BY THE LATE
REV. LEGH RICHMOND, M.A..,
RECTOR OF TURVEY.
" He shall feed his flock like a shepherd i he shall gather
the lImbswith his arms, and carry them in his bosomn,and
shall gently lead those that are with young."-Is. xl. 11.
THE RELIGIOUS TRACT SOCI
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WN Na serious Christian turns his ten.
tion to the barren state of the wilj ness
through which he is travelling, fre' qently
must lie heave a sigh for the sins and
sorrows of his fellow mortals. The re-
newed heart thirsts with holy desire, that
SiTHE YOUNG COTTAGKER.
the paradise, which was lost through
Adim, may be fully regained in Christ.
But the overflowing of sin within and
without, the contempt of sacred institu-
tions, the carelessness of soul, the pride
of unbelief, the eagerness of sensual ap-
petite, the ambition for worldly greatness,
and the deep-rooted enmity of the carnal
heart against God;-these things are as
"the fiery serpents, and scorpions, and
drought," which distress his soul, as lie
journeys through that great and terrible
Sometimes, like a solitary pilgrim, he
"weeps in secret places," and rivers of
waters run down his eyes because men
keep not the law of God."
Occasionally he meets with a few fel-
low travellers, whose spirit is congenial
with his own, and with whom he can
take "sweet counsel together." They
comfort and strengthen each other by the
way. Each can relate something of the
mercies of his God, and how kindly he
has dealt with them, as they travelled
onwards. The dreariness of the path is
thus beguiled, and now and then for a
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. I
while, happy experience of the Divine
consolations cheer their souls; "the wil-
derness and the solitary place is glad for
them; the desert rejoices and blossoms
as the rose."
But even at the very time when the
Christian is taught to feel the peace of
God which passeth all understanding, to
trust that he is personally interested in
the blessings of salvation, and to believe
that God will promote his own glory by
glorifying the penitent sinner, yet sor-
rows will mingle with his comforts, and
he will rejoice, not without trembling,
when he reflects on the state of other
men. The anxieties connected with
earthly relations are all alive in his soul,
and, through the operation of the Spirit
of God, become sanctified principles and
motives for action. As the husband and
father of a family; as the neighbour ot
the poor, the ignorant, the wicked, and
the wretched; above all, as the spiritual
overseer of the flock, if such be his holy
calling, the heart which has been taught
to feel for its own case, will abundantly
feel for others.
8 THE YOUNG COTTAGEIR.
But when he attempts to devise means
in order to stem the torrent of iniquity,
to instruct the ignorant, and to convert
the sinner from the error of his way, he
cannot help crying out, "Who is sufficient
for these things?" Unbelief pauses over
the question, and trembles. But faith
quickly revives the inquirer with the
cheering assurance, that our sufficiency
is of God," and saith, Commit thy way
unto the Lord, and he shall bring it to
When he is thus affectionately engaged
for the good of mankind, he will become
seriously impressed with the necessity of
early attentions to the young in particu-
lar. Many around him are grown grey-
headed in sin, and give but little prospect
of amendment. Many of the parents and
heads of families are so eagerly busied in
the profits, pleasures, and occupations of
the world, that they heed not the warning
voice of their instructor. Many of their
elder children are launching out into life,
headstrong, unruly, earthly, sensual, de-
vilish;" they likewise treat the wisdom
of God, as if it were foolishness. Buit,
THE YOUNG COTITAGKEI. J
under these discouragements, we may
often turn with hope to the very young,
to the little ones of the flock, and endea-
vour to teach them to sing hosannas to
the Son of David, before their minds are
wholly absorbed in the world and its
allurements. We may trust that a bless-
ing shall attend such labours, if under-
taken in faith and simplicity, ana that
some at least of our youthful disciples,
like Josiah, while they are yet young,
may begin to seek after the God of their
Such an employment, especially when
blessed by any actual instances of real
good produced, enlivens the mind with
hope, and fills it with gratitude. We are
thence led to trust that the next genera-
tion may become more fruitful unto God
than the present, and the church of Christ
be replenished with many such as have
been called into the vineyard "early in
the morning." And should our endea-
vours for a length of tune apparently fail
of success, yet we ought not to despair.
Early impressions and convictions of con-
science have sometimes lain dormant for
10 THE YOUNG COTTAGER.
years, and at last revived into gracious
existence and maturity. It was not said
in vain, Train up a child in the way he
should go, and when he is old, he will not
depart from it."
I What a gratifying occupation it. is to
an affectionate mind, even in a way of
nature, to walk through the fields, to lead
a little child by the hand, enjoying its
infantine prattle, and striving to improve
the time by some kind word of instruc-
tion I wish that every Christian pilgrim
in the way of grace, as he walks through
the Lord's pastures, would try to lead at
least one little child by the hand; and
perhaps while lie is endeavouring to guide
and preserve his young and feeble com-
panion, the Lord will recompense him
double for all his cares, by comforting his
own heart in the attempt. The experi-
ment is worth the trial. It is supported
by this recollection: "The Lord will
come with strong hand, and his arm
shall rule for him : behold, his reward is
with him, and his work before him. IIe
shall feed his flock like a shepherd: lie
shall gather the lambs with his arm, and
THE YOUNG COTTAGE. If
carry them in his bosom, and shall gentll
lead those that are with young."
I shall plead no further apology foi
introducing to the notice of my readers a
few particulars relative to a young female
cottager, whose memory is particularly
endeared to me, from the circumstance of
ler being, so far as I can trace or disco-
ver, my first-born spiritual child in the
ministry of the gospel. She was certainly
the first, of whose conversion to God,.
under my own pastoral instruction, I can
speak with precision and assurance.
Every parent of a family knows that
there is a very interesting emotion of
heart connected with the birth of his first-
born child. Energies and affections, to
which the mind has hitherto been almost
a stranger, begin to unfold themselves
and expand into active existence, when
he first is hailed as a father. But may
not the spiritual father be allowed the
possession and indulgence of a similar
sensation in his connexion with the chil-
dren whom the Lord gives him, as begot-
ten through the ministry of the word of
life If the first-born child in nature be
12 THE YOUNG COTTAGER.
received as a new and acceptable blessing,
how much more so the first-born child in
grace? I claim this privilege; and crave
permission, in writing what follows, to
erect a monumental record, sacred to the
memory of a dear little child, who, I trust,
will at the last day prove my crown of
Jane S- was the daughter of poor
parents, in the village where it pleased
God first to cast my lot in the ministry.
My acquaintance with her commenced
when she was twelve years of age, by her
weekly attendance at my house, amongst
a number of children whom I invited and
regularly instructed every Saturday after-
They used to read, repeat catechisms,
psalms, hymns, and portions of Scripture.
I accustomed them also to pass a kind of
free conversational examination, accord-
ing to their age and ability, in those sub-
jects by which I hoped. to see them made
wise unto salvation.
On the summer evenings, I frequently
used to assemble this little group out of
doors in my garden, sitting under the
TIE YOUNG COTTAGER. 10
shade of some trees which protected us
from the heat of the sun. From hence a
scene appeared which rendered my occu-
pation the more interesting. For adjoin-
ing the spot where we sat, and only
separated from us by a fence, was the
churchyard, surrounded with .beautiful
prospects in every direction.
There lay the mortal remains of thou-
sands, who from age to age, in their dif-
ferent generations, had been successively
committed to the grave, earth to earth,
ashes to ashes, dust to dust." Here the
once famed ancestors of the rich, and the
less known forefathers of the poor lay
mingling their dust together, and alike
waning the resurrection from the dead.
I had not far to look for subjects of
warning and exhortation suitable to my
little flock of lambs tliat I was feeding.
I could point to the heaving sods that
marked the different graves, andseparated
them from each other, and tell my pupils,
that, young as they were, none of them
were too young to die; and that probably
more than half the bodies which were
buried there were those of little children.
16 THE YOUNG COTTAGER.
I hence took occasion to speak of the
nature and value of a soul, and to ask
them where they expected their souls to
go when they departed hence, and were
no more seen on earth.
I told them who was the "Resurrection
and the Life," and who alone could take
away the sting of death. I used to remind
them that the hour was "coming, in the
which all that are in their graves shall hear
his voice, and shall come forth : they that
have done good, unto the resurrection of
life, and they that have (lone evil, unto
the resurrection of danmation." I often
availed myself of these opportunities to
call to their recollection the more recent
deaths of their own relatives, that lay
buried so near us. Some had lost a parent,
others a brother or sister; some perhaps
had lost all these, and were committed to
the mercy of their neighbours, as father-
,ess and motherless orphans. Such cit*
cumstances were occasionally useful to
excite tender emotions, favourable to se-
Sometimes I sent the children to the
various stones which stood at the head ot
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 11
the graves, and bid them learn the epi-
taphs inscribed upon them. I took plea-
sure in seeing the little ones thus dispersed
in the churchyard, each committing to
memory a few verses written in comme-
moration of the departed. They wuuld
soon accomplish the desired object, and
eagerly return to me, ambitious to repeat
Thus my churchyard became a book of
instruction, and every gravestone a leaf
of edification, for my young disciples. -
'The church itself stood in the midst of
the ground. It was a spacious antique
structure. Within those very walls 1
first proclaimed the message of God to
sinners. As these children surrounded
me, I sometimes pointed to the church,
spoke to them of the nature of public
worship, the value of the sabbath, the
duty of regular attendance on its services,
and urged their serious attention to the
means of grace. I showed them t!e sad
state of many countries, where neither
churches nor Bibles were known; and the
no less melancholy condition of multitudes
at home, who sinfully neglect worship
18 THE YOUNG COTTAGER.
and slight the word of God. I thus tried
to make them sensible of their own
favours and privileges.
Neither was I at a loss for another
class of objects around me, from which I
could draw useful instruction ; for many
of the beauties of created nature appeared
Eastward of us extended a large river
or lake of sea-water, chiefly formed by
the tide, and nearly enclosed by land.
Beyond this was a fine bay and road for
ships, filled with vessels of every size,
from the small sloop or cutter to the first-
rate man of war. On the right hand of
the haven rose a hill of peculiarly beauti-
ful form and considerable height. Its
verdure was very rich, and many hundred
sheep grazed upon its sides and summit.
From the opposite shore of the same water
a large sloping extent of bank was diver-
sified with fields, woods, hedges, and cot-
tages. At its extremity, stood, close to
the edge of the sea itself, the remains of
the tower of an ancient church, still pre-
served as a sea-mark. Far beyond the bay,
a very distant shore was observable, aind
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. zI
land beyond it; trees, towns, and other
buildings appeared, more especially when
gilded l)y the reflected rays of the sun.
To the south-westward of the garden
was another down, covered also with
flocks of sheep, and a portion of it fringed
with trees. At the foot of this hill, lay
the village, a part of which gradually
ascended to the rising ground, on which
the church stood.
From the intermixture of houses with
gardens, orchards, and trees, it presented
a very pleasing aspect. Several fields ad-
joined the garden on the east and north
where a number of cattle were pasturing.
My own little shrubberies and flower beds
variegated the view, and recompensed my
toil in rearing them, as well by their
beauty as their fragrance.
Had the sweet psalmist of Israel sat in
this spot, he would have glorified God the
Creator by descanting on these his handi-
works. I cannot write psalms, like David;
but 1 wish in my own poor way to praise
the Lord for his goodness, and to show
forth his wonderful works to the children
of men. But had David been also sur-
22 THE YOUNG COTTAGER.
rounded with a troop of young scholars
in such a situation, he would once more
have said," Out of the mouths of babes and
sucklings hast thou ordained strength."
I love to retrace these scenes; they
are past, but the recollection is-sweet.
I love to retrace them; for they bring
to my mind many former mercies, which
ought not, for the Lord's sake, to be
I love to retrace them; for they re-
assure me, that in the course of that
private ministerial occupation, God was
pleased to give me so valuable a fruit of
Little Jane used constantly to appear
on these weekly seasons of instruction.
I made no very particular observations
concerning her during the first twelve
months or more after her commencement
of attendance. She was not then remark-
able for any peculiar attainment. On the
whole, I used to think her rather more
slow of apprehension than most of her
companions. She usually repeated her
tasks correctly, but was seldom able to
make answers to questions for which she
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 23
was not previously prepared with replies,
-a kind of extempore examination in
which some of the children excelled. Her
countenance was not engaging, her eye
discovered no remarkable liveliness. She
read tolerably well, took pains, and im-
proved in it.
Mildness and quietness marked her
.general demeanour. She was very.con-
stant in her attendance on public worship
at the church, as well as on my Satur-
day instruction at home. But, generally
speaking, she.was little noticed, except
for her regular and orderly conduct. Had
I then been asked of which of my young
scholars I had formed the most favourable
opinion, poor Jane might probably have
been altogether omitted in the list.
How little do we oftentimes know what
God is doing in other people's hearts
What poor calculators and judges we
frequently prove, till he opens our eyes !
His thoughts are not our thoughts; nei-
ther are our ways his ways.
Once, indeed, during the latter part of
that year, I was struck with her ready
attention to my wishes. I had, agreeably
24 THE YOUNG COTTAGER.
to the plan above mentioned, sent her
into the church yard to commit to inemory
an epitaph wlnich I admired. On her
return, she told me that in addition to
what 1 hald desired, she had also learned
another ihiclh was inscribed on an ad-
joinilng stone; adding, that she thought
it a very pretty one.
I thought so too; and, perhaps, my
readers will he of the same opinion.
Little Jane, though dead, vet shall speak.
While I transcribe the lines, I can power-
fully imagine that I hear her voice re-
peating them. The idea is exceedingly
gratifying to me.
Epitaph on Mrs. A. B.
Forgive, bless'd shade, the tributary tear,
That mourns th,\ exit from a w\\orld like this:
Forgive te wish that would have kept thee here,
And stai'd tliy progress t the seats of bilss.
No more confined to groviAling scenes of night,
No more a tenant pent in inurial clay ;
Now should we rather hail thy glorious fight,
And trace thy journey to the realms of day.
The above was her appointed task ; and
the other, which she voluntarily learned
and spoke of with pleasure, is this :
THE YOUNG COTTAGE. W
Epitaph on the stone adjoining.
It must be so: Our father Adam's fall,
And disobedience, brought this lot on all:
All die in hinm; but hopeless should we be,
hless'd Revelatiun i were it not for tlee.
Hail, glirious gospel! heavenly light, whereby
We live i til erultfrt, and with oulnl't rt die;
Andl view bile\ und this glomy scene, the tomb,
A life of endless happiness to come.
I afterwards discovered that the senti-
ment expressed in the latter epitaph had
much affected her. But at the period of
this little incident, I knew nothing of her
mind. I had comparatively overlooked
her. I have often been sorry for it since.
Conscience seemed to rebuke me, when I
afterwards discovered what the Lord had
been doing for her soul, as if I h'ad ne-
glected her: yet it was not done design-
edly. She was unknown to us all, except
that, as 1 since found out, her regularity
and abstinence from the sins and follies
of her young equals in age and station,
brought upon her many taunts and jeers
from others, which she bore very meekly.
But at that time I knew it not.
I was young myself in the ministry
26 THE YOUNG COTTAGER.
and younger in Christian experience. My
parochial plans had not as yet assumed
such a principle of practical order and
inquiry, as to make me acquainted with
the character and conduct of each family
and individual in my flock.
I was then quite a learner, and had
much to learn.
And what am I now ?-A learner still:
and if I have learned any thing, it is this,
that I have every day more and more yet
Of this I am certain, that my young
scholar soon became my teacher. I first
saw what true religion could accomplish,
in witnessing her experience of it. The
Lord once "called a little child unto him,
and set him in the midst of his disciples,"
as an emblem and an illustration of his
doctrine. But the Lord did more in the
case of little Jane. IIe not only called
her, as a child, to show by a similitude
what conversion means, but he also called
her by his grace to be a vessel of mercy,
and a living witness of that almighty
power and love by which her own heart
was turned to God.
, ^Sa.:. j -' i* -/-- .
.,p B, e 3(
THERE is no illustration of the nature
and character of the Redeemer's kingdom
on earth which is more grateful to con-
templation, than that of the shepherd and
his flock. Imagination has been accus-
tomed from our earliest childhood to
wander amongst the fabled retreats of the
Arcadian shepherds. We have probably
often delighted ourselves in our owL.
28 T'r YOUNG COTTAGER.
native country, by witnessing the interest-
ing occupationsof the pastoral scene. The
shepherd, tending his lock on the side of
some spacious hill, or in the hollow of a
sequestered valley; folding them at night,
and guarding them against all danger;
leading them from one pasture to another,
or for refreshment to the cooling waters
-these objects have met and gratified
our eyes as we travelled through the fields,
and sought out creation's God amidst cre-
ation's beauties. The poet and the painter
have each lent their aid to cherish our
delight in these imaginations. Many a
descriptive verse has strengthened our
attachment to the pastoral scene, and
many a well-wrought picture has occa-
sioned it to glow like a reality in our
But far more impressively than these
causes can possibly effect, has the word of
God endeared the subject to our hearts,
and sanctified it to Christian experience.
Who does not look back with love and
veneration to those daysof holy simplicity,
when patriarchs of the church ofGod lived
in tents, and watched their flocks? With
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 2!
what a strength and beauty of allusion do
the prophets refer to the intercourse be-
tween the shepherd and flock, for an
illustration of the Saviour's kingdom on
earth! The psalmist rejoiced n the con-
sideration that the Lord was his Shepherd,
and that therefore he should not want.
The Redeemer himself assumed this in-
teresting title, and declared, that his
sheep hear his voice, he knows them, and
they follow him, and he gives unto them
PPrhaps at no previous moment was
this comparison ever expressed so power-
fully, as when his risen Lord gave the
pastoral charge to the lately offending,
but now penitent disciple, saying, Feed
my sheep." Every principle of grace,
mercy, and peace met together on that
occasion. Peter had thrice denied his
Master: his Master now thrice asked
him, "Lovest thou me ?" Peter each time
appealed to his own, or to his Lbrd's con-
sciousness of what he felt within his heart.
As often Jesus committed to his care the
flock which he had purchased with his
blood. And that none might be forgotten,
30 THE YOUNG COTTAGER.
he not only said, Feed my sheep," birt,
" Feed my lambs," also.
May every instructor of the young keep
this injunction enforced on his conscience
and affections!-I return to little Jane.
It was about fifteen months from the
first period of her attendance on my
Saturday school, when I missed her from
her customary place. Two or three weeks
had gone by, without my making any
particular inquiry respecting her. I was
at length informed that she was not well.
TBut, apprehending no peculiar cause for
alarm, nearly two months passed away
without any farther mention of her name
At length a poor old woman in the
village, of whose religious disposition I hail
formed a good opinion, came and said t0
Ime, "Sir, have you not missed Jane S--
at your house on Saturday afternoons?"
Yes," I replied: "1 believe she is
"Nor ever will be, I fear," said the
What! do you apprehend any danger
in the case?"
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 31
Sir, she is very poorly indeed, and I
think is in a decline. She wants to see
you, sir; but is afraid you would not
come to see such a poor young child as
"Not go where poverty and sickness
may call me! how can she imagine so?
At which house does she live ?"
"Sir, it is a poor place, and she is
ashamed to ask you to come there. Her
near neighbours are noisy, wicked people,
and her own father and mother are strange
folks. They all make game at poor Jenny,
because she reads her Bible so much."
"Do not tell me about poor places,
and wicked people: that is the very situa-
tion where a minister of the gospel is
called to do the most good. I shall go to
see her; you may let her know my inten-
"I will, sir; I go in most days to
speak to her, and it does one's heart good
to hear her talk."
"Indeed!" said I, What does she
talk about ?"
Talk about, poor thing! why, nothing
but good things, such as the Bible and
32 THE YOUNG COTTAGER.
Jesus Christ, and life, and death, and her
soul, and heaven and hell, and your dis-
courses, and the books you used to teach
her, sir. Her father says, he'll have no
such godly doings in his house; and her
own mother scoffs at her, and says, she
supposes Jenny counts herself better than
other folks. But she does not mind all
that. She will read her books, and then
talk so pretty to her mother, and beg that
she would think about her soul."
"The Lord forgive me," thought I.
"for not being more attentive to this poor
child's case." I seemed to feel the im-
portance of infantine instruction more
than ever I had (lone before, and felt a
rising hope that this girl might prove a
kind of first-fruits of my labours.
I now recollected her quiet, orderly.
diligent attendance on our little weekly
meetings; and her marked approbation
of the epitaph, as related in my last
paper, rushed into my thoughts. I
hope, I really hope," said I, this dear
child will prove a true child of God. AniA
if so. what a mercy to her, and what r
mercy for me !"
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. '1u
The next morning I went to see the
child. Her dwelling was of the humblest
kind. It stood opposite to a high bank
of earth which precluded all further pros-
pect in that direction. Behind it was a
little garden, furnished with vegetables
and flowers. Beneath lay a considerable
part of the village, which, gradually ris-
ing again, terminated with the tower and
spire of the parish church. The front
aspect of the cottage was chiefly rendered
pleasing by a honeysuckle, which luxu-
riantly climbed up the wall, enclosing
the door and windows with its twining
branches. As I entered the house door,
its flowers put forth a very sweet and
refreshing smell. Intent on the object
of my visit, I at the same moment offered
up silent prayer to God, and entertained
a hope that the welcome fragrance of the
shrub might be illustrative of that all-
prevailing intercession of a Redeemer,
which I trusted was in the case of this
little child, as a sweet smelling savour"
to her heavenly Father. The very flowers
and leaves of the garden and field are
34 THE YOUNG COTTAGER.
emblematical of higher things, when
grace teaches us to make them so.
Jane was in bed up stairs. I found no
one in the house with her, except the
woman who had brought me the message
on the evening before. The instant I
Looked on the girl I perceived a very
marked change in her countenance; it
had acquired the consumptive hue, both
white and red. A delicacy unknown to
it before, quite surprised me, owing to
the alteration it produced in her look.
She received me first with a very sweet
smile, and then instantly burst into a flood
of tears, just sobbing out, I am so glad
to see you, sir."
I amvery much concerned at your
being so ill, my child, and grieved that I
was not sooner aware of your state. But
I hope the Lord designs it for your good."
Her eye, not her tongue, powerfully ex-
pressed, "I hope and think he does."
"Well, my poor child, since you can no
longer come to see me, I will come and see
you; and we will talk over the subjects
which Ihavebeen used to explain to you."
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 35
"Indeed, sir, I shall be so glad."
"That I believe she will," said the
woman; "for she loves to talk of nothing
so much as what she has heard you say
in your sermons, and in the books you
have given her."
"Are you really desirous, my dear
child, to be a true Christian ?"
Oh yes, yes, sir; I am sure I desire
that above all things."
I was astonished and delighted at the
earnestness and simplicity with which she
spoke these words.
Sir," added she, "I have been think-
ing as I lay on my bed for many weeks
past, how good you are to instruct us
poor children; what must become of us
without it ?"
"I am truly glad to perceive that m)
instructions have not been lost upon you,
and pray God that this your present sick-
ness may be an instrument of blessing in
his hands, to prove, humble, and sanctify
you. My dear child, you have a soul, an
immortal soul to think of; you remember
what I have often said to you about the
value of a soul: What would it profit a
36 THE YOUNG COTTAGER.
man to gain the whole world, and lose his
own soul ?' "
"Yes, sir, I remember well you told
us, that when our bodies are put into the
grave, our souls will then go either to the
good or the bad place."
And to which of these places do you
think, that, as a sinner in the sight of
Gcd, you deserve to go ?"
"To the bad one, sir."
"What to everlasting destruction ?"
Because I am a great sinner."
"And must all great sinners go to hell?"
"They all deserve it; and I am sure I
But is there no way of escape ? Is
there no way for a great sinner to be
Yes, sir; Christ is the Saviour."
"And whom does he save?"
"And do you believe ii Christ your-
I do not know, sir; I wish I did;
but I feel that I love him."
THE YOUNG COTTAGER.. 37
What do you love him for?"
Because he is good to poor children's
souls like mine."
"What has he done for you ?"
He died for me, sir; and what could
he do more ?"
And what do you hope to gain by
his death ?"
A good place when I die, if I believe
in him, and love him."
Have you felt any uneasiness on
account of your soul ?"
Oh, yes, sir, a great deal. When
you used to talk to us children on Satur-
days, I often felt as if I could hardly bear
it, and wondered that others could seem
so careless. I thought I was not fit to
die. I thought of all the bad things I had
ever done and said, and believed God
must be very angry with me; for you
often told us, that God would not be
mocked; and that Christ said, if we were
not converted, we could not go to heaven.
Sometimes I thought I was so young, it
did not signify; and then again it seemed
to me a great sin to think so ; for I knew
I was old enough to see what was right
38 THE YOUNG COTTAGER.
and what was wrong; and so God had a
just right to be angry when I did wrong.
Besides, I could see that my heart was
not right; and how could such a heart be
fit for heaven? Indeed, sir, I used to feel
"My dear Jenny, I wish I had known
all this before. Why did you never tell
me about it?"
"Sir, I durst not. Indeed, I could not
well say what was the matter with me:
and I thought you would look upon me
as very bold if I had spoke about myself
to such a gentleman as you: yet I often
wished that you knew what I felt and
feared. Sometimes, as we went away
from your house, I could not help crying;
and then the other children laughed and
jeered at me, and said I was going to be
very good, they supposed, or, at least, to
make people think so. Sometimes, sir,
I fancied you did not think so well of me
as of the rest, and that hurt me; yet I
knew I deserved no particular favour,
because I was the chief of sinners."
My dear, what made St. Paul say he
was the chief of sinners? In what verse
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. j!
of the Bible do you find this expression,
'the chief of sinners?' Can you repeat it?"
"'This is a faithful saying, and worthy
of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came
into the world to save sinners. Is not
that right, sir.
"Yes, my child, it is right; and I hope
that the same conviction which St. Paul
had at that moment has made you sensi-
ble of the same truth. Christ came into
the world to save sinners ; my dear child,
remember now and for evermore that
Christ came into the world to save the
chief of sinners."
Sir, I am so glad he aid. It makes
Sme hope that he will save me, though I
am a poor sinful girl. Sir, I am very ill,
and I do not think I shall ever get well
again. I want to go to Christ if I die."
"Go to Christ while you live, my
dear child, and he will not cast you away
when you die. He that said, 'Suffer
little children to come unto me,' waits to
be gracious to them, and forbids them
not.-What made you first think so seri,
ously about the state of your soul?"
"Your talking about the graves in the
40 THE YOUNG COTTAGER.
churchyard, and telling us how many
young children were buried there. I re-
member you said one day, near twelve
months ago, Children! where will you
be a hundred years hence ? Children I
where do you think you shall go when
you die? Children! if you were to die
to-night, are you sure you should go to
Christ, and be happy ?' Sir, I shall never
forget your saying 'Children,' three
times together in that solemn way."
"Did you never before that day feel
any desire about your soul."
"Yes, sir, I think I first had that desire
almost as soon as you began to teach us
on Saturday afternoons; but on that day
I felt as I never did before. I shall
never forget it. All the way as I went
home, and all that night, these words were
m my thoughts: Children! where do
you think you shall go when you die?"
I thought I must leave off all my bad
ways, or where should I go when I died ?"
"And what effect did these thoughts
produce in your mind ?"
Sir, I tried to live better, and I did
leave off many bad ways; but the more
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 41
I strove, the more difficult I found it, my
heart seemed so hard; and then I could
not tell any one my case."
"Could not you tell it to the Lord,
who hears and answers prayer?"
"My prayers" (here she blushed and
sighed) are very poor at the best, and at
that time I scarcely knew how to pray at
all, as I ought. But I did sometimes ask
the Lord for a better heart."
There was a character in all this con-
versation which marked a truly sincere
and enlightened state of mind. She spoke
with all the simplicity of a child, and yet
the seriousness of a Christian. I could
scarcely persuade myself that she was the
same girl I had been accustomed to see
in past time. Her countenance was filled
with interesting affections, and always
spoke much more flan her tongue could
utter. At the same time, she now possess-
ed an ease and liberty in speaking, to
which she had formerly been a stranger;
nevertheless, she was modest, humble,
and unassuming. Her readiness to con-
verse was the result of spiritual anxiety,
not childish forwardness. The marks of
42 THE YOUNG COTTAGER.
a Divine change were too prominent to bt
easily mistaken; and in this very child,
I, for the first time, witnessed the evident
testimonies of such a change. How encou-
raging, how profitable to my own soul!
"Sir," continued little Jane, "I had
one day been thinking that I was neither
fit to live nor die; for I could find no
comfort in this world, and I was sure I
deserved none in the other. On that day,
you sent me to learn the verse on Mrs.
B-- 's head-stone, and then I read
that on the one next to it.'
I very well remember it, Jenny; you
camebackand repeated them both to me."
There were two lines in it which made
me think and meditate a great deal."
"Which were they ?"
"' Hail, glorious gospel I heavenly light,whereby
We live with comfort, and with comfort die.'
I wished that glorious gospel was mine,
that I might live and die with comfort;
and it seemed as if I thought it would be
so. I never felt so happy in all my life
before. The words were often in my
SLive with comfort, and with comfort die,'
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 43
'Glorious gospel,' indeed! I thought."
"My dear child, what is the meaning
of the word gospel?"
"Good news for whom ?"
"For wicked sinners, sir."
"Who sends this good news for wicked
"The Lord Alhrighty,"
"And who brings this good news?"
Sir, you brought it to me."
Here my soul melted in an instant, and
I could not'repress the tears which the
emotion excited. The last answer was
equally unexpected and affecting. I felt
a father's tenderness and gratitude for
a new and first-born child. Jane wept
likewise. After a little pause, she said,
"Oh, sir! I wish you would speak to
my father and mother, and little brother;
for I am afraid they are going on very
Sir, they drink, and swear, and quar-
rel, and do not like what is good: and it
does grieve me so, I cannot bear it. If I
speak a word to them about it, they are
44 THE YOUNG COTTAGER.
very angry, and laugh, and bid me be
quiet, and not set up for their teacher.
Sir, I am ashamed to tell you this of them,
but I hope it is not wrong; I mean it for
"I wish your prayers and endeavours
for their sake may be blessed; I will also
do what I can."
I then prayed with the child, and pro-
mised to visit her constantly.
As I returned home, my heart was
filled with thankfulness for what I had
seen and heard. Little Jane appeared to
be a first-fruits of my parochial and
spiritual harvest. This thought greatly
comforted and strengthened me in my
My partiality to the memory of little
Jane will probably induce me to lay some
further particulars before the reader.
DIVINE grace educates the reasoning
faculties of the soul, as well as the best
affections of the heart; and happily con-
TIE YOUNG COTTAGER. 45
secrates them both to the glory of the
Redeemer. Neither the disadvantages of
poverty nor the inexperience of childhood
are barriers able to resist the mighty
influences of the Spirit of God, when
"he goeth forth where he listeth."
"God hath chosen the foolish things of
this world to confound tile wise; and
God hath chosen the weak things of the
world to confound the things which are
mighty." The truth of this scriptural
assertion was peculiarly evident in the
case of my young parishioner.
Little Jane's illness was of a lingering
nature. I often visited her. The soul of
this young Christian was gradually, but
effectually preparing for heaven. I have
seldom witnessed in any older person,
under similar circumstances, stronger
marks of earnest inquiry, continual seri-
ousness, and holy affections. One morn-
ing, as I was walking through the church-
yard, in my way to visit her, I stopped to
look at the epitaph which had made such
a deep impression on her mind. I was
struck with the reflection of the important
consequences which might result from a
46 THE YOUNG COTTAGER.
more frequent and judicious attention to
the inscriptions placed in our burying-
grounds, as memorials of the departed.
The idea occurred to my thoughts, that
as the two stone tables given by God to
Moses were once a mean of communicat-
ing to the Jews, from age to age, the re-
velation of God's will as concerning the
law; so these funeral tables of stone may,
under a better dispensation, bear a never-
failing proclamation of God's good will to
sinners, as revealed in the gospel of his
grace, from generation to generation. I
have often lamented, when indulging a
contemplation among the graves, that
some of the inscriptions were coarse and
ridiculous; others absurdly flattering;
many expressive of sentiments at variance
with the true principles of the word of
God; not a few, barren and unaccom-
panied with a single word of useful in-
struction to the reader. Thus a very
important opportunity of conveying scrip-
tural admonition was lost. I wish that
every gravestone might not only record
the names of our deceased friends, but also
proclaim the name of Jesus, as the only
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 47
name given under heaven whereby man
can be saved. Perhaps, if the ministers
of religion were to interest themselves in
this matter, and accustom their people
to consult them as to the nature of the
monumental inscriptions which they wish
to introduce into churches and church-
yards, a gradual improvement would take
place in this respect. What is offensive,
useless, or erroneous, would no longer
find admittance; and a succession of
valuable warnings and consolations to
the living, would perpetuate the memory
of the dead.
What can be more disgusting than the
too common spectacle of trifling, licentious
travellers, wandering about the church-
yards of the different places throughwhich
they pass, in search of rude, ungrammati-
cal, ill-spelt, and absurd verses among the
grave-stones: and this for the gratification
of their unholy scorn and ridicule! And
yet how much is it to be deplored, that
such persons are seldom disappointed in
finding many instances which too readily
afford them the unfeeling satisfaction
which they seek I therefore offer this
48 THE YOUNG COTTAGER.
suggestion to my reverend brethren, that
as no monument or stone can be placed in
a church or churchyard without their ex-
press consent or approbation, whether one
condition of that consent being granted,
should not be a previous inspection and
approval of every inscription which may
be so placed within the precincts of the
The reader will pardon this digression,
which evidently arose from the peculiar
connexion established in little Jane's
history, between an epitaph inscribed on
a grave-stone, and the word of God in-
scribed on her heart. When I arrived
at Jane's cottage, I found her in bed,
reading Dr.Watts's Hymns for Children,
in which she took great pleasure.
"What are you reading this morning,
Sir, I have been thinking very much
about some verses in my little book.
Here they are:
'There is an hour when 1 must die,
Nor do 1 know how soon 'twill come;
A thousand children young as I,
Are called by deatl to hear their doom.
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 4J
SLet me improve the hours I have,
Before the day of grace is fled;
There's no repentance in the grave,
Nor pardon offered to the dead.
Sir, I feel all that to be very true, and I
am afraid I do not improve the hours I
have, as I ought to do. I think I shall
not live very long; and when I remem-
ber my sins, I say,
Lord, at thy foot ashamed I lie,
Upward I dare not look;
Pardon my sins before I die,
And blot them from thy book.'
Do you think he will pardon me, sir?"
"My dear child, I have great hopes
tlat he HAS pardoned you; that he has
heard your prayers, and put you into the
number of his true children already. You
have had strong proofs of his mercy to
Yes, sir, I have ; and I wish to love
and bless him for it. He is good, very
It had for some time past occurred to
my mind, that a course of regulated con-
versations on the first principles of reli-
gion would be very desirable from time to
time, for this interesting child's sake ; and
60 THE YOUNG COTTAGER.
I thought the Church Catechism would be
the best ground-work for that purpose.
"Jenny," said I, "you can repeat the
"Yes, sir; but I think that has been
one of my sins in the sight of God."
What I repeating your catechism ?"
"Yes, sir, in such a way as I used to
"How was that?"
"Very carelessly indeed. I never
thought about the meaning of the words,
and that must be very wrong. Sir, the
catechism is full of good things; I wish I
understood them better."
"Well then, my child, we will talk n
little about those good things which, as
you truly say, are contained in the cate-
chism. Did you ever consider what it
is to be a member of Christ, a child of
God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of
"I think, sir, I have lately considered
it a good deal; and I want to be such,
not only in name, but in deed and in
truth. You once told me, sir, 'that as
the branch is to the vine, and the stone
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 51
to the building, and the limb to the body
and the head, so is a true believer to the
Lord Jesus Christ.' But how am I to
know that I belong to Christ as a true
member, which you said one day in the
church means the same as a limb of the
body, such as a leg or an arm ?"
"Do you love Christ now in a way you
never used to do before ?"
Yes, I think so, indeed."
"Why do you love him ?"
"Because he first loved me."
How do you know that lie first loved
Because he sent me instruction, and
made me feel the sin of my heart, and
taught me to pray for pardon, and love
his ways: he sent you to teach me, sir,
and to show me the way to be saved;
and now I want to be saved in the way
that he pleases. Sometimes I feel as if I
loved all that he has said and done so
much, that I wish never to think about
any thing else. I know I did not use to
feei so; and I think if lie had not loved
me first, my wicked heart would nevei
have cared about him. I once loved
52 THE YOUNG COTTAGER.
anything better than religion; but now it
is everything to me."
Do yon believe in your heart that
Christ is able and willing to save the
chief of sinners ?"
"And what are you?"
"A young, but a great sinner."
Is it not of his mercy that you know
and feel yourself to be a sinner?"
Certainly; yes, it must be so."
"Do you earnestly desire to forsake all
"If I know myself, I do."
Do you feel a spirit within you re-
sisting sin, and making you hate it?"
"Yes, I hope so."
"Who gave you that spirit? Were you
It must be Christ who loved me and
gave himself for me. I was quite differ-
"Now then, my dear Jane, does not
all this show a connexion between the
Lord Jesus Christ and your soul? Does
it not seem as if you lived, and moved,
and had a spiritual being from him? Jusi
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. J
as a limb is connected with you- body,
and so with your head, and thereby gets
power to live and move through the
flowing of the blood from one to the
other: so are you spiritually a limb or
member of Christ, if you believe in him;
and thus obtain, through faith, a power
to love him aud live to his praise and
glory. Do you understand me?"
"Yes, sir, 1 believe I do; and it is
very comfortable to my thoughts to look
up to Christ as a living Head, and to con-
sider myself as the least and lowest of all
"Now, tell me what your thoughts are
as to being a child of God?"
"I am sure, sir, I do not deserve to be
called his child."
Cal you tell me who does deserve it?"
"No one, sir."
How then comes any one to be a
child of God, when by nature we all are
children of wrath ?"
By God's grace, sir."
"What does grace mean?"
Favour; free favour to sinners."
"Right; and what does God bestow
541 THE YOUNG COTTAGER.
upon the children of wrath, when lie
makes them children of grace ?"
"A death unto sin, and a new birth
unto righteousness; is it not, sir ?"
"Yes, this is the fruit of Christ's re-
deeming love; and I hope you are a par-
taker of the blessing. The family of God
is named after him, and he is the first-
born of many brethren. What a mercy
that Christ ca'ls himself a 'brother!' My
little girl, he is your Brother; and will
not be ashamed to own you, and present
you to his Father at the last day, as one
that he has purchased with his blood."
I wish I could love my Father and
my Brother who are in heaven, better
than I do. Lord, be merciful to me a
sinner! I think sir, if I am a child of
God, I am often a rebellious one. lIe
shows kindness to me beyond others, and
vet I make a very poor return.
'Are these thy favours day by day,
To me above the rest ?
Then let me love thee more than they,
And strive to serve thee best.' "
"That will be the best way to approve
ourself a real child of God. Show your
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. .94C
love and thankfulness to such a Father,
who hath prepared for you an inheritance
among the saints in light, and made you
'an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven,
as well as a member of Christ, and a child
of God.' Do you know what the king-
dom of heaven means ?"
Just at that instant, her mother entered
the house below, and began to speak to a
younger child in a passionate, scolding
tone of voice, accompanied by some very
offensive language; but quickly stopped
on hearing us in conversation up stairs.
Ah, my poor mother !" said the girl,
"you would not have stopped so short if
Mr. had not been here. Sir, you
hear how my mother goes on; pray say
something to her: she will not hear me."
Iwent towards the stair-head, and called
to the woman, but she suddenly left the
house, and for that time escaped reproof.
Sir," said little Jafie, I am so afraid,
if I go to heaven I shall never see my
poor mother there. As I lie here a-bed,
sir, for hours together there is often so
much wickedness, and noise, and quar-
relling down below, that 1 do not know
W6 THE YOUNG COTTAGER.
how to bear it. It comes very near, sir,
when one's.father and mother go on so.
I want them all to turn to the Lord, and
go to heaven. Tell me now, sir, some-
thing about being. an inheritor of the
"You i ay remember, my child, what
I have told you, when explaining the
catechism in thp church, that 'the king-
dom of heaven' in the Scriptures means
the church of Christ upon earth, as well
as the state of glory in heaven. The one
is a preparation for the other. All true
Christians are heirs of God, and joint-heirs
with Christ, and shall inherit the glory
and happiness of his kingdom, and live
with Christ, and be with him for ever.
This is the free gift of God to his adopted
children; and all that believe aright in
Christ shall experience the truth of that
promise, 'It is your Father's good pleasure
to give you the kingdom.' You are a
poor girl now, but, I trust, an entrance
shall be ministered unto you abundantly
into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord
and Saviour Jesus Christ. You suffer
now; but are you not willing to suffer
THE YOUNG COTTAGER.
for his sake, and to bear patiently those
things to which he calls you ?"
Oh, yes, very willing; I would not
complain. It is all right."
"Then, my dear, you shall reign with
him. Through much tribulation you
may. perhaps, enter into the kingdom of
God: but tribulation worketh patience;
and patience, experience; and experience,
hope. As a true 'member of Christ,'
show yourself to be a dutiful 'child of
God,' and your portion will be that of
an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven.
Faithful is He that hath promised. 'Com-
mit thy way unto the Lord; trust also iL
him,' and he shall bring it to pass."
"Thank you, sir; I do so love to hear
of these things. And I think, sir, I should
not love them so much, if I had no part
in them. Sir, there is one thing I want
to ask you. It is a great thing, and 1
may be wrong,-I am so young,-and yet
I hope I mean right- "
Here she hesitated and paused.
"What is it? Do not be fearful of men-
A tear rolled down her cheek; a slight
e THE YOUNG COTTAGER.
blush coloured her countenance. She
lifted up her eyes to heaven for a moment,
and then fixing them onme, with a solemn,
affecting look, said, "May so young a
poor child as I am, be admitted to the
Lord's supper? I have for some time
wished it, but dared not mention it, for
fear you should think it wrong."
My dear Jenny, I have no doubt res-
pecting it, and shall be very glad to con-
verse with you ont-e subject, and hope that
lie who has given you the desire, will
bless his own ordinance to your soul.
Would you wish it now, or to-morrow ?"
"To morrow, if you please, sir: will
you come to-morrow, and talk to me about
it? and if you think it proper, I shall
be thankful, I am growing faint now. I
hope to be better when you come again."
i was much pleased with her proposal,
and rejoiced in the prospect of seeing so
young and sincere a Christian thus devote
herself to the Lord, and receive the sacra-
mental seal of a Saviour's love to her
Disease was making rapid inroads upon
her constitution, and she was aware of it.
TIE YOUNG COTTAGE, .S
But as the outward man decayed, she was
strengthened with might by God's Spirit
in the inner man. She was evidently
ripening fast for a better world.
I remember these things with affec-
tionate pleasure : they revive my earlier
associations, and I hope the recollection
does me good. I wish them to do good
to thee likewise, my reader; and therefore
I write them down.
May the simplicity that is in Christ
"The short and simple annals of the poor"
a mean of grace and blessing to thy soul!
Out of the mouth of this babe and suck-
ling may God ordain thee strength! If
thou art willing, thou shalt hear something
further respecting her.
I WAs so much affected with my last
visit to little Jane, and particularly with
her tender anxiety respecting the Lord's
supper, that it formed the chief subject of
my thoughts for the remainder of the day.
tO TILE YOUNG COTTAGER.
I rode in the afternoon to a favourite
spot, where I sometimes indulged in
solitary meditation, and where I wished
to reflect on the interesting case of my
It was a place well suited for such a
In the widely sweeping curve of a
beautiful bay, there is a kind of chasm or
opening, in one of the lofty cliffs which
bound it. This produces a very romantic
and striking effect. The steel descending
sides of this opening in the cliff are
covered with trees, bushes, wild-flowers,
fern, wormwood, and many other herbs,
here and there contrasted with bold masses
of rock or brown earth.
In the higher and middle parts of one
of these declivities, two or three pictur-
esque cottages are fixed, and seem half
suspended in the air.
From the upper extremity of this great
fissure or opening in the cliff, a small
stream of water enters by a cascade, flows
Tlirullgh the bottom, winding in a varied
course of about a quarter of a mile in
length; and then runs into the sea across
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 6G
a smooth expanse of firm hard sand, at
the lower extremity of the chasm. At
this point, the sides of the woody banks
are very lofty, and to a spectator from
the bottom, exhibit a mixture of the grand
and beautiful not often exceeded.
Near the mouth of this opening, was a
little hollow recess, or cave, in the cliff,
from whence, on one hand, I could see
the above described romantic scene; on
the other, a long train of perpendicular
cliffs, terminating in a bold and wild
shaped promontory, which closed the bay
at one end, while a conspicuous white
cliff stood directly opposite, about four
miles distant, at the farther point of the
The shore between the different cliffs
and the edge of the waves, was in some
parts covered with stone and shingle, in
some with firm sand, and in others with
irregular heaps of little rocks fringed with
sea-weed, and ornamented with small
The cliffs themselves were diversified
with strata of various coloured earths,
black, yellow, brown, and orange. The
64 THE YOUNG COTTAGER.
effects of iron ore producing manifest
changes of hue, were everywhere seen in
trickling drops and streamlets down the
The huts in which the fishermen kept
their baskets, nets, boats, and other im-
plements, occupied a few retired spots on
The open sea, in full magnificence,
occupied the centre of the prospect;
hounded indeed, in one small part, by a
very distant shore, on the rising ascent
from which the rays of the sun rendered'
visible a cathedral church, with its tower-
ing spire, at above twenty miles distance,
Everywhere else, the sea beyond was
limited only by the sky.
A frigate was standing into the bay,
not very far from my recess; other ves-
sels, of every size, sailing in many direc-
tions, varied the scene, and furnished
matter for a thousand sources of contem-
At my feet, the little rivulet, gently
rippling over pebbles, soon mingled with
the sand, and was lost in the waters of
the mighty ocean. The murmuring of
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 65
the waves, as the tide ebbed or flowed on
the sand; their dashing against some
more distant rocks, which were covered
fantastically with sea-weed and shells;
sea-birds floating in the air aloft, or
occasionally screaming from their holes
in the cliffs; the hum of human voices
in the ships and boats borne along the
.' ,, .. .. -.- :---= .-_---.-
water: all these sounds served to p it.mo -,
rather than interrupt meditation. They
66 TIE YOUNG COTTAGER.
were soothingly blended together, and
entered the ear in a kind of natural har-
In the quiet enjoyment of a scene like
this, the lover of nature's beauties will
easily find scope for spiritual illustration.
Here I sat and mused over the inte-
resting character and circumstances of
little Jane. Here I prayed that God
would effectually teach me those truths
which I ought to teach her.
When I thought of her youth, I blushed
to think how superior she was to what I
well remembered myself to have been at
the same age; nay, how far my superior
at that very time. I earnestly desired
to catch something of the spirit which
appeared so lovely in her; for, simple,
teachable, meek, humble, yet earnest in
her demeanour, she bore living marks of
"The Lord," thought I, "has called
this little child, and set her in the midst
of us, as a parable, a pattern, an emblem.
And he saith, 'Verily, Except ye be con-
verted, and become as little children, ye
shall not enter into the kingdom of
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 67
heaven.' Oh, that I may be humble as
this little child."
I was thus led into deep self-examina-
tion, and was severely exercised with fear
and apprehension, whether I was myself
a real partaker of those Divine influences
which I could so evidently discover in
her. Sin appeared to me just then to be
more than ever exceeding sinful." In-
ward and inbred corruptions made me
tremble. The danger of self-deception in
so great a matter alarmed me. I was a
teacher of others; but was I indeed spi-
ritually taught myself.
A spirit of anxious inquiry ran through
every thought; I looked at the manifold
works of creation around me; I perceived
the greatest marks of regularity and
order; but within I felt confusion and
rbla waves of the sea," thought I,
"ebb and flow in exact obedience to the
laws of their Creator. Thus far they
come; and no farther; they retire again
to their accustomed bounds; and so
maintain a regulated succession of effects.
"But, alas! the waves of passion and
68 THE YOUNG COTTAGER.
affection in the human breast, manifest
more of the wild confusion of a storm
than the orderly regularity of a tide.
Grace can alone subdue them.
"What peaceful harmony subsists
throughout all this lovely landscape!
These majestic cliffs, some clothed with
trees and shrubs; others bare and una-
dorned with herbage, yet variegated with
many coloured earths-these are not
only sublime and delightful to behold,
but they are answering the end of their
creation, and serve as a barrier to stop
the progress of the waves.
"But how little peace and harmony
can I comparatively see in my own heart.
The landscape within is marred by dreary
barren wilds, and wants that engaging
character which the various parts of this
prospect before me so happily preserve.
Sin, sin is the bane of mortality, and
heaps confusion upon confusion, where-
ever it prevails.
"Yet, saith the voice of promise, 'Sin
shall not have dominion over you.' Oh
then, may I 'yield myself unto God, as
one that is alive from the dead; and my
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 69
members as instruments of righteousness
unto God. And thus may I become an
able and willing minister of the New
I wish I were like this little stream
of water. It takes its first rise scarcely
a mile off; yet it has done good even in
that short course. It has passed by
several cottages in its way, and afforded
life and health to the inhabitants: it has
watered their little gardens as it flows,
and enriched the meadows near its banks.
It has satisfied the thirst of the flocks
that are feeding aloft on the hills, and
perhaps refreshed the shepherd's boy who
sits watching his master's sheep hard by.
It then quietly finishes its current in this
secluded dell, and agreeably to the de-
sign of its Creator quickly vanishes in
"May my course be like unto thine,
thou little rivulet! Though short be my
span of life, yet may I be useful to my
fellow sinners as I travel onwards! Let
me be a dispenser of spiritual support and
health to many Like this stream, may I
prove 'the poor man's friend,' by the
70 THE YOUNG COTTAGER.
way, and water the souls that thirst for
the river of life, wherever I meet them I
And, if it please thee, 0 my God, let me
in my latter end be like this brook. It
calmly, though not quite silently, flows
through this scene of peace and loveliness
just before it enters the sea. Let me thus
gently close my days, likewise; and may
I not unusefully tell to others of the good-
ness and mercy of my Saviour, till I
arrive at the vast ocean of eternity.
"Thither," thought I, "little Jane is
fast hastening. Short, but not useless,has
been her course. I feel the great import-
ance of it in my own soul at this mo-
ment. I view a work of mercy there, to
which I do hope I am not quite a stranger
in the experience of my own heart. The
thought enlivens my spirit, and leads me
to see that, great as is the power of sin,
the powerof Jesus isgreater; and through
grace I may meet my dear young disciple,
my child in the gospel, my sister in the faith
in a brighter, a better world, hereafter."
There was something in the whole of
this meddtation, which calmed and pre-
pared my mind for my promised visit the
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 71
next day. I looked forward to it with
It was now time to return homewards.
The sun was setting. The lengthened
shadows of the cliffs, and of the hills
towering again far above them, cast a
brown, but not unpleasing tint over the
waters of the bay. Farther on, the beams
of tlie sun still maintained their splen-
dour. Some of the sails of the distant
ships, enlivened by its rays, appeared
like white spots in the blue horizon, and
seemed to attract my notice, as if to
claim at least the passing prayer, "God
speed the mariners on their voyage."
I quitted my retreat in the cliff with
some reluctance; but with a state of
mind, as I hoped, solemnized by reflec-
tion, and animated to fresh exertion.
I walked up by a steep pathway, that
winded through trees and shrubs on the
sides of one of tke precipices. At every
step, the extent of prospect enlarged, and
acquired a new and varying character, by
being seen through the trees on each side.
Climbing up a kind of rude inartificial set
of stone stairs in the bank, I passed by
72 THE YOUNG COTTAGER.
the singularly situated cottages which I
had viewed from beneath; received and
returned the evening salutation of the
inhabitants, sitting at their doors, and
just come home from labour, till I ar-
rived at the top of the precipice, where I
had left my horse tied'to a gate.
Could he have enjoyed it, he had n
noble prospect around him in every direc-
tion from this elevated point of view,
where he had been stationed while I was
on the shaoe below. But wherein he
most probably failed, I think his rider did
not. The landscape, taken in connexion
With my recent train of thought about
myself and little Jane, inspired devotion.
The sun was now set; the bright
colours of the western clouds faintly re-
.k,:tel from tlie butl-,.l.tern hills, that
ere tinieeul I'o)m ni retre.'t in the cliff,
L o. i\ p'e ,i b-i i i ti h.l r I ,: vir ling shadows
on the si. a. a:d 1 rrl.J the beauty of
the prulpect or tle sr.mth and west.
Ever\ clei l uit conrarllnir tu~ the interest-
ing effret o' rthe -eernrv. The earth was
S diversif.-i in shape and ornament. Tbe
waters of the ocean presented a noble
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 75
feature in the landscape. The air was
serene, or only ruffled by a refreshing
breeze from the shore. And the 'sun's
fiery beams, though departing for the
night, still preserved such a portion of
light and warmth, as rendered all the rest
delightful to an evening traveller. From
this point, the abyss, occasioned by the
great fissure in the cliff, appeared grand
and interesting. Trees hung over it on
each side, projecting not only thier
branches, but many of their roots in wild
and fantastic forms. Masses of earth had
recently fallen from the upper to the low-
er parts of the precipice, carrying trees
and plants down the steep descent. The
character of the soil, and the unceasing
influence of the stream at the bottom,
seemed to threaten farther slips of the
land from the summit. From hence the
gentle murmur of the cascade at the head
of the chine stole upon the ear without
much mterruption to the quietness of the
scene. A fine rocky cliff, half buried in
trees, stood erect on the land side about a
mile distant, and seemed to vie with those
on the shore, in challenging the passen-
76 THE YOUNG COTTAGER.
ger's attention. In the distance stood a
noble ash tree, which on a considerable
height, majestically reigned as the patri-
arch of the grove near which it grew.
Every object combined to please the eye,
and direct the traveller's heart to admire
and love the Author and Creator of all
that is beautiful to sense, and edifying to
The next morning I went to Jane's
cottage. On entering the door, the woman
who so frequently visited her, met me,
and said, "Perhaps, sir, you will not
wake her just yet, for she has dropped
asleep, and she seldom gets much rest,
poor girl." I went gently up stairs. The
child was in a half sitting posture, leaning
her head upon her right hand, with her
Bible open before her. She had evidently
fallen asleep while reading. Her coun-
tenance was beautifully composed and
tranquil. A few tears had rolled down
her cheek, and (probably unknown to
her) dropped upon the pages of her book.
I looked round me for a moment. The
room was outwardly comfortless and un-
inviting; the walls out of repair; the
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 77
sloping roof somewhat shattered; the
floor fractured and uneven; no furniture
but two tottering bedsteads, athree-legged
stool, and an old oak chest; the window
broken in many places, and mended with
patches of paper. A little shelf against
the wall, over the bedstead where Jane
lay, served for her physic, her food, and
her books. Yet here," I said to myself,
lies an heir of glory, waiting for a happy
dismissal. Her earthly home is poor in-
deed; but she has a house not made with
hands, eternal in the heavens. She has
little to attach her to this world, but
what a weight of glory in the world to
come! This mean despised chamber is a
palace in the eye of faith, for it contains
one that is an inheritor of a crown." I
approached without waking her, and ob-
served that she had been reading the
twenty-third chapter of St. Luke. The
finger of her left hand lay upon the book,
pointing to the words, as if she had been
using it to guide her eye while she read.
I looked at the place, and was pleased at
the apparently casual circumstance of her
finger pointing at these words; "Lord,
73 THE YOUNG COTTAGER.
remember me when thou comest into thy
kingdom."-"Is this casual or designed?"
thought I. "Either way it is remarkable."
But in another moment I discovered that
her finger was indeed an index to the
thoughts of her heart. She half awoke
from her dozing state, but not sufficiently
so to perceive that any person was present;
and said, in a kind of a whisper, Lord,
remember me,-remember me. Remem-
ber,-remember a poor child,-Lord, re-
member me." She then suddenly started
and perceived me, as she became fully
awake. Afaintblush overspread her cheeks
for a moment, and then disappeared.
"Dame K- how long have I been
asleep? Sir, I am very sorry-"
And I am very glad to find you thus,"
I replied. "You may say with David, 'I
laid me down and slept; I awaked, for
the Lord sustained me.' What were you
The history of the crucifying of Jesus,
How far had you read when you fell
"'To the prayer of the thief that was
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 79
crucified with him; and when I came to
that place, I stopped, and thought what
a mercy it would be, if the Lord Jesus
should remember me likewise; and so I
fell asleep: and I fancied in my dream
that I saw Christ upon the cross; and I
thought I said, 'Lord, remember me;'
and I am sure he did not look angry
upon me; and then I awoke.'"
All this seemed to.be a sweet commen-
tary on the text, and a most suitable fore-
runner of our intended sacramental service.
"Well, my dear child, I am come, as
you wished me, to administer the sacra-
ment of the body and blood of our blessed
Saviour to you? and I dare say neighbour
K- will be glad to join us."
"Talk to me a little about it first, sir,
if you please."
You remember what you have learned
in your catechism about it. Let us con-
sider. A sacrament, you know, 'is an
outward and visible sign of an inward
and spiritual grace, given unto us, or-
dained by Christ himself, as a means
whereby we receive the same, aIl a
pledge to assure us thereof.' Noo, the
P0 THE YOUNG COTTAGER.
Lord has ordained bread and wine in the
holy supper, as the outward mark, which
we behold with our eyes. It is a sign,
a token, a seal of his love, grace, and
blessing, which he promises to, and be-
stows on all who receive it rightly be-
lieving on his name and work. He, in
this manner preserves among us 'a con-
tinual remembrance of his death, and of
the benefits which we receive thereby.'
What do you believe respecting the death
of Christ, Jenny ?"
"That because He died, sir, we live."
"What life do we lead thereby?"
"The life of grace and mercy now,
and the life of glory and happiness here-
after; is it not, sir ?"
"Yes, assuredly; this is the fruit of the
death of Christ; and thus he 'opened the
kingdom of heaven to all believers.' As
bread and wine strengthen and refresh
your poor weak fainting body in this very
sickness, so does the blessing of his body
and blood strengthen and refresh the
souls of all that repose their faith, hope,
and affections on him who loved us, and
gave himself for us."
THE YOUNG COTTAGER, 81
Tears ran dowr, her cheeks, as she
said, "Oh, what a Saviour Oh, what a
sinner I How kind, how good I And is
this for me?"
"Fear not, dear child: He that has
made you to love him thus, loves you too
well to deny you. He will in nowise
cast out any that come to him."
"Sir," said the girl, I can never
think about Jesus, and his love to sinners,
without wonderingg how it can be. I de-
serve nothing but his anver on account
of my sins. Why, then, does he love me?
Mv heart is evil. W il. rthln. do helove
me? I continually forget all his goodness.
Why, then, does he love me? I neither
pray to him, nor thank him, nor do any
thing as I ought to do. Why, then, such
love to me ?"
"How plain it is that all is mercy,
from first to last I and that sweetens the
blessing, my child. Are you not willing
to give Christ all the honour of your sal-
vation, and to take all the blame of your
sins upon your own self?"
"Yes, indeed, sir, I am. My hymn says
82 THE YOUNG COTTAGER.
Bless'd be the Lord that sent his Son,
To take our flesh and blood:
lie for our lives gave up his own,
To make our peace with God.
'He honour'd all his Father's laws,
Which we have disobey'd;
lie bore our sins upon the cross,
And our full ransom paid.' "
I am glad you remember your hymns
so well, Jenny."
"Sir, you don't know what pleasure
they give me. I am very glad you gave
me that little book of hymns for children."
A severe fit of coughing interrupted
her speech for a while. The woman held
her head. It was distressing to observe
her struggle for breath, and almost, as it
were, for life.
Poor dear !" said the woman, I wish
I could help thee, and ease thy pains: but
they will not last for ever."
"God helps me," said the girl, re-
covering her breath; "God helps me;
he will carry me through. Sir, you look
frightened-I am not afraid-this is no-
thing-I am better now. Thank you,
dame, thank you. I am very trouble-
sonae; but the Lord will bless you for
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 83
this and all your kindness to me; yes,
sir, and yours too. Now talk to me again
about the sacrament."
"What is required, Jenny, of those
who come to the Lord's supper? There
are five things named in the catechism:
do you remember what is the first?"
She paused; and then said, with a
solemn and intelligent look, "To examine
themselves whether they repent them
truly of their former sins."
"I hope and think that you know
what this means, Jenny; the Lord has
given you the spirit of repentance."
"No one knows, sir, what the thoughts
of past sin have been to me. Yes, the
Lord knows, and that is enough; and I
hope he forgives me for Christ's sake.
SHis blood cleanseth from all sin. Sir, I
sometimes think of my sins till I tremble,
and it makes me cry to think that I have
offended such a God, and then he com-
forts me again with sweet thoughts about
It is well, my child-be it so. The
next thing mentioned in that answer of
your catechism-what is it ?"
" 4 THE YOUNG COTTAGER.
Stedfastly purposmg to lead a new
"And what do you think of that?"
"My life, sir, will be a short one; and
I wish it had been a better one. But
from my heart I desire that it may be a
new one, for the time to come. I want
to forsake all my evil ways and thoughts,
and evil words and evil companions; and
to do what God bids me, and what you
tell me is right, sir, and what I read of in
my Bible. But I am afraid Ido not, my
heart is so full of sin. However, sir, I
pray to God to help me. My days will
be few; but I wish they may be spent to
the glory of God."
"The blessing of the Lord be upon
you, Jane; so that whether you live, you
may live to the Lord; or whether you
die, you may die unto the Lord; and that,
living or dying, you may be the Lord's.
What is the next thing mentioned ?"
"To have a lively faith in God's mercy
through Christ, sir."
"Do you believe that God is merciful
to you in the pardon of your sins ?"
S"I do, sir," said the child, earnestly.
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 85
"And if he pardons you, is it for your
own sake, Jenny ?"
"No, sir, no; it is for Christ's sake,
for my Saviour Jesus Christ's sake, and
that only: Christ is all."
"Can you trust him?"
Sir, I must not mistrust him; nor
would I if I might."
Right, child; he is worthy of all your
And then, sir, I am to have a thank-
ful remembranceof his death. I can never
think of his dying, but I think also what
a poor unworthy creature I am; and yet
he is so good to me. I wish I could
thank him. Sir, I have been reading
about his death. How could the people
do as they did to him ? but it was all for
our salvation. And thethehe thief on the
cross-that is beautiful. I hope he will
remember me too, and that I shall al-
ways remember him and his death most
"And lastly, Jenny, are you in charity
with all men? Do you forgive all that
have offended you? Do you bear ill-will
in your heart to any body ?"
"Dear sir, no; how can I? if God is
86 THE YOUNG COTTAGER.
so good to me, if he forgives me, how can
I help forgiving others? There is not a
person in all the world, I think, sir, to
whom I do not wish well for Christ's sake,
and that from the bottom of my heart."
"How do you feel in regard to those
bold, wanton,ill-tempered girls atthe next
door, who jeer and mock you so about
your religion ?"
Sir, the worst thing I wish them is,
that God may give them grace to repent;
that he may change their hearts, and
pardon all their wicked ways and words.
May he forgive them as I do with all my
She ceased; I wished to ask no more.
My heart was full. "Can this be the
religion of a child?" thought I. "Oh,
that we were all children like her!"
Reach me that prayer-book, and the
cup and plate. My dear friends, I will
now, with God's blessing, partake with
you in the holy communion of our Lord's
body and blood." The time was sweet
and solemn. I went through the sacra-
mental service. The countenance and
manner of the child evinced powerful
feelings. Tears mingled with smiles;
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 87
resignation brightened by hope; humility
animated by faith; child-like modesty
adorned with the understanding of a riper
age: gratitude, peace, devotion, patience,
all these were visible:-I thought I dis-
tinctly saw them all; and did I alone see
them ? Is it too much to say, that other
created beings, whom I could not behold
with my natural eyes, were witnesses of
the scene? If ministering angels do ascend
and descend with glad tidings between
earth and heaven, I think they did so then.
When I had concluded the service, I
said, "Now, my dear Jane, you are in-
deed become a sister in the church of
Christ. May his Spirit and blessing rest
upon you-strengthen and refresh you!"
My mercies are great, very great, sir;
greater than I can express. I thank you
for this favour-I thought I was too
young-it seemed too much for me to
think of; but I am now sure the Lord is
good to me, and I hope I have done
Yes, Jenny, and I trust you are both
outwardly and inwardly sealed by the
Holy Ghost to the day of redemption."
"Sir, I shall never forget this day."
88 THE YOUNG COTTAGER.
Neither, I think, shall I."
"Nor I," said the pious old woman;
"sure the Lord has been in the midst of
us three to-day, while we have been
gathered together in his name."
"Sir," said the child, "I wish you
could speak to my mother, when you
come again, I am so grieved about her
soul; and I am afraid she cares nothing
at all about it herself."
"I hope I shall have an opportunity
the next time I come. Farewell, my
Good bye, sir, and I thank you for
all your kindness to me."
Surely," I thought within myself, as
I left the cottage, this young bud of
grace will bloom beauteously in paradise.
The Lord transplant her thither in his
vn good time! Yet, if it be his will,
may she live a little longer, that I may
further profit by her conversation and
Possibly, some who peruse these simple
records of poor little Jane, may wish the
same. If it be so, we will visit her again
before she departs hence, and is no more
JANE was'lhasiening fast to her dissolu-
tion. She still, however, preserved suf-
ficient strength to converse with much
satisfaction to herself and those who
visited her. Such as could truly estimate
the value of her spiritual state of mind
were but few; yet the most careless could
90 THE YOUNG COTTAGER.
not help being struck with her affectionate
seriousness, her knowledge of the Scrip-
tures, and her happy application of them
to her own case.
The holy spark divine,"
which regenerating grace had implanted
in her heart, brightened as she drew near
the close of life, and kindled into a flame
which warmed and animated the beholder.
To some, I am persuaded, her example
and conversation were made a blessing.
Memory reflects with gratitude, while I
write, on the profit and consolation which
I individually derived from her society.
Nor I alone. The last day will, if I err
not, disclose further fruits, resulting from
the love of God to this little child; and,
through her, to others that saw her. And
may not hope indulge the prospect, that
this simple memorial of her history shall
be as an arrow drawn from the quiver of
the Almighty to reach the heart of the
young and the thoughtless I Direct its
course, O my God! May the eye that
reads and the ear that hears the record
of little Jane, through the power of the
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 91
Spirit of the Most High, each become a
witness for the truth as it is in Jesus !
I remembered the tender solicitude of
this dear child for her mother. I well
knew what a contrast the dispositions and
conduct of her parents exhibited, when
compared with her own.
I resolved to avail myself of the first
opportunity I could seize to speak to the
mother, in the child's presence. The road
by which I usually approached the house
lay, for some little distance, sufficiently
in sight of its windows, to enable the
woman to retire out of the way before I
arrived. There was, however, another
path, through fields at the back of the
village, which, owing to the situation of
the ground, allowed of an approach un-
perceived, till the visitor reached the very
One morning, soon after the sacra-
mental interview related in the last paper,
I chose this road for my visit. It was
preferable to me on every account. The
distance was not quite half a mile from
my house. The path was retired. I
hereby avoided the noise and interruption
92 TIHE YOUNG COTTAGER.
which even a village street will sometimes
present to disturb the calmness of inte-
As I passed through the church-yard,
and cast my eye on the memorable epi-
taph, "Soon," I thought within me, "will
my poor little Jane mingle her moulder-
g remains with this dust, and sleep
with her fathers I Soon will the youthful
tongue, which now lisps hosannas to the
Son of David, and delights my heart with
the evidences of early piety and grac-,
be silent in the earth! Soon shall I
be called to commit her 'body to the
ground, earth to earth, ashes to ashes,
dust to dust.' But oh, what a glorious
change Her spirit shall then have re-
turned to God, who gave it. Her soul
will be joining in the hallelujahs of para-
dise, while we sing her requiem at the
grave. And her very dust shall here
wait, in sure and certain hope of a joyful
resurrection from the dead.'"
I went through the fields without
meeting a single individual. I enjoyed
the retirement of my solitary walk; va-
rious surrounding objects contributed to
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 93
excite useful meditation connected with
the great subjects of time and eternity.
Here and there a drooping flower remind-
ed me of the fleeting nature of mortal life.
Sometimes a shady spot taught me to
look to Him who is "a shadow in the
day-time from the heat, and for a place
of refuge, and for a covert from storm
and from rain." If a worm crept across
my path, I saw an emblem of myself as
I am now; and the winged insects,.
fluttering in the sun-beams, led me com-
paratively to reflect on what I hoped to
The capacious mansion of a rich neigh-
bour appeared on the right hand, as I
walked; on my left were the cottages of
the poor. The church spire pointing to
heaven a little beyond, seemed to say to
both the rich and the poor, Set your
affections on things above, not on things
on the earth."
All these objects afforded me useful
meditation; and all obtained an increased
value, as such, because they lay in my
road to the house of little Jane.
I was now arrived at the stile nearly
94 THE YOUNG COTTAGER.
adjoining her dwelling. The upper win-
dow Was open, and 1 soon distinguished
the sound of,voices; I was glad to hear
that of the mother. I entered the house
door unperceived by those above stairs,
and sat down below, not wishing as yet
to interrupt a conversation, which quickly
caught my ear.
"Mother, mother! I have not long
to live. My time will be very short.
But I must, indeed I must say something
for your sake before I die. Oh, mother,
you have a soul-you have a soul; and
what will become of it when you die?
Oh, my mother, I am so uneasy about
Oh, dear I shall lose my child; she
will die; and what shall I do when you.
are gone, my Jenny ?" She sobbed aloud.
"Mother, think about your soul. Have
you not neglected that ?"
"Yes, I have been a wicked creature,
and hated that which is good. What can
I do ?"
M-ther, you must pray to God to par-
donyou ror Christ's sake. Youmustpray."
"Jem.y, my child, I cannot pray; I
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 95
never did pray in all my life. I am too
wicked to pray."
Mother, I have been wanting to
speak to you a long time. But I was
afraid to do it. You did not like me to
say any thing about religion, and I did
not know how to begin. But indeed,
mother, I must speak now, or it may be
too late. I wish Mr. --- was here, for
he could talk to you better than I can.
But, perhaps, you will think of what I
say, poor as it is, when I am dead. I
am but a young child, and not fit to speak
about such things to any body. But,
mother, you belong to me, and I cannot
bear to think of your perishing for ever.
My Lord and Saviour has shown me my
own sin and corruptions; he loved me,
and gave himself for me : he died and he
rose again; I want to praise him for it
for ever and ever. I hope I shall see
him in heaven; but I want to see you
there too, mother. Do, pray do, both
father and you, leave off swearing and
other bad ways; go to church and hear
our minister speak about .Jesus Christ,
and what he has done for wicked sinners.
96 THE YOUNG COTTAGER.
Ile wishes well to souls. lie taught me
the way, and he will teach you, mother.
Do not be angry with me, mother; I
only speak for your good. I was once
as careless as you are about the things of
God. But I have seen my error. I was in
the broad road leading to destruction, like
manvother children in the parish; and the
Lord saw me, and had mercy upon me."
Yes, my child, you was always a
good girl, and minded your book."
"No, mother, no; not always. I cared
nothing about goodness, nor my Bible,
till the minister came and sent for us,
as you know, on Saturday afternoons.
Don't you remember, mother, that at
first you did not like me to go, and said
you would have no such godly, pious
doings about your house; and that I had
better play.about the street and fields
than be laughed and made game of for
pretending to be so good? Ah, mother,
you did not know what I went for, and
what God designed for me and my poor
sinful soul. But, thank God, I did go,
and there learned the way of salvation.
Mother, I wish you had learned it too."
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 97
As I listened to this affecting convers-
ation, it appeared to me, from the tone and
manner of the mother's voice, that she was
more under the influence of temporary
grief, on account of her child's extreme
illness, than sincere sorrow from any real
sense of her sins. I, however, hoped the
best, and rejoiced to hear such weighty
and important exhortations dropping from
her daughter's lips. I felt that present
circumstances rendered them far more
valuable than my own could have been.
I have often, since that time, seen the
wicked and careless much affected, while
sitting by the dying bed of a near relative;
I have witnessed their temporary acknow-
ledgments of sin, and heard their pro-
fessions of amendment. But, after a short
season, all has passed away like the morn-
ing dew. The friend has been buried
out of sight. The world and its cares, the
flesh and its sins, have returned with new
temptations, and the eloquence of iniquity
has prevailed over the voice of truth.
"The dog has returned to his vomit, and
the sow to her wallowing in the mire."
On the other hand, how frequently
98 THE YOUNG COTTAGER.
have the death-beds of true believers been
blessed to the eye-witnesses of the tri-
umphs of grace over sin, death, and hell!
Often has the careless by-stander received
the first saving impression of Divine truth,
while the dying Christian has experienced
and testified the supports of love and
mercy in the trying hour. At such sea-
sons, faith wields a bright and burning
torch, which occasionally softens the hard-
est, and warms the coldest heart. The
expressions of that heavenly consolation
and devout solicitude, which the Holy
Spirit vouchsafes to some, thus become
the happy means of grace and blessing for
tile conversion and edification of others.
" He that hath an ear, let him hear what
the Spirit saith unto the churches."
At this moment, the house door opened,
and a younger child, a brother of Jane's,
came in. The mother asked from above
who it was; the boy replied, and without
farther inquiry, she continued in the
chamber. I beckoned to the lad to sit
down quietly, and thus it still remained
unknown that I was below.
"Mother," continued Jane, that is
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 9()
my brother, and will soon be your onl.
remaining child. Do, pray, encourage
him to follow good ways. Send him to
Mr. and he will he kind to him as
he has been to me. IIe is a wild boy,
but I hope he will be brought to think
about his soul in time. Those naughty.
wicked boys teach him to swear and fight,
and run after all manner of evil. Lord,
lielp him to flee from the wrath to come!"
I made a sign to the boy to listen to
what his sister said concerning him. He
seemed to hear with attention, and a tear
dropped down his cheek.
Ay, Jenny, it is to be hoped he will,
and that we all shall likewise."
Mother, then you must flee to Christ.
Nothing you can do will save you without
that. You must repent, and turn from
sin: without the grace of God you can-
not do it; but seek and you shall find it.
Do, for your own sake, and for my sake,
and my little brother's sake.
The woman wept and sobbed, without
replying. I now thought it time to
appear, went to the bottom of the stairs,
and said, May a frieud come up ?"
100 THE YOUNG COTTAGER.
"Mercy on me !" said the mother;
"there is Mr. ----."
Come in, sir," said Jane; I am very
glad you are come now. Mother, set a
The woman looked confused. Jane
smiled as I entered, and welcomed me as
I hope I shall be forgiven both by
mother and daughter, for having remained
so long below stairs, during the conversa-
tion which has just taken place. I came
in the hope of finding you together, as I
have had a wish for some time past to
speak to you, Sarah, on the same subjects,
about which, I am happy to say, your
daughter is so anxious. You have long
neglected those things, and I wish to
warn you of the danger of your state;
but Jenny has said all I could desire, and
I now solemnly ask you, whether you are
not much affected by your poor child's
faithful conversation ? You ought to
have been her teacher and instructor in
the ways of righteousness; whereas now
she is become yours. Happy, however,
will it be for you if you are wise, and
THE YOUNG COTTAGER. 101
consider your latter end, and the things
which belong to your peace, before they
are hidden from your eyes. Look at your
dying child, and think of your other and
only remaining one, and say whether this
sight does not call aloud upon you to
hear and fear."
Jane's eyes were filled with tears while
I spoke. The woman hung her head
down, but betrayed some emotions ot
dislike on account of the plain dealing
used towards her.
My child Jenny," said I, how are
you to day ?"
Sir, I have been talking a good deal,
and feel rather faint and weary, but my
mind has been very easy and happy since
I last saw you. I am quite willing to
die, when the Lord sees fit. I have no
wish to live, except it be to see my friends
in a better way before I depart. Sir, I
used to be afraid to speak to them ; but
I feel to-day as if I could hold my peace
no longer, and I must tell them what the
Lord has done for my soul, and what I
feel for theirs."
There was a firmness, I may say a