; but, Amy, you must not be a little methodist, or think yourself better than other people. This, too, was said without either anger or unkindness; her mistress passed on, and she saw her no more.
* From an interesting book-" The Prisoners of Australia,” by the Author of “ Miriam,” “ Influence," &c. &c.
From that hour may be dated the final ruin of a girl, well brought up, and naturally of a most docile temper ; who, had she fallen under better guidance, might have been a blessing to herself and others. But, during the three years of her servitude in the family. alluded to, she rarely went to church ;-she never read her bible: nor did the gospel reach her ears from the lips of any individual with whom she was associated. She saw vice countenanced, and religion set at naught, not only among her fellows, but also in the higher ranks of her master's household.
It would neither be profitable nor pleasing to describe, circumstantially, the scenes of deceit, dishonesty, and disorder, to which this unfortunate Amy was continually exposed among her fellow-servants ; nor the routine of company, balls, theatres, &c. &c., which engaged the time of her master's family and guests. But if, at first, her mind revolted from taking part in the one, or feeling reconciled to the other, she soon lost all such repugnance to do the like. Her simple attire gave place to that which was not only highly inconsistent with her station, but was such as her wages, liberal as they might be, were by no means adequate to afford : this led to pilfering, in which she became more and more bold; and at length, discovered by the housekeeper in the very act of a serious theft, she was turned out of doors with only an hour's warning, friendless and dishonoured ; without a home, without character, without resource ;-save one, too horible, even for a mind perverted as her's was, to contemplate, or immediately embrace, without alarm and shame. But where could she go? not to her mother, for she was in heaven : not to her friends, for she had disgraced them : and in that hour of dreadful destitution, she was enticed into paths of yet deeper guilt and wretchedness! These at length, acting upon a sensitive and humanly speaking, not naturally a depraved mind, she subsequently became deranged, and when I first saw her she was in a state of inoffensive idiocy, confined within the sick ward of her own parish workhouse. She was at all times so gentle and tractable, that she was an object of far greater pity than reproach ; and her sad history claimed the forbearing sympathy of all who had known her in the happier days of her childhood, and comparative innocence. Her sole occupation was sitting on the ground, making, with strips of paper, or flowers and grass, when she could get them, what she called 'poor Amy's grave. Her age was then not more than two-and-twenty ; her countenance was still very sweet, although her features were wan and pale; and her figure, singularly slight, was nevertheless far from being emaciated. I gave her a shilling to buy some tea, which, I understood, was what she most enjoyed; but she threw it back to me again with a languid smile, and said, · Ladies shouldn't give poor girls money to live in fine houses it was bad, all bad! They should let them go to church, and make them good ; '--thus, evidently associating with money her own life in service, and all its fatal results upon her peace, her character, her happiness! It was some months before I saw her again, when she was occupying a room, to wbich kind friends had removed her, in the house of a poor but most respectable and pious widow. Mental malady had now wholly yielded to bodily disease ; she was greatly wasted in appearance; so much so, that I could scarcely have recognized her, even faded as she was before ; but her mind had recovered its native tone, and although remorse of conscience was still too deep for happiness, yet she was resigned to the will of God in her sufferings, and sweetly awaiting the deliverance of her wearied soul ! She spoke little, but seemed very patient and grateful to all who showed her kindness. I was told that such was generally her state, excepting during the occasional paroxysms of aggravated fever, when she frequently became delirious, and then it was a piteous thing to hear her call for the mistress who had · taken her away from her own dear mother;' and she would speak, as if imploring leave to go home again ; beseeching her mistress not to let her perish, where all was death around her, both of body and of soul.' She was visited constantly by a dissenting minister, (I think a Wesleyan,) who had known her parents, and for their sakes, as well as from feelings of a higher motive, was kind and liberal in administering both to her temporal wants, and to her spiritual consolations. At length poor Amy died !-we humbly believe a sincere penitent; manifesting her simple, but entire dependence on Him who had not forsaken that child of
righteous parents,' and of 'many prayers, although others had drawn her from his own blessed fold, and taught her to forsake his paths of peace, for those where peace could never be !
I heard a case, not very dissimilar to this last, in a few of its leading circumstances, from the lips of one of the most abandoned women in New South Wales, who gave me an outline of her wretched life, and I always thought it a redeeming point of her character, that whenever allusion was made to the training of her early childhood;