« PreviousContinue »
help against pride. He also got the letter which Squeeze wrote just before he shot himself framed and glazed; this he hung up in his chamber, and made it a rule to go and read it as often as he found his heart disposed to VANITY.
'TIS ALL FOR THE BEST*.
“ It is all for the best," said Mrs. Simpson, whenever any misfortune befel her. She had got such an habit of vindicating Providence, that, instead of weeping and wailing under the most try. ing dispensations, her chief care was to convince herself and others, that however great might be her sufferings, and however little they could be accounted for at present, yet that the Judge of all the earth could not do but right. Instead of trying
* A profiigate wit of a neighbouring country having attempted to turn this doctrine into ridicule, under the same Title here assumed, it occurred to the Author that it might not be altogether useless to illustrate the fame doctrine on Christian principles,
to clear herself from any possible blame that might attach to her under those mifa fortunes which, to speak after the manner of men, she might seem not to have de. ferved; she was always the first to justify Him who had inflicted it. It was not that the superstitiously converted every visitation into a punishment: she entertained more correct ideas of that God who over-rules all events. She knew that some calamities were sent to exercise her faith, others to purify her heart; some to chastise her rebellious will, and all to remind her that this « was not her rest:” that this world was not the scene for the full and final display of retributive justice. The honour of God was dearer to her than her own credit, and her chief desire was to turn all events to his glory.
Though Mrs. Simpson was the daughtet of a clergyman, and the widow of a genteel tradesman, she had been reduced, by a succession of misfortunes, to accept of a toom in an alms-house. Instead of repin. VOL. IV.
ing at the change; instead of dwelling on her former gentility, and saying, “ How “ handsomely she had lived once; and " how hard it was to be reduced ; and she “ little thought ever to end her days in an 6 alins-house;" which is the common language of those who were never so weil off before; she was thankful that such an asylum was provided for want and age; and blessed God that it was to the Christian dispensation alone that such pious institutions owed their birth.
One fine evening, as she was sitting reading her Bible on the little bench shaded with honeysuckles, just before her door, who should come and sit down by her but Mrs. Betty, who had formerly been lady's maid at the nobleman's house in the village of which Mrs. Simpson's father had been minister. Betty, after a life of vanity, was, by à train of misfortunes, brought to this very alms-house; and though she had taken no care by frugality and prudence to avoid it, she thought
it a hardship and disgrace, instead of be. ing thankful, as she ought to have been, for such a retreat. At first she did not know Mrs. Simpson; her large bonnet, cloak, and brown stuff gown (for she always made her appearance conform to her circumstances) being very different from the dress she had been used to wear when Mrs. Betty has seen her dining at the great house; and time and sorrow had much altered her countenance. But when Mrs. Simpson kindly addressed her as an old acquaintance, she screamed with surprise" What! you, madam ?” cried she: “ you « in an alms-house, living on charity; you, 6 who used to be so charitable yourself, " that you never suffered any distress in “ the parish which you could prevent ?”— “ That may be one reason, Betty,” replied Mrs. Simpson, “why Providence has “ provided this refuge for my old age. “ And my heart overflows with gratitude « when I look back on his goodness.”“ No such great goodness, methinks,”,