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were brought to submit to Christ, and to seek their happiness in that religion which alone can impart true felicity.
Myra was early the subject of deep religious impressions. She was convinced of the reality and excellence of vital piety, and that without this, she could never obtain salvation. A cloud of mercy passed over the place, and she felt that it was high time to awake from her spiritual slumber. But it was not until some time after, while attending an Academy, that she obtained peace in believing. Of the change wrought in her mind about this time, the following interesting account was found among her papers.
“ As long as I have any recollection, I have been the subject of serious religious impressions. I was early instructed in the truths of religion—the government of a holy, sovereign God, who had an infinite hatred of sin, requiring perfect obedience of his creatures, and punishing every transgression of his holy law with eternal death
—the duty of repentance—the necessity of a change of heart, and the way of salvation through a crucified Redeemer. I was convinced of the truth and importance of these things, but they were wholly uncongenial
with my carnal affections. I intended, at some time, to attend to them, but could not think them calculated to afford happiness to the youthful mind. Thus I practically said, "Go thy way,' &c. In this manner I quieted my conscience; not, however, without being frequently roused by a solemn providence or a searching, impressive sermon—sometimes to be almost persuaded to become a Christian. About the age of thirteen, I was much interested in reading the life of Mrs. Newell. I admired her amiable and engaging disposition, and was affected with her early piety. This, I was persuaded, was the source of those lovely virtues, which so highly adorned her character. I believed she was happy, and almost wished myself possessed of that which could render her so cheerful amidst so many trying scenes. But I could not endure the idea of renouncing my worldly pleasures and companions, and of bearing the reproach which I thought I should meet from the gay and thoughtless. I remained in a state similar to this till the 17th year of my age, when I think my attention was a little more excited. I had as yet, I believe, no just sense of the heinous guilt of sin. Although I knew that I was a sinner, and should be without excuse if I were cut off in my sins, and sent to receive their due reward; yet I did not consider that they were the nail and the spear that pierced the Saviour, and caused him to cry out under a sense of his Father's displeasure,
Eloi, Eloi.'. My heart was utterly opposed to the holy character of God, though its bitter enmity was unperceived.
“ About this time a number of my companions became seriously impressed with a sense of their dangerous situation as sinners, and began to inquire with solicitude—what they must do to be saved. I had often thought, that if my young friends would seek religion, I would join in the pursuit. Now I had the trial of my sincerity. It occasioned at first some severe struggles in my mind to become willing to renounce the world and its vain pleasures, “to meet the world's dread laugh,' and endure the sneers of some whom I loved; but I soon resolved, that notwithstanding all these, I would make religion my business, and that, through divine assistance, I would persevere in this resolution, though all my days should be spent in the search. I was blessed with many and precious privileges to aid me in this important work--religious meetings were frequent and solemn--the instructions and exhortations I received from pious friends and relatives, were numerous and valuable, and many around me soon began to rejoice in hope. But, alas! no hope appeared for me. I thought myself almost stupid. I imagined I must feel the most poignant distress, before I should experience genuine repentance—that the interest of the soul must so absorb my mind, that I should feel no kind of concern or interest in anything else.
« Thus I was kept in bondage-I could not expect conversion before conviction ; and true conviction of sin I thought I had not. Yet I trust the Spirit was all this time striving with me, and gradually enlightening my mind, leading me more and more to discover the exceeding depravity of my heart. These views led me to indulge a despondent state of mind. Thus I remained a long season. I was often told, and thought I believed, that the work of conversion was what I never could perform myself. Yet still I believe I was trying to merit something by my own exertions. I desire to bless the Lord that he did not suffer me to be again ensnared by the vanities of youth, and lured from the path I. was resolved to tread. I verily believed the paths of wisdom alone led to peace; but that it was sovereign mercy that must guide my erring footsteps into them. Adored be the goodness which bore long with my rebellion ; but which, I trust, at length appeared for my deliverance. These lines afforded me peculiar encouragement at one time-
“ He led their march far wandering round,
'Twas the right path to Canaan's ground.' I was led to hope that though long left to wander in darkness, without any light, even ‘darkness that might be felt,' there might still be mercy for me ; but if I never obtained comfort, I chose to spend my life thus, rather than engage in worldly amusements and pleasures. Nearly four years passed without bringing me any lasting relief. I then went to reside at New Ipswich, for the purpose of attending the public school at that place. I trust I shall ever have occasion to bless the Lord for sending me there at that time. A powerful revival was just commencing there, and I was favored with a pious family to board in, and opportunity to attend frequent religious meetings. Never can I forget, till memory resigns her seat in my breast, the interesting scenes I witnessed in that place. I resolved to improve the opportunity I then enjoyed in searching my heart, and striving to obtain the pearl of great price.'