Imágenes de páginas

regret his forbearance, for a gracious Providence so ordered it that Joseph behaved very well, and all his habits under his father having the force of law, he did nothing wrong, had no temptation to wander, no genius to betray, and we are happy to say that his little wife, though not highly gifted, felt her power, and used it without abusing it. James Finch, in his frequent visits to the Brow, gained much under the ministry of Mļ. Lascelles, and was in the habit of occasional calls at all the houses, not excepting the cottage of Margaret Beal, whose light burnt clearer and brighter as she advanced nearer to her heavenly home, and how this old Christian rejoiced in seeing the young ones around her rising in life and usefulness, can only be conceived by the Christian mind. She would say to herself sometimes, Yes, I see it, the knowledge of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters do cover the sea; it will be-I shall not live to see it; but no matter, I shall be in

” and she lengthened out the words, " Where there is fulness of joy and pleasures at thy righthand for evermore.

In the pastoral visits of Mr. Lascelles he was wont to say, To some houses I go as a learner, to others as 'a teacher. At the cottage of Margaret Beal, Mentoria,

I never call but I seem as if I had brightened my armour; and when I return to my own dwelling, where blessings are .scattered in profusion about me, I am ready to say, How many things are here which a Christian does not want. My love,” said Mrs. Lascellès, “ I hope you do not think I desire any thing beyond what is right?” “I hope not, I am sure,” and she hesitated. “ Far from it, my love; I only say, that when I visit the cottages of

my poor neighbours-poor in this world, yet rich in faith and heirs of eternal life, I can only say, How does our good God make


with the smile of his countenance for the want of all that a vain world deems necessary. And when I sit down and look around me, and see one little improvement, and say, 'It is pretty,' and improve another, I look upon it as in Scripture language, cisterns that will hold no water.' Nothing can satisfy the christian mind but thy presence; all besides is too mean, too poor for an immortal soul.”

At these occasional conversations his dear children were present; the elder Miss Lascelles was of a silent character, peculiarly prone to reflect upon and digest conversation, even when she appeared not to listen to it, and would often retire into the silence of her own apartment, and

carefully note down her father's conversation and her mother's reply, thus laying up a treasure for those days when all that delighted them should be silent in the dust. Not that the dear child thought thus, for she could not have penned a word under such an impression. These dear parents frequently trembled as they looked upon their rising offspring, and Mrs. Lascelles would say, “ O, my love, I can enter into the feelings of poor Rebecca, when she says, 'Should Jacob take a wife of the daughters of the land, what good would my life do me;' and I cannot help thinking sometimes, if my dear children were to form worldly connexions, my life would indeed become wearisome.” It was just after a conversation of this sort that Edmund Walker came on a visit, bringing tidings of his father and his mother, and kind greeting; and Mr. and Mrs. Lascelles exchanged a look which both understood, but neither explained. It said thus much, “ If such a thing were proposed, I should not object, should you ?” The thought had passed Edmund's mind, and he came with an observing eye on both the young ladies : he saw the elder, the very transcript of her mother, like her in person, only in the bloom of health and youth, and still more like her in mind, moving so very

quietly, that you would suppose she did nothing, yet so punctually and orderly, that she accomplished far more than a bustling character could perform; she was a listener of the intelligent kind, her eye shewed an interest in all that passed. There was a look of breathless intelligence about her when the conversation was interesting, as if she feared to lose a word; and when she spoke, it was so to the point, so calm and judicious, that the little Maria would often call her Mamma playfully, intimating that she was as sententious and grave as became the maternal character; while Miss Lascelles would softly stroke her cheek, and only say,

Fairy, whither next?” Nothing more severe passed between these devoted sisters, whose contrast of character rather increased than diminished the general happiness. How they were beloved by both parents may be conceived better than described; they saw them carefully pursuing all that pointed to peace and blessedness, avoiding the broad road with fear and trembling, and the line over which they passed from the fallen state to the renewed inward purity was scarcely perceptible; yet the mother, who daily watched with anxious hope for the divine impress, thought she saw somewhat more than poor unassisted nature could produce

in each of their treasures. And how this hope and this perception cheered the heart of each parent is more easily felt than described ; for what is all this world can bestow, how poor, how unsatisfactory ; at that hour when this mortal must be laid down in the grave; and indeed at no moment can it be said to satisfy a mind of any compass; no, there is a craving desire, a longing after immortality. Edmund Walker saw and admired both the young ladies, and at one moment really hesitated which he should prefer. At length the age of the elder, her steadiness, and many fascinating qualities, determined him, though it may truly be said he could have liked either, had either stood single. It is not my intention to enter at any length on this subject, but we thought the reader would feel an interest in young persons whom he had known so long ;-and how different is the manner in which a modest Christian girl receives a declaration of preference to that in which vain worldlyminded young persons look for admiration: the one is calm, and self-possessed, and tranquil; the other full of futter and restlessness, exalted by mortal preference, seems almost to forget that she is mortal; and we are pleased to say, that during the period of probation these well-trained young

« AnteriorContinuar »