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a law, strictly enforced, it would be so oppressive, that people would give up their trades, or only carry them on when they could make large profits; so the consumer would in the end have fewer persons to deal with, and would have to pay more for his goods.
"But," it may be said, "if the miller and baker are not to blame, it must be the farmer, and he should be forced to sell his corn at a reasonable price." As to what is a reasonable price, there would be much difference of opinion; and if the law is to settle at what rate a farmer is to sell his produce, it should also settle the price of shoes, and coats, and all other articles of sale. This would soon ruin the shopkeepers, and those who are employed in manufacturing these articles.
Besides, there is a competition among farmers as well as in other trades. Each farmer is glad to get money for his wheat, and takes care to sell it to the best advantage to himself. When there is plenty of corn in the country, prices are never high for a long time, because so many are anxious to sell.
It is just, too, that the farmer should at some times make more than ordinary profit, because at others he suffers great losses, and he has always the expense of cultivating the ground. If this were not so, farmers would not be able to afford to till the ground. One bad year would ruin them, and so less corn would be grown, and the quantity of food in the country be seriously diminished.
"But sometimes, when there is much corn in the country, do not farmers or corn-dealers keep back their stores in hopes of getting higher prices? Should not this be prevented?"
Why do they do this? Because they expect corn to be scarce at some future time. If they are wrong, they must bring out their stores and this will make corn cheaper in the end. But if they are right, the stores will come in at a time of scarcity and so prevent famine.
The only permanent harm keeping corn back can do, is by its being spoiled in granaries; and the dealer's own interest will prevent his allowing this to take place to any great extent.
But if corn is scarce, or even likely to be scarce, "high prices" are in the end an advantage to the nation. They cause less to be used; and although this creates present inconvenience and hardship, it leaves more for a future day, and makes the same quantity last a longer time. High prices force a whole people to do what a prudent housekeeper would do of himself. He would say, "I have a certain stock of things for the year. This year I have less than usual, or am less likely to get fresh supplies. Therefore I must be more sparing of what I have.”
A MISSIONARY FROM A SUNDAY-SCHOOL.*
WILLIAM B- — was born at Dover, in the year 1818. His friends were in humble circumstances, and could afford him but little education; but he early showed much ability, and a great thirst for knowledge: this was observed by the clergyman of the parish who managed the Sunday-school where B attended,
* This account is literally true in every particular.
and after a short time he made him one of the teachers of the classes.
No one could have been more regular or a better teacher than B, and he continued to instruct in the Sunday-school for nearly ten years. He was anxious that the children under his care should grow up Christians, not only in name but in truth. Sometimes he would walk out with them along the sea-shore, and talk to them very earnestly about the duty and happiness of serving God faithfully; and there was a distant cave on the beach, where he would take them, and there kneel down and pray with them. But besides his duties as teacher in the Sunday-school, William B
had his daily work to do; at one time he was apprenticed to a tailor, but his master failed, and he consequently never served his time, but earned his bread by doing what work he could get. He gained much influence amongst his neighbours by his steadiness of character; and seeing the dreadful effects of drunkenness in others, he made it a rule to take only a basin of gruel for supper. Whenever he could get any spare time, he would spend it in reading improving books. Such books were lent him from time to time, and among others a Report of the Society for the Propȧgation of the Gospel, which stated the great need the poor heathen people of Hindostan had of teachers. B felt deeply the sad account this report gave of these people who worshipped false gods; and after a time he went to the clergyman, and told him of his wish to go out as a catechist to teach them. With modesty, yet with deep earnestness, he offered his services: the clergyman told him of the difficulties and hardships of the sphere he had chosen, and a month
was given him to consider the matter. At the end of this time he again stated his earnest desire to be thus engaged in the service of his Redeemer, and thereupon his services were accepted. Although he was not sent to Hindostan, no long time elapsed before the situation of catechist in Guiana was offered him. This offer he readily closed with. He went after this to be examined, when one of those who examined him remarked, that they had never met with any young man who appeared to have more entirely the sincere love of God in his heart. B left England early in the spring of 1840 for Guiana: on his way he spent a mon that Barbados with the bishop there, who gave him much fatherly advice, and showed him great kindness; and he afterwards went on to the scene of his future labours. All alone he went to live among a people, whose language he had yet to learn, before he could teach them anything about the true God; for they could not understand English. The next year the bishop of Guiana ordained him deacon, and the following year priest; and having learned a good deal of their Indian language, he soon after preached and explained the Scriptures to these heathen people, persuading them to forsake their heathen practices and false religion, and baptizing them in the faith of the only true God. In 1849 he was obliged to return to England for his health, for he had suffered greatly from his residence amidst the woods and さ swamps of Guiana. But while in England he did not fail to work for the poor people he had left behind, for he translated the Gospels of St. Matthew and St. John into their language, so that when they had learned to read, they might be able to read about
Jesus Christ their Saviour in their own tongue. As soon as his health would allow it he went back to Guiana. Many in that country, who had seen him go away with regret, gave him a welcome back. Others there were, who had fallen again into their former evil ways, and these felt too much ashamed to think of coming near him on his return. There had been a chapel and school-house built in this district some years since, and the chapel still remained in pretty good repair, but the school-house had fallen down from decay. The difficulty was how to get another rebuilt, for there was a great want of tools. Every man had his axe, his cutlass, and his knife, as a matter of course, but they could not do carpenter's work with these. One man had a worn-out plane, but it was of no use for shaving wood; and an old native woman brought a gimlet, which was soon broken, and scarcely a hammer could be found. Then there was another trouble; for just when the new schoolhouse was to be built, it was the most busy time with the men, who had their fields and gardens to attend to; and some unwillingness to the work was shown on this account. But Cornelius, one of Mr. B's earliest converts, came forward, and put off his field-work for a time, to set a good example, and offered his services to help to build the school-house. Others after this came forward, and offered to assist. Mr. B- sent them a supply of tools, and some salt fish and molasses for food, while they were employed in erecting the new school-house; which I am happy to say was very well built, and was completed in October 1851. The bishop paid them a visit when it was finished, and it was a season of great comfort