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every object—even prayer itself—from the poor bewildered mind, while he unveiled before her the Lamb of God, bearing the sin of the world! Had he told her that God himself had provided this Lamb as a propitiation to his broken law, and had declared himself satisfied, well pleased in Him; that on this ground he now besought her to be reconciled to himself; he might have left her in the possession of that peace which passeth all understanding, and “ gone on his way rejoicing.” Then had they prayed without ceasing, and in everything given thanks, praising and blessing God. However, thank God, her eyes were opened to her danger! Most especially my dear father unites with me in ascribing to Him the praise in this, that when he failed, as he did, to make known to her that “ more excellent way,”-the way Christ Jesus; yet He whose aid had been invoked, failed not, but provided another teacher to lead her to the foundation laid in Zion!
“ His outstretched arms upon the tree
Show such a wide embrace,
And all the human race.
Outstretched, the ages past;
The first man and the last.”-My Father. “Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.”-Isa. xxviii. 16.
The consequence of my mother not having been led at once to Jesus was, that the enemy of souls resumed his old position ; trying every artifice again to persuade her that she should not die.
In the evening of that same eventful day, a dear aunt, one of my mother's sisters, called to console her after the departure of my father. I often mingle tears and smiles together, as I recollect that circumstance; tears at the remembrance of their ignorance and darkness then, and smiles at the reflection of what is their present state of knowledge and salvation; being sister angels now, both wearing the blood-bought robes of Jesus' righteousness, enthroned in light, and crowned with immortality.
However, at the time of which I am now speaking, they were both of them loitering amidst the snares and pitfalls of the kingdom of darkness ; although the confidence of the one was considerably shaken as to the safety of her position. No sooner had my aunt arrived, than my mother thus gave vent to her full heart. She recapitulated my father's conversation, dwelling especially upon his assurance of her danger, and breaking down wholly at the recollection of his warning respecting the agency of the Evil One, in luring her into the conclusion of the supposed safety of her soul. My aunt--indignant at what she considered an aspersion on my mother's moral character, and especially at the assumption of the danger of her soul-gave expression to her warm but mistaken emotions, by severely censuring my beloved father. She attributed his opinions to fanaticism ; and positively urged the same arguments, to an iota, that my mother herself had used to establish peace “where there was no peace.” She assured her, for instance, of her own righteousness, and of the perfect safety of trusting to the mercy of God, without any mention of the blessed Saviour as the only medium of mercy. My dear aunt often looked to the other side of the room, where I sat, a silent observer, with looks which spoke volumes to my distressed heart. To interpret their language, I should say that they expressed something like this :—“How cruel of you to wound your dear mother thus! You are every whit as bad as your father. You do not deserve such a mother; and when she is gone, you will learn it." Not so my mother; her tearful eyes never so much as ventured a glance towards me. The arrows of conviction were rankling in her soul, and she found that the old favourite arguments had lost their charm; the universal panacea had no virtue to heal a sin-sick soul.
At length, this long, long day, which—as I look back-seems changed to a week's length at least ; even it passed away. My dear father wrote frequently. I quote from one of his many affecting and affectionate appeals to my mother, now lying before me. “My dearest love, do not let anything divert your attention from the all-important concerns of your immortal soul. Do not forget all I have said to you on this subject. I have not said a thousandth part of all I would and should say, were I with you. Remember, my dear, the great importance of an undying soul! This state of things will soon be past with us, and eternity set in; therefore, let not anything prevent you from seeking a Saviour, and securing eternal life. Do you think that an attention to the trifles of this world will prepare us for the next ? Ah! no; nothing but pardon through a Saviour : therefore, nothing else should you now be anxious about. Pray to him unceasingly, and he will accept of you; for he delighteth in mercy, and is able and willing to save all who seek him. Do not, then, neglect a thing of such vast importance. Let me hear of your earnestness in this respect. Talk of a Saviour; think of Him ; write of Him; trust in Him, and trust to nothing else. Adieu.” To this my dear mother replies, “ It is now only six o'clock, and I feel quite worn out. If this cough would leave me, I really think, with earnest attention to religious duties, which I have so long neglected, that God will once more raise me. You beg of me to pray to Him—this I do; and, as far as my ignorance leads me to suppose, I hope with sincerity. I have no doubt but that in time I shall find happiness.”—(Dated April, 1823.)
Alas! my mother, didst thou then dream that attention to religious duties, and sincerity, would purchase for thee peace with God? Thou hadst heard an uncertain sound, and had yet to learn that thou must buy and eat, without money and without price. “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me ? saith the Lord.” .... “ When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts ?” “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord ; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” “Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt-offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord ?” “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken, than the fat of rams." " Hearken diligently unto me." “ Hear, and your soul shall live !" Hear the voice of the propitiated God, from the parted heavens, declare of thy Substitute, “ This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased : Hear him!” And what doth the Son say ? “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me!" . My quotations are made from the last letters which I can find. There is no further memorial from my mother's hand; but I find imperishable records deeply engraven in our hearts, and from thence transcribe what follows. My mother was as yet unhappy; and still, every day, the hope of her recovery growing fainter and fainter. She was now unable to sit up during the whole day, and expressed her desire to see a minister, which was immediately gratified. He was a zealous and good man; but, strange to say, he also failed to make known to her the simple Gospel. My mother now grew more intensely anxious, and thought of another. He was a scholar, and a man of eminent piety; and yet was such a gentle, humble, unassuming character, * strongly reminding one, in his tender and affectionate manner, of the beloved disciple; and, in this case at least, was as successful as he in simply telling the simple truth about Jesus! He admitted the enormity of her guilt ; he said, indeed, that her confessed transgression of the first and greatest commandment, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength,” was enough to bring her under condemnation; for she had never loved him with all her heart. On the contrary, she had loved almost everything better than God ;--her husband, her children, and her pleasures,—all better than God! And yet, He it was who had given her all these to comfort her, while she had been altogether forgetful of the kind donor. He was not in all her thoughts, although in him she lived and moved and had her being. His very name was Love, and he had loved her, despite all her ingratitude and rebellion. His love was so great to her, that rather than she should perish, he had given up the dearest object he possessed,-his Son,-his only and well-beloved Son. He had given him up to poverty and reproach, and degradation and insult, and suffering and death, for her sins, and in her stead. “ For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”