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me really interesting. The knowledge and enjoyment of God's love, and a constant reliance on Him, have rendered my present condition thus happy to me!”
“And the pleasure you take in serving him,” replied Emily. “Alas! alas!" she added, “I was once happy too, and it was when I loved God and attended to my religious duties; but I am very unhappy now, Madame Vauvrier, and I would tell you wherefore, if you would hear me."
“ Hear you, my dear child, to be sure I would, if it would do you any good. But I will dispense with your confessions, for perhaps I know already every thing you would say. You have some domestic troubles, and who has not? You have some painful duties to fulfil, and you rather avoid the performance of them than seek to find peace in their fulfilment; and the sense you have of your misconduct in these respects, makes you fly from God, and shun all intercourse with him by prayer and meditation. Your case, my dear young lady, is a very common one, and requires little explanation to an old woman like me.”
The conversation between Emily and the venerable peasant was at this moment interrupted by two playful children, who came bounding down the almost perpendicular hill, on the side of the glen opposite the cottage; a boy and a girl, between eight and ten years of age, fair and lovely in their appearance; the boy wearing no head-dress, and the girl having a large flat straw hat, such as are often supposed to be worn by the shepherdesses of pastoral romance. Swift as arrows from a bow they had descended the height and passed the wooden bridge; and, before the grandmother had had time to point them out to Emily as her own Wilhelm and Agnace, they had paid their compliments to their visitor with a politeness above their degree.
Emily being now reminded by the position of the moun, tain shadows, that the morning was wearing away, took her leave, adding, that she hoped soon to return to enjoy more of the society of her venerable monitress.
Emily returned towards her home with a slow step, being lost in meditations of no agreeable nature. When entered beneath the belt of pine, the deep gloom which encompassed her seemed to be in such conformity with the state of her mind, that she began to shed tears. iny unhappy brother!" she said, “ where are you now? and am I not now
following your example, yielding to the same irritation, and with less cause? My father did love me once, and I once hoped to be the means of reconciling him to you; but now I have need of one to stand between me and my father.” And my heavenly Father too, I once loved him, once delighted in his service; but that time is past; and yet there is one who would mediate between me and my offended God -my Saviour, my long despised and neglected Saviour.”
Thus speaking, she sat down on a stone, and, leaning her head upon her hands, she prayed earnestly and ardently, repeating many times, “ Lord, have mercy upon me, a miserable sinner!” So fervent a prayer, dictated, evidently, by the Holy Spirit, and presented with such simplicity and sincerity, was the beginning of better things; for when she arose she felt new courage, and now proceeded more speedily on the way to her father's house.
Being arrived there, she went immediately to the door of her father's chamber, and there stood waiting till the valet came out. “ Monsieur Wietlesbach," said she, in a humble tone, “will you go back to my father, and ask him if I shall have the pleasure of dining with him? I have not seen him to day.”
The valet bowed, grinned, and, assuming an air of patronage, replied, that he would do as she desired, with all the pleasure in the world.
Emily still stood at the door, and heard the servant deliver the message, and a loud and harsh voice in answer, « Tell her that I choose to dine alone!"
« Mais, Monsieur," said the valet, “ assurement you would not deny the request of Mademoiselle? She is au dessespoir; she is very much afflicted; she earnestly desires the honour of being admitted to your presence.”
“None of your absurd grimaces,”” was the reply given by the major; “ I will not see my daughter; she has offended me, and I have not deserved this treatment, from her at least. Tell her what I say: I will not see her. Begone.".
Emily did not wait to hear this stern answer repeated by the valet, but, rushing along the corridor, she hastened to her own room, and shut the door. There, bursting into a flood of tears, she soon became more composed; but shortly afterwards, hearing the step of the valet near her door, she went out to him, and asked if she might be permitted
to see her father, and what message he might have for her.
“ Madame,” said Monsieur Wietlesbach, bowing, and accompanying his bow with a shrug, “I am sorry, but Monsieur cannot see you to-day. Notwithstanding, he makes his compliments to you, and hopes that you will not be offended, but he has another engagement.”
“ Did my father send his compliments to me?” said Emily.
Precisement,” said the valet : “ he hoped you would not be offended; but he is at present disposed for solitude.”
“ Tell him, then,” said Emily, “that I am ready to attend him whenever he wishes to see me;" and so saying, she turned back into her room, and spent the rest of her day alone. She endeavoured to beguile the long hours by reading; and, with this view, took up a book, but her thoughts wandered from it. She laid it down, and tried her needle. A needle is often a dangerous companion to those whose minds have taken a wrong direction; but, in the state in which Emily was at that period, this quiet occupation was one, of all others, which proved most profitable to her. Every word which Madame Vauvrier had said to her in the morning recurred to her mind, and, with these, the many lessons of piety she had received in her youth. Her long neglect of these lessons next occurred to her, her alienation from God, her selfishness, her undutifulness, the worldliness of thought in which she had indulged, and the discontent into which she had fallen. Thus the sinfulness of her conduct for many months past unfolded itself, till, in an agony of grief, she threw down her work, and yielded, without restraint, to her grief. In the morning she sent to inquire after her father's health by a female servant, and to ask permission to see him; but receiving no answer to the inquiry, and a flat denial to her request to be allowed to see him, she sent to ask permission to take a walk.
“ Tell her,” said the major, in reply, “that she is at liberty to do what she will —her dutifulness comes too late; the agitation she has occasioned me has been the means of removing the gout from the extremities of my body, and [ doubt not but I shall soon feel it in some vital part.”
The servant who had carried Emily's request to the
major brought only the former part of his reply; in consequence of which, she immediately prepared to go to Madame Vauvrier, resolving to open her heart to her, and request her maternal counsel.
Madame Vauvrier was indeed a stranger to Emily; but this poor young female had no friend, no tender mother, to whom she might relate her troubles, and she felt that she had realized the maternal character which she needed for her consolation in this venerable peasant ; nor was she deceived ; for the Almighty, in his infinite mercy, had prepared such a friend for Emily in Madame Vauvrier as, we fear, few parts of the Continent could supply.
Emily found Madame Vauvrier alone, and rejoiced to see her. The conversation this day was confidential on both sides; and Madame Vauvrier, having consented to hear all Emily had to say relative to her particular trials, gave her the best advice respecting her conduct. no remedy but from God,” said she, “ for all these evils. You must, therefore, my dear child, lose no time in applying to your heavenly Father for help. But, before we part, permit me, my dear young lady, to question you respecting your knowledge of that God whom, I trust, you now desire to make your friend."
Madame Vauvrier then, finding that Emily was comparatively ignorant of the leading doctrines of the Christian religion, endeavoured to state them to her as clearly and shortly as possible. She first spoke upon the nature of God; of the doctrine of the Trinity in Unity, on which the whole Christian system is built. With the names appropriated to the Persons in the Trinity Emily was acquainted, but was ignorant of the offices they condescendingly sustain in the plan of human redemption.
She was entirely unaware of the love of the Father, of the nature of the sacrifice made by the Son, with the work of the Spirit, and the perfection of that salvation wrought for the saints.
The venerable peasant then explained the high privilege obtained for us sinful creatures by the death of Christ, namely, that of being permitted to converse with God in prayer; and pointed out to the young lady the benefits which she might hope to derive from a constant application to the Almighty for assistance.
“ Your trials, my dear young friend," she said, “ are of constant recurrence,
not only from the infirmities of your dear father, but from your own rebellious heart. A constant supply of grace that you may patiently endure your trials is, therefore, necessary for you. And in what way can you seek these supplies, but by continual prayer?-Ask, and it shall be given you ; seek, and ye shall find ; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. (Luke xi. 9.) Let those woods and groves, my dear child, which have hitherto heard only your complaints, now resound with the song of praise; encourage à thankful, grateful spirit; let grateful acknowledgments henceforward take place of lamentation ; and be assured, my beloved guest, you will soon wonder at the magnitude of your blessings, instead of lamenting the severity of your trials."
The good woman added much more relative to the redeeming love of our Lord Jesus; and closed the confer. ence by a prayer, in which the venerable widow, having fastened the door of her cottage, poured forth her whole heart in pleading for the poor major and his unhappy children.
The prayer being concluded, Emily embraced her aged friend, who pressed her young visitor to her maternal bosom with every expression of love and pity; after which, she prepared to return to her father's house.
During her walk, her heart was so full, that, for a while, she could not even weep. Never before had she felt so deep a sense of sin; while the natural wonders which were spread around her with a munificent hand served only to increase a deep conviction of her own meanness, and the infinite glory of God. Being again arrived at the alpine pasture, on the heights above the chateau, her eye fixed itself, for the first time during that morning, on Mont Blanc, whose summits appeared above the southern mountains on the opposite side of the lake, the lower part of it being concealed in mist, as its snow-clad heights shone in aerial splendour above, appearing to reject all connexion with inferior earth.
Emily was arrested by the view of this inconceivably glorious object. The power, the majesty, the magnificence of the Creator, as connected with the remembrance of his love and condescension, as they had been brought before her by Madame Vauvrier, in the work of man's