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not to restrain prayer before God, but now in his youth to remember his Creator. He desired him, when he again joined his companions at St. Bartholomew's, to tell them that his brother had died at the early age of twenty-three, but that he had found pardon and peace in Jesus, the sinner's only friend. Thus earnestly desirous was he that his sudden summons to the eternal world should prove a solemn lesson to others, and be made useful to their souls. With this high object in view, he charged his eldest brother to write to his college tutor, giving an account of his last illness, and of his blessed hope in Christ; at the same time praying most fervently himself for those who had so lately been his fellow-students.
He spoke of the Rev. Mr. W. with great affection, as having been, in the hand of a gracious, prayer-hearing God, the means of leading him to Jesus, remarking that “at the last day he would be one of those children whom he would bring with him.” Some one suggested, “ To present you faultless before the throne.” “ No," he quickly replied; “that is Christ's work ;” showing clearly on what Rock he rested his eternal all.
“How sweet the name of Jesus sounds
In a believer's ear!
And drives away his fear." How truly were the words of this delightful hymn exemplified in the case of this new-born soul ! He could now, in the full assurance of faith, say, as indeed he did, “ I have no burden of sin now; Jesus has taken it away;" adding with much fervour, “The cross of Christ, that is all my hope !” often too exclaiming, “Come, Lord Jesus; come quickly if it be thy holy will ; if not, give me grace to suffer patiently !"
When Mr. W. asked him if he would like to commemorate the sufferings and death of the Saviour in whom he trusted, he assented, apparently with deep joy and gratitude. During the short time that intervened in the preparation for the holy exercise, he closed his eyes, and said, in a soft, ecstatic kind of tone, “I see my Saviour; he wears a pleasant face; he welcomes me; takes me by the hand, and leads me on to glory!” He requested one of his sisters to pray. On imploring that he might be supported through the dark valley, no sooner had she uttered the words “dark valley,” than in a sweet voice he said, “ No, not dark !” Also when the twenty-third Psalm, that sacred song of the dying pilgrim, was read to him, after the words, “I will fear no evil,” he repeated in the same placid tone, “ No evil; no evil!” It was necessary to admit a little more light into the darkened chamber ; upon which, raising himself in his bed, he said, “ Let me see the morning light once more.” Soon, very soon, was that light to be exchanged for the purer light of the Lamb in that temple where there is no more day, and no more night. After partaking of the Lord's Supper, which seemed indeed“ a time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord,” he appeared exhausted, and was persuaded to take a little nourishment, after which he fell into a gentle slumber. This sweet tranquil sleep lasted nearly an hour. Without apparently waking, he was heard to whisper, “Higher ! higher! higher !" Those who were tenderly watching him, and supporting his pillows, now gently raised his head, supposing that such was his desire. But his spirit had fled that instant, without a struggle or a sigh; and these last triumphant words, “ Higher ! higher ! higher !” were the holy aspirations of his soul heavenward, just as the glories of a bright eternity were bursting on his astonished and enraptured view.
Let not this narrative be abused; such a fact as is here recorded is no excuse for putting off the hour of repentance and conversion ; now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation.” There are many, especially among those who are just entering on the active pursuits of life, who do not allow themselves to dwell upon the thought of death and eternity. They cannot be brought seriously to entertain the possibility of being summoned, in the midst of life and health, to meet their God in judgment. Such a thought, if at any time it gains a momentary access to their minds, is quickly bidden to depart. “Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee,” is the style in which it is addressed at its dismissal from the crowds of attendants ever waiting for admission to the chambers of imagery in the heart.
To such he would speak in tones of warning; yet this memoir demonstrates that it is never too late to seek in Jesus this blessed hope. The subject of it, it would appear, had not, until two entire days before his death, ever truly and earnestly repented of his sin, and sought this precious gift. He had, indeed, been taught from a child to know the Holy Scriptures. These, he doubtless knew, were able to make him wise unto salvation. Still this great salvation was not savingly his, by a true and living faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Hence, not having embraced “the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory," he was, of course, an easy prey to Satan. As he could " be strong” only “in the grace which is in Christ Jesus," and as he had not as yet become the subject of conversion from the world to Christ, “ the strength of Israel,” by which alone he could contend successfully against the world, the flesh, and the devil, was not his. When, therefore, the solemn message was addressed to him from God, “ Thou shalt die, and not live,” it found him unprepared. But the portions of God's word which he had formerly committed to memory, but never truly heeded, the many convictions which he had stifled, the temptations to which he had become an easy prey, the earnest prayers of which he knew he had long been the subject, all now recurred with overwhelming force to his mind. Grace, super-abounding grace, wrought with these humbling recollections, he gave himself to Him “who is Lord both of the living and the dead;" in him he departed ; and now, it is believed, he rests in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life.
Divine grace alone accomplished the blessed work. It is to magnify that grace that this is written. Let none despair of obtaining mercy. All things are ready. Only let the wounded sinner's eye
be directed to Him that has been lifted up to give health and cure. The arm of Omnipotence shall then be felt to be made bare to rescue from the jaws of eternal destruction, “ Deliver from going down into the pit; I have found a ran
Then may the sin-burdened soul fly to Christ, and at the foot of the cross this burden falls. “Repentance unto life, not to be repented of,” accompanies the believing look on Christ. The new affection of love to the merciful Saviour of sinners evidences the genuineness of reliance on the atonement, as being that “faith which worketh by love;" and thus the blessed trio of the Christian graces, faith, hope, and charity, furnish the fullest demonstration that “old things have passed away, and that all things have become new.
“ Just as I am-without one plea,
O Lamb of God, I come!
To cleanse my soul of one dark blot-
O Lamb of God, I come!
Merit I have none to bring,
Thou must save, and Thou alone."
PATERNOSTER ROW, E.C., LONDON.
London: J. & W. RIDER, Printers, 14, Bartholomew Close, E.C.
“ The dead of the winter” is a very common expression, and in some respects seemingly a very suitable one, for at that period of the year vegetation at least appears dead, and insect life, and the life of many animals, is for the most part reduced to a death-like torpor.
But if some things sleep, others awake ; “the dead of the winter” only brings us life in a different form. What say the rushing gales, the whirling snow, the sharp artillery of the dashing hailstorms ? and what says the voice of the great deep, “ the sound of many waters," which murmurs only to its own shores and cliffs in the summer time, but is heard like the roll of thunder all along the horizon, when the winter nights fall upon the more inland villages of the maritime counties ? Is not this also life, though in a sterner aspect? And again, “the dead of the winter,” does it not bring with it the most social season of the whole year ? the warmest life of the heart of man ? the day of the intensest interest to the human spirit ?-does it not bring with it the Christmas time? And at the name of Christmas how many thoughts arise, how many memories again awaken, and in how many ways is that day of rejoicing spent!
There is the Christmas of childhood, -an undefined dream of happiness in anticipation, and in reality a mixture of the gratifications of imagination and of the senses; for there is the fanciful and glittering Christmas tree of the present day, a realization of fairy land in itself; there is the more oldfashioned magic scenery of coloured shadows moving mysteriously along the wall, coming from whence the child scarcely understands, and passing away he knows not whither. There are the joyous games with a throng of comrades ; the delicacies of the festal board, more plentiful and more luxurious than at other times. There are the gifts which enrich the treasury of childhood, hoarded with fonder care and prized with a warmer love than are the after possessions of the man.
Childhood surveys everything as through a coloured glass, and that glass sheds its most lovely tint over the amusements of the Christmas time. The Christmas of childhood has this peculiarity, that it is neither overshadowed by the past, nor by the future; there are, doubtless, individual exceptions, but childhood, generally speaking, has few past sorrows, and it cares not to look forward to any. A year, to the mind of childhood, is equal in length to at least three or four of the years of maturity. The long vista of that which has departed shows in the distance much the same joyous circle as are gathered together on the present occasion, and the anticipation of the
next brings with it no change, otherwise than as some new playmate may have grown into the dignity of being a visitor since the last festivity, and some other may be expected to do so by the next. To the child, his parents are truly his “ household deities ;” his happiness is in their hands; and to his view, his whole fate is in their keeping. They rule over him more pleasantly than ever at the Christmas time, and with them may be other relatives and friends. He has prepared for them his annual offerings, trifles rudely made, but costing him an infinity of labour; small in value, but purchased with the saving of many donations, and he lays them upon this household shrine with intermingled feelings of affection and pride. He may have heard of death, but to him the circle who laugh around that gladsome hearth are immortal; he has no clear idea that they can ever die ; others may, but they, in his imagination, must be always the same. He can at least realize no darker thought. He does not try to do so; and for this reason his Christmas is so unlike that of all beside.
In a few years more, however, he has left his home for school; and to the schoolboy Christmas comes quite as joyously, but not so dreamily, for he can see more clearly into the actual verities of life; not that they trouble him now, but they have
do so again. He has known the pang of parting, and he knows too that these pleasures are but shortlived. Nevertheless, he cares not; he can give himself up to the present, and he does so: his Christmas is a mingling of gratifications very different in their kinds ; it bestows on him the freedom of home and the society of his home circle, in addition to the sports, the amusements, and the feastings of the child. As to these last enjoyrents, it may be said that they are somewhat too earnestly dwelt on in the world's delineation of Christmas happiness; there is something almost repulsive in the extreme eagerness, not to say anxiety, so generally described or depicted, when the author and the artist would set before us the Christmas pleasures of childhood, as if the love of luxurious eating was an accomplishment to be cultivated rather than an appetite to be regulated.
But to leave childhood and youth behind : let us ask, What is the Christmas of the man? We need not descend at present into the low and debasing revelries of too many humble homes. Our thoughts are just now confined to the festivities of a different class of society; and here in elder, as well as in younger years,
the chief idea of Christmas comfort is by many connected too closely and exclusively with the partaking of sumptuous fare. We are continually meeting with most vivid and ex