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personal, improvement; but we were more than struck with the meekness, gentleness, and quiet elegance or grace of her manner, for in all these points we had been led to believe her very deficient With every admission of her talents and diligence, Mrs. had often written to us, complaining of her "proud, unbending spirit, and pertinacious obstinacy;" and had grieved us by adding that "frequent punishment and much strictness had been necessary to subdue a haughty and almost masculine temper and deportment." On our asking Charlotte (that first night), "Why she had been so anxious to spend with her grandmamma and me those weeks which would have been, at her age, so much more delightfully passed with her young friends ?" she burst into tears, and, rushing into my arms, she sobbed out, “Oh, my dearest aunt, I want better to know the Lord Jesus, and want you to teach me.”
By degrees, we discovered that the Holy Spirit Himself had been the sole teacher of this dear child ; the precious Book of God His only instrument. From her own study of the Bible she had been taught the truth " as it is in Jesus ;" so that her faith and hope were fixed on “ the Rock of ages.” She looked to Jesus as “the way, the truth, and the life.” Under such heavenly teaching she had compared the opinions and forms, as held and taught by her governess, with the blessed Scriptures, and her remark was, " I found them totally opposed to each other in principle and fact.” She discovered the same want of conformity in the clergymen to whose church all the children went every Lord's-day. Her own words were, “ He never preached Christ.” She asked Mrs. to permit her to accompany a Mies W. to a chapel where she believed the Gospel was preached; and for this our dear Charlotte was severely punished, her Bible was taken from her, and she was only permitted to read it as a lesson at the stated times to Mrs. or one of the teachers. Miss W. was younger than herself, but as she had spoken of her minister to Charlotte, and they had been in the habit of reading the Bible together, whilst others were amusing themselves, this young Christian friend and helper was not permitted to see her.
On subsequently ascertaining the perfect truth of all these statements, we resolved not to send her back to school, but have her education completed at home. She wrote and spoke French fluently, played and sung with taste and feeling, though not with execution, and was pretty well grounded in Italian; but this latter accomplishment she said she did not wish to prosecute, and as it was very immaterial, we at once acceded. And, indeed, her subsequent health, and the bias of her mind, put a final termination to all and every species of accomplishment.
And here I would remark how widely different was her temper and
disposition to that so falsely imputed to her; in every respect she was gentle, teachable, meek, and docile; so truly child-like, that more than ever did we acknowledge the hand of the Lord in all His dealings with her, for, without His aid, her timid spirit had never had strength or courage to act as she had done; and this was often a subject of wondering admiration to my dear mother and myself.
The only indications of indisposition I can trace at that period were great lassitude, dislike to any bodily exertion or exercise, either in a carriage or on foot. Her disinclination to any employment but reading, I think, was principally owing to her thirst for religious knowledge; but her state of health might have also aided. In her choice of her books, her judgment and penetration were beyond her years. Dear Lady C. once brought her a book, and gave it, saying, “ I am sure you will like it.” Some days after, Charlotte said to my mother, “Grandmamma, I have compared this book with God's book, and they do not agree,for Jesus is not made all in all in it. Oh," she continued, " there is nothing so precious as the Bible ;-it speaks only of Jesus, I do not want any other book.” “But my love, you cannot quite comprehend all the spiritual truth and beauty of that divine book, so holy men have written to open up its meaning." « This is very right, grandmamma, but Christ has Himself promised to give His Holy Spirit to them who ask it; and he says that that spirit shall take of the things that belong to Christ, and show them to me;' and I pray so earnestly for this holy teaching-oh, I am always praying for it!"
On another occasion, a friend lent her The Vicar of Wakefield," saying it was a pretty story. She said “ it could not interest her, for Jesus was not all in all’ in any book but the Bible.” She never read it, nor any work of fiction.
Some time before her actual attack of illness her sedentary habits distressed us very much; and whilst our grateful hearts were filled with love and thanksgiving to that dear Saviour who had thus called into his own fold, this dear little one, we dreaded at her age the total disinclination to all amusements, recreation, or exercise. We urged her to go into the country, several friends having kindly asked her, but she entreated so earnestly not to be separated from us, and that she might remain at home, that we ceased to press her.
She was at all times remarkably cheerful and lively, and fond of conversation. Knowing this, I asked her one day why she was so much alone ? Oh, my dear aunt," she said, with much simplicity, "I am never alone, my Saviour is never absent from me.
He never leaves me lonely or comfortless.” The spirituality of her mind was truly beautiful, and it seemed to tinge with its own reflected beams her language and ideas, always correctly scriptural. I say reflected, for her spirit was taught of God-her own heart was not the author of such feelings. The works of Legh Richmond she liked, and she loved Watts's Hymns. She was fond of composing poetry or spiritual songs, expressive of her hope and joy in believing. She had really quite a wonderful talent for this description of composition, and many of her hymns were touchingly beautiful-all so scriptural, so demonstrative of her own state by nature, and her after state, by grace. God's “unspeakable gift” was indeed her theme, and all this but proved that she had been taught by the Spirit, whose lessons she was, as it were, constrained to manifest both in her life and conversation. Her voice was sweet and touching, though not powerful, and every evening she played and sang her favourite hymns. At these times, and sometimes also when speaking of her Saviour's love to her, there seemed in her entire expression, tone, and manner, nothing of earth clinging to her, a something inexpressibly radiant; her eyes were so bright and beaming.
She took great pleasure in hearing Mr. A. and Dr. B. read to and speak with her, and she owed much comfort to the prayers and sympathy of those two devoted ministers. She often said, “How strange it is, that I so often wish to be with Jesus, and yet I seem to cling to earth; but I grieve indeed to leave you behind me, my dear, dear grandmamma and aunt.” She never slept without her little Bible under her pillow, and she used to employ herself daily marking those passages most precious to her, that, as she said, “when she was too weak to read herself, those portions might be read to her.” Many of the Psalms were thus marked. Within the last few days of her life, this, her request, was most strictly adhered to; and she generally fell asleep, and awakened with a heavenly prayer and promise on her lips.
On the 28th June, our dear Charlotte awoke after a quiet night with extreme pain in her side, and great difficulty of breathing; it was then near five o'clock. I went into her room, and gave her fifty drops of laudanum; whilst supporting her to take it, she said, “ Aunt, pray to God to accept me for Jesus's sake. He hears all our prayers. He will hear yours, for you love Jesus. And then, though you will find only my wretched body in your arms, my ransomed soul will be in heaven.” The laudanum failing to give relief, Dr. G. ordered a blister, and gave her fifty more drops of laudanum ; the blister rose well, but disturbed her much through the night, the only very bad one she had experienced; but this gave rise to blessed hopes, to anxious, fervent, wrestling prayer. She cried out often that night, Oh
come, Lord Jesus, come quickly.” She spoke at intervals, when able, of her perfect peace and hope through Christ; she said, "she longed to be with Him;" yet she prayed not to be impatient, to be strengthened by grace to wait the Lord's time. Her breathing was very short, and seemed labored, but she said, “she was so happy, that it was a foretaste of future bliss." She smiled often in her sleep, and once we distinguished her mur.
muring, “ Yes, Lord, Thou knowest that I love Thee." When Dr. G. asked her “how she felt now in her passage through the dark valley?" she replied, “Oh, it is not dark, for Christ is there ; His blessed arm is leading and supporting me; oh, help me to sing with grateful joy, • Death where is thy sting;' to me it is rejoicing." At her own request we sang the 23rd Psalm. At the conclusion she said, “Oh, I am so happy, happy, happy.”
When the blister was removed at six in the morning of the 29th, I was much shocked by the great alteration in her for the worse; she said, “she felt easy, and thought she might sleep;" but I was most anxious my mother should see her. Her in general expressive eyes were heavy and languid, her face deadly pale and wan; great indeed was the change from the preceding day. My mother was much agitated, and resolved no more to quit her. She had short and quiet intervals of sleep during that day, but often interrupted by a cough; and when Drs. G. and W. saw her, they warned us of her fast approaching end : her pulse was low and fluttering, and a cold heavy perspiration hung over her; about seven in the evening she said, “ This is surely death; let us praise God for it.” She asked us to pray with and for her, and she joined in a low voice; and when we had risen from our knees, she remained engaged in it earnestly, and turning to me said with a sweet smile, “Oh, there is no bitterness in death, when support is given us ; Jesus Himself is leading me gently upwards. Oh, I shall soon reach my home now."
She was sometimes a little confused latterly, when waking from her short slumbers. The last night of her sojourn with us, she frequently called out, “Dearest grandmamma and aunt, come nearer to me; come beside me into the bed ; oh, how sweet and blessed to know that we all love Jesus, that he loves us. Oh, that my dear sisters were here, that I might tell them what great things Jesus has done for my soul. Tell them not to mourn for me; I am going to take possession of the inheritance purchased for me by my Saviour. Oh, tell them to seek that dear Saviour early, to love and trust him, so will their lives be happy, and their deaths, oh, how blessed !" She was at this time breathing with much difficulty, but she said her pain was less. Her weakness rapidly increased. She spoke kindly to two friends who were standing at her bed side, and told them to love Jesus and serve him while they enjoyed health, for that sickness sometimes weakened the fervour of devotion. She asked me to kiss one of those friends for her. I gave her a teaspoonful of wine. She thanked me sweetly, and said, “it refreshed her.” She was often engaged trying to comfort her grandmother, who wept much at the thought of losing her, though she reproached herself for the selfish feeling.
On the night of Friday, she had told me “not to pray any more for
her recovery, for she so longed to be with Christ." I asked her if, now, on the near approach of death, she felt at peace with all the world. She sweetly and unhesitatingly answered, “Oh yes, indeed; and I pray, and have prayed, that all may yet know and love Jesus. Some were harsh to me, but, oh, how Christ has blessed it to my soul -it was all his doing; may they all be brought to him." On another occasion, she said, “I wish I could pray more for others; but I am in such pain at times that I can sometimes only pray for, or think of myself, and when I see you all weeping, I wonder why I cannot also do it; does it not seem as if my selfish heart was hardened ?"
From the moment Dr. G. saw her, he told us “ that he feared her illness lay beyond the reach of human skill.” Every night towards seven, her fever rose, and generally fell towards morning, leaving a violent perspiration; her pulse was never under 130, and often much higher; but to the last hour (the first minute of waking alone excepted) she was perfectly collected. She had been evidently taught by the Holy Spirit to estimate herself by a Scriptural standard, for her witness on this point was most clear, and to us precious. A cousin who had come to see her before she was so very ill said, “oh, my dear Charlotte, how happy it is for you that you have always been so good; that is the reason, you need not be afraid to die.” She was enabled to make a confession of her faith, that was indeed soothing. The remark seemed to wound her much, it had an effect on the dear child that all her sufferings had failed to produce--a cloud over her bright countenance. She took her cousin's hand and clasped it firmly, and her manner was most impressively solemn, “oh, my dear Cecilia, that my strength would permit me to express to you my utter vileness, to prove to you, that I feel and know, that in my heart is ‘no good thing,' that all I ever had or have of my own, is altogether sin! sin ! sin !--that if one good thought would have saved me, I should have been lost, for I could never have a sinless thought of myself. If I have been born again, the root and fruit are Christ's; all that is good in me is his, the free, rich, unspeakable gift of Christ. And still my own wicked sinful heart wars against that holy part that is Christ's; but,
by grace I am saved, and that not of myself, it is the gift of God;' but I know that my Redeemer liveth, the Holy Spirit hath revealed him to my soul ; Christ is all in all;' all must be his work. Other refuge have I none, hangs my helpless soul on thee.' Oh,” she added (while her beaming eyes were turned upwards, and she relinquished her cousin's hand that she might clasp her own together), “Oh, how sweet it is to feel and know that we are saved by Jesus alone, that the mantle of his righteousness hides our deformity, that we cast away all that is our own; one with him, then altogether his !"
On the Saturday before her death, besides some dear friends and the