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Trust in God.
a fourth opposite us, as I sat here and heard the groans all around us, and saw the hearse drive by every half hour, I thought, surely I and my family will not escape. We shall probably in the course of a few days be huddled together, with those now dying around us, in one common grave. For a few moments my heart sunk within me, and a cloud came over my soul. But then these words came into my mind-'Why art thou cast down, O my soul, and why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God; for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.' And then all my fears quickly vanished. "Several other passages also came into my mind which gave me great comfort. When thou passest through the waters I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee; when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.' 'He shall cover thee with his feathers; and under his wings shalt thou trust; his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night, nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness, nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand, but it shall not come nigh thee.' After my mind had been directed to these promises I felt so resigned to the will of God, and such a confidence in his character, that I can truly say that I never was more cheerful or happy than I was during the whole season of the cholera. The Lord provided for all our wants, and literally fulfilled his promise in protecting us. Not one of the family had the least attack of that disease of which so many died."
In the sketch that I have here attempted to draw, the reader may form some idea of the purposes and designs of the Divine Being in sending affliction upon the children of He may also see the happy result of the divine dispensations which at first put on a most terrific appearance, as though the great God of heaven had verily become
our implacable adversary. The reader may find it profitable to ponder these things; and if he is treading through the deep waters-if calamity of any description has overtaken him-if sickness, or sorrow, or any blighting evil which "flesh is heir to," is weighing down his spirits, and covering all his future pathway as with a dense and impenetrable cloud, I would say to him--“ My friend, submit yourself to the mighty hand of God. Seek to know his will; ask him to send out his light, and his truth, that they may guide and lead you to his holy hill. And in the end you will be able to add your testimony to that great company that have gone before you up the thorny steep to heaven, and say, It is good for me that I have been afflicted."
In my early days, I used frequently to stroll through the garden of a friend, that was laid out upon the most extended plan, and kept with great neatness and care. There was within this enclosure such a variety of objects, and yet so tastefully disposed-such an assemblage of shrubs, and trees, and plants, and flowers-that one almost felt, as he passed along through this scene, that he was walking through the fabled Elysian fields. What added to the pleasure of a ramble · over these grounds was, that ordinarily every thing around appeared calm and quiet; the garden being the property of a private individual, who designed it as a place of recreation merely for himself and his friends. It was delightful to go there, just as the day faded into twilight, and, amid the odour-bearing shrubs that stood thick around, to inhale the balmy breath of evening; or to tread those pleasant walks, just as the day dawned, when the commingled strains
The young peach tree.
The broken limb.
of the feathered tribes sounded so melodiously, and the balmy breath of morning met the lungs with such grateful and invigorating influence.
In this garden there was a young peach tree, of a choice kind, that had been obtained with great expense and difficulty. It was now growing thriftily, and was the pride of the gardener, who daily watched it with great care. At length, upon the opening of spring, this favourite tree became covered with blossoms. As the season advanced, several beautiful peaches were seen hanging from one of its most luxuriant branches. These grew fair and large, and at length ripened into most delicious fruit.
On a certain occasion, about the time that these peaches attained maturity, a large party of gay and fashionable young people, the guests of the proprietor of these grounds, strolled through these shaded and flowery walks to regale themselves upon the fruit that on every hand met the eye, and to enjoy the beauty of the scene. The peaches on this favourite tree attracted some eye, and in an effort to obtain them, the branch on which they grew was torn down. Never shall I forget the appearance of the gardener, as I approached this tree the next morning. He stood, with sadness and perplexed anxiety depicted upon his countenance, looking at the drooping branch, which was still attached to its parent stock by the rind and a small portion of the woody substance. With great care he lifted up the limb, pressing it back to its proper place, and confining it there with bandages. But it did not avail. The leaves faded, and the whole branch, to all appearance, became withered. The gardener, however, did not give it over. He cut off a considerable portion of the withered limb, and continued to make applications to the remaining part to resuscitate it, till at length he succeeded in drawing forth the indications of vitality. The branch again put forth leaves, and by degrees became firmly and permanently attached to its native stock. A lesson of moral instruction was conveyed to my mind by the watchfulness and care,
First religious impressions.
the anxiety and persevering effort of this gardener. I was reminded of what God was doing for the plants in his spiritual garden, and of the manner in which he revives the withered branches that sin tears down. This thought came up powerfully before my mind when, at a subsequent period, I was led to contemplate the facts which will be be presented in the narrative that follows. The reader, as he proceeds, will therefore distinctly see the ground upon which this brief biographical sketch is denominated “THE
WITHERED BRANCH REVIVED.
Emma B- was reared most tenderly by affectionate parents. She entered upon life a stranger to sorrow, and with a heart that looked for its happiness amid the gay scenes of earthly vanity. But God, who cared more for her than she did for herself, so ordered things, in his providence, that a message of salvation was brought effectually to her heart at that very period in life when the pleasures of the world appear most fascinating. There was brought to her mind such a view of the preciousness of Christ, that she was willing to relinquish all, to be permitted to sit at his feet. The instrumentality by which her attention was first arrested and fixed on divine things, was the preaching of an eminent servant of the Lord, who has since been removed, by the great Head of the church, from the charge of a single parish to a wider field of labour, where he continues to receive multiplied tokens that the work of the Lord is prospering in his hands.
The first time I met Emma B― was at my ordinary Bible class. Her appearance was altogether prepossessing, and the facts communicated to me in relation to her case, enlisted in her behalf the warmest sympathies and holiest affections of my soul. Circumstances at this time had transpired to place her beyond the reach of the faithful ministrations of that much loved herald of the cross, who had been the instrument of calling her from darkness to light. The church, upon whose stated ministry her family had decided to attend, did not, at that time, enjoy those