Imágenes de páginas

and, ay be dicalock in unhappyhurch. Sears of his

for Joseph was a drunkard : he returned late from the public house to beat his wife, and swear at his children; and, for the last seventeen years of his life, he had never entered a church. On Sunday, the 18th of May, this unhappy man was taken ill; and, at two o'clock in the morning of the following Friday, he died. His illoess was a very painful one; and, though he complained but little on the first day of it, and on the Monday was able to walk about his garden, the violent spasms, which seized him on Tuesday, convinced him, that the hand of death was upon him, and he sent for a pious woman, who lived in a neighbouring cottage, to read to him. This woman had attended his wife during an illness which she had had a few weeks before, and this gave her frequent opportunities of observing his careless and wicked habits. Shocked at bis language and conduct, she rebuked him for swearing, telling him “ Your turn may be next-God may soon cut you down."-" I'm not afraid of tbat. (he replied); I don't care if he does ; and, when I'm ill, I don't want Parsons to be coming here, nor Clerks neither; I'll have nothing to do with them." When, in compliance with his request, Mrs. Turper went to him, he said, fastening his eyes on her as she entered the room, “ I am cut down now-I am very ill and I think I shall die ; but it's too late

it's no time to repent now my soul is lost!" He entreated her, however, to pray for him, and frequently, during the remainder of his short illness, called on all around him to do the same. He now gladly consented to see the Clergyman--"Yes, send for him; any body that will talk to me about my soul!". Turner read to him the account of the dying thief, in the 230 chapter of St. Luke, and several Psalms, and he prayed earnestly for bimself.--He was beard to say, “O'Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, have mercy upon my poor wicked soul !” But his terror and distress, at the thought of dying, were great:

he suffered much, he said, from pain, but much more from the troubles of bis mind. He kept wishing and praying to be spared a little longer "* to have more time to repent:" and though, toward the last, he expressed more hope that he should find mercy with God, up to the very hour of his death, his cry was, “ let me live till morning light.” All about him were struck by what they saw and beard; and said, mournfully, “ it was a grievous time.”

But was this all they said ? and is this all, you will think, when you read the short story of Joseph's dying hours ? Must not the same cold grasp, from wbich he could not escape, one day bring you to the house ap. pointed for all living? Must not the hand of death, which so quickly subdued his bold and scornful spirit, soon lay hold on you? You know it must. Then let me ask you another question: are you ready? Perhaps you will answer (as one of Joseph's neighbours did) " I should not think that any could be so prepared as to say that they are ready!” Then look at 2 Tim. iv. 6. and you will see it is possible to be ready: and if you will read the account of Stephen's death in the end of Acts vii. you will see how calmly and peacefully one could die, who was ready, though he was called away at a moment's warning. But since you feel that this is not your state, let me put another question, Are you making ready? Have you begun to prepare for the great change which death must make? flave you thought of the account you must give? I knew a woman who was supposed to be connected with some thieves, and who expected, after a few weeks, to be examined in a court of justice. She was not quite certain that her character would be cleared, and the fear of being implicated, and the dread of forgetting some circumstance necessary to vindicate her, so possessed her, that she could neither rest by day, nor sleep by night, and her anxiety made her quite ill. Yet the most she had to fear was the loss of her character among

ber fellow-creatures, and imprisonment for a few months. But it is at the bar of God, that you must stand, to answer for much that has been entrusted to you. Your time, your money, your comforts, your understanding, your speech, your sabbaths, your bible, all you bave, were put into your bands by God to be used for his service; and, if you have wasted and abused them, you have robbed Him. If you are found guilty at his bar, all is lost-your character is forfeited, for you will be exposed to shame and everlasting contempt (Dan. xii. 2.) your eternal bappiness is thrown away, and your ruined soul, shut up in that prison, where hopeless misery will be your portion for ever. And yet, perhaps, you have never spent five minutes in considering what your sentence will be, or by what law you will be judged. One thing every day's experience may teach you, that “ as a man soweth, so he shall also reap.” If you sow thistles, you do not look for a harvest of wlieat; if you give your children no education, you do not expect them to grow up scholars, if you lay by nothing now, you do not think of hav., ing a sum of money at your command, by and bye ; then can you reasonably expect that if, like Joseph D. you live in sin, you will fail like bim to find death the king of terrors, and after death, that the Scripture cannot be broken, which says, “ the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God ?”

Now if you have hitherto gone on so thought, lessly, if you have hitherto "lived « without God in the world,” never caring to enquire about his will who made you, and has given you all you have, neither loving, nor fearing, nur serving him, what is to be done? you cannot alter the past, you cannot call back the years you have lost, a long black catalogue of siøs must be marked down against you, and you cannot blot out one.

But the Bible teaches us that if we would have 'the forgiveness of our sins, and be happy for ever, we must try to gain our pardon through the atone . ment made by the Son of God, who gained forgive. ness for sinners, by suffering for them ; dying, " the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God.”. But do not leave the matter here, do not lay your head on your pillow this night, without coming to Christ in prayer : tell him your ignorance, your sins, your wants ; cast yourself on his merey, and. ask him to supply all your need-you will find the coinfort of such a promise as this,"bim that cometh. unto me I will in no wise cast out;" you will find his grace sufficient to enable you to walk before him in righteousness and holiness all the days of your life he will be with you in all trials, sorrows, temptations, difficulties; and death will come at last, not as a dreaded enemy to tear you from all. you love and care for, and drag you as a guilty calprit before your Judge, but with a friendly hand to loosen the ties which have bound you to a sinful world, and bring you into his presence, who will make you “ most blessed for ever."

H. H. .'

THE CHRISTIAN MOTHER. “A word spoken in due season, how good is it.Proverbs xiii. 23.

SIR, As it is the professed intention of your little publiccation to unite amusement with instruction, I have sent you the following conversation which I had some years ago with an excellent old woman; which. I trust will please your readers. I delight so much in recalling the most trifling circumstances relating to my old friend, who has now left this world, that I must begin by telling you how accidental my first; meeting with her was. I was walking across an un

cultivated part of B-common, when I was stopped by some furze having caught my gown; and, whilst I was endeavouring to disengage it, Mary, for that was ber Christian-name, overtook and offered to asa sist me. When I thanked her, I was struck by her remarkably neat and cheerful appearance, and as I. found she was going in the same direction home as myself, I gladly embraced the opportunity of talking with ber.

Mary was very communicative, and told me that she had been inarried and had lived in the same cottage more than fifty years, that her husband was, as well as herself, upwards of eighty, and past work; and that, although they had bad a large family, their children were all settled at a distance from home. Since her eye-sight had begun to fail her, she had, she said, sometimes wished that one of her daughters had been living at home, but they were all happily situated; and, although they had families of their own to support, they did not forget their father or her, but came to see them whenever they were able.. The good lady, she continued, who put them to school, always found them a place when they were old enough to go to service; and, as they had been accustomed, when they were young, to work, and to mind what was said to them, I never heard any of the complaints, which many servants make now, that the places were too hard for them; they all kept their good characters for neatness, industry, and good temper.

I bere interrupted her, by saying, I rejoiced to hear that her family had all turned out so well, and that sbe must derive great comfort from reflecting that she had endeavoured to perform her duty, as a mother, to her children. To this sbe answered, that she hoped she had endeavoured to do so; and that

she knew she could never feel grateful or thankful · enough to the good Clergyman who had first taught

her to think properly on this subjecta.

« AnteriorContinuar »