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Hannah carried him home; and he went warm and comfortable to bed.
"By the pleasure of God (in whom the fatherless find mercy) Mrs. Lovel grew every day fonder of little Marten ; and, as the little boy promised, he went to Mrs. Lovel's at breakfast, dinner, and supper; and Mrs. Lovel took the same care of him which his poor mother would have done, had she been living. She took charge of his clothes; mended them when they wanted it; prepared warm and soft woollen stockings for him ; and procured him a great coat to wear in school, and got him some thick shoes to play in. She also would see that he learned his lessons well every day, to carry up to his master ; and then practised him in reading out of school hours : so that it was surprising how quickly he now got on with his books. But the best of all was, that Mrs. Lovel from day to day gave such holy instructions to little Marten, as were best adapted to make him an excellent character in more advanced life; and God blessed her instructions in a degree beyond her expectations, and the boy presently became all that she could desire. For holy instructions given in faith, and with prayer, by diligent and pious teachers, are generally crowned with the Divine blessing: though every parent and teacher must acknowledge that the work of regeneration, or changing the heart, must be entirely of God. And in case of such change, he will ever be ready to give the glory to him, to whom alone it is due.
“A little before Christmas, 'Squire Broom came over to Ashford to see little Marten; and determined in his own mind, if he found the child unwell, or not happy, to take him home, and bring him up amongst his own children ; for Mrs. Broom had said, that she thought little Marten almost too
young to be at a public school, without a friend near him. Marten was standing in Mrs. Lovel's parlour window, which looked into the churchyard, when he saw 'Squire Broom's one-horse chaise draw up to the school-house door: without speaking a word, he ran down stairs, and across the churchyard, and, taking 'Squire Broom's hand, as he stepped out of the chaise, “I have got another mother, Sir,' he said ; 'a very good mother; and I love her with all my heart; and her name is Lovel; and you must come to see her.'— Why, my little man,' said 'Squire Broom, you look very well, and quite fat.
“ When 'Squire Broom heard from the master what a kind friend Marten had found, and was told by all his friends in Ashford what a worthy woman Mrs. Lovel was (for every body in Ashford knew Mrs. Lovel's good character), he was very much pleased on little Marten's account, and said his poor mother's prayers were now answered; and then he repeated a very beautiful verse, which you will find in the Apocrypha : Look at the generations of old, and see: did ever any trust in the Lord, and was confounded ? or did any abide in his fear, and was forsaken? or whom did he ever despise, that called upon him?' (Ecclus. ii. 10.)
“ Little Marten could not be contented till he had brought 'Squire Broom to see Mrs. Lovel, and to drink tea with her. During this visit, Mrs. Lovel asked Mr. Broom if Marten might spend his Christmas holidays with her; and from that time the little boy spent all his holidays with Mrs. Lovel. In the summer holidays she often took him to a farm-house, in the country, where she had lodgings; and there he had the pleasure of seeing the hay-making, and hop-gathering, and all the country work, and of running about the fields. Once or twice she took
'him to Tenterden, to see his old friends, particularly Susan, who lived with her mother in Tenterden.
“ Marten became a fine boy; and as he grew in stature, he
grace, ever living in the fear of God. He was very fond of reading; and soon he became one of the best scholars, of his age, in the school. As Mrs. Lovel got older, her eyes became dim; and then Marten read to her, and managed her accounts, and was in all things as a dutiful son to her.
“ About this time news came from Tenterden that Mrs. Blake was dead, and Mr. Blake about marrying again ; and some time after it was told at Ashford, that the new Mrs. Blake had brought her husband a son.
When Marten (who was by this time a great boy, and who had been told by 'Squire Broom of what had passed between his poor mother and Mrs. Blake,) heard of the birth of this son, he said, 'My mother was called a fool for not letting Mr. Blake take me; but if she had, for the sake of money, put me under the care of this man, I might have lost my soul, and got none of his money either.'— You see, my dear,' answered Mrs. Lovel, who heard what Marten said, how every thing works together for good to them that love God. Whilst I live, I hope you will never want a friend ; and if you continue to serve God, I shall give you something at my death which will support you in a comfortable, plain way; for I have no relations to take what I have.'
“ Marten continued with Mrs. Lovel till it was time he should leave school; and as he wished to be made a clergyman, in order that he might spend his life in the service of God, Mrs. Lovel paid for his going to the university."
• The university, Mamma!' said Henry : 'what is that?'
* It is a place where young men go to be prepared to be clergymen,' replied Mrs. Fairchild : • There are two universities in England, Oxford and Cambridge.
Henry then 'went on.
“ When Marten had been the proper time at the university, he was ordained a clergyman; and he then returned to Mrs. Lovel; and soon afterwards he got a living in a pretty village in Kent. There he went to reside; and Mrs. Lovel, who was now become very old indeed, lived with him. He was as kind to her, and to Hannah, as if he had been their own child; and indeed it was but his duty to be so: he did every thing to make their last years happy, and their deaths easy. Mrs. Lovel left all she had, when she died, to Marten; so that he was enabled to live in great comfort. Some time after Mrs. Lovel's death, he married 'Squire Broom's youngest daughter, who made him a sind and pious wife, and assisted him to bring up their children in the fear of God. Susan, who was now an elderly women, took the place of Hannah, when Hannah died, and never left her master till she herself died of old age.
“ This happy family lived many years in Kent, and God blessed them in all things; as it is written : • In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in Ğod. Trust in him at all times, ye people : pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.' (Psa. lxii, 7, 8.)”
At the end of this story was a prayer for faith, that we may be enabled to trust God with all our concerns; and a hymn to the same purpose; which you will perhaps like to use : 1 shall therefore put them both down here for you.
A Prayer. O Almighty God! thou that rulest and governest all things, and makest all things to work together for good to them that love thee; give me that best of all gifts, Faith, that I may trust entirely and only unto thee: for who ever trusted in the Lord, and was confounded? I am a poor ignorant child, and do not know what is good for me, or what I ought to wish for: but thou art all wise, O holy Father; thou knowest all things from the beginning even unto the end of the world : O therefore take me under thy care. Thou that sparedst not thy dear Son, but sentest him to die for me upon the cross ; send now thy Holy Spirit, to guide and direct me what I ought to do. Whilst I am in this world, nianage and settle every thing for me : whether I am to be rich, or whether I am to be poor, or where I am to live, or what employment or what work I am to do, I wish to leave to thee. O give me faith to trust entirely to thee, as the holy men of old and martyrs in old time did, and as thy saints do in this day; and let me not wickedly think myself to be wiser than thou, O Almighty God, art; and leave me not to follow my own wicked conceiis, instead of obeying thy will, which is written in thy holy Book, and which thy Holy Spirit will explain to my understanding, if I am humble, and sincerely wish to learn thereof.
O Alnighty Father! hear the prayers of a poor chuld, for whom thy dear Son died; and for his dear sake have mercy upon me.
Now to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, be all glory and honour, for ever and ever.