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tion! Struck with the appalling thought, she knelt down beneath the hedge to pray — the first time, perhaps, that heart-felt and earnest prayer had gone up to heaven from her lips.
Not very long after this, as we understood, the old woman was taken ill, and unable to move from the straw, at that time her only bed, in a loft over the apartment we have described ; where, little sheltered by the broken roof, and less by the rags that scarcely covered her, she lay exposed to the inclemencies of the weather, without money to support, or a friend to comfort her. It was in this situation that her mind, dwelling probably on things that in health passed by her unregarded, received the strong and lasting impression of a vision she thought she beheld, probably in a dream ; though she herself believed she was waking. In idea she saw the broad road and the narrow, as described in Scripture. In the broad road, to use her own expressions, there were many walking; it was smooth and pleasant, and they got on fast; but the end of it was dark. On the narrow road she herself was treading, and some few others; but the way was rugged: some turned back, and others sat down, unable to proceed. She herself advanced till she reached a place more beautiful, she said, than any thing to which she could compare it. When asked what it was like, she could not say, but that it was very bright, and that there were many sitting there. Being questioned who these were, she said they
were like men and women, but larger and far more beautiful, and all dressed in "glitterings;" — such was her expression ; and one was more beautiful than the rest, whom she knew to be the Savior, because of his readiness and kindness in receiving her. But the most pleasing impression seemed to be left by the hallelujahs this company were singing. She was told by Him she knew to be the Savior, that she must go back for a little time, and then should come again to dwell with them forever.
Thus ended her vision; but not so the impression it made. The recollection of the scene she had witnessed, and of the bliss that had been promised her, seemed to lead her to the source of all her happiness. Turning her eye from earth to heaven, and fixing all her thoughts on that eternity to which she was hastening, it left her, not what she before had been, wretched on earth, and unmindful of any thing beyond; but with a heart deeply impressed with the love and mercy of God; fully and undoubtingly relying on her Savior's promise, and proving the reality of those feelings by earnest devotion, and most cheerful acquiescence in her Maker's will. It was not the fervor of a first impression — the enthusiasm of an excited imagination. She survived six or seven years, but time made no change in her feelings. She passed those years in the extreme of poverty, dependent on the alms of some few persons who knew and visited her : she passed them in pain and helplessness; mocked and ill treated by her
husband and her sons, and insulted often by her unfeeling neighbors, who came to laugh at her devotion and ridicule her hopes.
For these, as well as for some who visited her for kinder purposes, she had but one answer she wished them all like her; prayed that they might only be as happy as herself. When told what she had seen was a mere dream and a delusion, she said it did not signify to tell her that she had seen it, and it was the recollection of it that made her nights so short and her days so happy. “And what does it signify," she added, “that they swear at me, and tell me I am a foolish old woman don't I know how happy I am ?”
During the many years that she survived, the minister of the parish saw her frequently, and found little variation in her feelings, none in her firm adherence to the tale she at first had told; and the persuasion that what she had seen was a blessed reality, sufficient to make her happy in every extreme of earthly wretchedness. And he saw her die, as she had lived, in holy, calm, and confident reliance on her Savior's promises.
To what I have written, I could find much to add, having notes of all that passed during the protracted years of this devoted woman's life. But my purpose is not to make a story. I have witnessed only to what I saw, and repeated only what my ear has listened to. And I have repeated it but to prove that the happiness which all men seek, and most
complain they find not, has sometimes an abode where we should least expect to find it. This is an extreme case; extreme in mental enjoyment, as in external misery. But it is true. And if it be so, that a being debarred the most common comforts of life, almost of the light and air of heaven, suffering, and incapable even to clothe herself, or cleanse her unsightly dwelling, could yet pass years of so much happiness, that her warmest expression of gratitude to her benefactors was to wish them a portion as happy as her own, what are we to say to those, who, amid the overflow of earthly good, make the wide world resound with their complainings? How are we to understand it, that, while blessings are showered around us as the summer rain, there is so little real happiness on earth ? Because we seek it not aright — we seek it where it is not, in outward circumstance and external good, and neglect to seek it, where alone it dwells, in the close chambers of the bosom. We would have a happiness in time, independent of eternity; we would have it independent of the Being whose it is to give; and so we go forth, each one as best we may, to seek out the rich possession for ourselves. But disappointment attends every step in the pursuit of happiness, until we seek it where alone it can be found.
O, come there,
And sing there -
Then kneel there,
Let me die
When his beams