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dom spoke of the state of her mind, excepting to myself. Sometimes, in the evenings, the young lady who so faithfully attended her, read in her hearing portions of the scripture, or psalms or hymns and always, when her strength permitted, she had the Bible at hand for her own consultation. She took particular pleasure in perusing the book of Psalms, which often confirmed my belief, that her religion was truly of an experimental kind.
This leads me to notice her DELIGHT IN THE EXERCISE OF PRAYER. What she used to regard as a mere form, which was more frequently neglected than attended to, was now viewed as an incumbent duty, and esteemed as the most exalted privilege. Whenever she felt her wants to be urgent and numerous, and believed that God was able and willing to supply them, she then from the heart rejoiced that there was a free and constant access to the throne of grace. She always requested me to pray with her at the conclusion of our conversations: and often, when she was most unable for speaking, she seemed to enjoy the greater happiness in joining in prayer. Such was the importance she attached to this Christian duty, that she never failed, as I left her room, to beg of me to remember her in my private supplications to the Almighty. I understand she was importunate in making the same request to the good people with whom she lived, and even, at different times, sent for the worthy old widow to pray at her bedside.
A little circumstance, which I shall mention, gives a convincing proof of the inward satisfaction which she experienced in her own communions with God. One forenoon, when I had gone to see her, I found her worse than usual, and scarcely able to speak to On inquiring what was the matter, she replied, “I am a poor weak creature, Sir; and last night, a friend who called to see me, thought my spirits low, and insisted on my getting out of bed. I dare say he meant it for my good, but he would not believe how ill Iam: and I thought he used me so harshly, that it quite distressed me; and when he left me, I wished to pray but I could not.-No, sir, I could not pray, and this distressed me more. All that I could do, was, with tears to commit my agitated soul to God. I know it was wrong, but I am so weak." It was impossible to listen to this interesting complaint without being affected; but I tried to sooth and calm her mind, assuring her, that He who is the hearer of our prayers, will even accept of our sighs and our groans when the sorrows of our hearts are too big for com
Prayer has been the solace of God's people in all ages; it has been the very first and strongest proof of their discipleship, as might be illustrated by many scripture examples. And if frequency and fervour in this heavenly exercise afford evidence that the heart is devoted to God, I cannot withhold this testimony to the change produced in the mind of Miss M. I know not that she ever read the apostolic injunction, "Pray without ceasing;" but
it might be said of her, that, in the true spirit of this divine precept, prayer was the very element in which her heaven-born soul delighted to breathe.
Her CONCERNS FOR THE SALVATION OF OTHERS was another trait in her character, which indicated that she really felt the grace of God in her own heart. Unless we are brought to some experimental knowledge of the lost and ruined state of all mankind by sin, we can never exercise towards them that feeling of Christian compassion which stirs us up to labour and pray for their salvation. But when the eyes of the mind are opened to see the depravity of our own hearts, and what is the awful consequence of living at a distance from God, we then take a new interest in our perishing fellow-creatures; and having ourselves experienced that God is plenteous in mercy, and willing to pardon the returning penitent, we rejoice in every opportunity of proclaiming the divine longsuffering and forgiveness to such as have hitherto lived without God and without hope in the world.
This was the case with Miss M. At intervals of ease, when she almost thought she was getting better, she took pleasure in the anticipations of uniting with other Christians in their "labours of love," and of devoting her talents to the service of her Saviour. She frequently expressed her wishes to see my Sunday school, and delighted in the idea of mingling with the children, from some of whom she had received the dawnings of spiritual enlightenment; and although it was in the humblest manner, she also pleased herself with the hope of being able to take some part in forwarding their instruction. To her brother she frankly communicated all the change that had taken place in her sentiments and hopes. She repeatedly gave him her best advice; and likewise, as a favour, requested of me, that I would admit him to my acquaintance; as it was her earnest desire, that he might, by the mercy of God, enjoy the same peace and comfort as she did herself. She did not even conceal from the doctors what the Lord had done for her soul; and embraced every opportunity of recommending that religion which she had found to be her only substantial solace.
And here I cannot omit to narrate a very interesting circumstance which she once mentioned to me, when expressing how happy it would make her to be useful to others: "Indeed, Sir," she said, "you may think it strange, but I flatter myself that God has already rendered my illness of essential benefit to at least one individual besides myself." I certainly wondered at this, as scarcely any body was admitted to her room.-"But I'll tell you how it happened," she continued." In a family where I occasionally visited here, when I was all gaiety, there is a little servant girl, who has, since my confinement, been very frequently sent to inquire for me. One day, not long ago, she had been so anxious to see me that I allowed her to come in. The next time
she returned, she particularly requested to speak with me; and on approaching my bedside, she immediately fell on her knees, and exclaimed, Ŏ Ma'am! I shall bless God as long as I live for having seen you. I was well taught at a Sunday school, but when I went to service, I soon forgot all the good instructions I had received, and became very thoughtless and giddy. But when I saw you look so ill, and remembered how lively you used to be, I thought if I was reduced to the same situation, what would support me? I felt convinced that my life was not a preparation for death, and many things that I had heard from my teacher rushed into my recollection: and, I hope the Lord will never suffer me to be so foolish again.' I was affected," said Miss M. "with this poor girl's behaviour. She had often witnessed my extravagant flow of spirits in her master's house, and, perhaps it proved a snare to her. My ghastly appearance now presented such a contrast, that it was natural for a young tenderhearted girl to be struck with it; but O, what a cause of rejoicing if she is thus truly brought back to God!"
Nor was this concern for the salvation of others only an occasional feeling with Miss M. It grew with her growth in the experience of vital religion; and her dying request to me was, that I should write an account of her conversion, as she hoped it might be useful to others. In this way, though she is now dead, she yet speaketh.
In all her former life, she yielded a practical obedience to the doctrine of chance; but latterly she became the most minute opSERVER OF PROVIDENCE. In every thing she traced the hand of God; and, instead of fretting with a peevish discontent at many dispensations which she had felt to be almost intolerable, she now acknowledged that they were all the appointments of divine goodness. Every day she continued to make fresh discoveries of the infinite wisdom which reigns in the councils of heaven, and thankfully blessed God for those very events of her life, which she had been accustomed to consider as cruel and harsh. "Ah! Sir," she sometimes would have said, "when my godmother died, who was the only parent I ever knew, I thought it very unkind in the Almighty to deprive me of such a friend; and afterwards, as I lost so many relatives, one after another, I gave myself up to a constant indulgence of complaint, which aggravated my grief, and rendered me more miserable. I felt myself friendless and forlorn. I could not submit: but now I see that all these afflictions were necessary, to teach me the emptiness and uncertainty of human enjoyments, and are prominent parts of the way by which God was to bring me to himself." How justly might she have used the poet's words:
Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan his work in vain:
And he will make it plain.
She also told me with what reluctance she had come to reside in E. 66 Here," ," she added, "I was a stranger, with scarcely a single acquaintance, and my pride could not endure the idea of living in a boarding-house: but how much more kind has Providence been to me, than I should have been to myself! I was a stranger, and strangers took me in. They have always been kind to me, and for a long time I did not prize their kindness as I ought to have done. Their religion was a restraint which I disliked; but now I experience its value, both in their prayers on my behalf, and in their excessive attentions. O how thankful I should be to God for placing me in such a family! I am treated with the affection only due to a daughter or a sister."
And often, with the same spirit of piety, she made the most grateful allusions to the wonderful train of events which led me. to visit her. "The goodness of God to me," she would have said, "is truly amazing. Had I gone to England with my cousin, as I so much wished to have done, perhaps my health might have been better, but then my soul would have been lost. 1 never could have met with you, Sir; and, indeed, nothing teaches me more the wise superintendence of Providence, than the remarkable way in which I was urged to inquire for your kind counsels. After hearing those Sunday school stories, when my mind became so distracted, my lovely cousin, whose death I had last witnessed, always appeared to me in my terrifying dreams, and said, 'Send for Mr. : he will instruct you. Send for Mr. — he will comfort you.' And, in fact, Sir, although I had never known any thing of you before, your name rung in my ears for several weeks incessantly. But it was all of God, and I bless his name for inclining you to come to me."
I never saw a more submissive acknowledgment of Providence; she became quite resigned to her bereaved situation, calm and contented amidst her many distresses, and even thankful for all the way by which God was pleased to lead her to the city of heavenly habitation. A passage from Psalm cxlv. took a firm hold of her mind; and she said, when her desolate circumstances otherwise appeared overwhelming, it often checked an occasional disposition to repine :
The Lord is wise in his ways all,
And holy in his works each one:
The belief of this was her consolation in the moments of bitterest trial, and her mental directory amidst those bodily sufferings, which gradually increased as life drew to a close. And surely such humble confidence in the wisdom of an over-ruling Providence, gave strong evidence, that the Spirit of God was in her; whilst, at the same time, it ought to be regarded, by all professing Christians, as a conduct worthy of their habitual imitation.
But I must now make some allusion to Miss M's COMPO
SURE IN THE PROSPECT OF DEATH.
There is something in the very idea of dissolution, at which hu man nature revolts. Death was originally inflicted on Adam and his posterity, as the punishment of their transgression; and it would cease to be regarded in that light, unless the Almighty affected the minds of his rebellious creatures with a certain painful awe when the subject is brought before them. But so great is the deceitfulness of man's heart, that although his interest for immortality is involved in its result, yet death is seldom realized in his general thoughts, as an enemy which must be encountered, until some apprehension of imminent danger forces it into view. Then the king of terrors assumes the most appalling aspect, and the soul, unarmed for the conflict, is overwhelmed with alarm and dismay. If conscience should remain so seared as to withhold its condemning voice, still the anticipations of a righteous judgment, and the awfulness of an uncertain eternity, compel the dying sinner to tremble for his coming fate.
When Miss M.'s disease warned her of its probable termination, she immediately felt her inability to encounter this last enemy; and, looking to God only in the forbidding character of "a stern and of an avenging Judge," she became miserable. This was her own acknowledgment. But so soon as God condescended to reveal his grace, in giving her a sense of his pardoning love, her uneasiness gradually diminished, until a brighter discovery of gospel truths enabled her not only to confess that "the wages of sin is death," but also to join in the triumphant language of the apostle, "Thanks be to God who giveth us the victory, through Jesus Christ our Lord."
At a very early period of my intercourse with this young lady, she candidly declared that she felt herself dying, and that she was quite unprepared. O, how affecting to hear such a statement! But she was "a chosen vessel of mercy, to show forth the longsuffering of God;" and being enabled to believe on Him who hath conquered death and the grave, she rose superior to fear; and the composure with which she latterly talked of her departure from this world of woe, often filled me with wonder and praise. She was naturally endowed with uncommon strength of mind; and when this was guided and fortified by Christian principles, she exhibited a degree of unruffled firmness, which few of God's people are privileged to possess.
After her mind was eased from the terrors of death, and animated with the hopes of heaven, she determined to execute a will. In this she was thwarted by her medical attendants, who wished to laugh her out of the apprehension of dying. But she calmly told them, "I am sure it can do me no harm: it won't make me die a day sooner; and if I delay, it may be too late." They promised to inform her as soon as it appeared to them necessary, which, latterly, they found themselves obliged to do; but the