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house, and told me I might go where I liked. She and her husband often got tipsy, which may account for their conduct. But, however, I wandered about for three days in the streets of M- without food or lodging. One day being almost famished, I was sitting down on the step of a door, when a respectable looking female came up to me. She began speaking to me; I told her the distress I was in, and she said it was a great pity, if I was a respectable servant, that I should be exposed to the temptation of such a town as M- and, therefore, if I would come with her, she would do something
She took me to her house, which was a most comfortable one; and after putting my feet in warm water, she gave me some tea and put me to bed. She was most kind, and the next morning she came to see me, and told me that I need not be in a hurry to leave her house, for perhaps I might be able in the day time to hear of a situation, and at night I could return to her. I thought this so kind of her ; but the next evening I found I had got into a house where I had no business to be.
“A lady-like looking young person came to me, and begged I would come into the next room, as she wished to introduce me to a gentleman. I saw my danger, and refused to go; I locked myself in my room, and before light the next morning I set off, and left that wicked house. I was a long distance from my mother ; but, however, I thought I would try to go by water, and a captain of a boat kindly offered to take me. When I got in sight of my native village, I left my little bundle of aprons, &c. with him, till I got my mother to pay for me; and more as a beggar than anything else, I got home. Oh! mother (she said turning to her mother), never let sister Anna go to service in a town. I might have been ruined.”
I was indeed astonished to hear such a history, and yet it seemed such a mercy that this poor girl was kept from further evil. From this time began her ill health, which ended in her death. The three days she was exposed out, there was heavy rain, and her feet got soaking wet; she took cold then. One Sunday when I visited her, she said—“Oh! that I could get to church! What would I give for some of my Sabbaths over again! I have often made a very small excuse keep me from church, and spent my Sabbaths in idleness. I said, “ Well, Mary, but Jesus is always close to his children in sickness. She sweetly smiled, and said, "Oh! yes, and He is very precious to me. He soothes my dying pillow, and I trust I am clinging to the cross on which my Saviour died for me; and that my sins are all washed away.” At another time she said to me" Oh! if God should see fit to restore me to health, I trust by His help to live to His glory; but if He will take me to Himself, blessed be His holy name I can leave my dear, dear mother: God will provide for her I know.” I visited her a few days before she died, and when I entered her bed-room, I saw directly that death was near. She could hardly speak, and when I said, “Mary, have you any message
for your sister,” she said, “ I hope A. is prepared to die ; but tell her to love her Saviour.” She was so weak that she could hardly speak—her breathing was most difficult ; but just before I left her she said, “I hope Mr. is better; it is very kind of you to come and see me.”
I thought I should not see poor Mary alive again; but on Sunday evening when I looked in I found her better. She was sitting up in bed, taking a cup of tea, and seemed really stronger. I had some very nice conversation with her, and read to her about Christ healing the leper ; which had been the subject of the morning sermon. She seemed much interested. I asked her how she looked back on her past life? She said, “ it has been one of sin and vanity, and how fleeting! a picture of life.” Are
Oh! no,” she said: “Jesus will be with me when I pass the dark valley of the shadow of death.” Her mother told ine that in the morning she had sent for her brothers, and kissed them both affectionately, and spoke to them. Just before I left her she said "I shall not be surprised if I die at night in my sleep ; but I am not afraid, for Jesus will not leave me I think !” I wished her good night, never thinking that the strength she appeared to have was the strength of death. She died the next morning at three o'clock, and in her sleep. A neighbour was sitting up with her, and suddenly saw a change come over Mary. She called up her mother, who hastened to the bedside, and kissing her child, said, “Mary, my child, are you nappy?". Mary replied, "Yes, yes," and sunk into a sleep, from which she never awoke in this world. She died, February 23rd, 1846, aged 21.
you afraid to die?” “
JEREMIAH viïi. 6.
" I hearkened and heard, but they spake not aright: no man repented
him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? every one turned
to his course, as the horse rusheth into the battle." Whose voice is this? (See verse 4.) “Thus saith the Lord.” It is the voice of the Lord then. It is no one less than the Lord Jehovah that speaks. And what does he say? “I hearkened and heard. God hearkening and hearing! Yes. And to what did he listen? To what they should say. And does God take notice of our speech? Does he hear the words that flow from our lips ? Aye, he does. What! in the public mart? In the assembly of our friends? In the chamber of our secresy ? What! at all times ? Abroad, and at home, and alone ? Yes, God hearkens and hears. Oh! that we kept more in remembrance, that we can never utter a word but the great God is nigh to hearken to it.
That in every assembly we frequent-in every conversation which we hold in all the intercourse we have with our fellow-men-there God is present to “hearken and to hear”!
But these words teach us more than this. They strongly imply, that God follows us even into the secresy of our closets ; and there, when alone, to hearken and to hear what we shall say When we are irresistibly forced to calm and serious reflection, (though it may be but momentary,) when the thought flashes like lightning through our minds, "What place shall I occupy in eternity ? how stand I in the sight of God?” then, dear reader, God is present to hearken and to hear what response we make when our consciences address us with a silent and yet no indistinct voice. And, on this occasion, God listens to what his rebellious people would say. One must have thought that the riches of God's goodness, and forbearance, and long-suffering must have led them to repentance. But be astonished at the result! “They spake not aright. They did speak; but they had better not have spoken at all. And what spake they? (Verse 8.) “We are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us. Lo, certainly in vain made he it; the pen of the scribes is in vain.” In fact, they rejected the word of the Lord—his law went for nothing—they were altogether blinded to their sins. When they ought to have repented them of their wickedness, and to have put it closely to themselves, saying, “What have I done?”— this would have been speaking aright-but, instead of that, they only hardened
themselves in their evil ways; and every one of them turned to the course of his iniquity, and rushed more determinately into fresh acts of perverseness and rebellion, as the horse rusheth into the battle.
What determination! And a strong figure is made use of here to illustrate it. See! the determination of sinners to run on in the course of their iniquity is likened to the rushing of the battle horse in the field of war. The eagerness of the horse to dart into the battle is described in the Book of Job, xxxix. 21-25. "He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength: he goeth on to meet the armed men. He mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted; neither turneth he back from the sword. The quiver rattleth against him, the glittering spear and the shield. He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage; neither believeth he that it is the sound of the trumpet. He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha! and he smelleth the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting."
And there was a remarkable instance of this in the late Indian war.
In a letter from a young officer to this country, he mentions that, a week before the battle, his father (Colonel Alexander) had purchased a valuable charger at a price which gave him reason to believe that he had a well-trained animal on which he could depend. He mounted his richly caparisoned battle horse, and placed himself at the head of his troop; but no sooner had the din and clamour of the war commenced, than the horse, refusing all obedience to the rein, rushed madly into the battle, and galloped impetuously with its rider in the very ranks of the enemy, where almost certain destruction awaited it.
And does the sinner thus rush into scenes of vice and proAligacy, where he well knows that his worst enemy, that roaring lion, preeminently presides ? Does he plunge himself into places of worldly amusement, which the god of this world has purposely formed and designed for corrupting the mind and debasing the soul, and where he is sure that the God of heaven cannot be present to bless ? Is he to be found in the path of the wicked, of which the word of God has most especially warned him ? Yea; it
says, Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away." Like the maddened steed, when it hears the beat of the drum and the sound of the fife, the clashing of swords and the roar of the cannon, rushes headlong on the glittering spears and the embossed shields of the opposing ranks, marshalled for its destruction, oh! can it be thus that the heedless sinner turneth waywardly to his course, and rushes blindly into companies where, perhaps, “the harp and the viol, the tabret and the pipe," may help to drown the cares which he seeks to banish ; but which, in truth, are only helping to keep in a state of morbid excitement that rational mind which must some day be brought to reflection; and if it be not till the sand in the sinner's glass be nearly run, and the days of his years be nearly told, the day will most probably come when he shall look back with the bitterest remorse, and declare, “ These festive scenes- these beguiling companions— these glittering vanities — these, these were my enemies : they feigned to be my friends; but now I find that they were like hostile armies, drawn up in battle array against me, and I turned to the course (O fatal course!) into which they enticed me, as the horse rusheth into the battle.” And is it thus, too, that the sinner, warned of the consequences of sin, rushes determinately to that course which most certainly must entail upon him inevitable destruction ? Is he told that the armies of hell, and a host of evil spirits, intent upon his ruin, are encamped against him, resolved to plunge both body and soul into hell, if they can but succeed in obtaining him as their prey ? Has the voice of the Almighty God fallen upon his ear, telling him that “the soul that sinneth it must die,' and that “the wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God”? Has the blood-red cross of a Saviour been presented to his eye, where hangs outstretched an expiring Redeemer, “who hath loved even him, and offered to wash even him from his sins in his own blood”?
Does he know all this, and still, like the maddened charger, does he rush impetuously to the course which must prove his most certain perdition ? Yes; such is the impelling force of the downward course. O sinner! stay-stop, stop-take warning-turn from thy course—thou hast run in it long enough. At the end of it is the wide gate that leadeth to destruction, therefore, dear reader, I beseech you
“Stop, poor sinner! stop and think,
Before you further go !
Of everlasting woe?
For, unless you warning take,
Into the burning lake.