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MARY ANN P-----, &c. &c.




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? Virtue, the strength and beauty of the soul,
Is the best gift of Heaven : a happiness,
That even above the smiles and frowns of fate,
Exalts great nature's favourites : a wealth
That ne'er encumbers, nor to baser hands
Can be transferr'd: it is the only good.”


How lovely are the works of nature! The glowing descriptions of the poet, and the exquisite touches of the pencil, alike fail in their attempts to delineate her varied beauties. The admiring eye turns its delighted gaze around, and still surveys, with ever fresh enjoyment, the enchanting scene. How charming to wander here in these delightful paths! How sweet along this flowery mead, to inhale the breath of morn, and listen to her earliest birds! How soothing among these leafy shades to contemplate, when the moon silvers all with her gentle radiance, and all is quietness, solemnity, and repose! Surely, if happiness is to be found on earth, he who can look around him, and call these retired and delightful walks, and this most beauteous scenery his own, must indeed be blest ! And yet how often observation and experience avouch, that riches with all their attendant pleasures, cannot secure true happiness to their possessor.

The immortal spirit still rises above these gauds of earth,” nor can it be fully satisfied with any thing here below. It will be of no avail at the last great day, to have been the envied proprietor of all this magnificence,

and unless we seek after the glories of an eternal inheritance, we shall then be poor indeed. What benefit could Dives derive from all his wealth? when he listed up his eyes in that dreadful abode of the wicked, he could not obtain one drop of water to cool his burning tongue. But it is not a necessary consequence, that all who possess the treasures of this world are destitute of divine grace. God forbid ! for then would the rich man be of all men living the most miserable. There are many of the noble and the wealthy, who are faithful stew.

ards of the bounties of divine Providence, and are “ ready to distribute, and willing to commu nicate," out of those stores which the God of Providence has committed to their trust. Yes, we are allowed

“To boast some rich ones whom the gospel sways."

On the other hand, it must be observed, that it is not because persons are poor in this world's goods, that they will necessarily seek the treasures of the kingdom of heaven,

"Alas, not so! the poorest of the flock
Are proud, and set their faces as a rock :
Denied that earthly opulence they choose,
God's better gift they scoff at and refuse."

This is unhappily too often the case ; but in the subsequent sketches we shall have occasion to mention one, who, though doomed to struggle with poverty, and encounter some of the roughest and severest storms of adversity, was yet rich in faith, and an heir of the kingdom. My reader, be assured it is neither riches nor poverty, that can recommend us to divine fa

These are merely adventitious circumstances; wealth may, for wise reasons, be given or withheld, for it is God who fixes our lot, and


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