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The greater part of this time her brother was the every other. On this hazardous ground, however, subject of indisposition, and Martha had an oppor- Mariha stood as a conqueror, and without a contunity for showing those small and manifold atten- flict. There was no meanness, no selfishness in tions which contribute so powerfully to endear the her love. She simply desired the object of it to members of relative life to each other. The many possess the utmost possible degree of happiness, arrangements necessary on the settlement of a little without making it à condition that she inust be household were made without disturbance. She either its source or its medium. She knew that her did every thing to relieve me as much as possible brother would still have all the happiness which from the burden of pastoral duty, and unitormly his sister could impart, and she looked at a more sought to report something that might gratisy, while intimate connection as multiplying the means of she withheld the trifles that might irritate. So securing to him a full and overtlowing cup of gladmuch was this her practice, that her very presence ness. seemed to be the herald of some good tidings, and Her sister, therefore, was received with expandto cperate as a charm in dissipating the melancholy cd arms. She freely conferred with her on the rewhich too frequently attends a state of nervous ex- quisite arrangemenis, and made every possible precitation. No one ever studied another more than paration for her comfort on becoming a member of she studied her brother; no one, in doing this, ever ihe family. She gave her at once the place to more completely forgot herself.
which she considered her entitled, in her thoughts Her attentions, too, were as delicate as they were and attentions. She facilitated her introduction to assiduous. She knew when to act, when to be still. our connections; and she did every thing that preShe entered by the power of sympathy into the case sence of mind and delicacy of feeling could sugof the sufferer; every want was commonly antici: gest, to remove the awkwardness arising from a pated, every desire generally known without the sudden entrance on untried relationships and novel
tervention of speech. How often of an evening, society. Her sister retains the most grateful imin seeking rest frum labor discharged under pain pressions of this early and disinterested kindness; and weakness, on the sofa, have 1 traced the varia- and I should not do justice to the subject, did I noi tions of my own feeling in her faithful and varying take occasion to couple her expression of them countenance; and how often, when she was con- with my own. Such, indeed, is the temper in scious of it, have I seen them in a moment sup- which a young person, content, for one she loves, pressed, and her features lighted up with a soft be- to leave her beloved and familiar home, and to nevdence, which spoke only of the gentlest love! dwell with strangers, should ever be received.It is particularly touching, too, in going over her But, for the want of this, how often are those events papers, to find, that while her sympathy was so which we denominate a union of families, the proquiet and silent in my society, it was enabled to be lific root of corroding jealousies, bitter contentions, so by the frequent utterance of the inost tender de- and chilling antipathies. sires and ers in her closet. Would that I could In the years sixteen and seventeen, Martha's durecord her excellence and my gratitude in a less ties and pleasures in town were several times interperishable form!
rupted by the state of her health. With two or Affliction is often as beneficial to social as to three exceptions, she retired to Cheshunt, a place Christian life. It gives simplicity to the character, already pleasing to her by many remembrances. levels the differences of mind and situation, and Her young friend had, indeed, left the neighborfacilitates the mutual flow of affection. This alone hood; but many persons were familiar to her, and seemed to be necessary to make Martha's attach- especially a widow, with whom she took up her ment to her brother as strong and perfect as human quiet residence. This worthy woman had seen nature can be conceived to exercise. Accustomed better and worse days than those which were now as she was to think most lowly of herself, and to passing over her. She had walked in the sunshine, estimate her brother much too highly, affliction ap- and contended with the storm; and she now sought peared needful to place us more on an equality in only an humble shelter from life's changes, that her partial opinion. Under such visitations she she might peacefully pass the remaining months of was constrained to perceive that she could really her pilgrimage in waiting for the consolation of Isbe of servics to one whom she was disposed to think rael. With such a person Martha's spirit was comof as only serving her. Affliction made him more pletely at home. A most sincere friendship grew sensibly dependant on her. Her hand could supply up between them; and her friend, in the very lonehis wants, could lighten his burdens, could direct liness of her widowhood, learned to rejoice afresh his affairs; and that arm on which she was habitu- in the Goodness which had directed to her an indiated to lean could be well content in seeking sup- vidual who was even as a daughter. port from hers. How tenderly would she press it In the visits of this period Martha possessed a to her side, and give it more relief than it sought! more equal and happy state of mind than formerly, In such circumstances, her love was invigorated by and she determined to enter on more vigorous plans her pity ; the currents of mutual sympathy were put of doing good. Freed from the usual claims on more completely on a level, and they flowed into her time, she gave a limited portion of it to her each other more readily and yet more peacefully own edification, and the large remainder to contiThese occasional sufferings are brightened in the nuous efforts for benefiting others. Parts of every recollection that they brought us nearer together, day in each week, and frequently the whole day, and gave me a yet larger share in my sister's heart were consecrated to these exertions; the objects of than I might otherwise have possessed.
them may be best explained in the following memoWith a strong affection, the poisonous plants of randa, which I find written in the commencement jealou y often grow up. Bu: there was nothing cx- of her pocket book for the year sixteen :clusive in Martha's attachments; had there been, it “Prayer- Distribution of tracis-Conversationwould have been detected at this period. I was Instruction of the young— Visitation of the poor." now anticipating a relationship which would neces- The efficacy of means of usefulness depends, sarily interfere with the situation she was so pleased not on their imposing and expensive character, but to hold in my family, and which she might be tempt on their skilful and earnest application. These ed to conclude would greatly affect even her place simple means were employed by Martha zealously in my heart. Such a trial as this has often been and effectually. She knew not ihe restraints which found too powerful for the mother, the sister, or the she necessarily felt in the metropolis. The cottagers friend, whose devotedness could have overcome i she visited were generally known in their neighborhood; and she could commonly learn enough to di- , access to an individual or a cottage, she embraced rect her conduct. The father of the family was the present opportunity without scruple. She could usually absent, and the mother and children were never think that coulage out of the way, or that at home; to these she could easily win her way, by time lost, in which she was endeavoring to do good. the most unassuming and sympathetic manners; When she arrived more immediately in the scene and the impressions of her presence and lessons of the day's exertions, if visiting the neighborhood were, in most cases, so successful, as to induce for the first time, she generally made her way to them to beg a repetition of the kindness.
some worthy person, of whom she had learned a The limits of these efforts were only bounded by few particulars
, or to some one dwelling which apstrength and time, and scarcely by these. She laid peared more inviting than the rest, and sought "a the whole surrounding country under this moral cup of cold water." For this she returned a trifling cultivation, beginning nearer home, and so passing acknowledgment, and this disposed the individual outward, to the utmost line of labor. I have found to more kindly conversation. After regarding the private minutes, in the same little pocket-book, of claims of the inhabitants here, she sought some inihe division of her labors. They occur as follows: formation of those in the vicinity, and thus procured
“ Cheshunt-Waltham-The Common-Berk- a key to most of the surrounding dwellings. She hamstead-Newgate-street-Wormley;" allowing now proceeded in her course, entering every colone place to a day, or part of a day.
tage where she found a welcome, in the spirit of The following are courses for the entire day:
:- the primitive disciples, breathing peace around her, "Wormly West End-Over the Common-Easing- and bequeathing it as a sacred legacy behind her. ham-Bayfield, &c.—Home through Hertford." Having passed through her work here, she turned " To Enfield Over the Common."
her face homeward, making the same pauses on " Take the road through Nasing to Epping." her road, seldom caring to reach her habitation till " To Hatfield by Northaw-Hadley.
the day began to close. It was solely by these alWhen the apostle Paul says he preached the gos- ternations of repose and progress, that Martha, pel " from Jerusalem round about to Illyricum," it with little strength and slighi refreshments, was is impossible to judge of the extent of his labors enabled to travel over so large a portion of ground without a reference to the map; nor can these as must, without explanation, approach to ihe inChristian visits to the poor be appreciated without credible. an allusion to the relative distances of the places. On one of these exploring excursions, following And when it is stated that the nearer ones embrace the current incidents of the morning, she arrived a circuit of from six to eight miles, and the farther at a place called Newgate-street. The name which ones a circuit of fourteen, eighteen, twenty, and describes it, however, is not likely to suggest a just eren two-and-twenty miles from the point of resi- idea of it. It is a small hamlet, resting on the verdence, it will, undoubtedly, create a sentiment of dant bosom of a gentle eminence, which springs astonishment. I confess I had never known that a from the surrounding pastures. The cottages fringe female, in such circumstances, solitary, feeble, con- the edges of this somewhat circular elevation, withtending with a high degree of bodily suffering, and out assuming any thing of a set and artificial apwithout any facilities to her exertions, could ever pearance. They are detached and diversified in have ventured on them with perseverance, had they form and position ; yet all are simple and chaste. not been actually accomplished in the life of my Their base is relieved by the aspiring Powers, and sister.
their soft brown hoofs half hidden in the overhangIf any are anxious clearly to mark the springs ing and nodding foliage. The eye is carried to of action, where the act itself is so sustained and them by “the merry green,” which, animated with powerful, I am happy in being able to assist the in- rustic figures, forms a beautiful foreground; while quiry. I find in the same pocket-book, and at the pretty vistas are often breaking on the sight between foot of these circuits, as if to keep them under the ihe cottages, revealing the descending glade, softeye whenever the effort was to be made, the follow-ened by shadows, and bounded by swelling hills ing minutes :
crowned with wood, and basking in the warm and A soul is of infinitely more value than a world! blessed light of heaven. There is a completeness Think not, then, that any effort for its salvation is about this humble spot which satisfies the eye; there loo difficult to be attempted!"
is a freshness which invigorates the taste; there is " The glory of Jehovah should be your CONSTANT, a quietude which soothes the soul. It speaks of seYOUT ONLY aim?"
paration from the world; of ignorance of the hackThus it may be seen, that her motives were as neyed ways of life; and exemption from its vices simple as her means, and it was their simplicity and its snares. And of how many spots in our picwhich constituted their power and their glory. turesque and happy land may all ihis, and more
After this elucidation of motive, it may yet be than this, be said? desirable to ascertain how Martha' economized so Martha, coming unexpectedly on this scene, fed small a portion of bodily strength as she possessed, on it with a relish which ever afterward made it to endure such lengthened and apparently severe sweet to her memory; but no illusions of taste could exercises.
induce her to conclude that the inhabitants were as Whenever she was about to visit a more distant pure and as happy as their situation suggested. neighborhood, she devoted the whole day to the She knew that man, in his best estate, is still ignoobject. After taking an early breakfast, and parti- rant, vain, and sinful; and here she dreamed of no cularly imploring a divine blessing on the engage- exception. She made her visits; distributed her ments of the day, she quitted her dwelling, usually counsels and her tracts; and acquainted herself with a reticule in her hand, in which were com- with their moral condition. She found that these monly deposited a hard boiled egg, a pencil and people were five miles from their parish church, paper, her Testament, and a good assortment of and that they had no means of instruction within tracts. She started in a slow pace, and, in reaching their reach. That the fathers, from having no emthe farthest point of destination, she relieved her- ployment for their time, acquired the habit of passself by many rests and calls. She considered that ing most of the Sabbath at the village pot-house ; the moment she entered on her walk her work be- and that this wretched habit had opened the engan; and her eye was eagerly in search of some
trance to others, injurious to their character and the object which she might assist to make wiser and comfort of their families. The mothers, indeed, happier. If any little incident gave her favorable I remained true to their domestic duties; but neither father nor mother nor child had the attention di
CHAPTER XVII. rected, from year to year, to any thing beyond life's
VICISSITUDES. 1818 transitory concerns. Yet many expressed a con- The winter of one thousand eight hundred and cern to observe the worship of the Sabbath, if the eighteen Martha spent in town, and principally means were within their power; and were desirous with me. She maintained, through this period, her that their children should receive a better educa- average state of health, but was subject to a great tion than had been granted to themselves. deal of local uneasiness and acute pain. She now
This information atfected Martha most deeply. found in our family an infant relative; and the inHere were a people surrounded with the light of terest she took in him contributed, as much as any truth, and yet sitting in darkness; in the midst of a thing could, to make her forget her suffering. She Christian land, and yet without a school, without a was particularly fond of this child, and could never sanctuary, without any one to care for their soul; do enough for it; indeed, the difficulty was to preliving like the brute in their pastures, alive only to vent her using such exertions for its amusement as sensitive enjoyment, and dying also like the brüte, might have done her real injury. I have frequently as ignorantly, though not as safe. The external seen, in her attempts to divert and please it, the signs of their happiness only rendered their spiritual expressions of deep anguish and winning kindness, wretchedness the more deplorable. Martha looked pass in quick succession over her features--the at on the lovely spot as her Saviour looked on the out- fecting representatives of bodily distress, and of an ward magnificence of Jerusalem, and wept; and affection which was far above its control. her sympathy settled down into a resolution often Recently introduced into the relationship of to visit this place, particularly to notice it in her parents, we were, at this time, beginning a course prayers, and to use her best efforts to put its inhabi- of reading on education, and we made it the tants nearer the means of religious inprovement. subject of conversation and remark. In this study
The days spent in these benevolent exercises Martha took as earnest a share as we could poswere, in the review, some of the most pleasant and sibly do. Education of the young was one of her important of her life. It is little to say that she favorite subjects. She had derived many just views never met with insult or molestation of any kind; on it from experience, and many from desultory she seldom met with neglect; and, in most cases, reading; but she felt it had not received that attenshe was received with undissembled gratitude and tion which its merits and her attachment claimed kindness. As she became known in some of her for it. She was now delighted with the opportufavorite circuits, she would be welcomed on her nity, and we entered on it with the more vigor, beway by smiling faces and simple courtesies; groups cause we had a beloved companion, who would iake of happy children would often be gathered round so animated a part in it. Discussion often arose in her resting-place, reposing on her knee, and hanging our progress, and it was always welcomed, for it on her lips, attracted by her winsome manners and frequently elicited truth, and never ended in a seritempting rewards; and, though far from seeking ous difference of opinion. These exercises were such offerings, the thankful tear would sometimes among our pleasant recollections. There was a freshfall in her presence, and the blessing that would not ness of feeling about them; the study itself was a be refused an utterance, would sometimes descend most inviting one to us all; and the dear babe, which on her head. The benevolence of her errand called was usually seated on our knee, or reposing in his basinto play the kindliest parts of human character; sinett, was a living and common motive to its pursuit. she communed with her kindred on the best of It is natural to conclude that Martha, restored to terms; she walked in the warm glow of human her religious connections, resumed, as she was able, sympathy; and she frequently saw some fine illus- all her benevolent engagements; but, it is needful trations of what is most lovely and generous in our to remark, that they were resumed with more vivid nature.
perceptions of their importance. There was less Her intercourse with others, on these occasions, anxiety of feeling, and more earnestness. Indeed, was necessarily varied by intervals of solitude; there was an intentness of mind to one great object and these variations increased the sentiment of gra- that was truly impressive. In her intercourse with tification. In society she sought to serve God; in her scholars, her young companions, the sick and solitude to worship him; in buth to enjoy him. If, the aged, and the congregation generally, there was in her rural and retired paths, rest became needful, something in her manner which seemed to say, " ! she sought it in some imbowered nook, where no have but one thing to do, and I must do it with all eye could obtrude upon her, and where nature my might.” I could not feel so much at liberty as spread before her some picture of living beauty. I had been, in restraining her from too free a use The eye affected the heart, and both arose from ná- of a life so precious to us, though a look was sufflure and from man, to claim a relation to the skies. cient for it. 'She commonly acquiesced either with In these scenes Martha drank deeply of those pe- a word, or with an affectionate salute; but there rennial springs, which the hand of God has opened was a quiet expression of surprise and distress on for us on the fair bosom of creation; and deeper her countenance, which was wonderfully affecting; still of those waters of life, which flow fast by it often called to my mind the Saviour's reply to his the throne of God, and of which, if a man drink, relatives, “Wise ye not that I must be about my he shall live for ever.
Father's business ?" Indeed, Martha had never possessed so much The shortest life on virtue's scale, is frequently Christian enjoyment as at this period, and particu- the longest. Those who anticipate many years 10 larly in these exercises. Her mind had recovered cume, live accordingly; and those who, by inward its tranquillity. Soothed by the quiet of nature, the warnings, are made to feel that they are the “poor strings of life, which affliction had shaitered, were pensioners on an hour," are anxious to improve the restored to order and melody. Surrounded by the present hour, and to “die daily.” I do not know works of God, they were readily dwelt upon as the inat Martha was, at this period, acting under any dear symbols of a present Deity. And fresh from peculiar monitions of her mortality, by which many considerable labors of love and self-denial, they be- profess to have been influenced ; but I do know that came, unconsciously, the witnesses of the princi- her habitual frailties had established an abiding ples from which they came. Doubt and darkness sense of life's uncertainty, and that her thoughts fed away, and the spirit rose nearer to its Maker had been so familiarized to eternity, as to make the in filial confidence, and breathed forth desires of longest life, and the most devoted exertion, nothing love and hope unutterable!
in the comparison-sentiments of infinitely more importance, as they cannot deceive us, and are of her evenings, if not spent in the house of God, were universal application.
as often given to a select few, who were delighted It is not our actions, so much as the spirit of to meet with a kindred spirit, with whom they them, which influences others. Martha's present might take sweet counsel on the way they had altemper of mind did not fail to communicate itself, ready trodden, and on the delectable prospects of a more or less, to those around her. It was a season better country,” which occasionally rose to their in which her labors, though discharged in weak- sight, on the utmost boundary of their mortal pilDess, and sometimes in tears, were highly benefi- grimage. cial. Meanwhile, the good seed she had been pre- Our regrets are proportioned to our enjoyments. viously sowing, was here and there springing up in The time of separation arrived; and the pleasures answer to her manifold prayers. Many of her Martha had found in visiting the cottages of the children, who had gone into ihe world, were sup- poor, rambling among the beauties of nature, and porting their situations with credit, and fondly ac- mixing with congenial society, caused her to meet it knowledging their obligations to her. Some of with considerable emotion. She took her farewell them had risen up to become teachers in the of the endeared objects of the place and iis vicinity school, and took their places at her side, around the under the impression that probably she might see table of Christian fellowship. Some of her young them no more, and her mind was softened into afcompanions, who, in the novelty and ardor of their sectionate tenderness. Similar sentiments were first emotions, had showed a little unsteadiness, had awakened in the bosom of her friends; and the sobered down into the consistency of the Christian parling scene became mutually, and therefore, walk; and all of them were concerned to seize op- deeply, affecting. Few events have received so portunities, the more precious because occasional much notice from her pen as this; and what she and precarious, of returning her esteem and kind- has written, powerfully testifies to the overflowings ness for all her love. It is impossible to say how of a heart, beneficially influenced by communion these rewards of hopeful exertion rejoiced her with nature, grateful for the least expression of huheart; and it would be needless to show that they man friendship, and springing from the touch of gave a stronger determination to her chosen course earthly sorrow, to pour out the incense of piety at of beneficence.
the gate of heaven. I regret that, in justice to her As the summer advanced, Martha received re- memory, these pieces cannot be introduced, as, newed invitations from her Gloucestershire friends though so illustrative of her state of mind, they are to give a portion of it to them. Her relations but fragments, and are written in measure withseconded their cordial solicitations; but as some out the slightest correction. domestic circumstances seemed to call for her at- When Martha reached her home, we congratutendance in town, she was disposed to postpone lated her and ourselves on her appearance. But them. Her reluctance, however, was finally over- how often are appearances deceitful? While her come; and that she might separate from her con- general health had been decidedly improved, her nections with as little of paintul feeling as possible, insidious disease was establishing its possession; I engaged, on my way from Herefordshire, which and in the close of the autumn ii broke out with I was about to visit, to spend some days with her at alarming force, and baffled resistance by the most Frampton.
complicated symptoms. The best advice was again This promise gave her great pleasure, but it was procured ; strong means were immediately applied; never to be fulfilled. While I was in Hereford- and once more she was ordered from town. shire, I received tidings of the death of our second Once more, therefore, Martha prepared to leave child, an infant of a few weeks old; and, of course, my her family, and to retire to Cheshunt. The step remaining engagements were set aside, and I sought had often been taken before, but never with so to return by the most direct line to London. Mar- niuch sadness of heart. On the day of her depar tha's affectionate heart could not allow her brother ture, we all assembled to dine; it was an anxious in affliction to pass within twenty miles of her and unwelcome meal. We spoke comforts to each without an effort to see him. She knew that I must other; but they were comforts on which we ourgo through Gloucester, and that I must change car- selves were not feeding. Our silence and sympariages, and that probably the exchange could not thy indicated a state of serious apprehension; and be effected without some short detention. She when we parted, it was in tears, extorted by the therefore induced a friend to drive her over, that fear that the place which then knew us might know she might take the chance of a meeting. Amid the us no more. The fear was too truly founded bustic and excitement of hasty travelling, I arrived Martha was quitting London never to return. at the expected inn, and was anxiously inquiring I cannot now record an occurrence which to me, for my next conveyance. A friend's hand seized perhaps, was one of the most serious in my sister's me. I followed its leading into an adjoining little life, without giving expression to the feeling it exparlor, and my sister was instantly in my arms.- cites. It was this eveni that virtually broke all the My wants had been thought of, and refreshments lies, which held her to my religious connection and were nicely prepared ready to my hand; we ex- pastoral charge; and never pastor suffered the loss changed a few words, but spoke not of the event of a more admirable and devoted member. In this which was nearest our thoughts; she covered my capacity she never gave me a moment's uneasiness, hand with her kisses and her tears; and again I but contributed essentially to my joy and usefulness. was a solitary stranger in the corner of a stage- She was considerate of her minister's peace of coach. Few things that are traced on my imagi- mind, in the least as well as the most important nation, have so much the air of a vision as this; it things, and was concerned habitually that, as the came and it went so suddenly !
member of a religious body, the whole of her conMartha returned to her friends, and continued, duct might be exemplary. How far she assisted to at my earnest request, the proposed time. The visit promote the peace and prosperity of my charge, was one of mutual enjoyment. Every the kindest must be revealed by the light of a brighter day; attention was shown to ber, from the esteem and enough, for the present, it is to know, that to me she love cherished towards her character. Her health was raised up by the hand of Providence, as a most derived advantage from taking considerable exer- opportune and valuable blessing. She was the cise on horseback. Her mornings were commonly companion of my way when otherwise it would spent in visiting some of her favorite points of have been solitary; and she contributed greatly in view, and calling on some Christian friends; and I the outset of public life, to moderate the weight of
those cares and duties, which pressed the more in the regrets which she had indulged. The succeedheavily on a breast as yet unaccusiomed to the yoke. ing extracts from her diary, connected with the However, her work was now done! I was no more close of this year and the opening of another, will to be cheered by her presence, or relieved by her reveal something of those subsiding agitations exertions; and I beheld her go forth as a suilerer, which these trying changes had produced; and still quiet and patient indeed, but still as a sufferer, and more of that steady ascent of the spirit to its Maker an exile from her dearest scenes of usefulness, and which no earthly trouble could repress. from the society of her friends and kindred.
“ November 27, 1818. This is the first time I have If this separation was painful to all parties, it been absent from my family on this memorable was most so to Martha. Her bodily spirits were day.* O that I may be with them and with the reduced by exhausting medicines and constant church in spirit, though not in body! What merpain; and her imagination would dwell upon it as cies have I received in connection with them !-à final removal from the habitation of those she would that they constrained me to live only to the loved. And when she was actually seated by the Author of them! This evening Maria and I spend lone fireside of the kind widow, and her mind was together in prayer. May we be inclined to ask at liberty for reflection, she had difficulty in sus- for all those blessings which are requisite for our taining its exercises with fortitude. She thought beloved pastor, the church under his care, and our of her parents, whom she wished to comfort; of own souls.” her brother, whose protection she needed ; of her ' How profitable and how necessary is self.exacompanions, whom she desired to enjoy ; of her mination, and yet how often do I neglect this duty, children, whom she was accustomed to edify; of or, at least, perform it in a very superficial manthe house of God and the people of God, familiar ner. This morning I have been asking the questo her by a thousand prayers, and endeared by a tion, 'What lack I yet ?'- In the closet I have to thousand enjoyments; all distant from her, and if lament much formality ; the absence of the wresinot far distani, yet so distant as to interrupt a com- ling spirit, which ought to characterize every devomunion which might never be restored ;-her heart tional exercise. In the sanctuary I am in danger filled with sorrow, and her eyes frequently over- of becoming lukewarm and indifferent, partly beflowed with involuntary tears.
cause bodily infirmity often prevents me rightly atHer situation at Cheshunt, too, which had so often tending its sacred duties, and partly from administered to her comfort, increased her dis- In the family, I lack benevolence of feeling; and I tress. Many a time she had come hither as an in- much fear, through the depravity of my nature, valid, but never such an invalid as now. Her pre- growing nore selfish, instead of benevolent, by afsent state of health confined her to the dwelling; fiction. O that this may not be the case! but may and her day of suffering knew few changes beyond self in every form be entirely and for ever forgotten. a passage from the chair to the bed, and the bed to Be pleased, Lord, to make all thy providences and the chair. Her former and her existing indisposi- ordinances the means of exterminating selfish distion were put in comparison, and she now felt her positions, and of strengthening and increasing exself to be sensibly worse. She was in the centre ceedingly all the graces of thy Spirit; that so thy of a delightful field of labor, and yet could not servant may no more live to herself but be altogelif a hand for its cultivation. Her eye glanced on ther devoted unto Thee. Amen." many familiar walks where her feelings had often January, 1819. My motto for this year is, been soothed and her thoughts exalted, and which 'Fear noi, neither be discouraged; for I, the Lord were still inviting her abroad; but she had no thy God, am with thee in all places whither thou strength to obey their bidding. They gave to her goest. May this encouraging portion of Scripture situation the sense of imprisonment, and to her lite strengthen my faith, and enable me everywhere the air of uselessness. These were some of the and always to trust and rejoice in the Lord! Refirst calls Martha received from a state of active member me, O Lord, for good. Teach thy servant to a state of passive devotedness; and, in this hour cheerfully to acquiesce in all thy will, and live enof trial, it is not strange if they were not duly esti- tirely to thy glory. mated, even while they were meekly obeyed.
“ Here would I erect another Ebenezer ; for The east wind is stayed in the day of the south though I was brought low, the Lord helped me. I wind. After a few days, Martha's sense of separa- have been quite confined for some weeks with a tion and sorrow was mitigated by the arrival of violent attack of illness, but am now able to walk Miss Maria
This young friend had been a little. During the severe pain I suffered, my spiassociated from the first with her in her benevolent rit was not permitted to sink; but according to my exertions; and now that Martha was obliged to quit day so was my strength. O that I could be grateful them, she generously determined on becoming the for all the merey manifested to me! But, alas! companion of her solitude and confinement; a de- my mind is often clouded by dark and distressing termination which she had ascertained to be most views of the Divine conduct; yet I know they shall acceptable to her and to her relatives.
not remain for ever. When I am humbled, the Martha received her friend as a gift from a supe- light shall arise. Tomorrow I hope to celebrate the rior Hand, mercifully bestowed in the time of need; Redeemer's dying love. May I do it under the peand her presence had the most favorable influence culiar influences of his Spirit. May he vouchsate on her spirits. She had now an individual by her to take away the heart of stone, and give the heart side of her own sex, of similar age and sentiments, of flesh. Áfresh would I devote myself to the who watched over her by night and day, who con- Most High. May the offering be accepted, and versed with her of the persons and scenes from which may he employ me in his service evermore !" she was separated, and who, in the ardor of attachment, was cheerfully submitting to those sepa
CHAPTER XVIII. rations and that confinement which Martha's tender spirit had so much lamented. Such an exercise of
1819. unassuming and disinterested kindness could not
With such serious purposes of self-devotement, be lost on her; it touched every chord in her heart. it will hardly be expected that Martha, even in her She admired these proofs of character in her friend; she gratefully admired the Providence that had thus The anniversary of her brother's birth and ordi unexpectedly appeared for her; and she was dis nation, the evening of which is observed by special posed to charge herself with selfishness and unbelief prayer in the congregation.