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VIEW IN SWITZERLAND. The Simplon, a mountain in Switzerland, is remarkable on account of the picturesque pass over it, from the Valais to the duchy of Milan, a district, the investiture of which was so often and so warmly contested in the time of Charles V. Considerably to the westward of this mountain lies the romantic town of St. Maurice, represented in our engraving. It is situated between two hills, on the Rhône, over which it has a stately stone bridge, reaching from one hill to the other. On the west side of this bridge, close to a high mountain, stands the landvogt's seat; on the eastern side, a tower, and below both, a gate which is shut by night. This pass is a great thoroughfare for all goods and persons going from the lake of Geneva, through the country of the Valais, and over Mount St. Bernard.
This place is held to be the ancient Agaunum, where, at the end of the third century, the Theban legion is supposed to have been massacred.
VOL. IX. 3rd SERIES. K
MYSTERIES OF PROVIDENCE. ONE lovely morning in June, I went in company with my truly valuable governess to visit a poor, humble and consistent christian, whose character had just shone doubly bright, in the furnace of affliction. He was recovering from a dangerous illness : but I was surprised to see upon his countenance, a sadness which in the midst of bodily suffering it had never worn, till he informed me that he had just received warning to quit the humble dwelling in which he had hitherto resided. I promised to intercede on his behalf, and had very soon an opportunity of making good my word; for before we left the village, we fell in with his landlord Sir William Bently. I summoned courage, and laid the poor man's case before him.
“You are young in the world, Miss Caroline," was his reply: " and therefore your feelings are stronger than your prudence. Your friend is no favourite of mine; he is a self-sufficient man; who absolutely refused a few Sunday hours, one day, when his help was wanted. Now a person so tenacious of his leisure, so selfish, and disobliging, cannot expect his superiors to oblige him.”
“ Most probably,” I observed, timidly, “it was a question of conscience with him."
“ He had no need to question the matter at all. If there were any fault, it rested with his employers; and they were willing to bear it. His place was to obey, not to consider. Good morning, ladies.” So saying, he bowed rather stiffy, and soon was out of sight.
“ Bear the fault indeed !” I exclaimed, as soon as he was gone; they will have to bear it fearfully for themselves. But they cannot answer in the place of others; and I am sure they have no need to augment their own score. “Bear the fault !-these labourers do not sell body and soul to such masters !”
“ Shall we call down fire from heaven, even as Elias did ?" said my kind governess, Miss Owen, calmly.
I felt that the temper I had manifested was wrong, yet this, for the moment, rather increased my irritation.—“Surely, Miss Owen,” I observed, “ you cannot justify such conduct ?"
“No surely; but if our Lord were present, he would say to you, dear Caroline, as to his disciples of old, ‘you know not what
manner of spirit you are of.' If He who is righteous and strong, be also patient; enduring with much long-suffering, the provocations that are offered to him daily; how ill does it become us, to breathe out vengeance against our fellow-sinners; because their transgressions are somewhat more open and glaring than our own.”
I continued silent for some minutes : and then, rather hesitatingly, pursued the train of my meditation aloud,—“ How very mysterious the ways of providence sometimes are. It seems so extraordinary, that the wicked should prosper, and the godly suffer : that the proud should triumph, and receive no check; while the unprotected and the meek, are oppressed under their hand. In the midst of such scenes, it seems difficult to say • Verily there is a God that judgeth the earth.””
“And here,” rejoined my beloved instructress, “ lies the great danger of undue excitement. We are almost ready to charge God himself foolishly; to chide his merciful delays; to seize, if we could, the thunderbolts of heaven; and to expunge long-suffering from the attributes of Jehovah. But if our almighty Sovereign were always as prompt in judgment, as our impatience sometimes dictates; what would become of ourselves ?_We call our indignation, tender sympathy for the injured : and truly such sympathy is acceptable to God. Very deficient would our hearts be, if they did not feel it; if it did not lead us to pray earnestly on their behalf; to render every personal assistance in our power; and, in a christian spirit, to exert all the influence we possess. But we must beware of thinking, that our love is greater or wiser than the love of our Heavenly Father. With respect to his children, he has promised to make all things work together for good, whether trials or comforts : they form a part of the gracious discipline, by which he is preparing them for glory. In place of the seeming blessings he withholds, he gives them greater ones; and denies no real benefit. We should actually harm them, could we succeed in removing these permitted evils. Instead therefore of crying, like the unbelievers of old, let the Lord hasten his work, that we may see it; and let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw nigh and
come, that we may know it ; let us rather commit every painful cause to Him, who is the helper of the friendless. And who knows, but in the riches of his goodness, God may have thoughts of mercy, even to the proud oppressor; and that the