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and sins, and walked after the Prince that ruleth in the air, and the Spirit that worketh in the children of disobedience. But God, who is rich in mercy, through the great love wherewith he loved me, even when I was dead, hath quickened me in Christ. I was fierce, heady, proud, high-minded; but God hath made me as the child that is newly weaned. I loved pleasure more tban God: I followed greedily the joys of this present world. I said of every kind of vanity, Oh! how sweet art thou to my soul! all which things now are crucified to me and I to them. Now I hate the pride of life and pomp of this world. Now I take as great delight in the way of thy testimonies, O Lord, as in all riches. Now I find more joy of heart in my Lord and Saviour, than the worldly-minded man when his wheat and oil do much abound. Now I taste nothing sweet but the bread which came down from heaven to give life to the world. Now mine eyes see nothing but Jesus rising from the dead. Now mine ears refuse all kinds of melody, to hear the song of them who have gotten victory of the Beast, and of his image, and of his mark; and of the number of his name; and that stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God, and singing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty ! just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints!" Beloved reader,
Beloved reader, if you have experienced the blessed change of heart thus described, you surely need not be uneasy at the manner in which it has been effected.
When Mrs. P. first heard the Gospel preached, she felt the word of God “as a sharp sword, piercing even to the joints and marrow, and a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." Her convictions of sin were so acute, that her health suffered under the mental conflict they produced. For some time she could behold nought but Sinai's fiery mount surrounded with thick darkness, clouds, and tempests; while the sound of the trumpet waxed so exceeding loud to her startled apprehension, that she could not as yet distinguish the still small voice of the Gospel. But, blessed be God, mercy still rejoiceth against judgment; and the time was drawing nigh when she was to be given “beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness."
One night she awoke in great terror of mind. She fancied the flames of hell surrounded her, and that she was going down" quick into the pit," when that text spoke to her inmost soul, “I will be your God, and ye shall be my people;" and then all her terrors banished, never, never more to return. She was enabled to receive the record that God has given of his Son, to believe that all her sins were blotted out in the atoning blood of the Lamb, never, never to rise in condemnation against her!
“ How sweet, O my God, is thy voice of compassion,
And casts her dark shadows of sorrow behind.
It hushed the hoarse thunders of justice to rest.
Poured the balm of relief on the penitent's breast." All those who have been partakers of like precious faith can easily imagine what her feelings were. If then, as the Christian poet says of the condemned malefactor,
« Just then, all thoughts of mercy lost,
“ Joy, far superior joy, that much outweighs
The comfort of few poor added days,
Of him, whom Hope has with a touch made whole.
“ Ohl welcome now the Sun's once noted light,
Rocks, groves, and streams must join him in his praise.”. From this time forth she enjoyed, with but few interruptions, much joy and peace in believing, and was enabled, by God's grace, stedfastly to set her face Zionward; and from what I have heard, I do not believe that she ever in “heart turned back into Egypt," but was enabled to glorify her God and Saviour by an upright and consistent walk. That Scripture which had thus proved the means of bringing her out of bondage into the glorious liberty of the children of God, was engraven on the tablet of the heart in characters never to be effaced-written not with pen and ink, but with the finger of the living God-80 much so, that even forty years after this occurred, when the same verse was read to her, her aged cheek would glow with delight, while she would soitly murmur, “Glory be to Him."
Mrs. P. had been the joyful mother of many promising children, seven of whom (six sons and one daughter) had reached the years of maturity. At the time when I first visited her, four of her sons were most respectably settled in America; one was in a good employment in the north of Ireland; and the youngest, 1 believe, resided with his parents. The daughter, who (report said) was like her mother, of
a beautiful countenance, and well favoured,” had married with the approbation of her parents, and had most probably looked forward to a long and happy life. But, alas! how aptly is human life compared to the “grass, which in the morning is green and flourisheth, and in the evening is cut down, dried up, and withered.” The desire of Mrs. P.'s eyes was taken away with a stroke. She was summoned, one day, to attend the dying bed of the beloved one, who, a day or two before, was in perfect health. She, however, arrived time enough to speak "a word in season” to the suf
ferer. “O mother, mother,”the latter would exclaim, “I am a great sinner !" “ Well, dear, remember you have a great Saviour," was her weeping parent's reply. The agony incident to the awful disease of which she died, which was Indian cholera, would only admit of short but fervent ejaculations for mercy to Him who casts out none who come to him.
Mrs. P, would sometimes speak to me of by-gone days, when she and her husband lived on their own little farm in the country, and her “ children were about her.” “Often, on taking a morning walk,” she
“all nature used to look so smiling--the birds were singing their morning hymn—the large dew drops were shining like diamonds on the grass ;" and she would thus say to herself, “These creatures are all serving the end for which they were created ; am I doing so likewise ?"
Forty years experience of her own heart had not lessened her distrust of it ; she still felt it to be “deceitful above all things.” On showing me the portrait of a much-loved son, then at a great distance from bis “fatherland," she assured me that it was not without many scruples that she consented to its being hung on the walls of her little cabin; “for," said she, “I feared I might make an idol of it: you know we make an idol of any thing.” She dreaded nothing so much as “a divided heart.”
Next to the Bible, she loved her little Hymn Book. 'The sweet songs of Zion cheered her on her pilgrimage. She was greatly pleased with the hymn of Cowper's, commencing with
“ There is a fountain filled with blood." After having heard it read for the first time, she told me, some days after, that she could not get the latter part of the fourth verse out of her mind :
“ Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be till I die." Although for some time she had been a great invalid, yet her death was very sudden. One morning,
she sent a messenger to apprize me that she was very ill. When I came, she could scarcely speak, owing to her breathing being very much oppressed, and her cough exceedingly violent. She, however, was perfectly sensible, and, as I have mentioned before, manifested her usual ardent desire to hear the word of God. She died that night. When passing through “ Jordan's stream, and Death's cold flood," her feet rested on that rock, which, from long experience, she had found to be a tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation, and that Rock, dear reader, was the Rock of Ages-Jehovah, Jesus! Next day, I called. I missed the smiling welcome I used invariably to receive, as I lifted the latch of her cottage door. I was shewn into a little inner apartment, where, stretched on a couch, lay the mortal remains of my revered Christian friend. I gazed on the face of the departed. It was truly beautiful; it wore an indescribable expression of perfect peace; she appeared as if she were only “taking of rest in sleep. sweet to know that her happy spirit had indeed entered into rest-rest from sin, sorrow, pain, and sickness.
During Mrs. P.'s life-time, í had seen but little of her husband. His daily work prevented his being much at home. I had remarked, however, that his appearance was most respectable, and much above his present station in life. He seemed, as far as I could judge, cold and indifferent about the one thing needful. His wife had, indeed, once or twice hinted to me, in a tone of great sorrow, that he had once been very religious, but had long since forsaken the guide of his youth. She, however, had not ceased to pray for him. Indeed, he afterwards confirmed her statement by confessing to me himself that he had sought the Lord in early life, and had been favoured with much joy and peace in believing. He had also, I believe, been much looked up to on account of his religious profession. But “the evil days” drew nigh: losses followed each other in quick succession; he gave place to murmuring and discontent, neglected communion with his