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came to a crisis; and the fever having abated, she fell into a long, sweet sleep, free from the horrid dreams which had tortured her for several previous days. It was during the hours of darkness when this sleep came over her, and it was bright day when she awoke, though still but early morning. She opened her eyes, and for a minute could not tell where she was, nor what had happened. At the foot of her bed was an open window, and sweet, soft, and fresh was the air which entered into the room, laden with the breath of the fields and gardens over which it passed.
One person only was near her--a girl about her own agewho sat on the bed itself, with her feet extended over the lower part of it, and her back resting against one of the posts, in the attitude of one who had watched long, and was somewhat weary; she had, however, a book in her hand-it was a small bible, and she was reading attentively. Charlotte looked again, and recognized Kate Baring ; a moment afterwards the young girl turned her face towards her, and seeing that she was awake, she got up softly, and brought her something in a cup; raising her gently that she might drink it, and then letting her down as softly. “I am better, Kate,” said Charlotte ; " where is poor mamma?”
Kate moved her lips in reply, but Charlotte not hearing what she said, repeated her question. She observed the lips of Kate moving again, and thought she heard some inarticulate sound, but not a word reached her; she spoke again with the same result, and observed that Kate looked uneasy and surprised, and that she rang the bell for some person to come.
There is not space here to enter into particulars, but the state of the case was this :-Charlotte's fever had left her; her life had been spared, but she had lost her hearing, or rather it had been so impaired, that although loud noises distressed her much, she could not hear low ones at all, nor distinguish one sound from another in the smallest degree ; and not even the most skil. ful person could predict whether this evil would be only temporary or last for life.
Kate Baring was a most attentive nurse, and poor Charlotte felt her attentions so deeply that Mrs. Howard retained her during Charlotte's convalescence, and so long as she should need
one to supply, as far as another could, the deficiency of that one important sense which her poor daughter had lost.
Not one word did the pitying mother or sister say even to each other, of the ill use which Charlotte had formerly made of that faculty of hearing now lost to herma talent so miserably abused by all worldly persons, and so idly employed, too often, even by the children of God. But the Lord the Spirit was himself dealing with the afflicted child; the mother saw this, and was still.
It will appear by the following conversation between Charlotte and Kate, which took place some time after the former was able to go out, how vast was the change already wrought within her by that unerring and all-powerful Spirit. “How often do I think, dear Kate,” remarked Charlotte, “ of what mamma once said to me about spiritual deafness, and now I can understand what she meant. I am now naturally deaf, and my natural deafness is the type of the state in which I once was, regarding all heavenly things. I walk now in sweet gardens and pleasant fields ; I see the little birds among the green boughs, but I cannot hear their songs; I see the trees waving in the breeze, but I hear no sound of the rustling leaves; I see the water flowing along the meadows, but I hear no murmuring of the stream; 1 see you and mamma and Elizabeth talking together, but I hear no words; and even the sweetest music is now nothing to me but a dull distressing sound.
“So it was with me, Kate, in days that are past, concerning heavenly things, which other people received by the ear. All pious and improving conversation held in my presence was only like a dull wearisome sound, humming in my ears. Mamma used to tell Elizabeth that all sweet or awful natural sounds, such as the wind, the thunder, sweet music, and the voices of persons singing, even when she did not hear the words, seemed to speak to her of God; and that the visible heavens, with all their glories, had a voice which told her of their Creator's power and goodness; but I could not then understand what she said, nor what any other persons said upon these subjects. My splritual hearing was then as dull and heavy as my natural hearing is now. I used my natural hearing for evil purposes ; I refused to receive instruction by it, and God has justly punished me.”
When Charlotte thus spoke, they were sitting on a green bank, by the side of a sanded path. Kate had a slender stick in her hand, and she wrote upon the sand" Not punished-God is love-he only corrects.”
Charlotte watched the progress of the stick as Kate wrote, and kissed her humble little friend, “ You are perfectly right, dear Kate,” she said, “ I do believe that it is in kindness God gives me this present affliction; and that when he took my natural hearing from me, he gave me the same sense in a spiritual form, as much above and beyond the first, as the spiritual man is above the natural.”
“ God is very good," wrote Kate upon the sand; “ I wish we could love him more.”
"How kind you are, dear Kate,” said Charlotte ; « What should I do if you could not write?"
“Who paid for having me taught ?” were the next words which Kate traced on the sand.
“ I cannot take credit even for a share in this," answered Charlotte ; there is no good in me: and of this I am quite sure, that if ever I enter into glory, it must be through the merits of my Saviour only, and not by any use which I can make of any of the powers given to me by nature. Deaf I was by nature to all instruction, but such as belonged to the things of this world, and deaf I had remained for ever if God had not, when he closed my ears to earthly matters, opened them to such things as unenlightened eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, which are given only to his own renewed ones to apprehend."
How can the unconverted reader account for so marvellous and sudden a change in the whole language and manner of such a girl as Charlotte appeared to be in the first pages of this narrative? A divinely-instructed person will, however, understand it. When the Holy Spirit began to work with her—when the faculty of spiritual apprehension was bestowed upon her, and an understanding given her to comprehend the instructions previously given by a truly pious and intellectual mother, she became in all respects an altered person; and as He is faithful who called her, when, after some months, her hearing was restored, she continued to delight only in those things which are grateful to the spiritual ear, turning away from such as are only acceptable to the natural and unconverted man.
What young person, educated in a pious family, is there who has not often received the admonition to take heed what he says. To this we will add the advice adopted by Mrs. Howard, " Take heed how you hear;" for the ear which is open to spiritual instruction, is seldom connected with the tongue that. utters folly.
M. M. S. ;
Speaks the departure of a soul;
Prepared, should I be call’d to die ?!" “ How solemn is the sound of that bell! This is the third time to-day,” said Alicia, “ that I have heard it; another has entered into the world of spirits ; death is making awful havoc in the town; I scarcely go out, but I hear of some one taken ill, or dying, or dead.” Alicia uttered these words as she looked at the churchyard, which was directly opposite the back parlour. The venerable tower rose above the trees, and presented a striking instance of the effects of all-destroying time; the grave-digger was busily employed in preparing a last abode for one who had left the world nearly five days, and who was to be buried that evening. “ Poor John Tremayne,” said she; “ he was a promising youth. How active and zealous in the Sunday-school, and how soft and gentle in his demeanour! I never witnessed any thing like pride or passion ; he could bear and forbear; and instead of being offended at a word, bore every thing in the true spirit of Christian meekness! How early and punctual was he in his attendance, desirous of giving the scholars their full time! I have often admired his seriousness in the house of God; his judicious, fervent prayers ; never tedious, but always interesting and to the point; blending supplication with thanksgiving. It may with truth be said of him, he lived and died a Christian, a consistent Christian : his doctrinal sentiments, derived from the word of God, and his hopes fixed on the blood and righteousness of Christ. What a delight to his parents and friends, when he uttered the words, “ Now a saved sinner, shortly a glorified saint!" and then, with a smile upon his face, expired with the words on his lips, “ Able to save even to the uttermost, Hallelujah!”
“Delightful, indeed !” said Mrs. Blundell, who had been attentively listening to this language of her daughter, “what a consolation to the distressed feelings of a parent, to have such a testimony of the happiness of their departed children; that they are safely landed on the shores of bliss. How very different from the case of the unhappy youth who was recently interred,"
“ You mean the young man in Crow-street."
“ The same. Ah! he was badly brought up; his father was an infidel, and delighted in the unworthy employment of instilling into the mind of his son his own bad principles. He reduced the miracles of scripture into effects produced by natural causes, and scoffed at Divine Revelation. But he was a man of no estimation among his neighbours while he lived, and when he died none lamented him. The death-bed of the son was a sad scene. A person went to pray with him; “You may pray,' said he, “but it will be of no use; I shall die with the same principles I professed while I lived.' There was no 'hope in his death!'”
“ Blessed be God, this is not our case, mamma ; I trust we have fled for refuge, and have obtained mercy.”
« True, my dear. This thought gives a different sound to the bell: every tone is peace, and every vibration, joy. A soul prepared for glory, feels no dread nor horror when the bell tolls. The mind may indeed for a time be disquieted when a sense of sin prevails, and aggravated guilt appears; but a believing view of the efficacy of the blood of Jesus, and his willingness to receive the guilty but penitent sinner, relieves the mind of its burden, calms its fears, and restores tranquillity. In such a state it can say“
• Then when the solemn bell I hear,
• Perhaps it next may toll for me.'” Reader! The present year is hastening towards its close ; the bell has tolled for multitudes since the year began; perhaps some of your relatives, a parent, a brother, or a sister, or some friend has been summoned to the tribunal of God! The bell sounded for them, and seemed to say, “ Gone, gone, gone!"
It will soon sound for you! yes, for you. Are you ready to go? Have you fled to Jesus? Is he your trust, confidence, and