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God.

‘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 Almighty.

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 retirement.

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.

XII.

COUNTRY LIFE.

“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 it.”

[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.”

NEAR MIDNIGHT.

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.

XIII.

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 were suggested,

‘_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 weeks.”

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.”

LOOK UPWARD.

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–

‘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.”

XIV.

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 prayerful spirit.

“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.

XV.

THE RETURN.

“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 life.

“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 were applied–

‘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 Wednesday.”

“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.

XVI.

THE SACRIFICE.

“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 affectionate mother.”

“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 these lines:

‘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 it.’]

“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’ Repository.’]

“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 life.”

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,