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faid Betty; “why, you were born and bred “ a lady, and are now reduced to live in “ an alms-house.”-Betty, I was born « and bred a sinner, undeserving of the « mercies I have received." -“ No such “ great mercies," said Betty. “Why, I « heard you had been turned out of doors; e that your husband had broke; and that 65 you had been in danger of starving, 66 though I did not know what was beo come of you."-" It is all true, Betty, “ glory be to God! it is all true.”

« Well," said Betty, “ you are an odd 66 sort of a gentlewoman. If from a prof. 6 perous condition I had been made a “ bankrupt, a widow, and a beggar, I 5: Thould have thought it no such mighty 65 matter to be thankful for; but there is “ no accounting for taste. The neigh4 bours used to say that all your troubles “must needs be a judgment upon you; “ but I, who knew how good you were, 5 thought it very hard you should suffer " fo much; but now I see you reduced to

« an

. 293 " an alms-house, I beg your pardon, man 6 dam, but I am afraid the neighbours 66 were in the right, and that so many mil" fortunes could never have happened to “ you without you had committed a great “ many fins to deserve them; for I always " thought that God is fo just that he " punishes us for all our bad actions, and “ rewards us for all our good ones.”— “ So he does, Betty ; but he does it in « his own way, and at his own time, and 6 not according to our notions of good and

evil; for his ways are not as our ways. “ God, indeed, punishes the bad and re“ wards the good; but he does not do it “ fully and finally in this world. Indeed “ he does not fet such a value on outward $6 things as to make riches, and rank, and “ beauty, and health, the rewards of piety;

6 that would be acting like weak and “ erring men, and not like a just and holy “ God. Our belief in a future, state « of rewards and punishments is not al56 ways so strong as it ought to be, even


“ now;

“ 19; to: how totally would our faith “ fail, if we regularly law everything “ made even in this world. We shall “ lose nothing by having pay-day put off. “ The longest voyages make the best “ returns. So far am I from thinking " that God is less just, and future hap“ piness less certain, because I see the “ wicked sometimes prosper, and the “ righteous suffer in this world, that I am “ rather led to believe that God is more "just and heaven more certain : for, in " the first place, God will not put off his “ favourite children with so poor a lot as “ the good things of this world; and next, “ sccing that the best men here below “ do not often attain to the best things : “ wliy it only serves to strengthen my be“ lief that they are not the best things in “ His eye'; and He has most assuredly re“ferved for those that love Him such “ good things as eye hath not seen nor “ car heard.' God, by keeping man in “ Paradise while he was innocent, and

“ turning

en m

" turning him into this world as soon as “ he had sinned, gave a plain proof that 6 he never intended this world, even in its "happiest state, as a place of reward. My 6 father gave me good principles and use« ful knowledge; and while he taught me " by a habit of constant employment, to 6 be, if I may so say, independant on the 6 world, yet he led me to 'a constant sense 6 of dependance on God.”—“ I do not “ fee, however,” interrupted Mrs. Betty, " that your religion has been of any use 6 to you. It has been so far from pre“ serving you from trouble, that I think " you have had more than the usual 65 share."

No," said Mrs. Simpson ; " nor did 66 Christianity ever pretend to exempt its 66 followers from trouble; this is no part 6 of the promise. Nay, the contrary is ss rather stipulated; in the world ye shall " have tribulation. But if it has not 66 taught me to escape forrow, I humbly 6s hope it has taught me how to bear it. U 4

- If

“ If it has not taught me not to feel, it has " taught me not to murmur:-I will tell “ you a little of my story. As my father « could save little or nothing for me, “ he was very desirous of seeing me “ married to a young gentleman in the 6 neighbourhood, who exprefled a regard “ for me. But while he was anxiously “ engaged in bringing this about, my good “ father died.”

“ How very unlucky!” interrupted


.“ No, Betty,” replied Mrs.Simpson, "it “ was very providential; this man, though ©s he maintained a decent character, had a “good fortune, and lived soberly, yet he

would not have made me happy." " Why what could you want more of a “ man?” said Betty. " Religion," re. turned Mrs. Simpson. « As my father 66 made a creditable appearance, and was “ very charitable; and as I was an only “ child, this gentleman concluded that “ he could give me a considerable for


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