Imágenes de páginas

Sketch of Anzonetta.

was an entire accordance in our views, and, I was going to say, feelings. But no, her feelings were far deeper than mine.

Still our sentiments were all in unison, our pursuits one.

“Oh! what a tender heart she had. I used sometimes to think she was all sensibility ; but there was strength of mind and vigour of intellect combined with it. And then in her there was such sincerity! It was the result of the Spirit's operations. She was honest and true; she was an Israelite indeed, in whom was no guile.' She was extremely timid and reserved. Generally her words were few, but they were weighty, and to the purpose. I do not remember ever to have heard her speak one idle word. The peculiar sweetness and gentleness of her manners were irresistible in winning the sympathy and affection of all who witnessed them, and imparted to her society a charm that is indescribable.

"Oh! she loved her Saviour. He was the theme of her meditations. Of him she delighted to speak. She loved to tread in his footsteps. Especially, her mind bore the divine impress, in that she was meek and lowly. From the time that she devoted her heart to the service of her God, she sought to find the strait and narrow way. She practised much self-denial, and took up her daily cross. As her Saviour rose up a great while before day, and retired to a desert place and there prayed, so it was her uniform custom, to rise up hours before the family, and seek her Father's blessing at the early dawn. And often during the day she retired to her chamber, to wait upon the Lord, that she might renew her strength. And so fervent was she, at these seasons, and so anxious to obtain the blessing she was petitioning for, that her words would escape her unawares, and be heard in the adjoining apartment. In her was fulfilled the gracious promise, • They that seek me early shall find me. Several different times I well recollect that she has come to see me, having her countenance illuminated with joy, and her eyes glistening with meek gratitude, and said, How good the Lord is. He manifested himself to me when at prayer. I could lay hold of the promises, and feel them mine. Often she would say, "The Saviour has manifested himself to my soul today.'

Sketch of Anzonetta.

“Oh! how very tender was her conscience. She had studied the Bible closely, and formed her standard of duty from its broad and holy precepts, and she brought her conduct regularly to the test of this holy law. What wonder is it then that she always had to complain of herself. By looking into the perfect law and upon the perfect pattern, she had continually before her eyes a sense of her own deficiency. This produced constant self-abasement, and a penitential sorrow, and caused her to have repeated recourse to the blood of sprinkling, and greatly endeared to her the Saviour.

“Oh! how deep was her humility. It seemed as if she could never get low enough before God. She was clothed

- yes, she was clothed with humility. This humility, with her meek and lowly temper, shone most conspicuous throughout her Christian course. It was remarked of her by one who knew her well— She was the most humble Christian I have ever seen. She was little, Oh! how little in her own eyes. Even after having received those rich consolations which the Saviour imparted, and a good hope through grace, she would often say, ' Mine is a wandering heart, I have not lived so strictly to-day as I ought.' Again she would say, · Mine is a hard heart, Oh that it was more penitent, more broken for sin.'

“I could often learn the state of her mind by a single expression. When with Christians she was generally silent, but listened with great interest. It was her frequent practice to call for me and accompany me to church. As we went she would speak of the great privileges we were favoured with, and anticipated the sacred service with delight. But often we walked silently along with hearts uplifted, that God would smile upon our pastor, and bless his labours. I loved to have her sit by my side in the sanctuary, for the entire devotion of her behaviour showed that her mind was abstracted from earthly things, and fixed in holy contemplation. She was never afraid of carrying matters too far in religion. She was dead to the world and alive to God; yes, her piety was of the first order. Faithfulness was characteristic of Anzonetta. I have found it profitable to trace her character by the light of God's word, and been delighted to find all the fruits of the Spirit


Sketch of Anzonetta.

flourishing there. Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.'

“ As she advanced in the divine life she became more fully aware of the deep-rooted depravity of her nature, of the hidden evils lurking in her heart. Month after month she would repeat the remark, ' I see more and more of my sinfulness, I see how exceeding sinful the least sin is. Hence her prayers ascended without ceasing— Make me a clean heart, O Lord; cleanse the thoughts of my heart by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.” During the spring and summer of 1832 she grew in grace rapidly, proportioned to the ardour of her pursuit. She attained a great degree of heavenly mindedness. While engaged in ordinary duties and occupations, it was noticed by those around her that her mind was elevated in reflections upon things above. Yes, her heart was with her Saviour, and her conversation in heaven. She had learned the happy art of living above the world, while busily occupied with it. She was ever diligent, very diligent' in her employments, at the same time fervent in spirit. It was during this summer, which was the last that I saw of her, until upon her sick bed, that I observed a peculiar love and tenderness, and softness of manner, towards her Christian friends. She was soft and gentle as a dove. I observed an increased relish for devotional duties. It was at this time, you will recollect, that our little morning meetings were held.* She enjoyed them very much; she expressed to me her great desire that the impenitent might be led to seek salvation. She longed to see the cause of Christ prosper, and his church enlarged. For her aunts and uncles she expressed great anxiety, and especially for her Sunday-school class, watching over them, praying and weeping over them. She had her walk at this time very close with God. There was a loftiness of purpose about her, a noble spirit, and a high aim, which was displayed in all she said and did. She was elevated above the little pursuits and fashions of this world.

There was purity residing within and shining forth: yes, nothing describes that nameless something about her so well as purity. Apparently there was nought of the alloy of earth connected

* Meetings for prayer at sunrise during the season of the cholera.

Sickness of Anzonetta.

with her. She towered above, like a purified spirit, yet she was low in the vale of humility.”

Though I should be happy to extend this sketch still further, I must hasten to give you a view of this young

Christian upon her sick and dying bed. Her last illness was protracted. Many days of pain and wearisome nights were appointed unto her. She lay long on the couch of languishing, her frame wasting down to death, till, in the language of the psalmist, “ her beauty had departed,”_" her strength was dried up like a potsherd, and her tongue clave to her jaws." Still she counted it all joy that she had been brought into these trials, knowing, as she did, that the trying of her faith would work patience. She was well persuaded that this trial was necessary, and she remembered with much comfort these words : « The trial of your faith being much more precious than gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise, and honour, and glory, at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” And of him, in her case, it might well be said, “whom not having seen she loved ; in whom, though now she saw him not, yet believing, she rejoiced with joy unspeakable and full of glory.”

A slight attack of the cholera, in the summer of 1832, shattered her delicate constitution, and induced a debility and decline from which she never recovered. Her health gradually gave way, till at length she could scarcely rise from her bed. She became so feeble that the slightest effort would bring on such a complete prostration of all the powers of nature as to threaten immediate dissolution. During these paroxysms of exhaustion, the senses seemed locked up, and the soul, though retaining its powers of thought, memory and consciousness, usually became utterly insensible to external objects. For many months previous to her decease, she was not free from these attacks for a single day, and life with her seemed every hour like an expiring taper, which the slightest breath might put out.

She suffered much, no one can tell how much; but she never complained. If at any time, in answer to inquiries put to her, she acknowledged that her body was racked with pain, she would immediately check herself and say,

“But this is not suffering-my Saviour suffered, and

Sickness of Anzonetta.

when I think of the garden of Gethsemane and the hill of Calvary, all my anguish is soothed.”

In early life she had been much distressed with the fear of death. Indeed it was this that first led her to serious reflection. At the commencement of her illness, occasional shadows of gloom were thrown over her mind in view of approaching dissolution, but they were soon entirely dispersed beneath the bright and steady beaming and fullorbed splendour of the sun of righteousness.

From memoranda put into my hands, I copy the following record, dated the fourth of August. Her decease did not occur till November.

“ She was very weak throughout the whole of this day, In the evening her debility increased. An alarming exhaustion, accompanied with cold sweat, came on. During this paroxysm, her limbs stiffened as if in death. Her feelings were new to her, and she said,

"Mother, I feel very strangely, very strangely; what do you think this is ? Do you think this is death ?'

“Her mother replied, “Very probably it is.'

" . I think it is,' said she, and if this is death it is not hard to die. I have been afraid of death, but God is with me, and all fear is removed. At times I have thought it would be hard to part with you, dear mother, for I have loved you tenderly. I wished to live to contribute to your comfort, and in some measure to repay your kind attentions. This, probably, is very short sighted in me. I ought to leave every thing in the hands of God, and I now feel that I am going to Him, and I know that his love surpasseth that of any earthly parent: for he says,

Can a mother's tender care
Cease towards the child she bare
Yes, she may forgetful be,
Yet will I remember thee.
Mine is an unchanging love,
Higher than the heigbth above,
Deeper than the depths beneath,
Free and faithful, strong as death.

The love of a kind and devoted mother appears to me very great, but the love of God is still greater.

“ The exhaustion which at this time came over her

« AnteriorContinuar »