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THE SABBATH,

CHAPTER I.

INTRODUCTION.

" Truth presented in natural imagery, is only dressed in the garments which Gud has given it.”

SAMPSON REED.

How unpleasant the contrast which many a young student has felt on leaving the sphere of home, and entering upon the secluded and very unnatural mode of education now pursued in the colleges of our country! No longer encouraged by the expressions of parental love or filial affection, he suddenly comes into the almost exclusive association of youth of his own age and sex ; who, being drawn together for the same common object, and, generally, actuated by no higher motive than personal distinction, too often regard each other only with the jealousy of ambitious rivals. How many an ingenuous youth has long

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pined, even among his associates, as if in solitude, for the more free, congenial atmosphere of home! How many the thoughts and reflections, which pride or self-respect constrains him to conceal, till the tedious days of the first term pass away, which debar him from again participating in the spontaneous joys of his native fireside, — where he can give the most unrestrained expression to every sentiment!

By degrees, however, these early sensibilities become blunted. As the student contracts habits of study and reading, his pleasures become less social, but more intellectual and solitary, — till he is at length tolerably reconciled to his secluded, unnatural situation. The common ground of science and literature affords an ample plane on which to meet all his fellow-students, so that he is never at loss for a topic to beguile a leisure hour, either in his walks, or at his private room. And often those, whose views and feelings are found, on further acquaintance, to be most congenial, gradually draw together and become more intimate, so as to revive and cherish, to some degree, those social affections and friendly sentiments which are the spontaneous growth of each one's home, and on the exercise of which his happiness so much depends.

But as a general thing, there is little real friendship among young students. And notwithstanding the interest felt in their studies, and the charms of a student's life when viewed at a distance, they

are all looking forward to the termination of their course with anticipations of pleasure; and few, very few, are not glad to bid farewell to college life with all its attractions, and to separate from their fellows in order to return to their own native homes, or to enter upon the active scenes of life. And as they settle in their respective professions and enter into those relations of domestic life, which spring more directly out of the affections, it is surprising how rapidly the memory of their fellow-students fades away ; and how seldom they even think of those with whom they spent four long years of their youth on terms of such frequent and daily intercourse.

Sometimes, however, it is happily otherwise. When congenial minds happen to meet, their long term of studies and daily habits of intercourse, tend to develop each other's character, and bring out all their various feelings and sentiments. And, in several instances, I have known those acquaint. ances, which were at first only accidental, gradually become more and more intimate, till they ripened into a mature and lasting friendship—that continued through life, a source of mutual happi

Of this character I am happy to say, was the issue of an acquaintance with my early friend and fellow-student, Henry Clifford.

Mr. Clifford, the father of Henry, lived in a neighboring town only about twelve miles distant from the college at which he had placed his son to

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receive an education. Living at so convenient a distance, Henry, at his father's request, got excused by his tutor several times during a college term on Saturday afternoons, in order to spend the Sabbath at home with his friends returning early Monday mornings to join in the studies of his class. Nearly three years' acquaintance had already rendered us very intimate, when, as is natural to every parent, Mr. Clifford expressed a wish to become personally acquainted with one whom his son often spoke of as his most intimate companion, in order to know whether to encourage him in the acquaintance. Accordingly I received an invitation to join my friend at some convenient time, in one of his afternoon walks into the country, and spend the Sabbath with him in his father's family.

• Great events often turn on little causes.” And surely I look back on the day spent in that wellregulated and happy family, as having had no small degree of influence on my subsequent life.

It was a delightful afternoon, in the month of June, that I accepted my young friend's invitation. We were joined in our walk by a mutual friend and classmate, Charles Livingston, whose father was an intimate friend of Mr. Clifford, and whose mother and sister were then spending a few days in Mr. Clifford's family. A pleasant walk, beguiled by the observations we made on such minerals and plants as came in our way, and that served to illustrate the studies to which we were then ate

tending, brought us to the end of our little journey. Presented by Henry as his friend, I was received as such, and at once put at my ease as an inmate in the family. How different our impressions when first introduced to strangers ! We sometimes have an instinctive feeling that we are in a congenial sphere, and as at home; although there may be scarcely any external expression of it. At other times the most labored and officious attentions to all our wants, and every external expression of kindness cannot banish the feeling that we are as among strangers. My reception was cordial, and I felt it to be sincere ; though there was but little effort at external expression.

“ We are happy to see you, Mr. Williams,” said Mr. Clifford, “and hope you will not require us to treat the companion of our son as a stranger while we have the pleasure of his visit.”

The ease of manner, and the quiet and elevated sphere that seemed to pervade the whole family, caused me to feel that I was in the home of him, in whose society I had long felt at home as a fellow-student.

Mr. Clifford was to appearance an intelligent, well-bred gentleman, somewhat past the meridian of life, of a quick, penetrating eye, and frank, open countenance; and, as I subsequently learned, he had been actively engaged in an extensive mercantile business for many years. Though not rich, he was in good circumstances, and his wellconducted business gave a regular and liberal

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