evidence and consolation of salvation; but let the Lord's steward be careful and cautious, prudent and patient as well as hopeful, for not by present

emotions however deep, nor by religious professions however great, but "by their fruits, ye shall know them." J. M. L.



A FEW notices of the above remarkable person, perhaps, ought to be given, and may with the divine blessing turn to some good and useful account, while by means of thirty years' acquaintance it can easily and correctly be done.

The father of Sophia Shearman, Richard Weaver, and her aunt Betty Williams, both of Kingsdon, Somerset, were sweet and excellent Christians in their day, and their offspring and relatives must have inherited a mass of hearty, earnest, and effectual prayers; and, perhaps, to these may be traced many spiritnal blessings by both children and children's children.


The subject of this notice was possessed of a strong mind, a clear head, and good understanding, which rendered her exceedingly conversable. She could well distinguish between things that differ, and express herself sensibly on most points, but especially those of the highest importance and consequence.

She constantly attended the Independent Chapel, Langport, and although residing at a considerable distance, the constancy, not to say the persistency, of her attendance was a practical rebuke of the remissness of others, much more favour

ably situated for easy and convenient attendance. But mere attendance was not all, nor half, in her case; she was fixedly attentive, deeply interested, and wonderfully retentive of the great things of the house of the Lord, and was powerfully influenced by them in her universal deportment. Indeed, that she was a real Christian, it would be difficult to find a person uncharitable enough to question. True, one of another and peculiar school of doctrinal views, in discoursing on the heights, if not the extremes of the confidence of faith, declared Sophia to be quite blind; to which she only quietly replied, "Thank God, not quite blind."

Still, she did not long before her death attain to that believing confidence which it is the privilege and happiness of Christians to enjoy. And this was her especial hindrance in respect of church-fellowship-not assured of her interest in Christ, and dreading to eat of the sacramental bread, and drink of that cup unworthily, she was not outwardly united to the church of Christ; a fact justly regretted on her own account, on account of the good cause, and of other persons. But just as we were warranted to expect, "in the

evening time it was light," the dews were dispersed, and she could

"Read her title clear To mansions in the skies."

Always unmurmuring and thankful, her expressions of gratitude and joy were now overflowing. Calling to see her at this time, and when surrounded by her dear children, she spoke with ecstasy of the goodness of the Lord, and exclaimed, "Boundless goodness! Boundless goodness!" And this holy, happy, heavenly frame continued to the end. In her last night she said, "I shall sup in heaven to-night;" and between four and five o'clock in the morning, her spirit took its flight from the frail cage of mortality to fairer worlds on high, to be for ever with that adorable Redeemer, who was her sole and sufficient trust, both living and dying.

J. M. L.

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As I was leaning back in my chair one afternoon, I fell into a dreamy sort of reverie; my thoughts were carried far away to a large mansion, surrounded by everything wealth could purchase. As I approached the house, I evidently saw that something was wrong. All at once I found myself in this mansion; I heard whisperings among the servants; all I could gather from what I heard was, that the master was dying. What use are riches and worldly grandeur-of what benefit are they to this man in his dying hour? I entered the chamber; his wife and medical attendant were there. I saw at once that my sur

mises were correct. This rich man was dying, and his minutes were numbered. Well might the poet exclaim,

"Here tired dissimulation drops her mask,

For here resistless demonstration dwells."

A death-bed is a detector of the heart. He says to the physician, "Cannot you save my life?" He shakes his head. "I will give you half my fortune if you can save me." "My dear Sir," says the physician, "if you gave me the whole world, I could not save your life." Never shall I forget that look of unutterable anguish he cast upon the speaker of these words; he fell back upon his pillow, his breathing was short; suddenly he rises up, he seems in deep agony, he stretches out his hands like a madman, he fancies he is in contact with the Evil One. He attempts to speak; his tongue is loosed, and he shrieks with an unearthly shriek, "I am damned! I am damned!" and his spirit departs to stand before the bar of an offended God. Alas, what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul? This man, whom all the country worshipped, where was his immortal soul? How shocking must the summons of death have been to him; a man who was surrounded by wealth, and expected many years of undeviating pleasure; a man who had spared no expense in decorating his house and estate; but there was one thing of far more importance he entirely lost sight of, and that was the one thing needful-the salvation of his precious, never-dying soul. Those beautiful though solemn lines

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Lord." And then he repeated that verse of Dr. Watts"Jesus can make a dying bed

Feel soft as downy pillows are, While on His breast I lean my head, And breathe my life out sweetly there."

now rush into my memory on the unhappy close of life:

"In that dread moment how the frantic soul raves round the walls of her clay tenement, runs to each avenue and shrieks for help; but shrieks in vain! How wistfully she looks on all she's leaving, now no longer hers; a little longer, yet a little longer, oh might she stay to wash away her stains, and fit her for her passage! Mournful sight! Her very eyes weep blood, and every groan she heaves is big with horror."

I left this scene, and as I still felt in a contemplative mood, my fancy carried me to a small cottage. There was a little patch of ground in front, which was cultivated in such a manner as to show the taste of the humble occupant of this abode. A little rosy child came to the door with tears in her eyes. I patted her little rough head, and asked her why she cried. "Father is dying; he's going a long way off, to a happy land, far away; and he says he hopes we shall all be good children, and be kind to mother, and perhaps we shall go there, too." "How do you know your father is going to heaven ?" "Because he told me so." Ah, thought I, we are but children of a larger growth. This little child knew her father would not deceive her; yet, how prone are we to doubt the loving words of our heavenly Father. I entered the cottage; and the good woman asked me to enter the chamber of death. I approached the bed of the dying peasant; I asked him if he would like to live? "This is not dying," he said; "believers never die; I am just going to enter the presence chamber of my

Then he paused; taking me by the hand, he said, "Here I lie, just going to glory;" and then repeated another verse

"A guilty, weak, and helpless worm,

On thy kind arms I fall;

Be thou my strength and righteous


My Jesus, and my all."

Then he cried out, "Oh, this precious believing on the Son of God. Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered the heart of man to conceive the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. He hath loved me, and given himself for me." Thus he went on, blessing and praising God to the last moments of his life, repeatedly exclaiming, "O Death, where is thy sting? O Grave, where is thy victory ?" He kissed his wife and children, and bade them farewell. On seeing his wife weeping, "Do not cry," he said, "the Lord has promised that he will provide for the fatherless children and widows;" and then he repeated these lines:"Oh, happy day, that fixed my choice On thee, my Saviour and my God."

With a heavenly smile on his features, and without a struggle, his spirit had departed where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest. Well might the preacher exclaim, "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity." Riches proved a snare in the former instance; the rich man

died, and was buried in the large family vault, side by side with his ancestors, men of worldly power and renown; his funeral obsequies were attended with great pomp and solemnity; tearless mourners were there-mourners who loved his gold far more than they did him. Let us draw our attention to the funeral of the poor man. He was carried to the grave; his wife and children were the only mourners, but they were real ones. They had lost one whom they dearly loved. The poor widow left the grave, consoling herself with these words, "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord." But where was the soul of this rich man? Like Dives in the parable, he was now in unutterable misery, where the worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched; and this poor man, who in his life-time received evil things, now he is comforted, and this once rich man is tormented. Be not deceived, God is not mocked, "for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."

Dear reader, which would you prefer to be the man of wealth, whom all the nation worshipped, and be consigned to endless misery; or to be that humble servant of God, work early and late to earn your daily bread, and at last receive a crown of glory, a robe washed in the blood of the Lamb, and sing glory to the Lamb for ever and ever? This is but a feeble picture I have drawn, but one of every-day occurrence. Let every one consider that wealth will be no use the other side

of the grave. "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon the earth, where the rust and moth doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal." We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. How true it is that whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth! How often it has been observed that a man rising from the greatest obscurity, with a hatred to God and His glorious Gospel, making his way in the world, gold pouring into his coffers, as if by magic; he rises to eminence, is a man of great popularity, has a seat in parliament, spending his life in every thing that is evil; but these have their portion in this life. On the other hand, you see some of God's chosen people who never seem to succeed in anything; troubles rush upon them, disease, and other trials, which God sends to try the faith of His servants; but they have not their portion in this life, by the grace of God they are more than conquerors through Him who hath loved them. Now is the accepted time, delay not till to-morrow; you are neither dead nor damned, you may be both soon.

"Sinner, come, the Lord entreats, Come thou to His mercy-seat; Pardon He will freely giveSinner, come whilst still you live."

Time is short, eternity is long; this world is for employment, heaven for enjoyment; this world for the cross, heaven for the crown. W. MORLEY. Stoke Ferry, July 6th, 1861.

The Christian Fireside.


WE are often in a prodigious hurry in our devotions. How much time do we spend in them daily? Can it not be easily reckoned in minutes?

Probably many of us would be discomposed by an arithmetical estimate of our communion with God.

It might reveal to us the secret of our apathy in prayer, because it might disclose how little we desire to be alone with God. We might learn from such a computation that Augustine's idea of prayer," as the measure of love," is not flattering to us. We do not grudge time given to a privilege which we love.

Why should we expect to enjoy a duty which we have no time to enjoy? Do we enjoy anything which we do in a hurry?

Enjoyment pre-supposes something of mental leisure. How often do we say of a pleasure, "1 wanted more time to enjoy it to my heart's content ?"

But of all employments, none can be more dependent on "time for it" than stated prayer.

In the royal gallery at Dresden may be often seen a group of connoisseurs, who sit for hours before a table painting. They walk around those halls and corridors, whose walls are eloquent with the triumphs of art, and they come back and pause again before the masterpiece. They go away, and return the next day, and again the first and the last object which charms their eye is that

canvas on which genius has pictured more of beauty than any other in the world. Weeks are spent every year in the study of that one work of Raphael.

Lovers of art cannot enjoy it to the full, till they have made it their own by prolonged communion with its matchless forms. Says one of its admirers-"I could spend an hour every day, for a year, upon that assemblage of human, and angelic, and divine ideals, and on the last day of the year discover some new beauty and a new joy."

I have seen men standing in the street before an engraving of that gem of the Dresden gallery a longer time than a good man will sometimes devote to his evening prayer. Yet, what thought, what ideal of grace, can genius express in a painting, demanding time for their appreciation and enjoyment, like those great thoughts of God, of heaven, of eternity, which the soul needs to conceive vividly, in order to know the blessedness of prayer? What conditions can art imagine of the "Divine Child," which can equal in spirituality the thoughts which one needs to entertain of Christ in the "prayer of faith?" We cannot hope, commonly, to spring into possession of such thoughts in the twinkling of an eye.

Prayer, as we have observed, is an act of friendship also. It is intercourse; an act of trust, of hope, of love, all prompting to interchange

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