Obrázky stránek

At last, however, he gives in. He exclaims, “ Fye, fye, on my faultes and my folie : -I foolishlie once thought that I should feather à nest into this world that should never be pulled down : Mine heart hath been bent toward this vanity, that I have neither moved foote nor finger toward eternal life.”

Many interesting conversations now take place, in the course of which the dying man has his doubts removed, and his views greatly enlightened. Of the seasonable, assistance of the pastor he seems fully sensible, and his gratitude vents itself in the warmest expressions of obligation. The humble pastor is, however, far from attaching any merit to his own labours. “ We who are pastors (says he), are but the Lord's spouts and cocks of his conduits, whereby his graces are conveyed unto the hearts of our hearers.”

The advices which are bequeathed to the wife, may be listened to with advantage by the present generation.

The husband seems aware of the danger that his spouse will not tarry long to fill up the vacancy which his death will occasion, and accordingly admonishes her to content herself without carnal marriage." As for thee, my spouse, now shortlie thou art for to bee a widow : I counsell that thou marrie thyself to Christ; let him be thy spiritual spouse.”. After this preamble, he enters into the consideration of the question in form, and has the precaution to begin with a quotation on his side from St. Paul



Having exhausted this topic, he gives her the signs of the spiritual life, which is to be the object of her aim, so There must appear four effects from the four winds: From the East, the orient of that life, there must bee an arising from sinne: From the West, there must bee a dying to sinne, even a setting and going down of wickedness: From the South must come the heat of zeale, moisted with showers of tears of true repentance; and last, from the North must come a chill cold of trembling fear to offend God."

He is, however, far from wishing that, amidst her aims after more exalted objects, she should neglect the prudent management of her worldly matters.

My counsell is, that often thou reade the holie Scriptures, and particularlie the 31st chapter of the Proverbs, where thrift and godliness are joined together."

His advice touching the mode of apparelling herself is also very sound. “ Beware to out-runne thy rank, or to out-weare the fashions by attyring thyself too gorgeouslie. Soft apparele is but for kinges houses : what are such cuts and cordons, silks and satins, and other such superfluous vanities, wherewith many above their rank and place are so disgyised, but infallible tokens of an unsanctified heart? With such follies are often joined libertyne eyes, and wandering with wanton glaunces.” He seems to love to dwell upon this subject, again remarking, “ Too curious busking is the mother of lusting works, the very bush hung out for to inveigle unsanctified hearts unto folie.”

The discourse which he holds with a carnal ac. quaintance, who sounds him touching the funeral and some other particulars, indicates the same good sense. Such is his humility, that he will not even hear of a tomb-stone with his name carved upon it. Here follow his directions : * Lay me under the greene turfe. How many martyres have been burnt into ashes, which have been cast up into the winds, and scattered upon the waters? cælo tegitur qui non habet urnam." His aversion from a funeral sermon is equally repugnant. " Away," says he, 16, with the flattering panegyricks of such funeral praise. All men are lyers, but dummie cannot lýe."

A short time before the last scene, a dialogue takes place between the soul and the body, in which the latter expresses its grief at their approaching separation in a very natural way, and the former attempts to reconcile the latter to its fate, by observing, that their separation is only temporary, and that the time approaches when they shall again meet to enjoy each other's society more than ever.

) "There is perhaps as much power of imagination manifested in the dispute between the devil and the angel Michael as in any part of the work. Satan commences thus: “ I have many things to lay to this man's charge. I am the Lord's proctor and attorney, appointed to plead for his justice. I have already sifted his life. Of force this soul must be

damned. · Nane assies can cleanse it. It is now taken red hand in the path and passage of sin.” Michael is not deterred by these threatening words of the enemy, but openly challenges him to do his utmost. “Come, come, with thy most foule-mouthed objections; what canst thou alledge against the soule of this man before that it come out of the body ? Come on, fraime thy indictment against him. Discharge thy fiery. darts with the utmost of thy force.” The devil again proceeds to his accusations. “ In his youth he scorned against God's word, counting it but paper-shot. He burned with lust like an oven heated by the baker. Hee so loved his lust, that it was his love. His hands were full of pickerie; his eyes were full of adultery, and his heart was of guile, and his tongue full of lyes, ever gaggling like a goose. He was a cunning claw, back, and a paunch pike-thank. His custom was to defile the air with belghs of blasphemy. , Hee sported at all reproofs.: O. the noble juggling." There, then, this gear goeth trimme. “By hooke and by crooke he sought for gaine. How hee won it hee cared not, if men perceived not his fraud. With Judas, hee was wholly given to the bagg and baggage of his covetousnesse.” “ Christ would never be a cautioner for such a reprobate goat as he. In wickedness he hath outstripped all others; he put on Christ like an hat, which goeth off to every one that wee meete. The wyne pynt and tobacco pype, with sneesing powder, provoking snevell, were his

heart's delight.”

" At his prayers before men, he did chirpe like a grasshopper ; but where are his tears of repentance ? He in his braggs was like the hen, which cackleth at every egg she layeth.”

The reader is now perhaps sufficiently satisfied with the devil's merits as a pleader. He had, however, very soon to lower his tone some little, and it was evident that Michael would carry off the prize. He attempted to give the dying man a “girke with his rodde," but Michael prevented him.

At last he was glad to make the following humiliating proposal : “ Seeing in his life I have been his master, let him be divided; let me have any part, and let God take his choice in the partner, ship.”

Michael, of course, enters into no such bargain with Satan, but refuses any farther parley with him; and straightway, taking the soul under his protection, directs his flight to the mansions of the blessed.

Blackwood's MAGAZINE.


Said to have been written by the Author of Waverley,


To the Veiled Conductor of Blackwood's Magazine. Sir,—There are few things so much affected by the change of manners and circumstances, as the quality and the effect of evidence. Facts which our fathers

« PředchozíPokračovat »