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led not to expect the same indulgences | trusted to the priests to secure her as the other children, as they were being educated for the world, but she for a "religious." Her childish imagination was fired by glowing descriptions of heaven; and when she asked if she should ever reach that happy place, she was told she would without doubt, for she was to enter upon a "religious life," | and be a bride of Christ; and, of course, His bride would be with Him in heaven. Strengthened by this hope, she heroically bore the mortifications and self-denials imposed upon her, for the sake of the happiness for which they were preparing her; and she longed for the time when she should enter those walls, which she looked upon as the portals of heaven."
entrance into heaven; and, believing herself to be a member of the true catholic church, thought she was quite certain of eternal happiness. But the forms of Romanism are powerless when conscience is really awakened. When Mrs. A-n saw death approaching by rapid strides, the thought of eternity overwhelmed her. She sent for the priests, and told them what agony of mind she endured at the prospect of appearing before God. They appointed various services of the church for her,directed her in her devotions,―lent her books to read, and did everything in their power to allay her mental sufferings. But it was all in vain; her When it is added that the guardian misery increased. Her eldest daughter, of these young girls, (appointed by their being then about twenty-one years of mother's desire,) whom they were ac- age, suggested that some comfort might customed from their childhood greatly be derived from the bible; not that she to reverence and esteem, was the well-knew its value herself, but she perceived known Dr. Doyle, the Roman catholic her mother's distress, and how unavailbishop of Kildare and Leighlin, the author of controversial works remarkable for the vigour with which they are composed and the ingenuity which they display, it will be seen that no case could easily be imagined in which the entrance of scriptural light and the renunciation of Romish error were, humanly speaking, more unlikely, or in which conversion actually occurring could more beautifully exhibit the force of truth and the efficacy of the grace of God. The means by which the change was brought about were such as to render it still more interesting. There was no intervention of human instrumentality we are called to contemplate only the providence of God, the Word of God, and the Spirit of God.
Mrs. An was laid upon her deathbed. Then she began to feel a new anxiety concerning her spiritual state. She had been accustomed to regard the future with an unwarranted confidence. She knew not the work of Christ; she
ing every expedient yet tried had proved
They too gazed upon the scene and upon her, and all remained in silence for a time. At length she broke the silence, saying, with great emphasis, "I know that my Redeemer liveth." The exertion was too great, she fell back in the chair; and they were the last words she spoke.
After this, it is not wonderful that Sarah A-n should have addicted herself to the study of the bible, nor that she should have begun to entertain some doubts as to the assertions and claims of the church of Rome. She had seen its priests, with all their appliances, fail in the attempt to comfort an agonized soul: she had seen that soul filled with joy and peace through the perusal of the Word of God; she had seen, first in her father and then in her mother, the value of the bible proved amidst the trials of a death-bed. The Spirit of God gave efficacy to the word in her case likewise, and she became first of all a living Christian, and then, according to her conviction of duty, renounced all connection with the church of Rome.
The happy change which had taken place in her had taken place also in her sister. The two sisters attained their knowledge of the truth and came to the resolution of separating from the church of Rome when they were living apart from one another, and without ever having had any communication with one another on the subject.
They felt it their duty to communicate their resolution to their guardian, Dr. Doyle, whom they regarded with filial attachment, and who, on his part, regarded them also with the sincerest affection, who reasoned with them, corresponded with them, lent them books, and tried to exert his authority to win them back to Rome.
At length, he said he would only lend them one other book, a great quarto volume, of which the only other
copy in existence was in the Vatican library. If that did not shake their opinion he should give up the contest, and argue no more with them, but consider them quite irreclaimable. This book consisted principally of accounts of the private life of Luther, and others amongst the Reformers, which were clothed in the blackest colours; grievous crimes were laid to their charge, and all their imperfections magnified.
When they had waded through this great book, a day and hour were appointed, on which they were to give their final and decisive answer. They went to Dr. Doyle's house; he soon made his appearance, and sitting down between the sisters, he first turned to the elder one, and asked her if she still maintained the same opinion. She answered firmly, but respectfully, "I will not weary you with a repetition of the opinions I have expressed, but they have not changed." He then asked Bessie if she agreed with her sister? She said, " Fully and entirely our judgments on this matter are quite agreed." He then rose and stood before them, and for not less than two hours, gave a most impassioned address; in which, with all the powers of eloquence with which a deep interest in their welfare inspired him, he appealed, first, to their reason, and then to their affections and feelings, and ended by saying to Sarah, “And, not content with throwing yourself into the dark abyss of error and perdition which yawns at your feet, you drag your young sister with you; and will have to account, before the judgment-seat of God, for the ruin of her soul, as well as for that of your own." He ended, and fell back in a chair, overwhelmed with fatigue and emotion. During all the time he spoke, Sarah had not moved a muscle, or raised her eyes from the ground; and, when he had ceased, a sharp conflict was taking place between her natural affection and conscience. *** She lifted
spectacle of her Christian meekness and faithfulness may have made upon him will probably never be known till the day in which the secrets of all hearts shall be revealed,-what reflections were awakened in his mind,-how much he profited by her conversation, and condescended to receive instruction from her whose opinions and arguments he had affected to despise, and how far he imbibed the same sentiments and derived comfort on his death-bed from the same doctrines of evangelical reli
her heart in prayer to God for help in this trying moment; and she received help; conscience prevailed; the struggle was over; and she turned to Bessie, and said, "We had better return now." She made an attempt to rise, but fell back, having lost the use of her limbs from a stroke of paralysis, brought on, it was supposed, by suppressing her emotion during that long heart-rending speech, in which her feelings had been wrought to the highest pitch; and had either been too deep for manifestation, or she had exerted such a strong effort to sup-gion, of which he had been long so press them, that it was too much for her strength. Dr. Doyle was by her side in an instant, deeply grieved at the result of the interview. He raised her, and urged her to make an effort to walk, but it was useless.
Sarah was carried home, and confined to a sick room for some months; and during the whole remainder of her life, which was prolonged for some years, she seldom could walk without help, and then only for a short distance.
Dr. Doyle's regret for what had taken place, and the kindness which he always afterwards showed, must be mentioned to his credit. But that she to whom he was the unintentional cause of such suffering, should have continued to regard him with the affection she ever felt for him, and to labour so unweariedly for his spiritual good, should surely also be mentioned to her praise, and to the praise of that grace which had infused into her heart so gentle a spirit. What impression the very
vehement an opponent. She was prevented from seeing him in his last illness, nor had any one access to him then but those who were likely to be silent upon such a theme. An inscription upon his monument in Carlow Cathedral, declares his dying wish that the poor, who had been the special objects of his pastoral solicitude, should be reminded to pray for the repose of his soul,-but it need not be concealed that the conviction both of Sarah A- -n and of her sister was, that he had embraced a better hope, even the blood of Jesus, and renounced the dead works of Romish ceremonies, and had died in the faith of Christ.
The sisters were soon after separated from one another in consequence of the death of their eldest brother, and other circumstances,-Sarah died in February, 1840; her sister became, in April, 1841, the wife of Mr. A—— W——, and died on the 17th day of March, 1842, shortly after having given birth to a little girl.
THE NEGRO HUNT.
BY THE REV. THOMAS D. BAIN.
It is not at all wonderful that the slaves, under the cruel treatment to which they are subjected, should be perpetually attempting to escape. But
in the Southern States, escape is scarcely possible; hence they take to the woods, kill wild hogs, rob meat houses, and steal corn from the cribs of their cruel
taskmasters. Sometimes, in a particular district, there will be as many as ten negroes "lying out," belonging to different owners. Every theft that is committed, every store that is broken open, every hog that is stolen, is laid to their charge; while it is well known that the domestic negroes plunder right and left, and commit the most barefaced robberies, calculating that all will be considered as the acts of the runaways. Then a number of planters meet for consultation. They gravely talk of the rights of property, the threatened security of human character and human life-and from the awfully alarming aspect of affairs, they at once propose "a nigger hunt" through the woods, to put a stop to these depredations, vainly imagining that these trifling robberies will justify them in using the most cruel means in capturing the poor slave. A day is duly appointed; they assemble, the horns are blown, and the negro dogs collected, and then the whole party start off on horseback with as much glee as if they were going out on a deer-hunting expedition. It is next to an impossibility to escape these dogs. If a negro be hidden in the woods or secreted in the swamps for five or ten miles round, they are sure to trace him to his retreat, no matter what means he uses to destroy the trail. It is usual for the negro to make for the first river or creek, jump in, swim down the stream, and then pursue his course. But there is no eluding the quick scent of the ferocious animals. They will trail him to the water's edge, and crossing, fly down the river bank till they come upon his track again, and then run off in full pursuit. Of course the negro becomes exhausted in a chase of five or seven miles, and there is no alternative left but to climb the nearest tree. Immediately the dogs are there, and like a pack of wolves keep up a constant howl, attracting the attention of the pursuers, who now come leisurely, knowing that
their victim is secure. They order him down. He refuses. They next threaten to shoot him, pointing the loaded rifle at him, all to no purpose. The remedy is at hand, and the fatal axe is applied to the tree-then he knows infallibly that all is over. He prays for mercy; but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel; and it is no uncommon practice to allow the bloodhounds to bite and tear the unfortunate wretch, in order, as they say, to terrify the negro and increase the ferocity of the dogs! The whole scene now described has been gone through in the locality where I resided. I have seen the dogs, the captured negro, and often wondered why God permitted such deeds of cruel tyranny, and could only find relief in the solemn declaration of the divine word, "If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter; for He that is higher than the highest regardeth, and there be higher than they."
It is but justice to add, that many large slave-owners, men of humane feeling and Christian principle, highly disapprove of the savage doings of their neighbours, and have expressed themselves confidentially to me, as opposed to the whole system, and longing for the time when there shall not be a single bondman in their country. But such men are publicly spoken of as being of "no account," as harbourers of runaways, and by their clemency giving encouragement to revolt and insurrection. Individually many would liberate their slaves, but it is contrary to law to do so, unless they remove them out of the country. This despotic law precludes the possibility of individual example and influence being brought to bear upon the inhuman system, and it has therefore been perpetuated from one generation to another.
WHAT GOD DO THEY WORSHIP?
A HINDOO youth, being informed by a missionary lady that her friends in America were not all Christians, looked in her face with astonishment. "What God do they worship?" he asked.
sacrifice to devils;" and their wisdom is turned to folly, and their affections become "earthly, sensual, devilish." If they worship, in spirit and in truth, a holy, just, good, every way perfect God, they will be "changed into the same image, from glory to glory."
The heathen all worship something. For a human being, weak, frail, mortal, surrounded by the proofs of a power which he cannot direct or resist, and feeling himself borne along in a movement which he did not originate and cannot control,-for such a being to have no higher dependence than his own wisdom, and higher law than his own will, seems monstrous. The Hindoo does not understand such presumption. Some of his countrymen, indeed, have been so far educated as to despise the fables of their ancestors, but have not accepted the Christian Jehovah as their father, or his Christ as their Saviour. They are mere infidels. The idolater shudders at impiety like this. He says that a man had better worship stocks and stones than to worship nothing. He is partly right; he who does not worship is not more than half a man. But men may and do worship objects that only make them worse. If they worship gods whose character is all evil, they will become like the gods they worship. And so says the apostle, "The things which the gentiles sacrifice they | him.
Reader, in a Christian land, this is your high privilege. Our God reveals himself to your faith. He commands your worship, invites your love, and would requite your trust by purifying and perfecting your soul. As a pledge and as the sure channel of his grace, he has given his Son. Do you worship and serve him? If not, what do you worship? Not the heavens and earth, nor the work of men's hands, surely. Is it the world,-its wealth, honours, and flatteries? The world passeth away and the lust thereof. Or is it YOURSELF? repeating continually the sin of our first parents, who disobeyed their Maker that they might "be as gods!" What idolatry could be more wretched? The Hindoo, bowing before the monsters of his fear, confesses his own weakness, and so confesses a great truth. The man who worships and serves only his own miserable self, utters and acts a monstrous falsehood. The most degraded heathen condemn
THE INDEPENDENCE OF THE CHRISTIAN SYSTEM.
THERE is a unity, or rather a unique- | of wisdom and of knowledge-it stands ness in Christian truth, an individuality, alone amidst the mental scenery which an isolation, a solitary grandeur which fires the imagination whilst it inspires the heart. It has an independency which is the legitimate consequence of its extraordinary origin. It draws no light and gathers no strength from other compilations of thought, other theories
VOL. XV.-FOURTHI SERIES.
stretches in fascination or in wildness around it, like some glorious mountain which lifts its inaccessible summit to the skies, while the lowlier hills lie in homage at its base. We can but regard, therefore, that phase of unbelief which professes to consider a modified Christi