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SINGULAR CONVERSION OF A ROMAN
Bryan Mc Maken was a poor ignorant Roman Catholic, who acted as a herd for a number of families near Newton Stuart, in the county of Tyrone, north of Ireland. The Methodist preachers visited the place to which he belonged; and Bryan, under the preaching of Mr. Joseph Armstrong, was so deeply convinced of his sinful state, that when he returned to his cabin, after the sermon, he was unable to conceal his distress from his wife. On her inquiring into the cause, he said, "I think God Almighty is looking at me 'every minute, and is angry with me." She did her utmost to make him quiet, but to purpose; and as a last resort, she advised him to go to the priest on the following morning. He took this advice; and having told his case, the priest said to him, "Oh, you have been hearing these Methodists; nothing better could come of it." "Oh," said Bryan, "it is they that have done it upon me; but, Sir, what shall I do, for I cannot live this way?" After scolding him, the priest said, "Well, I will tell you what to do, and you will be well enough; go to
the dance which is at John 's to night; and when
you return home take a hearty glass of whiskey, and get Madge (his wife) to sing you a song, and all will be well." In obedience to this advice, Bryan and Madge went to the dance; but he had not been long there, before he started up, saying to his wife, "Madge, come away! I am worse and worse." On his return home, however, he took the rest of the advice, drank the whiskey and heard the song; but to no purpose.
In the morning, far from being relieved, his distress was greatly increased, and Madge advised him to go once more to the priest. He went next morning, and told his reverence that he was no better, for "God was still looking at him," and was " angrier and angrier." He was then ordered to go to Lough-Derg, and heavy penances were prescribed,—so many crossings, genuflections, stations, walking on his bare knees, &c. Having accomplished this task, he returned, and told the priest that he was no better. "Then," said the priest, "you may go to the devil, for I can do no more for you; but mind, you mast never go near the Methodists again." "Oh," said Bryan, "there is no danger of that; they have done
'enough upon me already."
Notwithstanding this resolution, being a short time after drawn by his employment to the preaching-house, during the time of Divine service, he ventured to the door to
I listen to the singing, then heard the prayer, in which
I he thought there could be no harm, and lastly ventured in. The preacher, knowing nothing of the case of Bryan, was led to describe the state of awakened sinners, and I
I the advice sometimes given to such to relieve them from I their distress. Bryan having by this time, got near the j
I pulpit, exclaimed, "That is just what he said to me," and there and then, before the congregation, he detailed the whole of what had passed between him and the priest. The preacher told him he could never be happy nntil he was converted and obtained the forgiveness of his sins; adding, "Kneel down, and we will pray for you?" The whole congregation then fell upon thtir knees, calling upon God to have mercy upon the penitent. After some time, he leaped up, clapped his hands, and said, "1 havo
j got it! I have got it! I know he is not angry with me now! O, Sir, will you come and convert Madge?" The preacher replied, that he would go and talk with her next morning; but Bryan could with difficulty wait so long.
As soon as he got home, he exclaimed, "O Madge, sure I'm converted! God is not angry with me now." "Bryan dear," said his wife, "who converted you?" "O said he, "it was the preacher." "Would he convert me?" said she, "for I am as bad as you." "He would convert all the world," said Bryan. The preacher visited Madge, and explained to her the plan of salvation, by
I Jesus Christ, and she was soon brought to enjoy the power
j and comfort of religion. Bryan could not rest now without going and telling the priest. Ho was advised not to IIgo; bat go he would; and in the face of the congregation, in his own tray, told the priest of the happiness of his soul. The priest ridiculed him, and threatened him with excommunication: to which Bryan replied, "You may save yourself the trouble; you could do nothing for me in my distress, and I will never come near you more."
Bryan and Madge suffered much from their bigoted neighbours; but they held on their way, and are long since lodged in the paradise of God. They brought np their children also in the fear of the Lord; and one son became a respectable local preacher among the Methodists.
Dr. A. Clarke.
HAPPY DEATH OF THE LITTLE WANDERER,
1IY C. C.
A Rrave, beautiful young boy was our youngest born! How earnestly we gazed into his deep, dark eyes, when ho lay a baby in his mother's arms. Closely we watched, day after day, as he unfolded his infant powers. We waited for the first word from his lips, the first tottering step of boyhood, as children watch for the opening of a rose-bud in spring. When he did lisp our names, we prayed that we might fold him to our hearts life-long.
Years passed on, and the boy grew—taller, paler, thoughtfuller. We heard no more his bounding step or merry laugh, or his bird-like song.
We often found him with books, and in the deep, silent woods. Sometimes he would stand and look into the murmuring brook, or seat himself by the dashing water-fall, or gaze from his window into the evening shadows. New leaves were opening in Nature's wondrous book, and the boy was studying earnestly their ever varying names.
One mild and mellow autumn night—I well remember it, the air was soft and balmy—lulling the wayward, restless spirit into child-like poacefulness. The flowers gave forth their choicest perfumes, the birds their sweetest notes. It was a night to tempt one forth to silent musings, or
"To converse sweet with Nature
The sua was setting gloriously behind our mountain home—
"That night we climbed the highest peak,
It was dark when wo descended, and as we approached our cottage, our ears were startled with the cry—
"He's lost! he's lost!"
"Who's lost?" "Our Boy!"
Early that afternoon he left us, fresh and joyous, to gather wild flowers for his sister's hair.
The search was long and earnest. Wo were almost wild with anguish before the tidings came that he was found. The dear fellow had lost his way, and when the night came on, he saw only the tall silent trees, and the dark, solemn clouds, then fear came over him, and he cried for help. Again and again he called; but no answer reached him. So he gathered the newly-fallen leaves and made of them a bed, laid him down, and fell asleep.
The night dews fell thick and fast on him, and God sent him angels for watchers. We found him—with what a wild, rapturous cry of delight we clasped him to our hearts, let those who have bluc-cyed cherubs answer. In the night we stole a kiss from his cheek, and offered up a prayer for him.
The morrow came, and with it burning fever. The face was flushed, the pulso was rapid, the eye was glassy, the hand so hot, we shrank from touching it. Oh! what hours of anguish! Day after day we watched his symptoms. Day after day, Hope came each morning and lingered awhile about his bedside, so our hearts grew lighter, and we dared to call him ours.
A week passed away—a bitter week it was, and still we hoped. One day the doctor told us, we should soon know the worst. How long that day! What a night followed it! How earnestly we prayed for strength to meet the future.
A new morning came, and death was in the chamber doing his work.
Father of mercies, where was strength for such an hour? We gathered about his bed and clasped him closer, as if to stay his departure. But it was all in rain. We felt how weak was human strength, and our "Father's face was veiled,"
"Clouds and darkness were about him." One by one we left the room, and one by one we came back. We tried to be calm, but the suppressed sob and low moan woke the sleeper. Slowly he opened his eyes, smiled, and murmured " Mother!" She clasped his burning hand in her's, bent over him whilst the tears fell on his face. "Mother," he whispered, "I know it all. Mother! I am dying. In a few hours your tears will fall on my cold face. I will not feci them. Weep not. I am happy. I am going to the better land. But I shall remember you, and many
'times I will come to you, and at night, when you kneel to pray, as you have done with me, I will come to you, and you shall know that your little boy is an angel there."
i He fell asleep.
Again his eyes opened, but they were too bright to look
i on. "Mother!" he whispered, "can this be death? Is this the dark valley? It is beautiful to pass away from
I earth with the sosigs of angels. I am going, mother. They call me away.'' He was gone—dead. Hia voice was hushed in that long sleep
"Which knows no waking."
We bowed around the bed of our dead, in speechless agony. Death and silence presided in that chamber. Long and earnest was the communion we, who were heartstricken, held with heaven. Our prayers were heard—our trinmph complete. We rose, looked on the face of onr child, and with clasped hands and uplifted eyes, breathed forth the beautiful prayer:—" The Lord hath given and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord.