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trouble besides the illness of this boy, and I guessed it was about money, but I didn't know; for the man had always his fee ready for me at regular intervals, and I did not see clearly that the money came from an almost empty purse. And I never should have known anything about it if I hadn't happened to have another patient at the same time, who, singularly enough, was the law agent to whom my friend paid the hundred a year. By some curious coincidence I one day mentioned the name of Charley's father, and then it all came out-in strict confidence, of course. And being a little eccentric myself -so I am told—the man's eccentricity struck me as being rather interesting, though, of course profoundly foolish."
" Why do you say .of course foolish,' doctor ?” asked Mr. Mellison.
"Well, sir, you think it was, do you not ?"
“No; it is refreshing to hear of such self-denying and honourable conduct; and I am more and more obliged to you, doctor, for introducing the son of such a father to my notice. It shall not be my fault if I do not make a man of him. But go on, doctor."
“I believe I have pretty nearly got to the end of my story now. One thing more, though. I should have said that my friend's professional engagements were confined pretty much to one—ay to one market, I think you would call it, Mr. Mellison—and unfortunately, as it seemed then, just at the time when every kindness and any accession to his income would have been doubly welcome, my friend, by some awkwardness on his part, no doubt, lost the favour of his principal patron, and was thrown altogether on his own resources, which were nothing."
"Poor fellow !” said the lady, sympathetically.
“I was ready to say poor fellow too, when I learned this (not from himself, though); but as saying 'poor fellow' fifty times over would do him no good, I did what I could for him, in an underhand kind of way; that is, I exerted what little influence I could boast of; and as there are as good fish in the sea as ever came out of it, I was able to introduce my friend to another-market, we'll call it, and so there was no harm done. Lastly, I am happy to say the boy recovered, as I told you, and in the course of another year my friend paid the last instalment of his horrid debt; and the creditor, being rather struck with an account given him of the poor fellow's' conduct from first
to last, remitted the whole of the interest due; so that the man was put fairly on his legs again, and I am happy to say is doing exceedingly well for himself at last. But still, with regard to the boy"
"I'll take as much interest in him as though he were your son, doctor, or, for that matter, as though he were my own. By the way, you have not mentioned the father's name."
"True; you would like %o know his name, of course. The name of the youth is Charles—Charley they call him; that of the father is Johnson—Henry Johnson."
At the mention of this name Mr. Mellison rose in much perturbation, and paced the drawing room for some moments silently. Presently he spoke:
"You have been playing a trick upon me, doctor," he said/in a subdued tone; " but I have deserved it, and no reproofs you could have uttered would have been too severe. 'Let the righteous smite me, it shall be a kindness; and let him reprove me, it shall be an excellent oil.' You have taught me a lesson I will never forget, doctor, and I thank you for it. I must have been a dull scholar, doctor, in the school of my Master, Christ, or I should have snown better what he meant when I have read his words, I Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous ludgment.' I never saw it in that light—in the light you save put it—before. God forgive me. If I had only cnovvn what I know now—and 1 ought to have known. I iee now that if wealth and position have their privileges, hey have their duties too; and these duties have been seglected by me. They never shall be again, God helping ae. I will never again condemn any man unheard. "Send the youth to me," he presently added, "or rather -will go to him. Yes, I ought to see the father first, and onfess my fault, and ask his forgiveness, and then I can rrange about his son. Thank you again, doctor, for your ;entle reproof, and think of me as leniently as you can. '11 speak to my partners, and henceforth there shall be nother law in our house; I'll have it written up in these /ords—' Judgment, Mercy, Faith.'"
It is almost needless to tell that these promises were ilfilled (for he was a Christian who made them), and that fienceforward a better and happier rule was inaugurated i the house of Mellison, Rowe, and Halifax.
A FEW WORDS ABOUT FRIENDSHIP.
Theee is a natural yearning in the human heart for friendship. Good or bad, the heart longs for some one of kindred views and tastes with whom to reciprocate its sentiments' and interchange its sympathy. Job had his friends; and though they misunderstood him so grievously, it is evident that they were and wished to be his friends, and that he was their friend after all. How generous and self-denying on both sides was the friendship of David and Jonathan! and when Jonathan was gone, Hushai the Archite became David's friend, though we are quite sure he would never be the friend that Jonathan had been. The envious Haman had his friend, to whom he resorted for counsel when troubles were gathering and his fortunes were beginning to fail. Amongst the disciples, a special friendship seems to have bound together Peter, James, and John. The great Master himself did not love all his disciples alike, but had one whom he regarded with peculiar affection, and who is described as "that disciple whom Jesus loved." Youth is commonly the time when lasting friendships are formed; although there are many instances of their formation in later life. Most of those who are now in middle life, found the friends they trust and love still, years ago, at school or college, or in the workshop. Eager and impulsive, and perhaps attracted by qualities which were more showy than real, we tried many, but on one account or another lost them, or gave them up. A few, it may be, remain, and these we hope to cherish as long as we live. Some of the pleasantest hours of our lives have been spent in their society; and we can very likely say with thankfulness, that whatever there may be about us that is good, we owe it in no small measure to them; they raised us up to their standard; they gently reproved our follies; they fostered in us aspirations after intellectual advancement; they spoke to us about God's word; and they| engaged us with themselves in works of holy usefulness. But there are experiences of a very different character. How often have the friends a man has chosen ruined him I j They flattered his vanity; they sapped his principles; they helped him to break the bounds of his early training; and they led him into scenes of dissipation and profligacy. They called themselves his friends, and he believed them to be such: but they were really his worst enemies.
Since, then, friends may be such a blessing or such a curse, it is beyond description important that they should be well chosen. Now there are some whom we should very earnestly warn you not to choose as your friends. "Make no friendship with an angry man," says Solomon, "and with a furious man thou shalt not go; lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul." Though you were the friend of such a man, you would be sure to be, now and then, the object of anger, and that would irritate you; and then, insensibly, from the mere force of example, you would catch his spirit.
Following in the same strain, and quoting from the same book, we would say, Have no friendship with an unfaithful man; for "Confidence in an unfaithful man is like a broken tooth or a foot out of joint." The broken tooth fails you, and so does the foot out of joint; but they do more—they cause you grievous suffering. If a man once thoroughly and basely betrays you, forgive him with all your heart and pray to God to forgive him; but henceforward avoid him; and avoid him just as much if you know that he has been unfaithful to others. •
Have no friendship with a sarcastic man. Kindly allusions to your faults in a jesting way may be all very well; but if his sarcasms be obviously designed for his own amusement or for the display of his wit, rather than for your good; if the things he says sting you," and are such as he would not himself endure either from you or any one else, you will not find his friendship a very plea sant or profitable one.
Have no friendship with an unprincipled, or an impure, or a dishonest man. Avoid him, for depend upon it he will do the devil's work in leading you astray.
Nor let your friendship be with the flippant and thoughtless. If all a man does for you is to help you to while away the hour, his friendship is scarcely worth having. If you have not yet begun to seek salvation, begin to seek it, and try to find out those who are seeking it too. If that be plainly your aim, those who have found it will welcome you to their society, and you will find them true friends by-and-by. Say with David, "lama companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts."
Then when you have chosen your friends, be faithful. What a beautiful example we have of a loving faithfulness in the friendship of David and Jonathan! How Jonathan stands up for his friend, when his own father slights him! how he remonstrates with Saul on account of his sin in thinking evil of David! and how promptly he informs David of his danger, when he knows that his life is aimed at! I would give very little for a friend who would not stand by me, if evil were devised against me; and who, if false things were said of me in my absence, would not stand up for me. It often happens of two friends, that in course of time the one becomes more prosperous than the other. He has gifts which win for him higher admiration, or wider influence, or larger success. Let there in such a case be no envy; for that is not to be faithful. The star of Jonathan declined from the day that he became acquainted with David, whilst David's rose gradually but surely higher. Jonathan never envied David, even though David's prosperity might literally he said to be at his cost. He regarded it as of God, and he was glad that God's favour had lighted on his friend Times occur when practical help is needful; and then "a man that hath fridnds must show himself friendly.'' It is a poor friendship which lasts only in the sunshine; and yet how many friendships there are which die out as soon as the sunshine is gone!" All the brethren of the poor do hate him; how much more do his friends go far from him!" So a popular poet has sung:—
"The friends who in Out sunshine live,
Visit your friends in their necessity and affliction, as yon would like them to do to you; and help them if you can. Nay more; even if the cloud that has come over them should prove that they have been scarcely so worthy of your friendship as you thought, still do not forsake them. Let them see that you are grieved that they have done what was doubtful or wrong; but try, notwithstanding, to give them a word of encouragement and a helping hand. On your kindness or its lack at such a time may depend the moral character and the success of their whole future life. "Thine own friend and thy father's friend forsake not." .
But especially should friends seek to promote each other's best welfare. There may be failings about our