Rises the sun, his course to run, In robes of golden light; So may I put the Saviour on. And walk with Him in white.
As flowers adorn the brow of morn, And scent the fresh'ning air; New graces, in my spirit born, Diffuse their fragrance there.
"With feelings of gratitude, I resume my pen, which has been laid aside for some weeks, in consequence of domestic and personal affliction. God has once more restored us; and I would therefore acknowledge his loving-kindness. The rod has been needful, and the desire of my heart is, that it may be sanctified to me and mine. My dear mother continues ill, and much harassed by the enemy. O! for faith to take hold upon the Saviour: through Him we tread down our foes. I can venture upon his atoning blood. How vast my obligations, and how unprofitable my services, language fails to tell.—Mr. Bourne, an old friend of my honoured father, came and conversed awhile with us on the things pertaining to the Kingdom; then gave out a verse or two and prayed. On leaving, he said, 'Well, Mary, I shall remember you, and your family, and pray for you; and if I live to come to York again, I will come and see you. I felt more pleased than if he had given me gold and silver.—A day like spring; so clear, and warm, and sunny. I entered upon it with strong desires after God, and a sweet sense of his favour. His presence cheers my path, and smooths my way. Visited a man apparently near death; awakened, but O how dangerous to delay repentance until the last hour! After meeting my class, I called upon Mary D., to whom the Lord has graciously revealed himself; we rejoiced together while she spoke of the Lord's goodness."
"1827.—While interceding on behalf of my dear mother, I was encouraged by the application of several suitable promises, particularly, 'At evening time it shall be light.' The morning following she told me of the comfort she had experienced during the night. This must sustain my faith in future.—My husband has this week declined business. Thou God of love, still guide our path. Let us not 'miss our providential way;' but draw us nearer to Thyself.—Taking tea with a neighbour, whose salvation I have long desired, I felt it my duty to speak plainly with her on the subject; and was greatly encouraged by the inward voice of the Spirit, as also abundantly blessed while engaged in prayer. Whether I was of any use, I know not, but my work is with the Lord.—I went forth to visit the poor, not knowing whither to direct my steps. I begged guidance from above, and believe the Lord heard me; for, quite accidentally I was led to the bedside of a woman, who had wandered from God; but in her affliction had found out her error. She appeared much affected, and wished me to go again.—Called upon M.H., upwards of eighty. She quoted many promises, which were especially sweet to her. It is delightful to visit such; another whom I saw, has been a persecutor, but is now seeking salvation.—I called to see Mrs. Fettes, who has long been a mother in Israel. My spirit was refreshed, while she spoke of her experience of the things of God. Afterwards I saw Mrs. R.; with whom I had a blessed interview, especially at the throne of grace. My soul thirsts after God. I feel I am saved, but I want more.—Mr. Jos. Mortimer conducted a meeting at St. George's Chapel, in which sixteen or seventeen persons obtained the forgiveness of sins. One man, who had been struggling about two hours, witnessed a good confession before many witnesses. When asked how he felt, he said, 'I feel as if I were in heaven:' and indeed his countenance testified the happy change that had been effected. My two sons, Richard and William, were much upon my mind; but they remain in good desires. Lord, fasten conviction upon their hearts.—The power of God was eminently present in the band-meeting. My two daughters, went to the penitent form, seeking a full salvation; and there, glory be to God, they found it. O that they may hold fast their confidence. My heart bounded at the glad news, while tears gushed from my eyes.—In Fossgate school-room a great number were made happy in God; I am told about fifty, and among them three members of my class. Mrs. R——e and Mrs. R——n joined me, at the 'eve of evening,' to pray for them. Whether it is in answer to our prayers or no, thankful I am, prayer has been heard and answered.—This evening twenty-three young persons, who have received spiritual benefit, came to my little class. I felt myself very inadequate to instruct them;—complete poverty. Lord, help me. Mr. Mortimer accompanied me to visit a sick man, who, before we left, professed faith in Jesus. O the unbounded mercy of God! I want more of it. It is estimated that, during the week, not less than three hundred have been brought to God: and among them my Richard. Keep him, O Lord, near Thy side, and teach him all Thy will.—I feel cause of gratitude to God for His mercy to my family. William has this night been brought under divine influence; glory be to God;—a child of many prayers and many fears, but God has found him out. O keep him, blessed Jesus. Now all my family are brought to know God excepting little John; for whom I pray, and believe God hears.—Mr. Slack divided my little company (about seventy); allotting thirty of them to Miss G. O Lord, send us both prosperity.—I have lately felt the constant power to pray; and, though I have nothing in hand, I come to Jesus, and receive 'out of His fulness, and grace for grace.' On Thursday I wrote to my dear uncle, endeavouring, though feebly, to urge him to the pursuit of inward holiness. O Lord, bless him, for Christ's sake. I think I never felt a greater desire for the salvation of others. In this city the Lord still continues to carry on His work.—I accompanied Mr. M. to Heslington; we had a blessed little meeting. Three obtained the forgiveness of sins. Surely these are the latter days, when times of refreshing are promised. Every day souls are saved, and set apart for God. In our parlour last Tuesday, Mrs. F. found liberty, as also her daughter a few weeks ago.—Mr. Mortimer has been our guest the last month, and will remain another week. He is a man of God. Next week we expect Mr. Is. Clayton. I esteem it an honour conferred upon us to entertain the ministers of the Lord; but a much greater honour, that the Lord condescends to dwell in my heart. O may I ever walk, and dwell in Him.—After a week of indisposition, mingled with much excitement, I feel solid rest in God. We had a blessed time in the band-meeting. I think I was never more fully delivered from the creature. How sweet to live above the world! As I returned. Miss C. joined me, and informed me what the Lord has done for her soul. She believes He has taken full possession of her heart. I rejoiced while she imparted the blessed news. She expresses herself clearly. O may she ever hold it fast. I gave the following lines to Miss A. A. on her birthday; may they be made a blessing to her.
"How important the season! Big with eternal results!—born for eternity! Let it be a day of reflection, dedication, and prayer; and if the following lines prove any assistance to you, I shall be amply repaid.
Again the happy morn appears; And nature, clothed in beauty, wears Her wonted colours; and the rose In all its pride of lustre glows; Emblem of frail mortality! It buds and blossoms but to die: Too soon its glory fades away, The passing pageant of a day. In this fair flower, your image trace; While youth sits smiling on your face, Secure those virtues, which perfume The life, when beauty fails to bloom— The rich adorning first designed, The vesture of a humble mind. Be yours, in rich abundance given, The treasure of an inward heaven.' Hence virtue takes its deepest root, And scatters fragrance in the shoot; Blossoms when youth hath passed away, Maturing for eternal day. Reflect; the moment flies! 'tis gone! The year its rapid course hath run! What tidings have been winged to heaven, Since first the precious boon was given? Examine well; nor fear to know, What truth may in its mirror show. Is this, your twentieth birthday, blest With more of wisdom in your breast? Are your affections more divine? Do you in Jesus' image shine? More dead unto the world and sin, Than when you did the year begin? If fraught with truth our moments are, And swift to heaven the tidings bear; How should we weigh each act and word, And wisely think, for thoughts are heard! At this important period pause, And unto God commit your cause; With firm resolve and earnest prayer, To meet Him in the clouds, prepare. Him first, Him last, in all things own, Whose wisdom guides in paths unknown; Then, as the winged hours ascend, Shall blessings fall upon my friend; Till, full of years, matured you rise To claim your birthright in the skies."
WORKS OF MERCY.
"I DESIRED MERCY, AND NOT SACRIFICE."—Hosea vi. 6.
Mercy is the brightness of the glory of God;—the rainbow round about the throne; wherein the pure light of Deity, too effulgent for the eye of sinful man, is refracted, and presented under an aspect, which not only reveals his manifold wisdom, and perfections, but blends them in one bright manifestation of beauty, which even sinners may dare to contemplate, with wonder, admiration and love. Jesus Christ is the embodiment of the picture, being the brightness of the Father's glory, full of grace and truth. While He enters the lowly abodes of humanity, to contemplate its sorrows, and minister to its relief; the dazzling effulgence of divine majesty is veiled under a covering of flesh. Nevertheless, it is GOD who weeps with Martha, and Mary; who wipes away the widow's tear, and speaks words of comfort to the outcast. Incomprehensible Mystery! It is GOD incarnate, who suffers and dies upon the cross to purchase life for His enemies. What a picture is this! So far as it is capable of being reproduced, God loves to see it revived in His children; and never does a man become more truly great, or more faithfully represent his Master, than when, "putting on bowels of mercies," he seeks by every means to alleviate the sorrows and sufferings of his fellows. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy." At this period, Mrs. Lyth's journal abounds with instances of her benevolent exertions, but a few of which we can transfer to these pages; yet they are ever recorded with an humble consciousness of her own unworthiness. She proceeds:—
"I want to improve all my moments for God, but, on reviewing the past, I find I need everywhere the blood of sprinkling. I am Thine, save me. I feel Christ is precious now. He has my whole heart, yet I want an increase of every grace, especially of patience, and meekness.—I feel my own poverty is great; be it so, let me only receive more largely out of Thy fulness. Humble, O humble me to the dust, but let Thy image shine in me. While I write I am awed by the presence of Deity. Oh let it continually surround me. Jonathan Saville met my dear little flock; I felt my own littleness, while he spoke to us.—I accompanied my husband to Barnbow, to invite Mr. Dawson to come and preach Dr. McAllum's funeral sermon; which he consented to do. To me it was a day of rich enjoyment, for my soul was happy in God. I recognized His presence in the heavens above, and the earth beneath; indeed everything spoke of Him. I took tea with Mrs. R——n, who desired me to pay a little attention to the moral and religious character of her son, resident for a time in York. O what a responsibility! I write it here that I may remember.—Mrs. R——n has come to stay a few days with us. On Tuesday, we breakfasted with a few praying friends at Mrs. F.'s. While pleading with God a blessed influence rested upon all. I felt as if let into God. What will it be when prayer is turned to praise? To-day we had another baptism at Miss C.'s. The same friends were present. Surely Christian friendship is one soul in many bodies; who can express the unity?—'Jesus is bringing lost sinners to God;' Glory be to God! I feel it my duty to pay more attention to my boys; praying for them is not enough. I must warn, and daily inculcate their duty and privilege. Lord help me.—I visited Mrs. F., and found it profitable to converse with an aged saint; we were comforted together. She said the Lord had sent me. It is true I prayed for direction, and the promise is, if we acknowledge Him, He will direct our steps. Evermore guide me.—Mr. Mortimer and his brother breakfasted with us. While at family-prayer the latter, who had backslidden, began to cry aloud for mercy; the Lord speedily came to his deliverence, and prayer was turned to praise.—I went to the Sabbath School tea-meeting; but doubted whether I was in my proper place. However, I resolved to send William and John to the School, simply with the hope that their minds might be impressed with divine truth.—Thursday. A day devoted to works of mercy, both to the bodies and souls of men; in which I prayed to be saved from self, and directed aright; but how feeble and imperfect my efforts! I feel myself a poor nothing.—While visiting Mr. S., who is in a dying state, I was much encouraged. He has long been a hearer, but neglected to embrace salvation. While I was pleading for him, he exclaimed, 'I believe, I believe.' I saw him again the next day, and on asking him if he felt Christ precious, he said, after a short pause, 'Precious, quite precious.'—I was much affected by a circumstance related by the Rev. Robert Wood, of an eminently pious man in ——; who has not been seen to smile for four years, and when asked the reason, uniformly replies, 'The word of God is true; the wages of sin is death; my son died in his sins, and is now in hell. How can I be cheerful?' May this make me more than ever in earnest in pleading for my sons.—I am aiming to have a conscience void of offence in the sight of God and man; but, on examining my doings, I am ashamed of them. I might have used greater diligence, evidenced more love, spoken with greater propriety, cultivated a more affable spirit. I might have been more pointed in address, more constant, more humble, and in many ways have acted with greater Christian consistency; but Jesus is my refuge. Praised be His name, I love Him!—At the lovefeast Mr. W. stated, that a man in L—— had five sons, for whose salvation he had importunately prayed, from the time of their birth until he died; but without success. They all followed his remains to the grave; and, as they were taking their last look at the coffin after the usual service, one of them clasped his hands and exclaimed:—'I once had a praying father; but there he lies; and now I must pray for myself.' From that moment he commenced a new life, and was soon brought to the knowledge of the truth. Within two years the rest were all truly converted to God: encouragement for parents.—I prayed that the Lord would direct my steps in visiting the poor, and in this He answered me: for quite unexpectedly I was sent for to the bedside of a woman apparently dying, and who, being awakened to her lost condition, lamented the neglect of past opportunities. While a friend was praying she began to pray for herself, faith instantly sprang up in her heart, and she cried out, 'I will believe, Lord help me, I never felt it so with me before.'—Glory be to God, I am still a witness of His saving grace; though buffeted by the enemy within, and exposed to temptation from without. I see the path lies straight before me,—'looking unto Jesus,' who is yet alive. If I proceed, I feel confident of conquest over all my enemies.—Mr. Barnabas Shaw met my Sunday class and said, that once when preaching in Africa, he exclaimed:—'What is it makes the Gospel so sweet?' One of the natives instantly arose and said, 'Jesus.' Truly it is so. My soul tangs on Jesus; here I find rest. The last few days I have been endeavouring to live in the will of God, with some power to do it. To God be all the glory for the work He has wrought. Yesterday I took the sacrament with poor Mary F., who is praising God for the grace manifested to her on a death-bed. How quickly time flies! Well, let it go—
If Jesus my companion be, My words and actions shall agree, The index of my soul; Meekness, benevolence, and love, Shall every secret purpose move. And sanctify the whole.
[The following letter was sent, with the articles specified, to some unknown person in Nottingham; and the subject of it remained a secret in her own bosom, until the copy was found among her papers.]
"Dear Sir,—Having a little matter to put into your hands in aid of the Methodist Missions, I take the liberty of addressing a few lines to you.
"The approach of your Annual Meeting at Nottingham reminds me of what I have seen and heard on such occasions; viz., that small donations, and comparatively trivial incidents, in the hands of your ingenious and able speakers, have often been turned to good account, and produced a very happy impression. This consideration induces me to mention a few particulars relative to myself, which otherwise would be impertinent.
"When very young, a kind friend of mine, for whom I had a great affection, gave me a piece of silver newly coined, with which I was so well pleased, that I was resolved to keep it for the sake of the giver; or, as the common phrase is, to make a keepsake of it: and this resolution I held so sacred, that neither childish toy, or youthful pleasure, could wrest the treasure from me.
"When in my twentieth year, it pleased God to bring me to the knowledge of His salvation; which so rejoiced my heart, that the natural consequence was a readiness on all occasions to contribute my mite to promote the cause of the Redeemer, through whom I had experienced such unspeakable happiness.
"On one occasion it happened, that I had no money about me but this piece, which I had so long and sacredly kept in remembrance of my friend. As the collectors were handing the boxes round to the different pews, I began to argue in my mind the propriety of giving away my piece, as the best way of keeping it. The thought of laying it out upon myself I could not entertain for a moment; and was aware there would come a time when I could no longer retain it. At length, to test the propriety of giving it, I supposed I had done so; and afterwards met my much-loved friend in the world of spirits. I imagined she was well acquainted with what I had done; but, on consulting her countenance, I could not perceive the least mark of displeasure: on the contrary, I thought she gave me a smile of approbation. This determined me; accordingly, when the box was presented to me, I dropped my piece into it; and from that moment to the present, whenever the circumstance has occurred to me, I have always felt perfectly satisfied with my decision.
"At the present I have a few choice things, bequeathed to me by a dear friend, now, I trust, in heaven; and I wish, as in the former instance, to keep them for the sake of the giver; but I can think of no means so satisfactory as that to which I have adverted. I therefore send them as specified in the margin; [Footnote: The articles were—a silver coffee-pot and stand, a silver plated tea-pot, a silver cream-jug, do. fish-knife, and half-a-dozen do. dessert spoons.] and request they may be appropriated to the furtherance of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
"Perhaps some may be disposed to question the propriety of such a mode of preserving their treasure; but, I think, I cannot do better than put the precious things to those which are most precious.
"With most fervent prayer for the prosperity of Zion,
"I remain, Dear Sir,
"Yours most respectfully.
"My mother continues very ill; how it will terminate I know not. Her affliction bows her down to the dust; and though she casts herself upon the Lord, she seems to have no joyous feeling. I have been with her night and day. Sometimes sorrow overcomes me; but the promise, which I received some months since, when I was praying for her, follows me daily: 'At evening time it shall be light,'—At the Watch-night service Mr. Wood desired us, on our return home, to take pen and paper, and testify whom we would serve. To Thee, O Lord, I plight my vows; in the strength of Thy grace, I WILL SERVE THEE. Thou, who seest me, ratify the decision in heaven. Help me to perform what Thou requirest of me. My talents, my time, my body, my soul; be wholly Thine. Amen, and amen.
Here with the closing year, I would my vows renew; Humbly before Thy throne appear; In mercy do Thou deign to hear, Descend, and bless me now."
"1828.—When I awoke, this blessed admonition was given me for a morning repast; 'Abide ye in My love;' and sweet it was to my taste."
A BIRTHDAY THOUGHT.
No cold wish do I express,— Many birthday's happiness; But in heart sincerely pray, God may dwell in you each day; Every day, a birthday prove, Born anew in Jesus' love.
"I was sent for to visit L.G., but she did not come to see me. Oh! what a deplorable case! without God! without hope! and without desire! Her friends, who had come for me, seemed concerned on her account. Lord, lay to Thy mighty hand; the work is Thine. Praised be Thy name, for opening my eyes, once equally blind, though at a much earlier period. I am a much greater debtor to grace, because of its long continuance, great forbearance, and incessant efforts to win my worthless heart."
MY WEDDING DAY. LINES ADDRESSED TO MY HUSBAND.
Full thrice seven years I've shared your home and name, Nor yet extinguished is affection's flame: By reason tempered, now with steady heat, It brighter glows, fed by endearments sweet. Hail then the day, that made us one on earth, Yet not with pipe, and song, and foolish mirth; Bather to God let us our vows repay With hearts united;—at His footstool say "We will be Thine; call us Thy love, Thy bride, And let us shelter in Thy bleeding side." So when dissolved the matrimonial chain, We die, to live; and live, to meet again. Transporting thought! through our Redeemer's love, We have the promise of a house above; Death disappears, with all his sable train, And light, and life, and love for ever reign. Come then, my love, let us together rise, Forget the things behind, and seek the prize; By fervency of spirit daily show We pilgrims are, and sojourners below: And should some storm of fierce affliction come, Portending shipwreck in the sight of home; In Jesus anchored, strength shall be supplied, Till we the fury of the storm outride; And reach the haven of serene repose, Where all our sorrows shall for ever close. Amen, so be it, let our hearts reply,— In Christ made one,—in Him to live and die; In life, our happiness united be, In death, divided not,—eternally.
"I have given my husband a copy of these lines this morning, proposing that we devote one hour for the special purpose of dedicating ourselves to the Lord. May we do it with unfeigned hearts. I feel humbled on account of the past; resolved at the present; and encouraged for the future.—Having occasion to administer reproof, I spoke with greater severity than the circumstances required. O when shall I possess that self-government, which tempers every word and action. Though suffering from indisposition, my mind is kept in peace. Unworthy as I am, Christ is precious."
ADDRESSED TO MY LITTLE JOHN, THIS DAY SEVEN YEARS OLD.
Linked with the memories of the day, Your name the first appears; "A little stranger," did they say, "A transient visit comes to pay," And still we hail your longer stay Though now 'tis full seven years.
My lovely boy, your sojourn here, Awakens anxious care; Your tender mind aright to rear; Your steps to guard from danger near; Oh! might the God of mercy hear, And bless a mother's prayer.
Know then, my child, God speaks to-day, "My son, give me thy heart." Oh! will you not without delay, In secret go to God and pray, That he would take your sins away, And His pure love impart?
I'm sure He loves to hear you pray; To-day then, do begin; He'll hearken unto what you say, And never turn His ear away, But answer you from day to day, If you will give up sin.
I love you, John, you know I do; God loves you more than I; As once on Samuel, now on you He calls, O may you answer too; "Speak, Lord," Thy servant's heart renew, For at Thy feet I lie.
Good children ever are inclined Obediently to live; Humble, and teachable, and kind, They wish to know the Saviour's mind, And often seek that they may find, What God alone can give.
"As I went to meet my class it was suggested, as it was also the last time, 'Who hath reaquired this at your hands?' Is it from an enemy? or am I in a wrong position? The people seem to prosper, and the Lord gives me liberty among them; but often has a cloud gathered over my spirit when I have been going to meet them. O Lord, remove my doubts, and guide me by Thy counsel. I wish to sink into Thy will; use me or lay me aside; only let Thy will be done.—The last week has been to many a season of high enjoyment; but for myself, although I rejoice in the success of missions, my soul has not yet learned to preserve its centre in the midst of the excitement, which on such occasions often falls to my lot. Mr. and Mrs. Isaac were with us from Monday till Wednesday; and on Friday afternoon, the Yorkshire bard, James Montgomery, Esq., with several other friends, was with us at tea. My mind was kept in peace, and during singing and prayer I found it profitable. Mr. Montgomery presided at the Missionary Meeting, which by some is pronounced the best they ever attended. Surely it was the presence of the Great Head of the Church, which made it so.—We had a blessed season at the class. Afterwards I went to Albion Street School. A class of girls retired with me into the little room, for the purpose of conversation and prayer: while they listened the tears started in their eyes. I feel deeply concerned for their salvation. The work is Thine; these souls are Thine; help me, Lord, to do Thy work faithfully; that success may follow. This morning I was much exercised."
Afflictions sanctified Are blessings kindly given; They, who the fiery test abide, Receive an inward heaven.
That Kingdom, Lord, be mine, Just as Thy goodness wills; A heart renewed, a will resigned, A soul, that Jesus fills.
Then, every grace shall grow; Its fruits in beauty shine; From love shall every action flow, And all the praise be Thine.
"I have been to see after two of my members, over whom I fear I have cause to mourn. One was gone out, yet could not come to class! The other was in bed! I fear there is a dearth of spiritual feeling. Lord, give me wisdom and faithfulness.—After collecting for the Missions, I visited a member of mine in the hospital, and prayed with several of the afflicted in the ward. The person, whom I went to see some time ago, is recovering, and wishes to join with us.
"Kirkby. I arrived here yesterday about ten o'clock, after a delightful journey; and am resolved, that change of scene shall make no difference in my religious feelings; unless, by the opportunity of retirement, I get closer to the Lord. My hearing is a little dull, but my prayer is, that this affliction may be sanctified; and removed, when the Lord pleases. Christ in me is the source of my happiness. I hunger after righteousness; more faith—humility—meekness—love. O how beautiful are the fruits of grace! The rich clusters of the heavenly vine, invite my longing taste.—Spent two nights at Follifoot, with Miss B. I went with the resolution of conversing with her on the necessity of a change of heart; and on reflection have no ground of condemnation; only, I might have used greater earnestness. My time has passed more pleasantly than I anticipated. We took a walk through the park to the late residence of a gentleman, who has been obliged to leave the country, in consequence of his own extravagance, and imprudence. His beautiful mansion is sinking in ruins; and loathsome reptiles are its only occupants. Such is earthly grandeur; and such the man, that makes not God his refuge. The grounds are delightful; but for want of proper cultivation, begin to show evident marks of the curse:—thorns and thistles springing up in abundance. Molly accompanied me back with the grey pony; and, as she walked by my side, I warned her to flee from the wrath to come.—Walked to Pannal; here I found need of watchfulness, and courage; all—in nature's night; blessed with earthly good; but destitute of heavenly peace. I prayed with the family each evening; and spoke to each member, with the exception of Mr. ——, on the need of preparation for another world; but my efforts were feeble. My happiest hours have been spent in retirement, and solitary walks; one of which, was extremely delightful. The picturesqueness of the scenery, combined with smiling heavens, conspired to raise my mind to Him, whose forming hand has adorned all nature, and has raised my soul from death to life. The scene vividly called to remembrance my beloved cousin Ann; with whom on this very spot, I had passed some of the happiest moments of my life. I felt what I cannot put into words. On my return to York, I found Eliza, bathing her face after the application of leeches; and Mary, putting John to bed, in the measles. Such is life! It is the Lord, and to His will, I would patiently submit."
A DYING SCENE.
"PRECIOUS IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD IS THE DEATH OF HIS SAINTS."—Psalm cxvi. 15.
How solemn, and instructive, is the scene of death! What a satire upon the pride, pomp, and vanity of the world! and yet, when relieved by the cheering experience of divine truth, what a blessed confirmation of all that the Bible tells us! The utterances of the dying Saint, come home to our hearts with peculiar force. It is as if the spirit of the departing, having reached the boundary of time, and looking forth on the unclouded scene beyond, shouted back to its companions yet enveloped with the mists and gloom of earth: "It is all true, you have only to follow on a little further, and the glorious prospect will burst upon you." Mrs. Lyth seems to have carefully treasured the last words of those, who, within the circle of her acquaintance, died in the Lord; and in the case of particular friends, these notices sometimes extend to several pages: as if she delighted to linger on the borders of another world, and to catch a momentary glimpse of its happiness, and the distant sound of the harpers, harping with their harps. An example occurs in the course of the following extracts.
"At the two o'clock class, many were in tears; while others testified of the Lord's goodness. We were, as one of the little hills of Zion, refreshed by the dew from above. In the evening I remained at home, intending, if the way opened, to go and see my cousin Elizabeth, who is very ill. John is recovering; Eliza is still unwell, but I will leave them in the Lord's hands.—A little before six, I left my cousin Elizabeth much better, and happy in God. She told me that in the night she could scarcely refrain from singing:—
'Here we raise our voices higher, Shout in the refiner's fire, Clap our hands amid the flame, Glory give to Jesus' name.'
"On analysing the feelings of my heart, I find a disposition to brood over trifling grievances; this robs my peace, and encourages an unfavourable opinion of those who occasion them. This is surely some of the filthiness of the spirit from which I must be cleansed: I feel ashamed of it; Lord, deliver me.—Have been to see Fanny McD. She is very ill in body, but when asked respecting her soul, she said, 'I have had a feast to-day while alone with Jesus, my Redeemer.' She is one of the Lord's jewels, like Lazarus, enclosed in a casket of rags. After hearing Mr. Vevers preach from 'we must all appear at the judgment-seat of Christ,' I dreamt I saw the heavens melting with fervent heat. I felt no condemnation, but began to pray earnestly. The impression, which this has made on my mind, has awakened increased earnestness—A stranger came into the class, who was much affected; gladly would I have travelled in birth for her, until Christ was formed in her heart; but our time was limited, and she went mourning away. From thence I went to Albion Street School, to converse with some of the children; several of them wept. In the evening I attended St. John's Church. I can enjoy a Gospel ministry in the church, as well as the chapel: true religion destroys every wall of partition.—I received a very affecting letter from cousin Penelope. Elizabeth is in a very afflicted, but happy state. During the night I have been wakeful, and much drawn out in prayer; but felt reproved for having purchased something which I could have done without. I acknowledge my weakness. May the Lord give me a deeper sense of my responsibility, as the steward of His manifold gifts.—Retired from the bustle of the city to Eastfield House. I took a walk to the village, and called to see Miss H. on my way to the class-meeting. We joined in social prayer, when my friend exclaimed, 'I will believe, I do believe.' It was a blessed season;—a time of the breaking of bonds.—Cousin Samuel came with a gig, to convey me to Sinnington. I found my dear cousin ready to take her flight to a better world; or as she herself says:
'Gladly would I flee away, Loosed from earth, no longer stay.'
She has given up all, and is now patiently waiting her dismissal. It is a privilege to sit by the bedside of one thus fully prepared, and sanctified through the merits of Christ. 'Glory be to God,' she exclaimed, 'though it has cost me many tears for my unfaithfulness, the Lord has forgiven me: yet I believe it will lesson that eternal weight of glory I might have had.' Being asked if she had no wish for earth, she replied, 'O no, not one: I have but one wish, and that is, to be fully ripe for glory:' and added, 'I should like to talk to you of the preciousness of Jesus, but I cannot.' While we were alone, she stretched out her withered arms, and drew me to her side; then holding me fast, she said, 'Let me request of you, my dear cousin, that you will stay a little with my sisters when I am gone: it is my dying request.' I promised I would, if possible. Could I do less? She added, 'they have no one to comfort them, and, when they are low, they are very low indeed: it will relieve my mind if you will.' O Thou, whose I am, and whom I serve, direct my way. I have said, place me where Thou wilt, only let Thy providence guide my steps.—I left my William poorly, and am hoping soon to hear from home: meanwhile, I am encouraged while bringing them to the throne of grace. Thank God, for the privilege of casting my care upon Him! I feel He cares for me. Prayer by the side of my afflicted cousin has been a blessing to my soul. Surely I am privileged:—
'The chamber, where the good man meets his fate, Is privileged beyond the common walk Of virtuous life, quite on the verge of heaven.'
This morning, when asked how she was, she replied, 'This has been a precious night; the Lord has promised me, He will be with me to the end.' Her cough was very troublesome, but she said, 'I feel no disposition to murmur, but I cannot help moaning. The Lord is very precious.' Part of the day she lay greatly composed, with her hands clasped. On entering the room she accosted me with: 'I am hard toiling to make the blest shore. I have been much harassed by the enemy, who tells me I shall be cast away; but I rest on the blood and righteousness of Christ: I have nothing else to trust in.' After a severe fit of coughing she said, 'The toil of life will there be o'er:' and again, 'Thankful I take the cup from Thee,' &c. In the afternoon I visited old Martha H., whom I found in a happy, and thankful frame of mind; all her cry is, 'Bless the Lord! bless the Lord!' So, at both ends of the village, God is fitting up His jewels. I walked on to the churchyard, and there found as many of my old acquaintances, as are now living in the village. I felt the solemn influence of association with the dead.—Hearing of a poor afflicted sinner, I went to see him; he appeared to welcome my visit, but insensible to his condition. During the night I could not sleep, but got upon my knees, and earnestly besought the Lord to give me a clear witness of His sanctifying power. He blessed me with a humble, settled confidence, and sweet peace.—Cousin had a restless night; the enemy was again permitted to try her sorely; but during the day, she was enabled to tread him down under her feet. 'I'll trust Him with my all,' she said, 'I'll trust Him with my all.'—The poor man above-mentioned, sent for me, apparently in an agony for the salvation of his soul; but whether it is the fear of death and its consequences, or sorrow for his sin, how difficult to determine! I endeavoured to show him that he was a helpless, undone sinner; and that all his hope was in the merits of Christ: staid with him nearly two hours, during which he seemed earnestly seeking mercy. I saw him again in the afternoon, but he was not in such agony. He thinks the Lord will not cast him off. The thought of the dying thief, alone, gives me room to hope.
Oh! would'st Thou, Lord, the veil remove, And manifest Thy pardoning love.
But how? Only through Christ, wilt Thou exalt the riches of Thy mercy by preparing this poor sinner's heart, and snatching him as a brand from the burning.—Visited the poor man again, and came home thankful, that I had the opportunity to do it. He now resolves on the side of virtue. Oh! that his decision may be sustained by the strength of the Lord!—Cousin was oppressed with sickness during the night, but her cry was; 'Help me to suffer as a Christian.'—When I asked how she was, she said, 'I have had a sweet night-so many precious promises brought to my mind. Praise the Lord; 'to them that believe, He is precious.'—Much worse, able to say little. In the evening she desired me to pray; it was truly a blessed season. When I rose, she exclaimed:
'We'll shout by turns the bursting joy, And all eternity employ In songs around the throne!'
'Glory be to God, cousin, we shall; yes, we shall.'—This morning I awoke a little before three, and got upon my knees. He, who slumbers not, was present to bless me. At ten I accompanied my friends to chapel: a blessed sermon! I was so much affected while Mr. C. was speaking of the Lord's ability to deliver us from our spiritual foes, that I could do nothing but weep for joy. My enemies seemed all vanquished, by the revelation which my faith realized of the power of God.
'Faith, mighty faith, the promise' saw.
O may I never doubt again. I feel all peace, and tranquility, but no particular joy: I perceive myself nothing; but through the blood of Jesus, I claim salvation. Elizabeth is increasingly weak, but enjoys great peace. She was unable to turn herself; but after an ineffectual attempt, upheld by the power of God, she exclaimed, 'Praise the Lord! I cannot praise Him enough: though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.' This evening I overheard, 'Precious God,' 'Salvation,' 'My Jesus.' Then turning her head, she said, 'Since I have been afflicted, the enemy has tried many ways to take away my shield; but the Lord has stood by me, and I believe I shall come off more than conqueror.'—About two o'clock we thought she was dying; she stretched out her hand to each of us, and drew us near, to kiss her; then shouted as loud as she could, 'Glory be to God! I am going to glory; glory be to God!' About five she revived again. One said, 'Jesus is near,' she responded, 'Glory, He is, He is'—I was with her from two in the morning; she was restless, and in much pain, until about nine o'clock; when she changed for death. Conscious that she was dying, she desired to be placed in a chair, and shouted with all the strength she had, indeed louder than we could have supposed her capable of, 'Glory be to God!' 'Glory be to God!' many times, until her strength was exhausted. She breathed till eleven, and then, without moving hand or foot; without a sigh or a groan; her happy spirit took its flight to the paradise of God. Thus died Elizabeth Stables, in the thirty-fifth year of her age. It had been for some time my prayer, that the Lord, if it pleased Him, would grant her an easy passage, and permit her to depart in the day-time. In this He has mercifully heard me. Before the crisis arrived, I felt a degree of timidity; and therefore, when I rose from my bed, I bowed myself before the Lord, before entering the room. He graciously dispersed my fears, and filled my heart with peace. To me the scene of dissolution was exceedingly solemn. May my last end be like hers!—I followed the remains of dear Elizabeth to the grave, to which we consigned them 'in sure and certain hope of a joyful resurrection.' Surely this hope has preserved me from yielding to useless tears, as on former occasions;—for I loved her. Henceforth may it be my constant study to be found ready, that, like her, I may triumph in the prospect of dissolution.—Visited two or three afflicted persons in the village, perhaps for the last time: may I find them all again in the day of eternity. Took tea with Mrs. B. and her daughter, whom I would gladly have persuaded to accept the offers of mercy; but the grace of God alone can affect the heart.—After an absence of six weeks I returned home: the day was fine. Truly mercy follows me. Through courtesy to a friend, I wounded my own soul by yielding to converse on subjects, which no way tended to promote fervency of spirit. I felt humbled in consequence, and as if I could not lift my heart to God; but before the close of the service, which I afterwards attended, the Lord graciously softened my hardness down—melting me into tears.—I close the year fully bent upon giving myself to God. While I write, I enjoy peace. O Thou that seest me, Thyself unseen, direct my pen, and guide me to Thyself. Here on my knees I surrender myself to Thee; if Thou discoverest any guile in me, reveal it to me, and make me wholly thine. Surrounded with Thy presence, O fill me with Thy love! From henceforth, may I dwell in the secret place of the most High, and abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
If fleeting moments silently report Each action, motive, and unuttered thought; May this fair page no added witness bring Of time mis-used, as musing thought may spring. No, rather let my muse abstracted turn; Forget to muse, and of my Saviour learn That rare humility, so highly prized By Him, who sees the heart all undisguised. From Him my subject come, my thought proceed; To Him my motive tend, my action lead: In all, I henceforth think, or speak, or do, The glory of my God be kept in view.
"1829.—I am permitted to enter another year, but who can tell the event? Suffice it; I can now say, I am Thine, and am resolved to form my life, whether long or short, by Thy precepts. This morning an alarm is spread through the city—'The Minster on fire.' 'Shall there be evil in the city, and the Lord hath not done it?' O Thou, who canst alone educe good out of seeming evil send, forth Thy light and truth.—Visited Mrs. F——s, we had a blessed interview: Heaven shed its rays around us. Here I proved that in Jesus difference of age is lost: all ages and sects can in Him unite.—The greater part of this day has been spent in reading, praying, visiting the sick, and the public means of grace: all of which have been sources of profit to my soul. How great are my privileges! I think I am stripped of all dependance upon them; but fear I do not make that improvement of them which I ought. Thankful I am for the decision I feel; but stand in doubt of myself, should a storm of persecution arise, whether I should be able to endure the fiery test. Clouds gather round about; the signs of the times portend a season of trial; my heart, while I write, says, 'I will be Thine:' but Thou knowest how unstable I am,—Three strangers came to the class; two of them were much affected. I want to feel more deeply for souls, and to do every thing with a single eye. I have several times been to visit an afflicted neighbour, who has often been warned to put away his sins; but is yet unsaved. Never did I see friends more solicitous for the conversion of a relative; his poor afflicted wife prays, and entreats most earnestly, with tears: it has to me been an affecting scene. O may her prayers be answered!—Another week gone; a week of mercy, warning, blessing, inward exercise, and peace. On Tuesday night, I witnessed the deathbed scene of a neighbour: dying is hard work. At the funeral on Friday these lines were much impressed upon my mind:—
'So live, that, when thou tak'st thy last long sleep. Dying, may'st smile, when all around thee weep:'
I quoted them amongst the friends of the deceased, and added such words as were given me at the time. There was a deep silence: what was the impression I leave; I only discharged a duty, and could only reach the ear, but do Thou, whose instrument I am, effectually touch each heart, and save them all. Penelope informs me, that the poor man I visited when in Sinnington, has begun to attend the house of God. May his good desires end in sound conversion.—I visited poor Fanny; with tears of joy starting in her eyes, she said, 'Glory be to God, I feel my soul so happy, that I would fly if it were possible.' Truly in this home of poverty, the power of divine grace is exemplified. I have also seen neighbour G. for the fourth time; it is delightful to visit her: she appears fully sensible of her state, and has received a little comfort; but not the clear witness of her acceptance.—In consequence of sickness, I laid a little longer than usual; but my meditations were sweet. For a time my mind was borne as on eagles' wings, far above the things of earth; I seemed to breathe the atmosphere of heaven, and to commune with Jesus in heavenly places: this baptism delightfully sustained my mind through the trials of the day.—Probably this is the last Sabbath of my residence in York. Some think we are missing the path of providence: I do not know; but this I can say, I am willing to stay, or willing to go, and earnestly desire, that the will of God may be done in me and by me, whether in public or retirement.
In silence, lo! I sit To hear Thy gentle voice; And lowly at Thy feet, Share Mary's nappy choice: Speak as Thou wilt, but speak within, And make my nature wholly clean. This day of hallowed joy, The day the Lord arose, Thy glorious power employ, And vanquish all my foes; To me the power of faith impart, And reign triumphant in my heart.
Another week has elapsed, and we are still in York. O Lord, direct our path, and guide us by Thy counsel. I would leave all in Thy hands: I think I do.
"COME, MY BELOVED, LET US GO OUT INTO THE FIELD; LET US LODGE IN THE VILLAGES."—Cant. vii. 11.
In the spring of 1829, Mr. Lyth retired to a country residence, which he had built upon a small estate, between three and four miles from the city. The propriety of this step, as it seemed to involve the sacrifice of many religious advantages, was by some intimate friends regarded with grave suspicion; and it may fairly be doubted, how far a Christian man, with the view of enjoying the fruits of his industry, has a right to withdraw himself and his family from a sphere of usefulness, and privilege, to one of comparative retirement. Can he be equally useful? Will his family enjoy equal privileges? If not let him pause, for he is under a higher law than that of self-gratification, or worldly policy: besides, his very object may be frustrated; it may turn out, that the change from an active to an idle life, may bring disquiet instead of repose. But in the present instance, the disadvantage was overcome by the force of christian principle. Mrs. Lyth did not relinquish her exertions in the city, while a new sphere of usefulness opened itself in the village, near which they came to reside. Twice a week, as often as health permitted, she visited the city to meet her classes; sometimes walking the whole distance there and back. The day was generally spent in seeing her absent members, visiting the sick, or availing herself of public, or social means of edification. The effect of these exertions upon her own delicate frame, was painful; and, combined with other causes, occasioned, during her four years' residence at Eastfield House, frequent and severe attacks of sickness. But we resume her own notes.
"I came to Eastfield House, which is now to be my home during my pilgrimage on earth. Thank God, I feel I am but a stranger and a sojourner. A variety of circumstances have engaged my attention, and interrupted my quiet; but when shut in from the world, to hold converse with God, I have tasted superior pleasure.—I went early to York, and spent the day in seeing the sick, and other members of my classes; visiting the school, attending my band, and meeting my class. Most of these engagements were profitable to me, and I hope to others. I went out with the conviction that I was the Lord's labourer.—My niece, Hannah, is apparently near eternity. She tells me she is happy, and I cannot doubt it; for last evening while praying with her, my faith acquired such strength, and I was so filled with love and confidence, that when I rose from my knees, I could not help saying, 'The Lord has blessed you.' She answered, 'Yes:' but whether at that moment, or earlier in the day, I cannot tell. The work is the Lord's.—After an affliction, of some months, and a fortnight's confinement to bed, Hannah has left us. For two days she was insensible, but the last she was remarkably tranquil, with a very pleasing expression of countenance.—My greatest joy is in communion with the Lord and His saints: this has been a high, day; I have been unusually assisted in speaking to the Lord's people; and many appeared to feel the power of God. At the close of the meeting, Mrs. B. called upon me, and we went to Mrs. Vevers', where we united in prayer; and from thence to Miss H.'s, where we held our little band-meeting, Mrs. E. was much affected, but not able to lay hold of the great blessing: O for more faith.—The quarterly fast was observed in Haxby for the first time: I found it good to unite with them.—During the last week we have been favoured with the company of Mr. Mortimer, returned from the Shetland Islands. He retains the same Christian simplicity, and I feel it a privilege to entertain such a man under our roof. I was benefitted among the dear people; but my body was much wearied when I returned home, and the folio wing day I was very unwell: yet my mind was peaceful. At the entreaty of my husband, I remain at home to-day; being only very feeble. O shut me not out from Thy presence; but feed me with heavenly manna.—I hail the returning Sabbath, Glory, glory be to God, the sacred fire is kindled in my heart. Well might the Psalmist say, 'I would rather be a door-keeper in the house of my God, than dwell in the tents of wickedness' The Lord does carry on His work in my soul. Love destroys fear. God is my portion, and in Him will I trust. The week has been mixed with trial and blessing. Monday: Penelope left us, after a visit of ten days. Tuesday: Felt it good while Mr. Crowther admonished us to look to Jesus. Wednesday: Our servant left us: I had power to pray for her after she was gone. Thursday: The Lord was with us at our little meeting. Friday: I spoke unadvisedly with my tongue, which occasioned pain of mind; but applying to Jesus, I found access. O the condescension of the Saviour! The prayer-meeting was a blessed season. Saturday: A day of toil, but the Lord was with me: yet I want a constant mind, that I may every moment hold converse with my God. 'Keep thyself pure' was the admonition of the Spirit one morning this week. May I ever remember it."
[The following was the dying complaint of the "Miscellany," a little family periodical, which had a brief, but happy existence.]
Confident, on airy wing, My vanity soared high; Like the nightingale I'd sing, And with the eagle fly. Soon my sad mistake I found; I warbling notes had none, And scarcely rose above the ground, Before my plumes were gone. Flatt'ry whispered soft and low, Of wisdom, fame, and lore; Woe is me! neglected now, The pleasant dream is o'er. Pity, then, my humble state, And if you can bestow Tears upon my hapless fate; Pray let them freely flow.
"I have around me some who exercise my patience, and therefore need the wisdom of the serpent, and the meekness of the dove, that I may be preserved from offending. Last Sabbath, I was tempted to mistrust Providence, as I had not seen a rainbow since the rains commenced; but the following evening—accompanying my husband to York in a very heavy shower—on our left, we saw the broadest and most beautiful bow I ever beheld. I could not help thinking it infinite condescension in the great I AM thus to remove my scruples.—I walked to York alone: but surrounded by proofs of divine wisdom and power, my solitude was sweet; my thoughts meandered like the river, that swept at my side. Reverting to past scenes and circumstances, I wrote with my pencil:
If, through scenes of tribulation, Lies the pathway to the skies; Let me yield with resignation, Sure, Thy ways are always wise.
"A friend has made application for my Sunday-class. In this matter, I do not see my way clear; however, as I was requested to seek another place for it—the old one being required for another purpose—I began to think it was an intimation that I ought to resign, and therefore mentioned the subject to my members, and left it. But calling on a friend, as I returned home, she said, 'she was requested to tell me, that Mr. H. would be glad if I would meet the class at his house' So this difficulty is removed, and there the matter rests. O Lord, direct me by Thy counsel.—Providence seems to thwart my purposes: yet everything appears either to point, urge, allure, or draw me to the skies. I find the beneficial effect of these painful dispensations; but nature struggles still, and the cry of my heart is, make me wholly Thine. Two persons, whom I have visited this week, are no more. One, I doubt not, is gone to Abraham's bosom; the other I must leave, and profit by the admonition to prepare to meet my God. I have been accused of doing as I would not be done by; but my conscience bears we witness to the contrary. Help me, O God, ever to act as in Thy sight.—After the toils of Saturday, I was privileged with being at the band-meeting; but when I reached Miss B's, I fainted, through weakness and fatigue. Praise the Lord, O my soul! Is not every stroke of Thy rod a proof of love, admonishing me that I am but a tenant-at-will, and may be removed at a moment's notice? Lord, make me fully ready.—I found it good in our little village prayer-meeting, and remained with my husband at the Sabbath-school committee. He engaged to assist; and I was constrained to offer my services once a month to converse with the female scholars, which were readily accepted.—In York, I had the opportunity of visiting several afflicted persons: one poor man was much afflicted: it was a blessed day. I have been to Wigginton to visit the afflicted Miss B., to whom I tried to show the necessity of a change of heart, and the sufficiency of the remedy, with the danger of delay."
Come, heavenly Spirit, fill my breast, With holy, ardent love inflame; Breathe in my soul the perfect rest Revealed in Jesus' lovely name. Blest centre! where I find repose; My succour, when in deep distress; The only refuge from my foes; Jesus, Thy feeblest follower bless. Thy constant presence, Thine alone Can satisfy my longing soul; Supply the good for which I groan; Thy presence, Lord, shall make me whole.
"Just as the year closes, I take my pen. How solemn! unseen by all but God! How shall I proceed? I am a sinner; but thou art a Saviour—my Saviour! O praise God! unworthy as I am, unprofitable as I have been, Thy peace fills my heart: I am surrounded with God. Glory! glory! glory! a worthless worm! dust and ashes! a potsherd of the earth! yet Jesus died for me. O, live in me; fit me for Thy service, that I may be willing to do or to suffer Thy will. Let me be a whole sacrifice. Jesus is near; He is precious; He has my heart: let the union subsist for ever. Never let me leave Thee more; but through all the vicissitudes of life, keep me; and if I am entering upon my last year, let it be the best of all. Let the odours of the celestial world waft upon me, and invigorate my soul.
"1830.—Midnight. The past year has been one of mingled trial, affliction, and mercy; wisely blended to bring me nearer to God. I think the end has been answered: I feel looser from the world, and my will is more fully subdued. This is the Lord's doing: blessed be His name! I rose early, and shut myself up in my closet, and there the Lord gloriously revealed himself: it was a blessed day, especially, in walking to the city; and among the dear people.—Another piece of encouragement: our servant, who has been brought under serious impressions since she came to us, was last Tuesday enabled to believe unto salvation. O may I walk as God's vicegerent here; that my husband, mother, children, and servants, may all be led to give themselves more fully to Thee.—Our servant man cried aloud for mercy in the chapel. How and where, shall I begin to praise Thee for Thy goodness to my family? I am constrained to acknowledge, that many things, which appeared to be against me, are now working for good. Every bitter has its sweet, and every affliction its blessing; wisely compounded, to bring me more fully to God. Last night we had a prayer-meeting in our kitchen: the spirit of prayer was poured out upon us. One soul obtained peace: and another remained upon his knees upwards of three hours, but did not break through; yet is determined not to rest without the pardoning mercy of God: a third was seeking purity of heart.—Visited S.H., fast sinking in decline. When asked the state of her mind, she said, 'Christ is mine, and I am His.' Blessed assurance! I spoke freely with her mother, whom I found unacquainted with true religion. Two persons came to seek the Lord at the prayer-meeting held in our kitchen—one obtained salvation: truly the Lord is among us: a larger number attended than usual.—We had a numerously attended prayer-meeting, in which three bore testimony to the saving power of Christ; they praised God with a glad heart, and a loud voice: may they become pillars in God's temple.—Many sweet moments have I enjoyed, while engaged in domestic affairs. This morning, I rose to the early prayer-meeting; all nature seemed to congratulate me, and the feathered choristers were singing their matin song of praise. My walk to York afterwards, seemed too short, while musing on the love of Jesus.—In the still hour of night I have had some blessed seasons; but my walk is not equal: I want to live a moment at a time, and all for God. Another of my members has passed into eternity, to join the church above. Just before she expired, she exclaimed, 'What do I see? Glory.'—I am not going to meet my class to-day, my mother is so unwell; yet I feel a struggle as to the path of duty: but surely in this case duty and affection are one. Lord, I aim to please Thee; O help me for Thy name's sake."
SITTING BY MY MOTHER.
O would'st Thou, Lord, descend, My mother's heart to cheer; This unbelief to rend, And dissipate her fear: Thou glorious Sun, unveil the skies; With healing in Thy wings arise. Thy promise, Lord, I hold, 'The evening shall be light,'— The cloud its pinions fold, And vanish out of sight: O Jesus, come, Thy face display. And eventide is turned to day.
"Proclamation of William the 4th. In company with some friends, I climbed to the top of Clifford's Tower, in hope of seeing the procession; but after waiting more than an hour, I went away disappointed, and grieved at the loss of my time. Let me learn from this, always to do what I believe to be most needful; for my mind was dissipated, and I failed to recover in the class what I had enjoyed in the early hours of the day. O how needful to keep the path of duty, and retire from the multitude.—The Rev. Joseph Agar has dies happily, at Portsmouth: of brain fever. An unusual feeling oppressed my mind on the afternoon of his departure; why, I know not.—The Rev. E. Batty took tea with us, and suggested a method of usefulness, which has for some time been the subject of my thoughts; but to choose, or refuse are Thine: 'Thy will be done.'—I walked to Acomb to visit a friend, and on the way asked myself, why I should go; and not being able to answer for myself, put the case into the hands of God, beseeching him to make my way plain before me; to bless me, and make me a blessing. I met with a kind reception—slept well—and rose about six with a desire to give myself to the Lord. In the afternoon I accompanied Mrs. R. to her class: it was the second time of their meeting. Mrs. R. read the rules; and afterwards, I endeavoured to speak a little to them. When addressing the third, she burst into tears through the disquietude of her soul. We knelt down to pray; and while Mrs. R. was pleading, the woman began to praise God for what He had done for her soul, and said she had been unhappy for years—but that now the Lord had given her peace. We continued on our knees, and in a little while another person, who through unwatchfulness had gone astray, professed that the Lord had restored her soul. The third (for there were but three) went away, resolved not to rest until she had found the Lord.—We went to invite the people to the prayer-meeting in the evening, and then visited the churchyard. There, the solemn silence, dwelling among sepulchral stones and the falling leaves, moved my soul to the consideration of my own mortality. May I so live, that I may hear the welcome words, 'Well done.' I feel deeply on account of my own nothingness. The prayer-meeting to-night is proposed because I am here. I am humbled at the thought. What am I? a poor worm. Oh! wouldest Thou use a thing of nought? prepare the people, prepare me, and pour out Thy holy spirit. I was surprised at the number of people gathered together on so short a notice. The presence of the Lord overshadowed us, and the woman, who was seeking mercy at the class, was filled with peace and joy through believing. I felt humbled under the sense of my own unprofitableness.—I have found retirement very blessed: the Lord poured into my soul a heavenly tranquility. I hope that my visit here will be beneficial to me; and that I shall learn some lessons from the kind family, under whose roof I stay: there is such a sweet submission to each other's will, and such a disposition to prefer others to themselves, as is amiable, and worthy of imitation.—My inward aspiration is, make me all glorious within, that from this pure well-spring, all my thoughts and actions may flow. I enjoy the peace of God, and for some time past, (to the glory of God I speak it,) I have had constant intercourse with heaven. My will is more fully subdued, and I have increasing power to take up my cross; but the duties of life press upon me, and I am in danger of being overwhelmed with care. I thank Thee, O my heavenly Father, for this discovery; and humbly but confidently, ask Thy protection from my foe.—A day of unusual nearness to God:—in the Lord's house; in visiting the poor; reading the rules of society; and social prayer: although dissatisfied with my performances, I feel I have done what I ought.—My spiritual strength has been increased by more frequently engaging in secret prayer. By appointment, I have daily met two friends at the throne of grace, to intercede on behalf of our neighbours: this has been made a blessing to my own soul.—For the first time, my whole family was assembled at Eastfield; but who can tell the emotions of my mind, as I gazed on one and another? I thought unutterable things; but wisely is the future hidden from our view. O my God, be Thou their God. I feel the solemnity of the closing year: its toils and cares are fled for ever; only its comforts will be repeated, if I hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life."
The year ebbs apace, Its sorrows are gone! Like one in a race, Its course it hath, run: Its events, once important, now all disappear, And time wafts us on to another new year.
Then let us begin, To aim at the prize; Leave earth, self, and sin, For our home in the skies: Expecting the Bridegroom will shortly appear, Let as watch his arrival—the coming new year.
THE REDEMPTION OF THE PROMISE.
"BE NOT AFRAID, ONLY BELIEVE."—Mark v. 36.
"All the promises of God are in Him, yea; and in Him, amen; unto the glory of God;" then, why doubt them? since God's own honour, and faithfulness, which are dearer to Him than aught beside, are concerned in their fulfilment. The christian believer has nothing to do with the difficulties, or seeming delay of the accomplishment; but only with the unfailing word of God. If you find the promise, take it, hold it fast; and, according to thy faith, it shall be done unto thee. Mrs. Lyth believed the word of God; and when a promise was applied to her mind, she did not lose sight of it; but patiently waited until it was redeemed. More than one instance occurs in her journal, in which she refers back to some promise, which she had previously received; and the fulfilment of which, she was expecting. This was particularly the case with reference to her mother's experience, who, though not forsaken, passed her latter days in mourning, being pressed down by constant affliction, and the weight of years. Mrs. Lyth felt acutely on this account; but, the promise given in answer to prayer, "At evening time it shall be light," was held fast, through a period of five years. The period of its redemption was at hand.
"1831.—'Let Thy statutes be my delight in the house of my pilgrimage.' As my journey shortens, may the assurance of a happy reception at the end, increase: I think it does. I have a blessed conviction that, through the merits of my Redeemer, I shall see Him without a veil between. This hope makes my spirit rejoice, when nothing external excites me. Musing on my way to the city, upon the 'charity' that 'never faileth,' and its many excellent attributes; I found myself deficient in that, which 'thinketh no evil.' Under some circumstances, I am apt to draw hasty conclusions. O forgive, and help Thy dust to be more guarded.—A friend calling in, I took up my cross, (for it was one,) to go to the prayer-meeting; the night being dark, the roads dirty, and the place distant: but I was well repaid. A goodly number were present, and the Lord was there.—My husband was at York with the gig. Mr. H. called to inform us, that in consequence of the wind, and drifted snow, he thought it would be impossible for him to return home. Concerned for his safety, I sent a man and horse to meet him, and betook myself to prayer; which the Lord condescended to hear, and answer: for after my husband had forced his way through many snow-drifts, the harness broke, just as the man met him; and he could not have proceeded further without assistance: so in the time of need there was help. I could not but regard it as providential, that Mr. H. called; and also that the man arrived at the moment he was required. My obligations to the Lord increase daily.—The twenty-fifth anniversary of my wedding day. THEN, my husband tells me, the bloom of the rose sat on my cheek; NOW, I am shrinking into an old woman, hair grey, teeth gone, bloom faded, and my eyes dim: but, through the mercy of God, though my outward tabernacle is thus sinking in decay, my spiritual strength is daily renewed; the vigour of my mind is not abated; my understanding is clearer, and my faith stronger than ever. And though, by the light that shines upon my soul, I discover more of my natural depravity; the Lord, by his Spirit, graciously draws me to himself, the true remedy; and blesses me with a sense of his presence. Glory be to His name for an interest in the blood of sprinkling. Here is the source of my happiness, and all I want is here. THEN—I had a father and mother who loved and cared for me: NOW—my father is gone to his reward, and my mother is sunk in decrepitude, daily waiting her release; and I, myself a mother, have resting upon me the care and anxiety of a family; but I have inherited the promise, which descends from generation to generation. THEN—I looked forward to what might be my future portion: NOW—I look back through five and twenty years, in which goodness and mercy have followed me until now; although my passage through the wilderness has all along been marked with unfaithfulness. Here my heart fills with gratitude. What shall I render to the Lord for all his goodness towards me? THEN—I had many friends, who are NOW passed away; but Jesus is my never-failing Friend, and through His grace, I hope soon to meet again those, who 'through faith and patience have inherited the promises.' THEN—I had much to endure and suffer; but NOW—five and twenty years of trial and suffering are over, with only one regret, that I have not suffered more patiently, and expected more largely from Him, who orders all things for the best. What still awaits me is only known to Thee; but prepare me for the event, and let Thy will be done. This is my heart's desire, uttered I believe, in the spirit of resignation; but it is Thy doing, and to Thee be all the glory. And now, I present to Thee my dear husband, and my five children: let us all be Thine—Thine to guide, Thine to save, Thine to govern, and Thine to crown."
"Seven years ago my dear father entered into rest."
This day, replete with memories dear, The well-known image brings to view Of him, whose name I still revere; Whose worth till lost, I never knew. My father, (still the name is sweet!) Now in a fairer region dwells: Him gladly will I go to meet, Though wild between us Jordan swells.
"My dear mother continues very feeble, and much of my time, night and day, is devoted to her. She suffers from manifold temptations; yet I am encouraged to believe she will be delivered. Make no long tarrying, O my God,—Yesterday and to-day I have been severely and painfully exercised on account of my mother: still I hang upon the word of the promise, 'In the eventide it shall be light. Yesterday she said, 'The will of the Lord be done.'—She tells me this morning she enjoys peace. Her memory is much impaired. My mind is much distressed, but finds its rest in God. It seems, as if by diversity of trial, the Lord wills to purge my affections. O let Thy will be done. Help me, however nature rebels, fully to give up my own will. Blessed be God, my soul enjoys peace. 'I trust in Him, who stands between the Father's wrath and me.' My dear mother's weakness increases; but she says this morning, she dare not doubt of going to heaven.—I sat up with my dear mother. About half-past twelve she was convulsed, and felt sick; then, she dosed a little; then sick again,—called for Richard,—wandered,—evidently changed for death, and had a severe struggle, often saying, 'Do help me, do.' Her sufferings were acute. Once she said, 'Lord, help me;' and again, 'Hope thou in God, for I shall yet pr——;' but the words were interrupted by her sufferings, My anguish of mind is known to Thee. As I stood by the fire the words were suggested,
'Thy warfare's past, thy mourning's o'er; Look up, for thou shalt weep no more.'
I was comforted. My dear husband, cousin, and Mary, found great consolation in prayer just before her departure. Her last words were, 'Pray, pray;' 'Lord, Lord.' Thus, about half-past one on the 23rd of March, my dear mother 'fell asleep,' aged seventy-two years and three weeks."
And though in ruin now her body lies, A peaceful smile upon her face is spread: The struggle o'er—her spirit upward flies, To join the spirits of the blessed dead.
"My dear departed mother was interred in St. Lawrence churchyard, by the side of my beloved father; leaving the impressive admonition—'prepare to follow.' I feel it—my heart determines—my will submits—I have set about it. Lord help me to persevere."
Oh! how uncertain all below! Our comforts cause us pain; Smiling, they sting us as they go, Ne'er to return again. Then upward turn thy weeping eye; Nor, like yon drooping tree, Bend downward to the earth; on high See Jesus looks on thee. Jesus! what balm is in that sound! It bids our tears away; Spreads life and happiness around; Converts the night to day. To feel Thy dying love, be mine; To hear Thy charming voice; The ceaseless whisper, 'I am Thine,' Shall bid my heart rejoice. Dearer than sons or daughters; Thou; Dearer than mother's love; Gladly for Thee I all forego, And seek my bliss above.
"I went to Wigginton to visit a young woman, whom I found praising God for having afflicted her, and brought her to the knowledge of the truth. To some others, I was powerfully constrained to speak respecting their souls.—Miss Bentley came for a few days. We visited many of the villagers, to put them in mind to prepare for eternity.—Mr. Hope announced from the pulpit, that it was his wish I should commence a class in Haxby on Monday evening, at seven o'clock. The words occurred to me, 'By whom shall Jacob arise, for he is small?' O my God, to Thee my obligations are great, and my weaknesses are all known; but if this is from Thee, bring it to pass; let there be some token for good, some rending of heart among the people.—According to appointment I went to Haxby, to meet any who were desirous of fleeing from the wrath to come. Three persons came; two of them backsliders, and one who has never met before.—Visited several of the villagers. At one place I felt much while bowed at the throne of grace. A little boy, to whom I afterwards addressed a few words, burst into tears. O that the Lord would poor out His Spirit, and bow their hearts to His sway! O Lord, let not my unfaithfulness hinder Thy work.—After meeting my class in the city, I went on to Heslington to see Mr. K., who is apparently on his death-bed. I endeavoured to speak faithfully; but unless the Spirit of God apply the truth, vain is the help of man. I feel much out of love with myself.—Walked again to see Mr. K., who appears as teachable as a little child. I feel encouraged to hope that he will lay hold upon Jesus. But O how dangerous to delay until death stares us in the face!—Went to Haxby, and found only one to meet me there: but the Lord met her, which was better than numbers without Him. O God, keep this precious soul—this asked-for token of Thy love. While sitting under the word, the Lord made it as a broad river to my soul. 'Blessed are the pure in heart,' was the subject. Tears of love and gratitude rolled down my cheeks, and love filled my heart; for I felt myself a partaker of this great salvation."
Thus may I ever live, And feel the power divine; Taught by Thy Spirit to believe This full salvation mine.
"With a painful headache I walked to York; but the satisfaction of mind I felt in keeping the path of duty, amply repaid me. I think a general blessing was experienced.—While pleading with God, these words were applied, 'I am Thy salvation.' I felt confidence, but not all I want. I seem only on the edge of living; I want to be 'plunged in the Godhead's deepest sea.'—Six months since my dear mother departed! She is daily the subject of my thoughts, and her memory becomes increasingly dear to me. Well, it is but a short separation—a thin partition; my earthly tabernacle feels the force of time—it crumbles and decays; but by faith I look for a more durable habitation, where I shall meet those who are gone before."
Time rolls away—yet fresh the scene appears When my dear mother left this vale of tears; Then, sorrow stamped its seal upon my heart; Nature recoiled—but grace relieved the smart.
"Mr. R., discoursing on the necessity of exercising a forgiving spirit, illustrated his subject by the following anecdote:—An officer in the army lying on his deathbed, sent for one of the preachers to visit him. On his entering the room, the sick man asked him, if he remembered that he was once insulted by a company of officers while he was preaching in Dublin. The preacher remembered it well. He then told him, that he had been one of the worst of them; and had sent to ask him to pray for him, and to teach him what he must do to be saved,—as he believed he was a dying man, and was unprepared for another world. The minister pointed him to the Saviour; and after praying with him several times, was about to depart, when the officer offered him a handsome present for his services. This he refused, and took his leave. On passing through the hall, one of the servants accosted him, "What a pity my master won't see his son, and has cut him off with a shilling, although he would gladly see his father." The minister immediately returned to the sick man, and repeated to him the Lord's prayer until he came to the words, 'as we forgive them that trespass against us;' he then stopped, and asked him if he forgave every one. The officer paused a moment and replied, 'There is one whom I do not forgive, and cannot.' 'Then,' said the minister, 'neither will your heavenly Father forgive you your trespasses.' After some deliberation, it was agreed that the son should be sent for. He came, fell on his knees at the bedside, and with tears in his eyes, pressed his father's hand to his lips, and begged his forgiveness. The father's relentings were kindled: upon which the minister sung—
'The op'ning heavens around me shine, With beams of sacred bliss; When—
'When!' cried the officer, 'nay
Now, Jesus shows His mercy mine. And whispers I am His.'
"Called upon Mr. and Miss K. They had company: I was preserved from unprofitable conversation, and dared to speak for God. On my return, I passed through the churchyard, where the remains of my dear parents are deposited. It was a beautiful moonlight night; and I stopped to shed a silent tear over the much-loved dust, in hope of joining them again in the realms above. Lord, help me on my way.—I went to see a backslider, whom the Lord had made willing to return. After conversing a little, we knelt down to prayer. Her husband prayed; then she began, and while confessing her sins and pleading for mercy, the Lord looked upon her in compassion, and healed her backslidings. The same afternoon, she came and joined herself with the people of God."
"Alone in the room where my venerated mother breathed her last."
Though no famed eulogy proclaims her worth, Nor with her fellow-pilgrims ranked on earth, A higher record doth her history trace; In heaven's high register she claims a place. Retiring, and unknown or but to few, Her latter days were hid from public view; But I have often witness'd, when alone— The prayer uplifted, and the sigh unknown. When no eye saw her, but with God shut in, She pour'd her plaint to Him, who saw, unseen; Then from the sacred word she succour drew, 'To hoary hairs I bear, I carry you.' This promise still her drooping spirit cheered, And shed its starlight when the night appeared. Bold, in her weakness, close the foe pursued, And oft the bitter conflict was renewed; Conqu'ror at last, she calmly soared away, And left a smile upon the passive clay.
I heard Mr. Dawson, from 'Peter followed afar off'—a season, I hope, never to be forgotten; for then Richard made up his mind to accept the invitation, and 'come near,' as Mr. D. expressed it. This to me is matter of joy and thanksgiving; for since I knew that Mr. D. was coming, it has been my prayer, that his visit might be made a blessing to some, not particularly thinking of my son. Thus, beyond my expectation, has the Lord condescended to my prayer.
AFTER A FIT OF SICKNESS.
While thousands in Thy courts are found, Waiting on bended knee; Behold, in solitude, a worm, That dares approach to Thee, To me the heavenly gift impart, Thy Holy Spirit send; To fill and sanctify my heart, And bid its wand'rings end. Then health or sickness let me share, As wills eternal love; For all is well, if Thou art near, Thy creature to approve. My grateful thanks for ease I bring, And every comfort given; Nor less for sorrows, sent to wing My grov'lling soul to heaven. Great God! to Thee my wishes flow, Who dost my life prolong; Thy witness let me live below, Thy statutes be my song.
"Ere the day broke, the Lord broke in upon my soul with the words, 'Thy sun shall no more go down, nor Thy moon withdraw itself, for the Lord shall be thy everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.' Such light shone upon the whole chapter, as filled my soul with gratitude for the rich promises given to the people of God.—Called to see a man and his wife, both sick, to whom the Lord has blessed affliction. The man was rejoicing in the Lord, and the woman is resolved not to rest short of salvation. While we united in prayer she received some encouragement."
POWER WITH GOD.
"FOR WHEN I AM WEAK, THEN AM I STRONG."—2 Cor. xii. 10.
Do you ever receive answers to your prayers? We do not speak to those, who look upon prayer simply as an act of homage done to a superior being; they do not expect any: but to those, who believe that prayer has power with God. Why are so many prayers ineffectual, even of those who really expect an answer? Some lack earnestness; they are too diffusive, like the letter of the young maiden, in which she asks a hundred questions, which are forgotten as soon as she has attached the seal. Others want warmth; they are too formal, like a petition to a sovereign; which may, or may not, receive a gracious and condescending reply. Others are importunate, and earnest enough, like the beggar's appeal for relief, but without much hope of success. But how few, like the cry of a child, who runs to his father with his one, for the moment, all-absorbing request, never dreaming of a refusal, and importunately urged till he succeeds. Yet such is the spirit of filial affection and confidence we are privileged to use before God. For "This is the confidence we have in Him; that if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us; and if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions, that we desired of Him." Mrs. Lyth's distinguishing feature, was her love of prayer. It was, to use her own words, "the life of her soul, her delight, her greatest joy;" and her practice bore out the truth and sincerity of her words. Besides her own stated hours of private devotion, which were frequent, it was her practice for many years to conduct family worship three times a-day. But beyond this, innumerable occasions presented themselves, which stimulated her thirsting soul. The call of a friend, or the arrival of a letter; the prospect of a journey, or a safe return: the recollection of a promise, or the reception of a blessing; a wakeful night, or a sunny day; in a word, whatever strongly impressed her spirit as a subject of thanksgiving, or an object of desire, was to her the signal for prayer. And not unfrequently, engagements were entered into with her intimate friends, to offer at given times, special intercessions for particular objects; engagements, which were faithfully fulfilled. This ceaseless spirit of prayer was the source of strength; for, though naturally of a timid and retiring disposition, "As a prince she had power with God and man, and prevailed." These remarks, a careful reader will find fully sustained by her own journal.
"1832.—Sent a letter to M.W.O may it be blest to her! M.W. was at the class, and seemed thankful for the admonition.—I went to the village on the Lord's errand, praying He would make my going prosperous; He graciously inclined one friend to accompany me to Mr. B.'s class—I am encouraged to hope there is a work of grace upon her heart: O that it may prove lasting! In visiting one of my members, I found there was no family-prayer. We prayed together, and on her knees she appeared deeply to mourn her neglect, and promised the Lord to do better. In two or three other little visits, I found the Lord among His people.—Had a precious interview with Mrs. Benjamin A.: our souls were melted before the Lord. O how the world was eclipsed, while our full hearts were aspiring after God! I feel the effect still.—How like a dream is life! we view the scene, and ere we are aware, it is gone for ever; but to every moment is attached the importance of eternity. After a sharp fit of sickness, how sweet is ease! yet these seasons are blessed to me, inasmuch as they lead me to look more closely into scripture declarations, respecting the blessings associated with patient endurance. My soul seeks shelter in the secret place of the Most High.—Heard a faithful sermon from Mr. R.: I always profit under heart-searching sermons, as they discover the secret lurkings of nature. I feel the importance of endeavouring to enlarge the powers of my mind, since I am accountable to God for their improvement. I regret, that I have spent so much time to such little purpose. Whither shall I go? To whom shall I flee? My heart says, 'Mould as thou wilt thy passive clay;' prepare my work, and by Thy grace helping me, I will put my neck under Thy yoke. Give me Thy abiding Spirit, that in my age I may bring forth fruit to Thy glory; enlarge and fertilize the powers of my mind; and teach me to cultivate the talents Thou hast given me. To aid my recollection, I here write them down: time, health, powers of mind—as memory, understanding, &c.; powers of body—as tongue, hands, and feet; money.—I went to see a dying man, but was denied. However, I knelt down with his wife, and several others who were present, feeling deeply concerned for their souls.—My body is very feeble, yet I wish to be fully resigned to the will of God, even should I be entirely laid aside; for,—thank God,—I feel no disposition to repine at the dealings of providence. I only regret that I have so little improved my health and opportunities, for my own benefit and the good of my fellow-creatures.—Increasing symptoms of weakness; but the joy of the Lord is my strength: my soul longs after Him.—To-day I sent a note to the chapel, to announce that our house would he open for prayer at two o'clock; earnestly requesting the praying friends to come, and bring with them any of their neighbours, who were desirous of fleeing from the wrath to come. At the appointed time nine persons came; and while we were united in prayer, I enjoyed the softening power."
The cheerful breeze, and sunny ray, Pour on the earth the sweets of day; The blushing rose, and lily vie With the carnation's deeper dye; The dappled cloud, and welkin blue, With lights and shadows ever new, In language loud to me declare, Lo! God is here! and God is there! Here—in His handy work, I see His wisdom, skill, and majesty; There—His sublimer glories shine— God over all, in all, divine!
"Mr. and Mrs. Isaac came. The ravages of disease were painfully evident in him; and on the following morning while breakfasting with us, he had another attack of paralysis. So uncertain is all on earth.—On my return from Sinnington, as I was sauntering in the streets of Malton, expecting to meet my husband, a person tapped me on the shoulder, and asked me if I was not Richard Burdsall's daughter, and being answered in the affirmative, pressed me to dine with him. So 'the memory of the just is blessed.' I have enjoyed a sweet calm, and prayerful spirit.
"Acomb.—Visited some of the dear people, among whom I was much encouraged. At the prayer-meeting Mr. R. requested me to speak to a person, whom he believed to be seeking the Lord. With some reluctance I did so. When I addressed him, he said, 'O I am miserable, there is no mercy for me.' I bid him pray; immediately he began to cry aloud, and obtained some comfort, but not confidence.—Had a very profitable interview with Mrs. C., and from thence went to the chapel. There the glorious Lord was as 'broad rivers and streams' to us. I felt the overwhelming power of saving grace. About half-past ten I retired to rest; and while engaged in prayer, was drawn out on behalf of several friends, and especially for the young man, who was so deeply distressed on Friday evening. Thus the Lord puts us in mind of our fellow-pilgrims, and teaches us to care for each other.—This morning the young man sent for Mr. R., wishing to see him, and to inform him of the happy change wrought in his heart by the Spirit of God. Mr. R. being out, an interview was fixed for the afternoon. He came, and the rapture he was in exceeded anything I ever witnessed. He stated, that on the preceding night he retired to his own room about ten o'clock; took his Bible, and on his knees at his bedside, was praying till about eleven. When he came to the last verse, 'He that believeth on the Son of God hath life,' &c., he resolved within himself, I will believe: and immediately the power was given him. He rose from his knees 'rejoicing with a joy unspeakable, and full of glory;' and went down stairs to tell his fellow-servants, that he had found the pearl of great price, and how easy it was to believe: wishing them to share in the blessedness he felt. He added, 'O praise the Lord, O my soul!' 'My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit rejoiceth In God my Saviour!'—After meeting my class in the city, I started home, not intending to visit the absent members: but being deeply pressed in spirit I returned, and calling upon one and another, found one in deep sorrow. I feel thankful I obeyed the inward impulse.—Saw old Fanny, laid on the bed of affliction, and surrounded with poverty; but praising the Lord. She said, 'Praise the Lord, I feel Him precious! Glory be to God, my prospect is as clear as noonday! I can meditate upon His goodness, when I am by myself, in the night season: yet the enemy tempts me sometimes.'—During the last week family duties have been privileges. While hearing the word read, and addressing my heavenly Father in prayer, the streams flowing from the Rock Christ, have refreshed my spirit.—Prevented from meeting with the dear people, I betook myself to prayer. Here I felt humbled, and melted down while pleading for them, myself, and mine. Thus to be shut in with God is sweet; but what must it be to enjoy the unclouded glories of His presence?—being 'changed from glory to glory.'—O my God, give me a fuller discovery of Thyself; and though outwardly dull of hearing, let me hear Thy inward voice continually whisper in my heart, 'I am Thy God, Thy shield, and Thy exceeding great reward.' I have twice to-day joined with His worshipping people, but in neither case experienced what I have felt to-night, while pouring out my soul before the Lord. Stripped of every plea, I hang upon Jesus. Through Him alone my succour comes.—Though weak in body, the morning damp, and the roads dirty, I got to chapel, where I was amply repaid by a discovery of my obligations to the Lord, for having been taken to the house of God from the earliest period of my life; the privilege being continued, with, a few intervals of necessary correction, until now. I felt myself more indebted to God, and more culpable than any present for the little improvement I have made of my privileges; but my heart was melted down in gratitude and love.—On the verge of the old, and the threshold of the new year. Solemn thought! perhaps I now stand on the verge of eternity! How stands my case in the sight of God? On what do I build my hope, and what is my confidence? After close examination I can say, I rest on nothing but the atoning merits of Jesus. I feel His mercy now."
"1833. Again from sickness raised, to Thee Afresh my vows I plight; While God in everything I see, Sickness or health is right.
Thou canst not err; 'Thy will be done,' Be full submission mine; Subjected to Thy will alone, My will be lost in Thine.
These kind corrections from Thy hand, Shall blessed ordeals prove; To bow me to Thy mild command, And melt me into love.
My soul shall bless Thee for the past, And rest upon Thee now; The future—on Thy promise cast, And wait Thy will to know."
"I have been kept at home to-day through indisposition; but have endeavoured to improve my time to the Lord by prayer, the exercise of my memory, writing,—reading the Word, and also 'Bickersteth's Student's Guide:' but imperfection is stamped upon all I do.—The last night was very tempestuous, and awoke me from sleep. I got upon my knees and found my security in Him, who holds the, winds in His fists.—I have received letters from my three sons. How pleasant are such communications! How my heart would embrace them all! and would not God embrace us all? Yea, how much more? O my slowness of heart to believe! A friend from the village called; and conversing on the low state of spiritual feeling among us, we agreed to make the case known to God every forenoon at half-past ten.—At the appointed hour I felt the throne accessible, and my soul was revived and stirred up: as to the village, I know not what to say.—Praise God, my soul is happy—happy still. My appointment was brought to my recollection very near the moment: my own soul was refreshed, but I experienced little feeling for my neighbours.—Half-past ten: a blessed softening season; felt the village laid as a burden upon me, for which I had power to plead. [These memoranda are continued, and the voice of intercession was not in vain; for within a short time, thirty new members were added to the little village society]."