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From this time I visited her almost daily, in humble confidence that my prayer would be granted ; resting on the divine assurance that nothing is too hard for the Lord,* and that with Him all things are possible.f Having, as I have stated, fallen from better circumstances, her mind was often disposed to revert to subjects with which her early days had made her familiar; and although this seemed very natural

, I endeavoured as much as I could, without wounding her feelings, to check it, as having a tendency to defeat the great object I had in view in visiting her. At times I was at a loss how to proceed with her. On one occasion she told me my devotion was exclusive and erroneous. Your prayers,' she said, “are imaginative. You entreat the Spirit in whom I do not believe. You supplicate the Redeemer, whom I consider merely a teacher sent from God. You bring discredit to the Supreme Being by describing yourself-the work of his own hands-as a guilty creature, without possessing any inherent goodness. I This is the enthusiastic scheme of your deluded imagination.' I was taught by all this that faith, and not reason, was to be kindled into exercise ; and that all her powers within her must be prostrated at the foot of the cross, before she could receive its humbling truths “as a little child.” § Months rolled


any evidence of change could be discerned. I saw no outward sign of inward grace; and the only material alteration which I discovered in her was a softened manner, and increased attention to my accommodation. Her cavilling powers were so shrewd, that I found it expedient to rest simply on the word of God and prayer. When any passage powerfully asserted the Divinity of our Lord, she would turn away

and not unfrequently make some remark of a discouraging nature. In this state things went on, my hopes and fears for her alternately prevailing, till at length, in one of my accustomed visits, while I was reading to her the sixth verse of the ninth chapter of Isaiah, “ Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given : and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace," ---evincing by her manner the deep workings which were going on within, she exclaimed, Then Christ is God, and I am a lost, undone rebel: J have sinned against the Holy Ghost, committed the unpardonable sin, trodden under foot the blood of the covenant, stifled conviction, and

quenched the Spirit which shall not always strive with man. That Holy Book condemns me,

* Jeremiah xxxii. 27. + Luke i. 37. See Gen. vi. 5; Psalm li.; Isaiah liii. 6; and Rom. üi. 9-20..

Mark X. 15.

her eyes,

and calls loudly for vengeance. You are one of God's childrenI belong to the evil one.' We wept and prayed together. My heart was full. I felt that angels were rejoicing over her, * and as I walked home seemed as though I could call on the inanimate creation to “magnify the Lord with me.'

From this time she required all the consolations of the Gospel to be presented to her. As she became increasingly acquainted with the depravity of her nature, she was lost in admiration of the freeness of divine grace. She saw and felt the suitableness of the great remedy, though, at first, totally unable to apply it to herself. The divine agency was further needed; and how graciously was it at last granted! The Sun of Righteousness had dawned in her heart,t but great and long was the conflict before he rose fully on the horizon. Often for successive days and nights would she deplore the darkness of her understanding, the deadness of her heart, and the coldness and indifference of her feelings. These regrets were accompanied by floods of tears. The Scriptures were invaluable to her, and most bitterly did she condemn herself for having so long neglected them. *I have one ray of hope,' she used to say, which arises from the first prayer which you offered up in this abode being granted. God has shown me my sins; and if one petition is answered, it encourages me to supplicate again and again.' Eager now to visit the hitherto neglected courts of her God, she availed herself of the first opportunity; and was drawn there, through frost and snow, in a little chaise provided for her. This was a great effort to her, as it was a public recantation of her known former life and opinions; but, under the influence of divine grace, she became weaned alike from human applause and human censure. She continued to write bitter things against herself, lamenting her want of faith, love, and genuine repentance; sometimes exclaiming, “I have sinned away the day of grace, and a holy God will never admit so unrenewed a soul into his immediate presence.' At the same time the Scriptures became increasingly precious to her, and, as far as her great age and infirmities permitted, were constantly read by her. I advised her to treasure them up, and to pray over passages committed to memory in her childhood; which, surprising to say, after slumbering so long, neglected and forgotten, in her mind, were now. brought to recollection. I After a continued period of much despondeney, she received me one morning with a countenance illuminated with joy. “I have hope from the Lord,' she said ; he has met me in the history of Manoah.' She repeated the twenty-third verse of the thirteenth chapter of Judges, and begged me to read it to her * Luke xv. 7 and 10. Malachi iv. 2. # John xiv. 26.

I did so.

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Surely,” she said, “God would not have sent you to me, if he had purposed to condemn me.' She wept, but they were tears of gratitude. Henceforward, everything she did seemed increasingly accompanied by prayer; as, for instance, while washing her hands, her prayer would be that her guilty soul might be cleansed from all sin in the blood of Jesus. The Bible was everything to her, and it now whispered peace. “I have laid help upon one that is mighty”* was a passage peculiarly blessed to her soul. In this manner did she receive support from the Giver of all consolation.

The same Holy Spirit, who had convinced and converted her, now manifested Himself to her as the Divine Comforter.+

And now the period arrived when she was called upon to give full proof of the stability of her faith. I trembled ; and besought the Lord on her behalf. Her son, Edward H-, a professed infidel, was brought in a dying state to her forlorn abode. Great was his indignation upon finding his aged mother no longer a willing recipient of his erroneous principles ; and all the artillery of his wit, sarcasm, and irony, were levelled against, what he called, hypocritical cant. But no one could pluck her out of her Father's hand.” The feeling manifested by him against myself was so violent, that, at her request, I discontinued, for a period, my visits to her, and left her to rest exclusively on the divine arm. Upon parting she said, "I deserve all this, and much more—for have I not reviled the Son of God ? but let us meet together daily at our usual hour, and plead at the throne of grace for my wretched child who is so violently opposed to the means used for his spiritual instruction. When the church clock strikes ten at night we will pray

for each other.' After some weeks had elapsed her son died. On my first visit to her afterwards, she was watching for me at the gateway. 'Is there any hope ?' I said. The anguish depicted on her countenance induced me to add, “Yes, for the living. Your own soul must be the object of your solicitude.' You a19 right,' she replied'; one soul is lost for ever. As a parent I am responsible for it; God forbid I should again trample under foot the blood of the covenant.' g

The poignancy of her grief visibly affected her health, but seemed to increase the interest she felt in the spiritual welfare of all around her. I have heard her rejoice over sleepless nights, as affording favourable opportunities of uninterrupted prayer for herself and others.

She often requested me to enumerate the sick and afflicted whom I visited, that she might supplicate for them at the throne of grace. At this time she * Psalm lxxxix. 19 +John xiv. 16. † John x, 28, 29.

§ Hebrews x, 29.


was visited by a clergyman who was incredulous as to her renewed heart, who asked who, or what, had wrought this wonderful change. May I not answer,” she said, in the words of my Saviour, “ Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven."* " Lord, I believe;” she added, “help thou mine unbelief." 't

Increasing infirmities now made it manifest that the time of her own departure was at hand, and I became anxious that the peace imparted to her might be visible in her dying hour; but this desire I submitted to Him who best knows how to glorify his own name. In one of my usual visits to her, I perceived that her end was very fast approaching. She was alone ; a kind and pious nurse, who had volunteered her services to attend upon her, being absent. She turned her head at the sound of my voice, but was unable at the moment distinctly to articulate. You know me?' I said. A motion of her head expressed her assent.

you know your Saviour, and feel his presence ?' She raised her eyes and hands to heaven, and bowed her head. I knelt in prayer; and praised God. How much cause had I to do so! Her speech afterwards returned, and in answer to a remark I made, she exclaimed, ““He can save to the uttermost.” † “ Even so, come, Lord Jesus." ' This was my last interview with her. After I left her, she requested her kind nurse to read the third chapter of St. John's Gospel to her, and dwelt with much delight upon the sixteenth verse, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” She repeated a verse of the hymn,

“ Rock of ages, cleft for me;" took an affectionate farewell of those around her; and in the course of the night, retaining her faculties to the last, at the advanced age of eighty-three, sank to rest.

It seems scarcely possible to read this narrative without observing in it a remarkable illustration of the working of those principles which, under the name of Christianity, are, in truth, diametrically opposed to all its essential and distinguishing doctrines. The foregoing account provides us with no details as to the early views and life of M. H.; but from what is made known respecting her, and what is stated in reference to her unhappy son, the necessary inference is that she had long lived an avowed unbeliever in the great doctrines of Revelation : she did not believe in the Divinity of the Son of God, and denied * Matthew xvi. 17. + Mark ix. 24. 1 Heb. vi. 25.

Rev. xxii. 20.

altogether the existence of the Holy Ghost. Her religion at the best, if deserving the name, was a mere system of Natural Theology. And what was the fruit of it? Though acknowledging, in a general way, the being of God, she never entered his courts, or bowed the knee before Him. Though professing to believe in Jesus as a teacher sent from Him, she utterly disregarded his precepts. She lived, in short, “ without God and without hope in the world.” And how melancholy the result! Ignorant of the essential holiness of the Great Ruler of the universe, before whom angels veil their faces while they cry one to another, “ Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of Hosts,"* she dared to rest on her own miserable character for salvation, and so to abide the scrutiny for eternity-exemplifying the truth of the assertion,

"Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.” Uninformed of her true character in the sight of God, as a fallen and depraved creature, dead in trespasses and sins, she was heedless of the great remedy for sin. Unacquainted with the darkness and deadness of her spiritual understanding, she disregarded the teaching of that Divine Spirit whose office and prerogative it is to take of the things of Christ and reveal them to the heart;t and thus she rejected the invitations of mercy and the blessings of salvation together.

But while the history under review teaches us all this, how striking and convincing the testimony which it bears to the suitableness of the Gospel dispensation, rightly understood, to the necessities of man ! No sooner did it please God, by his Holy Spirit, to convince M. H. of sin, than she perceived and admitted the truth of all which had been advanced to her on this point. The very first spiritual intimation to her soul that she was a lost sinner, showed her at the same time, that in the truths which she had so long despised and rejected was the only remedy suited to her circumstances. Her experience became that of the great apostle, and, in truth, of every

awakened and converted character :: “ Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." She continued to write bitter things against herself; but, having been taught by the Spirit of God the danger of her condition, she saw and felt that there was no other way of escape. Her visionary scheme of salvation by the uncovenanted mercies of God-by the deeds of the law—was scattered to the winds; and her language and her confidence alike were, “ Lord, save, or I perish.”

* Isaiah vi. 3.

John xvi. 13, 14.

# Acts iv. 12.

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