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bloody man, and thou man of Belial.” The goodness of God here powerfully operated upon David's mind; “Let bim alone, and let him curse," said he, “ for the Lord hath bidden him. It may be that the Lord will requite me good for his cursing this day.” Oh! Beloved, whatever be your sorrows, however mortifying the source of your perplexity, and groundless and unjust the charges preferred against you ; be more anxious to recognise them as so many instruments in the hands of your loving God and Father, than as opponents against which you are to wage war. Be more anxious to make your appeals unto the Lord than to men; commit your way unto him ; acknowledge that whatever your enemies may say of you, they tell not one-half the truth ; that they are not privy to a hundredth part of the iniquity which works in your heart, and for which the Lord might justly reprove you. Intreat his blessed Majesty to sanctify the affliction—to let it have its desired end-and then, if his will, to be pleased to remove it. And no sooner shall the exercise have had its desired effect upon you, than you shall see its removal ; and that, too, by the hand of the Lord himself. He will work most skilfully, and so make his goodness to appear, that you will be filled with astonishment and wonder. Your principles, which have been tested by such strange and mortifying means, shall be most firmly established, while your enemies shall be still as a stone. They will discover, as Saul did in the case of David, that the Lord is with you to bless you ; and if they are enemies of God and his truth, the conviction of your security will be attended with a condemnatory sentence in their consciences. Therefore, our decided opinion, formed both by observation and experience, is, that the readiest, the most effectual, and the most satisfactory method is to carry our wrongs unto the Lord. He knows best how to avenge our cause ; and while we have the answer of a good conscience, the Lord works more effectually, in every point of view, than by any means we could have adopted. See it in David's case. At the very time he reproached his attendant for wishing to take summary vengeance upon Shimei, God-his good and gracious God-was going forth for his help ; and see how soon after this piteable wretch was brought to bow at his feet, saying, “Let not my Lord impute iniquity unto me,” &c. ; but behold his end-see how careful God is of his children. Offences shall come, but woe, woe, woe, to those by whom they do come. Better far that such had never been born. We would not stand in the condition of those that designedly injure one of the Lord's little ones—no, not for ten thousand worlds. See in the first of Kings, and few last verses, what befel Shimei. And the word of God abounds with such cases, wherein the goodness of the Lord, and his tender care over his spiritual household, is made so clear. Let the reader take a retrospect of his own experience, and see if many characters do not come to his recollection, who once opposed and sought to injure him, but whom he has outlived, and respecting whom he may now take up the encouraging language of the Psalmist, “By this I know that thou favourest me, because mine enemies triumph not over me ?”
Beloved, though for the most part, when our motives are questioned, and our characters impugned, we are peevish, fretful, and rebellious ; yet, when in our right minds, and the dear Lord condescends to vouchsafe his sweet presence, we care not a straw what men may say of us as long as our consciences are clear of the charges they bring against us ; nor would we turn that straw to make them think better of us. It is enough at such seasons that the Lord knows us, our motives of action, and all about us ; and we say in the language of the poet
“'Tis enough that thou shouldst care,
Why should I the burden bear ?" Did space permit, and were we not fearful of wearying the patience of our readers, we might considerably enlarge upon the manner in which the Lord displays his goodness towards his people. He has said for their encouragement, “ I will cause my goodness to pass before thee;" and truly he does so in every variety of exercise and experience through which he is pleased to bring them. Does he visit them with peculiar trials ?-he visits them also with peculiar goodness. Is the heart oppressed by complicated sorrow and perplexity-does trial succeed trial, and one trouble rapidly follow another, so that at length by the accumulated weight, the believer feels as if he should be pressed down with sorrow ?-the goodness of the Lord is displayed in affording needful strength, and at the time infinite wisdom sees fit, in the gracious deliverance and bringing forth of the soul into a large and wealthy place. No, believer, though it is a wilderness through which thou art passing, it is not all sorrow; it has its smooth as well as its rough and thorny places ; streams of refreshment continually run beside thy path, and flavoured fruits are scattered here and there.
Lastly, we have to consider by whom the promise is made—the Lord. When we come to a “Thus saith the Lord,” we approach it with feelings of reverence ; a solemn awe takes possession of our spirit. We feel that we tread upon holy ground, that the language is that of a God, and not of man.
The goodness of the Lord! Surely, if ever one had occasion to testify of the goodness of the Lord, the writer has. Since the foregoing scattered thoughts were penned, the best, the dearest of all earthly connexions has been severed from him; the Lord has stepped in between them, and cut asunder the uniting bond which now only exists in sacred remem. brance. The object whom the Lord seven years ago bestowed, as she has often since remarked, “ to nurse her husband for the tomb ;" and as she then supposed, shortly to exchange the bridal raiment for a widow's attire, is now no more! She first has gone to take possession of her crown, and has left nought behind but sweetest-most endearing recollections. It was a tender tie-it was formed by the Lord himself! Perhaps a union never was more manifestly his. When yet quite a youth, only fifteen years of age, the writer, as we say, accidentally beheld one, in the house of the Lord, whose countenance bespoke a familiarity—a recognition—which the Lord in his own time had to explain. They often met, but spoke not, only in a smile. Year after year rolled on; the same emotion changed but only to increase ; at length he who feared he might bave been under the influence of a boyish feeling merely, ventured to express himself. His suit was rejected—this rejection was of the Lord.' The writer had acknowledged the Lord throughout, except in one step taken in his own wisdom, for which he had to endure a twelvemonth's suspense and anxiety which no words can express. It was, however, overruled of Him, and brought both to his feet, though this was unknown to each other. For the encouragement of young persons who may be in a similar situation, the writer will simply tell the
is procedure, He saw that he could do nothing, that precipitancy had been the source of his disappointment; and therefore, sickened with himself, he went into the Lord, determined in his
boyish feeling merely, ventured he who feared he might bave been same emotion changed
strength to“ stand still and see his salvation." Times without number, with a heart almost bursting with grief, has he retired to his closet, bowed the knee at his footstool, and exclaimed, “ Lord, if the cherishing of these feelings is opposed to thy will, do subdue them; don't let my affection be wasted-my spirit broken-my heart oppressed ; if it is according to thy will, give me patience to wait thine own time; keep me near to thyself, to behold thy wonder-working hand and almighty power; that if the object hereafter should be mine, Í may recognise her as thy gift--that thereby our affections may not be weaned from thee, but look up through each other unto thee, and recognise ourselves as thine, and thyself as ours." Thus the suppliant's heart was in a measure relieved; thus was he enabled patiently to wait the opening up of the Lord's mind. At length another object came forward under more auspicious circumstances, whom the writer verily believes to be a God-fearing man. Satan and unbelief said, “It is all over now-go away to sea, flee to some foreign land, and forget all." The word of God, and a little voice within, said, “ It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord;" no other step did he take. In the sequel, he found that that which threatened his total defeat, was the very means of bringing about the accomplishment of his wishes; and though, as has been hinted, several years of painful anxiety and suspense so broke his spirit, and reduced his frame, as to make himself and others believe that his days were numbered, yet the Lord had otherwise determined. The attentions of a fond wife renovated his health and spirits; and at the time he was promising himself many years of earthly bliss, He whose thoughts are not as our thoughts, was undermining the foundation of the ideal building he was rearing. He had just been presented with his fourth child, and was congratulating himself thereon, when (as it will appear in a paper in the June and July numbers of last year, under an assumed sig. nature) the Lord rebuked him. Ah! little then did he think that that stroke was but the beginning of sorrows; a few months later, and a far dearer object than even a child was affected. “I feel," said she, one Sabbath evening, “ as if I were going to be very ill." She bad only a few days previously returned from a visit into the country. Warned by the expression, the writer at once apprised her medical attendant; he came, her infant child was weaned, medicines were administered; and we fondly thought all was going on well Still, the occasionally drooping countenances of those by whom we were surrounded, excited apprehension in the writer's mind. “Let further advice be thus early sought,” was his direction. It was sought; but the physician's opinion was, that no cause of alarm existed. How was the writer's heart gladdened with the communication, and how did his soul go forth for a time in blessing and praise. Other symptoms exhibited themselves ; again was alarm excited, and again, and repeatedly, was the physician consulted. «Would change of air be beneficial?” “It might," was his reply. At the opening of the present year, therefore, the patient was removed to a warmer atmosphere. The change was promising: week after week she seemed to improve. During her absence she writes thus :
“Southampton, Jan. 13.--I was very low last night without you ; but I was enabled to tell my dear Lord all my trouble, and to beg him to make up the loss to me by the sweet communications of his presence and love. This he did in some little measure, by enabling my mind simply to repose in him. This is the heaviest affliction I have ever been called to endure, and my spirits at times seem ready to sink under it ; yet, oh to be ready to say under every conflict, 'Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him!' This is a sweet frame of mind, and brings peace and tranquillity to the soul.”
“Jan. 14.--You will be glad to know that my mind is generally peaceful and calm, being stayed upon God. Blessed be his name! he does manifest himself to my soul at times very sweetly, and I seem as if I could spend the whole of my time upon my knees before him. Nowhere do I feel so happy as there, holding communion with him; and though I am still kept in the dark as to what the issue of my illness will be, yet I can leave all in his dear hands. It is my wish, if agreeable with his will, to be restored and spared to my beloved — , and my sweet little ones, for some years, at least, to come; but yet I feel that if it be his will that this earthly tabernacle shall be dissolved, it will only be to introduce me to the mansion which my Saviour has prepared for me in glory. And if this be the case, what cause of lamentation ? Because, in a few short years at least, you and all dear to me will follow. We shall meet again—there is a certainty of it. And oh ! think with what delight shall I (if possible) be the first to welcome you to those blissful regions."
“Jan. 17.-I must tell you all, as I do not want you to build too much upon my recovery. I know the dear Lord can raise me up, but I do not think such will be his will ; yet there are seasons when I think quite the contrary, and when I believe I shall yet be spared to my beloved husband and sweet children. But, Lord, make thy will ours, and suffer us not to murmur or repine, whatever that will may call us to pass through. My exercises of yesterday, were very severe. I was calling, in my distress, upon God nearly ail day; for I was in the waters of affliction, both bodily and mentally, and thus situated, to whom else could I go? May the richest consolation of our own covenant God flow into your spirit; may he afford you much of his sweet presence, and enable you to repose simply upon him." “Jan 18.-I wish I could tell you of the sweet season I enjoyed last night, but I do not think I can. After an urgent and most pressing appeal to my God concerning my restoration to my husband and family (which I felt so sure he could effect so easily), and after bringing his own words before him, Is there anything too hard for me?' and assuring him of my unbounded confidence in his almighty porcer, I was brought of course to the consideration, * But such may not be thy will, dear Lord;' and then I prayed for submission, and that my will may be entirely conformed to his. And thus engaged, I cannot tell you what sweetness I felt in my soul; Jesus himself, I really think, came to me, and sweetly whispered, 'I am thine, and thou art mine;' I have loved thee with an everlasting love,' &c. *Oh!' I gied out, 'dearest Jesus, how I love thee; how unspeakably precious art thou to my soul!' My burden was all gone; I could leave everything in his dear hands. And then the view I had of the bliss of heaven, and the certainty I felt that I should come off more than a conqueror, let death come whenever he may, made me feel scarcely a desire to be restored to you, my dear. Oh! I thought if I and my own partner, and our sweet babes, could all but wing our flight together from this poor cold perishing world, how quickly would we be in those blissfu
d the skies, and beyond the tomb! But to-day I feel a good deal better, and the sweetness is gone. I seem to have returned to earth again."
About this time signs of hooping cough betrayed themselves in her little family; still it appeared to be going on well, and the writer congratulated the mother upon being absent from such a scene of suffering in her present state of weakness. At length unfavourable symptoms appeared in the children ; the youngest was taken, and while yet the letter was in their mother's hand, announcing the death of one, the afflicted husband was on his way to apprise her of the departure of a second-a little girl of nearly six years old. “This, this,” she said, “ is my death-blow." She was again removed; change of scene, change of air, in place to place, was sought-she rallied but for a little season. Speaking of her situation and feelings at this period, in some private memorandums, she writes thus :
“My mind is cloudy, and I cannot read my title clear to mansions in the skies; and my soul, too, is just about to wing her flight to worlds unknown, yet cannot wean herself from earthly love. Oh!
• The fondness of a creature's love,
How strong it strikes the sense ;
Nor can we draw them thence.' Yet I know full well that one sweet smile from my dear Jesus would make all earthly objects
· Vanish as though I saw them not,
As a dim candle dies at noon.' For though at present unbelief prevails, yet I do believe that I have known in seasons that are past, something of the sweetness of his love; and some delightful seasons of communion with him. Yes, I cannot but believe, notwithstanding all my unbelief, that he is mine and I am his. Many years ago I came to him as a guilty undone sinner, crying, 'God be merciful to me a sinner;' and I believe I found mercy at the foot of the cross. I could point to the very spot where I received the forgiveness of my sins. Oh! surely that was pot a delusion, for Jesus seemed almost to speak to me audibly; he told me he died for me, and I exclaimed, 'For me, Lord-unworthy me?' 'Yes,' he said; 'Thy sins, which are many, are all forgiven thee; I have paid thy debt. And then he smiled on me so sweetly, and such a glory seemed to surround him, as quite overpowered me. My soul was enraptured; I scarcely knew whether I was on earth or in heaven, and for a time after was almost unfitted for my duties."
At times she clung to life, and upon one occasion said, “ Ah! I still find I am of the earth earthy: I used to think I should have had no desire to have outlived my children, but now I find I cannot give you up. I want to live for your sake ; I have no wish to die;" yet her mind was gradually brought down, step by step, until this expression was exchanged for, “I long to be gone;" “Come, my Jesus, come;" “ Why tarry so long ?” Looking at her wasting frame, she would exclaim, “ This poor hody is worn out—it is of no use now. Oh how I long to be gone! You will soon, very soon follow me; and,
“ There we shall see his face,
And never, never sin;
Drink endless pleasures in.' Although for the most part her mind was preserved in a calmness for which she was characterized through life, yet there were seasons when she was the subject of many fears, as will appear from a memorandum of the writer's, dated April 7.-"My mind (said she) has been very dark to-day. Oh! I have many, many fears; I have been afraid, after all,
whether my religion was not that of feeling. It is a religion of feeling, indeed,' was the reply; 'but I mean merely superficial, not that of the heart.' 'Could a superficial religion have supported you under your numerous exercises ?' was the inquiry; at the same time referring her to the various scenes of trouble through which she had passed in years that are gone. She paused, and upon thinking of her recent severe exercises and bereavements, “Ah!" she said, “ he must have supported me; I could not have gone through what I have without him.' Lamenting at this season, that she could not call to remembrance any period in which the Lord had been pleased specially to make known his love to her, it was remarked, “Nor can I; I am at this iime in such a state of darkness, that I cannot retiect upon one season without fear that it was a delusion." “ You cannot ?" she inquired. “Well, then, with the many sweet deliverances which I can recollect you have had, I wonder not that I have no remembrance of any." Meekly alluding to those seasons of evening prayer, which she had set apart for herself, “ Ah!" she said, “I have had some sweet opportunities; I have been enabled at times so to contemplate and to address him in his glorious characters--you know what I mean.'
Had not the writer some idea of publishing a separate memoir, with extracts from her correspondence, he might add considerably, and could tell how wondrously the good Lord took away from her the fear of death; though, as she said upon one occasion, “I have been through the fear of death all my lifetime subject to bondage. When first the pardon of my sins was made known to me, I was so happy that I thought I could not live. I felt as if I must die; but when the ardour of my first love was cooled, and my heart seemed to return to the world, then the fear of death returned: but now it is so completely taken away." At another time, after much suffering, she remarked, “I have no fear of the consequences of death. I only fear death itself. I fear I shall have a struggle; I am afraid I have much more to suffer." But these fears were not realized.
Upon the last morning of her life, about half an hour before she died, a beloved relative came into the room. She said, “Anne, how serious you look ;" implying, there is nothing to fear, “Is this death ?" she instantly added. “ Have I much more to suffer ? Do you think I shall go to-day? Oh! I am afraid not." She paused for two or three minutes for want of breath, and then said, “I have turned down two hymns at the end of Denham's Selection ;'* and in the box (referring to a box in which her correspondence was kept) you will find some lines, very beautiful, each verse ends, · Weep not for me.'"+ After another short pause, she said, “Come, Lord Jesus, come and take me home; I long to see thee as thou art in thy glory." Seeing that a change had taken place, and that she was fast going, the writer took his seat by her side, and her hand in his, determined to watch the last breath. She laid for a few minutes with her eyes half closed, but in a fixed position; presently she opened them, and looking at her husband, said, “ Good by!" which were the last words she ever uttered. Again her eyes became half closed, and again she opened them with a fulness of expression that will never, never be forgotten. Again they resumed their previous aspect; consciousness had evidently left her: one breath followed more closely another, until they gradually subsided. All was hushed! not a sound was heard. The sufferer had ceased to breathe-her conflict was ended, without a sigh, a struggle, or a groan! But oh, that one look! it went to the writer's heart; and though it is a humiliating confession, yet he feels bound to acknowledge it, lest peradventure it should be useful to any of his readers who may be taken in the same snare. Such was the strength of natural affection, and such his opposition to the dispensations of a gracious God, that he often said
part. as he witnessed the gradual removal of one he held so dear. “ I must die too; I cannot I will not outlive her. What have I worth living for? Why should I be spared thus to suffer? Her disorder, I trust, will be my disorder; let me have but the assurance of this, and then I will give my mind to thoughts of death." Reader, art thou caught in such a snare as this? Oh, beware, beware! It has filled the writer's mind with agony-a bondage beyond description has seized his heart. He has been obliged to go to
* They are hymns 978 and 985; and very delightful hymns they are ; they contain a mass of truth an
+ WEEP NOT FOR ME.
When the languid eye is straining-weep not for me ;