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she awoke she could not forget it. So sensitive was she of her own corruption that she immediately applied it to herself, and ascribed the return of the pain to a want of gratitude while free from it, request. ing that the account of the king of Judah's sickness, and subsequent folly, might be read to her.
One of the most remarkable features of the early part of her illness, while she had yet a little strength, was the unhesitating manner in which she opened her mind to those around her upon spiritual subjects, and her anxiety to speak to them of Jesus ; her usual demeanour being very retiring, and even timid, excepting towards a few like. minded friends, to whom she freely spoke touching the things which concern salvation, and who were able to discover in how great a degree spiritual and heavenly things possessed her thoughts, and absorbed her affections. To a young relative she said, “ Love the Saviour,” adding “ what should I do now if I did not love him?” She was very anxious that a dear friend, who had adopted the opinions of the late Rev. Edward Irving, should be made acquainted with her feelings concerning that distressing error. She requested her sister to tell her that she did not then think as she had done upon these subjects ; (for a short time she had imbibed those views, but had been enabled heartily to abjure them,) wishing her also to be asked, if she loved her less on this account, or thought her salvation was thereby rendered insecure, and expressed much satisfaction upon being assured that she was not loved the less, nor was any such thought entertained.
Upon one occasion, when taking my leave of her, not knowing that I should see her again, she requested me to stay ; beckoning all in the roum to her bed-side, she said, with a heavenly smile upon her countenance, and unusual vivacity in her eyes, “I want to speak to you all about Jesus, I delight to talk about him," and for some time continued in an unbroken strain to expatiate upon the excellencies of the Saviour, and the comparative worthlessness of those things which the world esteems most precious. It is much to be regretted that her words at this time, uttered from a heart so overflowing with holy joy, cannot be wholly remembered. Truly her soul was "filled with the spirit,” her heart was inflamed with devout love to the Redeemer, and she sought to express her sense of his worth. Selfish indeed would it have been to wish the detention of one on earth so prepared to engage in the occupations of heaven. Her spirit was not long kept in suspense ; she soon sunk under the violence of the inflammation, and on January the 16th, 1835, in her seventeenth year, her happy soul ascended to the right hand of God, where there are pleasures for evermore. There are circumstances in the experience of this dear young saint upon her dying bed which deserve the serious attention of all, but especially of those who love not the Lord Jesus, nor walk as she walked before God, always evincing an humble desire to be conformed in all things to his will. How does that deep abasement of soul which she manifested at the commencement of her illness exhibit to us the holiness of God, and the awful nature of sin, as felt upon a near approach to God, and a sense of coming judgment in death! Were I not afraid of attributing honour to our young friend, otherwise than as a recipient of divine grace, I might fill many pages with her praise, shewing how little there had been apparently in the manner of her life to distress a dying hour. It would take long to tell of her filial and sisterly affection; the diligent employment of her time in daily duties, and engagements which she enjoined upon herself; her constant habits of prayer, and reading the scriptures; and her delight in speaking of divine things, in the knowledge of which she evinced a maturity of thought and feeling, truly surprising in so young a Christian. It was asked with surprise by a friend when told of her distress about her safety, “ Of what can she have to repent?” The fears and apprehensions of one so apparently unblameable may well excite the surprise of those who, being unacquainted with the latent wickedness of the human heart, and the holiness of God, know nothing as yet of that stern integrity of conscience which at no time is so honest as in the near prospect of death. If one whose short life has been marked with unusual propriety, remembers (what we are apt to deem) trifling derelictions of duty with such acute pain, what will be the dying torments of those who now think that what the world esteems a virtuous life is sufficient security against future condemnation, but in that trying hour will be driven by an awakened conscience from all dependence upon their own supposed righteousness, and find themselves destitute of any hope towards God?
Elizabeth found refuge where it is alone to be found,-in the Saviour's atonement and righteousness. The happiness which ensued, and the confident expectation of glory which she subsequently felt, were founded upon a sense of justification before God, entirely irrespective of any righteousness of her own ;--that, she clearly saw to be altogether incapable of procuring her any acceptance with God, or of rendering her an object of complacency in his sight; knowing that there is much in the most righteous actions of man that is offensive to the heart-searching, and immaculate Being with whom we have to do.
Another circumstance of her illness affords us a solemn lesson. She would not allow any person to pray with her, except in those seasons in which she was free from violent pain. When asked if prayer would be pleasant to her, she would say, “ Not now, but pray for me.” This
feeling accords with her general susceptibility of conscience; she could not join in the prayer offered as she wished, therefore feared that it would be irreverent and unseemly to allow others to pray in her presence, and for her, without being able to join in their worship. Though doubtless mistaken, yet this serves to evince the veneration which possessed her mind. - There are many who think that a dying bed will serve their purpose, of repenting one day, well enough ; but how do they ascertain that their death shall be preceded by lingering illness, or any warning at all ?- Or, if it should be even so,-if their descent to the grave should be long, and gradual,-upon what grounds do they assure themselves that they shall then feel the disposition, or even have the ability, to attend to the things which concern their salvation ? Elizabeth lay upon her dying bed for several days, but she had few hours of tranquillity in which to attend to the state of her soul, or even listen to prayer offered by others on her behalf; her days and nights were chiefly spent in convulsive agonies ;-but she had sought for an interest in the salvation of Christ before sickness overtook her, Can any be secure in expecting that their dying bed will be more propitious to repentance than was hers? Is it not rather to be dreaded that God, justly provoked by premeditated delay, will afford no such opportunity, but suddenly make bare the arm of bis indignation to visit upon the guilty soul the dire consequences of such presumptuous folly and madness? A victim to the lingering sufferings of consumption, who exclaimed, “Attend to your souls while you are in health ! what should I have done if I had left that till now?" did but declare the dying experience of thousands. It is to be feared, so unfavourable a season to repentance does a deathbed generally prove, that a large portion of our fellow-creatures, thus dying, give their Christian friends but little satisfaction upon solid grounds as to the security of their immortal natures. When “a more convenient season" is the apology pleaded, for neglecting opportunity after opportunity offered while in health, and enjoying vigour of mind, a dying hour, “when heart and flesh together fail,” cannot be expected to prove that “ more convenient season.” When the body is exhausted by disease, or racked with anguish ; and the mind is absorbed with the sufferings, and unnerved by the weakness of the body; or, as is frequently the case, delirious, how is it likely that the most important (and in its incipient stages often the most agitating) of all duties which man is called upon to perform, the very end for which he came into the world, can be properly attended to ? Driven by the fear of approaching judgment, the mercy of God in Christ offered to all in the gospel, may be Aed to as a last resort, and we know, when unreservedly, with success; but how little such repentances are to be trusted to, is shewn by the number of those who appear to turn to God in the prospect of death, but who when raised up again, forget all their resolutions of amendment, and return to their own ways.
Reader ! are you prepared to meet your God? Death is at the door. - Eternity is before you.—The judgment is decreed, and will shortly sit;- the secret things of your heart are written in the books which shall then be opened ! “ He that testifieth these things saith, surely I come quickly!” Blessed are they, and only they, who can add " Amen, even so, come, Lord Jesus !” Rev. xxii. 20.
THE DECLINE OF SUPERSTITION.
(From the 42d Report of the London Missionary Society.)
The whole fabric of Hinduism, (one of the Missionaries observes,) presents strong marks of decrepitude and approaching dissolution. No new idol-temples are being built, and many of the old ones lie in neglected ruins, the monuments of a once powerful, but now fast declining superstition. The feasts in honor of their gods are dwindling into mere pastimes for the giddy and the dissolute.
The car that formerly was attended by hundreds and thousands of respectable Hindus is now dragged along by a few idle and mischievous boys. At the time of the Doorgah-poojah, the most celebrated festival of Bengal, in honor of Doorgah, the Juno of the Hindus, all the native papers severely exposed the folly of the people in spending so much money in doing honor to the goddess,
The prejudices of the natives are quickly passing away. The highest Brahmins do not hesitate to send their children to Christian schools ; and they themselves listen with attention to books which refute their own system. Hindus of the lower castes will not scruple to argue with Brahmins, and point out the absurdity of their faith. The Brahmins were formerly esteemed the most learned part of the community ; but since the increase of schools, other castes are far before them. They would not send their children to the Mission schools; they now see their error, and are becoming more anxious, even than other castes, to have their children educated, even on those principles which cannot fail to overthrow their system.
THE SPIDER AND THE FLY. “ Will you walk into my parlour ?" said the spider to the fly, “ 'Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy ; The way into my parlour is up a winding stair, And I've many a curious thing to show when you are there." 6. Oh no, no," said the little fly, “ to ask me is in vain, For who goes up your winding stair can ne'er come down again.” “ I'm sure you must be weary, dear, with soaring up so high; Will you rest upon my little bed ?" said the spider to the fly. “ There are pretty curtains drawn around, the sheets are fine and thin, And if you like to rest awhile, I'll snugly tuck you in!". “Oh no, no," said the little fly, “ for I've often heard it said, They never, never wake again, who sleep upon your bed !" Said the cunning spider to the fly, “Dear friend, what can I do, To prove the warm affection I've always felt for you? I have within my pantry, good store of all that's nice; I'm sure you're very welcome-will you please to take a slice ?” " Oh no, no,” said the little fly,“ kind sir, that cannot be, I've heard what's in your pantry, and I do not wish to see !”.
“Sweet creature,” said the spider, “ you're witty and you're wise ;