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a life of fame, but must have been a life of sin, by what I must ever regard as a most gracious interposition of Providence. The most remarkable thing connected with this incident was unquestionably the singular obtuseness-the downright stupidity manifested by the parties in determining to substitute
sister for me, to go through the part of the play in silence. For although, through the failure of my voice, I was incapacitated for performing the speaking part of the character, yet there was nothing to hinder me from going through the acting part of it in dumb show; and for this I was of course much better qualified than my younger sister could have been, as I had carefully learned the part, and had through repeated rehearsals--become familiar with the acting of it; besides that my age and size were so much more suited to the character than hers, and the expensive dress had been made expressly for me.
My temporary loss of voice may, and doubtless must have been owing to some simple natural cause, though I was quite unable to account for it at the time; but their loss of judgment--their entire lack of presence of mind-has always seemed to me absolutely unaccountable ; and I cannot but consider both as attributable to a most merciful providential interposition in my behalf, on the part of Him who, amid many trying scenes and testing circumstances, through which I have had to pass since then, has always heard my petitions, and sent me deliverance- has “
upon a Rock, and established my goings ;" to whom be all glory and honour, and blessing and praise, both now and for
I return from this digression to the recollections of the long and lonely Sabbaths, when-after I had returned from worship, to which my dear mother regularly sent me, and occasionally took me- -1 used to slip away from her into a large parlour, which was retained as a sort of reception room, and situated at the front of the house, divided by long passages from the rooms in more common occupation. In this isolated spot I was rarely disturbed; and I often remained there for many
Hours -in wet weather, nearly all the day-reading my Bible, " The Pilgrim's Progress," and “Maundrell's Journey to the Holy Land.”
Here I travelled, in imagination, with the latter, through every locality of sacred interest; at one time standing at the base of Sinai with reverential awe; at another, with the tired travellers, resting at Jacob's well. Sometimes lingering on the plains of Bethlehem, and at others sauntering along the shores of the Galilean lake. With him I mourned over the dislocated stones of that gorgeous Temple, once standing on Moriah's brow; sighed over the discovered foundations of her palaces, and wept as I remembered Zion! With him I crossed the silvery stream of Kedron, and visited the “ town of Martha and her sister Mary;" or lay beneath the shade of the few olives still remaining within the precincts of that garden where Jesus agonised for me, consecrating its soil by tears and
and bloody sweat. And when, in my imaginary route, I reached at length the shores of England, I wept because the travels were all told.
“I trod where the Twelve in their wayfaring trod,
And the same airs are blowing which breathed on his brow.” With Bunyan I set out, over and over again, from the city of Destruction, and travelled the wellknown track to the gates of Zion; glanced at the dazzling rays of the celestial glories, and wept again, because I might not enter yet. I returned with the lonely messenger to fetch Christiana and the children ; witnessed her delight at the reception of the latter from the King of the Place ; busied myself in her packing up, and setting out, with all her little ones, and the persecuted Mary. I traced again with them the footsteps of Christian and his Master-the Lord of the way! until we reached the land of Beulah. I rejoiced in the reception of the summons by each wayfarer; wept in their parting scenes; held in my breath to catch their last words, wafted from the other side, across the waves of Jordan ; and returned to wait my turn with those who “ went down with them to the brink of the river.”
Then, when the page of Holy Writ was spread before me, with what joy did I peruse the sacred oracle, from the writings of the prophet Moses down to the revelations of the exiled John! There were, however, favourite portions which were read a dozen times, and still were new to me. the descriptions of the Creation and the Flood, with the history of Joseph and his brethren-that enchanting eastern tale of truth, detailing grievous wrongs, severe sufferings, and “hope deferred," with its triumphant denouement, and ultimate restoration and reconciliation. But I desist, for I might run through the precious pages, selecting its most admired sections, and jealous lest I should overlook a line on which I so much loved to dwell. Suffice it to say, that its miraculous relations, immaculate laws, affecting narrations, and sublime descriptions ; its wonderful disclosures, its astounding prophecies, with their exact fulfilments; its earnest appeals, its solemn warnings, its affectionate invitations, its winning entreaties, its touching remonstrances; its convincing power, its converting
truth, its Author and Finisher, its one illustrious object-JESUS, and its one grand aim-Salvation, had won my ear-my
heart ! There was no earthly friend to mingle tears with mine, or catch my involuntary exclamations of surprise and joy. The large, old, quiet parlour was my sanctuary, and the ever-present Saviour my prophet, priest, and comforter!
“Yea, many a time turned Ile his anger away. For He remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.”Psalm lxxviii. 38, 39. My sweet mother! - from this long digression I return to thec, still dearest object of all my early loves. The sunshine of thy bright smile is resting on each spot, and shedding haloes around the scenes of childhood's home. Again would I recall thee as thou wert, when, in all my childish sorrows, I pillowed my young head upon thy breast, and-soothed by the gentle cadences of love-slept, and forgot my half-imagined woes. Ah ! had I known, as there I lay so comforted, the meaning of the shortening breath, and hacking cough, which slightly disturbed my slumbers, and almost wholly prevented thine ; had I but understood the language of that dazzling eye, and brilliant carnation-tinted cheek-I had valued every glance and every word of thine a thousand fold more than in my childish trusting hopes of years to be, I ever dreamt of doing. Still it is well; that knowledge had but dashed from my lips the almost exhausted cup
my heart's first affections, and I had lost the last few nectar drops of my own mother's love!
The hour was now fast approaching when she would most need that long-neglected friend, her Saviour and her God. She had
gone many years forgetting Him, excepting in affliction, and then I find, from her letters, that she had discovered Him alone to be a refuge in such seasons.
It was about this time that my mother was the subject of a great deliverance from a fearful position of danger; and yet even this was but the precursor of a far greater deliverance from an infinitely greater danger, which she realised hereafter. My father was taking her out for a drive, to visit a dear sister and her husband, whom I have before named as my early guides to Jesus. On the road thither, they stopped at the door of a wayside inn to bait the horse. My father's attention being unhappily directed to something else, at the time the ostler gave the feed, he did not observe him remove the bit from the horse's mouth. The spirited animal no sooner felt himself at liberty, than he flung his head free from the rein, and plunged forward at the top of his speed. My father being close to, had time to seize the bridle, upon which he hung at the horse's head, in the vain hope of bringing him to a stand. This only irritated the now infuriated animal, which, plunging with still greater violence, disengaged himself from my father's grasp, and dashed forward at the most terrific speed. My dear mother at first thought of attempting to jump out from the back of the vehicle, but was prevented by the impossibility of raising herself so as to gain & footing, owing to the velocity, which was inereasing every moment. In her utter despair of help, hope fied, and terror took its place. The unguided animal dashed the gig against mound after mound by the roadside, until it was upset. On this sudden check, and falling with the vehicle, the horse lay plunging and struggling to release