[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

"AMONG my young companions, there was ALICE LEE. Circumstances, which I need not explain, prevented us from forming an intimate acquaintance during our schooldays, but I remember that she was a great favourite with her teacher, and very strict in her attention to study. She left school when quite young, and it was then that our acquaintance strengthened into a friendship, which I shall ever esteem one of the greatest blessings of my life. She was in the first bloom of youth, lovely in person, graceful in manners, and possessing a most refined and highly cultivated mind; yet it was not these attractions that rendered her so peculiarly pleasing. It was the 'beauty of holiness,' that threw a charm around her,—that shone in every look and word. Singleness of aim, disinterestedness of feeling, and deep humility, were, I think, her distinguishing characteristics, united to the most entire and unwavering consecration of thought, purpose and affection to her divine Master. I well remember with what humble, yet confiding faith she approached for the first time the table of the Lord, and how deeply she felt the responsibility of the position she then assumed. I had only my own strength on which to depend,' she wrote in a note received at that time, 'I should surely fall. Temptations surround me, but I know whence my help cometh. I can do all things through Christ strengthening me. I pray continually that I may not bring dishonour on the Christian's name.'


"From the hour when, trembling with deep emotion, she enrolled herself among the people of God, ALICE LEE lived not for herself, but for Him who died for her. Every mental and personal endowment, with the energy of an

[blocks in formation]

active and ardent spirit, she employed in the service of her Redeemer. Among her gay companions, she took at once a decided stand for God and heaven. She was no

more seen in the resorts of fashionable gaiety, where she had once shone. Pursuits that had before afforded her pleasure, were now distasteful, and were relinquished, as well from inclination as duty; and though ever gentle and kind in her deportment to all around her, it was soon evident to her former young friends, that there no longer existed any congeniality between her and them. By degrees they left her for new and gayer associates, while she pursued, alone, the path of peace. How bright and steady was her onward course, and how widely extended became the sphere of her usefulness!

"I seem to see her still, as she sat, Sabbath after Sabbath, in the Sunday-school, surrounded by her little class, not one of whom was ever willing to be absent from her accustomed place, her speaking face lighted with the glow of holy love; and while she instilled into their young hearts the truths that were so precious to her own soul, so absorbed and delighted was she with her office, that all else was forgotten! Few are the teachers who have to encounter more difficulties in fulfilling the duties of their station, and fewer still those who discharge them as faithfully. During the week, her time was fully occupied with pressing and important duties, yet she never neglected to visit her class, and was unwearied in her efforts to interest and benefit them. By frequent, private, religious conversation, or if this was impracticable, by writing to them familiar notes on the subject of personal piety-in short by every method that her energetic mind and affectionate heart could devise, she sought to increase her influence over them, and to lead them to Jesus.

"Nor were the poor and afflicted neglected by her. In the intervals of daily duties, which others would have spent in relaxation and repose, she bent her steps to the dwelling of the sad and destitute. Often, at the close of the day, when wearied with exertion, she still would not hesitate to take a long walk to some humble home, if by a few words of encouragement, or an act of kindness, she


could alleviate the sorrows or cares of its inmates. remember once meeting her on her return from one of these excursions, looking pale and exhausted from fatigue. I ventured to remonstrate with her, and urged her not to undertake so much, but to spare herself such unwonted exertions. 'I must work while it is called to-day,' she replied, in a gentle, yet decided tone, (while a sweet, thoughtful expression passed over her face,) I seem to hear a voice saying, The time is short, whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do quickly!' She spoke with so much and such an earnest emphasis, that I inquired almost anxiously if she was indisposed, but receiving her cheerful answer in the negative, and knowing what perfect health she had always enjoyed, my apprehensions were removed, and begging her to avoid such excessive fatigue in future, we parted.

"In the large circle of pious friends in which Alice moved, and in her own home, she shone conspicuously in every Christian grace. She peculiarly excelled in rendering all those little endearing attentions that make up the sum of domestic happiness. She seemed to live only for others; no selfish emotion or plan was visible in her conduct or words, and she was almost constantly busied in some employment for the benefit or pleasure of others, Every returning birth-day, or anniversary of any incident of interest in the lives of those she loved, was sweetly remembered and recalled by some memento of affection→→→→ an article of dress, that her own hands had wrought, or a drawing from her skilful pencil. How closely such a companion would entwine herself around the hearts of those, who were privileged to call her theirs for a little season, only they can realize who have had such a tie broken.

"There was one striking characteristic of the intercourse of Alice even with her most intimate friends-her conversation was always on useful topics. Her mind was too full of plans of usefulness, and her hands of putting them into execution, to allow time or thought for any of the foolish day-dreams, in which too many young females indulge; and, as it is only 'out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh,' her tongue was never em

« ElőzőTovább »