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daughter of his employer and friend-she being a young woman of religious principles, and passionately fond of literary pursuits-formed an ardent attachment to him. His only apprehension was, that the young lady's parents might deem it presumption in him, considering recent circumstances, to aspire to her hand. He expressed his fears. She assured him they were groundless.
" Are you certain ?” he eagerly asked, afraid lest she should only be fondly inferring the feelings of her parents from her own.
“I am quite sure, Joseph.”
“I am afraid you are only hoping, or persuading yourself, they will concur in our union."
“Oh, no, it is not hope or belief only; it is certainty."
“Have you expressly asked their consent?"
" And may I formally venture to ask you of them?"
“You may, whenever convenient to yourself, with the certainty of receiving the most cordial concurrence of both to our union."
Joseph, that very evening, intimated his intentions respecting their daughter to the parents. The result was as he had been led to expect. They severally expressed their perfect concurrence in the proposed union of their daughter with Joseph; adding the expression of a hope, that they would find the connexion productive of the greatest mutual happiness.
“ Allow me farther to say,” remarked the father, “ that whatever we can do to conduce to that desirable end, will be done."
It were impossible to give any idea of the joy which the assurance of the entire concurrence of the parents with his proposed marriage with their daughter, afforded to the mind of Joseph.
It is unnecessary to add that, all his apprehensions being thus found to be groundless, he expressed to his bride-elect his wish that their marriage should take place as soon as might be agreeable to her. To this wish she returned a ready response ; for it was one which she equally
felt with himself.
In a few weeks more, Joseph was a married man, receiving with his wife, not only virtue and beauty, but a handsome sum of money. Need it be added that, after his wife's fortune came into his hands, one of the very first things he did was, to pay all his former debts, amounting to upwards of 4001.
Most works of the nature of the present, end with the marriage of the hero. We shall not deviate, to any great extent, from the orthodox rule. The only farther demand we shall make on our readers' attention will be, to accompany us through two pages more. Soon after his marriage, Joseph was received as a partner into the firm; one of the other two partners, in addition to his father-in-law, having retired from business. The house, in a few months more, opened up a branch establishment in one of the large manufacturing towns, the entire management of which establishment was confided to Joseph. And he having devoted his attention to mercantile matters ever since he had been connected with them, and all his transactions being guided by strictly religious principles, the branch business soon became one of great profit, and is still continuing to flourishi under his auspices.
Can it be necessary to add that, with the altered views he now entertained, it was his earnest and unceasing desire to undo, as far as he could, the injury to morals and vital religion which he had done to both during the thoughtless period of his life. He felt that, in this respect, a weighty responsibility rested on him. He accordingly resolved to devote whatever spare time he could command—and he contrives to command a great deal-to the promotion of pious and benevolent objects. Every religious and charitable institution in the place has, ever since his settlement in it, found in him a zealous supporter. And in his conversation with those whom he meets with in the intercourse of private life, as well as at public meetings held for religious purposes, he dwells emphatically on the wondrous exhibition of divine sovereignty made in the change which his views have undergone. He not only contrasts his bright and blessed prospects in reference to the future, with his gloomy forebodings and awful apprehensions before experiencing that change, but expatiates with rapture on the advantages, even in a temporal sense, which he has derived from his transformation of character. His mind, amid all the changes of life, is composed and peaceful. All is sunshine around him. He could not before have believed it possible, that so much happiness as he enjoys could be possessed on earth. If, as was remarked in a previous chapter, the inscription on his forehead ought, while living in his unrenewed