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must be a long and painful examination that could lead me to adopt them.
M.-“ Believe me, I should be the last to undervalue either the moral or intellectual qualities with which your father is so highly endowed, or to say one word to lessen the respect and affection you owe to him ; but you must remember, that the most excellent qualities of an individual character can have nothing to do with the abstract question of principles and doctrine. You are, however, assuredly right in saying it is a subject which demands deep and earnest investigation : all I desire is, to lead you to this ; and I conjure you, by every motive which can most powerfully influence a mind like yours, to enter at once into an examination of what is of such preeminent importance."
H.-“ I am not unwilling; but I think it would be better to defer it till my health is restored, and all my powers, mental and bodily, are in their full force.”
His friend changed countenance so visibly at this remark, that Henry could not fail to notice it. He said, “Why do you appear so much agitated ? Surely it is better to examine such a subject with all the advantages renewed strength can give.”
M.-“Can we say if that period will ever arrive ? Are sure—nay, have you a right to reckon on a perfect restoration, nay, even on a long duration of the time still given you ?"
His voice trembled with emotion as he spoke ; and Henry, surprised, asked, after a pause, if he had any reason, beyond the common uncertainty of life, for uttering those doubts. M
replied in a low but impressive tone, “ I have. I think it right you should know the truth : Dr. H- thinks very doubtfully of your recovery."
For a few moments Henry was overcome. His companion covered his face with his hands as he leaned forward on the table before him, and breathed an earnest, humble prayer. Henry soon recovered his self-possession, and said, “I thank you for telling me this: it is better to know the truth, be it
I have indeed no time for delay.” Then pausing, added : “My father, my dear father, whose life is wrapped up in mine, what will become of him?"
After a short time he became composed, and then begged to be left alone. To-morrow," he said, “ we will speak further on this matter : let me have this evening for reflection.”
The following morning found him pale and languid, but with his mind perfectly composed and tranquil
. From that time, the momentous subject of religion was one of constant-rather of daily-discussion. Truth dawned, and gradually shed her
what it may
light over a mind open to receive it, cautiously, but gladly. Day by day was the light growing unto the perfect day. He had written to his father, desirous of breaking to him gently the possibility of that calamity which he dreamed not of. The hint, however cautiously given, was sufficient to bring his parent down immediately. But he was unable to discern the mischief that was lurking and spreading like a canker at the root of that beautiful blossom. He fancied that his dear Henry was nervous from retirement and confinement, and would gladly have remained to cheer and rouse him. But engagements, in which the welfare of many was at stake, prevented his stay; and Henry had rallied with the genial season, more than his medical attendants had believed possible. His father hailed the change with rapture, and Henry (though not himself deceived) could not embitter the few remaining hours by dashing such hopes away. Besides, there was now another and a predominant desire on his mind. Henry had been taught by the Holy Spirit the value of his own soul-he had felt his own need of such an atonement as the Scripture reveals—he had been led to understand the sanctifying influence of the doctrines of the Gospel when received by the heart, and was now a confirmed though humble Christian ; and, being so, his father's state of mind was the one thing ever uppermost in his thoughts. He sometimes endeavoured to lead his father to the subject, but he always evaded it. On that one subject only his father was inaccessible.
And so the summer passed, with no change but some little excursions, from which Henry gladly returned to C- The father, still sanguine as to Henry's recovery, determined to carry him to Madeira for the winter. Henry urged his own wishes against this as strongly as possible, but at length yielded. But it was not so to be. All was nearly ready for the journey, and Henry was striving to bring his mind to acquiesce cheerfully in what was, indeed, a bitter sacrifice—the leaving his friend, his only Christian friend, his father in Christ;" to breathe his last in a foreign land, ven though his own dearly loved parent would be with him ; when, one morning early, Mr. Mmoned to his bed-side. During the night a violent fit of coughing had produced severe hemorrhage of the lungs; and Henry lay utterly exhausted, and apparently on the verge of dissolution. The medical men were already there~the father, absent in completing arrangements, was sent for express. Who shall describe the anguish of the father, when arrived, to find his idolized son lying on the bed of death; all his earthly hopes dashed to the ground, and no heavenly ones to rest on? But. Henry rallied. for awhile, and was even able, occasionally, to converse a little ; and then, all earthly restraints cast away, with heaven already opening before him, and this world passing as a dream, his whole soul was poured forth ; and oh! what heavenly treasures flowed from it! In proportion to his deep love to his father, to his esteem and admiration for all his high and noble qualities, was his earnest, inexpressible anxiety that they might share the same hopes—the same faith ; that, before he left this earthly tabernacle, he might look forward to a speedy and blessed reunion; yea, that his parent's mind might recognise those sublime truths which could alone satisfy its yearnings, could alone yield consolation under the last bereavement of his earthly bliss.
Yet, even then, his “ single heart” and “ single eye” prevented his urging those topics which might beguile his affections rather than convince his reason and touch his heart: it was the simple and holy truths of the Gospel of which he spoke; and then prayer, earnest continual prayer, was his weapon ; the dying son interceding with the Saviour--who had sought and found him --for his dear, dear father. A few weeks Henry lingered, till the final close. Calm, clear, patient to the very last, he was like an angel-spirit awaiting his heavenly Master's fiat to depart. His father never left him-scarcely removed his eyes
from him : he seemed as though he would drink in every word, every look, every thought of his son. His mind was in no state then to receive arguments, had Henry been able to speak; but he seemed to imbibe the spirit of Christianity from his departing soul.
One morning, when Mr. M- went in early, as was his wont, he found all still in the room of sickness. The rising sun cast a gleam over the couch where Henry lay: he perceived, as he approached, that the father, utterly overcome by fatigue, had fallen asleep, with his arm, on which his own head had drooped, encircling that of his son, and one hand clasped in his. He thought Henry slept too, and was about to withdraw, when, as the sun cast a stronger light, he looked again-his heart throbbed—Henry D
after this, on the same bed, lay extended the form of a man, worn to the extreme of attenuation, with hair of a silvery
whose features bore not the mark of extreme age; pale, as if already a corpse, yet with an eye clear and undimmed. By his side knelt the same clergyman, still in the prime of life: the sick man listened to his voice, and a sweet and tranquil smile played over his wan features, and his lips moved, and his eyes were turned heavenward.
The last hour was approaching, but the mind shone in undimmed light. “ Is all peace, dear friend ?”
“ All is peace,-thanks be to Him who alone can give it.” “ You will soon rejoin your Henry's spirit."
“I trust so—I humbly trust so; but the thought that gives me peace is, that I shall be with my Lord and Saviour. To you, under him, am I indebted for this blessed hope, and for the salvation of one dearer than myself. May he, who alone can, reward his righteous servant.”
In a few hours all was over, and the spirit had departed in peace, all pride of intellect cast down, resting only on the one great atonement—it was the father of Henry D- Henry, possibly in anticipation of the future, had carefully preserved all the notes he had been in the habit of making during the progress of his mind towards conviction. These, with a Bible and other books, and a letter, he had consigned to Mr. M—'s care; with an injunction to give them to his father, when he saw him able to receive them. They were given, and the father shortly after left C-; and nought was heard of him, but that he had wholly retired from public life, and had travelled into far countries. But his son was ever with him, and his last and precious legacy. He was long before he opened it; but at length he did so. He read the notes : it was like a voice from the dead. He examined the books; yet for a time he battled with his own mind, fearful lest affection might sway his judgment. But, finally, truth prevailed, and the Holy Spirit shone clearly on his heart. He found, at length, life and strength fast decaying; and returned to England, to the spot where Henry breathed his last-to the friend who had cheered his departing hours, and opened the way to life and immortality. It was a fearful shock to meet him again ; but, that once over, peace and comfort flowed from his lips. And one grave unites those who in their lives had been all to each other, till their Heavenly Father, in tenderest love, parted them on the earth that they might live together in heaven for evermore.
THE ENGLISH MONTHLY TRACT SOCIETY,
27, RED LION SQUARE;
J. F. SHAW, BOOKSELLER, SOUTHAMPTON ROW, LONDON.
J.&W.Rider, Printers, Bartholomew Close, London,
As man is destined to an endless life, so he is susceptible of enjoying happiness and of suffering misery, both in the present life, and throughout the whole of his future and everlasting existence. The attainment of happiness in one shape or other, and the avoidance of misery, have been the great objects of pursuit, in every age and among every rank of human beings; but few comparatively have obtained their object, because they sought it where it is not to be found. Some expect to find happiness in the accumulation of wealth and riches, and in gratifying a selfish and avaricious propensity—some in intemperance and licentious pleasures, indulging in “rioting and drunkenness, chambering and wantonness -some in endeavouring to secure the friendship of the great and the wealthy-some in the giddy whirl of fashionable folly and dissipation, and in the pursuit of honour and applause and some others in prosecuting the path of ambition, and the false glory connected with destroying armies and the devastations of war; but in none of these ways is true happiness to be attained. The miser is tormented with cares and anxieties and alarms, and with desires after wealth which can never be satisfied, and his riches frequently take to themselves wings and fly away. The licentious, even in the midst of their sensual gratifications, are often oppressed with mental agony and remorse of conscience, and their vicious pursuits ultimately tend to bring them to shame and poverty and ruin. The honours of this world are transitory and fleeting, and are found by their possessors to be mere empty bubbles, which leave the soul destitute of substantial enjoyment: the pride of illustrious ancestry, the splendour of equipage, the glory of warfare, and all the dazzling accompaniments of wealth and nobility, often leave their possessors to pine away in wretchedness from family feuds and contentions, wounded pride, and disappointed ambition; their riches and grandeur cannot shelter them from the inroads of disease, from the stroke of lightning, from mental anxieties, from the lashes of conscience, from the stroke of death, or from the terrors of an unknown futurity.
Where, then, it may be asked, is true happiness to be found ? and how shall we obtain this inestimable treasure ? If you
wish to search for this inestimable treasure, you will find the path to it pointed out in the Sacred Scriptures-a revelation from the God of Heaven to the inhabitants of this world,-a revelation which has been confirmed by signs and wonders and astonishing miracles, and by the accomplishment