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in the solitude of her heart, when no eye rested on her but God's, the sepulchral voice of conscience would break her slumbers, and terrify her with thoughts of approaching judgment. Yes, when the busy hum of the world had ceased, the fantastic dream of pleasure vanished, the echoes of the last merry song died away, even then would this faithful monitor raise his voice, reproaching her with the sins of the past, and awakening her apprehensions of a dreadful future-inflicting wounds in her spirit which all the salve of lying Rome could not heal. Notwithstanding the mysterious gloom in which the hirelings of a corrupt church endeavour to enshroud the understanding while they lead their victims to perdition, there burnt within her an inextinguishable flame, which, flickering through the mental shadows, warned her of impending danger, pointed out false steps, and ever and anon reminded her that she was travelling the road that leadeth to destruction. Yet was she in mercy brought to see a clearer light, to hear another and a heavenly sound,-a still small voice, speaking of pardoned sin and peace with God, and saying to her bewildered heart, “This is the way, walk you in it.”
About this period, a gentleman travelling through Ireland, found means to place a copy of the Holy Scriptures in the hands of the subject of our narrative; and, indifferent as she was beginning to feel to the counsels of her priest as a means of relief in her frequently recurring seasons of melancholy, she ventured to incur his highest displeasure by making this book one of the constant companions of her lei
It would be difficult to imagine any one with less knowledge of gospel truth than Louisa M. at this time. Living so entirely under the influence of Catholic relations and friends, her mind was imbued with the greatest contempt for any but their formal and magnificent rites of worship; and at the hands of the simple people who met for prayer and praise in a neighbouring cabin, she would certainly have refused even the precious gift of heaven's love. At strange hands, however, she received it as some “new thing;” but had soon to learn that it was the pearl of price unknown, and searching it, she was quickly to find inestimable treasures, yea, durable riches and righteousness.
What followed is not ours to relate. The mysterious yet mighty operation of divine truth, accompanied to the heart by the Spirit of God, is too secret and too sacred for us to scan. Enough to say, that it enlightened her mind respecting all the great realities of our being in this world and the next; it caused her to apprehend her condition as a lost and ruined sinner; and more than all, it revealed to her the sinner's Friend, henceforth to be the object of her faith, her affections, and her hopes. Yes, she read the book; from this time it was the man of her counsel and her guide; and as she prayed to its divine Author for grace and strength to follow its direction, she made it her
steady pole star by which to steer her course through a sea of trouble to her heavenly home.
A change so great and glorious as that which the Spirit of God had now wrought in Louisa, could not long escape the observation of her associates. It betrayed itself in a lack of interest in her former frivolous amusements, in a love of retirement for communion with her own heart and with God, and in a reluctance, and at last an absolute refusal, to attend mass, or accept the services of her priest. Her views and feelings with regard to the despised followers of Jesus in her native village, were also strangely and delightfully altered. She now esteemed it one of her greatest privileges to talk with these poor but pious people of the things of the kingdom ; and often did her heart burn within her as she learnt lessons from their experience, how to wrestle not only with flesh and blood, but with principalities and powers, with spiritual wickedness in high places. Nor did timidity prevent her attendance on their Sabbath services. Truly her soul waited for the Lord as he appeared in the little midst at these times, and from them would she go forth inspired with fresh faith and reso. lution to run in the path of his commandments with enlarged heart.
But the reader must not suppose that with this new and ardent devotedness to the service of the Redeemer, this noble dedication of herself to what she believed to be the truth, she was allowed to go on her way unchecked save by the voice of kind though mistaken admonition, and appeals to the understanding and the word of God. On the other hand, it is not the writer's intention to describe the storm of persecution that ushered in her first confession of faith in Jesus alone. We need not stigmatize that unholy influence which sealed the heart of a mother's tenderness to a daughter's tears, and led him who was once her fond and affectionate father, to refuse the protection of his roof to his only child, and drive her to seek a home in another land.
Banished from her parent's house, Louisa was sheltered by a kind, though distant relative, with whom she enjoyed many religious privi. leges, and shewed pleasing signs of growth in grace, and conformity to the spirit of Jesus. Scarcely, however, had a year elapsed since she left the habitation of her childhood, when bowed down with premature anxiety and sorrow, the seeds sown in secret weeping sprang up in all their deadly strength and vigour. The progress of disease on her wasted frame was so unusually rapid, that, notwithstanding immediate information was conveyed to her parents, ere they could follow her into the land of her exile, it had become the land of her sepulchre. But though no maternal hand smoothed her dying pillow, the sympathy of Jesus was there; and he who wept by the grave of Lazarus, calmed the fears of his young disciple, and said to the troubled soul, “ Peace, be still.” She had fought the good fight, she had finished her course, she had kept the faith, and now hastened to receive a crown of life. She passed on in her christian course as a stranger in a strange land, seeking a better, that is a heavenly country; therefore God was not ashamed to be called her God, for he had prepared for her a city. He led her by a way that she knew not, till he brought her to the promised rest. Surely now, in her happy experience, the loss of every earthly good is forgotten in the realization of that far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
Dear reader, “what shall we say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” He do more for us than any one else besides; he is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. But have you chosen that good part that shall never be taken away from you ? Are you guiding your steps by the word of God, and walking as a stranger and pilgrim through this present evil world ? If so, happy are you, and it shall be well with you. Fear not to sacrifice every temporal comfort, to break every earthly tie, that hinders you on your heavenly way. He who hath called you to be a soldier will grant you strength equal to your day, and make you more than conqueror through Him who hath loved you. But, on the other hand, if you yet cleave to sin, if you still walk in forbidden paths, and have not at present set out on the road to heaven, let me ask you, wherefore delay? Is it that you have counted the cost of an entire surrender of yourself to the claims of the gospel, and find it to be very great ? So did Louisa M. With her the price was reproach, poverty, and death.
Oh, dear reader, let those that can indeed despise the heavenly in. heritance, let them, we say, eat and drink, for to-morrow they die; let them spend their years as a tale that is told, and nourish their hearts as in a day of slaughter. “ This shall they have at my hands, saith the Lord, they shall lie down in sorrow.” May yours be another and a wiser choice, a holy, resolute determination to serve the Lord. Let the same blessed book, the happy instrumentality of which we have been reading, be your perpetual directory; and may the Spirit of all grace reveal its saving truths to your mind, draw you from the paths of sin and folly, and guide your feet into the way of peace.
A VESSEL RUN DOWN--ALL HANDS LOST.
"As I was once sailing,' said an American captain, 'in a fine stout ship across the banks of Newfoundland, one of those heavy fogs which prevail in those parts rendered it impossible for us to see far ahead even in the day time, but at night the weather was so thick that we could not distinguish any object at twice the length of the ship. I kept lights at the mast-head, and a constant watch forward to look out for fishing smacks, which are accustomed to lie at anchor on the banks. The wind was blowing a smacking breeze, and we were going at a great rate through the water. Suddenly the watch gave the alarm of a sail ahead!'-it was scarcely uttered before we were upon her.
She was a small schooner, at anchor, with her broadside towards us. The crew were all asleep, and had neglected to hoist a light. We struck just amid-ships. The force, the size, and weight of our vessel bore her down below the waves; we passed over her and were hurried on our course. As the crashing wreck was sinking beneath us, I had a glimpse of two or three half-naked wretches rushing from her cabin; they just started from their beds to be swallowed, shrieking, by the
I heard their drowning cry mingling with the wind. The blast that bore it to our ears swept us out of all further hearing. I shall never forget that cry! It was some time before we could put the ship about, she was under such headway. We returned, as nearly as we could guess, to the place where the smack had anchored. We cruised about for several hours in the dense fog. We fired signal-guns, and listened if we might hear the halloo of any survivors; but all was silent-we never saw or heard anything of them more.'
Reader, is not this an allegory? Are not thousands, are not you, like the crew of this vessel ? Surrounded by the uncertainties of life what are you doing? very probably all things needful but one. You have, as it were, taken in sail, cast anchor, made all secure on board, but, perhaps, “neglected to hoist a light.” You live decently and honour. ably with men,—you have provided by savings, or a sick-club, provident society, against the unknown future,—you have insured, it may be, something for your family, should you be taken off suddenly; but one great danger you are asleep to, and have quite forgotten to “hoist a light.” The captain who narrated this fact had done all he could to prevent his vessel from injuring others; he had not neglected to "hoist lights,” conspicuously, at the mast-head, to save the vessels of others. And your God has not neglected to hang out innumerable lights, innumerable warnings, warnings for your salvation. His government must keep its course. His power is irresistible. He wills not in his mercy to overwhelm men in ruin and perdition; but if sleep they will when he bids them watch,-if they will omit too the one grand precaution by which alone they can ensure safety, then will they find themselves irresistibly overwhelmed, and swallowed up for ever in the abyss of a dark eternity. “Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners." Whoever penitently, heartily, practically believes this “faithful saying,”-he has not “neg. lected to hoist a light.” When he “lieth down he shall not be afraid; yea, he shall lie down, and his sleep shall be sweet."S
Friend, if you are riding at anchor asleep over the depths of eternity, allow me to ask, have you done all things but the one thing ? is your soul really committed to the care of Jesus Christ ? or have you “ neglected to hoist a light?”
* Washington Irving's Sketch Book. i Proverbs i. 24–33. Matthew xxiv. 36-42.
2 1 Timothy i. 15. 3 Proverbs iii. 24.
1 Thess. v. 3.
A STRIKING CONTRAST.—“Who,” says Voltaire, "can, without horror, consider the whole world as the empire of destruction ? It abounds with wonders; it also abounds with victims. It is a vast field of carnage and contagion. Every species is, without pity, pursued and torn in pieces through the earth, and air, and water. In man there is more wretchedness than in all the other animals put together. He loves life, and yet knows that he must die. If he enjoys a tran. sient good, he suffers various evils, and is at last devoured by worms. This knowledge is his fatal prerogative; other animals have it not. He spends the transient moments of his existence in diffusing the miseries that he suffers: in cutting the throats of his fellow-creatures for pay; in cheating and being cheated; in robbing and being robbed; in serving, that he might command; and in repenting of all he does. The bulk of mankind are nothing more than a crowd of wretches, equally criminal and unfortunate; and the globe contains rather carcases than men. I tremble at the review of this dreadful picture, to find that it contains a complaint against Providence itself; and I wish I HAD NEVER BEEN BORN.”_Now, let us hear the language of the excellent Halyburton, who died as he lived, full of confidence in God. “I shall shortly get a very different sight of God from what I have ever had, and shall be made meet to praise him for ever and ever. Oh, the thoughts of an Incarnate Deity are sweet and ravishing! Oh, how I wonder at myself that I do not love him more, and that I do not admire him more! What a wonder that I enjoy such composure under all my bodily pains, and in the view of death itself! What a mercy that, having the use of my reason, I can declare his goodness to my soul! I long for his salvation ; I bless his name. I have found him, and die rejoicing in him. Oh, blessed be God that I was born! Oh, that I was where he is ! I have a father, and mother, and ten brothers and sisters in heaven, and I shall be the eleventh. Oh, there is a telling in this providence, and I shall be telling it for ever! If there be such a glory in his conduct towards me now, what will it be to see the Lamb in the midst of the throne ? BLESSED BE GOD THAT EVER I WAS BORN !”-Jay.
Why won'T YOU LOVE JESUS? -A little boy on his death-bed was urging his father to repentance, and fearing he had made no im. pression, said, “Father, I am going to heaven; what shall I tell Jesus is the reason why you won't love him ?” The father burst into tears; but before he could give the answer, his little boy had died. We should like to see that question fairly put to every unconverted man. He could not think of it long, and remain so. Who can give a reason why he should not love Jesus ?