Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

Weep

unabating violence; and her medical attendant says that he does not expect that she can live through the day. Her pains have been excruciating, but she has borne them with the fortitude and resignation of a Christian ; and now she is enjoying that fatal ease, which is the immediate forerunner of her dissolution."

On entering her room, she received us, with much dignitied composure; and calmly said to her sister, Mrs. Stevens, who was overpowered by her feelings,

not for me; the days of my widowed mourning are drawing to a close. I have long lived ex, cluded fron the world ; its honours and its pleasures have long lost their influence over my affections. I am just on the eve of entering the joy of my Lord.” We all wept. She paused. And then exclaimed with an elevated voice,-" Oh ! the pain, the bliss of dying !" "Then," I said, “You have no fear ?" “Pear!" she replied, " why should I fear? I kuow I am in the valley, but I am not alone, for the Lord is with me. I have often, Sir, dreaded this hour; but it is the happiest hour of my life. I am a sinner, relying on the death of Jesus Christ for salvation; and I know in whom I have believed, and am pern suaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. As I shall not continue long with you; and may, before my departure, be incapable of conversing with you, I hope you will compose yourselves, that we may enjoy each other's society on this side of Jordan which I am soon to pass.

“My dear George, receive, once more, and for the last time, the congratulations of your mother, on the honour which the God of all grace has conferred on you, in adopting you as his son. You were once his enemy, and ran with the multitude, doing evil; but you have been brought nigh by the blood of Christ; and' I now solemnly charge you, before God, and your pious friends now with you, always to walk as seeing Him who is invisible. Love not the world ; but set your affections on things above. Keep up the dignity of your Christian character, by the integrity of your principles,-your decision,- your zeal for the honour of the Lord of life and glory. And as much of your future happiness and respectability will depend on the choice which you may make, when you settle ; let me beseech you, ere my lips refuse to give utterance to the anxious solicitude of my heart, to marry only in the Lord,--prefer piety to beauty, good sense to a large fortune ; and remember that a meek and quiet spirit is the most beautiful ornament in the tabernacle of a righteous man."

She then turned towards Mr. and Mrs. Stevens, and said,

“I thank you for all your kindness to me and mine, in the days of our adversity. The Lord reward you a thousand fold. I have only one legacy to leave, and I will leave it to you. I bequeath to you my dear boy; take care of him for

my

sake.” The pious Rector of the parish made a very early call; and on being introduced to Mrs. Lewellin, who received him with a complacent smile, he said, “What would you now do without a Saviour ?” Perish, Sir! but I have a Saviour whose blood cleanseth from all sin." His blood,” added the Rector, “ is of more value than a thousand worlds.” She replied, It is inestimable ! It is inestimable !” And then added, in an exulting tone of voice,

“ Dear dying Lamb! thy precious blood

Shall never lose its power,
'Till all the rapsom'd church of God

Be sav'd to sin no more."
We all knelt down, and the holy man of God, in a
most tender and ardent manner, prayed that she might
have"

an entrance ministered unto her abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”

As the cottage was not large enough ta accommodate us, the pious Rector very kindly invited us to his hospitable house; but Mrs. Stevens resolved not to leave her sister. There was grief over the whole village, as the rumour spread that Mrs. Lewellin was dying. Her benevolence had added lustre to her piety; and such was the veneration and attachment. in which her character was universally held, that

many a gentle hand knocked at the door of her cottage, and many a low voice inquired how God was dealing with her. 'About noon she fell into a sweet sleep, and slept for several hours,--she awoke refreshed,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Yours as ever,

often dreaded is now approaching,--the storm of deso-, lation is rising,—the cloud assumes a threatening as pećt,-my heart fails me.

I am too much paralyzed by the abruptness of the communication to pour out the fulness of my grief before the Lord. I need not say that your presence, and that of my dear uncle, will afford the dear dying saint a high degree of pleasure, and will contribute towards the abatement of my sorrow on the trying occasion.

“G. LEWELLIN." Mrs. Stevens listened with the most fixed attention, while Mr. Stevens read the letter; and when he bad finished, she said, “Yes, I fear the hour of her departure is come. I saw her io the visions of the past night, leaning on the top of her staff, standing near the brink of a river, whose waters divided of themselves, as a radiant brightness, emanating from a celestial orb, gilded the whole horizon; and while listening to the sounds of sweetest harmony for some moments, I awoke, and found it was a dream. Yes, my senses were locked up in the chambers of slumber, that my spirit might go and commune with my sister, before her final departure."

A chaise was immediately sent for, and we set off from the villa about eight o'clock. The moon had just aisengaged herself from a portentous cloud as we entered a beautiful valley, which runs in a winding direction for several miles; and we could distinctly perceive the cattle grazing in the meadows, and the folde of sheep which were pitched in the higher grounds. The rattling noise of our carriage prevented our hearing the intermitting sounds of bleating sheep, and lowing oxen; of the shepherd's dog, and screeching owl; and we were too profoundly absorbed in deep melancholy of thought and anticipation, to break the silence which 'impassioned grief requires for the solace of her owa feelings. At length, Mr. Stevens, alluding to the alarming illness of Mrs. Lewellin, said, “With whæt different enrotions do the inhabitants of the visible and invisible world contemplate the same event. While we are anticipating her departure with agonized grief, the glorified spirits of her deceased husband, and child, and father, are attuning their harps of joy to eelebrate

[ocr errors]

her entrance among them.” “Very true," Mrs. Stevens replied, our loss is their gain; but it is as natural for us to deplore our loss, as it is natural for them to exult in their gain. While we are in human form, and susceptible of human impressions, it will not be in our power to rise above the reach of sorrow on such overpowering occasions; though we may moder, ate the intensity of our anguish, by reflecting on our own dissolution, which will introduce us into the society of those who gain the prize of immortality before us.”

We had no difficulty in procuring a change of horses at each succeeding stage; nothing of a disastrous or perplexing nature occurred during the whole of our journey; and soon after the break of light, on the following morning, we arrived at the lonely cottage. The same jessamipe, and honey-suckles, and rose trees adorned its tasteful front; the same hawthorn hedge inclosed its well cultivated garden ; the same little wicket gate swung on its hinges, as when I paid my first visit six years before; but they had lost their charms, or I had lost my power of enjoyment. Mr. Lewellin came out to meet us as we were walk

the garden in the front of the cottage ; but we were unable to exchange a word till some minutes after had seated ourselves in the parlour. mother still in the body, my dear George,” said Mrs. Stevens, “or þas she left us ?" “ Oh !-nd, she has not left us," he replied, "she is still living. She has made many inquiries about you. She longs to see you.

She

says, when she has seen you, she shall de part in peace. “ When," added Mrs. Stevens, was she first taken, and what is the nature of her disorder ?" “She has not been well," Mr Lewellin replied, “ some weeks ; but her indisposition created no alarm. On sabbath morning she felt better; and went to chapel, where she commemorated the death of the Redeemer, with her Christian brethren, As she was returving home, she was exposed to a heavy shower; got wet, and, though she took every precaution to prevent any evil consequences, yet, early in the evening, an inflammation of the bowels came on, which has raged with an * See No. I. of this series, page 8.

ing up

we

“ Is your

animated -a heavenly serenity rested on her countenauce, which seemed to be regaining its spring time beauty ;-her voice was strong and melodious, and she again said, “Oh! the bliss of dying !"

• You are happy, mother,” said her son, “ in the prospect of dying." “ Happy, my child,” she replied, " yes, my joy is unspeakable.

* Ob ! the sweet wonders of that cross,
On which my Saviour groan'd and died ;
Her noblest life, my spirit draws,

From his dear wounds and bleeding side.'" Her voice suddenly faultered : her countenance changed; she gently whispered, "Farewell," as her son caught her in his arms, and with her eyes fixed on him, she gave one strong convulsive struggle, and exclaimed with triumph, • The contest is over, the victory is won," and immediately expired.

Though we were all anticipating her decease, yet, when it was announced to us, it produced a sensation of dismay and astonishment, as though we' scarely believed it to be possible. When we had recovered ourselves from the consternation into which we were thrown, our grief vented itself in a silent food of tears ; and after conversing together for some time on the memory of the departed saint, I withdrew to the Rectory, where I resided till after the funeral solemni-, ties were performed.

As Mrs. Lewellin was more attached to the essential doctrines of Christianity, than to any of the external forms which it often assumes among men; she generally attended that ministry, from which she de rived the most spiritual boncfit. In the morning of ue sabbath she attended the village church; and in the evening she usually heard a most excellent minister of Christ, who preaches in a dissenting chapel. Sometimes she partook of the ordinance of the Lord's Supper at one place, and sometimes at the other; and often used to say, when reproached for her liberality by the more bigoted : .I have no objection to go where I can hold communion with the Saviour.” Adjoining the chapel, there was a burying ground, which commanded a fine picturesque view of the country. Here she was accustomed to pass many hours of her

• See No. 1. of this series, page 10.

« EdellinenJatka »