Imágenes de páginas

to the very brink of the grave, and as often unexpect matter from the lungs, there was none of that peculiar edly restored, not to strength, but to a state of compara distress in the countenance, so uniformly seen in consumptive though suffering health. Through her various illative persons. The countenance was peculiarly marked nesses, she hardly ever ultered one word of complaint, by an expression of peace. The day before her death but with her soul stayed upon Jesus was resigned to her | upon some observation being made relative to her deFathers will, whether for life or death. Her last severe parture, she said “I thank God I am not afraid to die.' attack, previous to her last illness, was in December Her last night was very suffering, the anodyne she took 1837, again and again the hand of death appeared to gave her no relief, and for the first time she lay be upon her, the damps of death appeared on her brow, till near noon. She was spoken to about three, but the breathing was laborious, the bodily suffering great | was unable to answer, owing to the distressing labut the soul at peace. Contrary to all expectation she | bouring for breath, but still all was peace, her soul was arose from that sick bed, and for many inonths was able to fixed upon the rock of ages. About half-past nine at attend to the care of the children whose nurse she was. night, her breathing became easier, and she began to But there was a marked increase of spirituality from converse with a friend. She referred to her own sinthat time ; decidedly religious as she had been before, fulness, though seldom was there a more blameless she became more earnest, more diligent for her soul's character. The observation was made to her, “but good, more humble; she appeared to be living day by you believe your sins are forgiven,' “ yes,” she replied, day, as she would like to die. The summer and autumn “the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin, bu of 1838 passed, and there was no apparent change in it is a very painful thing to look back and see my sir Mary S's complaints ; she appeared feeble, but there was against God. But it is not only forgiven, but forgotten, the inpression on her own mind that her time would be for it is said, “thy sins and thine iniquities I will remembe short. On January 6th, 1839, the awful storm which de- | no more.” She went on in this strain for some time, vastated the Northern parts of England, blew down speaking with the sweetest faith, relying on God's word part of the chimney of the room in which she slept, and Her fellow servants caine in, and she addressed some she was obliged to rise in the night. Before a fire could cheerful words to them, and then lay down in bed say, be lighted in another rooin for her, she had caught a ing she felt so coinfortable she thought she could sleep slight cold, which was the me-senger in God's hand for and in about two hours breathed laboriously, and closed calling her to himself. Perfectly aware of her declining her eyes here, to awake in glory. state she looked forward into eternity with the most Such was the end of one, a seryant, yet above a ser blessed composore; not one doubt of her own accept vant, a sister beloved, at the age of 26, the last sever ance was permitted to harass her, her soul was kept in years of whose life had been spent in the same famil, per fect peace. She continued her usual employments | who were made the instruments of her conversion, and as far as strength allowed, attended to the children, wbo rejoiced and wept at her early though blessed depar. employed herself with a little needle work, but still to ture. Death was so robbed of its sting and its terrorsany enquiry which was made about her health declared | it was a hallowed peaceful season. herself to be sinking, that her time would be short. On the Monday morning-devout men, communi About three weeks before her death, she employed a cants, carried Mary S. to her grave-her inortal re friend to write a letter to her mother to warn her of her mains (in the absence of her relatives) were followed t own approaching end. Iler friend wept wbile Mary S. their last home by her fellow servants and a few Christian desired her to say her time must be short, upon which friends. The minister inet the funeral at the church Mary S, said, “why do you weep? I doot find a tear yard gate, when a train of the female communicants o near my eye." She was asked about that time, “ You their own account joined the procession. How appro are looking forward to death, how do you feel in the priate the solemn services of the church were felt ar prospect of it?” She answered, “I know death is a this occasion-" Oh death where is thy sting ! oh grav

erious ard awful thing, but I thank God I have not one where is thy victory!” Many a tear was shed over thi fear,” Occasionally she crept down stairs to join in the young stranger by these her christian friends-thi fainily worship, though hardly able to go up stairs ininister's voice shook with solemn emotion. At thu again. She dragged her trembling limbs to Church the grave that beautiful hymn was attempted to be sung, i first Sunday in March, and then for the last time joined

In vain our fancy strives to paint, the sanily of Jesus on earth at the Lord's table, but was

The moment after death, hardly able to return the few steps to her master's house.

The glories which surround the saint, When she recovered her breath, she said “Unless the

When yielding up his breath, Lord is pleased to take his hand off' me, this is the last but the voices trembled too much be to able properly a time I shall be at his house.” ller nights were dis raise the tune. tu bed with incessant and wearying coughing, but still, There the mortal remains lie, the happy spirit is morning after morning, till two days before her death glory-she often drank of the cup of sorrow on eartla she rose early to pray and read the word of God before now all is over, no more pain or sorrow or sighing.-the children needed her care. She got weaker, her Valued as she was in her station, the grace of God mad! breathing worse, but the strength of her mind kept her her what she was. Lamented as she was in her death up, and still she would employ herself in needle work, the love of a Saviour has removed her froin his family when her trembling hands would permit her. - Such on earth, to his family in heaven. was her calmness, that the medical attendant could Reader, will you die the death of the infidel or of the not bring his mind to believe that she was near Believer? Live the life of the believer, so only sha] death. Though there was considerable discharge of 'you die his death.


The Bookseller of Allerton, or Practical Piety. however now saw himself a man of business, and he By the Author of " A Visit to my Birth Place," “ Early Recollec wished to bear bis anxieties patiently and his hono tions," Arnol and her Pupils,' gc. sc.

ours meekly. Esther PENROSE was the daughter of a tradesman Esther, too, though of a different temperament in rather struggling circumstances, his death left from her husband, was disposed to form expectaher destitute of almost all means of support, oxcept tions not likely to be realized, she had like many such as might result from a very prudent,-steady, others been rather less prudent in forming this partwell-principled turn of mind. While debating the nership than she usually was in other matters, and subject of future occupation and the choice of a therefore she soon began to put that prospect at a suitable residence, it so occurred that a young man

distance, look brighter than on a nearer approach; of the same town, with whom she had been for some theirs, for a couple of months, did not appear quite time acquainted, came to the conclusion that if so brilliant as they had done just before their little each must struggle through life it might be as well shop was opened, and when they expected that all together as singly.

Waiters, former acquaintances would immediately His reasoning was erroneous, but it had weight resort to it; Esther also, soon discovered that with Esther Penrose, and they were married. though she had been able to assist in her father's William Walters had held a subordinate situation

business she knew nothing at all of her husband's, in the employment of a bookseller. His depart

and if she did it was by no means too much for himment lay principally out of doors, but he occasion self to manage. ally took his place behind the counter, by which Amid these new-born anxieties one painful fear means he acquired some knowledge of tbe business;

haunted poor Esther's mind, it was that her husband and he always regretted the return of the shopman

would find out that they could have better struggled from his dinner or other employment, because he through life singly than together. This often made was anxious to learn it still more.

her secretly uneasy, and once a remark from him led There were some circumstances connected with her to express ber fear; his reply uttered in his custhis situation that made it by no means a comfortable | tomary reserved yet empathetic manner, set ber at one, and besides these, Walters who was an orpban rest on that subject, for she implicitly believed his and friendless, often felt that latent want which the sligbtest assurance "I never did repent yet, Esther, heart of man without companionship experiences;

and come wbat will I am sure I never shall." So Esther Penrose had been his only friend, and it was

she was relieved from this fear, and resolved to set a heavy prospect for him when she was about to re

about ber part of their mutual struggles with all the move. Two wishes divided and possessed the heart alacrity in her power. of William Walters; one was to bave a home; the

Patience is required in the beginning of all atother to be a bookseller.

tempts. When Walters and his wife became better These objects seemed likely to be obtained, he

known in the immediate neighbourhood, they got thought, by bis marriage with Esther Penrose. His many friends, as those who are kind and obliging, bome, at least was found, and he thought it would | upright and honest generally do, and many a man, be a happy one ; and for the other object, the sale

woman and child found out their need of little artiof her father's effects, together with the savings of

cles in his line, which they would never have disbis own frugal life, produced a sum which he con

covered if these articles were not sold by Mr. sidered sufficient for a commencement; it was suffi

Walters. Walters and his wite were indeed among cient after all the expenses were paid and a small those of whom, at this time alt men spoku well, and balance retained for current expenditure, to stock

and it is well in cases where no principles are held with some cheap books, pamphlets, paper, wax and

| but those which the world commends, that this wafers, a little shop in the most obscure part of the

should be so, but in cases where principles which town, which bore in immense capitals over the door the world condemns or opposes are held, then is the the inscription, “ Bookselling and Stationary Esta

66 woe” pronounced by scripture applicable, for those blishment.” When it was all neatly arranged and

principles must be compromised if all men spake Walters felt himself the actual and independent

well of us. owner of the whole concern,' and saw the name of

Now Esther was not only what the world would William Walters painted on each door post, his

denominate a steady, active well-principled woman, situations were certainly very happy, although his

I but her principles had a foundation ; they did not wife did discompose bim a little by hinting that she appear the result of accident, education or disposiwould have left out the first designation of the

tion, nor did they rest on the maxims of morality; ** Establishment."

they were really founded on religion. Her father Bat the feeling your possessions, brings with it a

was a pious man, but he had come, when she was proportionate feeling of care; there is something

about fourteen, to live in a town from where the to be sure in the possession of home and inde

light of scripture truth so far as public instruction pendence, very pleasing to one who had scarcely was concerned, was wholly excluded, and he had ever known what either ever meant, but a secret

| fallen into that careless state which is so often dread of bankruptcy is another sensation almost

produced by a residence among the ungodly, and a sufficient to counterbalance this pleasure. Walters separation from the means of grace. Yet he taught


bis only child what was right, she was brought up | had been a stranger, he thought its longings after in what is termed a religious manner, that is she was good were gratified, and that Esther wouid yield the tanght even from childhood the relation that she satisfaction for which it panted. Such a state is hap. and all mankind held in regard to God, she knew | piness, while it lasts, but it is not designed to last. by that teaching, the scripture truth, “ that men are Man was formed by God, God breathed into man's born in sin, that there is none righteous, no, not nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living one;" she could therefore detect the fallacy in which soul, what came from God, aspires to God, God and arguments for the doctrine of human merit are God only is the home of man's heart. founded, and feel with regret, as well as pronounce His former situation allowed Walters some advanwith decision, that in her parish pulpit was preached tages, which, as the head of his own “ Establishment" another gospel from that left to us by those who he did not enjoy. Good air and exercise were come “preaching peace by Jesus Christ."

among these, and though the number of his cus. But here Esther's acquaintance with scriptare ap. tomers might not entirely deprive him of the latter, peared to stop; she seemed habitually to overlook he was always to be found behind his counter, reads such passages as these-" Faith without works is to attend the purchasers of a sixpenny or a threedead." - I have ordained you that you should go penny book, a sheet of paper, a pen or pamphlet, and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should with the same assiduous courtesey which he had seen abound," and to forget that to her, the demand practised to customers to a greater extent. This might be made." Shew me thy faith withont thy conduct would have been finally successful, and by works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works." patience and perseverance Waiters and his wife

It is true she did not do a great many things that would probably have attained their object, and in. others did, she led a very quiet, orderly, domes stead of struggling through life together might so tic life; to which, perhaps, natural disposition in far as temporal things were concerned, bave passed clined her, but her religion came little in contact comfortably and happily through it, enjoying the with it; she passed on so smoothly through it, that friendship of their neighbours and exempt from the the meaning of one of our Lord's declamations was enmity of any individual. quite unknown to her_" Whosoever will not deny

But there is a secret disposal of all human events, himself, and take up his cross and follow me, cannot that is not known or seen in the little busy scene be my Disciple,"

whereon those events take place. Man's life here Her faith interfered in general, but little with her is but the first germ of that which it is to be, and practice, or rather her practice was not the habitual sometimes that germ when first approaching, in apresult of her faith. She would shrink from any. parently the most favourable direction, is forced in thing that was plainly and paipably wrong, either an opposite way, appears crooked, distorted, stunted sinful in its nature, or proceeiling clearly at variance in growth, bui then the root is bid in the ground, with those of religion, but faith in her was not what we must not judge only by " what is seen and is it must be where duly exercised -- the mainspring temporal.” As Walters always had an idea that his which moves the wheels of life.

business would increase, and become rather overIn the consideration of some great affair, Esther powering, he had made a resolution to take a walk did indeed pause to consider in what manner reli. every day in the fields adjacent to the town, to ingious duty might be connected with it, in the case vigorate his frame under the expected cares and of marriage, for instance, she had felt it would not labours of his new " Establishment." This arrange. be right to unite herself to a man of different reli- ment for the first year, he regularly adhered to gious sentiments; and so she had stated hers to and at such times his wife took his place with her Walters before she agreed to be his wife, and he work in her hand on tlie chair behind the counter. told her he believed there was not a great difference It was on one of these oceasions that an incident between them on the subject, and then all was occurred, which although apparently of a very tri. agreed on.

vial nature had a singular influence on the future Walters was a man of very reserved and quiet lives of herself and her husband. disposition, his words on any subject were few, so Esther had not long taken her post in the shop it may be supposed they were fewest in one which he

when a young man who was employed in a large really knew nothing about. Esther wished to think neighbouring factory, came in and asked for one ol he was of one mind with herself, therefore she was the small books, or rather pamphlets, of which more easily satisfied than another might be. A sense, Walter's 66 Bookselling Establishment” chiefly con: however, of the importance of religion often pressed tained. Esther readily found it, it was in the nich heavily on the mind of Walters, that feeling we wherein where deposited all articles most frequently possess in early life and greatly lose in middle age, called for. The youth paid the price and departed of the brevity and unsatisfying nature of this life, commencing the perusal of his purchase even before lad often led him to wish that he was certain of a he left the shop. Esther knew his character, it wa more permanent and satisfying one to come. This one she disliked, the most dissolute and daring is feeling might be for a little removed after his mar. that part of the town, she wondered how he bar riage, it was natural that it should be so, for there adopted a taste for reading, and resolving the ques his heart was occupied by an affection to which it' tion as she slowly rearranged the print, she glancer

it is that she now felt concerning her recent state, that she had had a name to live and was dead ; that she had been among such as 6 are at ease in Zion," and therefore amongst those on whom the “ woe" is pronounced.

But when the fiery serpents bit the Israelites and the people were perishing, a serpent of brass was listed up on a pole to represent the well-beloved Son of God, who was made a curse for us that he might deliver us from that “old Serpent,” whose poison more deadly than the fiery one, had glided through all our nature, and whom God the Father freely gave, that whosoerer believeth should not perish but have everlasting life. And thus, when the Lord sends the knowledge of the disease he always makes kuown the remedy. “ The precious blood of Christ." is not only the fountain in which the sinner may at first wash away áll sin and uncleanness, but is also one that stands erer open, to which he may return and be made "i clean every whit.”

(To be continued.).

over another of the same books. ller first impulse after a slight survey of its contents was to cast it aside, but she was tempted to look on further. It was a profane and wicked tract, one of those miserable productions with which profane and wicked inen were at that time destroying the fairest parts of our land, insinuating them even with the mines as well as the doctrines, as if with the light of day they would exclude the light of truth. Esther coloured as she glanced over it, its words of daring impietv, were offensive at the time, yet might not be easily effaced from memory, and therefore she would read them no more, even through curiosity ; and while she calmly tied it up again in the bundle from whence it was taken, in her usual contented way she thanked God that she was not as other men, that the blessed day-spring from on high had visited her, and guided her into the way of peace, but swist as a ray of light darted into her mind the saying of our Lord - No man lighteth a candle to put it under a bushel, but rather on a candiestick, that it may give light to them that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may glorify your father which is Heaven.

Esther felt very uneasy, she moved away and ex. amined the nature of Walter's usual sales, they were almost all of a very light or impious, or positively wicked and profane class, including many of the infidel tracts and works which were then in such demand in that part of the country.

A sense of responsibility as the medium of administering poison to the mind, and soul of a fellowcreature became very distressing to Esther, she looked back to her own conduct, and a host of condemnatory scriptures rose up against her. “Do not even the publicans the same?” she asked herself as with humiliation, she called to mind how proud she had been of superior religious light. The de. claration, “ By their fruits ye shall know them," suggested now a doubt whether she bad ever had a part or lot in the things whereof she had gloried. “ He that gathereth not with me scattereth,' called up to view her manifold sins of omission ; Esther began to reflect how she had been living, the retrospect did not restore her peace, for a veil of seifdeception was now rent from ber heart, she was truly disquieted, she wondered why her husband delayed his walk, she longed to leave a place which made her so uncomfortable, but the arrow was sharp in her heart, and had she taken the wings of the morning and remained in the utiermost part of the earth, there should the hand of the Lord find her.

When Esther was set at liberty she hastily retired without saying anything of what had passed, and taking her Bible into her room, she knew where to find enough to condemn her former easy careless state. Then were convictions of sin fully awakened in her mind, and like the prophet of old she was ready to lay her hand on her mouth, and her mouth in the dust and cry—« unclean, unclean.'

That Esther had not been a true believer in the gospel, I will not undertake to say, but certain

The establishment of Christianity.

For the Christian Beacon. One of the most convincing arguments, in proof of the divine origin of Christianity, is the fact of its entrance in the world, and the extent to which it has been established upon earth. It requires but a hasty cursory glance at the character of Christianity, and the circumstances attending its first appearance and promulgation, to satisfy every unprejudiced mind, that the success of such a religion, under such circumstances, can only be explained on rational principles, by the acknowledyment of its truth, and the admission of divine power having been exercised to promote its progress-and enable him to triumph over all the difficulties, with which it had to struggle, when first it claimed to itself the homage of every creature, to whom its celestial message of inercy was made known.

We might fairly challenge the infidel to account in any other way, reconcilable with the dictates of right reason, for the original triumphs, and permanent establishment of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. We might ask hiin (and feel that the issue of the controversy, as to the divine origin of Christianity, might safely be allowed to rest on a rational and honest answer to the enquiry.) If you deny that Christianity is a divine system, and that its success, in spite of the formidable obstacles by whicb it was opposed, is to be explained by its having had the Omnipotence of God eric.ed on

its behalf, how will you account for that success? Its | existence is an unquestionable fact, and on every fair

principle of reasoning, demands an explanation. We say that the admission of its divine original will satisfactorily (and nothing else will) explain this phenomenon. Since you deny that this is the true solution, you are surely bound to supply some other, which enlightened reason, or, I may indeed say, common sense will approve. Well then, what is your solution? How will you rationally account for the success of the Gospel ? Is it by the attractiveness of the story

it is set forward? Was that so calculated to captivate the that an imposter or an enthusiast would have attempted, imagination, as to be likely to induce multitudes-or | or could have succeeded, to persuade men to espouse even a single individual, to embrace it, on superficial evi His Cause ? dence-or without having severely scrutinized its claim While the general impediment to the progress of to a divine original? Precisely the reverse. For what was Christianity arising from this prospect of persecution, that story? That the Founder of Christianity, after disgrace, and death, is kept in view as rendering its sucbeing rejected, by His own nation, was publicly exe- cess so exceedingly maryelous, should the peculiar cuted, as an impostor, and blasphemier, in company with obstacles to a ready reception of the Gospel, which both two malefactors, and we know what prominence the first the Jew and the Gentile must encounter, be overlooked, preachers always gave to this fact-- We preach,” says in estimating the difficulties, with which, on its first St. Paul, Christ Crucified.” Surely—surely--it was promulgation, Christianity had to contend. In acknow. not the captivating attractiveness of such a story, that ledging the claims of Jesus of Nazareth to be the procan satisfactorily explain the original or subsequent mised Messiah, the Jew had to abandon his darling success of Christianity! Was its success then owing to hope of an earthly deliverer, coming in all the pomp of its adaptation to the depraved passions, and carnal earthly power, to rescue his nation from the Roman principles of mankind ? Was it by stooping to Aatter yoke. He had also to give up the fondly-cherished the pride, or to foster the corruption of our fallen na- | feeling on which the Jew so peculiarly prided himself, ture, that Christianity achieved her triumphs ? No! of being the exclusive favourite of the God of Heaven-So far from this, she proclaims irrevocable warfare and to see the Gentile, whom he was always babituated with them all! She tells the man of pride, that he to regard with contempt and abhorrence, admitted, must become as a little child, or he can never enter when he embraced Christianity, to an equal participa. into the Kingdom of Heaven.-She warns the sensual. tion of Jehovah's favour with himself. And, finally, he ist, that none shall inherit her promised glories, but the must consent, as it were, to sign the death-warrant pure in heart.-She declares to the slave of angry pas of the Mosaical dispensation of ceremonies and sacrisions, that he who deliberately cherishes a resentful fices, in which he gloried with such a devoted—such a feeling in his breast is a murderer, and that no mur bigotted attachment, and to confess, that this long derer has an inheritance in the kingdom of blessedness, idolized system had comparatively no glory by reason to which she conducts her votaries ! Thus she arrays of the surpassing glory of the Gospel scheme! For this every depraved passion of the human heart in deter (a Jew must have painfully felt,) eclipsed altogether mined and desparate hostility against her! And surely the splendour of that preparatory dispensation, which then it cannot be pretended that it is by adapting the like Moses on the Monnt of Transfiguration, was comstandard of her moral requirements and promised re missioned to appear, only to bear testimony and do wards, to the sinful propensities and principles of our homage to the son of God, and then having fulflled its fallen nature, that she enlists their powerful patronage destined office, vanished away! Now surely, when we on her behalf! Surely her success cannot, (as that of view these circumstances, calmly and dispassionately, Mahometanism can) be thus explained! No. (I re we must feel, that there were with the Jew, suchpeat it for it is an unanswerable demonstration of her | humanly speaking--insurmountable barriers to the redivine original)-her uncompromising demand is—that cognition of the Saviour's claims to be the Messiah every proud, impure, revengeful feeling must be cruci- | promised to his fathers, that nothing but the admission fied! and that humility, holiness, and love must not of the truth to their claims being supported by divine merely regulate the lives, but reign in the hearts, of power, can account for such multitudes of the Jewish her true disciples. Is this (I again ask the infidel,) al people embracing the religion of the Gospel, disappointreligion, so suited to the appetites, and habits of the ing as it did so nany of their dearest hopes and op. generality of mankind, that you can find in that suita posed to so many of their darling prejudices. And this bleness the solution of its success. Shall we then solve fact be it observed, rests not merely on the testimony of the difficulty by the display of the tempting bribes of

Christian writers but, (what, with the infidelat least, will worldly wealth, and honour, and applause, by which have more weight,) on that of the heathen historians Christianity so dazzles the eyes of her deceived votaries,

Tacitus and Suetonius, who record the rapid progress as to blind their judgments; and seduce them into the of primitive Christianity. The answer to this statement, profession of a faith, which so richly rewarded all who that the comparison between the prophecies of the Old embraced its creed. Indeed! Who does not Testament, and the Saviour's miracles and ministry, know that poverty, persecution, disgrace, death, in

might persuade the Jew to acknowledge His claims, its niost dreadful forms-these, these were the earth- | will not suit the purpose of the infidel-since this is ly rewards distinctly set before the view, by the

manifestly to admit the divine origin of Christianity, Founder of Christianity, as the inevitable recompense as incontestibly proved by one of the most unanswerof attachment to His Cause. - Ye shall be hated of | able of arguments-the exact fulfilment of minute and all men for My Name's Sake-Yea! the time cometh, manifold prophecies, acknowledged on all sides to bare when whoso killeth you, will think that he doeth God | been delivered hundreds of years before the period of service !"_Behold the language in which the author of | their accomplishment Christianity proclaims to all who professed to be willing Now look at the peculiar obstacles the Gentile to follow him, the certain consequences of their devoted. | convert, had to overcome! He must abandon the ness to Him, who was himself despised and rejected of religion of his country-and his fathers-(for christ men. And was it by holding out such a prospect, | anity admitted of no compromise on this point he must

« AnteriorContinuar »