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A DYING SINNER.
antes from will in no intense intern I do out of
"Oh! tell me then, he cried, what he has said ! I repeated to him these passages :—'My thoughts are not as your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.' 'Come now, let us reason together saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.' 'Let the wicked forsake his ways and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy on him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.' The blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanseth us from all sin. "Whoever will, let him come.' "He that cometh, I will in no wise cast out.'
“He listened to these passages with intense interest and then with agonizing perplexity, asked: But what can I do? tell me anything-tell me if it would avail to dash myself out of that window. I will do anything! But, o no, I must go to hell! I must go to hell!
"I exhorted him not to yield to despondency, and remarked that sinners were exposed to fatal temptation, under two forms. At first, when in health, the suggestion is, 'time enough yetthe work for eternity can be easily and quickly despatched.' When this fails, then the suggestion is, 'it is too late-your sins are too great.' That he had yielded to the first, and involved himself in the guilt of presumption; now his danger lay in yielding to the other, and giving up in despair.
Then what, О what shall I do? Shall I be baptized ? I stated to him that baptism is a profession of faith in Christ, which, in his state of mind, he could not sincerely make; and, of course, it was not yet proper : that his concern should be, to repent truly of his sins, and seek a personal interest in the atoning death of Jesus, through faith. These exercises I endeavored to explain to him.
"But, said he, I have often purposed and promised, and as often disregarded all! It will be so now! I shall go to hell ! Oh! what shall I do?
"I entreated him to call upon God for the help of his Holy Spirit, to create in him a new and contrite heart, and lead him to unfeigned faith in the Lord Jesus.
"Perceiving that the interview, if prolonged, might defeat its object, I knelt by his bed-side, and engaged with him in prayer, during which he often cried out in anguish of mind, and accompanied my feeble supplications with his own impassioned petitions for mercy and help.
"I then took my leave, promising, at his earnest request, to visit him again."
I saw him once more, for a few moments only, and my ministrations in his case were ended. May I never have occasion to pass through another scene of such trial and responsibility! The truthful statement needs no comment. It is presented for the serious consideration of those whom it may concern, with the prayer that He who works by various means, may render it subservient to their salvation and His glory.
TO AN ABSENT WIFE.
BY G. D. PRENTICE.
OLD AGE AND CHILDHOOD.
BY REV. H. HARBAUGH. We have just borne to the tomb an aged mother. She was in the ninety-third year of her age-was born in the early part of the year 1761. When the Revolutionary war began she was a young girl 15 years of age. Through what a length of eventful history has her life passed! Sitting lonely, as she often did in the last years of her life, and thinking back over the many years through which the path of her life had lain, she could say, like the traveller in the East amid the tombs of the Patriarchs,
How many, many memories,
Glide o'er my spirit now. There is something beautiful in the death of an aged saint. It is a fulfilment of the pleasant prophecy: “Thou shalt come to thy grave in a full age, like as a shock of corn cometh in his season.” When one is stricken down by death in middle life, in the midst of usefulness, and perhaps in the midst of a dependant family, we look up in wonder, asking why is this? to which faith only can reply, Thus hath the Lord done! When one is taken in infancy, we say it is as the opening flower, which some one loved, and plucked and boreaway. But when one dies in old age, we say it is as when the full blown rose drops its petals of itself amid its own ripe, rich perfume, just before the storms of coming winter have rudely blown upon it.
Sometimes childhood returns again to the aged saint at the close of life. We shall never forget an aged mother who could neither see nor hear, and the only evidence she could have of any one being near her, was when she was touched. When her daughter touched her cheek with the back of her hand, she smiled in all the simplicity of an infant, and said : “Here it is so lonely! Mother, let us go home !" She thought she was a child and the touch of the hand, wakened up the feeling : “Mother is here !"
But how shall we weep over this? Why should we? It has been beautifully said, “The second childhood of a saint is the early infancy of a happy immortality.” And what if this, too, be a part of receiving the kingdom of heaven as a little child!
It is a wise and happy arrangement. When we were children our parents were not; now that they are children we are not. They cared for us then, sympathized with us in our little sorrows, and smiled in our little joys, and had patience in all our childish caprices, so must we now do to them. Ah! forget not to be kind to aged childhood. “Make soft beds and warm for the aged, and let them enjoy richly, for things else the
desire not; and in the December of life, when the nights are longest, give them Christmas holidays, and make for them Christmas trees, for are they not children again, growing back still farther into helpless infancy.”
Have we wandered from the point in view? No. The last years of the life of this aged mother—this we intended to say -deeply impressed upon our mind one lesson of wisdom worthy of being exclaimed into the ears of this hasty age. It was the fact that when her sight had so far failed that she could read no more, and her hearing had become so hard that it was difficult to speak words of encouragement and comfort to her, she spent hours, that would otherwise have been lonely, in calling up and conning over hymns, prayers, and passages of scripture which she had committed to memory in early life. In this way her memory supplied that which the senses could no more serve to communicate. She frequently referred to this as one of the chief sources of her consolation.
Thus there is mercy in the very fact that childhood returns in old age; for with it come also those stores of treasure which were early committed to the memory. Impressions which the cares and pursuits of the more busy periods of life had covered over or dimmed, now kindle again into their original life and beauty. Besides this, those passages committed in early life merely by rote, and without any interest in them, and perhaps without at the time making any sensible impression, now bring to the heart their true meaning with power and effect. Thus seed sown in early life, and lying without growth for years, now } silently springs up into a joyful harvest. "In the evening it shall be light.”
This instance shows that it is not in vain to require children to commit to memory hymns, prayers, and passages of scripture, though they may not at the time fully know or appreciate their import. They cling to us, and may prove, not only our comfort, but our salvation. It was, I think, Randolph who said that he was able to become an infidel, when he tried to be so, in everything but in that which his mother had taught him! Of the great John Quincy Adams it is said, that he, even when occupying the highest post of honor in our country, always repeated on going to bed,
“Now I lay me down to sleep!
I pray the Lord my soul to take.”
over the waste of many years. They mingle, in the evening of age, with the returning impressions of the tenderest and happiest days of life. The heart suggests them rather than the mindthey are feelings rather than thoughts--and they have so much heart in them, just like the tones of a mother's voice ! Ah! happy is he whose heart is rich in these treasures; they are talents at usury which will bring an hundred fold. For, do not the impressions of early life stick longest and last to the reprobate ? When a father speaks no more—when a mother's tongue is still in death-when broken vows and resolutions lie along the backward track of the young prodigal's life--and when shapes of despair, like foul dark birds of the night, croak notes of wo in the gloom of despair around him—then, Ob then still, does the voice of early impressions hum its undertones in the spirit,
When the world's din and passion's voice is still,