« הקודםהמשך »
go as the
a previous knowledge and love of a better state, where the soul understands it not, and is not effectually attempered and formed to it. O get, then, the lovely image of the future glory into your minds. Keep it ever before your eyes. Imprint daily these words :—' I shall behold thy face, I shall be satisfied with thy likeness. Then will you die with your own consent, and go away, not driven, but allured and drawn. You will redeemed of the Lord, with everlasting joy upon your head; as those that know whither you go, even to a state infinitely worthy of
your desires and choice, and where it is best for you to be.” “ It can never be well with you till your own souls be a heaven to you,
and blessedness be a domestic, a home-dwelling inhabitant there; till you get a settled principle of holy quietude into your own breasts, and become the sons of peace, with whom the peace of God may find entrance and abode; till you have that treasure within you that will render you
insensible of any dependence on a foreign good, or fear of a foreign evil.” “TO have God always in view, as the director and end of all your actions; to make your eye crave leave of God, to consult him before you adventure upon anything, and implore his guidance and blessing; upon all occasions to direct your prayers to him and look up; to make your eye wait his commanding look, ready to receive all intimations of his will; this is an angelic life; to approve ourselves in everything to him, and act as always in his presence; to make our eye do him homage, and express our dependence and trust; surely there is much of heaven in this life, so we should endeavour to live here."
When we can thus view God as a Father and a friend, when we have been brought to live with him here, we shall not be afraid to dwell with him in heaven; death will cease to be regarded as an unwelcome enemy, and be viewed as a welcome friend, come to release the soul from the darkness of earth, and to conduct it to the presence of God and the everlasting light of heaven.
May this be the present experience of both reader and writer ; and when we come to wage the last encounter, may we with joy put off this our tabernacle, knowing that we have “ a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens !”
“O thou great Arbiter of life and death!-
All weight in this— let me live to Thee!”
PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON;
London: J. & W. RIDER, Printers, 14, Bartholomew Close.
I met him first upon the sea shore. It was a raw and gusty day; and the waves were dashing their white crests with a hoarse murmur against the base of the long ledge of rock, on which I had climbed, to see more distinctly a distant vessel that was tossing and heaving on the waters, and vainly endeavouring to enter the harbour. While I intently viewed it through my telescope, I was startled by a deep, low voice just beside me; for I had supposed myself to be perfectly alone: “You seem much interested in that solitary bark: is it so new to you to look at a thing labouring in troubled waters ? You may see that sight elsewhere." I instantly apologised to the stranger for blocking up his path ; for I stood in the narrowest part, where no one could pass me, and this had caused his address. He bowed haughtily, and passed on; and I could hear him say, in a tone of suppressed feeling, as he slowly paced along, “ Ay, am not I too, like yon heaving vessel, the sport of the wild and frantic elements ?” and then, changing his humour, he laughed a sarcastic laugh. I saw him again two or three times during my stay at Boulogne, but he was always alone, and treading some unfrequented path. He showed no inclination to speak, but merely greeted me with a cold and somewhat stern and dignified bow.
I afterwards learned some particulars of his history. He was of the younger branch of a noble English family, and had possessed an estate suitable to his rank. In early life he had married an amiable lady, who bore him one fair and lovely daughter. To the world's eye he appeared happy, the object of envy or respect; but, alas! one fatal vice soon blighted the pleasant prospect. He was addicted to gaming; and after the usual fluctuations of fortune, he found himself reduced to a pittance, compared with what he had formerly enjoyed. Still the baneful passion preserved its ascendency in his mind.
carefully collected the wrecks of his property, and staked them at one desperate throw. He was unsuccessful; when, roused almost to frenzy, he offered to play for double or quits, as it is called. This, with similar ill-fortune, he twice or thrice repeated; and Mr. left the den of iniquity that night, not merely stripped of everything he had possessed, but under engagements to pay besides more than he had ever owned. His wife was acquainted with his calamity only by the wild and woeful countenance with which he returned home that miserable night; and early in the morning, with a brief adieu, he left her and his child for ever. She sunk under the stroke; and the child was soon afterwards laid by her side in the quiet grave.
The news of his bereavement, it was said, had somewhat affected his hard heart; but he had imbibed infidel principles, and the sources of those better feelings which characterize the human family, and distinguish men from brutes, were well-nigh dried up within him. He was now living, an outcast from society, on a small pension, barely sufficient to cover his wants, supplied to him by a wealthy relative.
I saw him a second time in a city in the south of Europe, in which I happened one Sunday to perform a service for the English residents at the hotel where I was staying. I perceived him glide in, and take his seat in a corner of the room, as if he wished to escape notice; but there was no mistaking his lofty brow and commanding figure. He told me afterwards that it was mere curiosity, for which he could hardly account, that drew him that morning into our assembly. But I had no communication with him then, for the instant the service was concluded, with a cold and haughty look, he hastened out of the room.
Years rolled away, and I had almost forgotten the Outcast. At last, I was spending a summer on the banks of the Rhine, and one morning I sallied out to take a long ramble amid that lovely and romantic scenery. It was from Bingen that I started; and I sometimes kept close by the margin of the noble stream, and sometimes climbed the terraced heights that girded in its sparkling waters. I frequently paused to contemplate the prospect around me, with, I trust, something of the Christian's aspiration, “ My Father made them all.” I know scarcely any country, in its particular kind, to be classed with this. It is true that the hills are not high enough to deserve the name sometimes given them of mountains, neither are the prospects remarkable for their extent, or sublime for their wildness; but there is a varied succession of rich and picturesque scenery, and as the traveller glides down the river, he might almost imagine himself traversing a fairy land. The vineyards thickly clothe in successive tiers the sides of the hills ; every height is crested with some fantastic ruin; and in every nook is seated some rural village or fortified town. History lends her aid to throw a charm over the scene, as she testifies of the heroic deeds heretofore enacted on these spots; and imagination can almost repeople them with the fierce warriors that once here grappled in fierce and deadly conflict for booty or for fame.
It was a lovely morning when I set out on my excursion. I strolled along the river-bank till I came just opposite to Rüdesheim, with its three old castles. Then I climbed the pretty hill which is crowned by the white chapel of St. Roch, glistening in the bright sun. It was St. Roch's day, and multitudes of pilgrims were assembling to pay their vows at its shrine, and present their offerings on its altar. But it was too melancholy a spectacle to contemplate their superstitious ceremonies; and therefore I cast but a hasty glance upon the magnificent Rhine, washing the square tower of Bishop Hatto, and rushing over the rocks which stud its bed at the base of the castle of Ebrenfels, and then I resolved to explore the valley of the Nahe.
I followed for a long time the course of this stream, and after traversing a considerable extent of country, I came to a small town, where I purposed to remain for the night. Here the master of the inn informed me that a countryman of mine was there lying at the point of death. He said he was in a lodging close by; and his desolate condition,- for he appeared to have no friends,—had excited some considerable notice in the place, for his illness was brought on by an accidental fall while exploring a neighbouring ruined castle. This intimation was quite enough to awaken my sympathy; and therefore, sending
THE ENGLISH MONTHLY TRACT SOCIETY, 27, RED LION SQUARE, LONDON.