Imagens da página
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

She also told me with what reluctance she had come to reside in E

Here,” she added, “I was a stranger, with scarce. ly a single acquaintance, and my pride could not endure the idea of living in a boarding-house : but how much more kind has Providence been to me, than I should have been to myself! I was a stranger, and strangers took me in. They have always been kind to me, and for a long time I did not prize their kindness as I ought to have done. Their religion was a restraint which I disliked; but now I experience its value, both in their prayers on my behalf, and in their excessive attentions. O how thankful I should be to God for placing me in such a family! I am treated with the affection only due to a daughter or a sister.”

And often, with the same spirit of piety, she made the most grateful allusions to the wonderful train of events which led me to visit her. “The goodness of God to me,” she would have said, " is truly amazing. Had I gone to England with my cousin, as I so much wished to have done, perhaps my health might have been better, but then my soul would have been lost. I never could have met with you, Sir; and, indeed, nothing teaches me more the wise superintendence of Providence, than the remarkable way in wbich I was urged to inquire for your kind counsels. After hearing those Sunday school stories, when my mind became so distracted, my lovely cousin, whose death I had last witnessed, always appeared to me in my terrifying dreams, and said, “Send for Mr. : he will instruct you. Send for Mr. —: he will comfort you. And, in fact, Sir, although I had never known any thing of you before, your name rung in my ears for several weeks incessantly. But it was all of God, and I bless his name for inclining you to come to me."

I never saw a more submissive acknowledgment of Providence ; she became quite resigned to her bereaved situation, calm and contented amidst her many distresses, and even thankful for all the way by which God was pleased to lead her to the city of heavenly habitation.

A passage from Psalın cxlv. took a firma hold of her mind; and she said, when her desolate circumstances otherwise appeared overwhelming, it often checked an occasional disposition to repine :

The Lord is wise in his ways all,

And holy in his works each one:
He's near to all that call on him,

Who call in truth on him alone.
The belief of this was her consolation in the moments of bitter -
est trial, and her mental directory amidst those bodily sufferings,
which gradually increased as life drew to a close. And surely
such humble confidence in the wisdom of an over-ruling Provi-
dence, gave strong evidence, that the Spirit of God was in her;
whilst, at the same time, it ought to be regarded, by all profes-
sing Christians, as a conduct worthy of their habitual' imita-
tion.

[merged small][ocr errors]

But I must now make some allusion to Miss M—'S COMPOSURE IN THE PROSPECT OF DEATH.

There is something in the very idea of dissolution, at which human nature revolts. Death was originally inflicted on Adam and his posterity, as the punishment of their transgression; and it would cease to be regarded in that light, unless the Almighty affected the minds of his rebellious creatures with a certain painful awe when the subject is brought before them. But so great is the deceitfulness of man's heart, that although his interest

for immortality is involved in its result, yet death is seldom realized in his general thoughts, as an enemy which must be encountered, until some apprehension of imminent danger forces it into view. Then the king of terrors assumes the most appalling aspect, and the soul, unarmed for the conflict, is overwhelmed with alarm and dismay. If conscience should remain so seared as to withhold its condemning voice, still the anticipations of a righteous judgment, and the awfulness of an uncertain eternity, compel the dying sinner to tremble for his coming fate.

When Miss M.'s disease warned her of its probable termination, she immediately felt her inability to encounter this last enemy; and, looking to God only in the forbidding character of “ a stern and of an avenging Judge,” she became miserable. This was her own acknowledgment. But so soon as God condescended to reveal his grace, in giving her a sense of his pardoning love, her uneasiness gradually diminished, until a brighter discovery of gospel truths enabled her not only to confess that "the wages of sin is death,” but also to join in the triumphant language of the apostle, “ Thanks be to God who giveth us the victory, through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

At a very early period of my intercourse with this young lady, she candidly declared that she felt herself dying, and that she was quite unprepared. O, how affecting to hear such a statement ! But she was “a chosen vessel of mercy, to show forth the longsuffering of God;" and being enabled to believe on Him who hath conquered death and the grave, she rose superior to fear; and the composure with which she latterly talked of her departure from this world of woe, often filled me with wonder and praise. She was naturally endowed with uncommon strength of mind; and when this was guided and fortified by Christian principles, she exhibited a degree of unruffled firmness, which few of God's people are privileged to possess.

After her mind was eased from the terrors of death, and animaled with the hopes of heaven, she determined to execute a will. In this she was thwarted by her medical attendants, who wished to laugh her out of the apprehension of dying. But she calmly told them, “I am sure it can do me no harm : it won't make me die a day sooner; and if I delay, it may be too late.” They promised to inform ber as soon as it appeared to them necessary, which, latterly, they found themselves obliged to do; but the task was so painful, that they chose to communicate the information by letter. This increased the shock given to her feelings; but her fortitude wonderfully carried her through all the sad ceremony, which she could only now regard as a kind of death-warrant. I saw her the following day, when she mentioned all that had happened. She was much exhausted, but it seemed to be a relief to her mind; “for now, she said, “I have settled all my worldly affairs. I trust my peace is made with God; and I have nothing to do but to die.” Ohow desirable to be thus waiting for the coming of the Lord! I was also told, that some days previous to this, she had risen from her bed, and got all her wardrobe arranged, and even laid aside the very articles of clothing, in which she wished her corpse to be dressed.

In my later visits to this dying convert, I always found that death and heaven were the subjects nearest ber beart, and on which she delighted most to converse; and, as she ripened for the abodes of pure and endless bliss, her longing to enter upon their enjoyment daily increased. This desire to depart and be with Christ, was no doubt aided by the growth of her disease, and often she feared that she was sinning by impatience. But all her ties to the world were broken; and, having sipped of the streams of heavenly pleasures, she naturally longed to drink at the fountain-head. Sacred hymns were much read to her when she was able to hear them; but the one in which she particularly delighted, because she considered it so appropriate to herself was,

The hour of my departure's come,
I hear the voice that calls me home;
At last, O Lord, let troubles cease,

And let thy servant die in peace! &c. The day on which I last saw ber, she was reclining on a couch by the fireside, as her laborious breathing prevented her lying in her bed. She looked uncommonly interesting: so very emaci. ate and distressed, and yet so calm and placid. She was unable to converse, but requested me to pray with her. Her appearance affected me much ; and, while I regretted my inability to give her relief, I mentioned, as a ground of consolation, that we had a great High Priest, who shared our infirmities, and sympathized with us in all our afflictions. Before engaging in prayer, I begged permission to read the beautiful paraphrase on the last verses of the 4th chapter of the Hebrews. The concluding stanzas are as follow :

In ev'ry pang that rends the heart,
The Man of Sorrows had a part;
He sympathises with our grief,
And to the suff'rer sends relief.
With boldness therefore at the throne,
Let us make all our sorrows known;
And ask the aids of beav’ly pow'r,
To help us in the dying hour..

I then knelt at her side, and endeavoured to suit my petitions to her trying situation. As I rose, she thanked me; and, taking hold of my hand, with a feeble voice, but with a most expressive countenance, she said, “God bless you, Sir! God bless you! You have been a kind friend to me. I trust you have saved my soul from the pit of destruction, and plucked me, as a brand from the burning. Before I knew you, the very thought of death was dreadfully alarming; but now it is to me the most delightful subject, and I hope God will soon take me to himself. The circumstances attending this happy change have certainly been wonderful. I wish you to write an account of my conversion, as I think it may be useful to others.”

After this, Miss M. lived for a fortnight; but the last stages of ber disease were so distressing, and the medicine necessarily administered, produced an almost constant stupor, so that she was unfit to receive my visits. At tranquil moments she was frequently observed to be praying, and sometimes her ejaculations were indistinctly heard. And thus she lingered out her appointed days on earth, until the measure of her tribulation being filled up, I fondly trust she had an abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom of God her Saviour, where she now joins the ransomed throng, in singing the heavenly hallelujah.

For now concludes the mighty strife,
And death is swallowed up in life.
She mounts, she flies, she flies away
To regions of eternal day;
And pure white robes to her are given,
Wherewith she shall appear in heaven.

Christ. Guard.

TESTIMONIES TO THE HOLY BIBLE. The last act of the celebrated Sir William Jones was an act of homage to the Redeemer; he died in his closet, with his hands clasped together, and his eyes turned upward towards heaven. The following testimony of this great man ought surely to have great weight.“ I have regularly and attentively read these holy Scriptures, and am of opinion that this volume, independent of its divine origin, contains more sublimity and beauty, more pure morality, more important history, and finer strains of poetry and eloquence, than can be collected from all other books, in whatever age or language they may have been composed."

The learned Mr. Bryant, after having written a work to prove that Troy never existed, said :-“This investigation I more readily undertook, as it affords an excellent contrast with the sacred writings. The more we search into the very ancient records of Rome and Greece, the greater darkness and uncertainty ensue. None of them can stand the test of close examination. Upon a minute inspection, all becomes dark and doubtful, and often inconsistent, but when we encounter the sacred volume, even in

parts of higher antiquity, the deeper we go, the greater treasure we find. The various parts are so consistent, that they afford mutual illustration, and the more carnestly we look, the greater light accrues, and consequently the greater satisfaction. So it has always appeared to me, who have looked diligently, and examined ; and I trust I have not been mistaken.”

1

INTELLIGENCE.

INDIA WITHIN THE GANGES.

BELLARY.

Correspondence of the London Missionary Society.
From the Rev. W. Reeve.

Bellary, Sept. 21, 1819.
REV. AND DEAR SIR-

Such a supply has just arrived at this mission as, perhaps, never before, since the foundation of the world, came to Bellary. Here are 2000 of our Redeemer's Sermon on the Mount, printed in Canarese; near 200 Testaments in Teloogoo; almost the same quantity of English Bibles, together with 32 dozen of tracts in Tamul and Teloogoo, besides 82 dozen received a short time since. What a pleasing sight! It quite cheers my drooping spirits, and revives my too often desponding heart. Who can calculate the immense harvest that shall appear in the last day as the produce of this seed? It is of a precious and immortal nature, and will be scattered far and wide. O that it may fall into good ground, bring forth in some thirty, in some sixiy, in some an hundred fold.

The affairs of this mission at present, wear, upon the whole, a pleasing, promising, and encouraging aspect. Allow me, for your information, to take a brief and hasty view of the different departments.

Translations. The great Ilead of the Church has been pleased to honour us, his unworthy servants, by sparing our lives, and permitting us to complete, in the beginning of the present year, à version of the whole sacred volume in the Canara language. Since that time a large portion of almost every day has been employed in the work of revision. In this important exercise we proceed cautiously and slowly, diligently comparing verse for verse with the original, consulting the best commentators, in order that the translation may go forth into the world as faithful, and correct as possible. The responsibility that is attached to our character in this arduous and exalted mission, often makes us tremble as we pace along from day to day. But as this is in such an especial manner God's own work, we feel peculiar confidence in looking to him for that strength, guidance, and ability, which we require.

Brother Hands has been at Madras the whole of this year ; brother Taylor, absent about three months at Madras; so that

« AnteriorContinuar »