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remains had been committed to the dust only the day before, and that it was expected her funeral sermon would be preached the next Sunday; and thus my dear pupil, said my worthy governess, am I made to experience in common with all elderly persons, what it is to witness the loss, one after another, of many old and valued friends ; and to feel that, unless my affections were drawn out to younger persons, I must soon become as it were alone in the world.
I was much affected at hearing of the death of Mrs. Clary, and enquired by whom the sermon was to be preached. By a young clergyman, answered Mrs. Tris. tram, a stranger in this place; I think they call him Mr Fitzgerald.
“ Fitzgerald," I repeated, “ surely I have heard that name, and then I recollected the boy whom I had seen sitting on the stile.”
I could not divest myself of the idea that Mr. Fitzgerald was this very boy, and went to church on Sunday, being not only impatient to see the preacher, but anxious to hear what would be said respecting my poor old friend, of whom I entertained an affectionate remembrance, although I had no idea of the excellence of her character, which had hitherto indeed lain low in the dust, but was now to blossom forth according to the old poetical version of the 10th chap. 7th verse of Proverbs,
The blest remembrance of the just,
Smells sweet and blossoms in the dust. The preacher had scarcely ascended the pulpit, when I recognized the features of the blooming boy I had once seen when walking with Mrs. Clary. He was still almost as young as he could be, in order to be thought fit to fill that sacred place which he then occupied. His manner was however solemn and impressive, and in measure as he proceeded, a sort of tenderness stole over it, which at
times seemed to threaten to throw him off his equilibrium; his text was taken from Numbers xxiii, 10, “ Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his !”-and after having enlarged upon it, and shown how only a sinner can die the death of the righteous, that is, by being made à partaker in the death of Christ, he proceeded to several particulars in the character of the deceased, which filled every auditor with astonishment; and amongst these, none more than myself, because inasmuch as I had loved Mrs. Clary, I had always thought her a common character, a good sort of every day person, who was altogether incapable of any thing like a great action, much less of a succession of noble actions consistently pursued year after year, and that without any visible encouragement. The preacher however made it appear, that this excellent woman had, by the most exact and minute economy as it referred to her own private comforts and convenience, made such savings from a very small income as to maintain, to clothe, and educate an orphan child from early infancy, until he was enabled to support himself in a liberal profession without farther aid; and that with so little ostentation, and indeed from motives of delicacy with so much secresy, that even her nearest and dearest friends had no idea of what she was doing. He then proceeded to speak of that living principle by which sinful and miserable creatures, such as we are by nature, are often enabled to carry on a continual system of benevolence, undergoing for that purpose many privations-not great indeed perhaps in the minutiæ but vast in the aggregate, and bringing to pass, when summed up, such mighty effects, as in the prospect could . hardly have been conceived. He then pointed out how, by a minute economy, this excellent lady had not only preserved a poor child from want, but had provided him with a pious and liberal education, and had placed him in
a way of usefulness, where, if he did not prove unworthy
which is the source of generosity, and never to allow themselves to throw contempt on that sort of self-denial which can only supply the cravings of a truly liberal spirit. His concluding address was extremely affecting, and brought tears from every eye—tears which, in my case at least, were not easily dried up;
I add, that I trust the exhortation which met my ears that evening, never so far passed away from my mind as to enable me to yield with self satisfaction to such unnecessary expences as should render me less able to supply the wants of those that required my aid.
THE MIDNIGHT MEDITATION.
The hour of midnight liad struck upon the ear of Charlotte, but not as an invitation to peaceful slumber; for she was engaged in an office as dearly prized as it was deeply painful. Inclination, no less than duty, called her to watch beside the couch of an endeared and suffering friendma friend who was at that time experiencing a severe paroxysm of pain. It was in vain that the hand of love attempted to smooth the restless pillow, though not in vain did the voice of affection endeavour to soothe the sufferer, and speak consolation to her weary spirit! At length the agony subsided, and, placing her hand beneath her faded cheek, she looked tenderly on Charlotte, saying—“ Now rest, my love, for I no longer need attendance ;
welcome sleep already weighs down my eyelids ; and how pleasant will it be when I awake, to find my faithful friend refreshed and strengthened !"
Nature, exhausted, quickly sunk to rest ; and sweet indeed was the hour thus snatched from pain ! To gaze on those features, once more placid-to listen to the long deep breath of slumber, as it came and went, free from suffering, was a luxury unknown to those who have never been placed in similar circumstances. Charlotte stood for a while, scarcely venturing to breathe, contemplating the composed countenance of her friend, with mingled feelings of thankfulness and affection ; then, gently removing the lamp, she scated herself beside the. fire, with a mind calmed and solemnized by the scene, the hour, and the circumstances which surrounded her.
Silence was reigning, still and deep-
The chapter at which she opened the sacred volume was the 3d of Joshua, containing that beautiful description of the passage of the Israelites over Jordan. In imagination, or rather in faith, she beheld the ark of the Lord of the whole earth, as it is sublimely styled, leading, in simple majesty, the armies of Israel, who, following its divine guidance, at the prescribed distance, not only manifested humility and reverence, but shewed their firm confidence that, far from needing a guard of their chosen warriors, it might go forth alone and unprotected, safe in the care of Him whose representative it was, and conferring safety on all who looked to it as their shield of protection and their banner of victory. Charlotte realized the scene; and as she saw the impetuous waters recede, and the triumphant multitude march on, a feeling of exultation swelled within her breast, and she could scarcely avoid exclaiming, “ O sing unto the Lord a new song, for he hath done marvellous things: with his own right hand, and with his holy arm, hath he gotten himself the victory.” Imagining the feelings of the rescued nation, her heart adopted the language of Moses, “ How happy art thou, O Israel ! who is like unto thee, O people, saved by the Lord ?”
Some time had passed in a contemplation so interesting, when the thought suddenly arrested her, what, after all, was this deliverance, great as it appeared, but a shadow of good things to come-a type of that far more glorious redemption which shall be experienced by the true church of God, and each of its living members ? If it be animating to meditate on past manifestations of the divine glory, in which we are indivi. dually uninterested, how much more delightful is it to dwell upon that mighty salvation which is prefigured so continually in God's dealings with his ancient people! Let me, she continued, closing the inspired page, spend a portion of these quiet hours in reflecting on the fulfilment of this expressive type ! Behold, my soul, the divine majesty, far more gloriously enshrined in the true ark..-the body prepared by God, for his incarnate Son. “ The Word was made flesh,” says the apostle, “ and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory; the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth :" and another testifies, “ In Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Thus, as leader and commander tothe people, he goes forth in unsupported power, before the armies of the living God, even the universal church, redeemed from mankind. For he looked, and there was none to help; he won. dered that there was none to uphold, therefore his own arm brought salvation unto him, and his righteousness, it sustained him.” Through the wilderness he discovers to his favoured followers the highway of holiness; and, while at humble distance, they are enabled to follow his blessed guidance, they find that in the way of righteousness is life, and in the pathway thereof there is no death. Hark to the strains of holy confidence with which they beguile the weary way, as they march on, keeping the eye of faith steadily fixed on their Forerunner. Labours await them, but they are encouraged to be stedfast, immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord ; forasmuch as they know that their labour is not in vain in the Lord. Dangers threaten, but deliverance smiles
upon them; enemies
appear, but no weapon that is formed against them shall prosper. Their souls may, indeed, at times, be discouraged,