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comfort! show thy mercy and extend thy comfort, in this bitter time of need, to thy poor afflicted servant, who sees thee only arrayed in terrors, like a consuming fire, with the thunder-bolt ready to strike, and thy dreadful ministers of vengeance prepared to execute thy wrath! O look down upon him from heaven with pity and compassion!Behold how he humbles himself under thy mighty hand, and abhors his own deeds, and despises all the disgrace of men, to appease thee his offended God! Accept, O most gracious Father! accept this voluntary confession of his guilt, which might have been hidden from every eye but thine. He has confessed it of his own will to abase himself to the earth, and to with infamy, and to give sincerity of his repentance. the dust, and vouchsafe to him if it be but a glimpse even of the skirts of thy glory! Thy holy angels glow with joy over every sinner that repenteth; wilt not thou too be reconciled, and soften the terrors of thy countenance, and speak peace to the wounded spirit? Such did thy beloved Son come to seek and to save; with such is thy blessed Spirit content to take up his abode; nay, even thyself, who art the high and lofty One that inhabitest eternity, even Thou wilt condescend to dwell with the humble and contrite, to revive and refresh them. Descend, therefore, from thy

cover his own head terrible proof of the O, raise him up from

high and holy place into the heart of this despondent mourner, and cleanse it from all impurity, and illumine it with a beam of mercy! O let him pursue his repentance with hope, and not in despair! Amen, amen, so be it!"

At this instant the nurse re-entered the chamber, and brought with her a composing draught, which Mr. Benson had mixed up below stairs. This drew my attention from the bed for a moment, so that I did not observe what immediately followed my prayer. Upon turning round again, I saw the sick man sitting up and Mrs. Greathead supporting him. "You have been heard, Dr. Warton," he said, with a placid voice; “your prayer has prevailed, my enemy is gone, and my unburdened conscience is settling into a calm, blessed be God! and blessed be you too, the instrument of his goodness! But let me use this calm to advance another step. Give me the draught; I want sleep; a little sweet sleep, to close these restless aching eyeballs, may enable me to do great things to-morrow, if to-morrow finds me here-God's will be done! To him and my Saviour I commit myself this night. Dr. Warton, you are fatigued. Fare you well! You will see me again, I know, if I live.”

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Upon this I grasped his hand, and left him without a single word in reply. I was firm before, but deeply affected at the last. The same

servant attended me home; but we walked in deep silence, and in great haste, because of the rain, which poured in torrents. I saw his master no more. That very night, during a sound sleep, terminated his mortal existence. Would that all impenitent sinners had witnessed what I did! God be merciful to him and to them!

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Note, appended by the Author to the story of Hopes and Fears,' and written apparently long after.-EDITORS.

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I know not whether this piece will ever see the light; but if it does, I wish it to be understood, that I included in my notion of the StockExchange,' all agents and dealers in the funds of every description. The Stock-Exchange, properly so called, consists, I believe, of a select body of men, distinguished generally all over the world for their integrity and honourable conduct. In any event, no one will judge a whole class by a single person, or by a single fact.

J. W.

156

CHAPTER IV.

MRS. BROWN-CONTENTMENT.

§ 1. MRS. BROWN AND MRS. WILKINSON.

I WAS sitting by the bedside of an elderly woman, who was propped up with pillows, and still could scarcely breathe. For many years she had enjoyed excellent health; during the last she had been gradually declining; and her husband, too, being very infirm, poverty seemed to be advancing upon them apace. She was at this moment very restless, and probably in great pain; drops of perspiration hung everywhere upon her face, and, "Ah! Sir," she exclaimed, though with difficulty, "I wish God would release me; I am always praying to Him to release me."

"I have no doubt," I said, tenderly, "that your disorder distresses you sadly, and that your pains are difficult to bear; every humane person who sees you suffer so much must take pity and compassion upon you. Nevertheless, I have great doubts whether you are wise in wishing and praying for what you do. Shall we receive good at

the hands of God, and shall we not receive evil also? Good and evil both come from Him, and he has no object in sending either of them, but our profit; both therefore should be received thankfully. The greatest possible evil should not shake our trust in him, or make us fancy that we could choose better for ourselves. It would ill become us poor ignorant creatures to tell him that we will only be content with what we ourselves call good, and to murmur when he sends the contrary. Your wishing to be released from life altogether must mean, I presume, that you are unwilling to bear what he lays upon you; and yet it may be for your profit far beyond your former prosperity. Your praying to him to take you must, I presume, be the same in effect as saying that you are wiser than he is, and know best what is for your own advantage. Consider this then seriously, I entreat you, and you will probably come at length to understand that such wishing and such praying cannot please God, and that the true wisdom is to submit everything to his will."

In an arm-chair, by the side of the fire, in the chimney-corner, sat a much older woman than the sick one, quite blind and lamentably deaf, with both her hands on her lap before her, doing nothing, and not even hearing what I said to the other, but with a countenance far from listless or vacant. This was Mrs. Brown, who lodged and

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