Page images

and I then, influenced I trust divinely, determined to waive all discussions respecting the opinions of his church, where they differ from ours; and at once to bring forward in language the most earnest and decided I was enabled to command, the simple, scriptural, unconditional means of salvation provided by the Father through the Son, for the salvation of lost mankind. For some minutes he suffered me to proceed from actual want of power to interrupt me. But he soon raised his head with the energy of fever ; used some violent and injurious terms, which he applied to me; and asked me how I dared to set aside all the means of approaching to God the Almighty, ordained by the representative of God on earth- the Catholic, Apostolic, immaculate Church, which he represented as the only way of safety; and beyond whose pale, he said, was nothing but eternal destruction. I have greatly softened the words which he used, and have given only the sense.

"I pointed out to him, that by his own confession, he was beyond the aid of those whose duty it was to administer the formulas of this church ; and that unless he had some personal pretensions to such merits as he could depend upon, I could see no hope whatever which he could have, unless it were in that which the Lord the Saviour is believed by protestants to have wrought for the lost children of Adam. I expatiated largely on the fulness and riches, the length, the depth, the breadth, the height of the love of the Redeemer : and though he strove often to interrupt me, I forced him to hear me for a while, by pursuing my subject with a quiet firmness which he was not permitted to disturb.

I might have continued longer with him had not the surgeon entered, and hinted that his patient required rest, if by any means it could he obtained through the influence of an opiate which he administered ; and I left the cabin, professing to be ready to return at the shortest notice.

“ Poor De Souza became very violent after I was gone. I could hear his voice in the outer room ; sometimes exercised in the most violent censures, and worse than censures, of all heretics; and sometimes in the utterance of addresses to the Virgin, the saints, and other objects of papal idolatry. That evening, I walked the quarter-deck a long time under no other light than

[ocr errors]

that of the stars; and was most earnest in imploring the aid of that Divine Spirit which alone can subdue the heart of the stubborn sinner to accept salvation, without money and without price.

“Before I went to my hammock, I was called again to De Souza : the opiate had failed to compose him, and he had asked for me.

A scene, much like that on the previous visit, ensued ; only that, if possible, he was more violent. We were still becalmed under the line, and the circumstances of our detention became every day more distressing. De Souza's state of health, in the mean time, varied little. Though there were no symptoms which indicated the slightest hope of his recovery, yet his life was protracted for several days longer than the surgeon expected. After my first introduction, I attended him several times each day; and once, if not oftener, in the night, he had become accustomed to see me; and though he still did not appear to take any interest in what I read or said to him, yet he often called for me, and did all in his power to provoke me to arguments respecting the merits of his church. I was led to decline all these disputes, and steadily to pursue my one great object, which was the simple exhibition of the scriptural views of salvation in and through the Son, according to the everlasting purpose of the Father ;

and as revealed by the Divine Spirit to us under the present dispensation.

“I hoped from day to day to see the influence of these truths on the poor sufferer ; and when I saw symptoms of the approaching crisis of his fate, and had not yet observed one sign of grace, I must confess my faith began to fail; and I was ready to cry with Joel, “The seed is rotten under their clods.'

“I was sitting one night in my cabin, after having been some time on my knees, when the voice of the surgeon called me to hasten to De Souza. "He is in a strange way,' he said ; 'he awoke just now from a short sleep, weeping like a child, and calling for you.'

“I was with the young man in a minute, and found him as the surgeon had said. He extended his arms as all but Englishmen do, when they feel their hearts drawn out to another, to embrace me, saying, in a low and feeble voice, ‘My friend ! My best, my dearest friend !' And then he wept again, adding, after a little while, in an inward tone, ‘I have used that prayer; I have called on my Father, and he has told me that I am heard, and that I am pardoned and accepted in the Saviour! I know not whether it was in a dream ; but, if in a dream, it has not passed away as dreams do. I feel the assurance now; I see the smile of my reconciled God. Where are those images before which I once knelt down, and which stood between me and the gracious presence of my heavenly Father? Where are those voices which hindered me from hearing the words of pardon ? I see them, I hear them, no more; they cannot come in again between me and my reconciled God!'

“Do not suffer him to talk too much,' whispered the surgeon to me: ‘he may become perplexed, and in consequence, delirious.'

“But low as he spoke, De Souza overheard him, and said ; No, my dear friend, no ; fear it not; I am not now perplexed ; I am not now delirious. My mind is now, for the first time in my existence, cleared from all confusions, all perplexities; I have seen Him as He is! He has manifested himself to me as the Father, the Redeemer, the propitiator and sanctifier of the sinner! The Divine Spirit within me tells me that so it is !' Then raising his dark eyes, and joining his hands, he poured forth such a thanksgiving as could only have been dictated by the Lord the Spirit. Such, indeed, was its purity from all earthly taints or ideas,—its fervency, its spirit of joy and assurance of hope, that my friend the surgeon, and myself, could but exclaim, “This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes.'

“ I had never before witnessed so glorious a proof of the work of the Spirit with a lost and depraved child of Adam ; and I was afraid, for fear is a part of us whilst in the flesh, that after the first excitement caused by the sensation of unutterable joy which he had experienced on the first blessed conviction of pardon, that some doubts and faintings of spirit might ensue; but through the divine upholdings this was not the case. His first feelings of glowing happiness subsided into a sweet calm, still more delicious, probably, to his exhausted frame; a state more suited to man whilst lingering in the flesh, than more intense happiness.

“During the few remaining days of his earthly existence, he spoke little aloud ; but frequently called me and the surgeon to his side, to thank us for all our kindness, and myself especially,

as the minister to him of that word, which, when interpreted by the Lord the Spirit, had proved his salvation

The last few hours of his life were free from bodily pain : mortification had ensued in those parts where inflammation had raged ; and he seemed to have nothing to do, but in the intervals of his short slumbers, to breathe words of thanksgiving for a heaven already commenced.

“The dying believer sees and feels many things, I cannot doubt, which could they be told, might not be comprehended by those who are farther removed from the entrance into a state o. glory. Glimpses, indeed, of these things may sometimes be observed by the looker on, in the broken sentences and bright expressions which sometimes pass the lips, and float over the countenances of the dying ; but whilst it is appointed to us to live and act amid the turmoil of earthly matters, our views of heavenly ings, though permanent and very fair, are, and must be, comparatively indistinct.

* It was just at the hour when the upper limb of the sun's disc dipped beneath the watery world about us, leaving a long streak of light upon the crystal horizon, and many golden and purple clouds traversed by the beams of light, above--when the last moments of De Souza arrived.

“The vessel rested where she had done for several past days, her motion being scarcely perceptible; whilst the waters around us still swarmed with those monsters so inseparably associated with a calm within the tropics; nor did there seem any more hope of our speedy deliverance that evening, than there had been for many a long day before. But almost at the instant in which De Souza uttered his last peaceful sigh, and while I was extending my hand to close his eyes, the vessel gave a lurch, and we were apprised by a rustling sound proceeding from the rigging and the yards, that our good ship was again under sail toward her desired haven. The splendour of the glowing West, which had poured in at the stern window, passed away, and before its brightness appeared again at our state-room side window, we had made our way bravely toward the land of our homes and hearts.

I accept the token !' I exclaimed, as I knelt down beside the couch of the quiet dead ; ‘and I thank thee, my Father, my Saviour, and my God, that by the wind of thy Divine Spirit thou

hast brought this soul into the haven of peace! And though the monsters of the deep may destroy this corrupt body, yet I fear not-no, not for one instant—that in his flesh, this blessed one shall yet stand upon the earth in the glory of Thy presence!?"

M. M. S. (To be continued.)


Years had passed since I read the letter from Miss Stanstead, * when accidentally meeting with her, I reverted to the subject of her " Scotch exile" as she called it. She then gave me the following answer which she had received from Mrs. Fairfax.

* My dear Charlotte.—Most truly do I sympathize with you in the feelings expressed in your welcome letter. It was such a letter as I assure you I am not in the habit of receiving. I have many enquiries how to make the most of a little time; but how to make the least of a great deal, I do not remember ever to have been asked before.

" I see a great difference between your case, and one of illness and debility : when the body is enfeebled, the mind needs much repose, and all the quiet that can be obtained is desirable. But, my love, health is a blessing, a gift of God : and though He has seen fit to deprive you of a small portion of it, pray beware of the danger of not being sufficiently thankful for what yet remains. Feeling as we all do that each event of each of our lives is ordered for us by a wisdom beyond our own, we must earnestly endeavor to trace out the connection between our own characters, and the discipline that is appointed us, that we may see where the evil lies, and what besetting sins are intended to be corrected.

“The perusal of your letter has had this effect upon my mind. It has produced thankfulness that my occupations have not to be sought out by myself. Often have I wished, in common I suppose with all who lead a busy life, that I had some time at my own disposal ; but the consideration of the vast responsibility attending the due use of such a treasure, is a sufficient check to such a wish. This, however, is small comfort for you.

* See page 300.

« EelmineJätka »