תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

ville's closet I heard a carriage drive into the court-yard. I looked through the window, and saw Mr. William Ne. ville on horseback, and his father and the priest getting out of a postchaise. Not seeing my dear Eusebia, I concluded that she was imprisoned in a nunnery. But Miss Neville soon came up and informed me that her sister made her escape from St. Oiner's the morning after the date of her letter. Immediately upon her being missed, which was not till her brother went to call her to breakfast, several persons were sent different ways in quest of her. But the whole day being spent without gaining any. intelligence, Mr. Neville was filled with the deepest distress, and he determined to return home the next morning by the way of Dunkirk. He desired father Albino and his son to go by Calais, thinking that it would be impossible for Eusebia to elude their pursuit. They all inet in London three days after, without having accomplished their purpose.

Miss Neville is full of grief for the loss of her sister ; and her father, she says, is inconsolable. I am very thankful that she is escaped. I trust the same kind Providence will watch over her, which has preserved the servants of God in every age and nation.

at night removed to Thomas Livingstone's. I told Miss Neville I was determined not to be seen by her father, since it would exasperate him without answering any va. luable end. She agreed with me that it becomes Christians not to invite calamity. But, said she, you may be here without my father's knowledge, if you can confine yourself to your room while he and father Albino are at home. I told her that I had determined to go to the house of our friend Thomas Livingstone when her father should arrive, and that I saw no reason to change my purpose, since I had no doubt of being as happy under his humble roof as if I resided in a palace. .

I can undoubtedly perceive a difference between the little cottage in which I now reside, and that building in

which I was brought up : but the difference, if we consi. der every thing, is in favour of this humble tenement, The proprietor of the universe, when he stooped to visit his vassals, did not take up his residence in a stately mansion, or a princely palace. He showed no desire to make his entrance in any place better than an inn; and when there was no room for him there, he took up his residence in a stable.

Miss Neville visited me this morning very early. I was not up when she entered my room. She tells me that father Albino said last night at supper, that what Mr. Neville bewailecl as an unfortunate event might be a kind providence ; for it was possible that Eusebia, when she came to be in want, might remember her father's house, where there was bread enough and to spare, and return, like the repenting prodigal; and that, unless that were the case, he should never wish to see her again within those walls, her breath being pestilential, and every word she spoke as infectious as the plague...

Yes, father, answered Mr. Neville, but I cannot forget that she is my child. Oh what a child! I have sometimes thought, and I believe truly, that for gracefulness of person, modest and affable behaviour, and dutiful affection, the world had not her superior.

All this is true, replied the father ; but remember that when the beloved sons of Aaron offered strange fire before the Lord, and were slain for the offence, their father was not suffered even to mourn for them. I myself had almost a parental affection for that young lady; yet I could gladly see her, and all the enemies of the holy Roman catholic apostolic church, consumed in one fire, if it were possible to make one large enough to hold them.

My father, said Mişs Neville, wept; and the colour came into my brother's face, who looked at the priest, and said, How much soever my dear sister may have erred, I doubt not but she has poured out many supplications to the Father of mercies for your happiness, and for the happiness of each of us.

I was so much shocked, continued Miss Neville, at the language of the priest, that I burst into tears. My father told him very angrily, that he abhorred such fiery zeal. My children, said he, I am pleased that you remember my poor child is your sister, notwithstanding she is turned aside from the path of duty.

I told Miss Neville that father Albino always appeared so kind and affable, that I could scarcely have believed him to be of such a sanguinary disposition.

I confess, replied she, that his temper is the most benevolent and humane. But when those of the best disposition imagine they are doing God service by their furious zeal, their natural tempers entirely disappear, and atheists and libertines, compared with them, are valuable members of society.

I inquired whether her brother knew she was a protes. tant.

She replied, that she had some thoughts yesterday in the afternoon of keeping it a secret, at least for a few days; but that last night after supper she opened her whole soul to him when they were by themselves, and that he received the glad tidings with equal joy and astonishment.

Our dear Eusebia did not disclose to her brother her intention of escaping, though he was with her late on the night before she went away. Poor dear girl ; she knew he would be strictly examined by her father, and she was unwilling to bring him into any trouble

I told Miss Neville that things looked very dark respecting her and her brother.

True, my dear friend, replied she ; but I thank God I am not now to count the cost. I desire to yield my dear Redeemer all my affection, and to depend upon him alone for.support.

I told her I should write to you. She desires her love, and thanks you, as I also do, for your description of a Christian.

You will please to direct your next letter to Thomas Livingstone. I hope it will contain an account of our dear

friend, who I have no doubt will write to you if she be alive. I sometimes please myself with hoping that she may soon be under your friendly roof.

I am, my dear aunt,
. Your affectionate niece,

MIRANDA BARNWELL.

LETTER XLIV.

from Mrs. Worthington to Miss Barnwell.

MY DEAR NIECE,

I RECEIVED your letter, but have had no letter from, nor have heard any thing of our dear Eusebia. I am afraid some evil has befallen her, or what is so called by us mortals, who sometimes forget that the most afflictive provi. dences are blessings in disguise. I am glad, on their father's account, that Miss Neville and her brother have not declared themselves protestants; for he is sufficiently afflicted already. I do not wonder that father Albino should thirst for the blood of the servants of Jesus. The antichristian church in the Revelation is represented as riding upon a scarlet-coloured beast, and as being drunken with the blood of the saints. I do not suppose that we are to understand by her the church of Rome only; for though she is undoubtedly the mother of harlots, yet this mother has many daughters. No church which is not dependent entirely upon the Redeemer, has any authority to call it. self the bride, the Lamb's wife. This appellation does not belong to the worshippers of Mammon: it belongs only to those who submit implicitly to the authority of Christ. If we look around us, how few shall we find who have a single eye to the divine glory! and yet no others have a right to the name of Christians.

Christianity had not been long in the world before its professors began to seek their own things, and to have men's persons in admiration because of advantage. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, says the apostle James, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?

A Christian resembling a light set on a hill is a rare thing in this day. Too many professors of religion follow the men of the world so closely, that they even tread upon their heels. In their houses, their furniture, their tables, and their equipages, there is little or no difference. It is almost as common for them to waste their fortunes by riotous, or, as they would term it, by genteel living, as it is for others. Such persons seem not to know that Christi. anity requires a life of continual self-denial. The Redeemer commands us to take up our cross daily, that is, to sail contrary to the stream of this world. The apostle Paul kept his body in subjection, ran the heavenly race, and fought the good fight of faith. And if we, my dear niece, are not in earnest, and if we do not daily endeavour to advance in the divine life, we have no reason to believe that God has written his law in our hearts. It is not a bad method, when we are doubtful concerning the propriety of any of our actions, to ask ourselves whether it be proba. ble that the Redeemer, if he were here below, would act in this or that manner; for it is our duty to be conformed to him, and to walk as he walked. To love God is to love his character as it is manifested in his beloved Son. But it is a vain thing to imagine that we love the character of the Son of God, if we habitually and allowedly practise such things as we have no reason to believe he would prac. tise if he were on earth. Persecuting Christians would do well to try themselves by this rule, and to see how far their conduct corresponds with that of the Son of God, who did good unto all, and evil to none; who reproved his disciples when they showed a desire that the Samaritans might be consumed by fire from heaven; who did not however endeavour by flattery to gain applause but told the most harsh and disagreeable truths to those persons at

« הקודםהמשך »