Imágenes de páginas

Visits to the poor.

a cancer.

" Anzonetta listened with fixed attention, while a tear often stood in her eye. As we retired, she remarked,

"• What simplicity, and faith, and love, that woman displays. Where did she learn all this? Do you not think the Holy Spirit has been her teacher ?' Then she said • This interview has done me more good than a sermon, for the preacher tells me what a Christian should be, but in her I see what a Christian is.'

“ We repeated our visit, and joined in singing and prayer with her. A few months after she died in the Lord, and entered into his rest.

" Another instance I well remember. It occurred the following spring. Anzonetta came in one day and said • There is a poor woman living some distance up town, will you go with me to see her ?' We started immediately. On our way she told me, that the person was labouring under severe disease, which would probably prove fatal, and that she was unprepared to die. In a little room, we found a coloured woman alone, suffering acutely from

She was not able to sit up, but recognising in Anzonetta a friend, who had been kind to her, she received us cordially. We asked poor Betsey what her hopes were beyond the grave. Her mind was dark and comfortless. She wept much as she related the hardships she had undergone during her past life. Though she did not clearly realize the extreme peril of her situation, yet uncertainty and gloom rested upon the future. During the recital, the deepest commiseration and sympathy were depicted upon the countenance of Anzonetta. Her heart bled for her. She bent over her pillow, and in a soft voice told her of heaven, where tears shall for ever be wiped away. Then she tried to point out to her the way to gain that blessed abode, and sought to lead her to repentance. Betsey, however, did not seem willing to acknowledge her sinfulness, but repeated again and again her favourite remark—That she had always tried to do the best she could.' Anzonetta's efforts were then directed to one point, to convince her of her native depravity, and of her need of Christ. She prayed for the enlightening influences of the Holy Spirit to come and shed illumination into this benighted mind. Her whole heart was engaged in her behalf. But not content with her own endeavours, she went

The love of children.

to her pastor, and conducted him to the bedside of this object of her solicitude. Her visits and his were oft repeated for several weeks—she read to her the Bible and repeated hymns. One day she had the satisfaction of hearing Betsey declare,

" • I have been praying many times since you were here, God be merciful to me a sinner.'

“ After this, Anzonetta took great delight in revealing to her the only way of access to the Father. She told her the story of a Saviour's dying love, and mentioned the simple condition of salvation to the penitent- Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.' The poor woman was enabled to embrace the offer of mercy through this Redeemer. Her mind became peaceful, the fear of death was taken away ; she looked to him who is mighty to save.'

There was hope in her end." Anzonetta had naturally a great love for children, and after she had surrendered her heart to the Saviour, there was given to this amiable affection a proper and heavenly direction. It became her great and constant delight to lead little children to the feet of the Saviour, and teach them to lisp his praise.

“She looked upon them,” says her mother, “as the lambs of Christ ; and her aim was to bring all those over whom she could exert any influence, to the fold of the good Shepherd. Her love to them was of the most gentle and devoted nature. Her little cousins engaged a large portion of her time and attention. She marked the dawning of their intellect, observed the bent of their minds, and the force of their tempers, and endeavoured to instil into their infant hearts love to the Saviour. In her manners toward them she was kind, affectionate, and firm; and her patience was untiring. She taught them to lisp the infant prayer, to repeat the infant hymn, and told them of a Saviour's love to little children; that he left the bright throne of his glory, and came to this earth to die upon the cross, that these little children might be washed in his blood from their sins, and clothed in white raiment to dwell with him for ever. When angry or improper tempers disturbed their peace, she tried to make them feel contrition for their fault, as an offence against

Attention as a Sunday-school teacher.

God. Her prayers were offered with them and for them. She once observed in reference to one of these little ones,

"This child gives promise of becoming an early subject of divine grace. My instructions are the same to them all, but this little one treasures up in her memory what I tell her, and divine truth seems to influence her actions. When I reprove her in reference to the risings of self-will, she sometimes is very unyielding, but when her temper is subdued she shows great contrition. Her conscience is tender. When made sensible of having done wrong, her mind is distressed until she thinks God has forgiven her."

On these occasions she would come to me and say,

66.Cousin, will you please to let me kneel down by you and pray to God to forgive me, and make me a good child ? I have been very naughty, and I am afraid God is angry with me; and I can't go to heaven if I am naughty.'

««• After repeating her little prayer, she would ask me,'

66 • Will God forgive me now, and wash me in Jesus Christ's blood, and let me be one of his little lambs?'

“ She is always ready to listen to me when I tell her of the Saviour's love, and will often leave her play to ask me something of God and holy things.

What a beautiful stamp and impression does this love of children have when it becomes thus consecrated to Christ. This amiable affection, so sweetly allied to the spirit of the gospel, found an appropriate field for its full development in the Sunday-school. The manner in which she discharged her duty in that field of labour, is thus happily portrayed by one of her coadjutors.

“ As a Sunday-school teacher she was most assiduous and exemplary. She was a pattern for punctuality. The superintendent at the opening of the school, found her at her post. When unavoidably detained, she invariably expressed her regret, saying, I have suffered loss this morning, for the preparatory exercises always tend to 80lemnize my mind, and fit me to discharge my duty.' Her whole time while in the school was devoted to her class. Not only did she use her utmost diligence to explain the lesson, but her chief object was to apply the truth ihey were considering to the consciences of her scholars. The little girls soon learned to love her, and listened with

Faithfulness in the Sunday-school.

attention to her gentle instructions. She was very conscientious in the regular visiting of her class, and though this, owing to her natural timidity and diffidence, and her youth, was a trial to her feelings, yet she did not suffer herself to shrink from it.

“ Perhaps no one ever felt more deeply the solemn responsibilities of this station. She used to act in this matter under the impression, that she must give an account of the manner in which she instructed her class. Her main object was to bring them to Christ. By many expedients she sought to allure them to seek their Saviour's pardoning love. On new year's day, she presented each one with a little book, bound in a neat attractive form, entitled • The Dew Drop,' containing one verse of Scripture for each day in the year. She remarked to me, My little girls are not much acquainted with the word of God, and this only can make them wise unto salvation. When I gave them “The Dew Drop," they promised to learn one verse every day. In this way they will lay up a treasure of texts, and perhaps it will induce them to love their Bibles more.'

" There were times when her class lay with great weight upon her heart. It was during the last summer that her health allowed her to attend the school, that she felt a peculiar anxiety for the salvation of their souls. She prayed much for them in private.

She has sometimes expressed to me these deep tender feelings which were too osten hid within the recesses of her own breast. One day she came to me looking very sad. Soon after entering she burst into tears ; then said,

66. Oh! what shall I do for my class, my little girls are so thoughtless, and the impressions they receive on Sunday, not being cherished by their parents at home, are soon effaced, and when they come to me the next Sunday, they are giddy as ever. But,' said she, I cannot do the work, I desire to give them all up into His hands, who has said, Suffer little children to come unto me.” Will you not join me in praying for them ?'

si And when she witnessed any token for good, any growing seriousness, any improvement in their deportment, or any increased diligence, she rejoiced and gave thanks with great joy."

Sketch of Anzonetta.

She was

One who knew her intimately, and had an opportunity of observing her daily walk, remarks,

“ She took no human being for her standard, but resolved to follow the meek and lowly Jesus. often depressed with a view of her own sinfulness, and yet none that knew her ever witnessed in her after she began to tread the narrow path, one act of impatience, of self-will, or of unkindness. She never relaxed her Christian duties ; she never lost sight for one moment of the paramount and priceless value of eternal things. She felt and acted upon the conviction that religion is not to be confined to the closet or the sanctuary ; that it is not to be put on as a garment for the occasional service of God, and then laid aside for the pleasures of the world, but to be an abiding principle of action, and the great business of life. While religion was made to have a bearing upon all her words and actions, and her walk was indeed close with God, she had no idea that she was in any respect a pattern, or example for others. There was no display; no vain glorying in herself ; harsh censure of others who walked not as she walked. Indeed she was ever ready to esteem others better than herself. When she saw professing Christians showing, by their worldly-mindedness and unsanctified passions, that the same mind was not in them that was in Christ, her heart was then pained, and tears would gush in silent grief from her eyes, to think that her divine Master was wounded in the house of his friends."

To convey a still more accurate idea of the character of this young, lovely and devoted Christian, I will here introduce some remarks from a female friend of hers, to whom she was much attached.

“Her whole appearance was peculiarly interesting from the first. Of her I could emphatically say at the first inter



[blocks in formation]

I loved the other girls with whom we at this time associated, but not as I loved her. My heart was drawn out towards her, as it never was towards any other. There

« AnteriorContinuar »