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me the power of being in some degree useful to my fellow-creatures. In the state in which I now am, and so soon as I shall be laid under that tomb, (pointing to the small church-yard at the bottom of the hills how doubly dear is each remembrance to me." As she said these words, Rachel turned from her to hide her streaming tears; and, after a short silence, her pious mistress clasped her hands in fervent joy: “Oh ! how thankful am I to Thee, almighty and gracious God,” said she, “ that thiné infinite mercy placed me in this lowly state, sheltered from the temptations of a dangerous world; and hast, by thine almighty power and grace, enabled me to put my whole trust in Thee--a trust which, blessed be thy holy name, is daily becoming stronger, as my body becomes weaker. It is lo Thee, great God, that I owe all the happiness I have enjoyed here; and, unworthy as I am of the least of thy mercies, it is to Thee, through the merits of my Redeemer alone, that I look for eternal happiness hereafter. Oh! give me, in thine abundant grace, this joyful hope to the end.”
Exhausted by the fervour with which she spoke, Mrs. D. fell back into the arms of the weeping Rachel, who, seeing her pale and motionless, concluded her to be dead, and uttered a piercing shriek, which recalled the fainting spirit of her mistress. My dear Rachel,” said she, “ why this fear and this grief? Can you sorrow for the blessed change I am about to make? Are you not resigned? Are you not prepared to make this sacrifice to the will of your heavenly Father? We shall meet again, my Rachel ; let your entire submission prove your firm faith in Christ, and let this console you as it supports me. I am as happy as ever your fond affection can wish me to be-except, indeed, in two respects," added she, a faint flush colouring her cheeks as she spoke. “ First, I grieve that
twenty pounds are all I have to leave you, my dear and faithful friend; I wished much to have saved enough to maintain you for the rest of your life; this, as you know, has been entirely out of my power : but God will provide for you. Secondly, you know how anxious I have been to provide religious instruction for the poor children of the village. My desire was to have saved enough to leave a yearly allowance to the mistress, in order that, in her own plain and useful way, she should instruct all those who are too poor to pay for her teaching. I have, for some time past, denied myself every indulgence, that I might have a sum sufficient for this; but twenty pounds are all I have been able to put by from my very small income, and it cannot be done for less than sixty pounds. Had I lived a little longer, I might have been in posses. sion of this sum from a distant relation, who had partly promised her assistance: but God's will be done! 'I submit without a murmur, and earnestly pray
that He will bless these children of my care, and by the riches of His love, supply to them what my poverty denies."
A few days only after this conversation, Mrs. D. breathed her last in the arms of her faithful Rachel, who waited to see the last sad duties properly performed, and on the following day left the house in the possession of the heirs-at-law. Many were the offers of lodging and other kindnesses which she received from the grateful inhabitants of the little village of S. ; but she had resolved to leave it, and, hastening to the church-yard, once more to weep over the remains of her beloved mistress, she set out for the place of her birth, sincerely regretted by all. For four years nothing more was heard of Rachel; but, at the end of that time, the Clergyman of the village received a box, containing forty pounds, with the following letter :
Rev. Sir, Here are the forty pounds which, as you know, my dear mistress so much desired to have. God be praised, her last wish is accomplished, and the good she prayed for will now be done, through the blessing of God, and your endeavours. If I had any thing over, I would have brought you the money myself; but I have not enough to pay my journey, and I could not wait a day longer after I had made up the sum. I feel as if I had lost a great burthen, for the thought of this money has been on my mind by night and by day, ever since I lost my beloved mistress ; and I shall now be as happy as I can be in this world without her. I have worked very hard for the twenty pounds which I add to the twenty pounds she left me; but I have not wanted, and shall not want, as I am living with a very poor, but very kind relation, who shares with me the little she has. I beg of you, Rev. Sir, to settle the business of the annuity as soon as you can, to take care that it shall be paid for ever, and that it shall be paid to none but a pious mistress, who will bring up the poor children in a plain, industrious, and virtuous way; to fear God and honour the King, and to bless the memory of their benefactress, my dear mistress. I pray God to bless you, and all at our dear village;
and am, Rev. Sir,
If my cottage friends should be, or will fancy themselves to be, the parents of children, for whose instruction they are very anxious, and who had no other means of obtaining this instruction than that which was now so benevolently offered them, they may imagine what were the feelings of gratitude and pleasure with which the inhabitants of S. heard this letter read by their good minister, who on the following Sunday assembled his parishioners after the afternoon service in the church-yard, to hear it: and they will, I hope, think that had they been one of those good people, they would not have failed to remember the worthy Rachel in their prayers, and to think with gratitude of her excellent mistress. At the time in which they lived, charity schools were not known as they are at present : now they are in abundance; they are in almost every town and village. May all young people be thankful for the blessing; always remembering, that unto whomsoever much is given, of them will much be required.
HANNAH HEDGES. HANNAH Hedges is a plain young woman, but she is noted for her particular neatness and goodhumour; still, amongst the other village girls, Hannah Hedges is thought a plain girl. Why is it then that this young woman is more sought than all the rest; that she has the steadiest and best young man for her admirer, and every body for her friend? This is an enquiry well worth making, for the sake of those who may wish to resemble her.
God had bestowed upon Hannah a good temper and a teachable mind; and being early sent to the National School, she there treasured every good les. son in her memory, and cherished every good disposition in her heart. Her first trials arose where most others find them, in the little troubles of her own home: she had there many tempers to please, many crosses to endure, and great reason to exert all her industry and patience. These things often gave her much trouble and uneasiness, but in the end they proved so many blessings to her, for she looked upon them as trials sent to prove and perfect her Christian spirit. In fulfilling them, and in checking every unkind, cross and angry feeling, she grew gentle, kind and patient: she felt that secret joy which springs in the heart with every act of kindness, and every victory over ourselves ; that joy which our blessed Saviour himself has promised to bestow, and which we may therefore rest assured will always be the reward of his humble and faithful followers. If any were in trouble, Hannah visited and soothed them; if any had reason to rejoice, Hannah rejoiced with them; her good humour was always pleasant to behold, and failed not to heighten the joy of others : if a toilsome task was to be overcome, Hannah was ready to offer her assistance; and her kindness, her diligence, and her discretion were above all praise. But happily they are not above imitation, for they are within the reach of all those who will endeavour to acquire them. It is true that the enemy of man is ever at hand to encourage evil propensities; but, blessed be God, his Holy Spirit is equally ready to encourage and strengthen, and gladden the hearts of those who stedfastly set themselves to acquire good ones, and in the strength of the Most High, to walk like the children of God. But we are not to suppose this can be effected without many inward struggles and self-denials. Before we obtain the mastery over ourselves, we must expect many a sharp contention; and we must therefore apply to Him who is ever ready to perfect our endeavours.
Many there are who from mere worldly interests submit, for years of painful drudgery, to services which after all may never be rewarded ;-how much rather then should the sincere Christian toil in the service of Him who will faithfully reward the smallest work of kindness done for his sake; who will encourage the faithful, strengthen the weak, soothe the penitent, and finally reward the patient doer of his word, not only with a good name on earth, but with a glorious inheritance in heaven.