« ForrigeFortsett »
John iii. 16. God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” But
may I venture to rely on his death for eternal life, with a hope of attaining it ?” “ Yes, most certainly Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, those who feel they are sinners, and as soon as we feel our guilt and our degeneracy, we are not only fitted to come unto him for peace, and acceptance, and eternal glory, but invited in the most tender and endearing terms. Hence he says, Matt. xi. 28, Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” “Oh," said Miss D. “ these words comfort me, they lift up my soul as into the light of hope; and yet I am afraid to hope. Had I felt some years or even months since, what I now feel, I should have been preserved from the power of those fascinations, which have opened for me å premature grave ; and might, in the serene and blissful society of my esteemed friends, Mrs. Stevens and Miss Roscoe, have enjoyed a large share of felicity on earth. “But," said Mr. Ingleby,
you ought to be thankful to the God of all consolation, that you have felt even in the eleventh hour, that degree of guilt, which has induced you to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.” “ Very true, and I hope, Sir, ere you leave this house, you will try to impress on the mind of my dear honored parents, those important truths which you have exhibited with so much clearness to my mind." The good man knelt down and prayed with her, and then left her.
Immediately after Mr. Ingleby's departure, she retired to rest, and slept the greater part of the night. In the morning, when her father drew near her bed side, to inquire if her soul was happy, she replied, I am composed, father, but not happy. I shall leave you, but before I go, I have a few requests to make, which I hope you
will comply with. The one is this, that you and my dear mother will
go and hear that holy man preach, who has brought such words of comfort to my troubled soul. He understands what religion is, and will explain it to you more clearly, and more perfectly than our friend Mr. C. I once, in common with others, ridiculed his evangelical views of truth, and turned the keen edge
of my satire against those who seek felicity in the consolations of the gospel, rather than in the pleasures of the world; but now I am driven for peace and for hope to the same source. My other request is, that you will
affectionate regards to Mrs. Stevens and Miss Roscoe, and say, that as I shall not be with you long, I wish to see them in the course of the day."
Mr. John Ryder, who had been unremitting in his attentions to her during her illness, and who was nearly frantic with grief in the prospect of parting with her for ever,
was waiting below; and, when she was asked if he might see her once more, she replied, “I think not; it may disturb me; I am too near an eternal world, to suffer my feelings to intermingle again with those objects, on which they have been too strongly placed.” But, after a long pause, she added, " yes, let him come up. The parting scene, though painful, may be profitable.” He entered the room, pale and dejected ; and though his spirit could brave death in the high places of destruction, yet now he was appalled on seeing her preparing for the tomb, whom he expected to have led to the altar of conjugal bliss. On approaching her bed-side, she extended her hand, and with a mild look and softened tone, she said, “We now part, but I hope not for ever. Death which is now taking me off, will soon call for you, and then I hope you will find that consolation in the death of a despised Saviour, which it hath pleased God, very unexpectedly and undeservedly to give me.” She now drew back her hand, and concealed her face, as thougla her eyes were for ever closed on things visible and temporal.
The interview with her old friends Mrs. Stevens and Miss Roscoe, gave a fresh excitement to her feelings ; but it was one of pure and unmingled satisfaction. They conversed together with reciprocal interest on the love of Christ, and the freeness of bis salvation ; but when any reference was made to the felicities of the heavenly state, Miss D. could do no more than express a hope, that she might be permitted to join the innumerable throng, though doomed to remain unnoticed amongst them. As Mrs. Denham and the nurse were exhausted by excessive fatigue, having had no rest for several nights, Mrs. Stevens's and Miss Roscoe's kind offer to watch by her bed-side was accepted. It was evident to all that she could not continue long; for though there had been some intermitting symptoms of recruited strength, and regained vivacity, yet for the last few days the disease had made very rapid progress, and when the physician took his leave, he guarded them against being surprized if a sudden change should take place. She slept through the first part of the night very composedly, but about three in the morning she became restless, and on being raised up in the arms of Miss Roscoe, she swooned for a few seconds, when she. gradually recovered, and expressed a wish to see her parents once more. She first kissed her mother and bid her adieu, and then her father, and then her two female friends, and, last of all, her old nurse ; and after a long pause she said, “I am dying, but not without hope of attaining eternal life, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ." She then gently reclined her head on the bosom of her friend Mrs. Stevens, and breathed her last.
Thus died the once gay and thoughtless Miss D.; bearing a testimony to the vanities of that world which had ensnared her, and to the importance and excellence of that faith in Christ, which she had often made the theme of her ridicule and sometimes of her. invective. Had she felt the transforming power of that truth, which on one occasion, she heard fall from the lips of the venerable Iugleby, she might still have been living, a comfort to her parents in their old age, an ornament to society, a blessing to the world, and at a distant period she might have descended to the grave, laden with the fruits of righteousness, and rich in the anticipation of faith ; but as she chose to resist its impression, and devote herself to the follies and amusements of the age, she was called to taste the bitterness of death, in the spring time vivacity, and beauty of her years; and yet mercy spared her, till she sought the redemption of her soul, through faith in the death of the Redeemer; a privilege which is withheld from
who are permitted in the last hours of their mortal existence, to seek for enjoyments in the
of folly, and then plunge themselves into an eternal world, for which they have made no preparation.
Printed by Milne and BANFIELD, 76, Fleet street.
DIVERSITY OF OPINION NO INSUPERABLE
BARRIER TO CHRISTIAN UNION.
" and now (rising from his seat as he spoke, his countenance at the same time glowing with all the ardour of impassioned feeling) it is with no common emotions of joy that I indulge the hope of leaving the church and the world at a period when the temple of war is closed, and our denominations are cultivating the spirit of universal peace. This is a gratification which has been denied to the great and the good of former times, and it is one which I did not anticipate a few years since."
London: PRINTED FOR FRANCIS WESTLEY, 10, STATIONERS'
COURT, AND AVE-MARIA-LANE.
DIVERSITY OF OPINION NO INSUPERABLE
BARRIER TO CHRISTIAN UNION.
“ I therefore beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling."
THE Roscoes were engaged to spend the evening at the Villa; and the venerable rector, whose sermon had given such general satisfaction, very cheerfully consented to meet them. He had long known Mr. Roscoe, and long respected him; but now he felt that affection which the different members of the household of faith cherish for each other. Our party, though small, included within it some of the different denominations of professing Christians; and this circumstance gave a turn to our conversation.
“ The diversity of opinion which prevails amongst us," said Mr. Ingleby,“ on some of the points of revealed truth, is often urged by many as a powerful argument against its divine origin. I recently received a letter from a gentleman whose mind had been perplexed on this subject, in which he says, When I look around me, and see the discordant sentiments which are held by different bodies of professing Christians ; sentiments which are directly opposed to each other, and which admit of no adjustment; and when I recollect that they all profess to derive them from the same source, and are in the habit of appealing to the same authority in support of them, I feel myself approaching a difficulty wbich I know not how to solve. What? is the Bible such a mysterious book that it is incapable of being understood? Is it the delusive oracle which utters truth and falsehood? If so, it cannot be a safe guide; and if it be not so, how do you account for the very