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earlier days, his athletic constitution' began to give way, and he died, exelaiming,.“ Though I have lost all my worldly substance yet the pearl of great price is still mine." The insolvency of her father shook public confidence in the commercial respectablity of her husband, who was soon obliged to call together his creditors, and though there was more than enough property to meet their demands; yet, by making him a bankrupt, they did not receive quite half their amount. When his affairs were wound up, and he had obtained his certificate, bis friends raised a subscription for him and he recommenced business ; but the hand of the Lord was against him, and he could not succeed.
An interesting daughter, who, from the age of seven years, had been seeking the Lord God of her fathers was so overwhelmed by the afflictions of her honoured parents, that she fell into a decline ; and though there were some bright beams of hope occasionally gilding the prospect of her recovery, yet at last, the night of death came on, and sealed up the vision. The father, who was a man of a very delicate frame, gradually sunk beneath his accumulated trials, and left his widow with a son, without any resources for their future maintenance.
* The world was all before them, where to choose
Their place of rest, and Providence their guide." Her son was sent to a boarding school, where he was educated at the expence of his uncle; and as the place of her nativity had lost all its power of attraction, she chose to retire to the lonely cottage in which she has ever since resided, where he who multiplied the widow's oil, has never suffered her to want any good thing.
As she was relating this tale of woe, the tear occasionally fell from her eye, yet there was a dignified composure in her countenance, which led me to make the following remark: “I presume, Madam, from your manner, that though you have met with such severe losses, you have not lost your peace.” Sir,” she replied, “I have in this cottage enjoyed more of the divine presence, than I ever enjoyed in the days of prosperity, and would not willingly return
to the world to hazard the loss of my spiritual felicity, if I could obtain its highest prizes. I know, Sir, that my afflictions have been sent by my heavenly Father, who is too wise to err, and too good to act onkindly. He has designs to accomplish, by his dispensations, which may appear to us mysterious, because unknown, but though clouds and darkness are round about him, yet righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne. I now find the wells of salvation yield sweeter waters than when they were resorted to in former times, and from this humble vale my prospect of future glory is brighter and more animating than when I stood on the pinnacle of prosperity.”
On expressing my surprise, that she could willingly reside where the “ means of grace' could not be enjoyed, she informed me that she enjoyed these privia leges. “If, Sir, you look in that direction, you will see a spire rising among the trees which adorn the brow of yonder hill. In that church the gospel is preached in its purity, and the Rector, who is an amiable man, usually preaches on Sabbath morning, when I attend. In the afternoon, I stay at home, and meditate on what I have heard ; and in the evening, I go to hear .a most excellent minister of Christ, who preaches in a small Dissenting Meeting, at the other end of our hamlet.” Then, Madam, you are no bigot ?” “No, Sir; I love all who love Christ; and to me it is immaterial where I go, if I can obtain an interview with Him, whom unseen, I love." " As the Gospel is preached in your hamlet, I suppose you have met with some with whom you can enjoy the sweetest fellowship.” “Yes, Sir, the Lord has a few in this modern Sardis, who have escaped the general pollution, and are walking worthy their high vocation. We meet once in the week for prayer versation, and I assure you, that we have times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord.” ever had any conversation with a pious shepherd, whose flock passes through your beautiful vale ?"
O yes, Sir, he is often our chaplain. The word of Christ dwells in him richly. He has an excellent gift in prayer, He is an Israelite indeed."
But do you never wish, Madam, to return back among a more
• Have you
crowded population, where you might enjoy a more extensive intercourse with the religious world ?" "No, Sir; I have lived long enough to know, that a few select friends, whose minds are uncontaminated by the censorious spirit of the age, are a richer prize than a promiscuous throng, enslaved and governed by sectarian prejudices."
The room in which we were mutually enjoying this friendly conversation, was neatly furnished; a few pictures, hung in a graceful form, decorated one of the side walls, and a small library was placed in the centre of the opposite. I arose, and among the books, I found a copy of Robinson's Village Sermons. On taking the book from the shelf, I observed, Robinson was an extraordinary man, but the eventide of his life was comparative darkness.” “ Yes, Sir, it was; but the productions of his mind have often yielded me pure mental enjoyment, and if you will permit, I will read to you a paragraph from one of his sermons, which I never read, without bearing a personal testimony to its correctness :- Is it a benefit to understand the spirit and see the beauty of the Holy Scriptures ? Afflictions teach Christians the worth of their Bibles, and so wrap up their hearts in the oracles of God. The Bible is but an insipid book to us before afflictions bring us to feel the want of it, and then how many comfortable passages do we find which lay neglected and unknown before! I recollect an instance in a history of some who fled from presecution in this country, to that then wild desert, America. Among many other hardships, they were sometimes in such straits for bread, that the very crusts of their former tables in England would have been a dainty to them. Necessity drove the women and children to the sea side to look for a ship expected to bring them provisions; but no ship for many weeks appeared; however, they saw in the sands vast quantities of shell fish, since called clams, a sort of muscles. Hunger impelled them to taste, and at length they fed almost wholly on them, and to their own astonishment were as cheerful, fat, and lusty as they had been in England with their fill, of the best provisions. A worthy man one day, after they had all dined op clams with
out bread, returned God thanks for causing them to suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the sand, a passage in the 33d chapter of Deuteronomy, a part of the blessing with which Moses blessed the tribe of Zebulun before his death ; a passage, till then unobserved by the company, but which ever after endeared the writings of Moses to them.”
Just as she was finishing the extract, a farmer looking man came to the door and said that he had got a letter, which Mrs. Lewellin received, and opened with eagerness. She wept as she read, and when she had done, she involuntarily exclaimed—“O George ! my son, my son !" Unwilling to withhold consolation from one, who had passed through such fiery trials, I asked her, if she had received any intelligence of a very painful nature. Yes, Sir," she said, while endeavouring to suppress the rising grief of her breast, “I have a letter from my dear boy, who has resided in London for the last two years. He is very ill. O Sir! if
!” A long silence ensued, which was interrupted only by the expressions of strong maternal grief. “Ii, Sir, he had ever felt the power of divine grace, changing his heart—again “But I fear he has been drawn away from religion, by evil companions. Oh! if he were to die.-where could I ever find rest? This is a trial which pierces my heart."
“I am not surprised to witness such excessive grief; but may not this affliction be sent to elicit the meaning of some obscure passage of the Sacred Volume ? Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness.
'son an invitation to come and see you, and who knows but he who works all things after the counsel of his own will, may cause
*These streams of murmuring woe
To rise to springs of grateful joy." • Dear boy!" said the afflicted widow, “ he says be will come down, to be nursed by his mother. He is an affectionate son, I will wipe off the cold sweat of death, and pray
(Io the next Number will be given an account of George Lowellin.]