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swine, and whited sepulchres, and even to vipers and venomous serpents. Being unbelievers, they cannot please him; because, without faith, it is impossible to please God; and their very duties, because not done in faith, are an abomination to the Lord.
“The Almighty shows his hatred of sin, on occasions without number, even in this world. Temporal death is the punishment of sin. Every pain we feel, every infirmity we experience, every imperfection of our body, whether visible or invisible, is the effect of sin, and an evidence of the divine displeasure against it. There is also the wrath of God on man's soul. The natural man can have no communion with God; he is separated from him; he is foolish, and shall not stand in God's sight. (Psalm v. 5.)
“ But,” continued the lady of the manor, “as, my dear young people, I have carefully endeavoured to establish you in the doctrine of man's depravity, and the consequent anger of God against man, I shall dwell no longer on this part of my subject; but proceed to explain how needful it is that he should be entirely renewed in the spirit of his mind, and become a new creature in Christ Jesus, before he can become an object of the divine complacency.
“We must, therefore, consider how man may be recovered from this state in which he is born, and inquire whether he is able, of himself, to effect this recovery.
“I answer, from Scripture, that he cannot; for the Scripture saith, When we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. (Rom. v. 6.) No man can come to me except the Father, which hath sent me, draw him. (John vi. 44.)
“True wisdom, then, consists in being sensible of our utter depravity and helplessness; and in a disposition to receive the Saviour with thankfulness, and (if we are enabled to obey) to give the glory to him to whom only it is due. Hence it belongs to the Holy Spirit, to restore the lost sinner to a state of grace and favour, by humbling the soul, abasing self, and creating a desire for divine assistance.
“We proceed now," continued the lady of the manor, “to describe this state of grace, or recovery of human
nature, into which all that shall partake of eternal happiness must be translated, sooner or later, while in this world.
“This change, which is, as I before said, the work of the Holy Spirit, is called regeneration, or the new birth. It is a real and radical change, whereby the man is made a new creature. (2 Cor. v. 17.) The old man is put off; the new man is put on. As it is written, That ye put off concerning the former conversation, the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind ; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” (Eph. iv. 22–24.)
The lady then paused for a moment; after which, she added, “I have by me a short history of two young ladies, in which the doctrine of the new birth is clearly elucidated; and, as it is my intention to read it to you, I shall forbear to enlarge on the doctrine, so much as I should have done, had it not been so fully explained in the course of this narrative. Permit me, however, to caution you. Be solicitous, my young friends, to avoid, in this important affair, every deception. It is very easy, through the love of self, and satanic influence, to suppose this change to have taken place where it has not. It is of the highest importance, my dear young people, that we should be aware of this; and that we should be disposed to search our own hearts, lest we should be deluded to our everlasting shame.
“Many, I fear, call the Church their mother, whom God will not own to be his children. Simon was bap| tized, yet still remained in the gall of bitterness. (Acts viii. 13, 23.) Judas received the sacramental bread and wine from the hand of our Lord himself; yet was it said of that man, 'It would have been better for him had he never been born.'
“Education may moderate the passions of men, and render them amiable; but it cannot change the heart. Men are often induced by precept, example, or interest, to forsake profanity and scandalous vices; but neither precept nor example can form the new creation. Men may go through a long and continued course of duties, and yet be wholly unconverted.
“But as I have promised you an illustration of this subject, I will detain you no longer from it; but will express my hope that you will carefully distinguish the effect of true and converting grace, in one of the characters I am about to set before you, from that of the partial change produced by circumstances in the other.”
The lady of the manor then produced a manuscript, and read as follows.
The History of Eleanor and Antoinette.
Near the public road between Paris and Rouen, in a situation where the valley of the Seine is considerably contracted by the higher lands on either side approaching unusually near to each other, are the large possessions of the noble family of J--. A traveller from Paris may see from the eminence of the road, on the left banks of the river, the towers of the chateau lifting their Gothic heads above the forest-trees by which they are surrounded; and not far distant, the spire of the parish church, and the ruins of an ancient monastery, which, having been delivered to plunder during the Revolution, now present only bare walls and dilapidated turrets. Nevertheless, the Tour de Tourterelle, which stands on a considerable eminence above the castle, and which gives its possessor the title of the Baron de J—-, still remains in high preservation; having escaped, by some extraordinary oversight, the fury of those who waged war against all things honourable or sacred among men. It is built of a kind of chalky stone, and forms a strong contrast with the dark green of the forest.
The occupant of this chateau, and possessor of these lands, about forty years before the Revolution, was Er. nest Adolphe, Baron of J—-, an officer of the guard of honour, and chevalier of the order of St. Louis. This nobleman had married a lady of high and imperious temper, who brought him one son and one daughter. It had been long determined in the family to marry this daughter, Mademoiselle Adele de J.
to the Marquis de F
a man of three times her age. But while the relations on both sides were engaged in drawing out the settlements and preparing the marriage gifts, the young
lady effected a union with a Mr. Northington, who had been an officer in an Irish brigade, and with whom she had become acquainted in a way unknown to her mother. For, although the utmost license is allowed to females, in France, after marriage, the French mothers perhaps excel the English matrons in their care of their unmarried daughters.
Immediately after this marriage, Mrs. Northington, being utterly rejected by her family, accompanied her husband to Ireland, where she remained till the improvident couple had nearly expended the whole of Mr. Northington's patrimony; when the lady suddenly became a widow, Mr. Northington having fallen an early victim to the irregularities of his conduct.
On the death of her husband, Mrs. Northington, who found herself in the possession only of a slender annuity, removed from Ireland to England, with her two daughters, Eleanore and Antoinette ; where, after having tried various places, she at length settled in a small house in the beautiful town of Reading, in Berkshire; being induced to fix there, by a hope of sometimes seeing some individuals of her own nation; the town being a favourite place of residence of foreigners when in England.
Notwithstanding her misfortunes, Mrs. Northington still retained all the gaiety, and I may add, levity, of manner, so commonly attributed to persons of her nation. Though she had suffered considerably by ill health, by which her appearance had been much injured, she still appeared in an afternoon, or when in company, with her head dressed with artificial flowers, and her sallow cheeks tinged with rouge; while the same vehement desire for admiration still influenced her as had actuated her in the bloom of youth, and the vigour of her days.
The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness; (Prov. xvi. 31.) but when the vanity and folly of youth accompany the infirmities of age, we behold a spectacle at once the most melancholy and ridiculous which human nature can present.
There is in the vicinity of the town of Reading, though separated from the more populous part of it by a large and elevated green called the Forbury, the remains of VOL. VII.
an ancient abbey, still in tolerable preservation, and near it a mound thrown up in the feudal ages, with the venerable remains of a cathedral church standing in a garden. The abbey for some years past has been devoted to the purpose of a school for young ladies, and its antique halls and towers, which formerly resounded with the orisons of the monks, are now made frequently to re-echo with the shrill cries and jocund revelry of thoughtless infancy
This ancient building is fronted by a large garden, inclosed on one side by a high bank artificially raised, on which is a terrace-walk commanding a view of the meadows of the Thames, and on the other by a high wall. A gateway, which forms a part of the abbey, is without the garden ; and beneath it is the road to a small street, at the back of the abbey.
It was in this street that Madame Northington (for she adopted the title of Madame on her arrival at Reading) took a small house, to enjoy the privilege of sending her daughters to a school at the abbey. And it afforded no small degree of pastime to the young ladies, whose sleeping apartments were in the back part of the house, to observe the manœuvres of Madame Northington, whose small abode was entirely overlooked from the turrets of the abbey.
A neat undress, or dishabille, is much admired in England, but for the most part held in utter contempt by the fine ladies of our neighbouring country. But, however this may be, Madame Northington, whose doors were never at any hour closed to a native of France, was in consequence often under the necessity of receiving her visiters in her morning-dress. This dress, while she resided in Reading, consisted of a pelisse, or larbardour, of tarnished silk, worn without any apparent linen, a pair of coloured slippers, with or without the accompaniment of stockings, as it suited the convenience of the wearer; there being no cap or other head-dress, unless it might be now and then a coloured silk handkerchief, the well-pomaded hair being platted and turned up behind, and combed from the face in front.
In this elegant costume the foreign lady was often seen complimenting her acquaintances as far as the gate of her