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of the principal ingredients in his cup of bitterness; much more when contemplating the redemption of his soul and the riches of God's mercy, will his heart overflow with love for the brotherhood, and zeal for the body of which he constitutes a humble member.
Your affectionate friend
THE CHURCHMAN A MAN OF BUSINESS.
There are in this loud stunning tide
Of human care and crime,
Of th' everlasting chime;
THERE are few earthly blessings given to us from heaven, which can at all be compared with the blessing of a Christian friend,—one to whom we can confide our inmost thoughts and dearest hopes with the certainty of their being appreciated; nay, to whom we do not hesitate to reveal our secret failings, and seek for help and counsel. And such a friend must be one of our own
sex. A wife is too closely attached to us by the ties of natural affection; the very dearness and closeness of the bond prevents her from performing all the functions of a friend. She is too blind to our defects, too ready to excuse rather than correct them. She leans herself on her husband for aid, rather than affords it to him. Consolation, comfort, refuge from the wearisome world,
-a kind welcome when the jaded spirit quails beneath the world's frown,-all this she cheerfully and effectually affords ; but when stern counsel is needed,—when wholesome, perhaps unpleasant, truth is to be taught us, then we find the value of a friend, who with experience equal to our own is able to view without bias the position in which we stand.
Such a friendship was that which subsisted between Herbert and Ridley,-a confidential, manly, Christian friendship, which was of infinite use to both. Ridley, as he became more versed in the world's ways, was enabled to repay, on many occasions, the obligations which he had received from his friend. Living in different positions of life, each afforded counsel to the other. They corresponded continually, and when they met, as they did from time to time, it was with all the ardour of early friendship.
Years rolled on, and Herbert succeeded his father to the rectory of Welbourne, and soon after went to reside there with the full determination to devote the whole energies of his highly cultivated mind to the care of his country parish. Deeply imbued with Christian learning and piety, his mind was like a fountain flowing continually with fresh streams. His Bible, the gift of his father, was still his constant companion at the cottages of the poor; and his interleaved volume, full of references and the labours of his youth, still lay open in his study, furnishing him with the materials of many a parochial sermon.
Ridley's was a more hazardous and less peaceful course. Engaged in the duties of a laborious profession,-his mind constantly on the stretch with worldly affairs; and thrown often amongst scenes where religion was little regarded,—where men would have started at the name of Jesus as if some unwelcome intruder had thrust himself in, (for such, alas ! is the too general feeling of the world,) he was yet enabled to keep up a living faith in his heart, by strictly following the advice given him by his friend-namely,
First, to reserve without fail a portion of each
day for devotion :—and this in conformity with the directions of the Church.
Secondly, to give the whole of the Lord's day scrupulously to God,--in public worship, private reading and meilitation, and deeds of charity.
Thirdly, to present himself on every opportunity, at the sacrament of the Lord's supper.
It was mainly through a resolute perseverance in these religious duties, that he learned to walk unhurt in the world's furnace, and escape that ungodliness, and hardness of heart, which too many so bitterly experience; and the fruit of his religion showed itself in a consistent course of uprightness and integrity. So that though living in the world, his soul was above it; not above its interests and requirements, but above the petty intrigues and vanities which render the heart of the worldling miserable here, and still more unfitted for a change.
Now these topics, vitally important as they are, too frequently present themselves to us in a mere general way. We hear them brought forward in sermons every Sunday. The preacher, or religious moralist, urges the necessity of piety in the daily affairs of life, speaks of its delights and comforts ; and none deny, though few ex