« 上一頁繼續 »
redeemed us, that, in our time of need, he would save us and help us.
T. And then, again, how sacred and how full of comfort, are the words which the Minister speaks to the sick sufferer before he leaves him! They seem to leave him, as it were, in the hands of God; they seem in a striking manner to shew the power of the arm that supports him, and us all; and they teach us so entirely to rest our confidence of salvation on Christ alone, that we have here all that comfort which the Gospel gives us; and we have it at a time when we want it most. They assure us that “the Almighty is a most strong 'tower to all them that put their trust in him," and " that there is none other name under heaven given to man, in whom, and through whom, he may receive health and salvation, but only the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
I do assure you, I felt a great comfort, and hope we all derived benefit, from the Minister's visit; and I shall not easily forget my poor father's looks when the minister said to him, “Unto God's gracious mercy and protection we commit thee. The Lord bless, thee, and keep thee. The Lord make his face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee. The Lord lift
his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace, both now and evermore.”
FEAR OF DEATH. It has often been said, that nothing affords comfort in the hour of approaching death so certainly as a firm belief in the Gospel, producing a dependance on the merits of our Saviour, as our hope of salvation, leading us to rest on him for the pardon of our sins, and teaching us to rely on his ever gracious and most merciful promises.
The following passage will shew how little comfort unbelief can afford, and that those who are utterly. careless about religion, when they think that all is safe around them, are often brought to tremble at the approach of death, and at the thoughts of judgment. The extract is taken from an account of a dreadful storm, which Lord Byron and his friends encountered, in his lordship's vessel, in the Mediterranean sea. When the tempest was raging with dreadful violence, and there appeared to be no hope of escape, the narrative tells us that “ Mr., who before had made no secret of his unbelief, and whose spirits we thought no danger could ever appal, appeared to have lost all his energy; and the horrors of approaching death, made him cry like a child. Those sacred names which he never before pronounced, but in ridicule, he now called upon in moving accents of serious prayer, and implored the protection of that Being whose existence he before had affected to disbelieve.”
The vessel was mercifully preserved, by what appeared to the crew to be almost a miracle.
May this account be a warning to us all, to seek for such a faith, as may be our support in every trial and affliction, may comfort us in the "hour of death; and may prepare us for the day of judg; ment!”
HISTORY OF MRS. D. AND HER SERVANT
To the Editor of the Cottager's Monthly Visitor:
Sir, SINCE we are, as Christians, taught to look up to the all-perfect pattern of our blessed Redeemer, and, through divine grace, to endeavour to imitaté His heavenly example, it is very encouraging to
meet with, or hear of, such of our fellow-creatures
have attained to any. degree of holiness of heart and life. I send you a short account of two individuals, who appear to have done this : and, as their history has given me much pleasure, and I hope improvement, it may have the same effect on your readers, of whom I am one, and very truly, Your obliged and faithful servant,
In the small, retired, but very pleasant village of S. lived an excellent lady, whom I shall call Mrs. D. She had known many great sorrows; had lost her husband, two children, and the greater part of her fortune. But, though she very deeply felt the two first of these afflictions, her Bible, which, from an early age, had been her study, had happily taught her, 'that, though she might innocently love, and very fondly love, her earthly friends, still that she was to “set her affections on things above," to have her 6 treasure in heaven,' And she had, from the time of her marriage, taken the utmost pains, by fervent prayer for divine help, and a constant watchfulness over her own heart and conduct, to shew her husband the fruits of that faith, the beauty and necessity of which she was so anxious that he should feel. And she had so carefully endeavoured to "train up her children in the way they should go," that God had, in His infinite mercy, given to her sorrowing heart the comfort to see that they had died the death of the righteous : and, through firm and joyful faith in the atoning blood of her Saviour, she humbly trusted that her latter end skould be like theirs, and that, together, they should rise to everlasting and perfect happiness. So en. tirely had these feelings become, by prayer and meditation, the habit of her mind, that her resignation was as willing as it was perfect, and, with her whole heart, she was enabled to say, “ Thy will, O God! not mine, be done :" " the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord.” She had no near relations; and, as she lived in the most retired manner, she had few acquaintance. The Clergyman of the village was almost her only visitor; and, except him, her only friend was a servant, named Rachel, who had for very many years been her waiting-woman. Rachel was in all respects worthy of such a mistress, who regarded her as a tried and valued friend. Having known her from a child, and largely shared in the comforts of her prosperity, this good woman had also shared Mrs. D.'s sorrows; and had seen her resignation and gentleness under them to be so constant, that all the affection and feeling of her heart, except that which she gave to God, was given to her mistress.
It has been already said, that Mrs. D, had lost the greater part of her fortune, and she had not therefore much to give away; but she considered the poor of the village as her children; and, by her strict economy, aided by the care of the good Rachel, she was the support of those who could not support themselves : she fed the aged, nourished the sick, instructed the ignorant, and exerted herself by every means in her power to persuade all to study their Bibles, and from its blessed precepts to learn the way to peace here and salvation hereafter. So successful was she, that the blessing of God seemed truly to rest upon the village: nor was there, in the whole kingdom, a more happy and contented people. But their happiness was, no doubt for the wisest reasons, soon to be interrupted. Mrs. D. was suddenly attacked with an illness which was thought trifling, and was therefore at first neglected : but the disorder increased so rapidly, that the most serious consequences began to be feared, and she was herself persuaded that it never could be cured. Her whole life had been a
preparation for death; and, now that she felt it fast approaching, she had the comfort also to feel that God was making good His promise, and would neither “ leave her nor forsake her.” She was much weakened by her illness, and often suffered extreme budily pain; but she never excused herself from the duties, which, as she said, were the worldly business of her life, as long as life was given her. She continued to visit the sick and infirm, and endeavoured to impart to their minds the faith and patience of her own. She read with them, and prayed with them, and was in every thing more active to serve them, from the increasing certainty that she had but a short time left her for usefulness. She made the girls of the village punctually assemble at her house, taught them to work and to read, and especially delighted to explain to them the holy Word of God, to teach them all that was there commanded, and the many merciful offers of pardon and grace therein contained. She was frequently visited by the Clergyman of the parish ; seldom failed to attend the services of the Church ; and had a degree of cheerfulness and energy which deceived all but herself as to the real state of her health.
One lovely morning in the month of May she aroše early, as was her constant custom, and leaning on the arm of her faithful Rachel, walked out to enjoy the refreshing air. They slowly ascended a hill, from the top of which they had a beautiful view of the village, and, sitting down on the stump of a tree, enjoyed the peaceful scene around them. After a silence of some time, “ Oh! Rachel," said Mrs. D., “how many delightful recollections does this sight bring to my mind. Not a cottage nor a meadow do I see that does not remind me of the happiness I have enjoyed : every object is interesting to me. How does my heart rise in gratitude to my heavenly Father that in His mercy he has given