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Religion in Earnest - A Memorial of Mrs. Mary Lyth, of York
by John Lyth
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O! when shall I from sin set free, Bask in the light of Deity?

Expand my heart and fill the wide expanse.—While Mr. Haswell was preaching, a woman cried out, 'Bless the Lord; bless the Lord O my soul.' I trust she was under divine influence. Mr. H. gave out; 'Praise God from whom,' &c. I began to suspect the power of God was more eminently present than I imagined: this led me to seek after it in my own breast, and to long for a more powerful manifestation. Praise God, I could say,

'Lo! God is here, let us adore.'

On my return home, I met the judge with his retinue returning from court, lighted by torches. How solemn! But what, when the Judge of all the earth shall descend from heaven with a shout and with the trump of God! At His bar must I appear, and conscience that staunch witness, give its unimpeachable evidence for or against me, O that Jesus, the sinner's friend, may then sustain my cause. Praised be His name; faith springs up in my heart, and encourages me to believe that I shall receive the crown of life. Blessed hope!—Mrs. —— breakfasted with me. We had a truly blessed morning—our conversation was in heaven. During the day I have been troubled with evil reasoning. When shall this body of death be destroyed, and Christ be all in all? Visited Miss D. in the asylum. She seems in dark despair; I got her to her knees, and found it precious to my own soul.—Glory be to God I dare believe. Keep me till I am fully saved. Am watching my William in the measles; Richard has just recovered. What a mercy I am in health to attend them; yet am afraid my too anxious care for them has checked my zeal. Through mercy my soul lives to-day; I feel a divine appetite, and am looking for the appearance of my Lord to the destruction of all the carnal mind.—At Stockton lovefeast, the Lord opened my mouth, both in the Chapel, and at a neighbouring house; I was constrained to speak. May the imperfect hints thrown out be as bread cast upon the waters, and what I said amiss the Lord forgive. The peace of God ruled my heart.—The mournful tidings of Cousin Mary's death has reached us. The day before, she was up sewing. How sudden a transition from time to eternity! Although at the funeral, I cannot learn how she died. How my heart is oppressed! She has left a fine smiling boy unconscious of his loss, and her father, whose displeasure she had incurred by her marriage, unreconciled. How my feelings are ploughed up! The training of my children occasions me great solicitude. How shall I safely steer, where so many make shipwreck? Without Thy direction and influence, I too shall miss my way. Come then, thou heavenly Wisdom, teach me to imbue their tender minds with truth, that the impression may remain in riper years.—Another parliamentary election. O my God elect me 'through sanctification of Thy Spirit.'—My mind suffers keenly in consequence of a conversation with ——. Thou, Lord, knowest exactly where the error lies; let it be discovered. If I am in the wrong make me willing to retract. I want to be a Christian in deed and truth.—It was impressed upon my mind to call upon Miss M. H., and urge her to seek salvation, having long been a hearer of the Gospel. I scarcely knew how to break through, as I had no particular acquaintance with her. However, passing by the same day, providence so ordered it, that she sat facing the door. I passed, but remembering my impression, mustered courage and returned. After inquiring about her health I told her my errand. She was affected, and said she had a very hard heart. I replied, 'It is not too hard for God to soften.' With much fear I undertook the charge of Miss Bentley's class, in consequence of her indisposition, but trust the Lord will soon restore her to active usefulness. The more willingly I offer myself to the Lord, the sweeter communion I find with Him.—Repeated my visit to Miss M. H., I believe in obedience to the influence of the Spirit which constrained me—not intending to call at that time. I found her sincerely seeking salvation, and endeavoured to point her to the Lamb of God. My own soul was blessed while thus engaged. How shall I praise God for His love to a worm?—Called again, when she told me she had received a visit from the Lord. She durst not say her sins were forgiven, but felt encouraged.—Having to pass through some things of a trying nature, I felt fully resigned, and the throne of grace easy of access. Keep me at Thy feet, O God, that I may rise in Thy likeness and in all things do Thy will.—Mr. Moore remarked in his sermon, 'Happy is the man of one book;' my heart replied, So he is, for in all I read, I find no book so sweet as the Bible; yet there are some which are precious, and which I value as a treasure.—Another distinguished mercy. After another attack of cramp the Lord has been pleased to restore to me the use of my hands, which have been locked from three o'clock in the morning until evening. May I never forget the Lord's mercy towards me, but studiously labour to be found of Him in peace, that when the awful crisis arrives, I may be ready."

"1819. I am still in a weak state of body, unable to attend to my family. O Lord, support my mind. Feel resolved to cast my soul on Jesus; and although I have to struggle to retain my hold, will hang on the Crucified."

This year was one of severe personal affliction, which continued for several months. At one time little hope was entertained of her recovery, and none that she would ever again be restored to active life. Medical aid seemed utterly unavailing; but the Lord had chosen her in the furnace of affliction, and by these means, inscrutable at the time, was refining and fitting her for remarkable usefulness. At length when the process was complete, contrary to the predictions of physicians, and beyond the expectations of her friends, she was given back again to her family, and the church. In reference to this affliction, she says, in a letter to one of her daughters:—

"Your brother Samuel is put out to nurse; he is a delicate little boy. I am at Mrs. F.'s out of Walmgate Bar, for the benefit of my health; if it please God to sanctify the means. In some respects, I am better, but yet very feeble; however, I am in the Lord's hands, and have been for a long time his prisoner. I wish to keep my cause in his hand. Poor Samuel! I every day expect to hear, that he has escaped to glory. My weakness reconciles me to his loss, for the righteous Judge of all the earth cannot but do right. Dear Mary will discover from my writing, there is an alteration in me. To tell you the truth, I can scarcely recollect how to spell; my memory is so much impaired by this affliction. But thank God, I have the full use of my reason, and my soul longs to awake after the image of God. Friends are very kind in visiting me which makes the days pass more pleasantly. I ride out when the weather is fine, but am able to walk very little."

On her recovery she writes:—

"I would raise my song of gratitude to my God, who, I am confident has restored me in answer to prayer, though I am still very weak. During my affliction my mind has been variously exercised; sometimes I could cast myself with all my concerns upon God; at other times was much depressed; once in the multitude of my thoughts within me, it was suggested, as if a voice spoke to me, 'What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.'"

I thank Thee for the comfort given, When agonized with pain; The love infused—the taste of heaven, That cheered my heart again; In answer to the faithful prayers Of many a fervent soul, Disease retired—for mercy spares, And makes the sinner whole.



VI.

GROWTH IN GRACE.

"AS THE TENDER GRASS, SPRINGING OUT OF THE EARTH, BY CLEAR SHINING AFTER RAIN."—2 Sam. xxiii. 4.

God doeth nothing in vain. Cloud and sunshine, stormy winds, and steeping rains, have each their appointed purpose; and in their season contribute to bless, and refresh the earth; that it may bring forth its increase for the service of man and beast. You have often seen, how after a shower in the cheerful spring-time, the green meadows have suddenly put on a fresher and livelier hue; and the tender grass seemed to grow before your eyes. Just so, in the higher economy of grace, seasons of trial and affliction have their definite design; only here the effect is not determined by an irresistible law; but suspended upon the conduct of man. The heart must be open to receive the genial influences, which are thus mysteriously communicated; the will must submissively bow under the dispensations of an allwise Providence; and, especially, seasons of affliction should be seasons of earnest prayer. Then will they be followed by a marked increase of spiritual life and power. Mrs. Lyth benefitted by her afflictions; and although she more frequently mourns over her own unprofitableness, her growth in grace is clearly apparent in her journal, which we resume.

"1820.—Although I have the victory I cannot yet say the old man is dead; some seeds of peevishness yet remain to be destroyed. Praise God, I hate the garment spotted by the flesh. 'All peace, all love,' is the desire of my heart, and the longing of my soul.—A day of fasting and prayer; but separation from every thing that defileth is what is pleasing to the Lord. May this be my continual abstinence. Amen.—Not able to procure a substitute to meet my husband's class, I ventured myself, sensible of my own unfitness, and earnestly begging God to speak by me. One person went out, but whatever was the cause, thank God, I felt that my work was with the Lord.—Went to see poor old Sarah; found her confined to her bed but happy in the Lord: nature was fast sinking. I wished her to have a nurse, but she thought she could do alone, as she had a candle, and the Lord was with her: left her, but found means to procure a nurse for the night.—A few days ago I was awoke with the words, 'What shall I do for thee?' My answer was, 'Lord, that I may live more fully to Thee, and for Thee.' Unutterable sweetness filled my soul, and now, while I write, I feel it still. Glory be to God, His love is ever new. To walk with Him, transcends all earthly enjoyment.—During the last week I have learned my own weakness. Unaided by divine grace, I have no power to check trifling conversation among professors; especially such as are older than myself. Teach me how to act, when to speak, and when to be silent. To-day felt it my duty to visit a neighbour, and met with a more favourable reception than I expected. He has long been ill, and is now in trouble. I told him that I had come to bring him good news, that 'Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners;' and while conversing with him on the necessity of an interest in the Redeemer's blood, in order to forgiveness, he seemed to listen with attention. May the Lord make him a witness of the saving power of the Gospel, Some little matters, which require a patient and forgiving spirit, have occurred to fill up my character as a Christian. Lord, help me and give me that spirit which in Thy sight is of great price.—Thirty-eight years old! How short the time appears! yet how varied the scenes through which I have passed! and how different the views I have had. Praise the Lord. With respect to the soul, I have clearer views than ever. My feet are upon the rock. When I look over my life, how blotted it appears! am lost in astonishment, that God, who made all things, and upholds all things by the word of his power, should stoop to such a wretch as I. O the depth of the riches of His mercy to me!—I have received a letter from Cousin Ann, in which she boldly confesses the cleansing blood. Hope it will prove a lasting blessing to me; feel ashamed that I have not more openly acknowledged what the Lord has done for my soul. By this omission, have clipped the wings of my faith, and encouraged a diffidence, which I long to have removed; have hesitated upon the plea, that I would wait and see whether the work was genuine or no. O my Saviour forgive, and condescend to teach one of the dullest scholars in Thy school.—Have found the five o'clock prayer-meetings very profitable, and cannot be thankful enough that I have health to go. At the prayer-leaders' Lovefeast, said I could give up all for God, but have since asked myself, Is this true? Lord, Thou knowest it is the desire of my heart to give myself to Thee without reserve: accept the offering. I feel Thee now pouring in Thy ineffable peace. My soul has but one object, inward and outward holiness. O make me quite clear.—The intercourse is open between my soul and God, but yet I have had to struggle for it. O save me fully. This is what I want. Last Tuesday I felt I could not doubt. Stamp me, Saviour, with Thy seal, and keep me ever Thine. I again met Mrs. G.'s class. I feel myself more fit to sit at their feet and be taught; but O Thou, who usedst clay to open the eyes of the blind, use me for Thy glory.—Some keen things uttered by a relative have wounded me to the quick. I feel innocent, yet, Lord, how little I can hear! Give me the love that hopeth all things, endureth all things, which rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth.—Kirkby. I am reading Fletcher's Life. How it excites holy desire! My earnest aspiration is after perfect love. When shall it once be? Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly.—We went to Ribstone to see Mrs. R. but did not pray at the close of the visit; my mind was wounded on this account. The Lord pardon all my offences.—Cousin and I found it good to pour out our souls before God, alone. At first my mind felt hard; but by and by, the veil was drawn aside, and I enjoyed a sweet manifestation of the Lord;—a settled peace but no overflowing joy. My earnest wish is to be quite clear, for I am more than ever convinced of the reality of the blessing. The cleansing power of God puts us in a capacity to 'grow in grace,' and live to the glory of God.—We walked to Barrowby, and took tea with Miss H. She is a friendly girl, possessing the advantage of a polite education, but wants the main accomplishment—vital godliness: she wept while I talked with her. O that it may not pass away as the morning cloud! On our return we had a blessed meeting with our God. I felt the power to cast myself by faith upon the Lord; but still do not perceive the direct witness of the cleansing blood: am resolved not to give up the point until I obtain my suit.—I left Kirkby,—a place so congenial to my inclinations, secluded from scenes of noise and excitement,—and had a pleasant journey home, where I found all well. Praise God.—Returning from the Lord's house, a beautiful rainbow attracted my attention, and preached a second sermon to me; putting me in mind of the covenant which the Lord had made with His people.—I am aiming to keep the prize in view. I see lengths and breadths before me; and my heart, thank God, is bent to pursue that which to me is most desirable, viz., holiness. But I need stronger faith to enter in by the blood of Jesus. Union with Him is sweet. This makes one thirst for more. Many temptations assault me, but the reading of Fletcher's Polemical Essay on Christian Perfection has been of advantage to me. I am learning the method of bringing to God those evils and besetments, which seem to be the main hindrances to my progress. I have much cause of humiliation before the Lord, and wish to attain that sweet spirit of abasement, which not only confesses its unworthiness, but feels willing, that others should be preferred before me. I have need of vigilance; my enemy is ready to seize upon the least advantage. To Thee, O God, my soul looks up.—A dream, I had this week, powerfully impressed me with the necessity of being faithful with our relatives, and of living near to God ourselves. Private prayer has been profitable, but do not know that I was ever so much beset with peculiar temptation. Since I have become acquainted with the devices of the enemy, have found another errand to the Lord.—Spent the forenoon with some of the friends of God, and the poor. On attending one of the women's prayer-meetings, find my name, has been omitted, but believe it is for the best.

'Make me little and unknown, Prized and loved by God alone.'

Last night I was troubled in my sleep, but it was sweetly suggested; 'God is our refuge—a very present help in trouble.' Glory be to God for His promises; may I hang upon them more firmly than ever. To-day my soul has been drawn after God; but when shall I be able to say with Mr. Wesley, 'Now I have lived a day.'—Find patience a grace. I especially need, both with respect to myself, my children, my domestics, and the world. Had not the sacred Scriptures declared 'ye have need of patience,' I should be more ready to reason with the enemy than I am. But the word of God is a strong tower against the assaults of the devil; here the righteous find a refuge and a hiding-place.—What a poor unprofitable creature I am! Lord, I cast myself upon Thee. Save a helpless soul, that feels no merit but in Jesu's atoning blood."

"1821. Am ashamed to acknowledge I have felt a little impatience, because my hands through stiffness, occasioned by cramp, have refused to perform their ordinary duty. Forgive me, O my God; nor ever let me repine at any of Thy dispensations to a worm, loaded with benefits as I am. I seem a poor piece of useless lumber, but Thou bearest with me. Let me ever live to Thee.—Although I usually sleep well, last night I lay awake for some time, but my meditations were sweet; they turned upon Peter's advice to those who had received like precious faith, viz.; 'Add to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, and to temperance PATIENCE,' &c. I have felt its influence to-day. Praise the Lord for so divine an admonition; my soul needs it.—The debt of gratitude I owe to Thee, 'O Thou Preserver of men,' I feel glad to acknowledge, though I am unable to pay. Glory be unto Thee for Thy renewed mercy to a worm. Help me to repeat my vows to Thee, who hast graciously protracted my life, and through another seeming death delivered me. Let the babe, thy love has given me, be unreservedly dedicated to Thyself. But oh! how shall I tell of Thy unbounded love to a worthless creature! My soul longs to be wholly Thine. Help my feebleness; let me turn neither to the right hand nor the left, but teach me all Thy will.—I am blessed with health, surrounded by friends, and encompassed by mercies. How infinitely poor is my gratitude to the Lord, when all these are considered! How is it, Lord, that my affection for Thee is so cold, and my faith in Thy infallibility so weak? Quicken me, animate my drooping powers, and let me every moment live in Thee.—I have the witness within me, but daily feel my own weakness. All my good comes from heaven, and requires constant renewal. I have faith in God, but thirst for more. I want to be deluged with the love of God.—A trivial circumstance has been a source of mental exercise; but thank God, have had power to keep my tongue. Let the issues of my heart be kept by Thee."

ON THE DEATH OF NAPOLEON BUONAPARTE, MAY 5TH, 1821.

He falls! Napoleon Buonaparte is gone: Who conquered thousands, conquered now by one: His strength diminished, and his glory fled; His kingdom taken, and his honour dead. Though clad in warlike state,—without command; A captive buried in a foreign land: Oh! might we hope the captive now is free, Escaped from bondage into liberty.

"In private I have been greatly blessed; but, oh! the sense of ignorance I feel makes me ashamed: yet I know not that I ever felt a deeper thirst for all that God can give. Come, Lord, and diffuse Thy presence through my soul. I have been reading Bramwell's Memoir; how desirable his life! How enviable his death! Help me, Lord, to follow after, and to walk in close communion with Thee; that I may apprehend that, for which I am apprehended in Christ Jesus.—At. St Michael's Church the Rev. John Graham improved the death of the Rev. William Richardson, who for half a century has laboured in York, and been much esteemed on account of his ministerial usefulness. He gave a concise account of Mr. R.'s literary and spiritual attainments. His Christian character was excellent. His chief joy was in Christ crucified; and his constant prayer, that he might not live longer than he could be useful. His labours continued up to his last illness, which lasted only a week, and his last words were, 'My pleasures are to come.' Thus died this eminent minister of Jesus Christ, aged 76. To me it was a season of especial profit; angels seemed hovering around."

REFLECTIONS.

Returning seasons bid reflection wake, And o'er the past a winding passage take: Ah! what a scene of change arrests the mind, Within the compass of five months behind! In many a home is hushed the voice of mirth, And sorrow, as a flood, o'erflows the earth. Here one, by sad misfortune followed fast, In hopeless indigence is plunged at last. Another, by disaster thrown aside, Has got a crippled limb to prop his side. There, death has made a breach, and left forlorn The widowed mother, and the babe unborn. Here, weeps the father o'er his orphan child, Who thinks it strange, for formerly he smiled: Oh! who can tell the sorrows of his breast? 'Tis sad experience must reveal the rest.

A few days since, a mournful crowd appeared, In sable garb, and to the church repaired; Ask you the reason of their measured pace, Why silent all, and tears on every face. Alas! the Pastor's dead, who, fifty years, The Gospel tidings sounded in their ears:— A man of God, endued with purpose strong, Who lived the truth he taught, and hated wrong, Full thirty years, the schools enjoyed his care; The sick, the poor, the Missions claimed a share. But now, we hear his friendly voice no more; His course is finished, and the fight is o'er. Come, hear the accents of his flying lips, "My pleasures are to come;"—the curtain slips, And hides what follows from our curious eyes: Enough! he joins the chorus of the skies.

Another scene, and melancholy too; The bridegroom widowed, ere he pleasure knew; His hopes of bliss had soared unduly high, And little dreamt he there was danger nigh; But see! the throes of death his bride arrest, The barbed arrow strikes her beating breast: His hands have touched the cup, but ere he sips, The wine is hurried from his burning lips.

Such are the sorrows which around I find, Diverse, and manifold as human kind. Let these suffice my gratitude to fire, And with unfeigned praise my tongue inspire. That I, so undeserving, still possess Unnumber'd mercies, through redeeming grace. Let each vicissitude my soul prepare, By patience here, for endless glory there; Where sickness ceases, and where sorrows end, Where no misfortune can the bliss suspend; Where death is banished, for the curse is o'er, And love unrivall'd reigns for evermore.

"I have greater pleasure in visiting the sick, and the poor, than in visiting those who, as far as this world is concerned, are better circumstanced; in the former case, my object is simply to do or get good, but in the latter, I find it is in danger of being mixed with other motives. Christ is the end as well as the source of my happiness. Oh! to be saved in every word and thought, this is what my soul covets. I feel I am getting firmer hold of Christ.—I have been tempted to a spirit of fretfulness and ill-nature; praise the Lord for the victory. I was enabled to come to him for help, and power; and by ejaculatory prayer, found sweet access to the Throne. I can say it is my chief study to live to please God, and to obtain a complete victory over myself, which I find is no small conquest.—The prospect of my children's return from school has supplied me with another subject of prayer. I have asked for patience, perseverance, and firmness to guide them aright. By simply coming to the Lord, I obtain help; and am sure, that while I continue to act faith in His power, I shall be helped. Then help Thy servant evermore to trust in Thee.—Had purposed going to the Prayer-meeting, but was prevented; I believe Providence guided me, and appointed me another work. In talking to my family at home, I felt great liberty; the Lord loosened my tongue. Oh! that the seed may spring up, and bear fruit. I endeavour to pour out all my grievances before the Lord. I know that He hears my prayer, and am resolved to tell Him the worst of myself, as far as His grace enables me to discover it. I am decidedly resolved to be the Lord's, for I can obtain solid happiness from no other source; but the name of Jesus is a cordial to my soul. More faith, and more love, is all I want.—How frail I am! Conversing with a friend as I returned from the house of God, I uttered an unnecessary word, and immediately felt that I had grieved the Spirit of God. As soon as an opportunity of retiring presented itself, I poured out my soul before the Lord, ashamed that I should so often offend Him, whom I desire to love and obey above all things.—In my class I professed the enjoyment of the sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit; and, blessed be God, though I hold the blessing feebly, I do hold it; but the cry of my soul is, fill me with all the life of God."

[The following lines, written after reading a piece in favour of snuff and tobacco, will be edifying to smokers.]

While some prefer the quid, and some the smell; There are who think that smoke doth both excel, I smile to see these votaries so misled, And think their several tastes are idly bred. Perchance one, here and there, may virtue find, In 'bacco' fumes, when much perplexed with wind. But sure, the human frame, frail as it is, Is not so subject to the qualms as this; Three times a day to need the burning herb, To cure the evils which so much disturb. 'Tis since the fall, an idol demon tries, By sophisms deep, to close the wise man's eyes. While musing on the sacred word, they plead The blessing of the mind composing weed; Thus join their idol with Divinity, Whose mandate is, "No other God but Me." But hear them plead their failing cause again; "It recreates the powers to work amain, Dispels the phlegm, which on the stomach lay, And fits us for the labours of the day." But will not prayer, and reading recreate, Much more than smoking thus in idle state? And exercise effect more lasting good, If they complain of undigested food I O be resolved, ye smoking sinners, do Forsake your idol, and your God pursue: Deny yourselves, and nobly bear the cross, Esteeming all for Christ but dung and dross.

"At the Prayer-meeting Mr. Spence gave a short address on the subject of entire sanctification: my faith was so much encouraged, I could scarcely refrain from speaking aloud; and while on my knees I exclaimed, many times, before the Lord, 'I will believe' On my way home the words were applied, 'Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you'—At the Acomb lovefeast, I confessed that I could now give God all my heart. I did not feel any doubt in so doing, although the enemy suggested, 'you are deceived' Lord, if I am deceived, speak for Thyself; for I am determined to be Thine. Here, in Thy presence, I humbly beseech Thee to set the seal upon Thy own work. I dare believe. Let the transaction be ratified in heaven. I am set apart for Thee.

"Newton. Having a little time to wait for the coach, I sauntered into the churchyard. The solemnity of the place suggested the following lines, while I stood and pondered."

Still solitary place! Here silence reigns; Here griefs are hushed; none ever here complains. Here no ambition agitates mankind, Within the limits of a vault confined, Around the whisp'ring breeze, impressive, steals, And on my listening soul instruction seals. The solemn truth sinks deep within my breast; I, mortal now, immortal soon, shall rest. Ended my journey, with its hopes and fears, My deep solicitudes, and silent tears. Under some neighbouring sod, my bones will lie, And wait the summons from the flaming sky: When ocean, trembling in its briny bed, And earth, upheaving, shall restore her dead. Roused by the voice, that heaven and earth shall shake, At that momentous period, I must wake, Among my fellow clay unknown before,— Must wake with horror, or with joy adore. Oh, wondrous scene! most awful! most august! Th' event is certain, and the purpose just. The Judge's eye will pierce the inmost soul, Each hidden record of the past unroll; No word, no motive, no minuter thought Escape exposure, into judgment brought. Oh! that these solemn truths, with equal force, Might rule my soul, throughout its earthly course; That every scene, and every hour, may give True witness then, to God alone I live! So with the saints in glory shall I rise, To hear the welcome plaudit from the skies, "Well done." Unbounded love! no tongue can tell What transports then my ravished heart shall swell. A worm! an atom! less than nothing I! By love redeemed from death, and raised on high.

"Wrote a few lines to Miss B. concerning her soul's welfare. She is very obliging, but destitute of the 'one thing needful.'—Called upon Mrs. Farrar—we prayed together. How much happier should we live if the time, so often wasted in chit-chat, were occupied in prayer. Help me, O God, against this soul-robbing evil. I found it profitable.—The Lord is teaching me the happy lesson of telling all my heart to Him. With respect to domestic grievances, I do not feel them to be so great a burden as formerly. My conscience feels tender, and though not always equally happy, I find prayer sweet, and the Bible my delightful study. This is Thy doing, to Thee be all the praise.—Passing a person, who was standing at his own door, I felt prompted to speak to him about his soul. I turned back, and did so, inviting him to go to the Chapel: but, alas! I seemed as one that told an idle tale.—I took tea with Mr. T. While he was at prayer, my soul was so lifted up, I could scarcely help expressing my feelings aloud. What a heaven, is the enjoyment of God! Prayer is the life of my soul, and the delight of my heart; yet I have to mourn over my weakness in consenting to conversation, which some may think very proper; but which does not tend to edification. I want to do all for eternity.—We received a turkey and a basket of fruit from a friend. I note this, as it would appear, the Lord is resolved, we shall lose nothing by entertaining his servants;—a preacher with his wife and three children, strangers to us, having come, as they had no other place of refuge, to stay with us till Monday. 'Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for some have entertained angels unawares.'—A very stormy day; but where Thy presence is how delightfully calm. The Lord does not leave me notwithstanding all my failings. I am nothing; I can do nothing; yet, thank God, He has turned the bent of my heart to his testimonies, and it is the delight of my soul to obey Him.—On my return from the Lord's house, I dedicated myself afresh to God; fully surrendering my soul and body, my time and talents, to His service. Praised be His name, He ratifies the surrender 'on the mean altar of my heart.' I feel the inward witness, 'Ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.' O God, I accept Thee as my Sanctifier, my Sovereign, to govern and direct.—I have many mercies to record, among which health is not the least; but of higher value than that, are the favour and the peace of God. Lately I have experienced solid happiness in Christ, sweet access to the throne, and delight in the ways of God. In visiting the poor, and also in acting in the capacity of prayer-leader, I have had some doubts whether I was in the path of duty. I laid the matter before God, willing to work for Him, or to be laid aside for Him. On opening my bible, just before I retired to rest, my attention was arrested by these words, 'They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them. And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and whiles they are yet speaking, I will hear.' Blessed promises! They appeared very applicable.—By the midnight mail, my husband was unexpectedly called from home, on very precarious business. May he be preserved from everything injurious to his soul, however unfavourable to his health. A day of much excitement, scarcely time for reflection; but in private it was sweet to pour out my soul before God. I am desirous to know how my husband proceeds with the business he has in hand. To know that the Lord keeps him, and gives him health, would be a cause of thanksgiving. He is in Thy hands, Thou Preserver of men, save him fully. For some weeks past, I have been reckoning myself 'dead indeed unto sin;' but the last few days my children have been very noisy; I have thus been under the necessity of speaking loud, and sometimes felt a little hasty in reproving them. This has awakened doubts of the reality of my experience. Unfold to me, O Lord, Thy truth, for to the test of Thy word, would I subject my life and practice."



VII.

TEMPLE SERVICE.

"HOLINESS BECOMETH THINE HOUSE, O LORD, FOR EVER."—Ps, xciii. 5.

"Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord." The command applied not only to the priest, who served at the altar, but to the Levite, to whom the charge of the sacred vessels was especially committed. The inference is, that the humblest officer in the Church of Christ ought to possess, above every other, this essential qualification, holiness. Purity is the secret of the Church's power. Wealth, talent, learning, honour, are but instruments, which she can use; but this is her life, because it is the breath of the Spirit of God, giving vitality to her members, and energy to her action. God can use the "weak things," and "the foolish," and "things that are despised, yea, and things that are not;" but he cannot use the things that are unclean, unless it be for purposes of shame and dishonour. When will the Church learn this lesson? And when will she adopt the divine standard of judgment, and estimate men according to their resemblance to Christ? So soon as she shakes herself from the dust, she shall go forth in the majesty of her strength, and become the admiration of the earth. Mrs. Lyth aimed at purity. She had passed the region of shadows, and entered the unclouded light of the Divine presence; but that very light, by its intensity, only revealed more distinctly the sinfulness of her nature; and created an absorbing desire after perfect holiness: she was thus prepared by God for the service of His temple.

"1822.—In our private band-meeting, Mrs. W. mentioned a singular circumstance. Being restless during the night, and troubled with wandering of thought, she entreated the Lord to impress upon her mind that which might be profitable. She fell asleep, and in a little time awoke with the words, 'The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.' Sleeping a second time, she awoke, with 'Precious in the sight of the Lord, is the death of his saints.' A third time she slept, and the words, suggested on awaking, were 'Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: yea, saith the Spirit, for they rest from their labours, and their works do follow them.' A fourth time she awoke, and the passage presented to her mind was, 'The end of all things is at hand; be ye therefore sober and watch unto prayer.'—My soul is especially excited to prayer. In myself I see no good thing, but many imperfections, and much weakness; yet I hang upon the Lord Jesus, and thirst for a deeper baptism of the Spirit. A few lines from Cousin E. inform me, that dear Ann, given up by her medical attendants, is rejoicing in the prospect of eternal glory. Praise the Lord. Though separation is painful, we cannot but rejoice in the blessed anticipation of seeing each other again. It only remains for me to be faithful.—My patience has been exercised by one of my children. I scarcely know how to act, so as neither to be too indulgent, nor too severe. O Thou, who hast promised, that crooked things shall be made straight, and the rough, places plain, give ear to my supplication, and in this matter point out the path of duty, that at the last, I may present my whole family and say, 'None that Thou gavest me are lost.'—While engaged in prayer, my soul was blessed in such a manner, that for some time I could say nothing but Glory, Glory. Surely this was a foretaste of the bliss, which shall never end.—A letter informed me that cousin Ann wished to see me; so on the following morning, putting myself under the protection of God, who kindly took care of me, I left home. While travelling the spirit of prayer on behalf of those, whom I had left behind, was sweetly poured upon me. I found my dear cousin suffering from great debility; but living by faith on the Son of God. A sweet smile played upon her face, like the soft radiance of the setting sun. Grace shone in every feature of her faded, but still lovely countenance. She tells me, it is twelve years next October, since the Lord spoke peace to her soul. We were kneeling in company with her sister, and the servant, by her bedside. I was engaged in prayer at the time, and for this reason she wished particularly to see me. Surely this is the mark whereby the world knoweth us, 'because we love one another.'—As I was distributing tracts, my heart was pained within me to see how many were employed on the Sabbath morn; and on my return, I wept to think that, in the face of day, they could break a well-known command of God. Lord, open their eyes that they may see. The spirit of my Ann has taken its flight to the paradise of God, leaving many sorrowing friends. Our loss is her gain; but nature feels.—In company with Mrs. R. I collected for the Missions. We were wearied; but when I recollect, how much more wearisome the work of the Missionary, cheerfully will I undertake this labour of love; with a view to alleviate their toil, and facilitate their success. I proposed to Mrs. W. and Mrs. R. to meet me at the throne of grace, every morning the following week, to pray for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit: we all agreed. The appointed hour has been blessed to me; I have dwelt under the shadow of the Almighty, and felt such a resignation to the will of God, as I never felt before.—I was providentially led to see Miss B. In our younger days we were companions; but in the course of time we have become estranged. She is now on the bed of affliction, and wept while mother and I prayed. She requested me to go again; if I can be useful to her, O Lord, open the way, and speak by me.

—I went to see a man walk upon the river, which occasioned the following lines:—

I saw the man, with wondrous skill. Walk on the yielding stream at will, Sustained by human art: Not so did Peter, when to Thee He stepped upon the rolling sea; Faith did the power impart.

So while on life's tempestuous wave, With timid steps I walk; O! save, Reach out Thy hand to me: My courage swells, while Thou art near, Nor foe nor accident I fear, Though wild the billows be.

But safely on through peril glide, Supported on the dangerous tide, By looking unto Thee: Impossibilities shall yield, And faith a solid pathway build. Across the stormy sea.

I have had some family exercises;—scarce worth a thought, if I had more of the mind of Christ; yet I have been able to tell my care to God, and at his footstool, I have got rid of my burden. I enjoy the soul's calm sunshine.—When I consider how time slips away, and how little I effect for my own improvement, and that of others, I am ashamed. My life appears so blotted, I can only say, 'God be merciful to me a sinner;' but praise God, I can rely with greater confidence than formerly upon his promises. I know I am his child, and my happiness is in doing the will of my Father.—Mrs. Taft is with us. O that the disappointment she has met with, (the refusal of the chapel,) may turn out rather to the furtherance of the Gospel, and more especially for the benefit of my family.—I understand she spoke in the school-room with energy and power; and at the prayer-meeting which followed, my Eliza was restored to the favour of God. Thus the Lord out of seeming evil has brought good to my child.—The one thing is daily the object of my desires and efforts. I want more clearly to exhibit the fruits of righteousness in my ordinary conversation. Being naturally of a hasty temperament, I need constantly to be baptized with the meek, and lowly spirit of Jesus. Grant me, O Lord, my heart's desire. I do feel Thy sanctifying presence, but O how I long for more.—The Lord is working amongst the children. My Richard, at the new School vestry, felt the drawings of the Spirit; and William, I am told, cried out aloud. O that these early impressions may come to maturity. My soul, praise the Lord for these beginnings. How shall I best foster these tender plants: Lord, teach me to cherish the good, and to correct the errors of youthful feeling. My father and mother have entered the house we have built for them adjoining our own. We had a prayer-meeting on the occasion, which was a blessed season to my soul."

"1823.—For the last time, I visited Jane S. She was scarcely recollected; but after a little time she requested me to pray. She seemed very much in earnest. I endeavoured to point her to Jesus. For a moment she revived; but in the night she died. So in one short week, two are gone out of my husband's class.—This morning I felt great power in prayer, and an ardent desire for full deliverance from every besetment. In this spirit I entered into my family, resolving to watch with all diligence; but alas! imperfection is stamped upon all I do,—so many wanderings, useless words, and deviations from the perfect law of God, that, were it not for the blood of Jesus, all hope of heaven would be excluded. Yet in private I had sweet communion with God. I have derived profit from the perusal of Lady Maxwell's Journal. Some points of her experience correspond with my own: this encourages me. Nothing seems so desirable, nothing so amiable, as momentary living to God.—Mr. McKitrick brought me Mrs. King's class-paper, requesting me to take charge of the class until she recovered. I durst not refuse it, although I felt my inability very great. My mental struggles since have been many. It is suggested I am influenced by pride; that I imagine I can do better than another; only by casting myself upon God, and resolving to leave myself in His hands, I find help. O that I were satisfied, I am called to this work! By any means discover this to me, and fit me by Thy grace; then gladly will I be spent for Thee, who gavest Thyself an offering for me.—I went in much fear to meet Mrs. K's little flock, among whom I felt liberty; but afterward, my uneasy state of mind returned. O God, since all things are possible to Thee, subdue my heart; let all within and all without submit to Thy sovereign sway. One of the members requested me to read the last chapter of the first Epistle of Peter, which I have done several times, and found it sweet."

As Mrs. K. never recovered, and indeed died shortly after, Mrs. Lyth's appointment to the office of leader was confirmed; an arrangement, which, notwithstanding her deep sense of her own insufficiency, met with the cordial approbation of the class. One of the oldest members, who was present on the occasion of her first meeting them, says, "I well recollect, with what profound humility, and with what fear and trembling, she undertook the office of class-leader. While she was confessing to us, that she felt utterly unworthy, and unfit for such a responsibility, my heart rejoiced, that we were privileged with the appointment of one, possessed of so many excellencies. She said, if the Lord had anything for her to do, she durst not refuse; that He had often employed very weak instruments to carry on His work; and added, "Oh! that He may use me for His glory! Friends, you must pray that the Lord may give me a double portion of His spirit, for I feel my own helplessness." Then, on her knees, she poured out her soul to God with great earnestness, that He would fully qualify her for the work which had been imposed upon her." Her own conviction of duty was however not so easily attained, and several entries occur like the following:—

"I again met Mrs. K's class, and found it very profitable to my own soul: yet I am not quite satisfied I am right. O make it fully known, and, if this is the path of duty, crown my feeble efforts.—None but the true Christian knows the sweets of communion with the Father, and the Son, through the blessed Spirit. 'Them that honour me I will honour, came sweetly to my mind yesterday; by which I was led to see, if I faithfully walk in His commandments, He will honour me with His presence, and clothe me with His free Spirit. While pouring out my soul in secret, the nearness I felt to Jesus is better felt than expressed;—unusual power to give my all to Him without any reserve, as far as I can judge of myself. Is this the work of entire sanctification? Set to Thy seal, O my God, let the enemy no more rob me of this jewel; but bear directly to my heart, the witness of Thy love.—I have had many visits from above, but not without interruptions. The use of more words than necessary has, on reflection, occasioned feelings of pain. Oh! when will all my powers be brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.—My wedding day! Seventeen years I have worn the silken-chain; during the last, I have enjoyed more of the life and power of God, and now the sacred flame burns brightly on my heart. With respect to my marriage, I believe it was solemnized in the fear of God; and an increasing union exists between me and my dear companion. We have many a blessed interview with God, when shut in from all beside. Oh the goodness of God to me! His mercies have far exceeded my trials, and even out of my several sorrows He has brought my greatest blessings.—At Mrs. K.'s class the Lord graciously sustained me with His presence; my doubts respecting this work seem now to disperse, and unless I am deceiving myself, I am in the way of providence. I inquired of one of the friends, if any time was fixed to pray for the revival of the work of God, and am told, every Friday—fasting; hours of prayer; six, nine, and twelve in the morning, and three and six in the afternoon. By the help of God, I am resolved to join them. The Lord is blessedly with, me this evening."

TO MY HONOURED FATHER

ENTERING ON HIS EIGHTY-EIGHTH YEAR.

Bending with the weight of years, See the hoary headed saint, Rise above tormenting fears; Suffer, but without complaint,

Ready, as a shock of corn, For the Paradise above; Golden fruits his age adorn,— Fruits of holiness, and love.

Though the outward man decay, Inward strength is daily given; Nothing can his soul dismay, Succoured by the God of heaven.

He, the wise man's laurel, wears; In the path of wisdom found, Lo! his hoary head appears With unearthly glory crowned.

Borne on time's untiring wing, Homeward fast his spirit flies; Now the city of the King, Flames upon his longing eyes.

Brighter, as the clouds recede, Blaze its walls of spotless white; Deeper, from the throne proceed, Dazzling floods of purer light.

Every birthday, nearer hies That unknown but welcome hour; When the saint in triumph cries, "I, through Christ, am conqueror."

"I went, by request, to visit a person who has long been confined to her bed. She knows something of God; but ah! how slight is the knowledge of even, professing Christians! After reading, and conversing with her, I proposed prayer; but the master of the house sat still. When we arose from our knees, I spoke freely and plainly to him of his sinful condition. O my God, if I was moved by Thee, fasten conviction upon his conscience.—I accompanied Mrs. K. to collect for the Clothing Society, and while our benevolent friends bestowed upon us the mammon of unrighteousness, the Lord blessed me with the true riches.—Having taken a little cold, I was dull of hearing, and afraid that I should not be able to hear the members of my class in the evening. I betook myself to prayer, and the Lord graciously heard, and so far restored me, that I had no difficulty. My soul was like wax before the sun, while Jesus shone upon it.—My mind has been reproved for reproving. Lord, I thank Thee for Thy secret admonitions; forgive, and take all my powers under Thy control. I called to see Mr. Spence; his natural powers decline, but heaven beams on his countenance. He said, while he was putting on his neckcloth, in the morning, he had been struck with the meagre and ghastly appearance he presented in the glass; but the sweet serenity of his soul compelled him to exclaim, 'Welcome old man! welcome declining age! welcome death!'—I spoke at the Prayer Leaders' lovefeast, but the enemy troubled me much afterward: however, this much I will affirm—to the grace of God I owe my all. I feel decided in my choice, hate sin, have the witness that I am a child of God, and enjoy the comforts of the Holy Ghost; but the clear evidence of entire sanctification I do not hold, though I believe I have many times received it, and for a short time held it; but, for want of boldly confessing the faith, have lost the blessed pearl. O for the baptismal flame."

In the summer of this year she visited the Rev. John Nelson, then stationed in Sheffield, to whom she was much attached. As was her constant practice, when released from the claims of domestic duty, she availed herself of every opportunity of doing, and getting good. Every day was a sabbath of religious privilege. The church, and the chapel, the social party and the sick bed, were made subservient to purposes of spiritual improvement. With reference to a party of friends, who were invited to meet her, she says, 'After tea the females being left alone, each of us prayed; this is a blessed way to cut off religious chit-chat.'

"Quarterly Fast. Mr. Haswell called upon me to pray, when the Lord was pleased to humble me; for which I would be truly thankful. Make me willing any way, only let my soul be brought into conformity with Thy will;—willing to be little, that Thou alone mayest be exalted. My nature is not willing to be thought little. During the day I felt a humble dependance upon Jesus."

ON OBSERVING A SIGN IN SHEFFIELD WORDED, "BRIDE CAKES AND FUNERAL BISCUITS."

Ah! is the bridal-day, When festive pleasures meet, The presage, but of swift decay, Within the winding sheet?

What then is man at best? A blooming,—fading flower; Immortal, in a mortal vest, The creature of an hour.

Well then may death be joined Unto our festal days; Well may our pleasures limit find Within so short a space.

To seek eternal bliss Within time's narrow span, Is man's best int'rest;—only this Can form the future man.

Let dying mortals then Their foolish dreams forsake; Unto their rest return again, And Christ their refuge make.

Then, even timid youth May smile upon the tomb; And festive moments welcome truth, Though clad in robes of gloom.

By Jesus' death, is broke Death's dark and powerful spell; And, while to Him by faith we look, We know that all is well.

"While meeting the little company my soul was blest. O for spiritual discernment and grace, that I may be truly helpful to them, and deal faithfully. Visited a dying person who says, she dare not rest on Jesus;—yet HE is a tower."

ON THE DEATH OF POPE PIUS XIII.

His Holiness, the Pope, Hath yielded up his breath; He, who could sins forgive, Hath no command o'er death; How wonderful! such power to have, And yet to sink into the grave!

If sin, the sting of Death, His Holiness could draw; Why render up His breath Unto a conquered foe? Either, he fallible must be, Or sin hath gained the victory.

"I am thankful for the decision of character I feel. My daily want is more of the love 'that conquers all, and every mountain moves.'—My private communings with God are my most precious seasons. There I can tell all my wants, unbosom all my griefs, reveal all my secrets, expose all my temptations, and there the Lord graciously condescends to visit me with fresh manifestations of His love and power. These visits humble me, and give me to see, where my strength lies. Come, Lord, and dwell in me, that every moment I may have the witness that all I do is right.—I called to see my dear afflicted friend W., whose eldest daughter is slowly sinking into the tomb. As it was the hour we usually meet in band, we retired to pour out our souls before the Lord. My friend seemed willing to give up her daughter, if only she could be assured, that a divine change had taken place. The Lord gave us the Spirit of prayer to plead on this account, and glory be to God, in that same hour, He imparted peace to the dying child.—The night was awfully tempestuous. I rose twice to pour out my soul to Him, who rules the storm, and found sweet calm within.—After tea, Mr. Spence asked me, why I had invited my friends. I replied, it was my desire, that we should help each other to heaven. A conversation on holiness of heart ensued, which to me, and I trust to all present, was profitable. This conversation will leave no painful reflection. I avowed that I held, though with a trembling hand, the power to love God with all my heart, and felt the sweet assurance at the time; but the next morning when I awoke, it was suggested, I knew not what I had avowed. The satisfactory evidence was for a moment withdrawn; yet by faith I still resolved to hang upon the Saviour. I did not long remain in doubt, my peace of mind returned; and in the evening, while engaged in prayer (Eliza being with me), the divine influence sweetly overwhelmed my soul, and not mine only, my Eliza felt its power. Glory be to God.—I took tea with Mrs. E., the person with whom I lodged during my affliction. A sense of gratitude for past mercies stirred my heart to praise; and the time, which might otherwise have been spent in conversation to no profit, was spent in prayer.—I daily need the sprinkled blood, and the clear assurance of the perfect love which 'casteth out fear.' I dare not doubt that I possess, in a measure, its blessed fruits; but I long to rise higher, that no scruple may remain."



VIII.

PASSING CLOUDS.

"CAN ANY UNDERSTAND THE SPREADINGS OF THE CLOUDS."—Job xxxvi. 29.

Who can explain the involuntary emotions of human mind? How strange, that often, on the eve of some great misfortune, a sensible cloud should spread over the spirit; but whence it comes, or why, we cannot tell! To say it is a coincidence is only an acknowledgment of ignorance. Ought we not rather to refer it to the secret agency of the spirit-world by which we are surrounded; but of which we know so little? Perhaps God would thus timely warn us to seek refuge under the shadow of his wing, just as we seek shelter from the storm, which the cloud, that spreads itself upon the face of heaven, tells us is at hand. At least, it cannot be without advantage, when such monitions occur, to betake ourselves to more earnest prayer; then, come what may, we shall find a safe asylum in Him, to whom belongeth everlasting strength.—One of the first entries of the year 1824, is

THE CLOUD WILL SOON BLOW OVER.

Though far, and wide above my head, The dull portentous cloud is spread; With many a dark and massive fold, Love decks it with a rim of gold. The sun is shining still behind, The promise of a purpose kind; And, soon unveiled again, will dart His cheering rays upon my heart. Far brighter will His face appear, Than if no cloud had gathered near. Then, till the cloud is overpast, My anchor, hope, on God I'll cast; Assured while He is throned above, The cloud is only sent in love.

About a fortnight after penning these lines, her father, whose continued life she had, every spring, hailed with a new song of gratitude, was suddenly seized with a fit of paralysis, which in a few days terminated his earthly career. A premonitory attack had occurred in the preceding autumn, which at the time affected his speech, but on recovering a little, he expressed his confidence in God in these remarkable words: "It is rolled up; it is rolled up. I am satisfied; I am quite satisfied. I am ready; when the Lord pleases, I am ready. The Lord hath given me eternal life. I know the Lord; I shall not perish. I shall not perish, for I am the Lord's." During the winter he had rallied again, and resumed his labours in his Master's cause. Hopes began to be entertained, that he might yet be spared a little longer; but these were suddenly cut off. About the beginning of February he was seized again, and it was soon apparent that this attack would prove fatal. His last testimony to the truth was strong and clear, and continued to be borne until the power of language failed. To the Rev. W. McKitrick, who came to visit him shortly before his departure, he said, in almost the same words the amiable Addison used to Lord Warwick, "You are come to see a Christian, die;" and then added, "Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. I used to sing that in the Church, when I knew not what it meant; but now I do." Not a shadow of a cloud rested upon the valley; it was full of light: and on the 24th of the month he died, in the full triumph of faith, esteemed and lamented by persons of every shade of opinion.

"This day in former years, I have hailed my dear father's stay among us; but now, he has left our dark abode to join his friends above; and this day, his death is to be improved by Mr. Hopkins New Street, and Mr. McKitrick, in Albion Street Chapel. For some weeks I have been under the chastening hand of God. My patience has been severely tested; but I am thankful, in the moments of severest trial, I have felt confident that not a stroke would be laid upon me more than would conduce to my real good. Though the waves roll around me, I can venture myself on Jesus. Here I find firm footing; here is my resting-place; and in the precious atonement of the Redeemer, my soul enjoys sweet repose.—I have been suffering from sickness, but have had many precious moments while musing upon my bed. Through mercy, I am again able to sit up, but am very deaf. This has occasioned a train of reasoning. I have been led to inquire, whether the Lord in His providence intends to depose me from meeting His people. But in this, and in every thing else, I would resignedly say, 'Thy will be done.'—The mercy of the Lord is again repeated. The deafness, from which I have suffered, is greatly removed. Bless the Lord, who can not only make the deaf to hear, but the heart to praise.—My little Anna, after being lent to me for seventeen days, and finding nothing on earth to court her stay, has closed her eyes on time, and opened them upon heaven. So uncertain is earthly happiness. Perhaps my heavenly Father, more securely to engage my heart, has kindly resumed the gift; and transplanted to a better soil the flower, whose charms were insensibly stealing my affections. I anticipated the delightful task of rearing this tender plant to be a future comfort; but Thou, O Lord, art righteous in all Thy ways. My feelings have been peculiarly acute, but to Thee, O Lord, my heart is known. Teach me due submission to Thy will; and as, by this bereavement, I shall, if restored to health, have more leisure, may I dedicate it to Thee.—While Miss O. was praying with me, I had such a blessed view of the inhabitants of the world above, that for a moment I seemed to be there. At the Class I was led to see the privilege of living by faith every moment. Since then, I have been able to realize present blessings. The perusal of one of Mr. Fletcher's letters has been of service to me; also the recollection of what my father used to say; 'I ask in faith, and bring the blessing away with me.' Surely this is our Christian birthright. Faith honours God, and 'without faith it is impossible to please God.' Thanks be unto Thee, I can now live by faith; but I want to lose myself in Thee, Thou vast unfathomable sea of love! Covered with imperfections, I want to be plunged in the precious blood of Jesus. Precious Name! Precious blood! the sweetest cordial of the soul. I have had such a view of the way of faith as I cannot express; so simple, yet so divine! Such a sweet deliverance from doubt! While I feel myself nothing, I have power to apprehend God as my sanctifying Saviour. What has the world to compare with this?—I rose before six to hold communion with my God. Art Thou my God? Yes; by that exalted name, I feel Thou art mine. My soul longs for Thee. When shall I wake up after Thy likeness? I have this evening met the precious charge committed to my care. The responsibility seems greater than ever. O may I watch as one having to give account.

"Sinnington. Nature now resumes its beauty, but the removal of my beloved Ann, and the absence of my dear Elizabeth, make a mighty chasm. Well; soon these separations will cease, and my freed spirit soar to mansions of unclouded bliss. I have been tempted by the enemy; but hold fast my confidence: may the faith, which purifies the heart, sanctify my lips, that I may tell of all Thy wondrous love.—I visited Mrs. B. a second time; she is encouraged to believe the Lord will save her, for Christ's sake-without any merit of her own. Her husband was more cordial than I expected from the account I had heard of him; the tears started in his eyes while I conversed with him. I feel I am employed as I ought to be, when in this way I render the least service to a fellow-creature; but O how poor and feeble are my efforts! Since I came here my mind has been variously affected; sometimes clear, sometimes clouded; sometimes in prayer I have experienced unusual liberty, and again a degree of coldness; but always a sense of the approbation of God, with a desire to be entirely conformed to His will.—Part of the day was spent in bidding the friends farewell, and in visiting some of the poor; and now I have finished my visit to this place, I can say, I have been endeavouring to please God, and in some measure, benefit my fellow creatures; but my performances have been so mixed, that I am ashamed before the Lord. Nothing but the blood of sprinkling can wash away my defilement.—I went to the vestry after the evening service, and selected a place, where I thought I should not be observed; but the thought of the curse of Meroz, constrained me to leave my retired position. I resolved, if any opportunity presented itself, to engage in prayer; and truly God poured upon me the spirit of grace and supplication.—This week I have paid a social visit both to Mrs. R. and Mrs. W. Praise the Lord, I came away uncondemned on account of anything I had said. This has not always been the case. I am thankful for the inward teaching of the Spirit; for the desire that every power of my body, as well as every affection of my soul, may be wholly consecrated to God. This is now my prayer.—I have been much affected to hear that an old man, whom I had intended to visit, died yesterday. O God, forgive the omission and help me to be faithful. I took an opportunity of seeing Mr. and Mrs. G., to converse with them on the necessity of salvation: let Thy spirit work. The Lord has been showing me what a poor empty creature I am; but gives me confidence in His promise. I can cast myself entirely upon Him, who is willing to save me to the uttermost. Glory be to God, my soul dares lay hold on Jesus, as my full, and all-sufficient Saviour.—This morning I gave Wm. B. an invitation to chapel; called on M.T.S., who is in trouble, and advised him to read the 112th Psalm; saw Esther S., who is fast declining, but seems to desire nothing so much as union with God; also visited J.C., who is sick, but happy in God.—The means of grace are refreshing, but these are not the only occasions on which I get blessed. No; while my hands are engaged with my ordinary duties, I can look up and call God Father.—My husband presented me with a new visiting book, the old ones having been called in after the death of Mr. Spence; and the whole concern placed in the hands of a committee. Having formerly felt my insufficiency, I have sought help at the throne of grace, and entreated the Lord, as the committee have thought proper to send me a book, that He would give me a word in season, and His blessing with my efforts.—The souls committed to me have been laid very near my heart. Conscious of my own weakness, I asked the Lord to put His word into my mouth, and bring it to my remembrance; and to His honour I here record it, that I have never experienced greater liberty.—In the prayer-meeting I was silent, and felt condemned in consequence; and on Saturday night the conviction of duty was still deeper, but still resisted, How much I need forgiveness! As the result, barrenness came over my soul, which continued part of the next day. The recollection of having petitioned God to take my soul and body's powers, and then to refuse to employ my tongue in His service, although He had promised to put words into my mouth, fills me with shame and humiliation.—For some days I have been hanging on Christ by naked faith, without much sensible comfort; yet have felt as fully resolved to live to the glory of God as when bathing in the beams of His love. To-night the sacred fire burns brightly 'on the mean altar of my heart.'—I have many mercies to be thankful for, though not recounted here. A moderate share of health is not the least; my class increases, my family is well; I am surrounded with friends; and above all, I enjoy peace of mind. 'What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits?'"

The rapid moments fleet away; And on their tireless wings, Death rides, majestic in his sway, Subjecting Popes and Kings.

"1825.—My daughter being out to tea, I called to take her to chapel; but the solicitations of her friends had induced her to relinquish her intention: so I left her. But my mind was much pained; the case of Eli forcibly impressed my mind. I think I too easily yielded to what my better judgment condemned. I need the forbearance of my heavenly Father, and wisdom to direct my children aright. I see great danger in mixing with the world, and the company of outward professors is equally perilous.—While Mr. Stoner was describing the character of those, who have received Christ, my soul responded to the truth: I felt the reality of the change in my own heart. The evidence of the sanctifying grace of God has of late been more distinct; yet never have I been more deeply convinced of my own nothingness, nor of the exceeding riches of the divine grace.—This eventful month (February) is this year ushered in by answers to prayer. Having a cold, and being dull of hearing, I entreated the Lord, if he had called me to meet his people, to give me power to hear. He graciously condescended to my request and blessed me among them. Four new converts stepped in. O for wisdom to instruct them.—I had a very pleasant visit at Miss C.'s. Mr. Stoner, Sammy Hick, and two or three female friends were there. We got to know one another's hearts upon our knees, and the Lord lent an attentive ear.—My body is feeble, but my soul pants after God. I want totally to abandon self, that Christ may be all in all. He is the chief object of my affection, but I want to lay firmer hold upon His omnipotent strength. It is faith that brings the power to exhibit the graces of the Spirit, and to act acceptably in the sight of God."

CHRISTIAN FRIENDSHIP.

Friendship hails the rising joy, And shares the falling tear; Breathes the sympathetic sigh, And swells the common prayer. How it soothes the troubled breast! This charity divine Breathes the balm of heavenly rest. —May such a friend be mine.

"After my morning duties are discharged, I intend to devote the Thursday of every week to the Lord, so long as health and opportunity are afforded me; especially in visiting the members of my class, ministering to the sick, and attending the school. I went out feeling that I was the engaged servant of the Lard, and he has graciously blessed my endeavours. One whom I visited is earnestly seeking the Lord; and another, who has long been indebted to my husband, gave me a sovereign towards the amount-unsought, unasked, and unexpected!"

Father of all, and God of grace, Whose ever watchful eye Surveys the depth and breadth of space; Yet sees the sparrow fly: Behold my heart—it pants for Thee; The temple for Thyself prepare; There let Thy throne established be, Thy name engraven there.

"Much against my inclination, I paid a formal visit to ——; providentially I was seated near a friend, who was willing to converse on things conducing to holiness.—Among the Lord's poor my soul is often blessed. This day, the day I have set apart for God, I wrote to Miss B. respecting the Sunday class; and, after arranging my domestic affairs, set forth to visit Mrs. D., then Mary H., who was sitting up reading her Bible. As soon as I entered, she began to tell me, that a great change had taken place in her views and feelings; and that prayer and reading the word, were her greatest delight. I asked her how long she had experienced this; she replied, 'About a month. You had been praying with me; many things you said fastened upon my mind:' then, laying her hand upon her heart, she added, 'I felt such a weight here, I knelt down to pray; and after getting into bed again, it seemed as if a voice spoke to me, 'Mary, the door is open:' from that time I have felt such peace of mind, and pleasure in reading the Bible, as I never did before.' Lord, Thou art able to judge of this statement, and bringest men to Thyself, by ways and means unknown to human sense. This occurred on the first Thursday I devoted to God. Lord, make me faithful in the discharge of the trust reposed in me.—I am this morning left alone; yet not alone. I feel a blessed sense of the divine presence, which enables me to anticipate my heavenly inheritance; but not for any merit in me: oh no! on Jesus hangs my hope. To me belongeth shame and confusion of face; for my best doings are polluted, and all my good is from Himself. Praised be His name for the change effected in my mind. The saints of God are my delight, the word of God my treasure, and communion with God my greatest joy.—Through mercy, although feeble in body, I am better than during last week. Yet even then I enjoyed peace, and when weakest, my faith has been strongest; I could commit all into His hands; still I see myself a poor empty creature. It is all of grace, through Jesus. Precious name!"

Afflictions, from Thy gracious hand, Unmingled blessings prove; The rod, prepared at Thy command, Displays a Father's love.

Beneath its weight, submissive, Lord, Upward to Thee I look; "Expect according to Thy word," A blessing in the stroke.

May every pain be sanctified; And every grace improve; Till freed from dross, like silver tried, My soul is only love.

No tear shall then bedew my eyes, No grief my bosom swell; The note of gratitude shall rise, Thou hast done all things well.

"My dear mother has had a fall, and has been much indisposed in consequence. I am thankful to have her so near me, as it is a pleasure to perform my duty as a child. In this, and every other relation, may I be found faithful.—I rose very early, as I felt concerned about my dear mother; and went to her room-door, between three and four o'clock; but as Mary had fastened it within, I could not obtain admittance. However, I betook myself to prayer, and commended her to the Lord. This passage was strongly impressed upon my mind: 'The Lord will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing; Thou wilt make all his bed in his sickness.'—I spent the day at H., in the company of some friends not decidedly devoted to God. The Lord kept me, and I am thankful I came home without condemnation. I was favoured with an opportunity of speaking with each of them respecting their spiritual state, and the things of eternity.—For some time I have been surrounded by hurry and excitement, and longing for a little retirement. At length, in a way I did not expect, I am in part secluded from my family. In this I am constrained to acknowledge the mercy of God to an undeserving worm. Brought apparently to the grave's edge, I have been refreshed with His presence, and had power to cast myself upon His fatherly love. The enemy assaults me; but aware of my own weakness I venture, powerless as I am, upon the boundless merits of Jesus."

How sweet is still retirement! How it calms The mind, and aids reflection! Here my soul, Unfetter'd, soars to converse with its God. I hear his Spirit whisp'ring round me now; And love, and gratitude subdue my heart. Yes, Solitude! I love thee, and enjoy In thy sequester'd depths, the bliss, in crowds I seek in vain. My God! my only joy! Yet, O blest Saviour, when Thy voice is heard, Amid the tumult springs a sudden calm, And heaven-born peace pervades my happy soul.

"A situation has offered for Richard, which we have hesitated to accept or refuse, wishful to do right, and afraid of doing wrong. In this dilemma, we cast ourselves at the footstool of mercy, my husband and mother uniting with me, and were fully enabled to roll our care upon God, who wonderfully undertook for us. I believe we have done right."



IX.

MID-DAY TOIL.

"SEEK THAT YE MAY EXCEL TO THE EDIFYING OF THE CHURCH." 1 Cor. xiv. 12.

True religion is reproductive. A converted man will try to convert his neighbour; and the value of his own experience may in general be tested by the manner in which he uses his opportunities of doing good. So true is this, that the Saviour said, "He, that is not with me, is against me; and he, that gathereth not with me, scattereth abroad." An inactive Christian is a contradiction in terms; for he is no copy of his divine Master, who, morning, noon, and night, "went about doing good." All the Scriptural symbols of the kingdom of God are expressive of energetic action. The little cloud attracts to itself the moist particles of the atmosphere, until it covers the whole heavens. The seed germinates, and grows, till it brings forth thirty, sixty, or a hundred fold. The leaven, which is but a minute form of vegetable life, developes itself in every direction by means of little cells; which again form others, and thus by continual reproduction, leavens the whole mass. What Is the lesson? Every heart in which the kingdom of God is set up, becomes a centre of life and action, exerting a healing influence upon the corrupting masses of society around. And oh! if every Christian professor were thus endued with power from on high, what could hinder the progress of the truth? How would it spread and prevail, until the whole world submitted to its sway!

Mrs. Lyth was imbued with the true spirit of Christian zeal. By letter, as well as by direct appeal; by secret intercessions with God, as well as by personal effort; she sought to win souls to Christ. Instant in season and out of season, few came in contact with her without feeling the force of her religious character; and her diligence in visiting the sick, the needy, and the careless, superadded to the faithful discharge of home duties, often affected her own health. In the Autumn of 1825, she spent some weeks at Hovingham, a small watering-place in the west of Yorkshire; but, though only delicate through recent sickness, she sought her relaxation in doing good. On the Sabbath she went round the village to invite the people to the Chapel, and on the week-day visited the afflicted and infirm. One case occurred here, which well illustrates her persevering charity, even under circumstances of discouragement. A young gentleman, educated for the legal profession, and the son of one, who at an earlier period had met with her in the same class, had come to seek relief in an advanced stage of consumption. She sought him out at a neighbouring village; but when announced, he refused to see her, and sent the not over polite message, that if it had been a clergyman, it would have been another thing. However the hostess, who was a Methodist, said, if she would come at such an hour, she would be able to obtain an interview, as he went out riding every day, and was obliged to pass through her sitting-room. She went at the time specified, and for the purpose of introduction took with her a book, which she offered to lend him. He just turned over a few of the leaves, and not finding it to his taste, returned it, saying, she might take it back. Nothing disheartened, she talked with him about his mother, and her anxiety for his salvation; until at length she prevailed upon him, though not without a degree of reluctance, to allow her to pray with him. In a few days he was taken so much worse, that he was obliged to return home; and with the view of obtaining another interview, she wrote a letter, which she took to him, with the request that he would kindly forward it, as soon as he arrived in York. This he courteously engaged to do. On parting she said, "Well, sir, as you are going to return, I must say farewell; perhaps we shall never see each other again." "What," he replied, "do you think I am going to die?" "No sir," she returned, "but neither you nor I seem likely to live very long." The nail was fastened in a sure place. Immediately on her return to York he sent for her, saying to his mother, "You know whom I want; she must come every day." The account of the visit is given in her own words. "I called upon Mr. ——; and am thankful to find a blessed change in his spirit. I read to him the eighth chapter of Romans. He cried aloud, and requested me to pray with him, which I did; then his mother, then I, then a stranger. Truly it was a blessed time; such as they professed never to have experienced before. My soul felt the divine influence." These visits were continued, until, in a few weeks, he exchanged mortality for life. The last notice of him is, "I saw Mr.——, whom I found in a blessed state of mind. As his outward strength decays, his inward man is renewed day by day; his hope blooms with immortality. When I was coming away, and bidding him farewell, in hope of meeting him again in heaven, he replied, 'I have not a doubt of it.' I entertained the hope of seeing him again on earth, but on Saturday night he died: so I must now urge my way to meet him at the right-hand of God."

We continue our extracts:

"I find, that unnecessary conversation, even with religious persons, and on lawful subjects, has a tendency to destroy the fervour of my spirit.—Mrs. R, met the dear little company; the power of God was generally felt. I proposed that we should meet every day at the throne of grace, to pray especially for the salvation of some amongst us, as well as for our own prosperity; and desired as many as approved to signify it by lifting the hand, which was done by all. I have had some blessed seasons while interceding on this account.—I was pressed in spirit to visit the speechless man. After pointing him to the sinner's only refuge, I knelt down; when the Lord shed upon me such an unusual degree of the spirit of grace and supplication, that I was fully convinced the man was blessed. On rising, I asked him, if he believed the Lord would save him, to lift up his hand, which he did. I asked him to repeat the sign, if he felt happy. This he also did. I am the more encouraged, as, on a former occasion, I had solicited the sign in vain. My soul praised the Lord on his account, and I came home rejoicing."

Farewell departed day! farewell for ever! From earth alone, thy flight, my soul can sever. My hope is anchored on the 'Rock of ages;' The storm in vain with fury round me rages. Farewell ye passing cares! though pain and sorrow May be my lot to-day, joy beams to-morrow: Within the veil, my soaring faith has entered; And all my happiness in Christ is centered.

"A precious day to me. The Lord enabled me to witness to the truth before the great congregation.—I paid Mr. Stoner and his bride a visit. He would have me pray a blessing on their union; but I did not feel the same liberty I found in praying with the speechless man a little after. He again lifted up his hand when asked if he believed the Lord would save him. I went to see an afflicted person in the hospital; a friend was reading to her; but when I entered, she ceased, seeming wishful to hear what I had to say. As the Lord enabled me I urged upon them the necessity of salvation. Before I came away the number of listeners was increased to seven. The Lord gave me liberty of utterance, and they earnestly pressed me to renew my visit. If this is from Thee, O Lord, open my way. The afflicted person, whom I have visited several times before, professes to have found peace more than a week ago. Another of them wept, because she found out she wanted something she did not possess. Upon the whole the Lord appears to have directed my visit. May it be followed by a permanent blessing."

"1826. This afternoon was employed in seeking out the necessities of the poor. On my return home I felt I had done my duty, but nothing more. I can trust in nothing but Christ for salvation.—All I do and say, seems poor and insignificant. I want greater power to live to God; watching against the assaults of the enemy, guarding against self, repelling vain thoughts, living a moment at a time, praying always. I know this is possible; for 'all things are possible to him that believeth.' Oh for living faith.—Visited a poor afflicted widow. After reading and praying, she began to pray of her own accord; and shortly broke out into praise, in a manner that astonished me; but it was the Lord's doing. She expressed her confidence in such terms that I could not doubt the truth of her confession.—Mr. Slack divided Miss Bentley's class. What will be the result? [In consequence of Miss B.'s indisposition, the class had been met by Mrs. Lyth for some time; and had so much increased that division became necessary.] If I live till next Sunday I must take my share of it. But who is sufficient for these things? Anoint me, O Lord, with fresh oil. Make fresh discoveries of Thy love. Breathe the Holy Ghost. Inspire the living fire. Furnish me out of Thy treasury with arguments to defeat the devil, and plead the cause of truth. Armed with Thy power, I feel willing to be the hand, or the foot, only souls are saved, and Thou art glorified. I was sent for by a member of Miss B.'s class, who was very ill. The Lord was pleased to bless her while I was with her; so that clasping her hands she shouted, several times, 'Glory be to God.' As I returned home it was sweetly brought to my mind, 'Inasmuch as ye did it to the least of these my brethren, ye did it unto Me.' The infinite fulness of God surpasses all my thought;—a breadth without a limit, a length without a termination, a height without a summit, and a depth without a bottom. How I grieve that anything else should occupy my thought! for sure I am, He is the only bliss on earth designed for man to know. Two days I have been begging for the new Chapel, and still I am requested to canvass the opposite side of Walmgate. Lord, if this is the way Thou choosest to humble my pride, make me willing to be the hand, or the foot, to help on Thy cause.—At the close of the class, E. came to me, and by her silent, yet expressive, countenance said, 'pray for me.' We continued a little time longer, but she did not obtain her heart's desire. Lord, forgive our little faith.—My mother and I started for Sinnington. During the journey my soul rested in Jesus; and since our arrival I have had power to look up through nature to nature's God; a gift not afforded to every one because of blindness of heart. While cousin Elizabeth and I were united in prayer, the Lord poured upon me such a blessing, with the words, 'Ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you,' as I cannot express. I earnestly long for the salvation of the inhabitants of this village. Took tea with Mr. B. Many dainties, yet I have greater satisfaction in visiting the sick than in gratifying the palate. How much need have we to watch in every thing! O keep me ever on my guard, and watching unto prayer.—My birthday. Three years ago I was in Sheffield, and there resolved to devote myself to God; and ever since, I have been endeavouring to do it. Still I am but a dwarf in growth, yet will I not be unthankful for what I am. I feel the peace of God in my soul, with an increase of those fruits that spring from inward religion. To God be all the glory. The more I possess of this divine power, the less I see in myself. O how great is the love of God! To-day I would renew my covenant with Him. Here is my heart, O take and seal it; and let it be Thine for ever.

"Scarbro'. I took up my cross, and spoke to some old women; but oh! the darkness of the human mind! My medical adviser gives me permission to bathe. O Lord, give Thy blessing. I had a delightful view of the sea from the Spa. Nothing on earth is to my mind a more striking image of Almighty power than this uncontrollable mass of waters, to which He only can say,' Peace be still,' and it obeys Him.—When I went to the Chapel, I felt considerable drowsiness, and was afraid I should fall asleep; but I lifted up my heart, and entreated the Lord to remove it, which He graciously did, and I sat under His shadow with great delight.—After first giving myself into the hands of the Lord, and asking His blessing, I bathed in company with Miss B——t. Afterward, during prayer, while in the machine, the Lord graciously watered our souls. To me it was a refreshing season. I was truly overwhelmed with the precious love of Jesus; so that, when we parted, I went on my way rejoicing, and praising God for the rich baptism bestowed on His worthless dust.—My Richard was articled to Wm. Matterson, Esq., Surgeon. This has made me many errands to the Lord; and now, O God, I leave him in Thy hands: still offering up my earnest prayer that Thou wilt be his director and guide. I feel more anxiety for his soul than his earthly interests. 'The ways of a good man are ordered of the Lord.' I dare rest upon Thy word; therefore my earnest prayer is, that he may be a man of God. O blessed Saviour, let my fervent petition be heard. Save him, and fit him for Thy will.—This morning my waking thought was:

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