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THE JUVENILE COMPANION.
from this position on a clear day is extremely fine. The
On the north side of the pedestal is an inscription stating some particulars of the calamity, by which were consumed “89 churches; various public buildings; 400 streets; 13,200 dwelling-houses; the ruins of the cits being 436 acres."
" that the fire was merciless to the property of the citizens, but to their lives very favour able; and that after three days from its commencement, during which time it had bafiled all human endeavours towards extinguishing it, it stopped, as if by the Will of Heaven.” On the south side is described the remedy | applied by Charles II, while the ruins were yet smoking, for the comfort of the citizens and the ornament of the city, by remitting the taxes; by engaging to restore the churches, &c. The east side has the dates of the foundation and completion. On the west, or front, is an allegorical subject, representing London, as a female figure, lying distressed on the ruins. Time, however, is in the act of lifting her from the earth, while Providence points to the skies. The king is seen in a Roman dress, giring encouragement and directions for the rebuilding; while Liberty, Genius, and Science, in a group about him, await his orders. Behind the king are labourers at work, scaffolding, &c., and other signs of cheerful occupation near him; almost under his feet, Enry is shown enraged at the prospect of success, and blowing fames towards the prostrate city. Emblems of war are also introduced (the fire having occurred during a time of war); while Mars, with a chaplet in his hand, signifies that honourable peace was at hand. Round the base of the pedestal was an inscription attributing “ the dreadful burping of the Protestant city to the treachery and malice of the Popish fae- | tion.” In the time of James II., the inscription was cut away, but restored in deep characters in that of William III. It has lately been again erased. It is believed that there was no foundation for the charge.
A SOLDIER'S STORY. Op me it might justly be said, I "went astray from the womb." From my childhood up I wandered from God, till, when but a lad, I had become notorious for mischief and wickedness. My name was not only associated with the vile and abandoned, but stood first on their list. Often did my parents pray with me and for me ; many were the instructions they imparted, the warnings, the admonitions, the entreaties, and the corrections I received ; and many, too, the tears of sorrow and anxiety they shed for me. But I was proof against all their efforts, and my heart remained hard and unmoved ; and I longed for the time I should be of age, that I might have it in my power to leave my father and mother, and, unrestrainedly, take my fill of sin. The holy Sabbath and the daily hours of family devotion I hated, and longed to get away from. Many were the plans I laid, and the schemes I formed, to get from under the parental roof; not because I was in love with a military life, but because it would at once deliver me from parental authority and restraint, I enlisted to be a soldier; and the more effectually to get rid of all and everything having the appearance of religion, or even the form of godliness, I chose to enlist into a regiment then in the West Indies.
Being the only son and the only child, it was too much for the already broken heart of my tender mother to bear up under; and, praying for her unworthy child, she sunk into the peaceful grave soon after my departure. My father's grief was equally severe, and with tears entreated me to allow him to buy me off. But, no; my hatred of religion, and perceiving no other way of escape from it, determined me to reject his kind offer. Up to this time, my mother had hoped that I would repent of what I had done, and permit my father to buy me off, and stay at home. But the language is not yet framed which could paint her sorrow and my hardness, her love and my indifference, on this
to her so distressing occasion. Oh, the mercy that could pity and pardon a wretch like me!
On her knees, with tears she prayed me not to leave her. “ Your father,” said she, “ will buy you off. Oh, my sonmy only sou--my only child, do not break your mother's heart, and draw down the curse of God upon your own head."
All in tears, my father sat in pensive silence and beheld the scene. I felt I loved them ; glad would I have stayed at home-but their religion! It was their religion, not them, I hated; and to get away from it, I resolved to go away from them.
My mother, still solicitous for my everlasting welfare, when she put up my clothes, secreted a small Bible withir. the folds of one of my shirts. This I found not out till far at sea, when, on changing my linen, it dropped out. When I saw the Bible I felt mad with rage, snatched it up, ran on deck, and cast it overboard as far as I could throw it.
When I joined my regiment in the West Indies, I cast off all restraint, and sinned with a high hand. The sins I there committed make me tremble and blush when I think of them. I stuck at nothing, how bad soever. I feared not God-he was not in all my thoughts; I regarded not future consequences; and nothing but grace worthy of God -grace free and sovereign-grace abounding to the chief of sinners-grace that seeks and finds the sinner, before the sinner seeks it, could bave reached my case. Some, if they will, may boast their works, but I must ever say, “ Not for works of righteousness that I have done, but according to his mercy he saved me.”
“Oh, to grace how great a debtor!” I had gone into the woods with my companions in sin, where we sought to hide our guilt from the eyes of men, when the sound of distant "psalm-singing" broke upon my ear. It was the first I had heard since I left my father's house. My attention was arrested; I stood still and listened, and thoughts altogether different from any which had heretofore occupied my mind, laid hold upon it; and tears,
astonishing myself, unaccustomed to weep, ran from my eyes. “Home” stood before me. My heart melted like
My father's prayers--my mother's prayers--the grief and sorrow I had caused them--their often mingled and bitter tears on my account-Sabbaths at home-family worship in my father's house-my sins, my heinous sins, against God, against my dear parents, against many youthful companions, and against my own soul-all came crowding upon my remembrance and heart, until I trembled in view of the wrath of Almighty God, which I so justly deserved to suffer, and which, I thought, had then overtaken
At first my companions mocked at my distress ; but as my convictions and distress increased, they became frightened, and left me. When I recovered strength sufficient to rise-for I had fallen to the earth-I walked as I could towards the place whence the sound proceeded, where I heard the voice of a preacher: it was a missionary, there preaching to a congregation of negroes. Unperceived I lay under a bush, and listened to the remainder of the sermon, and heard also when they were again to meet for worship. It would be impossible to describe how my nights and days passed till then. I had no Bible, nor was there in the regiment a man to whom I could make known my distress, or apply for advice and instruction,
At the time appointed by the missionary, I was again secreted behind my bush, where from day to day I had spent much time in almost hopeless prayers and tears. The missionary came, but he brought no comfort, no consolation to me; and at night I returned to my quarters as one that had no hope. Oh, that night-never to be forgotten while I have a mind to think : I felt, yea, I belieyed, that God had hid his face from my tears, and shut out for ever my prayers from him. The sermon served only to call up to my view fresh guilt, and more terribly make manifest my exposure to the "wrath to come.” As the messenger of God, it " found me out,” and cried to my heart, “ Thou art the man!" As the "sword of the Spirit," it inflicted new wounds upon my mind, and tore more widely oper. such as
already bled, till, as the royal Psalmist says, “ the pains of hell gat hold upon me; I found trouble and sorrow.”
For some time, despair and death were before me; I refused to eat my bread, because of “a fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation which should devour the adversaries.” Awful, indeed, was the realisation I then experienced of that truth, “There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” There was none for me: in my thoughts of God, none; in the recollections I had of his word, none; none in my own heart. I could find none on earth-I expected none in heaven. Thoughts of the past were dreadful—I trembled at the prospects of the future. I was afraid to look up to God- I thought him my enemy. Perish I could not-pray I dared not-and what to do a to be sared " I knew not.
My former companions now came about me in crowds ; some coaxing me, others swearing at me, many laughing at me, but all mocking me. With much feeling, I reminded them of the fearful extent to which I had run in the ways of sin and follythat they had prompted me on, and madly followed after--and that it was of the “ Lord's mercy we were not consumed!" I fearlessly made known to them the change which had taken place in my mind; what now were my views of the sins with which we were chargeable -of myself and of them as transgressors in the sight of God; and what would be the sad and everlasting consequences, if we persisted in our wicked courses, and refused to repent and turn unto the Lord. With many tears I told them how I trembled before God for myself and for them; that I would cheerfully submit to any punishment they could inflict upon me, could I undo the sins I had led them to commit, and avert from them and myself the misery to which the guilt of those sins exposed us as transgressors of the righteous Law of God, destroyers of the souls of others, and despisers of his Son, Jesus Christ. I spoke to them of sin, of hell, of God, and of the judgment to come, as I then felt, and which they too felt; and I continued speaking, until not a voice was to be heard except my own; yea, till all, either from fear or shame, walked off and left me, a