« PreviousContinue »
$ fune; for he did not know that all the “poor in his parish are the children of 56 every pious clergyman. Finding I had e little or nothing left me, he withdrew “ his attentions.”—“ What a fad thing!" cried Betty~No, it was all for the best; « Providence over-ruled his covetousness $to my good. I could not have been “ happy with a man whose soul was set on " the perishable things of this world; nor “ did I esteem him, though I laboured to “ submit my own inclinations to those of “my kind father. The very circumstance “ of being left pennyless produced the “ direct contrary effect on Mr. Simpson : “ he was a sensible young man, engaged sc in a prosperous business : we had long "highly valued each other; but while my “ father lived, he thought me above his “hopes. We were married; I found him “ an amiable, industrious, good-tempered “ man; he respected religion and religious “ people; but, with excellent dispositions, “ I had the grief to find him less pious
5 than I had hoped. He was ambitious, “s and a little too much immersed in “ worldly schemes; and though I know “ it was all done for my fake, yet that did “ not blind me so far as to make me think - it right. He attached himself so eagerly " to business, that he thought every hour “ lost in which he was not doing some" thing that would tend to raise me to “ what he called my proper rank. The “ more prosperous he grew the less reli“ gious he became; and I began to find “ that one might be unhappy with a hus“ band one tenderly loved. One day as - he was standing on some steps to reach “ down a parcel of goods he fell from “ the top and broke his leg in two places."
“ What a dreadful misfortune!” said Mrs. Betty. “What a signal blessing !" said Mrs. Simpson. “ Here I am sure I 66 had reason to say all was for the best; - from that very hour in which my out66 ward troubles began, I date the begin6 ning of my happiness. Severe suffering, a “ near prospect of death, absence from the “ world, filence, reflection, and above all, " the divine blessing on the prayers and - scriptures I read to him, were the means “ used by our merciful Father to turn my " husband's heart. During this confine6 ment he was awakened to a deep sense cs of his own sinfulness, of the vanity of
all this world has to bestow, and of his “ great need of a Saviour. It was many 6 months before he could leave his bed; . 6 during this time his business was ne“ glected. His principal clerk took ad“ vantage of his absence to receive large « sums of money in his name, and ab“ fconded. On hearing of this great loss, “our creditors came falter upon us than “ we could answer their demands; they “ grew more impatient as we were less “ able to satisfy them; one misfortune “ followed another, till at length Mr. Simp-' 6 son became a bankrupt.”
“ What an evil!” exclaimed Mrs. Betty. “ Yet it led in the end to much good,"
resumed Mrs. Simpson. “We were forced 66 to leave the town in which we had lived « with so much credit and comfort, and « to betake ourselves to a mean lodging « in a neighbouring village, till my hus" band's strength should be recruited, and « till we could have time to look about 5 us and fee what was to be done. The “ first night we got to this poor dwelling “ my husband felt very sorrowful, not for - his own sake, but that he had brought « so much poverty on me, whom he had “ so dearly loved : I, on the contrary, was “ unusually chearful; for the blessed change o in his mind had more than reconciled “ me to the fad change in his circum. “ stances. I was contented to live with s him in a poor cottage for a few years “ on earth, if it might contribute to our s spending a blessed eternity together in * heaven. I said to him ; . Instead of la. “ menting that we are now reduced to 66 want all the comforts of life, I have 66 sometimes been almoit ashamed to live
H in the full enjoyment of them, when “ I have reflected that my Saviour not “ only chose to deny himself all these en. “ joyments, but even to live a life of hard.
ship for my fake; not one of his nu. “ merous miracles tended to his own com. 6 fort; and though we read at different 6 times that he both hungered and thirsted, 66 yet it was not for his own gratification that “ he once changed water into wine; and I « have often been struck with the near po“ fition of that chapter in which this 6s miracle is recorded, to that in which he o thirsted for a draught of water at the 6 well in Samaria *. It was for others, not « himself, that even the humble sustenance “ of barley bread was multiplied. See « here, we have a bed left us ; I had, in“ deed, nothing but straw to stuff it with, “but the Saviour of the world had not 66 where to lay his head.' My husband
smiled through his tears, and we sat down
* See John, chap. ii.--and John, chap, iv.