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Increasing interest.

Unwilling to yield to God.

ing your Heavenly Father. And he has heard you say this evening, that you do not feel that you have done wrong, and he sees your heart and knows how unfeeling it is. Now, Louisa, you must be lost, unless you repent of your sins and ask humbly and earnestly for forgiveness. And why will you not? You know that Christ has died to atone for sin, and that God will forgive you for his Son's sake, if you are penitent."

To this Louisa made no reply. She did not seem displeased, neither did her feelings appear subdued.

After addressing a few general remarks to my young. friends, we kneeled in prayer, and the interview closed. Another meeting was appointed on the same evening of the succeeding week. Louisa again made her appearance with the same young ladies and a few others. She appeared much more deeply impressed. Her coldness and reserve had given place to a frank expression of interest and exhibition of feeling.

Well, Louisa," said I, as in turn I commenced conversing with her, "I was almost afraid I should not see you here this evening."

"I feel, sir," said she, "that it is time for me to attend to my immortal soul. I have neglected it too long."

"Do you feel that you are a sinner, Louisa?”

"Yes, sir, I do."

"Do you think, Louisa, you have any claim upon God to forgive you?"


No, sir. It would be just in God to leave me to perish. I think I want to repent, but I cannot. I want to love God, but do not know how I can."

"Do you remember, Louisa, that Christ has said, 'Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple?'

"Yes, sir."



Well, Louisa, now count the cost; are you ready to give up all for Christ? Are you ready to turn from your gay companions, and lay aside your frivolous pleasures,

Her sickness.

She sends for her pastor.

and acknowledge the Savior publicly, and be derided, as perhaps you will be, by your former friends, and live a life of prayer and of effort to do good?"

She hesitated for a moment, and then replied, “I am afraid not."

"Well, Louisa, the terms of acceptance with God are plain, and there is no altering them. You cannot serve God and mammon. If you would be a Christian, you must renounce all sin, and with a broken heart surrender yourself entirely to the Savior."

The evening's interview closed as before, and a similar appointment was made for the next week. Some of the young ladies present, I had reason to believe, had accepted the terms of salvation. The next week about the same number were present, but Louisa was not with them; a slight cold had detained her. But the week after she again appeared. To my great disappointment I found her interest diminishing. Though not exhibiting that cold reserve which she at first manifested, she seemed far less anxious than at our last interview: the Spirit was grieved away. This was the last time she called to see me; but, alas! I was soon called to see her under circumstances which at that time were but little anticipated. These social meetings continued for some time, and many of Louisa's associates, I have cause to hope, became the disciples of Jesus.

Two or three months passed away, and my various duties so far engrossed my mind, that my particular interest in Louisa's spiritual welfare had given place to other sclicitudes; when one day as I was riding out, making parochial visits, one of my parishioners informed me that she was quite unwell, and desired to see me. In a few moments I was in her sick chamber. She had taken a violent cold, and it had settled into a fever. She was lying in her bed, her cheek glowing with the feverish hue, and her lips parched with thirst. She seemed agitated when I entered the room, and the moment I stood by her bedside and in

Her alarm.

Her increasing anxiety.

quired how she did, she covered her face with both hands and burst into a flood of tears.

Her sister, who was by her bedside, immediately turned to me and said, "Sir, she is in great distress of mind. Mental agony has kept her awake nearly all night. She has wanted very much to see you, that you might converse with her."

I was fearful that the agitation of her feelings might seriously injure her health, and did all I consistently could to soothe and quiet her.

"But, sir," said Louisa, "I am sick, and may die; I know that I am not a Christian, and O if I die in this state of mind, what will become of me? What will become of me?" and she again burst into tears.

What could I say? Every word she said was true. Her eyes were opened to her danger. There was cause for alarm. Sickness was upon her. Delirium might soon ensue; death might be very near; and her soul was unprepared to appear before God. She saw it all; she felt it all. Fever was burning in her veins. But she forgot her pain, in view of the terrors of approaching judgment.

I told her that the Lord was good, and that his tender mercies were over all his works; that He was more ready to forgive than we to ask forgiveness.


But, sir," said she, "I have known my duty long, and have not done it. I have been ashamed of the Savior, and grieved away the Spirit; and now I am upon a sick bed, and perhaps must die. O, if I were but a Christian, I should be willing to die."

I told her of the Savior's love. I pointed to many of God's precious promises to the penitent. I endeavored to induce her to resign her soul calmly to the Savior. But all was unavailing. Trembling and agitated she was looking forward to the dark future. The Spirit of the Lord had opened her eyes, and through her own reflections had led her into this state of alarm. I knelt by her bedside and fervently prayed that the Holy Spirit would guide her to

Death-bed repentance.

Increasing sickness, and mental suffering.

the truth, and that the Savior would speak peace to her troubled soul. O could they, who are postponing repentance to a sick bed, have witnessed the suffering of this once merry girl, they would shudder at the thought of trusting to a dying hour. How poor a time to prepare to meet God, when the mind is enfeebled, when the body is restless or racked with pain, and when mental agitation frustrates the skill of the physician. Yet so it is. One half the world are postponing repentance to a dying bed. And when sickness comes, the very circumstance of being unprepared hurries the miserable victim to the grave.

The next day I called again to see Louisa. Her fever was still raging, and its fires were fanned by mental suffering. Poor girl! thought I, as the first glance of her countenance showed the strong lineaments of despair. I needed not to ask how she felt. Her countenance told her feelings. And I knew that while her mind was in this state, restoration to health was out of the question.

"And can you not, Louisa," said I, "trust your soul with the Savior who died for you? He has said, 'Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.'

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'O, sir, I know the Savior is merciful, but somehow or other I cannot go to him, I know not why-O, I am miserable indeed."

"Do you think, Louisa, that you are penitent for sin? If you are, you are forgiven; for God who gave his Son to die for us, is more ready to pardon than we to ask forgiveness. He is more ready to give good gifts to the penitent than any earthly parent to give bread to his hungry child."

I then opened the Bible at the 15th chapter of Luke, and read the parable of the prodigal son. I particularly directed her attention to the 20th verse: "When he was yet a great way off his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell upon his neck and kissed him."

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'O, sir," said she, none of these promises are for me. I find no peace to my troubled spirit. I have long been

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Louisa's despair.

Her advice to her young friends.

sinning against God, and now he is summoning me to render up my account, and O! what an account have I to render! The doctor gives me medicine, but I feel that it does no good, for I can think of nothing but my poor soul. Even if I were perfectly well, I could hardly endure the view which God has given me of my sins. If they were forgiven, how happy should I be! but now-O!"-her voice was stopped by a fit of shuddering, which agitated those around her with the fear that she might be dying. Soon, however, her nerves were more quiet, and I kneeled to commend her spirit to the Lord.

As I rode home, her despairing countenance was unceasingly before me. Her lamentations, her mournful groans, were continually crying in my ears. As I kneeled with my family at evening, I bore Louisa upon my heart to the throne of grace. All night I was restlessly upon my pillow, dreaming of unavailing efforts at this sick bed.

Another morning came. As I knocked at the door of her dwelling, I felt a most painful solicitude as to the answer I might receive.

"How is Louisa this morning?" said I to the person who opened the door.

"She is fast failing, sir, and the doctor thinks she cannot recover. We have just sent for her friends to come and see her before she dies."

She says

"Is her mind more composed than it has been?" "O no, sir. She has had a dreadful night. that she is lost, and that there is no hope for her.”

I went into her chamber. Despair was pictured more deeply than ever upon her flushed and fevered counte

I was surprised at the strength she still manifested sed from side to side. Death was evidently She knew it. She had lived without God, unprepared to appear before him. A were standing by her bedside.

affecting terms to prepare for

them of the mental agony

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