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sadly changed. Her cheeks were thin and hollow, which made her eyes appear unnaturally large; but she looked very happy and peaceful, notwithstanding. She smiled when Í kissed her, and seemed glad to have me with her again ; but was too weak to utter a word, and presently fell asleep. As I sat quite still by the bedside, I heard the doctor iell the nurse in a whisper, that he did not think she could last until morning. And my sister heard it also ; for she opened her large eyes, and, looking at me, smiled again. Seeing her lips move, I bent towards her.
“I am not afraid to die now, Fanny,' said she, in a whisper. But you must ask nurse to tell you all about it, and to teach you to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.' She stopped, for want of breath; but presently added, with an expression of countenance that I shall never forget, ' Oh, Fanny, it is so sweet to believe in Jesus!'
“ Fearing lest she should exhaust her little remaining strength, my mother led me gently away, and I never saw that darling sister again. Her end, I afterwards understood, was peace, through the blood of the Lamb.
“The good nurse was dismissed immediately after my sister Jane's death, which cost me many secret tears ; for, although she had been with us so short a time, we had all begun to love her very much. But my mother, it seems, dreaded the influence she might acquire over our young minds, already saddened and subdued by the late solemn event; and with fond, but mistaken kindness, exerted herself to amuse and interest us by every means in her power.
“Young as I was, I faithfully performed my promise to poor Jane, and read a chapter alone in my little room every night and morning; but, neglecting to pray for the assistance of the Holy Spirit to enable me to understand and profit by it, this did me little good. I was careful only to get through the allotted portion, with my thoughts perhaps wandering all the time to other things. My dear sister's last words frequently occurred to my recollection; but I dared not speak of them to my mother, and the only person who could have explained them was gone. Sometimes I thought, with tears, if Jane called herself a sinner, and feared to die-she, who was so meek and gentle, and whom every one loved—what must I be? I used bitterly to bewail my many faults, and, above all, my besetting sin, a proud impatient temper, and was constantly making resolutions which were broken again on the slightest provocation, because I had made them in my own strength. But it more frequently happened, as I grew up, that I ceased to think about these things; concluding that, after all; I was no worse than others, and should, no doubt, do very well.
“ Introduced at an early age into the gay world, I soon became wholly engrossed with its pleasures and frivolities; until suddenly aroused by one of those heavy afflictions which God sends in mercy to drive back his wandering and rebellious children to Himself. Dim with weeping, and weak from want of faith, our eyes see not the covenant rainbow which is ever shining through the darkest cloud. In consequence of a series of unavoidable misfortunes, my father failed, and became a ruined man ; and I and my sisters were compelled to leave home, and earn our own livings as we best could. It has seemed to me since, as though God in his love separated us on earth only to re-unite us in heaven!
“I was providentially guided to procure a situation in a religious family, and all my early impressions returned. Just before I quitted home, my mother had noticed with tears my increasing likeness to poor Jane, and I resolutely determined to become very good; so that, if I should be called away, I might not be afraid to die, any more than she was at the last, This, however, was not so easy as I had expected, and repeated failures, while they taught me humility, drove me at the same time to despair. . My mistress, observing my tears, would frequently inquire if I were ill or unhappy, and spoke to me so kindly upon one occasion, that I was induced to open my whole heart to her. Blessed be God; she was not one of those who say · Peace, peace,' where there is no peace ; stilling those convictions of sin which are the work of the Holy Spirit, and encouraging a false and dangerous confidence, ten thousand times more to be dreaded than the fiercest accusations of a wounded and contrite spirit. I recollect one thing she said which struck me very forcibly at the time.
“ • Let us even suppose, Fanny, that you had been able to keep all your good resolutions from the moment you entered my house; the sins of your past life would still remain to rise up in judgment against you! We read in Scripture, the soul that sinneth, it shall die!' Ezek. xviii. 4. And again,
Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all,' James ii. 10, and included under the curse which
will find written in the third chapter of St. Paul's Epistle to the Galatians, at the tenth verse.'
“ From my long habit of reading the Scriptures, I turned to the passage readily enough, and my heart sank within me as I read what seemed to be my own condemnation ; the words appearing to stand out distinctly from the page with singular clearness ; “Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things written in the book of the law to do them.'
“Never shall I forget the revulsion of feeling, the joy and wonder that stole over me, when my dear mistress began to explain how Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us,' Gal. iii. 13; how he is able, also, to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them, Heb. vii. 25; and that whosoever cometh to him, he will in no wise cast out, John vi. 37; that the Fountain is opened for sin and for uncleanness,' Zech. xiii. 1 ; and that the precious blood of Christ, cleanseth from all sin.' The dying words of my sister Jane were explained to me at last ; although it was many months before I could fully realize them in my own soul; • O Fanny, it is so sweet to believe in Jesus!'
“From that hour a change came over my whole life; 'old things had passed away. I have frequently wondered, and tried to think what my hope could have been before I knew the Saviour; but all seems a blank. With that knowledge, I may truly say, commenced my happiness ; for there is no real peace or happiness out of Christ. Many a time have I thanked God upon my knees for those trials and crosses, sent in. love to hunible, and bring me to the foot of His cross ; for the sorrowful seed-time that was appointed to bring in so rich a harvest of faith and joy; for those many afflictive dispensations which, while they showed me my need of a Saviour, and made Him doubly precious, kept me near Him, as it were, in spite of myself. “Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth : therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: for he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole,'” Job v. 17, 18.
The writer of the above narrative continued for many years faithfully to discharge her duties in the humble situation in which it had pleased God to place her, and was the happy instrument in his hands of bringing her youngest sister to the Saviour, and teaching her to rest all her hopes upon him who died for sinners. The latter part of her life was marked by much, and severe suffering, which obliged her at length to return to a home where there were but few comforts : but her heavenly Father was still leading her by a way she knew not, and had a purpose of love to work out amid bitterness and trial. That which all her earnest and affectionate pleadings while living had failed to bring to pass was, through the blessing of the Holy Spirit, effected at length by her peaceful and triumphant death. And the parents and their children were ever
ually made one in Christ. May the same blessing rest upon this narrative, and enable us to realize in our own experience the precious truths contained in it. May we all feel that it is indeed sweet to believe in Jesus," and to make Him our refuge and our hope; that there is no real happiness out of Christ; no peace, no pardon, save in the blood of the Lamb; “the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world,” John i. 29.
THE WRATH TO COME.
Yes, there is wrath to come. Multitudes deny it and try to disbelieve it, and multitudes more labour to forget it. Yet it will come. Hear the voice of eternal truth: 16 Who will render to every man according to his deeds. Unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ,” Rom. ii. 6, 8, 9, 16. 66 The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness, Rom. i. 18. “Let no man deceive you with vain words, for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience,” Eph. v, 6.
And does not conscience speak the same language? What mean those fearful apprehensions, those dark and gloomy forebodings that often fill the sinner's bosom, and deprive his soul of peace? Why the alarm and trembling of the murderer at the rustling of a leaf-the fearful sights that disturb his slumbers, or the agony of spirit that holds his eyes waking? Why has God put such a monitor in the sinner's breast, except to teach him that there is wrath to come ?
Does not providence repeat the same lesson? Why do the wicked live, increase in riches, shine in honours, riot in luxury? “ Their eyes stand out with fatness; they have more than heart could wish,” while “his people return hither, and waters of a full cup are wrung out to them.”
God's own image, the loveliest exhibition of his renewing grace, is insulted, trodden under foot, and crushed by his eneniies. Is God indifferent to the sufferings of his children? Is he not just? Has he not power to punish ? Must there not be wrath to come ? Oh, then, listen not to the soothing delusion that it will be well with you, though you walk after the imagination of your evil heart. It is the suggestion of the devil, the father of lies, who with such fatal success said to our first mother, “ Ye shall not surely die.” Yes, there is wrath to come.
It is coming rapidly. It will soon be here. Every day, every hour, every moment brings it on with fearful haste: perhaps the next moment it may begin to descend upon some wretched soul; and when once it comes, all resistance will be vain. Entreaties, tears, groans, will not avail to ward it off or mitigate its horrors. Stern indifference will be equally vain; for
It is the wrath of God. It is the wrath which infinite justice inflicts for the honour of his throne, and as a warning to all worlds. Wrath which has been accumulating during all the years while he graciously endured with much longsuffering the sins of men, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. The interests of the universe now require it; holy angels approve, and the wretched victims themselves will ever find a witness in their own bosoms, that they receive the just reward of their deeds. But, oh, how can they bear it?
It is the wrath of God. The wrath of man, a fellowcreature, a worm, may be resisted, overcome, or borne in sullen silence. From the wrath of an angel there might be an appeal to a higher Power, a refuge beneath the throne of God. But who can resist the arm of Omnipotence, or bear up under the pressure of infinite wrath? 66 Who hath hardened himself against him and prospered ?" “ Can thine heart endure, or will thine arm be strong in the day when He shall deal with thee?"
One of the ingredients of this bitter cup is the loss of heaven. That world of light and glory, of beauty and happiness, the suitable and sufficient portion of the soul, which God has provided for his children, and which was so often offered to the sinner, is
All its sublime joys, its sweet harmonies, its lasting friendships, its' holy fellowships, its exalted employments, its lovely scenes, its growing knowledge, its perfect holiness—all, all are lost; and there is nothing left to supply their place, for the world is also lost.
gone for ever.