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Remarks on the Story of Thomas the Waiter. 265
And now the Spring of life is past,
With all its pleasure lightly playing ;
And Autumn's mellower fruits decaying:
When all the ills of life are pressing;
Is then our life without a blessing ?
“ When rain and wind beat dark December ;"
To bid us Spring's return remember.
Has joys she calls her own and surer,
Than which the world affords no purer.
These point to an Eternal Spring,
Whose verdant leaf, will ne'er be bending;
Unfading pleasures-never eu ding.
In passing through life's different stages ;
That mighty Lord-the “ Rock of Ages."
REMARKS ON THE STORY OF THOMAS
To the Editor of the Cottager's Monthly Visitor.
MR. EDITOR, I HAVE been much interested by the account of Thomas the Waiter, in your last Number. change as appeared in his character is indeed a real blessing ; and his example is well worthy the imitation of every one who has acquired the ruinous habit of drinking, and who would wish to exchange a life of misery for one of happiness. But how rare are those changes ! How seldom a man forsakes a habit of drinking! Yet there are such changes;
No. 6-VOL. VII. N
but the difficulties in the way of such a change is so great, that I believe nothing short of the power of religion can produce it. In my own experience I have seldom seen the change brought about by any other means. A man feels the wretchedness to which drinking has brought him, he experiences the poverty, and distress, and difficulties, to which it exposes him; and he makes a resolution to alter
He does well to make such a resolution: but, alas! how soon it is broken. When once the powerful influence of true religion has taken possession of his mind, then he sees how entirely contrary is the character of a drunkard to that of a Christian, and he then understands, at once, that “ drunkards cannot inherit the kingdom of God.” Then it is, that he has power to conquer his besetting sin; for he no longer makes his resolution, confiding in his own strength, but, in true repentance for his past offences, he earnestly prays for the help of God to enable him to overcome that sin which shuts him out from heaven. And, with heaven on his side, he will be enabled to subdue that “ sinful lust, which wars against the soul." Prayer is the Christian's defence, and safety, and strength. “The Christian warrior,” says Bishop Horne, “ differs from all others, in that the attitude in which he fights against his enemy must be on his knees.". That the penitent in your Correspondent's interesting story did adopt this method, we cannot well doubt, though it might be thought unnecessary to state this, as it might be expected naturally to occur to every Christian reader.
A sudden change from a long indulged habit is said sometimes to produce a serious effect on the health. I am not sure whether it was in your
Miscellany that I saw " Advice to Dram-drinkers," to use the same glass, only putting in a drop of sealingwax daily, so as to leave off the pernicious dram imperceptibly.
267 There are many persons who see the danger of dram-drinking, and yet think little of drinking an over-quantity of beer, ale, or porter. Let not such people believe that they are safe.
So many books are written on the subject of eating and drinking, and one seems so much to contradict another, that a man in search of health knows not which to be guided by, and at length begins to think that no dependence is to be placed on any of them. There may, however, be a great deal that is worth attending to in all these books, although a fondness for some particular notion may have led an author to attach more consequence to his own system than it perhaps deserves. Almost all medical writers, however, seem to agree, that a stomach over-filled is the cause of almost all complaints, and that this is the reason why persons who over-indulge their appetites, have such constant occasion for the attendance of the physician. A healthy person, perhaps, may have no particular need to disturb himself on this point, only taking care that he does not over-tax a good-humoured stomach, and break it down; as we should not, according to the old proverb, ride a free horse to death. Persons, however, whose powers of digestion are weak, ought to be particularly careful; and care and attention may prevent those distressing maladies which so frequently arise from indigestion. Some writers say that it does not much signify what you eat, if you do not eat too much ;--others say, that if upon one thing only you may eat nearly as much as you feel disposed to take. It comes, however, to nearly the same thing; for if you confine yourself to one thing, you are not so likely to overload the
stomach, as when the appetite is tempted with fresh dainties. Now poor people have not this temptation, and therefore many poor people are in excellent health, whilst the doctor is always in the house of the rich man, who dines on many dishes, or who eats rather too much, every day of his life. It is said by medical writers, that where there is one illness from eating too little, there are a thousand from eating too much. And yet to have too little is a bad thing; and there are some people so poor that they can scarcely afford to procure sufficient diet to keep themselves and their families in proper health and strength. Now if the rich man, who is troubled with gout, and bile, would cut off half his meal, and give it to a poor man, both parties would be the better for it. A poor man should, however, know that he has no reason to envy the rich man his dainties, for he is often much better without them; and he should, at the same time, endeavour by prudence and good management, to provide a sufficiency for himself and his family; and, if he can do this, he has good reason to be satisfied. A poor man, indeed, who is willing to work, and cannot get employment, is an object of great compassion; and so is he who works hard, but cannot earn enough to provide a sufficiency of food for himself and his family. Such persons do indeed stand in great need of the help of those who are able to assist them; these are objects of real charity.
Whilst, then, directions about diet are more useful to the rich than to the poor, still they are worth the attention of all ranks; -and whilst it should be the endeavour of parents to provide a sufficiency for their children, it may also be useful to know what sort of living may do them harm. It may not, therefore, be unsuitable, at this season of the year, to give the opinion of a modern writer * on the sub
# Dr, Paris.
269 ject of fruit, as an article of food, for this falls in the way of poor children as well as others, especially in
We only give the opinions of Dr. Paris; the homely language is our own.
Fruit is sometimes taken in such large quantities that it ought rather to be called poison than food. Nothing can be more mischievous, to a delicate person, than large quantities of apples, pears, and plums, when taken after the stomach is already loaded with dinner ; thus the great desserts of the rich are very bad; and prudent people with weak stomachs will eat little or none of them. But when taken at proper times, and in moderate quantities, fruit is wholesome, and appear to be providentially sent at a season, when the body requires that cooling sort of food.
Stone fruits are generally considered as the least digestible of any, and therefore the least wholesome, and this is probably true; but much of the mischief arises from their being eaten in an unripe state. Let parents who wish their children to be in health, keep them out of the way of unripe fruits. Plums are more unwholesome than either peaches or apricots, a moderate portion of these last, if quite ripe, will perhaps do no harm. The nectarine is apt to disagree with some stomachs. Cherries are things of bad digestion; the pulpy texture, and skins, are not easily disposed of in the stomach ;—they suit, however, some people, if taken in moderation. The apple, from its hardness, often proves indigestible. Parents should take care that children do not indulge in raw apples, especially if they are hard and unripe. If they are eaten, let