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his daughter's writing, “ This was my beloved mother's book, who is now in glory."
The major was agitated on perusing these words; the tears came into his eyes; he rubbed them hastily away; then looking tenderly at Emily, he added, in a tone of forced complacency, Come, let us begin. What is this book about ?"
Emily began to read. She uttered a few words-she hesitated—she read again—again she hesitated—and, no longer able to restrain herself, she burst into tears, and her lovely head sank on her father's bosom.
“My child ! my Emily!” said the major, himself strongly agitated, “what is the matter? what grieves, what affects you? Why these tears, my child, my daughter?"
Emily at that moment arose, and, giving utterance, confusedly, to her feelings, fell on her knees before him, exclaiming, “O my parent ! my father! my beloved father! if you love your Emily, if you cherish the memory of her mother, cast away those hateful books which you have so long studied, read your Bible, seek your God, acknowledge your Saviour, and—be happy.”
While thus addressed by his weeping daughter, every feature of the major's face worked with violent agitation. Several times he attempted to speak, but conflicting passions seemed to prevent him. Āt length he said, “ Arise, Emily;
; go from my presence; you have awakened such feelings within me, as leave me not the command of myself."
“What, leave you in anger, my father!" said Emily, “never! never !" and she seized his hands, and, pressing them vehemently between her own,“ never, never, will I leave you till you have pronounced my pardon-till you have given me your blessing."
“ My blessing !" repeated the major, with a groan, “ what are the blessings of such a one as I?”.
“ Your pardon, my father," repeated the agitated Emily ; and raising her arms, she threw them round his neck, and drew his face to hers.
The major was totally overcome; he bent his head to hers; he uttered audible groans; he pressed his lips upon her cheek; he repeated her name, her mother's name; and
for a moment seemed wholly overpowered by his feelings; while his weeping daughter continued to implore his forgiveness.
“Go, my Emily,” he at length said, “ arise and go; and may He who is above pour his choicest blessings upon your head! For, O!” he added, as Emily arose and looked anxiously upon him,“ there is a God, and thou art highly favoured by him."
The major could add no more, but beckoned to her to withdraw." Yet, as she looked anxiously behind her, on passing through the door-way, she saw that he was leaning back in his chair, with his eyes and hands lifted up, as she hoped, in the attitude of prayer to Heaven.
Emily did not again appear before her father till summoned to the evening meal. The major strove to appear as usual on this occasion; and, while she felt some apprehension concerning his disposition towards her, he selected a fine apple from others which were on a plate before him, and, offering it to her, smiled, and asked if she would read to him after supper.
“ Yes, my dear father,” she joyfully answered, “ now, and at any time, am I ready to obey you."
The reading of that holy volume, which, when accompanied by the divine blessing, brings peace to the heart; was commenced that very evening, and continued through every evening of the winter; while at other hours the father and daughter diversified their employments. Emily selected some books of ancient history to read. She often also introduced her chess-board; she played on her harp; she exercised herself in drawing, and consulted her father as she proceeded; and, at intervals, she rubbed his foot, talked to him about her visits to Madame Vauvrier, and described the various beauties in nature which she observed in her walks. In the mean time, she closely observed her father's looks and words. She noticed that for a long time he made no comment whatever on the Bible, nor did she ever find him engaged in prayer. Nevertheless, she perceived that he entirely refrained from uttering infidel sentiments, or any of those severe and vulgar jests in which he formerly so much delighted; and that he seldom indulged any intemperance of expression with his servants. But as yet she had not discovered any decisive evidences
of that change of heart which Madame Vauvrier had taught her must take place ere the Christian character can be formed.
Madame Vauvrier, to whom she constantly reported all that passed between herself and her father, pointed out to her the need of patience. “Much is done, my dear daughter,” she said: “ but your father may have many conflicts yet, before he is permitted to enter into the rest of the faithful. He has not yet been brought to a sense of his own corruptions; and this must take place before he can know the value of a saviour. There are many motives which may induce a man to amend his life, besides the true one,” said this experienced Christian; “natural affection, convenience, the fear of death, all these may produce a partial reformation; and such feelings and fears are desirable, because they may prepare the way for better things, but their effects are weak and transitory, unless accompanied by that deep, that radical change of heart, which is effected by the Almighty. The work of the Spirit,” continued she, “ is described as being quick and powerful, piercing to the joints and marrow, sharper than a two-edged sword. Under such teaching,” added she, “the haughty man is bowed down ; his heart is melted within him; he is stripped of all his vain glory; he is made to feel that he is worthless; a worm, and no man; and is brought to abhor himself in dust and ashes."
“If such,” replied Emily,“ are the conflicts which all must pass through who are to enter the kingdom of heaven, I have not yet myself experienced them. I have, indeed, had some painful sense of my sin, but not in the degree which you
describe.” “ If you are of the number of the righteous,” replied the old lady,“ my dear Mademoiselle, your self-abhorrence will become stronger; you will be taught more of your natural depravity ; sooner or later you will be emptied of self-sufficiency, and the process may, and most likely will, be a painful one. At the same time, it will be less painful to you, if the Saviour is revealed to you, and his great power of rendering you everlastingly happy is unfolded to you as the view of your own depravity becomes inore clear. Thus it often happens with the true Christian; conviction of sin is constantly attended by refreshing views
of the Saviour. This is frequently the case with persons, who have been brought up with pious friends, and who have been restrained from gross offences. But in characters such as your father, we cannot look for so gentle an experience. I have hope of him, my dear daughter; I feel that he will be blessed; but I am not fully satisfied that any decisive change has yet taken place in him.
Emily sighed; for she was convinced, that, not only in her father's religious state, but in her own, all was not yet as it should be.
It was not many days after this conversation, that Emily returning one morning from a walk, found her father with an open letter in his hand, which he was looking upon with an expression of countenance in which grief and horror appeared in the strongest degree. As Emily entered, he uttered a groan; and, throwing the letter on the table, struck his hand on his forehead, repeated the name of his son, and, rushing out of the room by another door, pointed to the paper as that which would reveal to her the cause of his distress.
“Oh my brother! my brother!" exclaimed Emily, as she hastened to the table and took up the letter, while a variety of painful apprehensions, respecting her beloved Christopher, passed through her mind.
The letter was from the relations of her brother, in Geneva, containing bitter charges against the father for cruelty; and informing him, that the unhappy youth had been traced to an English regiment in the West Indies, into which he had enlisted as a common soldier; relating some misdemeanors he had been guilty of in that character, for want of money; and stating, that it was supposed he was no more, as he had been invalid, and put on board ship to return to Europe; since which nothing had been heard of him. The number of the regiment was given, and Emily hoped it might be the same to which Charles Harrington belonged, but in this she was disappointed.
Having read this letter, Emily felt convinced that her brother was not living; and such were her sorrowful feelings on the occasion, that she became entirely insensible, and was removed in that state to her bed.
The servants of the chateau, in this distress, (for Major Muller was in a worse condition than his daughter,) imme
diately sent for Madame Vauvrier; who soon arrived, and was, indeed, the only person who could administer the smallest consolation to Emily; but the major remained inconsolable. He had long secretly repented his conduct towards his son, though he had had too much pride to confess it; and he had always checked his daughter, whenever she had attempted to introduce a plea in his favour; but when he believed him dead, and thought himself the cause of his death, he became like one desperate: and the Almighty, by impressing him so deeply with a sense of this sin, seemed, as Madame Vauvrier hoped, to be removing those strong fortresses of pride and self-sufficiency in which he had hitherto entrenched himself.
The condition of his mind for some time was such, that it was feared he would commit suicide; but, after having been long and violently exercised with a kind of maniacal spirit, he sank into a state of fixed despair, during which he conversed with no one, nor took notice of any thing that transpired; but, as he lay on his bed, to which he was confined by bodily weakness, he often uttered the name of his son, accompanying the exclamation with the deepest groans.
When Emily entered his room, he did not look at her, nor would he answer her when she spoke to him ; but always commanded her to leave him, saying, that he was not worthy to be called the parent of such a child; while Emily, though indulging pity for him, could scarcely look upon him without horror, filled as her mind was with the misfortunes of her beloved brother. However, as the letter, on a second perusal, had not absolutely asserted the death of Christopher, she wrote to Mr. Harrington, and to every friend she had left in England, sending them her address, and requesting them to inquire for her brother; and insensibly, while engaged in this occupation, she became consoled, and hope again revived in her breast.
In the mean time, Madame Vauvrier used her utmost endeavours to raise the major from his despondency, and to render this affliction profitable to his soul; and her conversation was at this time blessed to him to a degree which was truly pleasing, and which was shown on an occasion which I am about to relate.
The major had remained many weeks in the state of