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and her home is not to be described. Hers was a mind constituted to feel with great intensity, and the shock of a first separation from those so dear to her was a very severe one. Time, however, and the close application she was obliged to give to her studies, at length removed the first feelings of home sickness, but there was still an aching blank, which time alone could never fill. To her tender and affectionate nature the change from home, with its thousand endearing associations, where the sunshine of love was ever around her, and her life passed like a bright dream,—the change from this to the cold gloom of a convent, was one which, as the months passed on, she felt to be only increasingly painful. The corpse-like figures of the nuns, as their long dark robes swept along the cold and silent cloisters, struck with an icy chill to Marion's heart, and seemed to her well to picture forth the living death of convent life. To those for ever immured within the walls, it was indeed the grave of the heart's best affections, and Marion's only pleasure was to look forward with hope to the time that should restore her to her parents and her home. She studied assiduously, and bade fair to realize all her father's wishes ; and in this she found the only consolation which the convent could offer her for their long separation.

So passed on the first few years of school life. The stilling influences around her had had their effect, Marion had grown calm, quiet, and reserved. But was her heart less warm, her feelings less fond and devoted No; they were but repressed, not extinguished; and she was conscious of a deep longing after happiness, a yearning for affection, which became but the more intense from her life of solitude. Situated as she was, it would have been strange if the subject of religion had not engaged much of her attention. The thought of devoting her life to God occurred to her at times, with an unutterable charm; but how to do so ? that was the question. Hers was a mind that dared to think for itself; and although she could not venture to give expression to her musings, she yet felt an inward loathing of convent life, and found it hard to believe, that to sacrifice life's best blessings could be pleasing to a benevolent Creator. She sought to conform in all things to the directions given her ;-her prayers became more frequent, her self-denial more austere; but still the heart was unsatisfied, and confession and penance failed to bring her any relief.

Her mind had been for some time in this state, when an incident occurred which was destined to influence her whole after life. Walking one day in the garden, at the usual hour of recrea

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tion, and wandering a little way from her companions, as was her frequent habit, her eye was caught by a white paper

which the wind was fluttering in her path. Taking it up, she found it to be the leaf of a book, and, glancing over it, her attention was arrested by these words : “ Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” Again and again she repeated the words; they came home to her heart, for what could more forcibly describe its cravings? “ These words are for me," she said to herself,—and with an instinctive feeling that her treasure must be hid if she would preserve it, she hastily concealed it in the bosom of her dress. She now watched every opportunity to be alone, that she might read more of those wonderful words, which had fastened with such power upon her soul. It was the fifth and part of the sixth chapter of Matthew, that had fallen into her hands, -a stray leaf of a Testament, either carried by the wind over the wall of the convent garden, or thrown there by some hand zealous to sow the good seed. It had fallen upon prepared ground. Hungry and thirsty indeed was the soul which now so eagerly drank in those precious words.

Marion was astonished at the power of the feelings awakened within her. Every word the leaf contained was soon imprinted on her memory, but those which had first caught her attention were still those which most deeply interested her mind. The promise that those who hungered and thirsted should be “ filled" with righteousness-should indeed be satisfied with a purity and holiness which their fainting spirits had craved, seemed to Marion the promise of happiness unutterable. But how was it to be obtained, how granted ? Marion read on, and the spirituality of the law began to reveal itself to her mind. No outward service, then, however rigorous, could satisfy the requirements of Him to whom the heart was an

This caused her many a sad and despairing thought, for the Spirit had begun his work, and was showing her something of the desperate wickedness of her fallen nature. She sought relief in prayer,—but here the system in which she had been brought up was like a false guide, turning her from the right path. Unmeaning forms, repeated without cessation, afforded her no comfort. She had never learned to pray in simplicity, as a "little child," and thus her ignorance shut her out from that unspeakable privilege. “Vain repetitions” were all that she had learnt, and in such was no solace.

Fearing to ask counsel of any around her, the oppression on her heart daily increased,-her mind preyed upon itself, until at length she became alarmingly ill. Her parents were sent

open book.

for, she was carried home, and watched over with anxious solicitude. The first medical advice was sought, and happily the best physician within reach was one who lived in the light of scripture truth, and who knew, through his own experience, of the one only remedy for sin-sick souls. A very few visits were sufficient to show. Dr. Mansfield that it was the mind of his patient, not the body that was affected. He expressed this opinion to her family, but found it impossible to convince them that any secret sorrow could weigh on the spirits of their cherished and happy Marion ! He then sought a private interview with his patient, in whom he felt great interest, and after reminding her that the various remedies he had tried had produced no favourable change in her health, he said, with great kindness, “Dear Miss de Lacy, you cannot conceal from me that there is some trouble of mind which is depressing you, and undermining your health. Allow me to speak to you as a friend and advise you to let


mother have your full confidence.”

Marion's agitation, as he spoke, showed that he had now touched the right spring. She was silent for a few minutes, and then answered, in a low and trembling voicem

My mother could do nothing for me, sir.” “ Your father, then. Will you not confide in him ?"

My father could not help me, sir.” Dr. Mansfield was silent for a few moments; he then said “My dear Miss de Lacy, I almost fear to say more-but I feel that

your health, nay, your life, depends upon your unburdening your mind of whatever it may be that is thus oppressing you. You shrink from speaking openly to those nearest to you.


you look on me as an old friend, and tell me if I can đo anything for you. Confide in me, my dear child, and, believe me, none can take a deeper interest in your welfare.”

Marion was much agitated. She knew not whether others had ever felt as she did, and for some minutes she pondered in silence on the impossibility of conveying to another mind any idea of the deep anxieties which filled her own. At length, turning away her face, she said, hastily, “Did you ever read these words — Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness : for they shall be filled'?”

Surprised and much affected, Dr. Mansfield answered her by continuing the passage

-“ Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are


pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers : for they shall be called the children of God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."


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You know it-you have read it too, then !” said Marion, whose eyes were now lighted up with animation. “Oh, tell me, where have you read it ? ”

“In the Bible," replied her friend. “ The Bible !--what is that ?".

“ It is God's holy word — His revealed will, which is given to show us the way of salvation.” As he spoke, Dr. Mansfield drew out a small pocket Testament, which was his constant companion, and finding the fifth chapter of Matthew, he placed the book in Marion's hand. She took it with delight, for she longed to search those pages; and if rest and peace were to be found on earth, where, she thought, should she find them but in that Holy Book ? Dr. Mansfield was not unobservant of her intense emotion ; gladly would he have spoken some words of comfort, but he felt that she was in the hands of One who was leading her by the right way, and who alone can pour consolation into the wounded heart.

He took her hand to bid farewell, and merely said, “ My dear child, you shall have that blessed book for your own : one verse of it is worth more than all the libraries of human wisdom in the world. May it be deeply blessed to you, and impart to you that holy peace which 'passeth all understanding.'

He knelt beside her, and offered a few words of simple, earnest prayer, that the Holy Spirit might guide her into all truth, and lead her to rest her weary spirit, in faith, upon that precious Saviour, who had borne all her griefs, and carried all her sorrows.

It was the


of one who had himself the joy of knowing God as his reconciled Father in Christ, and who lived in the sunshine of His presence ; and its child-like, confiding simplicity, seemed to Marion like a vista of another world. What a wide gulf lay between the darkness and misery of her soul, and the bright atmosphere in which his lived and mored! She pressed her Testament closer to her heart, and prayed that his petition might be granted, and that God's holy book might lead her to a knowledge of the way of life.

Dr. Mansfield left the house, prescribing for his patient as much repose and quiet as possible, and from that day a new phase of life opened upon Marion. She became a Bible reader. Her Testament was her constant companion; and her wish to be left much alone, secured her many an hour for her new and delightful study. The wonderful narrative of the gospels opened before her like a new world ; and, day by day, as she read on, the mists of her mind gradually cleared away beneath the bright beams of heavenly truth.


The plan of salvation revealed itself to her searching gaze. She began to see the dawning of a better day, and to look, in faith, upon the Sun of righteousness. And now the returning bloom of her cheek and happy smile on her lip began to gladden her parents' hearts, and remove all their anxieties for her.

A woman servant, who had lived for many years in the family, and who was a very zealous Romanist, had, however, for some time suspected that all was not right.

One day, when Marion had retreated as usual to her dressing room, and was deep in study, this woman suddenly stood before her, and, ere she had recovered from her surprise at the interruption, the book was taken from her hand, and the woman left the

She had carelessly left the door unfastened, contrary to her usual custom ; and now her treasure was gone.

There was not much said on the subject, but still enough to show that her offence was considered a very

serious one ;

and Marion was made bitterly to feel that her parents' trust and confidence in her was at an end. Exposed to a cold displeasure which she had never before experienced, and deprived of her only source of comfort, Marion again sunk under extreme illness.

Dreading the effect of this relapse into delicate health, and with all their anxieties thoroughly aroused for her safety, her parents again sent for Dr. Mansfield. A few minutes' conversation with his patient explained to him the whole state of the case, and, on his next visit, a Bible was left in her hands. This was the soul's medicine which Marion needed.

Her midnight hours were devoted to her happy studies, as the only time in which she could pursue them in safety.

But suspicion once excited could not easily be lulled to rest. By her parents' desire, the priest, Father Matthias, held long and frequent conversations with her, the result of which was his expressing himself much dissatisfied with the state of her mind, which he considered to be deeply tinctured with heresy. A family council was held to determine what course to adopt, and it was resolved by the priest and parents that a Roman Catholic husband should be found for Marion, and that she should be married with as little delay as possible.

Accordingly, arrangements were made. Mr. Gerard, a bigoted Romanist, was fixed on as the person on whom Marion's hand and fortune should be bestowed, and a day was appointed for the introduction. Of all this Marion was perfectly ignorant. One morning, on being summoned to the drawing room, she found her parents, Father Matthias, and another gentleman, a

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