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THE YOUTHFUL DISCIPLE.

AN AUTHENTIC NARRATIVE.

Eliza H- was the child of earnest and devoted christian parents. Her father was a wealthy manufacturer in one of the principal towns of the West Riding of Yorkshire. He occupied an influential position in the religious community to which he belonged, and was not less distinguished for zeal and liberality in the cause of Christ than for energetic enterprise in the business of the world. The training of his household was regulated by a simple but enlightened deference to the will of God, and an intense solicitude for the everlasting welfare of his children. The society which he cultivated was of an order to second very powerfully the instructions and example of himself and his excellent wife; and the ministry which they attended was of an eminently faithful and evangelical character. Yet, though Eliza was thus surrounded by religious influences from the very dawn of consciousness, it is somewhat remarkable that for a considerable time she never seemed to be the subject of those impressions which are common to children so favoured. When about seven years old, she narrowly escaped with life from a severe attack of scarlet fever; but no family traditions remain, proving that she had any sense of her immortality, or any desire for salvation. The school to which she was sent was conducted by ladies who, whilst distinguished by the intellectual vigour with which they directed the studies of their pupils, were most anxious that all their instructions should be imbued with the spirit of vital piety. Her general progress was sufficiently satisfactory. Her lessons were mastered with ease, and for some studies she displayed considerable aptitude. Still there were no indications of religious sensibility. She grew up into girlhood without any additional thoughtfulness, manifesting a taste for dress and show remarkable in one so young. In short, had any one ventured to prognosticate her future life from the teuidencies displayed at fourteen, they would assuredly have predicted that she would grow up a clever, vain, attractive woman of the world ; perhaps maintaining the forms, but utterly rejecting the power of religion.

So far the best hopes of her friends seemed doomed to disappointment, their prayers seemed unheard and their labours unrewarded. But it is most likely that in this, as in many

other cases, a silent secret preparation was in progress, till at length the heart was brought beneath that influence which was destined, in the order of God's gracious providence, to lead her to a knowledge of the truth. To a superficial observer, the work seems, in such instances, to be accomplished by that particular influence; but it may be questioned whether that instrumentality does not owe its efficiency, in no slight degree, to those precious influences which had seemed to be in vain ;just as the luxuriant harvest is not to be traced merely to those few bright summer days which ripen the golden grain, but equally to the labours of the seed-time and the showers of the spring. When, however, she was about fourteen years old, in common with several friends of her own age, she attracted the notice of a young lady of singular talents and devoted piety, who subsequently became the wife of a missionary, but whose career of usefulness was soon terminated by one of the fatal fevers of India. This lady, in the true spirit of a missionary, sought to lead her youthful charge to the Saviour ; and she was eminently successful. Her instructions and counsels were the means of leading many to a right decision, and amongst them not a few of Eliza's intimate associates. For a long time, however, she continued cold and careless as ever. But at length a change came over her, gently, quietly, unaccompanied externally by anything in the least remarkable. Her mind seemed to open to the truth, as the flower opens to the light, and by-and-by she found true peace in Christ. The following extract from a letter, written shortly after the commencement of her fifteenth year, shows very beautifully the spirit in which she sought salvation, and the joy with which she was inspired by its conscious possession :

“ It is not without some particular reason that I now write to you. Oh, Helen ! how shall I tell you ? How can I convey to you any idea of the peace, the delightful happiness, I now experience ? I believe, Helen, by the mercy and everlasting kindness of God, my sins are pardoned, and my iniquities forgiven-I now can call God in Christ my reconciled Father. Oh, my friend ! rejoice with me, and do you obtain the same blessing from Jesus Christ, and then we can sweetly aid each other in the way to heaven. I shall now

THE YOUTHFUL DISCIPLE.

AN AUTHENTIC NARRATIVE.

Eliza Hwas the child of earnest and devoted.christian parents. Her father was a wealthy manufacturer in one of the principal towns of the West Riding of Yorkshire. He occupied an influential position in the religious community to which he belonged, and was not less distinguished for zeal and liberality in the cause of Christ than for energetic enterprise in the business of the world. The training of his household was regulated by a simple but enlightened deference to the will of God, and an intense solicitude for the everlasting welfare of his children. The society which he cultivated was of an order to second very powerfully the instructions and example of himself and his excellent wife; and the ministry which they attended was of an eminently faithful and evangelical character. Yet, though Eliza was thus surrounded by religious influences from the very dawn of consciousness, it is somewhat remarkable that for a considerable time she never seemed to be the subject of those impressions which are common to children so favoured. When about seven years old, she narrowly escaped with life from a severe attack of scarlet fever ; but no family traditions remain, proving that she had any sense of her immortality, or any desire for salvation. The school to which she was sent was conducted by ladies who, whilst distinguished by the intellectual vigour with which they directed the studies of their pupils, were most anxious that all their instructions should be imbued with the spirit of vital piety. Her general progress was sufficiently satisfactory. Her lessons were mastered with ease, and for some studies she displayed considerable aptitude. Still there were no indications of religious sensibility. She grew up into girlhood without any additional thoughtfulness, manifesting a taste for dress and show remarkable in one so young. In short, had any one ventured to prognosticate her future life from the teildencies displayed at fourteen, they would assuredly have predicted that she would grow up a clever, vain, attractive woman of the world; perhaps maintaining the forms, but utterly rejecting the power of religion.

So far the best hopes of her friends seemed doomed to disappointment, their prayers seemed unheard and their labours unrewarded. But it is most likely that in this, as in many

other cases, a silent secret preparation was in progress, till at length the heart was brought beneath that influence which was destined, in the order of God's gracious providence, to lead her to a knowledge of the truth. To a superficial observer, the work seems, in such instances, to be accomplished by that particular influence; but it may be questioned whether that instrumentality does not owe its efficiency, in no slight degree, to those precious influences which had seemed to be in vain ;just as the luxuriant harvest is not to be traced merely to those few bright summer days which ripen the golden grain, but equally to the labours of the seed-time and the showers of the spring. When, however, she was about fourteen years old, in common with several friends of her own age, she attracted the notice of a young lady of singular talents and devoted piety, who subsequently became the wife of a missionary, but whose career of usefulness was soon terminated by one of the fatal fevers of India. This lady, in the true spirit of a missionary, sought to lead her youthful charge to the Saviour ; and she was eminently successful. Her instructions and counsels were the means of leading many to a right decision, and amongst them not a few of Eliza's intimate associates. For a long time, however, she continued cold and careless as

But at length a change came over her, gently, quietly, unaccompanied externally by anything in the least remarkable. Her mind seemed to open to the truth, as the flower opens to the light, and by-and-by she found true peace in Christ. The following extract from a letter, written shortly after the commencement of her fifteenth year, shows very beautifully the spirit in which she sought salvation, and the joy with which she was inspired by its conscious possession :

“ It is not without some particular reason that I now write to you. Oh, Helen ! how shall I tell you ? How can I convey to you any idea of the peace, the delightful happiness, I now experience ? I believe, Helen, by the mercy and everlasting kindness of God, my sins are pardoned, and my iniquities forgiven-I now can call God in Christ my reconciled Father. Oh, my friend ! rejoice with me, and do you obtain the same blessing from Jesus Christ, and then we can sweetly aid each other in the way to heaven. I shall now

ever.

briefly tell you how this great change came to pass. You will most likely remember that I was much perplexed concerning the doctrine of election. Mary (her sister) got to know of it, and spoke to me on Saturday night about it. I cannot tell you now exactly the arguments she

used. Suffice it to say, she clearly proved to me that it was a device of the great adversary of souls to get me to cease to pray, and to think if I was to be saved, I was to be saved. I then remembered that true repentance was the first thing to be experienced. I knelt down alone, and entreated God to grant me repentance unto life. He graciously heard my prayer, and before I rose from my knees, I felt that God had, for Christ's sake, pardoned my sins--I could call God my Father. Since then I have been tempted to believe that I had not received so precious a gift ; but if I was deceived, how is it that I feel so happy-80 ready to die, or so willing to live? I feel ready to die at any time. Oh, Helen ! this is what I have so long wished to experience. May God, who has so graciously blessed me, make me humbler, that no pride may have dominion over me, and that I may

be kept stedfast unto the end. And that my dear friend may never rest till she has obtained the same sweet peace, is the earnest prayer of her affectionate

Eliza." The reality of the change was soon evident. The irritability of her temper was rapidly and completely subdued, and it never regained its former ascendancy; her passion for dress subsided; and her gentle, lowly spirit was matter of surprise to those who had known her so different before. Yet though nothing occurred to render it in the least doubtful that she had experienced a true change of heart, that freshness of feeling and high enjoyment, which are so well described in her letter, gradually gave place to a very different state of mind, which continued for some time. She became the subject of severe and singular temptation. Every employment, every recreation, seemed full of danger and sin; her conscientiousness degenerated into the most painful scrupulosity; every source even of innocent pleasure was poisoned; she was only restrained by positive parental command from observing frequent and rigorous fasts ; and every moment she could spare was spent in closet duties. At one time she was tempted to think she was not in the true church ; at another, that the Bible was an imposture; and again, that the Socinian heresy was really the truth. Had she been a Romanist, no earthly power could have prevented her from seeking rest in a convent. As it was, never was sister of mercy more devoted to works of charity. They were her only delight. The money with which she was liberally sup

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