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the useful knowledge, and in doing all the little good I possibly can.”
"God almighty confirm my son in the wise resolutions which his grace has enabled him thus early to form!”;
“Yes, father, and besides all this, when I look towards futurity; when I consider the nature of that fed licity which exists in heaven: that it is a felicity flowing from the smiles of the Deity, on those excellent spirits, whom his own admonitions have adorned with the virtues that resemble himself: that thie mure perfect their virtues, the brighter will be his smiles upon them, with correspondent emanations of bliss that may, for what we know, be forever enlarged with their ever enlarging understandings and affections; I say, father, when I have it in my choice to attain to all this in a way so pleasant and honorable as that of imitating the Deity in wisdom and GOODNESS, should I not be worse than mad to decline it oa such terins, and prefer substitutes that would tolerate me in ignorance and vice?"
“Yes, child, I think you would be mad indeed.”
6Yes, father, especially when it is recollected, that if the ignorant and vicious could, with all their pains, find out substitutes that would serve as passports to heaven, they could not rationally expect a hearty wel. come there.
For as the Deity delights in the wise and good, because they resemble him in those qualities which render him.so amiable and happy, and would render all his creatures so too; so he must proportionably abhor the STUPID and vicious, because deformed with qualities diametrically opposite to bis own, and tending to make both themselves and others most vile and iniserable."
"This is awfully true, Ben; for the Bible tells us, that the wicked are än abomination to the Lord; but that the righteous are his delight."
“Yes, father, and this is the language not only of the BIBLE, woich is, perhaps, the grand class book of the Deity, but it is also the language of his first or hor book, I mean REASON, which teaches, that if there be a God, and that there is all nature cries aloud through all her works, he must delight in virtue.' because most clearly conducive to the perfection of mankind; which must be the chiet aim and glory of the Deity in creating theat. And for the same reason he must abhor vice, because tending to the disgrace and destruction of his creatures. Hence, father, I think it follows as clearly as a demonstration in the mathematics, that if it were possible for bal men, through faith, imputed righteousness, or any other leaf-covering, to get to Paradise, so far from meet-. ing with any thing like cordiality from the Deity, they would be struck speechless at sight of their horrible dissivuilarity to himn. For while he delights above all things in giving life, and the duellist glories in destroying it; while he delights in heaping his creatures with good things, and the gambler triumphs in stripping them; while he delights in seeing love and smiles among brethren, and the slanderer in promoting strifes ant hatreds; while he delights in exalting the intellectual and moral faculties to the highest degree of heavenly wis. dom and virtue, and the drunkard delights in polluting and degrading both below the brutes; what cordiality can ever subsist between such opposite oatures: Can infinite purity and benevolence behoid such monsters with complacency, or could they in his presence otherwise than be filled with intolerable pain and anguish, and fly away as weak-eyed owls from the blazes of the meridian sun?"
“Well, Ben, as I said before, I am richly rewarded for having drawn you into this conversation about religion; your language indeed is not always the language of the scriptures; neither do you rest your hopes, as I could have wisherd, on the Redeemer, but still your
idea in placing our qualification for heaven in resembling God in moral goodness, is truly evangelical, and I hope you will one day become a great christian.”
“I thank you, father, for your good wishes; but lan afraid I shall never be the christian you wish me to be."
“What, not a christian!"
“No, father; at least not in the name but in the nature I hope to become a christian. And now, father, as we part to-morrow, and there is a strong presentiment on my mind that it may be a long tine before we meet again, I beg you to believe of me that I shall never lose sight of my great obligations to an active pursuit of knowledge and usefulliess. This, it persevired in, will give me some humble resemblance of the great author of
my heing in loving and doing all the good I can to mankind. And then if I live, I hope, my dear father, I shall give you the joy to see realized some of the fond expectations you have formed of me. And if I should die, I shall die in hope of meeting you in some better world, where you will no more be alarmed for my wellare, nor I grieved to see you conflicting with age and labour and sorrow: but where we may see in each other all that we can conceive of wbat we call Angels, anil in sceries of undeserved splendour, Jwell with those enlightened and benevolent spirits, whose conversation and perfect virtues will forever delight us. And where, to crown all, we shall perhaps, at times, be permitted to see that UNUTTERABLE BEING, whose disinterested goodness, was the spring of all these felicities.”
Thus ended this curious dialogue, between one of the most amiable parents, and one of the most acute and sagacious youths that our country, or perhaps any other has ever produced.
THE three days of Ben's promised stay with his father being expired, the next morning he embraced his parents and embarked a second time for Philadelphia, but with a much lighter heart than before, because he now left home with his parents' blessing, which they gave him the more willingly as from the dark sanctified frown on poor James' brow they saw in hiin no dispo. sition towards reconciliation.
The vessel happening to touch at Newport, Ben gladly took that opportunity to visit his favourite brother John, who received him with great joy. John was always of the mind that Ben would one day or other become a great man; "he was so vastly fond," he said, "of his book.”
And when he saw the elegant size which Ben's person had now attained, and also his fine mind-illuminated face and manly wit, he was so proud of him that he could not rest until he had introduced him to all his. friends. Among the rest was a gentleman of the name of Vernon, who was so pleased with Ben during an evening's visit at his brother's, that he gave him an or. der on a man in Pennsylvania for thirty pounds, which he begged he would collect for him. Ben readily accepted the order, not without being secretly pleased that nature had given him a face which this stranger had so readily credited with thirty pounds.
Caressed by his brother John and by his brother John's friends, Ben often thuught that if he were called on to point out the time in his whole life, that had been spent more pleasantly than the rest, he would without hesitation, pitch on this his three days' visit to Newa port.
But alas! he was soon brought to cry out with the poet.
“The brightest things beneath the sky
Yield but a glimmering light,
Where we possess delight." His thirty pound order from Vernon, was at first ranked among his dear honied delights enjoyed at Newport; but it soon presented, as we shail see, a rough sting. This, however, was but a flea bite in consparison. of that mortal wound he was within an ace of receiving from this same Newport trip. The story is this: Among a considerable cargo of live lumber which they took ou board for Philadelphia, were three females, a couple of way young damsels, and a grave old Quaker lady. Following the natural beut of his disposition, Ben paid great attention to the ol. Quaker: Fortunate was it for him that he did, for in consequence of it she took a motherly interest in his welfare that saved bim from a very ugly scrape. Perceiving that he was getting rather too fond of the two young women above, she drew him aside one day and with the looks and speech of a mother said, "young nian, I am in pain for thee: thou hast no parent to watch over thy conduct, and thou seemest to be quite ignorant of the world and the snares to which youth is exposed I pray thee rely upon what I tell thee-These are women of bad characters; i per'a ceive it in at their actions. If thou dost not take care they will lead thee into danger!!”
As he appeared at first not to think so ill of them as she did, the old lady related of them many things she had seen and heard, and which had escaped his attention, but which convinced him she was in the right. He thanked her for soch good advice and promised to follow it.
On their arrival at New York the girls told him where they lived, and invited him to come and see them. Their eyes kindled such a glow along his youthful veins that he was on the point of melting into consent. But the motherly advice of his old quaker friend happily coming to his aid revived his wavering virtue and fixed him in the resolution, though much against the grain, not to go. It was a most blessed thing for him that he did not: for the captain missing a silver spoon and some other things from the cabin, and knowing these women to be prostitutes, procured a search warrant, and finding his goods in their possession had them brought to the whipping-post.
As God would have it, Ben happened to fall in with the constable and crowd who were taking them to whip. He would fain have run off. ' But there was a drawing of sýınpathy towards them which he could not resist: so on he went with the rest. He said afterwards that it was well he did: For when he beheid these poor ílevils tied up to the stake, and also their sweet faces distorted with terror and pain, and heard their piteous screavis under the strokes of the cow-hide on their bleeding backs, he could not help melting into tears, at the same time saying to homsellanow hai I but yielded to the allurements of these poor creatures, and made myself an access ry to their crimes and sufferings, what would now be my feelings!"
Froin the happy escape which he bad thus maile through the seasonable alvice of the good old quaker lady he learned that acts of this sort hold the first place on the list of charities: and entered it as a resoiution on his journal that he would imitate it and do all in his power to open the eyes of all, but especialiy of the young, to a timely sense of the follies and dangers that beset them. How well he kept his promise, will, 'tis likely gentle reader, be reinembered by thousands when you and I are forgotten.