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I then saw my selfishness in all its vivid deformity, and I found there was no acceptance with God, and no happiness, except through the blessed Redeemer. I stripped off all my own deeds—threw them aside-went to him naked-He received me as he promised he would, and presented me to the Father ; then I felt joy unspeakable, and all fear of death at once vanished.”
" This remarkably comprehensive testimony produced,” we are told, “a great impression on the vast concourse assembled at the funeral, and on the far greater multitudes among whom it was circulated, by the reports which appeared in the local papers. May it prove a lasting benefit to many! By it he being dead, yet speaketh.'
Dr. Gordon's biographer remarks very judiciously on the expression, " Reason must be put out of the question, that he “ did not of course mean that reason and revelation were not in harmony, or that the intellect was not to be exercised on religion. He would have been the last to discourage the freest and fullest scrutiny. His meaning, though expressed in the strong and unguarded terms of a man who feels deeply, was this, that all the efforts of reason are unavailing to produce that spiritual change of which the Holy Ghost is the author, and without which the gospel cannot be experimentally known." He became fully sensible, “ from his own experience, that we can only understand that word aright when, in the childlike spirit which God bestows on all who seek it, we become learners in the school of Christ.” Such, we are sure, must be the experience of every man who has “ learned Christ, and been taught by him as the truth is in Jesus.”
Being reminded, on the 4th of February, that a few days before he had said that he did not see Death at his bed-side, and being asked if he saw him now, he replied, “ No; it is Christ, who has washed us !" Then, after a few minutes' silence, he said spontaneously, and with earnestness, “I have Christ by me. See Death! I see nothing but Christ.”. “ You now see,” said one of his friends, “the beauty and glory of the plan of salvation.” “I do,” he replied ; " and what is more, I FEEL it. I have nothing—but God and Christ." “What a happiness," said another, “ to have Christ in you
the hope of glory!” “I feel him," was the reply: “I have laid him :
I have embraced him. What love, to have brought me to this !” I love to hear you talk of that merciful Saviour.” “You must not let me tire you,” said a third ; " but the love of Christ so fills my heart, that it would burst if I did not speak of him!" “Let it burst on me,” was the reply. It was on the 7th of February that he departed. His
brother-in-law, Sir W. L was shocked, on entering the room, to see his altered appearance, and said, “ This looks like a defeat, Gordon ; but it's a victory.” “It is !” said he in a whisper, yet emphatically. “ We are on this side the river ; but Christ is on the opposite bank, beckoning you to himself," said his biographer. “He is !” replied he. 6 We cannot bear to part,” it was observed again ; “but we shall meet in heaven.” “ Christ is there !” said he. He then took leave of several of his friends ; and after a while, evidently thinking of the heavenly city, he said, “Repeat that about the great army." The passage was repeated beginning, “ After this I beheld,” &c., Rev. vii. Prayer was then offered, after which, reference having been made to the bliss which Jesus had in reserve for his followers, he replied in a tone of earnest desire, “I wish he would come !"
At two o'clock “the Christian PHILOSOPHER, having long been TRIUMPHING OVER DEATH, now, .more than conqueror,' exchanged the conflict for the crown.” This narrative speaks for itself.
a man of vigorous and cultivated intellect, and of varied and profound learning; a man who had grappled, too, with the principal objections alleged against the gospel ; and yet this man not only admitted that gospel to be true, he declared that he found in it what satisfied every craving of his soul. The belief of it filled him with unutterable joy, and enabled him at last to triumph over all the terrors of death and the grave. He is but one of thousands of kindred character and endowments, who, abasing the pride of reason, have received the truth of the gospel in the spirit of a little child. Depend upon it, beloved reader, there is but one religion for man, whatever his power of intellect, or whatever his position in life and that is the religion of the cross. Only as you renounce all merit of your own, and receive the salvation of Christ as a free gift--only as you repent sincerely of all sin, and believe with all your heart in Christ—and only as you are renewed by his Holy Spirit, can you be saved from everlasting ruin, and obtain a title and meetness for the heavenly glory. Believe in the Son of God, and then, whilst to you to live will be Christ, to die will be gain ; for death will then be but the prelude to everlasting life with Christ in that world where there is “fulness of joy," and where there are “ pleasures for evermore.”
J. F. SHAW, BOOKSELLER, SOUTHAMPTON ROW, W.C., AND
PATERNOSTER ROW, E.C., LONDON.
London: J. & W. RIDER, Printers, 14, Bartholomew Close, E.C.
It was a cold winter's morning, and in a handsome sittingroom, comfortably established at a small table near the fire, sat a lady busily engaged in letter writing. Another and younger lady, in a plain, neat walking dress, was standing near one of the bookcases, and carefully filling a basket, which she carried in her hand, with a quantity of small books and tracts. As she closed the drawer from which she was making her selection, the elder lady looked up at her with a smile.
“Well, Mary dear, going on your pilgrimage as usual ?”
“ Yes, dear aunt. I am going first to the school, and then into the district. You cannot think how eagerly some of those poor people listen to the word of life, and I find I cannot take too inany of these little silent missionaries, so many receive them gladly, and they may reach numbers whom I can never meet.”
“But is not your basket very heavy, dear ? ”
“Oh, never mind that! There is always something wanted for some sick person, so that I could not manage with a very
does not look remarkable ; but I cannot help it. But that reminds me, aunt,” she added, laying down her basket, and colouring painfully, “ to ask if
anything of the family who live in the large house, with bow windows, at the end of this street ? "
“ Yes,” said Mrs. Elton; "you surely mean Lady Austen's house. She and her daughters have lived there for several years. They are very gay people, so that I know very little of them.”
“ But there are some gentlemen, are there not ? ”
“Not belonging to the family ; but the young ladies always have a train of beaux around them. Why do you ask about the Austens, dear ?”
“ Because, aunt, it is such a trial to me to have to pass those windows : but it cannot be helped ; I find there is no other way to the district.”
“ A trial to pass their windows, my dear; what can you
“Oh, aunt,” said Mary, laughing, “ that was perhaps too strong a term. Now that I know they are only a few
giddy girls and their admirers, I shall not mind it so much. I only mean, that they look at me so much, and evidently think that I and
my basket are very comical.” “ And what will you do ?”
“Oh, keep never minding! It is the only way to get on.” And seeing her aunt's rather clouded brow, Mary kissed her gaily, and, telling her that it was not the least matter, hastened away, heartily sorry that she had mentioned the subject.
But though she spoke thus cheerfully, Mary's daily cross was after all not a light one, and her heart throbbed painfully as she walked down the street, and found herself coming within view of the dreaded windows. Lady Austen's house was the end one, with large projecting bow windows at either side, commanding a view of the entire street in which Mrs. Elton lived, and part of the next along which Miss Eiton had to pass. A group were standing in the window, which stood slightly open, and as Mary drew near, she heard the laughing exclamation :-“ Oh! here comes the basket-woman! Are you disposed for a tract ? ”
A burst of mocking merriment followed, a sound which fell painfully on Mary's ear as she passed; but she moved on calmly, without betraying her consciousness that several more had joined the group in the window, that three or four
eyeglasses were directed at her, and that her dress and bearing were the subjects of much laughter and many satirical criticisms. Most thankful was she, however, when she felt herself out of sight of her persecutors, and glad when she reached the school to throw herself on the nearest seat, to recover from the faintness and tremor which this ordeal constantly occasioned. A few minutes spent in prayer soothed and calmed her, and she went to her duties with the sweet reflection, that if this was hard to bear, it was the cross appointed her by Him who has said, “ Whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, he cannot be my disciple ;” and feeling that it was borne for His sake, she would not have had it one whit the lighter, but felt that she was indeed highly honoured in being thus permitted to bear the reproach of Christ.
Mary Elton was a beautiful example of one who was a stranger here," and whose citizenship was in heaven. She was an orphan, and had for some years depended for her maintenance on the exertion of her talents as a teacher, an employment for which her cultivated mind and sweet disposition peculiarly fitted her. She was an earnest, diligent instructor of those committed to her charge; but to carry the glad tidings of salvation, to give her entire thought and energy to the welfare of immortal souls, this was the occupation in which her heart delighted, and she gladly hailed an invitation from her uncle and aunt Elton to come to them on a long visit, and take a holiday, as an opportunity of bearing to thirsty souls that living water of which her own spirit deeply drank. As soon as her wishes were made known, a district was allotted to her, and here and in the school her mornings were happily and usefully spent, while in the evening the home fireside was gladdened by her cheerful society. Thus did Mary Elton pursue the even tenour of her way for many weeks from the time that our story commences.
The ordeal of mockery, which she often had to encounter, was still a trial to her ; but she had ength given humbly and patiently to pursue her steady course; and in the district she had encouraging evidence that her labour of love was not in vain.
Visiting one of the soldier's wives one day, she learned from her that the regiment was under orders for foreign service, and was to embark very shortly. Mary heard the tidings with a sigh of relief, but the next moment checked herself for indulging in selfish feelings. The fact was, that the gentlemen, by whom the Miss Austens were surrounded, were officers of this regiment, and Mary could not help feeling relieved at the thought of soon losing sight of those mocking faces that had so often greeted her approach at Lady Austen's window. But, alas! the god of this world finds votaries enough to do him willing service; and if these scoffing spirits were removed, he could soon find others to take their places.
Mary mentioned the news at dinner, and Mr. and Mrs. Elton expressed their surprise.
Surely we shall have a wedding first,” Mr. Elton said ; “Miss Austen and Major de Vinton have been so much spoken of.”
This was an expectation shared by all who knew anything of the parties, but the event disappointed them. Lady Austen gave a farewell ball in compliment to the departing regiment, at which Miss Austen's brilliant beauty, and Major de Vinton's devotion to her, were the theme of general remark. Everyone concluded there was an engagement, but the regiment embarked and sailed without anything having transpired on the subject, even to confidential friends.
Mary Elton heard and knew but little of the gossip of the town. Her path was so entirely one of earnest, humble labour, her time so fully occupied, and her thoughts so filled and engrossed with better things, that idle talk but seldom reached her, and found no place in her mind. She had heard nothing of the rumours regarding Miss Austen until after Major de Vinton had left; but now hearing her aunt and uncle speak gravely on the subject, she recalled some incidents, which, at the time they had occurred, had not made much impression.
“ Is Miss Austen handsome ? she asked.
“ Yes, she is considered so," said Mrs. Elton ; “but so haughty and imperious an expression would spoil any face." “She has changed very much,” Mr. Elton said, " and I be