Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

HISTORY OF THE PROPHET JEREMIANI.

187

of the fallacy of such an expectation, JEREMIAN, whom the King, ashamed of his injustice, had restored to liberty, gave them the fullest warning; but so obdurate and insensible were this apostate nation, that every argument was ineffectual to restrain them from provoking to the uttermost the wrath of an offended GOD.

Unable to effect the smallest reformation, and foreseeing the calamities which would afflict the city on the renewal of the siege, the Prophet formed the resolution to retire to Anathoth, and leave Jerusalem to its impending fate. The temporary absence of the Babylonish army afforded him an opportunity for executing his design ; but on attempting to pass through the city-gate, he was detained as a deserter, and again condemned to suffer the distresses of im. prisonment.

The retreat of the Egyptian army soon left the King of Babylon at liberty to execute his plans upon Judea. Accordingly, returning to Jerusalem, he vigorously renewed the siege ; and ZEDEKIAU, in the utmost consternation, began, too late, to tremble for the consequences of his perfidy and pride. Sending for JEREMIAH, he inquired what message had been sent him from the LORD ; but hearing nothing, except the confirmation of his former sentence, he remanded him to prison; but was, however, so far influenced by his entreaties, as to allow of his removal from the gaol allotted to the lowest culprits, to a more wholesome and commodious place.

But the afflictions of this persecuted Prophet had not yet arrived at their extremity. His enemies, weary of his reproofs and threatenings, would fain have gratified their malice by depriving him of life ; and an occasion favourable to their cruel purpose, was afforded in the present season of distress. Pressed from without by the Chaldean army, and within by pestilence and famine, the King, in his perplexity, again applied for counsel to the man whom he was injuring by unjust imprisonment. LLe wished for the advice, and for the prayers of JEREMIAH; both of which, in happier seasons, he had slighted and con.temned. Now, they were unavailing, for no reverse of the tremendous sentence, could be obtained from the offended Judge. The only answer, therefore, that the Prophet could return to ZEDEKIAN's mes. sengers, was a renewed assurance, that the judgments which he had formerly denounced against the King and his apostate people should be assuredly fulfilled. Their lives, however, might even yet, on one con. dition, be preserved ; which was, submission to the Conqueror. This was a specious pretext for accusing him of treason ; and at their urgent importunity, he was delivered over to his bitter and maligoant enes mies, to suffer, as a person leagued with the oppressors of his country, the heaviest punishment their eruelty could prompt them to infiet. Precipitated instantly into a horrible and loathsome dungeon, he was there left to perish by a lingering death: but He, whose eye pervades the deepest gloom of misery, saw him in his affliction, and provided needful succour for the moment of extreme distress.

(To be continued.)

A SISTER'S TALES.

No. VI. In a pretty little room, which was dignified by the name of the Study, Jane and FANNY L had one day been quietly working together for several hours;

[blocks in formation]

when suddenly the door of it was opened, and their sisters and brother came in, engaged in very earnest talk. Ooe voice at last rose above the rest, exclaiming, “ I must have my own way.

.»:"Do you know," said FANNY, “ that your own way is often the very worst, and even if it be a good one, it is well to learn how to give it up generally, as you cannot always have it.” The point about which the children were disputing was referred to JANE, who, after settling it, said, “ Fanny has given you some very good advice; but perhaps a story on the subject will not be so soon forgotten as her grave remarks.

« The desire of having our own way is common to every one; but the trouble it causes was never more deeply felt than by AUGUSTA DARNLEY. She was the only child of very rich parents ; but her mother had too much piety and sense to make her only child a bad one, by indulging her in every foolish whim and hurtful desire. Mrs. DARNLEY's penetration early discovered the necessity of stricter discipline in the management of her little girl, than her affection would have suggested, or than would have been necessary towards a child of a different disposition. AUGUSTA, even in her cradle, showed sad symptoms of her naturally commanding and obstinate temper. It was not every toy that pleased her; and as she cried till she had the one on which her mind was fixed, it was always obtained from her nurse, when her mother was not present. The maid was a foolish and fond woman, who was very proud of her little lady, and would do any thing she wished ; and AUGUSTA, find. ing her so willing a subject, became quite her mistress. This, however, was only in the nursery; Mrs. DARNLEY allowed nothing of the kind in the drawing.

old.

room; and had her health and life lasted, she might, by maternal government and instruction, have in part subdued her daughter's high spirit and perverse will: but she was soon removed to a state where she could no longer watch and weep and pray for her dear child. She died when AUGUSTA was five years Mr. DARNLEY, being engaged in a profession which occupied all his time, sent his daughter to his sister, with whom she lived till she was eighteen.

“ During this time, she was rendered perfectly accomplished; but her understanding was superficially informed, her temper unchastised, and her heart haughty; for the correction of these evils did not enter into her aunt's plan of education. In these points, Miss DARNLEY was left to her own way: but it was not so with every thing; for this lady governed her far more rigidly, and not so reasonably, as her mother had done. Her rules were strict, but chiefly with regard to minute particulars. But however AUGUSTA might despise, she was obliged to observe them; and though some were really beneficial, and most of them harmless, yet the preciseness with which they were given, and the exactness enjoined in their execution, rendered them always hateful to her; and her struggles for liberty were rather increased than diminished by such unwise discipline. Her father, though partially blinded by affection, could not help perceiving, in his occasional visits, the proud and in. dependent manners of his daughter; and when he beheld in her, the form and features of his departed wife, it only forced upon him the painful thought, that they had lost half, if not all their loveliness, in becoming the image of so different a spirit.

66 When Augusta had finished her education, she

A SISTER'S TALES.

191

returned home; joyfully hailing her deliverance from her aunt's gloomy mansion and severe countenance. Having calculated too much on her father's indulgent disposition, she expected now to have every thing her own way. She found, however, that the most easy tempers have their favourite ways; for though there were but few things in which her father opposed her, still there were a few, and these were quite sufficient to irritate a mind ever endeayouring to make all things subservient to its own wishes.

“MR. DARNLEY, though outwardly moral and regular, did not possess the religion which bad adorned and actuated the character of his wife. By his constant attendance on public worship, he made a sort of profession of piety; but this was the only thing in which he differed from a world which he loved, and to which he conformed. On this subject there was no disagreement between the father and daughter, ex. cepting that the latter became in a few years discontented with sober parties, and even surpassed her father's desire in the costliness of her dress, and the profusion of her entertainments. He endeavoured at first to restrain her by-kind advice; but when he found this ineffectual, his passion became ungovernable, and he gave her his positive commands; yet when the frenzy of his nature was over, she generally contrived to gain her point with him. The struggle for authority caused many painful disputes between them; but these did not last long; for in order, as she fancied, to be complete mistress, and at last to have her own way, she married.

“She was (as might be expected) entirely disappointed in these vain expectations. Her husband did not oppose her will in the violent manner which her

« AnteriorContinuar »