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THE HISTORY OF
THE village of P. was situated on a gentle ascent clothed with beech woods. An oval area seemed to have been cleared for the church and village. The clergyman (though not a rich man) loved his people, and his kind heart was always planning something to do them good. As the ascent to church was rather steep, he employed old men and boys to make it more gradual, and planted various beautiful evergreens for the last furlong of the way. On Saturday afternoon four boys, why delighted in doing any thing which could oblige the clergyman or his family, swept this path as clean as a parlour: it was pleasing to see how cheerful they were if any of the family met them and thanked them for their industry. One of these lads, whose name was MICHAEL KEMP, had become a truly good boy; that is, he was a Christian, convinced of his need of a
Saviour, and rejoicing in the hope of everlasting life through Jesus Christ. This hope inspired him with a desire to please God, who had done so much for him; and as Mr. Walker had been ever anxious to lead the children of the Sunday-school to consider time as only preparatory to eternity, this lad thought he could never do enough to prove his gratitude to the person who was the means of doing him so great a service: sometimes he gathered blackberries for the children, sometimes made nets for the fruit-trees; and though he was always well paid for his attention, yet the love which prompted it was so pleasing to Mr. Walker, that he heard with great concern Michael was hired to live in Worcestershire, and lamented the loss of a boy who was so good an example n his parish.
The time came when Michael was to see the world (as he called it); for though a good lad, he had a curiosity to see other places and other persons, little thinking (poor fellow!) how much better off he was at home.
When he arrived at H. the master received him very civilly, told him his business, took him over his farm and stable, and said he would find it a good place if he did his duty-.
My horses must be well fed and well kept,
but I will have no waste.” Michael made no reply, but bowed respectfully. Farmer Moss was a man of judgment; he liked the boy's looks, and he did not like him the less for his silence. On Saturday evening Michael found his work was as late as on any other evening: this surprised him, for the master he lived with at P. gave these orders: “To-morrow is Sunday: let all business cease, and your horses be in the stable at six; be ready to clean all up for the Sabbath, and let the daysmen come for their wages by seven, or I shall not pay till Monday.” Not so here; work was later than usual, no appearance of labourers; the evening was lengthened, and when Michael had finished, and was going to bed, his master said, “My lad, you need not hurry up in the morning, church does not begin till eleven; if you are down by eight, it will do.” Michael made no reply; he was up at his usual time, but cạme down by eight. He searched his Bible to see what was his duty if he were in an irreligious family, for such he feared this was. He found Daniel did his duty at the court of Darius, but he did not presume to reprove his superiors till called upon: he found the Scriptures universally enjoining meekness and submission. The Bible was Michael's guide, and he resolved to follow