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the querulous, this did not satisfy her, for she still grumbled and tormented him.
His greatest consolation was to have his attentive James to read to him, and to support him with his arm when he walked out. Then he felt all the value of his humble friend, who, though deeply grieved to see his dear master so annoyed, had the tact not to make any observation which should let him know that he perceived how bad his choice of a help-mate had been. By his constant gaiety and good humour he did all he could to lighten the burden of care ; and well did he succeed, for poor Mr. P. enjoyed the hours they passed together: they were the pleasantest in the day. If they walked in the garden, James told him of all that was going on in the objects around them; the opening of the buds and the unfolding of the leaves were described, and he would beg his master to touch the branches, and feel how the leaves were come out. If the quiet of the garden were exchanged for the bustle of the street, James could equally well adapt himself to the circumstances. He knew all his master's acquaintances, and never did one pass unobserved even when the streets of a very populous and busy town were most crowded. A word or two always prepared his master for the person approaching, and it was often remarked by his friends that they could scarcely believe they were meeting one deprived of sight, for, however suddenly they came upon him, he had always a kindly greeting for them, and by some observation showed he was aware of their presence before he heard their voice.
But this happy state of things was not to last. The tormenting wife conceived some prejudice against poor James, and tried every means to get him discharged; but Mr. P. could not resolve upon this sacrifice. He had borne, and was willing to bear, much himself; but to wound his faithful servant's feelings by driving him from his house was what he would not consent to. James's penetration discovered what was going on, and determined him not to be the cause of unhappiness to his master; he opened his heart to him, and proposed going himself: “It will make missis more easy, said he, and accordingly it was agreed that this step should be taken.
With James departed, as it seemed, the poor old gentleman's last worldly comfort. His friends were no longer greeted with the benevolent smile which was wont to brighten his countenance, his cheerfulness was gone. No successor could supply the place of James; but he did not long want one, for
soon he drooped and died. And it was much the same with the poor black man; he was never quite right again, though he retained sufficient energy to support himself by going out to wait at parties, till a serious misfortune befel him. There was a fire in part of the house where he lodged ; he was escaping with his little savings, but hearing a child cry, his benevolent heart could not resist the appeal: rushing back through the flames he saved the infant, but lost his all, and never recovered the severe shock of the whole occurrence. He was mercifully soon released from the state of mental suffering into which the alarm had plunged him.
SPEAK AS WELL AS GIVE. The tract distributor in Ireland mentioned in the last number of the Tract Magazine, in reporting his proceedings, makes the following statements, which go to show the effects produced by the system of personal conversation in connexion with the distribution of tracts, and which intercourse constitutes one of the great advantages of the plan of what is called colportage. This plan is nothing more than distribution by gift or sale by pious and intelligent men, who can not only recommend their books and tracts, but can also direct attention to their contents, and especially to the blessed message of the grace
of God in Christ Jesus.
November 28, 18—,—" Perhaps some of you may recollect my speaking, many months since, of an old man and woman in my district, the latter of whom had, about that time, given me an account of a remarkable dream which she had in childhood; it will be satisfactory to you to be told that so far as I can judge they are both going on favourably. I found him alone one day lately, when he said to me, after he had conversed for some time; “ I do not say these things when any one else is here, that would talk about them ; but now when I awake in the night, it is portions of the Scriptures that come into my mind. I never was guilty of any great crimes, I always thought people should observe the moral law."
you do not hope for acceptance on this account?” I said. “ Oh no!” he replied, “ I feel my need of the gospel.”
Some time after this when I went to the house, the old woman only was there, and we spoke of prayer. She told
me how frequently and regularly she prayed now. “And will you tell me what you pray for?” I said. She would not answer me just at first, but after a little entreaty replied (almost, if not exactly) in these words, “ I pray to God for his Son's sake to pardon all my sins, and to give me his Spirit to sanctify me.'
Speaking of the failure of the potato crop, the last day I saw him, the old man said, “ I want nothing but instruction.” He said to me, too, “ I am getting very fond of the Psalms.”
With respect to the individual I mentioned to you at our last meeting who has renounced the habit of swearing ; every time I have seen him since, I liave come away rejoicing. There was a religious meeting in his neighbourhood lately, which he attended ; knowing this, I asked him about it the first time I saw him afterwards; this was in his own house when several persons were present, and he would not tell me anything about it; but afterwards, when we were alone, he told me that something in the address or concluding prayer, I am not certain which, on the subject of forgetfulness of God in the season of youth and vigour, had impressed him very deeply. He expressed his thankfulness for having been led to see the evil of his ways. “ There is a man whom you saw just now in my house,” he continued ; “I was just listening to his expressions, and thinking that was like what I used to say ; but I never swear now. I told him it was a great mercy to be restrained from daring sin, and to have been enabled to give up so shocking a habit as that in which he had so long indulged, but added, “ I trust you do not imagine that leaving off open sin is all that is necessary for the salvation of the sinner; nothing short of the new birth will avail, it is our Saviour's declaration.” “I know it,” he
“ and pray to God every day to change my heart." What a cause of thankfulness !
February 8, 18—.-After I had been for some time engaged in distributing tracts in my district, which you know is not in this parish, but in that of A-, I was requested to go to the house of an old infirm woman, whose family consisted of a son and daughter. The latter seldom, if ever, at that time, went to any place of worship, and replied to all my remonstrances on the subject, by saying that her clothes were so much worn that she could not go, and that she had not the means of procuring better. One day when we were speaking of the duty of attending public worship, before her mother,
she said, “ Don't you see that I go just as I am ?" to which she only made an angry and contemptuous reply. They continued, however, to receive tracts, which she heard read; and at length one day gave me reason to hope that she would come to church, which she accordingly did, poorly clad, just as she was, with a thin old, mended shawl, and a pair of shoes that did not exclude the damp. She was evidently much concerned about her salvation, and the fervent manner in which she joined in prayer, impressed me with the belief of this.
I was conversing with her aged mother on one occasion. When I read or repeated to her some of the gracious promises made to the repentant sinner, this poor woman sat listening. I think it was the 18th verse of Isa. i. that caused her to utter an exclamation of gratitude and joy not to be forgotten. She appeared truly penitent, but trembled at the threatenings of God's word, telling me, whilst tears rolled down her cheeks, that there was a fearful judgment pronounced against such a sinner as she had been. Many a time," she said to me, “ when I used to make my daughter read to me, (for she could read,) when she came to any passage in the Bible that spoke my condemnation, she would stop reading when she saw me cry; but I always made her go on and finish it every word, I was determined to hear it all."
One of the last times I was in her house, she listened with much emotion to those precious words, “ The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin ;” and whilst I was talking to her old mother, I heard her repeat them over and over to herself, in a low and earnest voice.
She determined at length that she would no longer absent herself from the table of the Lord, and approached it last Sunday, in this church, for the first time for more than ten years. I overtook her on my way home.
“ We have this day enjoyed great privileges," I said to her. “Yes," she replied, "glory and praise be to His holy name.' • Probably," I continued, “ this has been the happiest day of your
“ I was just in heaven," was her answer ; always afraid of God until now.'
have ceased to be so ?” “ How can I be afraid,” she said, bursting into tears, " after listening to all his gracious promises?"
Oh, dear friends, may I not add, let us thank God and take courage ; let us thank Him who says to the weary and heavy laden, “ Come unto me,—and I will give you rest,” rest to be found in him only?
66 I was
THE CONTENTED PRISONER. MADAM Guyon was imprisoned about ten years in the Bastile and other French prisons. During this period she employed herself chiefly in writing.
Her life, four volumes of poems, and other writings were the result. The following translation of one of her poems illustrates her state of mind in her afflictions:
A little bird I am,
Shut from the fields of air,
To Him who placed me there ;
I sing the whole day long :
Doth listen to my song ;
A heart to love and bless;
Thou would'st not hear the less :
Abroad I cannot fly;
My heart's at liberty.
These bolts and bars above,
Whose providence I love;
When other faith is dead;
When other hope is fled;
But cheers the soul for ever ;
Oh never, never, never!