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for counsel, and to show to him, without fear or reserve, their weaknesses and temptations. Not even to his wife, though she was in every respect a help meet for him, did he confide any portion of the knowledge thus obtained; but he kept a book in which he noted, from time to time, for his own guidance, any fresh development of character which came before him.. One of his favourite mottoes was, “The proper study of mankind is man.” “I am sure," he would say, “it is the most fitting study for a minister, for his field of work is exclusively the human heart. Other things may indeed be lawfully pursued, and to a certain extent should be, for all science is but the study of the works of God, and must enlarge and enlighten our view of all things; but to a minister such studies must ever be in subser. vience to his one great pursuit, the know. ledge of the hearts of his people.” Thus believing, and thus acting, increasing in the knowledge of his own heart, still more than in that of others, he had arrived at middle age,
with a feeling of love to his fellow-creatures deepened, not impaired by time; grieved, but not astonished at every fresh manifestation of selfishness and sin, and more firmly rooted in the conviction than ever, that nothing but the Almighty power of God could deal with an evil so deep-seated in the human heart as sin.
Scarcely a morning passed without some humble visitor passing under the study window, and receiving the kindly invitation. “Come in.” And now, while he was sitting looking over his letters, he heard a tap at the door, and presently a poor woman entered.
“Oh, sir, I took the liberty of calling to say, that my husband and I have decided about Jane, and we won't trouble you to write any more, because we mean to send her to Mr. Churchill's. It is only twenty miles by the train, and the wages are good, and the girl likes it, and in these hard times it is our duty to do the best we can for our children.” She spoke rather hurriedly, as though she
wished to get through her message, and scarcely wished for a reply. “I should have sent a message by Dick to-day, for he is gone there upon business for Mr. Marsh, but my husband would not let me till I had told you.”
“And have you thought it well over ?” said Mr. Marsden; “have you looked at it all round, as I advised you ?”
“You see, sir, it's the wages. It will take the girl quite off our hands, and leave us free to do our duty better by the other children. And besides, sir, 'tis a higher place; they keep a number of servants, and it puts the girl better forward into life, I think.”
Mr. Marsden took off his spectacles and leant back in his chair. “Better wages," said he, “cheerful company, a lift in life, these are the advantages; a careless mistress, Sabbaths profaned, a soul uncared for, these are the disadvantages : my good woman, you cannot seek the blessing of God upon your child and do this.”
“But, sir, she has been well trained, and