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He was very industrious-became a prosperous man--conscientiously devoted a certain portion of his increase to benevolent purposes, and thus for many years enjoyed the luxury of doing good. In an unexpected hour, however, he was suddenly reduced from opulence to penury; and God, who had formerly made Mr. Davenport his almoner, inclined many to assist him in the time of his distress.
His religious friends raised amongst themselves sufficient for his present exigencies, and engaged to contribute towards his future support. Some of them, however, who appeared warmly attached to him at the commencement of his misfortunes, at no very
distant period looked upon him with great coolness; others expressed their surprise that he could not find something to do; and several of them actually withdrew their subscriptions. This treatment grieved Mr. Davenport; but the Lord, in whom he confided, preserved him from fainting under the pressure of his afflictions. He often ruminated on past events, and especially dwelt on the various bereavements with which he had been visited.
Thinking on a beloved wife, who had been long removed from his embrace, painful recollection induced the following reflections:- Happy spirit! you formerly soothed my cares; and, at the solemn hour of your departure, consoled me by declaring, that we should meet again. Welcome the day when I shall follow you to the realms of bliss. There I shall also meet the darling of my declining days. Samuel! my lovely boy, how did you entwine bout my heart! With what pleasure did you receive my presents! What astonishment did the Camera excite, when you beheld, for the first time, the representation of living objects passing before your enraptured sight!
These reflections produced strong emotions in the parent's breast, and, with a deep sigh, he said, O that I had a Camera of heaven! then I
should behold scenes which would delight my soul.
Having mused for a considerable time on the state of future bliss, Mr. Davenport, rousing from his reverie, exclaimed, Camera of heaven! I have it here!! laying his hand upon a Bible then on the table. In this blessed volume, by the eye of faith, I behold the saints which came out of great tribulation, arrayed in their white robes, and almost hear them
triumphantly, Salvation to our God, who sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb, for ever and ever.
Contemplating the state of future bliss, in connection with the wish he had just expressed of having a Camera of heaven, the idea darted into his mind, that an instrument might be so constructed as to represent scripture scenery in a most pleasing manner.
Being particularly intimate with an optician, Mr. Davenport consulted him upon the subject, and was informed, that his idea was perfectly correct; for by an improvement in the Camera, the scene might be thrown perpendicularly before the eye of the spectator, which, with the aid of good drawings, and automaton figures, especially if the assistance of a ventriloquist were obtained, would produce a most striking effect; adding, I most heartily wish that you were in possession of