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becoming dependant upon the parish. Barnabas, her eldest, who was a well disposed boy, had been eager to be doing something for himself. In his present situation he had, hitherto, felt contented, if not quite happy. Some days his work was very hard, and his master, who was naturally harsh, would make him feel the burden of his servitude; but then he had always plenty of good and wholesome food, and when the labours of the day were ended, he was accustomed to sleep quietly upon his pillow, after repeating those prayers which he had been taught by his serious and affectionate mother. It is a great privilege to have pious parents. Their instructions, their example, and their prayers, are truly valuable, and are often blessed, by a kind and compassionate God, to the good and happiness of their children. It is, however, the duty of children to pray that they may be able to improve those advantages, and that their hea
venly Father would grant them the assistance of his spirit for this purpose. For, however great and many the mercies of God to us may be, they will do us little good if they are not accompanied with his blessing. But let us ask with faith, and his word tells us we shall receive.
The situation in which Barnabas was placed with farmer Thomson was not favorable to his progress in religion. This man very ignorant respecting those truths which God has been pleased to reveal in his holy word, for the salvation of sinners. He thought himself a Christian, and would have been highly offended with any one who questioned his right to the title; but he knew very little about real Christianity. It is true that, except occasional excesses at market, and at the time of sheep-shearing, harvest-home, &c. he was what the world calls a sober, moral man. He was regular in going with his family to church once on the Sunday; nor was he backward in helping the poor during a hard winter ; but of the nature of true repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, of the necessity of becoming a new creature, and of reconciliation with our Heavenly Father, through the obedience, sufferings, and death of the Saviour,—he was as entirely ignorant, as the cattle which depended upon his daily care and attention for their subsistence. One sad fault he was often guilty of; nor is it the less a sin because it is so common, even among some who call themselves Christians; he was extremely apt to be passionate ; and at such times, happy was it for those of his family and servants who could get out of his way.
6. He that ruleth his spirit, is greater than be that taketh a city,” said Solomon. It often fell to the lot of poor Barnabas to feel the effect of his master's anger, upon occasions the most trivial. It is of very great consequence that
we learn to govern our passions, or they will become stronger as we grow older, and will in the end rule us.
Hitherto our little cow-boy had borne with the hardships of his situation, and even the rugged temper of his master, with patience, if not cheerfulness, from a regard for his mother, and not knowing where he could be better provided for. But the artful suggestions of the young smuggler, for such was his friend Tom Wheeler, began to produce new feelings in his mind. Prospects of gain, and of freedom from the drudgery of his present employments ; and above all, the hope of escaping from the cuffs and stripes of his occasionally ill-tempered master, dwelt upon his mind. As he lay awake for a time on his bed, during the night, revolving these things in his thoughts, he was conscious that the way of life to which he was invited, was against the laws of his country and he recollected his mother having once told
him that it was contrary to the command of Jesus Christ: “Render unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's.” Then, on the other hand, he remembered the artful reasons which Tom had used to do away with his objections, and thought, as he intended to devote all his earnings in the new employment to the comfort of his mother in her declining years, that the end would justify the means; and he thus persuaded himself that the good which he purposed to do would far exceed the injury by which it was to be effected. He therefore began to think seriously of quitting his master, so soon as the time for which his services were engaged, should be ended.
In opposition to such deceitful reasonings as those by which Barnabas was led away, the Scriptures of Divine Truth say expressly, “ that we are not to do evil that good may come.” The great God, my dear children, has shown us in the plainest manner, what our duty