« PreviousContinue »
she turns away from them in satiety and alarm, and finds in her forgotten God-her long-neglected Saviour "the chief among ten thousand, and the altogether lovely." Losing no time, she charged the daughters of Jerusalem to find her beloved for themselves. And when they inquired, "What is thy beloved more than another beloved, that thou dost so charge us ?" she grew eloquent in the description of his comeliness. Her tongue was as the pen of a ready writer, and she described to them how He first set His heart upon her, while yet she was ungodly; and, beholding her straying into a horrible place, a place where no water is, where there is weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth; how that He had rushed between her and this eternal woe, and drained the life's blood from His veins for her deliverance; and as she warmed upon the theme, she said, He was more lovely than the sons of men; that His mien was all grace and dignity, and elegance such as they had never dreamed of; that His lips spoke as never man spoke; and that the fascination of His words had bound her heart, her hopes, and her affections, and blended them in one strong and earnest desire to be like Him, and to dwell with Him for ever. She then enlarged upon His illustrious origin, declaring that He was the King of kings, and Lord of lords. That to see the King in his beauty was the one desire of her soul-the all-engrossing object of her life and being. That it was by hearing of Him that she had become so deeply enamoured; and that to know Him was life eternal;-that, indeed, she no sooner knew Him, than he bestowed upon her, in his boundless love, a full pardon for her manifold offences-a right to enter the celestial city, and pluck the fruits of paradise-a right to call his Father, her Father-a co-title with himself to the inheritance of his infinite dominions. She
urged her late companions to a full participation with her at this feast of love; "Eat, friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly!" "Ho! every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters: and he that hath no money; come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness." "Ah!" cried they, “her head is wandering; poor thing!" "No," said my mother, "I speak the words of truth and soberness." "You are ill," rejoined they," and religion may be useful under such circumstances; but you will recover again, and return with us to former enjoyments, and forget the delusions of to-day.” "Never!" responded my mother, alarmed at the bare supposition. "No! I have washed my feet; how shall I defile them? I have put on the raiment of needlework prepared for the King's daughters, and cannot again clothe myself in filthy rags; I have been introduced to the acquaintance of one sitting upon his azure throne amongst the cherubim and seraphim; I have tasted of the delectable nectar of the love of God; I can never again feed upon ashes. His left hand is beneath me, and his right hand upholdeth me; and I have no taste for meaner pleasures.
"O, might I once mount up and see
The glories of th' eternal skies!
What little things these worlds would be;
"Had I a glance of thee, my God,
Kingdoms and men would vanish soon;
True, all that is just narrated was not expressed at one particular interview with the previous
friends and companions of my mother; but this is not a hundredth part of all she did say on such occasions. But the spirit of these sentiments now pervaded her whole soul. She had become " living epistle, known and read of all" about her. There was the language of the eye, as well as of the lip; of the life of the patient endurance of suffering of the deep desire of the heart to be with Christ-and thus she was eloquent and convincing in beseeching as an ambassador for Christ; as one who stood upon the verge of heaven, and turned not; but ever as her eyes were fixed upon the nearing glory, she cried, "The Spirit and the Bride say, come; and let him that heareth say, come; and let him that is athirst come; and whosoever will, let him come and take of the Water of Life freely!"" And ever as the words were uttered, she still cried, "Come! for all things are now ready.' 'Come unto Christ and He will give thee life.' Oh! that my voice could reach the thousands who know not God, and who live as I have lived, that they might hear my testimony to the vanity of the world, the deceitfulness of sin, and the sufficiency of the truth as it is in Jesus to support my soul, even now, when the world is sinking beneath my feet!"
My mother's father, calling one day to see his beloved child, was deeply distressed to find the flower which so lately bloomed in his path, with so much fragrance and beauty, now faded and drooping into the very grave before him. Poor old man! His fine, tall figure was slightly bent, and his grey hair thinly shaded his temples. glad of the chair which some one kindly placed him, for he quailed beneath the varied emotions which agitated his frame. While my mother, on the other hand, totally regardless of the cause of his distress, seized the opportunity to recommend
to him the same precious Saviour she herself had found. The dear old man (ah! how I love him still!) sat for some time as humbly as a little child, to receive the counsel of his dying daughter; but at length, as one appeal followed another with more earnest eloquence-more vehement desire, covering his face with his hands, the big tears bursting through, and finding channels between the sinewy fingers, he arose and stood trembling for a few minutes more, and then turned to leave the room. It was too much for him, and he made haste, for his bowels yearned, and he "sought where to weep." My mother's quick eye detected the movement; and, throwing herself forward, she caught the skirt of his coat, and so held on, with the excited energies of love, still entreating and beseeching him to be reconciled to God.
I had no opportunity of learning whether my dear old grandpapa ever came to the knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus. But when I took my last farewell of him, some time after my mother's death, and a few months before his own, I left him, in a small back parlour, with "the big ha' Bible spread out beside him; which he assured me, as I hung over his shoulder, that he often read.
We do not always reap our harvests here; and thus I have often wondered whether any fruit from the good seed of my mother's sowing would ever cross my path-and once it did. In after years, I met a servant who had once lived with my mother, and who had waited occasionally upon her at the last. She was so altered that I scarcely remembered her. There was so much serenity in her once careless mien, that I spoke to her in the language of Canaan, and lo! she had learned its harmonious cadences, and replied to me in its shibboleth, as one well practised in the same. "Oh!" said I, "whence this change?" "I learned it," said she,
"beside your mother's death-bed; I never lost the impression produced there. Your mother's beseeching voice followed me through every wayward path; until, hearing again the same truth at the lips of one of Christ's ambassadors, I at length laid down the weapons of my rebellion, and betook myself to the cross."
To return to my mother. There was another parting which was very trying to her, occurring about a week previous to her decease. My sister, who was between five and six years of age, being full of spirits, and making too much noise, it was determined to send her to the house of a friend, a few miles distant. The dreaded hour of parting at length arrived, but language fails me to describe this separation. My father, however, at length succeeded in carrying the little girl out of the room. On reaching the stairs he stood; while the still sobbing child turned to take her last look of her dear mamma; and while she, leaning forward over the edge of the bed for the purpose, took her last look of the darling child, their eyes met, fixed upon each other for a moment, in one earnest, piercing gaze. They never met again! My own sweet mother, thou didst need, indeed, the arm of God beneath thee then; but, having it, didst need no more. Having once loved thee, he loved on for ever, unchangeably the same. Ah! how did thy anxious heart go out after thy little one, as she stepped forth from thy sheltering care, for the first time, into a world of tears and trials.
Many years after this, when conversing on the subject, we each spoke of the scene and circumstance in which we most distinctly remembered our mother. Two of us had described to each other the impression of the last interview, and it only remained for my sister to speak, when she remarked, that the thing most deeply impressed upon her