Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

ployed on such idle and unprofitable themes. The incidents of her future life she resigned, without a careful thought, into the hands of her covenant God. She only asked that she might labour for Him. This left her mind free to be engrossed with the concerns and interests of others, enabling her so quickly and readily to understand their feelings, and, with a grace peculiarly her own, to express the sympathy of her warm and disinterested heart.

“Indeed, if ever there dwelt on earth one Christian who emphatically obeyed the apostolical injunction, ‘Bear ye oneanother's burdens,' it was Alice Lee. One instance of her sweet forgetfulness of self can never be forgotten. An intimate friend called to see her, when she was about to leave home and was suffering from indisposition. She found Alice in the midst of hurried preparations, surrounded by all the bustle, and petty yet engrossing cares, that require attention on the eve of an anticipated absence of some months. Her friend had intended seeking the sympathy so readily bestowed, in a matter that perplexed and distressed her, but perceiving her situation she resolved to say nothing on the subject. Persons usually on such occasions have no time to think of any thing but their own plans and wants, but the watchful eye of the self-forgetting Alice quickly detected the unwonted emotions of her friend; and turning at once from the preparations she was busily making, she sat down beside her, and taking her hand in hers, said tenderly, 'I am sure something distresses you this morning; will you not tell me what it is?' So entirely, then, was every care of her own laid aside, and so completely was the strong current of her generous soul moved by the explanation that followed such an appeal, that it would have been difficult for an observer to have decided which felt the most deeply, the narrator or her listener.

"Friendship would never weary of the theme; but I may not linger longer on the rare and exalted qualities of my precious Alice. Suffice it to say, that in the church of which she was an ornament, in the circle in which she moved, and her own home, she was a bright and burning light;' and that amid the excitement and turmoil of a city life, she walked with God, making His will the

guide of her conduct, His glory the object of her daily efforts; being in the world, and yet not of the world.

"He that is faithful in a few things, shall be made ruler over many things,' is the exposition that our Lord himself gives of the dealings of His providence with His children; and accordingly Alice was called to fill a new station, involving great responsibilities. She became the wife of a minister of the Gospel, and prepared herself to discharge the important duties involved in that relation. With every prospect of a long life of happiness and usefulness, she turned from the home of her childhood, and from the vineyard in which she had so untiringly and faithfully laboured, to another and more prominent sphere of action. To her pastor, to her Sabbath school class, and to the warmly attached circle of friends whom she had drawn around her, the parting was peculiarly bitter and trying, yet scarcely more felt by them than by her, who, in the midst of her bright hopes and new sources of happiness, still thought far more of the feelings of others than of her own.

“The scenes and duties upon which Alice now entered, had no power to wean her heart from those she left, to mourn the absence of their sweet comforter and friend. Though distant, she still cherished their memories, and her frequent letters and inquiries proved not one of their individual cares was forgotten, and at their occasional meetings her interest was as warmly and sincerely expressed as when sharing their daily walks.

“How efficiently and diligently she laboured for the good of those who came within the reach of her influence in her new home, one who knew and witnessed her efforts, thus speaks— She went about doing good, and whether in the Sunday-school, or at the bed-side of the sick, or in the abode of poverty and distress, she recommended by her sweet example, the Saviour, whom she had found precious to her soul.

"Eighteen months passed quickly away. It was on maristmas eve that, according to her usual custom of Chrking that season with some memento of affection, I received a letter from my absent friend. It contained a single reference to indisposition, which, though she

deemed it slight, had already begun to excite the apprehensions of her friends. Too painfully were their fears realized. A few weeks of doubt and anxiety passed, and then came another letter to tell me that she had taken her place among the pure inhabitants of heaven. Her departure was sudden and unexpected, and her loss such as only those who felt it can know.

Throughout her last sickness,' remarks the friend from whose letter a previous extract has been taken, 'and amid all the crosses incident to her station, no note of complaint ever escaped her lips. “God's will be done!" was the uniform language of her gentle life; and although the progress of her disease forbade her to speak of her Christian hopes in her last moments, yet her life gave the sweetest, as it is the highest, assurance that she had been washed in the blood of the Lamb slain for sinners, and that she had entered into that rest which remaineth for the righteous.

She came into our community, and moved amongst us, as a beam of light; she has gone back to her native skies, and left the shadow of grief upon every heart. Long may the odour of her loveliness lin

ger in the circles where it was shed, and many be the souls whom it may win to the Redeemer!

"It was a source of consolation to the bleeding hearts that her death made desolate, that her tender spirit was not called to endure the anguish of parting, that would have been so deep and exquisite to one whose heart was so finely strung. All unconsciously to the meek and quiet sufferer, the 'golden bowl was broken,' and the ties severed that bound her to the earth. She awoke from the stupor of disease amid the glories of the ‘celestial city;' and the sounds that first fell upon her ear were not those of sorrow, but the song of that redeemed company that encircle the throne of God and of the Lamb.""

CHRISTIAN EARNESTNESS. “WHATSOEVER thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave whither thou goest !” Christian responsibility is a solemn thing. Is it realized as it should be? Christian, ask thine own heart, hast thou laboured with thy might, with hearty zeal, with persevering energy, with truthful confidence ?

A father, mother, sister, brother, husband, or wife is still an alien from God. Now, surely here is a case which calls for the most anxious concern of the believer. Thou shouldest cease not strong crying and earnest supplication to Almighty God, that this dear one, from whose presence thou canst not now, perhaps, be separated from an hour, without pain, shall not be forever separated from thee in eternity! Here is something, surely, which “thy hand hath found to do.” Hast thou done it, art thou doing it, with “thy might?" Hast thou affectionately, yet solemnly—the more affectionately from deep solemnity—warned thy impenitent relatives of the certain consequences of a continuance in rebellion? Hast thou urged them by all their appreciation of happiness, here and hereafter, by all their hopes of heaven and fears of hell, to fly "for refuge to the hope set before them in the Gospel ?” Hast thou, we repeat it, “laboured with thy might,” for the conversion of these souls, so soon to take up their abode in darkness, or in joy eternal ? If not, Do IT! For there is no knowledge, nor wisdom, nor device, in the grave whither thou goest!”

A Sunday-school is languishing for want of Teachers. (And there are such now, perhaps, in thine own place.) Frequently, it may be, thou hast been importuned to take part in this good thing—again and again has thy conscience seconded this appeal to thy sense of accountability to Him who shall soon return to enter into inquisition of thy stewardship; but thou hast stopped to “confer with flesh and blood;" thou art not yet prepared to submit to the self-sacrifice which the duty of a Teacher demands. In the meantime, the school drags heavily

66

The great

along a precarious existence. The minister is discouraged; the Teachers are discouraged; the children are discouraged. But there is another side to the picture; all is not discouragement; oh, no! enemy, Satan, who seeks the precious souls of these children, he is encouraged by thy supineness. Now here, Christian, is something which thy "hand findeth to do;" do it, we warn thee, with thy might?" Alas, alas ! what a fearful reckoning is preparing for the careless Christian; what an awful account must those give, who, in the midst of “a world lying in wickedness, fold their hands,” give slumber to their eyes and sleep to their eyelids, and, although surrounded with the spiritually dead and dying on every side, are yet “at ease in Zion!”

The Holy Father, who freely gave up his only begotten Son to die for our salvation, is waiting for the repentance of the unconverted.

Jesus, who ever liveth to make intercession for all who come unto God through him, is contemplating his disciples to observe how nearly they emulate his holy zeal, who fainted not, neither was weary, in the discharge of his merciful mission !

The Eternal Spirit of the Most High is moving upon the hearts of the redeemed, to go forth and prepare

the way for his blessed ministrations to the hearts of those who now slumber in indifference.

The holy angels, who would fain be employed ministering to those who shall be heirs of salvation, are anxious to extend their beneficent agency to the fallen sons of men; they would fain rejoice over new-born souls, abased in holy penitence; and yet, Christian, art thou inactive? Awake, thou sleeper, and call upon thy God.” Whatever has been thy remissness, heretofore, be no more slothful! Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no knowledge, nor wisdom, nor device in the grave, whither thou

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

goest !”

« ElőzőTovább »