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Title: Religion in Earnest - A Memorial of Mrs. Mary Lyth, of York
Author: Lyth, John
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Religion in Earnest - A Memorial of Mrs. Mary Lyth, of York" ***

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RELIGION IN EARNEST.

A MEMORIAL OF MRS. MARY LYTH, OF YORK.

BY HER SON JOHN LYTH.

1861.



DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF MY BELOVED SISTER ELIZA HILL, WHOSE RARE
AND UNOSTENTATIOUS VIRTUES SHED FRAGRANCE ON EARTH, BUT ARE ONLY
RECORDED IN HEAVEN.



PREFACE.


In compiling the following sheets, the Author has discharged what he
felt to be an act, not merely of filial affection, but of Christian
duty. To his deceased and venerated Mother he owes more than words
can express;--a Mother whose consistent example, earnest piety and
frequent effectual prayers, perhaps even more than her oft-repeated
counsels, produced upon his mind, while yet a child, the settled
conviction that religion is the one business of life. But be believes
it also due to the cause of Christ, that an example of "Religion in
Earnest," so pre-eminent, should not pass unrecorded and unimproved.

Those who think the charm of biography consists in startling incident;
or who seek for material to gratify a literary taste, will discover
here little to meet their respective views. We have only to offer them
a simple record of one, whose history possessed no romantic interest,
and who made no pretension to intellectual attainments. But such as
love to trace the development of Divine grace in the human heart,
and to see its power uniformly exemplified in the several phases of
every-day life;--who are willing to learn how much may be accomplished
by decision, simplicity of purpose, and undeviating consistency;--in a
word, how every Christian even in private life, may become a centre of
happiness, life and power, are in this volume presented with no common
illustration.

The method of arrangement which the writer has adopted has been
determined, partly by his materials, and partly by the desire to
render his subject practical as well as interesting. How far he has
succeeded must be decided by the impression made upon the mind of the
reader. He now commends his work to God, who alone can give success to
every good purpose, earnestly praying that Christ, who was magnified
in the life of his now sainted mother, may be yet more abundantly
magnified in her death.

J.L.

Stetten, O.A. Cannstatt, Württemberg.

December 27th, 1860.



CONTENTS.


    CHAP.

      I.--ANTECEDENTS

     II.--EARLY DAWN

    III.--GOLDEN OPPORTUNITIES

     IV.--THE HOLY ESTATE

      V.--SHOWER AND SUNSHINE

     VI.--GROWTH IN GRACE

    VII.--TEMPLE SERVICE

   VIII.--PASSING CLOUDS

     IX.--MID-DAY TOIL

      X.--WORKS OF MERCY

     XI.--A DYING SCENE

    XII.--COUNTRY LIFE

   XIII.--THE REDEMPTION OF THE PROMISE

    XIV.--POWER WITH GOD

     XV.--THE RETURN

    XVI.--THE SACRIFICE

   XVII.--THE MOTHER IN ISRAEL

  XVIII.--LIGHT IN DARKNESS

    XIX.--THE INWARD MONITOR

     XX.--THE STORM

    XXI.--THE WIDOW

   XXII.--THE LIGHTS AND SHADOWS OF EVENING

  XXIII.--SLEEP IN JESUS

   XXIV.--PLEASANT MEMORIES



I.

ANTECEDENTS.

  "A GOOD MAN LEAVETH AN INHERITANCE TO HIS CHILDREN'S
  CHILDREN." Prov. xiii. 22.


Within the grounds attached to the mansion of the Earl of Harewood,
in the West Riding of Yorkshire, is a substantial and well-built farm
house, furnished with suitable outbuildings, and surrounded by a fine
cluster of fruit-trees. It stands on the side of a hill, which slopes
gently down to the river Wharfe, and commands a prospect, which,
though not extensive, is singularly picturesque. In front, a little
to the right, the ruined fortress of Harewood peeps out of a scattered
wood, which crowns the summit of the hill, and shelters one of the
neatest and trimmest villages in England. On the left flows the
beautiful Wharfe but soon loses itself among the adjacent heights.
Behind, towers the logan of Arlmes cliff, an interesting relic of
druidical skill and superstition; while Riffa wood and Ottley Shevin
complete the beauty of the landscape. A row of trees, protected by a
lofty wall, effectually conceals the house we have mentioned, from
the highroad, which for some distance runs at the foot of the hill and
almost parallel to the river. Formerly there was only a sandy lane,
which passed immediately in front of the house, and winding up the
hill, entered the village between the castle and the church. From this
circumstance the adjoining farm was called Sandygate, but with
the changes that have taken place, the appellation is now almost
forgotten, although the house still retains the name of its original
occupant, and is known in the neighbourhood as 'Stables House.'

Just a hundred years ago, this house was built for the accommodation
of Wm. Stables, a wealthy yeoman, who resided at Heatherwick (now
Stanke), about a mile from Harewood; and who, successful in the
cultivation of his paternal acres, sought to extend his interests by
renting the farm of Sandygate. His removal was however unpropitious to
his domestic happiness; for entering the new house before it was fully
fit for occupation, his wife, already in a delicate state of health,
took cold and died; leaving him with four children, the eldest of whom
was six years old, and the youngest but an infant. Mr. S. is said to
have been a shrewd and sensible man, of strict morals and unbending
integrity; but withal stern and inflexible in disposition, pharisaic,
and a bigoted churchman. His punctuality in the performance of outward
religious duties, and the regular payment of his dues, with now and
then a fat sheep given to the poor, secured him among his neighbours
the reputation of being a good Christian. As might be supposed,
his children were trained with great severity, and educated in the
straitest sect of their religion. Collect and catechism were duly
committed to memory, prayers regularly read in the family, the Sabbath
rigorously observed, a stiff and precise order reigned through
the whole household; but it wanted the charm and life of spiritual
feeling. As the children grew up to maturity, this state of things
was destined to be changed by the introduction of a new and unwelcome
element, which seriously disturbed the never too profound tranquillity
of the old man. Mary, the youngest child, whose mind had gradually
opened to the truth, although so defectively communicated, became
deeply convinced of sin under the ministry of Mr. Jackson, the parish
clergyman; and so painful and vivid were her views of her miserable
condition, that she cried aloud for mercy in the church. Her father
was deeply concerned for her, but, as he was ignorant of spiritual
religion, he was utterly at a loss to understand her feelings. As a
last resource he sent for the minister, but with no better result,
for he too, frankly confessed that he did not understand the sorrow
of which he had been the unwitting occasion. A specimen of this
gentleman's ability to administer spiritual counsel and direction
is recorded in the characteristic autobiography of Richard Burdsall.
"Visiting Mr. Stables in his last illness Mr. Jackson asked him how he
did. Mr. S. replied, 'Sir, I am a miserable sinner.' 'Do not say you
are a miserable sinner,' replied the Reverend gentleman, 'for you
are a good man.' Mr. S. answered, 'O, Mr. Jackson, I am a miserable
sinner.' To this the parson replied, 'if you will be a miserable
sinner you are like to be a miserable sinner,' and so came no more."

Mary was thus left to seek relief and comfort where she could; and
having heard of the Methodists, who held a meeting every Sabbath in
a house about a mile distant from Harewood, she secretly resolved to
attend, if possibly, she might find the hidden peace, which she had
hitherto sought in vain. Here she met with a few humble but sincere
persons, who could sympathise with her state of mind; and from whom
she received such instruction and encouragement, that, not long after
while pleading with God in the secrecy of her chamber, she obtained
'redemption through the blood of Christ, even the forgiveness of
sins.' Much to the chagrin of her father, she now became an avowed
Methodist; and was subjected to the petty persecution, which usually
awaits the first in a family that embraces vital godliness. On one
occasion, her father locked her out of the house; and, on another,
threatened to shoot her, but she remained firm to her profession;
until at length, her consistent and steady deportment was rewarded by
the conversion of her two brothers, John and William, and also of two
of the servants. The increased displeasure of the old gentleman was
signally exhibited. Afraid lest Elizabeth his eldest daughter should
also become a Methodist, he resolved at once to free his house from
all possibility of infection. The two servants were dismissed without
ceremony; and the three delinquents banished to a farm, which he had
purchased, at Kirkby Overblow, a few miles distant. These precautions
were useless. The removal of her sister and brothers, together with
the occasion of their banishment, so much affected Elizabeth, that
in fact it contributed to the result it was intended to prevent. So
foolish and vain are the thoughts of men when they attempt to arrest
the operations of the Spirit of God. Isolated and freed from control,
the young converts were now left to obey the dictates of conscience
without further opposition. In their new home they were thrown
more directly in contact with the Methodists, and especially formed
acquaintance with Richard Burdsall, with whose class they at once
connected themselves.

Richard Burdsall was one of those bold and distinctive characters,
whose sterling piety and ardent zeal shining forth from under a rude
exterior, gave such peculiar lustre to the age of early Methodism; and
indicated an agency, specially raised by God, to break up the fallow
ground and clear away the thorns, that the incorruptible seed of
truth might find a soil congenial to its germination and growth. His
conversion, which occurred at the age of twenty, was accompanied by
indubitable proofs of its reality; and instantly followed up by entire
consecration to God. The path of usefulness soon opened out before
him; and in spite of 'fightings without and fears within,' he pursued
it with undeviating integrity to the close of a protracted life. His
shrewdness and originality of thought, quaint and pointed method of
expression, combined with such an intimate acquaintance with the word
of God, that some said he had the scriptures at his fingers' ends, and
others nicknamed him 'old chapter and verse;' and above all, his
known integrity and uncompromising zeal for the glory of God, amply
compensated for the want of cultivation, and rendered him as a lay
preacher so exceedingly popular and useful, that he was repeatedly
solicited to enter a higher sphere, and devote himself to the work
of the ministry. He was twice appointed by Mr. Wesley to the York
circuit, in which he was resident; and in six different instances,
invited to take charge of independent congregations; but, although he
so far yielded to the request of the former as to make the experiment
for nine months, he voluntarily retired, under the conviction that
he was called to occupy an humbler but not less useful sphere. His
labours, which were extended over a considerable part of Yorkshire and
Lincolnshire, were blessed by God to the salvation of thousands. By
day toiling at the vice or the anvil, and by night preaching the glad
tidings of the Gospel, his life was spent,

  "'Twixt the mount and multitude
     Doing and receiving good"

until, within a fortnight of his death, at the advanced age of
eighty-eight, he delivered his last discourse, and died shouting
"Victory, Victory," through the blood of the Lamb.

At the period of oar narrative Mr. B. resided at Kearby, about a mile
from the Kirkby farm, where he soon became a frequent and welcome
visitor; and by his counsels and example, contributed much to confirm
the faith and piety of its inmates. The two brothers became useful
local preachers, and remained faithful unto death; and with Mary
commenced an intimacy, which, notwithstanding considerable difference
of age and circumstances, was ultimately consummated in marriage. The
story of the courtship is amusing and characteristic. Mary was fair
to look upon, and having moreover the prospect of a handsome fortune,
commanded many admirers. One day when several of these aspirants for
her hand were present, Mr. B. stepped in, and, perceiving how matters
were going, quietly slipped behind her and whispered, 'I mean to have
thee myself'. This abrupt avowal had the desired effect. The blooming
damsel preferred the widower with four children, though twice her own
age, to younger but not more worthy suitors; a decision she never had
occasion to regret.

The engagement thus strangely brought to a crisis, was not entered
into without much serious forethought and prayer. The path of
Providence was distinctly indicated, and there remained but one
obstacle in the way of the proposed union, and that was to secure the
consent of Mr. Stables; which, to quote Mr. Burdsall's own words,
"'to me appeared like asking him for his life'. I was however
providentially helped out of this difficulty; for as I was returning
from preaching one morning, I met him in a narrow lane at some
distance from his own house. When he saw me, he turned round as though
he would not meet me. The lane being strait, he took hold of my mare
and said, 'What are you a riding preacher now'? I answered, 'To be
sure I am, for you see I am upon my mare'. He then said, 'Are my sons
right, think you, when they can go to a public house and drink with
people and pay nothing'? I replied, 'You are not to give credit to
what the world says of us Methodists, or of your sons. I believe your
sons fear the Lord, and are wishful to do what is right'. He said,
'Well, he that endureth to the end the same shall be saved'. I
replied, 'That is God's word, but it will not suit every one'. He then
wished to know whom it would not suit. I answered, 'It will not suit
the unregenerate, for were I to tell sinners, that if they endured
to the end in their sins they should be saved, I should lie; for they
cannot be saved if they do: neither will it suit the self-righteous,
for the word of God says, 'Except your righteousness exceed the
righteousness of the scribes and pharisees, ye shall in no case enter
into the kingdom of heaven'. What I said, seemed to carry conviction
to his mind. He said, 'They say you are a good preacher, I shall come
and hear you'. 'I should be glad to see you', replied I, 'but I fear
your master will not let you come'. We then proceeded towards his
house in friendly conversation, and when we were just going to part
he said, 'They say you are going to marry my daughter.' I answered,
'I doubt they grieve you with, it.' He said, 'Nay, not at all, for
my daughter shall marry whom she likes.' 'You speak very honourably,'
said I, 'if you only stand to your word.' To this he replied, 'I will,
she shall marry whom she likes.' I said to him, 'I will make you
this promise, that I will not marry your daughter for the sake of her
fortune, for I do not believe you will give me any with her. If I can
be assured that it is of the Lord, I will marry her though you turn
her into the street destitute; and, without this persuasion, I would
not marry her though you were to give her your whole estate to do
so: therefore do not blame me.' He said, 'I cannot,' and we parted."
Notwithstanding this plain conversation, Mr. Stables was highly
displeased with the match, and offered to give his daughter an
additional portion on condition that she would not prosecute it;
adding, "If you do, I'll give you sixpence a-week, and you may go
about singing Methodist songs."

On their marriage, which took place shortly after, Mr. and Mrs.
Burdsall removed to York. The offended father, true to his word, sent
his daughter forth literally destitute; not even permitting her to
take her personal apparel. It was not until twelve months had elapsed,
that any further communication took place. The interview is thus
related by Mr. Burdsall in his own quaint style. "I happened to be
passing near his house as he was going from it; on my calling to him,
he asked what I wanted with him. I said, 'I want to know what place
you mean me to have in heaven?' He smiled, and asked, 'Do you mean to
go there?' 'I hope so,' said I. He then asked me why I had married his
daughter. I told him, because I loved her and thought she would make
me a good wife. I added, 'You know, sir, that I told you before I
married her, that I would not marry her for the sake of her fortune;
neither have I, I do not expect any, the Lord blesses us without any,
and he will still continue to bless us.' He acknowledged the truth of
what I said, and we parted." The fire of wrath was still smouldering
in the heart of the old man, and awakened in the mind of Mrs. Burdsall
feelings of painful anxiety, especially, as it was apparent, that life
was ebbing fast to its close. Mr. B. therefore, a short time after,
addressed a kind but faithful letter to him on the great subject of
salvation, and concluded with these remarkable and expressive words,
"I have no other reason for writing to you, that I know of, than this,
that the sun is going down." This produced no immediate effect, only,
whenever they met, Mr. Stables would say, "You write parables to
me." The allusion however so appositely and wisely put, like an
arrow directed to the mark, had fastened upon his conscience, and was
secretly undermining the strength of long and obstinately-cherished
resentment. The marksman was skilful, but still better, a man of
"fervent effectual prayer." "As a Prince he had power with God and
with men, and prevailed," for "when a man's ways please the Lord He
maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him." So it turned out.
Mr. Burdsall says, "One time, as I was returning home from preaching
at a distant place in a very wet cold and hungry state, and as night
was coming on, having to pass his residence, I thought I would call
and see if he would receive me. I knocked at the door, and he himself
opened it. Seeing me he called his eldest daughter and said, 'Here is
thy brother, come and take his horse.' I alighted and went in. He then
accosted me as he had done once before, asking, 'What are you a riding
preacher now?' I answered, 'To be sure I am; for I have ridden from
York to Seacroft, and from thence to your house.' 'Well,' said he, 'I
know you live well.' I replied, 'We do; but I have not lived so well
to day as I might have done; for I feel rather hungry.' He smiled,
and bid his daughter put on the tea kettle. We then entered into
conversation, in which he said, 'You write parables to me, for you
told me the sun was going down.' I answered, 'I did so, and my reason
for it was, I knew I had stirred up your wrath in marrying your
daughter against your mind, and was fearful lest the sun should go
down upon it.' He burst into a flood of tears, and was so melted down,
that for three hours, I was prompted both by his feelings and my own
to speak of the love of Christ to poor sinners. * * * This was a night
to be remembered as my reconciliation with Mr. Stables was at this
time effected." The understanding thus happily brought about was never
after interrupted; and Mr. Stables practically evinced the sincerity
of his feelings by securing to his daughter an annuity for life. In his
last illness, which occurred a few years later, Mr. Burdsall, by his
own request, frequently visited him, and ministered to his spiritual
wants. He died in peace on the 13th of June, 1787.

The first fruits of the union of Richard Burdsall and Mary Stables,
was Mary, the subject of the present memoir--the step-sister of the
Rev. John Burdsall, who still survives. She was born at York, without
Bootham bar, June 19th, 1782. The house which no longer exists, stood
just under the shadow of the old gateway, nearly opposite the modern
crescent, known as St. Leonard's Place.

The foregoing facts, which to some may appear superfluous, are here
introduced not merely with the view of making the reader acquainted
with the antecedents of my honoured mother; but the much higher object
of illustrating the sovereign mercy of God, and tracing the growth of
the religious element in the family. Many a page deeply interesting
and instructive might be written which would unfold the grace of God
in the history of particular families, flowing as a stream of light
from generation to generation, or diffusing itself in the collateral
branches; here swelling as "broad rivers and streams," and there
narrowed down to a single channel. The causes of such alternations
might be profitably investigated, and recorded. The inquiry into one's
ancestry would thus answer a nobler purpose than the gratification of
human vanity, or the recovery of an alienated inheritance; it would
exhibit the influence of the past upon the present, afford important
lessons of encouragement or admonition, and discover our claim
perhaps, to something better than gold or silver "for the good man"
even though he is poor, "leaveth an inheritance to his children's
children." How far the moral character as well as the physical
constitution of a parent may affect the happiness and control the
destiny of his children, is a question, which may be incapable of an
exact and satisfactory solution; but the general fact, notwithstanding
some strange exceptions, (which however may not be altogether
incapable of explanation,) is sufficiently established, that examples
of singular excellence, or notorious profligacy may usually he traced
to seeds sown in a former generation. They are not therefore to be
altogether regarded in the light of isolated phenomena, but as the
result of causes, which may be more or less accurately determined.
At all events, God reveals himself as "a jealous God, visiting the
iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth
generation of them that hate him, and SHEWING MERCY UNTO THOUSANDS OF
THEM THAT LOVE HIM AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS."



II.

EARLY DAWN.

  "THOU HAST HID THESE THINGS FROM THE WISE AND PRUDENT
  AND HAST REVEALED THEM UNTO BABES." Matt. xi. 25.


What solemn interest surrounds the dawn of immortal existence,--that
precious portion of human life, the first four or five years, which
may be termed the perceptive period, too often treated as a mere
blank, in which nothing is to be attempted; when the soul is all
eye, all ear, continually storing up in an almost faultless memory,
impressions, which go far to mould the future character, and which
reason, so soon as it is able, will certainly use as part of the
material out of which it must form its conclusions! How much of the
future depends upon the kind of influence to which the infant mind is
subjected! Happily for Mary Burdsall these early years were carefully
watched and guarded. The bold and uncompromising character of
her father, and the gentle piety of her mother, secured to her a
combination of influences particularly favourable to the development
of moral and religious feeling. Lessons of truth and love, as yet
beyond the comprehension of the child, were effectively taught by
means of bright and living examples; and hence grace began to operate
with the first unfoldings of reason.

Her earliest recollections were associated with the farm at Sandygate.
When about four years old, her grandfather Stables, now reconciled to
his daughter, proposed to undertake the charge of Mary's training and
education. This arrangement was overruled, providentially as it would
seem; for Mr. S., although strictly moral and religious in his way,
was a stranger to experimental godliness, and only obtained the
knowledge of the truth in his last moments. The occasion of her return
to her parents was probably his increasing age and infirmity, as
the only impression she retained of him in after life was that of
a somewhat crusty and ill-tempered old man, with a huge bobwig,
who always laid in bed. His last words to her, which were vividly
impressed upon her mind, were, that it was a pity she should go home
to be spoiled by Methodism. The few months she spent at Sandygate
were not however without some good and permanent result. Her aunt
Elizabeth, who was scripturally enlightened, and in a great measure
free from other engagements, solicitously occupied herself in
endeavouring to impress her tender heart with divine truth. From
her lips she learned to lisp the Lord's prayer, the Apostles' creed,
several of Watts' divine songs, and in particular the hymn commencing

  "How vain are all things here below."

With reference to this period she says in her journal:--"The spirit
of God strove with me when but a little child. One time, I remember,
while repeating my prayers to my aunt, the grace of God shone so
sweetly upon me, I was melted down into tenderness before the Lord;
and it seemed as if the glory of the Lord shone round about me, while
I repeated the well-known hymn

  'Glory to Thee, my God, this night.'

At another time, the Spirit of prayer was so poured upon me my sleep
for a season fled. Thus the Lord brooded upon my infant mind. Glory be
to his adorable name!"

Shortly after her return to York she heard the venerable founder of
Methodism preach in Peaseholm Green Chapel; and though at that early
age incompetent to retain any recollection of the sermon, his saintly
appearance made on her imagination a vivid impression, which was
perpetuated through life, and often mentioned in the family circle
with the liveliest feelings of pleasure. On this occasion, the last on
which he preached in York, Mr. Wesley appears to have been in one of
his happiest moods, as he remarks in his journal, "The word was as
fire, and all that heard it seemed to feel the power thereof;" a
circumstance which no doubt greatly contributed to fix the memory of
his features upon the mind of a child so young. And still more so, as
the venerable man, on descending from the pulpit, placed his hand upon
her head, and gave her his blessing. The Rev. J. Burdsall, who
was also present, once communicated to the writer an amusing and
interesting incident, that happened in course of the service, which
illustrates Mr. Wesley's love of harmony, even when, he had lost the
power to create it. It is well known that he delighted to hear the men
and women each take their proper part in congregational singing; but
it seems in this instance, the men in the warmth of their feelings had
transgressed the limits assigned them. Mr. W., whose ear was offended
by the slightest discord, somewhat sharply rebuked them. As this
failed to produce the desired amendment, he stopped again, and said,
"Listen to brother Masterman," who was at that time the leading
singer. Still dissatisfied, he stopped a third time, and said, "Listen
to me," at the same time taking up the strain, but as his voice was
cracked, and broken with age, it afforded such a miserable example as
to excite a general titter.

As a child Mary was distinguished by unusual vivacity of disposition,
and her fondness for fun and frolic often betrayed her into trouble.
At times she was wilful and passionate,--a spirit wisely checked by
her mother, whose discipline was equally strict and judicious. Such
ebullitions were transient, and invariably followed by feelings of
regret and sorrow. Adverting to this subject in after life she said
with deep gratitude, "I had a good mother and father to keep me in,
and restraining grace." On several occasions her life was placed in
imminent peril, and, but for that merciful providence, which specially
watches over the "little ones," she must have fallen a victim to her
thoughtlessness. One of these occurred when she was at school; where,
by some means her dress caught fire; happily the smoke and smell
of burning attracted the attention of her teacher who rushed to her
rescue, and succeeded in extinguishing the flames, but not until
her outer garments were completely consumed. Her education was
very slender, being confined to the simplest rudiments of human
knowledge,--a circumstance she often regretted, although in after
life the disadvantage was in a great measure overcome by diligent and
select reading.

When about eight years of age, the development of her early religious
feelings received a partial check through the pernicious influence
of a servant girl, who perceiving her love for singing, taught her,
without the knowledge of her parents, a number of foolish songs. Two
years later she gave decided indications of serious thought. She began
to take pleasure in being alone, and acquired a remarkable love of
solitude, which characterized her through life,--a feeling which
was strengthened by reading an article in one of the early "Arminian
Magazines." Sometimes she would steal off to the cottage of a pious
old churchwoman of the name of Halifax, who lived at a short distance
from her father's house; and listened with delight, while the good old
lady read to her out of the Psalms, and talked about heavenly things.
On one of these occasions she was so deeply affected by a sense of her
sinfulness and accountability, that pointing to the cat which lay by
the fireside, she exclaimed, "I wish I was that cat;" and when asked
why, replied, "Because it has not a soul to save." The old lady
gently rebuked the foolish thought, and, shewing her its wickedness,
endeavoured to lead her to Him, who said, "Suffer the little children
to come unto me." Not long after she began to meet in her father's
class, and received her first ticket at the hands of the Rev. Francis
Wrigley, at that time Superintendent of the York circuit. By weekly
intercourse with the people of God, her aspirations after divine
sources of happiness gradually strengthened until she was twelve years
old, when they assumed a more definite form; although, in consequence
of her tender age, her views of evangelical truth were necessarily
crude and defective; for she still "spake as a child, understood as a
child, _reasoned_ as a child," It was during a few days' visit to her
aunt Elizabeth, who now resided in the suburbs of York, having married
Mr. J. Hawkins of that city shortly after her father's death, that she
became so unhappy on account of her sinful and miserable condition,
that she could not refrain from much weeping. The thought of entering
eternity without a change of heart filled her with alarm. Every
looming cloud had a voice which spoke of the judgment to come; every
unpropitious event awakened painful forebodings. Her fears, which were
the genuine fruits of divine influence, were further aggravated by
the popular excitement of the times. France was threatening war
with England, and the prevailing apprehensions of the multitude
communicated themselves with double force to the heart of the
sorrowing child. "What," thought she, "if they should come now, and I
should be killed in my sins." Indeed her trouble increased to such
a degree that her aunt was grieved, imagining that her mother would
think she had been unkindly treated. She therefore resolved to take
her home. On the way a number of circumstances occurred which
to Mary's childish imagination were pregnant with evil, and
prognosticated nothing less than the day of general doom. The city was
in a state of unusual commotion, a report had gained ground that
the invader was at hand, some foolish person had caused the massive
portcullis of the city gate to be let down, several recruiting parties
were parading the streets, two of these she met, and the shrill blasts
of a few mounted trumpeters, together with a dense and portentous
cloud, which just at the moment spread itself upon the horizon,
completed her dismay. She reached home in tears. Her mother, whose
solicitude was awakened, inquired the cause. She replied, "Mother,
I can't tell you, but nothing in this world will make me happy."
Suspecting the real state of her feelings, her mother conversed kindly
with her, and administered suitable consolation, but in vain. After
committing herself to God in earnest prayer, she retired to rest with
the conviction, that she was the greatest sinner in the world; but the
next morning, which was the holy Sabbath, broke upon her with healing
in its wings. She awoke with the words in her mind,

  "What a blessing to know that my Jesus is mine."

Her soul was immediately filled with a calm sweet joy, which she was
unable to describe. She arose from her bed, and went to the house of
God, her heart still glowing with these newly awakened emotions; and
while on her way thought within herself, "O that I had a voice that
would reach to all the world, I would tell them how happy I am."
This occurred on the 12th of February, 1795. But the transport of her
feelings, after enduring for a season, at length subsided; yet
not without leaving a permanent though perhaps not easily defined
impression. It may be asked was this conversion? was it genuine? and
in a child so young? We answer it would be very difficult to prove
that it was not. One thing is certain, that from this time there was a
settled purpose to serve the Lord, which spite of fluctuating feeling
and periods of wintry coldness was steadily kept in view; ever and
anon gathering strength until it ripened into maturity. The sapling,
because it bends to the breeze is not therefore destitute of life;
unless it be torn up by the roots, or scorched and withered by the
noon-day sun, or absolutely frozen by the winter's cold, it will
gradually wax and grow until its massive trunk is able to bid defiance
to the storm. Conversing on this subject with one of her children at
a late period in life, when her judgment was matured, and her views
of divine truth rendered more clear by her approximation to a better
world, she said, "I lost my peace because I grieved the Lord by a
trifling disposition, but the Lord did not leave me;" then, employing
the language of the lamented David Stoner, she added, "I have been
converted a hundred times." To another of her children, after using
similar language she said with peculiar, emphasis, "I have been aiming
to please God all my life, _I can say that_." Her conviction was that
the work was real, but that at the time, she did not understand the
nature of it; and hence from causes clearly ascertainable, it was as
in many similar cases, soon overshadowed by circumstances of doubt.
The truth is, children are just as capable of _experiencing_ the
grace of God as persons of riper years; but they are not capable of
_defining_ their feelings, or of _understanding_ the great doctrines
of salvation,--and for this very reason, they are more liable to be
subjected to fluctuations both of feeling and purpose. It would be
well if some older people, who do not take the pains to obtain a clear
and intelligent view of the religion they profess, were not equally
unstable and from the same cause; if there was no occasion for the
apostolic admonition, "Be not _children_ in _understanding_; howbeit
in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men." The feelings
of children, when employed about the great subjects of religion and
eternity, are not lightly to be discouraged, even when mixed up with
much that a maturer judgment must condemn; they should be fostered
with solicitous care. The tender plant requires gentle culture; touch
it not too rudely lest you check its development; watch it carefully;
support its weak and fragile stem; tenderly remove what is injurious;
and give it plenty of scope, that it may put forth its young fresh
leaves; and it will bloom by and by with all the richer fragrance and
beauty. "Forbid them not," cries the Saviour. Let them come with their
first fruits, and lay the offering of their childhood unsullied by
unholy communion with the world at the Master's feet. Let them come
with their cherry lips, and sparkling eyes, and loving hearts. Let
them come before age has curdled their blood, and the pleasures of
life have blunted the keenness of their susceptibilities. Let
them come, let them come. The Saviour welcomes their approach. The
fragrance of the sacrifice they bring is precious in his sight, and
while he folds the little ones in his arms, he lifts his eyes to
heaven, and "rejoicing in spirit, says, I thank thee O Father, Lord
of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and
prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes, even so Father, for so it
seemed good in thy sight."

Providentially Mary Burdsall was under judicious direction, and
retained her religious purpose although she lost the sweetness of her
enjoyment. Her experience assumed that unsettled phase which often
characterises the earlier stages of youthful piety. Now miserable
from a consciousness of having grieved the Spirit of God, and again
hopeful, confident, and happy. Sometimes she was driven even to
despair, and admitted the thought that the day of grace was past for
ever. One day while in this state of feeling she overheard her father
conversing with a friend on the awful case of Francis Spira,[Footnote:
"Francis Spira an advocate of Padua, Ann. 1545, that being desperate,
by no counsell of learned men could be comforted; he felt, as he said,
the pains of hell in his soule, in all other things he discoursed
aright; but in this most mad. Frismelica, Bullovat, and some other
excellent physicians, could neither make him eat, drink or sleep; no
persuasion could ease him. Never pleaded any man so well for himself,
as this man did against himself; and so he desperately died. Springer,
a lawyer, hath written his life."--_Burton's Anatomy of Melancholie_.]
her mind was filled with great horror, and she was constrained to
seek refuge in prayer. While she was pleading with God the words were
applied, "Turn ye at my reproof," and the snare was broken. During
this period of mental conflict she steadfastly maintained her
connexion with the church; and thus escaped that total loss of
spiritual feeling, into which many, in similar circumstances, plunge
themselves by withdrawing from the circle of religious influence.
Her exceeding volatility of temper, which was the cause of her
instability, often occasioned her bitter reflections; and as it was a
source of trouble to herself, excited the anxiety of her mother, who
frequently said to her, "There's a wide world will tame thee." Her
own words in reference to this stage of her history were, "They never
turned me out of class, but from my thoughtlessness and giddiness,
I am sure, I was not a proper Methodist." Still the struggle between
grace and nature was secretly going on; and every new proof of her own
weakness but contributed to strengthen and establish her resolves.

About this time she became acquainted with Miss Barrett, afterwards
Mrs. Zech. Taft, from whose counsels and example she derived much
advantage. Her first introduction to this excellent woman occurred
while on a visit to her uncle Mr. Wm. Stables, who had succeeded
to his father's farm at Sandygate. It seems her uncle and aunt were
invited to meet Miss B. at a social party at Harewood, but being
otherwise engaged, it was agreed that Mary should go in their stead,
accompanied by her aunt's sister. As she left the house her uncle
said, "I hope they'll convert thee." On arriving at the place where
the party was assembled she found a room full of strangers, and
among them Miss B., to whom she was specially introduced as Richard
Burdsall's daughter.

This secured her a kind and hearty reception. After tea followed a
Prayer-meeting in which petitions were particularly offered on her
behalf. Her pride was wounded and she thought within herself, "If
they would but pray for themselves it would be all very well;" but
notwithstanding this revulsion of feeling the impression made by this
interview was not only salutary, but indelible. She felt and wept
much, and from this time gave herself more diligently to the study of
the word of God and prayer. Subsequently she had many opportunities
of meeting with Miss B. in York, and the spiritual benefit which she
derived from these interviews led to a permanent friendship.



III.

GOLDEN OPPORTUNITIES.

  "IN THE MORNING SOW THY SEED." Eccles. xi. 6.


Have you ever witnessed a glorious sunrise? Have you ever seen the orb
of day go forth as a bridegroom to run his race, arrayed in robes of
crimson, and purple, and gold? Then nature has taught you the lesson
that early opportunities are the brightest and best. Golden are the
early hours of morning, when the mind is most vigorous, and the powers
of nature, refreshed by sleep, are in full play. Golden too are the
days of early youth, before the heart is saddened by vanity, and the
spirit pressed down by the accumulating cares and responsibilities of
life. Let them be diligently improved, and they cannot fail to bring a
rich and profitable return. Therefore "in the morning sow thy seed."

Mary Burdsall was not indifferent to these opportunities. In the
beginning of life she formed the habit of early rising. She rose with
the lark and sang as merrily. She cultivated a taste for reading and
reflection; and although the natural vivacity of her disposition was
a constant snare in her path, she never lost sight of the purpose
she had formed of living for God. In secret she communed with her
own heart, and, the better to secure her growth in grace, commenced
a diary, which, with two or three short intermissions, occasioned
by sickness, was continued until within a week of her death.
Unfortunately a considerable portion of these manuscripts, including
a period of several years just preceding and following her marriage,
were destroyed by her own hands. What remains, is however no small
proof of her diligence and perseverance, as they extend to twenty
quarto volumes containing about 5,000 pages. They contain, besides
the record of her inner and outer life, copious summaries of the
discourses she heard; numerous extracts from books, especially of
passages calculated to impress the heart or direct the life; and an
extraordinary amount of original verse; for from the first she appears
to have adopted the practice of putting her thoughts into rhyme,--a
practice which when unaccompanied by true genius is generally a
profitless waste of time; but which in her case was made a valuable
means of personal edification, as well as of administering counsel,
consolation or admonition to others. Few events of public or private
interest, in her own family or in the circle of her acquaintance,
could pass without provoking her ready pen. Subjects poetical and
unpoetical were alike constrained into measured lines; which, if
not always remarkable for rhythm, were at least rich in evangelical
sentiment, and pervaded by deep spirituality of thought. Some of these
productions are inserted in this volume, in the order in which they
occur in her diary, not because they possess any literary merit, but
as eminently characteristic of her habits of thought and feeling. In
fact they are transcripts of her own heart, and she seems often to
have preferred this method of expressing her fervid emotions to the
use of cooler prose.

A few examples of the entries made when she was fifteen will suffice
to show what were the aspirations of her early youth:--

"This is the last day of 1797. O may I this day put off the works of
darkness, and put on the armour of light: and begin a new life with
a new year,--Lord, help me this day to live to Thee. Let Thy love be
shed abroad in my heart. Inspire the spirit of prayer. Let my few days
be spent in praising Thee, the Giver of all good gifts. Loose my heart
from every earthly object, and let my affections be set upon Thee
and things above. Lord, pardon my coldness, and help me in future
to double my diligence to make my calling and election sure.--During
service my mind was very much troubled; but glory be to God, He gave
me, in a measure, a praying spirit; and I trust He will answer His
own. Spirit's prayer. Lord, speak the answer to my heart _now_.--Went
with Miss Barrett to the Poor-house. She exhorted from, 'I believe in
the communion of saints, and in the forgiveness of sins.' After that
I went with her to the select band; she then came home, and slept with
me. The Lord blessed my soul in her company.--My mind is troubled;
but do Thou, who in every temptation makest a way for Thy people to
escape, deliver my soul out of prison, that I may praise Thee.--I
went with Miss B. to see some sick people. One man was mourning for
redemption in the blood of the Lamb; but, before we came away, he
rejoiced in the God of his salvation.--Lord, keep me from the vanity
of this alluring world. May I love Thee supremely. The Lord blesses
my soul greatly. Blessed be His name, He reproves me; may I take the
reproof.--A gleam of love was let into my soul at the meeting; but
after, I felt very dull and stupid.--I think I am willing to be any
thing, or nothing, only give me to feel Thy love in my heart. Do,
Jesus, increase my faith, but let it be now. Help me, I pray Thee, to
live as in Thy sight all the day long.--Called to see Ann F. We went
up-stairs and prayed together.--I have had more of the presence of
God the last few days. The Lord be praised. I want to have my evidence
made very clear. O shine on my soul, and make the darkness light
before me; that I may greatly triumph in the God of my salvation.--I
heard Mr. Simeon at Belfrey Church; it was a gracious time of
refreshing from the presence of the Lord.--Miss Barrett spoke at
Clifton. The power of the Lord was evidently felt. As it was a very
wet night we went into a barn, but it filled so fast, we returned into
the open air. Miss B. prayed that God would stop the bottles of heaven
for a few minutes; and, glory be to His name, He answered her request.
The Prayer-meeting continued some time, and several souls were brought
into liberty.--I gave way to a light spirit, which has done me much
hurt.--Lord, pardon me for giving way to lightness of spirit; help me
in future to redeem the time, and to take due care to prepare myself
for the great day.--O, Jesus, rouse me from my sins, and give me to
wake up after Thy likeness. Do fill me with Thy love. Let it flow into
my poor disconsolate soul, that I may serve Thee with all my ransomed
powers.--O let not my heart be set on the creature more than Thee; but
let me give myself to Thee without reserve. I go to school; Lord, help
me to learn the lessons of Thy grace as well as arithmetic. Drive this
dulness, both of body and soul away; that I may learn with speed
and delight.--Thou knowest, Lord, that I have not lived adorning my
profession; let the time past suffice, and let me begin to glorify Thy
name. Lord, save me from flattery, for Christ's sake. Amen.--January,
1799. Began to meet in band with Sarah B. O Lord, give us one spirit
with Thyself. I want, O Lord, to love Thee supremely above all beside;
give me, I pray Thee, the victory over myself."

These extracts bear, no doubt, the impress of childish thought; yet
they indicate that she had already formed large views of the nature of
inward religion. In her estimation it was a blessed reality of which
she might have a "clear evidence," and which could only reach
its perfection in the "likeness of God." Its principle was love,
controlling the most secret motions of the heart, and regulating the
minutest details of daily practice. This religion she proposed to
herself as the purpose of life. For this she earnestly prayed, and to
help her resolutions, she sought and cultivated the society of such as
were excellent in the earth. The select character of the associations
she formed was, perhaps, one main cause which contributed to her after
proficiency. She once mentioned to the writer, as a matter of profound
gratitude to God, that she had always mingled among religious people,
and only remembered one week in her whole life which had been spent
among persons not professing godliness. She lived and breathed in the
pure atmosphere of prayer and love, where the Holy Spirit loves to
dwell, until she became one spirit with Him.

The chosen companions of her youth were such as already enjoyed, or
like herself were seeking, the experience of divine truth. Among other
early acquaintance was Miss Nodes of Skelton Hall, afterwards the wife
of the Rev. Dr. Newton. This lady had recently become a Methodist,
and burning with all the fervour of first love frequently came to Mr.
Burdsall for counsel and encouragement: Her first interview with
Mr. Newton occurred at Mr. Burdsall's house in the following manner.
During the sittings of the District-meeting, Mr. B. had invited the
Revds. Messrs. Needham and Newton, with some others, to dinner; and
sent an invitation to Miss Nodes to come and join them: to this Mrs.
Nodes objected; but promised to call the next day and apologize. She
did so in company with her daughter, just as the party were about to
kneel down to prayer, and they were consequently invited in. After
prayer a hymn was proposed, which was sung by Mr. Newton and Miss
Burdsall, who had a clear and melodious voice of considerable compass.
Miss Nodes then remarked, that at Skelton they had to live by begging,
as they only had preaching occasionally; and if one of them would
go over and give them a sermon, it would be a great charity. Mr. N.
immediately promised to accompany Mr. Burdsall the following day;
and from that time commenced an acquaintance which resulted in their
union.

In many cases, and very commonly in the case of young persons, who
have been religiously trained, the process by which the mind reaches
the assurance of faith is very slow. "The going forth" of the Spirit
"is prepared as the morning." The first streaks of dawn bring a degree
of comfort, for there is promise of day; but the clear and unclouded
light of the Divine favour is yet distant. The doubtful twilight,
however, continues to expand and brighten, until at length the sun
peeps above the distant hills, or bursts through the morning cloud,
and all uncertainty is banished in a moment. It was thus with Mary
Burdsall. Two years later we find her still seeking the indubitable
witness of the Spirit. The work of grace was slow and deep. She
writes:--

"Father met our class; when he spoke to me I could not forbear
weeping. O that I could weep my sins away. J.T. and B.M. prayed and
mentioned me by name. This touched my pride. Oh! for simplicity!--In
the forenoon I went to Pavement church to hear dear Mr. Emmington. His
text was, 'Sirs, what must I do to be saved?'--A searching discourse.
O Lord, revive Thy work in my soul; probe me to the bottom.--I feel
a very hard heart; but, Lord, a touch, a look from Thee, can break
my heart of stone. O melt me into love.--Alas for me! I seem quite
barren, but is there not a cause? Yes. Lightness of spirit, love of
the creature, pride, and dislike, are sins that so easily beset me. I
am overcome by them. But, O God, Thou hast all power, now resume Thy
right. Let the powers of hell no more prevail.--In the class father
asked me, if I ever went to pray; I answered in the affirmative; but,
Lord, Thou knowest I am not so much in earnest as I was some weeks
ago.--Father called upon me to pray; I did not refuse, but have since
been tempted to believe I should be a greater hypocrite. Lord, make me
a Christian indeed in whom there is no guile.--Lord give me to enjoy
the reality of Christianity, I want to be thine. God help me to give
up my own will. Bless him whom I have given up with a very great
growth in grace."

[This entry refers to an attachment which met with the disapproval of
her parents and was relinquished in the spirit of filial obedience.]

"Just before tea, Mr. Spence asked me if my heart was right; I could
not forbear weeping. 'God be merciful to me a sinner.' What an
enemy is a light and trifling spirit!--I was grieved because I had
disobliged my mother. O for a meek and quiet spirit."

The particulars of the next two or three years are only to be gathered
from a few scanty notes attached to a small pocket Bible, in which she
had carefully noted the sermons she heard with the impressions made on
her own mind. The greater part of these are written in short-hand, and
consequently useless. But such as are intelligible prove that she was
in the habit of weighing the words of the preacher and applying them
to her own heart. Some expressions seem to indicate that the clouds
which had so long overshadowed her spirit were beginning to disperse
and give place to a serene and sunny sky. We quote a few examples.

"Oh! how happy was I!--I did not hear to profit, I was troubled in
mind. I felt it.--I long to find my all in God.--I felt the love of
Jesus precious.--I am answered.--Blessed, heart searching doctrine!--A
telling sermon but I was unmoved; how hard am I.--He like some of
his brethren harps at the gown and cassock.--I felt much
softened.--Memorable!--Alas! I profit little by all I hear; surely it
is because my faith is small. Ah. me! how long? how long?--A precious
discourse to me. He preached my experience.--The solution of the text
was a gratification, while I heard profitably. He made a very droll
remark when describing those 'who make their belly their God;' he said
'they make their kitchen their temple, their cook and butcher their
priests, and their belly their God.'--I felt my soul blessed and
encouraged while hearing of sin being destroyed, with an earnest
longing for its accomplishment. I felt the burden of indwelling sin
very heavy; O when shall the happy period commence that God shall be
all in all.--I staid the communion for the first time; how solemn!
I was humbled and melted down exceedingly.--O how infinitely short I
fall of walking with God! The love-feast was immediately after; the
master of the feast was there: I felt his presence and spoke.--Mr.
Sutcliffe's farewell sermon; may the Lord bless and reward his labours
in this place."

The most important memorandum is a collection of rules for the
regulation of her own conduct, adopted about the year 1805; and these,
we do not hesitate to add, were written not merely with pen and ink,
but impressed by the Spirit of God upon her memory and heart, for
those who knew her will be able to recognize in them the key of her
after life. They are as follow:--

"1. Let me rise early.

2. Never let me trifle with a book with which I have no present
concern; in applying myself to any book, let me endeavour to recollect
what I may learn by it, and then beg suitable assistance from God.

3. Never let me lose one minute of time, nor incur any unnecessary
expense, that I may have the more to spend for God. When I am abroad
let me be desirous of doing good; let me have in readiness some
subject of contemplation and endeavour to improve my time as I go
along.

4. Let me endeavour to render myself agreeable and useful to all
around me; by a tender compassionate friendly behaviour; avoiding all
trifling and impertinent stories; remembering that imprudence is sin.

5. Never let me delay anything, unless I can prove that another time
will be more fit than the present; or that some more important duty
requires my immediate attention.

6. O may I never enter into any long schemes about future events, but
in general refer myself to God's care.

  Direct me virtue's happy course to run,
  And let me be instructed by thy Son,
  In every station say "thy will be done."

7. O that I may be delivered from the least inclination to judge my
neighbours; and that henceforth I may find fault with none so much as
myself."

To these are added several extracts from the general rules of the
Methodist Societies; particularly those which refer to the use of
time, the government of the tongue, reading the Scriptures, private
prayer, and abstinence.

The standard of Christian character at which she aimed was high;
and perhaps this very circumstance contributed to delay the happy
experience she sought. She looked at herself instead of looking
directly to Christ. She contrasted her own deficiencies with the exact
obedience required by a perfect law, instead of simply casting herself
upon the blood which justifieth not the righteous but the sinner,
which believeth in Jesus. The simplicity of salvation by faith was
long overlooked, but at last the snare was broken; and about the
close of the year 1805 she obtained the deliverance she so earnestly
desired. We here quote her own words.

"While alone at Mrs. T.'s, the Lord was graciously pleased to visit
me with a manifestation of his love; increasing my faith, and applying
these words with power to my mind; 'The word is nigh thee, even in
thy mouth and in thy heart.' I had such a view of the willingness
of Christ to save by faith as I never had before. Notwithstanding, I
think, if I had been better acquainted with the way of salvation,
I should e'er now have been able to claim the blessing through the
merits of Christ. But it is so simple I overlooked it; and thought
myself wiser than I was. Now I begin to see with the Psalmist how
ignorant I am, even 'as a beast' before the Lord; but blessed be His
glorious name, I feel my confidence is in His mercy: yet I feel myself
the most unprofitable of all His hands have made, and wonder why to me
this boundless love."



IV.

THE HOLY ESTATE.

  "AND THEY TWAIN SHALL BE ONE FLESH." Matt. xix. 5.


Wedded life, perhaps more than any other, is a test of character; but
when entered upon "reverently, discreetly, soberly, advisedly, and in
the fear of God," contributes in a higher degree not merely to
earthly enjoyment, but to that which is the great end of life, human
salvation. The constant action of two wills, thus intimately brought
into contact with each other, must either inflame or mould the spirit,
just in the degree in which it is subjected or not to the influence
of divine grace; and where both parties are _governed_ by Christian
principle, the effect is mutual happiness and advantage. Nature is
subdued, and grace brought into full play. The sorrows, difficulties,
and temptations of life are lightened by reciprocal help and
affection; the inheritance in heaven is pursued with greater zest
because of united effort and encouragement; while the constant
discharge of the respective duties of husband and wife serves for the
development of the mind that was in Christ. Hence the Apostle Paul
speaks of the marriage state as a great mystery, representing the
union of Christ and his church. But marriage has reference to another
and not less important object, the training of a "holy seed." The
union of parents is intended to secure blessings upon, their children,
and where the divine requirement is prayerfully attended to, there may
be expected to be a fulfilment of the gracious promise,--"I will pour
my Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring."

In the prospect of assuming the responsible relation of wife, Miss
Burdsall thought and felt deeply. Her first anxiety was, that she
might find in her husband one who would help her in the way to heaven;
and the next that she might be able to discharge the duties of her new
station with efficiency and fidelity. The predominating desire of her
heart was to find her happiness in God, and to be conformed in all
things to his will. Two days before marriage she writes:--

"I feel this day my soul aspires heavenward, and my greatest bliss is
derived from Emanuel's side. Glory be to God, I feel I love him, but
long for more conformity to his will."

Mr. Lyth, who had solicited and won her affections, was the son of a
respectable farmer residing in the neighbourhood of York. Originally
designed for agricultural life, he had forsaken the plough to
undertake a flourishing business, which had been commenced by an elder
brother lately deceased: and being early converted to God, under the
ministry of the venerable Sutcliffe, the proposed union was every way
propitious.

The marriage was solemnized on the 18th of February, 1806, in the
parish church of Holy Trinity, York; and so far as the principal
parties were concerned with intensely religious feelings. Indeed Mr.
Burdsall's loud and hearty responses to the prayers superseded the
functions of the clerk, and somewhat astonished the officiating
minister. The wedding dinner was spiced with the presence of the
Rev. Samuel Bardsley, whose portly person, and beautiful simplicity
contributed not a little to the amusement of the younger guests: and
the same evening, the good old man preached an appropriate sermon,
selecting for his subject, the marriage feast in Cana of Galilee. Mrs.
Lyth's own feelings in relation, to this event, and during the first
few years of wedded life, are best expressed by herself.

"Memorable day! I gave my hand to John Lyth at Hymen's sacred altar.
I endeavoured to do it _by faith_, as well as I could; but felt
extremely stupified. We went to spend the day at Newton upon Derwent.
With me it passed more pleasantly towards the close, indeed, while we
were conversing about God on our way home, I found it truly good;
but when we came in sight of lay new habitation, the sensations that
seized my mind are better felt than I can describe. It is now six
weeks since I began to wear the matrimonial chain. I have clasped it
without one thought of regret, and through grace I hope I ever shall;
yet am conscious of my own incompetency to fill up the sphere I have
entered. Oh! my God, help me, help me. I bless God my mind is drawn
to seek my heaven in Jesus, although my earthly comforts are ready
to ensnare me: yet having been taught to know the uncertainty of all
transitory things, and that

  'The fairest things below the sky
  Give but a flattering light,'

I would, through grace strengthening me, give God my undivided heart.
Lord, here I am, take me, and possess me wholly.--Glory be to God my
soul lives. I feel 'drawn by the lure of strong desire' to choose
God for my portion. The last week has been one of trial, but I am
constrained to believe the Lord doeth all things well.--We arrived in
Scarbro' after being much favoured during a showery day; but praise
belongs to our heavenly Benefactor.--We took a walk to the church
and castle; where my dear John unfortunately lost his watch. After
searching for it in vain for nearly an hour, and thinking of returning
home, providence led him to the place where he had dropped it. Surely
it can be esteemed no other than the gift of heaven, since it had lain
an hour exposed to the public crowds that resorted thither.--The day
was fine, and we spent it in sitting a little in the house, and in
walking upon the sands and among the rocks, seeking for shells, the
beauty of which, with the wide ocean, and surrounding prospect, made
me wish for the pen of a scribe and the imagination of a poet; but I
found wishing to be a vain employment.

"About a quarter past eight in the morning my Eliza was born. Blessed
be God he graciously supported me in the trial. O that mother and
child may be devoted to Thee, thou God of infinite compassion. Give me
more grace that I may walk unblameable in thy sight, and before
those over whom thy providence has place me. Teach me to order my
conversation aright, and to keep myself unspotted from the world. O my
God, I have nothing to offer for all the blessings asked; but help me
to be thy devoted servant from this moment.

"1807. My dear husband has made a purchase, which is to me a source
of anxiety; but Lord, Thou knowest,--Thou rulest over all, help and
direct. O let us in all our ways acknowledge Thee, that thou mayest
direct our steps. Keep, O keep us from being a discredit to Thy cause;
and in this particular set us right.--I am left alone with my infant,
who begins to steal my affections more than I ever thought of. O
God, take my poor heart, lost a creaturely attachment be too strongly
rooted within my breast. Lord, Thou knowest me altogether, and the
secret springs of my affection, cleanse me from all defilement; purify
me from all my sins, and let me this moment yield myself entirely to
Thee; and as Thou deignest to visit dust, visit me.--Time glides away;
eternity approaches; and yet, alas! my mind fluctuates as the wind. O
my God, shall I never be firmly grounded upon Thyself. Come, 'Desire
of nations,' save me from anxiety respecting worldly things; let all
our temporal affairs be under Thy management, and our happiness centre
in doing thy will.

  How vainly have I sought in things beneath
  To place a confidence, which faithless earth
  Can never recompence! O firmly fix
  My soul on joys above the smiling skies;
  Let Jesus' love inspire, and fill my heart.

God bless my dear companion. Settle and fix his affections on
Thyself,--the supreme good. Let every faculty of his mind be at Thy
command.

"1808. Twelve o'clock at night. Lord, my mind aspires heavenward. Let
heaven, I beseech Thee, come into my soul. Let the radiance of Thy
love fill me with light and life divine. Give me sensibly to feel and
know, that Thou art reconciled to me, without Thy grace, effectually
undone. I feel something within my heart, is it the effect of Thy
love? If it is, let it more powerfully affect my soul, that I may live
in constant readiness to take my flight to yon bright realms above.
But is that bliss prepared for me? O let me feel it. This afternoon my
brother Richard died. Alas! how uncertain are all sublunary things!
He was just entering life, and lo! he is snatched away. Surely the
all-wise 'I AM' saw evil gathering, and kindly removed him to a
happier clime, safe from impending danger. Well, my Richard is gone;
while I, four years older, am yet alive. Mercy, that took him, spares
me with the same gracious design; 'not willing that any should perish,
but that all might have everlasting life.' May that blessed end be
answered in my poor soul, which without Thy enlivening presence feels
an 'aching void' which the whole world cannot fill.

"This day has been a day of affliction, but it drives me to the Lord.
My dear husband and children are entwined about my heart. Lord, help
me to give them freely up, and do Thou take, and possess me whole."

The following lines were addressed to a valued friend:--

  Whitehead, awake! and sweep the lyre again
  With touch seraphic to a Saviour slain;
  A Saviour, worthy of sublimest verse,
  A Saviour's love too mighty to rehearse;
  The purest theme that ever fired the tongue,
  Gave life to genius,--harmony to song;
  Fill thy enraptured soul with thought divine,
  And pour its fulness on the glowing line.

"1809.--Have had a tooth drawn. O that the dire root of sin were as
effectually taken away, never more to disturb my happiness; and that
pure perennial peace might succeed,--I have been visiting the sick:
but oh! how inadequate to the responsible task! O my God awake my
drowsy powers, and fit me for every sphere I have to fill in life.--I
feel more heartfelt joy in leaning upon Christ than anything else;
yet it is hard work to keep the mind disentangled from worldly cares.
Things needful to me, seem the most dangerous, and what I am most
liable to be ensnared by. In visiting some infirm people my soul was
deeply affected, when I considered their age, and ignorance, and my
own inability to instruct them. How great is the ignorance of mankind!
O that God would apply some word spoken by his poor dust."

During the time the Rev. A.E. Farrar was stationed in York, her
aspirations after purity of heart reached a crisis, and she was
enabled by faith to claim the promise; "Faithful is he that calleth
you, who also will do it." For some time her convictions were so clear
and distinct, that to use her own words she "durst not say she had
not received the blessing." But this happy experience--the Christian's
highest privilege on earth--was soon interrupted by doubtful
reasonings; still her conscience was

  "Quick, as the apple of an eye,
  The slightest touch of sin to feel."

As an instance of her conscientiousness we mention a circumstance
which took place somewhere about this time. A farmer, who owed my
father a considerable sum of money, had been repeatedly importuned for
payment, but without effect; and it was at length given up, as a
bad debt. One Sabbath morning, while she was sitting alone, he
unexpectedly called to settle his account. She said, "We have nothing
to do with receiving money on a Sunday; it is the Lord's day, and we
do not think it right." "Well," replied the man, holding the money in
his hand, "you might as well take it while you have the chance of it."
But neither argument, nor expostulation, could induce her to touch the
forbidden notes. The man therefore pocketed the money, and went away;
but not without an admonition on keeping holy the Sabbath day. No one
eventually loses anything by the maintenance of principle, and the
debt was honestly discharged the following week.

The solitary record of the year 1810, is contained in the following
lines, which may be regarded as expressive of her own feelings.

  Jesus, Thy glorious name shall still
    My musing thought and tongue employ;
  Whose presence doth creation fill.
    Be Thou my portion and my joy.

  Jesus! blest source of all my hope,
    In whom my spirit finds its rest;
  Whose precious blood, inspiring thought!
    Hath purchased heaven to make me blest.

  Where can a mortal language find,
    To tell such love when angels fail?
  "God did so love the world," and died,
    That love by justice might prevail.

  Drawn by this love, a witness I,
    That God to all the Saviour gave;
  Who willing are, may testify,
    He can unto the utmost save.

"1811.--I thank God for the blessed privilege of hearing the ministers
of righteousness, but lament their word makes so little impression
upon my heart. I seem a forgetful hearer, or as one that hears the
word with joy, but little fruit appears to perfection. Yesterday,
irritated by some frivolous cause, I was thrown off my guard, and
grieved the spirit of God. This occasioned a sense of condemnation,
and though now the Lord blesses me, I cannot forgive myself. O that
I again enjoyed the sanctifying influences of His Holy Spirit! Until
this is the case, I shall be whirled about by my enemies within. Lord
make me more in earnest, that I may never rest till again the sweet
power of sovereign love has possession of my heart.--I rose early to
attend the prayer-meeting, and receiving grace from Him whose birth
we commemorated, I fancied my hill stood strong; and that I should
be able to rise above everything I might have to try me: but alas! I
again proved my own weakness. My little charge were some of them sick,
others cross, all wanted me; so that all my graces were put to the
test. O that I had more patience, that I might sit 'calm on tumult's
wheel.' Lord, Thou knowest me altogether, I would not be a hypocrite,
neither wound Thy cause by impatience; Thou hast promised strength for
the day, and I am determined to cast my whole soul on Thee;--to have
Thee for my Saviour. At the lovefeast much was said respecting family
prayer. I bless God. This duty is my delight."

To a friend slighted in love, she writes--

  Alas my friend! what can I say to cheer?
  What sound is sweet to a distracted ear?
  Turn from the creature, disappointed, turn:
  Lament your folly,--deeply humbled mourn,
  Your disregard of Him, who died to gain
  Your worthless heart, and bid you love again.
  O! turn to him, who gave himself for you,
  Your love, your heart, your life, are all his due;
  No fickleness or change in him is known,
  _He_ loves and will for ever love his own;
  Here place your treasure, and here find your rest,
  Make God your all, and be for ever blest.

"1812.--Through grace I am resolved on the side of virtue. I have
peace in God, and a growing desire to imitate him in my daily walk;
but no marvel if all my best actions need purging from their dross. I
seem all pollution; yet my soul lays hold upon the Saviour, who alone
is able to purify my nature. On February 3rd, my sister Anna died,
eleven years old. I was called to witness the pleasing, painful, awful
scene. While kneeling by her bed, after a paroxysm of extreme agony,
as she had a moment's respite, my mother said; 'Ask her if she is
happy to lift up her hand.' She did instantly and said, 'A kiss,' and
so turned recollectedly to each, with a smiling countenance, while
her dying lips were but just sensible of the impression; then after
another short struggle she sweetly fell asleep in Jesus. So I alone am
left to tell it."

1813.--After adverting to a number of painful circumstances, she
adds:--"Praise God, the seizure of my own body, though by far the most
painful of these occurrences, has been the greatest blessing. On the
first attack I was stupified--but the Lord liberated me and supplied
grace in the hour of need. Thus have I experienced how suddenly
the Lord can take away the choicest of all blessings, health. Being
through mercy again restored, my soul derives its happiness from God.
I see before me broad rivers and streams springing from that
fountain, whence all solid comfort flows; but great weakness, much
unfaithfulness, many omissions and errors in myself. Lord increase my
faith, that I may enter the holiest by the blood of Jesus. For some
time I have met in band with Mrs. W. We have had many precious seasons
together.--A circumstance occurring which was misconstrued, put me
suddenly out of temper, and caused me much pain of mind, besides
displeasing others together with my dear partner. O my God, but for
Thy blood, I should lose all hope of eternal happiness; yet blot not,
I beseech Thee, my name out of the book of life; but if ever my heart
went with my words, I entreat Thee,--

  "Chase this self-will through all my heart,
    Through all its latent mazes there."

"1814.--Reflecting on the past--my mercies and ingratitude, my
warnings and neglect, my privileges and non-improvements, my
affliction and restoration to health, Thy love, O God, in ten thousand
instances, and my small affection, I wonder why I am still the object
of Thy care, but I see the cause in Jesus' blood. There the reason
lies. O might I here my nature lose, and gain the Infinite."

Musing on the loss of her children, three of whom had died in infancy,
she writes:--

  Blest mother! thus to yield to God
    The gifts so lately given;
  Blest babes I for you have cross'd the flood,
    And safely 'scaped to heaven.

I have been very much harassed with temptation of an awful kind,--to
blaspheme the blessed Spirit. My God, preserve me. I shudder at the
thought, and have necessarily been driven to God in prayer.--I have
to praise God for temptation; for seeking refuge in Jesus, my only
defence against my enemy, I have a firmer confidence in Him as my
Saviour.

  Whither, O whither, should I go?
    To Thy blest wounds I flee;
  No refuge can I find below,
    My help is all in Thee.

"The illumination! a crowded city! many devices! The face of the
people seems to speak peace, but Thou, Lord, seest the heart. Set my
heart right.--As the clock struck three I was awoke with the words;
'Put on the helmet of salvation and the weapon of all prayer.' For a
time fear crept over me, lest my husband and child, both from home,
should return ill; but as I meditated, the passage occurred; 'All
things work together for good to them that love God.' I was instantly
delivered; and all I could titter was, Glory be to God. As I lay
praising and praying, these lines arose in my mind.

  If time is so precious, and death on the wing,
  Oh! shelter me, Jesus, secure from his sting;
  Now open the fountain, and wash out my stain,
  That to live may be Christ, and to die may be gain.
  This, this is the honour to which I aspire,
  The grace to attain it is all I desire;
  Oh! fill me with heaven, through faith in Thy blood,
  Then crown me with glory, and lift me to God.

I have had a precious morning--arose a little before five, and spent
an hour alone. God was with me. Glory! Glory!"

"How time hurries on! Another year has almost stolen away. Where am I?
What am I? Thus much of time is gone; how much fitter am I for heaven?
I pause,--am alone,--but 'Thou God seest me.' On my knees, I ask Thy
mercy, and implore Thee to be mine for ever. Precious Jesus! I feel
Thee willing to save me, and a sweet confidence Thou wilt save me.
O! the sweetness of union with God!--My mind is troubled about the
future. Sensible of my own weakness, my children's welfare awakens my
concern. O my God, take charge of my little ones. While attempting to
instruct them to-day, my two little girls seemed affected. O let this
be the beginning of Thy fear in their hearts, that shall never, never,
depart."

Her anxiety on behalf of the salvation of her children was intense.
Her efforts were commenced with the first dawn of intelligence,
and continued with unremitting ardour until they were rewarded
with success. By timely instruction and caution, by counsel and
expostulation, by warning and reproof, by a godly discipline, by
frequent letters in which the "one thing" was never forgotten; by
prayers and supplications mingled with tears, as they knelt alone at
her side; by intercessions offered day and night in secret on their
behalf; by enforcing the punctual observance of religious duties, such
as reading the word, family devotion, and public worship; and by her
own pure example, she never ceased to train them in the way that
they should go. But her chief strength lay in ceaseless and effectual
prayer, which was urged in the spirit of him who said, "I will not let
Thee go, except Thou bless me." Is it wonderful, if her children and
grandchildren are found walking in the truth? For many successive
years, she was accustomed to address to each a few lines on the
anniversary of their birth. These were always replete with godly
counsels, and wisely suited to the age and circumstances of the
individual. The periodical effusion was anxiously looked for, and
highly prized. To our young imaginations, the productions of her pen
glowed with all the fire of Milton, and flowed with all the softness
and melody of Spenser; and if a riper judgement has robbed us of
the pleasing fancy, it has been at least replaced by the grateful
conviction that they were the overflowings of a mother's heart, and by
the blessing of God, contributed in a great measure to give an early
bias in favour of religious truth. A specimen written at this time is
here inserted.

  TO MY RICHARD.

  Unuttered feelings glow within my heart,
    Ah! in what language can I paint them best?
  That you, my darling boy, may know a part,
    Unconscious of what fills a mother's breast.

  Childlike and innocent your actions are,
    No thought of guile as yet within your breast;
  Alas! the wily foe, not lurking far,
    May soon corrupt and desecrate your rest.

  Might I unveil the snares, that scattered round,
    Beset your path from childhood to old age;
  But Love allwise, in mystery profound,
    Has hid in darkness all the varied page.

  Be it sufficient, grace is ever nigh;
    If in the path of rectitude you tread,
  No ill shall harm you; you will soon descry
    The tempter's snare, however deeply laid.

  Choose virtue, Richard, shun the path of vice,
    Let not ungodly youth your mind ensnare;
  Take this wise caution, "If they would entice,
    Consent thou not;" be sure that sin is there.

  Walk with the wise, that you may wiser grow;
    Let age teach wisdom, hear it with respect;
  It can in time forwarn, and danger show,
    Where you no secret mischief may suspect.

  In useful learning all your youth engage;
    From simple knowledge of your mother tongue,
  Proceed to figures; then, from stage to stage
    Pursue each science, though the way be long.

  By knowledge learn your ignorance to know,
    Nor dream you have the height of wisdom gained;
  No greater proof of ignorance below,
    Than loud to boast of what we have attained.

  Read useful books--the Bible most prefer,
    In it your Maker's will is clearly shown;
  Then bend your humble knee in secret prayer,
    That faith may make its precious truths your own.

  If tales of fiction should themselves present,
    Too oft injurious to the mind of youth,
  Throw them aside; and sacredly intent
    On your improvement, follow after truth.

  When you require relief, be history true
    Of your own land, and other lands perused;
  This will instruct, give entertainment too,
    While neither time nor talents are abused.

  Thus, in your youth, redeem the fleeting hour,
    That you in future life may useful be;
  By word and deed as far as in your power,
    To stem the torrent of impiety.

  Remember, as your present life is spent,
    Future reward or punishment is due;
  Oh! then improve the precious moments lent,
    And everlasting life shall wait on you.

"Praise God, I have a partner desirous of joining heartily in the
Christian warfare; often are we blest while we pour out our souls
together before the Lord, O for a closer walk with God."



V.

SHOWER AND SUNSHINE.

  "NOW MEN SEE NOT THE BRIGHT LIGHT WHICH IS IN THE CLOUDS;
  BUT THE WIND PASSETH, AND CLEANSETH THEM." Job xxxvii. 21.


That stage of life which immediately precedes a ripe age, when man is
in the full vigour of his strength, is not unfrequently like an April
day mingled with sunshine and shower. The care of a rising family,
and the accumulating interests of business and society, bring constant
alternations of joy and sorrow; designed by God to soften and
fructify the heart, which might otherwise become too callous under the
scorching blaze of the world. Happy is it, when these kindly workings
of a sublimer providence, cause the graces of his spirit to shoot
forth like "the tender grass springing up out of the earth by clear
shining after rain;" and when the experience acquired in seasons of
vicissitude, is treasured up in the heart for future use. Mrs. Lyth
had her April weather preparatory to the summer of her usefulness, as
will appear by further extracts from her journal.

"1815--My father Lyth left us to join the disembodied throng. The last
fortnight of his life was chiefly spent in prayer. I believe he died
penitent. Thou best of Beings! prepare me for the approaching trial.
In the fire may I lose nothing but sin. Fortify my mind, and let
patience have its perfect work, that by no pain I may fall from Thee.
Here I call to mind, that Thou hast brought me through six troubles; O
leave me not in the seventh. Let me again prove Thy faithfulness.

"I scarcely know how the last fortnight has escaped. O the rapidity of
time! well might one say, 'O time than gold more precious, more a load
than lead to fools.' I am thankful, all my solid happiness is derived
from God; and though I have many earthly comforts I can say, 'All
my springs are in Thee.' I long to drink more freely of those living
fountains, and to draw constant supplies from the inexhaustible
fulness of the ever-blessed and adorable Jesus. Oh! it is sweet to
meditate on this loved theme. Rising into God we lose ourselves, and
seemed wrapped up in Deity.--Having met with a little disappointment,
my mind is in some degree unhinged; I have been begging of God to
undertake the matter, and overrule all for the best, which I hope has
been the case; yet I find it hard to give up my own will. Lord, help
me. I accompanied my father and mother to see cousin Hannah, who is
apparently declining. Her prospects in life were exceedingly bright,
but happiness is not in them, as there can be no enjoyment without
health. What a mercy, afflictions spring not out of the dust: I am
again called to experience it. Our apprentice, servant maid, and
Eliza, are all in the scarlet fever. Better than I could expect
considering the pressure upon me, I am constrained to say, judgment is
mixed with love. May we lose nothing but dross, and shine brighter for
being in the furnace.--I am informed by letter that cousin Hannah
is no more,--it says nothing how she left this world. I long to
know--will to-morrow inform me? I purpose to be at her funeral, if
God give leave. O Thou, who wast to the Israelites both a pillar and
a cloud, if Thou go not up with us, suffer us not to journey; for Thou
knowest my heart, I wish to please Thee.--We went to Kirkby to the
interment of my late Cousin, who, I am informed, died happily. Nearly
her last intelligible words were, 'Blessed are the pure in heart, for
they shall see God.' So she closed this mortal scene, and left her
blooming prospects, fair estates, and all the bright anticipations of
youth, for the lone silence of the tomb.--I feel more endeared than
ever to the invisible world, being warned as I believe, by some
departed friend, to give diligence. I am also reminded by the death of
my cousin how vain are all things here below. Perhaps it was her kind
spirit--who can tell?"

  A QUESTION ASKED.

  Does marriage, like the features of a fair and lovely face,
  Lose all its sweet attractions, when age comes on apace?
  Do soothing acts of kindness and words of comfort go,
  When troubles are assailing, and pleasure's cup is low?
  No, surely heav'n design'd it more to ameliorate
  The _lonely_ state of humankind, when first He form'd a mate.

"1816.--I went to the School-room; and never did my eyes behold a
scene so pleasing:--boys and girls in different parts of the room
crying for mercy; while others were rejoicing in God. 'Out of the
mouth of babes and sucklings Thou hast ordained praise.' I longed for
the salvation of my three children who were all there, but I had no
power to take any active part; my mind seemed paralized.--In the
midst of our afflictions God has not forgotten us. Our Waller [an
apprentice] has obtained mercy, and Eliza's heart is touched. O
that God would save all our family. I have had some 'seasons of
refreshing;' but not enjoying the sanctifying influences of God's
Spirit, I have felt a disposition to be discontented with the
arrangements of Providence respecting the health of my children. I
daily mourn this inbred corruption but not sufficiently, or I should
be more in earnest to get rid of it. At present I feel a longing for
the blessed liberty which many express. O may I share in the baptism
which is now so gloriously shed upon this city.--The fifth day I have
spent in my new habitation; all is confusion, and must remain so for
some time to come. This would be a matter of little moment, if my mind
were not distressed by the affliction of my Eliza. So I find every joy
has its sorrow. Lord, as Thou knowest what is best for me and mine,
give me patience, and let every dispensation of Thy providence be
sanctified.--We opened our new shop. The first customer demanded
credit, and the second took up her money with her goods, and went
away with both. Providentially it was restored. We have now made
a fortnight's trial, and have great cause of thankfulness for the
prospect of success. The last few months have been full of toil and
anxiety, but thank God, I can say:

  'While blest with a sense of His love
    A palace a toy would appear;
  And prisons would palaces prove,
    If Jesus but dwelt with me there.'

I have been aiming, though feebly, to give God my heart. It is good
to come to the Lord in private; it is there I find my greatest
enjoyment.--For several nights I have suffered much pain; as much
I think, as my patience could endure. In one of the paroxysms, the
passage was continually in my mind, 'The wise shall inherit glory.'
Throughout yesterday found it very sweet. I am in part deprived of the
public ordinances, but find solid happiness in breathing my wishes to
the Throne, and derive sweet solace from Him, whose smile creates my
day.--Find in private with my God, I gain the most substantial peace;
at least I have not learned the noble art of being ''midst busy
multitudes alone.'--Our servant was taken dangerously ill. I think I
did not feel any disposition to murmur; but want firmer reliance on
the power of God, whose promise never fails. Have lately had some
blessed meetings with my God, perhaps preparatory to this trial."

"1817. To-morrow, two criminals are to suffer death for the crime of
murder. How awful from an earthly judge to receive the last sentence
of the law! but how much more so to hear from Thee that final
sentence, 'Depart ye cursed!' O, my God, let the cry of the prisoners
come up before Thee.

  In pity bow Thy gracious ear,
  Incline the sinner's heart to prayer,
    And draw him to Thy Son,
  Through whom, though vile he is, Thou wilt
  Remove the blackness of his guilt;
    Oh! let it now be done.

  Thou Friend of sinners, if I may
  Approach, O give a heart to pray,
    And let Thy Spirit plead.
  But few the hours _he_ has to live,
  O give repentance and forgive,
    Forgive the bloody deed.

At intervals have found it good, yea very good, while upon my knees;
indeed I must say my happiest moments have been there. Why am I ever
remiss in this duty, which brings me more solid peace than anything
beside? There, I converse with God; there, behold His glory; there,
forget self; there, get love to cover faults; there, assimilate to the
image of God. This week has been marked by the affliction of my two
youngest children. How painful to a mother to see them suffer! yet
Lord, Thou knowest, I would rather see them droop and even die, than
that they should live to rebel against Thee, and shut themselves out
of Thy kingdom. O my God, on my knees, I present them all to Thee.
Bless them with grace and understanding, and save them for ever.--I
have had to grapple with rheumatism. It is painful, but what in
duration, when compared with eternity? Nothing. May my soul, evermore
fly upward. What need in health to prepare for sickness! There is then
plenty to do to hold fast whereunto we have attained.--Cousin John
Stables has exchanged life for immortality. His last words were, 'I am
going to heaven, I know I am.' Blest knowledge in the hour of death!
but more exalted, they who daily live with the assurance 'I am Thine',
centering in God their hope and wish,--My dear little Hannah died,
aged twenty weeks. A sweet smile rested upon her countenance. O
Death! how art thou robbed of thy terrors, when infancy smiles in thy
presence! Have not been at my class for a long time in consequence of
ill-health: to-day I might have gone, but with shame confess, I forgot
the time. O Lord lay not this sin to my charge. My heart would not
displease Thee; my soul delights in Thee, and derives its happiness
and peace from God my Saviour: no merit in myself, but Christ is all
in all.--I would this evening offer Thee my heart; give me sincerity
O God, and let me know the sacrifice is accepted. I am under deep
obligation to Thee for having so far removed the pain from which I
suffered May ease be gratefully acknowledged by me, and let my life
show forth Thy praise. I bless the Lord for all the good I possess,
and am constrained to say, it is all divine. Have begun to read Locke
on the Understanding. Lord enlarge my capacity.--Enjoy better health
than for several months; for this may my soul be truly thankful. It
is good for me that I have been afflicted; I have learned to value
my mercies as the gift of heaven. My anchor is in Jesus; from him my
peace perpetually springs. I now feel he is my God. Yet the secret
motions of my heart concur with the enemy of my soul to bring me into
bondage, I long for victory. When will the happy moment arrive? Have
lately thought the Lord has something for me to do; I would not
bury my talents in the earth; but do Thou Lord, who knowest my
insufficiency, direct my way. Glory be to God, I am blest while
calling to mind his innumerable mercies. It is like lifting up the lid
of a casket to expose the jewels contained therein to the
light of the sun, whose radiance they reflect, and whose heat
they attract.--How sweet to be at the throne of grace! Have had great
freedom with the Lord while interceding for a fallen friend, over whom
I lament. O that God would reclaim the wanderer. My soul is sweetly
drawn out after more of the image of God, for to the present I have
but little imitated my Lord. God help me in my life to display every
feature of his character. My dear cousin Ann is, I fear, sinking, so
true is it, 'Man cometh up as a flower,' and is cut down; but she is
happy in God. This is cause of thanksgiving. Many of the excellent of
the earth are retreating behind the veil. May I work while it is day.
What a poor slothful soul I have been, when heaven shines so bright
above me. Now I feel resolved to work. Jesus, Thou seest my heart, aid
me that I loiter no more. A full salvation is what my soul aims at;
but ah! how grovelling and low are my desires! language is too poor
to express my poverty, when seen in the light of the Sun of
righteousness.

  O! when shall I from sin set free,
  Bask in the light of Deity?

Expand my heart and fill the wide expanse.--While Mr. Haswell was
preaching, a woman cried out, 'Bless the Lord; bless the Lord O
my soul.' I trust she was under divine influence. Mr. H. gave out;
'Praise God from whom,' &c. I began to suspect the power of God was
more eminently present than I imagined: this led me to seek after
it in my own breast, and to long for a more powerful manifestation.
Praise God, I could say,

  'Lo! God is here, let us adore.'

On my return home, I met the judge with his retinue returning from
court, lighted by torches. How solemn! But what, when the Judge of all
the earth shall descend from heaven with a shout and with the trump
of God! At His bar must I appear, and conscience that staunch witness,
give its unimpeachable evidence for or against me, O that Jesus, the
sinner's friend, may then sustain my cause. Praised be His name; faith
springs up in my heart, and encourages me to believe that I shall
receive the crown of life. Blessed hope!--Mrs. ---- breakfasted with
me. We had a truly blessed morning--our conversation was in heaven.
During the day I have been troubled with evil reasoning. When shall
this body of death be destroyed, and Christ be all in all? Visited
Miss D. in the asylum. She seems in dark despair; I got her to her
knees, and found it precious to my own soul.--Glory be to God I dare
believe. Keep me till I am fully saved. Am watching my William in the
measles; Richard has just recovered. What a mercy I am in health to
attend them; yet am afraid my too anxious care for them has checked
my zeal. Through mercy my soul lives to-day; I feel a divine appetite,
and am looking for the appearance of my Lord to the destruction of
all the carnal mind.--At Stockton lovefeast, the Lord opened my mouth,
both in the Chapel, and at a neighbouring house; I was constrained to
speak. May the imperfect hints thrown out be as bread cast upon the
waters, and what I said amiss the Lord forgive. The peace of God ruled
my heart.--The mournful tidings of Cousin Mary's death has reached us.
The day before, she was up sewing. How sudden a transition from time
to eternity! Although at the funeral, I cannot learn how she died. How
my heart is oppressed! She has left a fine smiling boy unconscious of
his loss, and her father, whose displeasure she had incurred by her
marriage, unreconciled. How my feelings are ploughed up! The training
of my children occasions me great solicitude. How shall I safely
steer, where so many make shipwreck? Without Thy direction and
influence, I too shall miss my way. Come then, thou heavenly Wisdom,
teach me to imbue their tender minds with truth, that the impression
may remain in riper years.--Another parliamentary election. O my God
elect me 'through sanctification of Thy Spirit.'--My mind suffers
keenly in consequence of a conversation with ----. Thou, Lord, knowest
exactly where the error lies; let it be discovered. If I am in the
wrong make me willing to retract. I want to be a Christian in deed
and truth.--It was impressed upon my mind to call upon Miss M. H., and
urge her to seek salvation, having long been a hearer of the Gospel.
I scarcely knew how to break through, as I had no particular
acquaintance with her. However, passing by the same day, providence so
ordered it, that she sat facing the door. I passed, but remembering my
impression, mustered courage and returned. After inquiring about her
health I told her my errand. She was affected, and said she had a very
hard heart. I replied, 'It is not too hard for God to soften.'
With much fear I undertook the charge of Miss Bentley's class, in
consequence of her indisposition, but trust the Lord will soon restore
her to active usefulness. The more willingly I offer myself to the
Lord, the sweeter communion I find with Him.--Repeated my visit to
Miss M. H., I believe in obedience to the influence of the Spirit
which constrained me--not intending to call at that time. I found her
sincerely seeking salvation, and endeavoured to point her to the Lamb
of God. My own soul was blessed while thus engaged. How shall I praise
God for His love to a worm?--Called again, when she told me she
had received a visit from the Lord. She durst not say her sins were
forgiven, but felt encouraged.--Having to pass through some things of
a trying nature, I felt fully resigned, and the throne of grace easy
of access. Keep me at Thy feet, O God, that I may rise in Thy likeness
and in all things do Thy will.--Mr. Moore remarked in his sermon,
'Happy is the man of one book;' my heart replied, So he is, for in all
I read, I find no book so sweet as the Bible; yet there are some which
are precious, and which I value as a treasure.--Another distinguished
mercy. After another attack of cramp the Lord has been pleased to
restore to me the use of my hands, which have been locked from three
o'clock in the morning until evening. May I never forget the Lord's
mercy towards me, but studiously labour to be found of Him in peace,
that when the awful crisis arrives, I may be ready."

"1819. I am still in a weak state of body, unable to attend to my
family. O Lord, support my mind. Feel resolved to cast my soul on
Jesus; and although I have to struggle to retain my hold, _will_ hang
on the Crucified."

This year was one of severe personal affliction, which continued
for several months. At one time little hope was entertained of her
recovery, and none that she would ever again be restored to active
life. Medical aid seemed utterly unavailing; but the Lord had chosen
her in the furnace of affliction, and by these means, inscrutable at
the time, was refining and fitting her for remarkable usefulness. At
length when the process was complete, contrary to the predictions of
physicians, and beyond the expectations of her friends, she was
given back again to her family, and the church. In reference to this
affliction, she says, in a letter to one of her daughters:--

"Your brother Samuel is put out to nurse; he is a delicate little boy.
I am at Mrs. F.'s out of Walmgate Bar, for the benefit of my health;
if it please God to sanctify the means. In some respects, I am better,
but yet very feeble; however, I am in the Lord's hands, and have been
for a long time his prisoner. I wish to keep my cause in his hand.
Poor Samuel! I every day expect to hear, that he has escaped to glory.
My weakness reconciles me to his loss, for the righteous Judge of
all the earth cannot but do right. Dear Mary will discover from my
writing, there is an alteration in me. To tell you the truth, I can
scarcely recollect how to spell; my memory is so much impaired by this
affliction. But thank God, I have the full use of my reason, and my
soul longs to awake after the image of God. Friends are very kind in
visiting me which makes the days pass more pleasantly. I ride out when
the weather is fine, but am able to walk very little."

On her recovery she writes:--

"I would raise my song of gratitude to my God, who, I am confident has
restored me in answer to prayer, though I am still very weak. During
my affliction my mind has been variously exercised; sometimes I could
cast myself with all my concerns upon God; at other times was much
depressed; once in the multitude of my thoughts within me, it was
suggested, as if a voice spoke to me, 'What things soever ye desire,
when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.'"

  I thank Thee for the comfort given,
    When agonized with pain;
  The love infused--the taste of heaven,
    That cheered my heart again;
  In answer to the faithful prayers
    Of many a fervent soul,
  Disease retired--for mercy spares,
    And makes the sinner whole.



VI.

GROWTH IN GRACE.

  "AS THE TENDER GRASS, SPRINGING OUT OF THE EARTH, BY
  CLEAR SHINING AFTER RAIN."--2 Sam. xxiii. 4.


God doeth nothing in vain. Cloud and sunshine, stormy winds, and
steeping rains, have each their appointed purpose; and in their season
contribute to bless, and refresh the earth; that it may bring forth
its increase for the service of man and beast. You have often seen,
how after a shower in the cheerful spring-time, the green meadows
have suddenly put on a fresher and livelier hue; and the tender grass
seemed to grow before your eyes. Just so, in the higher economy of
grace, seasons of trial and affliction have their definite design;
only here the effect is not determined by an irresistible law; but
suspended upon the conduct of man. The heart must be open to receive
the genial influences, which are thus mysteriously communicated;
the will must submissively bow under the dispensations of an allwise
Providence; and, especially, seasons of affliction should be seasons
of earnest prayer. Then will they be followed by a marked increase of
spiritual life and power. Mrs. Lyth benefitted by her afflictions; and
although she more frequently mourns over her own unprofitableness, her
growth in grace is clearly apparent in her journal, which we resume.

"1820.--Although I have the victory I cannot yet say the old man is
dead; some seeds of peevishness yet remain to be destroyed. Praise
God, I hate the garment spotted by the flesh. 'All peace, all love,'
is the desire of my heart, and the longing of my soul.--A day of
fasting and prayer; but separation from every thing that defileth is
what is pleasing to the Lord. May this be my continual abstinence.
Amen.--Not able to procure a substitute to meet my husband's class, I
ventured myself, sensible of my own unfitness, and earnestly begging
God to speak by me. One person went out, but whatever was the cause,
thank God, I felt that my work was with the Lord.--Went to see poor
old Sarah; found her confined to her bed but happy in the Lord: nature
was fast sinking. I wished her to have a nurse, but she thought she
could do alone, as she had a candle, and the Lord was with her: left
her, but found means to procure a nurse for the night.--A few days ago
I was awoke with the words, 'What shall I do for thee?' My answer was,
'Lord, that I may live more fully to Thee, and for Thee.' Unutterable
sweetness filled my soul, and now, while I write, I feel it still.
Glory be to God, His love is ever new. To walk with Him, transcends
all earthly enjoyment.--During the last week I have learned my own
weakness. Unaided by divine grace, I have no power to check trifling
conversation among professors; especially such as are older than
myself. Teach me how to act, when to speak, and when to be silent.
To-day felt it my duty to visit a neighbour, and met with a more
favourable reception than I expected. He has long been ill, and is now
in trouble. I told him that I had come to bring him good news,
that 'Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners;' and while
conversing with him on the necessity of an interest in the Redeemer's
blood, in order to forgiveness, he seemed to listen with attention.
May the Lord make him a witness of the saving power of the Gospel,
Some little matters, which require a patient and forgiving spirit,
have occurred to fill up my character as a Christian. Lord, help
me and give me that spirit which in Thy sight is of great
price.--Thirty-eight years old! How short the time appears! yet how
varied the scenes through which I have passed! and how different the
views I have had. Praise the Lord. With respect to the soul, I have
clearer views than ever. My feet are upon the rock. When I look over
my life, how blotted it appears! am lost in astonishment, that God,
who made all things, and upholds all things by the word of his power,
should stoop to such a wretch as I. O the depth of the riches of His
mercy to me!--I have received a letter from Cousin Ann, in which she
boldly confesses the cleansing blood. Hope it will prove a lasting
blessing to me; feel ashamed that I have not more openly acknowledged
what the Lord has done for my soul. By this omission, have clipped the
wings of my faith, and encouraged a diffidence, which I long to have
removed; have hesitated upon the plea, that I would wait and see
whether the work was genuine or no. O my Saviour forgive, and
condescend to teach one of the dullest scholars in Thy school.--Have
found the five o'clock prayer-meetings very profitable, and cannot
be thankful enough that I have health to go. At the prayer-leaders'
Lovefeast, said I could give up all for God, but have since asked
myself, Is this true? Lord, Thou knowest it is the desire of my heart
to give myself to Thee without reserve: accept the offering. I feel
Thee now pouring in Thy ineffable peace. My soul has but one object,
inward and outward holiness. O make me quite clear.--The intercourse
is open between my soul and God, but yet I have had to struggle for
it. O save me fully. This is what I want. Last Tuesday I felt I could
not doubt. Stamp me, Saviour, with Thy seal, and keep me ever Thine. I
again met Mrs. G.'s class. I feel myself more fit to sit at their feet
and be taught; but O Thou, who usedst clay to open the eyes of the
blind, use me for Thy glory.--Some keen things uttered by a relative
have wounded me to the quick. I feel innocent, yet, Lord, how little
I can hear! Give me the love that hopeth all things, endureth
all things, which rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the
truth.--Kirkby. I am reading Fletcher's Life. How it excites holy
desire! My earnest aspiration is after perfect love. When shall it
once be? Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly.--We went to Ribstone to
see Mrs. R. but did not pray at the close of the visit; my mind was
wounded on this account. The Lord pardon all my offences.--Cousin and
I found it good to pour out our souls before God, alone. At first my
mind felt hard; but by and by, the veil was drawn aside, and I enjoyed
a sweet manifestation of the Lord;--a settled peace but no overflowing
joy. My earnest wish is to be quite clear, for I am more than ever
convinced of the reality of the blessing. The cleansing power of God
puts us in a capacity to 'grow in grace,' and live to the glory
of God.--We walked to Barrowby, and took tea with Miss H. She is a
friendly girl, possessing the advantage of a polite education, but
wants the main accomplishment--vital godliness: she wept while I
talked with her. O that it may not pass away as the morning cloud! On
our return we had a blessed meeting with our God. I felt the power
to cast myself by faith upon the Lord; but still do not perceive the
direct witness of the cleansing blood: am resolved not to give up the
point until I obtain my suit.--I left Kirkby,--a place so congenial
to my inclinations, secluded from scenes of noise and excitement,--and
had a pleasant journey home, where I found all well. Praise
God.--Returning from the Lord's house, a beautiful rainbow attracted
my attention, and preached a second sermon to me; putting me in mind
of the covenant which the Lord had made with His people.--I am aiming
to keep the prize in view. I see lengths and breadths before me;
and my heart, thank God, is bent to pursue that which to me is most
desirable, viz., holiness. But I need stronger faith to enter in by
the blood of Jesus. Union with Him is sweet. This makes one thirst
for more. Many temptations assault me, but the reading of Fletcher's
Polemical Essay on Christian Perfection has been of advantage to me. I
am learning the method of bringing to God those evils and besetments,
which seem to be the main hindrances to my progress. I have much cause
of humiliation before the Lord, and wish to attain that sweet spirit
of abasement, which not only confesses its unworthiness, but _feels_
willing, that others should be preferred before me. I have need of
vigilance; my enemy is ready to seize upon the least advantage. To
Thee, O God, my soul looks up.--A dream, I had this week, powerfully
impressed me with the necessity of being faithful with our relatives,
and of living near to God ourselves. Private prayer has been
profitable, but do not know that I was ever so much beset with
peculiar temptation. Since I have become acquainted with the devices
of the enemy, have found another errand to the Lord.--Spent the
forenoon with some of the friends of God, and the poor. On attending
one of the women's prayer-meetings, find my name, has been omitted,
but believe it is for the best.

  'Make me little and unknown,
  Prized and loved by God alone.'

Last night I was troubled in my sleep, but it was sweetly suggested;
'God is our refuge--a very present help in trouble.' Glory be to God
for His promises; may I hang upon them more firmly than ever. To-day
my soul has been drawn after God; but when shall I be able to say
with Mr. Wesley, 'Now I have lived a day.'--Find patience a grace.
I especially need, both with respect to myself, my children, my
domestics, and the world. Had not the sacred Scriptures declared 'ye
have need of patience,' I should be more ready to reason with the
enemy than I am. But the word of God is a strong tower against
the assaults of the devil; here the righteous find a refuge and a
hiding-place.--What a poor unprofitable creature I am! Lord, I cast
myself upon Thee. Save a helpless soul, that feels no merit but in
Jesu's atoning blood."

"1821. Am ashamed to acknowledge I have felt a little impatience,
because my hands through stiffness, occasioned by cramp, have refused
to perform their ordinary duty. Forgive me, O my God; nor ever let me
repine at any of Thy dispensations to a worm, loaded with benefits as
I am. I seem a poor piece of useless lumber, but Thou bearest with me.
Let me ever live to Thee.--Although I usually sleep well, last night
I lay awake for some time, but my meditations were sweet; they turned
upon Peter's advice to those who had received like precious faith,
viz.; 'Add to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, and to
knowledge temperance, and to temperance PATIENCE,' &c. I have felt its
influence to-day. Praise the Lord for so divine an admonition; my soul
needs it.--The debt of gratitude I owe to Thee, 'O Thou Preserver of
men,' I feel glad to acknowledge, though I am unable to pay. Glory be
unto Thee for Thy renewed mercy to a worm. Help me to repeat my vows
to Thee, who hast graciously protracted my life, and through another
seeming death delivered me. Let the babe, thy love has given me, be
unreservedly dedicated to Thyself. But oh! how shall I tell of Thy
unbounded love to a worthless creature! My soul longs to be wholly
Thine. Help my feebleness; let me turn neither to the right hand
nor the left, but teach me all Thy will.--I am blessed with health,
surrounded by friends, and encompassed by mercies. How infinitely poor
is my gratitude to the Lord, when all these are considered! How is
it, Lord, that my affection for Thee is so cold, and my faith in Thy
infallibility so weak? Quicken me, animate my drooping powers, and let
me every moment live in Thee.--I have the witness within me, but daily
feel my own weakness. All my good comes from heaven, and requires
constant renewal. I have faith in God, but thirst for more. I want to
be deluged with the love of God.--A trivial circumstance has been a
source of mental exercise; but thank God, have had power to keep my
tongue. Let the issues of my heart be kept by Thee."

  ON THE DEATH OF NAPOLEON BUONAPARTE, MAY 5TH, 1821.

  He falls! Napoleon Buonaparte is gone:
  Who conquered thousands, conquered now by one:
  His strength diminished, and his glory fled;
  His kingdom taken, and his honour dead.
  Though clad in warlike state,--without command;
  A captive buried in a foreign land:
  Oh! might we hope the captive now is free,
  Escaped from bondage into liberty.

"In private I have been greatly blessed; but, oh! the sense of
ignorance I feel makes me ashamed: yet I know not that I ever felt a
deeper thirst for all that God can give. Come, Lord, and diffuse Thy
presence through my soul. I have been reading Bramwell's Memoir; how
desirable his life! How enviable his death! Help me, Lord, to follow
after, and to walk in close communion with Thee; that I may apprehend
that, for which I am apprehended in Christ Jesus.--At. St Michael's
Church the Rev. John Graham improved the death of the Rev. William
Richardson, who for half a century has laboured in York, and been much
esteemed on account of his ministerial usefulness. He gave a concise
account of Mr. R.'s literary and spiritual attainments. His Christian
character was excellent. His chief joy was in Christ crucified; and
his constant prayer, that he might not live longer than he could be
useful. His labours continued up to his last illness, which lasted
only a week, and his last words were, 'My pleasures are to come.' Thus
died this eminent minister of Jesus Christ, aged 76. To me it was a
season of especial profit; angels seemed hovering around."

  REFLECTIONS.

  Returning seasons bid reflection wake,
  And o'er the past a winding passage take:
  Ah! what a scene of change arrests the mind,
  Within the compass of five months behind!
  In many a home is hushed the voice of mirth,
  And sorrow, as a flood, o'erflows the earth.
  Here one, by sad misfortune followed fast,
  In hopeless indigence is plunged at last.
  Another, by disaster thrown aside,
  Has got a crippled limb to prop his side.
  There, death has made a breach, and left forlorn
  The widowed mother, and the babe unborn.
  Here, weeps the father o'er his orphan child,
  Who thinks it strange, for formerly he smiled:
  Oh! who can tell the sorrows of his breast?
  'Tis sad experience must reveal the rest.

  A few days since, a mournful crowd appeared,
  In sable garb, and to the church repaired;
  Ask you the reason of their measured pace,
  Why silent all, and tears on every face.
  Alas! the Pastor's dead, who, fifty years,
  The Gospel tidings sounded in their ears:--
  A man of God, endued with purpose strong,
  Who lived the truth he taught, and hated wrong,
  Full thirty years, the schools enjoyed his care;
  The sick, the poor, the Missions claimed a share.
  But now, we hear his friendly voice no more;
  His course is finished, and the fight is o'er.
  Come, hear the accents of his flying lips,
  "My pleasures are to come;"--the curtain slips,
  And hides what follows from our curious eyes:
  Enough! he joins the chorus of the skies.

  Another scene, and melancholy too;
  The bridegroom widowed, ere he pleasure knew;
  His hopes of bliss had soared unduly high,
  And little dreamt he there was danger nigh;
  But see! the throes of death his bride arrest,
  The barbed arrow strikes her beating breast:
  His hands have touched the cup, but ere he sips,
  The wine is hurried from his burning lips.

  Such are the sorrows which around I find,
  Diverse, and manifold as human kind.
  Let these suffice my gratitude to fire,
  And with unfeigned praise my tongue inspire.
  That I, so undeserving, still possess
  Unnumber'd mercies, through redeeming grace.
  Let each vicissitude my soul prepare,
  By patience here, for endless glory there;
  Where sickness ceases, and where sorrows end,
  Where no misfortune can the bliss suspend;
  Where death is banished, for the curse is o'er,
  And love unrivall'd reigns for evermore.

"I have greater pleasure in visiting the sick, and the poor, than
in visiting those who, as far as this world is concerned, are better
circumstanced; in the former case, my object is simply to do or get
good, but in the latter, I find it is in danger of being mixed
with other motives. Christ is the end as well as the source of my
happiness. Oh! to be saved in every word and thought, this is what my
soul covets. I feel I am getting firmer hold of Christ.--I have been
tempted to a spirit of fretfulness and ill-nature; praise the Lord for
the victory. I was enabled to come to him for help, and power; and by
ejaculatory prayer, found sweet access to the Throne. I can say it is
my chief study to live to please God, and to obtain a complete victory
over myself, which I find is no small conquest.--The prospect of my
children's return from school has supplied me with another subject of
prayer. I have asked for patience, perseverance, and firmness to guide
them aright. By simply coming to the Lord, I obtain help; and am sure,
that while I continue to act faith in His power, I _shall_ be helped.
Then help Thy servant evermore to trust in Thee.--Had purposed going
to the Prayer-meeting, but was prevented; I believe Providence guided
me, and appointed me another work. In talking to my family at home, I
felt great liberty; the Lord loosened my tongue. Oh! that the seed may
spring up, and bear fruit. I endeavour to pour out all my grievances
before the Lord. I know that He hears my prayer, and am resolved
to tell Him the worst of myself, as far as His grace enables me to
discover it. I am decidedly resolved to be the Lord's, for I can
obtain solid happiness from no other source; but the name of Jesus is
a cordial to my soul. More faith, and more love, is all I want.--How
frail I am! Conversing with a friend as I returned from the house of
God, I uttered an unnecessary word, and immediately felt that I had
grieved the Spirit of God. As soon as an opportunity of retiring
presented itself, I poured out my soul before the Lord, ashamed that
I should so often offend Him, whom I desire to love and obey above
all things.--In my class I professed the enjoyment of the sanctifying
influences of the Holy Spirit; and, blessed be God, though I hold the
blessing feebly, I do hold it; but the cry of my soul is, fill me with
all the life of God."

[The following lines, written after reading a piece in favour of snuff
and tobacco, will be edifying to smokers.]

  While some prefer the quid, and some the smell;
  There are who think that smoke doth both excel,
  I smile to see these votaries so misled,
  And think their several tastes are idly bred.
  Perchance one, here and there, may virtue find,
  In 'bacco' fumes, when much perplexed with wind.
  But sure, the human frame, frail as it is,
  Is not so subject to the qualms as this;
  Three times a day to need the burning herb,
  To cure the evils which so much disturb.
    'Tis since the fall, an idol demon tries,
  By sophisms deep, to close the wise man's eyes.
  While musing on the sacred word, they plead
  The blessing of the mind composing weed;
  Thus join their idol with Divinity,
  Whose mandate is, "No other God but Me."
    But hear them plead their failing cause again;
  "It recreates the powers to work amain,
  Dispels the phlegm, which on the stomach lay,
  And fits us for the labours of the day."
  But will not prayer, and reading recreate,
  Much more than smoking thus in idle state?
  And exercise effect more lasting good,
  If they complain of undigested food I
    O be resolved, ye smoking sinners, do
  Forsake your idol, and your God pursue:
  Deny yourselves, and nobly bear the cross,
  Esteeming all for Christ but dung and dross.

"At the Prayer-meeting Mr. Spence gave a short address on the subject
of entire sanctification: my faith was so much encouraged, I could
scarcely refrain from speaking aloud; and while on my knees I
exclaimed, many times, before the Lord, 'I will believe' On my way
home the words were applied, 'Now ye are clean through the word which
I have spoken unto you'--At the Acomb lovefeast, I confessed that I
could now give God all my heart. I did not feel any doubt in so
doing, although the enemy suggested, 'you are deceived' Lord, if I am
deceived, speak for Thyself; for I am determined to be Thine. Here, in
Thy presence, I humbly beseech Thee to set the seal upon Thy own work.
I dare believe. Let the transaction be ratified in heaven. I am set
apart for Thee.

"Newton. Having a little time to wait for the coach, I sauntered into
the churchyard. The solemnity of the place suggested the following
lines, while I stood and pondered."

  Still solitary place! Here silence reigns;
  Here griefs are hushed; none ever here complains.
  Here no ambition agitates mankind,
  Within the limits of a vault confined,
  Around the whisp'ring breeze, impressive, steals,
  And on my listening soul instruction seals.
  The solemn truth sinks deep within my breast;
  I, mortal now, immortal soon, shall rest.
  Ended my journey, with its hopes and fears,
  My deep solicitudes, and silent tears.
  Under some neighbouring sod, my bones will lie,
  And wait the summons from the flaming sky:
  When ocean, trembling in its briny bed,
  And earth, upheaving, shall restore her dead.
  Roused by the voice, that heaven and earth shall shake,
  At that momentous period, I _must_ wake,
  Among my fellow clay unknown before,--
  Must wake with horror, or with joy adore.
  Oh, wondrous scene! most awful! most august!
  Th' event is certain, and the purpose just.
  The Judge's eye will pierce the inmost soul,
  Each hidden record of the past unroll;
  No word, no motive, no minuter thought
  Escape exposure, into judgment brought.
  Oh! that these solemn truths, with equal force,
  Might rule my soul, throughout its earthly course;
  That every scene, and every hour, may give
  True witness then, to God alone I live!
  So with the saints in glory shall I rise,
  To hear the welcome plaudit from the skies,
  "Well done." Unbounded love! no tongue can tell
  What transports then my ravished heart shall swell.
  A worm! an atom! less than nothing I!
  By love redeemed from death, and raised on high.

"Wrote a few lines to Miss B. concerning her soul's welfare. She is
very obliging, but destitute of the 'one thing needful.'--Called upon
Mrs. Farrar--we prayed together. How much happier should we live if
the time, so often wasted in chit-chat, were occupied in prayer. Help
me, O God, against this soul-robbing evil. I found it profitable.--The
Lord is teaching me the happy lesson of telling all my heart to Him.
With respect to domestic grievances, I do not feel them to be so
great a burden as formerly. My conscience feels tender, and though not
always equally happy, I find prayer sweet, and the Bible my delightful
study. This is Thy doing, to Thee be all the praise.--Passing a
person, who was standing at his own door, I felt prompted to speak to
him about his soul. I turned back, and did so, inviting him to go to
the Chapel: but, alas! I seemed as one that told an idle tale.--I took
tea with Mr. T. While he was at prayer, my soul was so lifted up, I
could scarcely help expressing my feelings aloud. What a heaven, is
the enjoyment of God! Prayer is the life of my soul, and the delight
of my heart; yet I have to mourn over my weakness in consenting to
conversation, which some may think very proper; but which does not
tend to edification. I want to do all for eternity.--We received a
turkey and a basket of fruit from a friend. I note this, as it would
appear, the Lord is resolved, we shall lose nothing by entertaining
his servants;--a preacher with his wife and three children, strangers
to us, having come, as they had no other place of refuge, to stay with
us till Monday. 'Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for some
have entertained angels unawares.'--A very stormy day; but where
Thy presence is how delightfully calm. The Lord does not leave me
notwithstanding all my failings. I am nothing; I can do nothing; yet,
thank God, He has turned the bent of my heart to his testimonies,
and it is the delight of my soul to obey Him.--On my return from the
Lord's house, I dedicated myself afresh to God; fully surrendering
my soul and body, my time and talents, to His service. Praised be His
name, He ratifies the surrender 'on the mean altar of my heart.' I
feel the inward witness, 'Ye are clean through the word which I have
spoken unto you.' O God, I accept Thee as my Sanctifier, my Sovereign,
to govern and direct.--I have many mercies to record, among which
health is not the least; but of higher value than that, are the favour
and the peace of God. Lately I have experienced solid happiness in
Christ, sweet access to the throne, and delight in the ways of God.
In visiting the poor, and also in acting in the capacity of
prayer-leader, I have had some doubts whether I was in the path of
duty. I laid the matter before God, willing to work for Him, or to
be laid aside for Him. On opening my bible, just before I retired to
rest, my attention was arrested by these words, 'They shall not labour
in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the
blessed of the Lord, and their offspring with them. And it shall come
to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and whiles they are
yet speaking, I will hear.' Blessed promises! They appeared very
applicable.--By the midnight mail, my husband was unexpectedly called
from home, on very precarious business. May he be preserved from
everything injurious to his soul, however unfavourable to his health.
A day of much excitement, scarcely time for reflection; but in private
it was sweet to pour out my soul before God. I am desirous to know how
my husband proceeds with the business he has in hand. To know that
the Lord keeps him, and gives him health, would be a cause of
thanksgiving. He is in Thy hands, Thou Preserver of men, save him
fully. For some weeks past, I have been reckoning myself 'dead indeed
unto sin;' but the last few days my children have been very noisy;
I have thus been under the necessity of speaking loud, and sometimes
felt a little hasty in reproving them. This has awakened doubts of the
reality of my experience. Unfold to me, O Lord, Thy truth, for to the
test of Thy word, would I subject my life and practice."



VII.

TEMPLE SERVICE.

  "HOLINESS BECOMETH THINE HOUSE, O LORD, FOR EVER."--Ps, xciii. 5.


"Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord." The command applied
not only to the priest, who served at the altar, but to the Levite,
to whom the charge of the sacred vessels was especially committed. The
inference is, that the humblest officer in the Church of Christ ought
to possess, above every other, this essential qualification, holiness.
Purity is the secret of the Church's power. Wealth, talent, learning,
honour, are but instruments, which she can use; but this is her life,
because it is the breath of the Spirit of God, giving vitality to her
members, and energy to her action. God can use the "weak things," and
"the foolish," and "things that are despised, yea, and things that are
not;" but he cannot use the things that are unclean, unless it be
for purposes of shame and dishonour. When will the Church learn this
lesson? And when will she adopt the divine standard of judgment, and
estimate men according to their resemblance to Christ? So soon as she
shakes herself from the dust, she shall go forth in the majesty of her
strength, and become the admiration of the earth. Mrs. Lyth aimed
at purity. She had passed the region of shadows, and entered the
unclouded light of the Divine presence; but that very light, by its
intensity, only revealed more distinctly the sinfulness of her nature;
and created an absorbing desire after perfect holiness: she was thus
prepared by God for the service of His temple.

"1822.--In our private band-meeting, Mrs. W. mentioned a singular
circumstance. Being restless during the night, and troubled with
wandering of thought, she entreated the Lord to impress upon her mind
that which might be profitable. She fell asleep, and in a little time
awoke with the words, 'The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away;
blessed be the name of the Lord.' Sleeping a second time, she awoke,
with 'Precious in the sight of the Lord, is the death of his saints.'
A third time she slept, and the words, suggested on awaking, were
'Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: yea,
saith the Spirit, for they rest from their labours, and their works
do follow them.' A fourth time she awoke, and the passage presented to
her mind was, 'The end of all things is at hand; be ye therefore sober
and watch unto prayer.'--My soul is especially excited to prayer. In
myself I see no good thing, but many imperfections, and much weakness;
yet I hang upon the Lord Jesus, and thirst for a deeper baptism of the
Spirit. A few lines from Cousin E. inform me, that dear Ann, given
up by her medical attendants, is rejoicing in the prospect of eternal
glory. Praise the Lord. Though separation is painful, we cannot but
rejoice in the blessed anticipation of seeing each other again. It
only remains for me to be faithful.--My patience has been exercised
by one of my children. I scarcely know how to act, so as neither to be
too indulgent, nor too severe. O Thou, who hast promised, that crooked
things shall be made straight, and the rough, places plain, give ear
to my supplication, and in this matter point out the path of duty,
that at the last, I may present my whole family and say, 'None that
Thou gavest me are lost.'--While engaged in prayer, my soul was
blessed in such a manner, that for some time I could say nothing but
Glory, Glory. Surely this was a foretaste of the bliss, which shall
never end.--A letter informed me that cousin Ann wished to see me; so
on the following morning, putting myself under the protection of God,
who kindly took care of me, I left home. While travelling the spirit
of prayer on behalf of those, whom I had left behind, was sweetly
poured upon me. I found my dear cousin suffering from great debility;
but living by faith on the Son of God. A sweet smile played upon her
face, like the soft radiance of the setting sun. Grace shone in every
feature of her faded, but still lovely countenance. She tells me, it
is twelve years next October, since the Lord spoke peace to her soul.
We were kneeling in company with her sister, and the servant, by her
bedside. I was engaged in prayer at the time, and for this reason she
wished particularly to see me. Surely this is the mark whereby
the world knoweth us, 'because we love one another.'--As I was
distributing tracts, my heart was pained within me to see _how_ many
were employed on the Sabbath morn; and on my return, I wept to think
that, in the face of day, they could break a well-known command of
God. Lord, open their eyes that they may see. The spirit of my Ann
has taken its flight to the paradise of God, leaving many sorrowing
friends. Our loss is her gain; but nature feels.--In company with
Mrs. R. I collected for the Missions. We were wearied; but when
I recollect, how much more wearisome the work of the Missionary,
cheerfully will I undertake this labour of love; with a view to
alleviate their toil, and facilitate their success. I proposed to Mrs.
W. and Mrs. R. to meet me at the throne of grace, every morning the
following week, to pray for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit: we all
agreed. The appointed hour has been blessed to me; I have dwelt under
the shadow of the Almighty, and felt such a resignation to the will of
God, as I never felt before.--I was providentially led to see Miss B.
In our younger days we were companions; but in the course of time we
have become estranged. She is now on the bed of affliction, and wept
while mother and I prayed. She requested me to go again; if I can be
useful to her, O Lord, open the way, and speak by me.

--I went to see a man walk upon the river, which occasioned the
following lines:--

  I saw the man, with wondrous skill.
  Walk on the yielding stream at will,
    Sustained by human art:
  Not so did Peter, when to Thee
  He stepped upon the rolling sea;
    Faith did the power impart.

  So while on life's tempestuous wave,
  With timid steps I walk; O! save,
    Reach out Thy hand to me:
  My courage swells, while Thou art near,
  Nor foe nor accident I fear,
    Though wild the billows be.

  But safely on through peril glide,
  Supported on the dangerous tide,
    By looking unto Thee:
  Impossibilities shall yield,
  And faith a solid pathway build.
    Across the stormy sea.

I have had some family exercises;--scarce worth a thought, if I had
more of the mind of Christ; yet I have been able to tell my care to
God, and at his footstool, I have got rid of my burden. I enjoy the
soul's calm sunshine.--When I consider how time slips away, and how
little I effect for my own improvement, and that of others, I am
ashamed. My life appears so blotted, I can only say, 'God be merciful
to me a sinner;' but praise God, I can rely with greater confidence
than formerly upon his promises. I know I am his child, and my
happiness is in doing the will of my Father.--Mrs. Taft is with us. O
that the disappointment she has met with, (the refusal of the chapel,)
may turn out rather to the furtherance of the Gospel, and more
especially for the benefit of my family.--I understand she spoke in
the school-room with energy and power; and at the prayer-meeting which
followed, my Eliza was restored to the favour of God. Thus the Lord
out of seeming evil has brought good to my child.--The one thing is
daily the object of my desires and efforts. I want more clearly to
exhibit the fruits of righteousness in my ordinary conversation. Being
naturally of a hasty temperament, I need constantly to be baptized
with the meek, and lowly spirit of Jesus. Grant me, O Lord, my heart's
desire. I do feel Thy sanctifying presence, but O how I long for
more.--The Lord is working amongst the children. My Richard, at the
new School vestry, felt the drawings of the Spirit; and William, I
am told, cried out aloud. O that these early impressions may come to
maturity. My soul, praise the Lord for these beginnings. How shall I
best foster these tender plants: Lord, teach me to cherish the good,
and to correct the errors of youthful feeling. My father and mother
have entered the house we have built for them adjoining our own. We
had a prayer-meeting on the occasion, which was a blessed season to my
soul."

"1823.--For the last time, I visited Jane S. She was scarcely
recollected; but after a little time she requested me to pray. She
seemed very much in earnest. I endeavoured to point her to Jesus. For
a moment she revived; but in the night she died. So in one short week,
two are gone out of my husband's class.--This morning I felt great
power in prayer, and an ardent desire for full deliverance from every
besetment. In this spirit I entered into my family, resolving to
watch with all diligence; but alas! imperfection is stamped upon all
I do,--so many wanderings, useless words, and deviations from the
perfect law of God, that, were it not for the blood of Jesus, all hope
of heaven would be excluded. Yet in private I had sweet communion with
God. I have derived profit from the perusal of Lady Maxwell's Journal.
Some points of her experience correspond with my own: this encourages
me. Nothing seems so desirable, nothing so amiable, as momentary
living to God.--Mr. McKitrick brought me Mrs. King's class-paper,
requesting me to take charge of the class until she recovered. I durst
not refuse it, although I felt my inability very great. My mental
struggles since have been many. It is suggested I am influenced by
pride; that I imagine I can do better than another; only by casting
myself upon God, and resolving to leave myself in His hands, I find
help. O that I were satisfied, I am called to this work! By any means
discover this to me, and fit me by Thy grace; then gladly will I be
spent for Thee, who gavest Thyself an offering for me.--I went in much
fear to meet Mrs. K's little flock, among whom I felt liberty; but
afterward, my uneasy state of mind returned. O God, since all things
are possible to Thee, subdue my heart; let all within and all without
submit to Thy sovereign sway. One of the members requested me to read
the last chapter of the first Epistle of Peter, which I have done
several times, and found it sweet."

As Mrs. K. never recovered, and indeed died shortly after, Mrs. Lyth's
appointment to the office of leader was confirmed; an arrangement,
which, notwithstanding her deep sense of her own insufficiency, met
with the cordial approbation of the class. One of the oldest members,
who was present on the occasion of her first meeting them, says, "I
well recollect, with what profound humility, and with what fear and
trembling, she undertook the office of class-leader. While she was
confessing to us, that she felt utterly unworthy, and unfit for such
a responsibility, my heart rejoiced, that we were privileged with the
appointment of one, possessed of so many excellencies. She said, if
the Lord had anything for her to do, she durst not refuse; that He had
often employed very weak instruments to carry on His work; and added,
"Oh! that He may use me for His glory! Friends, you must pray that
the Lord may give me a double portion of His spirit, for I feel my own
helplessness." Then, on her knees, she poured out her soul to God with
great earnestness, that He would fully qualify her for the work which
had been imposed upon her." Her own conviction of duty was however not
so easily attained, and several entries occur like the following:--

"I again met Mrs. K's class, and found it very profitable to my own
soul: yet I am not quite satisfied I am right. O make it fully known,
and, if this is the path of duty, crown my feeble efforts.--None but
the true Christian knows the sweets of communion with the Father,
and the Son, through the blessed Spirit. 'Them that honour me I will
honour, came sweetly to my mind yesterday; by which I was led to see,
if I faithfully walk in His commandments, He will honour me with His
presence, and clothe me with His free Spirit. While pouring out my
soul in secret, the nearness I felt to Jesus is better felt than
expressed;--unusual power to give my all to Him without any
reserve, as far as I can judge of myself. Is this the work of entire
sanctification? Set to Thy seal, O my God, let the enemy no more rob
me of this jewel; but bear directly to my heart, the witness of
Thy love.--I have had many visits from above, but not without
interruptions. The use of more words than necessary has, on
reflection, occasioned feelings of pain. Oh! when will all my powers
be brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.--My wedding day!
Seventeen years I have worn the silken-chain; during the last, I have
enjoyed more of the life and power of God, and now the sacred flame
burns brightly on my heart. With respect to my marriage, I believe
it was solemnized in the fear of God; and an increasing union exists
between me and my dear companion. We have many a blessed interview
with God, when shut in from all beside. Oh the goodness of God to me!
His mercies have far exceeded my trials, and even out of my several
sorrows He has brought my greatest blessings.--At Mrs. K.'s class the
Lord graciously sustained me with His presence; my doubts respecting
this work seem now to disperse, and unless I am deceiving myself, I
am in the way of providence. I inquired of one of the friends, if
any time was fixed to pray for the revival of the work of God, and am
told, every Friday--fasting; hours of prayer; six, nine, and twelve in
the morning, and three and six in the afternoon. By the help of God, I
am resolved to join them. The Lord is blessedly with, me this evening."

  TO MY HONOURED FATHER

  ENTERING ON HIS EIGHTY-EIGHTH YEAR.

  Bending with the weight of years,
    See the hoary headed saint,
  Rise above tormenting fears;
    Suffer, but without complaint,

  Ready, as a shock of corn,
    For the Paradise above;
  Golden fruits his age adorn,--
    Fruits of holiness, and love.

  Though the outward man decay,
    Inward strength is daily given;
  Nothing can his soul dismay,
    Succoured by the God of heaven.

  He, the wise man's laurel, wears;
    In the path of wisdom found,
  Lo! his hoary head appears
    With unearthly glory crowned.

  Borne on time's untiring wing,
    Homeward fast his spirit flies;
  Now the city of the King,
    Flames upon his longing eyes.

  Brighter, as the clouds recede,
    Blaze its walls of spotless white;
  Deeper, from the throne proceed,
    Dazzling floods of purer light.

  Every birthday, nearer hies
    That unknown but welcome hour;
  When the saint in triumph cries,
    "I, through Christ, am conqueror."


"I went, by request, to visit a person who has long been confined
to her bed. She knows something of God; but ah! how slight is
the knowledge of even, professing Christians! After reading, and
conversing with her, I proposed prayer; but the master of the house
sat still. When we arose from our knees, I spoke freely and plainly to
him of his sinful condition. O my God, if I was moved by Thee, fasten
conviction upon his conscience.--I accompanied Mrs. K. to collect for
the Clothing Society, and while our benevolent friends bestowed upon
us the mammon of unrighteousness, the Lord blessed me with the true
riches.--Having taken a little cold, I was dull of hearing, and afraid
that I should not be able to hear the members of my class in the
evening. I betook myself to prayer, and the Lord graciously heard,
and so far restored me, that I had no difficulty. My soul was like wax
before the sun, while Jesus shone upon it.--My mind has been reproved
for reproving. Lord, I thank Thee for Thy secret admonitions; forgive,
and take all my powers under Thy control. I called to see Mr. Spence;
his natural powers decline, but heaven beams on his countenance. He
said, while he was putting on his neckcloth, in the morning, he had
been struck with the meagre and ghastly appearance he presented in the
glass; but the sweet serenity of his soul compelled him to exclaim,
'Welcome old man! welcome declining age! welcome death!'--I spoke
at the Prayer Leaders' lovefeast, but the enemy troubled me much
afterward: however, this much I will affirm--to the grace of God I owe
my all. I feel decided in my choice, hate sin, have the witness that
I am a child of God, and enjoy the comforts of the Holy Ghost; but
the clear evidence of entire sanctification I do not hold, though I
believe I have many times received it, and for a short time held it;
but, for want of boldly confessing the faith, have lost the blessed
pearl. O for the baptismal flame."

In the summer of this year she visited the Rev. John Nelson, then
stationed in Sheffield, to whom she was much attached. As was her
constant practice, when released from the claims of domestic duty, she
availed herself of every opportunity of doing, and getting good. Every
day was a sabbath of religious privilege. The church, and the chapel,
the social party and the sick bed, were made subservient to purposes
of spiritual improvement. With reference to a party of friends, who
were invited to meet her, she says, 'After tea the females being left
alone, each of us prayed; this is a blessed way to cut off religious
chit-chat.'

"Quarterly Fast. Mr. Haswell called upon me to pray, when the Lord
was pleased to humble me; for which I would be truly thankful. Make me
willing any way, only let my soul be brought into conformity with Thy
will;--willing to be little, that Thou alone mayest be exalted. My
nature is not willing to be thought little. During the day I felt a
humble dependance upon Jesus."

  ON OBSERVING A SIGN IN SHEFFIELD WORDED,
  "BRIDE CAKES AND FUNERAL BISCUITS."

  Ah! is the bridal-day,
    When festive pleasures meet,
  The presage, but of swift decay,
    Within the winding sheet?

  What then is man at best?
    A blooming,--fading flower;
  Immortal, in a mortal vest,
    The creature of an hour.

  Well then may death be joined
    Unto our festal days;
  Well may our pleasures limit find
    Within so short a space.

  To seek eternal bliss
    Within time's narrow span,
  Is man's best int'rest;--only this
    Can form the future man.

  Let dying mortals then
    Their foolish dreams forsake;
  Unto their rest return again,
    And Christ their refuge make.

  Then, even timid youth
    May smile upon the tomb;
  And festive moments welcome truth,
    Though clad in robes of gloom.

  By Jesus' death, is broke
    Death's dark and powerful spell;
  And, while to Him by faith we look,
    We know that all is well.

"While meeting the little company my soul was blest. O for spiritual
discernment and grace, that I may be truly helpful to them, and deal
faithfully. Visited a dying person who says, she dare not rest on
Jesus;--yet HE is a tower."

  ON THE DEATH OF POPE PIUS XIII.

  His Holiness, the Pope,
    Hath yielded up his breath;
  He, who could sins forgive,
    Hath no command o'er death;
  How wonderful! such power to have,
  And yet to sink into the grave!

  If sin, the sting of Death,
    His Holiness could draw;
  Why render up His breath
    Unto a conquered foe?
  Either, he fallible must be,
  Or sin hath gained the victory.

"I am thankful for the decision of character I feel. My daily want is
more of the love 'that conquers all, and every mountain moves.'--My
private communings with God are my most precious seasons. There I
can tell all my wants, unbosom all my griefs, reveal all my secrets,
expose all my temptations, and there the Lord graciously condescends
to visit me with fresh manifestations of His love and power. These
visits humble me, and give me to see, where my strength lies. Come,
Lord, and dwell in me, that every moment I may have the witness that
all I do is right.--I called to see my dear afflicted friend W., whose
eldest daughter is slowly sinking into the tomb. As it was the hour
we usually meet in band, we retired to pour out our souls before the
Lord. My friend seemed willing to give up her daughter, if only she
could be assured, that a divine change had taken place. The Lord gave
us the Spirit of prayer to plead on this account, and glory be to God,
in that same hour, He imparted peace to the dying child.--The night
was awfully tempestuous. I rose twice to pour out my soul to Him, who
rules the storm, and found sweet calm within.--After tea, Mr. Spence
asked me, why I had invited my friends. I replied, it was my desire,
that we should help each other to heaven. A conversation on holiness
of heart ensued, which to me, and I trust to all present, was
profitable. This conversation will leave no painful reflection. I
avowed that I held, though with a trembling hand, the power to love
God with all my heart, and felt the sweet assurance at the time; but
the next morning when I awoke, it was suggested, I knew not what I had
avowed. The satisfactory evidence was for a moment withdrawn; yet by
faith I still resolved to hang upon the Saviour. I did not long remain
in doubt, my peace of mind returned; and in the evening, while
engaged in prayer (Eliza being with me), the divine influence sweetly
overwhelmed my soul, and not mine only, my Eliza felt its power. Glory
be to God.--I took tea with Mrs. E., the person with whom I lodged
during my affliction. A sense of gratitude for past mercies stirred my
heart to praise; and the time, which might otherwise have been spent
in conversation to no profit, was spent in prayer.--I daily need the
sprinkled blood, and the clear assurance of the perfect love which
'casteth out fear.' I dare not doubt that I possess, in a measure,
its blessed fruits; but I long to rise higher, that no scruple may
remain."



VIII.

PASSING CLOUDS.

  "CAN ANY UNDERSTAND THE SPREADINGS OF THE CLOUDS."--Job xxxvi. 29.


Who can explain the involuntary emotions of human mind? How strange,
that often, on the eve of some great misfortune, a sensible cloud
should spread over the spirit; but whence it comes, or why, we
cannot tell! To say it is a coincidence is only an acknowledgment of
ignorance. Ought we not rather to refer it to the secret agency of
the spirit-world by which we are surrounded; but of which we know so
little? Perhaps God would thus timely warn us to seek refuge under the
shadow of his wing, just as we seek shelter from the storm, which the
cloud, that spreads itself upon the face of heaven, tells us is at
hand. At least, it cannot be without advantage, when such monitions
occur, to betake ourselves to more earnest prayer; then, come what
may, we shall find a safe asylum in Him, to whom belongeth everlasting
strength.--One of the first entries of the year 1824, is

  THE CLOUD WILL SOON BLOW OVER.

  Though far, and wide above my head,
  The dull portentous cloud is spread;
  With many a dark and massive fold,
  Love decks it with a rim of gold.
  The sun is shining still behind,
  The promise of a purpose kind;
  And, soon unveiled again, will dart
  His cheering rays upon my heart.
  Far brighter will His face appear,
  Than if no cloud had gathered near.
  Then, till the cloud is overpast,
  My anchor, hope, on God I'll cast;
  Assured while He is throned above,
  The cloud is only sent in love.

About a fortnight after penning these lines, her father, whose
continued life she had, every spring, hailed with a new song of
gratitude, was suddenly seized with a fit of paralysis, which in a few
days terminated his earthly career. A premonitory attack had occurred
in the preceding autumn, which at the time affected his speech, but
on recovering a little, he expressed his confidence in God in these
remarkable words: "It is rolled up; it is rolled up. I am satisfied; I
am quite satisfied. I am ready; when the Lord pleases, I am ready. The
Lord hath given me eternal life. I know the Lord; I shall not perish.
I shall not perish, for I am the Lord's." During the winter he had
rallied again, and resumed his labours in his Master's cause. Hopes
began to be entertained, that he might yet be spared a little longer;
but these were suddenly cut off. About the beginning of February he
was seized again, and it was soon apparent that this attack would
prove fatal. His last testimony to the truth was strong and clear, and
continued to be borne until the power of language failed. To the Rev.
W. McKitrick, who came to visit him shortly before his departure,
he said, in almost the same words the amiable Addison used to Lord
Warwick, "You are come to see a Christian, die;" and then added,
"Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. I used
to sing that in the Church, when I knew not what it meant; but now I
do." Not a shadow of a cloud rested upon the valley; it was full of
light: and on the 24th of the month he died, in the full triumph of
faith, esteemed and lamented by persons of every shade of opinion.

"This day in former years, I have hailed my dear father's stay among
us; but now, he has left our dark abode to join his friends above; and
this day, his death is to be improved by Mr. Hopkins New Street,
and Mr. McKitrick, in Albion Street Chapel. For some weeks I have
been under the chastening hand of God. My patience has been severely
tested; but I am thankful, in the moments of severest trial, I have
felt confident that not a stroke would be laid upon me more than
would conduce to my real good. Though the waves roll around me, I
can venture myself on Jesus. Here I find firm footing; here is my
resting-place; and in the precious atonement of the Redeemer, my soul
enjoys sweet repose.--I have been suffering from sickness, but have
had many precious moments while musing upon my bed. Through mercy, I
am again able to sit up, but am very deaf. This has occasioned a train
of reasoning. I have been led to inquire, whether the Lord in His
providence intends to depose me from meeting His people. But in
this, and in every thing else, I would resignedly say, 'Thy will be
done.'--The mercy of the Lord is again repeated. The deafness, from
which I have suffered, is greatly removed. Bless the Lord, who can not
only make the deaf to hear, but the heart to praise.--My little Anna,
after being lent to me for seventeen days, and finding nothing on
earth to court her stay, has closed her eyes on time, and opened them
upon heaven. So uncertain is earthly happiness. Perhaps my heavenly
Father, more securely to engage my heart, has kindly resumed the
gift; and transplanted to a better soil the flower, whose charms were
insensibly stealing my affections. I anticipated the delightful task
of rearing this tender plant to be a future comfort; but Thou, O Lord,
art righteous in all Thy ways. My feelings have been peculiarly acute,
but to Thee, O Lord, my heart is known. Teach me due submission to
Thy will; and as, by this bereavement, I shall, if restored to health,
have more leisure, may I dedicate it to Thee.--While Miss O. was
praying with me, I had such a blessed view of the inhabitants of the
world above, that for a moment I seemed to be there. At the Class I
was led to see the privilege of living by faith every moment. Since
then, I have been able to realize _present_ blessings. The perusal
of one of Mr. Fletcher's letters has been of service to me; also the
recollection of what my father used to say; 'I ask in faith, and bring
the blessing away with me.' Surely this is our Christian birthright.
Faith honours God, and 'without faith it is impossible to please
God.' Thanks be unto Thee, I can now live by faith; but I want to
lose myself in Thee, Thou vast unfathomable sea of love! Covered with
imperfections, I want to be plunged in the precious blood of Jesus.
Precious Name! Precious blood! the sweetest cordial of the soul.
I have had such a view of the way of faith as I cannot express; so
simple, yet so divine! Such a sweet deliverance from doubt! While I
feel myself nothing, I have power to apprehend God as my sanctifying
Saviour. What has the world to compare with this?--I rose before six
to hold communion with my God. Art Thou _my_ God? Yes; by that exalted
name, I feel Thou art mine. My soul longs for Thee. When shall I wake
up after Thy likeness? I have this evening met the precious charge
committed to my care. The responsibility seems greater than ever. O
may I watch as one having to give account.

"Sinnington. Nature now resumes its beauty, but the removal of my
beloved Ann, and the absence of my dear Elizabeth, make a mighty
chasm. Well; soon these separations will cease, and my freed spirit
soar to mansions of unclouded bliss. I have been tempted by the enemy;
but hold fast my confidence: may the faith, which purifies the heart,
sanctify my lips, that I may tell of all Thy wondrous love.--I visited
Mrs. B. a second time; she is encouraged to believe the Lord will save
her, for Christ's sake-without any merit of her own. Her husband was
more cordial than I expected from the account I had heard of him;
the tears started in his eyes while I conversed with him. I feel I am
employed as I ought to be, when in this way I render the least service
to a fellow-creature; but O how poor and feeble are my efforts! Since
I came here my mind has been variously affected; sometimes clear,
sometimes clouded; sometimes in prayer I have experienced unusual
liberty, and again a degree of coldness; but always a sense of the
approbation of God, with a desire to be entirely conformed to His
will.--Part of the day was spent in bidding the friends farewell, and
in visiting some of the poor; and now I have finished my visit to this
place, I can say, I have been endeavouring to please God, and in some
measure, benefit my fellow creatures; but my performances have been
so mixed, that I am ashamed before the Lord. Nothing but the blood of
sprinkling can wash away my defilement.--I went to the vestry after
the evening service, and selected a place, where I thought I should
not be observed; but the thought of the curse of Meroz, constrained me
to leave my retired position. I resolved, if any opportunity presented
itself, to engage in prayer; and truly God poured upon me the spirit
of grace and supplication.--This week I have paid a social visit both
to Mrs. R. and Mrs. W. Praise the Lord, I came away uncondemned on
account of anything I had said. This has not always been the case. I
am thankful for the inward teaching of the Spirit; for the desire that
every power of my body, as well as every affection of my soul, may be
wholly consecrated to God. This is now my prayer.--I have been much
affected to hear that an old man, whom I had intended to visit, died
yesterday. O God, forgive the omission and help me to be faithful. I
took an opportunity of seeing Mr. and Mrs. G., to converse with them
on the necessity of salvation: let Thy spirit work. The Lord has been
showing me what a poor empty creature I am; but gives me confidence
in His promise. I can cast myself entirely upon Him, who is willing to
save me to the uttermost. Glory be to God, my soul dares lay hold on
Jesus, as my full, and all-sufficient Saviour.--This morning I gave
Wm. B. an invitation to chapel; called on M.T.S., who is in trouble,
and advised him to read the 112th Psalm; saw Esther S., who is fast
declining, but seems to desire nothing so much as union with God; also
visited J.C., who is sick, but happy in God.--The means of grace
are refreshing, but these are not the only occasions on which I get
blessed. No; while my hands are engaged with my ordinary duties, I
can look up and call God Father.--My husband presented me with a new
visiting book, the old ones having been called in after the death of
Mr. Spence; and the whole concern placed in the hands of a committee.
Having formerly felt my insufficiency, I have sought help at the
throne of grace, and entreated the Lord, as the committee have thought
proper to send me a book, that He would give me a word in season, and
His blessing with my efforts.--The souls committed to me have been
laid very near my heart. Conscious of my own weakness, I asked the
Lord to put His word into my mouth, and bring it to my remembrance;
and to His honour I here record it, that I have never experienced
greater liberty.--In the prayer-meeting I was silent, and felt
condemned in consequence; and on Saturday night the conviction of duty
was still deeper, but still resisted, How much I need forgiveness! As
the result, barrenness came over my soul, which continued part of the
next day. The recollection of having petitioned God to take my soul
and body's powers, and then to refuse to employ my tongue in His
service, although He had promised to put words into my mouth, fills
me with shame and humiliation.--For some days I have been hanging on
Christ by naked faith, without much sensible comfort; yet have felt
as fully resolved to live to the glory of God as when bathing in the
beams of His love. To-night the sacred fire burns brightly 'on the
mean altar of my heart.'--I have many mercies to be thankful for,
though not recounted here. A moderate share of health is not the
least; my class increases, my family is well; I am surrounded with
friends; and above all, I enjoy peace of mind. 'What shall I render to
the Lord for all His benefits?'"

  The rapid moments fleet away;
    And on their tireless wings,
  Death rides, majestic in his sway,
    Subjecting Popes and Kings.

"1825.--My daughter being out to tea, I called to take her to chapel;
but the solicitations of her friends had induced her to relinquish her
intention: so I left her. But my mind was much pained; the case of Eli
forcibly impressed my mind. I think I too easily yielded to what
my better judgment condemned. I need the forbearance of my heavenly
Father, and wisdom to direct my children aright. I see great danger
in mixing with the world, and the company of outward professors is
equally perilous.--While Mr. Stoner was describing the character of
those, who have received Christ, my soul responded to the truth: I
felt the reality of the change in my own heart. The evidence of the
sanctifying grace of God has of late been more distinct; yet never
have I been more deeply convinced of my own nothingness, nor of the
exceeding riches of the divine grace.--This eventful month (February)
is this year ushered in by answers to prayer. Having a cold, and being
dull of hearing, I entreated the Lord, if he had called me to meet
his people, to give me power to hear. He graciously condescended to my
request and blessed me among them. Four new converts stepped in. O for
wisdom to instruct them.--I had a very pleasant visit at Miss C.'s.
Mr. Stoner, Sammy Hick, and two or three female friends were there. We
got to know one another's hearts upon our knees, and the Lord lent an
attentive ear.--My body is feeble, but my soul pants after God. I
want totally to abandon self, that Christ may be all in all. He is the
chief object of my affection, but I want to lay firmer hold upon His
omnipotent strength. It is faith that brings the power to exhibit the
graces of the Spirit, and to act acceptably in the sight of God."

  CHRISTIAN FRIENDSHIP.

  Friendship hails the rising joy,
    And shares the falling tear;
  Breathes the sympathetic sigh,
    And swells the common prayer.
  How it soothes the troubled breast!
    This charity divine
  Breathes the balm of heavenly rest.
    --May such a friend be mine.

"After my morning duties are discharged, I intend to devote the
Thursday of every week to the Lord, so long as health and opportunity
are afforded me; especially in visiting the members of my class,
ministering to the sick, and attending the school. I went out feeling
that I was the engaged servant of the Lard, and he has graciously
blessed my endeavours. One whom I visited is earnestly seeking the
Lord; and another, who has long been indebted to my husband, gave me a
sovereign towards the amount-unsought, unasked, and unexpected!"

  Father of all, and God of grace,
    Whose ever watchful eye
  Surveys the depth and breadth of space;
    Yet sees the sparrow fly:
  Behold my heart--it pants for Thee;
    The temple for Thyself prepare;
  There let Thy throne established be,
    Thy name engraven there.

"Much against my inclination, I paid a formal visit to ----;
providentially I was seated near a friend, who was willing to converse
on things conducing to holiness.--Among the Lord's poor my soul is
often blessed. This day, the day I have set apart for God, I wrote to
Miss B. respecting the Sunday class; and, after arranging my domestic
affairs, set forth to visit Mrs. D., then Mary H., who was sitting up
reading her Bible. As soon as I entered, she began to tell me, that
a great change had taken place in her views and feelings; and that
prayer and reading the word, were her greatest delight. I asked her
how long she had experienced this; she replied, 'About a month. You
had been praying with me; many things you said fastened upon my mind:'
then, laying her hand upon her heart, she added, 'I felt such a weight
here, I knelt down to pray; and after getting into bed again, it
seemed as if a voice spoke to me, 'Mary, the door is open:' from
that time I have felt such peace of mind, and pleasure in reading the
Bible, as I never did before.' Lord, Thou art able to judge of this
statement, and bringest men to Thyself, by ways and means unknown to
human sense. This occurred on the first Thursday I devoted to God.
Lord, make me faithful in the discharge of the trust reposed in me.--I
am this morning left alone; yet not alone. I feel a blessed sense
of the divine presence, which enables me to anticipate my heavenly
inheritance; but not for any merit in me: oh no! on Jesus hangs my
hope. To me belongeth shame and confusion of face; for my best doings
are polluted, and all my good is from Himself. Praised be His name for
the change effected in my mind. The saints of God are my delight,
the word of God my treasure, and communion with God my greatest
joy.--Through mercy, although feeble in body, I am better than during
last week. Yet even then I enjoyed peace, and when weakest, my faith
has been strongest; I could commit all into His hands; still I see
myself a poor empty creature. It is all of grace, through Jesus.
Precious name!"

  Afflictions, from Thy gracious hand,
    Unmingled blessings prove;
  The rod, prepared at Thy command,
    Displays a Father's love.

  Beneath its weight, submissive, Lord,
    Upward to Thee I look;
  "Expect according to Thy word,"
    A blessing in the stroke.

  May every pain be sanctified;
    And every grace improve;
  Till freed from dross, like silver tried,
    My soul is only love.

  No tear shall then bedew my eyes,
    No grief my bosom swell;
  The note of gratitude shall rise,
    Thou hast done all things well.

"My dear mother has had a fall, and has been much indisposed in
consequence. I am thankful to have her so near me, as it is a pleasure
to perform my duty as a child. In this, and every other relation, may
I be found faithful.--I rose very early, as I felt concerned about
my dear mother; and went to her room-door, between three and four
o'clock; but as Mary had fastened it within, I could not obtain
admittance. However, I betook myself to prayer, and commended her to
the Lord. This passage was strongly impressed upon my mind: 'The Lord
will strengthen him upon the bed of languishing; Thou wilt make all
his bed in his sickness.'--I spent the day at H., in the company of
some friends not decidedly devoted to God. The Lord kept me, and I
am thankful I came home without condemnation. I was favoured with an
opportunity of speaking with each of them respecting their spiritual
state, and the things of eternity.--For some time I have been
surrounded by hurry and excitement, and longing for a little
retirement. At length, in a way I did not expect, I am in part
secluded from my family. In this I am constrained to acknowledge the
mercy of God to an undeserving worm. Brought apparently to the grave's
edge, I have been refreshed with His presence, and had power to cast
myself upon His fatherly love. The enemy assaults me; but aware of my
own weakness I venture, powerless as I am, upon the boundless merits
of Jesus."

  How sweet is still retirement! How it calms
  The mind, and aids reflection! Here my soul,
  Unfetter'd, soars to converse with its God.
  I hear his Spirit whisp'ring round me now;
  And love, and gratitude subdue my heart.
  Yes, Solitude! I love thee, and enjoy
  In thy sequester'd depths, the bliss, in crowds
  I seek in vain. My God! my only joy!
  Yet, O blest Saviour, when Thy voice is heard,
  Amid the tumult springs a sudden calm,
  And heaven-born peace pervades my happy soul.

"A situation has offered for Richard, which we have hesitated to
accept or refuse, wishful to do right, and afraid of doing wrong. In
this dilemma, we cast ourselves at the footstool of mercy, my husband
and mother uniting with me, and were fully enabled to roll our care
upon God, who wonderfully undertook for us. I believe we have done
right."



IX.

MID-DAY TOIL.

  "SEEK THAT YE MAY EXCEL TO THE EDIFYING OF THE CHURCH."
  1 Cor. xiv. 12.


True religion is reproductive. A converted man will try to convert
his neighbour; and the value of his own experience may in general be
tested by the manner in which he uses his opportunities of doing good.
So true is this, that the Saviour said, "He, that is not with me, is
against me; and he, that gathereth not with me, scattereth abroad." An
inactive Christian is a contradiction in terms; for he is no copy of
his divine Master, who, morning, noon, and night, "went about doing
good." All the Scriptural symbols of the kingdom of God are expressive
of energetic action. The little cloud attracts to itself the moist
particles of the atmosphere, until it covers the whole heavens. The
seed germinates, and grows, till it brings forth thirty, sixty, or
a hundred fold. The leaven, which is but a minute form of vegetable
life, developes itself in every direction by means of little cells;
which again form others, and thus by continual reproduction, leavens
the whole mass. What Is the lesson? Every heart in which the kingdom
of God is set up, becomes a centre of life and action, exerting a
healing influence upon the corrupting masses of society around. And
oh! if every Christian professor were thus endued with power from on
high, what could hinder the progress of the truth? How would it spread
and prevail, until the whole world submitted to its sway!

Mrs. Lyth was imbued with the true spirit of Christian zeal. By
letter, as well as by direct appeal; by secret intercessions with
God, as well as by personal effort; she sought to win souls to Christ.
Instant in season and out of season, few came in contact with
her without feeling the force of her religious character; and
her diligence in visiting the sick, the needy, and the careless,
superadded to the faithful discharge of home duties, often affected
her own health. In the Autumn of 1825, she spent some weeks at
Hovingham, a small watering-place in the west of Yorkshire; but,
though only delicate through recent sickness, she sought her
relaxation in doing good. On the Sabbath she went round the village
to invite the people to the Chapel, and on the week-day visited the
afflicted and infirm. One case occurred here, which well illustrates
her persevering charity, even under circumstances of discouragement.
A young gentleman, educated for the legal profession, and the son of
one, who at an earlier period had met with her in the same class, had
come to seek relief in an advanced stage of consumption. She sought
him out at a neighbouring village; but when announced, he refused to
see her, and sent the not over polite message, that if it had been a
clergyman, it would have been another thing. However the hostess, who
was a Methodist, said, if she would come at such an hour, she would be
able to obtain an interview, as he went out riding every day, and
was obliged to pass through her sitting-room. She went at the time
specified, and for the purpose of introduction took with her a book,
which she offered to lend him. He just turned over a few of the
leaves, and not finding it to his taste, returned it, saying, she
might take it back. Nothing disheartened, she talked with him about
his mother, and her anxiety for his salvation; until at length she
prevailed upon him, though not without a degree of reluctance, to
allow her to pray with him. In a few days he was taken so much worse,
that he was obliged to return home; and with the view of obtaining
another interview, she wrote a letter, which she took to him, with
the request that he would kindly forward it, as soon as he arrived in
York. This he courteously engaged to do. On parting she said, "Well,
sir, as you are going to return, I must say farewell; perhaps we shall
never see each other again." "What," he replied, "do you think I am
going to die?" "No sir," she returned, "but neither you nor I seem
likely to live very long." The nail was fastened in a sure place.
Immediately on her return to York he sent for her, saying to his
mother, "You know whom I want; she must come every day." The account
of the visit is given in her own words. "I called upon Mr. ----; and
am thankful to find a blessed change in his spirit. I read to him the
eighth chapter of Romans. He cried aloud, and requested me to pray
with him, which I did; then his mother, then I, then a stranger.
Truly it was a blessed time; such as they professed never to have
experienced before. My soul felt the divine influence." These visits
were continued, until, in a few weeks, he exchanged mortality for
life. The last notice of him is, "I saw Mr.----, whom I found in a
blessed state of mind. As his outward strength decays, his inward man
is renewed day by day; his hope blooms with immortality. When I was
coming away, and bidding him farewell, in hope of meeting him again
in heaven, he replied, 'I have not a doubt of it.' I entertained the
hope of seeing him again on earth, but on Saturday night he died: so I
must now urge my way to meet him at the right-hand of God."

We continue our extracts:

"I find, that unnecessary conversation, even with religious persons,
and on lawful subjects, has a tendency to destroy the fervour of my
spirit.--Mrs. R, met the dear little company; the power of God was
generally felt. I proposed that we should meet every day at the throne
of grace, to pray especially for the salvation of some amongst us,
as well as for our own prosperity; and desired as many as approved to
signify it by lifting the hand, which was done by all. I have had some
blessed seasons while interceding on this account.--I was pressed in
spirit to visit the speechless man. After pointing him to the sinner's
only refuge, I knelt down; when the Lord shed upon me such an unusual
degree of the spirit of grace and supplication, that I was fully
convinced the man was blessed. On rising, I asked him, if he believed
the Lord would save him, to lift up his hand, which he did. I asked
him to repeat the sign, if he felt happy. This he also did. I am the
more encouraged, as, on a former occasion, I had solicited the sign
in vain. My soul praised the Lord on his account, and I came home
rejoicing."

  Farewell departed day! farewell for ever!
  From earth alone, thy flight, my soul can sever.
  My hope is anchored on the 'Rock of ages;'
  The storm in vain with fury round me rages.
  Farewell ye passing cares! though pain and sorrow
  May be my lot to-day, joy beams to-morrow:
  Within the veil, my soaring faith has entered;
  And all my happiness in Christ is centered.

"A precious day to me. The Lord enabled me to witness to the truth
before the great congregation.--I paid Mr. Stoner and his bride a
visit. He would have me pray a blessing on their union; but I did not
feel the same liberty I found in praying with the speechless man a
little after. He again lifted up his hand when asked if he believed
the Lord would save him. I went to see an afflicted person in the
hospital; a friend was reading to her; but when I entered, she ceased,
seeming wishful to hear what I had to say. As the Lord enabled me I
urged upon them the necessity of salvation. Before I came away the
number of listeners was increased to seven. The Lord gave me liberty
of utterance, and they earnestly pressed me to renew my visit. If this
is from Thee, O Lord, open my way. The afflicted person, whom I have
visited several times before, professes to have found peace more than
a week ago. Another of them wept, because she found out she wanted
something she did not possess. Upon the whole the Lord appears to have
directed my visit. May it be followed by a permanent blessing."

"1826. This afternoon was employed in seeking out the necessities of
the poor. On my return home I felt I had done my duty, but nothing
more. I can trust in nothing but Christ for salvation.--All I do and
say, seems poor and insignificant. I want greater power to live to
God; watching against the assaults of the enemy, guarding against
self, repelling vain thoughts, living a moment at a time, praying
always. I know this is possible; for 'all things are possible to him
that believeth.' Oh for living faith.--Visited a poor afflicted widow.
After reading and praying, she began to pray of her own accord; and
shortly broke out into praise, in a manner that astonished me; but it
was the Lord's doing. She expressed her confidence in such terms that
I could not doubt the truth of her confession.--Mr. Slack divided Miss
Bentley's class. What will be the result? [In consequence of Miss B.'s
indisposition, the class had been met by Mrs. Lyth for some time; and
had so much increased that division became necessary.] If I live till
next Sunday I must take my share of it. But who is sufficient
for these things? Anoint me, O Lord, with fresh oil. Make fresh
discoveries of Thy love. Breathe the Holy Ghost. Inspire the living
fire. Furnish me out of Thy treasury with arguments to defeat the
devil, and plead the cause of truth. Armed with Thy power, I feel
willing to be the hand, or the foot, only souls are saved, and Thou
art glorified. I was sent for by a member of Miss B.'s class, who was
very ill. The Lord was pleased to bless her while I was with her; so
that clasping her hands she shouted, several times, 'Glory be to God.'
As I returned home it was sweetly brought to my mind, 'Inasmuch as
ye did it to the least of these my brethren, ye did it unto Me.' The
infinite fulness of God surpasses all my thought;--a breadth without a
limit, a length without a termination, a height without a summit,
and a depth without a bottom. How I grieve that anything else should
occupy my thought! for sure I am, He is the only bliss on earth
designed for man to know. Two days I have been begging for the new
Chapel, and still I am requested to canvass the opposite side of
Walmgate. Lord, if this is the way Thou choosest to humble my pride,
make me willing to be the hand, or the foot, to help on Thy cause.--At
the close of the class, E. came to me, and by her silent, yet
expressive, countenance said, 'pray for me.' We continued a little
time longer, but she did not obtain her heart's desire. Lord, forgive
our little faith.--My mother and I started for Sinnington. During
the journey my soul rested in Jesus; and since our arrival I have had
power to look up through nature to nature's God; a gift not afforded
to every one because of blindness of heart. While cousin Elizabeth and
I were united in prayer, the Lord poured upon me such a blessing, with
the words, 'Ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you,' as I
cannot express. I earnestly long for the salvation of the inhabitants
of this village. Took tea with Mr. B. Many dainties, yet I have
greater satisfaction in visiting the sick than in gratifying the
palate. How much need have we to watch in every thing! O keep me ever
on my guard, and watching unto prayer.--My birthday. Three years ago I
was in Sheffield, and there resolved to devote myself to God; and ever
since, I have been endeavouring to do it. Still I am but a dwarf in
growth, yet will I not be unthankful for what I am. I feel the peace
of God in my soul, with an increase of those fruits that spring from
inward religion. To God be all the glory. The more I possess of this
divine power, the less I see in myself. O how great is the love of
God! To-day I would renew my covenant with Him. Here is my heart, O
take and seal it; and let it be Thine for ever.

"Scarbro'. I took up my cross, and spoke to some old women; but oh!
the darkness of the human mind! My medical adviser gives me permission
to bathe. O Lord, give Thy blessing. I had a delightful view of the
sea from the Spa. Nothing on earth is to my mind a more striking image
of Almighty power than this uncontrollable mass of waters, to which He
only can say,' Peace be still,' and it obeys Him.--When I went to the
Chapel, I felt considerable drowsiness, and was afraid I should fall
asleep; but I lifted up my heart, and entreated the Lord to remove
it, which He graciously did, and I sat under His shadow with great
delight.--After first giving myself into the hands of the Lord, and
asking His blessing, I bathed in company with Miss B----t. Afterward,
during prayer, while in the machine, the Lord graciously watered our
souls. To me it was a refreshing season. I was truly overwhelmed with
the precious love of Jesus; so that, when we parted, I went on my
way rejoicing, and praising God for the rich baptism bestowed on
His worthless dust.--My Richard was articled to Wm. Matterson, Esq.,
Surgeon. This has made me many errands to the Lord; and now, O God, I
leave him in Thy hands: still offering up my earnest prayer that Thou
wilt be his director and guide. I feel more anxiety for his soul than
his earthly interests. 'The ways of a good man are ordered of the
Lord.' I dare rest upon Thy word; therefore my earnest prayer is, that
he may be a man of God. O blessed Saviour, let my fervent petition
be heard. Save him, and fit him for Thy will.--This morning my waking
thought was:

  Rises the sun, his course to run,
    In robes of golden light;
  So may I put the Saviour on.
    And walk with Him in white.

  As flowers adorn the brow of morn,
    And scent the fresh'ning air;
  New graces, in my spirit born,
    Diffuse their fragrance there.

"With feelings of gratitude, I resume my pen, which has been laid
aside for some weeks, in consequence of domestic and personal
affliction. God has once more restored us; and I would therefore
acknowledge his loving-kindness. The rod has been needful, and the
desire of my heart is, that it may be sanctified to me and mine. My
dear mother continues ill, and much harassed by the enemy. O! for
faith to take hold upon the Saviour: through Him we tread down our
foes. I _can_ venture upon his atoning blood. How vast my obligations,
and how unprofitable my services, language fails to tell.--Mr. Bourne,
an old friend of my honoured father, came and conversed awhile with us
on the things pertaining to the Kingdom; then gave out a verse or two
and prayed. On leaving, he said, 'Well, Mary, I shall remember you,
and your family, and pray for you; and if I live to come to York
again, I will come and see you. I felt more pleased than if he had
given me gold and silver.--A day like spring; so clear, and warm, and
sunny. I entered upon it with strong desires after God, and a sweet
sense of his favour. His presence cheers my path, and smooths my way.
Visited a man apparently near death; awakened, but O how dangerous to
delay repentance until the last hour! After meeting my class, I called
upon Mary D., to whom the Lord has graciously revealed himself; we
rejoiced together while she spoke of the Lord's goodness."

"1827.--While interceding on behalf of my dear mother, I was
encouraged by the application of several suitable promises,
particularly, _'At evening time it shall be light.'_ The morning
following she told me of the comfort she had experienced during the
night. This must sustain my faith in future.--My husband has this week
declined business. Thou God of love, still guide our path. Let us not
'miss our providential way;' but draw us nearer to Thyself.--Taking
tea with a neighbour, whose salvation I have long desired, I felt
it my duty to speak plainly with her on the subject; and was greatly
encouraged by the inward voice of the Spirit, as also abundantly
blessed while engaged in prayer. Whether I was of any use, I know not,
but my work is with the Lord.--I went forth to visit the poor, not
knowing whither to direct my steps. I begged guidance from above, and
believe the Lord heard me; for, quite accidentally I was led to the
bedside of a woman, who had wandered from God; but in her affliction
had found out her error. She appeared much affected, and wished me
to go again.--Called upon M.H., upwards of eighty. She quoted many
promises, which were especially sweet to her. It is delightful to
visit such; another whom I saw, has been a persecutor, but is now
seeking salvation.--I called to see Mrs. Fettes, who has long been
a mother in Israel. My spirit was refreshed, while she spoke of her
experience of the things of God. Afterwards I saw Mrs. R.; with whom
I had a blessed interview, especially at the throne of grace. My
soul thirsts after God. I feel I am saved, but I want more.--Mr. Jos.
Mortimer conducted a meeting at St. George's Chapel, in which sixteen
or seventeen persons obtained the forgiveness of sins. One man, who
had been struggling about two hours, witnessed a good confession
before many witnesses. When asked how he felt, he said, 'I feel as
if I were in heaven:' and indeed his countenance testified the happy
change that had been effected. My two sons, Richard and William,
were much upon my mind; but they remain in good desires. Lord, fasten
conviction upon their hearts.--The power of God was eminently present
in the band-meeting. My two daughters, went to the penitent form,
seeking a full salvation; and there, glory be to God, they found it. O
that they may hold fast their confidence. My heart bounded at the
glad news, while tears gushed from my eyes.--In Fossgate school-room a
great number were made happy in God; I am told about fifty, and among
them three members of my class. Mrs. R----e and Mrs. R----n joined me,
at the 'eve of evening,' to pray for them. Whether it is in answer
to our prayers or no, thankful I am, prayer has been heard and
answered.--This evening twenty-three young persons, who have received
spiritual benefit, came to my little class. I felt myself very
inadequate to instruct them;--complete poverty. Lord, help me. Mr.
Mortimer accompanied me to visit a sick man, who, before we left,
professed faith in Jesus. O the unbounded mercy of God! I want more of
it. It is estimated that, during the week, not less than three hundred
have been brought to God: and among them my Richard. Keep him, O Lord,
near Thy side, and teach him all Thy will.--I feel cause of gratitude
to God for His mercy to my family. William has this night been brought
under divine influence; glory be to God;--a child of many prayers and
many fears, but God has found him out. O keep him, blessed Jesus. Now
all my family are brought to know God excepting little John; for whom
I pray, and believe God hears.--Mr. Slack divided my little company
(about seventy); allotting thirty of them to Miss G. O Lord, send us
both prosperity.--I have lately felt the constant power to pray; and,
though I have nothing in hand, I come to Jesus, and receive 'out of
His fulness, and grace for grace.' On Thursday I wrote to my dear
uncle, endeavouring, though feebly, to urge him to the pursuit of
inward holiness. O Lord, bless him, for Christ's sake. I think I never
felt a greater desire for the salvation of others. In this city the
Lord still continues to carry on His work.--I accompanied Mr. M.
to Heslington; we had a blessed little meeting. Three obtained the
forgiveness of sins. Surely these are the latter days, when times of
refreshing are promised. Every day souls are saved, and set apart for
God. In our parlour last Tuesday, Mrs. F. found liberty, as also her
daughter a few weeks ago.--Mr. Mortimer has been our guest the last
month, and will remain another week. He is a man of God. Next week
we expect Mr. Is. Clayton. I esteem it an honour conferred upon us to
entertain the ministers of the Lord; but a much greater honour, that
the Lord condescends to dwell in my heart. O may I ever walk, and
dwell in Him.--After a week of indisposition, mingled with much
excitement, I feel solid rest in God. We had a blessed time in the
band-meeting. I think I was never more fully delivered from the
creature. How sweet to live above the world! As I returned. Miss C.
joined me, and informed me what the Lord has done for her soul. She
believes He has taken full possession of her heart. I rejoiced while
she imparted the blessed news. She expresses herself clearly. O may
she ever hold it fast. I gave the following lines to Miss A. A. on her
birthday; may they be made a blessing to her.

"How important the season! Big with eternal results!--born for
eternity! Let it be a day of reflection, dedication, and prayer; and
if the following lines prove any assistance to you, I shall be amply
repaid.

  Again the happy morn appears;
  And nature, clothed in beauty, wears
  Her wonted colours;  and the rose
  In all its pride of lustre glows;
  Emblem of frail mortality!
  It buds and blossoms but to die:
  Too soon its glory fades away,
  The passing pageant of a day.
  In this fair flower,  your image trace;
  While youth sits smiling on your face,
  Secure those virtues,  which perfume
  The life,  when beauty fails to bloom--
  The rich adorning first designed,
  The vesture of a humble mind.
  Be yours, in rich abundance given,
  The treasure of an inward heaven.'
  Hence virtue takes its deepest root,
  And scatters fragrance in the shoot;
  Blossoms when youth hath passed away,
  Maturing for eternal day.
  Reflect;  the moment flies!  'tis gone!
  The year its rapid course hath run!
  What tidings have been winged to heaven,
  Since first the precious boon was given?
  Examine well;  nor fear to know,
  What truth may in its mirror show.
  Is this, your twentieth birthday,  blest
  With more of wisdom in your breast?
  Are your affections more divine?
  Do you in Jesus' image shine?
  More dead unto the world and sin,
  Than when you did the year begin?
  If fraught with truth our moments are,
  And swift to heaven the tidings bear;
  How should we weigh each act and word,
  And wisely think,  for thoughts are heard!
  At this important period pause,
  And unto God commit your cause;
  With firm resolve and earnest prayer,
  To meet Him in the clouds,  prepare.
  Him first,  Him last,  in all things own,
  Whose wisdom guides in paths unknown;
  Then, as the winged hours ascend,
  Shall blessings fall upon my friend;
  Till,  full of years,  matured you rise
  To claim your birthright in the skies."



X.

WORKS OF MERCY.

  "I DESIRED MERCY, AND NOT SACRIFICE."--Hosea vi. 6.


Mercy is the brightness of the glory of God;--the rainbow round about
the throne; wherein the pure light of Deity, too effulgent for the eye
of sinful man, is refracted, and presented under an aspect, which not
only reveals his manifold wisdom, and perfections, but blends them
in one bright manifestation of beauty, which even sinners may dare
to contemplate, with wonder, admiration and love. Jesus Christ is the
embodiment of the picture, being the brightness of the Father's glory,
full of grace and truth. While He enters the lowly abodes of humanity,
to contemplate its sorrows, and minister to its relief; the dazzling
effulgence of divine majesty is veiled under a covering of flesh.
Nevertheless, it is GOD who weeps with Martha, and Mary; who wipes
away the widow's tear, and speaks words of comfort to the outcast.
Incomprehensible Mystery! It is GOD incarnate, who suffers and dies
upon the cross to purchase life for His enemies. What a picture is
this! So far as it is capable of being reproduced, God loves to see it
revived in His children; and never does a man become more truly great,
or more faithfully represent his Master, than when, "putting on bowels
of mercies," he seeks by every means to alleviate the sorrows and
sufferings of his fellows. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall
obtain mercy." At this period, Mrs. Lyth's journal abounds with
instances of her benevolent exertions, but a few of which we can
transfer to these pages; yet they are ever recorded with an humble
consciousness of her own unworthiness. She proceeds:--

"I want to improve all my moments for God, but, on reviewing the past,
I find I need everywhere the blood of sprinkling. I am Thine, save me.
I feel Christ is precious _now_. He has my whole heart, yet I want an
increase of every grace, especially of patience, and meekness.--I feel
my own poverty is great; be it so, let me only receive more largely
out of Thy fulness. Humble, O humble me to the dust, but let Thy image
shine in me. While I write I am awed by the presence of Deity. Oh let
it continually surround me. Jonathan Saville met my dear little flock;
I felt my own littleness, while he spoke to us.--I accompanied my
husband to Barnbow, to invite Mr. Dawson to come and preach Dr.
McAllum's funeral sermon; which he consented to do. To me it was a
day of rich enjoyment, for my soul was happy in God. I recognized
His presence in the heavens above, and the earth beneath; indeed
everything spoke of Him. I took tea with Mrs. R----n, who desired me
to pay a little attention to the moral and religious character of her
son, resident for a time in York. O what a responsibility! I write
it here that I may remember.--Mrs. R----n has come to stay a few days
with us. On Tuesday, we breakfasted with a few praying friends at Mrs.
F.'s. While pleading with God a blessed influence rested upon all.
I felt as if let into God. What will it be when prayer is turned to
praise? To-day we had another baptism at Miss C.'s. The same friends
were present. Surely Christian friendship is one soul in many bodies;
who can express the unity?--'Jesus is bringing lost sinners to God;'
Glory be to God! I feel it my duty to pay more attention to my boys;
praying for them is not enough. I must warn, and daily inculcate their
duty and privilege. Lord help me.--I visited Mrs. F., and found it
profitable to converse with an aged saint; we were comforted together.
She said the Lord had sent me. It is true I prayed for direction,
and the promise is, if we acknowledge Him, He will direct our steps.
Evermore guide me.--Mr. Mortimer and his brother breakfasted with us.
While at family-prayer the latter, who had backslidden, began to cry
aloud for mercy; the Lord speedily came to his deliverence, and prayer
was turned to praise.--I went to the Sabbath School tea-meeting; but
doubted whether I was in my proper place. However, I resolved to send
William and John to the School, simply with the hope that their minds
might be impressed with divine truth.--Thursday. A day devoted to
works of mercy, both to the bodies and souls of men; in which I
prayed to be saved from self, and directed aright; but how feeble and
imperfect my efforts! I feel myself a poor nothing.--While visiting
Mr. S., who is in a dying state, I was much encouraged. He has
long been a hearer, but neglected to embrace salvation. While I was
pleading for him, he exclaimed, 'I believe, I believe.' I saw him
again the next day, and on asking him if he felt Christ precious, he
said, after a short pause, 'Precious, quite precious.'--I was much
affected by a circumstance related by the Rev. Robert Wood, of an
eminently pious man in ----; who has not been seen to smile for four
years, and when asked the reason, uniformly replies, 'The word of God
is true; the wages of sin is death; my son died in his sins, and is
now in hell. How can I be cheerful?' May this make me more than ever
in earnest in pleading for my sons.--I am aiming to have a conscience
void of offence in the sight of God and man; but, on examining my
doings, I am ashamed of them. I might have used greater diligence,
evidenced more love, spoken with greater propriety, cultivated a
more affable spirit. I might have been more pointed in address,
more constant, more humble, and in many ways have acted with greater
Christian consistency; but Jesus is my refuge. Praised be His name,
I love Him!--At the lovefeast Mr. W. stated, that a man in L---- had
five sons, for whose salvation he had importunately prayed, from
the time of their birth until he died; but without success. They all
followed his remains to the grave; and, as they were taking their last
look at the coffin after the usual service, one of them clasped his
hands and exclaimed:--'I once had a praying father; but there he lies;
and now I must pray for myself.' From that moment he commenced a new
life, and was soon brought to the knowledge of the truth. Within two
years the rest were all truly converted to God: encouragement for
parents.--I prayed that the Lord would direct my steps in visiting the
poor, and in this He answered me: for quite unexpectedly I was
sent for to the bedside of a woman apparently dying, and who,
being awakened to her lost condition, lamented the neglect of past
opportunities. While a friend was praying she began to pray for
herself, faith instantly sprang up in her heart, and she cried out, 'I
will believe, Lord help me, I never felt it so with me before.'--Glory
be to God, I am still a witness of His saving grace; though buffeted
by the enemy within, and exposed to temptation from without. I see the
path lies straight before me,--'looking unto Jesus,' who is yet alive.
If I proceed, I feel confident of conquest over all my enemies.--Mr.
Barnabas Shaw met my Sunday class and said, that once when preaching
in Africa, he exclaimed:--'What is it makes the Gospel so sweet?' One
of the natives instantly arose and said, 'Jesus.' Truly it is so. My
soul tangs on Jesus; here I find rest. The last few days I have been
endeavouring to live in the will of God, with some power to do it. To
God be all the glory for the work He has wrought. Yesterday I took
the sacrament with poor Mary F., who is praising God for the grace
manifested to her on a death-bed. How quickly time flies! Well, let it
go--

  If Jesus my companion be,
  My words and actions shall agree,
    The index of my soul;
  Meekness, benevolence, and love,
  Shall every secret purpose move.
    And sanctify the whole.

[The following letter was sent, with the articles specified, to some
unknown person in Nottingham; and the subject of it remained a secret
in her own bosom, until the copy was found among her papers.]

  "Dear Sir,--Having a little matter to put into your hands
  in aid of the Methodist Missions, I take the liberty of addressing
  a few lines to you.

  "The approach of your Annual Meeting at Nottingham
  reminds me of what I have seen and heard on such occasions;
  viz., that small donations, and comparatively trivial incidents,
  in the hands of your ingenious and able speakers, have often
  been turned to good account, and produced a very happy impression.
  This consideration induces me to mention a few
  particulars relative to myself, which otherwise would be impertinent.

  "When very young, a kind friend of mine, for whom I had
  a great affection, gave me a piece of silver newly coined, with
  which I was so well pleased, that I was resolved to keep it for
  the sake of the giver; or, as the common phrase is, to make a
  keepsake of it: and this resolution I held so sacred, that
  neither childish toy, or youthful pleasure, could wrest the treasure
  from me.

  "When in my twentieth year, it pleased God to bring me
  to the knowledge of His salvation; which so rejoiced my heart,
  that the natural consequence was a readiness on all occasions to
  contribute my mite to promote the cause of the Redeemer,
  through whom I had experienced such unspeakable happiness.

  "On one occasion it happened, that I had no money
  about me but this piece, which I had so long and sacredly kept
  in remembrance of my friend. As the collectors were handing
  the boxes round to the different pews, I began to argue in my
  mind the propriety of giving away my piece, as the best way
  of keeping it. The thought of laying it out upon myself I
  could not entertain for a moment; and was aware there would
  come a time when I could no longer retain it. At length, to
  test the propriety of giving it, I supposed I had done so; and
  afterwards met my much-loved friend in the world of spirits.
  I imagined she was well acquainted with what I had done; but,
  on consulting her countenance, I could not perceive the least
  mark of displeasure: on the contrary, I thought she gave me
  a smile of approbation. This determined me; accordingly,
  when the box was presented to me, I dropped my piece into it;
  and from that moment to the present, whenever the circumstance
  has occurred to me, I have always felt perfectly satisfied
  with my decision.

  "At the present I have a few choice things, bequeathed to
  me by a dear friend, now, I trust, in heaven; and I wish, as in
  the former instance, to keep them for the sake of the giver;
  but I can think of no means so satisfactory as that to which I
  have adverted. I therefore send them as specified in the margin;
  [Footnote: The articles were--a silver coffee-pot and stand, a
  silver plated tea-pot, a silver cream-jug, do. fish-knife, and
  half-a-dozen do. dessert spoons.] and request they may be
  appropriated to the furtherance of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus
  Christ.

 "Perhaps some may be disposed to question
  the propriety of such a mode of preserving their treasure; but, I think,
  I cannot do better than put the precious things to those which are
  most precious.

  "With most fervent prayer for the prosperity of Zion,

  "I remain, Dear Sir,

  "Yours most respectfully.

"My mother continues very ill; how it will terminate I know not. Her
affliction bows her down to the dust; and though she casts herself
upon the Lord, she seems to have no joyous feeling. I have been with
her night and day. Sometimes sorrow overcomes me; but the promise,
which I received some months since, when I was praying for her,
follows me daily: _'At evening time it shall be light,'_--At the
Watch-night service Mr. Wood desired us, on our return home, to take
pen and paper, and testify whom we would serve. To Thee, O Lord, I
plight my vows; in the strength of Thy grace, I WILL SERVE THEE. Thou,
who seest me, ratify the decision in heaven. Help me to perform what
Thou requirest of me. My talents, my time, my body, my soul; be wholly
Thine. Amen, and amen.

MARY LYTH.

  Here with the closing year,
    I would my vows renew;
  Humbly before Thy throne appear;
  In mercy do Thou deign to hear,
    Descend, and bless me now."

"1828.--When I awoke, this blessed admonition was given me for a
morning repast; 'Abide ye in My love;' and sweet it was to my taste."

  A BIRTHDAY THOUGHT.

  No cold wish do I express,--
  Many birthday's happiness;
  But in heart sincerely pray,
  God may dwell in you each day;
  Every day, a birthday prove,
  Born anew in Jesus' love.

"I was sent for to visit L.G., but she did not come to see me. Oh!
what a deplorable case! without God! without hope! and without desire!
Her friends, who had come for me, seemed concerned on her account.
Lord, lay to Thy mighty hand; the work is Thine. Praised be Thy name,
for opening my eyes, once equally blind, though at a much earlier
period. I am a much greater debtor to grace, because of its long
continuance, great forbearance, and incessant efforts to win my
worthless heart."

  MY WEDDING DAY. LINES ADDRESSED TO MY HUSBAND.

  Full thrice seven years I've shared your home and name,
  Nor yet extinguished is affection's flame:
  By reason tempered, now with steady heat,
  It brighter glows, fed by endearments sweet.
  Hail then the day, that made us one on earth,
  Yet not with pipe, and song, and foolish mirth;
  Bather to God let us our vows repay
  With hearts united;--at His footstool say
  "We will be Thine; call us Thy love, Thy bride,
  And let us shelter in Thy bleeding side."
  So when dissolved the matrimonial chain,
  We die, to live; and live, to meet again.
  Transporting thought! through our Redeemer's love,
  We have the promise of a house above;
  Death disappears, with all his sable train,
  And light, and life, and love for ever reign.
  Come then, my love, let us together rise,
  Forget the things behind, and seek the prize;
  By fervency of spirit daily show
  We pilgrims are, and sojourners below:
  And should some storm of fierce affliction come,
  Portending shipwreck in the sight of home;
  In Jesus anchored, strength shall be supplied,
  Till we the fury of the storm outride;
  And reach the haven of serene repose,
  Where all our sorrows shall for ever close.
  Amen, so be it, let our hearts reply,--
  In Christ made one,--in Him to live and die;
  In life, our happiness united be,
  In death, divided not,--eternally.

"I have given my husband a copy of these lines this morning, proposing
that we devote one hour for the special purpose of dedicating
ourselves to the Lord. May we do it with unfeigned hearts. I
feel humbled on account of the past; resolved at the present; and
encouraged for the future.--Having occasion to administer reproof, I
spoke with greater severity than the circumstances required. O when
shall I possess that self-government, which tempers every word and
action. Though suffering from indisposition, my mind is kept in peace.
Unworthy as I am, Christ is precious."

  ADDRESSED TO MY LITTLE JOHN, THIS DAY SEVEN YEARS OLD.

  Linked with the memories of the day,
    Your name the first appears;
  "A little stranger," did they say,
  "A transient visit comes to pay,"
  And still we hail your longer stay
    Though now 'tis full seven years.

  My lovely boy, your sojourn here,
    Awakens anxious care;
  Your tender mind aright to rear;
  Your steps to guard from danger near;
  Oh! might the God of mercy hear,
    And bless a mother's prayer.

  Know then, my child, God speaks to-day,
    "My son, give me thy heart."
  Oh! will you not without delay,
  In secret go to God and pray,
  That he would take your sins away,
    And His pure love impart?

  I'm sure He loves to hear you pray;
    To-day then, do begin;
  He'll hearken unto what you say,
  And never turn His ear away,
  But answer you from day to day,
    If you will give up sin.

  I love you, John, you know I do;
    God loves you more than I;
  As once on Samuel, now on you
  He calls, O may you answer too;
  "Speak, Lord," Thy servant's heart renew,
    For at Thy feet I lie.

  Good children ever are inclined
    Obediently to live;
  Humble, and teachable, and kind,
  They wish to know the Saviour's mind,
  And often seek that they may find,
    What God alone can give.

"As I went to meet my class it was suggested, as it was also the last
time, 'Who hath reaquired this at your hands?' Is it from an enemy?
or am I in a wrong position? The people seem to prosper, and the Lord
gives me liberty among them; but often has a cloud gathered over my
spirit when I have been going to meet them. O Lord, remove my doubts,
and guide me by Thy counsel. I wish to sink into Thy will; use me or
lay me aside; only let Thy will be done.--The last week has been to
many a season of high enjoyment; but for myself, although I rejoice in
the success of missions, my soul has not yet learned to preserve its
centre in the midst of the excitement, which on such occasions often
falls to my lot. Mr. and Mrs. Isaac were with us from Monday till
Wednesday; and on Friday afternoon, the Yorkshire bard, James
Montgomery, Esq., with several other friends, was with us at tea.
My mind was kept in peace, and during singing and prayer I found it
profitable. Mr. Montgomery presided at the Missionary Meeting, which
by some is pronounced the best they ever attended. Surely it was the
presence of the Great Head of the Church, which made it so.--We had
a blessed season at the class. Afterwards I went to Albion Street
School. A class of girls retired with me into the little room, for
the purpose of conversation and prayer: while they listened the tears
started in their eyes. I feel deeply concerned for their salvation.
The work is Thine; these souls are Thine; help me, Lord, to do Thy
work faithfully; that success may follow. This morning I was much
exercised."

  Afflictions sanctified
    Are blessings kindly given;
  They, who the fiery test abide,
    Receive an inward heaven.

  That Kingdom, Lord, be mine,
    Just as Thy goodness wills;
  A heart renewed, a will resigned,
    A soul, that Jesus fills.

  Then, every grace shall grow;
    Its fruits in beauty shine;
  From love shall every action flow,
    And all the praise be Thine.

"I have been to see after two of my members, over whom I fear I have
cause to mourn. One was gone out, yet could not come to class! The
other was in bed! I fear there is a dearth of spiritual feeling. Lord,
give me wisdom and faithfulness.--After collecting for the Missions,
I visited a member of mine in the hospital, and prayed with several
of the afflicted in the ward. The person, whom I went to see some time
ago, is recovering, and wishes to join with us.

"Kirkby. I arrived here yesterday about ten o'clock, after a
delightful journey; and am resolved, that change of scene shall make
no difference in my religious feelings; unless, by the opportunity of
retirement, I get closer to the Lord. My hearing is a little dull,
but my prayer is, that this affliction may be sanctified; and removed,
when the Lord pleases. Christ in me is the source of my happiness. I
hunger after righteousness; more faith--humility--meekness--love.
O how beautiful are the fruits of grace! The rich clusters of
the heavenly vine, invite my longing taste.--Spent two nights at
Follifoot, with Miss B. I went with the resolution of conversing with
her on the necessity of a change of heart; and on reflection have no
ground of condemnation; only, I might have used greater earnestness.
My time has passed more pleasantly than I anticipated. We took a walk
through the park to the late residence of a gentleman, who has been
obliged to leave the country, in consequence of his own extravagance,
and imprudence. His beautiful mansion is sinking in ruins; and
loathsome reptiles are its only occupants. Such is earthly grandeur;
and such the man, that makes not God his refuge. The grounds are
delightful; but for want of proper cultivation, begin to show evident
marks of the curse:--thorns and thistles springing up in abundance.
Molly accompanied me back with the grey pony; and, as she walked by my
side, I warned her to flee from the wrath to come.--Walked to Pannal;
here I found need of watchfulness, and courage; all--in nature's
night; blessed with earthly good; but destitute of heavenly peace. I
prayed with the family each evening; and spoke to each member, with
the exception of Mr. ----, on the need of preparation for another
world; but my efforts were feeble. My happiest hours have been
spent in retirement, and solitary walks; one of which, was extremely
delightful. The picturesqueness of the scenery, combined with smiling
heavens, conspired to raise my mind to Him, whose forming hand has
adorned all nature, and has raised my soul from death to life. The
scene vividly called to remembrance my beloved cousin Ann; with whom
on this very spot, I had passed some of the happiest moments of my
life. I felt what I cannot put into words. On my return to York, I
found Eliza, bathing her face after the application of leeches; and
Mary, putting John to bed, in the measles. Such is life! It is the
Lord, and to His will, I would patiently submit."



XI.

A DYING SCENE.

  "PRECIOUS IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD IS THE DEATH OF HIS
  SAINTS."--Psalm cxvi. 15.


How solemn, and instructive, is the scene of death! What a satire upon
the pride, pomp, and vanity of the world! and yet, when relieved by
the cheering experience of divine truth, what a blessed confirmation
of all that the Bible tells us! The utterances of the dying Saint,
come home to our hearts with peculiar force. It is as if the spirit of
the departing, having reached the boundary of time, and looking forth
on the unclouded scene beyond, shouted back to its companions yet
enveloped with the mists and gloom of earth: "It is all true, you have
only to follow on a little further, and the glorious prospect will
burst upon you." Mrs. Lyth seems to have carefully treasured the last
words of those, who, within the circle of her acquaintance, died
in the Lord; and in the case of particular friends, these notices
sometimes extend to several pages: as if she delighted to linger on
the borders of another world, and to catch a momentary glimpse of its
happiness, and the distant sound of the harpers, harping with their
harps. An example occurs in the course of the following extracts.

"At the two o'clock class, many were in tears; while others testified
of the Lord's goodness. We were, as one of the little hills of Zion,
refreshed by the dew from above. In the evening I remained at home,
intending, if the way opened, to go and see my cousin Elizabeth, who
is very ill. John is recovering; Eliza is still unwell, but I will
leave them in the Lord's hands.--A little before six, I left my cousin
Elizabeth much better, and happy in God. She told me that in the night
she could scarcely refrain from singing:--

  'Here we raise our voices higher,
  Shout in the refiner's fire,
  Clap our hands amid the flame,
  Glory give to Jesus' name.'

"On analysing the feelings of my heart, I find a disposition to
brood over trifling grievances; this robs my peace, and encourages an
unfavourable opinion of those who occasion them. This is surely some
of the filthiness of the spirit from which I must be cleansed: I feel
ashamed of it; Lord, deliver me.--Have been to see Fanny McD. She is
very ill in body, but when asked respecting her soul, she said, 'I
have had a feast to-day while alone with Jesus, my Redeemer.' She is
one of the Lord's jewels, like Lazarus, enclosed in a casket of
rags. After hearing Mr. Vevers preach from 'we must all appear at
the judgment-seat of Christ,' I dreamt I saw the heavens melting with
fervent heat. I felt no condemnation, but began to pray earnestly.
The impression, which this has made on my mind, has awakened increased
earnestness--A stranger came into the class, who was much affected;
gladly would I have travelled in birth for her, until Christ was
formed in her heart; but our time was limited, and she went mourning
away. From thence I went to Albion Street School, to converse with
some of the children; several of them wept. In the evening I attended
St. John's Church. I can enjoy a Gospel ministry in the church, as
well as the chapel: true religion destroys every wall of partition.--I
received a very affecting letter from cousin Penelope. Elizabeth is
in a very afflicted, but happy state. During the night I have been
wakeful, and much drawn out in prayer; but felt reproved for having
purchased something which I could have done without. I acknowledge my
weakness. May the Lord give me a deeper sense of my responsibility,
as the steward of His manifold gifts.--Retired from the bustle of the
city to Eastfield House. I took a walk to the village, and called
to see Miss H. on my way to the class-meeting. We joined in social
prayer, when my friend exclaimed, 'I will believe, I do believe.' It
was a blessed season;--a time of the breaking of bonds.--Cousin Samuel
came with a gig, to convey me to Sinnington. I found my dear cousin
ready to take her flight to a better world; or as she herself says:

  'Gladly would I flee away,
  Loosed from earth, no longer stay.'

She has given up all, and is now patiently waiting her dismissal. It
is a privilege to sit by the bedside of one thus fully prepared,
and sanctified through the merits of Christ. 'Glory be to God,' she
exclaimed, 'though it has cost me many tears for my unfaithfulness,
the Lord has forgiven me: yet I believe it will lesson that eternal
weight of glory I might have had.' Being asked if she had no wish for
earth, she replied, 'O no, not one: I have but one wish, and that is,
to be fully ripe for glory:' and added, 'I should like to talk to you
of the preciousness of Jesus, but I cannot.' While we were alone, she
stretched out her withered arms, and drew me to her side; then holding
me fast, she said, 'Let me request of you, my dear cousin, that you
will stay a little with my sisters when I am gone: it is my dying
request.' I promised I would, if possible. Could I do less? She added,
'they have no one to comfort them, and, when they are low, they are
very low indeed: it will relieve my mind if you will.' O Thou, whose I
am, and whom I serve, direct my way. I have said, place me where
Thou wilt, only let Thy providence guide my steps.--I left my
William poorly, and am hoping soon to hear from home: meanwhile, I am
encouraged while bringing them to the throne of grace. Thank God, for
the privilege of casting my care upon Him! I feel He cares for me.
Prayer by the side of my afflicted cousin has been a blessing to my
soul. Surely I am privileged:--

  'The chamber, where the good man meets his fate,
  Is privileged beyond the common walk
  Of virtuous life, quite on the verge of heaven.'

This morning, when asked how she was, she replied, 'This has been a
precious night; the Lord has promised me, He will be with me to
the end.' Her cough was very troublesome, but she said, 'I feel no
disposition to murmur, but I cannot help moaning. The Lord is very
precious.' Part of the day she lay greatly composed, with her hands
clasped. On entering the room she accosted me with: 'I am hard toiling
to make the blest shore. I have been much harassed by the enemy,
who tells me I shall be cast away; but I rest on the blood and
righteousness of Christ: I have nothing else to trust in.' After
a severe fit of coughing she said, 'The toil of life will there be
o'er:' and again, 'Thankful I take the cup from Thee,' &c. In the
afternoon I visited old Martha H., whom I found in a happy, and
thankful frame of mind; all her cry is, 'Bless the Lord! bless the
Lord!' So, at both ends of the village, God is fitting up His jewels.
I walked on to the churchyard, and there found as many of my old
acquaintances, as are now living in the village. I felt the solemn
influence of association with the dead.--Hearing of a poor afflicted
sinner, I went to see him; he appeared to welcome my visit, but
insensible to his condition. During the night I could not sleep, but
got upon my knees, and earnestly besought the Lord to give me a clear
witness of His sanctifying power. He blessed me with a humble, settled
confidence, and sweet peace.--Cousin had a restless night; the enemy
was again permitted to try her sorely; but during the day, she was
enabled to tread him down under her feet. 'I'll trust Him with
my all,' she said, 'I'll trust Him with my all.'--The poor man
above-mentioned, sent for me, apparently in an agony for the salvation
of his soul; but whether it is the fear of death and its consequences,
or sorrow for his sin, how difficult to determine! I endeavoured to
show him that he was a helpless, undone sinner; and that all his hope
was in the merits of Christ: staid with him nearly two hours, during
which he seemed earnestly seeking mercy. I saw him again in the
afternoon, but he was not in such agony. He thinks the Lord will not
cast him off. The thought of the dying thief, alone, gives me room to
hope.

  Oh! would'st Thou, Lord, the veil remove,
  And manifest Thy pardoning love.

But how? Only through Christ, wilt Thou exalt the riches of Thy mercy
by preparing this poor sinner's heart, and snatching him as a brand
from the burning.--Visited the poor man again, and came home thankful,
that I had the opportunity to do it. He now resolves on the side of
virtue. Oh! that his decision may be sustained by the strength of the
Lord!--Cousin was oppressed with sickness during the night, but her
cry was; 'Help me to suffer as a Christian.'--When I asked how she
was, she said, 'I have had a sweet night-so many precious promises
brought to my mind. Praise the Lord; 'to them that believe, He is
precious.'--Much worse, able to say little. In the evening she desired
me to pray; it was truly a blessed season. When I rose, she exclaimed:

  'We'll shout by turns the bursting joy,
  And all eternity employ
    In songs around the throne!'

'Glory be to God, cousin, we shall; yes, we shall.'--This morning I
awoke a little before three, and got upon my knees. He, who slumbers
not, was present to bless me. At ten I accompanied my friends to
chapel: a blessed sermon! I was so much affected while Mr. C. was
speaking of the Lord's ability to deliver us from our spiritual
foes, that I could do nothing but weep for joy. My enemies seemed all
vanquished, by the revelation which my faith realized of the power of
God.

  'Faith, mighty faith, the promise' _saw_.

O may I never doubt again. I feel all peace, and tranquility, but no
particular joy: I perceive myself nothing; but through the blood of
Jesus, I claim salvation. Elizabeth is increasingly weak, but enjoys
great peace. She was unable to turn herself; but after an ineffectual
attempt, upheld by the power of God, she exclaimed, 'Praise the Lord!
I _cannot_ praise Him enough: though He slay me, yet will I trust
in Him.' This evening I overheard, 'Precious God,' 'Salvation,' 'My
Jesus.' Then turning her head, she said, 'Since I have been afflicted,
the enemy has tried many ways to take away my shield; but the Lord
has stood by me, and I believe I shall come off more than
conqueror.'--About two o'clock we thought she was dying; she stretched
out her hand to each of us, and drew us near, to kiss her; then
shouted as loud as she could, 'Glory be to God! I am going to glory;
glory be to God!' About five she revived again. One said, 'Jesus is
near,' she responded, 'Glory, He is, He is'--I was with her from two
in the morning; she was restless, and in much pain, until about nine
o'clock; when she changed for death. Conscious that she was dying, she
desired to be placed in a chair, and shouted with all the strength she
had, indeed louder than we could have supposed her capable of, 'Glory
be to God!' 'Glory be to God!' many times, until her strength was
exhausted. She breathed till eleven, and then, without moving hand or
foot; without a sigh or a groan; her happy spirit took its flight to
the paradise of God. Thus died Elizabeth Stables, in the thirty-fifth
year of her age. It had been for some time my prayer, that the Lord,
if it pleased Him, would grant her an easy passage, and permit her to
depart in the day-time. In this He has mercifully heard me. Before
the crisis arrived, I felt a degree of timidity; and therefore, when I
rose from my bed, I bowed myself before the Lord, before entering
the room. He graciously dispersed my fears, and filled my heart with
peace. To me the scene of dissolution was exceedingly solemn. May my
last end be like hers!--I followed the remains of dear Elizabeth to
the grave, to which we consigned them 'in sure and certain hope of a
joyful resurrection.' Surely this hope has preserved me from yielding
to useless tears, as on former occasions;--for I loved her. Henceforth
may it be my constant study to be found ready, that, like her, I
may triumph in the prospect of dissolution.--Visited two or three
afflicted persons in the village, perhaps for the last time: may I
find them all again in the day of eternity. Took tea with Mrs. B. and
her daughter, whom I would gladly have persuaded to accept the offers
of mercy; but the grace of God alone can affect the heart.--After an
absence of six weeks I returned home: the day was fine. Truly mercy
follows me. Through courtesy to a friend, I wounded my own soul by
yielding to converse on subjects, which no way tended to promote
fervency of spirit. I felt humbled in consequence, and as if I could
not lift my heart to God; but before the close of the service, which
I afterwards attended, the Lord graciously softened my hardness
down--melting me into tears.--I close the year fully bent upon giving
myself to God. While I write, I enjoy peace. O Thou that seest me,
Thyself unseen, direct my pen, and guide me to Thyself. Here on my
knees I surrender myself to Thee; if Thou discoverest any guile in
me, reveal it to me, and make me wholly thine. Surrounded with Thy
presence, O fill me with Thy love! From henceforth, may I dwell in
the secret place of the most High, and abide under the shadow of the
Almighty.

  If fleeting moments silently report
  Each action, motive, and unuttered thought;
  May this fair page no added witness bring
  Of time mis-used, as musing thought may spring.
  No, rather let my muse abstracted turn;
  Forget to muse, and of my Saviour learn
  That rare humility, so highly prized
  By Him, who sees the heart all undisguised.
  From Him my subject come, my thought proceed;
  To Him my motive tend, my action lead:
  In all, I henceforth think, or speak, or do,
  The glory of my God be kept in view.

"1829.--I am permitted to enter another year, but who can tell the
event? Suffice it; I can now say, I am Thine, and am resolved to form
my life, whether long or short, by Thy precepts. This morning an alarm
is spread through the city--'The Minster on fire.' 'Shall there be
evil in the city, and the Lord hath not done it?' O Thou, who canst
alone educe good out of seeming evil send, forth Thy light and
truth.--Visited Mrs. F----s, we had a blessed interview: Heaven shed
its rays around us. Here I proved that in Jesus difference of age is
lost: all ages and sects can in Him unite.--The greater part of this
day has been spent in reading, praying, visiting the sick, and the
public means of grace: all of which have been sources of profit to
my soul. How great are my privileges! I think I am stripped of all
dependance upon them; but fear I do not make that improvement of them
which I ought. Thankful I am for the decision I feel; but stand in
doubt of myself, should a storm of persecution arise, whether I should
be able to endure the fiery test. Clouds gather round about; the signs
of the times portend a season of trial; my heart, while I write,
says, 'I will be Thine:' but Thou knowest how unstable I am,--Three
strangers came to the class; two of them were much affected. I want to
feel more deeply for souls, and to do every thing with a single eye. I
have several times been to visit an afflicted neighbour, who has often
been warned to put away his sins; but is yet unsaved. Never did I see
friends more solicitous for the conversion of a relative; his poor
afflicted wife prays, and entreats most earnestly, with tears: it has
to me been an affecting scene. O may her prayers be answered!--Another
week gone; a week of mercy, warning, blessing, inward exercise,
and peace. On Tuesday night, I witnessed the deathbed scene of a
neighbour: dying is hard work. At the funeral on Friday these lines
were much impressed upon my mind:--

  'So live, that, when thou tak'st thy last long sleep.
  Dying, may'st smile, when all around thee weep:'

I quoted them amongst the friends of the deceased, and added such
words as were given me at the time. There was a deep silence: what was
the impression I leave; I only discharged a duty, and could only reach
the ear, but do Thou, whose instrument I am, effectually touch each
heart, and save them all. Penelope informs me, that the poor man I
visited when in Sinnington, has begun to attend the house of God. May
his good desires end in sound conversion.--I visited poor Fanny; with
tears of joy starting in her eyes, she said, 'Glory be to God, I feel
my soul so happy, that I would fly if it were possible.' Truly in this
home of poverty, the power of divine grace is exemplified. I have also
seen neighbour G. for the fourth time; it is delightful to visit her:
she appears fully sensible of her state, and has received a little
comfort; but not the clear witness of her acceptance.--In consequence
of sickness, I laid a little longer than usual; but my meditations
were sweet. For a time my mind was borne as on eagles' wings, far
above the things of earth; I seemed to breathe the atmosphere of
heaven, and to commune with Jesus in heavenly places: this
baptism delightfully sustained my mind through the trials of the
day.--Probably this is the last Sabbath of my residence in York. Some
think we are missing the path of providence: I do not know; but this I
can say, I am willing to stay, or willing to go, and earnestly desire,
that the will of God may be done in me and by me, whether in public or
retirement.

  In silence, lo! I sit
    To hear Thy gentle voice;
  And lowly at Thy feet,
    Share Mary's nappy choice:
  Speak as Thou wilt, but speak within,
    And make my nature wholly clean.
  This day of hallowed joy,
    The day the Lord arose,
  Thy glorious power employ,
    And vanquish all my foes;
  To me the power of faith impart,
    And reign triumphant in my heart.

Another week has elapsed, and we are still in York. O Lord, direct our
path, and guide us by Thy counsel. I would leave all in Thy hands: I
think I do.



XII.

COUNTRY LIFE.

  "COME, MY BELOVED, LET US GO OUT INTO THE FIELD; LET US
  LODGE IN THE VILLAGES."--Cant. vii. 11.


In the spring of 1829, Mr. Lyth retired to a country residence, which
he had built upon a small estate, between three and four miles from
the city. The propriety of this step, as it seemed to involve the
sacrifice of many religious advantages, was by some intimate friends
regarded with grave suspicion; and it may fairly be doubted, how far
a Christian man, with the view of enjoying the fruits of his industry,
has a right to withdraw himself and his family from a sphere of
usefulness, and privilege, to one of comparative retirement. Can he be
equally useful? Will his family enjoy equal privileges? If not let him
pause, for he is under a higher law than that of self-gratification,
or worldly policy: besides, his very object may be frustrated; it may
turn out, that the change from an active to an idle life, may
bring disquiet instead of repose. But in the present instance, the
disadvantage was overcome by the force of christian principle. Mrs.
Lyth did not relinquish her exertions in the city, while a new sphere
of usefulness opened itself in the village, near which they came to
reside. Twice a week, as often as health permitted, she visited the
city to meet her classes; sometimes walking the whole distance there
and back. The day was generally spent in seeing her absent members,
visiting the sick, or availing herself of public, or social means
of edification. The effect of these exertions upon her own delicate
frame, was painful; and, combined with other causes, occasioned,
during her four years' residence at Eastfield House, frequent and
severe attacks of sickness. But we resume her own notes.

"I came to Eastfield House, which is now to be my home during my
pilgrimage on earth. Thank God, I feel I am but a stranger and a
sojourner. A variety of circumstances have engaged my attention,
and interrupted my quiet; but when shut in from the world, to hold
converse with God, I have tasted superior pleasure.--I went early to
York, and spent the day in seeing the sick, and other members of my
classes; visiting the school, attending my band, and meeting my class.
Most of these engagements were profitable to me, and I hope to others.
I went out with the conviction that I was the Lord's labourer.--My
niece, Hannah, is apparently near eternity. She tells me she is happy,
and I cannot doubt it; for last evening while praying with her,
my faith acquired such strength, and I was so filled with love and
confidence, that when I rose from my knees, I could not help saying,
'The Lord has blessed you.' She answered, 'Yes:' but whether at
that moment, or earlier in the day, I cannot tell. The work is the
Lord's.--After an affliction, of some months, and a fortnight's
confinement to bed, Hannah has left us. For two days she was
insensible, but the last she was remarkably tranquil, with a very
pleasing expression of countenance.--My greatest joy is in communion
with the Lord and His saints: this has been a high, day; I have been
unusually assisted in speaking to the Lord's people; and many appeared
to feel the power of God. At the close of the meeting, Mrs. B. called
upon me, and we went to Mrs. Vevers', where we united in prayer; and
from thence to Miss H.'s, where we held our little band-meeting, Mrs.
E. was much affected, but not able to lay hold of the great blessing:
O for more faith.--The quarterly fast was observed in Haxby for the
first time: I found it good to unite with them.--During the last week
we have been favoured with the company of Mr. Mortimer, returned from
the Shetland Islands. He retains the same Christian simplicity, and
I feel it a privilege to entertain such a man under our roof. I was
benefitted among the dear people; but my body was much wearied when I
returned home, and the folio wing day I was very unwell: yet my mind
was peaceful. At the entreaty of my husband, I remain at home to-day;
being only very feeble. O shut me not out from Thy presence; but feed
me with heavenly manna.--I hail the returning Sabbath, Glory, glory
be to God, the sacred fire is kindled in my heart. Well might the
Psalmist say, 'I would rather be a door-keeper in the house of my God,
than dwell in the tents of wickedness' The Lord does carry on His work
in my soul. Love destroys fear. God is my portion, and in Him will
I trust. The week has been mixed with trial and blessing. Monday:
Penelope left us, after a visit of ten days. Tuesday: Felt it good
while Mr. Crowther admonished us to look to Jesus. Wednesday: Our
servant left us: I had power to pray for her after she was gone.
Thursday: The Lord was with us at our little meeting. Friday: I
spoke unadvisedly with my tongue, which occasioned pain of mind; but
applying to Jesus, I found access. O the condescension of the Saviour!
The prayer-meeting was a blessed season. Saturday: A day of toil, but
the Lord was with me: yet I want a constant mind, that I may every
moment hold converse with my God. 'Keep thyself pure' was the
admonition of the Spirit one morning this week. May I ever remember
it."

[The following was the dying complaint of the "Miscellany," a little
family periodical, which had a brief, but happy existence.]

  Confident, on airy wing,
    My vanity soared high;
  Like the nightingale I'd sing,
    And with the eagle fly.
  Soon my sad mistake I found;
    I warbling notes had none,
  And scarcely rose above the ground,
    Before my plumes were gone.
  Flatt'ry whispered soft and low,
    Of wisdom, fame, and lore;
  Woe is me! neglected now,
    The pleasant dream is o'er.
  Pity, then, my humble state,
    And if you can bestow
  Tears upon my hapless fate;
    Pray let them freely flow.

"I have around me some who exercise my patience, and therefore need
the wisdom of the serpent, and the meekness of the dove, that I may
be preserved from offending. Last Sabbath, I was tempted to mistrust
Providence, as I had not seen a rainbow since the rains commenced; but
the following evening--accompanying my husband to York in a very heavy
shower--on our left, we saw the broadest and most beautiful bow I ever
beheld. I could not help thinking it infinite condescension in the
great I AM thus to remove my scruples.--I walked to York alone: but
surrounded by proofs of divine wisdom and power, my solitude was
sweet; my thoughts meandered like the river, that swept at my side.
Reverting to past scenes and circumstances, I wrote with my pencil:

  If, through scenes of tribulation,
    Lies the pathway to the skies;
  Let me yield with resignation,
    Sure, Thy ways are always wise.

"A friend has made application for my Sunday-class. In this matter, I
do not see my way clear; however, as I was requested to seek another
place for it--the old one being required for another purpose--I began
to think it was an intimation that I ought to resign, and therefore
mentioned the subject to my members, and left it. But calling on a
friend, as I returned home, she said, 'she was requested to tell me,
that Mr. H. would be glad if I would meet the class at his house' So
this difficulty is removed, and there the matter rests. O Lord,
direct me by Thy counsel.--Providence seems to thwart my purposes: yet
everything appears either to point, urge, allure, or draw me to the
skies. I find the beneficial effect of these painful dispensations;
but nature struggles still, and the cry of my heart is, make me wholly
Thine. Two persons, whom I have visited this week, are no more. One,
I doubt not, is gone to Abraham's bosom; the other I must leave,
and profit by the admonition to prepare to meet my God. I have been
accused of doing as I would not be done by; but my conscience bears
we witness to the contrary. Help me, O God, ever to act as in Thy
sight.--After the toils of Saturday, I was privileged with being at
the band-meeting; but when I reached Miss B's, I fainted, through
weakness and fatigue. Praise the Lord, O my soul! Is not every
stroke of Thy rod a proof of love, admonishing me that I am but a
tenant-at-will, and may be removed at a moment's notice? Lord, make
me fully ready.--I found it good in our little village prayer-meeting,
and remained with my husband at the Sabbath-school committee. He
engaged to assist; and I was constrained to offer my services once
a month to converse with the female scholars, which were readily
accepted.--In York, I had the opportunity of visiting several
afflicted persons: one poor man was much afflicted: it was a blessed
day. I have been to Wigginton to visit the afflicted Miss B., to
whom I tried to show the necessity of a change of heart, and the
sufficiency of the remedy, with the danger of delay."

  Come, heavenly Spirit, fill my breast,
  With holy, ardent love inflame;
  Breathe in my soul the perfect rest
  Revealed in Jesus' lovely name.
  Blest centre! where I find repose;
  My succour, when in deep distress;
  The only refuge from my foes;
  Jesus, Thy feeblest follower bless.
  Thy constant presence, Thine alone
  Can satisfy my longing soul;
  Supply the good for which I groan;
  Thy presence, Lord, shall make me whole.

"Just as the year closes, I take my pen. How solemn! unseen by all but
God! How shall I proceed? I am a sinner; but thou art a Saviour--_my_
Saviour! O praise God! unworthy as I am, unprofitable as I have been,
Thy peace fills my heart: I am surrounded with God. Glory! glory!
glory! a worthless worm! dust and ashes! a potsherd of the earth! yet
Jesus died for me. O, live in me; fit me for Thy service, that I may
be willing to do or to suffer Thy will. Let me be a whole sacrifice.
Jesus is near; He is precious; He has my heart: let the union
subsist for ever. Never let me leave Thee more; but through all the
vicissitudes of life, keep me; and if I am entering upon my last year,
let it be the best of all. Let the odours of the celestial world waft
upon me, and invigorate my soul.

"1830.--Midnight. The past year has been one of mingled trial,
affliction, and mercy; wisely blended to bring me nearer to God. I
think the end has been answered: I feel looser from the world, and my
will is more fully subdued. This is the Lord's doing: blessed be His
name! I rose early, and shut myself up in my closet, and there the
Lord gloriously revealed himself: it was a blessed day, especially,
in walking to the city; and among the dear people.--Another piece
of encouragement: our servant, who has been brought under serious
impressions since she came to us, was last Tuesday enabled to believe
unto salvation. O may I walk as God's vicegerent here; that my
husband, mother, children, and servants, may all be led to give
themselves more fully to Thee.--Our servant man cried aloud for mercy
in the chapel. How and where, shall I begin to praise Thee for Thy
goodness to my family? I am constrained to acknowledge, that many
things, which appeared to be against me, are now working for good.
Every bitter has its sweet, and every affliction its blessing;
wisely compounded, to bring me more fully to God. Last night we had
a prayer-meeting in our kitchen: the spirit of prayer was poured out
upon us. One soul obtained peace: and another remained upon his knees
upwards of three hours, but did not break through; yet is determined
not to rest without the pardoning mercy of God: a third was seeking
purity of heart.--Visited S.H., fast sinking in decline. When asked
the state of her mind, she said, 'Christ is mine, and I am His.'
Blessed assurance! I spoke freely with her mother, whom I found
unacquainted with true religion. Two persons came to seek the Lord at
the prayer-meeting held in our kitchen--one obtained salvation: truly
the Lord is among us: a larger number attended than usual.--We had a
numerously attended prayer-meeting, in which three bore testimony to
the saving power of Christ; they praised God with a glad heart, and
a loud voice: may they become pillars in God's temple.--Many sweet
moments have I enjoyed, while engaged in domestic affairs. This
morning, I rose to the early prayer-meeting; all nature seemed to
congratulate me, and the feathered choristers were singing their matin
song of praise. My walk to York afterwards, seemed too short, while
musing on the love of Jesus.--In the still hour of night I have had
some blessed seasons; but my walk is not equal: I want to live a
moment at a time, and all for God. Another of my members has passed
into eternity, to join the church above. Just before she expired, she
exclaimed, 'What do I see? Glory.'--I am not going to meet my class
to-day, my mother is so unwell; yet I feel a struggle as to the path
of duty: but surely in this case duty and affection are one. Lord, I
aim to please Thee; O help me for Thy name's sake."

  SITTING BY MY MOTHER.

  O would'st Thou, Lord, descend,
    My mother's heart to cheer;
  This unbelief to rend,
  And dissipate her fear:
    Thou glorious Sun, unveil the skies;
  With healing in Thy wings arise.
  Thy promise, Lord, I hold,
    _'The evening shall be light,'_--
  The cloud its pinions fold,
    And vanish out of sight:
  O Jesus, come, Thy face display.
  And eventide is turned to day.

"Proclamation of William the 4th. In company with some friends,
I climbed to the top of Clifford's Tower, in hope of seeing the
procession; but after waiting more than an hour, I went away
disappointed, and grieved at the loss of my time. Let me learn from
this, always to do what I believe to be most needful; for my mind was
dissipated, and I failed to recover in the class what I had enjoyed
in the early hours of the day. O how needful to keep the path of duty,
and retire from the multitude.--The Rev. Joseph Agar has dies happily,
at Portsmouth: of brain fever. An unusual feeling oppressed my mind
on the afternoon of his departure; why, I know not.--The Rev. E. Batty
took tea with us, and suggested a method of usefulness, which has for
some time been the subject of my thoughts; but to choose, or refuse
are Thine: 'Thy will be done.'--I walked to Acomb to visit a friend,
and on the way asked myself, why I should go; and not being able to
answer for myself, put the case into the hands of God, beseeching him
to make my way plain before me; to bless me, and make me a blessing.
I met with a kind reception--slept well--and rose about six with a
desire to give myself to the Lord. In the afternoon I accompanied Mrs.
R. to her class: it was the second time of their meeting. Mrs. R. read
the rules; and afterwards, I endeavoured to speak a little to
them. When addressing the third, she burst into tears through the
disquietude of her soul. We knelt down to pray; and while Mrs. R. was
pleading, the woman began to praise God for what He had done for her
soul, and said she had been unhappy for years--but that now the Lord
had given her peace. We continued on our knees, and in a little while
another person, who through unwatchfulness had gone astray, professed
that the Lord had restored her soul. The third (for there were
but three) went away, resolved not to rest until she had found the
Lord.--We went to invite the people to the prayer-meeting in the
evening, and then visited the churchyard. There, the solemn silence,
dwelling among sepulchral stones and the falling leaves, moved my soul
to the consideration of my own mortality. May I so live, that I may
hear the welcome words, 'Well done.' I feel deeply on account of my
own nothingness. The prayer-meeting to-night is proposed because I
am here. I am humbled at the thought. What am I? a poor worm. Oh!
wouldest Thou use a thing of nought? prepare the people, prepare me,
and pour out Thy holy spirit. I was surprised at the number of people
gathered together on so short a notice. The presence of the Lord
overshadowed us, and the woman, who was seeking mercy at the class,
was filled with peace and joy through believing. I felt humbled under
the sense of my own unprofitableness.--I have found retirement very
blessed: the Lord poured into my soul a heavenly tranquility. I hope
that my visit here will be beneficial to me; and that I shall learn
some lessons from the kind family, under whose roof I stay: there is
such a sweet submission to each other's will, and such a disposition
to prefer others to themselves, as is amiable, and worthy of
imitation.--My inward aspiration is, make me all glorious within, that
from this pure well-spring, all my thoughts and actions may flow. I
enjoy the peace of God, and for some time past, (to the glory of God
I speak it,) I have had constant intercourse with heaven. My will is
more fully subdued, and I have increasing power to take up my cross;
but the duties of life press upon me, and I am in danger of being
overwhelmed with care. I thank Thee, O my heavenly Father, for this
discovery; and humbly but confidently, ask Thy protection from my
foe.--A day of unusual nearness to God:--in the Lord's house; in
visiting the poor; reading the rules of society; and social prayer:
although dissatisfied with my performances, I feel I have done what
I ought.--My spiritual strength has been increased by more frequently
engaging in secret prayer. By appointment, I have daily met two
friends at the throne of grace, to intercede on behalf of our
neighbours: this has been made a blessing to my own soul.--For the
first time, my whole family was assembled at Eastfield; but who can
tell the emotions of my mind, as I gazed on one and another? I thought
unutterable things; but wisely is the future hidden from our view.
O _my_ God, be Thou _their_ God. I feel the solemnity of the closing
year: its toils and cares are fled for ever; only its comforts will be
repeated, if I hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life."

  NEAR MIDNIGHT.

      The year ebbs apace,
        Its sorrows are gone!
      Like one in a race,
        Its course it hath, run:
  Its events, once important, now all disappear,
  And time wafts us on to another new year.

      Then let us begin,
        To aim at the prize;
      Leave earth, self, and sin,
        For our home in the skies:
  Expecting the Bridegroom will shortly appear,
  Let as watch his arrival--the coming new year.



XIII.

THE REDEMPTION OF THE PROMISE.

  "BE NOT AFRAID, ONLY BELIEVE."--Mark v. 36.


"All the promises of God are in Him, yea; and in Him, amen; unto
the glory of God;" then, why doubt them? since God's own honour, and
faithfulness, which are dearer to Him than aught beside, are concerned
in their fulfilment. The christian believer has nothing to do with the
difficulties, or seeming delay of the accomplishment; but only with
the unfailing word of God. If you find the promise, take it, hold it
fast; and, according to thy faith, it shall be done unto thee. Mrs.
Lyth believed the word of God; and when a promise was applied to her
mind, she did not lose sight of it; but patiently waited until it was
redeemed. More than one instance occurs in her journal, in which she
refers back to some promise, which she had previously received; and
the fulfilment of which, she was expecting. This was particularly
the case with reference to her mother's experience, who, though not
forsaken, passed her latter days in mourning, being pressed down by
constant affliction, and the weight of years. Mrs. Lyth felt acutely
on this account; but, the promise given in answer to prayer, _"At
evening time it shall be light,"_ was held fast, through a period of
five years. The period of its redemption was at hand.

"1831.--'Let Thy statutes be my delight in the house of my
pilgrimage.' As my journey shortens, may the assurance of a happy
reception at the end, increase: I think it does. I have a blessed
conviction that, through the merits of my Redeemer, I shall see
Him without a veil between. This hope makes my spirit rejoice, when
nothing external excites me. Musing on my way to the city, upon the
'charity' that 'never faileth,' and its many excellent attributes; I
found myself deficient in that, which 'thinketh no evil.' Under some
circumstances, I am apt to draw hasty conclusions. O forgive, and help
Thy dust to be more guarded.--A friend calling in, I took up my cross,
(for it was one,) to go to the prayer-meeting; the night being dark,
the roads dirty, and the place distant: but I was well repaid. A
goodly number were present, and the Lord was there.--My husband was at
York with the gig. Mr. H. called to inform us, that in consequence of
the wind, and drifted snow, he thought it would be impossible for him
to return home. Concerned for his safety, I sent a man and horse to
meet him, and betook myself to prayer; which the Lord condescended to
hear, and answer: for after my husband had forced his way through many
snow-drifts, the harness broke, just as the man met him; and he could
not have proceeded further without assistance: so in the time of need
there was help. I could not but regard it as providential, that Mr. H.
called; and also that the man arrived at the moment he was required.
My obligations to the Lord increase daily.--The twenty-fifth
anniversary of my wedding day. THEN, my husband tells me, the bloom of
the rose sat on my cheek; NOW, I am shrinking into an old woman, hair
grey, teeth gone, bloom faded, and my eyes dim: but, through the mercy
of God, though my outward tabernacle is thus sinking in decay, my
spiritual strength is daily renewed; the vigour of my mind is not
abated; my understanding is clearer, and my faith stronger than ever.
And though, by the light that shines upon my soul, I discover more of
my natural depravity; the Lord, by his Spirit, graciously draws me to
himself, the true remedy; and blesses me with a sense of his presence.
Glory be to His name for an interest in the blood of sprinkling. Here
is the source of my happiness, and all I want is here. THEN--I had a
father and mother who loved and cared for me: NOW--my father is gone
to his reward, and my mother is sunk in decrepitude, daily waiting
her release; and I, myself a mother, have resting upon me the care and
anxiety of a family; but I have inherited the promise, which descends
from generation to generation. THEN--I looked forward to what might be
my future portion: NOW--I look back through five and twenty years,
in which goodness and mercy have followed me until now; although
my passage through the wilderness has all along been marked with
unfaithfulness. Here my heart fills with gratitude. What shall I
render to the Lord for all his goodness towards me? THEN--I had
many friends, who are NOW passed away; but Jesus is my never-failing
Friend, and through His grace, I hope soon to meet again those, who
'through faith and patience have inherited the promises.' THEN--I had
much to endure and suffer; but NOW--five and twenty years of trial
and suffering are over, with only one regret, that I have not suffered
more patiently, and expected more largely from Him, who orders all
things for the best. What still awaits me is only known to Thee; but
prepare me for the event, and let Thy will be done. This is my heart's
desire, uttered I believe, in the spirit of resignation; but it is
Thy doing, and to Thee be all the glory. And now, I present to Thee
my dear husband, and my five children: let us all be Thine--Thine to
guide, Thine to save, Thine to govern, and Thine to crown."

"Seven years ago my dear father entered into rest."

  This day, replete with memories dear,
    The well-known image brings to view
  Of him, whose name I still revere;
    Whose worth till lost, I never knew.
  My father, (still the name is sweet!)
    Now in a fairer region dwells:
  Him gladly will I go to meet,
    Though wild between us Jordan swells.

"My dear mother continues very feeble, and much of my time, night and
day, is devoted to her. She suffers from manifold temptations; yet I
am encouraged to believe she will be delivered. Make no long tarrying,
O my God,--Yesterday and to-day I have been severely and painfully
exercised on account of my mother: still I hang upon the word of the
promise, _'In the eventide it shall be light._ Yesterday she said,
'The will of the Lord be done.'--She tells me this morning she enjoys
_peace_. Her memory is much impaired. My mind is much distressed, but
finds its rest in God. It seems, as if by diversity of trial, the Lord
wills to purge my affections. O let Thy will be done. Help me, however
nature rebels, fully to give up my own will. Blessed be God, my soul
enjoys peace. 'I trust in Him, who stands between the Father's wrath
and me.' My dear mother's weakness increases; but she says this
morning, she _dare not doubt_ of going to heaven.--I sat up with my
dear mother. About half-past twelve she was convulsed, and felt
sick; then, she dosed a little; then sick again,--called for
Richard,--wandered,--evidently changed for death, and had a severe
struggle, often saying, 'Do help me, do.' Her sufferings were acute.
Once she said, 'Lord, help me;' and again, 'Hope thou in God, for I
shall yet pr----;' but the words were interrupted by her sufferings,
My anguish of mind is known to Thee. As I stood by the fire the words
were suggested,

  '_Thy_ warfare's past, _thy_ mourning's o'er;
  Look up, for _thou_ shalt weep no more.'

I was comforted. My dear husband, cousin, and Mary, found great
consolation in prayer just before her departure. Her last words were,
'Pray, pray;' 'Lord, Lord.' Thus, about half-past one on the 23rd of
March, my dear mother 'fell asleep,' aged seventy-two years and three
weeks."

  And though in ruin now her body lies,
    A peaceful smile upon her face is spread:
  The struggle o'er--her spirit upward flies,
    To join the spirits of the blessed dead.

"My dear departed mother was interred in St. Lawrence churchyard,
by the side of my beloved father; leaving the impressive
admonition--'prepare to follow.' I feel it--my heart determines--my
will submits--I have set about it. Lord help me to persevere."

  LOOK UPWARD.

  Oh! how uncertain all below!
    Our comforts cause us pain;
  Smiling, they sting us as they go,
    Ne'er to return again.
  Then upward turn thy weeping eye;
    Nor, like yon drooping tree,
  Bend downward to the earth; on high
    See Jesus looks on thee.
  Jesus! what balm is in that sound!
    It bids our tears away;
  Spreads life and happiness around;
    Converts the night to day.
  To feel Thy dying love, be mine;
    To hear Thy charming voice;
  The ceaseless whisper, 'I am Thine,'
    Shall bid my heart rejoice.
  Dearer than sons or daughters; Thou;
    Dearer than mother's love;
  Gladly for Thee I all forego,
    And seek my bliss above.

"I went to Wigginton to visit a young woman, whom I found praising
God for having afflicted her, and brought her to the knowledge of
the truth. To some others, I was powerfully constrained to speak
respecting their souls.--Miss Bentley came for a few days. We
visited many of the villagers, to put them in mind to prepare for
eternity.--Mr. Hope announced from the pulpit, that it was his wish I
should commence a class in Haxby on Monday evening, at seven o'clock.
The words occurred to me, 'By whom shall Jacob arise, for he is
small?' O my God, to Thee my obligations are great, and my weaknesses
are all known; but if this is from Thee, bring it to pass; let
there be some token for good, some rending of heart among the
people.--According to appointment I went to Haxby, to meet any who
were desirous of fleeing from the wrath to come. Three persons came;
two of them backsliders, and one who has never met before.--Visited
several of the villagers. At one place I felt much while bowed at the
throne of grace. A little boy, to whom I afterwards addressed a few
words, burst into tears. O that the Lord would poor out His Spirit,
and bow their hearts to His sway! O Lord, let not my unfaithfulness
hinder Thy work.--After meeting my class in the city, I went on
to Heslington to see Mr. K., who is apparently on his death-bed. I
endeavoured to speak faithfully; but unless the Spirit of God apply
the truth, vain is the help of man. I feel much out of love with
myself.--Walked again to see Mr. K., who appears as teachable as a
little child. I feel encouraged to hope that he will lay hold upon
Jesus. But O how dangerous to delay until death stares us in the
face!--Went to Haxby, and found only one to meet me there: but the
Lord met _her_, which was better than numbers without Him. O God, keep
this precious soul--this _asked-for_ token of Thy love. While sitting
under the word, the Lord made it as a broad river to my soul. 'Blessed
are the pure in heart,' was the subject. Tears of love and gratitude
rolled down my cheeks, and love filled my heart; for I felt myself a
partaker of this great salvation."

  Thus may I ever live,
    And feel the power divine;
  Taught by Thy Spirit to believe
    This full salvation mine.

"With a painful headache I walked to York; but the satisfaction of
mind I felt in keeping the path of duty, amply repaid me. I think
a general blessing was experienced.--While pleading with God, these
words were applied, 'I am Thy salvation.' I felt confidence, but not
all I want. I seem only on the edge of living; I want to be 'plunged
in the Godhead's deepest sea.'--Six months since my dear mother
departed! She is daily the subject of my thoughts, and her memory
becomes increasingly dear to me. Well, it is but a short separation--a
thin partition; my earthly tabernacle feels the force of time--it
crumbles and decays; but by faith I look for a more durable
habitation, where I shall meet those who are gone before."

  Time rolls away--yet fresh the scene appears
  When my dear mother left this vale of tears;
  Then, sorrow stamped its seal upon my heart;
  Nature recoiled--but grace relieved the smart.

"Mr. R., discoursing on the necessity of exercising a forgiving
spirit, illustrated his subject by the following anecdote:--An officer
in the army lying on his deathbed, sent for one of the preachers to
visit him. On his entering the room, the sick man asked him, if he
remembered that he was once insulted by a company of officers while he
was preaching in Dublin. The preacher remembered it well. He then told
him, that he had been one of the worst of them; and had sent to ask
him to pray for him, and to teach him what he must do to be saved,--as
he believed he was a dying man, and was unprepared for another world.
The minister pointed him to the Saviour; and after praying with him
several times, was about to depart, when the officer offered him
a handsome present for his services. This he refused, and took his
leave. On passing through the hall, one of the servants accosted him,
"What a pity my master won't see his son, and has cut him off with
a shilling, although he would gladly see his father." The minister
immediately returned to the sick man, and repeated to him the Lord's
prayer until he came to the words, 'as we forgive them that trespass
against us;' he then stopped, and asked him if he forgave every one.
The officer paused a moment and replied, 'There is one whom I do not
forgive, and cannot.' 'Then,' said the minister, 'neither will your
heavenly Father forgive you your trespasses.' After some deliberation,
it was agreed that the son should be sent for. He came, fell on his
knees at the bedside, and with tears in his eyes, pressed his father's
hand to his lips, and begged his forgiveness. The father's relentings
were kindled: upon which the minister sung--

  'The op'ning heavens around me shine,
    With beams of sacred bliss;
  When--

'When!' cried the officer, 'nay

  _Now_, Jesus shows His mercy mine.
    And whispers I am His.'

"Called upon Mr. and Miss K. They had company: I was preserved from
unprofitable conversation, and dared to speak for God. On my return,
I passed through the churchyard, where the remains of my dear parents
are deposited. It was a beautiful moonlight night; and I stopped to
shed a silent tear over the much-loved dust, in hope of joining them
again in the realms above. Lord, help me on my way.--I went to see a
backslider, whom the Lord had made willing to return. After conversing
a little, we knelt down to prayer. Her husband prayed; then she began,
and while confessing her sins and pleading for mercy, the Lord
looked upon her in compassion, and healed her backslidings. The same
afternoon, she came and joined herself with the people of God."

"Alone in the room where my venerated mother breathed her last."

  Though no famed eulogy proclaims her worth,
  Nor with her fellow-pilgrims ranked on earth,
  A higher record doth her history trace;
  In heaven's high register she claims a place.
  Retiring, and unknown or but to few,
  Her latter days were hid from public view;
  But I have often witness'd, when alone--
  The prayer uplifted, and the sigh unknown.
  When no eye saw her, but with God shut in,
  She pour'd her plaint to Him, who saw, unseen;
  Then from the sacred word she succour drew,
  'To hoary hairs I bear, I carry you.'
  This promise still her drooping spirit cheered,
  And shed its starlight when the night appeared.
  Bold, in her weakness, close the foe pursued,
  And oft the bitter conflict was renewed;
  Conqu'ror at last, she calmly soared away,
  And left a smile upon the passive clay.

I heard Mr. Dawson, from 'Peter followed afar off'--a season, I hope,
never to be forgotten; for then Richard made up his mind to accept
the invitation, and 'come near,' as Mr. D. expressed it. This to me
is matter of joy and thanksgiving; for since I knew that Mr. D. was
coming, it has been my prayer, that his visit might be made a
blessing to some, not particularly thinking of my son. Thus, beyond my
expectation, has the Lord condescended to my prayer.

  AFTER A FIT OF SICKNESS.

  While thousands in Thy courts are found,
    Waiting on bended knee;
  Behold, in solitude, a worm,
    That dares approach to Thee,
  To me the heavenly gift impart,
    Thy Holy Spirit send;
  To fill and sanctify my heart,
    And bid its wand'rings end.
  Then health or sickness let me share,
    As wills eternal love;
  For all is well, if Thou art near,
    Thy creature to approve.
  My grateful thanks for ease I bring,
    And every comfort given;
  Nor less for sorrows, sent to wing
    My grov'lling soul to heaven.
  Great God! to Thee my wishes flow,
    Who dost my life prolong;
  Thy witness let me live below,
    Thy statutes be my song.

"Ere the day broke, the Lord broke in upon my soul with the words,
'Thy sun shall no more go down, nor Thy moon withdraw itself, for
the Lord shall be thy everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning
shall be ended.' Such light shone upon the whole chapter, as filled
my soul with gratitude for the rich promises given to the people of
God.--Called to see a man and his wife, both sick, to whom the Lord
has blessed affliction. The man was rejoicing in the Lord, and the
woman is resolved not to rest short of salvation. While we united in
prayer she received some encouragement."



XIV.

POWER WITH GOD.

  "FOR WHEN I AM WEAK, THEN AM I STRONG."--2 Cor. xii. 10.


Do you ever receive answers to your prayers? We do not speak to those,
who look upon prayer simply as an act of homage done to a superior
being; _they_ do not expect any: but to those, who believe that prayer
has power with God. Why are so many prayers ineffectual, even of those
who really expect an answer? Some lack _earnestness_; they are too
diffusive, like the letter of the young maiden, in which she asks a
hundred questions, which are forgotten as soon as she has attached the
seal. Others want warmth; they are too formal, like a petition to a
sovereign; which may, or may not, receive a gracious and condescending
reply. Others are importunate, and earnest enough, like the beggar's
appeal for relief, but without much hope of success. But how few,
like the cry of a child, who runs to his father with his one, for
the moment, all-absorbing request, never dreaming of a refusal, and
importunately urged till he succeeds. Yet such is the spirit of filial
affection and confidence we are privileged to use before God. For
"This is the confidence we have in Him; that if we ask any thing
according to His will, He heareth us; and if we know that He hear us,
whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions, that we desired
of Him." Mrs. Lyth's distinguishing feature, was her love of prayer.
It was, to use her own words, "the life of her soul, her delight, her
greatest joy;" and her practice bore out the truth and sincerity of
her words. Besides her own stated hours of private devotion, which
were frequent, it was her practice for many years to conduct family
worship three times a-day. But beyond this, innumerable occasions
presented themselves, which stimulated her thirsting soul. The call of
a friend, or the arrival of a letter; the prospect of a journey, or
a safe return: the recollection of a promise, or the reception of
a blessing; a wakeful night, or a sunny day; in a word, whatever
strongly impressed her spirit as a subject of thanksgiving, or
an object of desire, was to her the signal for prayer. And not
unfrequently, engagements were entered into with her intimate friends,
to offer at given times, special intercessions for particular objects;
engagements, which were faithfully fulfilled. This ceaseless spirit
of prayer was the source of strength; for, though naturally of a timid
and retiring disposition, "As a prince she had power with God and
man, and prevailed." These remarks, a careful reader will find fully
sustained by her own journal.

"1832.--Sent a letter to M.W.O may it be blest to her! M.W. was at the
class, and seemed thankful for the admonition.--I went to the village
on the Lord's errand, _praying_ He would make my going prosperous; He
graciously inclined one friend to accompany me to Mr. B.'s class--I am
encouraged to hope there is a work of grace upon her heart: O that it
may prove lasting! In visiting one of my members, I found there was
no family-prayer. We prayed together, and on her knees she appeared
deeply to mourn her neglect, and promised the Lord to do better.
In two or three other little visits, I found the Lord among His
people.--Had a precious interview with Mrs. Benjamin A.: our souls
were melted before the Lord. O how the world was eclipsed, while our
full hearts were aspiring after God! I feel the effect still.--How
like a dream is life! we view the scene, and ere we are aware, it
is gone for ever; but to every moment is attached the importance of
eternity. After a sharp fit of sickness, how sweet is ease! yet these
seasons are blessed to me, inasmuch as they lead me to look more
closely into scripture declarations, respecting the blessings
associated with patient endurance. My soul seeks shelter in the secret
place of the Most High.--Heard a faithful sermon from Mr. R.: I always
profit under heart-searching sermons, as they discover the secret
lurkings of nature. I feel the importance of endeavouring to enlarge
the powers of my mind, since I am accountable to God for their
improvement. I regret, that I have spent so much time to such little
purpose. Whither shall I go? To whom shall I flee? My heart says,
'Mould as thou wilt thy passive clay;' prepare my work, and by Thy
grace helping me, I will put my neck under Thy yoke. Give me Thy
abiding Spirit, that in my age I may bring forth fruit to Thy glory;
enlarge and fertilize the powers of my mind; and teach me to cultivate
the talents Thou hast given me. To aid my recollection, I here write
them down: time, health, powers of mind--as memory, understanding,
&c.; powers of body--as tongue, hands, and feet; money.--I went to see
a dying man, but was denied. However, I knelt down with his wife, and
several others who were present, feeling deeply concerned for their
souls.--My body is very feeble, yet I wish to be fully resigned to the
will of God, even should I be entirely laid aside; for,--thank God,--I
feel no disposition to repine at the dealings of providence. I only
regret that I have so little improved my health and opportunities,
for my own benefit and the good of my fellow-creatures.--Increasing
symptoms of weakness; but the joy of the Lord is my strength: my soul
longs after Him.--To-day I sent a note to the chapel, to announce
that our house would he open for prayer at two o'clock; earnestly
requesting the praying friends to come, and bring with them any of
their neighbours, who were desirous of fleeing from the wrath to come.
At the appointed time nine persons came; and while we were united in
prayer, I enjoyed the softening power."

  The cheerful breeze, and sunny ray,
  Pour on the earth the sweets of day;
  The blushing rose, and lily vie
  With the carnation's deeper dye;
  The dappled cloud, and welkin blue,
  With lights and shadows ever new,
  In language loud to me declare,
  Lo! God is here! and God is there!
  Here--in His handy work, I see
  His wisdom, skill, and majesty;
  There--His sublimer glories shine--
  God over all, in all, divine!

"Mr. and Mrs. Isaac came. The ravages of disease were painfully
evident in him; and on the following morning while breakfasting
with us, he had another attack of paralysis. So uncertain is all
on earth.--On my return from Sinnington, as I was sauntering in the
streets of Malton, expecting to meet my husband, a person tapped me on
the shoulder, and asked me if I was not Richard Burdsall's daughter,
and being answered in the affirmative, pressed me to dine with him. So
'the memory of the just is blessed.' I have enjoyed a sweet calm, and
prayerful spirit.

"Acomb.--Visited some of the dear people, among whom I was much
encouraged. At the prayer-meeting Mr. R. requested me to speak to a
person, whom he believed to be seeking the Lord. With some reluctance
I did so. When I addressed him, he said, 'O I am miserable, there is
no mercy for me.' I bid him pray; immediately he began to cry aloud,
and obtained some comfort, but not confidence.--Had a very profitable
interview with Mrs. C., and from thence went to the chapel. There
the glorious Lord was as 'broad rivers and streams' to us. I felt the
overwhelming power of saving grace. About _half-past ten_ I retired to
rest; and while engaged in prayer, was drawn out on behalf of
several friends, and especially for the young man, who was so deeply
distressed on Friday evening. Thus the Lord puts us in mind of our
fellow-pilgrims, and teaches us to care for each other.--This morning
the young man sent for Mr. R., wishing to see him, and to inform him
of the happy change wrought in his heart by the Spirit of God. Mr. R.
being out, an interview was fixed for the afternoon. He came, and the
rapture he was in exceeded anything I ever witnessed. He stated, that
on the preceding night he retired to his own room about _ten o'clock_;
took his Bible, and on his knees at his bedside, was praying till
about _eleven_. When he came to the last verse, 'He that believeth
on the Son of God hath life,' &c., he resolved within himself, I will
believe: and immediately the power was given him. He rose from his
knees 'rejoicing with a joy unspeakable, and full of glory;' and went
down stairs to tell his fellow-servants, that he had found the pearl
of great price, and how easy it was to believe: wishing them to share
in the blessedness he felt. He added, 'O praise the Lord, O my soul!'
'My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit rejoiceth In God my
Saviour!'--After meeting my class in the city, I started home, not
intending to visit the absent members: but being deeply pressed in
spirit I returned, and calling upon one and another, found one in deep
sorrow. I feel thankful I obeyed the inward impulse.--Saw old Fanny,
laid on the bed of affliction, and surrounded with poverty; but
praising the Lord. She said, 'Praise the Lord, I feel Him precious!
Glory be to God, my prospect is as clear as noonday! I can meditate
upon His goodness, when I am by myself, in the night season: yet the
enemy tempts me sometimes.'--During the last week family duties
have been privileges. While hearing the word read, and addressing my
heavenly Father in prayer, the streams flowing from the Rock Christ,
have refreshed my spirit.--Prevented from meeting with the dear
people, I betook myself to prayer. Here I felt humbled, and melted
down while pleading for them, myself, and mine. Thus to be shut in
with God is sweet; but what must it be to enjoy the unclouded glories
of His presence?--being 'changed from glory to glory.'--O my God,
give me a fuller discovery of Thyself; and though outwardly dull of
hearing, let me hear Thy inward voice continually whisper in my heart,
'I am Thy God, Thy shield, and Thy exceeding great reward.' I have
twice to-day joined with His worshipping people, but in neither case
experienced what I have felt to-night, while pouring out my soul
before the Lord. Stripped of every plea, I hang upon Jesus. Through
Him alone my succour comes.--Though weak in body, the morning damp,
and the roads dirty, I got to chapel, where I was amply repaid by a
discovery of my obligations to the Lord, for having been taken to the
house of God from the earliest period of my life; the privilege being
continued, with, a few intervals of necessary correction, until now.
I felt myself more indebted to God, and more culpable than any present
for the little improvement I have made of my privileges; but my heart
was melted down in gratitude and love.--On the verge of the old, and
the threshold of the new year. Solemn thought! perhaps I now stand on
the verge of eternity! How stands my case in the sight of God? On what
do I build my hope, and what is my confidence? After close examination
I can say, I rest on nothing but the atoning merits of Jesus. I feel
His mercy now."

  "1833. Again from sickness raised, to Thee
    Afresh my vows I plight;
  While God in everything I see,
    Sickness or health is right.

  Thou canst not err; 'Thy will be done,'
    Be full submission mine;
  Subjected to Thy will alone,
    My will be lost in Thine.

  These kind corrections from Thy hand,
    Shall blessed ordeals prove;
  To bow me to Thy mild command,
    And melt me into love.

  My soul shall bless Thee for the past,
    And rest upon Thee now;
  The future--on Thy promise cast,
    And wait Thy will to know."

"I have been kept at home to-day through indisposition; but have
endeavoured to improve my time to the Lord by prayer, the exercise
of my memory, writing,--reading the Word, and also 'Bickersteth's
Student's Guide:' but imperfection is stamped upon all I do.--The last
night was very tempestuous, and awoke me from sleep. I got upon
my knees and found my security in Him, who holds the, winds in His
fists.--I have received letters from my three sons. How pleasant are
such communications! How my heart would embrace them all! and would
not God embrace _us_ all? Yea, how much more? O my slowness of heart
to believe! A friend from the village called; and conversing on the
low state of spiritual feeling among us, we agreed to make the case
known to God every forenoon at half-past ten.--At the appointed hour I
felt the throne accessible, and my soul was revived and stirred up:
as to the village, I know not what to say.--Praise God, my soul is
happy--happy still. My appointment was brought to my recollection very
near the moment: my own soul was refreshed, but I experienced little
feeling for my neighbours.--Half-past ten: a blessed softening season;
felt the village laid as a burden upon me, for which I had power to
plead. [These memoranda are continued, and the voice of intercession
was not in vain; for within a short time, thirty new members were
added to the little village society]."

  TO MY MARY.

  Why does my Mary look so sad,
    And wear a pensive air?
  Where can the antidote be had
    To banish gloomy care?

  Say, why your spirits sink and droop;
    Will Jesus not return?
  Arise, He calleth you, look up;
    O'er you His bowels yearn.

  No sorrow can the bosom feel,
    But Jesus' love can cure;
  The wounded spirit He can heal,
    The fainting heart assure.

  The humble, contrite sinner shares
    His kind, observing eye;
  He sees your tears, He hears your prayers,
    And will regard your cry.

  Arise, and shake you from the dust,
    Arise, 'He calleth _you_;'
  With filial boldness dare to trust,
    And find His promise true.

  So gloom and sadness shall retreat,
    And peace and joy return;
  For while you sit at Jesus' feet,
    Your heart with love will burn.

"Saw a letter from dear little John, informing his sister that he,
with others of his school-fellows, has entered the Methodist Society.
He is just about the same age I was, when I received my first ticket;
and from connexion with this people my name has never been erased,
though hundreds of times I have not deserved the privilege of
membership; but the people have borne with me, and more than this,
God has borne with me, even till now. Glory be to God for ever!--Some
struggle through life, and through successive years, are tossed on
stormy seas; others more calmly pass their appointed time; but such as
die in infancy, fly as a bird to its rest, and are privileged with an
early entrance into glory. So happy was James R., who careless of all
below, smiled, and bid the world adieu.--Had an interview with Mrs.
B.A. We found it good to be at the feet of Jesus. I told her that I
thought of resigning my Sabbath class, that I might turn my attention
more fully to the village. We agreed to bring it before the Lord for
a fortnight, to ask his direction.--I have written eight copies of
Mr. Stoner's 'Rules for Prayer-Meetings.' and given them to our
prayer-leaders. At the time of distribution, a circumstance occurred,
which, though distinct from them, yet happening at the same time,
will possibly be connected with them in my future recollections, and
occasion mingled feelings.--Delivered my Sabbath class-book to Mrs.
A., who, in connexion with Mrs. C., has kindly relieved me, for the
present, of a responsibility, which, under existing circumstances, I
feel it right to decline.

"Acomb.--Accompanied Mrs. E----n to see several of the friends, who
were sick. Called upon Mr. M., whose housekeeper died suddenly the
night I came; he seemed pleased with, our visit, and promised to join
the people of God. Lord, help him to perform his promise, by taking
possession of his heart.--I got to the morning prayer-meeting, and was
unusually drawn out in prayer as I went, that the Lord would he with
us and bless us; and not in vain. It was a blessed season, and I
believe others felt it also. O that the Spirit from on high may
be poured out, that Satan's kingdom may have a mighty shake this
Whitsuntide!--I felt it my duty to call upon a neighbour or two,
who, as I am informed, think themselves insulted by some, who wished
faithfully to discharge their duty, in a matter of church discipline.
I went in the character of a peacemaker, and after conversing with
them on the necessity of seeking a higher state of feeling, we prayed
together, and felt liberty. O that in good earnest, they may begin
to seek the Lord! I told them that, in my poor way, I should remember
them. Lord, lay them upon my heart, that I may not forget. To-night
my soul is truly happy in God. I feel much drawn out in prayer that
Satan's kingdom may fall, and the religion of Jesus prevail in this
village.--I felt it unusually sweet to bow before the Lord in secret,
and bear up my neighbours at His throne, I felt

  'The speechless awe that dares not move,
  And all the silent heaven of love.'

"My best seasons have been in retirement. Called upon some of my sick
neighbours, and aimed to please God in all my visits. O Lord, follow
with Thy blessing my weak efforts! Quicken the lukewarm, and
pardon the guilty. I was glad to see some new faces at the evening
preaching.--Met with my friends in band, and proposed meeting every
day at two clock, to entreat the Lord to deepen His work in our souls;
and especially, to hear us on behalf of our friends.--My soul was
blessed, while bowed before the Lord with my little John. Surely the
Spirit of prayer was poured upon us.--Went to J.S. to tell him of his
faults, which, I am sorry to find by his own confession, supply just
ground for censure, though exaggerated by report. Yet I did not feel
that sweet Christian pity, which I have felt to others in similar
circumstances. O for that yearning charity, that endeavours to draw
out of Satan's snare the souls entangled by him!--Called to see my
much esteemed friend, Miss C., who is sinking through decay of nature.
She says, 'I look for the accomplishment of the promise _now_;'
and speaking of the Lord's Supper, she said, 'I do not think any
particular preparation is necessary; because, if we do not always live
ready to communicate, we are not living as we ought.' When prayer was
proposed, she said, 'Pray that I may have increase of faith, patience,
and resignation.'--I addressed a note to Richard on the subject of
salvation, and placed it where he might find it accidentally. Asked
Mrs. R. to let me have a prayer-meeting in her house on Sabbath
afternoon; she readily consented. O that God would meet us
there!--With a feeble body, I set forward to the prayer-meeting;
inviting as I went some, who seldom attend. Met with one whom I had
never seen before, who seems desirous of salvation, and was glad to
accompany me. There the Lord met with us. One soul was made truly
happy, and another rejoiced in the Lord, having received good the week
before. It was indeed a blessed season; but my poor body was pressed
down with pain, which rendered it necessary for me to lie in bed till
Monday evening.--The two who have lately found peace, came to our
house; we conversed, prayed with them, read the rules, and gave them
each a copy. O bless my feeble efforts!--In answer to prayer, I awoke
at five o'clock and arose, and though my body is weak, my spirit is
alive.--I am this day going to attempt the formation of a new class,
having secured a place in the village to meet in. I leave the result
with the Lord, who knows my heart, and the hearts of the people. Empty
me of self, and if Thou canst, use me for Thy glory, and give me a
proof that I am not going a warfare at my own charge. Visiting some
of the villagers, I felt that I was on the Lord's errand, and think
I lost sight of self. O might it never more steal in! At half-past
three, I went to friends R., who have kindly offered a room to meet
in, and have also given in their names to meet with us. The two young
women, who have lately witnessed a good confession, also joined with
us, making four in all. O write each name in heaven!--This evening
thirty new members were admitted on trial. What a privilege to be
numbered with God's people! But when I remember that the Lord is
a wall of fire round about them, I wonder that I am not more in
earnest.--I found the throne easy of access. I believe the influence
in our little meeting was general. What enjoyment has the world to
equal communion with God?--Increased communion with God. I was at
the prayer-meeting in the morning, and afterwards called upon several
persons, to whom I endeavoured to speak faithfully; but who regards
it? Lord, I leave my feeble efforts with Thee. I write, and why?
because the review of God's mercies proves a stimulus; and often,
while committing to paper the Lord's dealings with me, His love flames
brighter on my heart."

  ALL SHALL BE WELL.

  If Jesus be with me, when sorrows assail,
  And floods of affliction against me prevail;
  His countenance lifted, my passions shall still,
  And all shall be well, while I suffer His will.

  If crosses perplex me, and perils surround,
  Repose in my Saviour, my foes shall confound;
  No weapon shall prosper, or cause me to fear,
  But all shall be well, while His presence is here.

I repaired to Mrs. R.'s to meet the dear people; every part of my way
seemed doubtful, but the Lord was graciously with me. We were eight
assembled, and a blessed influence rested on us. Some were earnestly
seeking pardon.--Had a deeply interesting interview with Mrs. B., who
is depressed on account of worldly circumstances, and wants confidence
in Him, who has commanded us to cast 'all our care upon Him.' I felt a
spirit of sympathy, and the Lord poured upon us the spirit of prayer;
our hearts melted, and our months were filled with arguments.--Prayer
has been very sweet to me; I have increased power to rest upon the
promises, and through Christ to claim them. Yet in myself, I discover
such a depth of vileness, that, when I think of the amazing love of
God to me, my soul is humbled and adores. Tears of gratitude overflow
my eyes, that God--the God of Gods, should condescend to such a worm
as I.--By a letter from my Richard to his father, I am encouraged to
believe the Lord is again working upon his mind. It caused tears of
joy to run down my cheeks, and on our knees we united together to
thank the Lord. May the good be permanent.--At my own bedside the
spirit of prayer was so abundantly given, that I could scarcely cease
pleading for my children, _especially Richard_,--I welcome the return
of the Sabbath. Nature, even at this advanced season of the year,
exhibits an unusual degree of verdure; and invites me to adore the
Ruler of times and seasons, who confers such rich and ceaseless
blessings on rebellious man,--even upon me, the most undeserving;
for by divine light I see that everything I do is defective; yet, by
simply venturing upon Christ in prayer and faith, I receive peace and
power. I have received a very pleasing communication from _Richard_,
describing the anguish of mind through which he has passed on account
of sin; and informing me, that he has come to the cross and obtained
deliverance through believing. He says, 'Whereas I was once blind, now
I see.' On this account my soul rejoices. 'O for a heart to praise my
God.' Our removal to York is now fixed to take place in three months
(God willing). So uncertain is everything upon earth. Fix Thou the
bounds of our habitation, and encamp round about our abode, and all
shall be well.



XV.

THE RETURN.

  "TO SEE THY POWER AND THY GLORY, SO AS I HAVE SEEN
  THEE IN THE SANCTUARY."--Psalm lxiii. 2.


Of all deprivations, none is so great, or as painfully felt by a
truly devout soul, as the loss of religious ordinances. With what
deep pathos does the Psalmist lament his long exile from the scene of
solemn rites and holy sacrifice!

  'How amiable are Thy tabernacles,
    O Lord of Hosts!
  My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth
    For the courts of the Lord;
  My heart and my flesh crieth out
    For the living God.'

He envies the birds of the air, that free and unfettered, build their
nests hard by the temple of his God, while he, a banished man, must
seek a refuge in the wilderness.

  'Yea the sparrow hath found an house,
    And the swallow a nest for herself,
  Where she may lay her young;
    Even thine altars, O Lord of Hosts,
  My King and my God.'

Mrs. Lyth loved the habitation of the Lord's house, and deprecated
the prospect of separation from its privileges, which was rendered
extremely probable by her increasing weakness. Eastfield House was
about a mile from the village, and between three and four from York.
In case of decided failure of health, she would not only have been
cut off from active usefulness in which she delighted, but entirely
excluded from christian ordinances. With the view of a little relief,
she had already relinquished one of her classes in the city, and
turned her attention more exclusively to the village; but now there
was every likelihood that she must soon give up the other. These
circumstances, with some others of less moment, determined the
propriety of a removal back to York. Shortly before this took place,
in one of her walks thither, for the purpose of meeting her class, a
circumstance transpired which is worth relating. She met on the road
an odd old man, whose extraordinary appearance made him, at that time,
well known in York and its vicinity. At one time above the average
stature, he was now bent nearly double with age, and hobbled along
with two sticks. A huge bunch of the old fashioned matches, attached
by a string to his neck, hung down before him, and was sufficient sign
of his occupation; while a long white beard, reaching well nigh to
the ground, completed the singularity of his appearance. This latter
appendage was, however, conveniently made to take off and on at
pleasure. He was fabulously reported to be a hundred and twenty
years old; and there was little doubt that he, and also his wife
who sometimes accompanied him, were on the eve of celebrating their
centenary, if they had not already done so. When Mrs. Lyth met him,
she was strongly impelled to speak to him on the subject of religion;
but being alone, and a little timid, she passed on. When she had
proceeded about a hundred yards, she felt so much pained with
the omission of her duty, that she hastened back, and faithfully
discharged her conscience. We need only add, that the old man and his
wife began to attend the chapel, and ultimately became members of Mr.
Lyth's class. The old man got rid of his beard and his sins together,
and, about two or three years later, both died in the hope of eternal
life.

"1834.--Able to go to the village. Called to see Mrs. B., who seems to
have a desire to be saved, but has to contend with great affliction.
Another proof of the importance of seeking the Lord in health. Poor
old Mrs. L. is much altered, and did not recollect me. So mutable and
perishing is man. On reviewing the day, I think I have been aiming
to please God; but my performances are so poor, that I have need to
humble myself before God.--I got to see Mrs. R., most probably for
the last time. She is apparently near the close of life, and patiently
waiting the will of God. From thence I went to visit M.H. in the
county hospital, but as dinner came in, I left her to see Mrs. W., who
is in a precarious state, and much encumbered with worldly care. Here
the Lord gave me power of utterance, and the spirit of prayer.--After
six days spent at Acomb, I returned home much out of love with myself.
My visit on the whole has been pleasant. With and without my friends,
I have visited many of the inhabitants. In some cases I have derived
profit; but in others, I have had to take up my cross: yet I have had
but one aim--to do, and get good.--I went to meet the dear people,
but I was so overwhelmed by a dull pain in my head--accompanied with
drowsiness, that I thought, how shall I speak to them? but the Lord
graciously removed the indisposition, and blest my soul.--The Rev.
Daniel Isaac departed this life, after a lingering illness. He
preached his last sermon in Haxby, and paid his last visit to our
house; but the place that knew him shall know him no more for ever. So
will it soon be said of me.--Jesus hath broke the bars of death,
and opened paradise. In visiting, I was much refreshed. Tears of
contrition rolled down the face of Mrs. L. and Mrs. E. One was added
to the little class. All were present, and I felt loath to take leave
of them; but so it must be. Thos. Y. will now take charge of them.
Thus ends my career in Haxby. And after the toil and trouble of
removing, I am now comfortably seated at Grove Terrace. To Thee, the
blessed Donor of all I enjoy, would I render thanks. I have written
an address to my Haxby members.--The division of my little class seems
now to be working well. O Lord behold and come, visit this vine; let
its young and tender branches twine round about Thee; yea, let the
whole be baptized with the Holy Ghost!--The last moments of this
beautiful month (May) will soon have past for ever; but the record
will remain, when the angel shall stand, 'one foot on the sea and the
other on the land, and swear that time shall be no longer.' Solemn
thought! I feel the importance of it, and the necessity of being
clothed upon, with the righteousness of Christ. Well, I have got into
the stripping-room. O for a full abandonment of self, a full giving
up! Praise God, my heart yields, and distrusting itself, lays hold
of Jesus by faith. I feel solicitous for the spiritual and temporal
welfare of my family, especially my two eldest sons. My resolve is to
cast my care upon God. I feel power to leave them in His hands, and
believe He will work on their behalf.--I opened my Bible, and my eye
was caught by the words, 'Can God furnish a table in the wilderness?
Behold He smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams
overflowed. Can He give bread? Can He provide flesh for His people?'
It appeared a broad answer to a conversation we had the night
preceding. I was encouraged to lay hold on it.--Only indisposed, but
made myself worse by going to the leaders' meeting, as it came on
rain. In this, O Lord, forgive my rashness, for such it was, another
having kindly offered to go for me.--Quite laid aside with sickness
and pain, yet saved from murmuring, and just patience enough. The Lord
is wise, and long-suffering in all His dealings with me. I have to-day
reached my fifty-second year, and though in the school of affliction,
am patiently watched over by the kindest of instructors. Oh! the
unbounded love of my unwearied, though oft offended God!

"Sinnington. It is a week since my husband brought me from Scarbro'
to this place, where my health is improving, and my opportunities
of retirement are less interrupted. My mind has been more stayed and
recollected, and I enjoy greater peace. I am learning to come direct
to Jesus, who is ready to hear the cry of those, who need His help.
Being secluded from the world, I want to secure some advantage, that
will appear in after time. I am reading Mr. Watson's Life, some parts
of which I find profitable.--In consequence of pain in my head, it has
been thought advisable to call in a physician; but I would not trust
in man, nor make flesh my arm; nevertheless it is right to use
the means, and God can give His blessing. Since my return from the
country, many cares and exercises have been my portion; but, knowing
they are the appointments of my heavenly Father, it is in my heart to
pray, 'Thy will be done.'--My two friends, B. and R., who enjoy great
nearness to God, came to join with me in interceding for my dear
family, three of whom are about to leave home, and go into the world.
They were in a blessed frame of mind.--My Mary gave her hand to Mr.
Jackson. The night previous, pressed with the solicitude of a mother,
my sleep departed from me. I was deeply prayerful; my spiritual
feeling increased, and I was truly blessed, while I frequently
repeated with my heart the following lines:--

  Jesus, Saviour, condescend
  At this marriage to attend;
  For Thyself each heart prepare,
  Grant that all Thy love may share.
  Come, thou great expected guest,
  Come, and enter every breast;
  Lest the subtle foe steal in,
  Screen us with Thy guardian wing.

(Early in the morning her daughter entered the room, and begged her to
pray for her. She readily consented, and embracing her, said, 'I have
been praying for you from retiring until daybreak.') The morning was
propitious; and while Mr. C. read the twelfth of Romans and prayed,
the presence of the Lord was among us.--William started for Sheffield
to seek a new situation, I trust under the care of God, having the
night before commended him, by united prayer, to the kind Providence
of our heavenly Father. For many days I have enjoyed the soul's calm
sunshine; yet, I feel it is of mercy, not of works. Jesus' blood
is all my plea. Praise God, who, through the vicissitudes of this
eventful month, gives me tranquillity of mind. Now, I am anticipating
the return of Richard to London, to secure his diploma; so that
three out of four leave the paternal roof this month. With respect to
Richard, my mind is impressed with far more cheering hopes, than
when he went last year. Then, fallen from his steadfastness, he was
wandering upon the dark mountains; but now, returned to the Lord, he
is sensible of his obligations, and wishes to make some return. Lord
make me grateful for this proof of Thy love, and make my Richard a
burning and shining luminary, wise to win souls.--Went to the Haxby
Missionary Meeting; but to me all was disappointment. Some who
professed much friendship when I left them, looked very cool; some I
wished to see, I saw not; the chapel not full; no missionary-boxes,
although I know of four in the place; the collection not half the
amount of last year; the speeches did not profit me; perhaps I did not
keep the path of duty, for I left my class to be met by another, and
neglected seeing one who expected me. I was grieved with myself; and,
with a burdened mind, bowed my knees and poured out my complaints
before God, who listened to my cry and sent me help, melting me
down before Him, and making me willing to be more obedient in
future.--Visited Mrs. C. again; she said, 'I feel happy. Last
Thursday, after you were here, I pleaded with God, until the words
were applied--

  'Believe, and all your sins forgiven,
  Only believe, and your's is heaven.'

I thought surely this is for me, and felt I could believe it was;'
and then came the words, 'when thou passest through the valley of the
shadow of death, I will be with thee;' and I believe it.' My heart
rejoiced with her.--Being indisposed, I commenced a letter to my
friends in Acomb, when, just as I completed one side, Mrs. R. and
little Charles came in, and glad I was to see them. She told me, that
a friend of her youth who moves in high life, having been awakened
to a sense of her sinful condition, had sent to her repeatedly for
advice. Feeling interested for her, she requested me to unite with her
in pleading at the throne of grace; to which I acceded, knowing that
it is not a vain thing to call upon God. The appointed times are every
Tuesday, at half-past nine in the morning, and half-past nine in the
evening. This is recorded to aid my memory. Aid us by Thy Spirit, or
our efforts will be vain.--The engagement, though not at the exact
time, was remembered, and I entered a little into the business. Miss
C. came to request me to meet a lady at their house, who is convinced
of her lost condition. With some diffidence, from a sense of my own
unfitness, I accompanied her, and conversed with the lady on the dawn
and progress of a work of grace in the heart; lent her 'Fletcher's
Address,' and after Mrs. C. and I had prayed, we parted. But knowing
the good that is done on the earth, the Lord doeth it, I have made it
matter of earnest prayer, for she is much laid upon my mind. This,
I believe, is pleasing to God, and the rather, as this morning on
opening the word of God, I saw how Ezekiel was humbled before the Lord
for the people of Israel and Judah.--Being in health, I went forth,
praying for direction and the blessing of God. Some kind friends
gave me twenty-two shillings to help a poor member. This I took; she
received it thankfully. Visited Mrs. C., she is able to rest in God.
Called on Mr. S., and left 'Fletcher's Address;' also upon Mrs. D.,
and left a copy of the same. O that the Spirit may do his office!
Why do I speak thus? He waits to enter: may they be willing to
yield.--Went to Pocklington to see Mrs. P. There I met with E.
Brookes, Esq. His private walk bespeaks him a devoted man. I esteemed
it a privilege to lodge under the same roof. My journey has been blest
to both body and soul; having acknowledged God, my way was made plain,
and His presence has comforted me. I returned home in Mr. B.'s gig.
I had not arrived many minutes, before Miss H. came to converse on
spiritual things; I thought it providential that I came at the
time: but who is sufficient for these things? O bless the dear young
disciple! Mrs. D. has received good, indeed her countenance indicated
the change. She told me she purposed commencing family-prayer in the
evening: one mark of genuine conversion.--I had a very profitable
interview with a lady, who came to converse on divine things. How many
opportunities have I missed, which might have thus been employed to
advantage. 'My mouth as in the dust I hide.'

"1835. Able to meet my class: seventeen present. A fresh member turned
in, and appeared sensible of her lost condition. My soul felt that
painful struggling with the powers of darkness, which I have often
experienced when knelt by the side of a seeking sinner. As the people
withdrew, a little girl was waiting for me to go and see her mother,
who is much worse. I found her supported in bed by a neighbour, the
perspiration streaming down her face. She held out her hand to me, and
told me Christ was precious. By-and-bye a whisper was heard,

  'I'll praise my Maker while I've breath.'

Her voice failed. While I prayed, angels seemed hovering around. I
said, you do not feel any doubt; she replied, 'No; I rest upon the
promise.' She died the next day.--My mind was deeply impressed with
the thought of eternity, occasioned by the sound of the passing bell.

  How leaden falls the deep-toned sound!
    The heart is with its weight oppress'd;
  A soul has cross'd life's narrow bound,
    A soul--for ever lost or blest.

  For ever! what a word is this!
    Ye careless mortals, be it known;
  In everlasting woe or bliss,
    This word, for ever! is your own.

  Momentous thought! I feel it now;
    This long eternity is mine:
  My soul shall this duration know,--
    A quenchless spark of life divine!

When I retired, I besought the Lord to awake me, and give me health
to go to the six o'clock prayer-meeting. In this, He condescended to
answer me; but my body inclined to rest. For a moment, I listened;
but my prayer and promise occurred to me, and durst I thus offend
the Lord? I rose, conferring no longer with flesh and blood, and was
abundantly repaid. The peace of God overflowed me as a river, and
while I write the effect remains. My soul was much drawn out on behalf
of some of my unconverted relatives. A little after we had risen
from our knees, one of them came in, and I seized the opportunity of
pressing upon him the necessity of a change of heart.--The spirit of
prayer was given to me in an unusual degree, especially on behalf of
my dear son, who believes himself called to the work of the ministry,
and has this day engaged to supply the place of one who has gone to
his reward. How important! May the Lord go with him.--For some time I
have thought of inviting Miss M.B. to class; but, not knowing whether
she had any concern for salvation, I demurred. Still the impression
followed me, and to-day I told her of it. The tears started in her
eyes, and she confessed with great frankness, that she was convinced
she must have the peace of God to be happy; but she had never
mentioned the subject to any but her mother. Surely this impression
was from the Lord, and in answer to prayer: for some time since,
her mother and I agreed to plead for our children every Wednesday
afternoon. My affections, divided to every member of my family, meet
in one point at the throne of grace; where many a time my expectations
are raised, and my soul blessed. To-day my husband takes a class; may
it be made an abundant blessing to his own soul.--The quarter-day:
much excitement, lest a rent should be made among us; my dear
christian friends, A. and B., came to my house to lay the matter
before the Lord, while the meeting was being held. There, indeed, we
did pour out our cause; buffeted, but much encouraged by the promise,
especially as it was given to two of us, 'I, the Lord, do keep it;
lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day.' We believed the Lord
would interpose, and so it was. We were told the case was wonderfully
overruled. O the condescension of our merciful High Priest!--Mrs. A.
brought me a sick visiting-book, which I did not refuse: for although
I feel my disqualification, yet am willing to do what I can, only let
me have heavenly aid. At twelve at noon, six of us opened a weekly
meeting for intercession: to me it was a blessed season. I have at
times great enlargement, but abasing views of my own depravity, with
expanded perceptions of the love and power of God--great in wisdom,
great in love, great in holiness, and yet He deigns to visit me.
'Faith, lends its realising light, the clouds disperse,' and let a ray
of the Infinite into my soul. Thus, in the midst of many things
that are painful, I am comforted.--Have been out to tea against my
inclination, and yet it was among my friends. Endeavoured to give a
religious tone to the conversation, but some, who ought to have come
forward, were silent; and to others without the least intention I
fear I have given offence. From this cause my mind is troubled; but
on reflection, think, I ought not to yield to such a feeling, being
conscious that my aim was to do right. To Thee, Oh Saviour, will I
look to overrule 'my every weak, though good, design.' While I write
my soul is happy. Glory be to God.--I am now enter the last hour
of 1835, much abased on the review of my own unfaithfulness, yes
earnestly desiring to commence anew, if permitted a little longer to
sojourn on earth.

  Oh! take possession of my heart,
    And let it hence Thy temple be;
  Willing, Thou seest me, now to part
    With all, that is unlike to Thee;
  O let the Spirit's seal be given
  The earnest of my future heaven!

  To Thee, O Lord, I would present
    My life, and health, and talent, now;
  Let nothing mar the pure intent
    And purpose of my solemn vow;
  But now the covenant blood apply,
  My feeble act to ratify.

  Come, sway the sceptre in my soul,
    Its secret springs adjust and move;
  Model each word, each thought control,
    And fill me with the light of love;
  So shall I do Thy perfect will,
  As angels, who Thy word fulfil.

Ten minutes past midnight.--To put me in remembrance,--my two friends
at a quarter before two every day. My one friend at three every
Wednesday."

"1836. Awoke with, 'Reckon yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but
alive unto God;' and 'Be ye not of a doubtful mind.' I feel resolved
henceforth, thus 'to reckon.' I have been too long dying--not dead,
and dishonouring God by 'a doubtful mind.' I now enjoy peace, with a
firm determination to keep His commandments, which are not grievous;
but I feel my weakness such, that I cannot trust myself. O my God,
help me to keep my covenant vows!"

  Look high, look low, look far and near,
  Changes in every scene appear;
  The blossom fades, the day is gone,
  And night succeeds the morning sun.
  The clear blue firmament is seen.
  But gath'ring clouds soon intervene;
  The sun, resplendent, hastes away,
  To give to other lands the day.
  The vig'rous youth to manhood grown,
  Becomes a hoary sire anon;
  The blooming maid becomes a bride,
  A loving consort by her side,
  The zenith point of earthly bliss,--
  But ah! a changing scene is this:
  The fairest prospects earth can boast,
  Are poor, and transient at the most;
  And closest ties of friendship fail
  To stay the bliss, we smile to hail.

"After a fortnight's suffering, my dear little grandson, Edward, left
our dark abode for everlasting day. Separation is painful, but the
prospect of eternal happiness brings sweet consolation. A little
before death he said, 'kneel down.' He was three years and ten months
old--a child of much promise--but is now safely transplanted to
nourish in a healthier clime.--Death strikes again--the infant, and
only surviving child of my Eliza, has escaped to glory. Several other
afflictive occurrences have been permitted, I am confident for my
good: yet I have better health than usual, and the consolations of my
God are not withheld. The Lord can make hard things easy, and
mingle the bitter cup with sweetness. O that I could make better
returns!--Thirty years ago, I gave myself to my husband with mingled
feelings of hope and fear. The words, 'thy Maker is thy husband,' have
been impressed upon my mind."

  Endearing title! wilt Thou be
  A husband, O my God, to me?
  Then, let me never grieve Thy love,
  Nor ever disobedient prove;
  Watchful Thy pleasure to obey,
  Thy precepts study night and day;
  Thy will at all times gladly do:
  _I will_. Lord help me to be true.

"Had all the preachers to breakfast with a friend or two
beside,--hoping the hour might be spiritually improved. Singing and
prayer were sweet, but I was disappointed in the conversation, which
was turned by two individuals upon a point that profited little; one
thing I learned, to expect profit in the creature is not right,--Tried
to bring about, and by means of another, effected a reconciliation
between two opposing parties.--'Who will this day consecrate his
services to the Lord?' was a question put to me this morning before
I awoke, and has been urged upon me since. Thank God, my heart
responds--_I will_. As I was walking, musing, and praying, it was
whispered to my soul, 'My God shall supply all your need.' It is
enough.--Again privileged to hear the Rev. Robert Newton. I sat in
my Father's banqueting-house with delight, and His banner over me was
love.--Fifty-four years this day, I have proved the sustaining power
of God; and forty-two or nearly so, have enjoyed His redeeming love. O
what a debter am I! Here will I give myself away--'tis all I can do."

  This day of consecrated rest,
  Proclaim within my longing breast
    'I am the Lord thy God;'
  Here dwell and reign without control,
  Sole monarch of my willing soul,
    According to Thy word.



XVI.

THE SACRIFICE.

  "I HAVE LENT HIM TO THE LORD; AS LONG AS HE LIVETH, SHALL
  HE BE LENT UNTO THE LORD."--1 Sam. i. 28.


"Neither will I offer burnt-offerings to the Lord of that which cost
me nothing," said David, when he purchased the threshing-floor, and
the oxen of Araunah the Jebusite, that he might rear and altar, and
offer sacrifices, and peace-offerings: and yet it was a nobler act
of sacrifice, when he poured out before the Lord the crystal draught
which three of his mighty men had procured from the well that was by
the gate of Bethlehem, at the peril of their lives, and for which he
had so earnestly longed. In the one case he gave what he could well
afford; in the other, he consecrated what his soul desired. The
preciousness of the gift is to be estimated, not by its intrinsic
value, but by the amount of sacrifice which it requires; hence, some
who bring much, offer little, and some who give but little, offer
much. Genuine love to God brings of its choicest and dearest, and the
sacrifice is accepted accordingly. To give money as far as she had
ability, was to Mrs. Lyth no sacrifice. Through life she practised
a rigid economy, that she might have the more to employ for God; and
during the last few years, when she had an ample income at her own
disposal, after her few and extremely moderate wants were met, the
whole was sacredly consecrated to public and private charities.
She saved nothing. Her estimate of the riches of this world may be
collected from the following, communicated by a friend:--"She was much
saved from the love of money. I called upon her one day for advice and
sympathy, when I was in great trouble in consequence of a loss which I
had sustained. She very affectionately encouraged me to bear up under
the trial, and said, the Lord had some better thing in store for
me;--that I must set my affections on things above, and then, to show
that I was not alone, told me that a thousand pounds had been left to
her mother by a deceased relative, which she had fully expected would
revert to her, as it was the intention of the testatrix; but it proved
to be a lapsed legacy. She added, 'The Lord so graciously sustained
me, that the loss never deprived me of a single hour's sleep. He knows
what is good for us, and If it had been His will, I should have had
it.' Mr. Lyth, who was in company with us at the time, said, 'So you
see my wife turns all to gold,' which it is well known she did. Oh! I
wish I was like her." But if she estimated worldly wealth only so far
as it afforded her the pure gratification of doing good, and it was
therefore no sacrifice to her to give of her earthly substance; she
also gave that which cost her something. Her eldest son, Richard,
whom she prized above gold, and all the more, because of the tears and
solicitude which she had expended upon him as a sickly and delicate
infant, was at the Conference of 1836 appointed to a distant and
perilous sphere of missionary labour. This was a demand upon her
feelings, which severely tested her love to Christ and His church; but
the spirit in which she made the sacrifice, is best displayed by her
own private record.

"1836. A letter from brother John Burdsall, who is at the Conference,
informs me, that he had some conversation with Dr. Bunting respecting
my Richard and the Friendly Islands. I feel as a mother, yet assured
that God is alike in every place, my prayer is for resignation.--Oh!
the rapidity of time, conference has commenced and will, I suppose,
appoint my Richard somewhere; only be it the place assigned by
Providence--my will submits, though nature would rebel.--My desires
tend upward, but oh! my wayward heart still clings to the creature--my
children lie near my heart. But, do I wish to withhold my son from
Thee? no; my heart says no;--only let holiness be stamped upon
his heart and character: send him where holiness will be the most
earnestly sought, and will make the most powerful impression. My will
does yield, but nature feels. The solicitude I feel for my children
depresses my spirit: yet am comforted by the promises of God, and
increasingly resolved to roll my every care at the foot of the Cross;
where, like pilgrim, I often find the strings of my burden unloosed,
and by faith beholding my unfailing Friend, am encouraged to believe
the God who cares for _me_, will care for _mine_. In the face of
my fears, O Lord, I trust in Thee. My Richard is appointed to the
Friendly Islands.--The cases of my three sons press upon my spirit;
but Thy aid, O Lord, I seek and ask and _have_.--It is the Sabbath
morn. I am fully bent to give myself and my family to God. But now
it is come to the point, how weak I feel! Well, but I will
resign--Richard is Thine; I will through grace, give him up to Thee.
The time of his departure is at hand; tidings have reached us that he
is expected to sail in the 'Royal George,' on the first of October.
O may He who sitteth above the water floods, and reigneth a King for
ever, take charge of him; and so succeed his errand, that thousands
may add lustre to his crown!--At half-past six Miss B. and Mrs. A. met
me, and Hannah S. who was seeking pardon. After we had pleaded for
a time, the Lord came down in power, and she cried aloud, 'I can
believe, I do believe.' We all shared the baptism. My dear family
all took tea together, perhaps for the last time. Thank God, we are
a united family, though we may separate wide from each other in our
pilgrimage through the world.--While pouring out my soul for my dear
Richard, I felt the hallowing power; I believe the Lord will be with
him and the people also. Things very painful to nature are now my
frequent lot; but through these, the Lord seeks to purge, and knit me
closer to himself. Lord give me grace to bear the sacrificing knife,
and let 'Thy will be done,'--Had a few friends to breakfast to commend
my dear Richard to God: it was a profitable hour, but I should have
liked more prayer.--My soul was much refreshed, especially in class.
What a fulness is treasured up in Jesus: and yet I only sip. In
visiting the sick, and seeking out the wanderers, feel I am right, but
seem to have little time for this work.

"Apperly Bridge. My Richard's wedding-day. While the bridal couple
went to church, I retired to plead a blessing on their union. On their
return, I met them with lines which were on my mind--

  'Blest in Christ your union be,
    Blest to all eternity.'

And so it will be, while they cleave to Jesus. After breakfast we
proceeded to Leeds, where we dined, and took an affectionate leave
of each other. I then retired with the female part of the company to
commend them to God." [Her parting counsels, which were inscribed in my
brother's album, were as follows:--]

"My dear son,--'Be strong through the grace, which is by Jesus Christ,
and the things, which thou hast heard before many witnesses, commit
to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. Endure
affliction as a good soldier of Jesus Christ, and the Lord give thee
understanding in all things. God is my witness, how I long for
you, that your love may abound more and more, in all knowledge
and spiritual understanding; that you may try the things that are
excellent; that you may be sincere, and without offence, unto the day
of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are
through Jesus Christ, to the praise and glory of God. And when the
Chief Shepherd shall appear, you shall receive the crown of glory
which fadeth not away.' This is the earnest prayer of your truly
affectionate mother."

"Mr. Burrows came, and talked sweetly to me of my privilege as a
christian in giving all to God, and prayed with us; else, during
this week sorrow and joy have mingled in my breast, but now I feel to
rise.--Mrs. R. having agreed to meet with me to intercede for my
dear Richard and Mary Ann, I went up accompanied by Mrs. W.--the Lord
blessed us together.--I feel encouraged.--A very stormy morning. This
led me to my knees, to pour out my soul for my son and daughter: O
keep them in the hollow of Thy hands! William has not yet returned
from seeing Richard off; I want to hear and know--yet am encouraged
to hope all will be well.--Days of suspense--but the thought, 'all is
well,' encouraged me; this was realised, when William returned in the
afternoon. 'Bless the Lord, O my soul,' and praise His adorable
name. My dear Richard sent me a letter, written when sailing down the
Thames, in which he says, 'The Lord is with us, we will not fear.'

"Sinnington. After the morning prayer-meeting, I called upon several
of the villagers, who kindly welcomed our visit. Prayed with every
family but one, and in each case felt the softening power. Spoke
plainly with Mr. B. respecting the alienation existing between him and
----. O that they would seriously resolve!--A very stormy day, but
braving the blast, I visited two or three friends, to have a last
interview with them; in one case to invite a person to join the people
of God; in another, to urge the necessity of family-prayer; a third
was a young person apparently in dying circumstances, and a fourth
was a quaker friend, whose disinterested friendship endears her to
me.--Visited the Lady Mayoress at the Mansion House, and felt quite
at ease. Had an opportunity of dropping a word in her ear, which she
seemed to receive kindly."

  The noontide hour is wont to be
  A blessed means of grace to me;
  When met, the hallowing power to share,
  In the sweet intercourse of prayer.

"Was drawn out in prayer for myself and others until a late hour, and
was much blest. After I had retired and had been asleep, I awoke with
these lines:

  'Soft and easy is Thy pillow,
    Coarse and hard the Saviour lay;
  Since His birthplace was a stable,
    And His softest bed was hay.'

My pillow seemed softer than usual, and my soul was happy.--Very
stormy." [Such notes of the weather repeatedly occur at this period,
but nothing more: her thoughts were after Richard, but her feelings
were too intense for expression. To a friend she remarked, that
for six months after her son's departure, she dared not touch, the
subject. 'I cannot write upon it,' she said, 'I am obliged to leave
it.']

"1837. Took tea with Mrs. D., with several christian friends; our
visit was blessed, all shared in the heavenly influence: if all
visits were equally profitable, I should regret to refuse an
invitation.--Paid a visit not so beneficial, though many good people
were there, and honourable too.--Rose too early by mistake, but
determined to profit by it, so I bowed myself at the feet of Him to
whom I can most freely unbosom myself and told Him all my cares, which
seemed to multiply as I spread them out before Him; found a little
access, but want the mighty faith that 'can the mountain move.'--Wm.
B.'s two daughters and daughter-in-law took tea with me, which
afforded me an opportunity of conversing with them on the necessity
of salvation. Presented each of them with a pocket companion.
Providentially Mrs. R. stepped in, and prayed with us. In the evening
I met the dear people, deeply feeling my own unfitness, and greatly
discouraged by their state. To increase my difficulty, a young
stranger came in to hear in silence; could get none to pray. What
shall I do? Resolved as soon as alone to roll my burden upon the Lord,
which I did, and felt encouraged.--Five months to-day since my last
letter from Richard. [Two days after she writes.] The evening post
brought me a letter, and 'all is well.' When we had read it, we bowed
before the Lord to acknowledge our gratitude. My dear friends, B. and
A., came to meet Mrs. B. to plead with the Lord on her behalf: she
obtained power to say, 'I love Him because He first loved me;' but
durst not affirm that her sins were forgiven.--Since the Missionary
Meeting, the recollection that I, with the rest of the assembly,
lifted my hand and pledged myself to increased exertion, has pressed
upon my mind. I am willing; Lord, direct my efforts! [This resolution
was not ineffective, for shortly after, she initiated the York Ladies'
Missionary Sewing Meeting, which for many years proved an important
source of income, and still exists, under the name of the 'Ladies'
Repository.']

"Hull. Called upon Mrs. H., and met there a lady, who acknowledges my
father as the instrument of her conversion. She was on one occasion
introduced into his class, and being a member of the Established
Church, he asked her if, when repeating the Creed, she believed 'in
the communion of saints, and the forgiveness of sins.' The arrow hit
the mark, and she never rested till she obtained the favour of God.
Called also upon Mr. E., whom we found indisposed, but awakened to a
sense of his lost condition. Was glad to hear him speak of his hard,
unfeeling heart, as I felt convinced the Spirit of God was working
upon him, and was encouraged to pray with and for him.--After an
agreeable journey, we returned to York--so swiftly time passes, how I
long to improve it! In the cabin of the packet, I took up a book which
lay on the table--written by Baxter--on 'Living for Eternity,' and
while reading, deeply felt the necessity of so doing. Two young
gentlemen sat at my left hand playing at a game of some sort, and I
was prompted to speak to them upon the importance of improving their
youthful opportunities. They received the admonition in a good spirit
and said, they wished they oftener met with kind reproofs.--Miss
B. and I collected for the infant school: some of our visits were
profitable--prayer sweetened our employment."

"Sinnington. My dear uncle is evidently failing. He has suffered much,
but the state of his mind is improving, and he is more accessible.
He goes to bed very early, and every night I have sat and prayed with
him. My own mind is in a composed frame. All around me exhibits the
finger of God. The stillness of nature impresses me with His presence;
I hear his voice, and all within me acknowledges Him Lord of all. I
have visited several of the villagers; some wept, but to others I seem
to tell an idle tale.--Four o'clock in the morning:--

  Midnight stillness! O! how solemn!
    Now surrounded by my God;
  How I long to breathe His fulness!
    How I long to walk with God!

  Thou whose eyes, unseen, behold me,--
    Mark my inmost rising thought;
  In this musing moment prompt me,
    Let my works in Thee be wrought.

  Aid, O aid my contemplation!
    To Thy cross my spirit lead;
  Humble, while I view Thy passion,
    _Me_,--that caused Thy heart to bleed.

  Let it melt me, O my Saviour,
    Melt me into love again;
  By Thy death to life restore me,
    In my soul for ever reign.

  Bring me into full salvation,
    Every secret thought control;
  Help my nature's imperfection,
    Sway Thy sceptre in my soul.

  Let all nature point to Jesus,
    Every scene reveal Him there,
  Earthly good, through Him, be precious,
    Voices chaunt Him everywhere.

  All I know, or taste, or handle,
    Be subservient to His will;
  Sun that shineth--stars that glitter--
    Flash His glory round me still.

"As I came out of the chapel, a person came to me with tears in her
eyes and requested me to pray for her, that the Lord would cleanse her
heart: I was humbled but encouraged.--My birthday: rose before five,
and consecrated my body and soul to the Lord. At an early hour was
sent for by the young person I saw a few days ago, who is still very
much afflicted. Inquiring what I should pray for, she said, 'That God
may pardon my sins.' I thought this a good sign, as she was in much
pain; and left her, believing God would save her. This word has been
my motto for some days, 'If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide
in my love;' and my heart is bent on it.--Awoke early; my meditations
were sweet. Visited S.P., while praying with her she wept much. O may
these meltings of a broken heart end in conversion! In the evening
went to J.B.'s to break the ice for them in commencing family-prayer,
but he was out, so after some close conversation with his wife on the
subject, we prayed together. Lord, help her to take up her cross.
On my return I went and prayed with uncle; I want to say to him
everything I ought--Lord help me.--I started early that I might invite
some of the villagers to the chapel: while thus engaged my heart was
lifted up to God for a blessing on my endeavours.--Miss C. came to
inform me, that last evening after returning from chapel, feeling her
need of justifying grace, she retired to her closet--her sisters,
and the young ladies having remained at the prayer-meeting. On their
return, several of them being deeply convinced of sin, united in
prayer; and so powerfully did the Spirit work, that six were crying
for mercy at once: thus they continued to pray and wrestle until two
in the morning, when five of them were made happy. On my way to Acomb,
I called in to rejoice with them, and was introduced to a young lady
who has been for some time under religious impression; whilst Mrs. R.
and I engaged in prayer, she found comfort; glory be to God.--A year
since my dear Richard left the land of his birth, to preach the gospel
in the islands of the seas. To commemorate the event, we had about
twenty friends to tea; after which we had a prayer-meeting on behalf
of my dear son, and the cause of missions.--The words of a Minister
should be as a stream from the living fountain, and themselves as
conduits, through which the stream runs. How needful then, that we
should bear them up before the throne, that there may be written upon
them, 'Holiness unto the Lord.'--Have been to see some of my members.
Two were out, one ill, a fourth indisposed, and a fifth in a very
unhappy frame of mind, whom I purposely left without prayer, not
knowing how to pray for her--never left her before without bowing the
knee. On arriving at home, I presented her case to God.--Have been put
into the office of Treasurer for the Clothing Society; Lord help me
faithfully to discharge this labour of love for the poor of Christ's
flock.--Saw J.P. on his dying bed. The enemy was making his last
assault upon him. I repeated several promises to which he listened
with attention, and then prayed with him. In about half an hour the
Lord broke in upon his soul so gloriously, that he desired his wife to
come and tell me what the Lord had done for him. My soul rejoiced with
him.--This solemn moment I give myself to Thee. O let me henceforth be
Thy devoted servant, willing at all times to yield my will to Thine!
Dost Thou say to me, 'I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee;
yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness?' Then
it is enough. I am the Lord's, and He is mine. Blessed union! God is
love; I feel it now.

"1838. In converse with my friends, I have endeavoured to keep a
conscience void of offence, and to walk in simplicity before the Lord;
but Oh! when viewed in the glass of God's law, how deficient! Yet will
I aim at the perfect model.--This morning, a young man named Calvert,
who is going as a missionary to the South Seas, called upon us. With
him I sent a letter to my Richard, having sat up the previous night
writing, and little thinking I should have such an opportunity of
sending it. Old feelings revived in my breast; but after he was gone,
while musing about my son and the perils of missionary life, these
words were sweetly applied: 'It is not the will of your Father in
heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.'--The box sent to
Richard, which has been lost for three months, is just found in proper
time to go with a missionary bound for the same islands. There is
a providence unseen by us, whose watchful eye protects the minutest
interests of His own; 'Even the very hairs of your heads are all
numbered.'--Informed that poor Mrs. W. was fast sinking, I hastened
to see her; she was struggling with her last enemy, but smiling in His
grasp. When told that she would soon join in singing 'Hallelujah,'
she smiled and said. 'Yes;' and shortly after exchanged mortality for
life."

  MY FRIEND'S DEPARTURE.

  How solemn was the room!
    How still that scene of death!
  My friend 'mid twilight gloom,
    Lay gasping hard for breath;
  The death dews on her temples stood;
  She smiled adieu, and crossed the flood.

  Angels were hov'ring round,
    And breathing incense there;
  Almost I heard the sound
    Of wings upon the air;
  Light as the breeze, and clear as light,
  Her happy spirit took its flight.

  Back on that solemn hour
    My thoughts are often cast;
  Be mine such faith and power
    To triumph at the last;
  With smiles to meet my latest foe,
  And die eternal life to know.

I am like Noah's dove. The world is a dreary waste of waters without
anything upon which I can set my foot. My friends are dying, and
disappointments common.--Wrote to Mr. B. on the importance of
preparing to meet God; and enclosed three sermons on eternity.--Four
persons, whom I have visited this week, have passed into eternity.
These I have warned, urged, and pointed to Jesus. Of three of them I
entertain hope; but Oh! the danger of delay, and the responsibility
of visiting sick beds!--I have been much troubled with the inattention
and neglect of a servant. This is permitted for the trial of my faith
and patience, and my earnest prayer is, that I may secure the good
intended. With respect to my inward experience, I have access to God,
and can more implicitly pour my wants into the ears of Him, who waits
to answer. I now enjoy, through Christ, solid peace. Many precious
seasons for want of opportunity to record them pass unnoticed, and
some painful exercises, in which I have to sing my deliverer's praise.

"Sinnington. I have enjoyed sweet communion with my best friend, and
in pouring out my soul among my dear relations. Mr. B. has read the
little book I sent him, and carries it about with him in his pocket.
With me he appears more social; but it is the work of God to change
the heart. Still, he is laid upon my mind to remember him before
the Lord. My dear uncle, although in apparent health for his
years (eighty-one), is increasingly deaf, and almost cut off
from intercourse with society, so that he seeks to be alone. In a
conversation I had with him, he told me how the Lord blessed him, and
how he meditated in the night season. In this place I am secluded from
my usual care. Lord help me to improve the opportunity. I can truly
say, I long to sink, to rise, and grow in all the image of God.--I
felt much in parting with my friends, especially my dear uncle, who
said he should perhaps see me no more. I reminded him of our meeting
above, and endeavoured to urge upon him a preparation for it.--On
reviewing the week, I have endeavoured to walk circumspectly,
redeeming the time, and enjoyed union with God, both in private, and
at the family altar; but yet I want more uniformity in my walk with
God. Mrs. H. accompanied me to see two poor widows; and, inviting some
of the neighbours in, we read and conversed, and prayed with them. I
felt inclined to go again.--A good class-meeting--after which I went
to visit the widows; four more persons came in. My heart was enlarged
while I endeavoured to exhort them to flee from the wrath to come, and
prayed with them.--I have returned to spend the last hour of the year
at home. I feel a prayerful frame, and a determination to give myself
and all my powers to God. Though buffeted by the enemy, my heart is
fully resolved. I will be Thine,--save me.

  Oh! Thou, who dost in secret see
  My lifted heart, and bended knee;
  While now my soul pours out the prayer,
  O let it find acceptance there:
  Come now, and claim me for Thy own,
  And make my heart Thy glorious throne.

Twelve o'clock. Another year is gone."



XVII.

THE MOTHER IN ISRAEL.

  "THE HOARY HEAD IS A CROWN OF GLORY, IF IT BE FOUND
  IN THE WAY OF RIGHTEOUSNESS."--Prov. xvi. 31.


There are some countenances which even in advanced life are singularly
beautiful; lit up with a heavenly lustre which rivals the freshness
and bloom of youth. Such was the countenance of my venerated mother,
on the eve of threescore years. Her expressive features discovered
the rich adornment of her soul. It was the outbeaming of hidden
glory within;--the reflection of beauty caught by constant and secret
communion with God;--the bright halo of love, joy and peace in
the Holy Ghost. Though in the middle period of life the subject of
frequent and severe attacks of pain in the head, which, for the time,
greatly enfeebled her, she had, by the blessing of God upon the use of
suitable means in connection with her abstemious habits, overcome the
force of disease, and recovered a degree of strength and vigour which
was remarkable. Her step was light and active; her gait erect; and as,
in consequence of the removal of her children into active life, she
was now, to a great extent, freed from domestic duties, she might
often be seen in the streets of the city hasting upon her errands of
mercy. The care of three classes, two of which were large, together
with her numerous engagements in every department of usefulness, which
the church opened out to her, furnished her with continual employment,
and hence, at this period, her diary is a detail rather of Christian
activity than of inward experience.

"1839.--The Covenant-service was a solemn season; yet I did not feel
so much sensible comfort as firmness of purpose to consecrate
myself to God; seeing how greatly it concerned my interest, and what
condescension it implied, on the part of God, to accept of one so
unworthy.--Entered upon subscriptions for the new chapel.--Poor Fanny
McD. has a second time been severely burnt. I saw her this morning;
she was just able to say 'yes,' when asked, if she was happy. About
twelve she expired. I am thankful I had the opportunity of commending
her soul to God. It was good to go to the house of mourning. For ten
years I have collected, or given her, the amount of her rent; and for
one year provided a woman to wait upon her.--As I was going to Fanny's
funeral, I was accosted by a young woman, who seemed to know me: but
of whom I had no recollection, until she told me that she had formerly
met with me, but had wandered from God, and was now made willing to
return. The next day being my class, I invited her to come. She
did so; and said, that as she was going out the day before, she was
strongly impressed to pray for a blessing, and thought within herself,
'Why should I? I am not going to chapel.' She concluded that our
meeting was providential. God grant she may again get into the
right way.--A blessed Sabbath to me; it was good at the morning
prayer-meeting;--good in the forenoon;--good to visit the house of
mourning;--and good to point to Jesus some old women who desired to
behold Him.--I have this day surrendered my Sabbath class into the
hands of Mrs. H., during her stay in York, having latterly had so
little time for reading, and she desires employment.--The perusal of
some of my old MS.S. has been the means of rousing my spirit. Save me,
O God, from spiritual sloth; I see the danger; may I fear it more
than ever, never looking at others, but always looking unto Thee.--The
month of my nativity. My obligations to God are twelve months deeper,
and myself a bankrupt--dependant upon the bounty of providence, and
abased under a sense of my ingratitude, nevertheless my purpose is to
live for God alone: my faith strengthens, and I have a little love--

  'Tis but a drop, O might it grow.
  And all my happy soul o'erflow!"

"I accompanied my husband to Harrogate, where I now write, having
secured a quiet retired spot which just suits me. Help me, Lord, to
improve the opportunity which this quietude affords. I can truly
say my soul longs for God; yea, for the living God.--Much liberty
in family prayer. I was drawn out on behalf of the visitors who were
about to leave in the forenoon. The old gentleman seemed affected.
Tears came into his eyes when I bade him farewell. He thanked us for
all our favours, which could only refer to our presenting him at
the throne of grace--a duty we owe to all men. O Lord, help me more
faithfully to discharge it!--Went to Goldsbro'; and accompanied Mrs.
D. to see a neighbour, who was deeply affected under the sermon
the previous Sabbath. Our visit was welcomed, and after a little
conversation we got upon our knees, when the Lord was very present.
Mrs. W., the person upon whom we called, pressed us much to go again,
which we did after tea, before we left the place. She then expressed
her confidence in God, and determined to cast in her lot among the
people of God.

"Sinnington. I was much pressed in spirit to visit a certain family in
the village, and got cousin P. to accompany me. My errand was to urge
the parents to seek the Lord. It was a softening time. The Lord opened
my mouth, and enlarged my heart. Both the master and mistress wept. Oh!
that it may not be as the morning cloud and early dew. I feel hope.

  The message of mercy came wrapp'd in disease,
  Destroying my comfort, and spoiling my ease;
  Enclosed in the foldings a jewel I found,
  And a circlet of diamonds encompass'd it round;
  I eagerly seiz'd it, and read on the seal
  A name newly graven, I cannot reveal;
  But, where it is present, no sorrow can dwell,
  Affliction is welcome, and all must be well.

"Returning from chapel, I met with a person who was a stranger to
saving grace, and invited her into a house, where I was going to see a
sick person. There I prayed with them. The woman seemed much affected,
and to me it was a season of refreshing. In the afternoon I saw
several afflicted people, among whom I was encouraged and humbled,
thankful, and almost overwhelmed with the troubles I was made
acquainted with. After the evening service, in company with Mrs. R. I
visited another woman. There is no hope of her recovery. She is quite
ignorant of salvation, but exceedingly desirous of instruction. We
had much power in prayer, and reluctantly left her. I determined to go
again in the morning, but, before I set off, she sent for me, I found
her perfectly sensible, but the hand of death was upon, her. I pointed
her to Christ, and, while engaged in prayer, the power of faith was
sweetly given. When. asked by her husband if she was happy, she said
with emphasis, 'Yes'.--Another half hour, and the year 1839 is gone
for ever! How precious these moments seem! But to the last, my
hand, moved by the feelings of my soul, shall write Thy precious
name--JESUS!--my Saviour! my God! my all! I now stand on the brink of
another important division of time. What it will develope. God
only knows; but my firm determination is to live for God. On my
knees--surrounded by the unseen Deity--I give myself to Thee,--to
reign in, and rule over me for ever. The moment is fled."

"1840. Saw Mrs. H., whom I found in dying circumstances. She was
at class on New Year's Eve, when I urged her to lay hold upon
Christ,--cautioning her not to remain unsaved, and expressing my fears
lest she should do so. She appeared much affected, and remained at the
bottom of the stairs to kiss me, ere we parted. Little did I think it
would be the last time: but such is the frailty of our nature.--At the
request of a lady, whom Mrs. R. and I were providentially called to
visit, we went to form a class in her house. It was a blessed season,
although we had only herself to begin with. [This lady she continued
to visit weekly for a considerable time, until death rendered her
visits unnecessary.] It is long since I heard from Richard, but the
promise has been repeated: 'Though it tarry, wait for it, because it
will surely come, it will not tarry.' So for some days I have been
hoping. [Two days after she writes.] Just as we were about to commence
family-worship, the postman brought two letters,--one from Richard,
and one from Mary Ann. The tidings are affecting, and strongly exhibit
the guardian care of Providence.--Without a servant, but in no wise
discontent.--I visited Miss Rosetta W., who is declining fast, and has
for some time been under considerable depression. The Lord was pleased
to remove the cloud. The change was perceptible in her countenance.--A
memorable day in consequence of the fire at the west-end of the
Cathedral--occasioned, it is supposed, by the carelessness of a
workman, who was employed to repair the clock; at least, nothing
further has been elicited. The spectacle was awfully grand, and
supplied me with an errand to the throne. The burning particles flew
over several streets, and descended like flakes of snow. Surely the
Providence of God preserved us. Visited a lady, by her own request,
who is desirous of salvation. She has attended Mrs. C.'s class since
it has been committed to my care.--Called on Mr. W., and looked upon
the remains of dear Rosetta, who left this suffering world in triumph,
waving her hand, and endeavouring to shout victory, the morning after
I saw her last.--While meditating on the 15th chapter of John, the
word was conveyed with power to my heart; but I want a constant
spirit, never to be weary in the search, of truth. I was led to see
how the Saviour's words, 'Without me ye can do nothing,' are often
improperly applied, and made an excuse for spiritual sloth; since it
is our own fault, if we have not strength, because He has commanded us
to abide in Him.--Mrs. C.'s class was met by Mr. E. From this time
I suppose I am to be recognized as the leader. In accepting this
additional responsibility, I am affected by a sense of my own
unfitness for the work, and the honour which the Lord puts upon me;
for I look not at second causes, in thus placing me to watch over His
people. It is, and may it ever be, a stimulus to seek a closer walk
with God, that I may know His will, and act in conformity with it.
Walking down High Ousegate about half-past eight in the evening, in
company with my daughter, I had my pocket picked of a small silver
box, given me by a cousin. I can, and have prayed for the miscreant
who did it; but wish to have my box again: I fear this is wrong; it
is not like Paul, who suffered the loss of all things without
regret.--Several ladies commenced cutting out clothing for the poor.
May we be clothed with humility. Our interview was pleasant.--On
returning from my band, I found a note from our landlord, giving
us notice to quit in six months, in consequence of some proposed
buildings in connexion with the railway station. For a moment I was
startled, as we hoped our residence was fixed for the term of life;
but my mind soon fell into a profitable train of reflection. I
thought, ere this term has expired, a higher mandate may be sent to
quit my clay tenement, when I must give up my account. My heart feels
it is well, and will be well.--This morning I traversed the haunts
of the 'navvies' to give tracts to as many as I could. It has been my
purpose this day to surrender the powers of my body and soul to God;
and I have steadily kept it in view. Still, I need the 'blood of
sprinkling' through which alone I can be accepted.--Finished my
month's visitation to the school. I might have better improved the
opportunity; but imperfection characterises all I do.--Had the honour
of breakfasting with a few of the Lord's servants, and was much
gratified with the firmness of one, who stood almost alone in an
opinion clearly right, respecting a book called _'The Centenary
Takings.'"_

"1841.--I had the junior members of my classes to tea, to sew for
the poor. Mrs. A. and Mrs. R. came to assist in making our meeting
a profitable one.--My mind has been deeply impressed with the solemn
occurrences of this day. For some time I have been wont to visit Mrs.
B. every Saturday, to converse and pray with her. I found her very
ill; and after rubbing her back for some time, to relieve the pain
from which she was suffering, I knelt down and prayed with her, being
particularly drawn out for a present blessing. When I rose, I pressed
upon her the necessity of taking hold of Christ; she replied, 'I have
nothing else.' Thus I left her, little thinking that I should see
her no more; but so it is, for a short time after I had left, she
expired.--My dear daughter Mary commenced a class with two members.
Mrs. A., Miss B., Mrs. M., and myself, assisted at the commencement.
How simple are the unadulterated truths of the Gospel! 'He was made an
offering for sin' Amazing love! 'It pleased the Lord to bruise him.'
Bow down, my soul, in humble astonishment and adoration; and see in
the cross the malignity of sin, and the majesty of love,

  O blessed cross! that points us to the sky,
  Loosens from earth, that we may soar on high.
  Thus suffering is our pathway up to bliss,
  To dwell for ever where our Patron is.
  O blessed cross! where Jesus bowed His head,
  Baptized with precious blood, for sinners shed:
  Happy are they who keep the words he brought,
  And bear the cross by their great Pattern taught."

"Went to Bishopthorpe and saw the Archbishop's Palace. The grounds are
beautiful; and nature, at this season of the year in its splendour,
shewed them to advantage. But what a responsible office does he fill!
How does his flock thrive? O that he may be able to render his account
with joy!--Not without thought and prayer, I set off for Sinnington.
All nature smiled around me, and Jesus whispered peace within. My dear
uncle bows under the weight of years; cousin looks paler, and more
feeble; but I was welcomed as usual."

  EASTER DAY.

  The Sun of righteousness appears,
    To set in blood no more:
  Hail Him! who wipes away your tears,
    Your rising God adore!

  The saints, when He resigned His breath,
    Unclosed their sleeping eyes;
  Behold! he breaks the bands of death,
    And bids the dead arise.

  Alone, the dreadful course He ran,
    Alone, the winepress trod;
  He died, and suffered as a man;
    He rises as a God!

  In vain the watch, the stone, the seal
    Forbid the Conqu'ror rise;
  Rising, He breaks the gates of hell,
    And opens paradise.

"Mrs. R., in band, faithfully told me of my faults, which, by God's
help, I will try to amend. A meeting of Missionary Collectors was held
to distribute the books, and to constitute a Ladies' Association.
I left to meet my class. Mrs. C. was elected Treasurer, Mrs. R.W.
Secretary, and myself, with all my unfitness, President. However,
being on my knees before I went to the meeting, my covenant
engagements were brought to my remembrance: 'Place me where Thou wilt;
make me the hand or the foot; a hewer of wood, or a drawer of water.'
Therefore, by God's help, I am determined to do my best, admonished
by another sentiment of Holy writ, 'Let not him that putteth on the
harness boast as he that putteth it off.'--Christmas morn. Rose about
four o'clock; a beautiful starlight morning. It seemed to me as if
'the morning stars sang together for joy' at the Saviour's birth.
Glory! Glory be to God!

"1842.--Nearly forty present at the sewing meeting. I endeavoured to
draw out the sympathies of the ladies present in behalf of those whose
welfare we had met to promote.--Under the word the Lord made such
a discovery of myself to myself, as completely stripped me of
self-confidence, and all hope,--except in the Saviour's merits, upon
which I had power to lay hold. Oh the mercy of God to me, a poor
worthless worm! After the prayer-meeting, two of the friends begged me
in future to engage occasionally in public prayer. I have not done so
latterly, because it is a mighty effort to me. But God forbid that
my silence should be a stumbling-block to any. At the morning
prayer-meeting, unasked, but not unmoved, I feebly opened my mouth,
believing it to be my duty; and was blest in so doing.--This morning
I awoke with 'Give unto the Lord of Thy substance.' Being about to
purchase wearing apparel, I resolved to moderate my expenditure. In
this, as in everything else, my heart's desire is to act in the sight
of God. My son, far distant, is daily present with me. I rejoice that
he is gone on the Lord's errand to the dark places of the earth; and
find here an additional motive to bring him daily before the Lord,
whose he is, and whom he serves. I have been much drawn out in prayer
for the Fijian chiefs.--Called upon Mrs. K. at her own request. I
had previously met her at a friend's house; and, in course of
conversation, had inquired after her mother, whom I had frequently
visited, but of whose state of mind I entertained considerable doubt,
believing that she was resting short of sound conversion; and whom
indeed, at our last interview, I had warned not to deceive herself.
These fears I expressed to Mrs. K. The same evening she saw her
mother, and repeated what I had said, with some degree of concern. The
next time she called, her mother said, 'Mary, you must get somebody to
pray with me, or I am lost for ever.' However, being unwell, she went
home to bed; but could not sleep, in consequence of what her mother
had said: so she rose at five the following morning, and went to see
her mother again. She found that she had been in such distress of
mind, that at midnight she had aroused a neighbour to pray with her,
and not in vain; for the Lord graciously sent 'deliverance out of
Zion,' and spoke peace to her troubled spirit. She lived about three
weeks after my last visit, and died rejoicing in the Lord. These
circumstances have so deeply affected Mrs. K. as to lead her to seek
the Lord, and she is now pursuing her way to heaven. Glory be to God
on high!--In consequence of my uncle's declining health, I returned
again to Sinnington; and am now sat by his side. He is restless, but
says nothing. It is the midnight hour; yet 'He that keepeth Israel
neither slumbers nor sleeps.' No sound salutes my ear but the pendulum
of the clock, which, with every stroke, admonishes me that time
flies.--Alone with uncle. He sleeps. All is tranquillity and peace; my
soul is fixed on Christ, and enjoys undisturbed repose. Surrounded by
Him, in whom I live, move, and have my being, all nature,--the balmy
air,--the rich verdure,--the growing beauties of spring enlivened by
the great luminary of heaven, conspires to raise this often wandering
heart to Him, whom I desire above all things to love and obey.--I
asked uncle if his prospect was bright; he replied, 'Aye, I've no
doubt.'--I wonder at myself I make so little progress in knowledge, or
increase in holiness. I purpose, aim, attempt, yet daily have cause
to mourn my unprofitableness; but with one whose memoir I have lately
looked into, 'I must come the short way to God, through the atoning
blood of Jesus.' His name is precious now. I feel its balmy power. O
for ability to praise Him in language adequate to the glorious
task! God is love. Creation with its thousand tongues proclaims Him
'Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God;' and millions of intelligent
creatures extol Him, 'the Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace'
I have written a letter to be read in the Tuesday class. Visited Mr.
M.--My soul goes out after God, and my faith claims Him mine. O
what an exalting, and yet humbling thought! Faith unites but love
adores.--How quickly time wastes away! I have been here a month
to-day; not supposing uncle could live many days. Nothing solid has
passed his lips for more than that period; and yet, though certainly
weaker, his strength is wonderful. I begin to feel anxious about home,
and the dear folks among whom I meet. May the Lord bless them.--My
uncle evidently changed for the worse, and so continued for two days,
until--on the 21st of June, about five minutes past five, he expired.
It is a week to-day since he spoke, and six since he took his bed.
I have often been sweetly drawn out in prayer by his bedside, and
enjoyed peculiar liberty the day he died. I went again to see Mrs. M.,
who is also dying, her friends weeping around her.--Returned to York.
The sewing meeting was but thinly attended;--chiefly young persons,
to whom I felt prompted to speak on their souls' welfare. The result I
leave."

  WHERE IS THE LORD GOD OF ELIJAH?

  In the storm, that sweeps along;
  Blazing fire, and earthquake strong;
  In the lightning's trackless flight;
  Gathering cloud, and curtain'd night!
  In the fragrant passing breeze;
  Thunders loud, or raging seas.
  Stormy worlds, or gentle flower,
  God proclaims His sovereign power.
  But the still small voice of love
  Softly breathing from above,
  Speaks in spirit tones within--
  'Jesus suffered for my sin;'
  Till my soul--His hallowed shrine--
  Melts in melody divine.
  Let me hear its whisper still;
  Melt, and mould me to Thy will.

"'I will greatly rejoice in the Lord' is my motto this day. I enjoy
settled peace, and am striving after the fulness offered in the word
of God: 'Filled with God;' 'Sealed with the spirit of Promise;'
'Dead to sin.;' 'Holy.'--Disturbed in the night by a person who had
a quarrel with her other self.--My John occupied the pulpit. At the
prayer-meeting after, a person cried aloud for mercy. The Lord spoke
peace to her soul on her return home. She could not sleep during
the night for praising God. She came to the Thursday class. We were
rejoiced to hear her statement."



XVIII.

LIGHT IN DARKNESS.

  "FOR WE WALK BY FAITH, NOT BY SIGHT."--2 Cor. v. 7.


In the wisdom of God, and in harmony with the highest purposes of
grace, life is so constructed, as to make man feel his own weakness,
and his dependance upon Divine power. The recurrence of seasons of
trouble and sorrow, makes a perpetual demand upon our faith.
Reason tries in vain to disentangle the intricate dispensations of
Providence, and nature sinks under the force of innumerable trials,
which, like successive waves beat incessantly upon it. The only
resource is faith in God; and when once we grasp the sure promise,
'all things work together for good to them that love God;' light
springs up in the darkness: and all that comfort, which might arise
from a clear discovery of the processes of Providence, is realized in
the assurance that all shall be well,--an assurance given by Him who
cannot lie, confirmed by an oath, sealed with the blood of Christ, and
verified by the experience of God's people in all ages. It is thus
the christian's privilege to rejoice always, if not in His afflictions
which are grievous, yet in the Lord, who ruleth all things well. Mrs.
Lyth knew this to be possible, she aimed at it, and though not always
with equal success, she walked by 'faith and not by sight.'

"1843.--I have been privileged to attend the house of God, after an
absence of some weeks through affliction; but with grief I confess,
that when I first got out to see my daughter, who has also been ill,
I neglected the opportunity of social prayer and thanksgiving, that
we were again permitted to see each other. My ingratitude stares me in
the face. Against Thee, O Lord, against Thee only, have I sinned.--My
John is preaching his trial sermon. My husband and servant are hearing
him; and I have been alone, praying for him, that he may neither go
before, nor stay behind the call of God. I feel the Lord is present,
and my heart goes out after Him.--I was called up a little after five
to attend upon my daughter-in-law. A beautiful morning. I reproached
myself for so often losing the sweet perfume of the morning air. When
I arrived the babe was born. So another immortal spirit is added to my
family. Praise God, the promise reaches to them all.--Collecting
for the missions in one of the poorest districts, we peeped into a
comfortless spot, where lived a poor widow with five children. We did
not wish to ask for anything, but were obliged to give a reason for
our stepping in. The woman said however, that it was a good cause, and
she would give us something. This was truly the widow's mite, and will
not pass unrewarded.--As soon as I rose from my bed, these lines were
upon my tongue before I was aware--

  'Mercy's full power, I then shall prove,
  Lov'd with an everlasting love.'

While repeating them it occurred, this is an answer to prayer last
night.--I find it difficult to retain the truths I hear; but, having
the law written in my heart, I desire in all things to obey.--The
cases of several members of my family press heavily upon my spirit.
Eliza continues very weak, and John is in suspense; my only refuge is
in taking them to the throne of grace: for it is written, 'Cast thy
burden upon the Lord, and He will sustain thee.'--The cloud begins to
break, and I feel abased before the Lord, that I should have had
so little confidence. My daughter is better, and John has received
satisfactory information; so I am confident, that in both cases
the Lord is mindful of us. Yesterday, while bowed by my daughter's
bedside, the light broke in upon my soul, and I believe upon her's
too. I felt power to rest upon the Lord, and leave her in His hands:
very different from what I have felt before, although I have many
times approached the throne, and sometimes caught a glimpse of hope;
but this was the broad light of faith."

"Harrogate. What shall I render unto the Lord for all His mercies
towards me? I am living in the enjoyment of peace of mind; desiring
more of God; distrustful of myself; grieved that I love God no more,
and aiming to do better. O Lord, the power impart.--We returned home
greater debtors to the Lord than ever, for the mercies both of the
upper and nether springs. My husband welcomed me with the class-book
in his hand, which at first, I felt reluctant to take, but found a
blessing in taking up the Cross.--When I retired to rest, I thought,
if the Lord will condescend to give me some passage from Himself,
which is not familiar to me, it will strengthen my faith. My request
was granted, and the words 'As one, whom his mother comforteth,'
occupied my thoughts much of the night, and were first upon my tongue
in the morning. I saw my John off by train to Colchester. I feel
deeply concerned for his health, and for his spiritual welfare, and
for his prosperity in the work in which he is engaged: but if a mother
may be heard for her child, (and I believe it,) my poor petitions
shall be continually urged at the throne of grace, that he may be all
God requires.--A week of toil is past. My husband is under medical
advice. I am tried with my servant; my words and actions are
misconstrued, but I have been aiming to speak and act as in the sight
of God, however imperfectly.--Alone. In two hours the year closes,--a
year of unnumbered mercies."

  Backward I turn, and view the stream
    Of mercy rolling rich and free;
  Here, flashing with a silver gleam;
    There, tinged with hues of mystery.

  Through health and sickness, hope and fear;
    In griefs imagined, never known,
  Its current flowed, my heart to cheer;
    And light upon my pathway shone,

  But ah! what poor returns are mine!
    How weak my faith! my love, how cold!
  Yet will I praise Thee, 'I am Thine,'
    Thy faithful promise still I hold:

  Distrusting self, I come to Thee,
    My vileness in Thy wounds to hide;
  When foes assail, to Thee I flee,
    And in Thy changeless love confide.

  Then speed, ye fleeting years, your flight;
    I will not mourn the period gone;
  But hasten to my home in light:
    Eventful, rapid years, roll on!

"Eleven o'clock. I desire most unreservedly to surrender myself to the
Lord; to be wholly His. Amen."

"1844. In my walks through the city, I met with the Rev. Thomas
Richardson, who, kindly accosting me, inquired after my husband's
health and requested me to tell him, 'to be careful for nothing, but
in everything by prayer, and supplication, with thanksgiving, to make
known his wants and requests unto God.' He added, 'I remember what you
once said to me, 'What thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might;
but the children of this world are wiser than the children of light;
and I fear this is sadly neglected;'--with additional kind advice.
To my mind it was a word in season, and my heart warmed with the kind
admonition.--I went to see Mrs. L., and was much surprised to find
her daughter, who is in attendance upon her, lying ill on a bed by the
side of her mother's. After a little conversation with her I prayed,
and then turned and spoke a few words to the mother, and again we
united in prayer. I asked the young woman if she found it good,
and, though scarcely able to speak, she clasped her hands and said,
'Very--very.' A little after seven the same evening, she expired,
in the bloom of youth.--The President, the Rev. John Scott, and Dr.
Newton came to York to advocate the cause of education. A tea was
provided. I was one of the Committee, and hoped to have had the
opportunity of hearing those honoured servants of the Lord; but ah! we
are dust. My dear husband, after rising from dinner, was preparing to
go, when he was seized with an attack of paralysis. (This being the
second). I immediately sent for medical aid, and the Lord graciously
blessed the means, and now, I hope, the stroke is turned aside. So
the purpose of meeting our friends was frustrated; but this is for
our good. My mind was kept in peace.--Visited Mary R., who is fast
sinking,--she said with rapture, 'Jesus is here, Jesus is here.' I am
since informed, that she has triumphed over her last enemy, waving her
hand, and shouting, 'Glory!'--A very blustering night. Waking a little
after three, I rose to pray, and found the watchful Keeper of Israel
ready to listen to my early cry. I begged Him, if it pleased Him, to
give me sleep, and wake me at five. I laid down, slept, and when I
awoke, looked at my watch, which was just five minutes to five. I
felt, and still feel my obligations to the Lord, and am resolved to
commit myself to His guidance.--My birthday. I awoke a little after
three, and arose at half-past four, with these words upon my mind,
'Who will consecrate his services this day unto the Lord?' My heart
responds, 'I will.' Yes, Lord, Thou, who seest the breathing desires
of my heart, and only knowest its wanderings, discover to me if there
is any secret iniquity lurking there. As far as I know, I am sincere,
and would be wholly Thine. My soul is happy. I am Thine. Saw Mrs.
N. again. When I entered the room she seemed quite exhausted, but
recovering a little said, 'O, I have had such a deliverance since
I saw you! After a severe struggle with the enemy, I could not help
saying aloud, Bless the Lord, I can believe without a doubt or fear;
I throw myself upon Christ.' But you will think me better than I am.
I have been a poor loiterer. I have not let my light shine as I ought.
What did I say?' 'I repeated all I could recollect.' 'Yes,' she
said, 'it is all true; give my love to my dear sisters (meaning her
classmates), and tell them to make much of their religion. I love them
all.'--My mind is solemnly impressed. Death is taking away my friends
on all hands. Well, a little while, and we shall see the end. May we
be blessed as they are, and as free. Happy am I to learn that Mrs. N.,
when conversing with her husband, an hour or two before her departure,
said, 'I shall soon be with Christ; go to bed, and I will try to go
to sleep.' She did so, and woke no more, literally falling asleep in
Jesus.--I have this morning felt depressed with the thought of being
closed up in the earth; surely this is from an enemy, for when death
has done its work, what matters where the body is? There is nothing
I desire so much as to live and die a Christian. I hold fast the hope
through Christ; yet I cannot perceive improvement, although I have at
times been much led out in prayer. Last night, while meditating on my
state, with earnest prayer for the direct witness of the renewal of my
nature, the assurance was given, 'I have graven thee on the palms of
my hands.' I want not to spend, but to _redeem_ the time with Mrs. D.
Called to see Mrs. T., who is very weak in body, but trusting in the
Lord. I knelt down to pray, and had not uttered many words before she
broke out in prayer and praise, expressive of her firm confidence in
the Lord Jesus. It was a melting season. It is encouraging to see the
power of grace thus manifested in the midst of pain and weakness, and
bearing up the subjects of it.--We met to make fresh arrangements
for the Clothing Society, when, much against my own will, I was
reappointed Treasurer: but, as it is a cross, I will try to take it
up.--Took tea with my daughter. All the preachers and their wives
were present. I was both pained and profited,--profited in singing
and prayer, and pained whilst endeavouring to defend an absent
brother.--Resigned my office in connexion with the sewing-meeting with
peace of mind. Yet, on reviewing the three years during which I have
held it, I can only say, unprofitable servant; for, although I have
endeavoured to please God in the faithful discharge of my duty, my
doings have been mixed with much imperfection. Called to see a young
woman in the small-pox, who is crying for mercy. I have visited her
several times. Her cry continues, mingled with the hope that God will
save her. I am sure gratitude ought continually to burn upon the altar
of my heart. Even when passing through darkness, light has sprang up
to illumine the path; but when I consider my returns, I am filled with
humiliation. What shall I do? I will try to do better; Lord, help me,
I am Thine."

  I am Thine by purchase great,
    Made, redeemed, sustained by Thee;
  By surrender, now I wait
    All Thy pleasure upon me.

"1845. Took tea with Mrs. W., and had the opportunity of urging her
husband to seek the salvation of his soul.--My dear Eliza was this
morning again made a mother. Another little boy to put in the covenant
grant. Just as I write the promise is given, 'Thy children shall be
all taught of God, and great shall be the peace of thy children.' So
may it be; I desire nothing more. This afternoon I have had a
fall, and was miraculously preserved from injury. I record it as an
acknowledgment of the kind care which providence has exercised over
me. What will be the end of these struggles respecting Maynooth
College? Will Romanism or Protestantism prevail?--I saw Mrs. R. three
times today; the second she expressed hope in God; the third the power
of speech was gone. Awful crisis! Standing on the edge of two worlds!
It was a solemn moment. While engaged in prayer I felt access.
How needful to be ready!--Near midnight. I have this week been
endeavouring 'to reckon myself dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto
God.' My faith is sometimes strong, at others feeble; but my purpose
to hold fast the blessing was never more fixed. Thou, who at this
moment beholdest the inmost recesses of my heart, and who, by Thy
Spirit, givest me inward peace, keep me from this hour; and help me
confidently, through the merits of Christ, to confess with my mouth
what my heart believes--that 'the blood of Jesus Christ Thy Son
cleanseth me from all sin.'--Again visited Mrs. B. The last time I
saw her she wept, and appeared to feel much; but I was afraid she
was imagining she had attained what she had not, and resolved to call
again at the first opportunity. I found the Lord had been powerfully
working on her mind. She felt it such a mercy that the Lord had not
cut her off in her sins, that she had wrestled with the Lord until He
removed her load of misery, and communicated peace: this is the Lord's
doing.--All is still; only the moan of my afflicted cousin, in her
slumbers, falls upon my ear. The clouds of evening are richly tinted
as the shadows of night draw on. My soul enjoys sweet tranquillity.
Jesus' merits being the only refuge of my soul. When I asked cousin
the state of her mind, she said, 'Sometimes I have no doubt, at others
I am perplexed;' and then added, with tears, 'Though He slay me, yet
will I trust in Him.'"

  Oh! what is life? a passing cloud,
    Tinged with a rainbow light;
  But let the sun his glory shroud,
    Where is the vision bright?

  'Tis past and gone, and in its place,
    Nought but the cloud appears:
  It is the Sun of righteousness
    Must gild this vale of tears.

"Fulfilled some errands on the Lord's account. Passing a spot where
a person once a member resided, I called to see how her mind was
affected now. She was much pleased, and said the Lord had sent me, as
she was wishing to see me, having had her desires after eternal life
revived. Some others, to whom I was directed, were equally disposed
to unite themselves with the people of God.--Two days ago cousin
evidently altered for the worse; she has spoken little, but been
remarkably patient, through her protracted affliction. This morning
she expressed her confidence in God; and a few minutes after
eleven her happy spirit returned to God. We sorrow, but not without
hope,--Her remains were conveyed to Sinnington for interment. Past
recollections seemed to drink up my spirit; only one survivor--upon
the spot--of all those whom long association has endeared
to me. We called upon Mr. B.; but ah! how changed! completely
paralyzed,--apparently incapable of much impression, and yet, I fear,
unsaved! I spoke to him, and also his son, on the necessity of making
their peace with God, and then prayed with them; but my mind was
afterward pained because I had done the work so inefficiently.--The
last fortnight I have several times visited a little boy, sinking
in decline. When first I saw him, he appeared quite ignorant of his
sinful condition; but divine light has gradually beamed upon his soul.
The last time, he expressed a confidence I had not observed before.
His mother tells me, she has often heard him engaged in earnest
prayer; and once, perceiving him much worse, she said, 'Bill, thou's
very ill.' 'Yes,' he replied, 'but I shall soon be _better_.' When
near death, he asked, 'Do you see who's come for me?' she said,
'No, who is it?' He answered, 'Jesus;' and clasping his hands, said
repeatedly, 'Lord, help me!' then placing them together, under his
head, gently passed away.--While endeavouring to do my Master's will,
I carry my heaven about with me. My soul enjoys peace, with a deep
sense of my own nothingness. 'Christ is all; other refuge have I
none.'"

  All praise to God, whose sleepless eye,
    Observed my tender years;
  And blessed me with parental love,
    Parental prayers and tears.

  Through every lane of life I trace
    His providential care;
  In many a time of need, His grace
    And guardian hand were there.

  His still small voice of love I heard,
    When in the blush of youth;
  I paused, and listened to the word
    Of everlasting truth.

  Resolved I was, and re-resolved,
    But many a conflict knew;
  Till God, in Christ, my sins absolved,
    And unbelief o'erthrew.

  What shall I render to the Lord?
    What can a sinner do?
  I'll rest upon His precious word,
    And take His grace anew.



XIX.

THE INWARD MONITOR.

  "THE LORD SHALL GUIDE THEE CONTINUALLY."--Isaiah lviii. 11.


Who, that is conscious of the solemn responsibility of life, and of
the perils by which it is beset, but feels the necessity of continual
direction? How many emergencies daily arise, in which there is need of
wisdom superior to our own? Oh for a Mentor, whose constant presence
and unerring counsels might always guide us aright! The aspiration
is not in vain. God himself, offers to be the guide of His people.
He will put His Spirit in them, who shall abide with them always, and
guide them in the way of all truth. But how? Not by some irresistible
impulse, which overpowers the action of human will, or by some new
revelation, which would render unnecessary the ordinary means of
religious instruction; but by the lessons of His holy word, which is
brought to the mind in the moment of requirement; for the Holy Spirit
brings to our _remembrance_ whatsoever is there revealed for our
comfort and instruction. This shows the importance, not only of the
constant and diligent study of the Word of God, but of storing the
memory, while it is yet fresh and vigorous, with Scripture truth: for
it is obvious, _that_ cannot be brought to our remembrance, which was
never known. Further, we must ask for direction, committing all our
ways to Him; and when He graciously indicates the path of duty, at
once obey. He who acts upon these principles will never

      'Full direction need.
  Or miss his providential way.'

God will guide him continually, and often, in a manner most wonderful,
supply light and counsel, in times of perplexity, or need. Mrs. Lyth
had in early life committed to memory large portions of the Word of
God; the Bible was the book of her choice--her daily study; and her
love for it became more impassioned as life rolled on to its close.
Hence, as she was in the habit of prayerfully seeking direction in
all her movements, its precious truths were constantly brought to
remembrance. Indeed, in some parts of her diary, scarcely a day passes
without the record of some scripture thus applied, most commonly as
her first morning thought, which furnished profitable reflection for
the day.

"1846.--Called to see one I saw on Saturday, but she is no more.
Whither is she gone? Pursued my way to visit another sick friend. When
I approached her bedside, she said she was very ill in body, and
very miserable in mind. After a few words we knelt down. The Lord was
graciously pleased to give the spirit of prayer; and faith realized
the blessing. She cried out, 'I am Thine, glory be to God!' How
good it is when God comes down, and melts our frozen nature!--I have
commenced reading Matthew Henry's Commentary; how far I shall live to
read, I know not; but I have commenced it with prayer, and by God's
help intend so to continue.--Invited the Clothing Committee to tea.
For some days before, I prayed that we might be directed into the love
of God. Being, as I believe, the oldest, I ventured to take the lead,
and we had a little band-meeting. All spoke and prayed. Afterward I
was painfully exercised; but I cast myself, with all my imperfections,
upon God.--In visiting the School I felt prompted to speak a few words
to the children, and made the attempt. The words impressed upon my
mind were 'Even a child is known by his doings.'--Sought out Mrs.
----, to whom I spoke plainly; also called upon another christian
friend, one, who is placed in slippery places in public life;--prayed
with them: and now my work is before Thee, wilt Thou be pleased to
acknowledge my feeble endeavours to help Thy people on?--I have today
been engaged in obtaining Ladies' signatures to memorialize the
Queen for the suppression of houses of ill fame.--A pleasant drive to
Harrogate. Came, resolved to give myself to prayer, and have felt
it good to draw nigh to God.--While sitting at my work about three
o'clock, the thought occurred, 'Look into the little book lying on the
table.' I did so, and on opening it, read, 'Rise and pray.' I was
thus reminded of my engagement with a friend, and was thankful for the
admonition.--I felt reproved for uttering a matter which, though true,
would have been better unsaid. When will my tongue be brought into due
subjection?

"Cleethorpes. Much of the day passed upon the terrace. Had a
conversation with a Church lady, to whom the Lord enabled me to speak
of the things of God; and have since been praying that conviction may
fasten upon her conscience.--Was sent for to visit a lady upon a sick
bed, with whom I had a free conversation. I have now seen her three or
four times, and she seems really in earnest to save her soul. She has
known something of the truth for fifteen years; but is much depressed
by a nervous affection. I have been led to admire the harmonies and
adaptations of nature. Can it be that God should thus provide for man
in his fallen condition, and will He forget to provide for His own?
Never! Infinite Power, is infinite love.--Called to see a person who
is sick, but was disappointed. However, I conversed and prayed with
her mother, and afterward went to read to a poor blind woman who is in
the way to heaven.--Called to see a person with whom I conversed a few
days ago;--heard her groaning in great pain, but did not see her. The
daughter, who is also ill and much harassed with attending upon her
mother, said, they had now no time for religion, as affliction
put every thing else out of their thoughts; yet she admitted its
importance. I gave her a few words of counsel, and when I left, told
her I should pray for them. She looked at me with surprise, and we
parted, probably to meet no more till we meet at the bar of God.
Both of them knew something of religion years ago. Lord, save me from
trifling.--Left Cleethorpes at six. The Grimsby packet was crowded,
and there were many wicked people on board. I was glad when we reached
Hull.--Two of my members lie at the point of death; one, above eighty,
is perhaps already gone. She has not been able to attend her class
for some years, but I have regularly visited her; and often been
encouraged while praying with her. A wicked son has been a great
trouble to her, and, I am informed, often used her ill. To the last
she expressed confidence in God. I have seen her several times since
the commencement of this last affliction, which has only been of a
week's duration. Last night she was just entering the valley, and the
power of recollection was nearly gone. The other, whom I also saw last
night, is aged, and with a happy expression of countenance declared
her trust in God, and hope of heaven. Two others that I saw, both
above eighty, were joyfully waiting their release."

  Exiled from my Father's home,
    A pilgrim here below;
  Looking,--longing, lo! I come
    More of Thy love to know.
  Let me here, like Mary, sit;
    Claim Thee every moment mine;
  Willing always to submit,
    And lose my will in Thine.

"I retain the earnest desire after full dedication to God, Spared to
see the last moments of another year; I am resolved that God shall
have my heart. Worthless enough! But the atonement! Here is my hope
and consolation. Yes, my all centres here."

"1847.--A friend came to request me to write to a sister, who is in
trouble through bereavement. Never did I so clearly apprehend
the responsibility of acting for the Lord. May the attempt be
blessed.--Visited the School, and was glad to find that some of the
children remembered what I said to them a year ago. This shows
the importance of storing the youthful mind with what is worth
remembering. I requested them to commit to memory the 23rd Psalm. Six
or eight have done so, and repeated it correctly. Addressed and prayed
with them. This finishes my month of visitation.--I have to record
the merciful interposition of Providence, beyond my expectation, in a
matter which has occasioned me much pain. On this account I wish to be
thankful. Surely the Lord has heard my prayer. Let this induce me
to exercise a firmer reliance upon His promise, being 'careful
for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with
thanksgiving, making my requests known unto God.'--In visiting some of
the Lord's people, I think I was directed aright."

  I would, in every footstep, move
  To meet the Saviour whom I love.

"Called upon Mrs. W., in dying circumstances. I have seen her
twice, and feel encouraged. The world becomes more empty. Christ is
all.--Believing it to be my duty, I visited the surviving sons of
Mrs. W., to urge them to follow their deceased parent. They seemed to
welcome my visit, and invited me to call again.

"Sinnington.--Visited several of the villagers, with an anxious desire
that I might be useful to them. Visited my departed friends in the
churchyard; I hope to join them soon. On one of the gravestones I read

  'The grave has eloquence, its lectures teach
  In language louder, than divines can preach.'"

"I was again solicited to take the presidency of the sewing
meeting;--a position, which to me appears increasingly important. Want
of punctuality, and other evils, are creeping in. Lord, I am Thine,
I would do that which is right in Thy sight, teach me; and, by the
control of Thy providence, let this organization be placed on the best
footing, that it may contribute to Thy glory.--Mrs. Wilson from Fiji,
came to spend the day with us before she returned home. How sweet is
the cement of prayer! How it knits us to one another! My heart filled
when I saw her. I could have wept. She brings pleasing tidings from
my son.--After much deliberation we determined to go to Harrogate. I
believe it is the right time. While on my knees before the Lord, it
was suggested, 'He shall bless thy going out and thy coming in from
this time forth, and for evermore.' I felt it was from the Lord, and
believed it. We had an agreeable journey, and on our arrival a person
accosted us, and asked if we required lodgings. We went with her to
look at them, and found them congenial to our wishes. The parties
are members of our society: another proof of our heavenly Father's
care.--This evening I had the opportunity of speaking to one of the
cavalry gentlemen. He thanked me, and said he would think about it.--A
day of severe exercise. I was constrained to go to the throne
of grace, where I found help, and was enabled to rise above what
otherwise would have grieved me much. The grand secret, I believe,
was the giving up my own will. May I ever have power to do it.--In my
sleep, the words were continually running in my mind, 'Beloved, think
it not strange concerning the fiery trial, which is to try you,
as though some strange thing happened unto you.' Only enable me to
endure; let Thy righteous will be done."

  Glorious Lord, appear, appear
  To Thy feeble follower here;
  By Thy grace my heart prepare,
  All Thy righteous will to bear.

"The words, 'I will be with him in trouble,' have greatly comforted
me. Faith makes them mine; glory be to God!--At the sewing meeting
I read the first section of Bramwell's Memoir. During tea I took the
opportunity of speaking of the propriety of improving our time while
together, admonished as we were by the sudden removal of so many
around us; also of the necessity of punctuality in our attendance,
that we might not offer a blemished sacrifice. The sequel will show
with what effect.--As far as opportunity and strength permitted, I
have occupied these two days in visiting my members, and my afflicted
friend, Miss Bentley. She knew me, and desired me to pray; but soon
fell into a slumber. This was the last time she spoke to me.--Saw her
again; about half-past four she died--to live for ever.--It is now
the last hour of 1847. I enjoy peace of mind and hunger after
righteousness. I long to fill up my time according to the will of God,
and if I live, to be more useful than I have ever been."

  Oh! let Thy still small voice
    Say to my inmost soul,
  'I am thy God; believe, rejoice,
    I make the contrite sinner whole.'
  So be it. I am only Thine,
    And feel, through Christ, that Thou art mine.

"1848.--A whole week I have been a prisoner, in consequence of a
swollen foot; but I am sure it is permitted in love. I see it to be my
privilege patiently to submit, and think I feel willing to do so; but
there are many intricacies in the human heart, and I see no further
than divine light permits."

  Advancing time is slow;
    But ah! how swiftly gone!
  To mark its flight, and show
    How 'vantage may be won,
  Is wisdom only few attain,
    But wisdom yielding greatest gain.

"Called to see the Rev. Thomas Walker, and found it good while praying
with him. He requested me, whenever I bowed the knee, to remember him.
He is daily brought to my recollection.--Memorable day! My Richard's
birthday. How little do we anticipate the events of life! now among
cannibals, preaching the everlasting Gospel. Glorious work! Thus highly
honoured of the Lord, may he prove faithful. Than this, I can have
no greater joy.--Called a third time to see Miss W., who seems to be
seeking the Lord in real earnest. I found her reading the Bible,
and weeping. Saw her again. She told me how happy she had been all
Thursday night; and said she felt as if I had cured both body and
soul. Since then she has been very ill, but is still following on to
know the Lord. Her Bible seems her greatest treasure. Afterward I had
a happy interview with Mrs. Isaac;--declining in body but alive to
God. She prayed sweetly.--Helmsley Missionary Meeting. We were hurried
from the dinner table to the chapel, which precluded the preparation I
like. Friends are so kind in making ample provision for the body, that
our souls are in danger of suffering loss in consequence.--Called to
see Miss W. Death was painted in her countenance; but she roused up,
while I pointed her to the Saviour, and urged her to accept His mercy
_now_. After prayer she said, with tears, 'I do believe in Jesus.'
I read a psalm, to which she listened with deep attention, and then
prayed again. When I rose to depart she said, 'You'll come again;'
which I purposed to do, but she died the following morning. While at
the committee for the distribution of clothing, the Lord blessed me
with such a calm serenity of mind, that it was observed by one of my
friends. Was it in answer to prayer? It is true, before I left home,
my prayer was for a meek and quiet spirit; also the preceding evening,
my friend B. and I had unitedly agreed to pray that we might
more evidently, in our different spheres, approve ourselves God's
witnesses. Since then I have been endeavouring, but not always with
equal success.--Still confined to the house. Rose between six and
seven, and found the advantage of prayer. I feel my unprofitableness,
but was never more resolved to cleave to my best Friend than now.
During the week I have been much drawn out in prayer for the dear
people committed to my care. But ah! I have not prayed half enough;
for this I feel humbled. O Lord, impress their spiritual welfare more
deeply upon my heart."

  "1849.--Here, I dedicate anew
            My ransom'd powers to Thee;
          A worthless offering, it is true;
           Yet deign to look on me.

"The Rev. A. Bell called to say he wished Mrs. D. to take my Thursday
class, as he wanted female leaders on that side the bridge. Is it my
unfaithfulness that will cause these dear people to be taken from
me? My dear husband says it is providential, on account of my health.
Well, I wait the issue.--Not long ago, a man, who was crushed on the
railway, cried out, as his companions were carrying him away upon a
hurdle, 'Stop!' when asked if they hurt him, he replied, 'No;' and
pulling his hymn-book out of his bosom, added, 'I want to sing'--

  'Happy if with my latest breath,
    I may but gasp His name;
  Preach Him to all, and cry in death,
    Behold, behold the Lamb.'"

"He was conveyed to a neighbouring inn, and medical aid immediately
obtained. The doctor felt his pulse, and shook his head, on which the
sufferer inquired how long he should live. 'Perhaps till twelve,' was
the answer. He then repeated the verse commencing

  'No room for mirth or trifling here,' &c.

adding, 'I shall be in heaven before twelve.' Near that time, he
lifted up his hands, and shouting victory, victory, expired.--The
practice, which I have for some time adopted, of retiring immediately
after breakfast to pray for myself, and those who are associated with
me in church fellowship, I find truly profitable.--We set off early in
the morning for Gloucester, to visit our son and daughter; and had a
pleasant and peaceful journey, far beyond my expectation. A lady,
who sat beside me, gave me an account of her conversion to God. The
conversation was originated by some tracts, which she carried for
distribution. About seven we arrived, and found our children looking
out for us. Thus past the last day of my sixty-sixth year--an epitome
of my life--continual change.--Returned to York. Mrs. J. accompanied
me in search of Rosamond J. We found her in very poor circumstances,
with four children, and her husband gone off to seek work. She
instantly recognised me, and burst into tears. We prayed with her.
After tea I met Mrs. J.'s class. The Lord was with us; several were in
tears, conscious of their distance from God. The Lord assisted me
in speaking to them, and blessed my own soul.--Death is common. The
cholera prevails. May this awful visitation be sanctified to us! I was
sent for to see Mrs. P.; she expressed her confidence in God, and
this morning died of cholera.--I felt impressed to visit the adjoining
neighbours, and having bowed before the Lord, to ask his blessing and
help, I went; and, as the Lord enabled me, conversed and prayed with
two families. In one of them, the wife, who is much afflicted,
pressed me to go again, and her husband seconded the request.--Several
circumstances which have occurred in our Society, painful in
themselves, have turned out to my benefit, destroying my dependance
on man, and pointing me to the Rock which is higher than I. In an
unexpected trial I was divinely supported. I went to see ----, and
there I met with his friend, to whom I spoke plainly; my heart
was pained.--Instead of going to the house of God, I was painfully
exercised at home."

  Opprest, I lift my heart to Thee,
    Thou soother of my care;
  Oh! let Thy ear attentive be,
    To this my heartfelt prayer.

  Thou seest my heart's desire, to live
   Obedient to Thy will;
  Help me, to Thee, my all to give,
    With love my bosom fill.

  "Whate'er in me is wrong remove,
    Whate'er is dark illume;
  Search, try, and purge me, but in love,
    Lest Thou Thy dust consume.

  To Thee is all my sorrow known,
    No secret would I hide;
  The enemy his tares hath sown,
    Oh! let him not divide.

  Thou only canst my burden move,
    The woful breach repair;
  Oh! send us succour from above,
    And hear my instant prayer.

"I am resolved, through grace, to seek a closer walk with God, and
sweeter communion by the Holy Ghost. I want constancy, and more faith.
I am convinced of my cowardice in not confessing the sanctifying grace
of God which I enjoy; and thus insensibly lose sight of it. I desire
continually to be led by the Spirit. I went to converse with a
neighbour about having family-prayer. The mother is an old
Methodist. Saw another person, who is a widow, and in trouble; both
heart-touching visits.--In visiting, I met with the son of one of my
members, whom I requested to read six verses of scripture every
day; got the whole family together, and prayed with them. There was
considerable feeling among them.--I am now entered upon the last hour
of this eventful year, in which thousands have been swept away by
cholera, and many by sudden death; but it has not come nigh me. I
began it with the fixed purpose of living to God; but Thou, Lord,
knowest how often and wherein I have failed. I feel I can plead
nothing but the blood of atonement, to which I come; I want stronger
faith, and more love. The unhappy divisions in our Connexion have
rather done me good; for I feel a hungering after Bible Christianity,
and more of that love which 'never faileth,' and which 'thinketh no
evil.'"



XX.

THE STORM.

  "THE LORD HATH HIS WAY IN THE WHIRLWIND AND THE STORM,
  AND THE CLOUDS ARE THE DUST OF HIS FEET." Nahum i. 3.


The storm, that spreads ruin and devastation in its path, is no less
a proof of a wise and overruling Providence than the gentler phenomena
of nature, which, with such constant and unvarying regularity, refresh
and bless the earth. It cleanses the atmosphere, and sweeps away the
poisonous miasmata, which have been engendered during a period of
quiescence, and which must, if not removed, prove prejudicial to human
life. A similar effect is exerted by those painful dissensions which
too often arise in religious communities. God permits them for the
purification of His church. What is useless or injurious is swept
away; what is good is confirmed; and if unhappily many, that are weak,
are injured, it is because they do not seek shelter in Him, who is a
hiding-place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest. During
the fierce agitation, which swept as a whirlwind over the Methodist
societies in 1849 and 1850, Mrs. Lyth never lost sight of the great
purpose of life. She stood faithful and unmoved at her post; and
meddled no further with matters of strife than positive duty required.
The questions which many loved to discuss, and thought themselves
quite competent to settle, were never willingly the topic of her
conversation. They were the subjects of her prayers. She retired to
her closet; she wept in secret over the breaches of Zion; she sought
her refuge from the surrounding excitement in the secret place of the
Most High, and hence that, which in itself was a serious evil, became
to her a source of personal benefit. Happy would it have been for
many, who needlessly exposed themselves to the fury of the storm, if
they had been like minded.

"1850.--Several perplexing circumstances have conspired to disturb the
quiet of my mind, however, they could only ruffle the surface. Through
Christ, I enjoy settled peace.--In the course of discussion in the
Leaders' Meeting I was given to see the amiableness of the meekness of
wisdom, which was exhibited by one of our leaders. I came home praying
for more of it, feeling greater love for the Lord's people, and
thankful that I am united with them. O what a privilege!--Twenty-seven
years since my dear father entered into rest; and I am yet alive, to
see and hear of more discord among the professed followers of Jesus
than ever I saw. Nevertheless, the 'Word of God is sure, the Lord
knoweth them that are His.' I praise God my heart is fixed, let others
do as they may; yet it is painful to me to see them leaving the people
of God. 'I know in whom I have believed,' and in Jesus I have peace.

"Copy of a letter written to a member, late of my class:--

"MY DEAR MRS. ----, My heart yearns over you; and, having been your
Leader, I feel a responsibility resting upon me, of which I cannot
acquit myself, without warning you of the danger, to which you are
exposing your own soul, by giving place to a spirit not of love.

"You have been offended; go to the offender, that the breach may be
healed; do not make the rent wider. Read carefully and with prayer,
our Saviour's directions in Matt. 18th; and submit yourself at the
feet of Jesus, who has said, 'Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in
heart.'

  "O my dear friend, an enemy has gained an advantage
  over you; and on cool reflection you will have cause to mourn.
  Suffer not this evil to rankle in your breast; but go directly to
  Jesus for power to forgive, that you may be forgiven.

  "My love for your eternal welfare, prompts me thus to
  write to you, and I remain,

  "Your sincere friend, &c."

"My husband is gone to New Street Chapel, the Trustees having been
summoned on the 'Delegate' affair. The Lord reigneth.--The past has
been a week of painful disunion and insubordination in oar Society.
Alas! Yet, through mercy, my peace of mind continues. My resolve to
live for Him, who gave himself for me, is more firmly fixed than ever.
While sitting under the word, my mind was impressed to go and speak
with M.R.; I scarcely indulged the thought, but when I returned home,
it still pursued me. I took it to the Lord, and asked for wisdom,
courage, and a plain path; and then set forth. My path was made plain,
courage was given, and the spirit of meekness and love rested upon
me. The word of admonition was kindly received; may it be as a nail
fastened by the Master of assemblies.--The adjourned Missionary
Meeting was held in the Centenary Chapel, and concluded the annual
services. The collection was nearly £10 in excess of last year.
Messrs. E. and G. were present. Three cheers, accompanied by the
waving of hats, &c., were given by certain persons for the 'expelled.'
The like I never saw before, nor ever wish to see again.--My son
preached in New Street. In his first prayer he was much drawn out. The
divine power reached my heart. I felt it truly precious, glory be to
God, who in mercy has called my children to spread the savour of his
grace. O that the prayer I have often presented for this son, may be
answered, that he may be blessed to thousands who may sit under his
ministry.--Collected for the Missions. Several refused to give; but a
widow increased her subscription from two to ten shillings.

"Harrogate.--A pleasant walk alone; my meditations were sweet.
Endeavoured to induce a few to go to the Prayer-meeting, but only
prevailed upon four. Called on Mrs. B. Our conversation turned upon
the present unhappy divisions. How much are we in danger of getting
wrong! O Lord, let me be guided by Thy Spirit, and if I err put
me right. In family prayer I was drawn out for each by name. After
retiring to rest my little grandson David got up, and came to my
bedside to ask me to pray for him. May the Lord make him a man after
his own heart; and, if he live, a preacher of righteousness. I dreamt
I was taking a long journey, and felt the rolling of rough waters
under me, but was fearless. When I awoke, this stanza was on my lips,

  'Where all is assurance and peace,
    And sorrow and sin are no more.'"

"My soul is happy.--On leaving for home, I was inwardly moved to
pray with the family with which we had lodged. The Spirit of the Lord
assisted me.--During the week I have been led out in prayer for my son
John, and for the Conference. If the enemy rages, the men of God have
access by faith to omnipotent Power, and unerring Wisdom. May each be
clothed with humility, and claim the grace they need, that they may be
wisely directed.

"Sinnington. When we reached Pickering, we had a very awful storm,
accompanied with thunder and lightning. My soul was kept in peace.
Some women, who were detained as well as ourselves, seemed much
afraid. I was prompted to speak to them on the necessity of preparing
to meet God.--Cousin Samuel took me to Whitby. We climbed one hundred
and ninety steps to the church, and found many gravestones of little
note; but one attracted my attention, as it bore my own and my
husband's names. How soon it will be said over us, 'Dust to dust,' I
know not; may we be found ready.--Called upon a sick neighbour, but as
it was not convenient to see her, I retired into the drawing-room with
a friend who was present, to pour out our souls on her behalf.--I
have got a new servant, who makes no profession of religion, and feel
desirous for her salvation. Yesterday morning on awaking, the words
were impressed upon my mind, 'Let him know, that he which converteth
a sinner from the error of his ways, shall save a soul from death, and
hide a multitude of sins.' From this I derive encouragement.--Amid
the conflicting elements afloat, our business is to make Christ our
pattern and our guide. I am trying to take up my daily cross, and
to watch the motions of my mind; but ah! how fitful. I am
nothing;--helpless and undone without Christ, my only hope is in his
atonement. Precious refuge! Come Lord, come now; I thirst, I long for
Thy coming. Now baptize, and overpower me with Thy love. If there is
lurking in my soul, any secret and undiscovered evil, tear it away.
'Show me Thy glory!'"

"185l.--My soul is drawn heavenward. The sewing meeting is much laid
upon my mind, that it may improve in spirituality, and that I may fill
the post assigned me according to the will of God. I long to spread
the savour of Christ among the dear people, and make religion appear
more lovely.--Finished my visitation at the 'School of Industry;' the
children repeated the 104th and 119th Psalms, also the 12th of Romans,
and the 22nd of Revelation. I spoke a few words, and prayed with them;
giving them a few small books, and one for the library.--A friend
brought me her album, requesting me to write in it. I thought
prayerfully on the subject, and begged direction of the Lord, not
knowing who might look upon it. During my sleeping hours and the
following morning, the subject of the last Sabbath's Sermon (Psalm 1.)
was impressed upon my mind with such force and sweetness, and I felt
it to be so suitable to my friend, that I determined to insert it. My
heart's desire is, that it may be blessed to all who read it.--As I
passed the Centenary Chapel this evening, a gentleman thus accosted
me: 'You don't know me.' I answered, 'No sir.' He rejoined, 'I sat in
your pew about nine years ago. Mr. Curnock preached about Noah's Ark;
and a word you spoke to me afterward, forcibly impressed my mind. You
said, 'Get into the Ark,' and now I have got into the Ark.' I had no
remembrance of the circumstance, but am thankful he has got in. To
God be all the glory!--Sitting by the fire this evening, I fainted. So
graciously does my heavenly Father deal with me, that he blesses and
chastens me in _love_; for this, my heart's desire is to praise Him: I
thirst for a deeper baptism, and more intimate communion with Him."

  MY SIXTY-NINTH BIRTHDAY.

  Now the evening shadows lengthen,
    Nature's feebleness appears;
  Every grace within me strengthen,
    To sustain increasing years.

  Perfect in me all Thy pleasure,
    While I sojourn here below;
  Every fruit, in richer measure,
    Through my dying Lord bestow.

"By the evening train a family party, consisting of thirteen of us,
safely arrived in Searbro'. Five went to the band-meeting, which was
very thinly attended. One of the five spoke, having been upwards of
fifty years a member. I went to Mr. F.'s class, and though I could
not hear what the members said, I heard the leader, who made some very
appropriate remarks. When addressing me, he related an anecdote of
Rowland Hill, who, going to preach at a village, was requested to
visit a good, but poor half-witted man. He went accordingly, and
accosted poor Richard with the question, 'Do you intend to go to
heaven?' 'Yes,' he replied, 'don't you?' 'But heaven is a long way
off,' said Mr. Hill. 'I don't think so,' was the reply. 'Then what do
you think?' 'I think,' said the man, 'it is only three steps.' 'Well,
Richard, what are they?' 'The first step is out of self; the second
into Christ; and the third into Glory.' So Mr. Hill went back, and
told his friends that he had been to preach to Richard, but Richard
had preached to him.--I ventured to speak to a friend, who sat beside
me in the Chapel, about coming to class. To my surprise, she said she
had for some time thought of speaking to me on the subject. Surely
this was the suggestion of the Spirit. The Crystal Palace has great
attractions just now! I hope to see the palace of angels and of
God.--Quarterly fast. It was good to be at the prayer-meeting in the
morning; better at noon; best of all at night.--After a very restless
night, my husband rose very poorly and feeble. I prayed with him
before he got up, and now I feel it good to pray _for_ him. About noon
he had another attack of paralysis, which lasted about two hours,
and at tea time he was seized again. Through mercy, he is better. By
looking to the Rock that is higher than I, my mind has been sustained.
While kneeling by the bedside of my afflicted husband, I have been
blessed, and found that as my day so has been my strength.--My
husband and daughter are both better; thanks be to God! I cannot but
acknowledge that He afflicts in love.--'Because I live ye shall live
also,' was a portion in one of my dreams this week. I think of it
with pleasure, and believe it will be so; my heart aspires after this
inheritance, but not with so much fervour as it ought.--I purpose, God
willing, to commence another afternoon class next Tuesday, at three
o'clock, for the benefit of some who may find it more convenient: I
trust it is with the approval of God, whose blessing I implore.--The
dying year has been marked by many blessings to me and mine;--much
nearness to my heavenly Father; but it has also seen many wanderings.
I have just now been endeavouring to surrender myself freely and fully
unto the Lord, whose I am, and whom I desire faithfully to serve. I
seem surrounded by His presence. It is now eleven o'clock; but how
many will depart before twelve! Happy event to those who are prepared,
having built upon Christ! Here rests my hope: 'Other refuge have I
none.' Glory be to God on high!"

"1852.--Although I have been suffering from cold, the Lord deals very
gently with me. Others of my dear family are now under the rod. These
things are painful; but looking at them in the light of eternity, I
find love is mingled with them all. Oh! that from these dispensations
we may derive all the good our heavenly Father designs. We cannot
believe He willingly afflicts the children of men, especially His own
children, but for our own profit, that we may be made 'partakers of
His holiness.' I am reading 'Angel James on Christian Charity.' with
profit.--I am again disappointed of meeting the Lord's people. Though
I am better than I have been, it is not deemed prudent for me to go
out. This is taking up my cross, but whether in the right way, Thou
knowest. I want in every thing to do right.--When I rose I found it
was only five o'clock, but resolved to give myself to prayer. After
breakfast I went to see my daughter Mary, whose husband is very
ill. My soul was blessed in prayer with him. He requested me to pray
earnestly. Lord, help me to pray in faith. While endeavouring to do
so I am blest in my own soul.--This is a day of trouble and rebuke.
My daughter Eliza is very ill; Mr. Jackson is also worse;--the medical
man giving little or no hope respecting him. In such cases, how vain
is the help of man! The feelings of my mind are indescribable. O Lord,
undertake Thou for us. I feel Thee near to me, be near to my dear
family; and, while thus Thou art chastening us, O sanctify the
rod.--Mr. Jackson has had a very restless night, and is much weaker,
but quite recollected. While I prayed, he responded. I left him a
little after eleven; and after calling upon Eliza, went to the School
of Industry. Between one and two a messenger came for me to go to Mr.
Jackson's immediately; but before I could arrive, the lamp of life
was extinguished. He had 'found the rest we toil to find.'--A week of
painful exercise is past away; but I see not the end. Through mercy I
can look to God, and find refuge there. Yesterday when I awoke, it was
sweetly suggested, 'Because I live ye shall live also.' This raised
my drooping spirit; and now I take my pen to acknowledge the
loving-kindness of God, manifested to us as a family; even under the
most painful events, mercy is mixed in the cup.--The last week--before
I reach my seventieth year. Life has passed away as a dream! The
pleasing and the painful are both gone! But from the earliest dawn of
recollection, the Spirit of God has moved upon my mind. Much love, and
much patience, have been shown to me by my heavenly Father; and now,
while the sun shines without, I feel the cheering beams of the Sun of
righteousness upon my soul."

      Time hastens me on;
      It soon will be gone,
      And the term of my stay
  Grows shorter and shorter, as life wears away.

      One thing I desire,
      To this I aspire,
      To live in His will,
  Whose mercy has spared me, and blesses me still.

      No merit I boast;
      In Him is my trust.
      Who gives me a place,
  And a lot, with His own, through His infinite grace.

"To-day I attained the term of life allotted to man. Rose a little
before six, and resolved to dedicate myself afresh to God. Wrote a few
lines, read a little, and performed my customary duties. Worked till
dinner, after which I visited three poor widows,--relieved, and prayed
with them; then collected subscriptions to assist G.B. Called on Mrs.
W., who kindly welcomed me; also Mrs. Isaac, with whom I found it good
to engage in prayer. Went to the prayer-meeting, where I endeavoured
to give myself unreservedly to God. Remained to the band-meeting, in
which the power of God was manifestly revealed. Throughout the day
I have enjoyed a calm repose, and a fixed resolve to consecrate my
services, so long as I am spared, to the Lord.

"Harrogate.--Returning from Chapel, I observed a number of gentlemen
sitting under a tree reading newspapers. On the spur of the moment, I
stepped up to them, and said, 'Gentlemen, perhaps you had better lay
aside the papers, and read your bibles to-day.' One answered very
roughly, 'You go home and say your prayers.' I turned away, and he
continued talking as long as I was within hearing. When I got home
my soul was drawn out in prayer that God would have mercy upon
them.--Through a continued rain I went to meet the Lord's people; but
singular to relate, though I waited ten minutes, no one came. Just as
I was about to return, a stranger came in--desirous of fleeing from
the wrath to come. We spent the hour in prayer. My friend found
encouragement, but not the power of faith. It was a time to be
remembered. My heart yearned over her while, in a low tone--mingled
with tears--she poured out her soul before the Lord."

  OLD AGE.

  Does no bright star arise to cheer
    The Pilgrim's downward way?
  When age and feebleness appear,
  And wrapt in cloud, the night draws near,
  Can nought enfeebled nature cheer,
    And save it from dismay?

  Jesus, Thy promis'd aid is sure
    To all who trust in Thee;
  Thy strength in weakness shall assure
  Frail trembling nature, and secure
  The grace in patience to endure,
    Till death shall set me free.

"During the last fortnight, two persons--whom I have often visited
in former afflictions--have passed away. Now--their knowledge far
surpasses mine. I am not at the Lord's house, as my husband desired
me to remain at home with him. Yet 'I have loved the habitation of Thy
house.' Age brings infirmity; but I see a danger of yielding too much
to increasing weakness. Lord, save me from spiritual sloth. While I
write, let inward religion be communicated."



XXI.

THE WIDOW.

  "SHE THAT IS A WIDOW INDEED TRUSTETH IN GOD; AND CONTINUETH
  IN SUPPLICATIONS, AND PRAYERS, NIGHT AND DAY."--1 Tim. v. 5.


How often does it happen, that when death first enters a family
circle, and creates a breach; it is the signal of its speedy
dissolution! one falls, then another, and another, until the central
point of attraction is removed; and the individuals who are left, are
by the force of circumstances, each made to feel themselves the centre
of a new circle of interests, which in time will melt away as
former ones have done. The occurrence of such an event is to those
immediately concerned a season of solemn admonition. The question
instinctively arises, who next will fall? and each may put it to his
own heart, "Lord, is it I?" The death of Mr. Jackson was the first
breach in a family, which by God's blessing had for many years enjoyed
a happy, and undisturbed unity. Twelve months had just elapsed,
when Mrs. Lyth was called to mourn the loss of a husband; and _we_
a _father_, whose retiring and unostentatious worth, was best known
within the sacred precincts of home. Their union, at first entered
into in the fear of God, had been maintained through the chequered
scenes of life in uninterrupted peace; years had only more strongly
cemented the bonds, by which they were united, and for nearly half a
century the vow, "Until death us do part" had been annually renewed.
A year or two before death dissolved the contract, it was found
necessary to purchase a new wedding ring; and the aged couple, with an
affecting simplicity, solemnly repeated the marriage ceremony in
token of their unchanged, and unabated attachment: but the hour of
separation was at hand.

"1853.--During the last six weeks, many circumstances have occurred
for the trial of our faith and patience; which, through grace, I
recognize as the appointments of mercy for my benefit. They have led
me to rest more simply on Christ by faith, which 'is the evidence of
things not seen, and the substance of things hoped for.' My soul pants
after God. He is my centre, my joy, my crown. Nevertheless, my own
unprofitableness would discourage me; therefore, stripped of all, I
hang upon Jesus, my Saviour and my all.--Our highly esteemed friend
Mr. Whitehead has passed from earth to heaven. Twelve days ago he
called upon us, and conversed and prayed sweetly with my husband.
Little did I think it would be his farewell visit.--My husband and
myself are both invalids. He has had several attacks upon his
chest, and much difficulty of breathing. At these times however, his
expressions of confidence in God are unwavering. For myself, I want
no other refuge, I only want more faith. I would be all the Gospel
requires;--willing to live, ready to die, but oh! I see much
imperfection.--These words are often running in my mind,--

  'Until he doth the cloud remove
  He only chastens whom he loves.'"

"My dear husband is increasingly ill. He told the Rev. Gervase Smith,
who called in to see him, that fifty years ago, these words were
blessed to him, 'By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not
of yourselves, it is the gift of God.' Mr. Bourne visited us in our
affliction. My soul truly rejoiced in the Lord, while His servant
spake of the things of God, and prayed with us. I am much comforted by
my husband's state of mind. Although this is a painful ordeal, through
which I am passing, God is with me, and His grace supports me.--My
husband is no better. When Mr. Eastwood inquired the state of his
mind, he answered,

  'For ever here my rest shall be.
    Close to Thy bleeding side;
  This all my hope, and all my plea,
    For me the Saviour died.'"

"He cast upon me an expressive look--I thought he wanted something,
and inquired. He replied, 'Bless you, bless you.'--Suffered much from
oppression on the chest. His medical adviser promised to send him
something, which would give him relief. He seemed very desirous of
its arrival. In the meantime, we bowed our knees to present our case
before God, and to ask His blessing upon the expected remedy; when in
a few minutes the oppression, in a great measure, ceased. This was the
Lord's doing, and to Him we heartily ascribe the praise.--The medicine
continued the relief.--The Lord wonderfully supports my feeble frame,
and I have increasing power to claim the promises made to His people,
and by faith discover in them a greater fulness than ever. My friend
R. informs me she has seen J.H., who had sent to request me to visit
her. She wished to tell me the Lord had blessed her soul. May she be
made fully meet for glory.--My husband still continues very ill. Had a
distressing night. The enemy assaulted him. My faith seems to have
no wings.--Enabled to rise.--I asked him if Christ was precious? He
replied, 'Yes.' He is apparently near death. Hitherto my mind has been
graciously supported though sometimes painfully exercised. He rallied
again, and slept calmly for awhile. After tea, the difficulty of
breathing returned. The Rev. David Hay came in, and prayed with him;
also Mr. Thompson, a little after. It was evident the hand of death
was upon him. He could scarcely bear us to speak. Once he said
'Mary'--perfectly recollected. Mr. Hill asked him, 'Is Christ
precious?' to which he replied in the affirmative, and shortly after
inquired, 'What o'clock is it?' The answer was given 'About ten;'
and at eleven the 'weary wheels of life stood still,' and my beloved
husband left me to mourn his absence. I sorrow, but not without hope;
and hear a whisper in my heart, 'Thy Maker is thy husband, the Lord
of Hosts is His name.' My mind is comforted; my resolutions are
quickened; but my sense of abasement is great, at the little
improvement I have made of such lengthened privileges. 'Enter not into
judgment with Thy servant, O Lord.'"

[Her feelings under this painful bereavement were deep,--too deep for
expression; but she maintained under it a calm spirit of resignation,
which some might have mistaken for indifference. The writer sees her
yet, as she stood for some minutes, pale and motionless, leaning on
the side of the coffin, just before it was closed; and gazing in the
face of the dead. There was no tear; she did not even imprint a kiss
on the inanimate clay, for it was but the image of him whom she had
loved. Her thoughts were in heaven. At length stroking the face, now
insensible to her touch, she said, "Poor John, I shall soon meet you
again."]

"My dear John was consigned to his bed of dust, to wait until the
resurrection morn. Mr. Bourne came home with us. His conversation
helped to cheer the gloom of parting for a little season. My mind was
consoled with the joyful hope of being guided through the wilderness
by Him, who so condescends to a worm of earth as to say, 'Thy Maker is
thy Husband.' Amazing love! I was again permitted to tread the courts
of the Lord's house. Visited J.H. in the afternoon, and spoke plainly
to her husband.--Met the dear people, but was far from being satisfied
with myself. I want a stronger faith, and more ardent love to the
souls of those who are committed to my care. My precious husband has
now been fourteen days in the eternal world."

  And can I wish him back,
    Again to suffer here?
  No! following on the track,
    I haste to meet him there.

"My soul goes out after Thee, O God. Thou art my treasure in this vale
of tears--my friend, my husband, my God, and my all.--Able to meet
both my classes, and felt energy of spirit while urging on the members
the necessity of keeping up communion with God; I requested them to
give a quarter of an hour every day, to pray for the prosperity of
their class, and of their own souls."

  In the midnight of my grief,
    Up to Thee, I lift my eye;
  Grant, O grant me sweet relief,
    Let me feel Thy presence nigh;
  Nothing else can succour bring,
    Here alone I rest my hope;
  To Thy bleeding cross I cling,
    Lift the drooping sinner up.

"I changed my residence for one in St. Saviourgate, near the house of
God; for this I desire to be thankful, and to dedicate myself to
the Lord; having sincerely sought His counsel and direction, I feel
satisfied.

"Easingwold. We were much led out in prayer, that the Lord would this
day bring some one to seek Him. In the evening three persons came in,
one evidently desirous of salvation; may this encourage the efforts of
thy handmaid to seek the benefit of the people in this place.--I feel
much the absence of my dear departed husband. His memory is dear. O
Lord, help me to quicken my steps to meet him in heaven. My body is
trembling and feeble; but my soul is vigorous. I have to-day resigned
my office of Treasurer to the Clothing Society, which I have held
nearly sixteen years.--Six months since my husband entered into rest.
He is daily in my thoughts; but I see him not. I do not wish him back
again; a little time will bring me to him, and I shall be as _learned_
as he. Time hastens on!--At ten o'clock Mr. C. changed worlds. Solemn
hour! All the morning, I know not why, he was strongly impressed upon
my mind.--I am alone, all is still, my soul feels after God. This
day feed me with the riches of Thy grace, that I may abide in Thee,
breathe Thy Spirit, live in Thy smile, and, like Apollos, be 'approved
in Christ.'

"1854.--I would here gratefully record the mercy of God to me. I
have been brought low--very low, but the Lord helped me. I felt no
condemnation, yet but little sensible comfort. Many promises were
constantly passing through my mind. Thus the Lord has been leading me
by a path I had not known.--I have not been to the Sanctuary yet, nor
would I rest in the means; but I want a clearer manifestation. I see
the scriptures hold forth more than I possess; I want to be closer
knit to Jesus, that I may bring forth fruit. Have declined the
presidency of the sewing meeting."

[On this resignation a letter, numerously signed by the ladies
composing the meeting, was sent to her, acknowledging her services,
and regretting that increasing age and infirmities had rendered it
necessary. This document is not forthcoming, but the following is her
own reply.]

  "MY DEAR MRS. HOLGATE,--I sit down to acknowledge
  with gratitude the kind note you presented me with, signed by
  so many kind friends, in acknowledgment of my poor services
  in a cause which lies near my heart. Thankful I am, that from
  a small beginning in our parlour, about seventeen years ago, this
  effort for the glorious cause of missions has flourished to this
  day; and that now so many hearts and hands are engaged in
  its operations and success. I still feel interested in its prosperity,
  and if I have one desire above the rest, it is that every one who
  assists in this good work may not only have her hands employed
  in it, but her heart enriched by the blessed gospel she wishes to
  send to heathen lands, and that every effort may have God's
  approving smile. I am, &c."

"I think I never felt more free to leave the world than now; and yet
quite willing to wait the Lord's time, that I may be fully prepared.

"Acomb. Mrs. R. took me to see some sick persons, also some wayside
hearers; 'but who is sufficient for these things?' Speak Lord, and
let them hear Thy voice!--At the prayer-meeting after the service, a
backslider was restored to the favour of God; I was knelt by her side,
and a holy calm pervaded my heart, when suddenly my soul, as by an
electric shock, was filled with confidence in the willingness and
power of God to save.--Went to see some of my absent members; and
passing by Mrs. O.'s, whose husband died about a fortnight since, I
called to inquire after her, and to my surprise and grief, found her
in dying circumstances. She died the same evening. I fear for her; yet
she used to weep, and for a time seemed in earnest. Have visited her
many times in her afflictions.--Calling in at a neighbour's shop for a
trifling article, I learned that the daughter was depressed in mind;
I felt a desire to see her, and asked permission, which was granted.
After saying what was given me, I prayed with her, feeling sweetly
assisted: when we arose from our knees she unburthened her mind,
and told me she had 'grieved the Spirit' and now, not feeling His
strivings, she had ceased to pray, and had given, up all. O that the
Lord may bring her out of this snare of the devil!"

  Hark, how they strike their harps of gold
    In yonder world above!
  I wonder what its scenes unfold,--
  For not a thousandth part is told,
    Of those bright lands of love,

  Not long-ere wonder shall expire,
    In sweet fruition lost;
  My spirit, borne on wings of fire,
  Shall mount, and revel, and admire,
    With all the heavenly host.

"1855.--A letter reached us from my beloved Richard, bringing tidings
of health, both of body and soul, and of his intended removal to
Auckland; but holding out little prospect of his return to England,
by the words _'if ever.'_ Thus is long cherished hope cut off, when I
thought it about to be realized."

[About the beginning of this year she had a severe attack of
bronchitis, and all hope of her recovery seemed cut off. Although able
to say little, she maintained a calm and settled confidence in God,
and was evidently longing after home. The morning after the crisis was
past, the doctor said to her, 'Well, Mrs. Lyth, I have some hope of
you.' She replied, 'So have I, but it is the other way.']

"After a sudden and severe attack of affliction, I would most
gratefully acknowledge the merciful care of my heavenly Father, who
has not left me, but comforted me by His word and Spirit. My friends
also have not forgotten me; I have every comfort during this inclement
season. The earth is covered with snow, the cold piercing, and the day
gloomy; but mercy folds me in on every side, and my spirit rests on
Jesus, my atoning Saviour. While I write, my heart warms and kindles
at His love.--I am left alone this eighteenth of February, which,
forty-five years ago, was so important. Well, it is written, 'Thy
Maker is thy husband, the Lord of hosts is His name.' and to Him will
I plight my vows. Alone, on my knees, I again surrender to Thee my
poor heart, and again take the pledge of Thy love. From this time
forth may I swerve from Thee no more, but walk my few remaining days
with Thee; having the testimony that Enoch had, that I please God. And
now I am Thine by solemn ties, in the solemn silence of Thy presence,
all praise be unto Thee, who dost thus condescend to Thy dust.--Have
just returned from a drive. The air is very sweet, and nature puts
forth her loveliness. My soul was led out to Him who has prepared
greater things than these for those that love Him. My spirit is
revived. 'Bless the Lord, O my soul.'--Riding out yesterday, I called
to see my dear friend Isaac, who, like myself, is waiting until her
change come;--a touching little interview. She told me while she was
praying for me in my affliction, it was impressed upon her mind, 'My
power is unlimited.' O may it be exerted in my full preparation for
eternal glory, to meet my dear friend there. I sometimes get transient
glimpses of it. I feel myself a helpless worm, but the name of Jesus
is sweet. There is none I desire in comparison of Him. Though I
cannot get out I am able to read, and the word of truth is my constant
companion.--A beautiful day: the sun shines in splendour, but sin
spoils all the beauty. While my eyes are cheered with what I see, my
heart is saddened with what I hear. One has fallen into sin,--one
I have highly esteemed in time past. What need to put on 'the whole
armour of God,' and watch!--I felt more vigorous in my classes to-day,
and spoke very plainly, for I feel a great love for these souls.

  "Thou art, O God, the life and light
    Of all this wondrous world we see;
  Its glow by day, its smile by night,
    Are but reflections caught from Thee;
  Where'er we turn Thy glories shine,
  And all things fair and bright are Thine."

"I feel decaying nature; but my soul does not lose its appetite for
divine things. In the midst of forgetfulness, and other infirmities,
my only centre is in Christ.--As the day was fine, I walked to Heworth
in search of an absent member, and after many inquiries, found out her
abode; but she was not at home. I got some important information about
her. My walk was a most impressive one,--on a lovely road, on either
side overhung with foliage--but, being autumn, the way was strewed
with withered leaves, while every breeze, though soft, wafted others
to the ground in showers;--fit emblem of my own decay! I was
much wearied.--The Rev. Robert Young, who has recently been on a
deputation to the South Sea Missions, selected Fiji as the topic of
his speech at the Missionary Meeting, and gave a very cheering account
of my Richard, in the midst of cannibalism. I went into the vestry to
speak with him; but was overwhelmed with my feelings. Have been laid
aside by affliction; but the Lord has been intimately near. My faith
has been strengthened, and I cling more closely to my best Friend.
Many blessed promises have been brought to remembrance, which have
cheered me, and created sweet peace.--My faith wants to borrow the
pinions of the eagle. Lord help me, I am Thine; I dare trust in Thee;
unprofitable as I am, Thou art my God.--My thought before I rose this
morning was:--

  Down life's declivity,
    Borne by the surge,
  On to eternity,
    Swiftly I urge;
  Not without cheering hope,
    When I am gone,
  Jesus will bear me up,
    Straight to His throne."

1856.--[A few lines written at the commencement of this year, contain
the following reference to a circumstance, which, trivial as it was in
itself, had nearly occasioned the loss of her sight.]

  Time rushes on! Another scene appears!
  In springtide thought, I stood upon the hearth;
  "When in a moment, from the crackling flame
  A piece of burning ore flew in my eye,
  And suddenly eclipsed the light of day.
  But He who opened blind men's eyes of old,
  Restored my sight. * * * *

"I am sensible of the want of gratitude for the sight I have; though
it is but imperfect, I can, by close attention, read my Bible, which
at first was all I desired.--Visited two of my members, each of whom
has had a fit, one being deprived of the left hand, and the other of
the right;--humbling cause of gratitude that I can use mine.

  Youth with all its hopes is past,
    And middle life-with care;
  Now, in feeble age, I cast
    My all on God by prayer.
  Exiled yet a little while,
    But guided by His eye;
  Happy I live beneath His smile,
    And happier still--shall die."

"My meditations this morning have been sweet, on the words, 'Thou
shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal
diadem in the hand of thy God.' I cannot increase God's glory; but
I--a worm--in the hand of my God, become crowned with glory.--My niece
Caroline has departed this life. In a lucid moment, one asked, if
Christ was precious; she answered, 'Yes' It was added, 'Just such a
Saviour as you need?' 'Exactly,' was the reply.--I have given up my
own house, and removed to my daughter Eliza's hoping the blessing of
the Lord will attend the change. My mind has, beyond my expectation,
been preserved in peace.--Came with my daughter to Haxby, for the
benefit of a change. O that Thou wouldst bless my coming to _one_
soul!--Called upon Mrs. S., and was glad to find her desirous of
knowing the truth, as also her daughter. I feel peculiarly drawn out
in prayer, on behalf of the inhabitants of this village. Oh! that a
glorious revival may break out here.--The means of grace are not
so plentiful in Haxby as in the city; but here I enjoy the quiet of
retirement, and breathe a purer atmosphere. Often the Spirit wafts me
on to the better land, and I contemplate with pleasure my everlasting
home."

[Who can tell what shall be on the morrow? But a few weeks elapsed
after this visit to Haxby, when her daughter Eliza, whose loving and
gentle spirit endeared her to all who knew her, was taken away at
a stroke. On the day on which the following entry is dated, she had
exhibited an unusual degree of vivacity; and with great confidence
borne testimony in the class to the power of the grace of God.]

"A goodly number at the class. In the evening Eliza read to Mrs. C.
and myself the interesting adieu of the French Protestant Minister,
Adolphe Monod, introduced into the November number of the Methodist
Magazine for 1856. We sat down to supper, and mournful to relate! she
was seized with a fit of apoplexy, which lasted until nearly three in
the morning, when her spirit calmly took its flight. How needful to
be ready!--My dear daughter was carried to the cemetery, there to
rest until the resurrection morn. While passing through this painful
dispensation, I have enjoyed the sweet consolations of the Spirit of
God, and been able to recognize mercy mingled with judgment. The same
evening my Eliza passed into the skies, my son William was appointed
to meet a few of the Lord's people.--The year heaves its last sigh,
as I review the way in which God has led me. Very painful events have
occurred. Scenes pleasant, and sad, have passed before me; but around,
and over all, mercy has spread a cloud of light; and here will I raise
my heart, and say, 'Hitherto the Lord hath helped me.'"



XXII.

THE LIGHTS AND SHADOWS OF EVENING.

  "THE DAY GOETH AWAY, FOR THE SHADOWS OF EVENING ARE
  STRETCHED FORTH."--Jer. vi. 4.


Have you ever observed the effect produced upon the eye by the rapid
decrease of light, which takes place as night draws on, during that
season of the year in which the twilight is shortest? For some minutes
there appears a rapid succession of light and shade, each succeeding
shadow deepening in gloom, until the night sets in. This phenomenon
arises from the necessity which the pupil of the eye finds of adapting
itself to the diminution of light; and it has hardly done so, before
the increasing darkness requires a still further expansion of the
visual aperture. Just so in human life, when its brightness has
departed, and the night is at hand; there is often a rapid succession
of painful occurrences, which fall like shadows upon the soul, and it
has continually to adapt itself to its altered circumstances. The eye
of faith can scarce keep pace with the demands made upon it, and the
effect is a sense of occasional depression, which even the Christian
cannot altogether resist. In the last two or three years of her life,
Mrs. Lyth experienced what it was to be "in heaviness through manifold
temptations;" and although she wore the same happy smile, exhibited
the same unwavering, and even triumphant confidence in God, and to
all around her, it was evident she was fast ripening for her glorious
reward; her diary shows that she was, in some of her solitary hours,
subject to momentary depression; which, as she made no allowance for
altered circumstances, and increasing infirmities, she was in danger
of attributing to a wrong cause. It was not until after the death of
her husband that there was any perceptible decline of her physical
energies; the "snow of age" fell lightly, so that she still continued
for some time to discharge her accustomed duties in the church, until
increasing weakness compelled her to relinquish, one by one, her
visiting district for the Benevolent Society; her collecting books for
various Institutions; the Visitation of the school; the Treasurership
of the Poor Clothing Society; the Presidency of the Sewing meeting;
and last, and to her the most painful of all--her Class; for like her
Lord, having loved her own, which were in the world, she loved them to
the end. This unavoidable cessation from her "more abundant" labours,
and the life of passive suffering she was now called to endure,
perhaps more than anything else, was sometimes a source of painful
reflection, and became an occasion of powerful temptation. She could
not, however, be inactive; much of her time passed in reading and
prayer. Her pen and her knitting-needle were in constant requisition,
and a fine day, or a little renewal of strength, often induced her, at
the peril of her own health, to visit an unconverted neighbour, or an
afflicted friend. The sudden removal of her daughter was acutely felt,
and elicited several efforts of her muse, two of which are here given.

  "1857.--Gone! gone! gone! The empty chair I see,
          But ah! no smile, as once, alights on me.
          In what bright region doth thy spirit rest?
          Since all are living, thou art surely blest.
          I ask no more, the veil will soon remove,
          And I shall come to dwell with thee above.

"Just before I awoke, I dreamed I was reading; and it was written, 'He
will receive thee to Himself, and give unto thee a kingdom.' It was
repeated thrice."

  LONE MUSING.

  Doth her spirit hover near!
    Doth she ever watch o'er me?
  Am I still to her as dear
    As when in flesh she cared for me?
  If she now, with wistful eyes,
    Strives, unseen, to draw me higher;
  Let me wisdom doubly prize,
    More and more to heaven aspire.
  Lo! the Spirit and the Bride
    Lovingly invite me on,--
  Seek my wandering heart to guide
    To the Father, through the Son.
  I will answer to the call;
    Thou my portion, I Thy child;
  Here in self-abasement fall,
    Trusting in Thy mercy mild.

"I am glad to hear that in Haxby the Lord has been giving 'showers of
blessing.' Mr. McOwan has given twenty-nine notes on trial. I am the
Lord's prisoner; looking up, yet I feel my lonely position.--It was
suggested, 'I am thy salvation.' I paused and asked, from what? From
the world, sin, self, and thy deadly foes. 'I am thy salvation,' from
all thy inward evils; pride, unbelief, love of the creature, from
every thing contrary to love. This salvation is all mine, through
Christ, by faith.--Rose a little after six; very feeble; nearly read
through the book of Ezra, and saw how God helps the good in times of
difficulty. I feel depressed: Lord, help me!--I rode to the Cemetery
to see the spot where my Eliza lies. Well, a little while, and I hope
to join her among the spirits of the just made perfect. I proceeded
from thence to my brother's in Dove Street.--Have been a week in Dove
Street. Through mercy I have been able to rise every morning at six;
and while reading Dr. Clarke's Theology, my spiritual strength has
been, renewed. I have enjoyed many blessings from the Lord, and my
time has passed pleasantly, but my poor brother is very, very
infirm. I have called on several friends in the street, and had the
opportunity of praying in two families.--Latterly, during the night
season, the enemy has afflicted my mind with painful temptations; but
I am not left to myself, the Lord is my helper.--To-day I was much
drawn out in prayer for one of my grandsons. Surely the Spirit moved
me. After tea, four of my grandsons, and my daughter, bowed with me
before the Lord. It was a time to be remembered. The Lord drew near,
and I was melted down before Him.--Weak yet pursuing. My daughter Mary
unexpectedly read to me the words, 'Lo! I am with you alway even to
the end of the world.' The truth thrilled through my heart, as a flash
of lightning.--Sweet peace. This evening a stranger, brought by E.F.,
came to converse on spiritual subjects. We prayed together, and the
Lord drew near.--Alone; but graciously moved by my heavenly Father to
pour out my soul in prayer; I enjoyed sweet access by the Holy Spirit,
on behalf of many dear ones. Glory be to God, that to a worm He
manifests His presence, and reveals His love. Mary had a note from
Richard, informing us of a change of purpose respecting his return to
England. Well; if they commit their way unto the Lord, they will
not err far. This shall be my prayer for them, while strength is
continued.--Awoke by a fit of coughing, I heard as if a voice spoke
to me, 'Union with Jesus gives the power of patience.' I feel it.--Met
the Lord's people in great weakness, but with great longing for their
spiritual health. Miss R. read me a letter from Miss K., informing
her of the happy change, which had taken place in her mind. My soul
rejoiced to hear the news, particularly as she had been for some time
laid upon my mind whenever I approached the throne of grace."

"1858.--My John spent a few days with us. I have enjoyed his company
more than ever before; perhaps I prayed more, that it might be so. I
think I feel more deeply the hallowing influence of prayer. My soul
feeds on Jesus. Glory be to God for a Saviour."

  While midnight shadows blended,
    And nature seem'd to sleep,
  Me, angel watchers tended,
    Who always vigil keep;
  I felt them hov'ring o'er me,
    Though hidden from my view;
  A veil was spread before me,
    But is the thought less true?
  Watch'd by these heavenly strangers,
    'Who all my paths attend,'
  And oft from foes and dangers,
    My progress would defend;
  O give me circumspection
    To guard against the foe,
  Then, sure of their protection,
    I on to conquest go.

"Only nine present at the class. I spoke to them, but felt the effect
upon my feeble body for two days afterward; yet it was good to talk to
them of the love of Jesus.--I have been exercised by the common foe;
depressed in feeling, but never left without the power to draw near
to God in prayer. Thank God, for some days past my spirit has been
revived; and this morning my heart is trusting in the Lord, Glorious
news from America! The Lord is saving by thousands. O that the breath
of heaven may reach our own shores!"

  O time how precious I what a load misused!
  To catch its flight is wise; to waste or loiter, folly.
  Reader, and writer, mark! Thy time escapes:
  To give it now a name is golden, gain.
  Oh! with true wisdom print thy passing hours,
  So shall eternity proclaim thy fame.

"My two sons, William and John, set forth to welcome their brother
Richard, just returned by the ship 'Duncan Dunbar'--after an absence
of more than twenty-one years--with a family of six children--a
gracious providence having watched over him; and now the happy
brotherhood will, I trust, be perpetuated, until consummated in
heaven.--My son Richard, with his lovely wife and family, have
arrived.--I am now seventy-six years old. How much cause of
humiliation! How much cause of gratitude! Here upon my knees I give
myself to Thee; I am Thine. Let Thy presence be communicated with
fresh power to my soul. I do thank Thee for peace, and a full bent
to please Thee.--My son Richard conducted me to my new residence on
Heworth Road. Often have I changed my abode, supposing each would be
the last remove: yet I tarry. All I want is to move under the smile of
my heavenly Father, and to feel myself under his guiding eye.--Poorly.
Inward conflicts. Went to see a person, who was once a member of my
class; she is still in the way to heaven. We prayed together. Here, at
the throne of grace, I find myself at home. I was at my class, perhaps
for the last time. God bless the dear members."

  Graven on the hand divine,
    Bid me on Thy strength lay hold,
  Look, believe, for Thou art mine;
    Jesus makes me humbly bold.
  Though Thy courts I may not tread,
    Thou art in my mouth, and heart;
  In Thy holy book I read,
    God in every place Thou art.
  With more love inflame my soul,
    With more fervent zeal inspire;--
  Faith, that can all power control,
    Fill the grasp of my desire.
  Let Thy word of mercy spread
    Freely, all the village round:
  Speak to-day, and wake the dead,
    Let the lost in Thee be found.

"My friends are gone to the Sanctuary. Looking at myself in the light
of the divine presence, I see imperfection stamped upon all my doings;
and yet, through mercy, I have an interest in the precious blood of
atonement, and long that all around me may enjoy the same salvation.
While now my pen moves upon the paper, move Thou upon the hearts of
the people, who have long been favoured with hearing the voice of Thy
ministers. Arouse the careless; stir up Thy people; and this day pour
out Thy Spirit upon us all; and now, while alone; help my infirmities;
visit me, and give me increase of faith.--Inward conflicts and
wandering of mind have brought me to my knees."

  To God I tell my utmost care,
  And find my place of refuge there.

"By the help of the servant's arm I got to Heworth Chapel, and heard
a little, but imperfectly. My son Richard came, and conducted me
home. Very faint and sick after I returned; but I know not that I ever
enjoyed a more refreshing sense of God's presence. Glory be to
the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.--Clouds
dark--rainy--trees fading--leaves falling--all things changing here;
but, 'Thou art the same, and Thy years shall not fail.' O, while I
hold my pen in my hand, let me feel Thy presence in my heart! I have
in Thee a changeless friend. Glory be to Thy name, Thou ever-blessed
God! Give me more love, and knit me more closely to Thyself.--The
day fine. I got to Chapel, and through mercy was no worse. A stranger
kindly accompanied me home, who seems to be an inquirer after truth.
My soul yearned over her, while I spoke a few words to her. O may they
sink deep! In the course of reading, the words, 'Let the peace of
God _rule_ in your hearts' especially struck me. To rule implies
government; I may dwell where I have no power to rule; and the peace
of God must not only be felt, but bring into subjection everything in
my heart, that would oppose itself to the will of God. Praise God, my
spirit longs for this complete subjection."

  A star in its splendour attracted my eye,
    As softly from slumber I woke;
  I thought--as I saw the bright spot in the sky--
    'Twas an angel of mercy which spoke--
  Of the hope, that brings peace to the labouring breast,
    And raises the sorrowful mind.
  The sweet'ner of life, and the solace of rest,
    In Jesus, the Saviour, we find.
  When troubles oppress us, and nature decays,
    His light in the darkness is given:
  Bright star of the morning, O lend me thy rays!
    And guide me safe homeward to heaven!


  SITTING BY MYSELF, AND THOUGHTFUL.

  Alone? no never! that broad eye,
    Which fills all space, is here;
  My secret thoughts and actions he,
    Reveal'd as daylight clear.
  I would not from Thy presence fly,
    Thee only, would I love;
  With greater circumspection try
    In Thy commands to move.
  If in my heart I aught disguise,
    The lurking evil slay;
  If aught than Thee more highly prize,
    O take it, Lord, away!

"1859.--I concluded the year by reading the Epistle to the
Philippians, and prayer. My soul longs for a richer baptism of love,
I am as well as usual, and my soul pants after God. I feel the word
precious while I read, and thirst for a fuller manifestation of God.
While thus employed, I enjoy sweet peace through Jesus. Here hangs my
hope of heaven; and though I have many a conflict with unbelief, my
heart is fixed."

  THOUGHTS ON EZEKIEL'S VISION, CHAPTERS 43 AND 48.
  EZEKIEL XLVIII. 35.

  'The Lord is there!' O happy place!
  Where God in Christ unveils His face;
  The city and the people bear
  His glorious name--'The Lord is there.'

  The house all symmetry within,
  The worshippers all white and clean;
  How lustrous is the scene, and rare!
  It must be so--'The Lord is there.'

  There, from beneath the threshold, teems
  The tide of truth in living streams;
  And those who drink the waters, share
  Eternal life--'The Lord is there.'

  The crystal waves spread deep and wide;
  Salvation rolls upon the tide;
  So copious is the flood, we dare
  No longer doubt--'The Lord is there.'

  The healing virtue never fails;
  For all 'who will,' it still avails;
  Within the city brought, they wear
  A kingly crown--'The Lord is there.'

  The glory of the Lord is seen,
  His voice is heard by all within;
  The tribes of Israel are _His_ care,
  Who reigns, the Lord for ever there.

"While reading and meditating on Ezekiel's vision, my spirit was
refreshed; and in the evening, while praying with my servant, my soul
rejoiced in God my Saviour. Tears of joy ran down my eyes, and my soul
overflowed.--Six years my dear John has been in paradise, and I am
still endeavouring to urge on my way; feeble, yet pursuing. Praise God
for the encouragement I feel. Jesus is all the world to me; there is
nothing in my estimation equal to Him;--nothing I desire in comparison
of Him.--In the world there appears to be a glorious movement towards
God. The latter-day glory hastens on. India is quiet, and China opens
her arms to the truth. In America, Scotland, and Wales, the Spirit is
descending plenteously. O praise the Lord, for He shall reign; 'the
government shall be upon His shoulder.'--Walked as far as Heworth
Chapel, and called upon Miss C.; she asked me to pray with her, being
herself an invalid. Cause of gratitude, being my longest walk this
year. The present circumstances of my children call for earnest
persevering prayer. Let Thy Spirit help me.--The beauties of inanimate
nature have this week exhibited the finger of God in the rising bud,
and opening flower. May I, to whom is given, an intelligent mind,
while beholding these works of Thine, be drawn into closer union with
Thyself. Yea, while my hand directs the pen, let my soul assimilate to
Thy likeness: make me one with Thee. Glory be to God, I feel there
is union, for God is love: but enlarge and fill my soul with all Thy
fulness.--This afternoon the young clergyman visited me, and made
inquiries after my spiritual welfare. My heart clave unto him; and
after he had prayed, I heartily wished him success in his ministry.
Tidings have reached me, that my son John is going as a Missionary to
Germany: may it be of the Lord. My soul is exceedingly drawn out in
prayer that it may be so; and that it may be a blessing both to
him and the people among whom he is about to labour.--I am this day
seventy-seven years old. How quickly time departs! I lack words to
express the manifold mercies of my heavenly Father during the past
year. One above all, is the return of my Missionary son, after
twenty-one years' absence; and his, and his family's kindness. Bless
the Lord, O my soul.--Felt impressed to go and visit Mrs. M--, whom I
visited once last year; went, and had a happy interview.

  Hallow'd is the hour of prayer,
  When the Spirit helps me there;
  When the soul is drawn above,
  Borne on wings of faith and love;
  Then, released from earth, I rise
  Far beyond the starry skies;
  See, in Christ's atonement free,
  Life for all mankind, and me.

"Mrs. C. called, and kindly took me to Class. I gave out the hymn my
Eliza sang the day before she died, and prayed with them.--I have been
led by the Spirit of God to my knees, and find it no vain thing to
wait upon the Lord. I am urged to look after my petitions, and feel it
good to be thus reminded.--Mrs. Hartley called to bid me good-bye. I
felt it very good while we prayed together. On her return to the city
she was taken very ill, and sent a request by my daughter, that I
would pray for her. I will. Felt blest in doing so.--My two sons are
going to widely distant localities, but in their Master's field. Oh!
how my heart longs that they may be richly endued with power from on
high, and made abundantly useful among those with whom they mingle,
and that many may be the saved of the Lord. John Arthur and David are
also, this day, going on the Lord's errand. O bless the lads!
Make them wise to win souls to Jesus. My soul longs for their
prosperity.--Nine of my dear grandchildren took tea with us. For these
and all the rest my soul earnestly longs, that we may be an undivided
family above. I was blest while praying with them.--My dear son John
and his wife, with five children, left us on their way to Germany,
hoping to reach London this evening. O Lord, prosper Thou his journey
to yonder land! I feel deeply for him. O bless him, Lord!"

  Oh! what a world of care,
    Anxiety and grief!
  How multiplied our sorrows are!
    Where shall we find relief?

  Our lov'd ones come, and glad we are
    To see their smiling face;
  But brief these transient visits are,
    And _then_, the last embrace.

"Mrs. Nightingale came to meet two women in distress for their souls.
They wept sore, and found encouragement. I felt it good to mingle my
petitions with their's. [This was the commencement of a class at her
own residence, conducted by Mrs. N., and formed especially for my
mother's accommodation. Up to this time she was nominally a leader,
but since her removal to Heworth, she had but very occasionally been
able to ride down to the city, and mingle in the communion of saints,
a privilege, the loss of which she had deeply felt. The provision thus
made was therefore a source of unspeakable comfort. Mrs. Nightingale
says, "We found her at the appointed time, but oftener before, sitting
in prayerful silence, waiting upon God. At such times her countenance
was most heavenly; lit up with a light and glory, which bespoke
her relation to, and hidden life with, her divine Lord. It was our
privilege, when she was able, to listen to the words of wisdom and
instruction which fell from her lips. Her deep acquaintance with the
word of God, and the holy unction with which she spoke, caused those
present to say, 'This is none other but the house of God, and this is
the gate of heaven.' Love to God and the souls of men burned brightly
on the altar of her heart. This was seen in the deep interest she
took in each member of the class, and in her prayerful concern for
the members of her own family. 'God is giving me answers to my prayers
both on behalf of my children and grandchildren,' she would say. But
there were aspirations of soul after higher forms of spiritual life,
which could only be realized in the fruition of the divine presence.
For increase of years she made but little allowance, so that, whilst
her love to God and heavenly meekness became increasingly apparent to
others, her diminished energy was sometimes to herself the occasion
of painful conflict and introspection."] Before I awoke I thought a
letter was put into my hands, the contents of which were 'Through much
tribulation ye shall enter the kingdom." The Lord giving me power, I
will fight my passage through.--Through the intensity of the weather,
and my own increasing indisposition, I have been compelled to keep my
bed; but prayer has been the life of my soul;--the only sure refuge in
trouble. Much drawn out for my dear John, who, we expect, is this
day holding an important meeting.--The year is quickly passing into
eternity. It tarries not, nor waiteth the hurried one to free. Defer
not, for the moment will soon pass away. Now touch the golden sceptre
while it is called to-day. Believe, believe in Jesus, who gave His
life for _you_. Accept the rich gratuity, for He hath purchased you."

"1860.--Although not able to sit up to welcome the new year, it broke
upon me with these words--

  Jesus shall all my powers possess,
  My hopes, my fears, my joys:

and thus my heart resolves. Yes, Lord, the dying embers of my life are
Thine. I thank Thee, Thou dost not cast me off in my old age. 'My soul
shall magnify the Lord, and my spirit rejoice in God my Saviour.'--A
few days ago, my mind was filled with uncertainty respecting two
members of my family; however, I laid the case before the Lord, and,
to my surprise and grateful acknowledgment, in a day or two there
was an opening in each case. Reader or writer, think not highly of
thyself, others were praying as well as thee.--My first thought this
morning, 'I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore with
"loving kindness have I drawn thee.' A very cheering letter from my
son Richard. Praise the Lord for such information, both from
heaven and earth.--A beautiful sunny morning. Grant that the Sun of
righteousness may rise upon me with healing in His wings. Let Him
heal, and form my soul anew. This is my chief desire. I do thank Thee
for peace, but O enlarge my heart, and fully fit me to behold Thy
glory!--A quiet Sabbath morning. I am sitting alone. The sun shines
brightly upon me, and all nature seems to join in hallowed harmony.
May my soul, capable of far greater powers, be expanded to receive far
richer influences from the great source of my being--the inexhaustible
fountain of all blessedness. My soul drinks of the living stream.
Praise God for these small draughts. Enlarge and fill, and enlarge for
ever!"

  MAN'S FRAILTY.

  See a flower of lovely hue,
    Dipp'd in beauty bright, at Spring,
  Blasted by a wind that blew,
    Ere it passed its blossoming.

  Such is man, in best estate;
    Like a flower he buddeth forth,
  Till some unexpected fate
    Brings him to his mother earth,

  Such a shadow of a shade,
    Human life, a moment, is:
  Now we live, but soon conveyed
    Past all life's uncertainties.

  Blooming youth and wither'd age,
    Infant charms and ripened years,
  Death assaults with equal rage,
    Unappeas'd by prayers or tears:

  Then, the closely wedded pair,
    Soul and body sadly part;
  Yet to meet again--but _where?
    Seek the answer in thy heart_.

"'Looking unto Jesus!' This is the posture of my soul. Yea, I long
after God. I have been peculiarly drawn out In prayer for several
members of my family, with great sweetness In my own soul. Glory be to
God!"



XXIII.

SLEEP IN JESUS.

  "WEEP NOT; SHE IS NOT DEAD BUT SLEEPETH."--Luke viii. 62.


When the shadows of evening begin to fall, it is not difficult to
prognosticate that the night is at hand; and, admonished by the
increasing gloom, man, wearied by the tolls of the day, gladly looks
forward to the hour of repose. Universal nature shares in the feeling
of presentiment. The cattle seek the shed; the birds fly back to their
nests; and the gentle flower folds its delicate petals, as if for
sleep. Is It wonderful that as life closes in, especially when
protracted to a good old age, the human spirit should feel an
instinctive consciousness of approaching dissolution? or that the aged
Christian, after long and patient endurance in his Master's service,
should joyfully anticipate the hour of _rest?_ Yes, REST, not death;
"For whosoever liveth, and believeth in me," saith the Saviour, "shall
never die." Christ has tasted death for him, and the bitterness, which
is the reality of death, is passed away. His stedfast faith prevents
the dawn of a brighter day, and what matters it, whether his sleep
continue but a few hours, or be protracted through a period of
centuries? The body can be sensible of no difference, and the spirit,
transported far beyond the regions of dream-land, enjoys a happy and
conscious existence in the presence of Him, who died, "That whether we
wake or _sleep_, we might live together with Him." Mrs. Lyth looked,
nay longed for the time of her departure; and as the hour drew on,
seems to have had some pleasant premonitions of its approach. About a
month before it occurred, she writes, "My first thought this morning
was,

  'We soon shall be landed, for death is in view,
  Almighty protection shall comfort us through;
  Released from our prisons, to heaven we fly,
  Exchanging all sorrows for mansions on high.'"

"A few days of beautiful spring weather permitted her to enjoy an
occasional walk, which was generally made subservient to some higher
purpose than that of mere refreshment. Thrice her steps were directed
to the Sanctuary, opportunities which she richly enjoyed. Of one of
these she says, "I enjoyed the privilege of meeting my friends at the
lovefeast, and hearing them speak of the power of grace to save; but
my poor body is very feeble."

This short respite, however, excited in her mind no fallacious
expectation of a much longer reprieve; and more than once she
expressed her conviction, that, as the summer advanced she would be no
better. The weather suddenly changed; and the prevalence of north and
easterly winds, accompanied with rain, confined her to the house. To
use her own expressive language, "June enters weeping, and yet (10th)
remains in tears." This circumstance elicited almost the last effort
of her poetic pen.

  "Fairest month of summer's Trine,
    Why dost thou remain in tears?
  Ask not. 'Tis the will divine;
    This shall dissipate my fears.
  He, who ruleth in the sky,
    Knoweth what His creatures need;
  He can every want supply,
    Trust Him, and His promise plead.
  Clouds may wear a frowning brow,
    Blasting winds may sweep around,
  He, who reigns above, knows how
    Best to make his love abound.
  Then, I'll cast my every care
    On my promise-keeping God;
  Honour Him by faith and prayer;
    Rest upon His faithful word.
  Should the cloud continue still,
    Thou for ever art the same,
  All the workings of Thy will
    But proclaim Thy glorious name."

The last entries of her diary, which with a solemn significance just
fill up the volume, we give in full.

"June 11th.--I expected to have received my ticket, but no one came, I
clearly see no dependance can be placed upon the creature. On Thee,
O Lord, let all my confidence rest! Glory be to God, though I am an
isolated one, I am not left alone. I do feel drawn, after God, I have
given myself to Him, and He is chief in my affection.

19th.--My seventy-eighth birth-day. I had intended writing, but the
Lord saw otherwise. I was in bed three parts, of the day, and on the
20th very ill, having taken cold.

21st.--Thursday the longest day. I am very feeble, but have taken my
pen to acknowledge the goodness of God to me for so long a period. At
noon we had an awful thunderstorm, during which my soul was calm and
peaceful. This is the Lord's doing. I felt sweet trust and confidence
in my Almighty Saviour. Afterwards I received my ticket at the hands
of the Rev. Thos. Nightingale. On the ticket there is written, 'I
have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore with everlasting
kindness have I drawn thee.'"

24th. THE SABBATH.

  Peaceful is the Sabbath morn,
    Glad I welcome its return;
  Now Thy presence I implore,
    Come, and never leave me more.

It was hoped by her friends that, with the return of milder weather,
her strength would rally; but from this time it gradually declined.
Her occupations were pursued as usual, but her weakness became daily
more apparent; and, every now and then, intimations fell from her
lips, that her "time was short," and her "work nearly done." To those
around her it was evident that she was standing ready, and waiting
for the coming of her Lord. This was particularly observable in the
promptitude and fidelity with which she addressed all who came to the
house, in terms of exhortation or warning, as if she was afraid of
losing a single opportunity of speaking for her Master. Earth with its
comparative trifles was fast receding from her view, and her spiritual
vision occupied with the solemn and momentous scenes into which
she was so soon to enter. Her daughter, who, for the purpose of
ministering to her requirements, occupied the same bed-room, was often
awoke, in the stillness of night, by the voice of thanksgiving and
prayer; for, not content with making melody to the Lord in her heart,
she gave vent to her overflowing feelings in singing and praise.

On Thursday, the 28th, the decrease of her strength was such that,
although no danger was apprehended, it was deemed advisable to call
in medical aid, which afforded her a momentary relief. But disease was
insidiously working to an unfavourable issue, and that day she plied
her needle for the last time. On Saturday the doctor instituted a
minute examination of her lungs, and pronounced the case one of the
worst forms of bronchitis; yet still held out the hope of recovery,--a
hope in which she evinced no sympathy, for, though from the nature of
the complaint able to talk but little, she spoke of her affliction,
not only without apprehension, but with joyful anticipation. To
the doctor, when he informed her of her danger, she expressed her
confidence that "to die would be gain," and urged upon him the
importance of living always in a state of preparation for death. He
had no sooner left the room than, turning to her daughter, with a look
of ecstacy, she said, "I am going home, Mary." In consequence of her
extreme debility, the difficulty of her breathing and expectoration
occasioned her much suffering, which she bore with exemplary patience;
and when it was referred to, replied, "It is all right." At another
time when an allusion was made to her sufferings, her reply was,
"Patient the appointed race to run." Her daughter read to her the
beautiful hymn, commencing, "The God of Abraham praise," to which she
listened with great attention, and on coming to the lines,

  "He calls a worm His friend,
    He calls Himself my God,
  And He shall save me to the end,
    Through Jesus' blood;"

she exclaimed, with her eyes raised to heaven, and her hands uplifted,
"Glory! glory!"

During the night her daughter, who watched by her side, overheard her
say, "My heart and my flesh faileth, but God is the strength of my
heart, and _my portion for ever_," emphasizing the last words. It was
whispered--

  "And above the rest this note shall swell,"

when she instantly took up the words, and with a heavenly smile
completed the stanza,

  "My Jesus hath done all things well."

The same tender solicitude for others, especially those of her own
family, which had ever characterized her, was still manifest in her
utmost weakness. "Twice," says her daughter, "during those few anxious
days, while I was standing by her bed-side, she looked at me tenderly,
and said, 'The Lord bless thee, and keep thee; the Lord make His face
to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee; the Lord lift up His
countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.' On telling her I was
going to write to my brother John, she replied, 'Give my kindest love
to him and Susie, and tell them to keep the _one point_ in view. To
one who was ministering to her wants she said, with great earnestness,
'Oh! when one comes to the verge of another world, of what avail are
all things else, if we are not on the sure foundation? My whole care
is to be ready--quite ready.'"

The rapid decay of her strength seemed to produce no corresponding
impression upon her mind, which, up to within a few hours of her
departure, retained its wonted vigour and clearness of perception. Her
utterances were carefully weighed, and she grasped the full force of
the words which were spoken to her; hence, when her daughter asked if
she could say

      "Not a cloud doth arise
      To darken the skies,
  And hide for _one moment_ the Lord from my eyes;"

she replied, "I can't say _that_." "But," mother, "you can trust Him
in the dark?" Her ready answer was, "I _can_ do that."

On Tuesday morning, July 3rd, the day preceding her removal, for some
hours she appeared rather better, and on being lifted up in bed, she
asked for her spectacles, the Bible, and also the hymn-book, from
which she read the hymn beginning

  "How do Thy mercies close me round,"

which was one of her favourites. As the day advanced her disease
gained ground, but, beyond the difficulty she experienced in
breathing, there was no evidence of suffering. She expressed a fear
she was impatient, but it was far otherwise. Not a murmur, nor
a breath of complaint passed her lips; she possessed her soul in
patience, and her language was praise and prayer. Once, while gasping
for breath, she repeated at intervals, the verse

  "O may I thus be found,
    Obedient to His word;
  Attentive to the trumpet's sound,
    And looking for my Lord."

In the afternoon her son Richard arrived from Torquay, providentially
in time to witness the last solemn and mournful scene, and to
administer words of comfort and encouragement. The valley was fall of
light, and a momentary cloud which skirted the horizon, occasioned by
the deep sense she felt of her own unprofitableness, melted away at
the presence of Him whom, having not seen, she loved, and whose name
was last upon her lips. My brother says, "I found her very ill, but
most delighted and thankful for my arrival. 'Praise the Lord, I am
glad to see you,' was her characteristic salutation. "Well, Mother, I
find you resting on Jesus?" "Yes," was the reply, "but I have been so
unfaithful." "You have nothing to do with that now; you must look only
to Jesus. You believe His atonement is sufficient to cover all your
unfaithfulness?" "Oh! yes, I do." "You know that Paul, and Mr. Wesley
had nothing else to plead but this,--

  'I the chief of sinners am,
  But Jesus died for me.'"

From that moment, looking off from herself, she trusted in Christ
alone, and was fully saved and sustained by divine grace. Leaning
on her Beloved, she was now ready to pass over Jordan;--not its
"swellings," the stream was narrow, and neither deep nor troubled. A
little time and she was on the opposite plains; but before she landed,
she uttered words of triumph, the sounds of which fell faintly on our
ears.

In the devotions of the evening, which we conducted in her room, she
participated with holy delight, and listened to the former part of the
14th chapter of St. John's Gospel, with an evident appreciation of
its overflowing fulness of consolation. In Jesus she contemplated
the revealed glory of the Father, and her believing "Amen" made the
blessedness of the revelation all her own. After giving me some
final directions, especially with respect to her manuscripts and
letters;--directions which were short and clear; and given with her
wonted happy expression of countenance, and cheerfulness of manner;
she gradually yielded to the force of disease. For three hours and a
half she lay quiet, occasionally slumbering, but breathing heavily.
It was thus I found her in the morning at half-past two. She was quite
conscious and recollected, and gave pleasing signs of recognition, but
the power of speech was almost gone. She had reached the middle of the
stream, but her head was lifted up above the flowing waters, for her
feet were upon the Rock. Mary quoted "The Lord is good; a stronghold
in the day of trouble; and He knoweth them that trust in Him," and
shortly after,

  "Bright angels are from glory come,
  They're round my bed, and in my room,
  They come to waft my spirit home:
      All is well."

She caught the idea; whispered "Bright Angels," and tried to say more.
I added the precious words, "Having loved His own, He loved them to
the end," also the lines of our own sweet singer;--

  "And God Himself our Father is,
    And Jesus is our Friend."

Another effort was made to speak, and at intervals we caught the
words, "Praise," "Glory," "My Father," "My Redeemer." These were the
last sounds we could hear; the full expression of triumph was lost in
the gentle murmurs of the river. There was yet another signal of happy
and exulting confidence. For sometime, she gazed intently upward, and
then around, with a look of delighted surprise; as if she "saw
scenes we could not see, or heard sounds we could not hear;" and
then gradually sunk into a state of unconsciousness. A few more hours
terminated her _mortal_ panting after immortality; and at twenty
minutes past eight, just as we commended her to God, without an effort
or a struggle, she breathed her ransomed spirit into the bosom of her
Lord. What was mortal remained with the mourners,--the spirit was with
God.

Thus, on the 4th of July, 1860, after the toils and struggles of life,
protracted to a period of seventy-eight years, and a few weeks; my
beloved, and venerated mother "fell asleep." She rests in the cemetery
about a mile from the city, by the side of her loved Eliza. Rich
and poor united to pay the last tribute of affection and esteem; and
mingled their tears at the place of her repose. A few weeks later,
on a Monday evening, in the New-Street Chapel, the Rev. Thomas
Nightingale, to a crowded audience, improved the event, not of her
death, but of her entrance into heaven, from the words, "And it
came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there
appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both
asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven."

  "HER CHILDREN ARISE UP AND CALL HER BLESSED."--Prov. xxxi. 28.

  Shall we weep or repine at the thought she is gone?
    Shall we mourn for the spirit at rest?
  No! her children, though many, united as one
    Now arise to acknowledge her blest.

  Not the tongue of the world, or the praises that dwelt
    On the lips of report are the test;
  In the home, where the warmth of her presence was felt,
    Must you ask if a mother was blest.

  We arise! we arise in the name of the Lord,
    Who gave us the good we possess'd;
  With one heart, and one voice, we unite to record
    Our thanks for the mother He bless'd.

  Not a joy but was sweeter when she was in sight,
    Not a grief but we hid in her breast;
  And she seemed unto us as an Angel of Light:
    So happy the circle she blest.

  We remember her counsels, oft mingled with tears;
    The truths by example express'd;
  An inheritance rich, is the wealth of her prayers:
    Is the child or the mother more blest?

  By the light in her eye, and the smile on her face;
    By her "song in the night," when opprest!
  By a thousand impressions we love to retrace:
    We know that our mother was blest.

  But the soul of her joy, and its fulness she drew
    From the source of all others the best;
  For she trusted in Him, who is faithful and true,
    She delighted in God, and was blest.

  Then, why should we weep at the thought she is gone,
    Since we know she hath enter'd her rest?
  No! her children will follow, united as one,
    In her steps to the home of the blest,

  J.L.



XXIV.

PLEASANT MEMORIES.

  "THE MEMORY OF THE JUST IS BLESSED," Prov. x. 7.


Although the preceding pages will enable the reader to form a general
estimate of Mrs. Lyth's religious character, the writer deems it
necessary to add a concluding sketch, partly for the purpose of
recording some particulars which could not so well be introduced
elsewhere, and partly to supplement his own remarks, which might
otherwise be liable to the charge of partiality, with a selection from
the numerous testimonies with which he has been favoured by Ministers
and other friends.

In person Mrs. Lyth was of middle stature, slender, and, before
years had subdued her physical strength, straight as an arrow. Her
complexion was fair, and her features, rather pointed than full, were
regular and well formed. The eyes, of light blue, generally wore a
calm and gentle expression, but kindled with an unearthly light when
conversing on divine subjects. Then her whole soul flashed in her
countenance, and her features, lit as with sunshine, indicated how
deeply her spirit had drank of that "stream which maketh glad the city
of God." Her hair, which in youth was of a rich auburn, turned grey at
the early age of thirty, and at length its silvery hue was superseded
by a snowy white, which gave additional impressiveness to a
countenance upon which happiness, purity and peace sat continually
enthroned. Her dress, the perfection of neatness, was modelled
after the most approved style of the Society of Friends, not as now,
modified and robbed of its interest by all-powerful fashion, but as it
existed in its original simplicity fifty years ago. Though not gifted
with any remarkable powers of mind, she possessed a sound and vigorous
understanding, which however, was rather quick than penetrating. This
she improved by a considerable amount of good reading. Her choice
of books was in harmony with the set purpose of her life, and seldom
surpassed the bounds of religious literature: for while she had no
sympathy with those little minds that, on the pretence of greater
religiousness despise human knowledge, she steadily kept in view the
rule she adopted in early life, "never to trifle with any book with
which she had no immediate concern," and consequently preferred those
which, while they informed the judgment, were also calculated to
impress the heart. Within this limit her reading was widely varied. To
the better class of biography, she added poetry, history, philosophy,
and divinity. Her favourite poet was Young, from whom she often quoted
at length; her favourite divine, Wesley; and her favourite book the
Bible. This last she not uncommonly read upon her knees, seeking the
assistance and blessing of the Holy Spirit, who is the best expositor
of His own word. Her knowledge of scripture was remarkable, and her
apprehension of its great doctrines distinct and clear as noonday.
"With increasing ardour she continued to dig in this inexhaustible
mine of truth, until the close of life, and within the last three or
four years waded through the greater part of Henry's Commentary.
Her study of divine truth was mainly prosecuted with a view to its
experience and practice; and hence her piety assumed that rare and
exalted character which develops itself evenly in all the various
relations of life. In her, the image of Christ was not, as in too
many instances, caricatured; but presented in its just and fair
proportions; and, as a necessary consequence, Impressed all who came
in contact with her with the certain conviction of its genuineness.
Zealous in the church, she was equally active and faithful at home.
_Little_ duties were not neglected on the pretext of performing others
of a higher character. By a strict economy of time, which she prized
more than, gold; by early rising, method and punctuality, she found
time for everything; so that her house was a pattern of neatness and
order, and her family was as well provided for as though she had no
public duties to perform. "She looked well to her own household, and
ate not the bread of idleness." Naturally of an active temper of mind,
she was always employed; and, from an habitual consciousness of her
responsibility, well employed. Her hand was ready at every turn,
and knew nothing of that silly squeamishness which leads a woman to
suppose that she demeans herself by meddling with household affairs.
Fond of singing, and possessed of a good voice, she lightened her
daily toil with the voice of song, and discharged the humblest duties
as a sacrifice well-pleasing to God. Her conscientiousness in little
things was remarkable. She was a determined enemy of all trifling and
tittle-tattle, as not only unbecoming the Christian character, but
destructive of religious feeling; and the consciousness of having
uttered a useless word, or engaged in unprofitable conversation,
always occasioned her pain. Among other peculiarities she displayed
a singular aversion to debt, and if by any means such an obligation,
however small, was incurred, she never rested until it was discharged.
The writer remembers on one occasion walking a couple of miles to pay
the trifling sum of sixpence to a party, who was at the time indebted
to his father as many pounds. Notwithstanding the severity with
which she judged her own actions, her piety was entirely free from
asceticism;--it was always cheerful, recollected, and heroic; and
in her intercourse with others, characterised by great humility and
christian courtesy. In prayer she was simple and earnest, zealous
without passion, and often particularized in the devotions of the
family the special cases of its individual members. Her's was the cry
of a child to its father, the appeal for help, that felt confident of
success. Her prayers, which were offered continually, day and night,
might truly be said to be mighty; and her children, even when distant
from her, have often felt conscious that her intercessions were going
up on their behalf. But they were urged for many,--for all; and in
particular for the prosperity of Zion, and the ministers of divine
truth. The Rev. John Hartley writes, "I feel that in your mother's
removal I suffer loss. I have seldom been more affected than when she
told me, on the last occasion of my seeing her, that not a day passed
without her pleading with God for me. Who am I, I thought, that this
saint of God should thus remember me in her prayers?" Her zeal in
the cause of God was constant, patient and persevering; not as we
sometimes see, now bursting into a furious blaze, and then dying away;
it burnt with a bright and steady flame,--being fed by the secret
supplies she obtained through constant communion with God. Although
ready for every good work, and glad to take her share in the mere
machinery of the Christian church, her chief aim was the salvation of
souls. This she never lost sight of, and generally, when collecting
for Missions or other benevolent objects, availed herself of the
opportunity of warning, exhortation, or prayer. One who frequently
accompanied her on such excursions says, "We called at every house in
the district. Some of the people were exceedingly poor. At one door
I said, 'Mrs. Lyth, you will not beg here.' Her reply was, 'It is my
duty to ask them, if they give us but a penny, it will not lose its
reward.' In another case the people were Roman Catholics; she at once
exhorted them to come direct to Christ, and not allow the priest to
come betwixt them and the Savior. In a third, where a member of the
family was sick, we went in, and Mrs. Lyth prayed." Another writes, "I
first became acquainted with her about 1823, and have always found her
the same consistent character. She assisted me in the formation of my
class in Acomb. Her visits to us were always welcome and profitable.
Her eye was single. She had light in her own soul, and it shone in
every society in which she was cast. Many a round we have had together
among the villagers, to beseech them to be reconciled to God. In this
work she went, perhaps, even beyond her strength, that sinners
might be brought into the fold of Christ. She rejoiced to lend a
helping-hand to the seeking soul; warning the unruly, comforting the
feeble-minded, and encouraging believers to seek after a full devotion
of heart and life to the service of Christ. Her faithfulness in the
administration of reproof was exemplary; and though naturally of a
retiring disposition, in the defence of truth and the cause of her
Master she became bold and fearless." Her ready pen, for to the
last she wrote a clear and steady hand, was often in requisition to
administer counsel, encouragement, or consolation. Whatever might be
said of her "bodily presence," her "letters were powerful," and, as
they were accompanied with believing effectual prayer, seldom failed
to produce a happy effect. The writer much regrets that the prescribed
limits of this volume precludes the introduction of extracts from the
voluminous correspondence placed in his hands. It is sufficient to say
here that her letters strikingly exhibit her oneness of purpose.
In all without exception, the one thing is prominent, and although
ordinary topics are not overlooked, they are invariably turned to good
account, and made the basis of apposite and profitable reflection. One
of her correspondents observes: "Her letters were always refreshing to
me, and brought my mind in immediate contact with one who lived in the
spirit of prayer and general devotedness. I never knew one, so far as
my observation went, who more constantly exhibited a oneness of aim
to glorify God, and promote the welfare of those with whom she came
in contact. Some might object, some might smile, but there was a holy
force of spiritual life in her, which could not be concealed, and
which made itself felt everywhere My dear friend was as attentive to
family duties as though the church had no claim upon her; and I have
often dwelt upon her character when far, far away. I have heard her
regret that she did not more fully manifest tender affection, when
her heart was fall of love. I need not say how rousing I found her
remarks, uttered in an humble gentle tone and manner; and how often
I have been taken into her closet to pray for many, particularly her
distant son." Another says: "I have been perusing some of her letters,
which I value above gold. Through them all, breathes the same spirit
of ardent love to Jesus, with a deep sense of her own helplessness.
Her character was that of an humble soul constantly living tinder
the rays of the Sun of righteousness. I have often heard her express
fears concerning herself, but never doubting the faithfulness of
Jesus, in whom she trusted. Since I had the happiness of knowing
her--which is more than thirty years--I have seen nothing but what I
could love and admire. I have often been thankful that my lot was cast
so near her in years gone by. Some of my most hallowed moments
have been when bowed with her at the throne of grace. Under all
circumstances she proved herself my friend; by her strong faith in God
she encouraged me to trust, where I could not trace, the dispensations
of Providence; often comforted my mind by an appropriate passage of
God's word, and by her simple and earnest pleadings at the throne of
grace, led me nearer to the mercy-seat. I owe much to the memory of my
precious friend; and her example has often stimulated me to increased
diligence. How forcibly did she remind others of the treasures of
religion! Plain in reproof, she was yet so transparent, that none
could be offended with her faithful dealings."

The department of usefulness in which she chiefly delighted, and
for which she was pre-eminently qualified, was, perhaps, the
class-meeting; upon this service she entered at first with
considerable hesitation, but eventually conducted three large classes,
besides forming several others.

"During my somewhat lengthened ministerial life," says the Rev. John
Rattenbury, "I have met with no female class-leader, that surpassed,
and with but few that equalled, your sainted mother. Her religious
character was beautifully moulded by the Divine Spirit. Tranquil,
fervent, spiritual, devoted; she was a pattern to her people: she was
successful in attracting people to the Society, and what is of
more importance, and perhaps more difficult, she was successful in
retaining them. Her classes, though large, were well preserved, and
seldom did the column for backsliders gain addition from them. She
was of the earlier school of Methodists, and combined the simplicity,
plainness, and fervour of the past age, with the generous and more
aggressive spirit of the present." One of her members says: "It was my
privilege to be a member of her class about eight years. She was both
deep and clear in her own experience, and never failed to impress upon
her members the necessity of daily growth in grace; and was especially
faithful, in warning them against worldliness and trifling. In her
we had a pattern worthy of imitation." As respects the improvement of
time and talent, she was always well employed, and ever had for her
object, the good of others. Another writes: "As a class-leader, Mrs.
Lyth appeared to stand almost alone--talented, punctual, humble,
and faithful. Once she reproved a young person in my presence for
frequently neglecting the class. When she had finished speaking and
the party was gone, she turned to me and said, 'I think I was faithful
with Elizabeth,' 'Yes, 'I replied, 'and rather sharp;' she answered,
'I don't want to have the blood of any of you on my skirt,'"

As to her general Christian character and usefulness, the following
testimonies by the pens of well-known and esteemed Ministers, will be
read with interest. The first is from the venerable Wm. Naylor, and
refers to a period of more than forty years ago. "Though many years
have passed over since I was stationed in York, the remembrance of
your esteemed mother is very refreshing to my mind. I place her among
the most excellent of the pious females of our Society, that it has
been my privilege and happiness to number amongst my intimate friends.
Her piety was genuine, and her experience rich in the enjoyment
of close and constant communion with God. I admired her oneness of
character and disposition--ever the same; in sickness and trial, calm
and submissive, confiding in the love of the Saviour; and in health,
delighting to do good to the needy and sick; her religion was not the
excitement of momentary feeling, it was the habitual principle and
power of grace. In disposition she was kind and cheerful; but it
never degenerated into levity, and few have more fully exemplified the
Christian rule of rejoicing with those that do rejoice, and weeping
with those that weep."

The Rev. Luke Wiseman writes: "My acquaintance with your mother was
during the last three years of her life. On arriving in the York
Circuit, she was among the first who were mentioned to me as pillars
in the Church, and 'Mothers in Israel.' I heard her name mentioned
with respect by many, who are themselves entitled to the highest
regard, sad was thus prepared, before being introduced to her, to meet
with a venerable, and lively disciple of our common Lord. Nor was I
disappointed. What she was in her years of maturity others can
relate. In her days of bodily decline, and feebleness, I saw in her a
beautiful specimen of a child of grace nearing the heavenly home. Her
appearance, worn, and somewhat shrivelled, yet retained marked traces
of uncommon energy. Her features sharpened by age, equally indicated
penetration, and benevolence. Her voice was still good, her utterance
remarkably distinct, and when she spoke of the things of Christ, it
was with no subdued or half-abashed tone, but with the same full,
clear, cheerful voice. It was impossible to doubt that her heart was
full of heavenly treasure from her very manner of speaking of divine
things,--easy, energetic, unforced, graceful. I am afraid, that being
so far below her in divine knowledge, my visits may have been of but
little benefit to her: but however this may be, they were of great
benefit to myself. She shewed an ardent love for the cause of Christ,
for His ministers, and for all His people. She appeared to feel being
laid aside from active work, and amongst her many inquiries about the
Society, she would now and then utter an expression of regret, that
she was now no more amongst them as formerly. She had a very clear
conception of christian doctrine, and I believe an equally clear, and
satisfying joy and peace through being consciously accepted in Christ.
I never passed by her house, so far as I can recollect, without some
such thought as this while going by, 'Within these doors dwells one
whom Jesus loves.'"

For the following we are indebted to the courtesy of the Rev. P.
McOwan.

"Mrs. Lyth was in the decline of life before it was my happiness
to form her acquaintance; and consequently I am but ill able to do
justice to her christian character, or to point out the various modes
of faithful pitying love, by which she endeavoured in her years of
prime to glorify God, and serve her generation. It was impossible,
however, to visit her, even in her invalid state, without being
impressed with her mental power, eminent piety, and scriptural
intelligence; without discerning that she was a 'mother in Israel.'
In my own case, these impressions were so deep, that, though in my
intercourse with her I had to sustain the Pastor's part, I often,
from choice, occupied the seat of the learner. Her favourite themes of
discourse, were the love of God in Christ Jesus, the grace and wisdom
of Divine Providence, the great and precious promises, christian
experience, missions to the heathen, and the revival and extension
of the work of God in the earth. I frequently proposed questions to
elicit her views on these and kindred topics; and when, drawn out in
conversation, she often gave utterance to weighty and discriminating
thoughts, judicious counsels, animating recollections of the past, and
bright anticipations of the future. Intercourse with her was truly
a means of grace; and I generally left her glorifying God on her
account, and longing for a double portion of her spirit.

"Mrs. Lyth, like all who excel in piety, was a diligent and devout
student of the book of God. She not only read the scriptures, but she
searched them; she pondered their import, and meditated in them day
and night. The result was, the word of God dwelt in her richly, in
all wisdom, so that she was able to teach and admonish others with
singular propriety and power. Her accurate and extensive acquaintance
with the scriptures gave a richness and impressiveness to her
conversation, which awed the trifler, edified the thoughtful, and shed
light and comfort upon the minds of anxious inquirers. Many of her own
sex resorted to her for counsel as to an oracle; and as she generally
joined in prayer with her inquiring friends, her advices and cautions
became in numerous instances, as a "nail fastened in a sure place."
Her love for the Sanctuary amounted almost to a passion. In her
inner life it stood identified with vivid views of saving truth;
rich manifestations of Divine love, and transforming effusions of
sanctifying grace. When in health, neither weather, nor company, nor
any surmountable obstacle, could keep her at home, when it was open
for worship; and when enfeebled by age, she sought to improve each
gleam of sunshine, and each interval of returning strength, by paying
another visit to the sacred shrine, as if she thought each one might
be the last.

"Having yielded up her son at the call of the Church to the perils of
a Missionary life, in a land of cannibals, she never revoked the
gift, neither grudged the sacrifice. Her maternal yearnings were often
excited by the narration of his sufferings and privations; but they
were never suffered to rise in mutinous rebellion against the Divine
will. For nearly twenty-two years she not only submitted to his
absence with uncomplaining meekness, but she abounded in thanksgivings
on his account, and gloried in the sacrificial services he was enabled
to render to the cause of the Redeemer, in the high places of the
field.

"Mrs. Lyth's religion made her habitually happy. Fully assured of
her acceptance in the Beloved, walking daily in the liberty of the
children of God, and exercising herself to have always a conscience
void of offence, the smile of contentment rested on her countenance;
benignity beamed in her eye; the law of love regulated her speech,
while kindness, courtesy, and a cheerful urbanity, marked the whole of
her deportment. In her dress she was simple, neat and economical.
In her habits, she was a pattern of order, early rising, diligence,
promptitude, and punctuality. Possessing inward peace, she was calm,
self-possessed, firm, and full of trust in the providence of God.
Doing one thing at a time, and always intent upon doing that thing
well, she accomplished a great amount of holy service; was seldom in
a hurry, and always in time at the Sanctuary and Class-meeting. With
such traits of character, and modes of action, it will not excite
surprise that she became a centre of religions influence in the
community to which she belonged. The sick sought her prayers, persons
in spiritual distress, and temporal perplexity, applied to her for
advice; the poor appealed to her for relief, the young listened to her
counsels, and those who were intent upon obtaining a full salvation,
coveted her friendship, strove to imbibe her spirit, and to imitate
her example.

"In age and feebleness extreme, she was divinely supported by
her Saviour's might; and was cheered by His love, and the hope of
beholding His glory. No murmuring word escaped her lips, no sign of
impatience was visible in her appearance and manner; but expressions
of gratitude, praise, and thanksgiving, flowed from her tongue, and
indicated the peacefulness and purity of her mind. On her death-bed
I found her calmly resting on the merits of her Redeemer. Her
countenance was full of interest, a placid smile rested upon it, and
but for her laborious breathing, and interrupted utterances, hopes
might have been entertained that she would yet be spared, she was
herself hopefully waiting the hour of her dismissal; yet there was
one earthly wish, which she breathed out in meek submission to her
heavenly Father, not yet gratified; that was, that she might once more
see her Missionary son, before she quitted the clay tabernacle. Prayer
was offered, and among other petitions it was urged, that her maternal
desire might be granted. She lingered on the border land, till he
arrived, and soon after having kissed _him_, and blessed all present,
she fell asleep in Jesus; the last accents of her lips being those of
praise, adoration, and filial confidence."

We conclude these notices by the following kind words of condolence
from the Rev. M.C. Taylor.

"I cannot resist saying how much I was affected by the tidings of the
passing away of your sainted mother; not that I could mourn for
_her_, but I felt deprived and bereaved of one of the most lovely and
touching pictures of grace I have ever seen; and I mourned for myself.
Her name and memory are an inheritance indeed. To have known her will
be an honour and joy for ever,--to have belonged to her is more than
great riches. Hundreds are this week glorifying God in her."



LONDON:

PRINTED BY GEORGE PALMER, BROWNLOW STREET, HIGH HOLBORN.



_By the same Author_,

THE LIVING SACRIFICE;

OR, A

BIOGRAPHICAL NOTICE

OF

SARAH BENTLEY,

OF YORK.

Published by JOHN MASON, 66, PATERNOSTER ROW, and may be had of all
Booksellers.





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