« PreviousContinue »
whose houses "he was entertained ; and who did not injure either the bodies or the souls of the children of men. The severity used under the Mosaic law is not to be imitated by the followers of Jesus; nor du the judgments which were inflicted on Elymas the sorcerer, and upon Ananias and Sapphira, justify fallible mortals in persecuting each other. God has sometimes, even in later ages, vindicated his cause by bringing remarkable and terrible judgments upon his enemies; but he will not suffer his servants to avenge themselves, or to support his cause by methods that he has forbidden. It is the duty of a Christian to pray for his enemies, and to render good for evil, and blessing for cursing. The wicked shall not escape unpunished; but vengeance is the divine prerogative, and the exercise of it is not delegated to us. God himself will pour tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man that doeth evil I should have said nothing on this subject, had it not been for the unchristian wish of father Albino. I sincerely pity him, and pray that he may be led to see the criminality of his conduct.
I feel for Mr. William Neville and his sister. I am persuaded they are more concerned at the addition which will probably be made to their father's unhappiness when he knows they are protestants, than at the sufferings which they are likely to endure in consequence of his displeasure. It becomes them, like king Hezekiah, to lay their cause before the Lord, and then they may expect a favourable issue.
The case of my dear niece I should consider as very deplorable, did I not know that there is a consolation in suffering for Christ with which the world is unacquainted. Let me repeat it,"you are ever welcome to an asylum in my house; and tell Mr. William and Miss Neville, that, if God shall deprive them of a father, they will find a mo ther in me. I shall rejoice to render them every service in my power. My house will be sufficient to accommodate us all, and my dear Eusebia too, if God shall restore her to us again ; and my income will afford us a frugal main
tenance. Pray give my love to your kind host and hostess, and to the friends of Jesus Christ at Thornton Abbey.
I am, my dear niece,
P. S. I have such news to tell you, that my trembling hand will scarcely perform the task. Our dear friend is no more! I have done nothing but weep since I heard of it. I dread to think how her poor father will bear the stroke. I was about to fold up my letter, when my
friend captain Smith entered the room, accompanied by another person. Madam, said he, I fear I have bad news to tell you. I made all the inquiry I could concerning the young lady whom you told me you expected from France. Perhaps you will gain some information from this bundle. I examined it, and found his suspicion to be too well founded. Among other things there was our correspondence in her own hand writing
The captain told me that the young man who accompanied him, and his captain, were all who were saved out of eight persons, among whom was one young lady. They sailed from Dunkirk in the afternoon; and, it being blowing weather in the night, at three o'clock in the morning the vessel struck on the South Sand head of the Goodwin. They expected her every moment to go to pieces, and therefore hauled out the boat, in which two sailors, the cabin-boy, and three passengers, with great difficulty embarked: but the captain and this sailor preferred staying upon the wreck. He says they could discern the boat founder at about two hundred yards distance. He and the eaptain, after remaining about an hour upon the wreck, were providentially taken up by a smuggling vessel.
I paid the young man the full value of the bundle which he had saved, and also rewarded him for his intelligence. The bundle I shall send down by the waggon, directed for our friend Thomas Livingstone ; and I must leave it to
the direction of my friends to make Mr. Neville acquainted with the sad event.
How happy it is to be habitually prepared for death! This was eminently the case of our dear Eusebia, and she is now landed in a fair haven, where storms and tempests will be no more ; where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest.
My dear friends, adieu.
From Mr. William Neville to Mrs. Worthington.
DEAR MADAM, YOUR
OUR kindness to my dear sister, deceased, to myself, and to my family in general, demands my most grateful thanks. I esteem it no common mercy that I am one of those whom you are pleased to honour with a share in your friendship. I assure you, that my sister and I feel such an affection for Mrs. Worthington as may be much easier conceived than expressed.
We are full of grief on account of the loss of the kindest and most tender sister. Oh, what a sister have we lost! No, she is not lost : she is only gone before, to take posses:ion of the mansion which her Lord and head ascended into heaven to prepare for her. Happy, thrice happy they, who have thus passed the swellings of Jordan, and are landed in that Canaan where there are no sons of Anak; who are inhabitants of that city into which no unclean person shall enter; and who are arrived in that paradise where there shall be no more curse !
My dear friend (for so, Madam, must I call you) I am very much afflictecl, and at the same time very joyful. If I have buried one sister in the devouring ocean, I have unexpectedly received another from the dead. When I found that my sister had changed the language of Ashdod for that of Canaan, I was like them that dream, and 947 could scarcely believe for joy and wonder. All our mercies flow from that God who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will. To him I desire to give the praise.
Your amiable niece is well, and at our house, and I believe is not less afflicted than my sister and myself at losing her dear Eusebia. We'mourn on account of our own loss; for we have no doubt but her beloved Saviour has conducted her to the promised rest.
I have not mentioned my dear parent: his affliction is great indeed. He considers himself as the murderer of a most beloved child.
When the post-man came yesterday with a letter to father Albino, the old gentleman observed one with a large black seal directed for Thomas Livingstone. He called my father, and told him that that letter probably contained some account of his daughter. The letter-carrier was desired to stop while the footman went for Thomas. When he was come, my father begged him to read it there, and to let him know if there was any thing in it concerning his daughter. Thomas replied that the letter did not belong to him, but to a certain person at his house. My father immediately suspected that my sister was there, and told the good man that he would go with him, as he did not doubt but the person would inform him if there was any thing in the letter concerning his daughter. He was surprised when he saw Miss Barnwell, who, as soon as she saw him, turned pale, and trembled from head to foot. Ah, Vliss Barnwell, cried he, hois dreadful a thing is guilt! She soon recovered herself sufficiently to tell him, that it was not guilt, but surprise at seeing him there, which affected her. Well, well, replied my father, we will wave this. Thomas has a letter for you ; and all I desire to know is, whether it contains any thing concerning my daughter.' Miss Barnwell, taking the letter, hastily opened it, and read it to herself, till she came to the post, script, when she fainted away, and dropped it out of her hand, i od:
· If, Madam, you had been there, as I was, you would have seen a melancholy sight. indeed. While Thomas and his wife were taking care of Miss Barnwell, I took up the letter, and cast my eye on the postscript. O my dear father, said I, the contents are too bad for you to know. My parent burst into tears, and cried out, My child is dead! Oh she is dead, she is dead! I shall never see her any more! I have murdered my child ! No words can de scribe the grief of my father, and indeed of us all except father Albino, who said the ensuing evening that he had expected no less : that her death was manifestly a divine judgment; and that if he was her father, he should no more grieve for her than for a dog. St. John, said he, tells us, in the Apocalypse, that without the gates of the city, that is, out of the pale of the church, are dogs and sorcer. ers.
You must have a heart of adamant, cried my father, or you could not talk at this rate. It is a sign you do not know what it is to be a parent. If God were to have no more compassion than you, the case of my daughter would be deplorable indeed. Oh how did she declare on her knees before me at St. Omer's, that she would gladly lay down her life for my sake ; and how did she pray me, for the sake of the dear Redeemer, not to desire her to do those things which it was impossible for her to do; and how did niy son beseech us to have compassion on her, when we saw the anguish of her soul. I tell you, father, I have imbrued my hands in the blood of my child, and you are an accomplice in my guilt. ; ii
The priest was wise enough not to reply. He perceived, by my father's manner of speaking, that he was greatly moved, and that he himself was the principal object of his resentment. Indeed this priest had the entire keep ing of his conscience ; and he was hurried on to do what he did, contrary to his natural inclination.". When my dear sister fled from St. Omer's, my father thought I had some hand in it. But when I solemnly and truly told him that I had not, and that I was ignorant whither she was gone,