Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

quaintance with you, I have felt deeply interested for your happiness. Nothing but an affectionate regard for you would induce me to write to you on a subject, which the world will undoubtedly ridicule, but which engages the attention and constitutes the felicity of the holy inhabitants of heaven. This subject is the religion of the gospel-a subject which is infinitely interesting to us both.

"You have of late witnessed a scene, trying indeed, and solemn as eternity. You have watched the sick bed, you have heard the expiring groans of your beloved sister. You fondly hope that she was interested in the covenant of redemption, and is now perfectly happy in the enjoyment of her God in heaven. When standing by the dying bed of this dear sister, say, my friend, did you not ardently wish for piety similar to her's-for that faith, which could triumph over the horrors of a dying hour? Was the hope then cherished, that you should meet her in yonder world, when the trials of this short life are over? and did this hope support your sinking spirits in the trying hour of separation? She has gone for ever, but we are still prisoners of hope. Could we now draw back the covering of the tomb, and listen to her language, how earnestly would she beseech us to become reconciled to God, and devote our lives wholly to his service.

"My dear M. these are not idle dreams. If we reflect for a moment, we feel conscious that there is an immortal principle within, which will exist when time and nature die. This principle is corrupted by sin, and without the sanctifying grace of God, we should be unhappy, even though admitted to heaven. Do but examine the feelings of your heart one hour, and you cannot for a moment doubt the truth of this assertion. How important then that we should have this work of grace begun in our hearts before it is too late. "Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation." To-morrow our probation may be closed, and we may be irrecoverably lost. M. my heart is full. What inducements can I offer you to receive Jesus into your heart, and willingly sacrifice your all for him? O think of the worth of the soul, the price paid to redeem it, the love of Immanuel, your obligations to live to him, the joys prepared for the righteous; and O, think of the torments in reserve for the finally impenitent-and be induced to flee from the wrath to come. If nothing in Providence prevents, before the return of another autumn, Harriet will be a stranger in a strange land. I go, my friend, where heathens dwell, far from the companions of my playful years, far from the dear land of my nativity. My contemplated residence will be--not among the refined and cultivated, but

among females degraded and uncivilized, who have never heard of the religion of Jesus. How would it gladden my sad heart, in the trying hour of my departure, could I but leave a dear circle of females of my own age, engaged for God, and eminent for their usefulness, in Haverhill. Well; I hope to find a circle of Hindoo sisters in India, interested in that religion which many of my companions reject, though blessed with innumerable privileges. But my friend M. will not treat with indifference this religion. O no: I will cherish the fond hope, that she will renounce the world, become a follower of Immanuel, and be unwearied in her exertions to spread the triumphs of the cross through the world. I must leave you, my dear M., with God. May you become a living witness for him. When our journey through this barren wilderness is ended, may we meet in heaven. HARRIET ATWOOD."

CHAPTER V.

Extracts from Letters to sundry persons-her intimacy with Miss Hasseltine—the hour of departure arrives-her marriage and sailing for India.

Oct. 10. I have this day entered upon my nineteenth year. How great a change has the last year made in my views and prospects for life! Another

year will probably affect, not merely my prospects, but my situation. Should my expectations be realized, my dwelling will be far from the dear land of my nativity, and from beloved friends, whose society rendered the morning of my life cheerful and serene. In distant India-every earthly prospect will be dreary.

"But even there content can spread a charm,
"Redress the clime, and all its rage disarm."

To Mr. Newell.

Haverhill, Oct. 10, 1811.

"THIS is the eve of my birth-day. Pensive and alone, I have this evening given full scope to recollection of the past, and anticipation of the future. The retrospect of departed years affords but little solid satisfaction. How has my life been replete with vanity, and with sorrow, occasioned by frequent departures from God! But still the recollection of some seasons ever worthy of grateful remembrance, excites in me sensations of unutterable joy. There was an hour, when the light of divine truth irradiated my benighted soul-when I could rejoice in the Lord, and joy in the God of my salvation. I could willingly, then, renounce the world, for it had lost its power to charm. How sweet was the idea of suffering for Jesus. How sweet to take a decided part in his cause. Were

it not for the continual mercy of Jehovah, 1 should sink under the remembrance of my many backslidings since that hour. O for a heart to repair to that Fountain where sinners, vile and guilty, can be washed and cleansed.

I have spent this afternoon in the sick chamber of a very dear cousin. She is rapidly hastening to the world of spirits but is calm and tranquil as the summer's eve. Here I have learned an important lesson, which the alluring circles of the gay and thoughtless could never teach me. Oh how valuable, how exceeding precious is the religion of the gospel on a sick bed and in a dying hour! What but this can support the soul, when it stands trembling on the verge of eternity, just ready to make its last, its final remove."

Oct. 20.

"Soon I hope, I feel, and am assured,

That I shall lay my head, my weary, aching head,
On its last rest; and on my lowly bed,
The grass green sod shall flourish sweetly."

Oct. 25. How strong are the ties of natural affection! Will distance or time ever conquer the attachment, which now unites my heart so closely to my mother, the dear guardian of my youth-and to my beloved brothers and sisters? O no;though destined to a foreign country, where a parent's voice will no more gladden my melancholy heart, still shall that love which is stronger than

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »