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school. The falling snow and beating rain never interfered with her labour of love to her scholars, nor did the darkness of the winter nights, from her prayerful efforts, in conjunction with her fellow teachers, on their behalf. Her diligence, as a missionary collector, a tract distributor, a visitor of the sick, were subjects of constant admiration to all who knew her. Her constant attendance on, and high estimation of, the means of grace, were strikingly conspicuous. Loss of health, and physical power, have, however, long since compelled her to absent herself from the earthly courts of her God. There is little doubt, but that straightened circumstances have greatly added to the trials of her short career.
A hope was entertained by her that her little publications would have brought her some pecuniary aid ; there has, however, been scarcely any returns worth the name of gain. Religion has been preeminently her support in all seasons of suffering. Her spiritual joys are equalled only by her strong faith and firm assurance. She has often quoted to me the poet's words,
“When my sufferings most increase
Then the strongest joys are given,
Matilda was born in 1814, at Hayes, in Kent. She was the sixth of ten children, her parents being teachers of a National school. At this time they seem, however, to have been wholly ignorant of the truth as it is in Jesus. Matilda traces her own first convictions to the change which she noticed in her eldest brother, who returned home to die of consumption: we give the account of his illness in her own words :
“The change in my brother's mind was gradual, but
decided. He examined, and re-examined minutely and prayerfully every point; and when, at length, the truth “commended itself to his conscience,” he yielded without reserve to its influence, and became a creature in Christ Jesus.” I think it was in 1829 that this change in my brother began to “make no small stir" in our village, nor was I indifferent to it. I saw there was a change, nor could I deny that it was for the better, and not for the worse,” but still I saw not the necessity for it. Strange as it may appear, it is no less true than strange, I had never, till then, had the least idea of salvation by faith in the atonement of Christ. A naturally-inquiring mind led me to search the Scriptures daily, to see “whether these things were so,” but I wanted “,
some one to guide me.” My dear parents wept and mourned at my brother's perseverance, for his former friends “ forsook him, and fled,” and those who had gazed at him with admiring esteem, now looked on with cold pity! but “none of these things moved him,” “his heart was fixed, trusting in God.” Often have I sat a silent listener, while my parents with tears have remonstrated with him, and besought him not thus to multiply his own sorrows; but in the words of the Apostle he has exclaimed, “ What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart, for I am ready to die for the name of the Lord Jesus ?” and to carry on the simile,“ when he would not be persuaded, they ceased, saying, the will of the Lord be done.” My brother's health improved for a short time, and he fully laid himself out for usefulness ;—but, alas ! he only lived long enough to prove, that he was “not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ !” His prayers were not in vain ; many blessings have, I doubt not, been ours, since his language has been all praise, bestowed in answer to his
fervent supplications. On Sabbath-day, November 28, 1830, my brother assisted in the worship of God on earth, and on the 30th he united with the eternal worshippers in heaven. One minute, in accents scarcely articulate, he was heard faintly whispering,
“ Distressed with pain, disease, and grief,
This feeble body see,
Hear, and remember me.” and the next minute his happy soul released from the shackles of mortality, had joined the glad anthem of praise. “ Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins,” &c.'
The struggle in Matilda's mind was long. She clearly perceived that her brother's religion was that she must possess to make her safe and happy. She saw her unworthiness, but she felt it not. To use her own words, ' surely, surely, never was any so backward to receive the truth. Six years rolled over my head, nay, almost seven, before I yielded to the convictions of my mind.'
Before I was a Pharisee, trusting to my own works, and acknowledging that I did so, because, in my ignorance, I deemed them a passport to the favour of God; now, I was no less a Pharisee, although professedly trusting in Christ. I had not living faith, although I had then as clear conceptions, as now, of the scheme of salvation.'
Her father settled her in a small cottage, where she maintained herself by keeping a day-school ; but now, weighed down with increasing sufferings, almost her only means of support, are the very small profits of two volumes of poetry.* Her outward lot seems indeed *“Meditative Hours," published by Darton and Clark, Holborn Hill.
Houlston and Stoneman, 65 Paternoster Row,
Seasons of Peace.”
dark, yet she can rejoice with a joy unspeakable and full of glory. Hear her own words :
—When I say I have enjoyed life, that I have been happy in the possession of a Saviour's love, I feel that I am saying but little. The Apostle's words will best express what has often been my experience, “ To me to live is Christ. I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me.”
The picture is cloudlessly bright ; and while I yet sojourn here, and suffer, I am sweetly upheld, and sustained by Him, whose promise is, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” If this should be my last effort, may it tend very much to the glory of my God; and whether “I live or die,” may He still be glorified. 'I remain, yours gratefully, in Christ Jesus,
Were the question now proposed to Matilda, Could you choose for yourself, what path would you like to walk in ?' she, without doubt, would reply, “The same path my gracious Lord has so tenderly led me in, for it is a right path, and will, ere long, conduct me to the city of secure habitation, where I shall no more say I am sick, for God shall be my everlasting life, and the days of my mourning shall be ended.'
Need we wonder at such a character beginning her heaven upon
earth! “He, who hath the Son, hathnot shall have-life, and shall not come into comdemnation. He is passed from death unto life”-from darkness to light-from misery to happiness, and from corroding fretting care“ to joy and peace in believing." Can we pity such a character ? No ; surely we are rather called on to rejoice in her joy. Yet, Christian sisters, if the Lord has intrusted you with the wealth of this world, can you allow one so dear to your Lord to
want even the common necessaries of life? Do you not hear the voice of the Saviour, saying, “ Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Will it not be sweet, in the future intercourse of heaven, to recal these acts of mutual love ; on the one side the liberal hand stretched out to succour, on the other, the grateful spirit poured forth in prayer for its kind benefactors. The calls on you have indeed been numerous, but fain would we persuade ourselves that the readers of the Christian Lady's Magazine are not yet weary of doing good. And, indeed, who should be ever weary of giving? They only who are weary of RECEIVING. And where are we to look for such characters ?
Not surely in this world of want and woe! To be weary of giving is to be weary of lending to the Lord-weary of sowing and watering-weary of offering the sacrifices with which God is well pleased – Whoever is weary
of giving, is weary of drying the tears of the fatherless of making the widow's heart to sing for joy-weary of bringing on himself the blessing of him that was ready to perish ; and can such an one be found among the professed followers of him who was rich, and yet for our sakes become poor and dead, that we might live ? Oh ! my dear sisters in Jesus, be assured, when that day of payment shall arrive, no one will feel that he has been too liberal ! Not one will regret that too many of his mites were cast into the Lord's treasury. Oh, no ! the recompense will be so great, so transcendantthe reward so overpoweringly disproportioned to the fullest service we can render, that all will wonder at their own infatuation in putting out so little of their money to usury-in trading so timidly and reluctantly with the precious talents entrusted to their