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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 frco 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 tho blessing of God upon your child and do this."
"But, sir, she has been well trained, and the time must come, sooner or later, for her to mingle with other people, and other people's ways, and I think she will stand it; she has good principles."
"You have no right to think so, nor will the money thus gained be any blessing to you or to her. We read in Scripture of 'earning wages to put into a bag with holes.' It will bring a curse, and not a blessing, believe me."
"Oh dear, oh dear! I knew you would say this, sir, and that was why I did not want to come. But, sir, you have often told us that wherever our duty calls us to get a living, we are safe to go; and why shouldn't my girl be safe?"
"Because her duty does not call her; you are thrusting her into danger uncalled. Hero is a provision opened for her in a family where you know the teaching of her childhood will be carried out, and where you can, with the full assurance of confidence, commit her into God's hands for good. Oh, my good friend! believe me, 'the blessing of the Lord it maketh rich, and He addeth no sorrow with it.' Don't put her wages in a bag with holes, and give yourself the heartache for ever."
The woman was silent for a long time, at length she said, "Sir, I'll go and tell my husband what you say. Sure it would be a. dreadful thing to be the cause of my child's misery; and if I could not ask God's blessing upon her, what could I do? and what could she do? No, sir, I'm glad I waited."
She rose to go, but Mr. Marsden said, "Let us pray." She was not taken by surprise, for he often ended a colloquy in this manner. She knelt by the chair near the door, where she had been sitting, and in a few simple words Mr. Marsden besought that the light of God's Spirit might shine into her heart and her husband's, that they might rightly estimate the worthlessness of the things of time, and the incalculable value of one immortal soul committed to their care— that they might lean with more confiding trust upon Him who has promised to pro vide all things for those who, in simple faith, seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness.
His next visitor was a quiet-looking middle-aged man, and as soon as he entered, Mr. Marsden said, "Oh, Thomas, and so you
have returned! I hope "but here he
paused, for the sorrowful look of the old man bespoke a state of mind in which hope formed no ingredient. He had long been suffering from a complaint in the eyes, which had impaired his sight, and he had been sent by Dr. Trevor to an eminent oculist in London, for advice and opinion. That opinion was unfavourable, the nerve of the eye being the part affected; and in the first crushing weight of his sorrow, he had como to Mr. Marsden to pour out his griefs, as instinctively as a child would seek its parent.
The old man did not speak, but sitting down before the table, he crossed his arms upon it, and buried his face within them.