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The Farmer's Golden Treasury.

315

A LEISURE THOUGHT.

“ Tby word shall be a lamp unto my fect, and a light unto my

path.”

WHEN thro' the air loud thunders roll,

And vivid lightnings fly,
And dreadful storms with hideous bowl

Commingle earth and sky;
Weary, bewildered on his way,

Unknowing where to tread,
Terrific fear and dire dismay

The pilgrim's heart invade.
If, in an interval of rest,

The heaving clouds divide,
And 'cross the heav'n's tumultuous breast,

In rilled ridges ride;
With what delight his bosom glows,

When, throa parted cloud,
The moon her radiant lustre throws,

And points to him bis road.
So, when the Christian, sore beset,

With trouble, grief, and woe;
Kuows not which way to turn his feet,

Wbcre for relief to go;
The Word of God his bosom cheers,

Affords a heavenly ray ;
Conducts him thro' this vale of tears,"

And turns his night to day.
Newbury, March 14, 1827.

SPINENSIS.

THE FARMER’S GOLDEN TREASURY. To the Editor of the Cottager's Monthly Visitor.

SIR, LATELY, in looking over the small library of a Cottager, I met with an imperfect copy of an excellent little book, called " The Farmer's Golden Treasury, or the Countryman's best Companion." I take the liberty of sending you some extracts from it, which may perhaps be acceptable to some of the readers of the Visitor.

I am, &c.

T.

OF PLOUGHING. Any one to look on, who knew not the meaning of this, would think it as strange and unnatural a thing for men thus to tear that earth, out of which they were taken, as it is for children to be perpetually scratching the face of their mother. But if the earth be not thus torn and harassed, it will not yield its increase; and mankind must starve for want of bread. This is the very case of most men in this world; who, if let alone in the peaceable enjoyment of the good things of life, grow stupid and senseless of their duty to God, are utterly barren as to all the true purposes and ends of living, and nothing but afflictions can render them fruitful: base-spirited and ungrateful wretches ! whom the goodness of God cannot move to obedience, but they must be driven to it with stripes, and forced with wounds; nay, and it is well if all this prove effectual.

But do Thou, O my God, give me a softer heart, and a more ingenuous frame of mind, that thy mercies may lead me to repentance; and that the continual sense of thy goodness to me may draw me nearer to Thee in a way of gratitude and obedience, But, if Thou seest, that, unless I am troubled, I shall go wrong, and that it is good for me to be afflicted; I humbly submit myself to whatsoever Thou in thine infinite wisdom shalt think fit to lay upon me : nay, rather than I should sleep in sin, I beg afflictions of Thee. O save me, though it be by the severities of Thine hand, if nothing else will make me fruitful : but do Thou, O dear Lord, sanctify thy afflictions to me, and grant that they may work out for me a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.

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OF SOWING.

Being in hopes of a crop next harvest, I sow this seed; but if my hopes should fail me (which pray

Mairims.

317 God forbid) I could not but confess that I were justly served, and that God did wisely punishi my unfruitfulness towards Him, in the unfruitfulness of my land towards me: for what fruit have I ever brought forth, answerable to the means of grace He hath afforded me? The seed of His word, which He so plentifully sows amongst us, seems to be thrown away upon the greatest part of us: whilst one, for custom's sake, just gives it the hearing, but never considers it: another is perhaps affected with it for the present; but, upon the next temptation, forgets it: the heart of a third is so possessed with the cares of this life, as to leave no room for the thoughts of a better. Should one sow seed in the highway, on a rock, or among briars and thorns, it would turn to as good account.

But give me, O Lord, an honest and good heart, that I may hear Thy word, and keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. Let Thy word be to me as good seed sown upon good ground, that springs up, and bears fruit an hundred-fold. Give me, O Lord, an humble and teachable mind; mortify my lusts, subdue my passions, and wean me from this world; so that nothing may hinder Thy word from having its due effect upon me. Meantime, bless me in this my present work; O prosper Thou the work of our hands upon us; and when Thou hast prepared me to leave this world, let me enter into thy blessed kingdom.

MAXIMS,

SENT BY A CORRESPONDENT.

He who overcomes his passions, conquers his greatest enemies.

The highest learning is to be wise; and the greatest wisdom is to be good.

You may learn a good lesson from the man that is blind, who never makes a step till he has examined the ground with his staff.

It is of little use to read eternal truths, if we pray not to obtain the gift of understanding them aright.

To prevent speaking evil of thy neighbour, think no evil of him; and, if you hear of any, live in hopes that it is a mistake.

Slander is the revenge of a coward, and deceit is his defence.

With a wicked companion, it is hard to keep from wrong; be therefore very cautious in choosing your company.

No man ever did a designed injury to another, without doing a greater to himself.

Take no advantage of the ignorance, necessity, or prodigality of another; for that gain can never be blest,

Conscience distasteful truths may tell;
But mark the sacred lesson well!
Whoever lives with her at strife,

Loses his better friend for life. It is commonly observed, that idleness is the way to wickedness; and indeed there is little hope of any one being a good man, or a good Christian, who takes no care of his time.

To live contented in a moderate estate, we must never consider those who have more, but those who have less than ourselves.

We may judge of men by their behaviour towards God; but never by God's dispensations towards them.

When a man is in company with those who are wiser than himself, it is as much more advisable to hear than to speak, as it is better to reap than to

SOW.

The occasions of duty once neglected seldom re

The Clown and the Acorn.

319 turn, at least to equal advantage. Let no man decline the good that is within his power :if he once does so, he is no more worthy to be the happy instrument, in the hand of God, of effecting it.

THE CLOWN AND THE ACORN. The following fable may serve to shew, that, however ready foolish men may be to find objections, a little more consideration would have taught them, that, in the works of Providence, " whatever is, is right.”

In an oak's spreading shade
A countryman made

His bed, when his labour was done:
He reclin’d at his case,
For the beautiful trees

Well shelter'd bis face from the sun.
The acorns on high
Attracted his eye,

For they hung in large clusters around;
Wbile pumpkins, a brace,
Grew near the same place,

But both of them grew on the ground.
This silly young man
Always made it his plan,

Like some idle boys I have heard,
To speak without thought;
So often was caught

In speeches extremely absurd.
He look'd at the oak,
And laugh'd as he spoke,

And this foolish objection did makc:
- This tree is so tall,
And the fruit is so small,

I think Nature has made a mistake.
66 These pumpkins so grand,
Which encumber the land,

On the oak would have made a fine figure;
Which acorus disgrace,
And they ought to give place

To a fruit so much finer and bigger."

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