Page images

The companions of their better days, disgusted at their vices, and trembling for their own characters, refuse to hold any intercourse with them. No decent family will employ them as servants, or admit them to lodge under their roof, even for a night. Dire necessity !--they must starve, or steal, or continue to spin out a miserable existence on the wages of iniquity, till the magistrate in mercy puts them into solitary confinement, or till disease sends them into an hospital, or hurries them into an untimely grave ! An asylum, such as this for which we plead, is their only refuge from vice and ruin, it presents the only prospect for restoring their character, and leading them to industry, to sobriety, to virtue, and to happiness. Do not force us to shut our doors against the miserable outcasts; to reject their suit, when they implore us to save them from destruction. How shall we say to them, “ We entreated your fellowcreatures on your behalf, but they do not pity, they will not help you: you have sinned beyond their compassion, and it is only permitted us to recommend you to the mercy of your offended God!”

“ We trust however, that an institution which is so necessary in this dissipated age, and which admits suitable objects from all parts of England, will receive aid for carrying forward its benevolent plans from the friends of religion in every part of the empire: we trust that our virtuous country-women in particular, will mingle compassion for their sex with detestation of the conduct of those who disgrace it ; that parents will make the case their own, and knowing what anguish would seize their hearts, were a favourite daughter to be ensnared, and what efforts they would use to snatch the deluded creature from infamy and final ruin, that they will not refuse to gladden the heart of some afflicted parent, whose grey hairs the profligacy of a child, threatens to bring down with sorrow to the grave.”

THE VISIT. A Few mornings since I had occasion to call on a friend. My business was of such a nature, and of such importance, that it had given an impetus to family affairs, so that I had unconsciously gained an hour. I rose from the family altar, threw on my bonnet and cloak, and set out in haste, in pursuit of my object.

I felt that it was early, but I knew that I should not be met with the cold and repulsive indifference of not at home; or the mistress of the house engaged. I knew the spirit of my friend was more in unison with that of an American gentleman, who, while a resident at Paris, was heard to say, that he always considered a rap at his door as a call from Providence.

As I approached the threshold of my friend's mansion, I thought I heard music. I knew that the master of the house kept a house-organ; but these strains were more like the strains of hearts and voices, commingling under the sanctifying and elevating influences of a present Deity. I almost fancied that it was the music of the upper spheres. I gave a gentle tap at the door. It was opened by a young woman, whose solemn countenance so impressed my own feelings, that I walked silently into an apartment, the door of which she cautiously opened for my entrance, without either of us having spoken. The master of the house, as I entered, politely welcomed me, by a silent bow, at the same time motioning with his hand that I should take an unoccupied seat. On observing a numerous family seated around, I suspected at once, that they had just entered upon their family devotions, and that the music I had heard was the commencement of a morning song of praise.

I cannot do justice to the scene, or convey my own impressions, without transcribing the song itself, which this family choir continued to chaunt forth.

6 Time is winging us away

To our eternal home;
Life is but a winter's day,

A journey to the tomb.
Youth and vigour soon will flee,

Blooming beauty lose its charms,
All that's mortal soon will be

Enclosed in death's cold arms.
“ Time is winging us away

To our eternal home;
Life is but a winter's day,

A journey to the tomb.
But the Christian shall enjoy,

Health and beauty, soon above;
Far beyond the world's alloy,

Secure in Jesus' love." The sentiments expressed in this sacred song, reminded me that this was, probably, my farewell call to my friends, as they were on the very eve of a removal. My heart was sad in view of our anticipated parting. The silent tear stood trembling on my cheek ; but it was not till all were prostrated, in the act of solemn worship, that my feelings were relieved by a flood of tears. As we rose, I unconsciously exclaimed, If the communion of saints on earth is so sweet, “ what will it be above?

The course which my friends pursued in regard to myself, was in strict accordance with the injunction,



your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father in heaven.'

One such example as the above, has, in some cases, produced a greater effect than an hundred

I well remember an instance of this kind. Some years since, an old revolutionary officer, tottering under the accumulated hardships of eighty years, had settled down in a state of confirmed infidelity. His wife, the partner of his early days, had made him the subject of her special prayers for forty years. He had regularly attended church, till at length he heard something in a sermon, from his minister, which he thought personal; and from that time, he deserted the house of God. This drove his poor wife almost to desperation. One morning she was taken suddenly ill. The old man went, in haste, to see if the parson's wife would make her a visit-for he was truly an affectionate husband. The good divine was just commencing family prayer. The scene so impressed this old veteran, that a few days after, he became hopefully a humble believer in Jesus.

O ye! who are loaded with the bounties of God's providence—who fare sumptuously every day! how do you know, when ye refuse admittance at your door, but that a Lazarus has come to ask for the crumbs which fall from your table ? O ye professed disciples of Christ ! How do ye know when He, who for your sakes became poor, comes to your dwelling in the garb of a humble solicitor, to ask for a pittance to rescue sinners from destruction ? Do ye measure your responsibility when ye refuse a messenger, without at least inquiring the message.

Such kind of formal intercourse, as is often prac

tised at the present day, seems but ill adapted to the responsibilities of beings who are living and acting for eternity. In the retributions of eternity, how will you bear to hear Him say, “I was a stranger and ye took me not in, naked and ye clothed me not." The customs of fashionable life, are often of a dangerous tendency. Splendid establishmentscostly furniture-expensive dress, too often engross the affections, and consume that time which, in a more humble sphere, is devoted to friendship, to charity, and to God.

F. M.


Brow of beauty! 'neath thee lie,
Charms our hearts alone descry,
Beams that from the Spirit shine,
Rays that tell of thoughts divine.
Common gazers may admire,
Glowing glances, sparks of fire,
That on the surface love to play,
Like sunbeams on the ocean's spray:
But give to me the beam less bright,
That from the soul hath drawn its light.
Deep be the fount from whence shall rise,
Those rays sublime that pierce the skies;
And seem, while fixed on worlds above,
To drink in light, and life, and love;
Or, gazing on that azure sky,
Are wrapt in bright expectancy.
Oh! mortal love can give its glow,
Its radiance to the beauteous brow,
And mortal love can fill the eye
With beams of light and extasy :
But when 'tis lit by love divine,
'Tis then we see the glory shine;
And when its joys from heaven descend,
Then faith, hope, peace, in radiance blend.

A. M. I.

« PreviousContinue »