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much of self-denial, and christian love and patience. To refuse all intercourse with persons because their tastes and principles might be dissimilar to her own, would have been to divest herself altogether of the power of being useful to them, as well by the advice to be given as the example to be set. Besides, in proportion to the self-denying charity of the deed, is its acceptableness with God, and value in the sight of men, to be estimated. “Charity suffereth long and is kind :-seeketh not her own."

These considerations induced her to accept the invitation she had received ; and while she suppressed a latent disinclination to go, arising from uncongeniality of pursuits with those of Mrs. Sandford, she gave full scope to the benevolence and generosity of the christian character.

On the second morning following the arrival of the letter, Mrs. Gracelove ordered the carriage to the door, and immediately took her departure for Patterdale. Not very far from this interesting village, on the south-western shore of Ullswater, was situated the picturesque villa of the lady whom she was on the point of visiting. The distance from Keswick is twentyone miles, and the road leading to it is diversified by every variety of beautiful and romantic scenery that nature, in her happiest combinations, can display. Winding valleys, skirted by lofty mountains, with an occasional vista opening out to a distant horizon; streams of transparent water gleaming by the pathway side ;-luxuriantly swelling hills, precipices, wooded cliffs, cascades, and verdant slopes, exhibited their various enchantments to the never-tiring eye. The charms of Switzerland and the Tyrol may, indeed, surpass those of Cumberland and Westmoreland in magnitude of outline, but they do not exceed them in the richness, beauty, and romance of their splendid scenic attractions.

On arriving at the villa, Mrs. Sandford received her guest with all that amiable address, and kindness of manner, which was natural to her. She expressed her thanks for Mrs. Gracelove's ready acquiescence with her request, in a tone of voice and feeling which evinced that she had something on her mind of more than ordinary interest.

The first hour after their meeting passed in the usual preliminary inquiries consequent on an interview after the lapse of so many months since the last had taken place,-personal health, family, friends, and acquaintance. At length, the important subject in reserve was opened by Mrs. Sandford, with somewhat of hesitation, in the following manner.

“My dear Mrs. Gracelove," she commenced, "I have greatly desired to see you, and obtain your friendly advice on a question which deeply interests the happiness of my eldest daughter, Clara ; and, indeed, the welfare of all the family. A gentleman, of the name of Merton, has recently made her an offer of marriage. Possessed of large property, and most respectably connected, he presents, in every point of view, a very eligible match, with one slight exception,--that of his being a Roman Catholic.

“ I should not have hesitated for a moment,” she continued, “ had he been a Protestant; and even as it is, such are the advantages of the proposed union, that I am almost inclined to believe, in accordance with my husband and daughter, that I am a little too fastidious in entertaining the objection. Ihave every reason to suppose that Mr. Merton is a man of good moral character ; that he is a regular attendant at chapel; and the world speaks very highly of him as a generous landlord. It is true, my dear Mrs. Gracelove, we were brought up to the Church, and therefore I am bound to esteem it the best ; and should be very sorry to leave it, or for any of my children to do so. But yet I am not quite sure that a really good Roman Catholic may not be as estimable a man, and as

good a member of society, as a Protestant. However, be that as it may, Mr. Merton is liberal enough to assure my daughter that he should by no means expect her to accompany him to the chapel ; so that she would still continue to enjoy the ministrations of her own place of worship, after her marriage, as she did before. Nevertheless, I am anxious to consult your better judgment; and for this purpose I solicited the act of friendship, which you have so kindly responded to, in paying me this opportune visit."

“ It is, indeed, a most grave and important question that you have referred to my consideration,” replied the lady of Derwent Cottage, “ and can alone be answered by an appeal to that one infallible standard which the word of God supplies. By that great and only test of the propriety of human actions, and the soundness of human principles, I feel not the smallest doubt in at once declaring that your present scheme, my dear Mrs. Sandford, is utterly condemned.

“There is nothing, in the whole compass of the sacred Scriptures,” she observed, “more severely denounced, and more awfully punished, than the sin of idolatry,—which is so foul a blot on the escutcheon of the Church of Rome. On this special account, as well as for the general depravity of those nations, were the children of Israel commanded to drive out and destroy the idolatrous inhabitants of Canaan, and to possess their country. A very large portion of the Old Testament is taken up with the narrative, condemnation, and punishment of these crimes among the Canaanitish people. It is full of reiterated and most impressive warnings, given to the Israelites, not to offend in a similar manner; and of the fearful desolations, and mournful captivities, which they had to endure when, seduced by their heathen wives and husbands, and despising these warnings, they bowed themselves down before the false gods of the land.

Listen to what the infallible word of God declares and commands on this subject," continued our friend, opening a Bible at the book of Leviticus :

“ • Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it; for I am the Lord your God.'*

“ So hateful is idolatry in the sight of Jehovah, that the following express command was laid upon the Israelites, to be strictly fulfilled as soon as they should arrive in the land of Canaan :

'The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein : for it is an abomination to the Lord thy God.

“' Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing.' +

“ Again it is said in the 8th chapter of the same book,It shall be, if thou do at all forget the Lord thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.'

And, again, it is said in the 27th chapter of the same book, - Cursed be the man that maketh any graven or molten image, an abomination unto the Lord, the work of the hands of the craftsman. And in Jeremiah xvii. 5 it is said, Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.”

“If we turn to the first book of Kings,” said Mrs. Gracelove, we there read the awful denunciation of Jehovah against Jeroboam for the same outrage upon the sovereignty of his Maker :

* Lev, xxvi. I.

+ Deut. vii. 25, 26.

“Go, tell Jeroboam, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Forasmuch as I exalted thee from among the people, and made thee prince over my people Israel,

“And rent the kingdom away from the house of David, and gave it thee: and yet thou hast not been as my servant David, who kept my commandments, and who followed me with all his heart, to do that only which was right in mine eyes ;

“But hast done evil above all that were before thee : for thou hast gone and made thee other gods, and molten images, to provoke me to anger, and hast cast me behind thy back :

Therefore, behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, ... Him that dieth of Jeroboam in the city shall the dogs eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat; for the Lord hath spoken it.'

“ Hearken, also, to what the royal Psalmist declares, writing under the inspiration of the Spirit of God :

-Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols : worship Him all ye gods.'t

Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men's hands.

". They have mouths, but they speak not : eyes have they, but they see not :

They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not:

They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat.

They that make them are like unto them ; so is every one that trusteth in them.' I

“ As the last instance I shall adduce, among many others,” said Mrs. Gracelove,“ pray listen to the following tremendous 1 Kings xiv. 7–11.

+ Psalm xcvii. 7. Psalm cxv. 4-8.

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