Page images
PDF
EPUB

ܪ

arranging every preliminary, and ready—on the instant that the dross had fallen, and the fine gold arisen, reflecting, as in a burnished mirror, every lovely lineament of the Master's transcendent beauty—to lift the test from the furnace, and place the treasure amongst his jewelry,

“If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, give me to drink, thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water." 66 Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God ;” and for these Jesus prayed, “Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth.” My mother now knew that precious gift of God, and who it was that had spoken 80 invitingly to her ; she lay by that fountain of living water, “ Thy Word," and quaffed deep draughts of truth. She refused to hear any other book read, exclaiming, “And canst thou pardon my long neglect of thy Holy Word—thy blessed Book ? Do not read any other book to me. Let me hear the Bible only. I cannot hear too much of that. Alas! that ever I should have been so sinfully blind to the merits of that blessed Book ! But pray

let me hear all I can now. I can profit more from that than anything else. Read about my Saviour.” If the cough interrupted, and prevented her hearing distinctly any sentence, she would request it to be repeated. She had discovered that “the entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple;" and loving the light, she came to it. She inclined her ear unto wisdom, and applied her heart to understanding; she cried after knowledge, and lifted up her voice for understanding, for she cried in her heart, “I will never forget thy precepts, for with them thou hast quickened me. “ Thy word is very pure, therefore thy servant loveth it.”

And at the conclusion of the portion read, she would exclaim,

[ocr errors]

לל

“That blessed book! Oh, precious Christ! Oh, blessed Saviour! oh, how I love my Saviour !" Once, as Matt. ix. was being read to her, on reaching the 21st verse, she stretched out her attenuated hands towards heaven, and exclaimed, “Oh! if I may but touch the hem of thy garment, I shall be made whole. Oh! what delight it must have been to those who saw him, and were with him when on earth! But oh! what a heaven must it be, where he is seen in all his glory! Oh! let me but find a place in thy blest abode; even if it be the meanest ; let me be there, and see and hear my Saviour !" “Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous; nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.” Thus her sufferings were also an ingredient in the process, enabling her to arrive at the same conclusion as did Israel's illustrious king—“It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I might learn thy statutes. The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.” “My beloved Saviour has some wise purpose in removing me. He has been with me and has supported me, or my poor spirit never could have sustained me, exclaimed my mother. Thus she recognised the hand laid upon her as a hand of love; and thus she realised the sustaining power of the arm of love; and thus added her humble testimony to the truth that “God is Love!"

On other occasions, when my father has deeply sympathised with her in severe suffering, she has exclaimed, “Do not pity me, I have not half I deserve. What is this to be compared with what my Saviour suffered for me ? " The Saviour was, indeed, the all-engrossing object of her soul — the theme of all her joy. Hence, when speaking of Jesus, she in haste

E

unclasped her ear-rings and necklace with trembling hands and palpitating heart, and giving them away, exclaimed, "" T'here, now I am stripped of all my earthly ornaments; but I have the most precious treasure left-my Saviour!”

Jewels to (her) were gaudy toys,

And gold was sordid dust." She was “like unto a merchant-man seeking goodly pearls: who, when (she) had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that she had, and bought it.":

Jesus was

“ for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty" unto her.

My father, taking the emaciated hand (lately crushed by the accident before described) within his, remarked how frequently she had been preserved from impending destruction, especially in the last instance; in which case, God, in boundless compassion and unfailing love, had snatched her from a dreadful death. “He did, indeed; but I could not see it then. Oh, blessed Christ !” exclaimed she, as she considered her ways, and cast a shuddering glance at the deliverance of her undying soul from everlasting punishment.

“ And oh, wicked wretch that I was, to turn again to the world !-oh, wicked! wicked!” she cried, in selfabhorrence. And then, as she contemplated the tender mercies and long-suffering forbearance of her God, she said, “ Thou hast delivered me so often, and yet I did not take the warning. Thou seest, Lord, how prone I have been to sin, and yet how merciful and kind thou hast been, thus to save me from death in this world, and to give me the blessed hope that thou wilt save me for ever-oh, precious Saviour!”

Thus, to use my father's words, “Like one awaking from a pleasing dream of safety, and finding herself upon the awful height of some stupendous precipice, whence one more moye must hurl

souls “

her headlong down, she shuddering shrank into the niche of nature's nothingness, and called aloud to Him, whose arm alone could reach and give her aid.” Well might we now rejoice with unspeakable joy. Well might that chamber, so lately consecrated by a baptism of tears, but now glowing with the rainbow effulgence of the covenant, be to our

none other but the house of God, and the gate of heaven!” Well might we, forsaking our most interesting pursuits, and forgetting our most imperative duties, surprise each other at the posts of the doors. We went in with joy, and were led forth with peace; the mountains and hills breaking forth before us into singing, while all the trees of the field clapped their hands. Well might our hearts heave for joy, and our souls sing for glad

“It was meet that we should make merry, for this my mother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found !"

ness.

Mother! midst earth's fading flowers
Thou hadst spent life's sunny hours;
Gay thy gladsome laughter sounded,
Light thy cheerful heart rebounded,
Bright thy glance, and sweet thy voice,
Making all our hearts rejoice.

Yet we marked-with all thy gladness-
There was cause for deepest sadness;
Since we knew thy mirth must perish,

Thy joyous laughter pass away-
Ah, to know the loved we cherish

Soon niust in the grave decay,
While the undying soul enshrouded,
Still in nature's night beclouded,

Cannot see eternal day;
Thus unchanged passing hence-
This is agony intense!

But, awakened on the brink

Of that dire impending woe;
Our beloved one stands to think

Before the overthrow,-
Hears her Saviour's warning cry,

Importuning her toiflee.
Turn thee, turn; why wilt thou die,
Since Jesus died for thee?"

Washed in the atoning blood !
Reconciled in Christ to God!
As upon the change we gaze,
All our prayers are turned to praise.

Now, the fatted calf is slain;

With joy and gladness all abound;
Our dead received to life again,

The lost one now is found;
While angel choirs catch up the strain,

And heaven reverberates around,
In loud triumphant anthem-lays,
“Another ransomed sinner prays."

CHAPTER VIII.

THE BESEE CHING.

"Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God."2 Cor. v. 20. That sick room!—for thither I must return again, and yet again, as I have done a thousand times in life's long pilgrimage, to that green oasis ʼmid the desert sands ; nor ever lacked refreshment from its very memories. That sick room—from which the worldling gladly turned away, to mingle in the gay and giddy throng; and there, amid the fascinating influences of the world's evanescent pleasures, to forget its trumpet-mouthed moral, and to stifle its most unwelcome voice of conviction and of truth. That sick room-where one of that world's late votaries lay, lamenting her life's profitless career in the bitterest terms of self-reproachwhere the reclaimed one lingered, at the close of her life's pursuit after all that the world esteemed attractive and desirable-arrived, at length, at the humbling conclusion, that she had fed on the husks which the swine do eat,—had sowed to the wind, and would have reaped the whirlwind, had she not awoke in time to betake herself to the refugeJesus! And after luxuriating in the world's joys,

« PreviousContinue »