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hidden even from the knowledge of its possessor, until particular circumstances are so ordered as to bring them forth to his view. “Cleanse thou me from secret faults," is the aspiration of many a Christian who little thinks what a startling process will commence in answer to his prayer.
Helen Fleetwood was a girl of delicate mind, such as is often found in our sequestered villages, under the guardianship of watchful prudence, more especially when influenced by early, simple piety. There was nothing in her character unusually elevated above the class to which she belonged; but it owed something of its finer texture to the scenery of her native place, and its association with a tale of infant bereavement, of parental sorrow, that she indeed could scarcely remember, but which had often been related to her with touching pathos, though in homely phrase, by the fishermen's families around. By brooding on these, as she marked the rolling of the billows that had once ingulfed her father, she acquired a more contemplative, and perhaps a more imaginative turn of thought than most of her young companions, while a modest reluctance to make her own concerns more prominent than was suitable for so humble a person habituated her to what Mary termed keeping her own counsel. Often did the curious, loquacious little girl devote her ingenuity to the task of discovering some of Helen's plots' for cutting out a pinafore to the best advantage in point of saving, or reclaiming some square foot of waste ground for a plantation of herbs. Helen, in truth, had no mystery about her : she was rather reserved; but Mary was an indefatigable hunter after the marvellous, and not always to be convinced by
the evidence of her own senses, that she was capable of a mistake.
Whatever in Helen's character partook of noble and generous—and there was very much of bothwas now brought into full exercise. She felt with poignancy the rudeness of various kinds to which she was, for the first time in her life, subjected ; and once or twice she was about to complain to her natural friend of the coarse language uttered in her hearing; but a glance at the widow's care-worn countenance, with the consciousness that she was now scarcely less helpless than herself, silenced the girl. She only kept nearer to her side, and strove by talking in a louder and more cheerful tone than usual to withdraw the attention of her little party from many things unfit to hear. One of the men, struck by her conduct, swore she was an honest, good girl ; wished his little Sally might grow up like her, and restrained his comrades from further profanity and rude jesting. Helen secretly thanked the Giver of all wisdom for guiding her to such a course ; and prayed for a more abundant supply according to his precious promise, that to such as ask he will give liberally and upbraid not.
The passage was long, tedious, uncomfortable, and attended with serious loss to their finances; but no remedy could be obtained; and with a heavy heart the widow released her bedding from the master, who threatened to seize it, if his exorbitant demands were not satisfied. They left the barge, and all other feelings were soon absorbed in wonder at the size of the town, and the extreme length, narrowness, and filth of the street, or rather alley, where they were directed to find Mrs. Wright. Above all annoyances, the
oppressive weigbt of the atmosphere was felt and complained of by each ; but far more sickening was the air of the low court into which they turned previous to entering Mrs. Wright's abode.
They were kindly welcomed by this daughter of the Widow Green, who struck Helen as being altogether the most unlike her mother of any person she had beheld: as dissimilar, in fact, as the apartment they had entered was to the cottage they had left. Here, on dusky walls, stained with every variety of sombre discolouration, were stuck a number of the most tawdry prints, evidently quite fresh, and placed there for a particular display: the window, incapable as it was of admitting much light under the best circumstances, was rendered opaque by dirt, and festooned with cobwebs; yet a struggle to look fine was manifest throughout the whole establishment, including the mistress, who, though she had not combed out her matted locks, had surmounted them with a cap of unusual form, decorated with showy ribbands. Of ornaments there was no lack, but of neatness, cleanliness, comfort, respectability, nothing relieved the eye: above all, it wanted cheerfulness.
After the first affectionate greeting, and some tears shed on the cheek of her long-absent daughter, the widow kindly enquired for the rest of her family.'
• The children won't be in till after dusk,' replied Mrs. Wright; and as for their father he will come about the same time.'
Some arragements were then made : an inner room, intolerably close to be sure, but rather cleaner than the other, was pointed out for their temporary
Here they were to remain until a suitable lodging was found, after being installed in their new
situations. By the time their bedding was unpacked, and their personal neatness improved, after the fatiguing journey, evening was come; and the village party returned to the parlour, as Mrs. Wright had called it, just as her family entered it from the street.
There was a pause-almost a movement of recoil on the widow's part, as this groupe of her grandchildren met her view; while a hasty glance of involuntary comparison bespoke the mother's consciousness of a contrast such as words can but faintly pourtray. Stepping between them, she hastily remarked, “It is well for the children that poor William fancied a country life; for to be sure it does make them look more fresh and healthy, though town-bred young people may be ever so much genteeler.'
REMEMBER that while the Bible is the “ word of life,” it is also, if unused, the instrument of death. The man who has a Bible can make no excuse if he is lost. A Bible in his house, but unopened, unread, or read without prayer, is a mighty machine undirected, which will recoil on its owner, and bring down upon him a more utter destruction. It is “the Sword of the Spirit,” but it is a "two-edged sword;” it cuts both ways; and if it cut not forward upon sin and Satan, it will cut backward upon the soul.- Rev. T. Dale.
AN INFALLIBLE GUIDE.
MADAM, I read in the Christian Lady's Magazine some time ago, letters signed Clericus Junior, from which it appeared that the writer felt a difficulty which for a long period I also experienced—a difficulty occasioned by the demand to show an infallible guide which we acknowledge in religion, or follow one alleged to be infallible. I knew, at the period referred to, as well as I do now, that the doctrines of the church of Rome were different from those of the Bible, and on that account I would not receive them; but I was perplexed by the arguments of Challoner and Milner, and quite unable to answer them. A great change has, however, since taken place; the scriptures are now more read, and the principles of religion more generally understood, and able controversialists have been brought forward, who have exposed the sophistry of Rome; and it having been my lot to visit those quarters where most attention was paid to the subject, I believe I can show (and I shall feel happy if I can do so to the satisfaction of your correspondent) how we arrive at the following conclusions : First, that the guide offered by the church of Rome is not an infallible or even a uni. form guide; and, secondly, that Protestants have a sure and infallible guide.
For, since it is a general council which Romanists