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A minister went one dis to a certain church in : the city to officiate for the lecturer After a walk of tio miles, he entered the church a few minutes before the time, and was surprised not to see an individual in the church; except the boy who was tolling the bell with the surplice on his arm. He went into the vestry, and was but just sat down, when a man in black opened the door, and, walking up, addressed him with a very consequential air : “ Pray, Sir, who may you be ?" " Who am I?_ Such a one ; and come to preach for your lecturer this afternoon.” “ There was nobody here last Sunday," said this man; " and I see nobody to-day.” Upon which, taking up his hat, he stalked off with dignity, saying, " Let us depart in peace;" and left the clergyman overwhelmed with indignation and astonish. ment. These thing's ought not so to be. On the Lord's day-in the midst of the city of London -in one of its most beautiful churches--not an individual attended for two successive sabbaths! There must be a cause for effects so awful!
THE FAMILY EXPOSITOR. MR. W., a merchant at Boston in America, according to his wonted liberality, sent a present of chocolate, sugar, &c. to the Rev. Dr. B., with a billet desiring his acceptance of it as a comment on Gal. vi. 6. “Let him that is taught in the word, communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things." The Doctor, who was then confined by sickness, returned his compliments to Mr. W., thanked him for his excellent family
expositor, and wished Mr. W. to give him a - practical exposition of Matt. XXV. 36. “ I was sick, and ye visited me.".
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THE PIOUS FARMERS. : The Farmer's Faith better than the Prelate's
Disquisitions. .. THE late King of Sweden was, it seems, un. der serious impressions for some time before his death. A peasant being once, on a particular occasion, admitted to his presence, the king, knowing him to be a person of singular piety, asked him, “ What he took to be the true nature of faith ?" The peasant entered deeply into the subject, and much to the king's comfort and satisfaction. The king' at last, lying on his death bed, had a return of his doubts and fears as to the safety of his soul; and still the same question was perpetually in his mouth to those about him. is What is real faith?" His attendants advised him to send for the Archbishop of Upsall ; who, coming to the king's bedside, began in a learned logical manner, to enter into the scholastic defini. tion of faith. The prelate's disquisition lasted an hour. When he had done, the king said, "with much energy, “ All this is ingenious, but not comfortable; it is not what I want: nothing", after all, but the farmer's faith will do for me." So true is that observation, that religion is a plain thing; and indeed it wants no metaphysical subtilties, no cri. .tical disquisitions, no laborious reasonings, to set .. it in a clear light.
When the late Mr. Burgess was a boy, he went
with a load of seed wheat to a farm-house some miles distant: on the road they met a waggoner, who asked where they were going. They told him; and he answered, “ The Lord have mercy upon you, then, for you and your horses will be sadly taken care of." When they arrived at the house, the master came out, and said, “ Well, my boys, you are safely arrived ; come in and refresh yourselves ; my men shall unload your wheat, and take care of your horses. This was accordingly done. When Mr. B. was in the house, partaking of his hospitality, he thought certainly this man was one of those he read of in the bible, who were despised for their religion, being exceedingly surprised to find him act so contrary to the account he had heard ; when, looking at the chimney-piece, he saw the following lines :
" I have no house-room for the cursed swearer,
* Such guests as those are only fit for hell." Mr. B. lived to be upwards of seventy, when he visited that same place, found the house new built, in the possession of a good man, and the same lines written over the new chimney-piece.
FASHION. : « THE power of fashion (says Mr. Cogan in his Treatise on the Passions) is an ideal influenza, that spreads with the utmost rapidity, infecting a whole community where it commenced; some times extending to distant nations, and acquiring such a strength in its progress, that nothing can resist its force. It does not possess the degree of merit attendant upon the excessive love of novelty, which always imagines the object to possess some degree of worth; a circumstance, this, by no means essential to the influence of fashion, whose authority is, in general, derived from things known to be idle and insignificant. Fashion gives absolute sway to modes, forms, colours, &c., wantonly introduced by the whim of an individual, with whom the majority have not the niost distant connection; concerning whom they are totally igno. rant, unless circumstances and situations of noto. riety, should render their characters either equivocal or unequivocal. It is capable of instantaneously altering our opinion of the nature and qualities of things, without demanding any painful exertions of the understanding, or requiring the slow process of investigation. With the quickness of a magic wand, it in a moment subverts all those ideas of beauty, elegance, and propriety, we had before cherished. It makes us reject, as odious, what we had lately contemplated as most desirable ; and raptures are inspired by qualities we had just considered as pernicious and deformed. Unwilling to renounce our title to rationality, unable to resist the power of fashion, we make every attempt to reconcile reason with absurdity : thus, in num. berless instances, we attempt to vindicate to ourselves and others the novel affection. We are as. siduous to find out some peculiar excellence or advantage in whatever becomes the idol of the day, and to discover some insufferable defect in the di. vinity we have discarded. That which was once deemed grand and majestic in size or form, will. now strike the eye as insupportably clumsy; and the regularity we once admired, now renders an
object stiff, precise, and formal. Colours, which were yesterday so delicately elegant, will appear to-day faint, faded, and lifeless; and those which were lately much too strong and glaring for our weak optics, become, in an instant, bright, glowing, and majestic. Fashion will render that parti. cular garb, which we once thought so warm and comfortable, hot and insupportable as the sultry dog days; and it makes the slightest covering, contrary to its pristine nature, remarkably pleasant in the depth of winter. The flowing hair, or adjusted ringlets, shall at one period be consider. ed as becoming and elegant; at another, be rejected as an insufferable mark of effeminacy, and re. probated as demanding a culpable waste of our most precious time; while their close amputation is deemed both manly and commodious. At one period, fashion imperiously orders the tightest ligatures to encircle the neck, as if the separation of some excresence were intended; at another, it recommends the large and swoln cravat, as if it thought a poultice were necessary to assauge the irritation occasioned by the preceding mode, and it benevolently permits the chin to partake of the soothing warmth. It directs decency to excite a blush'at being detected without any other head. dress than that ordained by nature, and it is also able to suppress the blush of female delicacy at exposures which scarcely leave any room for the exercise of the most licentious imagination !!! These are admirable observations : let the votaries of fashion read them, and reflect on the abject slavery in which they are held. · Too much attention to fashionable dress certainly displays an imbecility of mind. Alphon