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faith he could exclaim, I believe that thou art the Christ, the

Son of the living God.

And he was able afterward to add,

Though I die with thee, yet will I not deny thee.

From this time he was an altered man. The change cannot be described, but it was evident in every habit of his life, and every feature of his face. His mind was at peace. He was happy. Often has he described to me the relief which he felt, as if a heavy burden were removed from his soul; and, instead of leaving the world a distressed and obstinate unbeliever, he died tranquilly, triumphant in faith, rejoicing in hope.

I have met with other instances not unlike this; and I find it refreshing to my soul, as the shadows of death approach, to reflect, that the faith which supports me I have known to vanquish confirmed infidelity, and bring home to the Savior those who had been wanderers from his peace. So let it support me in that hour!

CHAPTER XVII.

IN the spring of the year, it was rumored that the old cottage on the hill, just at the edge of the village, was to be tenanted again. It had been for a long time out of repair, and considered not habitable. They must be extremely pressed by poverty, it was thought, who would be willing to make it their abode. And, as there is always supposed to exist an antecedent presumption against the wretchedly poor, it was a matter of lamentation, in the village circle, that we were to be troubled by vagabonds.

It was with no small surprise, therefore, that I was

requested by an interesting-looking girl, of about fourteen years of age, to come and see her mother, who, she said, had over-fatigued herself, and taken cold in moving into the cottage, and was quite ill. "We came but two days ago," said she; "and we are quite strangers here. But mother said the minister is always the friend of every body, and we can make bold to speak to him; so she sent me, sir, to beg you will please to step and see her."

The modest and respectful manner of the girl, whose tears stood in her eyes as she spoke, touched me; and, taking my hat, I immediately accompanied her to the cottage.

It was little better than a ruin. The roof and the walls let in the weather, the casements were crazy and the glass broken, the floors worn and unsafe, and the only habitable room gloomy and comfortless altogether. "It is but a sad place to which you have come," said I, as we approached it. "I could hardly bear to come to it," said my guide; “but, then, mother says that peace may be found in a hovel, when it flies from palaces; and contentment is worth more than splendor. We have seen worse things than this, as well as better. She teaches me to make the best of every thing, as she herself does. But now she has got sick in trying to fix this poor old place. The work was too hard, and the weather too exposing."

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It was even so. The appearance of every thing, as we entered the door, bore marks of severe labor expended in the attempt to make the dwelling decent and comfortable. was astonished that so much could be done in two days by two females. There was an air even of neatness in the apartment to which we were introduced. It was a small room, with but one window, of which half the panes were broken, and their places supplied by various substances,

which shut out the light as well as the wind. The only furniture was a bedstead, three chairs, a trunk, and a table, on which lay several books-evidently long used, but with care. The broken floor had been cleaned, and an old piece of carpeting was spread by the side of the bed on which the sick woman lay. The bedding was coarse, but perfectly clean; and it was impossible not to feel at once surprise, respect, and pity, for one who seemed so capable of adorning a better lot, and yet was condemned to one so wretched. This was my first feeling.

The invalid raised her languid head as I drew nigh, begging me to excuse the trouble she had given me. "But I was sick," she added, "and a stranger in a strange place; and I knew no one on whom to call, but the preacher of the gospel. I need help, and advice, and comfort. I have been cast off from the world, and have been seeking to fly to my God; and I felt that his minister would be ready to help me."

"It is our office," I replied, "in this way humbly to imitate our Master. We must bear one another's burdens; and I am happy that you applied to me at once. First of all, you need a physician, and I will send Dr. Bowdler to you immediately."

In fact, her whole appearance indicated a state of aggravated disease; and after a few more inquiries, which served but to heighten my interest in the mysterious stranger, I took my leave. The physician attended. The disease gained ground. I was every day at the house, and every day increased my wonder and sympathy. Benevolent ladies in the village gave their kind attentions, and much was done to alleviate the united sufferings of want and disease. The patient endured with fortitude and cheerfulness, and seemingly with a spirit of religious acquiescence. At length, the

violence of the disorder gave way, and she became able to converse freely, but was evidently sinking and wasting in a settled decline. In my frequent conversations with her, I learned the circumstances of her past history, and the misfortunes which had brought her to her present situation. These were fully confirmed by testimony from other sources, and I soon felt that she had a claim upon the kindness of all who could serve her.

CHAPTER XVIII.

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MRS. HOLDEN- for such I found the name of our invalid to be was the daughter of a minister, in a small village near the metropolis. She was unfortunately subjected to the care of a step-mother, who sought to compensate for her want of affection and maternal fidelity, by care to forward her young charge in those external accomplishments which might most attract the notice of spectators, while the more solid and important branches of education were neglected. Gay, inexperienced, untaught, and regarding the world before her but a scene of enjoyment, she relieved herself from a guardian whom she despised, by marrying, in her seventeenth year, a handsome and dashing young man from the capital. Thither she removed with him; but, alas! not to realize her visions of felicity. Beauty and gayety availed her little. Her spirits sank, and her bloom faded under the cares of a growing family, and the unkindness of a brutal husband. Years rolled on, but brought no peace with them. The fireside had no comfort, and the evening return of him, who should have been her best friend, was the signal for

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tears instead of smiles.

The morning had no cheerfulness in its beams, that roused her only to toil and weariness. And the lonely day of labor and privation was darkened by the anticipation of unkindness and abuse at its close.

Her life was thus wretched without alleviation or hope. Her father died soon after her marriage, and she was left, with neither brother nor sister, to depend only upon a husband, who laughed at the oath by which he had bound himself to her, and sported with her misery who had none to befriend her but himself. Her children

a mother's heart cannot be without something like bliss; but this in hers was bitter as the tears that fell in showers upon them, when she watched over them in her deserted home.

Her two youngest In the same week,

one grave. Even

At length a new evil came upon her. children sickened, faltered, and died. they passed away together, and slept in the father's soul was touched; and, as he wept with her over their pale forms, she enjoyed the first hour of domestic sympathy which she had known for years. But it was only an hour; and she felt herself doomed to drink a cup of tenfold bitterness, now that she had lost two of the only three objects which attached her to the world, or made life sufferable. She did not know, short-sighted woman, that her Father, who had given her the cup to drink, had also sweetened for her its draught.

A mixed feeling of pride, shame, and obstinacy, had made her, for a long time, as it makes many, a stranger to God's house. Her thoughtless childhood and youth had given her no sufficient religious impressions; and when she could not go to meeting for display, she knew no desire to go for worship. The trouble and disappointment of her married state she had attributed solely to her husband's misconduct; and they had therefore never led her heart to God, but had rather

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