« AnteriorContinuar »
It was not until that I had passed a very consi. derable portion of time in the life of man, that I felt the full conviction of my being but 'a stranger and a pilgrim upon the earth.” And it becomes even now, one of the most astonishing circumstances, in the new view of things which are continually opening before me, that there should have been so much ignorance in my mind by nature, on a subject, which in itself appears so exceedingly plain and evident. Not that I was altogether void of apprehension, that the present life formed a bounded pros. pect. But yet my ideas were, like those of the great mass of unawakened characters, who believe as though they believed not; and who, though ready enough to confess in the general, that man is but a dying creature, yet in the particular instance as it concerns themselves, live as though they never thought to die.
I pause in the moment of recollection, to look back upon the whirlpool, in which, for so many years, I was hurried on by the unceasing current ! unconscious of the perilous situation in which I then moved, and unconcerned at what I saw of the sudden departure of those around me, swallowed up in the vortex!..
Dread Power! awful even in thy mercies! Do I now stand secure on the edge, upheld by a strength not my own, no longer within the reach of the tide, and beholding the solemn prospect of thousands still ingulphed ? .Can I call to mind the past danger and the present deliverance, unmoved with pity over the unthinking throng, and untouched with gratitude to thee, the sole Author of every mercy? I feel, (blessed be the grace that inspires it,) the rising hymn of thankfulness in my heart, while the tear drops from my eye; • Lord, how is it that thou hast manifested thyself unto me, and not unto the world ?'
The reader who condescends to interest himself in the history of a poor traveller to Zion, must be content to admit of these occa. sional interruptions by the way. :
You may, perhaps, my brother, consider every thing of this kind, but as the unnecessary parenthesis of the tale. But they are not so to the writer. The life of a pilgrim, and of Zion's Pilgrim particularly, furnishes but a comfortless view in the retrospect. It is like treading over large tracts of waste, thorny, and unimproved ground. Every little spot, therefore,