Watch—Work—Wait by Sarah A. Myers


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Page 1

In one of the many beautiful spots which the traveller sees in making
a voyage up the Hudson, stands the village of M----. It attracts the
notice of all tourists, for it seems to occupy the very place in which
a painter or a lover of the picturesque would have chosen to place it.
Its inhabitants love to boast of its antiquity, for it was founded by
the original Dutch settlers, and its present settlers are mostly their
descendants.

At the time of which we write, no city fashions had found their way to
that remote spot. Its inhabitants were simple-hearted, pious, and
contented to live as their forefathers had done; and the place seemed
like a quiet little world within itself. None of the gross vices
always to be found in large communities were practised there. On the
Sabbath-day, when its only bell sent its voice distinctly over the
valley, the humble dwellers met in the single church, not only bound
together by the tie of human brotherhood, but by the sweeter ties of
Christian charity, to hear the word of God and perform the work of
prayer and praise.

Just at the end of the long street in this quiet village stood a
cottage, which, although very rudely built, attracted the attention of
the passers-by from the extreme neatness and order, those sure
attendants of the pious poor, which reigned around it. In winter it
looked snug beneath its coating of snow; in summer very beautiful,
glistening, as it then did, in all its fragrant adornment of
jessamine, honeysuckle, and sweet-brier.

But if its exterior was attractive, the family life within was much
more so. True piety and grace were found beneath that modest roof,
most truly illustrating the truth, that the high and lofty One that
inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy, who dwelleth in the high and
holy place, dwelleth with _him also_ that is of a contrite and humble
spirit.

For many years this cottage had been occupied by a watchmaker, a
German, who left his own country in early manhood, and came to the
United States to find the wealth which foreigners used to believe
could be gained here at once. This he never acquired, but he found
something better; for although in an out-of-the-way place he could not
expect to grow rich by his trade, he found a great treasure in his
pious wife, and enjoyed more of pure and real happiness than often
falls to the lot of man. His mind was originally one of strength, and
he had turned his meditations and prayers heavenward, and the promised
peace was vouchsafed.

He did not love his trade as well as he might have done; for having a
very remarkable talent for painting and sketching, which the beautiful
surroundings were well calculated to foster, he often found his
business of watchmaking irksome. Although frugal, industrious, and
possessing much skill as a seal engraver, in which art he received
employment from New York, he never was able to lay up anything,
although he could and did provide comfortably for his household.

His neighbours entertained for him a deep respect. He was of an
independent spirit, somewhat taciturn; and, from his retiring,
contemplative spirit, by some was considered stern. But his life was
so entirely blameless, regulated as it was by the purifying and
elevating influence of Christianity, that many reverenced him as an
"Israelite indeed, in whom was no guile."

But Christians are by no means exempt from trials; indeed, the
children of God are called to pass through the sorest ordeals, and the
Raymonds had experienced many strokes of the chastening rod. When
their children were taken one after another, until only the last born
remained, they bowed submissively to this adverse visitation; and
although for a little while stunned in spirit, as was natural, they
murmured not, but were soon able to say with resignation, "The Lord
gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."
But turning toward the one left, it may easily be supposed that for
him they entertained a most anxious love. Nevertheless, no undue
indulgences were granted because he was the only one and the last.
They knew their duty as Christian parents too well for that, and
spared no pains, both by precept and example, to instruct him in the
lore that putteth to shame all worldly wisdom, and which only could
fit him for the trials of earth or the joys of heaven. Well was it for
the poor child that he had been thus taught, for the time was at hand
when he would require all the Christian's armour to fit him for the
great battle in which every one that lives is called to contend. To
some the strife is more severe than to others; but to all, if they
would win the goal successfully, a better strength than their own is
necessary, and to teach their child to rely upon the all-sustaining
arm, was the constant endeavour of these faithful parents.

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Books | Photos | Paul Mutton | Wed 24th Apr 2019, 14:13