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The Baldwin Library-fUnirm(ty,- ,I) 'o' I
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W DJCKES LON DONi' 'ra ,h was fore ioust or uSe suiia soJ i oatotn tho Ifoe, spsre<rdrrsf' erot blatri~ir .l-- r0J dluO
OR,BEGINNING LIFE.6'fintburgf :GALL & INGLIS, 6 GEORGE STREET.LONDON : HOULSTON & WRIGHT.
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CONTENTS.PAGECHAP. I.-COMING TO TOWN, 5n II.-TEMPTATION AND TROUBLE, 10S III.--YOUTHFit ANXIETIES, 16S IV.-RESOLUTIONS AND REFORMATION, 22, V.-SOLITUDE IN A CROWD, 29* VI.--THE VISIT, 35a VII.-THANKSGIVING-DAY, 40. VIII.--THE HOUSE OF GOD, 48S IX.-THE SUNDAY-SCHOOL, 54. X.-EARLY TRIALS, 60. XI.-ConRAGE, 66F XII.--CONVIOrION, 70XIII.-CORRESPONDENCE, 75. XIV.-THE PASTOR, 88. XV.-A REMARKABLE CHANGE, 91XVI.--POVIDENCE, .96
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rand Narper;OR,BEGINNING LIFE.CHAPTER I.COMING TO TOWN.IT was Frank's first visit to a great city,and he looked at every thing with wonder.The noise of the streets seemed to deafen him,and he scarcely escaped being run over by thecarts and drays."This," thought he, "is New York! I reallydid not think it was so large !" And yet whatFrank had seen as yet was less than the hun-dredth part of New York But the rows of tallhouses were so long, and the shop-windowswere so fine, and the sights in the streets wereso new and wonderful, that he was in a sortof rapture.- fc- **.* ''-'
6 FRANK HARPER.After Frank had spent most of the day inrambling about, he found his feet very soreand his whole body wearied. After taking tea,he was shewn to his lodgings, away up in theattic of a three-storey house. Now it wasthat he began to feel that he was in a strangeplace. Two older boys occupied the samelittle chamber; they were, like himself, em-ployed in shops, in John Street. They hadalready gone to bed. Frank sat down a fewmoments, and began to think over the eventsof the busy day, which seemed to him like adream. At length, he opened his little redtrunk, and the first thing he saw was thepocket-bible, which his mother had givenhim. You may be sure some tears fell uponit, as he opened it. He found the marker,which his sister had embroidered for him, andread on it the words, "0 HOW I LOVE THYLAW !" He kneeled down and prayed to God,with many tears, that he might be kept andblessed, now that he was separated from hisparents.Frank's bed was not so good as the onewhich he had left at Coventry; and he wa,surprised, for he thought everything woulkbe very grand in the great city. But he soor
COMING TO TOWN. 7forgot himself, and slept (as healthy boyssleep), soundly and well, until the day dawned.It was a bright winter morning, and Nedand Joe were already dressed. They did notwait for Bible or prayer, but hurried away totheir shops. Frank had time only to read afew verses, and to offer a short prayer. Boysin the city must rise early, or they will losetheir devotions. And unless they form thehabit at first, they are apt to have prayerlessdays. I am afraid there are hundreds whonever pray at all.The next thing was a quick walk,-or ratherrun, to the place of business. Here Frankhad to kindle a coal-fire, which he found noeasy job, and then to open the shop, and sweepand dust it out. Mr Boggs came in aboutnine o'clock, and then Frank hurried to hisbreakfast. It was the first breakfast he evertook without family prayer, and he thoughtof his father, mother, and sisters. He atefast; and, to tell the truth, there was notmuch to eat. His mind wandered away tothe full table in the country. A good manypersons sat at the table, but no one took anynotice of the little country-boy.It would take long to tell of the day's work
8 FRANK HARPER.Frank was kept very busy, as is usual with theyoungest. He was sent on many errands, tostrange places, and several times lost his way:for which he was rebuked by his employers,and laughed at by the clerks and porter. Onceor twice he was brought into trouble by badboys; and once he had his fist doubled tostrike a fellow who had teased him; but hethought better of it. And he afterwards found,that. the wisest plan in the streets is to go aboutone's business as quietly as possible. He wasshocked at the bad language which he heardfrom the boys even younger than himself; es-pecially from those who carried newspapers,and from ill-looking chaps, who seemed tohave no work to do. In a great city, it is im-possible to avoid hearing such things; and theonly way for a good boy is to take no noticeof them, except to set the mind firmly againstsuch evil words, asking God's help to be keptclear of the like sin.During the few moments of the day whichhe had to himself, and was waiting for hisparcels or letters, Frank's mind strayed offto his country home; and he sighed to thinkthat he was so far away. But he comfortedhimself by remembering what his father had
COMING TO TOWN. 9told him at parting: " My son, you are goingto a strange place ; but if you are faithful, youwill be able to support your mother and mein our old age, if we need it." And then hesaid to himself: "I will do anything, andbear anything, to help my beloved parents."When the day was over, and the work ofthe shop was done, he vwent slowly to hisboarding-house, weary and sad. He took hishasty meal by himself, and then went to hisroom. Ned and Joe were in high gleeabout a nine-pin-alley which they had beenvisiting; but Frank could not enter intotheir pleasure. They laughed at him whenhe sat down to his Bible; and, for a moment,he thought he would shut it up. But then heremembered how often his mother had toldhim "never to be shamed out of what wasgood," and so he read on. He was after-wards glad of this; for, in a little time, theygrew weary of their jesting. He even sum-moned up resolution to kneel down by hisbed and pray; though Joe sang "Old DanTucker," on purpose to disturb him, and Nedthrew a bit of old rag over his head, while hewas on his knees. I cannot say that poorFrank's thoughts did not wander a little; but
10 FRANK HARPER.he thus gained a great victory over himself.The boys fixed on him the name of the Par-son; and gave notice at the table that hewould preach the next Sunday. Frank co-loured a little, but was wise enough to saynothing.Let the reader observe, that a boy who isafraid of being laughed at, will never becomea man of independence; and a boy who islaughed out of his prayers will be very likelyto be laughed out of many other good habitsand principles.CHAPTER II.TEMPTATION AND TROUBLE.A FEW weeks passed away, and Frank hadbecome quite familiar with his business. Hehad received two pleasant letters from home,which he carefully folded up, after he had readthem about twenty times. He had sent a knit-ting-basket to his mother, and a pair of glovesto each of his sisters. It was becoming easy forhim to find his way. He was quite at homeat the post-office, the wharves, and the banks.
TEMPTATION AND TROUBLE. ]1Messrs Boggs and Buncombe, his employers,began to find that he was always in his place;the clerks saw that he was good-natured; andWickes, the book-keeper, had even gone sofar as to give him a second-hand pinchbeckwatch, which kept tolerable time if carefullyset every morning.But trouble was near. And let me tell myyoung reader, no youth in town can escapetrouble.One very cold night, when he came homefrom the store, he found Briggs and Dentonwaiting for him at the door."Come, my lad," said Denton, "we aregoing to the Bowery Theatre, and we meanto take you along.""I thank you," said Frank, "but I do notwish to go.""Not wish to go !" cried he; "and whynot? It shall cost you nothing; we are goingto stand treat. You shall go, Mr Parson."To make an unpleasant story short, theypersuaded Frank against his convictions. Hewent. Their seat was in the gallery, and, tohis sorrow, he saw and heard things thatnight which made him sure that it was awicked place. For a few moments the no-
12 FRANK HARPER.velty of the thing pleased him. He listenedto charming music. He saw fine players,decked and painted; and he was astonishedat the scenery and the dancing. But he alsosaw and heard things which he knew wereneither modest nor virtuous; and his heartwas full of the conviction that he was in thewrong place. When they came out, in a greatcrowd, about eleven o'clock at night, heturned to the boys, and said: "Now, mindwhat I say-this is the first time I ever wasin a theatre-and it shall be the last."This raised a loud laugh. "Aha 1" saidNed, "do you say so ? Very well, so we said,three years ago; but we have got well overthat; haven't we, Joe ?""Yes," answered Joe, "I go to the theatreevery week; and some day I will tell youwhere we get the money. And there are otherplaces, too, where we mean to take you; mindthat, Mr Parson."These words opened Frank's eyes; he beganto see his danger, and was more firmly re-solved to resist these temptations. He thoughtover several texts of Scripture, and wished hehad remembered them a little sooner. Howsolemnly his aged father had said to him, "My
TEMPTATION AND TROUBLE. 13son, if sinners entice thee, consent thounot."When they reached their boarding-housein Dey Street, the boys found that they werelocked out; for it was near midnight. Thenoise of wheels had almost ceased in Broad-way, and the only sound they heard was thesharp click of the watchman's staff upon theflag-stones.Presently the heavy sound of the City-hallbell began to give the signal of a fire. Almostimmediately the engines were out, and acrowd began to gather. Ned and Joe weresoon among the throng, and Frank saw no-thing to do but to join them. Before theyreached the place of the fire, Joe Dentonstumbled over a rope and in recovering him-self, thrust his elbow into the eye of a fireman,who struck him a smart blow. Joe and Nedwere soon engaged in a brawl with the fire-men; and Frank was trying to pull themaway, when all of a sudden he felt his armroughly seized, and looking round perceivedthat he was in the hands of a sturdy man,whose gilt star shewed that he was one of the-police. "Come, my'young blade," said theofficer, "I must give you a lodging; you
14 FRANK HARPER.begin early. I guess your mother does notknow you're out?"The very word "mother" went to poorFrank's heart. "Indeed, indeed, sir," said he,"I am not doing any harm-I didn't want tobe here-I was only trying to get those bigboys home."" 0 yes, the old story-I've heard the likebefore. Nobody is never doing no harm. ButI'll take care of you. What is your name?""Frank Harper.""Where do you live ?""I am in Boggs and Buncombe's shop,John Street""Where do you live ?""I board at Mrs Maggs's, Dey Street, nearWashington.""Well-come on." so he hurried himalong, and soon arrived at the watchhouse.Here he was filled with horror, to find him-self in a close room, heated by a stove, almostred hot, and occupied by three drunken va-grants, and a woman of tawdry dress and veryred countenance. It was a night of wretch-edness. In the morning, the chief clerk ofMessrs Boggs and Buncombe, having heardof the boy, appeared for him and had him re-
TEMPTATION AND TROUBLE. 15leased. Poor Frank could scarcely bear thelooks of his employers; but he told them thewhole truth. The clerks had their sport aboutit; but, what was most hard to bear, thelarger boys, who had betrayed him into thesnare and then escaped, made fun of his dis-tress, almost every day, for weeks after.This is not an uncommon occurrence in agreat city. There are lads who, in trying tobrave the ridicule which comes on them, aftersuch things, only become more hardened. Iam glad to say it was not so with Frank.He was confirmed in his determination tokeep out of bad company, and especiallynever to be out at night. These hours ofhunger, fear, shame, and imprisonment, andthe,disgrace which followed, were a lesson tohim as long as he lived.Most of the evils which befall youth in agreat city are connected with the streets. Itis hardly possible for a boy to be much out atnight, without becoming depraved. The onlysafe rule is, to stay within doors. Yet it iswonderful to observe, that you'can scarcelywalk the streets, at any hour before midnight,without meeting numbers of boys, even oftender years. They are to be found in gangs
16 FRANK HARPER.about the doors of the theatre, and some-times the money which gains them entranceis procured by theft.CHAPTER III.YOUTHFUL ANXIETIES.IT was on a bright Saturday evening inDecember, that Frank had an errand to thefoot of Chambers Street, to receive some par-cels by the steamboat from Peekskill. Theboat was delayed, and this gave him half anhour to himself, which was unusual. Hespent it in walking upon the pier, looking atthe dark, rapid waves, crested with lightfoam, at the numerous craft of the river, andespecially at the low hills of his native Jersey,behind which the sun had just gone down,leaving all the west in a blush with theevening red.Frank was not less cheerful commonly thanother boys of his age, but late events had madehim serious. He looked across the river tothe hills, in the direction where he thought
YOUTHFUL ANXIETIES. 17the little village of Coventry must lie. Hethought of his father; "I suppose he is nowgetting home the cattle, and making an endof the week's work. Mother is preparingeverything for Sunday. Mary and Anne arelooking over the clothes; or perhaps hearingone another say the Sunday-school lesson.And here am I-by myself-and in disgrace!"Here the little boy took out his blue hand-kerchief, to wipe his eyes; but he wept themore, when he saw on the corner of it themark wrought by his mother's needle. " Iam sorry, I am sorry!" said he, "I have donewrong-I have indeed-but I hope I have notdone as wrong as people think." And hewept the more.Be not cast down, my young friend, theseare manly tears! Let every youth, who readsthese lines, know, that sorrow for sin isnothing to be ashamed of.As Frank turned hastily, on reaching thecorner of the pier, he found himself met by ayoung nfan of grave appearance, and kindlooks, who spoke to him in a civil tone, andsaid, "Good evening, my boy So I see youhave business here, as well as myself."B
18 FRANK HARPER." Yes, sir," he replied, "I am waiting forthe Mountaineer;' I am to get some parcelsby one of the hands of the boat."" My business is with the same boat," saidthe stranger; "but it is not so pleasant. Iam looking for news of a lad who has robbedour shop, and has been pursued up the riverby an officer.""Ah! I hadn't heard of it. It is badenough when boys take to robbing.""Bad enough, indeed; but it is becomingtoo common. This young fellow broke openthe safe of Mr Brownley, and took a pocket-book, with eighty pounds, and papers worthfive times as much. New York boys aregetting to be men in wickedness. Do youlive in town?""Yes," said Frank, "I do now; but I havenot been here long. I am a country boy.""Then," said the other, "let me give youa bit of advice, my young friend.. I was acountry boy too, not long ago, and I knowsomething of the dangers of the city. Takecare of bad companions."This he said with so much seriousness, andwith a look of so much cordiality, that Frank
YOUTHFUL ANXIETIES. 19was encouraged to say: "I have found outalready what a bad thing it is to go withwicked boys.""It is a good sign to hear you say so.Forewarned isforearmed. And as you seemto be aware of the danger, you must let meput these tracts into your hands. You mnustread them. And if you will call at our shop,I will give you more. My name is Brooks;and I am a teacher in the Sunday-school ofthe Locust Street church."Just then the boat came in sight. Frankreceived his packages, and was soon on hisway to town. But as he walked along, hethought on the few words he had heard.There was nothing in them, which he hadnot known before; and yet they had made adeep impression on his mind. This shouldencourage us always to drop a good word toyoung persons, when we have an opportunity.Some have thus been instrumental in savinga soul from death.That night Frank lay awake upon his bed,thinking over his conduct. He could notreproach himself, except in regard to his sin-ful compliance about the theatre. But thishurt his conscience, and made him think of
20 FRANK HARPER.other faults. So it often is. Thinking onone transgression is likely to make us thinkof other sins. "How I wonder at myself,"thought he. "I was ashamed to say No.Now I remember what our minister used tosay, Boys, if you mean to make anything inthe world, learn to say NO.' Now, I knowwhat he meant. I was ashamed-I wascowardly-I knew better!" And here histhoughts began to turn into prayer, and heasked God to pardon his weakness.Frank had been piously educated, by ex-cellent parents, and he knew what was right.But he also knew that he had never expe-rienced that great change, which the Scrip-tures call being "born again." A long timebefore it was day, while Joe and Ned werefast asleep, he, wrapped in his cloak, waskneeling down in the corner of his cold gar-ret room, praying to God. Though not seenby men, he was seen by angels, and by God.Happy is the youth who sometimes stealstime even from slumber, for such a purpose.The next day was the Sabbath. The poorfellow had no one to direct him to a place ofworship. It is a pity that so many youthare cast upon a great and wicked city, just in-
YOUTHFUL ANXIETIES. 21this way. Frank did what many do, andwhat he had done on other Sabbaths. Hewandered about the streets looking for achurch. He went into one; it was crowdedwith people. The house was full of the fumesof incense; he saw pictures and crosses, andheard prayers in a strange tongue; he didnot remain long.He approached another; many coacheswere drawn up before it. The pews werefilled with rich-looking people. There was avery young man in the pulpit, who waspreaching about the evils of enthusiasm.Frank grew tired of standing, and came out.After roaming through several streets, hecame to an old-fashioned building, and onentering was shewn to a seat in the gallery.The minister was just finishing his sermon,and Frank heard him several times repeatthese words: " Who can understand hiserrors ? Cleanse thou me from secret faults."He found that they were in the nineteenthpsalm. "That means me!" thought Frank.So he went home musing upon it. The wordsrang in his ears. "Cleanse thou me fromsecret faults." He preached quite a littlesermon to himself, and turned the words into
22 FRANK HARPER.prayer. When he got to the house he com-mitted the whole psalm to memory. I can-not say that he felt true repentance, but hecertainly saw more of his sins than he hadever seen before. Where he had thoughtthere was one, he now beheld a thousand.Thus God was causing him to "understandhis errors." Reader, have you any knowledgeof this?CHAPTER IV.RESOLUTIONS AND REFORMATION.MONDAY morning is a time when industriouspeople feel uncommonly bright. Every thingseems to take a fresh start. The body andmind both have had rest, and they work witha sort of spring. This is the good effect ofthe Sabbath. Those do not feel thus, whospend it in labour or frolic.On that Monday (the fourth of December),Frank was up bright and early. He had gotleave of Mrs Maggs to kindle a fire in thedining-room, in the lower storey; and there
RESOLUTIONS AND REFORMATION. 23you might have seen him, at a table, with adipped-candle which he had bought, and withpen and ink, very busy over a sheet of paper.What can our Frank be doing? Surely heis not about to make a book! Perhaps it isa letter. No such thing. At the top of thesheet he has written, in fair round-hand, likea ledger, these words:-"MY RESOLUTIONS." I. Resolved-That I will go to churchevery Sunday morning and afternoon."II. Resolved-That I will read in myBible daily."III. Resolved-That I will become asgood as ever I can."Poor Frank! His face is all in a glow ofearnestness! Shall we blame him for hisresolutions? No, no! The things are allgood-very good. But perhaps he may findthat it is more easy to resolve than to per-form.Our little man had set out in the week withsuch a vehemence of purpose, that, if you hadbeen in the secret, you might have read deter-mination in his very face. He even composed
24 FRANK HARPER.his countenance to unusual sobriety. Hefeared to speak, lest he should utter some-thing wrong. He was resolved not to losehis temper. He did his errands in half theusual time. He felt so much need of beinghonest, that he returned a piece of twine,which he had previously taken from a shelf.He read several chqpters in the Bible, andsaid his prayers with more attention thanever before. In a word, Frank began to feelas if he was almost as good a boy as he wasrequired to be.In the evening, as they were all sittingaround the fire, the company were chatting,laughing, cracking nuts, and singing; butFrank was very grave and silent. He felt asif he was better than all around him. Theywondered what had come over him, andthought he was sulky. Indeed it had muchof that appearance. But he was trying tomake himself good. At length, as he wasgoing up stairs rather later than usual, withhis night lamp, the thought came suddenlyinto his head: " Why, all this is very muchlike the Pharisees!" It was too true. Hesaid over the words, " Who can understandhis errors ?" "Ah," said he to himself, "I
RESOLUTIONS AND REFORMATION. 25am afraid I have not got rid of the 'secretfaults' yet." He felt that he was proud.Perhaps this is what is called self-righteous-ness. Such were his thoughts, and so farthey were undoubtedly right.When he came to his room, the opening ofthe door awakened his two companions, whowere not at all pleased with the interruption.Ned turned over with some violence, and gaveFrank a very hard name. This did not pleasehim, especially as he was more exalted in hisown opinion than usual; he therefore replied,in a tone which immediately struck him asnot being exactly proper. Ned was now dis-pleased in his turn, and they were soon en-gaged in a boyish quarrel."You are a pretty fellow," said Ned, "tobe out till this hour of the night, and then tocome stamping in, waking up those that aretrying to sleep."Frank was nettled, but he commanded him-self enough to reply: " Now, Ned, you knowvery well that I have not been out of doorsto-night."" Ha! ha! A pretty story, indeed Howdo I know but you have been spending an
26 FRANK HARPER.hour at the theatre, or may be at the watch-house ? Eh Master Parson."This was rather more than Frank couldbear. " You should not say it, any how.Did you not persuade me? Did you notalmost force me there? And then did younot leave me in the lurch ? I can tell youone thing-I am never going again; and Ican tell you another thing-wherever I go,I will go with my own money."This was a home-thrust, for Ned had, onlythat very day, purloined a shilling from hisemployers, and his evil conscience made himfeel as if he had been found out. So he flewout of the bed, knocked the lamp out ofFrank's hand, and seized him by the col-lar. There is no telling what might havebeen the result, as the little country boy wasvery resolute and very angry; but Joe hadwaked up, in the meantime, and beingstronger than either, pulled them apart, say-ing, " Let him alone, Ned; you know we havegot him into one scrape already; and, what ismore, the less you have to do with him thebetter."It was long before Frank could composehimself for sleep. He had sunk in his own
RESOLUTIONS AND REFORMATION. 27estimation. He had flown into a passion,and had been almost engaged in a fight. Andthis had happened to him on the very daywhen he had made such good resolutions!Yet he did not see the whole evil. He feltashamed and sorry for these particular faults,which many persons would think no faultsat all; but he did not clearly perceive that theroot of the evil was within. If the temptationhad come upon him in another shape, it islikely he would have fallen in a different man-ner. The source of all was an evil nature,and an unregenerate heart, which would haveled him to the greatest sins, but for the pre-venting grace of God.The next day Frank was unhappy. Hefelt humbled in his own eyes. His companionswould not speak to him; but this did nottrouble him half so much as his own sense ofsomething wrong within. "How strange!"said he to himself, " that just at the time whenI was trying to be so good, I should breakout into such tempers, and even go to bedwithout a thought of prayer."In one of the upper lofts of the warehouse,there was a dark corner where the porter, aman of colour, used to keep an old Bible.
28 FRANK HARPER.Frank sometimes saw him sitting there on abox, or a bale of goods, with a pair of rustyspectacles, trying to spell out a few verses.Cato was a poor reader; and this made Franksometimes take the book, and read aloud tohim. On the day we are speaking of, hefound the old man at his usual task. He waspuzzling over the seventh chapter of Romans.Frank very kindly took the book, and sooncame to these words: "For the good that 1would, I do not; but the evil which I wouldnot, that I do.""Do you know what that means ?" saidFrank."Yes, indeed, sir," answered the old man;"I understand it too well: and if you everundertake to be good, in your own strength,you will know what it means, too."These few words of the coloured portersunk into his mind. This was an exact de-scription of his own case. He had been un-dertaking to be good in his own strength; andhe had learned his own weakness; and foundout that a resolution is a very different thingfrom a reformation.
SOLITUDE IN A CROWD. 29CHAPTER V.SOLITUDE IN A CROWD.Do you think anybody can feel lonely insuch a city as New York, where there arehundreds and thousands of people? Yes, itis possible; and our Frank felt it to be hisown case, as many a country boy has donebefore him. He met hundreds after hundredsin the streets; almost always looking briskand animated, and often conversing and seem-ing happy. But as for him, he was alone.No one cared for him; scarcely anyone spoketo him. His employers never said a word tohim, except to give him orders. It was thesame with the elder clerks. The youngerlads held their heads too high to have muchto do with him; and their profane languagemade him willing to avoid them. At hislodgings he found no one who took the leastinterest in him.It is one of the great evils of our city busi-ness, that the young men who are employedin warehouses and shops cannot be said to
30 FRANK HARPER.have any home, except in cases where theylive with their parents. Where shall a poorboy go, when work is over? To the ware-house? It is locked up. To the house ofhis employer? He would as soon think ofgoing to the house of the Mayor. To hisboarding-house parlour? He is not expectedthere, and would often find no welcome. Tohis own chamber? It is small, dark, andcold. In truth, he has no home! And hencethe temptation is so much the greater tospend the evenings in bad places.Frank felt all this; and often did he thinkhow different it was at Coventry. Father,mother, and sisters, were all gathered aroundthe fire; neighbours were dropping in; goodthings were served round; there were kindlooks, and gentle words. Oh, let no boydesire to leave his father's house, until calledaway by a plain duty!One evening Frank felt the need of a walk,so he put on his coat, and proceeded upBroadway. This crowded street was brilliantwith gas. The shop windows were far moreshowy than by day, and the multitude of per-sons was greater. Now and then, he wouldstop before a brighter lamp than usual; it was14
SOLITUDE IN A CROWD. 31at some oyster saloon, refectory, bowling-gal-lery, or cafd. These are the names given tovarious grog-shops. They are well lightedand well warmed, and hold out a powerfulinducement to the shivering, the lonely, andthe sad. But those who go there to drinkaway their sorrows are almost sure to perish,soul and body. Frank passed by.Next he came to Park Row, and stoodbefore the theatre. The row of lamps wasbright. He could catch the sounds of finemusic. Gay-looking people were going in orcoming out. A crowd of boys surroundedthe entrance, eager to be admitted, and cla-mouring for checks. Frank remembered thegreat posting bills which had told of thewonders to be seen and heard; but he passedon, feeling very solitary.As he went further and further, he foundthe grog-shops more numerous, the windowsless rich, the houses poorer, and the liquorsmore publicly displayed. At open doors hecould hear the sound of merriment within.He saw boys of his own age coming out ofthese shining rooms, full of gaiety, and knewhow easy it would be to go in himself. 0parents! who send tender youth to cities, can
32 FRANK HARPER.ye wonder that they fall into these snares!Frank felt very, very lonesome; but hepassed on.Weary of rambling, he at length turned togo home. A poor ragged boy offered him asmall box, saying, " Three for a halfpenny-matches-please buy-please buy-I amhungry." "Other people are in trouble, be-sides me," thought Frank. He declined buy-ing, and the child gave him a volley of curses.It shocked the country boy to hear suchwords, and made him even more afraid thanbefore to make street acquaintances.Old Cato once said to him, " Mr Frank,what is the reason that I never see you withany playmates ?""I have no playmates, Cato. I used tohave plenty of them in the country, but 1 ama stranger here.""Have you got no friends?""Not any here, Cato. I have a good father,and mother, and sisters, in Coventry.""Then you are poorer than I am. WhenI go to my poor house at night, I find a wel-come. The stove is hot, and something iscooking on it. There I find my 'old woman'and three daughters. My boys come in during
SOLITUDE IN A CROWD. 33the evening, and we have a dozen of friendslooking in. We are all glad to see one an-other. I could not live without friends.""Yes, Cato, you have a home; but I am astranger.""I often wonder," said Cato, "why therich gentlemen don't do something to keepthe young men out of mischief in the even-ings. Boys are boys, they will have com-pany. If they are not cheerful in some goodplace, they will go to some bad one. I won-der if masters will not have to answer for thisto the Master of all."To this Frank made no reply, for he thoughtas Cato did, and his mind was wanderingaway to his father's house, and the delightfulwinter evenings which he had spent there.As he was entering Dey Street, on hisreturn to tea, he met Ned and Joe, with agang of about a dozen boys and men, veryloud and merry. "Come, Frank," cried he,"come. There is to be a great poultry rafflein Leonard Street." This is a sort of lottery,in which the prizes are turkeys, ducks, andchickens; but the chief attraction is theliquor, which is given very freely.Frank could not help thinking that it was0
34 FRANK HARPER.better to be lonely than to make merry insuch company as this. He ascended to hisroom, lighted his bit of candle with a match,wrapped a blanket around him, and proceededto read in Pilgrim's Progress-the only bookwhich he possessed besides the Bible. *If the reader of these pages should everbecome the employer of young men, I hopehe will take pity upon those who are underhis care, and at least find out what meansthey have of passing away their eveninghours.The circus, the theatre, the low concert,draw multitudes night after night. Thesepersons afterwards become ripe for crimes.Boys in town, who have no one to look afterthem, are early tempted to such places. Butif they love their own souls, they shouldresolve to avoid them, lest they be drawn intogreater depths of iniquity. The nearest gro-cery to my house was robbed the other nightby a boy in the shop, who rifled the moneydrawer. When the police were called in,they said at once, "He is probably at thecircus;" and there, indeed, he was, as theyfound in the course of half an hour.
THE VISIT. 35CHAPTER VI.THE VISIT.Now, it is very likely (as I have said a gooddeal about religion, and about the bad waysof towns) that some of my readers think Iam a sour old fellow, that would keep youngpeople from every amusement. By no means,my young friends. You must have amuse-ment of some kind or other; and it is becausethere are so many tempting and evil enter-tainments, that I so earnestly desire that aneffort should be made in our cities to furnishyou with such as are harmless.Frank was growing too dull for a lad ofhis years. He felt the need of companions,and thought much of his sisters and cousins.One morning Mr Buncombe stopped Frank,as he was on the stairs, and said to him,"My lad, how would you like to spend a dayat your father's?" Frank's heart leapedwithin him. Forgetting the dignity of MrBuncombe, he seized his hand, and said, "0,
36 FRANK HARPERsir, it would be too good! I should thankyou for ever! But can I go? When shall Igo?" " Next Thursday," replied his employer,"is Thanksgiving-day, and we have to closethe warehouse. You may get ready to go theevening before; but, mind, you are to be hereby ten o'clock on Friday, not a moment later.Do you see this watch? Not a moment later.Remember, Friday at ten." " 0, yes, sir-yes,sir-Friday at ten,"-said the poor boy,.scarcely knowing what he said.It was as if a burden had been lifted offhis young heart. You may be sure hecounted the days and hours, until the happymoment. He was fluttering with fear lestsomething should turn up to hinder it. Hecounted up his little hoard of money in hispocket-book. Part of this he laid aside topay his passage, the rest he appropriated togifts for those at home. The first spareevening he spent in making purchases; andhow he turned them over in his lonely garret!First, there was a large-print New Testament,with Psalms at the end, for his dear mother.Secondly, there was an ivory-headed cane, forhis dear father. Thirdly, there was a box ofcolours for his sister Mary. Fourthly, there
THE VISIT. 37was a gilt inkstand for his sister Ann. Andfifthly, there was an ornamented powder-horn for Jonathan, who worked on the farm.His heart was very much engaged in this,and the feeling was good and praiseworthy.When Tuesday night came, his red trunkwas all packed, except the change of clothingwhich he was to wear, and he had been twiceto the railway office, to be sure of the rightplace of starting. But he got scarcely a winkof sleep, and when he dozed a little, he wasfar away in Coventry.At length the happy Wednesday dawned,"and his first thought was that he should sleepthat night under his father's roof. He atelittle at the table, so that the landlady smiled,and told him he was journey-proud. Severaltimes he made sad mistakes in his errands;for, poor fellow! his thoughts were in thecountry. A full hour before the time, hesallied out with his coat, umbrella, and bag,and the cane for his father, and was at thefoot of Liberty Street before the ticket-officewas open. He looked with a sort of grati-tude on the whiskered man who gave him histicket, and rushed on to the ferry-boat, as ifhe was afraid it would be off before him. He
38 FRANK HARPERwas soon in the train the locomotive whizzedand smoked, and the train began to move.It seemed to him to move slowly, thoughthey were going almost twenty miles anhour.Darkness came on, and when they arrivedat the place where he was to get out, themoon and stars were shining brightly. Healighted, and looked about him. He knewthat he was expected. Presently he heard afamiliar sound; it was the snort of old Roan,the family horse; and then he knew the creakof the wheels, as the little wagon drove rapidlyround. His heart went pit-a-pat. With ahusky voice, he said, "Who is it ?" and in amoment he was in his father's arms. " Come,my son," said the old man, "let me look atyou once more!" and he held his ruddy facein the light of the window. " Come, in withyour bag-we have four miles to drive, youknow-and your mother and the girls arewaiting for you."Frank seated himself, and gently took thereins out of his father's hand. It was his oldplace, and it had been long since he hadhandled the "lines." He knew every foot ofthe road, by day or night; and old Roan
THE VISIT. 39pricked up his ears at the well-known voice,and trotted off like a colt."There," said Frank, "there is Mr Frost'shouse-I see the light in their sitting-room.And there is the old mill-and yonder isthe school-house. And see! the moon isshining on the steeple of our church Andoh, there is our own lane-and the cherry-trees-and Towzer-I hear his bark!"True enough, there was the lane, and therewas Towzer, who almost stifled the boy, as hejumped down to open the gate. As soon asthe sound of the wheels was heard, the doorflew open, and out bounded two rosy-cheekedgirls, who threw their arms around his neck."Brother, brother!" was all they could say;but it was enough. In the door stood hisgentle mother, trembling, with more than herlips could express. For an instant she heldhim off, gazing into his face, and then foldedhim to her bosom, whispering, " Thanks be toGod!"If there is a happy sight on earth, it is thatof a loving family, united after separation.The.large fire-place was piled with logs, whichfilled the room with their blaze. The circlewas formed, and a thousand questions were
40 FRANK HARPER.asked. Towzer lay upon the hearth, andlooked in his young master's face. Impatientto open his stores, the red bag was unlocked,and Frank distributed his gifts. They were"received with admiration and thanks. Jona-than came in, and shook him some secondsby the hand. Then, restless with joy, Frankmust needs go into every room in the house,and afterwards out of doors, to see whetherthe barn and the dairy stood in their oldplaces.The supper-table was spread. The goodfather asked God's blessing. Frank praisedthe home-made bread, the milk, the preserves,and declared he had never sat at such a tablein New York. Once again they all kneeledin family prayer; and when the grateful boywent to his well-remembered bed, he thoughtit was the happiest day of all his life.CHAPTER VII.THANKSGIVING-DAY.IT is the custom, in some parts of the coun-try, for all the members of a family to come
THANKSGIVING-DAY. 41together on Thanksgiving-day; and a verygood custom it is. It serves to draw thebonds more closely between parents and chil-dren, brothers and sisters. This makes it adelightful day for many a youth, who isabsent from his father's house all the rest ofthe year. So it was with Frank. After anight of sound sleep, he arose in the morning,refreshed and cheerful By daylight, hecould now look around on the familiar objectswhich had escaped him in the darkness. Allgave him pleasure. He looked with satisfac-tion at the horses, the cattle, the flock ofsheep, and the very fowls in the yard, whichhe used to feed. There was not a thinginside or outside of the house which did notbring up pleasant recollections. But most ofall was he happy in the presence of his dearparents and sisters; and he saw his own joyreflected in their countenances. When allwere summoned to morning prayers, healmost wept at the sight of the old familyBible and psalm-book; and when they kneeledin prayer, and he heard his aged father givethanks for the return of the only son, Frankcould no longer contain himself.We need not inquire minutely into the
42 FRANK HARPER.country breakfast to which they sat down.Suffice it to say, it was bountiful, and Frankcould not have been more happy if he hadbeen a king. Of course they all went to thevillage church, to hear a sermon from MrMiller. It was a plain building of stone,about a hundred years old; but it was dearto Frank, for there he had been used to goever since his infancy, and near it his grand-parents were buried. There was great look-ing round among the people, to see who of theyoung folks had come home to spend thanks-giving; and when the service was over, itseemed as if there would be no end to theshaking of hands and asking of questions.Friends of his father, and old playmatesgathered around Frank, and it was a fullhalf hour before he could mount his pony fora return.The company was now increased and thehouse was full Four or five carriages andwagons drove into the lane at once, besidesseveral persons on foot. There was uncleJoshua Harper, and the three aunts, sisters ofhis mother. There were several cousins, whocame because their own parents were dead,and they had found a friend in farmer Har-
THANKSGIVIN;-DAY. 43per. There was the schoolmaster, Mr Tree,who had no friends of his own. And therewas Mr Millar, the clergyman; who, beingunmarried, was invited home to Mr Harper's.The fires were large, crackling, and blazing.All were in their best clothes and best tem-per; and, as there was no constraint, thecompany was full of innocent glee.Frank had a great desire to talk with hisfather about his religious anxieties. He there-fore followed him to the stable, where hewent to see after the dumb creatures. It isnot unlikely that the old gentleman kept atthis work longer than he would otherwisehave done, in order to converse with hisboy. But Frank's mouth was sealed on thegreat subject. Reverence for his father, joinedto natural bashfulness, kept him from sayingany of the things he had intended. MrHarper gave his son much good advice.Frank, in his turn, related the whole affairof the theatre and the watch-house. Hisfather did what every good parent would doin a like case; he expressed his sorrow for theact, but he commended the candour of theconfession. And, in reply to Frank's com-plaints about solitude, his father told him
44 FRANK HARPER.that the best of all society was Christiansociety, and that he must try to gain theadvantage of this. He therefore earnestlyrecommended to him to attach himself to someSunday-school, without delay.A Thanksgiving dinner in the country isno slight affair. My readers will not expectfrom me an account of the turkeys, the hams,the pumpkin-pies, the puddings, and the cus-tards, under which the table groaned. Onething is certain, Mrs Harper and the girlshad thought more of Frank, in their prepara-tions, than of all the other guests. Severalpoor persons were waiting in the kitchen fortheir accustomed alms, and went away fullyladen.Then came the long afternoon and evening,around the noble wood-fire; when cheerful-ness and friendship were mingled with reli-gious communion and grateful praise. Thecrowded assemblies of the rich and great canshew nothing equal to such a scene; andthere are a thousand such on every generalThanksgiving-day. The schoolmaster was alsoa singingmaster, and had brought his bass-viol; and though the girls had no piano-forte,several of them had sweet voices. The minis-
THANKSGIVING-DAY. 45ter and uncle Joshua had fine bass voices, andFrank (though somewhat out of practice) re-sumed the tenor of his earlier days. Alto-gether it was a fine concert; and the auditors,who were at the same time performers, hadquite as much enjoyment as the fine gentle-men and ladies who pay their crown to heara foreign fiddler or a brace of painted ma-dames.Mary and Anne learned more about NewYork and its ways, that evening, than theyhad ever dreamed of before: their brotherwas now a great authority in their eyes; andthey listened with wonder to what he toldthem about the shipping, the steamers, theimmense stores, the churches, the museums,the fountains, the Croton-water, the fires, andthe processions. To tell the truth, the girlswere really all alive with desire to "goa-shopping" in Broadway. But ah! how manyare there, who lament, when it is too late, thatthey ever trod the streets of a great city 1During a pause in the conversation, Frankbecame very pensive, and at length followedhis mother into the little back-room, whereshe had taught him so many lessons before.Anticipating his wish (as mothers do), Mrs
46 FRANK HARPER.Harper seated herself, and Frank did thesame. There was something on his mind.He looked into his mother's eyes, and thenupon the floor."Why, my son," said Mrs Harper, " whatails you? See! You have torn to pieces thebeautiful daily rose, which Anne just nowgave you."Frank looked at the poor remains of theflower, as it hung from his fingers, and said,"I am very sorry; but mother, I was think-ing of something else."" Come then, my boy, and tell me what itis. I am afraid they do not treat you well inNew York. You are more serious than youused to be. Is there anything of this sort totrouble you ?""No, mother; but there is something Iwant to speak to you about."" Then, my son, speak freely; you know Iwill help you in every way I can. Have yougot into any debt, or into any quarrel ?"" Oh no !" said Frank, laying his head onhis mother's shoulder; I tried to tell fatherbut I could not; but I can tell you, mother.I am in trouble about what will become ofmy soul."
THANKSGIVING-DAY. 47Mrs Harper was overcome with her emo-tions. She wiped away Frank's tears, whileshedding many of her own. She advisedhim, she prayed with him, and before hewent away she gave him two or three booksand some tracts, and also procured a letterfrom Mr Miller, to introduce him to a worthyclergyman. It was a new cause of thanks-giving for this pious mother, on that day ofrejoicing; and it was an unspeakable relief tothe dutiful son, that he had opened his mindto one who loved him so well.The happiest day must come to an end;and so it was with this one. The companyseparated, and though the snow had beenfalling for several hours, they went their dif-ferent ways with much animation.Not to stop for the painful farewell, let mesay, that Frank was up long before day onFriday. His good father took him to a placein the road where he could enter the NewBrunswick railway train; and, five minutesbefore ten, he reported himself to Mr Bun-combe, in John Street. The absence haddone him good, and he felt stronger, both forlabour and endurance, than before he went.
48 FRANK HARPER,CHAPTER VIII.THE HOUSE OF GOD.THE bells were ringing for church on Sundaymorning. The new chime of Trinity Churchsteeple was filling the air with its tune.Broadway, the great thoroughfare, was crowdedwith well-dressed people, who seemed to begoing to church. Among these Frank mingled,with his book under his arm, and a letter inhis hand,, which he was to, deliver to the Rev.Mr Halsted. At length, he reached LocustStreet, and found himself in front of thechurch to which he had been directed. Itwas a lofty edifice of brown stone, with a rowof columns in front, and a steeple of someheight. The congregation had not yet begunto assemble, but he perceived that a largebuilding in the rear was resorted to, by anumber of persons. Frank ascended thesteps, and addressed himself to a grave elderlygentleman, who was standing in the doorway."Will you be so good as to tell me, sir, how
THE HOUSE OF GOD. 49I shall find Mr Halsted, the minister of thischurch ?""Nothing is more easy," replied the oldgentleman, with a gracious smile, " I am thevery person you are looking for.""Indeed, sir! Then I have a letter foryou, from Mr Miller of Coventry." Mr Hal-sted read the letter, and then taking Frankby the hand, led him into the church. Hethen called the sexton, and directed him togive Frank a seat, and to see that he wasalways provided with it. "I expect to seeyou here always-twice a day, my youngfriend; you know the saying, the rollingstone gathers no moss.' I expect you to behere in time. And I expect to see you atmy house, next Wednesday evening, at eighto'clock, when I hope to become furtheracquainted with you."Frank's seat was in the gallery, near thepuljit, so that he had a good view of the con-gregation as they came in. They seemed, forthe most part, to be plain but respectablepeople. When the service began, and thewhole assembly joined in singing the hymn,Frank was delighted, and united his ownvoice with that of the multitude. In theD
50 FRANK HARPER.prayers his mind was very much engaged;they appeared to be exactly suited to his case.When the minister rose to preach, he took forhis text these words, " Walk in the Spirit,and ye shall not fulfil the lusts of the flesh."It was a simple hut earnest discourse, on thepower of the Holy Spirit to subdue the evilnature within us. Every word seemed toFrank as if it were meant for him. He won-dered how Mr Halsted could have learned somuch of his case. The preacher describedjust such feelings as he had had; just suchefforts at reformation; and just such morti-fying defeats. It was Frank's experience to atittle. But he went on further to describewhat Frank had not experienced. He spokeof a new nature; of the indwelling of theSpirit of God in the renewed soul; of grace tohelp in time of need; and of the work ofsanctification. He explained what was meantby "walking in the Spirit," and shewed howthis blessed Comforter and Sanctifier is givento every one of God's people, enabling them todo what they could not do of themselves. " Isee," said Frank to himself, "that I have agreat deal yet to learn. This new nature iswhat I have not received."I
THE HOUSE OF GOD. 51As he walked homeward, his anxiety ap-peared to him to be much renewed; yet hefelt an unspeakable satisfaction in having aplace of worship to which he could regularlygo. He repaired thither again in the after-noon, and was again instructed, so that hecould say of God's house, "A day in thycourts is better than a thousand." In return-ing, he chose to walk homeward along theNorth River. How was he astonished to seethe multitudes of young men and boys whowere profaning the day. Scores of thesewere out riding; and, cold as was the day,numbers were crossing the ferries to NewJersey. Can such youths have any parents?Or can parents be so unfeeling, or so igno-rant, as to let their sons come to town, with-out taking any care about their going tochurch?Every young man in a city should havesome stated place of worship. It is notenough that he go to church; he should goregularly to the same church. I do not saya word about its denomination. If the gospelis preached there in truth and simplicity, Iam not concerned by what name they arecalled, only let him have some place which he
52 FRANK HARPER.may call his own, and let him have his regularseat there.A very large number of all the clerks andapprentices in New York are from the coun-try. When they come to town they arestrangers, and one church is to them the sameas another. They wander about from place toplace, until all regular habits are lost. I haveknown even professors of religion to spendmonths without forming any church connec-tion; and some mournful cases have occurred,in which such persons have abandoned reli-gion altogether.One thing was very pleasing to Frank atthe Locust Street church. A large part of thegallery was devoted to the children of theSunday school, all of whom sat with theirrespective teachers. And among these teach-ers he saw a young man, who, he felt almostsure, was the very Mr Brooks who had givenhim a tract at the foot of Chambers Street.This may seem a small matter, but to a poorboy who wanted a friend, anything was de-lightful which offered the hope of finding one.Young men in town can have no such meansof making valuable friends as those which areoffered by their religious connections.
HOUSE OF GOD. 53Frank determined to use all proper meansto discover Mr Brooks. He ransacked hiscloset for the tract, on which he had writtenhis place of business. At last he found it,and with much joy read the words,B. B. BROOKS,NO. 220 CASTLE STREET.Now this, thought Frank, is what I may calla kind providence. For when Mr Miller di-rected me to Locust Street, I had no remem-brance that Mr Brooks was a teacher in theirSunday-school.The Lord's-day is a very sad time whenspent among wicked people. So Frank foundit at Mrs Moggs's. Two of her lodgerswere Germans, who seemed to be infidels,and who played on violins a good part of theday; and in the evening a whist-table wascommonly set out. They appeared to suspectFrank of something like religion, for in hispresence they always talked a great deal about"saints," and "hypocrisy," and questioned
54 FRANK HARPER.him concerning the church he attended. Allthis made him only the more sensible of hissolitary condition, and caused him to longthe more for some useful and Christian com-panion.CHAPTER IX.THE SUNDAY-SCHOOL.IT was several days before Frank foundleisure to pass through Castle Street. At lasthe made his way thither, and was much gra-tified to find Mr Brooks in his shop." Perhaps, sir," said Frank, "you do notremember me: I am the boy to whom yougave a tract, some time ago, at. the foot ofChambers Street.""0 yes," said Mr Brooks; "and I thoughtI had met with you before, when I saw youlast Sunday; for I spied you in the gallery;but was so busy with my boys that I couldnot look after you. But how did you cometo our church ?"
THE SUNDAY-SCHOOL. 55Frank. I had a letter to Mr Halstead, fromour minister in the country-at Coventry.Brooks. Ah, then you are one of Mr Mil-ler's boys. We know him well. He was bredamong us, and was once our superinten-dent. Now tell me, what brought you tome?Frank. Sir, I liked your looks. You spokekindly to me; and you seemed to care forme. Nobody else has done the like for mehere.A tear glistened in Mr Brooks's eye, as hetook the boy by the hand, and said, "Whatfriends have you in town ?"Frank. I have no friends but my employers;and I never see them out of the warehouse.Brooks. Then you shall have one friend-and I give you my hand upon it. You mighthave gone to ruin; it is a mercy that you havenot. Let me know your lodgings, and let mesee you as often as you can. Perhaps youwould like to be a teacher in our Sunday-school.Frank blushed and said, " Not a teacher,sir, I know better than that; but I shouldlike well to be a scholar."
56 FRANK HARPER."Then a scholar you shall be; and nextSunday, at eight o'clock, I will call for you;remember-for Sabbath time is more preciousthan gold-eight o'clock."The Sabbath came round, and Frank wassitting in the little parlour, patiently awaitinghis friend's call. When Mr Brooks enteredhe looked quite startled, for Ned and Joe wereengaged in mending a pair of skates, and MrNeidert was rendering the same service tosome disabled chess-men; while one or twochampagne-baskets, in the corner, bore wit-ness to the habits of some of the inmates.They left the house together."And this is your boarding-house, Frank ?""Yes, sir.""And this is the way they spend the Lord'sday !""A good deal too much of this, I mustconfess.""And who directed you to the place?"Frank. Why, you see, sir, my father hadno acquaintances in town, so he went to MrBubble, who keeps a tavern in our village,and Mr Bubble directed him to a brother-in-law of his, in Washington Market, and thislast one brought me here.
THE SUNDAY-SCHOOL. 57Brooks. Ah, I see how it is! Thus it isthat hundreds of young men come in fromthe country, and are ruined for want of pro-per guardianship. But this must have anend-you cannot live here any longer.Frank. Why, sir, where can I live ?Brooks. You shall live with me, at a re-spectable, economical boarding-house, downtown; so I advise you to make your arrange-ments immediately.Though Frank did not know it, this wasone of the most important steps which hadever been proposed to him. Little as heknew of his danger, however, he was over-joyed at the thought of escaping from suchevils, gnd of being near such a friend. Wouldto God, that all pious young men, in cities,were awake to the importance of rescuing theyouth around them from evil associations.Arrived at the Sunday-school, Frank wassurprised and astonished to find three largerooms filled with scholars. Mr Brooks mo-destly said that he did not think he was ableto teach Frank so well as his friend MrRood, who had a more advanced class. SoFrank was placed under the care of this gen-tleman, by whom he was kindly received, and
58 FRANK HARPER.furnished with all the necessary books. Thetime passed away pleasantly, and he wassorry when the hour was over.In the course of a few days Frank took hisdeparture from Mrs Moggs's, and went tohis new lodgings. They were new indeed!For though he still had an attic room, he hadit all to himself. He had a washstand, a chestof drawers, and a hanging-shelf. The land-lady was a pious widow, and the lodgerswere all serious persons. The blessing of Godwas asked at their meals, and they had familyprayer morning and night. Above all, hehad in Mr Brooks, a judicious, experienced,and affectionate friend, to whom he could lookup as to an elder brother. He had no soonerfound himself alone in his little chamber, thanhe kneeled down, to thank God for this greatand unexpected mercy.Let the reader pause and think how muchgood he might do, by seeking out some friend-less lad, and rescuing him from the tempta-tions of a great city. For a youth away fromhome to find such a friend is better than toreceive an inheritance of wealth. And letit be remembered, it is religion which in-spires such benevolence, and makes such
THE SUNDAY-SCHOOL. 59friends. If, therefore, any youth in townis led to feel his need of such a guide andprotector, the best and shortest rule I cangive him is in these words: Hasten to con-nect yourself with a good Sunday-school.Frank found the school a source of con-stant pleasure. It gave occupation to hismind. The lessons were not usually hard;and when he met with any difficulty, he hadMr Brooks in the house to aid him, who wentwith him to the minister's, where he wasalways cordially welcomed. He became ac-quainted with four respectable boys, who metwith him, in Mr Brooks's room, every Satur-day evening. At the-prayer-meetings he sawhimself surrounded by a company of youthfulChristians, every one of whom was ready totake him by the hand. And, what was stillbetter, these new associations, and the lessonswhich he received, tended to deepen thosereligious impressions which he had alreadyreceived. Having been made to feel his ownignorance and weakness, he opened his mindto instruction with the simplicity of a littlechild. It seemed almost too good to be true,that a few days should have wrought so greata change in his circumstances and his feel-
60 FRANK HARPER.ings; and he would have been perfectly happyif he had not been conscious of a burden onhis soul which was not yet removed. He satdown in Mr Brooks's room, where there wasa fire, and wrote a long letter to his fatherand mother; in which he gave them a fullaccount of all that had taken place.The next Sabbath was indeed a day ofrest. He longed for the hour of school; and,when there, he was calm and full of satisfac-tion. He listened to the word of God withnew interest; and, at Mr Brooks's suggestion,opened a little book, in which he might recordso much as he could recollect of the sermons.How different a face would be put on ourcities, if all the young men from the country,in shops and warehouses, were under a likeinfluence!CHAPTER X.EARLY TRIALS.IT is not the way of Providence to let any onewho is in the right way continue long with-
EARLY TRIALS. 61out trials. It was only a few weeks after theevents last related, that Frank was surprisedby a summons into the back-office, to meetMessrs Boggs and Buncombe. Such a thinghad never happened before. These gentlemenlooked very grave, and Mr Boggs began theconversation by saying: "What is this, mylad, that we hear about your boarding-house ?"Frank. Indeed, sir, I do not know whatyou mean.Mr Boggs. Don't you live at No. 411 DeyStreet?Frank. No, sir. I did live there at first,but I changed my lodgings more than amonth ago.Mr Boggs looked at Mr Buncombe, andsaid, with a smile, "This is better than Ithought. Look at that paper; you will seethat two men have been arrested at thathouse for having entered several shops withfalse keys. They have been committed. Twoboys also-Denton and Briggs-are undersuspicion as accomplices, but have been dis-missed for want of sufficient evidence. Wewere afraid they might be acquaintances ofyours."
62 FRANK HARPER." I know them," said Frank, "but I knowno good of them, and I have not laid eyes onthem since I left the house."Many thoughts came into Frank's mindon hearing this piece of news. He saw hownear he had been to the greatest snares. Hemight at least have been involved in the mostmortifying suspicions, and he thanked Godthat he had been rescued from such a peril.Now he began to understand the noises ofhammering and filing, which he used to hearby day and night in Mr Niedert's room, andto see how Ned and Joe managed to healways so flush of money.About dusk he was returning from theshop, when he was accosted by two youngmen, just in front of old Grace Church; heat once recognised them as his former cham-ber-fellows. While he was doubting whetherhe should stop or not, Joe seized him vio-lently by the collar, and said, with a malig-nant sneer, "So you have been peaching, youyoung scoundrel-have you?""Perhaps I may answer you better," re-plied Frank, nothing daunted, " if you let meloose, and if you tell me what peachingmeans."
^--r.-- -, ,-- ---------EARLY TRIALS. 63Joe here loosened his hold, and said, " Fool!peaching means that, and that, and that;" atthe same time striking him with his fist; whileFrank defended himself as well as he could.Frank was now in difficult circumstances; hewas no coward, and he was remarkably stoutof his age. Against either of them, singly,he.knew he could make very good battle, buttwo against one was foul play. Besides, heabhorred the thought of a street-fight; and,more than all, he saw no reason why heshould beat and injure them, even if they hadabused him."You are a sneaking informer!" cried NedBriggs, "we know well enough who has putthe police on the scent, but you'll find it wasthe worst day's work you ever did, when youcarried tales against us."Here Frank began to understand that theyascribed their detection to something whichhe had said, and he declared, with great truth,that he had known nothing about the matteruntil within a few hours.Here he was interrupted by languagewhich need not be repeated. Ned threw offhis coat, and dared him to a fight. Frankfelt the blood rush to his face, and was within
64 FRANK HARPER.an ace of accepting the challenge. A crowdwas already gathered, among whom wereseveral persons who were ready to help on themischief. After looking his opposer steadilyin the eyes, Frank bit his lip, and said, "Youhave attacked me for nothing-I have doneyou no harm. If you touch me, I shall de-fend myself-but you shan't get me into afight, so I mean to go quietly home."As he turned away, the boys cried out,"Coward-coward!" and several of the by-standers joined in the cry. At the sametime, Ned and Joe proceeded to seize uponhim, with intentions of further violence. Theresult might have been unfavourable; if aman, passing by, had not stopped to see whatwas the matter, and recognised Frank. Itwas the principal clerk of a shop but a fewdoors from Boggs and Buncombe's. Beingathletic, and, at the same time, well-dressed,Mr Clark was received with some respect, andsucceeded in disengaging his young friend,and conducting him towards his lodgings."They have hit you in the mouth," saidClark, "it is bleeding."Here the cries of " Coward! coward!" wereagain heard from the assailants.
EARLY TRIATS. 65"Never mind that," said Clark. "Youhave done well to keep clear of a fight, whichwould probably have lodged you in the watch-house. I will explain this matter to MrBoggs, and he will take care that you areprotected."When Frank reached his boarding-house,he related the circumstances to Mr Brooks,who was much concerned."I am thankful," said he, "that it is noworse; and I am glad that these unrulyfellows have not left their mark on yourface."And here he removed Frank's cap, andsmoothed down the brown, curly hair, over aface which was crimson with excitement.Frank did not care for the blows; nor, in-deed, was he at all intimidated; but, to tellthe truth, the name of coward had stung himdeeply. Next day, he found that the storyhad got to the warehouse, and that theyounger clerks had formed no very highopinion of his valour. This was an afflictionto him, but he thought within himself, "Iknow I am not a coward, and my conscienceis clear, so I will try not to mind what peoplethink of me."E
66 FRANK HARPER.This was a wise determination. His em-ployers, on Mr Clark's testimony, were fullysatisfied, and commended him for his forbear-ance. It was scarcely a week before Ned andJoe were both convicted of a petty theft, andthrown into prison; and even the boys in thewarehouse began to perceive that Frank hadacted bravely as well as prudently.CHAPTER XI.COURAGE.ABOUT midnight, on the first of March, Frankwas awakened by the heavy toll of the fire-bell. Almost immediately he heard the voiceof Mr Brooks at his door."Frank! Frank! The fire is in the neigh-bourhood of your warehouse. I think we hadbetter go and see."Frank hurried on his clothes, and ran upto the fire. When they reached John Street,the whole row of buildings appeared to be ina blaze. After a few steps, Frank perceived,that although their shop was not on fire, it
COURAGE. 67was in imminent danger, as the houses onone side, and in the rear, were burning.Messrs Boggs and Buncombe were already onthe spot; their own safe and books werebrought out, and all hands were employed inremoving the valuable goods. Few scenesare more exciting than a city fire. Thebells, the noise of the firemen, the gatheringof crowds, the working of the engines, andthe adventures of brave fellows upon theburning houses, make it almost like abhttle.Frank set himself to work with resolution.The upper lofts were filled with costly goods,and he almost exceeded his strength in labour-ing to remove them. At last, the roof ofthe house in the rear fell in, and a columnof smoke and flame ascended to the skies.The cry was given that their own roof hadcaught; and the walls were heated like anoven. Now was the time for Frank to shewhimself a man. He was the most bold andagile in the company. His country climbinghad given him firmness of footing, and hewas foremost on the roof, and far out on theedge, spreading wet blankets and cloths upon+ shingle covering.i.'
68 FRANK HARPER"Who is that lad?" cried several, menbelow. "See !-he is standing on the ex-treme point! What-madness !-he will cer-S tainly fall! Who can it be?""That," said Mr Clark, "is the boy whowas called a coward." And the youngclerks who had sneered at him, now lookedup at his daring, and were silent."But Mr Boggs saw that Frank was impru-dent, and therefore directed him to otherservices which were equally important. Theyhad the satisfaction of seeing their shopsaved; and towards morning one of thepartners called Frank, and putting into hishand a portfolio of valuable papers, said,"Here, Frank, I give you these papers tocarry to my house in Waverley Place, for Iknow you are a trusty and a brave boy."Frank's face glowed at the commendation.Perhaps he had ventured more than he oughtto have done, because he knew his couragehad been suspected. But now he had beenplaced in circumstances where none coulddoubt it.The few days which followed were occu-pied in a great variety of unusual labours,occasioned by the fire. In this Fran
COURAGE. 69enabled still more to commend himself tohis employers, who saw that he was bothwilling and competent, and that he reallylooked on their interest as his own. It isnot surprising, therefore, that they made hima very handsome present.When a young man comes into favour, itis wonderful how suddenly low and vulgarminds change their opinion of him. So itwas with Frank. The young clerks soughthis acquaintance. But this did not alterhis behaviour to them: he was civil now ashe had been civil before. John Small, theyoungest of them, was so polite as to invitehim to join a Sunday excursion to ConeyIsland! Frank not only declined, but ex-plained to John the reasons upon which hedid so. Samuel Roe offered him a chance ofseeing a grand boxing-match, at the Hall ofNovelty, in Pearl Street, which he treated inlike manner.With Mr Brooks his intercourse was of avery different kind. Frank knew that hewas a true Christian, and one who had hiswelfare at heart. They spent much time to-gether, in walking and talking, and in study-ing the word of God.
70 FRANK HARPER.CHAPTER XII.CONVICTION.How lovely a sight is youthful devotion!There are those who most admire the glow ofboyhood, in sports or learning. But it is moreinteresting still to behold a youth. bowed insolitude before God in prayer. And thesight is one which gives joy in heaven.Frank Harper would have seemed alreadya good boy, to any who should have seen him.Especially during the last few weeks, he hadbeen making earnest endeavours to walk inthe right way. But every step he took ap-peared to him to reveal some new evil in hisnature.It was an excellent custom of Mr Brooksto spend some hours of every week in lookingup children for the Sunday-school, In thesevisits, he sometimes took Frank along withhim. On one accasion they went into a dark,ill-looking court, and up a crazy staircase,into the room of an Irish family. In an in-
CONVICTION. 71ner room (or rather closet), a poor man waslying ill with consumption. He looked asif he could not live more than a few dayslonger. When he was asked what hope hehad for the future, he made a reply, which is,alas! too common, "I think I shall go happy,for I have never done any one any harm."When they left the house, Frank said-" Howcould O'Brien talk so It is as if he wouldSbe saved without a Saviour. Ah that is notthe way I feel. If I am ever saved, it mustbe by being pardoned."In so saying, Frank was sincere. Othersthought him good; but he thought himself asinner. He was much engaged in what iscalled self-examination; that is, in lookingover his past actions and life, and into hischaracter and heart. And the more he looked,the more he detected the evil that was in them.He saw that his good actions had not beendone from good motives. He remembered thesins of his youth. He felt that he had moreto answer for than others, on account of hisreligious education. He was alarmed at thedemands of the law which he had broken,and perceived that nothing but perfect obedi-ence could satisfy it. God appeared to him.* '.
72 FRANK HARPER.as a God of infinite holiness, who could nottake pleasure in sin. He was much employedin confessing his sins and bewailing the weak-ness of his nature. In these troubles, heopened his mind very freely to Mr Brooks." I am glad," said Frank, one day, "thatChrist spoke the parable about the Publicanand the Pharisee. No prayer in the Biblesuits my case so well as this, God be mercifulto me a sinner !"Brooks. Yes, the Bible is the sinner's ownbook. It is made for sinners, just as medi-cine is made for those who are diseased."They that are whole need not a physican,but they that are sick." Take your Bible,Frank, and put a mark in each of the follow-ing places: you will find them good to berecommended to persons in a thoughtful stateof mind. (The places were, Job xlii. 1-6;Psalm xiii., xxxviii.; PSALM FIFTY-FIRST;Psalm lxix.; Isaiah i., iv., liii; Luke xv.;1 Tim. i 15.)Frank. I will carefully observe them. Sometimes I fear I am not enough in earnest;but one thing I am certain of, Mr Brooks,the burden of my sins grows heavier andheavier.
CONVICTION. 73Brooks So did Christian's, in the Pilgrim'sProgress. You have read Bunyan?Frank. Yes, some time ago; but I mustread it again, for now I better understandwhat it means. It seems to me as if I werestill in the Slough of Despond.Brooks. Do not forget what Christian did.Bunyan says, "Still he endeavoured to strug-gle to that side of the slough that was farthestfrom his own house, and next to the wicket-gate." Whatever you do, do not go back.Frank. I hope not But I do not seem togo forward. At first, I saw a few sins, butnow they seem like the stars of heaven. Thatvoice is always in my ears, Fly from thewrath to comeWhile Frank was thus exercised in mind,Mr Brooks took him to a little meeting ofChristians, which assembled weekly at thehouse of a poor but excellent man, whosename was Grove. Mr Grove had been atruly active servant of Christ, but was nowlaid up with a painful lameness. It wastherefore an act of kindness for his friends tomeet at his house, and the little companyalways felt repaid for coming.Frank had not before seen much of that
74 FRANK HARPER.intimate fellowship which exists among be-lievers. He was now struck with the warmthand freedom of their intercourse. They cametogether as brethren; they conversed on themost cheering of all subjects; they sungGod's praises, and they kneeled together inprayer." Oh how sad it is," thought Frank, "thatall here should be able to rejoice in God,except me! I wonder why I was broughthere!-I am like an Achan in the camp."Presently the conversation turned on con-viction of sin, and one or two of those pre-sent gave some account of their own earlyexercises. Frank was interested to findthat the feelings which he had supposed tobe peculiar to himself, had been shared byall these friends. And he was much struckwith a remark of old Mr Grove, which wasthis :-"No man can derive solid joy from look-ing into his own unrenewed heart. Forwhat can he see there but sin ? and sin ishis greatest evil. He must look out of him-self; and whither can he look but to theLamb of God, that taketh away the sin of theworld?"
CORRESPONDENCE. 75That night was a night to be remnemberedby Frank Harper; for it was one of fear andweeping. Often did he endeavour to look atthe word of promise, but his sins seemed torise over his head, like billows, and obstructthe sight.CHAPTER XIII.COBBESPONDENCE.LETTER LTo Mrs Abigail Harper.New York, April -, 1845.DEAR MOTHER,-I hope you will not befrightened when I tell you that I am sittingup in bed to write to you: and if the writingis not very good, you will please to remem-ber, that I have my left arm bandaged up.But first of all, be sure to take notice that Iam doing very well, and Dr Smith says thatno permanent evil will result from it. But Iforget that you have not yet heard any of the
76 FRANK HARPER.particulars. Last Friday week I was comingup Exchange Place, which is a very narrowstreet, as well as quite steep, along with ayoung man named Brooks, who boards withus. All at once I saw a small wagon comingfuriously in the opposite direction, with ayoung woman in it. The horse was runningaway, and the driver had been thrown out.I never thought a moment, but dashed intothe street and tried to stop the horse bythrowing up my hands. I then seized thebridle, which broke in my hands, and I wasthrown under the wheel. The check givento the horse made it more easy to stop himat the next corner; so the young womanescaped. But when I got up I found thatmy arm was broken. Mr Brooks took mesafely home, and a surgeon was sent for,who set the bone, and put the limb in asplint. I have suffered a good deal of pain,but I think I have not grumbled. It is amercy that my life has been spared.My dear mother-I have thought much ofwhat I talked with you about when I was athome. Nobody knows how much it hasbeen on my mind since I have been lying onthis bed. It is wonderful to me that I should
CORRESPONDENCE. 77have spent so many years in thoughtlessness,especially when I consider all the instruc-tions I have received from you and my father.I have had a long conversation with Mr Hal-sted, the minister, which has only served toopen my eyes to my sinfulness. Oh pray forme, my dear mother, that I may become atrue believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.I intend to write also, by the same hand,to my father, so I will now subscribe myselfyour affectionate son, F. HARPER.LETTER II.To Mr Isaac Harper, Coventry.New York, April 15, 1845.DEAR FATHER,-YOu will learn from myletter to mother what has befallen me. It israther tiresome lying in bed, but I now beginto have more freedom. Mr Boggs has beento see me, and Mr Wickes, the book-keeper,comes in every day. But no one has beenso kind to me as a Mr Brooks, a very goodyoung man, who was with me at the time Iwas hurt. He gives me good advice, andhelps me in every way. Since I came toknow him, I have not been so lonesome. If
78 FRANK HARPER.I had not got into the company of realChristians, I might have been a poor solitaryfellow to this day, or else I might have goneinto bad places, which would have been agreat deal worse. There are gentlemen whogo about distributing tracts all over town,and one of them has been very kind to mesince I have been laid up. I wish you wouldpresent my respects to Mr Miller, and saythat his letter to Mr Halsted has been ofgreat service to me.I am, dear father, your dutiful and affec-tionate son, F. HARPER.LETTER II.To Miss Mary Harper.New York, April 16, 1845.Mr DEAR SISTER MARY,-I never wrote somany letters in my life as since I have hadmy arm crippled; which makes me glad it isnot my right one. I dare say you and Annewill have a good cry about it; but you neednot, for it is all over, and I am getting well.Besides, these things are not half so bad asthey are supposed to be. Did you not findthis true, when Dr Rose pulled your tooth?
CORRESPONDENCE. 79You will find it so all your life. Mr Brookshas been putting a curtain to my window (Ihave but one) to keep out the sun. I wishyou could see the sewing! He calls it bache-lor-stitch. Give my love to my cousinsPhoebe and Jane, and little Patty. TellGeorge he need not be so eager to come toNew York, for he will soon get used to thesights, and then he will wish he was in thecountry again. Particularly if he shouldhappen to be sick. Mr Brooks has a book ofpoetry which says, " God made the country,and man made the town;" and I have foundout that it is true. But we must be con-tented with our lot. My dear Mary, be obe-dient to your parents, and mind all they sayabout religion. Now that I am away fromthem, I feel very sorry for my negligencewhen I was at home. Write to me, andremember your affectionate brother,F. HARPER.LETTER IV.To Miss Anne Harper.MY DEAR LITTLE SISTER ANNE,--How Iwish I had you by me! You could conquer
80 FRANK HARPER.me now, for I am deprived of one arm. Youhave heard how it was. I thought I couldstop the horse with ease, for he did not lookmuch more spirited than our Roan; and afterhe stopped, he looked as sober as could be.But he was dashing down hill, and I was notas strong as I fancied.I suppose you have many signs of springin the country. Here I do not hear any birdsexcept cage-birds. There are many of these.A man in John Street, named Grieve, has themost wonderful collection of birds. Some-times you may see a hundred together. Hisparrots used to converse with me every day,as I went to the shop. Tell Jonathan, thatif he would send some of his pheasants tomarket, he would get a good price for them.And if you and Mary would get him to setyou out a strawberry bed of your own, itmight do a good deal towards supportingyou.Good-bye, dear Anne; I am ever youraffectionate brother, F. HARPER.
CORRESPONDENCE. 81LETTER V.To Mr Theodore Free.MY DEAR TEACHER,-I have been writingto all my relations at home, and now I feel awish to fulfil my promise to you. Often do Ithink of the good advice you used to give me;and much of it has been of use to me already.Your lessons in writing are likely to be veryserviceable to me, just as you prophesied. MrBuncombe saw a bill which I copied, and said,"My boy, that is a clerkly hand, and fit for abank-ledger. That comes of the old-fashionedciphering books!" Mr Brooks says, thatfirst-rate handwriting is worth a hundred ayear to a young man in business.I have forgotten some of my geography;but when our fine goods come in from France,it is pleasant to me to know the places. Agentleman was here the other day from Lyons,on the Rhone. Mr Boggs has been theretwice, and sends letters out there several timesa year.Do you remember, sir, what you used totell your boys about arithmetic? "Boys,,mind the FOUR RULES: they are the North,F
82 FRANK HARPER.South, East, and West, of your compass:" or"Boys, mind the FOUR RULES; the corner-stones are Addition, Subtraction, Multiplica-tion, and Division." I am glad enough thatyou kept us so long in Addition, when I seethe enormous rows of columns which ourclerks have to add up. And how quicklythey do it-like counting marbles! And howsure they are that the total is right-withoutproving. They say that old Mr Smith, therich man of Canandaigua, once took his sonto the top of a hill which overlooked his im-mense estate, and said to him: "Tom, do youwant to know what made me the owner ofall this? I will tell you in one word-ARITH-METIC." One of Mr Boggs's sayings is, "Badciphering makes half the bankrupts."But you must not think that my mind isquite taken up with money-making; thoughit is the chief thing talked about here. MrHalsted says there is a golden idol in WallStreet, as truly as ever there was in the plainof Dura. I hope I shall never forget yourcounsel about the things of another world.Sir, I should like to have more of them, in aletter; for I have been thinking more of thesethings than I used to do. And, to tell you
THE PASTOR. t3the truth, I am often very much discouraged.For all my endeavours to make myself betterseem to be in*vain; and I can only cast mypoor sinful soul at the feet of Infinite Mercy,saying, Lord, help! or I perish!I am, dear sir, your respectful and obligedpupil, F. HARPER.CHAPTER XIV.THE PASTOR.THE door of Frank's room opened, one day,and who should come in but good Mr Hal-sted! He was a tall and dignified old gen-tleman, with silver hair, and a countenanceexpressive of benignity and happiness. Frankwas a little embarrassed, for his room was notin very good order, and his dress was scarcelyneat enough for company. But he had goodsense enough to make the best of it, and tooffer no apologies.Mr Halsted made some kind inquiriesabout Frank's accident, and commended hiscourage. He then went on to relate some-
84 FRANK HARPER.thing of the same sort which had once be-fallen himself, and told some anecdotes abouthis early life in the country, which pleasedFrank so much that he soon felt quite at hisease. The old gentleman came, by slow de-grees, to speak of the most important of allsubjects, and said to Frank that he ought toconsider this dispensation of Providence as anew call on him to consecrate himself entirelyto the Lord, his Preserver. To this Frankmodestly replied, that he had felt his obliga-tion so to do. The conversation which thenfollowed brought Mr Halsted to understandthe state of Frank's mind, as it has been de-scribed in the foregoing pages. I will recordsome parts of their conversation.Mr IT. You see that there is no way ofescape, except by mere mercy, and that youmight be justly condemned. My dear boy,this is what is called conviction of sin.Frank. Yes, sir, you have described mycase, but I have heard you say in your sermonsthat many persons are convinced who arenever converted.Mr H. That is true enough. I do notwish to persuade you that you are converted
THiE PASTOR. 85when you are not. You are right, convictionis not conversion.Frank. Oh then, sir, what must I do tobe saved?Mr H. I could answer that question atonce, and in the words of Scripture: but atpresent I wish to lead you to see what it isyou need. You probably have endeavouredto reform your life ?Frank. Yes, sir, I have endeavoured; butit has only shewn me my own weakness.Mr H. How do you suppose a sinner is tobe saved ?Frank. I suppose it to be by faith in theLord Jesus Christ.Mr H. Have you believed in the LordJesus Christ ?Frank. I fear, sir, I have not.Mr H. Your feeling, then, is, that you arenot fit to come to Christ ?Frank. Exactly so.Mr H. And are you trying to fit yourself?Frank. Yes-no-indeed, sir, I scarcelyknow how to answer.Mr H. But I will answer for you; the caseis a very common one. If you think you
86 FRANK HARPER.must be more contrite, more humble, moregrieved, more sensible of the weight of sin,before you can be justified, is to lay your con-trition, your grief, your humiliation, for thefoundation of your being justified-at least,for a part of the foundation."Frank. But what am I to do ?Mr H. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.Frank. But may I come just as I am ?Mr H. Certainly-you would not seek firstto be saved from your sins, and then come? "Hoevery one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters,and he that hath no money; come ye, buyand eat; yea come, buy wine and milk with-out money and without price." "Thoughyour sins be as scarlet, they shall be as whiteas snow; though they be red like crimson,they shall be as wool." "And whosoever willlet him take the water of life freely." "Thisis a faithful saying and worthy of all accep-tation, that Christ Jesus came into the worldto save sinners; of whom I am chief."Frank. There, sir I see there is no lackof promises, and I begin to see the wholething in a new light. I have been trying tomake myself better: I have been trying to bemy own saviour.
THE PASTOR. 87Mr Halstead saw that the word of Godwas taking its proper effect on the mind ofhis young friend. He therefore brought theconversation to an end. They both kneeledin prayer, and when the pastor went away heleft a tract entitled Poor Joseph. Aftermusing a little on what had been said, Franktook up the tract, and-read as follows:-"A poor, unlearned man, named Joseph,whose employment was to go on errands andcarry parcels, passing through London streetsone day, heard psalm-singing in a place ofworship, and went into it, having a largeparcel of yarn hanging over his shoulders.It was Dr Calamy's church, St Mary's, Alder-manbury. A very well dressed congregationsurrounded the doctor. He read his text from1 Tim. i. 15:-' This is a faithful saying, andworthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christcame into the world to save sinners; of whomI am chief.' From this he preached in theclearest manner the ancient and apostolicgospel, the contents of this faithful saying,that there is eternal salvation for the vilestsinners, only through the worthiness of JesusChrist, the God that made all things. Notmany rich, not many noble, are called by this
88 FRANK HARPER.doctrine, says the apostle; 'but God hathchosen the weak things of this world to con-found the things that are mighty."" While the gay and thoughtless part of thecongregation listlessly heard this glorious truth-and, if they were struck with anything, itwas only with some fine expression or well-turned sentence that the doctor uttered-Jo-seph, in rags, gazing with astonishment, nevertook his eyes from the preacher, but drank inwith eagerness all that he said; and trudginghomeward, he was heard thus speaking withhimself: 'Joseph never heard this before;Jesus Christ, the God who made all things,came into the world to save sinners likeJoseph; and this is true, and it is a "faith-ful saying."'"Not long after this, Joseph was seizedwith a fever, and was dangerously ill. As hetossed upon his bed his constant languagewas,' Joseph is the chief of sinners, but JesusChrist came into the world to save sinners,and Joseph loves him for this.' His neigh-bours who came to see him wondered, onhearing him always dwell on this, and onlythis. Some of the religious sort addressedhim in the following manner: 'But what say
THE PASTOR. 89you of your own heart, Joseph ? Is there notoken of good about it? No saving changethere ? Have you closed with Christ, by act-ing faith upon Him?' Ah no,' says he,'Joseph can act nothing-Joseph has nothingto say for himself but that he is the chief ofsinners; yet, seeing that it is a 'faithful say-ing' that Jesus, He who made all things, cameinto the world to save sinners, why may notJoseph, after all, be saved?'"One man finding out that he heard thisdoctrine from Dr Calamy, went and asked thedoctor to come and visit him. He came, butJoseph was now very weak, and had notspoken for some time, and though told of DrCalamy's arrival, he took no notice of him;but when the doctor began to speak to him,as soon as he heard the sound of his voice, heinstantly sprang upon his elbows, and seizinghim by his hands, exclaimed as loud as hecould with his now feeble and trembling voice,' Oh, sir you are the friend of the Lord Jesuswhom I heard speak so well of Him. Josephis the chief of sinners; but it is a "faithfulsaying," that Jesus Christ, the God who madeall things, came into the world to save sinners,and why not Joseph? Oh! pray to that Jesus
90 FRANK HARPER.for me, pray that He may save me: tell Himthat Joseph thinks that he loves Him, forcoming into the world to save such sinnersas Joseph.'"The doctor prayed; when he concluded,Joseph thanked him most kindly; he then puthis hand under his pillow, and took out anold rag, in which were tied up five guineas,and putting it into the doctor's hand (whichhe had kept all this while close in his), hethus addressed him: Joseph, in his folly, hadlaid this up to keep him in his old age; butJoseph will never see old age; take it, anddivide it amongst the poor friends of the LordJesus; and tell them that Joseph gave it tothem for His sake who came into the worldto save sinners, of whom I am chief.'"The narrative was new to Frank, and madea deep impression on his mind. He thoughtof little else during the remainder of the day.Poor Joseph had taught him the great lessonof looking away from himself to the LordJesus Christ; and when he fell asleep thatnight he seemed to have forgotten himself,so fully was he absorbed in contemplating theexcellency and grace of the Redeemer.
"A REMARKABLE CHANGE. 91CHAPTER XV."A REMARKABLE CHANGE.IT was a trial of patience to Frank to bekept so long in his room, and it is probablywearisome to the reader to hear so muchabout it. We shall therefore hasten to thetime when he was able to return to his busi-ness.The month was May, and the season wasdelightful. How refreshing is it to the in-valid, after long confinement, to breathe thebalmy air of spring! Frank felt this as hewalked with his faithful friend upon the Bat-tery. The trees were putting forth theirearly leaves. A gentle breeze just ruffled thesurface of the spacious bay, which wasploughed in every direction by vessels ofevery size. Numbers of small sail-boats shotalong, skimming the waters as if they hadbeen alive. At intervals, the whiz of a steam-boat, as it speeded by, broke in upon thestillness. A ship of the line (the North
92 FRANK HARPER.Carolina) was lying in the stream, a nobleobject, looking as if it were almost irresistible.There was also an Italian vessel at anchor,dressed with gay flags and streamers on everymast and yard, in honour of the birth-day ofthe king of Naples. Other objects added tothe interest of the scene. On this side stretchthe masses of building of the city, with wharfsand a forest of masts. Yonder is Governor'sIsland, with its green slopes and fortifications,from which the roll of the drum may beheard. Further in the distance are the hillsof Jersey, and the bold shore of Staten Island,sparkling with villas; and then, far away, theopening to the Atlantic, which is known asthe Narrows. A soft sunshine played on thewhole, and the multitude of sounds, on thewater and the land, mingled into a pleasingmurmur.Sometimes sitting, and sometimes walking,the two friends talked of the objects aroundthem, but gradually came round to that whichwas most dear to them both."I do not know how it is," said Frank,"but I never enjoyed these sights so muchbefore: often as I have been here. Everything has a new appearance. The air is more
A REMARKABLE CHANGE. 93sweet and refreshing, and I feel as if I lovedall that I see."Brooks looked kindly on the placid face ofhis young companion, but said nothing."Is it right to feel so happy?" continuedFrank, "every thing within me seems quiet,like that smooth water of the bay. It is verypeaceful and very delightful; but is it right?""It is certainly not wrong," replied Brooks,"to feel peaceful and happy. There is a peaceof God that passes all understanding. The' fruit of the Spirit is peace.' If you havepeace with God, through our Lord JesusChrist, all is well. Let me ask you a ques-tion-what do you feel towards God?"Frank hesitated a little, as if afraid toanswer so important a question hastily, andthen said, with a low voice, "I think I loveGod. I see Him in every thing. Every thingseems dearer to me because He made it, andbecause He is present with it. Formerly I didnot think much about God; now He appearsalways near; and it is pleasant and easy topray within myself."" What do you feel towards the Lord JesusChrist?" inquired Brooks.Frank's cheek reddened, and his eyes filled
94 FRANK HARPER.with tears; but a smile played upon his lips." Oh, I cannot tell you! He has died for me!I think He has saved my soul. I am filledwith shame and sorrow for the way in whichI have treated Him. But I desire to throwmyself at His feet and give myself away toHim, for ever and ever.""Then I suppose, Frank, you think your-self a great deal better than you once were-""Do not speak of it! I see my own weak-ness and vileness more than ever. I see myneed of the fountain that is opened for sinand transgression. I cannot compare-myselfto anything but a poor, weak little child;God must hold me up with His hand; I can-not go alone.""How then," said Brooks, "do you expectever to be saved ? If you have no strength,and no righteousness of your own, how canyou satisfy God's holy law ?""Christ has satisfied the law for me. Hehas died on the cross, and borne my sins inHis own body on the tree. He has broughtin an everlasting righteousness. He is ableand willing to save the chief of sinners."" Do you believe.this, Frank ?""How can I help believing it! The pro-