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And she did something besides crying and working. She prayed to the great God who could cure her mother, and perhaps her prayers did more good than all besides.
For there came a time when the doctor and nurse and Mr. Seymour were all very anxious.
“If she lives another hour she may recover," said the doctor.
Ah, what an hour that was ; Nellie will never forget it. She could not cry or read or move about, she could do nothing but pray.
And God heard her, for at the end of the hour the doctor came out of the room with a smile upon his face, and said to her, “I think your mamma will get better now.”
And she began to mend from that time. Nellie was very very thankful, and so happy that she scarcely knew what to do.
“ Your mamma will be a long time getting well,” he said, will have plenty of nursing to do for her.”
“I do not mind how much, sir," said Nellie, “if only she will get quite well at last."
Her brothers called her “Nurse Nellie ;” but when, some weeks after, Mrs. Seymour came down stairs for the first time since her illness, no one was happier than Nellie.
Her mother loved her very much. She had always known it, but she was more sure than ever about it now, for she could see that she liked to have her near her, and seemed never tired of praising her clever and kind hands.
And what had become of poor little Pet all this time?
Ah, Nellie had not neglected her. Every day she had come from her mother's sick room to spend a little time with the child, and make her happy.
“I think our Nellie will be a good and useful woman," said her father. “She knows how to do so many things well, and she neglects none."
And all little girls who have fathers will know how precious these words were to Nellie.
(To be continued.)
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CHRISTIAN WORLD MAGAZINE.
GEORGE WHITEFIELD'S CENTENARY.
On a Saturday evening, the 29th of September, 1770, George Whitefield arrived at the little town of Newburyport, in Massachusetts. He had preached that day in the open air to a vast assembly in the neighbouring town of Exeter. His sermon had lasted for two hours. He had surpassed himself. It was a mighty torrent of appeal. He was tired out, and was anxious for repose. But the news spread that Mr. Whitefield was come, and while he was at supper the house was besieged,—the hall was filled with people eager to see and to hear him. He snatched a candle, and retreated towards the bedroom, but before he reached it his heart smote him. “What,” thought he, “if I should have no other opportunity of addressing these people, who are hungering for the bread of life ? " He paused on the stairs to speak to them. He forgot his exhaustion, and while they gazed up at him, with tearful eyes, he pleaded yet more tenderly, more earnestly. His words—so musical, so winning, so pathetic-flowed on until the candle, which he held in his hand, burned away and went out in its socket. Pregnant symbol! The life was also burnt away; shining brightly to the end, his light was also flickering in the socket.
He slept comfortably till two o'clock in the morning, and was wakened then by a return of asthma. He sat up in bed, praying for some time that God would bless his preaching, his Bethesda school, the Tabernacle congregation, and “all connections on the other side the water.” Then he tried to compose himself to sleep again, but in vain. The sense of suffocation increased. Panting for breath, he went to the open window. "I am dying !” he cried. A physician was hastily sent for, but could give him no relief. As the sun rose over the sea that Sabbath morning, the spirit of George Whitefield rose into the Eternal Morning and the Sabbath of the skies. But in Newburyport there was grief and consternation. The town sat mute till the day of his burial. Then the bells all tolled, guns fired slowly and solemnly in the ships in the harbour, the flags hung at half-mast, the population followed the remains to their last resting-place. They were deposited beneath the pulpit of the Federal-street Church. A plain cenotaph, surmounted by a symbol of immortality-a flame burning from an uncovered urnis there inscribed to his memory. The pilgrims to this shrine pass into the adjacent vestry, descend through the floor into a crypt, and thence by a side-door into a vault, where, between two ancient pastors of the church, still lies the open coffin. The bare and decaying bones lie upon the dust into which the rest of the body has mouldered, and the visitor may still take the full-orbed cranium into his hands. Funeral sermons were preached in the principal cities of America. The magistrates of Georgia assembled in mourning at the State House, and led a procession to hear a funeral sermon at the church. All the cloth suitable for mourning in the stores of the colony was bought up. The news of his death reached London early in November. The Methodist chapels were all draped in black, and Mr. Wesley preached a funeral sermon at the Tabernacle, Tottenham-court Chapel, and many other places.
The Centenary of Whitefield's death has just been observed in the United States. Is there any reason why England should remember him, and bless God for his life and labours ? To this question we propose to suggest an answer somewhat different to that usually given; or, rather, to give a larger reason which should constrain those who may not be specially interested in his religious teaching to honour his memory and that of his compeers.
Born in the Bell Inn, Gloucester, in December, 1714, and his parents being in fair circumstances, Whitefield received as good an education as the city could afford, until his father dying and his mother contracting a second marriage, every way unfortunate, he was taken from school before he was fifteen, and called upon to assist in the work of the inn. Putting on, as he tells us, his blue apron and
snuffers," he “washed mops, cleaned rooms, and became a professed and common drawer.” But, as a boy, he had shown great religious sensibility and dramatic power. He acted, with other of the grammar-school boys, before the Corporation, and obtained rewards in money, with some of which he purchased a book of Bishop Ken's, which greatly impressed him, and, says he," when I was sixteen
age I began to fast twice in the week thirty-six hours together, prayed many times a day, received the Sacrament every Lord's-day, fasted myself almost to death all the forty days
of Lent, yet I knew no more that I was to be born again in God than if I was never born at all. I had a mind to be
upon but then I had a question of conscience; I used to ask people, 'Pray can I be a player and yet go to the Sacrament and be a Christian?'” Hearing that it was possible to obtain an education at Oxford as a “servitor," or poor student, who could make up the greater part of his expenses by attending on his fellow collegians, he, in his eighteenth year, made application for such a place in Pembroke College, and had the good fortune to be admitted immediately. Here his serious turn of mind soon procured him the notice of the Wesleys, and he was admitted to the little fellowship of the “Methodists,” then only about fifteen in number, who used to meet to read divinity and pray together. Charles Wesley, he says, “pat a book into my hand called, 'The Life of God in the Soul of Man,' whereby God showed me that I must be born again or be damned. I know the place; it may be superstitious, perhaps, but whenever I go to Oxford I cannot help running to that place where Jesus Christ first revealed Himself to me, and gave me the new birth !” So was laid the foundation of Whitefield's faith and power. Like the Wesleys, he now lived by the strictest rule-fasting, “ living in retreat," taking the Sacrament often, pursuing self-examination. He preached asceticism till his bodily health failed, and his mind, in consequence, became weakened and full of morbid horrors. memory failed ; his feelings were cramped, he says, as a man bound in iron armour; he selected the poorest food, and the meanest apparel, and by dirty shoes, patched raiment, and coarse gloves, endeavoured to mortify his burdened spirit. When he knelt down to pray, he felt
great pressure of soul,” under the weight of which the sweat dripped from his face.
But he was saved from mere ritualism and fanaticism by joining to all this strict observance continual works of charity and usefulness, visiting the sick poor and the prisoners in the gaols—a proceeding which was so reprobated by some of the college authorities, that the Bishop had to be consulted, and his sanction obtained. And at length the burdens were removed; he found peace in believing, and of this time he writes :-"Surely it was the day of my espousals, a day to be had in everlasting remembrance. At first my joys were like a spring tide, and, as it were, overflowed the banks; go where I would, I could not avoid the singing of Psalms almost aloud ; afterwards they became more settled, and, blessed be God, saving a few carnal intervals, have abode and increased in my soul ever since.” His devotion and practical earnestness brought him under the notice of Dr. Benson, Bishop of Gloucester, who sent for him one evening, and asked him his age. When he told him that he was little more than twenty-one, the Bishop
said he had resolved not to ordain any one under twenty-three, but, if he wished it, he would make an exception in his case. He was alarmed at the idea of taking holy orders ; but his friends so pressed him to avail himself of the Bishop's offer, that he at length consented, and, after a day of fasting, spent two hours in prayer in the fields to prepare himself for ordination. When the Bishop laid his hands upon his head, he said, “I call heaven and earth to witness that I give myself up to be a martyr for Him who hung upon the cross for me. Known unto Him are all future events and contingencies. I have thrown myself blindfold, and without reserve, into His Almighty hands." Here was the consecration, and this was the consuming altar fire which made Whitefield's life grand.
The Bishop conceived a great regard for him, and on his return to Oxford put into his hand five guineas," a great supply," he says, “for one who had not a grain in the world.” He took his degree, and was going on to visit the prisoners, oversee the charity schools supported by the Methodists, and generally attend to the “Society" which the Wesleys had formed at the University, when an invitation came to him to officiate for a short time at the Tower Chapel, in London. He undertook the task with trembling, and as he went into the desk an evident sneer at his boyish appearance ran through the congregation. But when he began to preach they began to grow serious, and before he had done they were all attention. As much respect was shown to him when he came down from the pulpit as disrespect when he went into it. The question passed from mouth to mouth,“ Who is he?" He stayed in London two months, not preaching only, but working hard in infirmaries and barracks, and before he was done people came from all parts of the metropolis to hear him. His popularity had begun. A curious description is given of people trudging with their lighted lanthorns from all parts of the City in very early morning to the distant churches where Whitefield was announced to preach.
While thus engaged, he received letters from the Wesleys, who were now in Georgia, asking him to come over and help them in the work, which they believed themselves called to do, amongst the colonists and Indians of that State; and Whitefield, in one of his replies to them, asks their prayers that he may be preserved from ambition, for his success as a preacher had raised in his mind thoughts that much troubled him. He was constantly fancyingWhat if I should one day be made a Bishop! It is said that Dr. Wilberforce strongly urged at Court that Dr. Newman should be made a Bishop, and that after that distinguished man had gone over to the Church of Rome the Prince Consort asked the Bishop of Oxford what he now thought of his recommendation. “Ah," said the astute prelate, “ if he had been made a Bishop he might