Part 3 out of 5
'Faith, mighty faith, the promise' _saw_.
O may I never doubt again. I feel all peace, and tranquility, but no
particular joy: I perceive myself nothing; but through the blood of
Jesus, I claim salvation. Elizabeth is increasingly weak, but enjoys
great peace. She was unable to turn herself; but after an ineffectual
attempt, upheld by the power of God, she exclaimed, 'Praise the Lord!
I _cannot_ praise Him enough: though He slay me, yet will I trust
in Him.' This evening I overheard, 'Precious God,' 'Salvation,' 'My
Jesus.' Then turning her head, she said, 'Since I have been afflicted,
the enemy has tried many ways to take away my shield; but the Lord
has stood by me, and I believe I shall come off more than
conqueror.'--About two o'clock we thought she was dying; she stretched
out her hand to each of us, and drew us near, to kiss her; then
shouted as loud as she could, 'Glory be to God! I am going to glory;
glory be to God!' About five she revived again. One said, 'Jesus is
near,' she responded, 'Glory, He is, He is'--I was with her from two
in the morning; she was restless, and in much pain, until about nine
o'clock; when she changed for death. Conscious that she was dying, she
desired to be placed in a chair, and shouted with all the strength she
had, indeed louder than we could have supposed her capable of, 'Glory
be to God!' 'Glory be to God!' many times, until her strength was
exhausted. She breathed till eleven, and then, without moving hand or
foot; without a sigh or a groan; her happy spirit took its flight to
the paradise of God. Thus died Elizabeth Stables, in the thirty-fifth
year of her age. It had been for some time my prayer, that the Lord,
if it pleased Him, would grant her an easy passage, and permit her to
depart in the day-time. In this He has mercifully heard me. Before
the crisis arrived, I felt a degree of timidity; and therefore, when I
rose from my bed, I bowed myself before the Lord, before entering
the room. He graciously dispersed my fears, and filled my heart with
peace. To me the scene of dissolution was exceedingly solemn. May my
last end be like hers!--I followed the remains of dear Elizabeth to
the grave, to which we consigned them 'in sure and certain hope of a
joyful resurrection.' Surely this hope has preserved me from yielding
to useless tears, as on former occasions;--for I loved her. Henceforth
may it be my constant study to be found ready, that, like her, I
may triumph in the prospect of dissolution.--Visited two or three
afflicted persons in the village, perhaps for the last time: may I
find them all again in the day of eternity. Took tea with Mrs. B. and
her daughter, whom I would gladly have persuaded to accept the offers
of mercy; but the grace of God alone can affect the heart.--After an
absence of six weeks I returned home: the day was fine. Truly mercy
follows me. Through courtesy to a friend, I wounded my own soul by
yielding to converse on subjects, which no way tended to promote
fervency of spirit. I felt humbled in consequence, and as if I could
not lift my heart to God; but before the close of the service, which
I afterwards attended, the Lord graciously softened my hardness
down--melting me into tears.--I close the year fully bent upon giving
myself to God. While I write, I enjoy peace. O Thou that seest me,
Thyself unseen, direct my pen, and guide me to Thyself. Here on my
knees I surrender myself to Thee; if Thou discoverest any guile in
me, reveal it to me, and make me wholly thine. Surrounded with Thy
presence, O fill me with Thy love! From henceforth, may I dwell in
the secret place of the most High, and abide under the shadow of the
If fleeting moments silently report
Each action, motive, and unuttered thought;
May this fair page no added witness bring
Of time mis-used, as musing thought may spring.
No, rather let my muse abstracted turn;
Forget to muse, and of my Saviour learn
That rare humility, so highly prized
By Him, who sees the heart all undisguised.
From Him my subject come, my thought proceed;
To Him my motive tend, my action lead:
In all, I henceforth think, or speak, or do,
The glory of my God be kept in view.
"1829.--I am permitted to enter another year, but who can tell the
event? Suffice it; I can now say, I am Thine, and am resolved to form
my life, whether long or short, by Thy precepts. This morning an alarm
is spread through the city--'The Minster on fire.' 'Shall there be
evil in the city, and the Lord hath not done it?' O Thou, who canst
alone educe good out of seeming evil send, forth Thy light and
truth.--Visited Mrs. F----s, we had a blessed interview: Heaven shed
its rays around us. Here I proved that in Jesus difference of age is
lost: all ages and sects can in Him unite.--The greater part of this
day has been spent in reading, praying, visiting the sick, and the
public means of grace: all of which have been sources of profit to
my soul. How great are my privileges! I think I am stripped of all
dependance upon them; but fear I do not make that improvement of them
which I ought. Thankful I am for the decision I feel; but stand in
doubt of myself, should a storm of persecution arise, whether I should
be able to endure the fiery test. Clouds gather round about; the signs
of the times portend a season of trial; my heart, while I write,
says, 'I will be Thine:' but Thou knowest how unstable I am,--Three
strangers came to the class; two of them were much affected. I want to
feel more deeply for souls, and to do every thing with a single eye. I
have several times been to visit an afflicted neighbour, who has often
been warned to put away his sins; but is yet unsaved. Never did I see
friends more solicitous for the conversion of a relative; his poor
afflicted wife prays, and entreats most earnestly, with tears: it has
to me been an affecting scene. O may her prayers be answered!--Another
week gone; a week of mercy, warning, blessing, inward exercise,
and peace. On Tuesday night, I witnessed the deathbed scene of a
neighbour: dying is hard work. At the funeral on Friday these lines
were much impressed upon my mind:--
'So live, that, when thou tak'st thy last long sleep.
Dying, may'st smile, when all around thee weep:'
I quoted them amongst the friends of the deceased, and added such
words as were given me at the time. There was a deep silence: what was
the impression I leave; I only discharged a duty, and could only reach
the ear, but do Thou, whose instrument I am, effectually touch each
heart, and save them all. Penelope informs me, that the poor man I
visited when in Sinnington, has begun to attend the house of God. May
his good desires end in sound conversion.--I visited poor Fanny; with
tears of joy starting in her eyes, she said, 'Glory be to God, I feel
my soul so happy, that I would fly if it were possible.' Truly in this
home of poverty, the power of divine grace is exemplified. I have also
seen neighbour G. for the fourth time; it is delightful to visit her:
she appears fully sensible of her state, and has received a little
comfort; but not the clear witness of her acceptance.--In consequence
of sickness, I laid a little longer than usual; but my meditations
were sweet. For a time my mind was borne as on eagles' wings, far
above the things of earth; I seemed to breathe the atmosphere of
heaven, and to commune with Jesus in heavenly places: this
baptism delightfully sustained my mind through the trials of the
day.--Probably this is the last Sabbath of my residence in York. Some
think we are missing the path of providence: I do not know; but this I
can say, I am willing to stay, or willing to go, and earnestly desire,
that the will of God may be done in me and by me, whether in public or
In silence, lo! I sit
To hear Thy gentle voice;
And lowly at Thy feet,
Share Mary's nappy choice:
Speak as Thou wilt, but speak within,
And make my nature wholly clean.
This day of hallowed joy,
The day the Lord arose,
Thy glorious power employ,
And vanquish all my foes;
To me the power of faith impart,
And reign triumphant in my heart.
Another week has elapsed, and we are still in York. O Lord, direct our
path, and guide us by Thy counsel. I would leave all in Thy hands: I
think I do.
"COME, MY BELOVED, LET US GO OUT INTO THE FIELD; LET US
LODGE IN THE VILLAGES."--Cant. vii. 11.
In the spring of 1829, Mr. Lyth retired to a country residence, which
he had built upon a small estate, between three and four miles from
the city. The propriety of this step, as it seemed to involve the
sacrifice of many religious advantages, was by some intimate friends
regarded with grave suspicion; and it may fairly be doubted, how far
a Christian man, with the view of enjoying the fruits of his industry,
has a right to withdraw himself and his family from a sphere of
usefulness, and privilege, to one of comparative retirement. Can he be
equally useful? Will his family enjoy equal privileges? If not let him
pause, for he is under a higher law than that of self-gratification,
or worldly policy: besides, his very object may be frustrated; it may
turn out, that the change from an active to an idle life, may
bring disquiet instead of repose. But in the present instance, the
disadvantage was overcome by the force of christian principle. Mrs.
Lyth did not relinquish her exertions in the city, while a new sphere
of usefulness opened itself in the village, near which they came to
reside. Twice a week, as often as health permitted, she visited the
city to meet her classes; sometimes walking the whole distance there
and back. The day was generally spent in seeing her absent members,
visiting the sick, or availing herself of public, or social means
of edification. The effect of these exertions upon her own delicate
frame, was painful; and, combined with other causes, occasioned,
during her four years' residence at Eastfield House, frequent and
severe attacks of sickness. But we resume her own notes.
"I came to Eastfield House, which is now to be my home during my
pilgrimage on earth. Thank God, I feel I am but a stranger and a
sojourner. A variety of circumstances have engaged my attention,
and interrupted my quiet; but when shut in from the world, to hold
converse with God, I have tasted superior pleasure.--I went early to
York, and spent the day in seeing the sick, and other members of my
classes; visiting the school, attending my band, and meeting my class.
Most of these engagements were profitable to me, and I hope to others.
I went out with the conviction that I was the Lord's labourer.--My
niece, Hannah, is apparently near eternity. She tells me she is happy,
and I cannot doubt it; for last evening while praying with her,
my faith acquired such strength, and I was so filled with love and
confidence, that when I rose from my knees, I could not help saying,
'The Lord has blessed you.' She answered, 'Yes:' but whether at
that moment, or earlier in the day, I cannot tell. The work is the
Lord's.--After an affliction, of some months, and a fortnight's
confinement to bed, Hannah has left us. For two days she was
insensible, but the last she was remarkably tranquil, with a very
pleasing expression of countenance.--My greatest joy is in communion
with the Lord and His saints: this has been a high, day; I have been
unusually assisted in speaking to the Lord's people; and many appeared
to feel the power of God. At the close of the meeting, Mrs. B. called
upon me, and we went to Mrs. Vevers', where we united in prayer; and
from thence to Miss H.'s, where we held our little band-meeting, Mrs.
E. was much affected, but not able to lay hold of the great blessing:
O for more faith.--The quarterly fast was observed in Haxby for the
first time: I found it good to unite with them.--During the last week
we have been favoured with the company of Mr. Mortimer, returned from
the Shetland Islands. He retains the same Christian simplicity, and
I feel it a privilege to entertain such a man under our roof. I was
benefitted among the dear people; but my body was much wearied when I
returned home, and the folio wing day I was very unwell: yet my mind
was peaceful. At the entreaty of my husband, I remain at home to-day;
being only very feeble. O shut me not out from Thy presence; but feed
me with heavenly manna.--I hail the returning Sabbath, Glory, glory
be to God, the sacred fire is kindled in my heart. Well might the
Psalmist say, 'I would rather be a door-keeper in the house of my God,
than dwell in the tents of wickedness' The Lord does carry on His work
in my soul. Love destroys fear. God is my portion, and in Him will
I trust. The week has been mixed with trial and blessing. Monday:
Penelope left us, after a visit of ten days. Tuesday: Felt it good
while Mr. Crowther admonished us to look to Jesus. Wednesday: Our
servant left us: I had power to pray for her after she was gone.
Thursday: The Lord was with us at our little meeting. Friday: I
spoke unadvisedly with my tongue, which occasioned pain of mind; but
applying to Jesus, I found access. O the condescension of the Saviour!
The prayer-meeting was a blessed season. Saturday: A day of toil, but
the Lord was with me: yet I want a constant mind, that I may every
moment hold converse with my God. 'Keep thyself pure' was the
admonition of the Spirit one morning this week. May I ever remember
[The following was the dying complaint of the "Miscellany," a little
family periodical, which had a brief, but happy existence.]
Confident, on airy wing,
My vanity soared high;
Like the nightingale I'd sing,
And with the eagle fly.
Soon my sad mistake I found;
I warbling notes had none,
And scarcely rose above the ground,
Before my plumes were gone.
Flatt'ry whispered soft and low,
Of wisdom, fame, and lore;
Woe is me! neglected now,
The pleasant dream is o'er.
Pity, then, my humble state,
And if you can bestow
Tears upon my hapless fate;
Pray let them freely flow.
"I have around me some who exercise my patience, and therefore need
the wisdom of the serpent, and the meekness of the dove, that I may
be preserved from offending. Last Sabbath, I was tempted to mistrust
Providence, as I had not seen a rainbow since the rains commenced; but
the following evening--accompanying my husband to York in a very heavy
shower--on our left, we saw the broadest and most beautiful bow I ever
beheld. I could not help thinking it infinite condescension in the
great I AM thus to remove my scruples.--I walked to York alone: but
surrounded by proofs of divine wisdom and power, my solitude was
sweet; my thoughts meandered like the river, that swept at my side.
Reverting to past scenes and circumstances, I wrote with my pencil:
If, through scenes of tribulation,
Lies the pathway to the skies;
Let me yield with resignation,
Sure, Thy ways are always wise.
"A friend has made application for my Sunday-class. In this matter, I
do not see my way clear; however, as I was requested to seek another
place for it--the old one being required for another purpose--I began
to think it was an intimation that I ought to resign, and therefore
mentioned the subject to my members, and left it. But calling on a
friend, as I returned home, she said, 'she was requested to tell me,
that Mr. H. would be glad if I would meet the class at his house' So
this difficulty is removed, and there the matter rests. O Lord,
direct me by Thy counsel.--Providence seems to thwart my purposes: yet
everything appears either to point, urge, allure, or draw me to the
skies. I find the beneficial effect of these painful dispensations;
but nature struggles still, and the cry of my heart is, make me wholly
Thine. Two persons, whom I have visited this week, are no more. One,
I doubt not, is gone to Abraham's bosom; the other I must leave,
and profit by the admonition to prepare to meet my God. I have been
accused of doing as I would not be done by; but my conscience bears
we witness to the contrary. Help me, O God, ever to act as in Thy
sight.--After the toils of Saturday, I was privileged with being at
the band-meeting; but when I reached Miss B's, I fainted, through
weakness and fatigue. Praise the Lord, O my soul! Is not every
stroke of Thy rod a proof of love, admonishing me that I am but a
tenant-at-will, and may be removed at a moment's notice? Lord, make
me fully ready.--I found it good in our little village prayer-meeting,
and remained with my husband at the Sabbath-school committee. He
engaged to assist; and I was constrained to offer my services once
a month to converse with the female scholars, which were readily
accepted.--In York, I had the opportunity of visiting several
afflicted persons: one poor man was much afflicted: it was a blessed
day. I have been to Wigginton to visit the afflicted Miss B., to
whom I tried to show the necessity of a change of heart, and the
sufficiency of the remedy, with the danger of delay."
Come, heavenly Spirit, fill my breast,
With holy, ardent love inflame;
Breathe in my soul the perfect rest
Revealed in Jesus' lovely name.
Blest centre! where I find repose;
My succour, when in deep distress;
The only refuge from my foes;
Jesus, Thy feeblest follower bless.
Thy constant presence, Thine alone
Can satisfy my longing soul;
Supply the good for which I groan;
Thy presence, Lord, shall make me whole.
"Just as the year closes, I take my pen. How solemn! unseen by all but
God! How shall I proceed? I am a sinner; but thou art a Saviour--_my_
Saviour! O praise God! unworthy as I am, unprofitable as I have been,
Thy peace fills my heart: I am surrounded with God. Glory! glory!
glory! a worthless worm! dust and ashes! a potsherd of the earth! yet
Jesus died for me. O, live in me; fit me for Thy service, that I may
be willing to do or to suffer Thy will. Let me be a whole sacrifice.
Jesus is near; He is precious; He has my heart: let the union
subsist for ever. Never let me leave Thee more; but through all the
vicissitudes of life, keep me; and if I am entering upon my last year,
let it be the best of all. Let the odours of the celestial world waft
upon me, and invigorate my soul.
"1830.--Midnight. The past year has been one of mingled trial,
affliction, and mercy; wisely blended to bring me nearer to God. I
think the end has been answered: I feel looser from the world, and my
will is more fully subdued. This is the Lord's doing: blessed be His
name! I rose early, and shut myself up in my closet, and there the
Lord gloriously revealed himself: it was a blessed day, especially,
in walking to the city; and among the dear people.--Another piece
of encouragement: our servant, who has been brought under serious
impressions since she came to us, was last Tuesday enabled to believe
unto salvation. O may I walk as God's vicegerent here; that my
husband, mother, children, and servants, may all be led to give
themselves more fully to Thee.--Our servant man cried aloud for mercy
in the chapel. How and where, shall I begin to praise Thee for Thy
goodness to my family? I am constrained to acknowledge, that many
things, which appeared to be against me, are now working for good.
Every bitter has its sweet, and every affliction its blessing;
wisely compounded, to bring me more fully to God. Last night we had
a prayer-meeting in our kitchen: the spirit of prayer was poured out
upon us. One soul obtained peace: and another remained upon his knees
upwards of three hours, but did not break through; yet is determined
not to rest without the pardoning mercy of God: a third was seeking
purity of heart.--Visited S.H., fast sinking in decline. When asked
the state of her mind, she said, 'Christ is mine, and I am His.'
Blessed assurance! I spoke freely with her mother, whom I found
unacquainted with true religion. Two persons came to seek the Lord at
the prayer-meeting held in our kitchen--one obtained salvation: truly
the Lord is among us: a larger number attended than usual.--We had a
numerously attended prayer-meeting, in which three bore testimony to
the saving power of Christ; they praised God with a glad heart, and
a loud voice: may they become pillars in God's temple.--Many sweet
moments have I enjoyed, while engaged in domestic affairs. This
morning, I rose to the early prayer-meeting; all nature seemed to
congratulate me, and the feathered choristers were singing their matin
song of praise. My walk to York afterwards, seemed too short, while
musing on the love of Jesus.--In the still hour of night I have had
some blessed seasons; but my walk is not equal: I want to live a
moment at a time, and all for God. Another of my members has passed
into eternity, to join the church above. Just before she expired, she
exclaimed, 'What do I see? Glory.'--I am not going to meet my class
to-day, my mother is so unwell; yet I feel a struggle as to the path
of duty: but surely in this case duty and affection are one. Lord, I
aim to please Thee; O help me for Thy name's sake."
SITTING BY MY MOTHER.
O would'st Thou, Lord, descend,
My mother's heart to cheer;
This unbelief to rend,
And dissipate her fear:
Thou glorious Sun, unveil the skies;
With healing in Thy wings arise.
Thy promise, Lord, I hold,
_'The evening shall be light,'_--
The cloud its pinions fold,
And vanish out of sight:
O Jesus, come, Thy face display.
And eventide is turned to day.
"Proclamation of William the 4th. In company with some friends,
I climbed to the top of Clifford's Tower, in hope of seeing the
procession; but after waiting more than an hour, I went away
disappointed, and grieved at the loss of my time. Let me learn from
this, always to do what I believe to be most needful; for my mind was
dissipated, and I failed to recover in the class what I had enjoyed
in the early hours of the day. O how needful to keep the path of duty,
and retire from the multitude.--The Rev. Joseph Agar has dies happily,
at Portsmouth: of brain fever. An unusual feeling oppressed my mind
on the afternoon of his departure; why, I know not.--The Rev. E. Batty
took tea with us, and suggested a method of usefulness, which has for
some time been the subject of my thoughts; but to choose, or refuse
are Thine: 'Thy will be done.'--I walked to Acomb to visit a friend,
and on the way asked myself, why I should go; and not being able to
answer for myself, put the case into the hands of God, beseeching him
to make my way plain before me; to bless me, and make me a blessing.
I met with a kind reception--slept well--and rose about six with a
desire to give myself to the Lord. In the afternoon I accompanied Mrs.
R. to her class: it was the second time of their meeting. Mrs. R. read
the rules; and afterwards, I endeavoured to speak a little to
them. When addressing the third, she burst into tears through the
disquietude of her soul. We knelt down to pray; and while Mrs. R. was
pleading, the woman began to praise God for what He had done for her
soul, and said she had been unhappy for years--but that now the Lord
had given her peace. We continued on our knees, and in a little while
another person, who through unwatchfulness had gone astray, professed
that the Lord had restored her soul. The third (for there were
but three) went away, resolved not to rest until she had found the
Lord.--We went to invite the people to the prayer-meeting in the
evening, and then visited the churchyard. There, the solemn silence,
dwelling among sepulchral stones and the falling leaves, moved my soul
to the consideration of my own mortality. May I so live, that I may
hear the welcome words, 'Well done.' I feel deeply on account of my
own nothingness. The prayer-meeting to-night is proposed because I
am here. I am humbled at the thought. What am I? a poor worm. Oh!
wouldest Thou use a thing of nought? prepare the people, prepare me,
and pour out Thy holy spirit. I was surprised at the number of people
gathered together on so short a notice. The presence of the Lord
overshadowed us, and the woman, who was seeking mercy at the class,
was filled with peace and joy through believing. I felt humbled under
the sense of my own unprofitableness.--I have found retirement very
blessed: the Lord poured into my soul a heavenly tranquility. I hope
that my visit here will be beneficial to me; and that I shall learn
some lessons from the kind family, under whose roof I stay: there is
such a sweet submission to each other's will, and such a disposition
to prefer others to themselves, as is amiable, and worthy of
imitation.--My inward aspiration is, make me all glorious within, that
from this pure well-spring, all my thoughts and actions may flow. I
enjoy the peace of God, and for some time past, (to the glory of God
I speak it,) I have had constant intercourse with heaven. My will is
more fully subdued, and I have increasing power to take up my cross;
but the duties of life press upon me, and I am in danger of being
overwhelmed with care. I thank Thee, O my heavenly Father, for this
discovery; and humbly but confidently, ask Thy protection from my
foe.--A day of unusual nearness to God:--in the Lord's house; in
visiting the poor; reading the rules of society; and social prayer:
although dissatisfied with my performances, I feel I have done what
I ought.--My spiritual strength has been increased by more frequently
engaging in secret prayer. By appointment, I have daily met two
friends at the throne of grace, to intercede on behalf of our
neighbours: this has been made a blessing to my own soul.--For the
first time, my whole family was assembled at Eastfield; but who can
tell the emotions of my mind, as I gazed on one and another? I thought
unutterable things; but wisely is the future hidden from our view.
O _my_ God, be Thou _their_ God. I feel the solemnity of the closing
year: its toils and cares are fled for ever; only its comforts will be
repeated, if I hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life."
The year ebbs apace,
Its sorrows are gone!
Like one in a race,
Its course it hath, run:
Its events, once important, now all disappear,
And time wafts us on to another new year.
Then let us begin,
To aim at the prize;
Leave earth, self, and sin,
For our home in the skies:
Expecting the Bridegroom will shortly appear,
Let as watch his arrival--the coming new year.
THE REDEMPTION OF THE PROMISE.
"BE NOT AFRAID, ONLY BELIEVE."--Mark v. 36.
"All the promises of God are in Him, yea; and in Him, amen; unto
the glory of God;" then, why doubt them? since God's own honour, and
faithfulness, which are dearer to Him than aught beside, are concerned
in their fulfilment. The christian believer has nothing to do with the
difficulties, or seeming delay of the accomplishment; but only with
the unfailing word of God. If you find the promise, take it, hold it
fast; and, according to thy faith, it shall be done unto thee. Mrs.
Lyth believed the word of God; and when a promise was applied to her
mind, she did not lose sight of it; but patiently waited until it was
redeemed. More than one instance occurs in her journal, in which she
refers back to some promise, which she had previously received; and
the fulfilment of which, she was expecting. This was particularly
the case with reference to her mother's experience, who, though not
forsaken, passed her latter days in mourning, being pressed down by
constant affliction, and the weight of years. Mrs. Lyth felt acutely
on this account; but, the promise given in answer to prayer, _"At
evening time it shall be light,"_ was held fast, through a period of
five years. The period of its redemption was at hand.
"1831.--'Let Thy statutes be my delight in the house of my
pilgrimage.' As my journey shortens, may the assurance of a happy
reception at the end, increase: I think it does. I have a blessed
conviction that, through the merits of my Redeemer, I shall see
Him without a veil between. This hope makes my spirit rejoice, when
nothing external excites me. Musing on my way to the city, upon the
'charity' that 'never faileth,' and its many excellent attributes; I
found myself deficient in that, which 'thinketh no evil.' Under some
circumstances, I am apt to draw hasty conclusions. O forgive, and help
Thy dust to be more guarded.--A friend calling in, I took up my cross,
(for it was one,) to go to the prayer-meeting; the night being dark,
the roads dirty, and the place distant: but I was well repaid. A
goodly number were present, and the Lord was there.--My husband was at
York with the gig. Mr. H. called to inform us, that in consequence of
the wind, and drifted snow, he thought it would be impossible for him
to return home. Concerned for his safety, I sent a man and horse to
meet him, and betook myself to prayer; which the Lord condescended to
hear, and answer: for after my husband had forced his way through many
snow-drifts, the harness broke, just as the man met him; and he could
not have proceeded further without assistance: so in the time of need
there was help. I could not but regard it as providential, that Mr. H.
called; and also that the man arrived at the moment he was required.
My obligations to the Lord increase daily.--The twenty-fifth
anniversary of my wedding day. THEN, my husband tells me, the bloom of
the rose sat on my cheek; NOW, I am shrinking into an old woman, hair
grey, teeth gone, bloom faded, and my eyes dim: but, through the mercy
of God, though my outward tabernacle is thus sinking in decay, my
spiritual strength is daily renewed; the vigour of my mind is not
abated; my understanding is clearer, and my faith stronger than ever.
And though, by the light that shines upon my soul, I discover more of
my natural depravity; the Lord, by his Spirit, graciously draws me to
himself, the true remedy; and blesses me with a sense of his presence.
Glory be to His name for an interest in the blood of sprinkling. Here
is the source of my happiness, and all I want is here. THEN--I had a
father and mother who loved and cared for me: NOW--my father is gone
to his reward, and my mother is sunk in decrepitude, daily waiting
her release; and I, myself a mother, have resting upon me the care and
anxiety of a family; but I have inherited the promise, which descends
from generation to generation. THEN--I looked forward to what might be
my future portion: NOW--I look back through five and twenty years,
in which goodness and mercy have followed me until now; although
my passage through the wilderness has all along been marked with
unfaithfulness. Here my heart fills with gratitude. What shall I
render to the Lord for all his goodness towards me? THEN--I had
many friends, who are NOW passed away; but Jesus is my never-failing
Friend, and through His grace, I hope soon to meet again those, who
'through faith and patience have inherited the promises.' THEN--I had
much to endure and suffer; but NOW--five and twenty years of trial
and suffering are over, with only one regret, that I have not suffered
more patiently, and expected more largely from Him, who orders all
things for the best. What still awaits me is only known to Thee; but
prepare me for the event, and let Thy will be done. This is my heart's
desire, uttered I believe, in the spirit of resignation; but it is
Thy doing, and to Thee be all the glory. And now, I present to Thee
my dear husband, and my five children: let us all be Thine--Thine to
guide, Thine to save, Thine to govern, and Thine to crown."
"Seven years ago my dear father entered into rest."
This day, replete with memories dear,
The well-known image brings to view
Of him, whose name I still revere;
Whose worth till lost, I never knew.
My father, (still the name is sweet!)
Now in a fairer region dwells:
Him gladly will I go to meet,
Though wild between us Jordan swells.
"My dear mother continues very feeble, and much of my time, night and
day, is devoted to her. She suffers from manifold temptations; yet I
am encouraged to believe she will be delivered. Make no long tarrying,
O my God,--Yesterday and to-day I have been severely and painfully
exercised on account of my mother: still I hang upon the word of the
promise, _'In the eventide it shall be light._ Yesterday she said,
'The will of the Lord be done.'--She tells me this morning she enjoys
_peace_. Her memory is much impaired. My mind is much distressed, but
finds its rest in God. It seems, as if by diversity of trial, the Lord
wills to purge my affections. O let Thy will be done. Help me, however
nature rebels, fully to give up my own will. Blessed be God, my soul
enjoys peace. 'I trust in Him, who stands between the Father's wrath
and me.' My dear mother's weakness increases; but she says this
morning, she _dare not doubt_ of going to heaven.--I sat up with my
dear mother. About half-past twelve she was convulsed, and felt
sick; then, she dosed a little; then sick again,--called for
Richard,--wandered,--evidently changed for death, and had a severe
struggle, often saying, 'Do help me, do.' Her sufferings were acute.
Once she said, 'Lord, help me;' and again, 'Hope thou in God, for I
shall yet pr----;' but the words were interrupted by her sufferings,
My anguish of mind is known to Thee. As I stood by the fire the words
'_Thy_ warfare's past, _thy_ mourning's o'er;
Look up, for _thou_ shalt weep no more.'
I was comforted. My dear husband, cousin, and Mary, found great
consolation in prayer just before her departure. Her last words were,
'Pray, pray;' 'Lord, Lord.' Thus, about half-past one on the 23rd of
March, my dear mother 'fell asleep,' aged seventy-two years and three
And though in ruin now her body lies,
A peaceful smile upon her face is spread:
The struggle o'er--her spirit upward flies,
To join the spirits of the blessed dead.
"My dear departed mother was interred in St. Lawrence churchyard,
by the side of my beloved father; leaving the impressive
admonition--'prepare to follow.' I feel it--my heart determines--my
will submits--I have set about it. Lord help me to persevere."
Oh! how uncertain all below!
Our comforts cause us pain;
Smiling, they sting us as they go,
Ne'er to return again.
Then upward turn thy weeping eye;
Nor, like yon drooping tree,
Bend downward to the earth; on high
See Jesus looks on thee.
Jesus! what balm is in that sound!
It bids our tears away;
Spreads life and happiness around;
Converts the night to day.
To feel Thy dying love, be mine;
To hear Thy charming voice;
The ceaseless whisper, 'I am Thine,'
Shall bid my heart rejoice.
Dearer than sons or daughters; Thou;
Dearer than mother's love;
Gladly for Thee I all forego,
And seek my bliss above.
"I went to Wigginton to visit a young woman, whom I found praising
God for having afflicted her, and brought her to the knowledge of
the truth. To some others, I was powerfully constrained to speak
respecting their souls.--Miss Bentley came for a few days. We
visited many of the villagers, to put them in mind to prepare for
eternity.--Mr. Hope announced from the pulpit, that it was his wish I
should commence a class in Haxby on Monday evening, at seven o'clock.
The words occurred to me, 'By whom shall Jacob arise, for he is
small?' O my God, to Thee my obligations are great, and my weaknesses
are all known; but if this is from Thee, bring it to pass; let
there be some token for good, some rending of heart among the
people.--According to appointment I went to Haxby, to meet any who
were desirous of fleeing from the wrath to come. Three persons came;
two of them backsliders, and one who has never met before.--Visited
several of the villagers. At one place I felt much while bowed at the
throne of grace. A little boy, to whom I afterwards addressed a few
words, burst into tears. O that the Lord would poor out His Spirit,
and bow their hearts to His sway! O Lord, let not my unfaithfulness
hinder Thy work.--After meeting my class in the city, I went on
to Heslington to see Mr. K., who is apparently on his death-bed. I
endeavoured to speak faithfully; but unless the Spirit of God apply
the truth, vain is the help of man. I feel much out of love with
myself.--Walked again to see Mr. K., who appears as teachable as a
little child. I feel encouraged to hope that he will lay hold upon
Jesus. But O how dangerous to delay until death stares us in the
face!--Went to Haxby, and found only one to meet me there: but the
Lord met _her_, which was better than numbers without Him. O God, keep
this precious soul--this _asked-for_ token of Thy love. While sitting
under the word, the Lord made it as a broad river to my soul. 'Blessed
are the pure in heart,' was the subject. Tears of love and gratitude
rolled down my cheeks, and love filled my heart; for I felt myself a
partaker of this great salvation."
Thus may I ever live,
And feel the power divine;
Taught by Thy Spirit to believe
This full salvation mine.
"With a painful headache I walked to York; but the satisfaction of
mind I felt in keeping the path of duty, amply repaid me. I think
a general blessing was experienced.--While pleading with God, these
words were applied, 'I am Thy salvation.' I felt confidence, but not
all I want. I seem only on the edge of living; I want to be 'plunged
in the Godhead's deepest sea.'--Six months since my dear mother
departed! She is daily the subject of my thoughts, and her memory
becomes increasingly dear to me. Well, it is but a short separation--a
thin partition; my earthly tabernacle feels the force of time--it
crumbles and decays; but by faith I look for a more durable
habitation, where I shall meet those who are gone before."
Time rolls away--yet fresh the scene appears
When my dear mother left this vale of tears;
Then, sorrow stamped its seal upon my heart;
Nature recoiled--but grace relieved the smart.
"Mr. R., discoursing on the necessity of exercising a forgiving
spirit, illustrated his subject by the following anecdote:--An officer
in the army lying on his deathbed, sent for one of the preachers to
visit him. On his entering the room, the sick man asked him, if he
remembered that he was once insulted by a company of officers while he
was preaching in Dublin. The preacher remembered it well. He then told
him, that he had been one of the worst of them; and had sent to ask
him to pray for him, and to teach him what he must do to be saved,--as
he believed he was a dying man, and was unprepared for another world.
The minister pointed him to the Saviour; and after praying with him
several times, was about to depart, when the officer offered him
a handsome present for his services. This he refused, and took his
leave. On passing through the hall, one of the servants accosted him,
"What a pity my master won't see his son, and has cut him off with
a shilling, although he would gladly see his father." The minister
immediately returned to the sick man, and repeated to him the Lord's
prayer until he came to the words, 'as we forgive them that trespass
against us;' he then stopped, and asked him if he forgave every one.
The officer paused a moment and replied, 'There is one whom I do not
forgive, and cannot.' 'Then,' said the minister, 'neither will your
heavenly Father forgive you your trespasses.' After some deliberation,
it was agreed that the son should be sent for. He came, fell on his
knees at the bedside, and with tears in his eyes, pressed his father's
hand to his lips, and begged his forgiveness. The father's relentings
were kindled: upon which the minister sung--
'The op'ning heavens around me shine,
With beams of sacred bliss;
'When!' cried the officer, 'nay
_Now_, Jesus shows His mercy mine.
And whispers I am His.'
"Called upon Mr. and Miss K. They had company: I was preserved from
unprofitable conversation, and dared to speak for God. On my return,
I passed through the churchyard, where the remains of my dear parents
are deposited. It was a beautiful moonlight night; and I stopped to
shed a silent tear over the much-loved dust, in hope of joining them
again in the realms above. Lord, help me on my way.--I went to see a
backslider, whom the Lord had made willing to return. After conversing
a little, we knelt down to prayer. Her husband prayed; then she began,
and while confessing her sins and pleading for mercy, the Lord
looked upon her in compassion, and healed her backslidings. The same
afternoon, she came and joined herself with the people of God."
"Alone in the room where my venerated mother breathed her last."
Though no famed eulogy proclaims her worth,
Nor with her fellow-pilgrims ranked on earth,
A higher record doth her history trace;
In heaven's high register she claims a place.
Retiring, and unknown or but to few,
Her latter days were hid from public view;
But I have often witness'd, when alone--
The prayer uplifted, and the sigh unknown.
When no eye saw her, but with God shut in,
She pour'd her plaint to Him, who saw, unseen;
Then from the sacred word she succour drew,
'To hoary hairs I bear, I carry you.'
This promise still her drooping spirit cheered,
And shed its starlight when the night appeared.
Bold, in her weakness, close the foe pursued,
And oft the bitter conflict was renewed;
Conqu'ror at last, she calmly soared away,
And left a smile upon the passive clay.
I heard Mr. Dawson, from 'Peter followed afar off'--a season, I hope,
never to be forgotten; for then Richard made up his mind to accept
the invitation, and 'come near,' as Mr. D. expressed it. This to me
is matter of joy and thanksgiving; for since I knew that Mr. D. was
coming, it has been my prayer, that his visit might be made a
blessing to some, not particularly thinking of my son. Thus, beyond my
expectation, has the Lord condescended to my prayer.
AFTER A FIT OF SICKNESS.
While thousands in Thy courts are found,
Waiting on bended knee;
Behold, in solitude, a worm,
That dares approach to Thee,
To me the heavenly gift impart,
Thy Holy Spirit send;
To fill and sanctify my heart,
And bid its wand'rings end.
Then health or sickness let me share,
As wills eternal love;
For all is well, if Thou art near,
Thy creature to approve.
My grateful thanks for ease I bring,
And every comfort given;
Nor less for sorrows, sent to wing
My grov'lling soul to heaven.
Great God! to Thee my wishes flow,
Who dost my life prolong;
Thy witness let me live below,
Thy statutes be my song.
"Ere the day broke, the Lord broke in upon my soul with the words,
'Thy sun shall no more go down, nor Thy moon withdraw itself, for
the Lord shall be thy everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning
shall be ended.' Such light shone upon the whole chapter, as filled
my soul with gratitude for the rich promises given to the people of
God.--Called to see a man and his wife, both sick, to whom the Lord
has blessed affliction. The man was rejoicing in the Lord, and the
woman is resolved not to rest short of salvation. While we united in
prayer she received some encouragement."
POWER WITH GOD.
"FOR WHEN I AM WEAK, THEN AM I STRONG."--2 Cor. xii. 10.
Do you ever receive answers to your prayers? We do not speak to those,
who look upon prayer simply as an act of homage done to a superior
being; _they_ do not expect any: but to those, who believe that prayer
has power with God. Why are so many prayers ineffectual, even of those
who really expect an answer? Some lack _earnestness_; they are too
diffusive, like the letter of the young maiden, in which she asks a
hundred questions, which are forgotten as soon as she has attached the
seal. Others want warmth; they are too formal, like a petition to a
sovereign; which may, or may not, receive a gracious and condescending
reply. Others are importunate, and earnest enough, like the beggar's
appeal for relief, but without much hope of success. But how few,
like the cry of a child, who runs to his father with his one, for
the moment, all-absorbing request, never dreaming of a refusal, and
importunately urged till he succeeds. Yet such is the spirit of filial
affection and confidence we are privileged to use before God. For
"This is the confidence we have in Him; that if we ask any thing
according to His will, He heareth us; and if we know that He hear us,
whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions, that we desired
of Him." Mrs. Lyth's distinguishing feature, was her love of prayer.
It was, to use her own words, "the life of her soul, her delight, her
greatest joy;" and her practice bore out the truth and sincerity of
her words. Besides her own stated hours of private devotion, which
were frequent, it was her practice for many years to conduct family
worship three times a-day. But beyond this, innumerable occasions
presented themselves, which stimulated her thirsting soul. The call of
a friend, or the arrival of a letter; the prospect of a journey, or
a safe return: the recollection of a promise, or the reception of
a blessing; a wakeful night, or a sunny day; in a word, whatever
strongly impressed her spirit as a subject of thanksgiving, or
an object of desire, was to her the signal for prayer. And not
unfrequently, engagements were entered into with her intimate friends,
to offer at given times, special intercessions for particular objects;
engagements, which were faithfully fulfilled. This ceaseless spirit
of prayer was the source of strength; for, though naturally of a timid
and retiring disposition, "As a prince she had power with God and
man, and prevailed." These remarks, a careful reader will find fully
sustained by her own journal.
"1832.--Sent a letter to M.W.O may it be blest to her! M.W. was at the
class, and seemed thankful for the admonition.--I went to the village
on the Lord's errand, _praying_ He would make my going prosperous; He
graciously inclined one friend to accompany me to Mr. B.'s class--I am
encouraged to hope there is a work of grace upon her heart: O that it
may prove lasting! In visiting one of my members, I found there was
no family-prayer. We prayed together, and on her knees she appeared
deeply to mourn her neglect, and promised the Lord to do better.
In two or three other little visits, I found the Lord among His
people.--Had a precious interview with Mrs. Benjamin A.: our souls
were melted before the Lord. O how the world was eclipsed, while our
full hearts were aspiring after God! I feel the effect still.--How
like a dream is life! we view the scene, and ere we are aware, it
is gone for ever; but to every moment is attached the importance of
eternity. After a sharp fit of sickness, how sweet is ease! yet these
seasons are blessed to me, inasmuch as they lead me to look more
closely into scripture declarations, respecting the blessings
associated with patient endurance. My soul seeks shelter in the secret
place of the Most High.--Heard a faithful sermon from Mr. R.: I always
profit under heart-searching sermons, as they discover the secret
lurkings of nature. I feel the importance of endeavouring to enlarge
the powers of my mind, since I am accountable to God for their
improvement. I regret, that I have spent so much time to such little
purpose. Whither shall I go? To whom shall I flee? My heart says,
'Mould as thou wilt thy passive clay;' prepare my work, and by Thy
grace helping me, I will put my neck under Thy yoke. Give me Thy
abiding Spirit, that in my age I may bring forth fruit to Thy glory;
enlarge and fertilize the powers of my mind; and teach me to cultivate
the talents Thou hast given me. To aid my recollection, I here write
them down: time, health, powers of mind--as memory, understanding,
&c.; powers of body--as tongue, hands, and feet; money.--I went to see
a dying man, but was denied. However, I knelt down with his wife, and
several others who were present, feeling deeply concerned for their
souls.--My body is very feeble, yet I wish to be fully resigned to the
will of God, even should I be entirely laid aside; for,--thank God,--I
feel no disposition to repine at the dealings of providence. I only
regret that I have so little improved my health and opportunities,
for my own benefit and the good of my fellow-creatures.--Increasing
symptoms of weakness; but the joy of the Lord is my strength: my soul
longs after Him.--To-day I sent a note to the chapel, to announce
that our house would he open for prayer at two o'clock; earnestly
requesting the praying friends to come, and bring with them any of
their neighbours, who were desirous of fleeing from the wrath to come.
At the appointed time nine persons came; and while we were united in
prayer, I enjoyed the softening power."
The cheerful breeze, and sunny ray,
Pour on the earth the sweets of day;
The blushing rose, and lily vie
With the carnation's deeper dye;
The dappled cloud, and welkin blue,
With lights and shadows ever new,
In language loud to me declare,
Lo! God is here! and God is there!
Here--in His handy work, I see
His wisdom, skill, and majesty;
There--His sublimer glories shine--
God over all, in all, divine!
"Mr. and Mrs. Isaac came. The ravages of disease were painfully
evident in him; and on the following morning while breakfasting
with us, he had another attack of paralysis. So uncertain is all
on earth.--On my return from Sinnington, as I was sauntering in the
streets of Malton, expecting to meet my husband, a person tapped me on
the shoulder, and asked me if I was not Richard Burdsall's daughter,
and being answered in the affirmative, pressed me to dine with him. So
'the memory of the just is blessed.' I have enjoyed a sweet calm, and
"Acomb.--Visited some of the dear people, among whom I was much
encouraged. At the prayer-meeting Mr. R. requested me to speak to a
person, whom he believed to be seeking the Lord. With some reluctance
I did so. When I addressed him, he said, 'O I am miserable, there is
no mercy for me.' I bid him pray; immediately he began to cry aloud,
and obtained some comfort, but not confidence.--Had a very profitable
interview with Mrs. C., and from thence went to the chapel. There
the glorious Lord was as 'broad rivers and streams' to us. I felt the
overwhelming power of saving grace. About _half-past ten_ I retired to
rest; and while engaged in prayer, was drawn out on behalf of
several friends, and especially for the young man, who was so deeply
distressed on Friday evening. Thus the Lord puts us in mind of our
fellow-pilgrims, and teaches us to care for each other.--This morning
the young man sent for Mr. R., wishing to see him, and to inform him
of the happy change wrought in his heart by the Spirit of God. Mr. R.
being out, an interview was fixed for the afternoon. He came, and the
rapture he was in exceeded anything I ever witnessed. He stated, that
on the preceding night he retired to his own room about _ten o'clock_;
took his Bible, and on his knees at his bedside, was praying till
about _eleven_. When he came to the last verse, 'He that believeth
on the Son of God hath life,' &c., he resolved within himself, I will
believe: and immediately the power was given him. He rose from his
knees 'rejoicing with a joy unspeakable, and full of glory;' and went
down stairs to tell his fellow-servants, that he had found the pearl
of great price, and how easy it was to believe: wishing them to share
in the blessedness he felt. He added, 'O praise the Lord, O my soul!'
'My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit rejoiceth In God my
Saviour!'--After meeting my class in the city, I started home, not
intending to visit the absent members: but being deeply pressed in
spirit I returned, and calling upon one and another, found one in deep
sorrow. I feel thankful I obeyed the inward impulse.--Saw old Fanny,
laid on the bed of affliction, and surrounded with poverty; but
praising the Lord. She said, 'Praise the Lord, I feel Him precious!
Glory be to God, my prospect is as clear as noonday! I can meditate
upon His goodness, when I am by myself, in the night season: yet the
enemy tempts me sometimes.'--During the last week family duties
have been privileges. While hearing the word read, and addressing my
heavenly Father in prayer, the streams flowing from the Rock Christ,
have refreshed my spirit.--Prevented from meeting with the dear
people, I betook myself to prayer. Here I felt humbled, and melted
down while pleading for them, myself, and mine. Thus to be shut in
with God is sweet; but what must it be to enjoy the unclouded glories
of His presence?--being 'changed from glory to glory.'--O my God,
give me a fuller discovery of Thyself; and though outwardly dull of
hearing, let me hear Thy inward voice continually whisper in my heart,
'I am Thy God, Thy shield, and Thy exceeding great reward.' I have
twice to-day joined with His worshipping people, but in neither case
experienced what I have felt to-night, while pouring out my soul
before the Lord. Stripped of every plea, I hang upon Jesus. Through
Him alone my succour comes.--Though weak in body, the morning damp,
and the roads dirty, I got to chapel, where I was amply repaid by a
discovery of my obligations to the Lord, for having been taken to the
house of God from the earliest period of my life; the privilege being
continued, with, a few intervals of necessary correction, until now.
I felt myself more indebted to God, and more culpable than any present
for the little improvement I have made of my privileges; but my heart
was melted down in gratitude and love.--On the verge of the old, and
the threshold of the new year. Solemn thought! perhaps I now stand on
the verge of eternity! How stands my case in the sight of God? On what
do I build my hope, and what is my confidence? After close examination
I can say, I rest on nothing but the atoning merits of Jesus. I feel
His mercy now."
"1833. Again from sickness raised, to Thee
Afresh my vows I plight;
While God in everything I see,
Sickness or health is right.
Thou canst not err; 'Thy will be done,'
Be full submission mine;
Subjected to Thy will alone,
My will be lost in Thine.
These kind corrections from Thy hand,
Shall blessed ordeals prove;
To bow me to Thy mild command,
And melt me into love.
My soul shall bless Thee for the past,
And rest upon Thee now;
The future--on Thy promise cast,
And wait Thy will to know."
"I have been kept at home to-day through indisposition; but have
endeavoured to improve my time to the Lord by prayer, the exercise
of my memory, writing,--reading the Word, and also 'Bickersteth's
Student's Guide:' but imperfection is stamped upon all I do.--The last
night was very tempestuous, and awoke me from sleep. I got upon
my knees and found my security in Him, who holds the, winds in His
fists.--I have received letters from my three sons. How pleasant are
such communications! How my heart would embrace them all! and would
not God embrace _us_ all? Yea, how much more? O my slowness of heart
to believe! A friend from the village called; and conversing on the
low state of spiritual feeling among us, we agreed to make the case
known to God every forenoon at half-past ten.--At the appointed hour I
felt the throne accessible, and my soul was revived and stirred up:
as to the village, I know not what to say.--Praise God, my soul is
happy--happy still. My appointment was brought to my recollection very
near the moment: my own soul was refreshed, but I experienced little
feeling for my neighbours.--Half-past ten: a blessed softening season;
felt the village laid as a burden upon me, for which I had power to
plead. [These memoranda are continued, and the voice of intercession
was not in vain; for within a short time, thirty new members were
added to the little village society]."
TO MY MARY.
Why does my Mary look so sad,
And wear a pensive air?
Where can the antidote be had
To banish gloomy care?
Say, why your spirits sink and droop;
Will Jesus not return?
Arise, He calleth you, look up;
O'er you His bowels yearn.
No sorrow can the bosom feel,
But Jesus' love can cure;
The wounded spirit He can heal,
The fainting heart assure.
The humble, contrite sinner shares
His kind, observing eye;
He sees your tears, He hears your prayers,
And will regard your cry.
Arise, and shake you from the dust,
Arise, 'He calleth _you_;'
With filial boldness dare to trust,
And find His promise true.
So gloom and sadness shall retreat,
And peace and joy return;
For while you sit at Jesus' feet,
Your heart with love will burn.
"Saw a letter from dear little John, informing his sister that he,
with others of his school-fellows, has entered the Methodist Society.
He is just about the same age I was, when I received my first ticket;
and from connexion with this people my name has never been erased,
though hundreds of times I have not deserved the privilege of
membership; but the people have borne with me, and more than this,
God has borne with me, even till now. Glory be to God for ever!--Some
struggle through life, and through successive years, are tossed on
stormy seas; others more calmly pass their appointed time; but such as
die in infancy, fly as a bird to its rest, and are privileged with an
early entrance into glory. So happy was James R., who careless of all
below, smiled, and bid the world adieu.--Had an interview with Mrs.
B.A. We found it good to be at the feet of Jesus. I told her that I
thought of resigning my Sabbath class, that I might turn my attention
more fully to the village. We agreed to bring it before the Lord for
a fortnight, to ask his direction.--I have written eight copies of
Mr. Stoner's 'Rules for Prayer-Meetings.' and given them to our
prayer-leaders. At the time of distribution, a circumstance occurred,
which, though distinct from them, yet happening at the same time,
will possibly be connected with them in my future recollections, and
occasion mingled feelings.--Delivered my Sabbath class-book to Mrs.
A., who, in connexion with Mrs. C., has kindly relieved me, for the
present, of a responsibility, which, under existing circumstances, I
feel it right to decline.
"Acomb.--Accompanied Mrs. E----n to see several of the friends, who
were sick. Called upon Mr. M., whose housekeeper died suddenly the
night I came; he seemed pleased with, our visit, and promised to join
the people of God. Lord, help him to perform his promise, by taking
possession of his heart.--I got to the morning prayer-meeting, and was
unusually drawn out in prayer as I went, that the Lord would he with
us and bless us; and not in vain. It was a blessed season, and I
believe others felt it also. O that the Spirit from on high may
be poured out, that Satan's kingdom may have a mighty shake this
Whitsuntide!--I felt it my duty to call upon a neighbour or two,
who, as I am informed, think themselves insulted by some, who wished
faithfully to discharge their duty, in a matter of church discipline.
I went in the character of a peacemaker, and after conversing with
them on the necessity of seeking a higher state of feeling, we prayed
together, and felt liberty. O that in good earnest, they may begin
to seek the Lord! I told them that, in my poor way, I should remember
them. Lord, lay them upon my heart, that I may not forget. To-night
my soul is truly happy in God. I feel much drawn out in prayer that
Satan's kingdom may fall, and the religion of Jesus prevail in this
village.--I felt it unusually sweet to bow before the Lord in secret,
and bear up my neighbours at His throne, I felt
'The speechless awe that dares not move,
And all the silent heaven of love.'
"My best seasons have been in retirement. Called upon some of my sick
neighbours, and aimed to please God in all my visits. O Lord, follow
with Thy blessing my weak efforts! Quicken the lukewarm, and
pardon the guilty. I was glad to see some new faces at the evening
preaching.--Met with my friends in band, and proposed meeting every
day at two clock, to entreat the Lord to deepen His work in our souls;
and especially, to hear us on behalf of our friends.--My soul was
blessed, while bowed before the Lord with my little John. Surely the
Spirit of prayer was poured upon us.--Went to J.S. to tell him of his
faults, which, I am sorry to find by his own confession, supply just
ground for censure, though exaggerated by report. Yet I did not feel
that sweet Christian pity, which I have felt to others in similar
circumstances. O for that yearning charity, that endeavours to draw
out of Satan's snare the souls entangled by him!--Called to see my
much esteemed friend, Miss C., who is sinking through decay of nature.
She says, 'I look for the accomplishment of the promise _now_;'
and speaking of the Lord's Supper, she said, 'I do not think any
particular preparation is necessary; because, if we do not always live
ready to communicate, we are not living as we ought.' When prayer was
proposed, she said, 'Pray that I may have increase of faith, patience,
and resignation.'--I addressed a note to Richard on the subject of
salvation, and placed it where he might find it accidentally. Asked
Mrs. R. to let me have a prayer-meeting in her house on Sabbath
afternoon; she readily consented. O that God would meet us
there!--With a feeble body, I set forward to the prayer-meeting;
inviting as I went some, who seldom attend. Met with one whom I had
never seen before, who seems desirous of salvation, and was glad to
accompany me. There the Lord met with us. One soul was made truly
happy, and another rejoiced in the Lord, having received good the week
before. It was indeed a blessed season; but my poor body was pressed
down with pain, which rendered it necessary for me to lie in bed till
Monday evening.--The two who have lately found peace, came to our
house; we conversed, prayed with them, read the rules, and gave them
each a copy. O bless my feeble efforts!--In answer to prayer, I awoke
at five o'clock and arose, and though my body is weak, my spirit is
alive.--I am this day going to attempt the formation of a new class,
having secured a place in the village to meet in. I leave the result
with the Lord, who knows my heart, and the hearts of the people. Empty
me of self, and if Thou canst, use me for Thy glory, and give me a
proof that I am not going a warfare at my own charge. Visiting some
of the villagers, I felt that I was on the Lord's errand, and think
I lost sight of self. O might it never more steal in! At half-past
three, I went to friends R., who have kindly offered a room to meet
in, and have also given in their names to meet with us. The two young
women, who have lately witnessed a good confession, also joined with
us, making four in all. O write each name in heaven!--This evening
thirty new members were admitted on trial. What a privilege to be
numbered with God's people! But when I remember that the Lord is
a wall of fire round about them, I wonder that I am not more in
earnest.--I found the throne easy of access. I believe the influence
in our little meeting was general. What enjoyment has the world to
equal communion with God?--Increased communion with God. I was at
the prayer-meeting in the morning, and afterwards called upon several
persons, to whom I endeavoured to speak faithfully; but who regards
it? Lord, I leave my feeble efforts with Thee. I write, and why?
because the review of God's mercies proves a stimulus; and often,
while committing to paper the Lord's dealings with me, His love flames
brighter on my heart."
ALL SHALL BE WELL.
If Jesus be with me, when sorrows assail,
And floods of affliction against me prevail;
His countenance lifted, my passions shall still,
And all shall be well, while I suffer His will.
If crosses perplex me, and perils surround,
Repose in my Saviour, my foes shall confound;
No weapon shall prosper, or cause me to fear,
But all shall be well, while His presence is here.
I repaired to Mrs. R.'s to meet the dear people; every part of my way
seemed doubtful, but the Lord was graciously with me. We were eight
assembled, and a blessed influence rested on us. Some were earnestly
seeking pardon.--Had a deeply interesting interview with Mrs. B., who
is depressed on account of worldly circumstances, and wants confidence
in Him, who has commanded us to cast 'all our care upon Him.' I felt a
spirit of sympathy, and the Lord poured upon us the spirit of prayer;
our hearts melted, and our months were filled with arguments.--Prayer
has been very sweet to me; I have increased power to rest upon the
promises, and through Christ to claim them. Yet in myself, I discover
such a depth of vileness, that, when I think of the amazing love of
God to me, my soul is humbled and adores. Tears of gratitude overflow
my eyes, that God--the God of Gods, should condescend to such a worm
as I.--By a letter from my Richard to his father, I am encouraged to
believe the Lord is again working upon his mind. It caused tears of
joy to run down my cheeks, and on our knees we united together to
thank the Lord. May the good be permanent.--At my own bedside the
spirit of prayer was so abundantly given, that I could scarcely cease
pleading for my children, _especially Richard_,--I welcome the return
of the Sabbath. Nature, even at this advanced season of the year,
exhibits an unusual degree of verdure; and invites me to adore the
Ruler of times and seasons, who confers such rich and ceaseless
blessings on rebellious man,--even upon me, the most undeserving;
for by divine light I see that everything I do is defective; yet, by
simply venturing upon Christ in prayer and faith, I receive peace and
power. I have received a very pleasing communication from _Richard_,
describing the anguish of mind through which he has passed on account
of sin; and informing me, that he has come to the cross and obtained
deliverance through believing. He says, 'Whereas I was once blind, now
I see.' On this account my soul rejoices. 'O for a heart to praise my
God.' Our removal to York is now fixed to take place in three months
(God willing). So uncertain is everything upon earth. Fix Thou the
bounds of our habitation, and encamp round about our abode, and all
shall be well.
"TO SEE THY POWER AND THY GLORY, SO AS I HAVE SEEN
THEE IN THE SANCTUARY."--Psalm lxiii. 2.
Of all deprivations, none is so great, or as painfully felt by a
truly devout soul, as the loss of religious ordinances. With what
deep pathos does the Psalmist lament his long exile from the scene of
solemn rites and holy sacrifice!
'How amiable are Thy tabernacles,
O Lord of Hosts!
My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth
For the courts of the Lord;
My heart and my flesh crieth out
For the living God.'
He envies the birds of the air, that free and unfettered, build their
nests hard by the temple of his God, while he, a banished man, must
seek a refuge in the wilderness.
'Yea the sparrow hath found an house,
And the swallow a nest for herself,
Where she may lay her young;
Even thine altars, O Lord of Hosts,
My King and my God.'
Mrs. Lyth loved the habitation of the Lord's house, and deprecated
the prospect of separation from its privileges, which was rendered
extremely probable by her increasing weakness. Eastfield House was
about a mile from the village, and between three and four from York.
In case of decided failure of health, she would not only have been
cut off from active usefulness in which she delighted, but entirely
excluded from christian ordinances. With the view of a little relief,
she had already relinquished one of her classes in the city, and
turned her attention more exclusively to the village; but now there
was every likelihood that she must soon give up the other. These
circumstances, with some others of less moment, determined the
propriety of a removal back to York. Shortly before this took place,
in one of her walks thither, for the purpose of meeting her class, a
circumstance transpired which is worth relating. She met on the road
an odd old man, whose extraordinary appearance made him, at that time,
well known in York and its vicinity. At one time above the average
stature, he was now bent nearly double with age, and hobbled along
with two sticks. A huge bunch of the old fashioned matches, attached
by a string to his neck, hung down before him, and was sufficient sign
of his occupation; while a long white beard, reaching well nigh to
the ground, completed the singularity of his appearance. This latter
appendage was, however, conveniently made to take off and on at
pleasure. He was fabulously reported to be a hundred and twenty
years old; and there was little doubt that he, and also his wife
who sometimes accompanied him, were on the eve of celebrating their
centenary, if they had not already done so. When Mrs. Lyth met him,
she was strongly impelled to speak to him on the subject of religion;
but being alone, and a little timid, she passed on. When she had
proceeded about a hundred yards, she felt so much pained with
the omission of her duty, that she hastened back, and faithfully
discharged her conscience. We need only add, that the old man and his
wife began to attend the chapel, and ultimately became members of Mr.
Lyth's class. The old man got rid of his beard and his sins together,
and, about two or three years later, both died in the hope of eternal
"1834.--Able to go to the village. Called to see Mrs. B., who seems to
have a desire to be saved, but has to contend with great affliction.
Another proof of the importance of seeking the Lord in health. Poor
old Mrs. L. is much altered, and did not recollect me. So mutable and
perishing is man. On reviewing the day, I think I have been aiming
to please God; but my performances are so poor, that I have need to
humble myself before God.--I got to see Mrs. R., most probably for
the last time. She is apparently near the close of life, and patiently
waiting the will of God. From thence I went to visit M.H. in the
county hospital, but as dinner came in, I left her to see Mrs. W., who
is in a precarious state, and much encumbered with worldly care. Here
the Lord gave me power of utterance, and the spirit of prayer.--After
six days spent at Acomb, I returned home much out of love with myself.
My visit on the whole has been pleasant. With and without my friends,
I have visited many of the inhabitants. In some cases I have derived
profit; but in others, I have had to take up my cross: yet I have had
but one aim--to do, and get good.--I went to meet the dear people,
but I was so overwhelmed by a dull pain in my head--accompanied with
drowsiness, that I thought, how shall I speak to them? but the Lord
graciously removed the indisposition, and blest my soul.--The Rev.
Daniel Isaac departed this life, after a lingering illness. He
preached his last sermon in Haxby, and paid his last visit to our
house; but the place that knew him shall know him no more for ever. So
will it soon be said of me.--Jesus hath broke the bars of death,
and opened paradise. In visiting, I was much refreshed. Tears of
contrition rolled down the face of Mrs. L. and Mrs. E. One was added
to the little class. All were present, and I felt loath to take leave
of them; but so it must be. Thos. Y. will now take charge of them.
Thus ends my career in Haxby. And after the toil and trouble of
removing, I am now comfortably seated at Grove Terrace. To Thee, the
blessed Donor of all I enjoy, would I render thanks. I have written
an address to my Haxby members.--The division of my little class seems
now to be working well. O Lord behold and come, visit this vine; let
its young and tender branches twine round about Thee; yea, let the
whole be baptized with the Holy Ghost!--The last moments of this
beautiful month (May) will soon have past for ever; but the record
will remain, when the angel shall stand, 'one foot on the sea and the
other on the land, and swear that time shall be no longer.' Solemn
thought! I feel the importance of it, and the necessity of being
clothed upon, with the righteousness of Christ. Well, I have got into
the stripping-room. O for a full abandonment of self, a full giving
up! Praise God, my heart yields, and distrusting itself, lays hold
of Jesus by faith. I feel solicitous for the spiritual and temporal
welfare of my family, especially my two eldest sons. My resolve is to
cast my care upon God. I feel power to leave them in His hands, and
believe He will work on their behalf.--I opened my Bible, and my eye
was caught by the words, 'Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?
Behold He smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams
overflowed. Can He give bread? Can He provide flesh for His people?'
It appeared a broad answer to a conversation we had the night
preceding. I was encouraged to lay hold on it.--Only indisposed, but
made myself worse by going to the leaders' meeting, as it came on
rain. In this, O Lord, forgive my rashness, for such it was, another
having kindly offered to go for me.--Quite laid aside with sickness
and pain, yet saved from murmuring, and just patience enough. The Lord
is wise, and long-suffering in all His dealings with me. I have to-day
reached my fifty-second year, and though in the school of affliction,
am patiently watched over by the kindest of instructors. Oh! the
unbounded love of my unwearied, though oft offended God!
"Sinnington. It is a week since my husband brought me from Scarbro'
to this place, where my health is improving, and my opportunities
of retirement are less interrupted. My mind has been more stayed and
recollected, and I enjoy greater peace. I am learning to come direct
to Jesus, who is ready to hear the cry of those, who need His help.
Being secluded from the world, I want to secure some advantage, that
will appear in after time. I am reading Mr. Watson's Life, some parts
of which I find profitable.--In consequence of pain in my head, it has
been thought advisable to call in a physician; but I would not trust
in man, nor make flesh my arm; nevertheless it is right to use
the means, and God can give His blessing. Since my return from the
country, many cares and exercises have been my portion; but, knowing
they are the appointments of my heavenly Father, it is in my heart to
pray, 'Thy will be done.'--My two friends, B. and R., who enjoy great
nearness to God, came to join with me in interceding for my dear
family, three of whom are about to leave home, and go into the world.
They were in a blessed frame of mind.--My Mary gave her hand to Mr.
Jackson. The night previous, pressed with the solicitude of a mother,
my sleep departed from me. I was deeply prayerful; my spiritual
feeling increased, and I was truly blessed, while I frequently
repeated with my heart the following lines:--
Jesus, Saviour, condescend
At this marriage to attend;
For Thyself each heart prepare,
Grant that all Thy love may share.
Come, thou great expected guest,
Come, and enter every breast;
Lest the subtle foe steal in,
Screen us with Thy guardian wing.
(Early in the morning her daughter entered the room, and begged her to
pray for her. She readily consented, and embracing her, said, 'I have
been praying for you from retiring until daybreak.') The morning was
propitious; and while Mr. C. read the twelfth of Romans and prayed,
the presence of the Lord was among us.--William started for Sheffield
to seek a new situation, I trust under the care of God, having the
night before commended him, by united prayer, to the kind Providence
of our heavenly Father. For many days I have enjoyed the soul's calm
sunshine; yet, I feel it is of mercy, not of works. Jesus' blood
is all my plea. Praise God, who, through the vicissitudes of this
eventful month, gives me tranquillity of mind. Now, I am anticipating
the return of Richard to London, to secure his diploma; so that
three out of four leave the paternal roof this month. With respect to
Richard, my mind is impressed with far more cheering hopes, than
when he went last year. Then, fallen from his steadfastness, he was
wandering upon the dark mountains; but now, returned to the Lord, he
is sensible of his obligations, and wishes to make some return. Lord
make me grateful for this proof of Thy love, and make my Richard a
burning and shining luminary, wise to win souls.--Went to the Haxby
Missionary Meeting; but to me all was disappointment. Some who
professed much friendship when I left them, looked very cool; some I
wished to see, I saw not; the chapel not full; no missionary-boxes,
although I know of four in the place; the collection not half the
amount of last year; the speeches did not profit me; perhaps I did not
keep the path of duty, for I left my class to be met by another, and
neglected seeing one who expected me. I was grieved with myself; and,
with a burdened mind, bowed my knees and poured out my complaints
before God, who listened to my cry and sent me help, melting me
down before Him, and making me willing to be more obedient in
future.--Visited Mrs. C. again; she said, 'I feel happy. Last
Thursday, after you were here, I pleaded with God, until the words
'Believe, and all your sins forgiven,
Only believe, and your's is heaven.'
I thought surely this is for me, and felt I could believe it was;'
and then came the words, 'when thou passest through the valley of the
shadow of death, I will be with thee;' and I believe it.' My heart
rejoiced with her.--Being indisposed, I commenced a letter to my
friends in Acomb, when, just as I completed one side, Mrs. R. and
little Charles came in, and glad I was to see them. She told me, that
a friend of her youth who moves in high life, having been awakened
to a sense of her sinful condition, had sent to her repeatedly for
advice. Feeling interested for her, she requested me to unite with her
in pleading at the throne of grace; to which I acceded, knowing that
it is not a vain thing to call upon God. The appointed times are every
Tuesday, at half-past nine in the morning, and half-past nine in the
evening. This is recorded to aid my memory. Aid us by Thy Spirit, or
our efforts will be vain.--The engagement, though not at the exact
time, was remembered, and I entered a little into the business. Miss
C. came to request me to meet a lady at their house, who is convinced
of her lost condition. With some diffidence, from a sense of my own
unfitness, I accompanied her, and conversed with the lady on the dawn
and progress of a work of grace in the heart; lent her 'Fletcher's
Address,' and after Mrs. C. and I had prayed, we parted. But knowing
the good that is done on the earth, the Lord doeth it, I have made it
matter of earnest prayer, for she is much laid upon my mind. This,
I believe, is pleasing to God, and the rather, as this morning on
opening the word of God, I saw how Ezekiel was humbled before the Lord
for the people of Israel and Judah.--Being in health, I went forth,
praying for direction and the blessing of God. Some kind friends
gave me twenty-two shillings to help a poor member. This I took; she
received it thankfully. Visited Mrs. C., she is able to rest in God.
Called on Mr. S., and left 'Fletcher's Address;' also upon Mrs. D.,
and left a copy of the same. O that the Spirit may do his office!
Why do I speak thus? He waits to enter: may they be willing to
yield.--Went to Pocklington to see Mrs. P. There I met with E.
Brookes, Esq. His private walk bespeaks him a devoted man. I esteemed
it a privilege to lodge under the same roof. My journey has been blest
to both body and soul; having acknowledged God, my way was made plain,
and His presence has comforted me. I returned home in Mr. B.'s gig.
I had not arrived many minutes, before Miss H. came to converse on
spiritual things; I thought it providential that I came at the
time: but who is sufficient for these things? O bless the dear young
disciple! Mrs. D. has received good, indeed her countenance indicated
the change. She told me she purposed commencing family-prayer in the
evening: one mark of genuine conversion.--I had a very profitable
interview with a lady, who came to converse on divine things. How many
opportunities have I missed, which might have thus been employed to
advantage. 'My mouth as in the dust I hide.'
"1835. Able to meet my class: seventeen present. A fresh member turned
in, and appeared sensible of her lost condition. My soul felt that
painful struggling with the powers of darkness, which I have often
experienced when knelt by the side of a seeking sinner. As the people
withdrew, a little girl was waiting for me to go and see her mother,
who is much worse. I found her supported in bed by a neighbour, the
perspiration streaming down her face. She held out her hand to me, and
told me Christ was precious. By-and-bye a whisper was heard,
'I'll praise my Maker while I've breath.'
Her voice failed. While I prayed, angels seemed hovering around. I
said, you do not feel any doubt; she replied, 'No; I rest upon the
promise.' She died the next day.--My mind was deeply impressed with
the thought of eternity, occasioned by the sound of the passing bell.
How leaden falls the deep-toned sound!
The heart is with its weight oppress'd;
A soul has cross'd life's narrow bound,
A soul--for ever lost or blest.
For ever! what a word is this!
Ye careless mortals, be it known;
In everlasting woe or bliss,
This word, for ever! is your own.
Momentous thought! I feel it now;
This long eternity is mine:
My soul shall this duration know,--
A quenchless spark of life divine!
When I retired, I besought the Lord to awake me, and give me health
to go to the six o'clock prayer-meeting. In this, He condescended to
answer me; but my body inclined to rest. For a moment, I listened;
but my prayer and promise occurred to me, and durst I thus offend
the Lord? I rose, conferring no longer with flesh and blood, and was
abundantly repaid. The peace of God overflowed me as a river, and
while I write the effect remains. My soul was much drawn out on behalf
of some of my unconverted relatives. A little after we had risen
from our knees, one of them came in, and I seized the opportunity of
pressing upon him the necessity of a change of heart.--The spirit of
prayer was given to me in an unusual degree, especially on behalf of
my dear son, who believes himself called to the work of the ministry,
and has this day engaged to supply the place of one who has gone to
his reward. How important! May the Lord go with him.--For some time I
have thought of inviting Miss M.B. to class; but, not knowing whether
she had any concern for salvation, I demurred. Still the impression
followed me, and to-day I told her of it. The tears started in her
eyes, and she confessed with great frankness, that she was convinced
she must have the peace of God to be happy; but she had never
mentioned the subject to any but her mother. Surely this impression
was from the Lord, and in answer to prayer: for some time since,
her mother and I agreed to plead for our children every Wednesday
afternoon. My affections, divided to every member of my family, meet
in one point at the throne of grace; where many a time my expectations
are raised, and my soul blessed. To-day my husband takes a class; may
it be made an abundant blessing to his own soul.--The quarter-day:
much excitement, lest a rent should be made among us; my dear
christian friends, A. and B., came to my house to lay the matter
before the Lord, while the meeting was being held. There, indeed, we
did pour out our cause; buffeted, but much encouraged by the promise,
especially as it was given to two of us, 'I, the Lord, do keep it;
lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day.' We believed the Lord
would interpose, and so it was. We were told the case was wonderfully
overruled. O the condescension of our merciful High Priest!--Mrs. A.
brought me a sick visiting-book, which I did not refuse: for although
I feel my disqualification, yet am willing to do what I can, only let
me have heavenly aid. At twelve at noon, six of us opened a weekly
meeting for intercession: to me it was a blessed season. I have at
times great enlargement, but abasing views of my own depravity, with
expanded perceptions of the love and power of God--great in wisdom,
great in love, great in holiness, and yet He deigns to visit me.
'Faith, lends its realising light, the clouds disperse,' and let a ray
of the Infinite into my soul. Thus, in the midst of many things
that are painful, I am comforted.--Have been out to tea against my
inclination, and yet it was among my friends. Endeavoured to give a
religious tone to the conversation, but some, who ought to have come
forward, were silent; and to others without the least intention I
fear I have given offence. From this cause my mind is troubled; but
on reflection, think, I ought not to yield to such a feeling, being
conscious that my aim was to do right. To Thee, Oh Saviour, will I
look to overrule 'my every weak, though good, design.' While I write
my soul is happy. Glory be to God.--I am now enter the last hour
of 1835, much abased on the review of my own unfaithfulness, yes
earnestly desiring to commence anew, if permitted a little longer to
sojourn on earth.
Oh! take possession of my heart,
And let it hence Thy temple be;
Willing, Thou seest me, now to part
With all, that is unlike to Thee;
O let the Spirit's seal be given
The earnest of my future heaven!
To Thee, O Lord, I would present
My life, and health, and talent, now;
Let nothing mar the pure intent
And purpose of my solemn vow;
But now the covenant blood apply,
My feeble act to ratify.
Come, sway the sceptre in my soul,
Its secret springs adjust and move;
Model each word, each thought control,
And fill me with the light of love;
So shall I do Thy perfect will,
As angels, who Thy word fulfil.
Ten minutes past midnight.--To put me in remembrance,--my two friends
at a quarter before two every day. My one friend at three every
"1836. Awoke with, 'Reckon yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but
alive unto God;' and 'Be ye not of a doubtful mind.' I feel resolved
henceforth, thus 'to reckon.' I have been too long dying--not dead,
and dishonouring God by 'a doubtful mind.' I now enjoy peace, with a
firm determination to keep His commandments, which are not grievous;
but I feel my weakness such, that I cannot trust myself. O my God,
help me to keep my covenant vows!"
Look high, look low, look far and near,
Changes in every scene appear;
The blossom fades, the day is gone,
And night succeeds the morning sun.
The clear blue firmament is seen.
But gath'ring clouds soon intervene;
The sun, resplendent, hastes away,
To give to other lands the day.
The vig'rous youth to manhood grown,
Becomes a hoary sire anon;
The blooming maid becomes a bride,
A loving consort by her side,
The zenith point of earthly bliss,--
But ah! a changing scene is this:
The fairest prospects earth can boast,
Are poor, and transient at the most;
And closest ties of friendship fail
To stay the bliss, we smile to hail.
"After a fortnight's suffering, my dear little grandson, Edward, left
our dark abode for everlasting day. Separation is painful, but the
prospect of eternal happiness brings sweet consolation. A little
before death he said, 'kneel down.' He was three years and ten months
old--a child of much promise--but is now safely transplanted to
nourish in a healthier clime.--Death strikes again--the infant, and
only surviving child of my Eliza, has escaped to glory. Several other
afflictive occurrences have been permitted, I am confident for my
good: yet I have better health than usual, and the consolations of my
God are not withheld. The Lord can make hard things easy, and
mingle the bitter cup with sweetness. O that I could make better
returns!--Thirty years ago, I gave myself to my husband with mingled
feelings of hope and fear. The words, 'thy Maker is thy husband,' have
been impressed upon my mind."
Endearing title! wilt Thou be
A husband, O my God, to me?
Then, let me never grieve Thy love,
Nor ever disobedient prove;
Watchful Thy pleasure to obey,
Thy precepts study night and day;
Thy will at all times gladly do:
_I will_. Lord help me to be true.
"Had all the preachers to breakfast with a friend or two
beside,--hoping the hour might be spiritually improved. Singing and
prayer were sweet, but I was disappointed in the conversation, which
was turned by two individuals upon a point that profited little; one
thing I learned, to expect profit in the creature is not right,--Tried
to bring about, and by means of another, effected a reconciliation
between two opposing parties.--'Who will this day consecrate his
services to the Lord?' was a question put to me this morning before
I awoke, and has been urged upon me since. Thank God, my heart
responds--_I will_. As I was walking, musing, and praying, it was
whispered to my soul, 'My God shall supply all your need.' It is
enough.--Again privileged to hear the Rev. Robert Newton. I sat in
my Father's banqueting-house with delight, and His banner over me was
love.--Fifty-four years this day, I have proved the sustaining power
of God; and forty-two or nearly so, have enjoyed His redeeming love. O
what a debter am I! Here will I give myself away--'tis all I can do."
This day of consecrated rest,
Proclaim within my longing breast
'I am the Lord thy God;'
Here dwell and reign without control,
Sole monarch of my willing soul,
According to Thy word.
"I HAVE LENT HIM TO THE LORD; AS LONG AS HE LIVETH, SHALL
HE BE LENT UNTO THE LORD."--1 Sam. i. 28.
"Neither will I offer burnt-offerings to the Lord of that which cost
me nothing," said David, when he purchased the threshing-floor, and
the oxen of Araunah the Jebusite, that he might rear and altar, and
offer sacrifices, and peace-offerings: and yet it was a nobler act
of sacrifice, when he poured out before the Lord the crystal draught
which three of his mighty men had procured from the well that was by
the gate of Bethlehem, at the peril of their lives, and for which he
had so earnestly longed. In the one case he gave what he could well
afford; in the other, he consecrated what his soul desired. The
preciousness of the gift is to be estimated, not by its intrinsic
value, but by the amount of sacrifice which it requires; hence, some
who bring much, offer little, and some who give but little, offer
much. Genuine love to God brings of its choicest and dearest, and the
sacrifice is accepted accordingly. To give money as far as she had
ability, was to Mrs. Lyth no sacrifice. Through life she practised
a rigid economy, that she might have the more to employ for God; and
during the last few years, when she had an ample income at her own
disposal, after her few and extremely moderate wants were met, the
whole was sacredly consecrated to public and private charities.
She saved nothing. Her estimate of the riches of this world may be
collected from the following, communicated by a friend:--"She was much
saved from the love of money. I called upon her one day for advice and
sympathy, when I was in great trouble in consequence of a loss which I
had sustained. She very affectionately encouraged me to bear up under
the trial, and said, the Lord had some better thing in store for
me;--that I must set my affections on things above, and then, to show
that I was not alone, told me that a thousand pounds had been left to
her mother by a deceased relative, which she had fully expected would
revert to her, as it was the intention of the testatrix; but it proved
to be a lapsed legacy. She added, 'The Lord so graciously sustained
me, that the loss never deprived me of a single hour's sleep. He knows
what is good for us, and If it had been His will, I should have had
it.' Mr. Lyth, who was in company with us at the time, said, 'So you
see my wife turns all to gold,' which it is well known she did. Oh! I
wish I was like her." But if she estimated worldly wealth only so far
as it afforded her the pure gratification of doing good, and it was
therefore no sacrifice to her to give of her earthly substance; she
also gave that which cost her something. Her eldest son, Richard,
whom she prized above gold, and all the more, because of the tears and
solicitude which she had expended upon him as a sickly and delicate
infant, was at the Conference of 1836 appointed to a distant and
perilous sphere of missionary labour. This was a demand upon her
feelings, which severely tested her love to Christ and His church; but
the spirit in which she made the sacrifice, is best displayed by her
own private record.
"1836. A letter from brother John Burdsall, who is at the Conference,
informs me, that he had some conversation with Dr. Bunting respecting
my Richard and the Friendly Islands. I feel as a mother, yet assured
that God is alike in every place, my prayer is for resignation.--Oh!
the rapidity of time, conference has commenced and will, I suppose,
appoint my Richard somewhere; only be it the place assigned by
Providence--my will submits, though nature would rebel.--My desires
tend upward, but oh! my wayward heart still clings to the creature--my
children lie near my heart. But, do I wish to withhold my son from
Thee? no; my heart says no;--only let holiness be stamped upon
his heart and character: send him where holiness will be the most
earnestly sought, and will make the most powerful impression. My will
does yield, but nature feels. The solicitude I feel for my children
depresses my spirit: yet am comforted by the promises of God, and
increasingly resolved to roll my every care at the foot of the Cross;
where, like pilgrim, I often find the strings of my burden unloosed,
and by faith beholding my unfailing Friend, am encouraged to believe
the God who cares for _me_, will care for _mine_. In the face of
my fears, O Lord, I trust in Thee. My Richard is appointed to the
Friendly Islands.--The cases of my three sons press upon my spirit;
but Thy aid, O Lord, I seek and ask and _have_.--It is the Sabbath
morn. I am fully bent to give myself and my family to God. But now
it is come to the point, how weak I feel! Well, but I will
resign--Richard is Thine; I will through grace, give him up to Thee.
The time of his departure is at hand; tidings have reached us that he
is expected to sail in the 'Royal George,' on the first of October.
O may He who sitteth above the water floods, and reigneth a King for
ever, take charge of him; and so succeed his errand, that thousands
may add lustre to his crown!--At half-past six Miss B. and Mrs. A. met
me, and Hannah S. who was seeking pardon. After we had pleaded for
a time, the Lord came down in power, and she cried aloud, 'I can
believe, I do believe.' We all shared the baptism. My dear family
all took tea together, perhaps for the last time. Thank God, we are
a united family, though we may separate wide from each other in our
pilgrimage through the world.--While pouring out my soul for my dear
Richard, I felt the hallowing power; I believe the Lord will be with
him and the people also. Things very painful to nature are now my
frequent lot; but through these, the Lord seeks to purge, and knit me
closer to himself. Lord give me grace to bear the sacrificing knife,
and let 'Thy will be done,'--Had a few friends to breakfast to commend
my dear Richard to God: it was a profitable hour, but I should have
liked more prayer.--My soul was much refreshed, especially in class.
What a fulness is treasured up in Jesus: and yet I only sip. In
visiting the sick, and seeking out the wanderers, feel I am right, but
seem to have little time for this work.
"Apperly Bridge. My Richard's wedding-day. While the bridal couple
went to church, I retired to plead a blessing on their union. On their
return, I met them with lines which were on my mind--
'Blest in Christ your union be,
Blest to all eternity.'
And so it will be, while they cleave to Jesus. After breakfast we
proceeded to Leeds, where we dined, and took an affectionate leave
of each other. I then retired with the female part of the company to
commend them to God." [Her parting counsels, which were inscribed in my
brother's album, were as follows:--]
"My dear son,--'Be strong through the grace, which is by Jesus Christ,
and the things, which thou hast heard before many witnesses, commit
to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. Endure
affliction as a good soldier of Jesus Christ, and the Lord give thee
understanding in all things. God is my witness, how I long for
you, that your love may abound more and more, in all knowledge
and spiritual understanding; that you may try the things that are
excellent; that you may be sincere, and without offence, unto the day
of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are
through Jesus Christ, to the praise and glory of God. And when the
Chief Shepherd shall appear, you shall receive the crown of glory
which fadeth not away.' This is the earnest prayer of your truly
"Mr. Burrows came, and talked sweetly to me of my privilege as a
christian in giving all to God, and prayed with us; else, during
this week sorrow and joy have mingled in my breast, but now I feel to
rise.--Mrs. R. having agreed to meet with me to intercede for my
dear Richard and Mary Ann, I went up accompanied by Mrs. W.--the Lord
blessed us together.--I feel encouraged.--A very stormy morning. This
led me to my knees, to pour out my soul for my son and daughter: O
keep them in the hollow of Thy hands! William has not yet returned
from seeing Richard off; I want to hear and know--yet am encouraged
to hope all will be well.--Days of suspense--but the thought, 'all is
well,' encouraged me; this was realised, when William returned in the
afternoon. 'Bless the Lord, O my soul,' and praise His adorable
name. My dear Richard sent me a letter, written when sailing down the
Thames, in which he says, 'The Lord is with us, we will not fear.'
"Sinnington. After the morning prayer-meeting, I called upon several
of the villagers, who kindly welcomed our visit. Prayed with every
family but one, and in each case felt the softening power. Spoke
plainly with Mr. B. respecting the alienation existing between him and
----. O that they would seriously resolve!--A very stormy day, but
braving the blast, I visited two or three friends, to have a last
interview with them; in one case to invite a person to join the people
of God; in another, to urge the necessity of family-prayer; a third
was a young person apparently in dying circumstances, and a fourth
was a quaker friend, whose disinterested friendship endears her to
me.--Visited the Lady Mayoress at the Mansion House, and felt quite
at ease. Had an opportunity of dropping a word in her ear, which she
seemed to receive kindly."
The noontide hour is wont to be
A blessed means of grace to me;
When met, the hallowing power to share,
In the sweet intercourse of prayer.
"Was drawn out in prayer for myself and others until a late hour, and
was much blest. After I had retired and had been asleep, I awoke with
'Soft and easy is Thy pillow,
Coarse and hard the Saviour lay;
Since His birthplace was a stable,
And His softest bed was hay.'
My pillow seemed softer than usual, and my soul was happy.--Very
stormy." [Such notes of the weather repeatedly occur at this period,
but nothing more: her thoughts were after Richard, but her feelings
were too intense for expression. To a friend she remarked, that
for six months after her son's departure, she dared not touch, the
subject. 'I cannot write upon it,' she said, 'I am obliged to leave
"1837. Took tea with Mrs. D., with several christian friends; our
visit was blessed, all shared in the heavenly influence: if all
visits were equally profitable, I should regret to refuse an
invitation.--Paid a visit not so beneficial, though many good people
were there, and honourable too.--Rose too early by mistake, but
determined to profit by it, so I bowed myself at the feet of Him to
whom I can most freely unbosom myself and told Him all my cares, which
seemed to multiply as I spread them out before Him; found a little
access, but want the mighty faith that 'can the mountain move.'--Wm.
B.'s two daughters and daughter-in-law took tea with me, which
afforded me an opportunity of conversing with them on the necessity
of salvation. Presented each of them with a pocket companion.
Providentially Mrs. R. stepped in, and prayed with us. In the evening
I met the dear people, deeply feeling my own unfitness, and greatly
discouraged by their state. To increase my difficulty, a young
stranger came in to hear in silence; could get none to pray. What
shall I do? Resolved as soon as alone to roll my burden upon the Lord,
which I did, and felt encouraged.--Five months to-day since my last
letter from Richard. [Two days after she writes.] The evening post
brought me a letter, and 'all is well.' When we had read it, we bowed
before the Lord to acknowledge our gratitude. My dear friends, B. and
A., came to meet Mrs. B. to plead with the Lord on her behalf: she
obtained power to say, 'I love Him because He first loved me;' but
durst not affirm that her sins were forgiven.--Since the Missionary
Meeting, the recollection that I, with the rest of the assembly,
lifted my hand and pledged myself to increased exertion, has pressed
upon my mind. I am willing; Lord, direct my efforts! [This resolution
was not ineffective, for shortly after, she initiated the York Ladies'
Missionary Sewing Meeting, which for many years proved an important
source of income, and still exists, under the name of the 'Ladies'
"Hull. Called upon Mrs. H., and met there a lady, who acknowledges my
father as the instrument of her conversion. She was on one occasion
introduced into his class, and being a member of the Established
Church, he asked her if, when repeating the Creed, she believed 'in
the communion of saints, and the forgiveness of sins.' The arrow hit
the mark, and she never rested till she obtained the favour of God.
Called also upon Mr. E., whom we found indisposed, but awakened to a
sense of his lost condition. Was glad to hear him speak of his hard,
unfeeling heart, as I felt convinced the Spirit of God was working
upon him, and was encouraged to pray with and for him.--After an
agreeable journey, we returned to York--so swiftly time passes, how I
long to improve it! In the cabin of the packet, I took up a book which
lay on the table--written by Baxter--on 'Living for Eternity,' and
while reading, deeply felt the necessity of so doing. Two young
gentlemen sat at my left hand playing at a game of some sort, and I
was prompted to speak to them upon the importance of improving their
youthful opportunities. They received the admonition in a good spirit
and said, they wished they oftener met with kind reproofs.--Miss
B. and I collected for the infant school: some of our visits were
profitable--prayer sweetened our employment."
"Sinnington. My dear uncle is evidently failing. He has suffered much,
but the state of his mind is improving, and he is more accessible.
He goes to bed very early, and every night I have sat and prayed with
him. My own mind is in a composed frame. All around me exhibits the
finger of God. The stillness of nature impresses me with His presence;
I hear his voice, and all within me acknowledges Him Lord of all. I
have visited several of the villagers; some wept, but to others I seem
to tell an idle tale.--Four o'clock in the morning:--
Midnight stillness! O! how solemn!
Now surrounded by my God;
How I long to breathe His fulness!
How I long to walk with God!
Thou whose eyes, unseen, behold me,--
Mark my inmost rising thought;
In this musing moment prompt me,
Let my works in Thee be wrought.
Aid, O aid my contemplation!
To Thy cross my spirit lead;
Humble, while I view Thy passion,
_Me_,--that caused Thy heart to bleed.
Let it melt me, O my Saviour,
Melt me into love again;
By Thy death to life restore me,
In my soul for ever reign.
Bring me into full salvation,
Every secret thought control;
Help my nature's imperfection,
Sway Thy sceptre in my soul.
Let all nature point to Jesus,
Every scene reveal Him there,
Earthly good, through Him, be precious,
Voices chaunt Him everywhere.
All I know, or taste, or handle,
Be subservient to His will;
Sun that shineth--stars that glitter--
Flash His glory round me still.
"As I came out of the chapel, a person came to me with tears in her
eyes and requested me to pray for her, that the Lord would cleanse her
heart: I was humbled but encouraged.--My birthday: rose before five,
and consecrated my body and soul to the Lord. At an early hour was
sent for by the young person I saw a few days ago, who is still very
much afflicted. Inquiring what I should pray for, she said, 'That God
may pardon my sins.' I thought this a good sign, as she was in much
pain; and left her, believing God would save her. This word has been
my motto for some days, 'If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide
in my love;' and my heart is bent on it.--Awoke early; my meditations
were sweet. Visited S.P., while praying with her she wept much. O may
these meltings of a broken heart end in conversion! In the evening
went to J.B.'s to break the ice for them in commencing family-prayer,
but he was out, so after some close conversation with his wife on the
subject, we prayed together. Lord, help her to take up her cross.
On my return I went and prayed with uncle; I want to say to him
everything I ought--Lord help me.--I started early that I might invite
some of the villagers to the chapel: while thus engaged my heart was
lifted up to God for a blessing on my endeavours.--Miss C. came to
inform me, that last evening after returning from chapel, feeling her
need of justifying grace, she retired to her closet--her sisters,
and the young ladies having remained at the prayer-meeting. On their
return, several of them being deeply convinced of sin, united in
prayer; and so powerfully did the Spirit work, that six were crying
for mercy at once: thus they continued to pray and wrestle until two
in the morning, when five of them were made happy. On my way to Acomb,
I called in to rejoice with them, and was introduced to a young lady
who has been for some time under religious impression; whilst Mrs. R.
and I engaged in prayer, she found comfort; glory be to God.--A year
since my dear Richard left the land of his birth, to preach the gospel
in the islands of the seas. To commemorate the event, we had about
twenty friends to tea; after which we had a prayer-meeting on behalf
of my dear son, and the cause of missions.--The words of a Minister
should be as a stream from the living fountain, and themselves as
conduits, through which the stream runs. How needful then, that we
should bear them up before the throne, that there may be written upon
them, 'Holiness unto the Lord.'--Have been to see some of my members.
Two were out, one ill, a fourth indisposed, and a fifth in a very
unhappy frame of mind, whom I purposely left without prayer, not
knowing how to pray for her--never left her before without bowing the
knee. On arriving at home, I presented her case to God.--Have been put
into the office of Treasurer for the Clothing Society; Lord help me
faithfully to discharge this labour of love for the poor of Christ's
flock.--Saw J.P. on his dying bed. The enemy was making his last
assault upon him. I repeated several promises to which he listened
with attention, and then prayed with him. In about half an hour the
Lord broke in upon his soul so gloriously, that he desired his wife to
come and tell me what the Lord had done for him. My soul rejoiced with
him.--This solemn moment I give myself to Thee. O let me henceforth be
Thy devoted servant, willing at all times to yield my will to Thine!
Dost Thou say to me, 'I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee;
yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness?' Then
it is enough. I am the Lord's, and He is mine. Blessed union! God is
love; I feel it now.
"1838. In converse with my friends, I have endeavoured to keep a
conscience void of offence, and to walk in simplicity before the Lord;
but Oh! when viewed in the glass of God's law, how deficient! Yet will
I aim at the perfect model.--This morning, a young man named Calvert,
who is going as a missionary to the South Seas, called upon us. With
him I sent a letter to my Richard, having sat up the previous night
writing, and little thinking I should have such an opportunity of
sending it. Old feelings revived in my breast; but after he was gone,
while musing about my son and the perils of missionary life, these
words were sweetly applied: 'It is not the will of your Father in
heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.'--The box sent to
Richard, which has been lost for three months, is just found in proper
time to go with a missionary bound for the same islands. There is
a providence unseen by us, whose watchful eye protects the minutest
interests of His own; 'Even the very hairs of your heads are all
numbered.'--Informed that poor Mrs. W. was fast sinking, I hastened
to see her; she was struggling with her last enemy, but smiling in His
grasp. When told that she would soon join in singing 'Hallelujah,'
she smiled and said. 'Yes;' and shortly after exchanged mortality for
MY FRIEND'S DEPARTURE.
How solemn was the room!
How still that scene of death!
My friend 'mid twilight gloom,
Lay gasping hard for breath;
The death dews on her temples stood;
She smiled adieu, and crossed the flood.
Angels were hov'ring round,