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grace, with better success. The word of God penetrated his heart; and he, too, was brought to the conviction of sin, and, as a proof of sincerity, to forsake intemperance. Since then, I have frequently called at bis mill; and, instead of avoiding me, no one is now so glad to see me; none give me more hearty welcome, or express more anxious wishes for my return. I never arrive, but he hastens out to meet me, saying, “I am glad to see you, Mr. S.; let me put up your horse: Mrs. T. has been looking out for you. Come in; pray come in;" and when I leave, he is sure to say, “I hope, sir, you will never pass this way without calling in; we shall always be glad to see you :" and I have known him more than once, when he expected me to pass, refuse to let bis mill go, lest the noise should interrupt me while reading or praying,
There is also a visible change in the outward conduct of this family—the effect, I hope and believe, of the inward change which the mercy of Christ has produced. They are now frequent attendants in church in the city of
whenever the weather, and Mrs. T.'s health, permit of their leaving home; and if unhappily detained from the Lord's house, they spend the time in reading the Scriptures. The eldest child, instead of being kept idle and ignorant at home, is sent to town for the benefit of religious education, and is a regular attendant at the Sunday-school; and the two next in age are about to be sent to the same place, that they also may enjoy the same blessings. Tracts are received and read with eagerness, and there is a quiet earnestness about religion, especially in Mrs. T., which is quite delightful.
I have great reason to believe, that the tracts of the Religious Tract Society, and others, have been, under God, mainly instrumental in producing these happy results-results not confined to this little family, but by one of them extended, as it would seem, beyond the limits of this province. Among those which I left with Mrs. T., were two which were particularly blest to her,
“ The Sinner's Friend," No. 463, the other “A Whole Family in Heaven," No. 352, of the Society's
catalogue: both of these were read very carefully by Mrs. T., and the first returned, as I could only lend it, having but one copy, with an expressed wish that I would endeavour to procure one for herself; the other she retained. Being induced, in the course of the last summer, to pay a visit to her father's house in Vin the hope of regaining her strength, for she was then convalescent, she determined to bring with her the last named tract, conceiving that God would further bless to the advantage of others what had been so very useful to herself. The event proved she was not mistaken: she found her sister upon the bed of death, and read the tract to her; and, to use her own words, “I never saw so many tears shed, sir, as over that tract”--tears, it is to be hoped, the evidence of true repentance and sorrow for sin.
Thus have these two tracts been the happy means, under God, of conducing to the comfort and salvation of three precious souls-a fact most encouraging to the authors of them, to the Society who publishes, and to those who are engaged in distributing them. How wonderfully does the Spirit of God act, and with what feeble means! A small tract, published in London, finds its way to Canada ; it is left in an obscure mill. It does its work there, and is then carried some hundreds of miles to work the will of God in another country! How many souls may it have been instrumental in bringing to the knowledge of Christ besides these ! How far may its influence have extended! Well may we exclaim, in humble amazement, “O Lord! we are weak, but thou art strong! Perfect thy strength in our weakness, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and his name be glorified. Amen."
To the Editor.
VISITS OF MERCY IN A FOREIGN LAND. How constantly are we called upon to bless the Lord for his goodness, and to praise him for his faithfulness. He has said, “ My word shall not return unto me void, it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I send it.” A striking instance of the truth of this I have just experienced. I was late one evening returning from my usual round of visits amongst the poor, when I was stopped by a poor girl, who begged I would go and see her mother, who was very ill indeed. I followed her into a miserable cellar, damp and dark, where lay the poor woman, with no earthly comfort. After speaking a little as to her bodily sufferings, I tried to discover if she had any spiritual light, but I found her most perfectly ignorant; she knew nothing but that she was to pray to the Virgin to help her to count her beads. She had been administered to by the priest, and seemed to think all was done that was needful. I could not leave this miserable abode until I had spoken in the name of the Lord, and read a portion of his holy word. She listened very attentively, but seemed not to have the slightest idea what it meant; but she thanked me, and said she would try to think of it when I was gone. I begged she would pray that the Lord would send his Holy Spirit to open
her eyes to understand his own word, because the word declares, that unless we are born again, we cannot see the kingdom of heaven. She said, “But I trust it is changed. I cannot tell what has happened to me; I used to be so passionate, I beat my children, and swear; but now I cannot speak an angry word. The first night you came to me, and read that book, I felt as if there was a blessing come upon me, and upon my house. Every thing you said and read to me, came so fresh to my mind in the night, and I did nothing but pray for the Holy Spirit, and I cry when I am alone, when I think how sinful I have been, and when you read of all that Jesus Christ has suffered for us, I think what sinners we must be to require it.”
When the priest goes to her to try to make her confess, she always says, “No: I will not confess to any but to God.” One day he came in while I was reading the Bible to her, he told me if I came there to relieve the bodily wants of the poor woman, it was well; but if I made that a pretext to make her change her religion, then he thought I was acting very ill. I told him I came to read the word of God, and if the Lord changed the heart, which he alone could do, then it was the Lord's work and not mine. He then wished the woman to say that there was salvation only in the Church of Rome, which she refused to do. He then turned to me and said, “I assure you she is fearful of losing what you give her; and that is the reason she will not speak: it is only fear which influences her, and therefore there is one thing I wish to know. If she declares that she will not leave the Roman Catholic Church, will you continue to do as you now do for her?" I answered, it will make no difference. He then turned to the poor woman and said "you hear you have nothing to fear: you will have every thing the same.” She replied, “ Miss- has never said one word to me about changing my religion; she comes to me with the good word of God, and it is something that changes the heart; and I am so contented and happy with it.” He remained a considerable time, arguing, but could gain nothing from her. He sent again in a day or two, but he received the same answer. She said to me one day, “since I know more of the word of God, I look with such pity upon all those people: the Nuns and Priests who come to me, they never taught me any thing, they never prayed with me, or read to me, and I was so ignorant; but now I remember all you have told me, and when you do not come and read me a chapter, I cannot sleep, I feel quite lost. I would not be as I was before, for ten thousand francs, and that is a great sum; but I would not change with King Leopold, I am so happy."
The Priest went to her a few days ago, and offered her covering for her bed; wine, soup, or any thing she wished for he would send her: she thanked him, and told him she wanted nothing that she was very well provided for—when I know the poor thing had not a penny in the house at the time; but she would not receive it from him. She is a very great sufferer, always in bed, with a burning fever; but she told me she often ge out of bed, as well as she can, takes the key out of her door, not to be disturbed, and prays to the Lord, and thanks him for sending her his holy word to enlighten her. It is most interesting to watch the daily progress her mind makes, and how wonderfully the Lord teaches her. She now begins to have no fear of speaking boldly before all who go to see her, and telling them what the Lord has done for her soul. I never leave her without praising the Lord for his goodness. This shews us we have only simply to take the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. Jesus says, “My sheep hear my voice, and they follow me.” How true this is; and what a blessing to know that not one of the Lord's children shall be left in darkness: as the poor woman said, “it appeared accidental that you passed my house that night, but it was the Lord who sent you to me: Oh, what a blessing that I did not die before you came!" What encouragement this gives us to go on, and ask and pray that the Lord will direct our steps to his children, and to give us grace, that, with all boldness, we may speak and declare the whole counsel of God!
Brussels, January 6, 1845.
"I WILL SURELY DO THEE GOOD." This was promised to the patriarch of old, and this comforted him when full or fears, dreading the very sight of his brother, who had sought his life to destroy it. Still Jacob trusted in his God, who had promised to do him good; he relied on this promise, and was therefore kept in perfect peace: his mind was stayed on his God.
Christian, learn from this instance of Jacob's trust and confidence in his God. Trust your Lord in the saddest hour of affliction even in the very midnight of thy sorrow. Rest assured that his dealings with thee, however harsh they may seem, are all for thy real good, because he promises the same to his followers in the present day, as he did to Jacob, “ I will surely do thee good.”
A tender Father's hand directs every event in thy life. Not a sparrow, much less a saint, can fall to the ground, by poverty, sickness, persecution, bereavement, but the hand of God is in it. Thy ways may be hedged up with thorns, and grow darker and darker daily, but you are being led by the right way to the haven where you desire to be, and comfort thyself with this thought, that if thou cannot see thy God in the way, yet thou shalt find him in the end; for he will surely do thee good; and then, when you reach heaven, if not before, you will see the need of God's dealing thus with thee. There will be no dispensation, though afflictive, but what you will feel you could not have done without. Give not way to despair: remember, afflictions are a token of God's love for his children. “ Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth.” Saints' afflictions then stand for blessings, though they may be blessings in disguise. Why does he lop and prune his people by afflictions, but to purge them, that “they may bring forth more fruit”? A frowning Providence may hide a loving, smiling face. The darkest hour can suddenly be brightened ; thy sky can yet become cloudless ; the clouds ye so much dread can soon be made to vanish ; all may again be bright sunshine ; ills can never grow so hopeless with thee but what God can work a cure, and this he will do in his own good time when he sees fit.