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During the period of his health and thoughtlessness, and at the time when he was resident at Wigan, he had spoken of a person who had also been a deist, but had been led to see the truth of the christian religion, and had been a member of the Methodist society for some time before his decease, accusing him of mercenary motives. At this memorable interview with his fellow-workmen, he adverted to that circumstance, adding, he was sorry for what he had said as it regarded that matter, and hoped that no one would say so as it respected him, for he felt thankful that God, in his providence, had so provided for him, that he was not dependent upon the bounty of any sect or party, he being a member of several sick clubs, the allowance from which was quite enough to meet all his necessities.

It was not without many tears and exhortations to them that he took leave of his old companions; and it is to be hoped that the impressions of that season will not soon pass from their minds.

His death was delayed a few weeks after this affecting and interesting scene; but it was only to show the power of the grace of God, in producing in his mind perfect resignation to the Divine will, and peace in the prospect of death. He was going to leave his wife a helpless widow, and his two children fatherless upon the wide world; and though he felt for them as the relation in life which he bore to them justified, yet he felt as a christian, and one who could confide all into the hands of a covenant-keeping God, who hath said that he will be a Father to the fatherless, and a husband to the widow.”

His death was calm and tranquil; his hope was based upon the Rock of ages. He seemed indeed to be a brand plucked from the burning, and that too at a time when it was hardly to be expected. Thus died John Ollara, in the thirtyfirst year of his age, a singular monument of the grace of God.




MARIA HORTON called upon her aunt, Mary Wilson, and told her of her fine prospects. She was about to be



married, and fine clothes, and fashions, and visiting, appeared to occupy all her thoughts.

How strange it is that, in a world where our lives are uncertain, even for an hour, we can cling so closely to earthly hopes, which break like the spider's thread, and fade like the flower of the field, while heavenly hopes are neglected which

sure and stedfast," that fade not away, but abide for ever and ever!

Mary Wilson heard of the happy prospects of her niece with pleasure, but reminded her of the saying of a pious character, “In prosperity we should find God in all things, that in adversity we may find all things in God.” “I must give you the same advice, Maria, that I gave to Robert Baxter the other night, for it is more difficult to pass uprightly through the paths of prosperity, without the word of God as a guide, than it is to pass through a wood on a dark night without a lantern; therefore, despise not God's holy word, but Take the lantern, and keep in the straight path."

“O, never fear, aunt! shall find my way through the world well enough, no doubt.”

Ay, Maria! and Robert Baxter said that he should find his

way well enough up the lane; but he was lost in the wood after all. We must walk humbly to walk safely; and he that standeth must take heed lest he fall, I have not much to do with the world now; but with that little, if I had not the word of God to guide me, and his grace to preserve me from temptation, I should be a sad wanderer."

“How can you live in such a little, narrow hole as this cottage?” said Maria; "it must be very miserable.”

“Not at all,” replied her aunt; "I am thankful to live any where, so long as I can live to God's glory, for I know that my body will soon become the tenant of a narrower habitation.”

“ And then your bed," continued Maria, “ close up in the corner; I would not sleep there for the world.”

When Maria Horton made these remarks, she little thought of the distress which was about to come upon her. If, reader, thou art blessed with the comforts and any of the indulgences of life, be grateful, and“ be not high-minded, but fear;" for a time may arrive, when even the crumbs that fall from the table which is now spread for thee, may be sighed for in vain.

Maria Horton left her poor aunt in peace, in her "little, narrow hole of a cottage,” as she called it, and returned to a more stately habitation. In a short time she proceeded to London, but some unforeseen circumstances occurred to prevent her marriage. Her pride was wounded; disappointment soured her temper, and made her disagreeable to her friends. Some losses were sustained; poverty followed, and Maria Horton, once the delight of many a gay circle, looked around her for a friend in vain. Though pride kept her from holding any communication with her aunt, she often thought of her in her troubles, and of her advice, Take the lantern, and keep in the straight path.

While Maria Horton was thus gradually brought low, Robert Baxter had many an opportunity of seeing Mary Wilson. He was always a sober, steady man; but what he saw of widow Wilson in her cottage, and what he heard from her lips, made an impression on his mind. Take the lantern, and keep in the straight path,was a word of advice that was blessed to him, and he became a consistent christian, a lowly and sincere follower of Jesus Christ.

Trouble after trouble followed hard upon Maria Horton, for God is too merciful to withhold affliction when it is for his people's good. Finding no peace, Maria determined to go, in all her misery, to the cottage of her aunt, for she believed that her aged relative would not refuse the comfort she could bestow.

Though the followers of the Lamb may be thought little of at other seasons, yet they are thought much of when trouble comes upon the children of men. Then they are sought after; then they are confided in; and then their habitations are as places of refuge.

The cottage of Mary Wilson was a poor, defenceless place, and Mary was a poor, defenceless woman, weak, and in old age.

Who would have thought that the high-minded and the proud Maria Horton would run to the cottage of her aunt in the day of her calamity! But that cottage, lowly as it appeared, was a temple of the Lord; and the poor woman who dwelt there was a servant of the Most High. There is no situation in which piety is useless; but it is in the season of trouble and sorrow that it especially manifests its power. When the proud are humbled, when the strong become weak, when the brave tremble, and the worldly wise are at their wits' end, the humble follower of Jesus Christ shall be at peace. “Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; but he that trusteth in the Lord,'mercy shall compass him about."

Maria Horton knew that the cottage of her aunt was the habitation of peace, and peace was what her wounded and tried spirit required.

It was towards the close of evening that Maria Horton arrived at her aunt's cottage. She entered the habitation with a wild air; tore one of her gloves in the distressed state of her mind; clasped her hands together, and then sunk down upon a chair.

Mary Wilson, who knew of the change in the circumstances of her niece, and perceived the anguish she suffered, spoke to her with great kindness. " Whatever be your trouble, my dear Maria,” said the aged servant of God, “spread it before the Lord. “Rend your heart and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God; for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. »

“My trouble is greater than I can bear,” cried Maria Horton. “I am disappointed; I am forsaken; I am despised."

“Then now," replied her aunt, “is the very time to turn unto the Lord, for he is a friend to the friendless. . When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.' Yes! ‘He shall deliver thee in six troubles; yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee.'

The kindness of her aged aunt reached the humbled heart of Maria Horton; overcome by her affection, Maria threw her arms round the neck of her aged relative, and sobbed aloud on her bosom.

When Maria Horton had a little revived, she earnestly besought her aunt to let her dwell in the cottage, and live and die with her.

Trouble makes many things sweet to us which before were bitter, and teaches us gladly to partake of what we have been accustomed to despise. Maria Horton was glad to lay herself down in her poor aunt's bed; that bed, “close up in the corner,” which before she could not sleep in “for the world,” and to spend the night in her habitation, that "little narrow hole” of a cottage, which once appeared so “miserable” to her.

Among the manifold mercies for which we ought never to withhold thanksgiving and praise, sanctified adversity should never be forgotten. How

many who wear white raiment in heaven,' are indebted to the tribulations with which it pleased God to visit them on earth, as means which he made useful to their souls !

“What will become of me, aunt?” said Maria, as she laid herself down, worn out with care and fatigue.

“Fear not, my child,” replied Mary Wilson, “but cast thy burden upon Him who has promised to sustain it. Think how mercifully God has dealt with me, a poor old woman, and a sinner!

My bread has been given me, my water has been sure. A table has been spread for me, and 'my cup runneth over.' 'Surely goodness and


shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.' He who has blessed me with every needful blessing, will not leave destitute the weakest believer that comes to him in the name of Jesus Christ. Trust in him; Take the lantern, and keep in the straight path. ‘Enter

ye in at the strait gate, for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat; because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.').

Though Maria Horton did not remain many months at the cottage, she was there long enough to be greatly benefited by the pious counsel and kindness of her aged aunt, who paid her more attention in her adversity, than she had ever felt disposed to pay her in her prosperity. Maria Horton had reason to be grateful that she had been permitted to enter that lowly dwelling; humbled by trouble, and comforted by christian counsels, she was mercifully led to feel and acknowledge herself a sinner, and to seek that Saviour whom no contrite sinner shall seek in vain.

When she left the cottage of her aunt, it was to enter upon brighter prospects, for it had pleased God greatly to increase her temporal comforts as well as her spiritual mercies; but though, by the kind interference and exertions of a relative, she was in a measure restored to prosperity, she “forgot not the covenant of her God.” Her aunt was remembered by her with strong affection; and not only did Maria Horton delight herself in the word of the Most High,

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