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tre may be quiet on his breast who leads us on! He “ December 25th.-Now I am near the end of this will win the battle for us, and we shall arrive at home. year. I look back. I've had joys and sorrows, many
“I was picturing to myself in imagination our meeting smiles and many tears, many sins and shortcomings, with Jesus. I thought how deep, deep love will beam waste of time. Alas, I do not feel progress in holiness ! from his eyes, as he welcomes his followers whom he I have seen myself a little better, and oh, how terrible wooed and drew to himself. Then we shall be satisfied. the sight! Oh, I feel in speaking, in thinking, in underEntire happiness cannot grow in this barren soil; but standing, I am a child, yea, a beast before God. Oh, that there our happiness shall be complete. There we shall the day were come, O glad day, 0 happy day, when be fully satisfied. Yet with all these anticipations, often I shall be grown up, when these childish things shall be indeed would I give full vent to my feelings in tears gone! Oh, the time when I shall have that perfect love when I think how far I am behind, how unlike I am to (I mean not sinless perfection in heaven), but when I Jesus. But you know I dare not indulge in this too shall be filled with Jesus as all my desire—when I shall much, though indeed it is a great relief, and it is sweet be able to say, no matter how dearly I love any below, to get doing so, when the heart is full. Oh, that the I love them not compared with Jesus—to say underHeavenly Gardener would come and water every plant standingly, really with Rutherford, 'I would not give a that he has planted in our hearts, that they might grow drink of cold water, for all earth can give.' Oh, I feel luxuriantly! Then would our Beloved come into his I'd give the world to experience this. Oh, hasten, come garden and eat his pleasant fruits.”
quickly, Lord Jesus !” Another letter to the same, in which she seems The last entries in her note-book are the following :to feel like Rutherford—“I dare avonch, the saints know not the length and largeness of the sweet Earnest,
“ March 1871.-Mrs. — found peace. F
Hand of the sweet green sheaves before the harvest, that might be had on this side of the water, if we would take
“ April.-Had to give up my class in the Sabbath school more pains.” She writes :
- am very ill and weak. I have little prospect of soon * 26th September 1870.
being with them again-if ever. “My fifteen days' stay at the shore at Newcastle has July 1871.-My dear One, whom I desire to love with been beneficial to my health. I am a good deal stronger,
all my heart's warmest, truest, fullest, most intense only my head is still very ill, preventing me from being
affection, attachment and love, oh listen to my prayer. able to read or write much. And I am told, if it does Thou hast said, 'Whatsoever ye ask in my name, I will not be better, I must leave off teaching in the Sabbath
do it." I ask : school for a while. I am not sure whether I will be
“ To be filled with all the fulness of God ; that these compelled to do this or not. If I must, I shall certainly
vices and passions be uprooted ; that I may be made as feel it very much ; for I do love the work. But I know holy as possible on earth for a redeemed sinner to be ; I need no little refining. O how sweet to be pure !
that I may yearn after thyself alone-not so much the perfectly holy, and with purified company! How sweet
attainments as after thyself ; that thy glory may be to drop all these imperfections and weaknesses, and be
dearer to me than my own heart ; that I may have altogether like Christ! And this we shall one day be.
a passionate love for souls ; that I may have strong, Happy prospect ! but I feel I am blind, I am lame, I mighty faith ; that I may be as useful as possible for do not half see the importance of pressing forward. I
me to be ; that I may have love, so that all other love cannot run with any quickness. More and more am I
will not be love beside ; that I may have exceeding convinced, that to be in Christ is only the first step.
abundantly above all I can ask or think ; that I may What high attainments we may arrive at even here !
have all that thy blood has purchased for me; that I I like the verse, 'He is able also to save them to the may soon feel the answer coining, and wish it sooner ; uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever
that I may be in pain and ready to die, to see him that liveth to make intercession for them. Jesus is able to
my soul loves at home in glory. make us as holy, as useful, as like himself, as it is possible
“O Jesus, Jesus, here I have written all I can now for redeemed sinners to be on earth. The fountain is remember, for my own personal need. I ask not little full from which we are to draw. We know Jesus is
things, but look for far above wbat I know to ask. My honoured by us asking large things. Trying him, we plea, thy promise — Whatsoever ye ask in my name, shall find him faithful. He can open the windows of I will do it.” I am one with thee, joint-heir with thee. heaven and pour out a blessing richer than we can
In thy name, my Lord Jesus, I ask. Thou wilt do it. receive."
I expect.” In her note-book are the following entries :
It was in October 1871 that she was with us for a “18th September.- Last Sabbath my heart was filled fortnight. She was in very delicate health at the time. with joy again by seeing another of my class (L. J.) show On the day she came, her brother, who drove her, forsigns of anxiety. Glory to Jesus! Last week felt got to take her travelling-bag out of the car, and left happier-O how great is his goodness to me!
taking it with him, and with it all her change of cloth
ing. In her weak state of health this was rather a ambition into a good channel, and made her ambitious serious matter. I started off, hoping to overtake the to be holy and useful here, and to be near Christ in car, yet expecting to have to run a long distance. Not heaven, and to learn much of him, and enjoy much of far from the manse, however, I found it stopped. Some- him there. She wondered if she would be permitted to thing had gone wrong with the harness, which was being recline on Jesus' bosom, and talk to him as John did on put right. She afterwards told this to some of her earth. This was what she desired. I don't suppose scholars, as an illustration that they should pray to that the Lord has any fault to find with such ambition. Jesus about everything. While I had started off to run, It pleases him. It gratifies him greatly. It sends a she had gone up-stairs to pray; and Jesus had heard her. thrill of pleasure through his heart. Would that we
She was very much what one would expect from read- were all ambitions after that fashion ! ing her letters and note-books, except that she was One day I said I supposed she would like to get much more cheerful than these would indicate. Some better, if it were the Lord's will, and work for Jesus a times she laughed most heartily--real ringing laughter. little longer. In the preceding sketch we have incorporated most of “Yes, if it were God's will, I would like to live a the information she gave us about herself, and we have little longer for two reasons. First, I would not like to little to add. Her aim was very simple and concen- be taken away till I was more like Jesus. And second, trated. 1. To love Jesus with all her heart. 2. To be If he were pleased to spare me I would like to live to holy to the uttermost. 3. To be the means of saving serve him. But chiefly for the first reason.” At anevery.scholar in her class, and as many others as possible. other time, when speaking of ber health being so reOn the evening before she left us, we agreed to pray for stored that she could work for him, she burst into tears. each other. I suggested that we should ask that both The thought of it seemed to overcome her. might be filled with the Spirit, and be made holy to the She gradually grew weaker and weaker till she died. uttermost, as I saw that Heb. vii. 25 was uppermost in Yet, by distributing tracts, and lending books, praying her mind. This was agreed to. After a moment, she for a blessing upon them, she sought to be useful to the said, “There is a third thing I would like you to ask very last. One day her minister, Rev. Mr. MʻIlveen, for me.”—“What is it ?”—“That I may have a most whom she very highly esteemed, asked her to write out intense love for Jesus. I would like to have a most a short account of the conversion of some of her scholars, intense love for Jesus.” So we agreed to pray that we that he might make use of it in the Ballynahinch Sabmight be (1) Filled with the Spirit; (2) Have a most bath school. She did so. We have already given a intense love for Jesus; and, (3) Be holy and useful to fuller account of the same in her letters to her fellowthe uttermost. Is not this opening of the mouth wide teacher, and therefore will not repeat it here. We will most pleasing to God? Is he not much better satisfied give that portion of it which refers to one of her scholars with great petitions than with small ones? They are who had died :like himself, and be more readily answers them. One of our great sins is “limiting the Holy One of Israel."
showed signs of anxiety. She burst into She wished to avoid this.
tears. "Why do you weep?' I asked. She would not She read her Bible very much while with us. I tell. “Is it because you wish to come to Jesus ?' 'Yes.' asked her what means she found most useful in keeping in a few days I went to see her. "Have you found Christ before her mind. She said she read a chapter in peace?' 'Yes,' she replied; but would say little more the Old Testament, and one in the New, each morning; about it. I could get little but yes,' or 'no,' in answer and that she selected two or three verses out of them to my questions. I felt discouraged. Perhaps she is for meditation during the day; and that she found this not really changed, I thought. However, I resolved to one of the most useful. She loved the Song of Solomon, watch and see. Still she appeared earnest and attenand seemed to realize clearly that Christ was her Hus- tive. One Sabbath I said to her, 'Are you as happy as band, and to enter deeply into the spirit of the Book. you used to be ?' 'Far happier,' was the reply. Gradu
She prayed evidently very often, not only retiring ally my fears about the reality of the change began to after each meal, but while sitting silently on her chair remove. She grew ill and unable to come to the Sabin the sitting-room. I remarked to her that, seeing the bath school; and soon it was evident the seeds of conLord had blessed her efforts for him as he had done, she sumption were sown. She knew it, but showed no must have prayed much for her class. She said they signs of grief, always appearing cheerful and happy. were often upon her heart during the week. “And were She often said to me, ‘All my hope is in Jesus. Could you enabled to expect that the Lord would convert you get your choice,' I asked, 'would you get better, or them ?” “Yes; he gave me a considerable measure of not ?' 'I would far rather go. I would like to see Jesus.' faith when I prayed for them.”
At length, what I watched and longed for came. Her There did not seem any pride or vanity about her, naturally reserved manner was thrown off. She spoke though by nature she was very ambitious. She seemed freely to every one who saw her, warning them to come afraid of being lifted up on account of her success, and to Jesus, telling them what she had found in him, and asked God to make her humble. The Lord turned her that there is no other way to heaven but by him. Her
father, mother, sister, and brothers, she took one by | find your leisure hours spent in this way really delightone, and talked to them very earnestly. Her mother, ful seeing her very severe suffering, said to her, 'A—, you “Dear young teachers, be earnest, be faithful. Perare very ill.' 'Yes, I am very ill ; bat, ah! what about haps the time is near when you must part with those it all: one half-hour in heaven will make up for it.' To dear ones. Every moment is precious. You know not one of her class who had come to see her she said, 'Has- how soon will be your last opportunity to tell them of a ten to be ready: I will come to meet you, and to meet Saviour's love. Surely their souls are too precious to our teacher.' She wished to write a letter to the Sab- lose; and surely our Saviour is too precious for us not bath school and her class, but was too weak. "What is to be in earnest when the work is for him. Will we not the world to me now besides Jesus ?' she remarked. labour? Will we not toil? Will we not be in earnest Once she lifted her well-worn Bible and clasped it to when it is for Jesus, for him who loved us and gave himher breast. The last chapter she requested to be read self for us? And oh, how sweet, when the work is finto her was the 55th of Isaiah. She was filled with joy. ished, to hear the 'Well done, good and faithful serOne whole night she sang 'Hallelujah to the Lamb.' vant!' and to meet those for whose salvation we yearned, And now she has joined the ransomed round the throne, over whom we wept when on earth-how sweet to meet to sing for ever the praises of the Saviour she loved.” them at home!
“Give him all the glory to whom it only belongs. At the same time that Lizzie Irvine wrote this ac
Our success will cease if we take the glory to ourselves. count of her class, she wrote a short address to young It belongs only to Jesus; 'tis his work from first to last, Sabbath-school teachers, which she gave also to her
though he condescends to use us as instruments. Thank young pastor, that he might make use of it in his school
him for owning your labours, and go on with your gloriif he pleased. It may be useful to other teachers.
ous work." “DEAR YOUNG FRIENDS,—If really saved yourselves, -if, really, you have tasted the sweetness that is found And now she came to die. We might have thought in Jesus, you will doubtless be yearning for the sal- that one who walked so closely with Jesus would have vation of those immortal souls committed to your charge. died in rapture. But Jesus saw good that it should be Do not say, I am too young-too inexperienced ; Jesus otherwise. Her latter end was peace, but not rapture. will not show me the fruits of my labours. Not so; he She walked through the dark valley by faith, not by will do it; he will, in answer to prayer. I remember sight. The reasons for this we cannot tell. “What I when first I wished for success. How delightful it would do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know herebe, I thought, could I see the hand of Jesus at work after.” Perhaps to comfort others who may be cast among them; could I only hear one ask, “What must I down. Perhaps it was needed for herself, that patience do to be saved ?' I prayed, I watched, Sabbath after might have its perfect work. As Rutherford says, “The Sabbath. At length his hand was stretched out. I saw lintel-stone and pillars of his New Jerusalem suffer more signs of anxiety-real anxiety, I believe. Oh, how de- knocks of God's hammer and tools than the common lighted I was! What joy I felt that Jesus was indeed side-wall stones.” When her body was weak, the devil working!
was allowed to attack her, and suggested that she had “If you have not already, you too may feel this joy. never been converted at all. She did not believe this; Tell them much of Jesus. Hold him up before them, but for the time her confidence was shaken. On a scrap that they may be attracted by his loveliness, and ask, of paper, written in pencil, is the following sad record, invite, entreat them to come to him; to come now. every word of which, however sad, shows the Christian. Everywhere you meet them, speak a word for Jesus. None else could have written such lamentations :Bring each one of your precious charge by name before “ February 1872.--Sitting alone. Weeping, weepthe Lord, and ask, and seek, and wrestle for her salva- ing. The cause is : first, I do not realize the presence tion. Go from your closet to your class; pray by the of Jesus. I do not enjoy prayer. I feel it just prayer way to the Sabbath school; pray much; and He who and nothing more. No manifestations of his presence longs to fold the lambs in his arms, will not deny your drawing out my heart in sweet communion. Second, I request. Then will you indeed realize that it is sweet do not feel I am growing, and am wondering is anyto work for Jesus; that it is not toil when his approv- thing wrong. I cast myself on Jesus for sanctification. ing smile is upon you.
I believe he taught me so. I asked him to do his own “ Visit your scholars during the week; visit them not work. Surely I should be growing. My prayers seem only when sick or absent. You cannot be rightly fa- to be shut out. I do not feel that desire for his glory miliar with your class, unless you know them at home. above everything else--love for souls, &c.
for which I You may feel a little timid at first, as I did, wishing I have long been praying, anything increased. Also paswere back before I had well started. This timidity will sions and corruptions not subdued. And the dreadful vanish before the welcoming smile of your scholar. The thought, I may say for the first time since I thought I parents also will soon welcome you, and look for your was saved, has even crossed my mind—viz., that after visits almost as much as their children; and you will all might I be unsaved? Also my distress is increased by the thought that my life must be spent rather use- Death arrived on March 23, 1872. A few minutes lessly, and not filled up with work for Christ, as I pas- before her departure, she said, “I don't doubt my salsionately longed for. I am also ashamed of the grave vation.” The Rev. Mr. M'Ilveen was present and had appearance I have before others; for oh! how can I be prayed. The Rev. Mr. Davis, “her dear reverend joyful that am weighed down with sorrow? When will friend,” for whom she had much affection, on account the night of weeping be past, and the morning of joy of great kindness shown to her during her illness, just appear? I am very, very weak in body; but this would then came in. He had not been long engaged in prayer, not cause the sadness." (Yes, dear friend, it had much when her spirit went to be for ever with the Lord. to do with it.]
“Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceA few days before her death, I received a letter from forth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from her, giving a somewhat similar account, though scarcely their labours, and their works do follow them.” so gloomy. She said she had been reading M'Cheyne, She was buried on the 26th, in the graveyard of First and that two passages in his works had been the means Ballynahinch Presbyterian Church,—the Revs. Messrs. of disquieting her mind. Near the close, she said, “Oh, Shanks, MʻIlveen, and Patton taking part in the it is miserable not to have the assurance I continually funeral services. The children of the Sabbath school enjoyed before.” I wrote advising her to cease reading sang round the open grave a hymn which she dearly M'Cheyne and everything else but her Bible, and giv- loved - Rest for the Weary. ing her such encouragement as I thought she needed. Reader, should not Lizzie Irvine's life put you and In the end, I told her what Duncan Matheson once said me to the blush? She did not live long; she had not to a person like her:-“What! you perish? I tell you, many outward advantages; she had few opportunities woman, if you went to hell, the devil would say, 'What of usefulness. Yet how much she glorified God, and is that woman doing here, aye speaking about her Christ? how many sinners she led to Jesus! She was indeed Put her out, put her out, put her out!'" When she “a vessel meet for the Master's use." But is not Jesus came to this part, she laughed heartily, and it seemed as able and willing to use us, if we put ourselves into to give her some comfort. Persons will go in the next his hands ? Are we in earnest at all? Have we given world to the place for which they are fitted. There is Jesus more than half a heart ? Does the love of Christ great truth in what John Newton said one evening at a constrain us as it did her? Shall we not henceforth party. He had mentioned that a young girl had died. live to him who died for us and rose again? Let us live * And how did she die ?” asked a young lady. for eternity-live for eternity-LIVE FOR ETERNITY. have forgotten,” replied the good man, “to ask a far The lesson of her short life is just the old motto of John more important question." "Why, sir, what can be Eliot, missionary to the American Indians—“ Prayer, more important than how one dies ?” “Yes,” said he, and pains, with faith in Jesus Christ, will do any“it is far more important how one lives."
W. J. P.
LESSONS FROM THE PAST APPLIED TO THE PRESENT
BY WILLIAM G. ELMSLIE, M. A.
NE of the shrewdest sayings in the the world, and to build on every fresh scientific
Book of Ecclesiastes is contained in discovery all manner of sensational theories, while the words—"The thing that hath those unfortunate people who are ignorant how
been, it is that which shall be; and very often the same farce has been played over there is no new thing under the sun.”. Most since the world began, are immediately filled wise men, since Solomon's day, have been very with fear and perturbation. It may therefore much of the same opinion, and have therefore be of some profit, as well as interest, to look for adopted the salutary habit of receiving alarming a little at a few simple considerations, suggested announcements of unprecedented events and by the general course and character of human startling speculations with a degree of coolness thought in the past, which ought to influence and a want of agitation very aggravating to the our attitude in the present. promulgators. But, just as in days of old every Perhaps the first thing that strikes a man in surnewly discovered land was immediately peopled | veying the history of human thought, is the imwith all sorts of horrible hobgoblins, so there is mense variety and divergence of opinion amongst always a class of persons ready to find in every the leading thinkers of every age. This phenoremarkable event nothing less than the end of menon is readily explained by the manner in which schemes of philosophy originate, and the the sphere of metaphysics, I shall neither hold treatment they subsequently undergo. Every great that all existence is matter, nor that all existence system of thought may be regarded as the fortifi- is mind ; but I shall conclude that it is partly cations raised by an earnest and powerful man to both. Again: in the department of ethics, when enable him to hold his own against the mysteries an Epicurean secularist assures me that temporal and terrors and temptations of life that pressed in well-being should receive all my attention, and on his soul and threatened to enslave him. No on the other hand a Stoic ascetic maintains that sooner are these erected than they are occupied moral well-being is alone worthy of a wise man's and defended by a band of eager disciples. But care, I shall take the middle course, and attend in course of time the defenders fall out among to both. As a final example of the extremes to themselves, and the old battlements are altered which philosophers will go, take on the one hand and discarded, till finally they stand, like the those optimists who declare the world and manancient forts in which our ancestors used to resist kind to be in a perfectly satisfactory condition, their foes—ruined, solitary, and useless, except and on the other hand Schopenhauer, who proin so far as they furnish materials for the erection nounces this world to be the worst possible of of more modern habitations and defences.
all worlds, and existence a constant endurance, The record of the rise and fall of each succes- partly miserable and partly horrible ; thus cosive philosophy is like the story of the Tower of inciding with the Buddhist doctrine that the Babel, which was built to surmount the world's greatest good that can happen to a man is to evils and reach heaven's security. For a time reach Nirvana, where his soul is extinguished the building progressed, but gradually there ap- like a lamp blown out, and he is finally at rest, pears a confusion of tongues among the builders, having no longer anything to fear, no longer and all that remains is a ruin, which stands a anything to expect. melancholy monument of its helpless impotence Such sweeping and one-sided representations to accomplish what was expected of it.
remind one of a certain Pea, which in early Now, when we remember the original diversity summer sat in the upper end of the shell and of the great systems, arising from the varied looked down on its five brethren below, and character and circumstances of their founders, whether from this unbrotherly habit or for some and add to this the innumerable modifications of better reason—it took to philosophical pursuits, them produced by successors, we cannot wonder and began to speculate concerning the external that many who repaired to the schools of philo- world. Now, it had never been outside of its sophy with high hopes have returned grievously shell to observe the world directly, but seeing disappointed, and altogether hopeless of arriving that its shell was green, and that its five brethren at any conclusion amid so great a strife of tongues. were green, and finally that itself was green, it It seems to me, however, that there is “a more came to the conclusion that all the world was excellent way” of dealing with the confusion green ; and, like other modern scientific disciples than to take refuge in absolute philosophical of Hume, it thought that its reasoning was scepticism. When the scientific investigator strictly logical. But, as the summer grew hotter, finds that the results of his observations do not the pea-shell and its inhabitants, to their grief agree, instead of adopting any one of them, le and dismay, became aged and wrinkled and yellow; takes the average, or mean, as likely to come and now the philosophical pea, observing sadly nearest the truth. Now, though I know the that its shell was yellow and its five brethren suggestion will appear to the sincere believer in yellow and itself yellow, concluded that all the philosophy detestable as well as absurd, why world had likewise become yellow; and again should I not apply the same method to discor- it was convinced of the soundness of its argudant philosophical speculations. And should the ment. results obtained coincide with the common notions This little fable makes it unnecessary for me of mankind, my confidence in the practical good to state elaborately that over-drawn theories in ness of my method will be increased. Thus, in | philosophy are simply the result of fixing the