Part 2 out of 5
unreservedly dedicated to Thyself. But oh! how shall I tell of Thy
unbounded love to a worthless creature! My soul longs to be wholly
Thine. Help my feebleness; let me turn neither to the right hand
nor the left, but teach me all Thy will.--I am blessed with health,
surrounded by friends, and encompassed by mercies. How infinitely poor
is my gratitude to the Lord, when all these are considered! How is
it, Lord, that my affection for Thee is so cold, and my faith in Thy
infallibility so weak? Quicken me, animate my drooping powers, and let
me every moment live in Thee.--I have the witness within me, but daily
feel my own weakness. All my good comes from heaven, and requires
constant renewal. I have faith in God, but thirst for more. I want to
be deluged with the love of God.--A trivial circumstance has been a
source of mental exercise; but thank God, have had power to keep my
tongue. Let the issues of my heart be kept by Thee."
ON THE DEATH OF NAPOLEON BUONAPARTE, MAY 5TH, 1821.
He falls! Napoleon Buonaparte is gone:
Who conquered thousands, conquered now by one:
His strength diminished, and his glory fled;
His kingdom taken, and his honour dead.
Though clad in warlike state,--without command;
A captive buried in a foreign land:
Oh! might we hope the captive now is free,
Escaped from bondage into liberty.
"In private I have been greatly blessed; but, oh! the sense of
ignorance I feel makes me ashamed: yet I know not that I ever felt a
deeper thirst for all that God can give. Come, Lord, and diffuse Thy
presence through my soul. I have been reading Bramwell's Memoir; how
desirable his life! How enviable his death! Help me, Lord, to follow
after, and to walk in close communion with Thee; that I may apprehend
that, for which I am apprehended in Christ Jesus.--At. St Michael's
Church the Rev. John Graham improved the death of the Rev. William
Richardson, who for half a century has laboured in York, and been much
esteemed on account of his ministerial usefulness. He gave a concise
account of Mr. R.'s literary and spiritual attainments. His Christian
character was excellent. His chief joy was in Christ crucified; and
his constant prayer, that he might not live longer than he could be
useful. His labours continued up to his last illness, which lasted
only a week, and his last words were, 'My pleasures are to come.' Thus
died this eminent minister of Jesus Christ, aged 76. To me it was a
season of especial profit; angels seemed hovering around."
Returning seasons bid reflection wake,
And o'er the past a winding passage take:
Ah! what a scene of change arrests the mind,
Within the compass of five months behind!
In many a home is hushed the voice of mirth,
And sorrow, as a flood, o'erflows the earth.
Here one, by sad misfortune followed fast,
In hopeless indigence is plunged at last.
Another, by disaster thrown aside,
Has got a crippled limb to prop his side.
There, death has made a breach, and left forlorn
The widowed mother, and the babe unborn.
Here, weeps the father o'er his orphan child,
Who thinks it strange, for formerly he smiled:
Oh! who can tell the sorrows of his breast?
'Tis sad experience must reveal the rest.
A few days since, a mournful crowd appeared,
In sable garb, and to the church repaired;
Ask you the reason of their measured pace,
Why silent all, and tears on every face.
Alas! the Pastor's dead, who, fifty years,
The Gospel tidings sounded in their ears:--
A man of God, endued with purpose strong,
Who lived the truth he taught, and hated wrong,
Full thirty years, the schools enjoyed his care;
The sick, the poor, the Missions claimed a share.
But now, we hear his friendly voice no more;
His course is finished, and the fight is o'er.
Come, hear the accents of his flying lips,
"My pleasures are to come;"--the curtain slips,
And hides what follows from our curious eyes:
Enough! he joins the chorus of the skies.
Another scene, and melancholy too;
The bridegroom widowed, ere he pleasure knew;
His hopes of bliss had soared unduly high,
And little dreamt he there was danger nigh;
But see! the throes of death his bride arrest,
The barbed arrow strikes her beating breast:
His hands have touched the cup, but ere he sips,
The wine is hurried from his burning lips.
Such are the sorrows which around I find,
Diverse, and manifold as human kind.
Let these suffice my gratitude to fire,
And with unfeigned praise my tongue inspire.
That I, so undeserving, still possess
Unnumber'd mercies, through redeeming grace.
Let each vicissitude my soul prepare,
By patience here, for endless glory there;
Where sickness ceases, and where sorrows end,
Where no misfortune can the bliss suspend;
Where death is banished, for the curse is o'er,
And love unrivall'd reigns for evermore.
"I have greater pleasure in visiting the sick, and the poor, than
in visiting those who, as far as this world is concerned, are better
circumstanced; in the former case, my object is simply to do or get
good, but in the latter, I find it is in danger of being mixed
with other motives. Christ is the end as well as the source of my
happiness. Oh! to be saved in every word and thought, this is what my
soul covets. I feel I am getting firmer hold of Christ.--I have been
tempted to a spirit of fretfulness and ill-nature; praise the Lord for
the victory. I was enabled to come to him for help, and power; and by
ejaculatory prayer, found sweet access to the Throne. I can say it is
my chief study to live to please God, and to obtain a complete victory
over myself, which I find is no small conquest.--The prospect of my
children's return from school has supplied me with another subject of
prayer. I have asked for patience, perseverance, and firmness to guide
them aright. By simply coming to the Lord, I obtain help; and am sure,
that while I continue to act faith in His power, I _shall_ be helped.
Then help Thy servant evermore to trust in Thee.--Had purposed going
to the Prayer-meeting, but was prevented; I believe Providence guided
me, and appointed me another work. In talking to my family at home, I
felt great liberty; the Lord loosened my tongue. Oh! that the seed may
spring up, and bear fruit. I endeavour to pour out all my grievances
before the Lord. I know that He hears my prayer, and am resolved
to tell Him the worst of myself, as far as His grace enables me to
discover it. I am decidedly resolved to be the Lord's, for I can
obtain solid happiness from no other source; but the name of Jesus is
a cordial to my soul. More faith, and more love, is all I want.--How
frail I am! Conversing with a friend as I returned from the house of
God, I uttered an unnecessary word, and immediately felt that I had
grieved the Spirit of God. As soon as an opportunity of retiring
presented itself, I poured out my soul before the Lord, ashamed that
I should so often offend Him, whom I desire to love and obey above
all things.--In my class I professed the enjoyment of the sanctifying
influences of the Holy Spirit; and, blessed be God, though I hold the
blessing feebly, I do hold it; but the cry of my soul is, fill me with
all the life of God."
[The following lines, written after reading a piece in favour of snuff
and tobacco, will be edifying to smokers.]
While some prefer the quid, and some the smell;
There are who think that smoke doth both excel,
I smile to see these votaries so misled,
And think their several tastes are idly bred.
Perchance one, here and there, may virtue find,
In 'bacco' fumes, when much perplexed with wind.
But sure, the human frame, frail as it is,
Is not so subject to the qualms as this;
Three times a day to need the burning herb,
To cure the evils which so much disturb.
'Tis since the fall, an idol demon tries,
By sophisms deep, to close the wise man's eyes.
While musing on the sacred word, they plead
The blessing of the mind composing weed;
Thus join their idol with Divinity,
Whose mandate is, "No other God but Me."
But hear them plead their failing cause again;
"It recreates the powers to work amain,
Dispels the phlegm, which on the stomach lay,
And fits us for the labours of the day."
But will not prayer, and reading recreate,
Much more than smoking thus in idle state?
And exercise effect more lasting good,
If they complain of undigested food I
O be resolved, ye smoking sinners, do
Forsake your idol, and your God pursue:
Deny yourselves, and nobly bear the cross,
Esteeming all for Christ but dung and dross.
"At the Prayer-meeting Mr. Spence gave a short address on the subject
of entire sanctification: my faith was so much encouraged, I could
scarcely refrain from speaking aloud; and while on my knees I
exclaimed, many times, before the Lord, 'I will believe' On my way
home the words were applied, 'Now ye are clean through the word which
I have spoken unto you'--At the Acomb lovefeast, I confessed that I
could now give God all my heart. I did not feel any doubt in so
doing, although the enemy suggested, 'you are deceived' Lord, if I am
deceived, speak for Thyself; for I am determined to be Thine. Here, in
Thy presence, I humbly beseech Thee to set the seal upon Thy own work.
I dare believe. Let the transaction be ratified in heaven. I am set
apart for Thee.
"Newton. Having a little time to wait for the coach, I sauntered into
the churchyard. The solemnity of the place suggested the following
lines, while I stood and pondered."
Still solitary place! Here silence reigns;
Here griefs are hushed; none ever here complains.
Here no ambition agitates mankind,
Within the limits of a vault confined,
Around the whisp'ring breeze, impressive, steals,
And on my listening soul instruction seals.
The solemn truth sinks deep within my breast;
I, mortal now, immortal soon, shall rest.
Ended my journey, with its hopes and fears,
My deep solicitudes, and silent tears.
Under some neighbouring sod, my bones will lie,
And wait the summons from the flaming sky:
When ocean, trembling in its briny bed,
And earth, upheaving, shall restore her dead.
Roused by the voice, that heaven and earth shall shake,
At that momentous period, I _must_ wake,
Among my fellow clay unknown before,--
Must wake with horror, or with joy adore.
Oh, wondrous scene! most awful! most august!
Th' event is certain, and the purpose just.
The Judge's eye will pierce the inmost soul,
Each hidden record of the past unroll;
No word, no motive, no minuter thought
Escape exposure, into judgment brought.
Oh! that these solemn truths, with equal force,
Might rule my soul, throughout its earthly course;
That every scene, and every hour, may give
True witness then, to God alone I live!
So with the saints in glory shall I rise,
To hear the welcome plaudit from the skies,
"Well done." Unbounded love! no tongue can tell
What transports then my ravished heart shall swell.
A worm! an atom! less than nothing I!
By love redeemed from death, and raised on high.
"Wrote a few lines to Miss B. concerning her soul's welfare. She is
very obliging, but destitute of the 'one thing needful.'--Called upon
Mrs. Farrar--we prayed together. How much happier should we live if
the time, so often wasted in chit-chat, were occupied in prayer. Help
me, O God, against this soul-robbing evil. I found it profitable.--The
Lord is teaching me the happy lesson of telling all my heart to Him.
With respect to domestic grievances, I do not feel them to be so
great a burden as formerly. My conscience feels tender, and though not
always equally happy, I find prayer sweet, and the Bible my delightful
study. This is Thy doing, to Thee be all the praise.--Passing a
person, who was standing at his own door, I felt prompted to speak to
him about his soul. I turned back, and did so, inviting him to go to
the Chapel: but, alas! I seemed as one that told an idle tale.--I took
tea with Mr. T. While he was at prayer, my soul was so lifted up, I
could scarcely help expressing my feelings aloud. What a heaven, is
the enjoyment of God! Prayer is the life of my soul, and the delight
of my heart; yet I have to mourn over my weakness in consenting to
conversation, which some may think very proper; but which does not
tend to edification. I want to do all for eternity.--We received a
turkey and a basket of fruit from a friend. I note this, as it would
appear, the Lord is resolved, we shall lose nothing by entertaining
his servants;--a preacher with his wife and three children, strangers
to us, having come, as they had no other place of refuge, to stay with
us till Monday. 'Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for some
have entertained angels unawares.'--A very stormy day; but where
Thy presence is how delightfully calm. The Lord does not leave me
notwithstanding all my failings. I am nothing; I can do nothing; yet,
thank God, He has turned the bent of my heart to his testimonies,
and it is the delight of my soul to obey Him.--On my return from the
Lord's house, I dedicated myself afresh to God; fully surrendering
my soul and body, my time and talents, to His service. Praised be His
name, He ratifies the surrender 'on the mean altar of my heart.' I
feel the inward witness, 'Ye are clean through the word which I have
spoken unto you.' O God, I accept Thee as my Sanctifier, my Sovereign,
to govern and direct.--I have many mercies to record, among which
health is not the least; but of higher value than that, are the favour
and the peace of God. Lately I have experienced solid happiness in
Christ, sweet access to the throne, and delight in the ways of God.
In visiting the poor, and also in acting in the capacity of
prayer-leader, I have had some doubts whether I was in the path of
duty. I laid the matter before God, willing to work for Him, or to
be laid aside for Him. On opening my bible, just before I retired to
rest, my attention was arrested by these words, 'They shall not labour
in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the
blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them. And it shall come
to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and whiles they are
yet speaking, I will hear.' Blessed promises! They appeared very
applicable.--By the midnight mail, my husband was unexpectedly called
from home, on very precarious business. May he be preserved from
everything injurious to his soul, however unfavourable to his health.
A day of much excitement, scarcely time for reflection; but in private
it was sweet to pour out my soul before God. I am desirous to know how
my husband proceeds with the business he has in hand. To know that
the Lord keeps him, and gives him health, would be a cause of
thanksgiving. He is in Thy hands, Thou Preserver of men, save him
fully. For some weeks past, I have been reckoning myself 'dead indeed
unto sin;' but the last few days my children have been very noisy;
I have thus been under the necessity of speaking loud, and sometimes
felt a little hasty in reproving them. This has awakened doubts of the
reality of my experience. Unfold to me, O Lord, Thy truth, for to the
test of Thy word, would I subject my life and practice."
"HOLINESS BECOMETH THINE HOUSE, O LORD, FOR EVER."--Ps, xciii. 5.
"Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord." The command applied
not only to the priest, who served at the altar, but to the Levite,
to whom the charge of the sacred vessels was especially committed. The
inference is, that the humblest officer in the Church of Christ ought
to possess, above every other, this essential qualification, holiness.
Purity is the secret of the Church's power. Wealth, talent, learning,
honour, are but instruments, which she can use; but this is her life,
because it is the breath of the Spirit of God, giving vitality to her
members, and energy to her action. God can use the "weak things," and
"the foolish," and "things that are despised, yea, and things that are
not;" but he cannot use the things that are unclean, unless it be
for purposes of shame and dishonour. When will the Church learn this
lesson? And when will she adopt the divine standard of judgment, and
estimate men according to their resemblance to Christ? So soon as she
shakes herself from the dust, she shall go forth in the majesty of her
strength, and become the admiration of the earth. Mrs. Lyth aimed
at purity. She had passed the region of shadows, and entered the
unclouded light of the Divine presence; but that very light, by its
intensity, only revealed more distinctly the sinfulness of her nature;
and created an absorbing desire after perfect holiness: she was thus
prepared by God for the service of His temple.
"1822.--In our private band-meeting, Mrs. W. mentioned a singular
circumstance. Being restless during the night, and troubled with
wandering of thought, she entreated the Lord to impress upon her mind
that which might be profitable. She fell asleep, and in a little time
awoke with the words, 'The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away;
blessed be the name of the Lord.' Sleeping a second time, she awoke,
with 'Precious in the sight of the Lord, is the death of his saints.'
A third time she slept, and the words, suggested on awaking, were
'Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: yea,
saith the Spirit, for they rest from their labours, and their works
do follow them.' A fourth time she awoke, and the passage presented to
her mind was, 'The end of all things is at hand; be ye therefore sober
and watch unto prayer.'--My soul is especially excited to prayer. In
myself I see no good thing, but many imperfections, and much weakness;
yet I hang upon the Lord Jesus, and thirst for a deeper baptism of the
Spirit. A few lines from Cousin E. inform me, that dear Ann, given
up by her medical attendants, is rejoicing in the prospect of eternal
glory. Praise the Lord. Though separation is painful, we cannot but
rejoice in the blessed anticipation of seeing each other again. It
only remains for me to be faithful.--My patience has been exercised
by one of my children. I scarcely know how to act, so as neither to be
too indulgent, nor too severe. O Thou, who hast promised, that crooked
things shall be made straight, and the rough, places plain, give ear
to my supplication, and in this matter point out the path of duty,
that at the last, I may present my whole family and say, 'None that
Thou gavest me are lost.'--While engaged in prayer, my soul was
blessed in such a manner, that for some time I could say nothing but
Glory, Glory. Surely this was a foretaste of the bliss, which shall
never end.--A letter informed me that cousin Ann wished to see me; so
on the following morning, putting myself under the protection of God,
who kindly took care of me, I left home. While travelling the spirit
of prayer on behalf of those, whom I had left behind, was sweetly
poured upon me. I found my dear cousin suffering from great debility;
but living by faith on the Son of God. A sweet smile played upon her
face, like the soft radiance of the setting sun. Grace shone in every
feature of her faded, but still lovely countenance. She tells me, it
is twelve years next October, since the Lord spoke peace to her soul.
We were kneeling in company with her sister, and the servant, by her
bedside. I was engaged in prayer at the time, and for this reason she
wished particularly to see me. Surely this is the mark whereby
the world knoweth us, 'because we love one another.'--As I was
distributing tracts, my heart was pained within me to see _how_ many
were employed on the Sabbath morn; and on my return, I wept to think
that, in the face of day, they could break a well-known command of
God. Lord, open their eyes that they may see. The spirit of my Ann
has taken its flight to the paradise of God, leaving many sorrowing
friends. Our loss is her gain; but nature feels.--In company with
Mrs. R. I collected for the Missions. We were wearied; but when
I recollect, how much more wearisome the work of the Missionary,
cheerfully will I undertake this labour of love; with a view to
alleviate their toil, and facilitate their success. I proposed to Mrs.
W. and Mrs. R. to meet me at the throne of grace, every morning the
following week, to pray for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit: we all
agreed. The appointed hour has been blessed to me; I have dwelt under
the shadow of the Almighty, and felt such a resignation to the will of
God, as I never felt before.--I was providentially led to see Miss B.
In our younger days we were companions; but in the course of time we
have become estranged. She is now on the bed of affliction, and wept
while mother and I prayed. She requested me to go again; if I can be
useful to her, O Lord, open the way, and speak by me.
--I went to see a man walk upon the river, which occasioned the
I saw the man, with wondrous skill.
Walk on the yielding stream at will,
Sustained by human art:
Not so did Peter, when to Thee
He stepped upon the rolling sea;
Faith did the power impart.
So while on life's tempestuous wave,
With timid steps I walk; O! save,
Reach out Thy hand to me:
My courage swells, while Thou art near,
Nor foe nor accident I fear,
Though wild the billows be.
But safely on through peril glide,
Supported on the dangerous tide,
By looking unto Thee:
Impossibilities shall yield,
And faith a solid pathway build.
Across the stormy sea.
I have had some family exercises;--scarce worth a thought, if I had
more of the mind of Christ; yet I have been able to tell my care to
God, and at his footstool, I have got rid of my burden. I enjoy the
soul's calm sunshine.--When I consider how time slips away, and how
little I effect for my own improvement, and that of others, I am
ashamed. My life appears so blotted, I can only say, 'God be merciful
to me a sinner;' but praise God, I can rely with greater confidence
than formerly upon his promises. I know I am his child, and my
happiness is in doing the will of my Father.--Mrs. Taft is with us. O
that the disappointment she has met with, (the refusal of the chapel,)
may turn out rather to the furtherance of the Gospel, and more
especially for the benefit of my family.--I understand she spoke in
the school-room with energy and power; and at the prayer-meeting which
followed, my Eliza was restored to the favour of God. Thus the Lord
out of seeming evil has brought good to my child.--The one thing is
daily the object of my desires and efforts. I want more clearly to
exhibit the fruits of righteousness in my ordinary conversation. Being
naturally of a hasty temperament, I need constantly to be baptized
with the meek, and lowly spirit of Jesus. Grant me, O Lord, my heart's
desire. I do feel Thy sanctifying presence, but O how I long for
more.--The Lord is working amongst the children. My Richard, at the
new School vestry, felt the drawings of the Spirit; and William, I
am told, cried out aloud. O that these early impressions may come to
maturity. My soul, praise the Lord for these beginnings. How shall I
best foster these tender plants: Lord, teach me to cherish the good,
and to correct the errors of youthful feeling. My father and mother
have entered the house we have built for them adjoining our own. We
had a prayer-meeting on the occasion, which was a blessed season to my
"1823.--For the last time, I visited Jane S. She was scarcely
recollected; but after a little time she requested me to pray. She
seemed very much in earnest. I endeavoured to point her to Jesus. For
a moment she revived; but in the night she died. So in one short week,
two are gone out of my husband's class.--This morning I felt great
power in prayer, and an ardent desire for full deliverance from every
besetment. In this spirit I entered into my family, resolving to
watch with all diligence; but alas! imperfection is stamped upon all
I do,--so many wanderings, useless words, and deviations from the
perfect law of God, that, were it not for the blood of Jesus, all hope
of heaven would be excluded. Yet in private I had sweet communion with
God. I have derived profit from the perusal of Lady Maxwell's Journal.
Some points of her experience correspond with my own: this encourages
me. Nothing seems so desirable, nothing so amiable, as momentary
living to God.--Mr. McKitrick brought me Mrs. King's class-paper,
requesting me to take charge of the class until she recovered. I durst
not refuse it, although I felt my inability very great. My mental
struggles since have been many. It is suggested I am influenced by
pride; that I imagine I can do better than another; only by casting
myself upon God, and resolving to leave myself in His hands, I find
help. O that I were satisfied, I am called to this work! By any means
discover this to me, and fit me by Thy grace; then gladly will I be
spent for Thee, who gavest Thyself an offering for me.--I went in much
fear to meet Mrs. K's little flock, among whom I felt liberty; but
afterward, my uneasy state of mind returned. O God, since all things
are possible to Thee, subdue my heart; let all within and all without
submit to Thy sovereign sway. One of the members requested me to read
the last chapter of the first Epistle of Peter, which I have done
several times, and found it sweet."
As Mrs. K. never recovered, and indeed died shortly after, Mrs. Lyth's
appointment to the office of leader was confirmed; an arrangement,
which, notwithstanding her deep sense of her own insufficiency, met
with the cordial approbation of the class. One of the oldest members,
who was present on the occasion of her first meeting them, says, "I
well recollect, with what profound humility, and with what fear and
trembling, she undertook the office of class-leader. While she was
confessing to us, that she felt utterly unworthy, and unfit for such
a responsibility, my heart rejoiced, that we were privileged with the
appointment of one, possessed of so many excellencies. She said, if
the Lord had anything for her to do, she durst not refuse; that He had
often employed very weak instruments to carry on His work; and added,
"Oh! that He may use me for His glory! Friends, you must pray that
the Lord may give me a double portion of His spirit, for I feel my own
helplessness." Then, on her knees, she poured out her soul to God with
great earnestness, that He would fully qualify her for the work which
had been imposed upon her." Her own conviction of duty was however not
so easily attained, and several entries occur like the following:--
"I again met Mrs. K's class, and found it very profitable to my own
soul: yet I am not quite satisfied I am right. O make it fully known,
and, if this is the path of duty, crown my feeble efforts.--None but
the true Christian knows the sweets of communion with the Father,
and the Son, through the blessed Spirit. 'Them that honour me I will
honour, came sweetly to my mind yesterday; by which I was led to see,
if I faithfully walk in His commandments, He will honour me with His
presence, and clothe me with His free Spirit. While pouring out my
soul in secret, the nearness I felt to Jesus is better felt than
expressed;--unusual power to give my all to Him without any
reserve, as far as I can judge of myself. Is this the work of entire
sanctification? Set to Thy seal, O my God, let the enemy no more rob
me of this jewel; but bear directly to my heart, the witness of
Thy love.--I have had many visits from above, but not without
interruptions. The use of more words than necessary has, on
reflection, occasioned feelings of pain. Oh! when will all my powers
be brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.--My wedding day!
Seventeen years I have worn the silken-chain; during the last, I have
enjoyed more of the life and power of God, and now the sacred flame
burns brightly on my heart. With respect to my marriage, I believe
it was solemnized in the fear of God; and an increasing union exists
between me and my dear companion. We have many a blessed interview
with God, when shut in from all beside. Oh the goodness of God to me!
His mercies have far exceeded my trials, and even out of my several
sorrows He has brought my greatest blessings.--At Mrs. K.'s class the
Lord graciously sustained me with His presence; my doubts respecting
this work seem now to disperse, and unless I am deceiving myself, I
am in the way of providence. I inquired of one of the friends, if
any time was fixed to pray for the revival of the work of God, and am
told, every Friday--fasting; hours of prayer; six, nine, and twelve in
the morning, and three and six in the afternoon. By the help of God, I
am resolved to join them. The Lord is blessedly with, me this evening."
TO MY HONOURED FATHER
ENTERING ON HIS EIGHTY-EIGHTH YEAR.
Bending with the weight of years,
See the hoary headed saint,
Rise above tormenting fears;
Suffer, but without complaint,
Ready, as a shock of corn,
For the Paradise above;
Golden fruits his age adorn,--
Fruits of holiness, and love.
Though the outward man decay,
Inward strength is daily given;
Nothing can his soul dismay,
Succoured by the God of heaven.
He, the wise man's laurel, wears;
In the path of wisdom found,
Lo! his hoary head appears
With unearthly glory crowned.
Borne on time's untiring wing,
Homeward fast his spirit flies;
Now the city of the King,
Flames upon his longing eyes.
Brighter, as the clouds recede,
Blaze its walls of spotless white;
Deeper, from the throne proceed,
Dazzling floods of purer light.
Every birthday, nearer hies
That unknown but welcome hour;
When the saint in triumph cries,
"I, through Christ, am conqueror."
"I went, by request, to visit a person who has long been confined
to her bed. She knows something of God; but ah! how slight is
the knowledge of even, professing Christians! After reading, and
conversing with her, I proposed prayer; but the master of the house
sat still. When we arose from our knees, I spoke freely and plainly to
him of his sinful condition. O my God, if I was moved by Thee, fasten
conviction upon his conscience.--I accompanied Mrs. K. to collect for
the Clothing Society, and while our benevolent friends bestowed upon
us the mammon of unrighteousness, the Lord blessed me with the true
riches.--Having taken a little cold, I was dull of hearing, and afraid
that I should not be able to hear the members of my class in the
evening. I betook myself to prayer, and the Lord graciously heard,
and so far restored me, that I had no difficulty. My soul was like wax
before the sun, while Jesus shone upon it.--My mind has been reproved
for reproving. Lord, I thank Thee for Thy secret admonitions; forgive,
and take all my powers under Thy control. I called to see Mr. Spence;
his natural powers decline, but heaven beams on his countenance. He
said, while he was putting on his neckcloth, in the morning, he had
been struck with the meagre and ghastly appearance he presented in the
glass; but the sweet serenity of his soul compelled him to exclaim,
'Welcome old man! welcome declining age! welcome death!'--I spoke
at the Prayer Leaders' lovefeast, but the enemy troubled me much
afterward: however, this much I will affirm--to the grace of God I owe
my all. I feel decided in my choice, hate sin, have the witness that
I am a child of God, and enjoy the comforts of the Holy Ghost; but
the clear evidence of entire sanctification I do not hold, though I
believe I have many times received it, and for a short time held it;
but, for want of boldly confessing the faith, have lost the blessed
pearl. O for the baptismal flame."
In the summer of this year she visited the Rev. John Nelson, then
stationed in Sheffield, to whom she was much attached. As was her
constant practice, when released from the claims of domestic duty, she
availed herself of every opportunity of doing, and getting good. Every
day was a sabbath of religious privilege. The church, and the chapel,
the social party and the sick bed, were made subservient to purposes
of spiritual improvement. With reference to a party of friends, who
were invited to meet her, she says, 'After tea the females being left
alone, each of us prayed; this is a blessed way to cut off religious
"Quarterly Fast. Mr. Haswell called upon me to pray, when the Lord
was pleased to humble me; for which I would be truly thankful. Make me
willing any way, only let my soul be brought into conformity with Thy
will;--willing to be little, that Thou alone mayest be exalted. My
nature is not willing to be thought little. During the day I felt a
humble dependance upon Jesus."
ON OBSERVING A SIGN IN SHEFFIELD WORDED,
"BRIDE CAKES AND FUNERAL BISCUITS."
Ah! is the bridal-day,
When festive pleasures meet,
The presage, but of swift decay,
Within the winding sheet?
What then is man at best?
A blooming,--fading flower;
Immortal, in a mortal vest,
The creature of an hour.
Well then may death be joined
Unto our festal days;
Well may our pleasures limit find
Within so short a space.
To seek eternal bliss
Within time's narrow span,
Is man's best int'rest;--only this
Can form the future man.
Let dying mortals then
Their foolish dreams forsake;
Unto their rest return again,
And Christ their refuge make.
Then, even timid youth
May smile upon the tomb;
And festive moments welcome truth,
Though clad in robes of gloom.
By Jesus' death, is broke
Death's dark and powerful spell;
And, while to Him by faith we look,
We know that all is well.
"While meeting the little company my soul was blest. O for spiritual
discernment and grace, that I may be truly helpful to them, and deal
faithfully. Visited a dying person who says, she dare not rest on
Jesus;--yet HE is a tower."
ON THE DEATH OF POPE PIUS XIII.
His Holiness, the Pope,
Hath yielded up his breath;
He, who could sins forgive,
Hath no command o'er death;
How wonderful! such power to have,
And yet to sink into the grave!
If sin, the sting of Death,
His Holiness could draw;
Why render up His breath
Unto a conquered foe?
Either, he fallible must be,
Or sin hath gained the victory.
"I am thankful for the decision of character I feel. My daily want is
more of the love 'that conquers all, and every mountain moves.'--My
private communings with God are my most precious seasons. There I
can tell all my wants, unbosom all my griefs, reveal all my secrets,
expose all my temptations, and there the Lord graciously condescends
to visit me with fresh manifestations of His love and power. These
visits humble me, and give me to see, where my strength lies. Come,
Lord, and dwell in me, that every moment I may have the witness that
all I do is right.--I called to see my dear afflicted friend W., whose
eldest daughter is slowly sinking into the tomb. As it was the hour
we usually meet in band, we retired to pour out our souls before the
Lord. My friend seemed willing to give up her daughter, if only she
could be assured, that a divine change had taken place. The Lord gave
us the Spirit of prayer to plead on this account, and glory be to God,
in that same hour, He imparted peace to the dying child.--The night
was awfully tempestuous. I rose twice to pour out my soul to Him, who
rules the storm, and found sweet calm within.--After tea, Mr. Spence
asked me, why I had invited my friends. I replied, it was my desire,
that we should help each other to heaven. A conversation on holiness
of heart ensued, which to me, and I trust to all present, was
profitable. This conversation will leave no painful reflection. I
avowed that I held, though with a trembling hand, the power to love
God with all my heart, and felt the sweet assurance at the time; but
the next morning when I awoke, it was suggested, I knew not what I had
avowed. The satisfactory evidence was for a moment withdrawn; yet by
faith I still resolved to hang upon the Saviour. I did not long remain
in doubt, my peace of mind returned; and in the evening, while
engaged in prayer (Eliza being with me), the divine influence sweetly
overwhelmed my soul, and not mine only, my Eliza felt its power. Glory
be to God.--I took tea with Mrs. E., the person with whom I lodged
during my affliction. A sense of gratitude for past mercies stirred my
heart to praise; and the time, which might otherwise have been spent
in conversation to no profit, was spent in prayer.--I daily need the
sprinkled blood, and the clear assurance of the perfect love which
'casteth out fear.' I dare not doubt that I possess, in a measure,
its blessed fruits; but I long to rise higher, that no scruple may
"CAN ANY UNDERSTAND THE SPREADINGS OF THE CLOUDS."--Job xxxvi. 29.
Who can explain the involuntary emotions of human mind? How strange,
that often, on the eve of some great misfortune, a sensible cloud
should spread over the spirit; but whence it comes, or why, we
cannot tell! To say it is a coincidence is only an acknowledgment of
ignorance. Ought we not rather to refer it to the secret agency of
the spirit-world by which we are surrounded; but of which we know so
little? Perhaps God would thus timely warn us to seek refuge under the
shadow of his wing, just as we seek shelter from the storm, which the
cloud, that spreads itself upon the face of heaven, tells us is at
hand. At least, it cannot be without advantage, when such monitions
occur, to betake ourselves to more earnest prayer; then, come what
may, we shall find a safe asylum in Him, to whom belongeth everlasting
strength.--One of the first entries of the year 1824, is
THE CLOUD WILL SOON BLOW OVER.
Though far, and wide above my head,
The dull portentous cloud is spread;
With many a dark and massive fold,
Love decks it with a rim of gold.
The sun is shining still behind,
The promise of a purpose kind;
And, soon unveiled again, will dart
His cheering rays upon my heart.
Far brighter will His face appear,
Than if no cloud had gathered near.
Then, till the cloud is overpast,
My anchor, hope, on God I'll cast;
Assured while He is throned above,
The cloud is only sent in love.
About a fortnight after penning these lines, her father, whose
continued life she had, every spring, hailed with a new song of
gratitude, was suddenly seized with a fit of paralysis, which in a few
days terminated his earthly career. A premonitory attack had occurred
in the preceding autumn, which at the time affected his speech, but
on recovering a little, he expressed his confidence in God in these
remarkable words: "It is rolled up; it is rolled up. I am satisfied; I
am quite satisfied. I am ready; when the Lord pleases, I am ready. The
Lord hath given me eternal life. I know the Lord; I shall not perish.
I shall not perish, for I am the Lord's." During the winter he had
rallied again, and resumed his labours in his Master's cause. Hopes
began to be entertained, that he might yet be spared a little longer;
but these were suddenly cut off. About the beginning of February he
was seized again, and it was soon apparent that this attack would
prove fatal. His last testimony to the truth was strong and clear, and
continued to be borne until the power of language failed. To the Rev.
W. McKitrick, who came to visit him shortly before his departure,
he said, in almost the same words the amiable Addison used to Lord
Warwick, "You are come to see a Christian, die;" and then added,
"Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. I used
to sing that in the Church, when I knew not what it meant; but now I
do." Not a shadow of a cloud rested upon the valley; it was full of
light: and on the 24th of the month he died, in the full triumph of
faith, esteemed and lamented by persons of every shade of opinion.
"This day in former years, I have hailed my dear father's stay among
us; but now, he has left our dark abode to join his friends above; and
this day, his death is to be improved by Mr. Hopkins New Street,
and Mr. McKitrick, in Albion Street Chapel. For some weeks I have
been under the chastening hand of God. My patience has been severely
tested; but I am thankful, in the moments of severest trial, I have
felt confident that not a stroke would be laid upon me more than
would conduce to my real good. Though the waves roll around me, I
can venture myself on Jesus. Here I find firm footing; here is my
resting-place; and in the precious atonement of the Redeemer, my soul
enjoys sweet repose.--I have been suffering from sickness, but have
had many precious moments while musing upon my bed. Through mercy, I
am again able to sit up, but am very deaf. This has occasioned a train
of reasoning. I have been led to inquire, whether the Lord in His
providence intends to depose me from meeting His people. But in
this, and in every thing else, I would resignedly say, 'Thy will be
done.'--The mercy of the Lord is again repeated. The deafness, from
which I have suffered, is greatly removed. Bless the Lord, who can not
only make the deaf to hear, but the heart to praise.--My little Anna,
after being lent to me for seventeen days, and finding nothing on
earth to court her stay, has closed her eyes on time, and opened them
upon heaven. So uncertain is earthly happiness. Perhaps my heavenly
Father, more securely to engage my heart, has kindly resumed the
gift; and transplanted to a better soil the flower, whose charms were
insensibly stealing my affections. I anticipated the delightful task
of rearing this tender plant to be a future comfort; but Thou, O Lord,
art righteous in all Thy ways. My feelings have been peculiarly acute,
but to Thee, O Lord, my heart is known. Teach me due submission to
Thy will; and as, by this bereavement, I shall, if restored to health,
have more leisure, may I dedicate it to Thee.--While Miss O. was
praying with me, I had such a blessed view of the inhabitants of the
world above, that for a moment I seemed to be there. At the Class I
was led to see the privilege of living by faith every moment. Since
then, I have been able to realize _present_ blessings. The perusal
of one of Mr. Fletcher's letters has been of service to me; also the
recollection of what my father used to say; 'I ask in faith, and bring
the blessing away with me.' Surely this is our Christian birthright.
Faith honours God, and 'without faith it is impossible to please
God.' Thanks be unto Thee, I can now live by faith; but I want to
lose myself in Thee, Thou vast unfathomable sea of love! Covered with
imperfections, I want to be plunged in the precious blood of Jesus.
Precious Name! Precious blood! the sweetest cordial of the soul.
I have had such a view of the way of faith as I cannot express; so
simple, yet so divine! Such a sweet deliverance from doubt! While I
feel myself nothing, I have power to apprehend God as my sanctifying
Saviour. What has the world to compare with this?--I rose before six
to hold communion with my God. Art Thou _my_ God? Yes; by that exalted
name, I feel Thou art mine. My soul longs for Thee. When shall I wake
up after Thy likeness? I have this evening met the precious charge
committed to my care. The responsibility seems greater than ever. O
may I watch as one having to give account.
"Sinnington. Nature now resumes its beauty, but the removal of my
beloved Ann, and the absence of my dear Elizabeth, make a mighty
chasm. Well; soon these separations will cease, and my freed spirit
soar to mansions of unclouded bliss. I have been tempted by the enemy;
but hold fast my confidence: may the faith, which purifies the heart,
sanctify my lips, that I may tell of all Thy wondrous love.--I visited
Mrs. B. a second time; she is encouraged to believe the Lord will save
her, for Christ's sake-without any merit of her own. Her husband was
more cordial than I expected from the account I had heard of him;
the tears started in his eyes while I conversed with him. I feel I am
employed as I ought to be, when in this way I render the least service
to a fellow-creature; but O how poor and feeble are my efforts! Since
I came here my mind has been variously affected; sometimes clear,
sometimes clouded; sometimes in prayer I have experienced unusual
liberty, and again a degree of coldness; but always a sense of the
approbation of God, with a desire to be entirely conformed to His
will.--Part of the day was spent in bidding the friends farewell, and
in visiting some of the poor; and now I have finished my visit to this
place, I can say, I have been endeavouring to please God, and in some
measure, benefit my fellow creatures; but my performances have been
so mixed, that I am ashamed before the Lord. Nothing but the blood of
sprinkling can wash away my defilement.--I went to the vestry after
the evening service, and selected a place, where I thought I should
not be observed; but the thought of the curse of Meroz, constrained me
to leave my retired position. I resolved, if any opportunity presented
itself, to engage in prayer; and truly God poured upon me the spirit
of grace and supplication.--This week I have paid a social visit both
to Mrs. R. and Mrs. W. Praise the Lord, I came away uncondemned on
account of anything I had said. This has not always been the case. I
am thankful for the inward teaching of the Spirit; for the desire that
every power of my body, as well as every affection of my soul, may be
wholly consecrated to God. This is now my prayer.--I have been much
affected to hear that an old man, whom I had intended to visit, died
yesterday. O God, forgive the omission and help me to be faithful. I
took an opportunity of seeing Mr. and Mrs. G., to converse with them
on the necessity of salvation: let Thy spirit work. The Lord has been
showing me what a poor empty creature I am; but gives me confidence
in His promise. I can cast myself entirely upon Him, who is willing to
save me to the uttermost. Glory be to God, my soul dares lay hold on
Jesus, as my full, and all-sufficient Saviour.--This morning I gave
Wm. B. an invitation to chapel; called on M.T.S., who is in trouble,
and advised him to read the 112th Psalm; saw Esther S., who is fast
declining, but seems to desire nothing so much as union with God; also
visited J.C., who is sick, but happy in God.--The means of grace
are refreshing, but these are not the only occasions on which I get
blessed. No; while my hands are engaged with my ordinary duties, I
can look up and call God Father.--My husband presented me with a new
visiting book, the old ones having been called in after the death of
Mr. Spence; and the whole concern placed in the hands of a committee.
Having formerly felt my insufficiency, I have sought help at the
throne of grace, and entreated the Lord, as the committee have thought
proper to send me a book, that He would give me a word in season, and
His blessing with my efforts.--The souls committed to me have been
laid very near my heart. Conscious of my own weakness, I asked the
Lord to put His word into my mouth, and bring it to my remembrance;
and to His honour I here record it, that I have never experienced
greater liberty.--In the prayer-meeting I was silent, and felt
condemned in consequence; and on Saturday night the conviction of duty
was still deeper, but still resisted, How much I need forgiveness! As
the result, barrenness came over my soul, which continued part of the
next day. The recollection of having petitioned God to take my soul
and body's powers, and then to refuse to employ my tongue in His
service, although He had promised to put words into my mouth, fills
me with shame and humiliation.--For some days I have been hanging on
Christ by naked faith, without much sensible comfort; yet have felt
as fully resolved to live to the glory of God as when bathing in the
beams of His love. To-night the sacred fire burns brightly 'on the
mean altar of my heart.'--I have many mercies to be thankful for,
though not recounted here. A moderate share of health is not the
least; my class increases, my family is well; I am surrounded with
friends; and above all, I enjoy peace of mind. 'What shall I render to
the Lord for all His benefits?'"
The rapid moments fleet away;
And on their tireless wings,
Death rides, majestic in his sway,
Subjecting Popes and Kings.
"1825.--My daughter being out to tea, I called to take her to chapel;
but the solicitations of her friends had induced her to relinquish her
intention: so I left her. But my mind was much pained; the case of Eli
forcibly impressed my mind. I think I too easily yielded to what
my better judgment condemned. I need the forbearance of my heavenly
Father, and wisdom to direct my children aright. I see great danger
in mixing with the world, and the company of outward professors is
equally perilous.--While Mr. Stoner was describing the character of
those, who have received Christ, my soul responded to the truth: I
felt the reality of the change in my own heart. The evidence of the
sanctifying grace of God has of late been more distinct; yet never
have I been more deeply convinced of my own nothingness, nor of the
exceeding riches of the divine grace.--This eventful month (February)
is this year ushered in by answers to prayer. Having a cold, and being
dull of hearing, I entreated the Lord, if he had called me to meet
his people, to give me power to hear. He graciously condescended to my
request and blessed me among them. Four new converts stepped in. O for
wisdom to instruct them.--I had a very pleasant visit at Miss C.'s.
Mr. Stoner, Sammy Hick, and two or three female friends were there. We
got to know one another's hearts upon our knees, and the Lord lent an
attentive ear.--My body is feeble, but my soul pants after God. I
want totally to abandon self, that Christ may be all in all. He is the
chief object of my affection, but I want to lay firmer hold upon His
omnipotent strength. It is faith that brings the power to exhibit the
graces of the Spirit, and to act acceptably in the sight of God."
Friendship hails the rising joy,
And shares the falling tear;
Breathes the sympathetic sigh,
And swells the common prayer.
How it soothes the troubled breast!
This charity divine
Breathes the balm of heavenly rest.
--May such a friend be mine.
"After my morning duties are discharged, I intend to devote the
Thursday of every week to the Lord, so long as health and opportunity
are afforded me; especially in visiting the members of my class,
ministering to the sick, and attending the school. I went out feeling
that I was the engaged servant of the Lard, and he has graciously
blessed my endeavours. One whom I visited is earnestly seeking the
Lord; and another, who has long been indebted to my husband, gave me a
sovereign towards the amount-unsought, unasked, and unexpected!"
Father of all, and God of grace,
Whose ever watchful eye
Surveys the depth and breadth of space;
Yet sees the sparrow fly:
Behold my heart--it pants for Thee;
The temple for Thyself prepare;
There let Thy throne established be,
Thy name engraven there.
"Much against my inclination, I paid a formal visit to ----;
providentially I was seated near a friend, who was willing to converse
on things conducing to holiness.--Among the Lord's poor my soul is
often blessed. This day, the day I have set apart for God, I wrote to
Miss B. respecting the Sunday class; and, after arranging my domestic
affairs, set forth to visit Mrs. D., then Mary H., who was sitting up
reading her Bible. As soon as I entered, she began to tell me, that
a great change had taken place in her views and feelings; and that
prayer and reading the word, were her greatest delight. I asked her
how long she had experienced this; she replied, 'About a month. You
had been praying with me; many things you said fastened upon my mind:'
then, laying her hand upon her heart, she added, 'I felt such a weight
here, I knelt down to pray; and after getting into bed again, it
seemed as if a voice spoke to me, 'Mary, the door is open:' from
that time I have felt such peace of mind, and pleasure in reading the
Bible, as I never did before.' Lord, Thou art able to judge of this
statement, and bringest men to Thyself, by ways and means unknown to
human sense. This occurred on the first Thursday I devoted to God.
Lord, make me faithful in the discharge of the trust reposed in me.--I
am this morning left alone; yet not alone. I feel a blessed sense
of the divine presence, which enables me to anticipate my heavenly
inheritance; but not for any merit in me: oh no! on Jesus hangs my
hope. To me belongeth shame and confusion of face; for my best doings
are polluted, and all my good is from Himself. Praised be His name for
the change effected in my mind. The saints of God are my delight,
the word of God my treasure, and communion with God my greatest
joy.--Through mercy, although feeble in body, I am better than during
last week. Yet even then I enjoyed peace, and when weakest, my faith
has been strongest; I could commit all into His hands; still I see
myself a poor empty creature. It is all of grace, through Jesus.
Afflictions, from Thy gracious hand,
Unmingled blessings prove;
The rod, prepared at Thy command,
Displays a Father's love.
Beneath its weight, submissive, Lord,
Upward to Thee I look;
"Expect according to Thy word,"
A blessing in the stroke.
May every pain be sanctified;
And every grace improve;
Till freed from dross, like silver tried,
My soul is only love.
No tear shall then bedew my eyes,
No grief my bosom swell;
The note of gratitude shall rise,
Thou hast done all things well.
"My dear mother has had a fall, and has been much indisposed in
consequence. I am thankful to have her so near me, as it is a pleasure
to perform my duty as a child. In this, and every other relation, may
I be found faithful.--I rose very early, as I felt concerned about
my dear mother; and went to her room-door, between three and four
o'clock; but as Mary had fastened it within, I could not obtain
admittance. However, I betook myself to prayer, and commended her to
the Lord. This passage was strongly impressed upon my mind: 'The Lord
will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing; Thou wilt make all
his bed in his sickness.'--I spent the day at H., in the company of
some friends not decidedly devoted to God. The Lord kept me, and I
am thankful I came home without condemnation. I was favoured with an
opportunity of speaking with each of them respecting their spiritual
state, and the things of eternity.--For some time I have been
surrounded by hurry and excitement, and longing for a little
retirement. At length, in a way I did not expect, I am in part
secluded from my family. In this I am constrained to acknowledge the
mercy of God to an undeserving worm. Brought apparently to the grave's
edge, I have been refreshed with His presence, and had power to cast
myself upon His fatherly love. The enemy assaults me; but aware of my
own weakness I venture, powerless as I am, upon the boundless merits
How sweet is still retirement! How it calms
The mind, and aids reflection! Here my soul,
Unfetter'd, soars to converse with its God.
I hear his Spirit whisp'ring round me now;
And love, and gratitude subdue my heart.
Yes, Solitude! I love thee, and enjoy
In thy sequester'd depths, the bliss, in crowds
I seek in vain. My God! my only joy!
Yet, O blest Saviour, when Thy voice is heard,
Amid the tumult springs a sudden calm,
And heaven-born peace pervades my happy soul.
"A situation has offered for Richard, which we have hesitated to
accept or refuse, wishful to do right, and afraid of doing wrong. In
this dilemma, we cast ourselves at the footstool of mercy, my husband
and mother uniting with me, and were fully enabled to roll our care
upon God, who wonderfully undertook for us. I believe we have done
"SEEK THAT YE MAY EXCEL TO THE EDIFYING OF THE CHURCH."
1 Cor. xiv. 12.
True religion is reproductive. A converted man will try to convert
his neighbour; and the value of his own experience may in general be
tested by the manner in which he uses his opportunities of doing good.
So true is this, that the Saviour said, "He, that is not with me, is
against me; and he, that gathereth not with me, scattereth abroad." An
inactive Christian is a contradiction in terms; for he is no copy of
his divine Master, who, morning, noon, and night, "went about doing
good." All the Scriptural symbols of the kingdom of God are expressive
of energetic action. The little cloud attracts to itself the moist
particles of the atmosphere, until it covers the whole heavens. The
seed germinates, and grows, till it brings forth thirty, sixty, or
a hundred fold. The leaven, which is but a minute form of vegetable
life, developes itself in every direction by means of little cells;
which again form others, and thus by continual reproduction, leavens
the whole mass. What Is the lesson? Every heart in which the kingdom
of God is set up, becomes a centre of life and action, exerting a
healing influence upon the corrupting masses of society around. And
oh! if every Christian professor were thus endued with power from on
high, what could hinder the progress of the truth? How would it spread
and prevail, until the whole world submitted to its sway!
Mrs. Lyth was imbued with the true spirit of Christian zeal. By
letter, as well as by direct appeal; by secret intercessions with
God, as well as by personal effort; she sought to win souls to Christ.
Instant in season and out of season, few came in contact with
her without feeling the force of her religious character; and
her diligence in visiting the sick, the needy, and the careless,
superadded to the faithful discharge of home duties, often affected
her own health. In the Autumn of 1825, she spent some weeks at
Hovingham, a small watering-place in the west of Yorkshire; but,
though only delicate through recent sickness, she sought her
relaxation in doing good. On the Sabbath she went round the village
to invite the people to the Chapel, and on the week-day visited the
afflicted and infirm. One case occurred here, which well illustrates
her persevering charity, even under circumstances of discouragement.
A young gentleman, educated for the legal profession, and the son of
one, who at an earlier period had met with her in the same class, had
come to seek relief in an advanced stage of consumption. She sought
him out at a neighbouring village; but when announced, he refused to
see her, and sent the not over polite message, that if it had been a
clergyman, it would have been another thing. However the hostess, who
was a Methodist, said, if she would come at such an hour, she would be
able to obtain an interview, as he went out riding every day, and
was obliged to pass through her sitting-room. She went at the time
specified, and for the purpose of introduction took with her a book,
which she offered to lend him. He just turned over a few of the
leaves, and not finding it to his taste, returned it, saying, she
might take it back. Nothing disheartened, she talked with him about
his mother, and her anxiety for his salvation; until at length she
prevailed upon him, though not without a degree of reluctance, to
allow her to pray with him. In a few days he was taken so much worse,
that he was obliged to return home; and with the view of obtaining
another interview, she wrote a letter, which she took to him, with
the request that he would kindly forward it, as soon as he arrived in
York. This he courteously engaged to do. On parting she said, "Well,
sir, as you are going to return, I must say farewell; perhaps we shall
never see each other again." "What," he replied, "do you think I am
going to die?" "No sir," she returned, "but neither you nor I seem
likely to live very long." The nail was fastened in a sure place.
Immediately on her return to York he sent for her, saying to his
mother, "You know whom I want; she must come every day." The account
of the visit is given in her own words. "I called upon Mr. ----; and
am thankful to find a blessed change in his spirit. I read to him the
eighth chapter of Romans. He cried aloud, and requested me to pray
with him, which I did; then his mother, then I, then a stranger.
Truly it was a blessed time; such as they professed never to have
experienced before. My soul felt the divine influence." These visits
were continued, until, in a few weeks, he exchanged mortality for
life. The last notice of him is, "I saw Mr.----, whom I found in a
blessed state of mind. As his outward strength decays, his inward man
is renewed day by day; his hope blooms with immortality. When I was
coming away, and bidding him farewell, in hope of meeting him again
in heaven, he replied, 'I have not a doubt of it.' I entertained the
hope of seeing him again on earth, but on Saturday night he died: so I
must now urge my way to meet him at the right-hand of God."
We continue our extracts:
"I find, that unnecessary conversation, even with religious persons,
and on lawful subjects, has a tendency to destroy the fervour of my
spirit.--Mrs. R, met the dear little company; the power of God was
generally felt. I proposed that we should meet every day at the throne
of grace, to pray especially for the salvation of some amongst us,
as well as for our own prosperity; and desired as many as approved to
signify it by lifting the hand, which was done by all. I have had some
blessed seasons while interceding on this account.--I was pressed in
spirit to visit the speechless man. After pointing him to the sinner's
only refuge, I knelt down; when the Lord shed upon me such an unusual
degree of the spirit of grace and supplication, that I was fully
convinced the man was blessed. On rising, I asked him, if he believed
the Lord would save him, to lift up his hand, which he did. I asked
him to repeat the sign, if he felt happy. This he also did. I am the
more encouraged, as, on a former occasion, I had solicited the sign
in vain. My soul praised the Lord on his account, and I came home
Farewell departed day! farewell for ever!
From earth alone, thy flight, my soul can sever.
My hope is anchored on the 'Rock of ages;'
The storm in vain with fury round me rages.
Farewell ye passing cares! though pain and sorrow
May be my lot to-day, joy beams to-morrow:
Within the veil, my soaring faith has entered;
And all my happiness in Christ is centered.
"A precious day to me. The Lord enabled me to witness to the truth
before the great congregation.--I paid Mr. Stoner and his bride a
visit. He would have me pray a blessing on their union; but I did not
feel the same liberty I found in praying with the speechless man a
little after. He again lifted up his hand when asked if he believed
the Lord would save him. I went to see an afflicted person in the
hospital; a friend was reading to her; but when I entered, she ceased,
seeming wishful to hear what I had to say. As the Lord enabled me I
urged upon them the necessity of salvation. Before I came away the
number of listeners was increased to seven. The Lord gave me liberty
of utterance, and they earnestly pressed me to renew my visit. If this
is from Thee, O Lord, open my way. The afflicted person, whom I have
visited several times before, professes to have found peace more than
a week ago. Another of them wept, because she found out she wanted
something she did not possess. Upon the whole the Lord appears to have
directed my visit. May it be followed by a permanent blessing."
"1826. This afternoon was employed in seeking out the necessities of
the poor. On my return home I felt I had done my duty, but nothing
more. I can trust in nothing but Christ for salvation.--All I do and
say, seems poor and insignificant. I want greater power to live to
God; watching against the assaults of the enemy, guarding against
self, repelling vain thoughts, living a moment at a time, praying
always. I know this is possible; for 'all things are possible to him
that believeth.' Oh for living faith.--Visited a poor afflicted widow.
After reading and praying, she began to pray of her own accord; and
shortly broke out into praise, in a manner that astonished me; but it
was the Lord's doing. She expressed her confidence in such terms that
I could not doubt the truth of her confession.--Mr. Slack divided Miss
Bentley's class. What will be the result? [In consequence of Miss B.'s
indisposition, the class had been met by Mrs. Lyth for some time; and
had so much increased that division became necessary.] If I live till
next Sunday I must take my share of it. But who is sufficient
for these things? Anoint me, O Lord, with fresh oil. Make fresh
discoveries of Thy love. Breathe the Holy Ghost. Inspire the living
fire. Furnish me out of Thy treasury with arguments to defeat the
devil, and plead the cause of truth. Armed with Thy power, I feel
willing to be the hand, or the foot, only souls are saved, and Thou
art glorified. I was sent for by a member of Miss B.'s class, who was
very ill. The Lord was pleased to bless her while I was with her; so
that clasping her hands she shouted, several times, 'Glory be to God.'
As I returned home it was sweetly brought to my mind, 'Inasmuch as
ye did it to the least of these my brethren, ye did it unto Me.' The
infinite fulness of God surpasses all my thought;--a breadth without a
limit, a length without a termination, a height without a summit,
and a depth without a bottom. How I grieve that anything else should
occupy my thought! for sure I am, He is the only bliss on earth
designed for man to know. Two days I have been begging for the new
Chapel, and still I am requested to canvass the opposite side of
Walmgate. Lord, if this is the way Thou choosest to humble my pride,
make me willing to be the hand, or the foot, to help on Thy cause.--At
the close of the class, E. came to me, and by her silent, yet
expressive, countenance said, 'pray for me.' We continued a little
time longer, but she did not obtain her heart's desire. Lord, forgive
our little faith.--My mother and I started for Sinnington. During
the journey my soul rested in Jesus; and since our arrival I have had
power to look up through nature to nature's God; a gift not afforded
to every one because of blindness of heart. While cousin Elizabeth and
I were united in prayer, the Lord poured upon me such a blessing, with
the words, 'Ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you,' as I
cannot express. I earnestly long for the salvation of the inhabitants
of this village. Took tea with Mr. B. Many dainties, yet I have
greater satisfaction in visiting the sick than in gratifying the
palate. How much need have we to watch in every thing! O keep me ever
on my guard, and watching unto prayer.--My birthday. Three years ago I
was in Sheffield, and there resolved to devote myself to God; and ever
since, I have been endeavouring to do it. Still I am but a dwarf in
growth, yet will I not be unthankful for what I am. I feel the peace
of God in my soul, with an increase of those fruits that spring from
inward religion. To God be all the glory. The more I possess of this
divine power, the less I see in myself. O how great is the love of
God! To-day I would renew my covenant with Him. Here is my heart, O
take and seal it; and let it be Thine for ever.
"Scarbro'. I took up my cross, and spoke to some old women; but oh!
the darkness of the human mind! My medical adviser gives me permission
to bathe. O Lord, give Thy blessing. I had a delightful view of the
sea from the Spa. Nothing on earth is to my mind a more striking image
of Almighty power than this uncontrollable mass of waters, to which He
only can say,' Peace be still,' and it obeys Him.--When I went to the
Chapel, I felt considerable drowsiness, and was afraid I should fall
asleep; but I lifted up my heart, and entreated the Lord to remove
it, which He graciously did, and I sat under His shadow with great
delight.--After first giving myself into the hands of the Lord, and
asking His blessing, I bathed in company with Miss B----t. Afterward,
during prayer, while in the machine, the Lord graciously watered our
souls. To me it was a refreshing season. I was truly overwhelmed with
the precious love of Jesus; so that, when we parted, I went on my
way rejoicing, and praising God for the rich baptism bestowed on
His worthless dust.--My Richard was articled to Wm. Matterson, Esq.,
Surgeon. This has made me many errands to the Lord; and now, O God, I
leave him in Thy hands: still offering up my earnest prayer that Thou
wilt be his director and guide. I feel more anxiety for his soul than
his earthly interests. 'The ways of a good man are ordered of the
Lord.' I dare rest upon Thy word; therefore my earnest prayer is, that
he may be a man of God. O blessed Saviour, let my fervent petition
be heard. Save him, and fit him for Thy will.--This morning my waking
Rises the sun, his course to run,
In robes of golden light;
So may I put the Saviour on.
And walk with Him in white.
As flowers adorn the brow of morn,
And scent the fresh'ning air;
New graces, in my spirit born,
Diffuse their fragrance there.
"With feelings of gratitude, I resume my pen, which has been laid
aside for some weeks, in consequence of domestic and personal
affliction. God has once more restored us; and I would therefore
acknowledge his loving-kindness. The rod has been needful, and the
desire of my heart is, that it may be sanctified to me and mine. My
dear mother continues ill, and much harassed by the enemy. O! for
faith to take hold upon the Saviour: through Him we tread down our
foes. I _can_ venture upon his atoning blood. How vast my obligations,
and how unprofitable my services, language fails to tell.--Mr. Bourne,
an old friend of my honoured father, came and conversed awhile with us
on the things pertaining to the Kingdom; then gave out a verse or two
and prayed. On leaving, he said, 'Well, Mary, I shall remember you,
and your family, and pray for you; and if I live to come to York
again, I will come and see you. I felt more pleased than if he had
given me gold and silver.--A day like spring; so clear, and warm, and
sunny. I entered upon it with strong desires after God, and a sweet
sense of his favour. His presence cheers my path, and smooths my way.
Visited a man apparently near death; awakened, but O how dangerous to
delay repentance until the last hour! After meeting my class, I called
upon Mary D., to whom the Lord has graciously revealed himself; we
rejoiced together while she spoke of the Lord's goodness."
"1827.--While interceding on behalf of my dear mother, I was
encouraged by the application of several suitable promises,
particularly, _'At evening time it shall be light.'_ The morning
following she told me of the comfort she had experienced during the
night. This must sustain my faith in future.--My husband has this week
declined business. Thou God of love, still guide our path. Let us not
'miss our providential way;' but draw us nearer to Thyself.--Taking
tea with a neighbour, whose salvation I have long desired, I felt
it my duty to speak plainly with her on the subject; and was greatly
encouraged by the inward voice of the Spirit, as also abundantly
blessed while engaged in prayer. Whether I was of any use, I know not,
but my work is with the Lord.--I went forth to visit the poor, not
knowing whither to direct my steps. I begged guidance from above, and
believe the Lord heard me; for, quite accidentally I was led to the
bedside of a woman, who had wandered from God; but in her affliction
had found out her error. She appeared much affected, and wished me
to go again.--Called upon M.H., upwards of eighty. She quoted many
promises, which were especially sweet to her. It is delightful to
visit such; another whom I saw, has been a persecutor, but is now
seeking salvation.--I called to see Mrs. Fettes, who has long been
a mother in Israel. My spirit was refreshed, while she spoke of her
experience of the things of God. Afterwards I saw Mrs. R.; with whom
I had a blessed interview, especially at the throne of grace. My
soul thirsts after God. I feel I am saved, but I want more.--Mr. Jos.
Mortimer conducted a meeting at St. George's Chapel, in which sixteen
or seventeen persons obtained the forgiveness of sins. One man, who
had been struggling about two hours, witnessed a good confession
before many witnesses. When asked how he felt, he said, 'I feel as
if I were in heaven:' and indeed his countenance testified the happy
change that had been effected. My two sons, Richard and William,
were much upon my mind; but they remain in good desires. Lord, fasten
conviction upon their hearts.--The power of God was eminently present
in the band-meeting. My two daughters, went to the penitent form,
seeking a full salvation; and there, glory be to God, they found it. O
that they may hold fast their confidence. My heart bounded at the
glad news, while tears gushed from my eyes.--In Fossgate school-room a
great number were made happy in God; I am told about fifty, and among
them three members of my class. Mrs. R----e and Mrs. R----n joined me,
at the 'eve of evening,' to pray for them. Whether it is in answer
to our prayers or no, thankful I am, prayer has been heard and
answered.--This evening twenty-three young persons, who have received
spiritual benefit, came to my little class. I felt myself very
inadequate to instruct them;--complete poverty. Lord, help me. Mr.
Mortimer accompanied me to visit a sick man, who, before we left,
professed faith in Jesus. O the unbounded mercy of God! I want more of
it. It is estimated that, during the week, not less than three hundred
have been brought to God: and among them my Richard. Keep him, O Lord,
near Thy side, and teach him all Thy will.--I feel cause of gratitude
to God for His mercy to my family. William has this night been brought
under divine influence; glory be to God;--a child of many prayers and
many fears, but God has found him out. O keep him, blessed Jesus. Now
all my family are brought to know God excepting little John; for whom
I pray, and believe God hears.--Mr. Slack divided my little company
(about seventy); allotting thirty of them to Miss G. O Lord, send us
both prosperity.--I have lately felt the constant power to pray; and,
though I have nothing in hand, I come to Jesus, and receive 'out of
His fulness, and grace for grace.' On Thursday I wrote to my dear
uncle, endeavouring, though feebly, to urge him to the pursuit of
inward holiness. O Lord, bless him, for Christ's sake. I think I never
felt a greater desire for the salvation of others. In this city the
Lord still continues to carry on His work.--I accompanied Mr. M.
to Heslington; we had a blessed little meeting. Three obtained the
forgiveness of sins. Surely these are the latter days, when times of
refreshing are promised. Every day souls are saved, and set apart for
God. In our parlour last Tuesday, Mrs. F. found liberty, as also her
daughter a few weeks ago.--Mr. Mortimer has been our guest the last
month, and will remain another week. He is a man of God. Next week
we expect Mr. Is. Clayton. I esteem it an honour conferred upon us to
entertain the ministers of the Lord; but a much greater honour, that
the Lord condescends to dwell in my heart. O may I ever walk, and
dwell in Him.--After a week of indisposition, mingled with much
excitement, I feel solid rest in God. We had a blessed time in the
band-meeting. I think I was never more fully delivered from the
creature. How sweet to live above the world! As I returned. Miss C.
joined me, and informed me what the Lord has done for her soul. She
believes He has taken full possession of her heart. I rejoiced while
she imparted the blessed news. She expresses herself clearly. O may
she ever hold it fast. I gave the following lines to Miss A. A. on her
birthday; may they be made a blessing to her.
"How important the season! Big with eternal results!--born for
eternity! Let it be a day of reflection, dedication, and prayer; and
if the following lines prove any assistance to you, I shall be amply
Again the happy morn appears;
And nature, clothed in beauty, wears
Her wonted colours; and the rose
In all its pride of lustre glows;
Emblem of frail mortality!
It buds and blossoms but to die:
Too soon its glory fades away,
The passing pageant of a day.
In this fair flower, your image trace;
While youth sits smiling on your face,
Secure those virtues, which perfume
The life, when beauty fails to bloom--
The rich adorning first designed,
The vesture of a humble mind.
Be yours, in rich abundance given,
The treasure of an inward heaven.'
Hence virtue takes its deepest root,
And scatters fragrance in the shoot;
Blossoms when youth hath passed away,
Maturing for eternal day.
Reflect; the moment flies! 'tis gone!
The year its rapid course hath run!
What tidings have been winged to heaven,
Since first the precious boon was given?
Examine well; nor fear to know,
What truth may in its mirror show.
Is this, your twentieth birthday, blest
With more of wisdom in your breast?
Are your affections more divine?
Do you in Jesus' image shine?
More dead unto the world and sin,
Than when you did the year begin?
If fraught with truth our moments are,
And swift to heaven the tidings bear;
How should we weigh each act and word,
And wisely think, for thoughts are heard!
At this important period pause,
And unto God commit your cause;
With firm resolve and earnest prayer,
To meet Him in the clouds, prepare.
Him first, Him last, in all things own,
Whose wisdom guides in paths unknown;
Then, as the winged hours ascend,
Shall blessings fall upon my friend;
Till, full of years, matured you rise
To claim your birthright in the skies."
WORKS OF MERCY.
"I DESIRED MERCY, AND NOT SACRIFICE."--Hosea vi. 6.
Mercy is the brightness of the glory of God;--the rainbow round about
the throne; wherein the pure light of Deity, too effulgent for the eye
of sinful man, is refracted, and presented under an aspect, which not
only reveals his manifold wisdom, and perfections, but blends them
in one bright manifestation of beauty, which even sinners may dare
to contemplate, with wonder, admiration and love. Jesus Christ is the
embodiment of the picture, being the brightness of the Father's glory,
full of grace and truth. While He enters the lowly abodes of humanity,
to contemplate its sorrows, and minister to its relief; the dazzling
effulgence of divine majesty is veiled under a covering of flesh.
Nevertheless, it is GOD who weeps with Martha, and Mary; who wipes
away the widow's tear, and speaks words of comfort to the outcast.
Incomprehensible Mystery! It is GOD incarnate, who suffers and dies
upon the cross to purchase life for His enemies. What a picture is
this! So far as it is capable of being reproduced, God loves to see it
revived in His children; and never does a man become more truly great,
or more faithfully represent his Master, than when, "putting on bowels
of mercies," he seeks by every means to alleviate the sorrows and
sufferings of his fellows. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall
obtain mercy." At this period, Mrs. Lyth's journal abounds with
instances of her benevolent exertions, but a few of which we can
transfer to these pages; yet they are ever recorded with an humble
consciousness of her own unworthiness. She proceeds:--
"I want to improve all my moments for God, but, on reviewing the past,
I find I need everywhere the blood of sprinkling. I am Thine, save me.
I feel Christ is precious _now_. He has my whole heart, yet I want an
increase of every grace, especially of patience, and meekness.--I feel
my own poverty is great; be it so, let me only receive more largely
out of Thy fulness. Humble, O humble me to the dust, but let Thy image
shine in me. While I write I am awed by the presence of Deity. Oh let
it continually surround me. Jonathan Saville met my dear little flock;
I felt my own littleness, while he spoke to us.--I accompanied my
husband to Barnbow, to invite Mr. Dawson to come and preach Dr.
McAllum's funeral sermon; which he consented to do. To me it was a
day of rich enjoyment, for my soul was happy in God. I recognized
His presence in the heavens above, and the earth beneath; indeed
everything spoke of Him. I took tea with Mrs. R----n, who desired me
to pay a little attention to the moral and religious character of her
son, resident for a time in York. O what a responsibility! I write
it here that I may remember.--Mrs. R----n has come to stay a few days
with us. On Tuesday, we breakfasted with a few praying friends at Mrs.
F.'s. While pleading with God a blessed influence rested upon all.
I felt as if let into God. What will it be when prayer is turned to
praise? To-day we had another baptism at Miss C.'s. The same friends
were present. Surely Christian friendship is one soul in many bodies;
who can express the unity?--'Jesus is bringing lost sinners to God;'
Glory be to God! I feel it my duty to pay more attention to my boys;
praying for them is not enough. I must warn, and daily inculcate their
duty and privilege. Lord help me.--I visited Mrs. F., and found it
profitable to converse with an aged saint; we were comforted together.
She said the Lord had sent me. It is true I prayed for direction,
and the promise is, if we acknowledge Him, He will direct our steps.
Evermore guide me.--Mr. Mortimer and his brother breakfasted with us.
While at family-prayer the latter, who had backslidden, began to cry
aloud for mercy; the Lord speedily came to his deliverence, and prayer
was turned to praise.--I went to the Sabbath School tea-meeting; but
doubted whether I was in my proper place. However, I resolved to send
William and John to the School, simply with the hope that their minds
might be impressed with divine truth.--Thursday. A day devoted to
works of mercy, both to the bodies and souls of men; in which I
prayed to be saved from self, and directed aright; but how feeble and
imperfect my efforts! I feel myself a poor nothing.--While visiting
Mr. S., who is in a dying state, I was much encouraged. He has
long been a hearer, but neglected to embrace salvation. While I was
pleading for him, he exclaimed, 'I believe, I believe.' I saw him
again the next day, and on asking him if he felt Christ precious, he
said, after a short pause, 'Precious, quite precious.'--I was much
affected by a circumstance related by the Rev. Robert Wood, of an
eminently pious man in ----; who has not been seen to smile for four
years, and when asked the reason, uniformly replies, 'The word of God
is true; the wages of sin is death; my son died in his sins, and is
now in hell. How can I be cheerful?' May this make me more than ever
in earnest in pleading for my sons.--I am aiming to have a conscience
void of offence in the sight of God and man; but, on examining my
doings, I am ashamed of them. I might have used greater diligence,
evidenced more love, spoken with greater propriety, cultivated a
more affable spirit. I might have been more pointed in address,
more constant, more humble, and in many ways have acted with greater
Christian consistency; but Jesus is my refuge. Praised be His name,
I love Him!--At the lovefeast Mr. W. stated, that a man in L---- had
five sons, for whose salvation he had importunately prayed, from
the time of their birth until he died; but without success. They all
followed his remains to the grave; and, as they were taking their last
look at the coffin after the usual service, one of them clasped his
hands and exclaimed:--'I once had a praying father; but there he lies;
and now I must pray for myself.' From that moment he commenced a new
life, and was soon brought to the knowledge of the truth. Within two
years the rest were all truly converted to God: encouragement for
parents.--I prayed that the Lord would direct my steps in visiting the
poor, and in this He answered me: for quite unexpectedly I was
sent for to the bedside of a woman apparently dying, and who,
being awakened to her lost condition, lamented the neglect of past
opportunities. While a friend was praying she began to pray for
herself, faith instantly sprang up in her heart, and she cried out, 'I
will believe, Lord help me, I never felt it so with me before.'--Glory
be to God, I am still a witness of His saving grace; though buffeted
by the enemy within, and exposed to temptation from without. I see the
path lies straight before me,--'looking unto Jesus,' who is yet alive.
If I proceed, I feel confident of conquest over all my enemies.--Mr.
Barnabas Shaw met my Sunday class and said, that once when preaching
in Africa, he exclaimed:--'What is it makes the Gospel so sweet?' One
of the natives instantly arose and said, 'Jesus.' Truly it is so. My
soul tangs on Jesus; here I find rest. The last few days I have been
endeavouring to live in the will of God, with some power to do it. To
God be all the glory for the work He has wrought. Yesterday I took
the sacrament with poor Mary F., who is praising God for the grace
manifested to her on a death-bed. How quickly time flies! Well, let it
If Jesus my companion be,
My words and actions shall agree,
The index of my soul;
Meekness, benevolence, and love,
Shall every secret purpose move.
And sanctify the whole.
[The following letter was sent, with the articles specified, to some
unknown person in Nottingham; and the subject of it remained a secret
in her own bosom, until the copy was found among her papers.]
"Dear Sir,--Having a little matter to put into your hands
in aid of the Methodist Missions, I take the liberty of addressing
a few lines to you.
"The approach of your Annual Meeting at Nottingham
reminds me of what I have seen and heard on such occasions;
viz., that small donations, and comparatively trivial incidents,
in the hands of your ingenious and able speakers, have often
been turned to good account, and produced a very happy impression.
This consideration induces me to mention a few
particulars relative to myself, which otherwise would be impertinent.
"When very young, a kind friend of mine, for whom I had
a great affection, gave me a piece of silver newly coined, with
which I was so well pleased, that I was resolved to keep it for
the sake of the giver; or, as the common phrase is, to make a
keepsake of it: and this resolution I held so sacred, that
neither childish toy, or youthful pleasure, could wrest the treasure
"When in my twentieth year, it pleased God to bring me
to the knowledge of His salvation; which so rejoiced my heart,
that the natural consequence was a readiness on all occasions to
contribute my mite to promote the cause of the Redeemer,
through whom I had experienced such unspeakable happiness.
"On one occasion it happened, that I had no money
about me but this piece, which I had so long and sacredly kept
in remembrance of my friend. As the collectors were handing
the boxes round to the different pews, I began to argue in my
mind the propriety of giving away my piece, as the best way
of keeping it. The thought of laying it out upon myself I
could not entertain for a moment; and was aware there would
come a time when I could no longer retain it. At length, to
test the propriety of giving it, I supposed I had done so; and
afterwards met my much-loved friend in the world of spirits.
I imagined she was well acquainted with what I had done; but,
on consulting her countenance, I could not perceive the least
mark of displeasure: on the contrary, I thought she gave me
a smile of approbation. This determined me; accordingly,
when the box was presented to me, I dropped my piece into it;
and from that moment to the present, whenever the circumstance
has occurred to me, I have always felt perfectly satisfied
with my decision.
"At the present I have a few choice things, bequeathed to
me by a dear friend, now, I trust, in heaven; and I wish, as in
the former instance, to keep them for the sake of the giver;
but I can think of no means so satisfactory as that to which I
have adverted. I therefore send them as specified in the margin;
[Footnote: The articles were--a silver coffee-pot and stand, a
silver plated tea-pot, a silver cream-jug, do. fish-knife, and
half-a-dozen do. dessert spoons.] and request they may be
appropriated to the furtherance of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus
"Perhaps some may be disposed to question
the propriety of such a mode of preserving their treasure; but, I think,
I cannot do better than put the precious things to those which are
"With most fervent prayer for the prosperity of Zion,
"I remain, Dear Sir,
"Yours most respectfully.
"My mother continues very ill; how it will terminate I know not. Her
affliction bows her down to the dust; and though she casts herself
upon the Lord, she seems to have no joyous feeling. I have been with
her night and day. Sometimes sorrow overcomes me; but the promise,
which I received some months since, when I was praying for her,
follows me daily: _'At evening time it shall be light,'_--At the
Watch-night service Mr. Wood desired us, on our return home, to take
pen and paper, and testify whom we would serve. To Thee, O Lord, I
plight my vows; in the strength of Thy grace, I WILL SERVE THEE. Thou,
who seest me, ratify the decision in heaven. Help me to perform what
Thou requirest of me. My talents, my time, my body, my soul; be wholly
Thine. Amen, and amen.
Here with the closing year,
I would my vows renew;
Humbly before Thy throne appear;
In mercy do Thou deign to hear,
Descend, and bless me now."
"1828.--When I awoke, this blessed admonition was given me for a
morning repast; 'Abide ye in My love;' and sweet it was to my taste."
A BIRTHDAY THOUGHT.
No cold wish do I express,--
Many birthday's happiness;
But in heart sincerely pray,
God may dwell in you each day;
Every day, a birthday prove,
Born anew in Jesus' love.
"I was sent for to visit L.G., but she did not come to see me. Oh!
what a deplorable case! without God! without hope! and without desire!
Her friends, who had come for me, seemed concerned on her account.
Lord, lay to Thy mighty hand; the work is Thine. Praised be Thy name,
for opening my eyes, once equally blind, though at a much earlier
period. I am a much greater debtor to grace, because of its long
continuance, great forbearance, and incessant efforts to win my
MY WEDDING DAY. LINES ADDRESSED TO MY HUSBAND.
Full thrice seven years I've shared your home and name,
Nor yet extinguished is affection's flame:
By reason tempered, now with steady heat,
It brighter glows, fed by endearments sweet.
Hail then the day, that made us one on earth,
Yet not with pipe, and song, and foolish mirth;
Bather to God let us our vows repay
With hearts united;--at His footstool say
"We will be Thine; call us Thy love, Thy bride,
And let us shelter in Thy bleeding side."
So when dissolved the matrimonial chain,
We die, to live; and live, to meet again.
Transporting thought! through our Redeemer's love,
We have the promise of a house above;
Death disappears, with all his sable train,
And light, and life, and love for ever reign.
Come then, my love, let us together rise,
Forget the things behind, and seek the prize;
By fervency of spirit daily show
We pilgrims are, and sojourners below:
And should some storm of fierce affliction come,
Portending shipwreck in the sight of home;
In Jesus anchored, strength shall be supplied,
Till we the fury of the storm outride;
And reach the haven of serene repose,
Where all our sorrows shall for ever close.
Amen, so be it, let our hearts reply,--
In Christ made one,--in Him to live and die;
In life, our happiness united be,
In death, divided not,--eternally.
"I have given my husband a copy of these lines this morning, proposing
that we devote one hour for the special purpose of dedicating
ourselves to the Lord. May we do it with unfeigned hearts. I
feel humbled on account of the past; resolved at the present; and
encouraged for the future.--Having occasion to administer reproof, I
spoke with greater severity than the circumstances required. O when
shall I possess that self-government, which tempers every word and
action. Though suffering from indisposition, my mind is kept in peace.
Unworthy as I am, Christ is precious."
ADDRESSED TO MY LITTLE JOHN, THIS DAY SEVEN YEARS OLD.
Linked with the memories of the day,
Your name the first appears;
"A little stranger," did they say,
"A transient visit comes to pay,"
And still we hail your longer stay
Though now 'tis full seven years.
My lovely boy, your sojourn here,
Awakens anxious care;
Your tender mind aright to rear;
Your steps to guard from danger near;
Oh! might the God of mercy hear,
And bless a mother's prayer.
Know then, my child, God speaks to-day,
"My son, give me thy heart."
Oh! will you not without delay,
In secret go to God and pray,
That he would take your sins away,
And His pure love impart?
I'm sure He loves to hear you pray;
To-day then, do begin;
He'll hearken unto what you say,
And never turn His ear away,
But answer you from day to day,
If you will give up sin.
I love you, John, you know I do;
God loves you more than I;
As once on Samuel, now on you
He calls, O may you answer too;
"Speak, Lord," Thy servant's heart renew,
For at Thy feet I lie.
Good children ever are inclined
Obediently to live;
Humble, and teachable, and kind,
They wish to know the Saviour's mind,
And often seek that they may find,
What God alone can give.
"As I went to meet my class it was suggested, as it was also the last
time, 'Who hath reaquired this at your hands?' Is it from an enemy?
or am I in a wrong position? The people seem to prosper, and the Lord
gives me liberty among them; but often has a cloud gathered over my
spirit when I have been going to meet them. O Lord, remove my doubts,
and guide me by Thy counsel. I wish to sink into Thy will; use me or
lay me aside; only let Thy will be done.--The last week has been to
many a season of high enjoyment; but for myself, although I rejoice in
the success of missions, my soul has not yet learned to preserve its
centre in the midst of the excitement, which on such occasions often
falls to my lot. Mr. and Mrs. Isaac were with us from Monday till
Wednesday; and on Friday afternoon, the Yorkshire bard, James
Montgomery, Esq., with several other friends, was with us at tea.
My mind was kept in peace, and during singing and prayer I found it
profitable. Mr. Montgomery presided at the Missionary Meeting, which
by some is pronounced the best they ever attended. Surely it was the
presence of the Great Head of the Church, which made it so.--We had
a blessed season at the class. Afterwards I went to Albion Street
School. A class of girls retired with me into the little room, for
the purpose of conversation and prayer: while they listened the tears
started in their eyes. I feel deeply concerned for their salvation.
The work is Thine; these souls are Thine; help me, Lord, to do Thy
work faithfully; that success may follow. This morning I was much
Are blessings kindly given;
They, who the fiery test abide,
Receive an inward heaven.
That Kingdom, Lord, be mine,
Just as Thy goodness wills;
A heart renewed, a will resigned,
A soul, that Jesus fills.
Then, every grace shall grow;
Its fruits in beauty shine;
From love shall every action flow,
And all the praise be Thine.
"I have been to see after two of my members, over whom I fear I have
cause to mourn. One was gone out, yet could not come to class! The
other was in bed! I fear there is a dearth of spiritual feeling. Lord,
give me wisdom and faithfulness.--After collecting for the Missions,
I visited a member of mine in the hospital, and prayed with several
of the afflicted in the ward. The person, whom I went to see some time
ago, is recovering, and wishes to join with us.
"Kirkby. I arrived here yesterday about ten o'clock, after a
delightful journey; and am resolved, that change of scene shall make
no difference in my religious feelings; unless, by the opportunity of
retirement, I get closer to the Lord. My hearing is a little dull,
but my prayer is, that this affliction may be sanctified; and removed,
when the Lord pleases. Christ in me is the source of my happiness. I
hunger after righteousness; more faith--humility--meekness--love.
O how beautiful are the fruits of grace! The rich clusters of
the heavenly vine, invite my longing taste.--Spent two nights at
Follifoot, with Miss B. I went with the resolution of conversing with
her on the necessity of a change of heart; and on reflection have no
ground of condemnation; only, I might have used greater earnestness.
My time has passed more pleasantly than I anticipated. We took a walk
through the park to the late residence of a gentleman, who has been
obliged to leave the country, in consequence of his own extravagance,
and imprudence. His beautiful mansion is sinking in ruins; and
loathsome reptiles are its only occupants. Such is earthly grandeur;
and such the man, that makes not God his refuge. The grounds are
delightful; but for want of proper cultivation, begin to show evident
marks of the curse:--thorns and thistles springing up in abundance.
Molly accompanied me back with the grey pony; and, as she walked by my
side, I warned her to flee from the wrath to come.--Walked to Pannal;
here I found need of watchfulness, and courage; all--in nature's
night; blessed with earthly good; but destitute of heavenly peace. I
prayed with the family each evening; and spoke to each member, with
the exception of Mr. ----, on the need of preparation for another
world; but my efforts were feeble. My happiest hours have been
spent in retirement, and solitary walks; one of which, was extremely
delightful. The picturesqueness of the scenery, combined with smiling
heavens, conspired to raise my mind to Him, whose forming hand has
adorned all nature, and has raised my soul from death to life. The
scene vividly called to remembrance my beloved cousin Ann; with whom
on this very spot, I had passed some of the happiest moments of my
life. I felt what I cannot put into words. On my return to York, I
found Eliza, bathing her face after the application of leeches; and
Mary, putting John to bed, in the measles. Such is life! It is the
Lord, and to His will, I would patiently submit."
A DYING SCENE.
"PRECIOUS IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD IS THE DEATH OF HIS
SAINTS."--Psalm cxvi. 15.
How solemn, and instructive, is the scene of death! What a satire upon
the pride, pomp, and vanity of the world! and yet, when relieved by
the cheering experience of divine truth, what a blessed confirmation
of all that the Bible tells us! The utterances of the dying Saint,
come home to our hearts with peculiar force. It is as if the spirit of
the departing, having reached the boundary of time, and looking forth
on the unclouded scene beyond, shouted back to its companions yet
enveloped with the mists and gloom of earth: "It is all true, you have
only to follow on a little further, and the glorious prospect will
burst upon you." Mrs. Lyth seems to have carefully treasured the last
words of those, who, within the circle of her acquaintance, died
in the Lord; and in the case of particular friends, these notices
sometimes extend to several pages: as if she delighted to linger on
the borders of another world, and to catch a momentary glimpse of its
happiness, and the distant sound of the harpers, harping with their
harps. An example occurs in the course of the following extracts.
"At the two o'clock class, many were in tears; while others testified
of the Lord's goodness. We were, as one of the little hills of Zion,
refreshed by the dew from above. In the evening I remained at home,
intending, if the way opened, to go and see my cousin Elizabeth, who
is very ill. John is recovering; Eliza is still unwell, but I will
leave them in the Lord's hands.--A little before six, I left my cousin
Elizabeth much better, and happy in God. She told me that in the night
she could scarcely refrain from singing:--
'Here we raise our voices higher,
Shout in the refiner's fire,
Clap our hands amid the flame,
Glory give to Jesus' name.'
"On analysing the feelings of my heart, I find a disposition to
brood over trifling grievances; this robs my peace, and encourages an
unfavourable opinion of those who occasion them. This is surely some
of the filthiness of the spirit from which I must be cleansed: I feel
ashamed of it; Lord, deliver me.--Have been to see Fanny McD. She is
very ill in body, but when asked respecting her soul, she said, 'I
have had a feast to-day while alone with Jesus, my Redeemer.' She is
one of the Lord's jewels, like Lazarus, enclosed in a casket of
rags. After hearing Mr. Vevers preach from 'we must all appear at
the judgment-seat of Christ,' I dreamt I saw the heavens melting with
fervent heat. I felt no condemnation, but began to pray earnestly.
The impression, which this has made on my mind, has awakened increased
earnestness--A stranger came into the class, who was much affected;
gladly would I have travelled in birth for her, until Christ was
formed in her heart; but our time was limited, and she went mourning
away. From thence I went to Albion Street School, to converse with
some of the children; several of them wept. In the evening I attended
St. John's Church. I can enjoy a Gospel ministry in the church, as
well as the chapel: true religion destroys every wall of partition.--I
received a very affecting letter from cousin Penelope. Elizabeth is
in a very afflicted, but happy state. During the night I have been
wakeful, and much drawn out in prayer; but felt reproved for having
purchased something which I could have done without. I acknowledge my
weakness. May the Lord give me a deeper sense of my responsibility,
as the steward of His manifold gifts.--Retired from the bustle of the
city to Eastfield House. I took a walk to the village, and called
to see Miss H. on my way to the class-meeting. We joined in social
prayer, when my friend exclaimed, 'I will believe, I do believe.' It
was a blessed season;--a time of the breaking of bonds.--Cousin Samuel
came with a gig, to convey me to Sinnington. I found my dear cousin
ready to take her flight to a better world; or as she herself says:
'Gladly would I flee away,
Loosed from earth, no longer stay.'
She has given up all, and is now patiently waiting her dismissal. It
is a privilege to sit by the bedside of one thus fully prepared,
and sanctified through the merits of Christ. 'Glory be to God,' she
exclaimed, 'though it has cost me many tears for my unfaithfulness,
the Lord has forgiven me: yet I believe it will lesson that eternal
weight of glory I might have had.' Being asked if she had no wish for
earth, she replied, 'O no, not one: I have but one wish, and that is,
to be fully ripe for glory:' and added, 'I should like to talk to you
of the preciousness of Jesus, but I cannot.' While we were alone, she
stretched out her withered arms, and drew me to her side; then holding
me fast, she said, 'Let me request of you, my dear cousin, that you
will stay a little with my sisters when I am gone: it is my dying
request.' I promised I would, if possible. Could I do less? She added,
'they have no one to comfort them, and, when they are low, they are
very low indeed: it will relieve my mind if you will.' O Thou, whose I
am, and whom I serve, direct my way. I have said, place me where
Thou wilt, only let Thy providence guide my steps.--I left my
William poorly, and am hoping soon to hear from home: meanwhile, I am
encouraged while bringing them to the throne of grace. Thank God, for
the privilege of casting my care upon Him! I feel He cares for me.
Prayer by the side of my afflicted cousin has been a blessing to my
soul. Surely I am privileged:--
'The chamber, where the good man meets his fate,
Is privileged beyond the common walk
Of virtuous life, quite on the verge of heaven.'
This morning, when asked how she was, she replied, 'This has been a
precious night; the Lord has promised me, He will be with me to
the end.' Her cough was very troublesome, but she said, 'I feel no
disposition to murmur, but I cannot help moaning. The Lord is very
precious.' Part of the day she lay greatly composed, with her hands
clasped. On entering the room she accosted me with: 'I am hard toiling
to make the blest shore. I have been much harassed by the enemy,
who tells me I shall be cast away; but I rest on the blood and
righteousness of Christ: I have nothing else to trust in.' After
a severe fit of coughing she said, 'The toil of life will there be
o'er:' and again, 'Thankful I take the cup from Thee,' &c. In the
afternoon I visited old Martha H., whom I found in a happy, and
thankful frame of mind; all her cry is, 'Bless the Lord! bless the
Lord!' So, at both ends of the village, God is fitting up His jewels.
I walked on to the churchyard, and there found as many of my old
acquaintances, as are now living in the village. I felt the solemn
influence of association with the dead.--Hearing of a poor afflicted
sinner, I went to see him; he appeared to welcome my visit, but
insensible to his condition. During the night I could not sleep, but
got upon my knees, and earnestly besought the Lord to give me a clear
witness of His sanctifying power. He blessed me with a humble, settled
confidence, and sweet peace.--Cousin had a restless night; the enemy
was again permitted to try her sorely; but during the day, she was
enabled to tread him down under her feet. 'I'll trust Him with
my all,' she said, 'I'll trust Him with my all.'--The poor man
above-mentioned, sent for me, apparently in an agony for the salvation
of his soul; but whether it is the fear of death and its consequences,
or sorrow for his sin, how difficult to determine! I endeavoured to
show him that he was a helpless, undone sinner; and that all his hope
was in the merits of Christ: staid with him nearly two hours, during
which he seemed earnestly seeking mercy. I saw him again in the
afternoon, but he was not in such agony. He thinks the Lord will not
cast him off. The thought of the dying thief, alone, gives me room to
Oh! would'st Thou, Lord, the veil remove,
And manifest Thy pardoning love.
But how? Only through Christ, wilt Thou exalt the riches of Thy mercy
by preparing this poor sinner's heart, and snatching him as a brand
from the burning.--Visited the poor man again, and came home thankful,
that I had the opportunity to do it. He now resolves on the side of
virtue. Oh! that his decision may be sustained by the strength of the
Lord!--Cousin was oppressed with sickness during the night, but her
cry was; 'Help me to suffer as a Christian.'--When I asked how she
was, she said, 'I have had a sweet night-so many precious promises
brought to my mind. Praise the Lord; 'to them that believe, He is
precious.'--Much worse, able to say little. In the evening she desired
me to pray; it was truly a blessed season. When I rose, she exclaimed:
'We'll shout by turns the bursting joy,
And all eternity employ
In songs around the throne!'
'Glory be to God, cousin, we shall; yes, we shall.'--This morning I
awoke a little before three, and got upon my knees. He, who slumbers
not, was present to bless me. At ten I accompanied my friends to
chapel: a blessed sermon! I was so much affected while Mr. C. was
speaking of the Lord's ability to deliver us from our spiritual
foes, that I could do nothing but weep for joy. My enemies seemed all
vanquished, by the revelation which my faith realized of the power of