« ForrigeFortsæt »
bable that the death of her sister had called her by his grace, now Eliza, in the year 1804, might claimed her for his own. He was have produced the first serious im. about to resume what he had only pressions on her youthful heart. lent. Creature comforts are unBut though the time and manner certain comforts. Infinite Wisare hid from our eyes, it is enough dom frequently provides an afflicfor our happiness to know that she tion for us in that very thing which was the subject of a Divine change, has been our comfort. Our comthat she was “ turned from dark. forts come forth like flowers, and ness unto light, and from the pow are soon cut down; when we please er of Satan unto God;" and that, ourselves most with them, and 6 though once dead in trespasses promise ourselves most from them, and sins, and by nature the child we are disappointed: a little thing of wrath, even as others, yet God, withers them; a small worm at the who is rich in mercy, for his great root destroys them; and often love wherewith he loved her, hath those wither first that we have been shown the exceeding riches of his most pleased with. That often grace in his kindness toward her proves least safe that is most dear; through Christ Jesus.”
-Jonah's gourd withered the next For several years nothing parti- day after it sprung up. . cular occurred. Her conduct was. It was about this time (June pleasing, and such as became the 1813) that I first became acquaintGospel. She was daily improving ed with her. I was then labouring her mind, cultivating her talents, in the Lord's vineyard as a tempoand, I doubt not, 6 growing in rary assistant to my valued friend grace, and in the knowledge and the vicar of St. Thomas's parish; love of God." Her natural dispo- and I shall never cease to consider . sition was timid and modest ; so my labours there as the sweetest
that, like the Virgin Mary, “she of my life. I was about to leave kept all these things, and pondered Bristol for a few weeks, when I was them in her heart." Yet did she requested to spend an evening with not conceal her talent, though she Mr. S.'s family. There I first saw shrunk from an ostentatious display my departed friend. She was of it. Though timid in general, young, lively, and apparently healshe was “ valiant for the truth.” thy. With her and her young Her friends will not easily forget friends I was pleased, and I could her agitation whenever witnessing not but indulge a hope that they conduct in others unbecoming the would ultimately prove as “ young Gospel of Christ; nor will her cedars in the courts of the Lord's young companions fail to remem- house, and as polished corners in ber the rebuke which she gave, in his temple.” On my return from " the spirit of meekness," to a ser. Cambridge, I found that my young vant at school who had irreverently friend (for such I then began to used the Lord's name.
consider her) was from Bristol; She was now growing up as a nor did I see her until she came tender plant before the Lord, in- into town in August, for the pur, creasing in stature, and in favour pose of being confirmed. On her with God and man. To her pa- return there were evidently symp
ents she was all they could wish; toms which required care, and and the time had now arrived when which tended to awaken the fears they fondly hoped she would prove of her anxious family. In reply to a friend and a companion to them. the questions proposed to her by Bat the Lord's thoughts were not her pastor, when she waited on man's. He who had separated him, for the purpose of examinaher from her mother's womb, who tion before confirmation, I am ina formed by one present, that her and yet you hope, I doubt not, to answers were ready, modest, and be found among the blessed chil. truly such as evidenced she had dren of God in glory. How is been “ taught of God.” I accom- this?” Her reply was such as panied her to the house of God, on proved her no unlearned scholar that solenon occasion. Little pass- in the school of Christ : “ I know, ed as we proceeded thither; she I feel I am a sinner.. God would was evidently employed in medita- be just in my condemnation; but tion. “You do not,” I said, “re- Jesus Christ has died for sinners, gret your determination to devote and I hope that by his death and yourself to the Lord ?" To which sufferings I may obtain remission she meekly answered, “ No, Sir." of my sins.-My hope, my deOn our return, she expressed her- pendence is on him, and him self thankful that she had been 'en. alone.” More passed at this time abled to attend. Her health be- than I can now recall to recolgan now evidently to decline. The lection. Our conversation left an medical attendant of the family impression on my mind then, which was called in, but the power of subsequent events have amply con. medicine could not arrest the pro. firmed, that she had chosen the gress of her complaint. From this “ one thing needful,” the better time she was gradually, growing, part-that she had built on the weaker, and her earthly taber- Rock of ages; and I doubted not nacle began to show symptoms of but that, - Jesus Christ himself approaching dissolution. The hopes being the chief corner-stone," the and fears of her friends were alter- building would be immoveable and nately excited. She was, how- imperishable, and that the headever, always calm, unagitated, re- stone thereof would at last be signed to her “to live was Christ, brought forth with shouting, cry, to die was gain.” Being anxious ing, “ Grace, grace unto it.” to ascertain her real spiritual state, One night, after she had retired I proposed a visit to my house, as to her room, accompanied by a likely to prove beneficial by the young friend, who kindly came to change of air, whilst it afforded keep her company, and who with me a better opportunity of exa- assiduity ministered to her wants mining into the ground of the hope and comforts, she requested the that was in her. With this view, 53d of Isaiah, and 15th chapter of when we were alone one evening, 1 Cor. to be read to her. When I addressed her to the following her friend came to the 55th verse effect: “ My dear Catherine, alof the latter chapter, she said, though I hope it will not, yet it is « That is a sweet and precious possible this sickness may be unto part." Being asked the state of death. Allow me, as one anxious her mind, she replied, “ that she for your welfare, and whose heart's was perfectly happy; and that no. desire and prayer to God for you thing but the grief which she fearis, that you may be saved, to in- ed her dear parents would feel quire, how do you feel at the con- could induce her to form even a templation of such a prospect? wish to remain herè. I would," Upon what do you build your hope she added, “ repeat my favourite of acceptance with God? --for, as hymn *, but it always affects me. a sinner, you can only expect the so much.” Some time after this revelation of his wrath.” She she said to one of the family," I paused. . “ You are not," I pro- feel thankful for the preventing ceeded, “ ignorant that you are a and restraining grace of God. I sinner--that such as you cannot enter into the kingdom of heayen; : *Jesü, lover of my soul, &c. .,'
am grateful to my friends, who did 'eth whom he chasteneth ;' that not lead me to the theatre; I might more, yea, much more, than all I have grown fond of it, and then suffer, my sins deserve ? Shall I, been as foolish as Miss S. with then, complain ? and besides, you whom (she added) I would not know, my dear mamma, how much exchange situations, even without more the blessed Son of God en reference to another world.”
dured, though without sin him. . About this time she mentioned self, for my sake, knowing, too, all to her aunt, “ I fear my heart is he was to endure, while we are not right with God; for, when I at- kept in ignorance of what may tempt to pray, it is so cold, and befall us from hour to hour.” when I read so uninterested, that On Tuesday, December 28th, I I fear I must not take comfort to came from the country to see her. myself; indeed (she added), for I found her, as to bodily health, the last week I could not." In evidently worse, but calm and reply, her aunț repeated a verse happy in her mind. of one of the Olney hymns : . On Friday, January 7, I called « Cold though I feel this heart of mine, to see her. For the last few days Yet since I feel it so,
the severity of the weather renderIt yields some hope of grace divine ed it necessary for her to remain Within, however low."
in bed. She appeared to me un$6 That (she replied) just suits my usually worse, and having but case.” And since her decease the lately witnessed the dying moments leaf of her hymn-book was found of an infant, my fears suggested turned down to that very verse. to me that a similarity of circum
It was not, I believe, until the stances might probably produce a month of December that the hopes similar effect. 'Her friends, howof her friends, as to the probabi. ever, considered that it was only lity of a recovery, began to fail. an accession of cold. I found her In addition to a general debility of still, as before, happy and trane the system, she was seized, with quil. I cannot but think she was such yiolent pain in the bowels as herself aware of the change which no medicine could abate; this ren- had taken place, and that, disen, dered her nights sleepless, and in- gaged from temporal hopes and. creased her weakness. Heț cough, fears, she was even then silently which had for some time been al preparing to leave mortality bemost subdued, now 'returned with hind. The land of promise, ever increased violence. All was anxi. in view, was now brought near, ety. She alone, seemed to view and she only waited the welcome the rapid progress of her disease signal to arise and take possession without regret or pain. She knew of her heavenly inheritance. in whom she had believed—she felt About eight o'clock on Saturday assured that, terminate as her ill- morning she asked her mamma ness might, in life or death, all what day it was; being informed was well. Seeing her mother much that it was Saturday, “ Then,” she depressed at this rapid change, replied, “what a sabbath shall I “ Mamma,' she said, “ surely the spend to-morrow! the happiest I present affliction is less painful than have ever known. I am happy," had I lived in health and yielded she soon after added, “ I am very to the vanities of the world.” happy indeed; I haye been happy
On Christmas day she said, during my illness; my only fear $ Where should I hnd comfort and was, lest I was indulging a false consolation in the midst of my pain, peace--and should I now!” _“You did I not know that the Lord loy, do not, my dear,” replied her aunt;
« it is founded on a Redeemer's ing her spirit to our common God,
righteousness.”_" O yes, it is !" I bid her farewell, promising to · she sweetly answered.
· return to her within an hour. · About ten o'clock, in conse- Little did I think I was then bidquence of a note from her aunt, ding a last adieu to my valued expressing that she was in dying friend. I promised myself the circumstances, I hastened to her. happiness and privilege of again Hitherto she had maintained an hearing her dying testimony to the extreme and painful reserve to power of religion. I fondly antiwards her friends. But the time cipated that I might be favoured had now arrived when, made sen- with witnessing her departure from sible by some inward and infallible this world of sin and sorrow. But token that her hour was at hand, we now parted to meet no more, she thought it unbecoming a re- till we meet in that world, deemed sinner to depart without leaving behind her a testimony to
« Where adieus and farewells are a sound the grace and love of God. With
- unknown,” this view she called together the around the throne of the living whole of the family, and address. God. ed them with peculiar tenderness Just after I left her, a young and propriety. · She begged her friend called to see her, to whom brother not to be too much taken she said, “ ( my dear, mind reliup and engaged in the pursuits of gion while you are in health ; do science and literature, but ever to not defer it until you come to the consider them as secondary ob- bed of sickness and death, for then jects. Upon my arrival I found you will want its comforts-comher indeed altered. The family be- forts which I now experience! I ing assembled, the 23d Psalm was have much to say, but you hear read, and we engaged, for the last with what difficulty I breathe. I time, in prayer. Never before wish I had employed more of my had we engaged in this sacred ex- time in speaking to my dear young ercise with so much feeling, fer- friends whilst I was able, but I will vour, and awe. .
pray for you now.” She then : Finding her weak, I was about clasped her hands, and, looking up to withdraw, when she took me with energy, added, “ O God! Faby the hand, and with much ear ther of mercies! hear me for my nestness said, “ Give my love to Saviour's sake. Teach her to seek my young friends ; tell them that for refuge in that Redeemer who I am happy, very happy, and that will pardon her; for she, as well religion is no cunningly devised as I, has done what she ought not fable, but a sweet, a glorious rea- to have doné. O that I could lity.” She here paused; her speak, more fully my Saviour's strength and breath began to fail. praise ! Her cough became troublesome.
"I'll speak the honours of his name “« Tell the children,” she presently
With my last labouring breath.'" added, “ that I am happy, and --" here her articulation becoming in. Then, looking on her weeping distinct, I was unable to catch the friends, with a heavenly smile on dying accents. I now prepared to her countenance, she repeated withdraw. The hand of death, I . perceived, wąs near. But I fondly
“ Why should we mour'n departed friends," hoped I should have been favoured with another interview. I took On her young friend's taking her by the hand, and, commend- leave of her, she drew her nearer
to kiss her, and said, “ Remember But her hour was come. Her my dying prayer; seek the one head gently reclined itself on her thing needful, and you will be pre.. mother's bosom; the servant softly pared for death.” On her quitting lifted her into bed, and said, her room she turned to a pious “ Miss Catherine, God's will be friend (Mrs. W- S), and said, done.” The departing saint “ O! how unworthy am I to squeezed her hand, in token of her speak my Saviour's praise !” Mrs. acquiescence, and without a groan W. answered, “ We are all un- or struggle she fell asleep in worthy, but we have a blessed Jesus! - My pen refuses to paint Saviour's merit on which to rest the scene that followed. Relaour hopes. You know on whom tives and friends stood around the you have believed.”-“Yes,” she lovely corpse ;--for a season all replied, “ on Jesus the Son of was solemn silence. The angelic God, who died for sinners; I used band conveyed her disembodied to wish I was as good as you, but spirit to the bosom of its God your worthiness would not do for before whose throne of glory she me now.” On a pious young friend cast her blood-bought crown, and entering, she stretched out her in the spirit of humble adoration arms to embrace her, and with a and gratitude, she joined in the look of delight exclaimed, “You song of Moses and the Lamb, know what it is to trust in a Sa. saying, with a loud voice, “ Worthy viour." At another time she said is the Lamb that was slain, to reto her dear sister, “ My Ellen, I ceive power, and riches, and wishope you know something of Jesus? dom, and strength, and honour, O put your trust ip him!” To the and glory, and blessing." servant, who said, when giving her Such was the happy life and tria little water, “ It is more, Miss umphant death of our beloved Ca. Catherine, than our dear Saviour therine. had when he was dying,” she re- To her own family the loss of plied, “ And so it is. Say that such a child is a severe trial. But again, Hester. I am glad you they feel some comfort in the rementioned that.” At another time collection that they are hastily she said, "O! I shall sing his following her--that a few more praises soon-what a disappoint- days will return her to them, ment it would be to me now to" where there shall be no more live !" Then turning to her mam- death, neither sorrow, nor crying." ma, with a sweet beseeching look, It is true, she was a lovely added, “ Forgive me, my dearest flower: her friends admired its mamma, for having said that."- beauty-watched its opening and “I do, my child," her mamma fondly hoped it might Hourish long. answered," though we must But they saw it languish, and fade, mourn, but we sorrow not as and die! Yet they comfort them. those without hope.” She replied, selves with the consolatory asser“I see you do not, and that is my tion of the Prophet, “ The flower comfort."
fadeth, but the word of our God She now (about one o'clock) shall stand for ever.” And that desired to be lifted out of bed. Word says, “ Blessed are the dead She had sufficient strength to as- that die in the Lord.” sist in putting on part of her dress.