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able to suffer and adore. I think that this extraordinary manifestation indicates that a great trial, or some great display of Divine mercy, is at hand.'
be that the fuller call, received soon after this time, to permanent residence in the ancient and charming town of Saffron-Walden, and the heavy domestic affliction which preceded it were the special Providences for which she was being thus prepared. There seemed many difficulties in the way of changing residences ; but, tru to her decision to renounce her own will in all things for that of Christ, she wrote to Mrs.. Webster, who was then staying at Walden, and had there certified, in July, another house for worship, thus : MY DEAREST FRIEND,
• The success the Lord gives you is very animating, and a source of mach comfort to me, as well as to the dear children of God to whom I have read your letter. The greatest difficulty to me in leaving here, is the distance of Walden from mamma ; but, persuaded that the will of the Lord is right, I shall be resigned to the change. The language of Ruth is mine : “Whither thou goest, I will go ; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge : thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God : where thon diest, will I die, and there will I be buried : the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me."
Yours most affectionately,
*C. BERGER. In the same spirit she thus wrote in her journal:
· August 19th, 1823.—0 that I could faithfully record the goodness of God towards my unfaithful soul! I feel that He is renewing my strength ; that He invites me the sweetness of His yoke to prove, and that I am rising again, from a state only partly spiritual, into one wholly spiritual. I seem like a bird which has often had its wings clipped, my soul having been frequently weakened, so as to fall from blessed heights of peace and joy and love. O that its wing might now rise to droop no more !'
The great trial anticipated was now to be borne by Miss Berger : notwithstanding her own anxious vigilance as nurse, an illness, which had come unexpectedly upon her tenderly loved mother, issued in death in September 1823. Miss Berger's private records and friendly letters in relation to this sorrow undesignedly throw out her own affectionate character in bold relief. The following are specimens :
On September 1st my dear mother departed this life. This painful event has been much sanctified to me. The Lord dealt so graciously with regard to mother's soul that I have not known how to praise Him enough. I sat up with her ring the last two nights of her life, and was enabled to say many things which the Lord blessed to her.'
• Homerton, September 2nd, 1823. MY DEAR MADAM,
'I am requested to inform yon of the loss of our dear mother yesterday. Her bodily sufferings terminated happily.... Some time before the fatal stroke, her soul ungrasped its hold of sublanary objects and delightfully fixed upon God her Saviour as the only Giver of substantial and permanent happiness. So death was the way to her Heavenly Father's house, and eternity the completion of her most ardent wishes. Only the vital piety of which she was made a happy partaker can ensure a re-union where she now is.......
Yours in the love of Christ,
"CHARLOTTE BERGER,' Miss Berger now manifested even more self-renunciation and heavenly. mindedness than before. No deprivation, no hardship, no contest, no contumely, no danger could prevent her following what appeared to be the way of Providence. Particularly was this seen in her devoted attendance at the House of God, in spite of feeble health or foul weather. She often spoke and wrote of physical as well as spiritual restoration experienced there. In the business matters which at this time she had to transact, there was in her spirit and conduct a blending of artless simplicity and commendable prudence. In illustration of these characteristics, a few passages are extracted from her diary :
October 23rd, 1823.-Have seen this evening the Lord's hand in remarkably preserving oor dwelling from destruction by fire. The kitchen was full of flames and smoke ; but, by God's help, our lad managed to extinguish the fire-not, however, before himself had been considerably injured, and the walls and furniture much burnt. O the gracious providence of God in this dangerous circumstance !-a providence all the more notable, as, by some oversight, the insurance had not been renewed.
*January 13th.—In many circumstances the Lord has graciously wronght, in His providence, for us of late. To-day, beyond expectation, Ilford Chapel rent was brought in.
February 23rd.—Though very poorly, I ventured to chapel to hear the Rev. P. M'Owan ; and, O, what a season 1 The chapel was damp, but I did not take cold. My views and feelings were indescribable. I saw the vastness of God's love, in contrast to my utter unprofitableness ; I experienced intense eagerness to offer my all to God, together with profound astonishment that He will accept anything so mean. Remembering, I endorsed the words of Christopher Hopper : “I gave up my soul and body and substance to my adorable Saviour, and grieved I had no more to give."
February 24th.—Was much exercised and afflicted in spirit through circumstances of a very painful nature ; but the Lord graciously relieved me by a view of the provocations Himself met with from His people of old. Their shameful unfaithfulness seeming reflected in some sort upon Himself and to dim His glorious name.
* April 8th.--I feel that my soul is rising into God, the means employed to convey this blessing having been a conversation which I had with two Preachers, a male and a female, belonging to the Bible Christians. The former reminded me of George Clarke, whose spirit I judge of from his letters ; and the latter of Ann Cutler. Both manifest great simplicity of character, and profess to be taught in all things of God. The lady rejoices in a constant consciousness of the smile of God illumining and transforming all within her. In reply to an allusion to my delicate health and extreme nervousness, she said that she had been in the same condition, but God had made her a new creature in body as well as soul. Her manner was that of an innocent and lovely child. She is twenty-seven years of age. I have been ardently pursuing more holiness ever since this interview ; and, blessed be God! I feel a larger and mightier measure of it wrought in my heart,
•May 24th. Broughing.-On Saturday our journey here was beset with many difficulties. We had started later than usual, and on arriving at Waltham Abbey we were told that the bridge was down, the country flooded and the road impassable. We, however, tried another way, some miles round, notwithstanding the probability of finding matters even worse, as we knew that the Mill Bridge in that direction was greatly damaged ; and, glory be to God! we got safely through.
Jane 14th.–This day the Lord has given us a blessed answer to prayer, the Leytonstone house being disposed of to some of our own people. Last Friday week the letting of the house was as uncertain as it had ever been, but in the evening we felt special power to cast everything into the Lord's hands ; and we were filled with love and praise. On Monday morning, while Mrs. Webster was negotiating with a gentleman about the house, Mr. Taylor and myself were prayirig in another room that she might be rightly
directed. The matter was satisfactorily settled, arrangements being made for the continuance of God's cause in the house.
July 18th.-Spoke at Broughing and Patmore Ileath.
Saffron-Walden is a market-town in Essex, about fifteen miles from Cambridge, with a population of about six thousand, The ruins of a Norman castle; a magnificent and commandingly situated church, in the architecture of the period of Henry VII. ; a fairly furnished public museum ; a good subscription library ; a salubrious common, serving as a recreationground; several mansions, together with varied and charming scenery, render the town and vicinity unusually attractive. The site of Miss Berger's house was selected as securing two objects : on the one hand, proximity to a spiritually destitute neighbourhood, that it might be a centre of philanthropic activity; and on the other, natural beauty and quietude, that it might be the abode of strengthening contemplation. The back garden, enclosed by a high flint wall, was within a few paces of courts and yards where it might be said 'Satan's seat' was ; and its gate was furnished with a small aperture for the safe inspection of visitors. But the outlook in front was so lovely as to be a source of perpetual joy to so keen a lover of Nature as Miss Berger. Of her many appreciative expressions concerning this advantage, it may suffice to cite the following : 'Last night, standing at my bedroom window and looking on the beauties of nature by the light of the clear moon, I felt overwhelmed with a sense of the love of God in adorning creation for me, and in adding to that (amazing thought !) the gift of His Son. The retired garden in front witnessed many a prayerful struggle on behalf of the moral wilderness behind the house. Often, like Nathanael, might the several members of this devoted family be found, under the fruittree, in communion with heaven, their ascending strains of praise and prayer mingling with the minstrelsy of nightingale or thrush; with the scarcely less cherished, if less melodious, cawing from an extensive rookery in an adjacent wood, and with numberless other voices of Nature's homage to her God. The house was square-built, plain and substantial; and one of its rooms, designated The Worship-room,' was set apart for Class-meetings, Prayer meetings and other devotional purposes. A few yards from the front garden was the chapel, which would accommodate about three hundred hearers. Uniting to the still very manifest traces of its descent from a barn, massive pews with locks and keys, this place of worship presented a singularly quaint appearance, which, once seen, could not well be forgotten.
Miss Berger's experience at the commencement of her residence at SaffronWalden will appear from a few records made at the time :
• October 4th, 1824.—I felt irrepressible zeal to speak for God, and to let nothing hinder me in the work. --Sunday, October 10th.-Nine more persons accepted an in. vitation to remain to Clasg. Blessed be God! it seems as if He were saying, “ Arise and build.”—-October 11th.--Felt much blessed in family devotions, and believed that the Lord would do great things among us.- -October 31st.--As we were travelling along I cried to the Lord for power more clearly to u pderstand His Word ; and I immediately
felt an overwhelming sense of His presence. When, afterwards, I was speaking about the difference between being saved “so as by fire," and " an abundant entrance” into everlasting life, I felt a blessed assurance that the Lord would give me the latter.'
A passage from numerous and extensive extracts copied by Miss Berger from Mrs. Rowe's Devout Exercises, as setting forth her own views and feelings at this period, may here be cited :
I dread nothing more than the guidance of my blind desires. I tremble at the thoughts of such a fatal liberty. Avert, gracious God, that miserable freedom! Thou foreseest all events, and at one view dost look through eternal consequences : therefore do Thou determine my circumstances to advance Thy glory.' For a season
the churches' under the care of these earnest workers had rest, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.' To the advantage taken of this favourable season for the zealous prosecution of their labours, as well as to the encouraging degree of success attendant thereupon, making it almost possible to say that, through them, the Lord added to the Church daily such as should be saved,' the subjoined notices and letter bear gratifying testimony :
December 11th, 1824.- Have seen the Lord's hand in several circumstances of our last visit to London, especially at Kensington and Hammersmith. We had the pleasuro also to find that it was well with our people at Leytonstone, and that the work was reviving at Ilford.
· Augast 2nd, 1825.-Have been graciously and much assisted during the past week, in which, as for several weeks previous, we have spoken every night at different places ; and on Sunday I took a new step, speaking an extra time at Walden. I had a glorious day, as, indeed, I expected to have ; for when I decided upon this additional work, in dependence upon God, I opened upon the following remark of Burkitt's : " By weak and even dead means, God produces the mightiest effects"; and also on a very encouraging passage in Doddridge's Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul.
* Sunday, August 21st.–Engaged four times at Walden. Having looked up to the Lord for direction concerning speaking in the street, this passage seemed given mo in answer, “ Cast thy bread upon the waters : for thou shalt find it after many days." • To MESSRS. A. AND C. W.
September 23rd, 1825. • DEAR CHILDREN IN THE LORD, * Though absent in the flesh, we are often with you in spirit, commending you to His grace, Who is able to make and preserve you blameless to the day of His coming. A brief account of our summer's engagements may afford you matter for prayer and praise. Commencing several weeks before harvest, we have up to this date spoken every night except Saturday, mostly in the open air in the adjacent villages, and have had very large congregations. One evening, after our public speaking, a man who had followed us and received special exhortation about his soul seemed deeply affected. Не said that he felt convinced, and had done so ever since our first visit, that, unless there was a change in his character and life, he would be lost for ever. We went to his house and prayed with him and his wife. He came to Walden on the following Sunday, according to promise, and every Sunday since he has done so, sometimes bringing his wife, and sometimes others. He declares that the long journey does not tire him so much as his former drunkenness did. His fellow-labourers in the harvest-field soon discovered the change in his character, for he had been notoriously wicked ; and they did not fail to tempt him to return to his old ways. He says he has never spent such a harvest before, and his thoughts are continually on the coming harvest when
the reapers will be the angels. Several other equally genuine cases of conversion havo gladdened us.
· H. E. WEBSTER and C. S. BERGER.'
October 19th.—The following, in Cecil's Remains, has been an encouragement to me [Miss Berger) as respects public speaking : "The meanness of the earthen vessel which conveys to others the Gospel treasure, takes nothing from the value of the treasure. A dying hand may sign a deed of gift of incalculable value. A shepherd's boy may point out the way to a philosopher."
• February 5th, 1826.—The joining of two new members to our Society we trace to the morning Prayer-meetings, which commence at half-past five o'clock.––March 6th, -How bountifully does the Lord deal with us, making His work to prosper in our hands and granting us gracious manifestations of His presence in our meetings ! Constantly persons are coming forward to join themselves to the Lord and to us. I have also to record the Lord's goodness in another respect. Yesterday week I was too poorly to engage in speaking, and was therefore alone, waiting on the Lord, for the greater part of the day. I asked chiefly for spiritual blessing, and secondarily, for the removal of a weakness in my chest which had bowed me down in a measure for fifteen years, so that I could not keep myself upright without great pain and sickness. Glory be to God! He has heard my prayer, removing altogether this physical distress, which I had before expected would increase upon me with my years.
* October 10th.-Glory be to God, Who graciously helped us through the past Sabbath !-a day of rainy weather and of much fatigue to us, on which we travelled thirty miles, and I was enabled to speak three times, twice at Crishall and once at Abington, where the Lord is working blessedly, and the people seem to be seeking Him with all their hearts.
• November 14th.—I had a blessed day on the Sabbath ; spoke at Crishall, morning and afternoon, and at Abington in the evening. I think I never since engaging in this blessed employment felt more assisted than on the latter occasion. Yesterday was my spiritual birthday. Thirteen years have rolled away since I first knew the Lord ; and I am astonished when I review the helps and other mercies which have been crowded into those years, to such an unworthy and unprofitable servant. I would, in the spirit of grateful love and unreserved obedience, offer afresh myself and my little all to that Saviour Who revealed Himself to my soul in such a powerful and unspeakable manner on that blessed day, and to Whom I now can say, “Whom have I in heaven but Thee ? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee.” Rather more than a week ago we commenced the five o'clock morning Prayer.meetings for the winter. I felt very anxious to begin them, becanse of their spiritual benefit, and I view it as a special blessing from the Lord that so far from my health suffering damage, as before, under similar circumstances, it has greatly improved.'
But a time of trial was close at hand. Bitter persecution was soon to arise. As there had been at Abington considerable objection, on the part of the heads of the parish, to the work of herself and companions, Miss Berger deemed it advisable to purchase, as the site for a new chapel, a small plot of freehold land in that place, with two cottages upon it, intending subsequently to secure, if possible, the adjoining plot. Under the influence of powerful persecution, the owner of the cottage in which the ladies had hitherto conducted worship was induced to close his doors against them; and even the tenant of the cottage which they had just purchased, stoutly refused to quit. Miss Berger, however, was not dismayed ; but quietly persisted in the course of duty until she secured her right, and therewith a