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with such daring insolence, and afterwards expressed their 123 sorrow to Mr. B. To which he very ingenuously replied,
"I have been bruising the head of the old serpent, and no wonder you heard the hisses of the generation of vipers." It is well, when wit can be employed in the service of religion.
DR. Gifford, as he was one day shewing the British Museum to strangers, was very much vexed by the profane conversation of a young gentleman, who was present. The doctor, taking an ancient copy of the Septuagint, and shewing it him, "O!" said the gentleman, "I can read this." "Well," said the doctor, "read that passage;" pointing to the third commandment. Here the gentlemen was so struck, that he immediately desisted from swearing. "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver." And, a word spoken in due season, how good is it."
AN Oxford doctor once, 'tis said,
GOD'S PATERNAL CARE OVER HIS CHILDREN.
JOHN BAKKER, the subject of this narrative, travelled in the year 1762, the very first time in his life that he had taken a long journey, quite alone, from Zeyst near Utrecht, to New Wied upon the Rhine, and was now upon his way from Cleves to Cologne. He had with him, besides many letters, a considerable sum of money in gold, and some watches and jewels. His road led him through a wood, about four English miles in length, which at that time was infested by French marauders, who, the very day before, had murdered a travelling tailor, of which, however, he had not heard any thing. Having proceeded in this wood for about half an hour, in unusual anxiety, of which he at last had rid himself, by engaging his mind in meditation on a text of holy writ, he perceived a man behind him, who asked him what o'clock it was? While he gave him for answer, that it was near eleven, in the forenoon, there stepped forth from a thicket on one side of the road, three other men, who immediately demanded his money. He declared to them that though he wanted it for his journey yet he was ready to deliver it up to them. He actually produced his purse, which contained about four rix dollars worth about thirteen shillings and surrendered it into their hands. But now the villians, laying hold on him, tore his coat and waistcoat with violence from his body, and seized upon his smallclothes, in which he had his gold concealed, abusing him withal in the most cruel manner. He instantlyintreated them to spare his life, or, at least, to allow him a few minutes to commit his soul into the hands of God. But the robbers, who, amidst dreadful imprecations and barbarous treatment, were tearing off his smallclothes
at last agreed with each other to drag him from the road into the thick wood.
You may easily conceive the deadly anguish he endured while in their merciless hands. But while the robbers, regardless of his groans and intreaties, were engaged in dragging him away, there came two men on horseback full gallop behind him along the road, whom he could not see, but at the appearance of whom the robbers immediately threw away his clothes, and escaped with his purse only, into the wood. The horsemen approaching, found him almost fainting, and taking his clothes to them on their horses, encouraged him to run, as fast as he was able, along with them, in order to bring again into circulation his blood, congealed and stagnated through the anguish of death. He did it as well as he could, laying hold of the tail of one of the horses, and was conducted by his deliverers into the next village adjoining the wood, where they took him to the bailiff of that district. This gentleman, immediately on seeing him, and having received from the men a brief information of what had happened to him, cried out, with great emotion of mind, "My friend! You must needs be a Christian indeed, and God must have a special regard for you." He then related to him how he,going that morning into his garden to weed, on a sudden felt an impulse to despatch his men into the wood, in order to try whether any trace of the robbers, who had murdered the tailor the day before, could be discovered; and that thinking it might as well be put off for the forenoon, he had suffered such anxiety and perturbation of his mind, as rendered his eyes so dim that he could not see a single plant in his garden. On which account he,straight returning into his house, in VOL. I.
all haste, despatched the two men on horseback into the wood; and thereupon immediately recovered his peace of mind.
You may, my dear friend, casily conceive the sensations of the heart of our traveller, who had been so mercifully delivered,at this relation of the bailiff; who, in addition to his having proved the means of saving his life, took the most kind and liberal care of him, and lodged him that day and the ensuing night at his own house. Directly after this, measures were taken to search after the robbers; and divine justice caused them to be discovered and apprehended, when they received their deserved reward.
Methinks this event is a most affecting instance of the Lord's looking down upon his own in mercy and favor, and of his knowing how to deliver and preserve them in a most wonderful manner. O! That we might ever trust in him, resigning ourselves, and all our concerns, with filial confidence and faith, unto his holy will and provi. dential care!
MINISTERIAL ACCOUNTS AT THE GREAT DAY.
A DIVINE, in the former part of the last age, was preaching before an association of ministers, and, in order to quicken their regard to the principle, end, and motive from which they acted, pointed to them the last and awful day of judgment; and, having brought in Christ the judge, as taking his place on the throne, he then, by au elegant pro sopopoeia, represented him as calling his ministers to an account, examining how they had preached, and with what views they had undertaken and discharged the work of the ministry. "What did you preach for?” “I preached,
Lord, that I might keep a good living, that was left me by my father, of one hundred and fifty, or two hundred pounds per ann. which, if I had not entered into orders, had been wholly lost as to me and my numerous family." Christ says to him, "Stand by, thou hast had thy reward." The question is put to another, "And what did you preach for?" He answered, "Lord, I was applauded as a learn. ed man, and I preached to keep up the reputation of an excellent orator, and an ingenious preacher." Christ's answer to him, likewise, was, "Stand thou by, thou also hast had thy reward." The judge puts the question to a third, “And what did you preach for?" "Lord," says he, "I neither aimed at the great things of this world, though I was thankful for the conveniences of life, which thou gavest me; nor did I preach that I might gain the character of a wit, or of a man of parts, or of a fine scholar; but, I preached in compassion to souls, and to please and honor thee; my design in preaching was, Lord, that I might win souls to thy blessed majesty." Upon this, the judge called out, "Room, men; ROOM, angels! Let this man come and sit with me on my throne, as I am set down with my Father on his throne; he has owned and honored me on earth, and I will own and honor him through all the ages of eternity."
The result of all then was, that the ministers went home much affected, resolving that, through the help of God, they would mind the work of the ministry more, and look better to their aims and ends than ever.
CICERO Complains of Homer, that "he taught the gods to live like men; but grace teaches men to live like gods.