Page images
PDF
EPUB

and how did they rise up?" It was owing to the Bible--that precious volume had been circulated among some of the natives, and a spirit of inquiry was the happy result, with a demand for the Protestant pastor, and the place of Protestant worship. How does God honour his own Word! How transforming are its truths, when received into the heart by faith, and brought home with power by the Spirit! Such had been its awakening effect, where the providence of God had then directed my footsteps. “I will do, then, what I can,” I said to myself, “to nourish this spirit-opportunities are never wanting to those that seek them.” It may be little that I shall be able to do for God's glory, and for the spiritual welfare of my fellow-creatures; but it is recorded with approbation, of a female in the Gospel, “ She hath done what she could;" and we are still further encouraged by the assurance that he who gives even “a cup of cold water to a disciple, in the name of his Lord, shall by no means lose his reward.”

... I found Mrs. —- very ill, and almost deprived of speech. I tried to catch every word, as I felt very anxious to know in what state her mind was. She said she had always done her duty. She had been kind and good to every one, and she thought the Almighty unjust to deal so hardly with her. She did not think she had deserved it. I told her that she might have been kind to her fellow-creatures, but that, in the sight of God, she was a sinner, and so far from having done her duty, she had often sinned, and offended God all her life. That if the Almighty were to deal with her as she had deserved she would have misery here as well as hereafter. That it was sinful to say the Almighty, who had been so long-suffering and patient towards her, was unjust, for that the affliction which he had now sent her might prove the greatest blessing in her whole life. It might be the means of making her feel herself to be a sinner, and of bringing her to Jesus, the Saviour of sinners. I then read to her St. John xv., and concluded with prayer; she thanked me, and begged I would come again. The next day I found her rather better, and very glad to see me. She still spoke feebly, but seemed anxious to hear the Bible read, and listened very attentively. I was not then aware she was a Roman Catholic. She expressed much pleasure, also, in having tracts read to her. Whenever I left her, she always urged me to come again very soon. Some time after I had first seen her, her health was improved, her voice gained strength, and she appeared recovering. She told me she felt quite well, but that it was not the doctors who had raised her up, but the Word of God, and the light she began to feel in her mind; for she said, I now feel I am a great sinner. I have murmured against God, who has been so merciful and good towards me. I told her it was the Spirit of God which had convinced her of sin, and the same Spirit, if she prayed for it, would lead her to the Saviour of sinners; that Jesus came into the world not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. “ Yes,” she said, “I feel I am a great sinner, but I will not be afraid. I know Christ will wash me from all my sins in his own blood. Oh! what a weight is removed from my mind. It is this that makes me better.” The change in her was wonderful. She was not like the same person, either in mind or body. She was always, from that time, cheerful, and seldom spoke of her sufferings, except with thankfulness that she was so much better. While I was with her one day, the priest entered. I felt rather surprised, never having once thought of asking her of what religion she was; her husband being an Englishman and a Protestant, I took it for granted that she was the same. He quite disapproved of my reading the Bible, and told me it was very well for me to supply the bodily wants of the poor, but it was forbidden for them to read or hear the Scriptures, except as interpreted by the Church. I told him it was the Word of God, and that none had the right to forbid its being read by every one,

We had a long argument on the subject. He said they could not understand the Scriptures. I answered, “ - I believe every one will understand them, who sincerely prays for the Holy Spirit to enlighten and instruct

pray?"

them.” After this conversation, he turned to Mrs. and said, “Have you anything to confess to me? Anything on your mind?” “Mons. le Confesseur, nothing." “No! nothing to say to me?" “ No, Monsieur." “ Well! you have always done your duty, and you

« Yes, Monsieur.” “Very well; pray always three times a day to Jesus, Marie, and St. Joseph. Receive the blessing." Upon which he crossed her and departed. When he had left, we prayed that it might please the Almighty to open his eyes, and shew him his blindness and his errors. For I believe, generally speaking, the priests are ignorant of the Scriptures themselves, and, therefore, little able to instruct others. I asked her, if she now felt she had done her duty always?“ Oh, no! oh, no! I have never done it.” “ Can you now pray to the Virgin and St. Joseph ?” “Oh, no! I pray only now to my Saviour. He only can forgive me.” In a few days the priest came again, and asked her if she would confess, and receive indulgences at the jubilee? She answered, “I have confessed.” “To whom?” “To God, my great Master.” “And you are satisfied with that?" "Yes; more than satisfied; I am contented and happy.” “And you will not receive indulgences to-morrow ?”

“I want no indulgences from man. I have received great indulgences from God: he has forgiven all my sins through the blood of Jesus Christ." “ Then pray to Jesus, and Marie, and Joseph.” “ To Jesus; yes, I pray to him every day, every hour, but not to Marie; she cannot help me. Her husband answered, “I have never yet found in the Bible one word about praying to the Virgin.” Upon which the priest took his leave, saying no

The next time that he called, he only said, Pray to your God three times a day;" which struck her very much. She said, it put her in mind of Daniel, who kneeled down and prayed three times a day to his God. He asked her if she would like a little wine. She said, “I thank you; I have everything I want or wish for amply provided for me.”

“ Then, will

you

not confess?” No; I do not wish to confess to man;

more.

they are mortal like myself, and cannot forgive sins. God only can do that, and I pray to him all the day; and I know the blood of Christ was shed for me.” She told me one day, when I went to visit her, “Oh! I have had a hard trial and struggle to-day, since four o'clock this morning. My mind has been exercised so much- . so much! all the sins that I ever committed, since I was a child, have been brought before me as clearly as if they had been committed to-day. Oh! it is right that I should thus feel them, for I said I had not sinned; but I am not afraid, for my Saviour died for sinners. I trust I am pardoned.” She was a native of Paturages, and knew Celestine l'Aveugle de Paturages. I thought it would interest her to hear the little history of her published by the Tract Society. She told me it had given her so much pleasure. She remembered her. How kind she was to her when she was a child. She was a great deal with her. “Oh!" she said, “she was a good woman. Every line in that book is true, just as if she spoke it herself.” She said, she herself remembered the priests going round to collect the Bibles and destroy them. She hid one in the thatch of the house ; but she then knew very little of its value. It was not till a month before her death, that she felt it contained the words of eternal life. Her husband said one day, when I was looking at the date in his Bible, “Yes, I have had it twenty years; but I never understood it till now.” She seemed every day to have a greater desire to hear the Scriptures, and often repeated the words to herself after me, as if to impress them upon her mind. Sometimes, when I got up to leave her, she would say, “Are you going? and without a prayer? Oh! I seem to hunger for prayer.” And after, she would say, “Oh! that has done me so much good; I am quite strengthened.” She always prayed with great fervour, and never thought she could have too much of the Word of God and prayer. I told her I had read a tract, which was an account of a very learned man, who had spent all his life in study and literary pursuits, but who had no religion. One day he was struck very forcibly,

by seeing a figure of the Saviour on the cross, with this inscription : “ This did I for thee, what doest thou for me?” He asked himself the question, “ What have I done for Christ?" Nothing. This made a deep impression upon him, and he determined to give up every thing, to publish the Gospel, and to live to his Saviour, who had given his life for him. She said, “How very remarkable that was! What doest thou for me?' Yes; what do I for my Saviour? Nothing! Oh! if I might live to glorify him! If I might tell to all around me what he has done for me! I will spend the rest of my life in his service: oh! if others could know what it is to have God for their Father and Friend, and Jesus for their Saviour! But God's will, and not mine, be done. Whether he sees fit that I shall die or live, I pray to be his.” She had great pleasure in hearing the third chapter of St. John. She said that chapter alone was sufficient to shew the way to salvation. We must be born again, or we cannot see the kingdom of heaven;" and, “the Spirit bloweth where it listeth.” “Oh! yes; it has blown upon me; I feel it--yes, I feel it; oh! yes, I feel it;-how changed I am! I bless God every hour ---every moment. I can never forget the change. Oh! how different. I thought I was not a sinner ; but now --what a mercy!--what a blessing to seek me in my last illness! I never sought the Lord, but he came to seek and to save that which was lost.” Adverting to the 14th verse, “ As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness," &c. &c., she said, “Yes, I know I have eternal life. I shall not perish; and none can pluck me out of my Saviour's hand.” Again, (verse 16.) “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son." She also repeated the following: “There is now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus" “ Passed from death unto life!" Ephesians ii. was also a chapter I often read to her. She seemed always to feel strongly the force of these words, “ And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins." “Oh, yes! I was- I was dead, but He it was who quickened me; I feel it. How good God has been to

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »