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Lamb. He does not think of praying for himself, O, therefore, accept my prayers for him! And thou, O dear Saviour, plead for him that he may not be lost! I will come unto thee, O father, again and again : I will call upon thee day after day for this my poor friend, who lives in wickedness. O Almighty God hearken unto my prayer ; I beseech thee hearken to it, for the sake of Him in whose name I come, even my beloved Saviour, thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: to whom, with Thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory for ever and ever.
Amen. “Our Father,” &c.
ARISE, my tend'rest thoughts, arise,
See human nature sunk in shame!
A STORY ON BESETTING SINS.
One Sunday soon after the death of
Miss Augusta Noble, Mrs. Fairchild, having a bad cold, could not go to church with the rest of the family. When the children were come home from church, Mrs. Fairchild asked Lucy what the sermon was about.
“Mamma," said Lucy, taking her Bible out of her little basket, “I will show you the text : it is in Hebrews xii. 1 : . Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us.'
When Mrs. Fairchild had looked at the text, she said, “ And do you remember anything more of the sermon, Lucy ?"
“ Indeed, mamma,” said Lucy, “I did not understand the sermon : it was all about besetting sins. What are they, mamma ?”
“ You know, my dear,” said Mrs. Fairchild, “ that our hearts are all by nature wicked.”
“O yes, mamma, I know that,” answered Lucy.
“Do you recollect, my dear,” said Mrs. Fairchild, “what things our Lord says naturally proceed out of man's heart?”
Lucy. “Yes, mamma: From within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness : all these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” (Mark vii. 21-23.)
“Now, my dear,” said Mrs. Fairchild," although our hearts are naturally inclined towards all kinds of sins which are named in these verses, yet every man is not inclined alike to every kind of sin.”
“ I don't quite understand you, mamma,” said Lucy.
Why," answered Mrs. Fairchild, “what I mean is this : that one man's evil heart tempts him par
ticularly to one kind of sin, and another man's to another. One man perhaps, is inclined to covetousness; another to be drunken ; another to swear and blaspheme ; another to lie and deceive; another to be angry and cruel ; and that sin which a man feels himself most inclined to, is called his besetting sin.”
“Oh! now I know what besetting sins mean," answered Lucy. “Has everybody a besetting sin, mamma?”
“ Yes, my dear,” answered Mrs. Fairchild : all have, although we do not all know what they are ; for Satan will, if possible, keep us from the knowledge of our own evil hearts."
"Have I a besetting sin, mamma ?” said Lucy.
“ Can you not tell what fault you fall into oftener than any
other ?” said Mrs. Fairchild. Lucy considered a little, and then answered she did not know.
“I think, my dear," said Mrs. Fairchild, “although it is hard to judge any other person's heart, that your besetting sin is envy.
I think I have often observed this fault in you. You were envious about Emily's doll, and about poor Miss Augusta Noble's fine house and clothes and servants, and about the muslin and ribbon I gave to Emily one day, and the strawberry your papa gave to Henry; and I have often thought you showed envy on other occasions." Lucy looked grave when her
mamma spoke, and the tears came into her eyes. “ Mamma" she said, “I am a wicked girl : my heart is full of envy at times : but I pray that God would take this sin out of my heart; and I hate myself for it-you don't know how much, mamma.”
My dear child,” said Mrs. Fairchild, kissing Lucy, “ if you really grieve for your sins, and call in faith upon the Lord Jesus Christ, you will surely in
God's good time be set free from them. And, oh! how happy shall we be when we have no longer any sinful passions to trouble us ; when our hearts are filled with love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, meekness, temperance ! (Gal. v. 22, 23.) And now, my dear," added Mrs. Fairchild,
you know what is meant by the sin which doth so easily beset us, and
every person has some one besetting sin.”
“Yes, mamma," said Lucy; you have told me what my own besetting sin is, and I feel that you have found out the right one. But, mamma, you said that many people do not know their own besetting sins."
“No persons know their sins, my dear,” answered Mrs. Fairchild, “but those who have received the Spirit of God. It is the work of the Spirit to search our evil hearts, and convince us of our wickedness
; but irreligious people do not know their hearts, and have no idea of their besetting sins : indeed, they would laugh if you were to speak of such things before them."
Whilst Mrs. Fairchild was speaking these last words, they heard the dinner-bell ring; so they broke off their discourse, and went down stairs. Whilst Mr. and Mrs. Fairchild and all the family were sitting at dinner, they saw through the window a man on horseback, carrying a large basket, ride up to the door. Mr. Fairchild sent John out to see who this person was; and John presently returned with a letter, and a haunch of venison packed in a basket.
Sir,” said John, “ the man says that he is one Mr. Crosbie of London's servant; and that he has brought you a letter with his master's compliments, and also a haunch of venison.'
“ Mr. Crosbie's servant !” said Mr. Fairchild, taking the letter and reading it aloud as follows:
• Dear Mr. Fairchild, 'I and my wife, and my sister Miss Crosbie, and 'my daughter Betty, have been taking a journey for
our health this summer. We left London three months ago and have been down as far as Yorkshire. We are now returning home, and have turned a
little out of our way to see you, as it is as much as 'twelve years since we met ; so you may look for us,
no accident happening, to-morrow, a little before two. .We hope to dine with you, and to go on in the
evening to the next town, for our time is short. I • have sent a fine haunch of venison, which I bought 'yesterday from the innkeeper where we slept : it ' will be just fit for dressing to-morrow ; so I shall be
obliged to Mrs. Fairchild to order her cook to roast 'it by two o'clock, which is my dinner hour. My man Thomas, who brings this letter, will tell the 'cook how I like to have my venison dressed : and "he brings a pot of currant jelly, to make sauce, in
should have none by you; though I dare say this precaution is not necessary, as Mrs. Fairchild, no doubt, has all these things by her. I am not particular about my eating; but I should be
obliged to you if you would have the venison ready by 'two o'clock, and let Thomas direct your cook. My wife and sister, and daughter Betty, send best com'pliments to our old friend Mrs. Fairchild ; and • hoping we shall meet in health to-morrow, I remain, dear Mr. Fairchild, your old friend,
OBADIAH CROSBIE. P. S. You will find the haunch excellent : we dined
upon the neck yesterday, and it was the best I ever tasted.
When Mr. Fairchild had finished the letter, he smiled, and said, “I shall be very glad to see our old friends ; but I am sorry poor Mr. Crosbie still thinks