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DEATH OF LE FEVRE.
The sun looked bright the morning after', to every eye in the village but Le Fevre's and his afflicted son's; the hand of death pressed heavy upon his eye-lids',—and hardly could the wheel at the cistern turn round its circlé,—when my uncle Toby, who had rose up an hour before his wonted timé, entered the lieutenant's room', and without preface or apology', sat himself down upon the chair by the bed-side, and, independently of all modes and customs', opened the curtain in the manner an old friend or brother officer would have done it', and asked him how he did',-how he had rested in the night',what was his complaint",—where was his pain',-and what he could do to help him';—and without giving him time to answer any one of the inquiries', went on and told him of the little plan which he had been concerting with the corporal the night before for him.
-You shall go home directly', Le Fevré, said my uncle Toby', to my housè,—and we'll send for a doctor to see what is the matter', -and we'll have an apothecary ;-and the corporal shall be your nursè ;—and I'll be your servant', Le Fevré.
There was a frankness in my uncle Toby'—not the effect' of familiarity',—but the cause of it',—which let you at once into his souľ, and showed you the goodness of his naturè; to this', there was something in his looks', and voice, and manner', superadded', which eternally beckoned to the unfortunate to come and take shelter under him'; so that before my uncle Toly had half finished the kind offers he was making to the father', had the son insensibly pressed up close to his knees', and had taken hold of the breast of his coať, and was pulling it towards him.—The blood and spirits of Le Fevre, which were waxing cold and slow within him', and were retreating to their last citadeľ, the heart--rallied back'; the film forsook his eyes for a moment',—he looked up wishfully in my uncle Toby's facé—then cast a look upon his boy', -and that ligament', fine as it was', was never broken'.
Nature instantly ebbed again',—the film returned to its place—the pulse fluttered'--stopped went on'-throbbed'stopped again —moved'-stopped-shall I go on' ?--Nò.
ETERNITY OF GOD.
The eternity of God is a subject of contemplation, which, at the same time that it overwhelms us with astonishment and awe, affords us an immovable ground of confidence in the midst of a changing world. All things which surround us', all these dying, mouldering inhabitants of timé, must have had a Creator, for the plain reason', that they could not have created themselves. And their Creator must have existed from all eternity', for the plain reason that the first cause must necessarily be un caused. As we cannot suppose a beginning without a causè of existence, that which is the cause of all existence must be self-existent', and could have had no beginning. And as it has had no beginning', so alsó, as it is beyond the reach of all influence and control', as it is independent and almighty', it will have no end.
Here then is a support, which will never fail"; here is a foundation', which can never be moved—the everlasting Creator of countless worlds”, “ the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity'.” What a sublime conception"! Hē inhābits etērnity, occupies this inconceivable duration', pervades and fills, throughout', this boundless dwelling. Ages on ages before even the dust of which we are formed was created',
he had existed in infinite majesty', and ages on ages will roll away', after we have all returned to the dust whence we were taken', and still he will exist in infinite majesty', living in the eternity of his own naturé, reigning in the plentitude of his own omnipotencé, forever sending forth the word which forms', supports' and governs all things', commanding new-created light to shine on new-created worlds', and raising up new-created generations to inhabit them.
The contemplation of these glorious attributes of God is fitted to excite in our minds the most animating and consoling reflections. Standing, as we are, amid the ruins of time, and the wrecks of mortality', where every thing about us is created and dependent, proceeding from nothing, and hastening to destruction', we rejoice that something' is presented to our view', which has stood from everlasting', and will remain forever. When we have looked on the pleasures of lifé, and they have vanished away'; when we have looked on the works of naturé, and perceived that they were changing'; on the monuments of art, and seen that they would not stand : on our friends', and
they have fled while we were gazing'; on ourselves', and felt that we were as fleeting as they'; when we have looked on every object to which we could turn our anxious eyes', and they have all told us that they could give us no hope nor support", because they were so feeble themselves',—we can look to the throne of God': change and decay have never reached thato; the revolution of ages has never moved it'; the waves of an eternity have been rushing past iť, but it has remained unshaken"; the waves of another eternity are rushing toward it', but it is fixed', and can never be disturbed.
And blessed be God', who has assured us by a revelation from himself', that the throne of eternity' is likewise a throne of mercy and lovè; who has permitted and invited us to repose ourselves and our hopes on that which alone is everlasting and unchangeable. We shall shortly finish our allotted time on earth', even if it should be unusually prolonged". We shall leave behind us all which is now familiar and beloved', and a world of other days and other men will be entirely ignorant that once we lived. But the same unalterable Being will still preside over the universé, through all its changes, and from his remembrance we shall never be blotted. We can never be where hê is not', nor where hē sees, and loves, and upholds us nöt. He is our Father and our God forever. He takes us from earth' that he may lead us to heaven', that he may refine our nature from all its principles of corruption', share with us his own immortality', admit us to his everlasting habitation', and crown us with his eternity.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREACHING OF WHITFIELD. There was nothing in the appearance of this extraordinary man, which would lead you to suppose that a Felix could tremble before him. “He was something above the middle stature', well proportioned', and remarkable for a native gracefulness of manner. His complexion was very fair', his features regular', and his dark blue eyes' small and lively'; in recovering from the measles, he had contracted a squint with one of them ; but this peculiarity rather rendered the expression of his countenance more rememberablé,* than in any degree lessened the effect of its uncommon sweetness. His voice excelled', both in
* A new-coined word.
melody', and compass'; and its fine modulations were happily accompanied by that grace of action, which he possessed in an eminent degree, and which has been said to be the chief requisite for an orator.” To have seen him when he first commenced', one would have thought him any thing but enthusiastic and glowing; but as he proceeded', his heart warmed with his subject, and his manner became impetuous and animated', till', forgetful of every thing around him', he seemed to kneel at the throne of Jehovah', and to beseech in agony for his fellow-beings.
After he had finished his prayer', he knelt for a long time in profound silence; and so powerfully had it affected the most heartless of his audience, that a stillness like that of the tomb pervaded the whole house. Before he commenced his sermon', Iong', darkening columns crowded the bright', sunny sky' of the morning', and swept their dull shadows over the building in fearful augury of the storm.
His text was', " Strive to enter in at the strait gatè ; for many, I say unto you, shall seek to enter in', and shall not be able.” “ See that emblem of human lifè,” said hé, pointing to a shadow that was flitting across the floor'. “It passed for a moment, and concealed the brightness of heaven from our view";—but it is gone. And where will yē bé, my hearers', when your lives have passed away like the dark cloud' ? Oh, my dear friends', I see thousands sitting attentivé, with their eyes fixed on the poor, unworthy preacher'. In a few days we shall all meet at the judgment seat of Christ. We shall form a part of that vast assembly that will gāthēr bēfore thē throne; and every eye will behold the Judge. With a voice whose căll you
must abidé and answer', he will inquire whether on earth' ye strove to enter in at the strait gatè ; whether you were supremely devoted to God'! whether your hearts were absorbed in him: My blood rūns cold when I think how māny of you will then seek' to enter in', and shall not be able. Oh', what a plea can you make before the Judgeof the whole earth'? Can
you say it has been your whole endeavor to mortify the flesh', with its affections and lusts' ? that your life has been onē long ēffort to do the will of God' ? Nò! you must answer', I made myself easy in the world' by flattering myself that all would end well; but I have deceived my own soul', and am lost.
- You', 0 false and hollow Christian', of what avail will it be that you have done many' things"; that you have read', much, in the sacred word'; that you have made long prayers';
that you have attended religious duties', and appeared holy in the eyes of men'? What will all this bé, if”, instead of loving him supremely', you have been supposing you should exalt yourself in heaven', by acts' really polluted and unholy'?
* And you', rich man', wherefore do you hazard wherefore count the price you have received for him' whom you every day crucify in your love of gain'? Why', that, when you are too poor to buy a drop of cold water', your beloved son' inay be rolled to hell' in his chariot pillowed and cushioned around him.”
His eye gradually lighted up as he proceeded', till, towards the closé, it seemed to sparkle with celestial firè.
“Oh, sinners'!” he exclaimed', " by all your hopes of happiness', I beseech you to repent. Let not the wrath of God be awakened. Let not the fires of eternity be kindled against you. SEE THERE !” said he, pointing to the lightning which played on the corner of the pulpit'. “ 'Tis A GLANCE from the ANGRY EYE of JEHOVAH !-Hark'!” continued hé, raising his finger in a listening attitude, as the distant thunder grew louder and louder', and broke in one tremendous crash over the building'. * It wās thē voicē of thē Almighty as hē pāssēd by in his anger'!”
As the sound died away', he covered his face with his hands', and knelt beside his pulpit', apparently lost in inward and intense prayer'. The storm passed rapidly away', and the sun', bursting forth in his might, threw across the heavens a magnificent arch of peace. Rising', and pointing to the beautiful objecť, he exclaimed”, “ Look upon the rainbow, and praise him that made it. Very beautiful it is in the brightness thereof. It compasseth the heavens about with glory', and the hands of the Most High have bended it.”
The effect was astonishing! Even Somerville shaded his eyes when he pointed to the lightning', and knelt as he listened to the approaching thunder“; while the deep sensibility of Grace, and the thoughtless vivacity of Lucretiá, yielded to the powerful excitement in an unrestrained burst of tears. “ Who could resist sūch eloquencé ?” said Lucretià, as they mingled with the departing throng.