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* strength did not admit of it. He took occasion,
however, at every interval possible, to say some- what suited to the circumstances of a dying saint. The poor stable-boy was indulged by his master to spend much of his time in the sick chamber; and the many precious sayings which fell from him by way of caution, encouragement, advice, and intreaty, became truly edifying and refreshing both to him and to every attendant around.
It would swell the history of my pilgrimage to a large volume indeed, were the whole of the circumstances which attended my friend's departure to be set down in it. The reader will excuse the omission, I hope, and rest satisfied without any further enumeration of particulars, than just to observe, that he continued to the latest moment in the perfect enjoyment of his senses and the divine consolation. He sunk gradually; and as he fell lower and lower, the words which he uttered evidently proved that his views of the glory about to open upon him wcre fuller and brighter. I sat by him, with his hand clasped in mine, when he died. The last words on his trembling lips were Dear Lord !'
-I buried him without pomp, and without any mourners but the poor stable-boy and my.
"self, in a vacant corner of the parochial churchyard.
The youth returned with me to the inn, where we took an affectionate leave of each other. I could only say,May he who hath,' I ast, begun a good work in you, perform it until the day of Jesus Christ!'
On the morrow, having discharged all expenses incurred at the inn, I left it without regret.The situation of our first parents, so tenderly described by the poet*, seemed applicable to my case ; and I quoted the passage to my mind as I crossed the court-yard.
Some natral tears they dropp'd, but wip'd them soon. The world was all before them, where to choose Their place of rest, and Providence their guide.'
The time was now arrived, when a reverse of situation was to take place in the circumstances of my pilgrimage. Hitherto I had met with little else but joy and peace in believing' Some few natural fears and apprehensions, arising from the remains of unbelief, had now and then, it is true, arisen in my mind; but the Lord had so graciously over-ruled them, that they generally ended in my stronger assurance.
I have been often led since to reflect, with peculiar pleasure, on the wisdom as well as the
mercy of that process of grace, through which the Lord is leading his people. Like Israel of old, in their emancipation from Egypt, of whom it is said, that God led them not through the land of the Philistines, although that was near, lest when they should see war, their minds should be tempted to return : but God led the people about through the way of the wilderness*.' Similar to this now, is the first opening of the spiritual path ; the difficulties and discouragements are by no means · like those which believers meet in the after stages of their pilgrimage.Thousands there are who like Israel have sung the song of triumph, as they did at the Red Sea, when a forty years travelling through a dreary wilderness lay still between them and Canaan, And many, no doubt, like Israel too, afterwards, in the midst of some heavy unlooked for trial, have been prompted to exclaim in the bitterness of their soul, “Is the Lord among us or no?'
The reader will indulge me again to pause over this remark, and ask him if his experience hath nothing of a correspondence with it? I am persuaded the case is very general. The gracious Leader of his little flock, who feeds them, as it is said, like a shepherd, gathers
* Exodus xiii. 17.
(we are told,) the lambs with his arms, and carries them in his bosom, and gently leads those that are with young. He always suits the strength to the day. He proportions the burden to the back. Hence the earliest manifestations of divine love are generally, the most pleasing, and, according to our conception of things, in that period, the most powerful. It is in grace, as it is in nature; first impressions are most affecting. When the eye of the body suddenly emergeth from darkness into light, the transition is most strongly felt.' And in like manner, when the eye of the soul is first opened to see the wondrous things of God's law, the effect is proportionably grealer than when accustomed to their view.
I could wish the reader of long experience would consider this more than, I am persuaded, is generally done ; and mark it down in the diary of his pilgrimage. These things formed. many hard problems in David's life; until frequent experiments, aided by frequent visits to the sanctuary, explained them. It was not in the first trials that he adopted that sentiment, "I know that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me*' It becomes a very blessed proof of advances in grace, when the tired soul can use such language.
* Psalm cxix. 75.
But to return-The season was come when my exercises were to be given me. And for the better opportunity of trial, all human aid was to be first withdrawn ; that, like the pelican in the wilderness, being solitary, Jesus might be my sole resource. My faithful friend and companion, the Lord had removed out of my sight. He had sent the worm to destroy this highly-prized gourd. And now the storm began.
I'Have not; according to the usual mode of his. tories, brought my reader in the former part of my tale acquainted with an account of my connexions in the world. The reason hath been, that objects of an higher and more interesting nature claimed a priority of attention. It would not even now be at all important in the memoirs of a Pilgrim to Zion, to inquire “to whom related, or by whom begotten.' But if he wishes to know, he may be told, that I have not been without the enjoyment of those sweet charities of life. The Lord hath given me many who are very near, and very dear, to my affection in the ties of nature. Even in the very mo