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and cold and hungry, I lay down by your side, with music in my heart, and slept the sleep given to his beloved. Some immediate relief came to me in payment for some work; and it was not long after that on the death of an uncle, I came into the receipt of an annuity which he had, without my expecting it, bequeathed to me by will."

"I did not know you had been so severely tried, mother."

"No, I never before have seen cause to tell you these things; but now my experience may, I hope, be useful to you. We need the Holy Spirit's action in the soul to establish it in faith; such faith as shall be in active exercise, not only in prosperous circumstances, but also in the most adverse."


Having nothing besides to boast of, I may be pardoned for proclaiming that I have a great, a good, and a wise Friend: a Friend in need and a Friend indeed. It would be impossible to comprise within the limits of a few pages, a thousandth part of what this Friend is to me: what he has done for me, what I am perfectly and certainly convinced and assured he will do for me: but this gives no reason for my being entirely silent, especially as many of my neighbours seem disposed to think and to speak lightly of him. I shall plunge at once into the subject, therefore, and say that—

My Friend is remarkable for his kindness. It may be said that there is nothing strange in this, because an unkind friend would be a contradiction in terms. I am not quite sure of this, however; since it sometimes is seen that men of rugged tempers and unlovely manners are capable of friendly feelings which they do not very well know how to express; and that they perform acts of kindness, though in an apparently unkind way. Now, this is not the case with my Friend. On the contrary, his very heart and soul, so to speak, is so steeped in kindness, that his whole nature is imbued with it. If there is one word in human language which, more than any other, expresses and concentrates the entire character of my Friend, that word is Love. This is so completely the case that it seems to me a sheer impossibility that my Friend can be unkind. Never since I have known him, or rather, have been known of him, has a single word or message or look, far less a single action— towards me, conveyed anything but i,he most devoted tenderness and love. It is true, sometimes—and, I regret to say, often—I have given him occasion to rebuke me; but even this has been done so kindly and tenderly that the reproofs he has administered have conveyed with them their own balm, as being full of expressions of his great affection for me.

How my Friend has shown his kindness it would take too long to tell in full. It must be sufficient to declare that being utterly ruined and undone, and not knowing where to look for succour, my Friend made himself known to me. He had observed my destitution and misery, and came forward with just the help I needed. To use language which I am sure is not at all too strong and expressive, he raised up the poor out of the dust, and lifted the needy out of the dunghill, to set him with princes. There were three things which made this kindness the more extraordinary. The first was that the ruin into which I was plunged, was of my own procuring: I had destroyed myself. The second was that I was as distant from my Friend in all moral qualities as the east is from the west; that, in short, I was so degraded morally as to be utterly unworthy of his notice. The third was that the effectual relief he brought to me, cost him very dear; it was at an immense sacrifice that he brought his kindness to bear upon me.

It is by the kindness of my Friend, then, that I am what I am; that I have been raised from degradation, and am admitted into an honourable fraternity, or brotherhood, of which he is the chief. Judge, therefore, if I ought not to speak as well as to think very highly of his friendship.

I remember very well that when I was first told of his designs towards me, I was astonished and overwhelmed with the thought of such disinterested and costly love; and declared that I was not worthy of such distinguished favour, which indeed was true. I thought then that if I could be admitted into his household as among the number of his menial servants, it would be more than I could dare hope for. But the message came to me, direct from himself: "I call you not a servant; I call you my friend." It seems wonderful to me now—though I have had numberless proofs of his sincerity—that it should be so: but I dare not and will not dishonour my Friend by appearing to discredit his own words; and since he does not disdain to call me his friend, I cannot but make it my boast and glory that he is mine and T am his.

After what I have said of the kindness of my Friendthough, as I have hinted before, the ten-thousandth part cannot be told—but after what I have said, you will be prepared to learn that—

My Friend is remarkable for his sympathy. And yet, if you think more closely, you will confess that kindness and sympathy do not always go together. A friend may be very kind, and yet be so far separated from those whom he benefits, as, in many respects, to be incapable of sympathy. He may feel for them, but not with them. For instance, a very rich man, who has never known want, can scarcely understand what poverty means, even when he sees its effects, and relieves it. For my part, I should not choose, if in deep adversity, to go for sympathy to one who has always prospered in the world; or, if in painful bereavement, to one who has never mourned for the dead. My Friend, however, has, in former parts of his history, passed through almost every variety of suffering. He knows exactly what poverty is, for he has felt it, having been indeed so poor as to have nowhere to lay his head. He knows what adversity, and that of tho crudest, bitterest character, means, for he was despised and rejected and persecuted—" aman of sorrows and acquainted with grief.' He knows what bereavement is, for he wept over the grave of a beloved friend. He can sympathize, therefore, with me, if ever I am tempted and tried and pressed down above what I am able to bear; and he does sympathize. That is to say, he feels with me in my troubles, and makes them his own, being touched with the feeling of my infirmities. I never need be afraid or ashamed, therefore, to go to him with my cares and burdens, under the mistaken idea that if the kindness of his heart prompts him to relieve me. the greatness of his nature and the superiority of his position will equally prompt him to contemn my weakness. On the contrary, I am justified by all experience, in applying to my Friend the words of a poet—

"Touched with a sympathy within,
He knows my feeble frame;
He knows what sore temptations mean,
For he has felt the same."

But, in addition to his kindness and sympathy, my Friend is remarkable for his fidelity. He is faithful, for in- stance, to himself, and to the promises he makes, and to the ( xpectations he raises. It is to be lamented that some who {rofess great friendship are remiss in this particular. £ ometimes their sympathies overpass their judgment, and i ley hastily enter into engagements on behalf of their i riends which they afterwards find it impossible to fulfil;

they deliberately break those engagements because it is convenient to fulfil then. ^Neither of these continbies, however, affects me in the least, as between my Friend and myself. He is so entirely true, as to be Truth itself; and it may be justly said of him that he does not know even the shadow of a change. This is so much a part of his nature that—to use very strong and expressive language—I am convinced that heaven and earth shall pass away before one word that he has spoken shall be falsified or fail.

And this is not because he is chary in his promises. On the contrary, no other friend ever promised so much as my Friend promises. I may safely say, indeed, that there are no conceivable circumstances in my future history to which some kind promise or other of his does not expressly point, so that I am warranted in being perfectly at ease with regard to any event that may befall me. I should know where to put my hand on some written engagement of his, relating to that event; and should be quite sure of the best help he could give, because "He is faithful that hath promised."

Should it be asked how I am so very certain of my Friend's fidelity in this particular, I might triumphantly refer to my past experience of it. He always has kept his engagements to me; not one word has failed of all that he has promised, though I have had occasion to test his faithfulness again and again. Besides, I have the experience of others, to make my assurance doubly sure. My Friend has other friends, as I have already hinted; and the concurrent testimony of all these is that our Friend's promises, large and many as they are, are exceeded by his performances. I should be most ungrateful as well as stupid, therefore, were I to distrust him.

But my Friend is faithful to me as well as to himself. You are not to suppose that he is blind to my many defects; and, as I said just now, he has sometimes to find fault with me. The uniform principle on which he deals with all his friends is to be gathered from these words of his, £i As many as I love I rebuke and chasten." He never sees me going wrong, therefore, without letting me know that he disapproves of my conduct, though, as I have already said, he does this lovingly and tenderly. There are some friends, I am aware, who shrink from showing this proof of friendship; but my Friend—he who is my Friend above all others—is too faithful to permit me to do harm to myself unchecked: on the contrary, I may say of him—

"Whene'er I go astray
He doth my soul reclaim,
And guides me in his own right way,
For his most holy name."

I could add much more on this noble feature in his friendship; but I must say further, that my Friend is remarkable for wisdom and good counsel. And I may again contrast with him in this respect, many who, as far as lies in their power, are kind, sympathizing, and faithful in their friendships: their sagacity is often at fault. It is very possible, therefore, to be led astray by those who most sincerely wish us well.

It is undeniable that there are frequently, if not constantly, circumstances arising which greatly perplex and embarrass us, and when the counsels of a wise and judicious friend are very desirable. Well, my Friend is not only willing to afford me these; but his counsels always stand firm and approve themselves for their wisdom. And it has ever been remarked by those who have tried them and walked by them, that the closer they are followed, the more has their wisdom been manifest: while, on the contrary, those who have walked in the dim light of a fire which they themselves have kindled, have had to lie down in sorrow, or to retrace their steps with repentings and self-reproaches.

The counsels of my Friend not only are wise, but he is ever ready to give them. In this he differs from many, whose advice is hard to be obtained, and from others who never give advice gratis. It is indeed, a standing rule of his, freely to impart counsel to all who seek it; and, in addition to this—which is strange but true—he bestows some of his own wisdom to every one who goes to him for advice, so as to'ensure its being rightly followed. I confess that, but for this marvellous generosity, I should often

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