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Religion in Earnest - A Memorial of Mrs. Mary Lyth, of York
by John Lyth
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TO MY MARY.

Why does my Mary look so sad, And wear a pensive air? Where can the antidote be had To banish gloomy care?

Say, why your spirits sink and droop; Will Jesus not return? Arise, He calleth you, look up; O'er you His bowels yearn.

No sorrow can the bosom feel, But Jesus' love can cure; The wounded spirit He can heal, The fainting heart assure.

The humble, contrite sinner shares His kind, observing eye; He sees your tears, He hears your prayers, And will regard your cry.

Arise, and shake you from the dust, Arise, 'He calleth you;' With filial boldness dare to trust, And find His promise true.

So gloom and sadness shall retreat, And peace and joy return; For while you sit at Jesus' feet, Your heart with love will burn.

"Saw a letter from dear little John, informing his sister that he, with others of his school-fellows, has entered the Methodist Society. He is just about the same age I was, when I received my first ticket; and from connexion with this people my name has never been erased, though hundreds of times I have not deserved the privilege of membership; but the people have borne with me, and more than this, God has borne with me, even till now. Glory be to God for ever!—Some struggle through life, and through successive years, are tossed on stormy seas; others more calmly pass their appointed time; but such as die in infancy, fly as a bird to its rest, and are privileged with an early entrance into glory. So happy was James R., who careless of all below, smiled, and bid the world adieu.—Had an interview with Mrs. B.A. We found it good to be at the feet of Jesus. I told her that I thought of resigning my Sabbath class, that I might turn my attention more fully to the village. We agreed to bring it before the Lord for a fortnight, to ask his direction.—I have written eight copies of Mr. Stoner's 'Rules for Prayer-Meetings.' and given them to our prayer-leaders. At the time of distribution, a circumstance occurred, which, though distinct from them, yet happening at the same time, will possibly be connected with them in my future recollections, and occasion mingled feelings.—Delivered my Sabbath class-book to Mrs. A., who, in connexion with Mrs. C., has kindly relieved me, for the present, of a responsibility, which, under existing circumstances, I feel it right to decline.

"Acomb.—Accompanied Mrs. E——n to see several of the friends, who were sick. Called upon Mr. M., whose housekeeper died suddenly the night I came; he seemed pleased with, our visit, and promised to join the people of God. Lord, help him to perform his promise, by taking possession of his heart.—I got to the morning prayer-meeting, and was unusually drawn out in prayer as I went, that the Lord would he with us and bless us; and not in vain. It was a blessed season, and I believe others felt it also. O that the Spirit from on high may be poured out, that Satan's kingdom may have a mighty shake this Whitsuntide!—I felt it my duty to call upon a neighbour or two, who, as I am informed, think themselves insulted by some, who wished faithfully to discharge their duty, in a matter of church discipline. I went in the character of a peacemaker, and after conversing with them on the necessity of seeking a higher state of feeling, we prayed together, and felt liberty. O that in good earnest, they may begin to seek the Lord! I told them that, in my poor way, I should remember them. Lord, lay them upon my heart, that I may not forget. To-night my soul is truly happy in God. I feel much drawn out in prayer that Satan's kingdom may fall, and the religion of Jesus prevail in this village.—I felt it unusually sweet to bow before the Lord in secret, and bear up my neighbours at His throne, I felt

'The speechless awe that dares not move, And all the silent heaven of love.'

"My best seasons have been in retirement. Called upon some of my sick neighbours, and aimed to please God in all my visits. O Lord, follow with Thy blessing my weak efforts! Quicken the lukewarm, and pardon the guilty. I was glad to see some new faces at the evening preaching.—Met with my friends in band, and proposed meeting every day at two clock, to entreat the Lord to deepen His work in our souls; and especially, to hear us on behalf of our friends.—My soul was blessed, while bowed before the Lord with my little John. Surely the Spirit of prayer was poured upon us.—Went to J.S. to tell him of his faults, which, I am sorry to find by his own confession, supply just ground for censure, though exaggerated by report. Yet I did not feel that sweet Christian pity, which I have felt to others in similar circumstances. O for that yearning charity, that endeavours to draw out of Satan's snare the souls entangled by him!—Called to see my much esteemed friend, Miss C., who is sinking through decay of nature. She says, 'I look for the accomplishment of the promise now;' and speaking of the Lord's Supper, she said, 'I do not think any particular preparation is necessary; because, if we do not always live ready to communicate, we are not living as we ought.' When prayer was proposed, she said, 'Pray that I may have increase of faith, patience, and resignation.'—I addressed a note to Richard on the subject of salvation, and placed it where he might find it accidentally. Asked Mrs. R. to let me have a prayer-meeting in her house on Sabbath afternoon; she readily consented. O that God would meet us there!—With a feeble body, I set forward to the prayer-meeting; inviting as I went some, who seldom attend. Met with one whom I had never seen before, who seems desirous of salvation, and was glad to accompany me. There the Lord met with us. One soul was made truly happy, and another rejoiced in the Lord, having received good the week before. It was indeed a blessed season; but my poor body was pressed down with pain, which rendered it necessary for me to lie in bed till Monday evening.—The two who have lately found peace, came to our house; we conversed, prayed with them, read the rules, and gave them each a copy. O bless my feeble efforts!—In answer to prayer, I awoke at five o'clock and arose, and though my body is weak, my spirit is alive.—I am this day going to attempt the formation of a new class, having secured a place in the village to meet in. I leave the result with the Lord, who knows my heart, and the hearts of the people. Empty me of self, and if Thou canst, use me for Thy glory, and give me a proof that I am not going a warfare at my own charge. Visiting some of the villagers, I felt that I was on the Lord's errand, and think I lost sight of self. O might it never more steal in! At half-past three, I went to friends R., who have kindly offered a room to meet in, and have also given in their names to meet with us. The two young women, who have lately witnessed a good confession, also joined with us, making four in all. O write each name in heaven!—This evening thirty new members were admitted on trial. What a privilege to be numbered with God's people! But when I remember that the Lord is a wall of fire round about them, I wonder that I am not more in earnest.—I found the throne easy of access. I believe the influence in our little meeting was general. What enjoyment has the world to equal communion with God?—Increased communion with God. I was at the prayer-meeting in the morning, and afterwards called upon several persons, to whom I endeavoured to speak faithfully; but who regards it? Lord, I leave my feeble efforts with Thee. I write, and why? because the review of God's mercies proves a stimulus; and often, while committing to paper the Lord's dealings with me, His love flames brighter on my heart."

ALL SHALL BE WELL.

If Jesus be with me, when sorrows assail, And floods of affliction against me prevail; His countenance lifted, my passions shall still, And all shall be well, while I suffer His will.

If crosses perplex me, and perils surround, Repose in my Saviour, my foes shall confound; No weapon shall prosper, or cause me to fear, But all shall be well, while His presence is here.

I repaired to Mrs. R.'s to meet the dear people; every part of my way seemed doubtful, but the Lord was graciously with me. We were eight assembled, and a blessed influence rested on us. Some were earnestly seeking pardon.—Had a deeply interesting interview with Mrs. B., who is depressed on account of worldly circumstances, and wants confidence in Him, who has commanded us to cast 'all our care upon Him.' I felt a spirit of sympathy, and the Lord poured upon us the spirit of prayer; our hearts melted, and our months were filled with arguments.—Prayer has been very sweet to me; I have increased power to rest upon the promises, and through Christ to claim them. Yet in myself, I discover such a depth of vileness, that, when I think of the amazing love of God to me, my soul is humbled and adores. Tears of gratitude overflow my eyes, that God—the God of Gods, should condescend to such a worm as I.—By a letter from my Richard to his father, I am encouraged to believe the Lord is again working upon his mind. It caused tears of joy to run down my cheeks, and on our knees we united together to thank the Lord. May the good be permanent.—At my own bedside the spirit of prayer was so abundantly given, that I could scarcely cease pleading for my children, especially Richard,—I welcome the return of the Sabbath. Nature, even at this advanced season of the year, exhibits an unusual degree of verdure; and invites me to adore the Ruler of times and seasons, who confers such rich and ceaseless blessings on rebellious man,—even upon me, the most undeserving; for by divine light I see that everything I do is defective; yet, by simply venturing upon Christ in prayer and faith, I receive peace and power. I have received a very pleasing communication from Richard, describing the anguish of mind through which he has passed on account of sin; and informing me, that he has come to the cross and obtained deliverance through believing. He says, 'Whereas I was once blind, now I see.' On this account my soul rejoices. 'O for a heart to praise my God.' Our removal to York is now fixed to take place in three months (God willing). So uncertain is everything upon earth. Fix Thou the bounds of our habitation, and encamp round about our abode, and all shall be well.



XV.

THE RETURN.

"TO SEE THY POWER AND THY GLORY, SO AS I HAVE SEEN THEE IN THE SANCTUARY."—Psalm lxiii. 2.

Of all deprivations, none is so great, or as painfully felt by a truly devout soul, as the loss of religious ordinances. With what deep pathos does the Psalmist lament his long exile from the scene of solemn rites and holy sacrifice!

'How amiable are Thy tabernacles, O Lord of Hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth For the courts of the Lord; My heart and my flesh crieth out For the living God.'

He envies the birds of the air, that free and unfettered, build their nests hard by the temple of his God, while he, a banished man, must seek a refuge in the wilderness.

'Yea the sparrow hath found an house, And the swallow a nest for herself, Where she may lay her young; Even thine altars, O Lord of Hosts, My King and my God.'

Mrs. Lyth loved the habitation of the Lord's house, and deprecated the prospect of separation from its privileges, which was rendered extremely probable by her increasing weakness. Eastfield House was about a mile from the village, and between three and four from York. In case of decided failure of health, she would not only have been cut off from active usefulness in which she delighted, but entirely excluded from christian ordinances. With the view of a little relief, she had already relinquished one of her classes in the city, and turned her attention more exclusively to the village; but now there was every likelihood that she must soon give up the other. These circumstances, with some others of less moment, determined the propriety of a removal back to York. Shortly before this took place, in one of her walks thither, for the purpose of meeting her class, a circumstance transpired which is worth relating. She met on the road an odd old man, whose extraordinary appearance made him, at that time, well known in York and its vicinity. At one time above the average stature, he was now bent nearly double with age, and hobbled along with two sticks. A huge bunch of the old fashioned matches, attached by a string to his neck, hung down before him, and was sufficient sign of his occupation; while a long white beard, reaching well nigh to the ground, completed the singularity of his appearance. This latter appendage was, however, conveniently made to take off and on at pleasure. He was fabulously reported to be a hundred and twenty years old; and there was little doubt that he, and also his wife who sometimes accompanied him, were on the eve of celebrating their centenary, if they had not already done so. When Mrs. Lyth met him, she was strongly impelled to speak to him on the subject of religion; but being alone, and a little timid, she passed on. When she had proceeded about a hundred yards, she felt so much pained with the omission of her duty, that she hastened back, and faithfully discharged her conscience. We need only add, that the old man and his wife began to attend the chapel, and ultimately became members of Mr. Lyth's class. The old man got rid of his beard and his sins together, and, about two or three years later, both died in the hope of eternal life.

"1834.—Able to go to the village. Called to see Mrs. B., who seems to have a desire to be saved, but has to contend with great affliction. Another proof of the importance of seeking the Lord in health. Poor old Mrs. L. is much altered, and did not recollect me. So mutable and perishing is man. On reviewing the day, I think I have been aiming to please God; but my performances are so poor, that I have need to humble myself before God.—I got to see Mrs. R., most probably for the last time. She is apparently near the close of life, and patiently waiting the will of God. From thence I went to visit M.H. in the county hospital, but as dinner came in, I left her to see Mrs. W., who is in a precarious state, and much encumbered with worldly care. Here the Lord gave me power of utterance, and the spirit of prayer.—After six days spent at Acomb, I returned home much out of love with myself. My visit on the whole has been pleasant. With and without my friends, I have visited many of the inhabitants. In some cases I have derived profit; but in others, I have had to take up my cross: yet I have had but one aim—to do, and get good.—I went to meet the dear people, but I was so overwhelmed by a dull pain in my head—accompanied with drowsiness, that I thought, how shall I speak to them? but the Lord graciously removed the indisposition, and blest my soul.—The Rev. Daniel Isaac departed this life, after a lingering illness. He preached his last sermon in Haxby, and paid his last visit to our house; but the place that knew him shall know him no more for ever. So will it soon be said of me.—Jesus hath broke the bars of death, and opened paradise. In visiting, I was much refreshed. Tears of contrition rolled down the face of Mrs. L. and Mrs. E. One was added to the little class. All were present, and I felt loath to take leave of them; but so it must be. Thos. Y. will now take charge of them. Thus ends my career in Haxby. And after the toil and trouble of removing, I am now comfortably seated at Grove Terrace. To Thee, the blessed Donor of all I enjoy, would I render thanks. I have written an address to my Haxby members.—The division of my little class seems now to be working well. O Lord behold and come, visit this vine; let its young and tender branches twine round about Thee; yea, let the whole be baptized with the Holy Ghost!—The last moments of this beautiful month (May) will soon have past for ever; but the record will remain, when the angel shall stand, 'one foot on the sea and the other on the land, and swear that time shall be no longer.' Solemn thought! I feel the importance of it, and the necessity of being clothed upon, with the righteousness of Christ. Well, I have got into the stripping-room. O for a full abandonment of self, a full giving up! Praise God, my heart yields, and distrusting itself, lays hold of Jesus by faith. I feel solicitous for the spiritual and temporal welfare of my family, especially my two eldest sons. My resolve is to cast my care upon God. I feel power to leave them in His hands, and believe He will work on their behalf.—I opened my Bible, and my eye was caught by the words, 'Can God furnish a table in the wilderness? Behold He smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed. Can He give bread? Can He provide flesh for His people?' It appeared a broad answer to a conversation we had the night preceding. I was encouraged to lay hold on it.—Only indisposed, but made myself worse by going to the leaders' meeting, as it came on rain. In this, O Lord, forgive my rashness, for such it was, another having kindly offered to go for me.—Quite laid aside with sickness and pain, yet saved from murmuring, and just patience enough. The Lord is wise, and long-suffering in all His dealings with me. I have to-day reached my fifty-second year, and though in the school of affliction, am patiently watched over by the kindest of instructors. Oh! the unbounded love of my unwearied, though oft offended God!

"Sinnington. It is a week since my husband brought me from Scarbro' to this place, where my health is improving, and my opportunities of retirement are less interrupted. My mind has been more stayed and recollected, and I enjoy greater peace. I am learning to come direct to Jesus, who is ready to hear the cry of those, who need His help. Being secluded from the world, I want to secure some advantage, that will appear in after time. I am reading Mr. Watson's Life, some parts of which I find profitable.—In consequence of pain in my head, it has been thought advisable to call in a physician; but I would not trust in man, nor make flesh my arm; nevertheless it is right to use the means, and God can give His blessing. Since my return from the country, many cares and exercises have been my portion; but, knowing they are the appointments of my heavenly Father, it is in my heart to pray, 'Thy will be done.'—My two friends, B. and R., who enjoy great nearness to God, came to join with me in interceding for my dear family, three of whom are about to leave home, and go into the world. They were in a blessed frame of mind.—My Mary gave her hand to Mr. Jackson. The night previous, pressed with the solicitude of a mother, my sleep departed from me. I was deeply prayerful; my spiritual feeling increased, and I was truly blessed, while I frequently repeated with my heart the following lines:—

Jesus, Saviour, condescend At this marriage to attend; For Thyself each heart prepare, Grant that all Thy love may share. Come, thou great expected guest, Come, and enter every breast; Lest the subtle foe steal in, Screen us with Thy guardian wing.

(Early in the morning her daughter entered the room, and begged her to pray for her. She readily consented, and embracing her, said, 'I have been praying for you from retiring until daybreak.') The morning was propitious; and while Mr. C. read the twelfth of Romans and prayed, the presence of the Lord was among us.—William started for Sheffield to seek a new situation, I trust under the care of God, having the night before commended him, by united prayer, to the kind Providence of our heavenly Father. For many days I have enjoyed the soul's calm sunshine; yet, I feel it is of mercy, not of works. Jesus' blood is all my plea. Praise God, who, through the vicissitudes of this eventful month, gives me tranquillity of mind. Now, I am anticipating the return of Richard to London, to secure his diploma; so that three out of four leave the paternal roof this month. With respect to Richard, my mind is impressed with far more cheering hopes, than when he went last year. Then, fallen from his steadfastness, he was wandering upon the dark mountains; but now, returned to the Lord, he is sensible of his obligations, and wishes to make some return. Lord make me grateful for this proof of Thy love, and make my Richard a burning and shining luminary, wise to win souls.—Went to the Haxby Missionary Meeting; but to me all was disappointment. Some who professed much friendship when I left them, looked very cool; some I wished to see, I saw not; the chapel not full; no missionary-boxes, although I know of four in the place; the collection not half the amount of last year; the speeches did not profit me; perhaps I did not keep the path of duty, for I left my class to be met by another, and neglected seeing one who expected me. I was grieved with myself; and, with a burdened mind, bowed my knees and poured out my complaints before God, who listened to my cry and sent me help, melting me down before Him, and making me willing to be more obedient in future.—Visited Mrs. C. again; she said, 'I feel happy. Last Thursday, after you were here, I pleaded with God, until the words were applied—

'Believe, and all your sins forgiven, Only believe, and your's is heaven.'

I thought surely this is for me, and felt I could believe it was;' and then came the words, 'when thou passest through the valley of the shadow of death, I will be with thee;' and I believe it.' My heart rejoiced with her.—Being indisposed, I commenced a letter to my friends in Acomb, when, just as I completed one side, Mrs. R. and little Charles came in, and glad I was to see them. She told me, that a friend of her youth who moves in high life, having been awakened to a sense of her sinful condition, had sent to her repeatedly for advice. Feeling interested for her, she requested me to unite with her in pleading at the throne of grace; to which I acceded, knowing that it is not a vain thing to call upon God. The appointed times are every Tuesday, at half-past nine in the morning, and half-past nine in the evening. This is recorded to aid my memory. Aid us by Thy Spirit, or our efforts will be vain.—The engagement, though not at the exact time, was remembered, and I entered a little into the business. Miss C. came to request me to meet a lady at their house, who is convinced of her lost condition. With some diffidence, from a sense of my own unfitness, I accompanied her, and conversed with the lady on the dawn and progress of a work of grace in the heart; lent her 'Fletcher's Address,' and after Mrs. C. and I had prayed, we parted. But knowing the good that is done on the earth, the Lord doeth it, I have made it matter of earnest prayer, for she is much laid upon my mind. This, I believe, is pleasing to God, and the rather, as this morning on opening the word of God, I saw how Ezekiel was humbled before the Lord for the people of Israel and Judah.—Being in health, I went forth, praying for direction and the blessing of God. Some kind friends gave me twenty-two shillings to help a poor member. This I took; she received it thankfully. Visited Mrs. C., she is able to rest in God. Called on Mr. S., and left 'Fletcher's Address;' also upon Mrs. D., and left a copy of the same. O that the Spirit may do his office! Why do I speak thus? He waits to enter: may they be willing to yield.—Went to Pocklington to see Mrs. P. There I met with E. Brookes, Esq. His private walk bespeaks him a devoted man. I esteemed it a privilege to lodge under the same roof. My journey has been blest to both body and soul; having acknowledged God, my way was made plain, and His presence has comforted me. I returned home in Mr. B.'s gig. I had not arrived many minutes, before Miss H. came to converse on spiritual things; I thought it providential that I came at the time: but who is sufficient for these things? O bless the dear young disciple! Mrs. D. has received good, indeed her countenance indicated the change. She told me she purposed commencing family-prayer in the evening: one mark of genuine conversion.—I had a very profitable interview with a lady, who came to converse on divine things. How many opportunities have I missed, which might have thus been employed to advantage. 'My mouth as in the dust I hide.'

"1835. Able to meet my class: seventeen present. A fresh member turned in, and appeared sensible of her lost condition. My soul felt that painful struggling with the powers of darkness, which I have often experienced when knelt by the side of a seeking sinner. As the people withdrew, a little girl was waiting for me to go and see her mother, who is much worse. I found her supported in bed by a neighbour, the perspiration streaming down her face. She held out her hand to me, and told me Christ was precious. By-and-bye a whisper was heard,

'I'll praise my Maker while I've breath.'

Her voice failed. While I prayed, angels seemed hovering around. I said, you do not feel any doubt; she replied, 'No; I rest upon the promise.' She died the next day.—My mind was deeply impressed with the thought of eternity, occasioned by the sound of the passing bell.

How leaden falls the deep-toned sound! The heart is with its weight oppress'd; A soul has cross'd life's narrow bound, A soul—for ever lost or blest.

For ever! what a word is this! Ye careless mortals, be it known; In everlasting woe or bliss, This word, for ever! is your own.

Momentous thought! I feel it now; This long eternity is mine: My soul shall this duration know,— A quenchless spark of life divine!

When I retired, I besought the Lord to awake me, and give me health to go to the six o'clock prayer-meeting. In this, He condescended to answer me; but my body inclined to rest. For a moment, I listened; but my prayer and promise occurred to me, and durst I thus offend the Lord? I rose, conferring no longer with flesh and blood, and was abundantly repaid. The peace of God overflowed me as a river, and while I write the effect remains. My soul was much drawn out on behalf of some of my unconverted relatives. A little after we had risen from our knees, one of them came in, and I seized the opportunity of pressing upon him the necessity of a change of heart.—The spirit of prayer was given to me in an unusual degree, especially on behalf of my dear son, who believes himself called to the work of the ministry, and has this day engaged to supply the place of one who has gone to his reward. How important! May the Lord go with him.—For some time I have thought of inviting Miss M.B. to class; but, not knowing whether she had any concern for salvation, I demurred. Still the impression followed me, and to-day I told her of it. The tears started in her eyes, and she confessed with great frankness, that she was convinced she must have the peace of God to be happy; but she had never mentioned the subject to any but her mother. Surely this impression was from the Lord, and in answer to prayer: for some time since, her mother and I agreed to plead for our children every Wednesday afternoon. My affections, divided to every member of my family, meet in one point at the throne of grace; where many a time my expectations are raised, and my soul blessed. To-day my husband takes a class; may it be made an abundant blessing to his own soul.—The quarter-day: much excitement, lest a rent should be made among us; my dear christian friends, A. and B., came to my house to lay the matter before the Lord, while the meeting was being held. There, indeed, we did pour out our cause; buffeted, but much encouraged by the promise, especially as it was given to two of us, 'I, the Lord, do keep it; lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day.' We believed the Lord would interpose, and so it was. We were told the case was wonderfully overruled. O the condescension of our merciful High Priest!—Mrs. A. brought me a sick visiting-book, which I did not refuse: for although I feel my disqualification, yet am willing to do what I can, only let me have heavenly aid. At twelve at noon, six of us opened a weekly meeting for intercession: to me it was a blessed season. I have at times great enlargement, but abasing views of my own depravity, with expanded perceptions of the love and power of God—great in wisdom, great in love, great in holiness, and yet He deigns to visit me. 'Faith, lends its realising light, the clouds disperse,' and let a ray of the Infinite into my soul. Thus, in the midst of many things that are painful, I am comforted.—Have been out to tea against my inclination, and yet it was among my friends. Endeavoured to give a religious tone to the conversation, but some, who ought to have come forward, were silent; and to others without the least intention I fear I have given offence. From this cause my mind is troubled; but on reflection, think, I ought not to yield to such a feeling, being conscious that my aim was to do right. To Thee, Oh Saviour, will I look to overrule 'my every weak, though good, design.' While I write my soul is happy. Glory be to God.—I am now enter the last hour of 1835, much abased on the review of my own unfaithfulness, yes earnestly desiring to commence anew, if permitted a little longer to sojourn on earth.

Oh! take possession of my heart, And let it hence Thy temple be; Willing, Thou seest me, now to part With all, that is unlike to Thee; O let the Spirit's seal be given The earnest of my future heaven!

To Thee, O Lord, I would present My life, and health, and talent, now; Let nothing mar the pure intent And purpose of my solemn vow; But now the covenant blood apply, My feeble act to ratify.

Come, sway the sceptre in my soul, Its secret springs adjust and move; Model each word, each thought control, And fill me with the light of love; So shall I do Thy perfect will, As angels, who Thy word fulfil.

Ten minutes past midnight.—To put me in remembrance,—my two friends at a quarter before two every day. My one friend at three every Wednesday."

"1836. Awoke with, 'Reckon yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God;' and 'Be ye not of a doubtful mind.' I feel resolved henceforth, thus 'to reckon.' I have been too long dying—not dead, and dishonouring God by 'a doubtful mind.' I now enjoy peace, with a firm determination to keep His commandments, which are not grievous; but I feel my weakness such, that I cannot trust myself. O my God, help me to keep my covenant vows!"

Look high, look low, look far and near, Changes in every scene appear; The blossom fades, the day is gone, And night succeeds the morning sun. The clear blue firmament is seen. But gath'ring clouds soon intervene; The sun, resplendent, hastes away, To give to other lands the day. The vig'rous youth to manhood grown, Becomes a hoary sire anon; The blooming maid becomes a bride, A loving consort by her side, The zenith point of earthly bliss,— But ah! a changing scene is this: The fairest prospects earth can boast, Are poor, and transient at the most; And closest ties of friendship fail To stay the bliss, we smile to hail.

"After a fortnight's suffering, my dear little grandson, Edward, left our dark abode for everlasting day. Separation is painful, but the prospect of eternal happiness brings sweet consolation. A little before death he said, 'kneel down.' He was three years and ten months old—a child of much promise—but is now safely transplanted to nourish in a healthier clime.—Death strikes again—the infant, and only surviving child of my Eliza, has escaped to glory. Several other afflictive occurrences have been permitted, I am confident for my good: yet I have better health than usual, and the consolations of my God are not withheld. The Lord can make hard things easy, and mingle the bitter cup with sweetness. O that I could make better returns!—Thirty years ago, I gave myself to my husband with mingled feelings of hope and fear. The words, 'thy Maker is thy husband,' have been impressed upon my mind."

Endearing title! wilt Thou be A husband, O my God, to me? Then, let me never grieve Thy love, Nor ever disobedient prove; Watchful Thy pleasure to obey, Thy precepts study night and day; Thy will at all times gladly do: I will. Lord help me to be true.

"Had all the preachers to breakfast with a friend or two beside,—hoping the hour might be spiritually improved. Singing and prayer were sweet, but I was disappointed in the conversation, which was turned by two individuals upon a point that profited little; one thing I learned, to expect profit in the creature is not right,—Tried to bring about, and by means of another, effected a reconciliation between two opposing parties.—'Who will this day consecrate his services to the Lord?' was a question put to me this morning before I awoke, and has been urged upon me since. Thank God, my heart responds—I will. As I was walking, musing, and praying, it was whispered to my soul, 'My God shall supply all your need.' It is enough.—Again privileged to hear the Rev. Robert Newton. I sat in my Father's banqueting-house with delight, and His banner over me was love.—Fifty-four years this day, I have proved the sustaining power of God; and forty-two or nearly so, have enjoyed His redeeming love. O what a debter am I! Here will I give myself away—'tis all I can do."

This day of consecrated rest, Proclaim within my longing breast 'I am the Lord thy God;' Here dwell and reign without control, Sole monarch of my willing soul, According to Thy word.



XVI.

THE SACRIFICE.

"I HAVE LENT HIM TO THE LORD; AS LONG AS HE LIVETH, SHALL HE BE LENT UNTO THE LORD."—1 Sam. i. 28.

"Neither will I offer burnt-offerings to the Lord of that which cost me nothing," said David, when he purchased the threshing-floor, and the oxen of Araunah the Jebusite, that he might rear and altar, and offer sacrifices, and peace-offerings: and yet it was a nobler act of sacrifice, when he poured out before the Lord the crystal draught which three of his mighty men had procured from the well that was by the gate of Bethlehem, at the peril of their lives, and for which he had so earnestly longed. In the one case he gave what he could well afford; in the other, he consecrated what his soul desired. The preciousness of the gift is to be estimated, not by its intrinsic value, but by the amount of sacrifice which it requires; hence, some who bring much, offer little, and some who give but little, offer much. Genuine love to God brings of its choicest and dearest, and the sacrifice is accepted accordingly. To give money as far as she had ability, was to Mrs. Lyth no sacrifice. Through life she practised a rigid economy, that she might have the more to employ for God; and during the last few years, when she had an ample income at her own disposal, after her few and extremely moderate wants were met, the whole was sacredly consecrated to public and private charities. She saved nothing. Her estimate of the riches of this world may be collected from the following, communicated by a friend:—"She was much saved from the love of money. I called upon her one day for advice and sympathy, when I was in great trouble in consequence of a loss which I had sustained. She very affectionately encouraged me to bear up under the trial, and said, the Lord had some better thing in store for me;—that I must set my affections on things above, and then, to show that I was not alone, told me that a thousand pounds had been left to her mother by a deceased relative, which she had fully expected would revert to her, as it was the intention of the testatrix; but it proved to be a lapsed legacy. She added, 'The Lord so graciously sustained me, that the loss never deprived me of a single hour's sleep. He knows what is good for us, and If it had been His will, I should have had it.' Mr. Lyth, who was in company with us at the time, said, 'So you see my wife turns all to gold,' which it is well known she did. Oh! I wish I was like her." But if she estimated worldly wealth only so far as it afforded her the pure gratification of doing good, and it was therefore no sacrifice to her to give of her earthly substance; she also gave that which cost her something. Her eldest son, Richard, whom she prized above gold, and all the more, because of the tears and solicitude which she had expended upon him as a sickly and delicate infant, was at the Conference of 1836 appointed to a distant and perilous sphere of missionary labour. This was a demand upon her feelings, which severely tested her love to Christ and His church; but the spirit in which she made the sacrifice, is best displayed by her own private record.

"1836. A letter from brother John Burdsall, who is at the Conference, informs me, that he had some conversation with Dr. Bunting respecting my Richard and the Friendly Islands. I feel as a mother, yet assured that God is alike in every place, my prayer is for resignation.—Oh! the rapidity of time, conference has commenced and will, I suppose, appoint my Richard somewhere; only be it the place assigned by Providence—my will submits, though nature would rebel.—My desires tend upward, but oh! my wayward heart still clings to the creature—my children lie near my heart. But, do I wish to withhold my son from Thee? no; my heart says no;—only let holiness be stamped upon his heart and character: send him where holiness will be the most earnestly sought, and will make the most powerful impression. My will does yield, but nature feels. The solicitude I feel for my children depresses my spirit: yet am comforted by the promises of God, and increasingly resolved to roll my every care at the foot of the Cross; where, like pilgrim, I often find the strings of my burden unloosed, and by faith beholding my unfailing Friend, am encouraged to believe the God who cares for me, will care for mine. In the face of my fears, O Lord, I trust in Thee. My Richard is appointed to the Friendly Islands.—The cases of my three sons press upon my spirit; but Thy aid, O Lord, I seek and ask and have.—It is the Sabbath morn. I am fully bent to give myself and my family to God. But now it is come to the point, how weak I feel! Well, but I will resign—Richard is Thine; I will through grace, give him up to Thee. The time of his departure is at hand; tidings have reached us that he is expected to sail in the 'Royal George,' on the first of October. O may He who sitteth above the water floods, and reigneth a King for ever, take charge of him; and so succeed his errand, that thousands may add lustre to his crown!—At half-past six Miss B. and Mrs. A. met me, and Hannah S. who was seeking pardon. After we had pleaded for a time, the Lord came down in power, and she cried aloud, 'I can believe, I do believe.' We all shared the baptism. My dear family all took tea together, perhaps for the last time. Thank God, we are a united family, though we may separate wide from each other in our pilgrimage through the world.—While pouring out my soul for my dear Richard, I felt the hallowing power; I believe the Lord will be with him and the people also. Things very painful to nature are now my frequent lot; but through these, the Lord seeks to purge, and knit me closer to himself. Lord give me grace to bear the sacrificing knife, and let 'Thy will be done,'—Had a few friends to breakfast to commend my dear Richard to God: it was a profitable hour, but I should have liked more prayer.—My soul was much refreshed, especially in class. What a fulness is treasured up in Jesus: and yet I only sip. In visiting the sick, and seeking out the wanderers, feel I am right, but seem to have little time for this work.

"Apperly Bridge. My Richard's wedding-day. While the bridal couple went to church, I retired to plead a blessing on their union. On their return, I met them with lines which were on my mind—

'Blest in Christ your union be, Blest to all eternity.'

And so it will be, while they cleave to Jesus. After breakfast we proceeded to Leeds, where we dined, and took an affectionate leave of each other. I then retired with the female part of the company to commend them to God." [Her parting counsels, which were inscribed in my brother's album, were as follows:—]

"My dear son,—'Be strong through the grace, which is by Jesus Christ, and the things, which thou hast heard before many witnesses, commit to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. Endure affliction as a good soldier of Jesus Christ, and the Lord give thee understanding in all things. God is my witness, how I long for you, that your love may abound more and more, in all knowledge and spiritual understanding; that you may try the things that are excellent; that you may be sincere, and without offence, unto the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are through Jesus Christ, to the praise and glory of God. And when the Chief Shepherd shall appear, you shall receive the crown of glory which fadeth not away.' This is the earnest prayer of your truly affectionate mother."

"Mr. Burrows came, and talked sweetly to me of my privilege as a christian in giving all to God, and prayed with us; else, during this week sorrow and joy have mingled in my breast, but now I feel to rise.—Mrs. R. having agreed to meet with me to intercede for my dear Richard and Mary Ann, I went up accompanied by Mrs. W.—the Lord blessed us together.—I feel encouraged.—A very stormy morning. This led me to my knees, to pour out my soul for my son and daughter: O keep them in the hollow of Thy hands! William has not yet returned from seeing Richard off; I want to hear and know—yet am encouraged to hope all will be well.—Days of suspense—but the thought, 'all is well,' encouraged me; this was realised, when William returned in the afternoon. 'Bless the Lord, O my soul,' and praise His adorable name. My dear Richard sent me a letter, written when sailing down the Thames, in which he says, 'The Lord is with us, we will not fear.'

"Sinnington. After the morning prayer-meeting, I called upon several of the villagers, who kindly welcomed our visit. Prayed with every family but one, and in each case felt the softening power. Spoke plainly with Mr. B. respecting the alienation existing between him and ——. O that they would seriously resolve!—A very stormy day, but braving the blast, I visited two or three friends, to have a last interview with them; in one case to invite a person to join the people of God; in another, to urge the necessity of family-prayer; a third was a young person apparently in dying circumstances, and a fourth was a quaker friend, whose disinterested friendship endears her to me.—Visited the Lady Mayoress at the Mansion House, and felt quite at ease. Had an opportunity of dropping a word in her ear, which she seemed to receive kindly."

The noontide hour is wont to be A blessed means of grace to me; When met, the hallowing power to share, In the sweet intercourse of prayer.

"Was drawn out in prayer for myself and others until a late hour, and was much blest. After I had retired and had been asleep, I awoke with these lines:

'Soft and easy is Thy pillow, Coarse and hard the Saviour lay; Since His birthplace was a stable, And His softest bed was hay.'

My pillow seemed softer than usual, and my soul was happy.—Very stormy." [Such notes of the weather repeatedly occur at this period, but nothing more: her thoughts were after Richard, but her feelings were too intense for expression. To a friend she remarked, that for six months after her son's departure, she dared not touch, the subject. 'I cannot write upon it,' she said, 'I am obliged to leave it.']

"1837. Took tea with Mrs. D., with several christian friends; our visit was blessed, all shared in the heavenly influence: if all visits were equally profitable, I should regret to refuse an invitation.—Paid a visit not so beneficial, though many good people were there, and honourable too.—Rose too early by mistake, but determined to profit by it, so I bowed myself at the feet of Him to whom I can most freely unbosom myself and told Him all my cares, which seemed to multiply as I spread them out before Him; found a little access, but want the mighty faith that 'can the mountain move.'—Wm. B.'s two daughters and daughter-in-law took tea with me, which afforded me an opportunity of conversing with them on the necessity of salvation. Presented each of them with a pocket companion. Providentially Mrs. R. stepped in, and prayed with us. In the evening I met the dear people, deeply feeling my own unfitness, and greatly discouraged by their state. To increase my difficulty, a young stranger came in to hear in silence; could get none to pray. What shall I do? Resolved as soon as alone to roll my burden upon the Lord, which I did, and felt encouraged.—Five months to-day since my last letter from Richard. [Two days after she writes.] The evening post brought me a letter, and 'all is well.' When we had read it, we bowed before the Lord to acknowledge our gratitude. My dear friends, B. and A., came to meet Mrs. B. to plead with the Lord on her behalf: she obtained power to say, 'I love Him because He first loved me;' but durst not affirm that her sins were forgiven.—Since the Missionary Meeting, the recollection that I, with the rest of the assembly, lifted my hand and pledged myself to increased exertion, has pressed upon my mind. I am willing; Lord, direct my efforts! [This resolution was not ineffective, for shortly after, she initiated the York Ladies' Missionary Sewing Meeting, which for many years proved an important source of income, and still exists, under the name of the 'Ladies' Repository.']

"Hull. Called upon Mrs. H., and met there a lady, who acknowledges my father as the instrument of her conversion. She was on one occasion introduced into his class, and being a member of the Established Church, he asked her if, when repeating the Creed, she believed 'in the communion of saints, and the forgiveness of sins.' The arrow hit the mark, and she never rested till she obtained the favour of God. Called also upon Mr. E., whom we found indisposed, but awakened to a sense of his lost condition. Was glad to hear him speak of his hard, unfeeling heart, as I felt convinced the Spirit of God was working upon him, and was encouraged to pray with and for him.—After an agreeable journey, we returned to York—so swiftly time passes, how I long to improve it! In the cabin of the packet, I took up a book which lay on the table—written by Baxter—on 'Living for Eternity,' and while reading, deeply felt the necessity of so doing. Two young gentlemen sat at my left hand playing at a game of some sort, and I was prompted to speak to them upon the importance of improving their youthful opportunities. They received the admonition in a good spirit and said, they wished they oftener met with kind reproofs.—Miss B. and I collected for the infant school: some of our visits were profitable—prayer sweetened our employment."

"Sinnington. My dear uncle is evidently failing. He has suffered much, but the state of his mind is improving, and he is more accessible. He goes to bed very early, and every night I have sat and prayed with him. My own mind is in a composed frame. All around me exhibits the finger of God. The stillness of nature impresses me with His presence; I hear his voice, and all within me acknowledges Him Lord of all. I have visited several of the villagers; some wept, but to others I seem to tell an idle tale.—Four o'clock in the morning:—

Midnight stillness! O! how solemn! Now surrounded by my God; How I long to breathe His fulness! How I long to walk with God!

Thou whose eyes, unseen, behold me,— Mark my inmost rising thought; In this musing moment prompt me, Let my works in Thee be wrought.

Aid, O aid my contemplation! To Thy cross my spirit lead; Humble, while I view Thy passion, Me,—that caused Thy heart to bleed.

Let it melt me, O my Saviour, Melt me into love again; By Thy death to life restore me, In my soul for ever reign.

Bring me into full salvation, Every secret thought control; Help my nature's imperfection, Sway Thy sceptre in my soul.

Let all nature point to Jesus, Every scene reveal Him there, Earthly good, through Him, be precious, Voices chaunt Him everywhere.

All I know, or taste, or handle, Be subservient to His will; Sun that shineth—stars that glitter— Flash His glory round me still.

"As I came out of the chapel, a person came to me with tears in her eyes and requested me to pray for her, that the Lord would cleanse her heart: I was humbled but encouraged.—My birthday: rose before five, and consecrated my body and soul to the Lord. At an early hour was sent for by the young person I saw a few days ago, who is still very much afflicted. Inquiring what I should pray for, she said, 'That God may pardon my sins.' I thought this a good sign, as she was in much pain; and left her, believing God would save her. This word has been my motto for some days, 'If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love;' and my heart is bent on it.—Awoke early; my meditations were sweet. Visited S.P., while praying with her she wept much. O may these meltings of a broken heart end in conversion! In the evening went to J.B.'s to break the ice for them in commencing family-prayer, but he was out, so after some close conversation with his wife on the subject, we prayed together. Lord, help her to take up her cross. On my return I went and prayed with uncle; I want to say to him everything I ought—Lord help me.—I started early that I might invite some of the villagers to the chapel: while thus engaged my heart was lifted up to God for a blessing on my endeavours.—Miss C. came to inform me, that last evening after returning from chapel, feeling her need of justifying grace, she retired to her closet—her sisters, and the young ladies having remained at the prayer-meeting. On their return, several of them being deeply convinced of sin, united in prayer; and so powerfully did the Spirit work, that six were crying for mercy at once: thus they continued to pray and wrestle until two in the morning, when five of them were made happy. On my way to Acomb, I called in to rejoice with them, and was introduced to a young lady who has been for some time under religious impression; whilst Mrs. R. and I engaged in prayer, she found comfort; glory be to God.—A year since my dear Richard left the land of his birth, to preach the gospel in the islands of the seas. To commemorate the event, we had about twenty friends to tea; after which we had a prayer-meeting on behalf of my dear son, and the cause of missions.—The words of a Minister should be as a stream from the living fountain, and themselves as conduits, through which the stream runs. How needful then, that we should bear them up before the throne, that there may be written upon them, 'Holiness unto the Lord.'—Have been to see some of my members. Two were out, one ill, a fourth indisposed, and a fifth in a very unhappy frame of mind, whom I purposely left without prayer, not knowing how to pray for her—never left her before without bowing the knee. On arriving at home, I presented her case to God.—Have been put into the office of Treasurer for the Clothing Society; Lord help me faithfully to discharge this labour of love for the poor of Christ's flock.—Saw J.P. on his dying bed. The enemy was making his last assault upon him. I repeated several promises to which he listened with attention, and then prayed with him. In about half an hour the Lord broke in upon his soul so gloriously, that he desired his wife to come and tell me what the Lord had done for him. My soul rejoiced with him.—This solemn moment I give myself to Thee. O let me henceforth be Thy devoted servant, willing at all times to yield my will to Thine! Dost Thou say to me, 'I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness?' Then it is enough. I am the Lord's, and He is mine. Blessed union! God is love; I feel it now.

"1838. In converse with my friends, I have endeavoured to keep a conscience void of offence, and to walk in simplicity before the Lord; but Oh! when viewed in the glass of God's law, how deficient! Yet will I aim at the perfect model.—This morning, a young man named Calvert, who is going as a missionary to the South Seas, called upon us. With him I sent a letter to my Richard, having sat up the previous night writing, and little thinking I should have such an opportunity of sending it. Old feelings revived in my breast; but after he was gone, while musing about my son and the perils of missionary life, these words were sweetly applied: 'It is not the will of your Father in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.'—The box sent to Richard, which has been lost for three months, is just found in proper time to go with a missionary bound for the same islands. There is a providence unseen by us, whose watchful eye protects the minutest interests of His own; 'Even the very hairs of your heads are all numbered.'—Informed that poor Mrs. W. was fast sinking, I hastened to see her; she was struggling with her last enemy, but smiling in His grasp. When told that she would soon join in singing 'Hallelujah,' she smiled and said. 'Yes;' and shortly after exchanged mortality for life."

MY FRIEND'S DEPARTURE.

How solemn was the room! How still that scene of death! My friend 'mid twilight gloom, Lay gasping hard for breath; The death dews on her temples stood; She smiled adieu, and crossed the flood.

Angels were hov'ring round, And breathing incense there; Almost I heard the sound Of wings upon the air; Light as the breeze, and clear as light, Her happy spirit took its flight.

Back on that solemn hour My thoughts are often cast; Be mine such faith and power To triumph at the last; With smiles to meet my latest foe, And die eternal life to know.

I am like Noah's dove. The world is a dreary waste of waters without anything upon which I can set my foot. My friends are dying, and disappointments common.—Wrote to Mr. B. on the importance of preparing to meet God; and enclosed three sermons on eternity.—Four persons, whom I have visited this week, have passed into eternity. These I have warned, urged, and pointed to Jesus. Of three of them I entertain hope; but Oh! the danger of delay, and the responsibility of visiting sick beds!—I have been much troubled with the inattention and neglect of a servant. This is permitted for the trial of my faith and patience, and my earnest prayer is, that I may secure the good intended. With respect to my inward experience, I have access to God, and can more implicitly pour my wants into the ears of Him, who waits to answer. I now enjoy, through Christ, solid peace. Many precious seasons for want of opportunity to record them pass unnoticed, and some painful exercises, in which I have to sing my deliverer's praise.

"Sinnington. I have enjoyed sweet communion with my best friend, and in pouring out my soul among my dear relations. Mr. B. has read the little book I sent him, and carries it about with him in his pocket. With me he appears more social; but it is the work of God to change the heart. Still, he is laid upon my mind to remember him before the Lord. My dear uncle, although in apparent health for his years (eighty-one), is increasingly deaf, and almost cut off from intercourse with society, so that he seeks to be alone. In a conversation I had with him, he told me how the Lord blessed him, and how he meditated in the night season. In this place I am secluded from my usual care. Lord help me to improve the opportunity. I can truly say, I long to sink, to rise, and grow in all the image of God.—I felt much in parting with my friends, especially my dear uncle, who said he should perhaps see me no more. I reminded him of our meeting above, and endeavoured to urge upon him a preparation for it.—On reviewing the week, I have endeavoured to walk circumspectly, redeeming the time, and enjoyed union with God, both in private, and at the family altar; but yet I want more uniformity in my walk with God. Mrs. H. accompanied me to see two poor widows; and, inviting some of the neighbours in, we read and conversed, and prayed with them. I felt inclined to go again.—A good class-meeting—after which I went to visit the widows; four more persons came in. My heart was enlarged while I endeavoured to exhort them to flee from the wrath to come, and prayed with them.—I have returned to spend the last hour of the year at home. I feel a prayerful frame, and a determination to give myself and all my powers to God. Though buffeted by the enemy, my heart is fully resolved. I will be Thine,—save me.

Oh! Thou, who dost in secret see My lifted heart, and bended knee; While now my soul pours out the prayer, O let it find acceptance there: Come now, and claim me for Thy own, And make my heart Thy glorious throne.

Twelve o'clock. Another year is gone."



XVII.

THE MOTHER IN ISRAEL.

"THE HOARY HEAD IS A CROWN OF GLORY, IF IT BE FOUND IN THE WAY OF RIGHTEOUSNESS."—Prov. xvi. 31.

There are some countenances which even in advanced life are singularly beautiful; lit up with a heavenly lustre which rivals the freshness and bloom of youth. Such was the countenance of my venerated mother, on the eve of threescore years. Her expressive features discovered the rich adornment of her soul. It was the outbeaming of hidden glory within;—the reflection of beauty caught by constant and secret communion with God;—the bright halo of love, joy and peace in the Holy Ghost. Though in the middle period of life the subject of frequent and severe attacks of pain in the head, which, for the time, greatly enfeebled her, she had, by the blessing of God upon the use of suitable means in connection with her abstemious habits, overcome the force of disease, and recovered a degree of strength and vigour which was remarkable. Her step was light and active; her gait erect; and as, in consequence of the removal of her children into active life, she was now, to a great extent, freed from domestic duties, she might often be seen in the streets of the city hasting upon her errands of mercy. The care of three classes, two of which were large, together with her numerous engagements in every department of usefulness, which the church opened out to her, furnished her with continual employment, and hence, at this period, her diary is a detail rather of Christian activity than of inward experience.

"1839.—The Covenant-service was a solemn season; yet I did not feel so much sensible comfort as firmness of purpose to consecrate myself to God; seeing how greatly it concerned my interest, and what condescension it implied, on the part of God, to accept of one so unworthy.—Entered upon subscriptions for the new chapel.—Poor Fanny McD. has a second time been severely burnt. I saw her this morning; she was just able to say 'yes,' when asked, if she was happy. About twelve she expired. I am thankful I had the opportunity of commending her soul to God. It was good to go to the house of mourning. For ten years I have collected, or given her, the amount of her rent; and for one year provided a woman to wait upon her.—As I was going to Fanny's funeral, I was accosted by a young woman, who seemed to know me: but of whom I had no recollection, until she told me that she had formerly met with me, but had wandered from God, and was now made willing to return. The next day being my class, I invited her to come. She did so; and said, that as she was going out the day before, she was strongly impressed to pray for a blessing, and thought within herself, 'Why should I? I am not going to chapel.' She concluded that our meeting was providential. God grant she may again get into the right way.—A blessed Sabbath to me; it was good at the morning prayer-meeting;—good in the forenoon;—good to visit the house of mourning;—and good to point to Jesus some old women who desired to behold Him.—I have this day surrendered my Sabbath class into the hands of Mrs. H., during her stay in York, having latterly had so little time for reading, and she desires employment.—The perusal of some of my old MS.S. has been the means of rousing my spirit. Save me, O God, from spiritual sloth; I see the danger; may I fear it more than ever, never looking at others, but always looking unto Thee.—The month of my nativity. My obligations to God are twelve months deeper, and myself a bankrupt—dependant upon the bounty of providence, and abased under a sense of my ingratitude, nevertheless my purpose is to live for God alone: my faith strengthens, and I have a little love—

'Tis but a drop, O might it grow. And all my happy soul o'erflow!"

"I accompanied my husband to Harrogate, where I now write, having secured a quiet retired spot which just suits me. Help me, Lord, to improve the opportunity which this quietude affords. I can truly say my soul longs for God; yea, for the living God.—Much liberty in family prayer. I was drawn out on behalf of the visitors who were about to leave in the forenoon. The old gentleman seemed affected. Tears came into his eyes when I bade him farewell. He thanked us for all our favours, which could only refer to our presenting him at the throne of grace—a duty we owe to all men. O Lord, help me more faithfully to discharge it!—Went to Goldsbro'; and accompanied Mrs. D. to see a neighbour, who was deeply affected under the sermon the previous Sabbath. Our visit was welcomed, and after a little conversation we got upon our knees, when the Lord was very present. Mrs. W., the person upon whom we called, pressed us much to go again, which we did after tea, before we left the place. She then expressed her confidence in God, and determined to cast in her lot among the people of God.

"Sinnington. I was much pressed in spirit to visit a certain family in the village, and got cousin P. to accompany me. My errand was to urge the parents to seek the Lord. It was a softening time. The Lord opened my mouth, and enlarged my heart. Both the master and mistress wept. Oh! that it may not be as the morning cloud and early dew. I feel hope.

The message of mercy came wrapp'd in disease, Destroying my comfort, and spoiling my ease; Enclosed in the foldings a jewel I found, And a circlet of diamonds encompass'd it round; I eagerly seiz'd it, and read on the seal A name newly graven, I cannot reveal; But, where it is present, no sorrow can dwell, Affliction is welcome, and all must be well.

"Returning from chapel, I met with a person who was a stranger to saving grace, and invited her into a house, where I was going to see a sick person. There I prayed with them. The woman seemed much affected, and to me it was a season of refreshing. In the afternoon I saw several afflicted people, among whom I was encouraged and humbled, thankful, and almost overwhelmed with the troubles I was made acquainted with. After the evening service, in company with Mrs. R. I visited another woman. There is no hope of her recovery. She is quite ignorant of salvation, but exceedingly desirous of instruction. We had much power in prayer, and reluctantly left her. I determined to go again in the morning, but, before I set off, she sent for me, I found her perfectly sensible, but the hand of death was upon, her. I pointed her to Christ, and, while engaged in prayer, the power of faith was sweetly given. When. asked by her husband if she was happy, she said with emphasis, 'Yes'.—Another half hour, and the year 1839 is gone for ever! How precious these moments seem! But to the last, my hand, moved by the feelings of my soul, shall write Thy precious name—JESUS!—my Saviour! my God! my all! I now stand on the brink of another important division of time. What it will develope. God only knows; but my firm determination is to live for God. On my knees—surrounded by the unseen Deity—I give myself to Thee,—to reign in, and rule over me for ever. The moment is fled."

"1840. Saw Mrs. H., whom I found in dying circumstances. She was at class on New Year's Eve, when I urged her to lay hold upon Christ,—cautioning her not to remain unsaved, and expressing my fears lest she should do so. She appeared much affected, and remained at the bottom of the stairs to kiss me, ere we parted. Little did I think it would be the last time: but such is the frailty of our nature.—At the request of a lady, whom Mrs. R. and I were providentially called to visit, we went to form a class in her house. It was a blessed season, although we had only herself to begin with. [This lady she continued to visit weekly for a considerable time, until death rendered her visits unnecessary.] It is long since I heard from Richard, but the promise has been repeated: 'Though it tarry, wait for it, because it will surely come, it will not tarry.' So for some days I have been hoping. [Two days after she writes.] Just as we were about to commence family-worship, the postman brought two letters,—one from Richard, and one from Mary Ann. The tidings are affecting, and strongly exhibit the guardian care of Providence.—Without a servant, but in no wise discontent.—I visited Miss Rosetta W., who is declining fast, and has for some time been under considerable depression. The Lord was pleased to remove the cloud. The change was perceptible in her countenance.—A memorable day in consequence of the fire at the west-end of the Cathedral—occasioned, it is supposed, by the carelessness of a workman, who was employed to repair the clock; at least, nothing further has been elicited. The spectacle was awfully grand, and supplied me with an errand to the throne. The burning particles flew over several streets, and descended like flakes of snow. Surely the Providence of God preserved us. Visited a lady, by her own request, who is desirous of salvation. She has attended Mrs. C.'s class since it has been committed to my care.—Called on Mr. W., and looked upon the remains of dear Rosetta, who left this suffering world in triumph, waving her hand, and endeavouring to shout victory, the morning after I saw her last.—While meditating on the 15th chapter of John, the word was conveyed with power to my heart; but I want a constant spirit, never to be weary in the search, of truth. I was led to see how the Saviour's words, 'Without me ye can do nothing,' are often improperly applied, and made an excuse for spiritual sloth; since it is our own fault, if we have not strength, because He has commanded us to abide in Him.—Mrs. C.'s class was met by Mr. E. From this time I suppose I am to be recognized as the leader. In accepting this additional responsibility, I am affected by a sense of my own unfitness for the work, and the honour which the Lord puts upon me; for I look not at second causes, in thus placing me to watch over His people. It is, and may it ever be, a stimulus to seek a closer walk with God, that I may know His will, and act in conformity with it. Walking down High Ousegate about half-past eight in the evening, in company with my daughter, I had my pocket picked of a small silver box, given me by a cousin. I can, and have prayed for the miscreant who did it; but wish to have my box again: I fear this is wrong; it is not like Paul, who suffered the loss of all things without regret.—Several ladies commenced cutting out clothing for the poor. May we be clothed with humility. Our interview was pleasant.—On returning from my band, I found a note from our landlord, giving us notice to quit in six months, in consequence of some proposed buildings in connexion with the railway station. For a moment I was startled, as we hoped our residence was fixed for the term of life; but my mind soon fell into a profitable train of reflection. I thought, ere this term has expired, a higher mandate may be sent to quit my clay tenement, when I must give up my account. My heart feels it is well, and will be well.—This morning I traversed the haunts of the 'navvies' to give tracts to as many as I could. It has been my purpose this day to surrender the powers of my body and soul to God; and I have steadily kept it in view. Still, I need the 'blood of sprinkling' through which alone I can be accepted.—Finished my month's visitation to the school. I might have better improved the opportunity; but imperfection characterises all I do.—Had the honour of breakfasting with a few of the Lord's servants, and was much gratified with the firmness of one, who stood almost alone in an opinion clearly right, respecting a book called 'The Centenary Takings.'"

"1841.—I had the junior members of my classes to tea, to sew for the poor. Mrs. A. and Mrs. R. came to assist in making our meeting a profitable one.—My mind has been deeply impressed with the solemn occurrences of this day. For some time I have been wont to visit Mrs. B. every Saturday, to converse and pray with her. I found her very ill; and after rubbing her back for some time, to relieve the pain from which she was suffering, I knelt down and prayed with her, being particularly drawn out for a present blessing. When I rose, I pressed upon her the necessity of taking hold of Christ; she replied, 'I have nothing else.' Thus I left her, little thinking that I should see her no more; but so it is, for a short time after I had left, she expired.—My dear daughter Mary commenced a class with two members. Mrs. A., Miss B., Mrs. M., and myself, assisted at the commencement. How simple are the unadulterated truths of the Gospel! 'He was made an offering for sin' Amazing love! 'It pleased the Lord to bruise him.' Bow down, my soul, in humble astonishment and adoration; and see in the cross the malignity of sin, and the majesty of love,

O blessed cross! that points us to the sky, Loosens from earth, that we may soar on high. Thus suffering is our pathway up to bliss, To dwell for ever where our Patron is. O blessed cross! where Jesus bowed His head, Baptized with precious blood, for sinners shed: Happy are they who keep the words he brought, And bear the cross by their great Pattern taught."

"Went to Bishopthorpe and saw the Archbishop's Palace. The grounds are beautiful; and nature, at this season of the year in its splendour, shewed them to advantage. But what a responsible office does he fill! How does his flock thrive? O that he may be able to render his account with joy!—Not without thought and prayer, I set off for Sinnington. All nature smiled around me, and Jesus whispered peace within. My dear uncle bows under the weight of years; cousin looks paler, and more feeble; but I was welcomed as usual."

EASTER DAY.

The Sun of righteousness appears, To set in blood no more: Hail Him! who wipes away your tears, Your rising God adore!

The saints, when He resigned His breath, Unclosed their sleeping eyes; Behold! he breaks the bands of death, And bids the dead arise.

Alone, the dreadful course He ran, Alone, the winepress trod; He died, and suffered as a man; He rises as a God!

In vain the watch, the stone, the seal Forbid the Conqu'ror rise; Rising, He breaks the gates of hell, And opens paradise.

"Mrs. R., in band, faithfully told me of my faults, which, by God's help, I will try to amend. A meeting of Missionary Collectors was held to distribute the books, and to constitute a Ladies' Association. I left to meet my class. Mrs. C. was elected Treasurer, Mrs. R.W. Secretary, and myself, with all my unfitness, President. However, being on my knees before I went to the meeting, my covenant engagements were brought to my remembrance: 'Place me where Thou wilt; make me the hand or the foot; a hewer of wood, or a drawer of water.' Therefore, by God's help, I am determined to do my best, admonished by another sentiment of Holy writ, 'Let not him that putteth on the harness boast as he that putteth it off.'—Christmas morn. Rose about four o'clock; a beautiful starlight morning. It seemed to me as if 'the morning stars sang together for joy' at the Saviour's birth. Glory! Glory be to God!

"1842.—Nearly forty present at the sewing meeting. I endeavoured to draw out the sympathies of the ladies present in behalf of those whose welfare we had met to promote.—Under the word the Lord made such a discovery of myself to myself, as completely stripped me of self-confidence, and all hope,—except in the Saviour's merits, upon which I had power to lay hold. Oh the mercy of God to me, a poor worthless worm! After the prayer-meeting, two of the friends begged me in future to engage occasionally in public prayer. I have not done so latterly, because it is a mighty effort to me. But God forbid that my silence should be a stumbling-block to any. At the morning prayer-meeting, unasked, but not unmoved, I feebly opened my mouth, believing it to be my duty; and was blest in so doing.—This morning I awoke with 'Give unto the Lord of Thy substance.' Being about to purchase wearing apparel, I resolved to moderate my expenditure. In this, as in everything else, my heart's desire is to act in the sight of God. My son, far distant, is daily present with me. I rejoice that he is gone on the Lord's errand to the dark places of the earth; and find here an additional motive to bring him daily before the Lord, whose he is, and whom he serves. I have been much drawn out in prayer for the Fijian chiefs.—Called upon Mrs. K. at her own request. I had previously met her at a friend's house; and, in course of conversation, had inquired after her mother, whom I had frequently visited, but of whose state of mind I entertained considerable doubt, believing that she was resting short of sound conversion; and whom indeed, at our last interview, I had warned not to deceive herself. These fears I expressed to Mrs. K. The same evening she saw her mother, and repeated what I had said, with some degree of concern. The next time she called, her mother said, 'Mary, you must get somebody to pray with me, or I am lost for ever.' However, being unwell, she went home to bed; but could not sleep, in consequence of what her mother had said: so she rose at five the following morning, and went to see her mother again. She found that she had been in such distress of mind, that at midnight she had aroused a neighbour to pray with her, and not in vain; for the Lord graciously sent 'deliverance out of Zion,' and spoke peace to her troubled spirit. She lived about three weeks after my last visit, and died rejoicing in the Lord. These circumstances have so deeply affected Mrs. K. as to lead her to seek the Lord, and she is now pursuing her way to heaven. Glory be to God on high!—In consequence of my uncle's declining health, I returned again to Sinnington; and am now sat by his side. He is restless, but says nothing. It is the midnight hour; yet 'He that keepeth Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.' No sound salutes my ear but the pendulum of the clock, which, with every stroke, admonishes me that time flies.—Alone with uncle. He sleeps. All is tranquillity and peace; my soul is fixed on Christ, and enjoys undisturbed repose. Surrounded by Him, in whom I live, move, and have my being, all nature,—the balmy air,—the rich verdure,—the growing beauties of spring enlivened by the great luminary of heaven, conspires to raise this often wandering heart to Him, whom I desire above all things to love and obey.—I asked uncle if his prospect was bright; he replied, 'Aye, I've no doubt.'—I wonder at myself I make so little progress in knowledge, or increase in holiness. I purpose, aim, attempt, yet daily have cause to mourn my unprofitableness; but with one whose memoir I have lately looked into, 'I must come the short way to God, through the atoning blood of Jesus.' His name is precious now. I feel its balmy power. O for ability to praise Him in language adequate to the glorious task! God is love. Creation with its thousand tongues proclaims Him 'Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God;' and millions of intelligent creatures extol Him, 'the Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace' I have written a letter to be read in the Tuesday class. Visited Mr. M.—My soul goes out after God, and my faith claims Him mine. O what an exalting, and yet humbling thought! Faith unites but love adores.—How quickly time wastes away! I have been here a month to-day; not supposing uncle could live many days. Nothing solid has passed his lips for more than that period; and yet, though certainly weaker, his strength is wonderful. I begin to feel anxious about home, and the dear folks among whom I meet. May the Lord bless them.—My uncle evidently changed for the worse, and so continued for two days, until—on the 21st of June, about five minutes past five, he expired. It is a week to-day since he spoke, and six since he took his bed. I have often been sweetly drawn out in prayer by his bedside, and enjoyed peculiar liberty the day he died. I went again to see Mrs. M., who is also dying, her friends weeping around her.—Returned to York. The sewing meeting was but thinly attended;—chiefly young persons, to whom I felt prompted to speak on their souls' welfare. The result I leave."

WHERE IS THE LORD GOD OF ELIJAH?

In the storm, that sweeps along; Blazing fire, and earthquake strong; In the lightning's trackless flight; Gathering cloud, and curtain'd night! In the fragrant passing breeze; Thunders loud, or raging seas. Stormy worlds, or gentle flower, God proclaims His sovereign power. But the still small voice of love Softly breathing from above, Speaks in spirit tones within— 'Jesus suffered for my sin;' Till my soul—His hallowed shrine— Melts in melody divine. Let me hear its whisper still; Melt, and mould me to Thy will.

"'I will greatly rejoice in the Lord' is my motto this day. I enjoy settled peace, and am striving after the fulness offered in the word of God: 'Filled with God;' 'Sealed with the spirit of Promise;' 'Dead to sin.;' 'Holy.'—Disturbed in the night by a person who had a quarrel with her other self.—My John occupied the pulpit. At the prayer-meeting after, a person cried aloud for mercy. The Lord spoke peace to her soul on her return home. She could not sleep during the night for praising God. She came to the Thursday class. We were rejoiced to hear her statement."



XVIII.

LIGHT IN DARKNESS.

"FOR WE WALK BY FAITH, NOT BY SIGHT."—2 Cor. v. 7.

In the wisdom of God, and in harmony with the highest purposes of grace, life is so constructed, as to make man feel his own weakness, and his dependance upon Divine power. The recurrence of seasons of trouble and sorrow, makes a perpetual demand upon our faith. Reason tries in vain to disentangle the intricate dispensations of Providence, and nature sinks under the force of innumerable trials, which, like successive waves beat incessantly upon it. The only resource is faith in God; and when once we grasp the sure promise, 'all things work together for good to them that love God;' light springs up in the darkness: and all that comfort, which might arise from a clear discovery of the processes of Providence, is realized in the assurance that all shall be well,—an assurance given by Him who cannot lie, confirmed by an oath, sealed with the blood of Christ, and verified by the experience of God's people in all ages. It is thus the christian's privilege to rejoice always, if not in His afflictions which are grievous, yet in the Lord, who ruleth all things well. Mrs. Lyth knew this to be possible, she aimed at it, and though not always with equal success, she walked by 'faith and not by sight.'

"1843.—I have been privileged to attend the house of God, after an absence of some weeks through affliction; but with grief I confess, that when I first got out to see my daughter, who has also been ill, I neglected the opportunity of social prayer and thanksgiving, that we were again permitted to see each other. My ingratitude stares me in the face. Against Thee, O Lord, against Thee only, have I sinned.—My John is preaching his trial sermon. My husband and servant are hearing him; and I have been alone, praying for him, that he may neither go before, nor stay behind the call of God. I feel the Lord is present, and my heart goes out after Him.—I was called up a little after five to attend upon my daughter-in-law. A beautiful morning. I reproached myself for so often losing the sweet perfume of the morning air. When I arrived the babe was born. So another immortal spirit is added to my family. Praise God, the promise reaches to them all.—Collecting for the missions in one of the poorest districts, we peeped into a comfortless spot, where lived a poor widow with five children. We did not wish to ask for anything, but were obliged to give a reason for our stepping in. The woman said however, that it was a good cause, and she would give us something. This was truly the widow's mite, and will not pass unrewarded.—As soon as I rose from my bed, these lines were upon my tongue before I was aware—

'Mercy's full power, I then shall prove, Lov'd with an everlasting love.'

While repeating them it occurred, this is an answer to prayer last night.—I find it difficult to retain the truths I hear; but, having the law written in my heart, I desire in all things to obey.—The cases of several members of my family press heavily upon my spirit. Eliza continues very weak, and John is in suspense; my only refuge is in taking them to the throne of grace: for it is written, 'Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He will sustain thee.'—The cloud begins to break, and I feel abased before the Lord, that I should have had so little confidence. My daughter is better, and John has received satisfactory information; so I am confident, that in both cases the Lord is mindful of us. Yesterday, while bowed by my daughter's bedside, the light broke in upon my soul, and I believe upon her's too. I felt power to rest upon the Lord, and leave her in His hands: very different from what I have felt before, although I have many times approached the throne, and sometimes caught a glimpse of hope; but this was the broad light of faith."

"Harrogate. What shall I render unto the Lord for all His mercies towards me? I am living in the enjoyment of peace of mind; desiring more of God; distrustful of myself; grieved that I love God no more, and aiming to do better. O Lord, the power impart.—We returned home greater debtors to the Lord than ever, for the mercies both of the upper and nether springs. My husband welcomed me with the class-book in his hand, which at first, I felt reluctant to take, but found a blessing in taking up the Cross.—When I retired to rest, I thought, if the Lord will condescend to give me some passage from Himself, which is not familiar to me, it will strengthen my faith. My request was granted, and the words 'As one, whom his mother comforteth,' occupied my thoughts much of the night, and were first upon my tongue in the morning. I saw my John off by train to Colchester. I feel deeply concerned for his health, and for his spiritual welfare, and for his prosperity in the work in which he is engaged: but if a mother may be heard for her child, (and I believe it,) my poor petitions shall be continually urged at the throne of grace, that he may be all God requires.—A week of toil is past. My husband is under medical advice. I am tried with my servant; my words and actions are misconstrued, but I have been aiming to speak and act as in the sight of God, however imperfectly.—Alone. In two hours the year closes,—a year of unnumbered mercies."

Backward I turn, and view the stream Of mercy rolling rich and free; Here, flashing with a silver gleam; There, tinged with hues of mystery.

Through health and sickness, hope and fear; In griefs imagined, never known, Its current flowed, my heart to cheer; And light upon my pathway shone,

But ah! what poor returns are mine! How weak my faith! my love, how cold! Yet will I praise Thee, 'I am Thine,' Thy faithful promise still I hold:

Distrusting self, I come to Thee, My vileness in Thy wounds to hide; When foes assail, to Thee I flee, And in Thy changeless love confide.

Then speed, ye fleeting years, your flight; I will not mourn the period gone; But hasten to my home in light: Eventful, rapid years, roll on!

"Eleven o'clock. I desire most unreservedly to surrender myself to the Lord; to be wholly His. Amen."

"1844. In my walks through the city, I met with the Rev. Thomas Richardson, who, kindly accosting me, inquired after my husband's health and requested me to tell him, 'to be careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer, and supplication, with thanksgiving, to make known his wants and requests unto God.' He added, 'I remember what you once said to me, 'What thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; but the children of this world are wiser than the children of light; and I fear this is sadly neglected;'—with additional kind advice. To my mind it was a word in season, and my heart warmed with the kind admonition.—I went to see Mrs. L., and was much surprised to find her daughter, who is in attendance upon her, lying ill on a bed by the side of her mother's. After a little conversation with her I prayed, and then turned and spoke a few words to the mother, and again we united in prayer. I asked the young woman if she found it good, and, though scarcely able to speak, she clasped her hands and said, 'Very—very.' A little after seven the same evening, she expired, in the bloom of youth.—The President, the Rev. John Scott, and Dr. Newton came to York to advocate the cause of education. A tea was provided. I was one of the Committee, and hoped to have had the opportunity of hearing those honoured servants of the Lord; but ah! we are dust. My dear husband, after rising from dinner, was preparing to go, when he was seized with an attack of paralysis. (This being the second). I immediately sent for medical aid, and the Lord graciously blessed the means, and now, I hope, the stroke is turned aside. So the purpose of meeting our friends was frustrated; but this is for our good. My mind was kept in peace.—Visited Mary R., who is fast sinking,—she said with rapture, 'Jesus is here, Jesus is here.' I am since informed, that she has triumphed over her last enemy, waving her hand, and shouting, 'Glory!'—A very blustering night. Waking a little after three, I rose to pray, and found the watchful Keeper of Israel ready to listen to my early cry. I begged Him, if it pleased Him, to give me sleep, and wake me at five. I laid down, slept, and when I awoke, looked at my watch, which was just five minutes to five. I felt, and still feel my obligations to the Lord, and am resolved to commit myself to His guidance.—My birthday. I awoke a little after three, and arose at half-past four, with these words upon my mind, 'Who will consecrate his services this day unto the Lord?' My heart responds, 'I will.' Yes, Lord, Thou, who seest the breathing desires of my heart, and only knowest its wanderings, discover to me if there is any secret iniquity lurking there. As far as I know, I am sincere, and would be wholly Thine. My soul is happy. I am Thine. Saw Mrs. N. again. When I entered the room she seemed quite exhausted, but recovering a little said, 'O, I have had such a deliverance since I saw you! After a severe struggle with the enemy, I could not help saying aloud, Bless the Lord, I can believe without a doubt or fear; I throw myself upon Christ.' But you will think me better than I am. I have been a poor loiterer. I have not let my light shine as I ought. What did I say?' 'I repeated all I could recollect.' 'Yes,' she said, 'it is all true; give my love to my dear sisters (meaning her classmates), and tell them to make much of their religion. I love them all.'—My mind is solemnly impressed. Death is taking away my friends on all hands. Well, a little while, and we shall see the end. May we be blessed as they are, and as free. Happy am I to learn that Mrs. N., when conversing with her husband, an hour or two before her departure, said, 'I shall soon be with Christ; go to bed, and I will try to go to sleep.' She did so, and woke no more, literally falling asleep in Jesus.—I have this morning felt depressed with the thought of being closed up in the earth; surely this is from an enemy, for when death has done its work, what matters where the body is? There is nothing I desire so much as to live and die a Christian. I hold fast the hope through Christ; yet I cannot perceive improvement, although I have at times been much led out in prayer. Last night, while meditating on my state, with earnest prayer for the direct witness of the renewal of my nature, the assurance was given, 'I have graven thee on the palms of my hands.' I want not to spend, but to redeem the time with Mrs. D. Called to see Mrs. T., who is very weak in body, but trusting in the Lord. I knelt down to pray, and had not uttered many words before she broke out in prayer and praise, expressive of her firm confidence in the Lord Jesus. It was a melting season. It is encouraging to see the power of grace thus manifested in the midst of pain and weakness, and bearing up the subjects of it.—We met to make fresh arrangements for the Clothing Society, when, much against my own will, I was reappointed Treasurer: but, as it is a cross, I will try to take it up.—Took tea with my daughter. All the preachers and their wives were present. I was both pained and profited,—profited in singing and prayer, and pained whilst endeavouring to defend an absent brother.—Resigned my office in connexion with the sewing-meeting with peace of mind. Yet, on reviewing the three years during which I have held it, I can only say, unprofitable servant; for, although I have endeavoured to please God in the faithful discharge of my duty, my doings have been mixed with much imperfection. Called to see a young woman in the small-pox, who is crying for mercy. I have visited her several times. Her cry continues, mingled with the hope that God will save her. I am sure gratitude ought continually to burn upon the altar of my heart. Even when passing through darkness, light has sprang up to illumine the path; but when I consider my returns, I am filled with humiliation. What shall I do? I will try to do better; Lord, help me, I am Thine."

I am Thine by purchase great, Made, redeemed, sustained by Thee; By surrender, now I wait All Thy pleasure upon me.

"1845. Took tea with Mrs. W., and had the opportunity of urging her husband to seek the salvation of his soul.—My dear Eliza was this morning again made a mother. Another little boy to put in the covenant grant. Just as I write the promise is given, 'Thy children shall be all taught of God, and great shall be the peace of thy children.' So may it be; I desire nothing more. This afternoon I have had a fall, and was miraculously preserved from injury. I record it as an acknowledgment of the kind care which providence has exercised over me. What will be the end of these struggles respecting Maynooth College? Will Romanism or Protestantism prevail?—I saw Mrs. R. three times today; the second she expressed hope in God; the third the power of speech was gone. Awful crisis! Standing on the edge of two worlds! It was a solemn moment. While engaged in prayer I felt access. How needful to be ready!—Near midnight. I have this week been endeavouring 'to reckon myself dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God.' My faith is sometimes strong, at others feeble; but my purpose to hold fast the blessing was never more fixed. Thou, who at this moment beholdest the inmost recesses of my heart, and who, by Thy Spirit, givest me inward peace, keep me from this hour; and help me confidently, through the merits of Christ, to confess with my mouth what my heart believes—that 'the blood of Jesus Christ Thy Son cleanseth me from all sin.'—Again visited Mrs. B. The last time I saw her she wept, and appeared to feel much; but I was afraid she was imagining she had attained what she had not, and resolved to call again at the first opportunity. I found the Lord had been powerfully working on her mind. She felt it such a mercy that the Lord had not cut her off in her sins, that she had wrestled with the Lord until He removed her load of misery, and communicated peace: this is the Lord's doing.—All is still; only the moan of my afflicted cousin, in her slumbers, falls upon my ear. The clouds of evening are richly tinted as the shadows of night draw on. My soul enjoys sweet tranquillity. Jesus' merits being the only refuge of my soul. When I asked cousin the state of her mind, she said, 'Sometimes I have no doubt, at others I am perplexed;' and then added, with tears, 'Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.'"

Oh! what is life? a passing cloud, Tinged with a rainbow light; But let the sun his glory shroud, Where is the vision bright?

'Tis past and gone, and in its place, Nought but the cloud appears: It is the Sun of righteousness Must gild this vale of tears.

"Fulfilled some errands on the Lord's account. Passing a spot where a person once a member resided, I called to see how her mind was affected now. She was much pleased, and said the Lord had sent me, as she was wishing to see me, having had her desires after eternal life revived. Some others, to whom I was directed, were equally disposed to unite themselves with the people of God.—Two days ago cousin evidently altered for the worse; she has spoken little, but been remarkably patient, through her protracted affliction. This morning she expressed her confidence in God; and a few minutes after eleven her happy spirit returned to God. We sorrow, but not without hope,—Her remains were conveyed to Sinnington for interment. Past recollections seemed to drink up my spirit; only one survivor—upon the spot—of all those whom long association has endeared to me. We called upon Mr. B.; but ah! how changed! completely paralyzed,—apparently incapable of much impression, and yet, I fear, unsaved! I spoke to him, and also his son, on the necessity of making their peace with God, and then prayed with them; but my mind was afterward pained because I had done the work so inefficiently.—The last fortnight I have several times visited a little boy, sinking in decline. When first I saw him, he appeared quite ignorant of his sinful condition; but divine light has gradually beamed upon his soul. The last time, he expressed a confidence I had not observed before. His mother tells me, she has often heard him engaged in earnest prayer; and once, perceiving him much worse, she said, 'Bill, thou's very ill.' 'Yes,' he replied, 'but I shall soon be better.' When near death, he asked, 'Do you see who's come for me?' she said, 'No, who is it?' He answered, 'Jesus;' and clasping his hands, said repeatedly, 'Lord, help me!' then placing them together, under his head, gently passed away.—While endeavouring to do my Master's will, I carry my heaven about with me. My soul enjoys peace, with a deep sense of my own nothingness. 'Christ is all; other refuge have I none.'"

All praise to God, whose sleepless eye, Observed my tender years; And blessed me with parental love, Parental prayers and tears.

Through every lane of life I trace His providential care; In many a time of need, His grace And guardian hand were there.

His still small voice of love I heard, When in the blush of youth; I paused, and listened to the word Of everlasting truth.

Resolved I was, and re-resolved, But many a conflict knew; Till God, in Christ, my sins absolved, And unbelief o'erthrew.

What shall I render to the Lord? What can a sinner do? I'll rest upon His precious word, And take His grace anew.



XIX.

THE INWARD MONITOR.

"THE LORD SHALL GUIDE THEE CONTINUALLY."—Isaiah lviii. 11.

Who, that is conscious of the solemn responsibility of life, and of the perils by which it is beset, but feels the necessity of continual direction? How many emergencies daily arise, in which there is need of wisdom superior to our own? Oh for a Mentor, whose constant presence and unerring counsels might always guide us aright! The aspiration is not in vain. God himself, offers to be the guide of His people. He will put His Spirit in them, who shall abide with them always, and guide them in the way of all truth. But how? Not by some irresistible impulse, which overpowers the action of human will, or by some new revelation, which would render unnecessary the ordinary means of religious instruction; but by the lessons of His holy word, which is brought to the mind in the moment of requirement; for the Holy Spirit brings to our remembrance whatsoever is there revealed for our comfort and instruction. This shows the importance, not only of the constant and diligent study of the Word of God, but of storing the memory, while it is yet fresh and vigorous, with Scripture truth: for it is obvious, that cannot be brought to our remembrance, which was never known. Further, we must ask for direction, committing all our ways to Him; and when He graciously indicates the path of duty, at once obey. He who acts upon these principles will never

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