Page images
PDF
EPUB

The grave will soon be your bed-chamber, the earth your pillow, corruption your father, and the worm your mother and your sister.

For a fit of Repining.-Look about you for the halt and the blind, and visit the bed-ridden, and afflicted, and deranged, and they will make you ashamed of complaining of your lighter afflictions.

For a fit of Despondency.—Look on the good things | which God has given you in this world, and at those which he has promised to his followers in the next. He who goes into the garden to look for cobwebs and spiders, no doubt will find them, while he who looks for a flower, may return into his house with one blooming in his bosom.

For all fits of Doubt, Perplexity, and Fear.--Whether they respect the body or the mind-whether they are a load to the shoulders, the head, or the heart, the following is a radical cure which may be relied on, for I had it from the Great Physician—" Cast thy burden on the Lord, he will sustain thee."- Old Humphrey.

THE UNHAPPY SISTERS. In the year 18—, while seeking out neglected children in M— street, in order to bring them under the Sabbathschool influence, we found in the yard of a rear building, two little sisters, of some four and seven years of age. Their sparkling eyes and native loveliness, but shoeless feet, disheveled hair, and tattered garments indicated, too plainly, the sad want of maternal care, “Where is your home, dear children?” “Yonder, ma'am,” up the stairs.” “Do your parents ever send you to day-school, or the Sunday-school ? " “No, ma'am,” said the eldest, “but we'd like to go if we had any clothes !” “Let us see if your mother would be willing to send you." So saying, we ascended the tottering stair-way preceded by the eager little ones. On entering the door, we found, stretched upon an apology for a bed, the helpless, besotted father, with scarlet face and swollen eyes, the bottle, half-emptied, still within his reach. The mother was able to stand, but could not walk except in a zig zag

gait, and looked the very personification of filth and wretchedness. The general appearance of the premises corresponded with that of the miserable inmates, and may be better imagined than described. And such was the only earthly home of these poor children! When compelled to escape it by fear, hunger, or otherwise, their only resort was the city street. On our second visit, we led them, decently clad, to the Sabbath-school. For many months they were followed up, while the most earnest efforts were made to reclaim their parents, and thus save both them and the children. Christian benevolence did what it could, but failed to accomplish the ends desired. The question then arose, “Cannot something more be done to save both these now innocent sisters from their impending fate? It was quite manifest that, unless they could be soon removed from their parents, their case was morally hopeless. Persuasion failed. Both parents, when sober, confessed they had no expectation that their daughters would be saved from ruin, if they continued to run in the streets from day to day as they were then doing. Still they preferred to keep them as long as possible, rather than to accept the offer to have them placed in Christian families, to be properly trained and educated.

To the inquiry, “Can the law, do nothing for the protection of these helpless children ? " the answer came, “No, surely; unless they commit some misdemeanor, or become entire vagrants.” Then it opens for them, either the Prison, or the House of Refuge, either of which receptacles is ever regarded as more or less derogatory to character. For some two years, the teachers kept an eye upon these children, often feeding and re-clothing them, when found half clad. At length, the moral influence of the Sabbath-school seemed to be wholly obliterated by the contaminations of the weekday influences by which they were surrounded; and the native blush of modesty gave place to an inexcusable forwardness of manner. About this time, the inebriate parents removed to a distant part of the city, and the teacher lost sight of them, and was unable afterwards to trace where they lived. Some six years had passed, when, upon a Sabbath afternoon, while attending a ladies' meeting held at the City Prison, with the women and children confined there, we recognised the two sisters sitting among the female prisoners. They had just entered their teens, had grown much, but their naturally pretty features were changed by a woebegone expression, and the fixed traces of early sorrow were deeply branded. At an interval in the services, appropriated to conversation with the prisoners, turning to Eliza, the remark was made, “We are very sorry to see you and your sister in this dismal prison; will you tell us what brought you here?” “We were found, ma'am, by a policeman, in a disorderly house.” “And how came you there?” “The keeper asked me to come in and stay, because we hadn't any home any more. After mother drank herself to death, and father was taken off to Blackwell's Island, we often staid in the streets all night, and slept sometimes behind board-piles and under stoops; but we were hungry and cold pretty often, and glad to get at any place where we might be warm." “And how long did you stay where the officer found you ?” “ But a few weeks, ma'am.” Further conversation developed other deplorable facts in their history, and the reflections occasioned by this unlooked-for interview, were extremely painful. These children from infancy, had had natural protectors—but in name. Their love of alcohol had supplanted true parental love, deadened the conscience to idiocy; cast out the innocent and helpless to companionship with thieves and harlots. Law and its ministers sanctioned the horrible outrage-looked with tearless eye and heart of adamant, upon the progressive steps in the sure and oft-tried process of ruining immortal spirits, for whose salvation the world's Redeemer sweat great drops of blood, and groaned on Calvary! The prospective steps of these poor girls are henceforth, on the beaten path of sin. A mark for the dissolute, sinning and suffering, till weary of a life that had few charms; would it be strange should the epitaph of one or both soon be found written on Hood's Bridge of Sighs.

[graphic]

MEMOIR OF MISS SARAH BUCKLEY. SARAH Buckley was born at Winton, near Manchester, in the Salford Circuit, Oct. 24, 1828. When very young she became a scholar in the Wesleyan Association Sabbathschool; and as such was truly an example worthy to be imitated. Constant in her attendance, attentive to the requirements of her teachers, and diligent in her endeavours to profit by the instruction which she received. She was very kind to the other scholars. Thus her good conduct secured to her the good-will and affections of both the teachers and scholars. Very early in life, from what she heard in the Sabbath-school, she became the subject of serious impressions; but she refused fully to obey them until she was upwards of eighteen years of age. About that time death entered the family of which Sarah was a member, and removed her sister and also her brother, to whom she was strongly attached. Then it was that she yielded to be saved in God's own appointed way. She sought the Lord with full purpose of heart until she was enabled to say, “I have found Him of whom Moses in the law and the prophets did write.” On the 23rd of January, 1847, she, by faith, obtained the pardon of her sins, and with a joyful heart was afterwards often heard to say,

" I never can forget the day,

When Jesus took my sins away."

She then felt it to be her duty to join the Church, which had been the means of much good to her soul; and she remained a uniform and useful member to the day of her death. She was taught by the principles of Christianity, which she had adopted, to seek the happiness and welfare of all around her. Having manifested the reality of her conversion, and her ability and zeal to be useful, the leaders' meeting appointed her to take charge of a female class. She laboured to be useful with much acceptance, and was truly a credit to the church to which she belonged. She was deeply concerned for the best interests of her parents; and assiduously sought to promote their spiritual welfare. On one occasion she feared that she had grieved her mother, and her uneasiness of mind became apparent. Her mother then asked her, “ Are not you going to the meeting ?” “O

forgive me.” Her mother hearing this, and seeing Sarah's distress, in the most affectionate way assured Sarah of her mother's love.

Soon after Sarah had entered on her Christian course, it was seen by many of her friends, that she would soon run her race. Her delicate frame was soon seized by disease; and such was the firm hold that it took upon her constitution, that all the efforts put forth to effect her restoration to health, were in vain ; and hopes of her recovery, entertained by her affectionate parents and Christian friends, were soon destroyed. Her parents had expected, that she wculd have long been a comfort to them, and her religious friends hoped that she would have been very useful in the church ; but God took her from earth to heaven. Such dispensations of Divine Providence, poor short-sighted creatures such as we are, cannot comprehend.

Sarah, while she was able, used often to enter her closet, and there read the Word of God with prayerful and careful attention. To the grace which she received by this means, may be attributed her usefulness in life, her resignation in affliction, and her triumph in death. God will not leave at death those who faithfully serve him. The way to die right is to live right, for “the righteous hath hope in his death.”

« PreviousContinue »