Imágenes de páginas

goodly heritage, and to remember that after all, there is nothing without its blight but heaven, and no inheritance incorruptible, undefiled and unfading, but heaven.

May our prayers then be heard, not only for the removal of the scourge, but still more for a sanctified use of it. May the storm drive us nearer to Christ and to heaven, and then of all the periods of life on which we have to reflect with thankfulness, this will stand foremost; and God will be glorified in having turned the greatest trials into the greatest blessings.

And thus, dear reader, aim at seeing the hand of the God of love in all that befalls you. Say not, He is unfaithful or unkind, or unwise, when he smites you. Oh! no.

It is the good Shepherd coming with his rod to reclaim, not to destroy.

Be it yours to lie like clay in the hands of the potter; to own the needs-be for the chastisement; to desire all its peaceable fruits: and rest assured that your compassionate Saviour who presides over the furnace, will not suffer it to be one degree hotter than he will give you strength to bear.

Finally, I beg the prayers of my readers, that the voice of joy and health may again be heard in our dwellings.


Eleanor, Dunn was a poor widow who for many years supported herself and four children by carrying milk. Her health led her to give this up, and seek a living by going out to washing, or charing. Once when she was employed in heavy washing, she so much overstrained herself, as to break a vessel in the lungs; and ever after this she was more or less the subject of ill health. Her poverty and distress led her, about twelve years ago, to write a letter to one of the families whom she had served with milk, asking for some relief. Her case was inquired into, and relief granted her by the family to whom she applied, who also allowed her to call once a week for any broken moai which might be put together for her; and sometimes she was employed by the family during sickness, &u. At all times her manner was very modest and humble. The warm expressions of her gratitude were sometimes even painful, compared with the smallness of the benefit conferred. Her honesty and integrity, of which there were many proofs, were no less striking than the entire absence of a selfish spirit.

'Though she was constantly told by this family to make known her wants, she would more frequently than otherwise say in reply to their inquiries, that “she could go on for the present:" this will appear remarkable when connected with the fact, that her only certain support was two shillings per week from the parish, of which she paid one shilling and sixpence for rent. The weakness of her health allowed her to earn but little in charing; and though two of her children were placed in service, two others remained entirely upon her for support. I must mention, in speaking of her children, that they in many respects much resembled their mother-modest, humble, grateful, and industrious: but they likewise resembled her in the weakness of their constitutions. The eldest daughter, Margaret, who had for many years lived in one family, where she was much respected, was several times at home during weeks of illness. Yet her mistress refused to hire another serant, but waited for her recovery on these occasicrs: a proof that Margaret had rendered herself valuable to her mistress. The second daughter, Emma, ivas still more feeble in health, but equally of a patient, meek, and upright character; exerting herself far beyond her strength in the different situations which she attempted to fill. After being much overworked in one family, Emma returned home ill, and was confined to her bed for four months with continued fever. After a very slow recovery, Emma again engaged in service, and was again injured by having heavy washing to do. She came to me, saying, she must leave her place, as her side was in great pain, and she was very ill. A letter for the dispensary was given her, and she attended for a few times; but her illness became so severe as to oblige her to keep her bed, and have attendance from the dispensary at home. Several months did she remain on that bed of sickness; during which time I often visited her, and witnessed her patient suffering, and her meek resignation. She died of consumption at the end of five months. I trust that before her departure, she was enabled to receive into her heart the knowledge of her Saviour, whose sufferings were much the subject of her contemplation. During her illness, she was kind attended by her youngest sister, Anne, who was about twelve years old, a good and dutiful child, but rather deaf, and slow in her intellects; she has proved, however, like the rest of this poor family, of a faithful spirit, and very meek and industrious. One son, who was married, and had a family of his own, completed the number of Eleanor Dunn's children.

Eleanor Dunn was an Irish woman, and had been educated as a Roman Catholic. When I first knew her, she was very strict in her attendance on her Church, and appeared to have no knowledge of any of its errors. Her state of mind then seemed like that of Cornelius before he was instructed in the way of the Lord more perfectly, while like him, she possessed a very serious and devotional spirit, with great reverence towards God. and regard to moral duties. This devotional spirit was often seen. Calling one day as usual for her allotted portion, she was told by the servant to wait in the passage, as the family were at prayers. On going down to her when prayers were ended, the servant found her kneeling in the passage, in sympathy with the way in which the family were then engaged. When at any time I conversed with her on religious subjects, I found that she was a person who made much of the duty of prayer, having a very simple, childlike idea, of carrying all her troubles to God, and seeking his help in all things. She told me that when she was very weak, and obliged to go out early in the morning, at four o'clock to washing, she used to go praying all the way that God would strengthen her for her day's work; and when returning home at night, she would be engaged in praising God for helping her through the day. At that time her honest principle was so great, that sooner than she would omit paying the one shilling and sixpence per week, for her rent, she would live on a dried herring and a piece of bread for a whole day's support, rather than take the money laid by for her rent, to purchase food. Never did I detect in her the smallest falsehood or deception. Still, however, with all these moral qualities, I was not satisfied how far Eleanor Dunn might be resting, in any measure, on her own righteousness, or under any of the fatal delusions resulting from her connection with the Roinisli Church. As she was often ill, and confined to her bed, I used to go and read the Scriptures to her; and on these occasions I spoke to her very plainly respecting the nature of the errors of her church. I found she knew very little about these

She could neither read nor write, and had always heard the service read in Latin. All she seemed to know on religious subjects was, (to use her own language,) " that the blessed Redeemer had suffered for her wicked sins.” Her, mind seemed gradually to be under the teaching of the Holy Spirit, and when I from time to time explained to her the nature of the doctrines held by the Roman Catholic Church, and their fatal tendency, she renounced them entirely, especially those which would imply any thing like human merit. Like Cornelius, she had been doing her Lord's will according to the light she had; and she was also made to know of the doctrine. I

gave 'Testament, for which she seemed very thankful, saying, she could get a child in the house to read it to her. She did so, and afterwards told me how much she valued this gift, when confined for many months to that bed of sickness, which proved indeed to be to her dying bed.

When she had been confined to her bed eight months, I requested Mr. C., a pious clergyman, to

her a

visit her during his stay in town, and to examine the foundation on which she was resting her hopes of heaven. He conversed with her several times, shewing her that the blood of Christ alone, without regard to human merit, must be the ground of her hope. She was much impressed with Mr. C.'s conversation, and remembered it even in her dying hours, referring continually to the things he had said to her, and anxiously enquiring when he wonld come again. During the summer months, being absent from town, I had no opportunity of marking her state of mind through those months of pain and weariness in which she was still entirely confined to her bed. But when I returned to town in September, I was much struck, on going to see her, with the alteration both in her mind and body; the latter evidently drawing nearer to the grave, but the former seeming to have gained new life, and spiritual energy. She could scarcely stop to answer my enquiries about her body, so anxious was she to utter words of praise for the mercy she had received in her soul. Her disease being on the lungs, she could speak but with difficulty. But mercy was the burden of her song, and every sentence she began was, "Ma'am, what a mercy! Sometimes, “What a mercy that the Lord gives me patience;" at other times, “What a mercy I am made willing to wait his blessed will. I do not wish myself dead; not that I wish to live, but I wish to wait his blessed will.” Once, laying her hand on her heart, she exclaimed, “What a mercy he has taken away the heart of stone, and given the heart of flesh. I could not give it myself; I am a wicked sinner; but, oh, the Redeemer shed his precious blood for me.” I said, “Do you love him for that?” She replied, with animation, “Oh! I love him above all in this world; it was he who shed his blood for me.” I said, “Tell me distinctly on what are you grounding your hopes of heaven?" She replied, “Mr. C. once asked me that, and I told him then on the blood of Christ, and now I am resting only there.” She then asked me when ghe could see Mr. C., and said she had

« AnteriorContinuar »