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it shows us the excellence of a frank and unaffected hospitality towards strangers and brethren.
In our search after guests on such occasions, we should address ourselves first to the timid, the retiring, and especially to strangers. We are commanded to be careful to entertain strangers. Men are sufficiently hospitable to friends, relations, and acquaintances, but they are slow to welcome to their homes the unbefriended and the unknown. Hence the Christian should prove the impartiality of his benevolence by receiving under his roof the stranger ; not desiring to boast distinguished and far-famed guests, but contented with enjoying the secret satisfaction of reflecting that perhaps he bas entertained some angel unawares. Brethren "whose praise is in all the churches,” will rarely lack offers of this kind, and however much you may covet them as guests, consider how selfish 'is that sort of hospitality which seeks not to entertain, but to be entertained. For such services, if services they deserve to be called, no reward is promised. Our Lord does not say : Inaswuch as ye have done it onto the greatest of these my brethren, you have done it unto me. Our love to Jesus is best tested by our conduct towards “the least” of the brethren.
There is one case, however, in which duty requires us to withhold our hospitalities, even from professors of religion. When a person comes into the city, village, or neighborhood, to advance heretical, visionary, and pernicious opinions, we may not receive and lodge him. To entertain fanatics is to identify ourselves with their cause, at least in appearance. To have the reputation of encouraging them, even though we should not design to do it, is injurious to our Christian influence. The apostle John, in writing to "the elect lady and her children," directs them pot to bid such a God-speed, or suffer them to enter their house ; since by so doing they would be viewed as “partakers of their evil deeds."
The pious stranger should, unless special reasons to be rendered prevent, accept the first offers made to him, especially when made by & poor brother. To refuse his invitation, and accept another's afterwards made, leaves no very agreeable impression on the mind of the person offering the first. Nor should he be surprised to find those most competent to entertain him omitting to do so.
Many persons, “who seem to be somewhat,” are apparently afraid, by introducing a stranger into the interior of their dwellings, to allow him to discover what they really are. Others live in so expensive a style that they cannot afford to lodge a stranger, and others are too much at ease to trouble themselves with a few civilities. In general, the stranger will find the truest hospitality among what some are pleased to call the middle and lower classes of society. Oftentimes to the invitations of such he may confidently reply in the words which the lady addressed to Comus :
“Shepherd, I take thy word
And yet is most pretended.”
whatever contributes to the comfort of guests. The furniture, however, should always be in keeping with the resources of the host. People reluctantly take lodgings with one whose expenditures for their benefit are likely to be burdensome to him.
At the hour appointed for the arrival of our friends, we should go out to receive them, and after saluting them, take care of their baggage. If the guests are strangers bearing letters of introduction, or accompanied by our acquaintances, we should receive them at the door as soon as it is announced to us that they have arrived. If they come in a carriage, we should go out to the street and cordially welcome them. To remain within doors, and especially to continue seated, when strangers are announced, is only allowed to persons of distinction and public offi. cers, when persons call on them for purposes of business, or on occasions of ceremony.
To bestow on our uests every kind attention, will do more to assure them that they are welcome to make our house their home, than all our declarations to that effect. Any neglect of our guests, such as resuming our occupations without asking of them the liberty to do so, or rendering any excuse for such behavior, to entertain them with bad fare and lodgings, and to grudge the loss of time requisite to gratify their wishes, will show our guests that our regrets for not being able to entertain them better, for their early departure, and our urgent invitations for another visit, is only the language of dissemblers.
The rites of refined hospitality require us to show our guests whatever is interesting in the city, village or neighborhood where we reside. But we should never direct their attention to any piece of furniture, statuary or painting we may lare in our house. It belongs to the guests to discover such things. It is a poor compliment to the discrimination and taste of our guests, as well as to our specimens of art, to be obliged to point out, eulogize, and appraise them. When you are a guest at the house of a man who speaks in high terms of his house furniture, paintings, statues, lands, or other possessions, you would betray a want of sensibility not to be interested in what pleases him ; if he expresses extravagant opinions, with respect to them, you need not deny his assertions unless he is deceiving himself and others in these matters, but point out to him such excellencies as suggest themselves to you, carefully avoiding assent to what you do not believe to be true. Should be ask your opinion of a thing upon which he has already passed a too favorable judgment, you ought gently to convey him your sincere sentiments, or beg that your ignorance of the subject or other reasons may excuse you from complying with his request. Parents should avoid ob. truding their dear children upon the notice of their guests. Hosts may, however, make parties in honor of their guests, composed of their relations, and such other persons as they may suppose to be agreeable to them.
We should not allow our assiduity to our guests to become officious. We should not do for them what they prefer to do for themselves; such as engrossing the conversation, instead of leading them into it, and advancing our own opinions, instead of discussiug theirs. If we would encourage the bashful and make them contented, we should not allow them to think they are the objects of our painful anxieties. By allowing them to act freely for themselves, we shall leave them more at ease than when they are annoyed by our wearisome attempts to please. We should not seek to call forth their applause for us or for ours, nor drag them about till they are fatigued, only that they may see and praise what gives them no pleasure.
If a clergyman is sojourning with us, we ought to give him time for retirement and study. When he has only a few hours to stay with us, after which he has public duties to perform, we should not enter into & long conversation with him, but after spending a suitable time in his company, offer to bim apartments for study, dressing and repose. It is scarce necessary to say that such apartments should be secure from intrusion and noise. If we accompany him to church, we should avoid conversation by the way, unless he introduces it. After the service, we should wait for him, and take him home with us, offering him refreshments, and permitting him to retire early. If it is the custom of the family to defer prayers to a late hour, a clergyman who is ill, or who has been preaching, should not be asked to conduct the exercises of devotion. He would, however, rather do it than witness its omission.
Guests, on their part, should be contented and happy. They should not express a wish to be elsewhere, nor show great anxiety about those whom they have left at home. They should not express a desire for anything they know their entertainers cannot procure for them, or which can only be obtained at great expense. In conversation they should eschew censures, denominational opinions, and allusions to absent persons, except to speak of their virtues. They should treat the servants courteously, and upon taking leave, if they are wealthy, it is sometimes best to make presents to them or the family.
The entertainer should courteously defer the time which his guests have appointed for their departure, but if he finds them resolved to take leave, he should concern himself in everything that may assist their setting out. It is customary to solicit of guests another and an early visit.
These directions would be far from complete were we not to mention what has already been intimated, that those who are used to entertain guests ought not to neglect the family altar. Those who have been frequently cast upon the hospitalities of their brethren, must have observed that they have been least served and respected in those families which are not wont morning and evening to offer to the God of the stranger their homage and praise. If they have not the disposition or the time to perform this duty which they owe to their heavenly Guest, the earthly guest cannot hope that they will cheerfully perform the more minute and frequent duties they owe to himself. And then how grateful it is to the soul of the agent, missionary, or other sojourning child of God, to be permitted to swell the band of kindred and happy youths, and the domestics, as they gather round the family altar, to listen to the sacred oracles, to sing a hymn, and bow the knee in heartfelt prayer to the Father of all. It is from the services of these domestic sanctuaries that the wayfaring Christian gains spiritual strength for the journeys of each successive day. He hails them as fountains which are opened along his desert way to refresh and gladden his soul.
GROWING DISTASTE OF FARMIN G.
RY THE EDITOR.
It is not easy for us to understand fully any tendencies in which we are ourselves involved, or which characterize the particular place or time in which we live. In a vessel in the midst of a fleet, where all move alike, we cannot tell by looking at the rest, that either they or our own are moving at all. So there may be strong tendencies around us of which we are not aware, and the full extent of which we will only! truly learn from their results.
There has been and is now, we are fully convinced, a strong tendency in our country--at least in many parts of it--away from farming and rural pursuits in general. This may sound strange to some. They think it cannot be so. They will point us to our State and county ag. ricultural fairs, held every year--to the large number of agricultural papers that have sprung up of late years to the fact that almost all our weekly papers, secular and religious, have a department for farmers—to many books published and speeches made on subjects connected with agriculture-yea, to our State agricultural colleges and model farms. They will point us to all these facts, and say: "Behold I never have the farming interests of our country received so much attention, and never has there been such a prospect of advance in all agricultural pursuits.
Nor would we deny that there are many in our country who have of late years taken an increased interest in all that pertains to the tilling of the soil. Moreover, there were never perbaps so many in our coun- . try who have taken such a real and intelligent interest in elevating the art of farming, and in establishing the principles which must underlie the greatest success. Yet while the few have continued, and even increased their zeal in this interesting, most healthful and independent pursuit, there has been nevertheless, among the many, an increasing disinclination to farming, a disposition to forsake the fields and the farm, for the streets, stores and offices of our cities, or for the roving-what shall we call it ?_civilized freebooting, chance-watching prowlings of speculation.
The thoughts which we have long entertained on this subject, and frequently expressed to friends in a private way, are so sensibly embodied in a late editorial of the Lancaster Evening Express, that we cannot refrain from quoting the entire article :
“Time was, in the good days of "Auld Lang Syne," when the farmers of Lancaster county were noted not only for their industry, economy, and general prosperity, but also for their commendable prudence in keeping clear of fancy speculation, in all its various and insidious aspects. A few years ago, to find a speculator among the Lancaster county farmers, would have been as great a curiosity as it would be now to find a lady of fashion opposed to crinoline and Aattery, When we were a boy a trite proverb of the day was, “as honest as a Lancaster
county farmer," and anything to which it was applied in illustration, was considered honest indeed.
To say a man was a "speculator" was to pay him no complimentas speculators, who are supposed to “ live by their wits,” are not considered the most honest people in the world—besides, a man's wits is & very uncertain capital, and likely to fail him and betray bim into ruin. ons speculation at the time when he is least able to endure reverses. Hence, men of discreet business judgment, are always shy in reposing confidence in a professional speculator. Loaning them money, or endorsing their paper, is considered a risky business, as a sudden and unexpected fluctuation in the market value of the article speculated in may rain the most apparently prosperous man in a day.
As we have before stated, our farmers would have nothing to do with "speculation" or "speculators." They taught their sons to beware of them as of a contagious disease. They stuck to their legitimate and Doble calling of tilling the soil, and “eating their bread in the sweat of their face." Their “stock in trade" was their good old mother earth, their fine Conestoga horses, (not "fast horses,'') their cattle and their implements of industry. Then the first object of the farmer was to have a big barn-no matter if the dwelling was small, it would do until the farm and the big barn yielded enough to pay for building a better one. Then the evidence of a man being a farmer was sufficient evidence of his "word" being " as good as his bond," because his capital was in his lands, his industry and his prudence.
The same, we are proud to state, is still true of a large majority of the farmers of Lancaster county ; but we see indications among many of their sons wbich do no credit to the fame of their fathers. There are young farmers in this county who are practically ashamed of the toil-hardened palms of their more worthy sires. They bate hard work, and love fast horses. They are ashamed of blistered hands, and proud of a fashionable bat, a “love of a moustache." They have allowed the . foolish apology for an idea to enter their heads, that farming is either too hard work or too mean for modern young gentlemen, and they begin to devise ways and means of “getting rich easy." They become infatuated with the glare of the brilliant financial exploits of some speculator in stocks, in grain, or in fast horses. They advance they "get their foot in it." Their credit suffers, because sagacious business men see that these young men are fancy speculators in the disguise of farmers—a kind of crockery ware that may be easily broken. The sus. picion is well founded. For where one speculator succeeds ten fail and become baukrupts, wbile those who do succeed are entitled to no par- . ticular glory for their achievements, their success being generally built apon the misfortunes of others.
Our advice to all farmers' sons in Lancaster county is, to stick to the soil. Our noble county has acquired a world-wide reputation through her honest and thrifty farmers. The only serious damage she ever sog... tained has been through her bank swindlers, her stock and coal specula- . tors, and the horde of gentlemen who were too lazy to work and too proud to be honest. Some of these speculators, who now bear the brand of swindler on their brows, and who escaped the penitentiary by judicial accident, came from the farm-allured from a life of honest toil