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duct! Is it said by any one, Why should I be debarred from the pleasures which others are permitted to enjoy freely? God hath in a peculiar manner called you to weeping and to mourning, and to girding with sackcloth, and can make the scene of grief the most beneficial to your soul of all those through. which you have passed. To you the consolations of religion, the calm satisfactions of wisdom, and the pleasures of beneficence are open. Or is youth urged as an apology for such gaieties? It should be remembered, that it reflects little credit on their affectionate dispositions, when the severest pang which can be given to the glowing heart is thus slightly felt, and thus speedily forgotten.

It has been urged by some in this state, as an excuse for frequenting such scenes, that they go to them as the guardians of their children; but, however your indulgence may gratify them at present, it will lessen you in their eyes when they come to the years of sober reflection; and nothing will tend more strongly to excite them to break through every restraint hereafter which may impede their pursuit of pleasure, than the recollection of your example, and of that eagerness for gay enjoyment which the most solemn events could not repress. Your conduct will teach them not selfdenial, but to seek pretexts for indulgence, and to be easily satisfied with them. Or does any one say that a departed husband was such in temper and conduct. that there is little reason to regret his removal ? There are few so depraved as, to be without all claim to esteem ; and if he was utterly profligate, and died. so, there are thoughts of horror suggested by this. consideration which may make you walk softly all the days of your life in the bitterness of your spirit.

3. The title of a widow indeed is peculiarly applicable to those who are left in indigent circumstances. This is the case with many widows; the death of a husband brings with it the loss of all their means of support. From the scantiness of his earnings he found it impossible to lay up aught for the time to come, or the little he had saved had been expended in the support of his family during his illness ; or perhaps he had lodged it in the hands of a person in whose integrity he put entire confidence, and who hath cruelly deceived him. No words are too strong which can be employed in condemning his conduct who wastes the earnings of the industrious in extravagant living or foolish speculations, and renders them utterly destitute in their days of darkness. The institutions which have been framed by benevolent ingenuity in our day, for the custody and progressive increase of the savings of the poor, are admirably calculated to encourage among them a prudent economy, and leave those without excuse who are defrauded by any specious deceiver. Some widows have been left with a number of children so young as to be utterly unable to do aught for themselves; and how little can a mother do for them? It was the wish and the prayer of their father that he might be spared to see them educated and established in the world; but Providence had determined otherwise. In such circumstances a mother must not abandon her.' self to despair, and do nothing; for all that she can accomplish must be attempted. The kindness of the

humane is put forth with peculiar readiness to aid the efforts of the willing mind, and every year will lighten your

burden in its course. Other widows have lost their husbands when they were infirm and sickly, and were thus unable to do aught for their own subsistence. It was, perhaps, much more likely that they should be called away than their husbands; yet these are taken and they are left. To human view it may seem that the feeble and deli. cate should be least missed; but the wisdom of God often leaves us most helpless in appearance, that his strength may be made perfect in weakness. It is when earthly props are gone, that his own hand is most clearly seen and most strongly felt.

Some have been left with children labouring under disease, requiring all their time and all their care, and have been thus precluded from every exertion for their support. Health is the greatest earthly blessing of the poor, and when feeble and sickly children arise in their families it loads them with burdens in spite of all a husband's activity. But how much more piti. able is the case when the support and the care of such children is left to imbitter the griefs of the widow, and when she returns from the grave of a husband to attend her offspring to theirs !

Nay, some widows have been left under heavy debts, of the extent of which they were not aware till the death of a husband; and thus the trial is aggravated by the idea most painful to an honourable mind, that others are deprived of their due, that they have no prospect of liquidating their obligations, and


that they and their children are left to the mercy of creditors. How bitter is the regret felt by an upright heart in such circumstances, that they had not submitted to greater privations, that death in taking away a husband might not have left so grievous a load!

4. She is one that habitually trusts in God. Let thy widows trust in me is his language, and most gracious are the characters under which he has revealed himself, and sweet are the promises which he has made to encourage that trust. The widow's judge and stay is Jehovah in his holy habitation. In heaven he is known as the happiness and the glory of angels, and of the just made perfect; but even there he is known in the visits which he makes, the consolation which he dispenses, and the thanksgivings which rise to his throne as the friend of all who are desolate on earth, and as blessing the scenes of patient and lonely suffering beyond all that the world presents.

Consider how he promises power to the faint, protection to the helpless, fellowship to the solitary, consolation to the afflicted, and encouragement to the fearful. He shall deliver the needy when he crieth, the poor also, and him that hath no helper. The world makes few promises to the poor and to the friendless; all that its comforters have to urge is coon said, and said in tones of carelessness or impa. tience; but what a variety of promises are made to such in the word of God! and such is the kindness and the suitableness by which they are characterized,

that the heart feels, in the very reading of them, its confidence won, and that in the accomplishment of them its comfort is secured.

Now the pious widow trusts in these characters and promises, and believes that all that is needful for her and hers shall be bestowed in the fit season; and this confidence tranquillizes her heart. Looking to human aid is necessarily accompanied with many anxieties and fears; but looking to God, so rich in mercy, and so mighty in power, banishes at once despondency and terror. “Why art thou cast down, O my soul, why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God; for I shall yet praise him who is the health of my countenance and my God.” She beholds in God a care that never slumbers, a love which never waxes cold, a sufficiency incapable of diminution, a power

which never decays, and a life that cannot die.

Sweet to the heart beyond all that the world ever uttered, or the wordling ever felt, is that one gracious assurance, “ Thy Maker is thine husband;

the Lord of Hosts is his name: and thy Redeemer the holy one of Israel ; the God of the whole earth shall he be called.” However happy her connexion might be with an earthly husband, she had found it imbittered by the anxieties and fears produced by his illness, and by the sad scenes arising from his removal; but in her union with the Most High she feels her relation to One who is all-sufficient and eternal, whose sympathy no succession of grief can exhaust, and who, amidst the world's neglect, is ever mindful of his covenant.


* Isaiah liv. 5.

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