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your soul, your soul!" If I spoke to her at any time of the feelings of my mind, she would seem rather to damp than encourage me, through fear. But my own great fear, as well as hers for me, was, lest I should come short in anything. How I have felt these lines
Never, never may we dare,
What we're not, to say we are. After my mother's death I was greatly cast down, and thought more of my own end. This used to follow me
6. Life's the time to serve the Lord,
The time to seek the great reward ;
One day, standing at work in my kitchen, in a moment my heart was lifted up in prayer, and such a cry went ир soul as I had never experienced before. I exclaimed, before my family, who were present, “Oh, that's prayer !” It was nothing of my own. I never forgot that. It made me know that true religion is from above, and that I never could be justified by my own works. I have many times felt that same cry in
soul but not so strong.
In a severe illness, in 1860, when bowed down in soul before the Lord, and feeling a guilty, guilty sinner, the Lord suddenly made me know I was saved ; and, with that sweet and powerful hope in my soul, I recovered from my illness. After another return of my heart affection, I was awakened one morning by the lines
“ The lash is steeped He on thee lays,
And softened in His blood.” Oh, how light my affliction then appeared! I did but want Him to appear, and I should be ready to soar to Him.
Another time I was low and tried, and one night slept and woke again many times. My mind was greatly tossed; and, towards morning, these words awoke me as if One spake to me, “When I have tried you, I will bring you forth as gold.” I felt them very precious words to be spoken to one so vile, and I have thought much on them since with comfort, for I felt it was the Lord who spake to me. But I feel to this very day, concerning all these things the Lord has given me
" True faith's the life of God;
Deep in the heart it lies;
Though damped, it never dies."
A few additional particulars concerning this aged saint and her peaceful end have been furnished by the same friend.
Mary Overton was a woman of a sorrowful spirit. Naturally reserved and silent, upon the things she felt most she would often say least. Always fearing for herself
, she seemed unable, except when under the influence of some fresh touch of the Holy Spirit, at all to speak of past leadings. If she did so, her few words were always telling. She was quickly robbed of her comforts, and then, like one desolate, she “ sat upon the ground,” oftenwhiles a prey to many fears and doubtings. Yet nothing, during twenty-three years' acquaintance with her, struck me more than the consistency of her case, and the peculiar character of the helps she found, as showing the Lord's compassion and care over her. There was much for faith to feed upon, but with her it was a rare thing to be able to realize the blessedness of the hope which was surely hers.
Going into her cottage one day, I found her in tears. She had just felt the spirit of those lines, “My soul, thou hast a Friend on high,” and “Fear not, His merits must prevail.” Her table seemed spread, and yet a broken spirit, I might almost say, without the consolation, was hers. Christ and His infinite merit was everything in her esteem, but she was unworthy.
Another time I found her with her mother's Bible on her knees, and its countless pencil-marks underlining almost every word, according to Sukey's habit in reading the Book so precious to her; and Mary had been led to a passage by a pin which, more than thirty years ago, her mother had stuck into it, and which was there still. The passage was, “ Thou shalt weep no more : He will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry : when He shall hear it, He will answer thee;" and, as she read, the blessed Spirit applied the word with power to her heart, and I had just come in to see the mourner rejoice, and her sorrowful face lighted up.
Another time, it was after a silent visit with her, for, though in a tender, feeling frame of spirit, she could not speak till on my rising to take leave of her. Then, in broken words, she told me what she had found. Early this morning, I was cleaning out the ash-pit_I had but just come down and I felt so low, such a nothing creature, I felt it before the Lord, and it came in a moment into my
During her last illness she was mercifully supported, and died in peace on Thursday, September 28th, 1882, aged seventy-seven years. As she lived, so she died, looking for the mercy of the Lord Jesus unto eternal life. Nothing was more apparent than the steadfastness of her faith and love. She knew the work was the Lord's, and was not left in trial to cast away her confidence.
About three months before her death, I had the sweetest visit with her I remember. A whisper from the Lord had assured her of the forgiveness of all her sins. This was to prepare her for the end and the deep inward trials that attended it. She frequently mentioned the verse of the hymn as expressing these
“He'll cause thee to bring
Thy griefs to His throne,
To thee shall send none :
Thy heart shall divide,
His grace shall be tried.”
Deeply mourning and sorrowful as she was, we know now 'she is comforted; and, even before her departure, sweet helps were vouchsafed her. It was deeply serious, but sweet to witness the breathings of her soul in faith and patience as the end drew
She wanted nothing earthly means could supply to ease and refresh her. It was a privilege to know and love her, and we shall long miss her. Her remains lie beside her mother's grave in Pulverbach churchyard. Pulverbach.
E. B. BENSON.
[Many of our readers, doubtless, are well acquainted with the interesting memoir of Sukey Harley, and will read with pleasure this little account of her only child, for whom she felt a deep concern, and offered up many prayers, which a covenant God graciously answered in bringing her to the feet of Jesus, and preserving her to His heavenly kingdom. May praying parents be thereby encouraged to seek the salvation of their children, remembering that all power is His who said, “Ask, and ye shalí receive;" and, even though He delays to give us our request, that time is not lost which is spent in prayer. -ED.]
WHEN thou hast truly thanked thy God
For every blessing sent,
For murmur or lament,
LINES WRITTEN FROM THOUGHTS UPON HABAKKUK III. 17, 18.*
Ah ! why this disconsolate frame ?
Though earthly enjoyments decay,
A Sun in the gloomiest day.
'Tis only the gold to refine ;
Though suffering, yet not to repine.
That earth in its fulness can boast ?
A flash of enjoyment at most.
For me, with His throne in the skies,
What He in His wisdom denies ?
And in vintage and corn they abound;
There should my affections be found.
Which they are so eager to share,
Which form my inheritance there ?
My roving affections recall ;
Deserted and empty the stall-
The field may no harvest afford ;
My soul may rejoice in the Lord.
The blast of adversity blow;
Beyond this rough ocean of woe.
I'll smile at the billows that foam ;
And my Jesus will welcome me home.
* These lines are noticed in "The Life and Letters of the late Thomas Hardy, of Leicester,” Vol. I., page 77. Mr. Hardy highly esteemed them, as con. veying light on that wonderful passage, Habakkuk ü. 17, 18.
[WE purpose devoting a few pages monthly, of the SoWER, to the exposing of Popery, and the deadly tendencies of those evil notions which are being spread abroad under various names, but all containing alike the seeds of infidelity and influences subversive of the interests of the rising race, both morally and spiritually. Many families could bear sad record to the spread of this Satanic poison.]
THE WHOLE COUNSEL OF GOD TO BE PREACHED. Do you believe the Bible ? Then depend upon it hell is a subject that ought not to be kept back. It is striking to observe the many texts about it in Scripture. It is striking to observe that none say so much about it as our Lord Jesus Christ, that gracious and merciful Saviour; and the Apostle John, whose heart seems full of love. Truly it may well be doubted whether we ministers speak of it as much as we ought. I cannot forget the words of a dying hearer of Mr. Newton—“Sir, you often told me of Christ and salvation, why did you not oftener remind me of hell and danger ?” Let others hold their peace about hell if they will—I dare not do so. I see it plainly in Scripture, and I must speak of it. I fear that thousands are on that broad way that leads to it, and I would fain arouse them to a sense of the peril before them. What would you say of the man who saw his neighbour's house in danger of being burned down, and never raised the cry of "Fire"? What ought to be said of us as ministers, if we call ourselves watchmen for souls, and yet see the fires of hell raging in the distance, and never give the alarm ? Call it bad taste if you like, to speak of hell. Call it charity to make things pleasant, and speak smoothly, and soothe men with a constant lullaby of peace. From such notions of taste and charity may I ever be delivered! My notion of charity is ever to warn men plainly of danger. My notion of taste in the ministerial office is to declare all the counsel of God. If I never spoke of hell, I should think I had kept back something that was profitable, and should look on myself as an accomplice of the devil.-RYLE.
To seek to the second means with the neglect of the first is the fruit of a false faith.-Bishop Hall.
THE heir of a great estate, while a child, thinks more of a few shillings in his pocket than of his inheritance ; so a Christian is often more elated by some frame of heart than of his title to glory. Newton.