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in the legal profession ever shared the confidence of the public to a greater degree than this good man. His acquaintances say that the Bible laid the foundation of his character and influence.
Dr Johnson was known, in his day, for similar scriptural knowledge. He said to a young friend who visited him on his death-bed : “Young man, attend to the voice of one who has possessed a certain degree of fame in the world, and who will shortly appear before his Maker : read the Bible every day of your life.”
Also, when Dr Franklin was near the grave, he was visited by a young man, who had ever cherished a profound respect for the philosopher, while yet be was a sceptic. He thought it would be a good time to test Dr Franklin's confidence in the Scriptures; so he put the inquiry to him, and received the following reply : Young man, my advice to you is, that
cultivate an acquaintance with, and a firm belief in the Holy Scriptures; this is your certain interest."
SOME men are always disheartened when adverse circumstances beset their path. They have no courage to advance when their way is hedged up, and the prospect is dark. Disappointments, the loss of near friends, and the loss of property, cause them to despond. If they are merchants, an unfavourable change in the market takes away their spirits, and they are almost ready to give up in despair. They more frequently take a dark than a bright view oi things. This makes a bad matter worse. It serves to unfit them for successful enterprise. A distinguished merchant says that a great many failures in mercantile business are occasioned by yielding to despondency in times of misfortune; and he writes to his fellow-traders as follows:
“ When a crisis befalls you, and the emergency requires moral courage and noble manhood to meet it, be equal to the requirements of the moment, and rise superior to the obstacles in your path. The universal testimony of men whose experience exactly coincides with yours, furnishes the consoling reflection that difficulties may be ended by opposition. There is no blessing equal to the possession of a stout heart. The magnitude of the danger needs nothing more than a greater effort than ever at your hands. If you prove recreant in the hour of trial, you are the' worst of recreants, and deserve no compassion. Be not dismayed or unmanned when you should be bold and daring, unflinching and resolute. The cloud whose threatening murmurs you hear with fear and dread, is pregnant with blessings. Then be strong and manly, and trust in Providence."
There is another class of persons who are continually complaining of the course of events, though they may not yield to utter discouragement. Persons in all employments belong to this class. The weather does not suit the farmer-it is too hot or too cold--there is too
much rain or too little. The mechanic is not suited with the times—they are too hard or fluctuating, and no dependence can be placed upon anything for the
He can scarcely see what “the world is coming to.” So of others, in various pursuits. The man of whom Isaac Walton tells us, is a fair representative of this murmuring class. “I knew a man,” he says, “ that had health and riches, and several houses, all beautiful and well furnished, and would be often troubling himself and his family to remove from one of them to another. On being asked by a friend why he removed so often from one house to another, he replied : 'It was in order to find content in some of them. But his friend, knowing his temper, told him if he would find content in any of his houses, he must leave self behind, for content can never dwell but with a meek and quiet soul.” Or, they are like the man who said he had enjoyed himself “just fourteen minutes” in all his life.
Such persons deserve commiseration, and we commend them for a remedy to the bright-side view which Amos Lawrence took of the world and all that is therein.
It may be said that Mr Lawrence had no reason to take
any other view of experience. Let us see. We believe that thousands are making themselves wretched over the allotments of Providence who have far less reason than he to murmur.
In the first place, he was for many years such an invalid that he was compelled to adopt the most simple diet, and even then he had weeks and months of extreme suffering.
His son, in speaking of this, says :-“ An item of bad news, some annoying incident, a
little anxiety, or a slight cold, would, as it were, paralyse his digestive functions, and reduce his strength to the lowest point. It was this extreme sensitiveness which afterwards unfitted him to engage in the general current of business, and which ultimately compelled him to keep aloof from participation in commercial affairs and to adopt that peculiar system in diet and living which he adhered to for the remainder of his life. His food was of the most simple kind, and was taken in small quantities, after being weighed in a balance, which always stood before him upon his writing table.
If the reader has supposed that Mr Lawrence had no reason to take a dark-side view of events, since he had the means to gratify his desires for good things to the utmost extent, the above fact is sufficient to shew the falsity of this idea. What good did his wealth do him, in this respect, when he was compelled to adopt a more simple mode of living than is found in the poor man's cottage ? It appears to us that it must be more difficult for a rich man than for a poor man to live thus. For he has the means to purchase anything which the market affords, while the person in extreme want is necessitated to accept an humble fare.
Multitudes in poverty live as they would think they could not had they enough of this world's goods.
How, then, did Mr Lawrence demean himself during the sixteen years of his physical infirmities ? In 1832 he wrote to his son:
“ I am enjoying myself highly under the close confinement of two parlour chambers, from which I have only travelled into the entry since November. I have lived pretty much as other prisoners of a different character live, as regards food; namely, on bread and water, or bread and coffee or cocoa. I have come to the conclusion that the man who lives on bread and water, if he have enough, is the genuine epicure, according to the original and true meaning.”
Again, he wrote to his wife, who was attending upon a sick relative at a distance :
“The situation I occupy is one that I would not exchange, if I had the power, with any man living; it is full of agreeable incidents, and free from the toils and anxieties frequently attendant on a high state of prosperity; and is, besides, free from that jealouzy, or from any other cause of uneasiness, so common among the ardent and successful in this world's race.
To a sister he wrote : “I am the happiest man alive, and yet would willingly exchange worlds this day, if it be the good pleasure of our best Friend and Father in heaven.”
If a youth desires wealth that he may command the luxuries of life to make him happy, let him stop and look at this rich man. He could use none of those things which the young call luxuries.
Most people would call this pretty hard fare. Should we hear of a poor family near by living after this manner for want of means to purchase better supplies, we should forthwith send them assistance from our larder. Yet he was happy-“ the happiest man alive.” He would not exchange his situation“ with any man living.” If this is not taking a bright view of life, it would be difficult to find an illustration.
In addition to physical suffering, Mr Lawrence experienced severe bereavements, in the loss of his wife and