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active and ardent spirit, she employed in the service of her Redeemer. Among her gay companions, she took at once a decided stand for God and heaven. She was no more seen in the resorts of fashionable gaiety, where she had once shone. Pursuits that had before afforded her pleasure, were now distasteful, and were relinquished, as well from inclination as duty; and though ever gentle and kind in her deportment to all around her, it was soon evident to her former young friends, that there no longer existed any congeniality between her and them. By degrees they left her for new and gayer associates, while she pursued, alone, the path of peace. How bright and steady was her onward course, and how widely extended became the sphere of her usefulness!
“I seem to see her still, as she sat, Sabbath after Sabbath, in the Sunday-school, surrounded by her little class, not one of whom was ever willing to be absent from her accustomed place, her speaking face lighted with the glow of holy love; and while she instilled into their young hearts the truths that were so precious to her own soul, so absorbed and delighted was she with her office, that all else was forgotten! Few are the teachers who have to encounter more difficulties in fulfilling the duties of their station, and fewer still those who discharge them as faithfully. During the week, her time was fully occupied with pressing and important duties, yet she never neglected to visit her class, and was unwearied in her efforts to interest and benefit them. By frequent, private, religious conversation, or if this was impracticable, by writing to them familiar notes on the subject of personal piety-in short by every method that her energetic mind and affectionate heart could devise, she sought to increase her influence over them, and to lead them to Jesus.
“Nor were the poor and afflicted neglected by her. In the intervals of daily duties, which others would have spent in relaxation and repose, she bent her steps to the dwelling of the sad and destitute. Often, at the close of the day, when wearied with exertion, she still would not hesitate to take a long walk to some humble home, if by a few words of encouragement, or an act of kindness, she could alleviate the sorrows or cares of its inmates. I remember once meeting her on her return from one of these excursions, looking pale and exhausted from fatigue. I ventured to remonstrate with her, and urged her not to undertake so much, but to spare herself such unwonted exertions. 'I must work while it is called to-day, she replied, in a gentle, yet decided tone, (while a sweet, thoughtful expression passed over her face,) I seem to hear a voice saying, "The time is short, whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do quickly! She spoke with so much and such an earnest emphasis, that I inquired almost anxiously if she was indisposed, but receiving her cheerful answer in the negative, and knowing what perfect health she had always enjoyed, my apprehensions were removed, and begging her to avoid such excessive fatigue in future, we parted.
"In the large circle of pious friends in which Alice moved, and in her own home, she shone conspicuously in every Christian grace. She peculiarly excelled in rendering all those little endearing attentions that make up the sum of domestic happiness. She seemed to live only for others; no selfish emotion or plan was visible in her conduct or words, and she was almost constantly busied in some employment for the benefit or pleasure of others, Every returning birth-day, or anniversary of any incident of interest in the lives of those she loved, was sweetly remembered and recalled by some memento of affection an article of dress, that her own hands had wrought, or a drawing from her skilful pencil. How closely such a companion would entwine herself around the hearts of those, who were privileged to call her theirs for a little season, only they can realize who have had such a tie
“There was one striking characteristicof the intercourse of Alice even with her most intimate friends her conversation was always on useful topics. Her mind was too full of plans of usefulness, and her hands of putting them into execution, to allow time or thought for any of the foolish day-dreams, in which too many young females indulge; and, as it is only 'out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh,' her tongue was never em
ployed on such idle and unprofitable themes. The incidents of her future life she resigned, without a careful thought, into the hands of her covenant God. She only asked that she might labour for Him. This left her mind free to be engrossed with the concerns and interests of others, enabling her so quickly and readily to understand their feelings, and, with a grace peculiarly her own, to express the sympathy of her warm and disinterested heart.
“Indeed, if ever there dwelt on earth one Christian who emphatically obeyed the apostolical injunction, 'Bear ye oneanother's burdens,' it was Alice Lee. One instance of her sweet forgetfulness of self can never be forgotten. An intimate friend called to see her, when she was about to leave home and was suffering from indisposition. She found Alice in the midst of hurried preparations, surrounded by all the bustle, and petty yet engrossing cares, that require attention on the eve of an anticipated absence of some months. Her friend had intended seeking the sympathy so readily bestowed, in a matter that perplexed and distressed her, but perceiving her situation she resolved to say nothing on the subject. Persons usually on such occasions have no time to think of any thing but their own plans and wants, but the watchful eye of the self-forgetting Alice quickly detected the unwonted emotions of her friend; and turning at once from the preparations she was busily making, she sat down beside her, and taking her hand in hers, said tenderly, 'I am sure something distresses you this morning; will you not tell me what it is?' So entirely, then, was every care of her own laid aside, and so completely was the strong current of her generous soul moved by the explanation that followed such an appeal, that it would have been difficult for an observer to have decided which felt the most deeply, the narrator or her listener.
“Friendship would never weary of the theme; but I may not linger longer on the rare and exalted qualities of my precious Alice. Suffice it to say, that in the church of which she was an ornament, in the circle in which she moved, and her own home, she was a bright and burning light;' and that amid the excitement and turmoil of a city life, she walked with God, making His will the
guide of her conduct, His glory the object of her daily efforts; being in the world, and yet not of the world.
"He that is faithful in a few things, shall be made ruler over many things,' is the exposition that our Lord himself gives of the dealings of His providence with His children; and accordingly Alice was called to fill a new station, involving great responsibilities. She became the wife of a minister of the Gospel, and prepared herself to discharge the important duties involved in that relation. With every prospect of a long life of happiness and usefulness, she turned from the home of her childhood, and from the vineyard in which she had so untiringly and faithfully laboured, to another and more prominent sphere of action. To her pastor, to her Sabbath school class, and to the warmly attached circle of friends whom she had drawn around her, the parting was peculiarly bitter and trying, yet scarcely more felt by them than by her, who, in the midst of her bright hopes and new sources of happiness, still thought far more of the feel ings of others than of her own.
"The scenes and duties upon which Alice now entered, had no power to wean her heart from those she left, to mourn the absence of their sweet comforter and friend. Though distant, she still cherished their memories, and her frequent letters and inquiries proved not one of their individual cares was forgotten, and at their occasional meetings her interest was as warmly and sincerely expressed as when sharing their daily walks.
“How efficiently and diligently she laboured for the good of those who came within the reach of her influence in her new home, one who knew and witnessed her efforts, thus speaks— She went about doing good, and whether in the Sunday-school, or at the bed-side of the sick, or in the abode of poverty and distress, she recommended by her sweet example, the Saviour, whom she had found precious to her soul
"Eighteen months passed quickly away. It was on maristmas eve that, according to her usual custom of Chrking that season with some memento of affection, I received a letter from my absent friend. It contained a single reference to indisposition, which, though she deemed it slight, had already begun to excite the apprehensions of her friends. Too painfully were their fears realized. A few weeks of doubt and anxiety passed, and then came another letter to tell me that she had taken her place among the pure inhabitants of heaven. Her departure was sudden and unexpected, and her loss such as only those who felt it can know.
“Throughout her last sickness,' remarks the friend from whose letter a previous extract has been taken, "and amid all the crosses incident to her station, no note of complaint ever escaped her lips. “God's will be done!" was the uniform language of her gentle life; and although the progress of her disease forbade her to speak of her Christian hopes in her last moments, yet her life gave the sweetest, as it is the highest, assurance that she had been washed in the blood of the Lamb slain for sinners, and that she had entered into that rest which remaineth for the righteous. She came into our community, and moved amongst us, as a beam of light; she has gone back to her native skies, and left the shadow of grief upon every heart. Long may the odour of her loveliness linger in the circles where it was shed, and many be the souls whom it may win to the Redeemer!
"It was a source of consolation to the bleeding hearts that her death made desolate, that her tender spirit was not called to endure the anguish of parting, that would have been so deep and exquisite to one whose heart was so finely strung. All unconsciously to the meek and quiet sufferer, the 'golden bowl was broken,' and the ties severed that bound her to the earth. She awoke from the stupor of disease amid the glories of the celestial city;' and the sounds that first fell upon her ear were not those of sorrow, but the song of that redeemed company that encircle the throne of God and of the Lamb."