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from thy poor brother,” Deut. xv. 7, are commands that are to be obeyed in our lives, and not to be put off to our deaths.

But if it should happen that you are not rich in money: nay, that you are absolutely poor, do not think, on that account, that there is no danger of your dying " wickedly rich." One man may be rich in money, another in leisure, a third in health and bodily strength, a fourth in talent, a fifth in influence, and so on. Now, if you have either all or any of these kinds of riches, and do no good with them, you are in the same situation as the selfish miser who keeps his gold uselessly locked


in his coffers.


As there is much to enjoy in the world, so there is something to endure, and wise are those who enjoy gratefully, and endure patiently. The apostle must have had much Divine discipline and teaching, before he learned in whatsoever state he was, to be therewith content. How few have attained to such a state of mind!

I have before now endeavoured to point out, after my poor fashion, that a price is fixed to every earthly enjoyment, and that whether we go to market to supply our common necessities, or in any other way make an addition to our comfort and pleasure, the full price must be paid for the real or imaginary benefit.

Now, it is my intention to pursue this subject in a different form ; in other words, to show that whether we build our houses in the city, or town, or pitch our tents in the wilderness, the taxes must be paid; while the Christian is on this side heaven, he must put up with earthly trouble.

In bygone days, I knew one who was practical and clever in his business; a man of information beyond his sphere in life. There are men of this stamp in almost all ranks, who acquire knowledge nobody knows how ; it seems rather to go to them, than they to seek after it; and Pearson was one of this kind. It was a pleasant thing to pass an occasional hour with him, for he was sure either to tell me something I did not know, or to amplify and correct that which I did.

Most men have their weak points, and Pearson had many; among them was a strong, inveterate, and unreasonable antipathy to taxes. The very name of taxes had the same effect upon him as a stout stick has on an ant's nest, when turned round and round within it. If you can fancy to yourself a demure tabby cat, soft as velvet, sitting and purring in your lap, suddenly putting out her talons, and setting up her back, every hair on an end, at the sight of a strange dog, you will be able to imagine the sudden anger, hatred, and uncharitableness of Pearson at sight of the taxgatherer : the man with the green book was an absolute scarecrow to him.

Pearson could reason on other subjects, but he could not reason on the subject of taxes. How to avoid paying them, occupied no small part of his reflection and his ingenuity.

The collector called and called again, but

Pearson was out, or busy, or at his dinner, or had no change, or something or other. When these excuses would no longer avail—when, in short, he was compelled to pay, he put off the evil moment till a distress warrant was at the door.

One day when I called upon him he was in high glee, telling me he had, at last, got rid of the “Philistines," the tax-gatherers. He had agreed with his landlord to pay an advance of rent, on condition that the latter paid all the taxes. Taking out my pencil, and comparing the advanced rent with the amount of taxes, I found that Pearson was paying rather more than he had paid before.

Again I say, however we may cut, and shuffle, and plan, and contrive, the taxes must be paid.

You are not, however, to suppose that by taxes I mean merely the poor-rate, the assessed taxes, and such like things. No, no; what has been said about Pearson is only an illustration. I use the word tax in a more extended sense. All earthly things have a shadowy side ; and, as I have said before, where there is much enjoyed, there will always be something to endure.

If you will have a large house, you must pay a high rent; if

you will be proud, you must endure mortification ; and if you will despise the calls of wisdom, you must suffer from the effects of your own folly. The high rent, the mortification, and the sufferance, are the taxes which you cannot evade.

Now, if I could but convince you, and more deeply impress my own heart with the truth, that we are mercifully dealt with by a mercy-loving God, and that our very trials are among our choicest blessings, then should we more patiently, and more willingly, pay those taxes which He, for our good, has laid upon us.

It was not the mighty cry, the threatening malediction of an archangel, that made known to us the words, “In the world ye shall have tribulation,” but the meek, encouraging voice of the Saviourof sinners, which told us, at the same time, where we might find peace.

We make a sad mistake in looking around us, fancying that if we had this, or that, or if we were here, or there, we should be happier than we are, and have fewer taxes to pay. Every state and condition has its cares. Old Humphrey knows but little of kings, but he runs no great risk in concluding that their costly crowns neither keep their heads nor their hearts from aching.

It may be that the cares of the world, before now, have made you long " for a lodge in some vast wilderness.” You may have imagined, as I have done, how sweet and peaceful a lonely loghouse must be in some of the States of America,

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