Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

to the poignancy of my grief. And yet I am not without rich consolation in the assurance that God doeth all things well, and that my loss is her gain. These two considerations are inexpressibly comforting, especially when connected with the hope of re-union in a short time. Oh! that my affections may be effectually weaned from earth, and made to centre in God. Oh! that this grievous affliction may result in my own sanctification, and in blessings to this people among whom I labor. There are even now some indications of good. The prayer-meeting last evening was fully attended, and three persons remained for personal conversation on religion. Lord increase the number of sincere inquirers.

"Feb. 27, Sabbath. This day has been full of interest to me, and will be remembered in eternity. My precious, motherless child was baptized into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Her grandfather administered the ordinance. Oh! what sadness filled my heart, what sorrow almost overpowered me, as I stood alone before the altar. There my Mary expected to stand with me and join in the

*See Obituary in Appendix.

BAPTISM OF CHILD.

37

solemn service of consecration just three months ago. But our God and Father (his will be done,) had other plans and purposes in regard to us. She stood before the throne in glory during the performance of the rite, while I stood before the altar in the earthly temple. Was that sainted one a witness, and an interested witness of the ceremony? Will she still watch over the sweet daughter, who will have no remembrance of a mother? Does she even now sympathize with me in my feelings and responsibilities? Alas! the Bible returns no definite answer, and reason dare not affirm with confidence. Let me, however, derive consolation from the possibility, not to say probability, that she is our ministering angel.

"And now, O Lord God, accept this child which I commit to thee. Spare her life, if it may consist with thy righteous will. Renew and sanctify her heart, so that her earliest moral exercises may be pleasing to thee. Make her useful in the church and the world by employing her as thine own instrument in the salvation of many souls; and prepare her for thy presence above, so that our little family may be a whole family in heaven.

"March 2. The sun is shining brightly this morning, and now and then the note of the bluebird is borne to my ear. All nature looks cheerful; and yet here I sit in sadness and in tears, because I see the sunshine, and hear the birdmusic alone. She who welcomed the last spring with me, whose smile was gladness, and whose voice was melody, has left my side. For her, however, I cannot weep; for, this morning, she looks on fairer sights, and listens to sweeter notes than earth can furnish. God her Saviour is making her infinitely happier than I could. He is wiping all tears from her eyes, and leading her into green pastures and beside still waters.

"But for myself I mourn; for all my earthly hopes blasted; for all my plans frustrated; for all my joys annihilated. Well, let me look above and beyond the perishing objects of time and sense to the things that are unseen and eternal. Let my affections centre on Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever. Let me still rejoice in the Lord, and joy in the God of my salvation.

"Not the least of my consolations is the fact that God seems to be blessing my labors among

LOOKING INTO HEAVEN.

39

this people. The attendance on the means of grace is increasing, and a solemnity seems to rest on the minds of the people. Christians are shaking off their slumbers, and sinners are beginning to inquire with apparent earnestness, what must we do to be saved? Last Thursday three ladies remained after the meeting was closed for personal conversation. And on Monday night, stormy as it was, seven came to my study for the same purpose. It will be a blessed result of my affliction if it should be the means of bringing sinners to God, and honor to Jesus.

"March 3. I find myself inquiring with an interest unknown before my beloved wife's death, into everything pertaining to the state of the pious soul in the unseen world. While led to see the scantiness of all definite information in regard to minor particulars of future existence, I am attaining a more distinct and satisfactory conviction of the truth of the great realities which are the subjects of divine revelation. I am inclining more and more to what may be called materialistic views of heavenly blessedness. Body, not flesh, or as Isaac Taylor styles it 'corporeity,' I am disposed to regard as the inseparable compan

ion of the human spirit. I prefer to regard death, not as working a mighty change in all the conditions and modes of being, but as simply introducing the soul to another state, analogous to the present, and yet superior.

"These views, and the many conclusions to which they conduct, I am by no means prepared to pronounce certain, but they are assuredly the source of much pleasure in my meditations. Let me however be more anxious to cultivate a personal fitness for the saints' rest, than to speculate concerning its nature.

"March 10. A beautiful morning, of cloudless skies and gentle winds succeeds yesterday's storm and gloom. Not so however in the world within. My feelings are not in harmony with the cheerfulness of nature; I trust they are in some measure with its peace. The very sunshine is oppressive to me, and the spring-like aspect almost unendurable. Last evening I felt, almost for the first time, inclined to cherish rebellious thoughts. Grace, I trust, enabled me to banish them; but I fear their return as the spring days come on. Can I, oh can I pass this long summer in separation from my Mary? Perhaps God in his good

« VorigeDoorgaan »