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THE ALL-SEEING EYE.

My early childhood was passed amid scenes of sweet seclusion and calm enjoyment. The thoughts of those dear lost days of my infancy come over my spirits like the breathings of the softest music, filling my eyes with tears, and my heart with emotions which I scarcely know whether to call sorrowful or joyful.

My mother was early left a widow with one other child beside myself, a daughter two years older. Dear, sainted mother! I see thee now, with thy sweet, pensive look, and thy gentle, affectionate manner! As soon as we were old enough, my sister and myself were taught, by her precepts and her example, the excellence of religion, and its indispensable necessity. She taught us how desirable and how blessed it is to have the favour of

God, and how awful a thing it is to have his disapprobation and his frowns. Seated on a stool on each side of her, with our heads resting on her lap, we used to listen often, with breathless interest, to her stories from the Bible, and sometimes to little simple stories of her own creating, illustrative of the loveliness and preciousness of early piety. But nothing made so deep an impression on my young heart, or imagination, or perhaps both, as what she said of the All-seeing Eye of God, and that no sin could be hidden from him, however secretly committed. I never heard her converse on this subject without feeling a thrilling sensation through my whole frame. And I can never remember in my childhood of doing wrong without this same shuddering feeling, that that dreadful eye was looking into the deepest recesses of my heart. I recollect that being one day in the garden with my sister, I was very angry with her for a mere trifle; and almost unconsciously casting my eyes to the heavens, I saw a small peculiar looking cloud, which to my excited imagination appeared like an eye; the All-seeing Eye I thought it was; and, trembling with apprehension,

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I pointed it out to my sister, for my anger was lost in terror at the sight. She very calmly assured me it was nothing but a cloud, adding, "You know that our mother has often told us that we never can see the eye of God, though he always sees us." I soon became convinced of the truth of what she said, though it was a long time before my agitation had entirely subsided. And that night, while seated as usual by the side of my dear mother, before going to bed, I told her what I thought I had seen, and how much I had been alarmed. I never shall forget what she said to me at this time, and the deep solemnity of her "My dear child," said she, "may this be a lesson which you may never forget! Though you did not see the eye of God, it was looking upon you as certainly as though you had seen it; and he was as truly displeased with you for being angry with your sister, as if you had heard his voice in the garden telling you so."

manner.

About a month after this conversation, my beloved mother died. The warmth and tenderness of her maternal affection, together with her constant and unwearied attention to our happiness in both

worlds, had rendered her unspeakably dear to our young hearts, and bitterly did we mourn her loss, though we were far from realizing then how irreparable it was. In the faltering accents of death, she expressed her undying confidence that her God and Saviour would take care of us, her orphan children, and prepare us to meet her in heaven: her spirit departing while these words yet lingered on her pale and quivering lips-Leave thy fatherless children with me, I will preserve them alive!'

Far more precious than rubies are even the thoughts of a holy, sainted mother; and how infinitely more valuable, then, is the possession of such a mother as mine. As precious, I had almost said, as the soul itself, are her precepts, her example, and her prayers. For who can tell whether the child of such a mother was ever lost forever!

After our dear mother's death, I was separated from my sister, and placed in the family of an uncle, who was nominally a Christian, and outwardly moral, but who knew little or nothing of the religion of the heart. During the several years which I passed in his family, I was never

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personally addressed on the subject of religion; of course, the momentous truths which my mother was at such pains to impress daily on my heart, lost, in a great measure, their influence on my conduct and character. Nothing seemed to remain to me of all her religious instructions but a dread of the allseeing eye. It was simply a dread, and not a desire that that holy eye might regard me with favour and love. Until I was sixteen, which was about the time I entered college, I never laid me down in my bed without feeling constrained to bend my knees in prayer. This I did from my fear of the unseen but all-pervading eye. I feared that the thoughts of it would keep me awake, or disturb the quietude of my slumbers. Little did I reflect that God was no more pleased with me for offering these worthless prayers, than if I had entirely omitted them.

After I entered college, I threw off even this slight semblance of religion, for fear of the ridicule of my room-mate. But I shall never forget what I suffered the first night I pressed my pillow without my accustomed form. I think it was the first time I had ever felt an absolute hatred to the

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