« PoprzedniaDalej »
He removed me. Oh, the Lord has done all things well! How it would have grieved my heart, and wrung my feelings, if I had been laid upon my dying-bed, and seen my poor dear helpless child about to be left behind me, to be exposed to the cruel treatment of the wicked, of whom it is said that their tender mercies are cruel; and, if their tender mercies are cruel, then what must their cruelty be? Now,” she said, “ I have no strong earthly tie left to hold me here, or to make me desirous of living, or reluctant to go when the Lord shall call me."
After the death of this daughter, the dear old creature was often laid upon a bed of weakness. And Satan, the great adversary, taking advantage of her sufferings, tempted her to call
in question all the Lord had done for her, and wrought in her. And so plausible were the temptations framed, that, to detect and expose his cruel, hellish craft, constrained me to crave, not only for the Interpreter, one among a thousand, but for the interposition of the righteous Advocate, sworn into office to undertake the cause of those who would not sin, if they could attain the summit of their best desires; yet they do sin, to their grief and shame.
Being satisfied in my own soul that she was an heir of promise, and that the root of the matter was in her, I generally found a sweetness in speaking to her of the glorious things she had, through grace, a sure everlasting right and title unto. In reply, she would say, " Ah, I know that Jesus Christ died, but I have not the comfort of believing that He died point blank for me; and nothing short of this will give me comfort. I am perfectly satisfied that the righteousness of Jesus justifies from all things; but then I think, how shall I know that His righteousness is given to be mine. I am confident that His blood cleanses from all sin, but I have not felt its efficacious cleansing power, in the way I think I must be made to feel it before I can in truth hope that I have an interest in that precious blood. Ah, sir, I am afraid of presumption; that dreadful sin in laying a claim to that which does not belong to me.
“I am in my mind, as I have heard you say, how, years gone by, you have been tossed about in your mind, in the matter of laying a claim to an interest in covenant love, grace, and blood. And how one day when you had made your claim, you were brought into the Lord's presence, , who said, or seemed to say unto you, ‘Now, Thomas, you have laid your claim to all the exceeding great and precious promises upon record, and you think all is right, and are much pleased with your own thoughts. But, for aught that you know to the contrary, with you all may be wrong. It is true you have made your own claim; and now I will leave you to carry out that claim to its consummation'; and you, being filled with terror, said, “No, Lord, no; do not leave the matter to be carried out by me;
I shall never be able to do that. Oh, do Thou, Lord, in Thy pity, claim for me; and then the carrying out of that claim to a triumphantly.glorious consummation will be certain.'” I little thought the dear old disciple had retained in her memory this, the substance of one of those exercises through which I had been made to pass.
But, instead of Satan's buffetings proving injurious, they were made singularly useful to her; under them the Holy Ghost made her spiritually skilful, and caused her faith to grow exceedingly. “Oh," she would say, “how good the Lord has been to me all my days, and what a poor un. profitable sinful creature I am ; but I find this to be a resting-place at times; when doubts and fears stir up murmuring and repining, to look back upon all the way which the Lord hath led me, and see how faithful He
has been to His promise, 'I will never leave thee nor forsake thee !' Oh, how true and how sweet! In His dealings with me I see the Lord shine in His loveliness; and this draws out and constrains me, notwithstanding the sinful deadness I feel within, to love and trust Him. Oh, precious God, Jesus, love, blood, compassion, and power.” It was in this strain she was led to think and speak, during the last few days she continued to sojourn in this vale of ars.
The last interview which I had with her she grasped my hand with a smile, and said, “The Lord is with me, He is faithful; He will not leave me. Oh, no, He will never leave me, bless His dear name; no, never, no, never. Then, with a new smile, and new strength, notwithstanding her pains, she broke out in God-honouring triumphs, saying,
“His love in times past forbids me to think
Confirms His good pleasure to help me quite through." "Oh,” she said,“ my Ebenezers are not solitary ones-here one and there one. No, no; my Ebenezers are spread over all my days. I see it now, for, had not the Lord been on my side, I should many a time have been swallowed up. But the Lord has been my constant Friend ; I did not see it until now, but now I see it. I used to be full of doubts and fears, but now I can trust Him."
That night, her daughter said to her, “ Are you happy, mother?" In responding, she lifted up her hands as high as her strength would admit, and said, “she did not care what she suffered, so that she may win Christ, and be found in Him."
Afterwards she went off into a doze, and continued in that state for a considerable time. And, her children being filled with sorrow, and
weary with long watchings in the silence of the night, they also dozed, like the disciples in the garden with Jesus the Man of sorrows, of whom it is said, that “they were sleeping for sorrow.” But their Lord and Master awoké them. And so it was with these waiting and watching children of this dying mother; the Lord awoke them. There was something wonderful to be seen, and, just at the nick of time, they were roused, and drawn to look upon their mother, and at that moment she awoke out of her doze, and looked round upon them as they stood before her weeping, with such a look of unearthly joy and delight, that filled them all with trembling astonishment. Evidently there must have been made to and in her soul such a revelation of the coming glory, that filled her with glory, and shone through the face of her earthly tabernacle, and filled the beholder with silent wondering awe, giving them a miniature glance, of how the face of Moses was made to shine, by reason of the communion which the Lord favoured him with on the mount.
Who can tell what a flood of light the soul of this dear saint of God was filled with? What a high and glorious vision she was favoured with of the King in His beauty, that caused her face to shine with such ravishing sweetness, and that made her lips to move, as if desirous that her last time-state moments should be spent as dear Medley craved
“Oh, may my last expiring breath
His lovingkindness sing in death." But, although she tried to speak, there were no words uttered. And in this silent contemplative state she continued for some time. Then, taking her children by their hands, she pressed them, like one that loved, and was bidding them an endearing adieu. She then sank down upon the arm of her son, and into the bosom of Jesus, her glorious Lord and HusbandRedeemer, who kissed her away from mortality into immortality and eternal glory:
Thus the days of warfare and weariness of one of the blood-redeemed were brought to a close. She had not many banqueting-days while here. It was with her as dear Watts hath said,
“Long nights and darkness dwell below,
Without a glimmering ray." But where she now is there shall be no night; she is gone to live in the full blaze of that glorious day “where her sun shall no more go down, neither shall her moon withdraw itself; but the Lord shall be her everlasting light; and the days of her mourning are for ever ended.” All hail, triumphant grace, all hail!
THE OLD PILGRIM.
LINES SUGGESTED THROUGH THE "FALLING ASLEEP”
OF MRS. S. E. DEAL. THE week had reached that dayits last; Thus long she pleaded with the child, The shades of evening gathered fast; And begg'd he'd not delay, The sun had long since dropp'd behind But now with God be reconciled, The western hills; and, though the
Ere she should pass away! wind, In fitful gusts, had moan'd all day,
She paused. A fit of coughing shakes At evening it bad died away.
Her pale and wasted form! But still the noise of busy feet
But all is o'er-her spirit takes The din of voices in the street
Its flight to endless morn! Arose above the “scene of care,”
I, when I'm called to die,” And floated through the evening air. She oft was heard to say,
“ Not linger long, but to the sky A dear young wife! and by her stood Be quickly borne away."
A child, who loved her well; “Dear Walter, listen, and be good,
Her prayer was heard—the answer While I of Jesus tell.”
When she for heaven was rife; Oft had she told the tale before
For, when the cough convulsed her Of Jesus' dying love;
frame, Oft had she spoken of that Door
She snapp'd "a cord of life!"
Oh, what a truth may here be read, sweet;
Or what a warning rung! But ne'er so sweet as now!
That on a very slender thread
The life of man is hung! “Say, Walter, shall we in heav'n meet, And low before Him bow p”
J. J. P.
ECHO TO THE ABOVE.
How sweet the subject of your pleasing lay-
Methinks her exit from this world of sin
Let me not linger," moved His tender heart,
To be without complaints of corruption and weakness is for saints above and angels—not for Christians in Christ's camp on earth. Weakness can speak and cry when we have not a tongue.
As we can never be saved without a Saviour, so we can never see Him without an eye. What is faith? Faith is an inwrought, firm or abiding, affectionate and reverential persuasion of the truth and goodness of what God has said in His word. Inwrought, for God Himself has worked it; firm and abiding, for it goes through all the wind-blasts of the wilderness and the wreck of death. Foiled it may be, but dislodged from its position it never will be. Affectionate, for it works by love; reverential, for that faith is not worth calling mine that leaves its subjects to an impudence in religion. Persuasion is the determining feature of its persuasion of the truth and goodness of what God has said in His word of the truth and goodness of the testimony of the Gospel. A man who has faith is a man in whom God works, a person in whom there is something done that is too firm for Satan to undo it; a person of some veneration for the authority of the word, treating God and His testimony with reverence. A man of conviction and persuasion, he can say, “I am persuaded." The truth of God's testimony is that of which He is persuaded, concerning the grand mystery of man's redemption by the person of a Mediator.
A YOUNG DISCIPLE: HER WALK IN LIFE, AND HER
VICTORY IN DEATH. I HAVE often found it a great aid and encouragement to read the memoirs of young Christians, who passed through the same conflicts and trials that we are now perhaps feeling bitterly; and yet they have been enabled to hold on their way rejoicing, and have remained faithful unto the end, and are now “for ever with the Lord.” It enkindles a hope within us that we too shall, through the same Almighty power, be kept through faith unto salvation. Our hearts are so often pressed down within us that we wonder, “Can this be possible ?” Sin, Satan, and our own wicked hearts must gain the victory. But “He is faithful that promised,” and as surely as His work hath been begun in our hearts, so surely will it be carried on and finished. Blessed be His holy name. But, although it is a great encouragement to read of those who have kept the faith, been helped through many trials and conflicts, it is still a greater privilege to have known them personally; to have witnessed their trials temporally and spiritually; and at last to have seen them enter the dark valley, to have gone with them to the river's brink, and to see them enter undismayed, knowing on whose arm they leaned, and that He in whom they have trusted for so many years will not desert them now in their hour of need.
Memory brings back one or two bright examples, which we purpose giving for the comfort of others, especially young
believers, who have the burden and heat of the day yet before them, and perhaps feel dismayed at the conflict. Let their motto be, “Heads up, soldiers.” If you lean on One above for strength, you shall never be put to confusion.
It is now just about ten years since we first met with the subject of this sketch, and had the privilege of knowing her intimately. Amongst all our young friends, there was none who stood out so boldly for the truth as S. C— Always of a bright, energetic temperament, when the Lord manifested Himself to her as her Saviour, all her powers, all her energies were devoted to Him and to the advancement of His cause and glory. Nothing was too much to do for Him who had done so much for her.
She was born in Wiltshire, and was the eldest of a large family. She was, her mother often told me, before grace refined her heart, of a most selfwilled, unruly temperament; but afterwards the change was very apparent. We shall see how hard she struggled against her temper, from her diary. Her talents were of no common order.
She was a very deep reader and thinker, and possessed a most retentive memory. Everything she undertook she carried through, no matter what stood in her way. After some years her parents removed to a large manufacturing town, and, when she was about seventeen, her indulgent father granted her most cherished wish, and let her proceed to Canada for a twelvemonth to visit her aunt. She sailed from Liverpool for Quebec, and it was in that far-distant land the Lord met with her. Her mother writes: “It was in Canada that the Lord manifested Himself to my dear child in a peculiar and marked manner, so, like Colonel Gardiner, that she often spoke and read of Him with delight. Her friends thought some strange thing had happened to her, and bewailed the alteration. But the active mind that had before been given to the world and its pleasures was directed with the same zeal and energy to the work of the Lord. Her letters home were full of love to Him."
A letter to her father has just come before me, from which I shall give extracts, as it is so truly characteristic of her bright happy disposition, and