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That winter at Penzance was one of heartfelt anxiety to Mrs. Grey and myself, but to Clarence it was full of peace and happiness.
During those few sad months of “passing away,” the setting sun of his short earthly career seemed to shine with a brighter and brighter lustre as it hastened to its horizon. At last, after a winter spent in alternations of hope and fear, an early spring gladdened our eyes with its display of “pale primroses,” fragrant violets, and the tender green of the freshly budding hedgerows. The sweet notes of the thrush and blackbird resounded amidst the trees in our garden, and I still trusted that much benefit would result to Clarence from warm, settled weather. For a time I seemed right, but suddenly a fearful change took from us the last earthly hope of saving our dear sufferer. He died in so calm and tranquil a manner, that we hardly could tell the moment when our beloved and lamented one left us, to mourn for him—who was now " for ever with the Lord.” “God had called him," and all we had to do was to be resigned to the will of our Heavenly Father, and feel, from the depths of our aching hearts, “Not my will, but thine be done."
In the first bitterness of grief dear Mary Grey had to act as my comforter.
She had lost her dearest earthly tie, and life would be a sad and dreary path to her widowed heart-but in her grief no remorse could mingle; and, alas ! remorse and bitter, bitter self-upbraiding sharpened the arrow which grief had sent to rankle in my heart. I loathed the wealth which had so hardened my character, and the sad thought that had I acted differently, Clarence might have been spared for a long life of usefulness, was sometimes almost more than I could bear. I saw my first fault of character, selfishness, in its true light, and I strove, by the blessing of God, together with earnest prayer and watchfulness, to guard against every rising of this besetting sin.
It was very painful to return to Waltham, but I felt it was right that the future little heir to the estate should be brought up in his own home. On Mrs. Grey I had settled a suitable jointure, and we soon became accustomed to the quiet routine of country life and home pleasures. Mrs. Farnham still inhabited Aspenfield, and we formed, as it were, but one family, sharing in each others' joys and sorrows, and anxious to cheer each others' path “through the pilgrim life to the pilgrim's rest; to enjoy the bright but transitory gleams of happiness sent to cheer us in our passage to the heavenly land, “ the home of the soul." Faith pictures to us the beloved friend whom we have so long and tenderly lamented—not as we saw him in this world, worn with suffering, and at last sinking into an early grave, but enjoying perfect and unending bappiness, in the presence of the Redeemer, whom in life he had so ardently loved, and whose blessed example he strove to follow.
A few short years, and we trust to be for ever reunited in that happy land where there is no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, and where our Saviour himself has declared, “I go to prepare a place for you."
I have often thought that while we anxiously strive to avoid an open breach of some of God's commandments, we allow ourselves to disregard that plain injunction, “ Thou shalt not covet ;” and yet there is no precept which appeals more earnestly to the corrupt heart of man. Envy, hatred, and many of our worst vices have their rise from this one sin of covetous
True it is that “envy is a little seed of evil, but its flower is hatred, and its fruit—murder." I began my early career of sinfulness by feeling enviously towards those of my schoolfellows who were either richer or more admired than myself. When I first knew Sir Allen Grey I ardently desired an estate and position such as he enjoyed, and by every means in my power tried to please him, hoping by this plan to become heiress of Waltham. I did nothing to heal the breach between the father and son, and not until too late did I feel repentance for the part I had so long played. Yes! as far as the life and worldly advantages of Clarence Grey were concerned, my deep remorse for the past is indeed too late. For him “all is well,” for “to depart and be with Christ is far better;" but when I look at his young widow, and her fatherless child, my heart often feels very sad. It has been a painful task to record my life's erring history, but I think it may, by God's blessing, prove a beacon to point out the danger, of even in a slight degree indulging in covetous desires. With this hope I have prayed that my short detail of these past errors may not altogether have been written in vain.
J. F. SHAW, BOOKSELLER, SOUTHAMPTON ROW, W.C., AND
PATERNOSTER ROW, E.C., LONDON.
London: J. & W. Rider, Printers, 14, Bartholomew Close, E.C.
“My home is henceforth as wide as the world," said the young horseman, as he shook hands with the last of his weeping family, and turned his glistening eyes away from home. " I exchange my own country for the enemy's--my father's meadows for the field of battle, and my cricket-bat for my sword.” “ And who will preside over this wide home of your
choice?” said his parting friend. “ Fame, fame," answered Donald; “ I chose her before I embraced my knighthood-North, South, East, and West, I am at her service, and she alone can reward me."
His friend would have reminded him that her laurels are not everlasting, but the Scripture admonition, " Speak not in the ears of a fool, for he will despise thy wisdom,” kept him silent.
Soon he was in the world of his ambitious choice ; he fought and fell, and fame was silent. She was too busy with the living to publish the deeds of poor Donald ; he must pass away unseen, unpraised, and unbefriended; and as the soldier strug, gled with his last enemy, death,—while the outer man was perishing, and the windows of the frail tabernacle were darkening, was there no picture drawn by memory, and held up before his mental vision ? was it the battle-field, with glittering sword and “garments rolled in blood”? or was it the father's quiet home, the village green, and ivied tower ? And that form bending in prayer beside his stony couch, supporting his unpillowed head, and encouraging him with voice so soft, yet earnest—was it his goddess Fame, or was it his forsaken mother ? Did the days of happy childhood, when that mother led him through “paths of pleasantness” to the house of God; or on the evening of that same summer sabbath to the shady bower, where, seated by his side, she would open to him the Scriptures, from the little Samuel to the holy child Jesus—did they rise it were in judgment upon him, and condemn the recklessness and wilfulness of after years ? Did the flourish of trumpets, or the mother's cry, resound in that dying ear? Did the battle won, or the home lost,. excite those throbbings at the heartthose flushings on the cheek? In that hour of lonely agony, did Donald think most of what would be said of him by a flattering world, or of what would be said to him at the judgment seat? Did his heart swell within him at the thought of human praise and glory, or did it shrink at the prospect of standing all unsheltered and exposed before the eye of God ? God knoweth! his record is on high.
“ Will you go home now," said the venerable Vicar of L., to his afflicted companion, after having walked long in dreary
may be also.'”
silence by his side. “ Home, home, I have no home,” he answered, gazing distractedly at the mansion before him; “my home was in the heart of her whom you buried out of my sight last Monday. Call you that house, left unto me desolate, by the name of home ? Alas! it ceased to be
home when she ceased to be
wife!” “Look, then, at that better house,” said his pastor, taking him affectionately by the hand, and pointing upwards ; " that house • not made with hands, eternal in the heavens,' and think of Him whose presence fills it, and makes its happiness. He was there when you first received an invitation through me to live in it. He is there now, still inviting you, and he will be there to welcome you when you accept his invitation ; yes, and to receive you finally to himself, that where he is there you
· Tell me first,” he answered, with a look of agony, “ whether my wife and child are there. I want no home where they are not.”
“But you will want one; yes, indeed you will,” said his anxious friend, “ when it will be too late to seek one; and you must make no terms with the Great Owner. This sorrow of the world will work your death; choose life rather, I beseech you; not because your wife and child have entered it, but because he who purchased it for them, offers it to you. Jesus is the resurrection and the life; but you must seek him, not because he can restore your lost ones to you, but because he gave you himself."
“ Tell me not to look beyond the grave," he quickly answered ; or to love anything more than shê who lies there. My heart went down with her into her dreary "resting-place; and if there is any home for my affections, it is under-ground.”
“She is not there," rejoined the pastor, “she is risen.”
“Well, well,” interrupted the mourner, “wherever she is, there is my broken heart.”
“ That heart was an idolater, and the length and breadth of the sin of idolatry can only be known when God is known," said the vicar. “When you know what goodness, what love, there is in Him, then, and not till then, will you know the criminality of your earthly attachments, which occupy his place."
“ Call her not earthly--she was heaven's last, best gift; and was it sin to cherish her as such ?" answered the sufferer ; was it a sin ? "
“ It was a sin, a sin including almost every other, to dispute God's right and title to recall her," interrupted the vicar. “ There was selfishness, ingratitude, presumption; yes, and I
repeat it, idolatry in your love. If God loves you," he continued, in a more tender tone and subdued manner, “ he will be loved in return, and not with second best affections. He is now bringing you to the test—you must decide at once. cleave to the dust, or will you arise and shake yourself from it? Beware how you refuse Him that speaketh from heaven, and how you
resemble the self-condemned one in the parable, who had married a wife, and therefore could not come.'
The stricken sinner looked up, as if the question were put from heaven. • Pray for me,” he feebly replied, “ that the God who loves me may make a home for me somewhere, but not here-O not here,” he added, with a look of anguish.
Leave the where to him," said the minister ; “if Christ vouchsafes to live in it, it must be good enough for you. There will be no empty room in it to remind you
loss-no place left for your tears. He will so endear himself to you, that you will lament nothing but that you knew him not sooner; and as to the entertainment he will expect from you, he will, as it were, make his own supper and feast upon the fruits of righteousness which he will enable you to bring forth to his own glory."
Well, I shall soon be at home,” said Anna, as, weak and trembling, she dropped into the carriage for the last short stage of her long journey. “My strength is small, and my hopes of recovery are slight, but my own home-hope, courage, all revive at the very sound—what will the sight be !
Soon her tired head rested on her mother's bosom; soon her friends surrounded her with eager solicitude and tender greeting; and, whatever they thought of the reduced form and emaciated countenance before them, nothing was said but what seemed promising to her home-sick heart.
“ Talk no more of languor of frame or tediousness of travel,” they said, “you are at home;" and there seemed life in the words. Past fears and future forebodings dissolved, as if by magic; and sickness, for a moment, was drest up in the hues of health ; for a moment the quick breathing subsided, and the heart rested.
An aged Christian sat silent in the window recess, musing on the scene before her. She saw the false light kindled in the sufferer's face-she trembled at the sweet deception with which the young heart was eased. She rose, took the thin, languid hand in hers, and, looking earnestly in the death-stricken countenance, said, “ And I, too, dear Anna, shall soon be at home; I, too, I trust, shall rest upon a father's bosom, of my journey is begun, and there is no doubt as to its speedy
The last stage