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From Mrs. Worthington to Miss Barnwell.
MY DEAR CHILD,
:I have received a letter from our excellent friend, which I shall immediately transmit to you. You will rejoice with me to hear that she arrived safe at St. Omer's; and your joy will be greatly increased by the pleasing information that her brother is a protestant. In what a wonderful and sovereign manner does our heavenly Father dispense his favours! Mr. Neville sent his son into a popish country, that there might be no possibility of his being poisoned with heretical notions, as he terms the pure gospel of Christ : but it is impossible to counteract the will of Him, who came to seek as well as to save that which was lost. -Your narration, my dear child, of the cruel treatment which you have received, has given me much uneasiness. It is no more, however, than we had reason to expect. The kingdom of heaven must be entered through great tribulation. The world, the flesh, and the devil, are enemies with which a Christian is never at peace. We must, therefore, put on the armour of God, and fight the good fight of faith to the end of our course.
You and I, Miranda, have no reason to complain. We might have been called to resist unto blood, striving against sin. Besides, you are always welcome to partake with me, I was going to say of my little pittance; but, I thank God, more than enough remains for you, and myself, and our dear Eusebia, if Providence should place her under my protection.
I received much pleasure from your account of Thomas and his ass. A humble mind is of itself a portion; for it teaches its possessors to be content in the lowest stations, A Christian cannot think himself ignobly mounted, if he ride as well as his divine master. Nor do I doubt but the cottage of your friend pleases him, from the consideration that it is as good as the stable which received the Lord of glory. The world, and the things of the world, are the one thing needful with worldly men. Riches, honour, sumptuous houses, gay clothes, and costly viands, afford them all their happiness; and a poor happiness it is. When we know the value of the divine favour, how many things are there that we can do without! It is more than probable, my child, that a very great share of the things of time will never be your portion : but this you ought to consider as a matter of small importance. The fewer talents of this kind are committed to your trust, for the fewer you will be accountable. If the children of God, who are rich in this world, were sufficiently to consider that the time is coming when they must give an account of their stewardship, it would somewhat abate their eager-ness in accumulating transitory trifles. I can only add, my dear niece, that I continue
Your affecrionate aunt,
THROUGH the kind providence of God my friends and I arrived at St. Omer's yesterday about noon. How thankful ought I to be to the Father of mercies for the goodness with which he has followed me from my birth to this moment. ... The pleasure I promised myself from seeing my dear brother was mixed with apprehension that he would reproach me on account of my supposed heresy; but I have been happily and unexpectedly disappointed. Could you have thought that my brother would come to the knowledge of salvation by Jesus Christ in the French Netherlands? Yet such is the happy case: happy for me; but infinitely more so for him. With what joy did I hear him speak the first time we were by ourselves! The exuberant pleasure deprived me of speech ; and I could only express my delight by the tears which I shed while he pressed me to his bosom.
He observed, it would not be prudent to disclose his be. ing a protestant, till we arrived in England ; and that in
the mean time he would act the part of a mediator, as far as he could do it with propriety.
I mentioned my father's promise not to force me into a convent.
Ah, my dear sister, cried he, don't you recollect that no faith is to be kept with heretics to the prejudice of the church?
I perceive he is fearful that I shall meet with foul play, But, as he will undoubtedly be in the secret if any thing of that kind shall be attempted, I hope, with the divine blessing, to be preserved.
When I intimated my surprise at his being able to keep it a secret so long (for he has been a protestant more than a twelvemorth) he replied, that apparently to have no religion was a trifling sin in a catholic country ; and that his few acquaintance supposed this to be his case. As they knew he was fond of botany, they imagined he spent all the time he could spare from his studies in cultivating that pleasing science. And indeed it was in one of his botanical excursions that he providentially met with a person, in whose commendation he cannot sufficiently express himself. All that I at present know of him is, that he lives at Cassei; and that in him are united the Christian, the friend, the scholar and the gentleman. But I must leave for a while this pleasing subject, as Miss Barnwell made me promise to give her a narrative of my voyage.
On Tuesday, the seyenth of May, at eleven o'clock in the forenoon, we embarked at Gravesend, on board the Industry, Captain Williams, bound for Calais. As we sailed down the river, which in this part widens very rapidly, a sea faring gentleman endeavoured to make the time pass agreeably by telling diverting stories, in which manner he said they spent many of their leisure hours in long voyages. This is a true picture of the world, who, as they sail down the stream of time, take every method to shorten the precious moments, till the voyage of life is over.
In the afternoon we met a fishing vessel, that told our captain it was blowing weather at sea ; on which account, in the evening, he cast anchor at Holy-haven. The next morning, the wind continuing rough, I began to be sick; nor were my father and Signior Albino much better. However, I kept above deck, and was pleased with the sight of numerous vessels. The sea-gulls also cleaving the air, and the porpoises sporting in the water, afforded me an entertainment as agreeable as it was new. How great is that Being who has confined this turbulent element, this amazing world of waters, as with bars and doors, and has said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further. The ocean is truely a majestic and awful part of the works of God. How happy to have Him for our father, who measureth the waters in the hollow of his hand! Methinks seafaring people, above all others, should live in the constant view of eternity ; since the starting of a plank, or a thousand unforseen accidents, may in one moment usher them into the world of spirits. I pray for myself, and for every other servant of Jesus, ihat we may never spend one day in such a manner as would give us a reluctance to have it for our dying day. It becomes us to be alarmed, lest we should be off our watch and in a slumbering disposition when our Lord shall come. They who are not habitually preparing to receive him, cannot expect to hear the midnight cry with composure, even if they are among those who will be permitted to enter with the Bridegroom, and to partake of the marriage-supper.
On Wednesday nothing important occurred. Upon the approach of night the wind died away, and we cast anchor opposite to Kingsgate on the isle of Thanet. I was upon deck early enough next morning to see the sun rise from his watery bed. The heavens were serene: there was a gentle breeze ; and every thing appeared awfully grand, especially to me, who had not befo e seen this reservoir of waters. Presently we beheld the stupendous cliffs of Dover, which serve as a barrier to the boisterous element. We stretched over to Calais, where we arrived about eleven o'clock. Before we could set our feet on shore, we were accosted by waiters belonging to the inns, who each extolled their different houses. But our captain, who was exceedingly civil, having recommended to us the Bras d'O, we had previously concluded to put up at that inn.is
We had not been long in our room, before a capuchinfrar, who wore sandals, and was without stockings, entered, and presented us with a paper written in bad English, purporting that his monastery, having neither lands nor . livings, subsisted on the charity of the well-disposed. The friar, who had no reason to be displeased with his reception, took us to sce his monastery. After locking us in,
he conducted us through several rooms, in which were various paintings, either of Scripture history, or of persons of his order. In the sacristy were a crucifix adorned with jewels, a golden chalice, and many other baubles, The father easily perceived me to be a heretic, by my taking little or no notice of his relics and other trumpery. He looked at me, whispered to father Albino, and shrugged up his shoulders. After having shown us the garden belonging to his monastery, which contained nothing worth describing, he let us through the garden-gate into the parade, were the soldiers were exercising.
Calais is a large town, with tolerably good streets. But I shall not attempt to describe a place which has already been described by many others much more able to do it than myself. We stopped all night, and set out in the morning for St. Omer's, where we arrived about noon. The country through which we passed was unenclosed; yet all of it was under culture, which surprised me. The crops in general were good, and consisted chiefly of wheat, barley, and coleseed; the last of which composes at least one third of the whole, and is now in flower. I felt a pleasing sensation when we came to the avenue which leads into St. Omer's, that being the place where my brother told us in his letter that he spent many of his leisure hours. I looked for him in vain; but a few minutes brought us to our inn, the Poste Royalle.
With this account of my journey I must finish my letter: I cannot describe the joy of my father at the sight of his son after two years' absence. My own was not less sincere; though the supposed difference in our sentiments abated the satisfaction I should otherwise have re. ceived from meeting with so dear a friend. How happy was my disappointment. He was exceedingly glad to hear that the gay and sprightly Miss Barnwell was a pilgrim to the heavenly city; and he desired me to give his kind respects to my excellent friend, and to all who love the Lord Jesus Christ, among whom he did not forget Mrs. Worthington nor our friend Livingstone and his wife. I unite with him in the best wishes for the happiness of all my friends, and continue,