Imágenes de páginas

persons forgot no friend, no dependant, but filled with an anxious desire to perform every duty of their little day, they travelled calmly, rationally, and peacefully through that period which is but too commonly marked as a period of selfishness. Dear Mr. Walker's eye flashed delight, when he heard of his son's proposal and his son's acceptance; and indeed we may say, that the families on both sides were equally pleased ; and as for Sophy Walker, to whom her brother was inestimably dear, her eyes overflowed with delight, as she said, “Oh Edmund, Matilda Lascelles is the very girl for you.” But happiness is not the lot of mortal beings, at least happiness unmixed; for just at this period, when all that was earthly combined to please them, and the smile of heaven was upon them, the disorder of dear Mr. Walker became decidedly worse; hope could no longer flatter those who loved him. His departure was at hand, and the saint was about to enter the presence of his Saviour. His disease became acute, and at first bore hard on the distressed body. It was greatly to be feared, though no doubt could remain to those around him that he was a happy blessed spirit, still it was feared that the clay tenement would press upon the immortal inhabitant, so as to deaden the power of expressing its hopes. His weeping partner was bowing submissively to the will of God, when this unhoped for gratification, the delight of seeing him depart joyfully was nearly resigned. At this very moment the utinost wishes of her heart were granted, and he spoke of things immortal as one whose lip had been touched by a coal from off the altar.

It is not for me, reader, to attempt to do justice to the expression of that blessedness which a saint on the confines of glory is sometimes permitted to describe, but a few faint recollections I will attempt. It was after a paroxysm of severe pain, when the exquisite relief of ease gives a sense of delight which no one but those who have suffered acutely can conceive ; it was at a moment like this that our sainted friend exclaimed, “0, what an awful declaration is this! • I shall see him, but not now; I shall behold him, but not nigh.' O heavenly Father, I thank thee, this is not my case. Oh, Sophia, you who have seen me in all my weakness, you who have known me in a state of doubt and trembling; hearken, my beloved, my precious partner ; come near while I tell you what he has done for my soul. I have the most perfect sense of security; “ I know in whom I have believed ; and I also know that he is not only able,

but willing to keep that which I have committed unto him. Oh my love! what a moment is this; I stand upon the threshold of eternity, and now, while the enemy would harass, perplex, and bewilder me, he is not permitted; but my foundation is secure, I am borne up by divine love and pity, and I can say my beloved is mine, and I am his. Oh, praise him, praise him for me; had I ten thousand tongues, it is all too little to speak the joy of the redeemed soul.--Sophia, words are too lightly treated in this world of ours, we do not weigh them sufficiently. Mark, my beloved, every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give an account of. Now observe me, my love; as I am leaving this land of shadows, and entering upon immortal security, where all is substance and reality, every promise of my blessed Saviour, every precept he hath uttered, seems engraved with tenfold certainty upon my mind all rises with vital importance, all bears upon the grand question, Is my soul safe ?" And here the dear old Christian smiled. I can say it is. Oh the blessedness of eternal certainty!-Sophia, I cannot speak it, but I feel it-here, my love;" and he pressed his hand upon his bosom. “ Jesus loveth me with an everlasting love, and I shall see him, be with him, to behold his glory."

[ocr errors]

My darl

Just then his son entered: ing boy, think not that I am incapable of entering into your prospects; think not that I look upon them with an indifferent eye; far from it, I regard this connexion as the answer to my prayers, I regard it as one link in the chain that leads to your eternal happiness. Never, at no one period of my life, did the importance of earthly connexions appear with so much weight as at this moment. I enter into all your joys, my dear, but I have seen the sun in his brightness, and my dazzled eye bebolds mortal affairs in dim confusion; and yet, my dear dutiful child, I do view this projected step in your life as most important. I would fain lay my withering hand the young head of thy future partner, but he who hath seen fit to deny me this can supply this temporal hindrance;" and his brilliant eye was cast upward. “ In that land of light and love to which I go, Edmund, distance shall be done away, and time shall be no longer.” Mrs. Walker drew near his couch, “Would you wish, my love, to see Matilda ? our betrothed child is here, she shares in Edmund's sorrow, she longs to bend her knee by your side."

side.” Mr. Walker replied, with the tear in his eye, “ Dear christian girl, I rejoice for thy sake, Edmund.” And now, with a firm, composed, and pensive step, leaning on the arm of Mrs. Protheroe Walker, Matilda entered.

For a moment or two there was silence, all seemed to feel too much to be able to speak; Matilda, bending her knee beside him, said, “ Dear sir, I am so happy you permit me to see you.” “ It is a moment of some importance, my dear, this last battle of an old soldier; 'but I am more than conqueror through him that loved me. Yes, my promised daughter, I rejoice that I speak to one who can understand; I rejoice that my son hath followed the resolve of good old Bishop Beveridge, and chosen one for his bride who hath first chosen Christ. Perhaps you have heard of my conflicts, it seemed as though the enemy would not let me pass to my everlasting rest, but by stout resistance. But smiling, he continued, “ There are more with us than there are against us; 'I am more than conqueror through him that hath loved me.' Observe that, my dear; I feel now that I know something of what Paul meant, that love of Christ which passeth knowledge. We speak these words, but none can know or feel their full import, their peculiar blessedness, till they are brought to an hour like this; till now, I never knew, I never felt, the exceeding riches of the love of

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »