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well, Ellen; farewell, my dear Ellen; , me dat, an' den after a bit I'd hear must you leave me? must you leave dat dey had gone home, an' I am a me? O Jesus, my dear Ellen is pilgrim yet; but I always manages coming! Gib her one ob de man- | to send word.” sions till I come; Lord Jesus, how . “Well, if I should die first,” said can I wait? Send de chariot again." | Dr. H., “what word would you
Such-like expressions were nume- send?". rous until the tide of his emotions | “O massa, if you get home afore I had subsided; then, kneeling by the do (weeping), tell 'em to keep de table bedside, he breathed his sorrows standin', for Johnson is holding on into the ear of his Saviour in such a his way. I'se bound to be dere." prayer as we never expect to hear Of his death we know but little. again. From that hour on, through His illness was brief. In such an the funeral occasion, and in the days hour as he thought not the Son of following, his spirit and manner man came. But that he was ready were beautiful beyond description. when “the chariot" came, and that
Ever after Ellen's death he seemed “its wheels rolled in fire,” as when only waiting, as he said, “for dat | Elijah was borne to heaven, we do
not doubt. he had been ill for a few days, as he As we have marked this old man's began to get out again, I said, “I life, it has often seemed as if“ one of thought that your appointed time the prophets had risen again." He had about come.”
had a faith like that of Abraham, a He replied, “Oh, yes, I tought dat firmness like that of Daniel, a fire I could see de dust ob de chariot like that of Isaiah, tears like those coming ober de mountains, and den of Jeremiah, and he fasted and somethin' said, 'Hold on, Johnson, prayed like them all. We rejoice in a little longer. I'll come round having known such a man, and in direc'ly. Yes, massa, an' I will hold having seen in him so many of the exon, if de Lord please, anoder hun cellent things of the kingdom of God. dred years! for I'se bound for He was a living witness of the power Canaan.” Then he broke out sing. and glory of the gospel of the blessed ing
God. Often, looking on him, have
we asked, “What would have this “But this I do find, we two are so joined, He'll not live in glory and leave me
aged African have been but for the
Divine plan of elevating and saving behind.”
man ?" And then again have we During those days he would often asked, “If it doth not yet appear bid his friends farewell “till we what we shall be, what will he be meets in glory.”
ages hence ? Grace has its wonders. One day the Rev. Dr. H. called God is yet choosing the weak things on him with me. After a conversa of the world to confound the mighty; tion, which surely my friend will and it will seem more distinctly bynever forget, he said, “I must now and-by than now that there are first go; good-bye, Uncle Johnson; I which shall be last, and last that shall probably hear soon that you shall be first. Nothing but simple have gone over Jordan; but we will trust in Christ can endue man with follow on."
true greatness. Little child-like“Oh, yes, massa, great many ness goes before, and is essential to, years ago young men like you tell the stature of a perfect manhood.”
THOMAS WILSON; OR, THE BUD OF PROMISE
.. BY THE REV. W. WALTERS. THOMAS WILSON was a native of a small town on the east coast of Scotland. He was the son of pious parents, moving in a respectable sphere of life, and was the subject of many earnest prayers. As soon as he was able to receive instruction, his friends endeavoured to instil religious truth into his mind. His disposition was impressible and yielding; and the seed sown seemed to fall into prepared soil, and gave promise of a plentiful harvest. High hopes were cherished concerning his future career.
When only ten years of age, he and five or six of his school-fellows entered into a compact of friendship to encourage one another in religious pursuits. They often retired from the noisy sports of the other children to a sequestered place at some distance from the town, and there poured out their hearts together in prayer before God. His father, who loved him, because he was his first-born, more than all his other children, and who was heard to say about this time, that he believed he could not live without him, rejoiced over his increasing intelligence, his steady progress in his studies, and what he regarded as his early consecration to Christ.
In consequence of unexpected reverses in his father's circumstances, he was taken from school when only twelve, and apprenticed to a chemist in his native town. During the period of his apprenticeship, he continued to be all that his parents could desire. Gentle and quiet in his natural disposition, serious and contemplative in his habits, he retired much within himself, read his Bible deeply, and spent much time in prayer. Meanwhile he commended himself to his master as a diligent and faithful servant; and to his companions he seemed a bright example of unassuming, lovely piety.
Having completed the term for which he was indentured, with credit to himself and satisfaction to all who were interested in his welfare, he entered the University of Edinburgh at the age of eighteen, to study for the medical profession. Here he joined a younger brother. They spent as much time as they could in each other's society during the week; and on the Sabbath sat together under the ministry of one of the ablest and most heart-searching preachers of that day. Their favourite author was John Newton, and many pleasant hours were passed in reading the “ Letters" of that holy man. At the close of these readings, Thomas always engaged in prayer, for which exercise he had a remarkable gift.
Thus the whole of the session was a continued season of pleasure and advantage. At its termination, Thomas, like many other students, had to seek for some employment by which he might obtain the means for pursuing his studies the next winter. Two or three engagements
were considered ; at length it was determined that he should go as surgeon on board the Margaret, a vessel in the Greenland fishery, and about to sail for Davis' Straits. One of his young friends, who had been studying at Glasgow University for the Christian ministry, but who was now dying of consumption, said to him in a parting interview, “If you go to Greenland, I shall not see you again, till I meet you walking the streets of the New Jerusalem." They met no more in this world. The day will declare whether or not they have met in glory. Young Wilson's subsequent career has thrown over that subject a pall of thick darkness.
After a most affectionate parting between himself and his parents, he went on board ship, and in a few days, was far from his native shores. Having made a quick and prosperous voyage, the Margaret returned. Her young surgeon was twenty pounds richer in pocket than when he left home; but the spiritual loss he had sustained was unspeakable. The effects of the voyage on his religious character and feelings were awfully fatal. The officers and crew were godless men. There had been no observance of the Lord's-day, no recognition of the government of God, no regard for the moralities, or even the decencies of life. The influence of all this on Thomas Wilson's heart became gradually apparent.
For a long time he appeared outwardly unchanged; but the way had been paved for his future ruin. He had lost the vitality which had aforetime quickened his soul; he had learned to relish ungodly company, and to think lightly of sin: and had contracted a love for ardent spirits, which ultimately reduced him to want and idiotcy, and sent him to a dishonoured grave.
Instead of continuing his studies at the University on his return from Greenland, it was agreed that he should commence business as a chemist, in the town where he was born, and where his parents still lived. A small legacy which had just before been bequeathed to his father, the proceeds of his voyage, and a little borrowed capital, enabled him to start. His father, whose face was now furrowed with age and care, rejoiced to see his eldest son settled near him. He had long looked on him with hope, and now reckoned on him as one of the chief comforts of his declining years. Alas! for the vanity of human expectations!
At the outset he was industrious and attentive to his business, and for some time his prospects were bright and full of encouragement, Had he continued as he began, he might have been a successful trades. man. Indeed, as it was, he was able to save a small sum, which he parted with in the most generous manner, to his needy relatives But he was becoming increasingly indifferent to Divine things. He scarcely ever spoke about religion; and was fast sinking down into a state of lethargy and spiritual death.
About this time he caught a malignant fever, and was brought so near to death that for several days his life was despaired of. Had he then departed, his surviving friends might have cherished some hope that his soul was safe. It was, however, the Lord's pleasure that he should be restored. He had been brought face to face with eternity; he had received a solemn warning ; but, alas ! to no purpose. After his recovery he would not speak of his affliction. Once only, were his friends able to infer that it had made any impression on his mind; and that was when he was heard to read, with much feeling, the psalm be.
"My God, when I received Thy stroke,
How like a beast was I.” To him might have been applied the language of Jehovah,—" In vain have I smitten your children; they received no correction.”
In a year or so he proposed leaving his father's house, where he had hitherto resided, to establish house-keeping himself. The restraints of parental watchfulness had become irksome, and his love for sinful company demanded more freedom and indulgence. In less than two years after this change, he was a ruined man. He became a notorious drunkard and debauchee. He plunged headlong into all sorts of vice. He lost his custom. Commercial houses would not sell him goods, because his payments were so irregular. The respectable portion of his fellow-tradesmen shunned him. His friends wept over him with broken hearts. All expostulations and entreaties were useless. He had become the slave of his passions, and was resolved to gratify them whatever consequences might ensue. Yet he could not sin without remorse. His religious education and early experience haunted him. His conscience, instead of being seared as with a hot iron, tormented him like a fury. This was especially the case, when, after a fit of intemperance, his nervous system was relaxed and his mind enfeebled. At such times his horrors were dreadful.
On one of these occasions he was visited by a near relative, who found him in a state of despair. He spoke of the number and aggravation of his sins, and expressed his deep and settled conviction that nothing awaited him but the eternal wrath of God. Such texts as the following were quoted to him:—" Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord : though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be White as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as Wool.” “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” “O Israel. return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.”
I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely.” “The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin.” “Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out.” “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” He heard all, and then replied, “I know all you have said, but I have sinned against light and knowledge -awfully sinned. I know no crime but murder that I have not been guilty of. I have been specially addicted to sins of the flesh. I know indeed, that there is forgiveness with God for the penitent; but I am Ot penitent. Instead of being sorry for my sins, I love them, and
would repeat them now, did I not tremble for the wrath to come. I cannot therefore believe that any of the promises of the gospel apply to me.” Thus he put away from himself everlasting life.
Ruined in business, health, intellect and character, he removed to a neighbouring town; his friends indulging a faint hope that the change might be beneficial. By a short season of reformation, be deceived a young woman who resided in the neighbourhood, as to his habits and conduct, and induced her to marry him. It soon appeared that she also had deceived him. For though she was a member of a Christian church, and enjoyed a good reputation, no sooner were they married than they both abandoned themselves to uncontrollable drunk enness. They lived together like two fiends from the bottomless pit: tempting each other; accusing each other; accused and goaded to madness by their respective consciences ; quarrelling and striking each other; till at length they resolved to separate. A few months after their separation, she died; her death having been hastened on by her own misconduct and the ill-treatment she had received from his hands.
He grew worse and worse. His house was stript of its furniture his person became filthy. He would sit in a state of drunkenness, in the midst of this desolation, uttering incessantly the most awful curse and oaths it was possible to employ. His relatives at last found it necessary to apply to the authorities for a warrant to place hi affairs under the management of trustees, and to remove himself to 1 place of safe custody. The warrant was obtained, on the strength of medical certificates testifying to his mental unsoundness. His busines was entrusted to suitable hands, while he was safely confined within the walls of an asylum.
A day or two after his admission, he became aware of his state Faintly the light of reason seemed to return and dawn upon the dreary darkness of his mind. He made two or three ineffectual efforts to escape. For a month or two his faculties appeared to have recovere in a small degree their use; and during that time he wrote severa letters to one of his brothers, entreating him to procure his freedom In some of these he professed to experience religious joy. Whethe God in His great mercy did reveal Himself to the poor wanderer soul, or whether he was the victom of mental delusion, or whether hi words were hypocritical, and used in the hope of thereby gaining fret dom, it is impossible to say.
This sad history is now near its close. About three months after hi confinement Thomas Wilson was struck with paralysis; he was deprive in a great measure of the power of walking; his speech was so muc affected that it resembled that of a man in the worst state of intox cation ; and he was reduced to a drivelling idiot.
It was manifest that his days were numbered. His brother, wh had been his dear companion, years before, in Edinburgh, went to se him a few months before his death, and thus describes the interview :“He recognised me, and seemed deeply affected. Much that I