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Art thou a master, bearing sway
Then freely pray! With liberal mind
The Children's Gallery.
SKETCH OF MISS ELEANOR
ELEANOR MARSHALL, of South Lincolnshire, was born 26th Feb., 1831, and died 30th Sept., 1847. She was consequently removed from this life at an age when great expectations were formed that she would be a comfort and help to her parents and a useful, active member of society. From childhood, she was remarkable for an amiable and affectionate disposition, quick capacity, and lively temperament. On this account she was much beloved, and her shrewd remarks and quick sensibility always rendered her society agreeable. She was very fond of reading, and usually selected books of an instructive kind. The "Child's Companion" was a favourite book, and also the "Pilgrim's Progress."
Enjoying the advantages of a good education, she made considerable advance in many valuable accomplishments. She bid fair to become an intelligent and much-beloved member of society; and earnest hopes were cherished that she would adorn the doctrine of God her Saviour. Trained up with a taste for practical duties, the useful and ornamental were harmoniously blended.
The frivolities of the world had very
little charm for her; and it was very evident that the claims of personal religion much occupied her thoughts. But had she really decided for God? There is much consolatory evidence that she had chosen the "good part," and had entertained the momentous question of making a profession of religion. An earlier and more prompt decision would have spared her much severe and harassing conflict during the rapid progress of disease.
Almost from the time she was able to form letters she was in the habit of writing down the texts and principal heads of sermons, and latterly any remarks that particularly struck her. For some years she was a scholar in the Independent Sunday-school, in which her father and mother were teachers. She was subsequently engaged as a teacher, and evidently took a lively interest in the work, and, with her parents, was diligent in promoting the interests of the school. She was also zealous in obtaining contributions for the cause of missions, and often lamented during her illness that she was unable to make up her usual amount. At the celebration of the Lord's supper she was frequently a spectator, and evidently took a deep interest in the ordinance, and manifested an
earnest desire to partake of the bless- was pleased to frustrate the earthly ings represented.
A hymn sung on one of these occasions appears to have much affected her-Watts, 155th hymn, 2nd book"Lord, if my heart were sprinkled too," &c. But whatever purpose was formed in her heart, it was frustrated by the unexpected approach of death. The greater portion of the year 1846 was spent in London, for the purpose of completing her education. Some correspondence with her schoolfellows, at this time, indicates the breathing of earnest desire for true piety. It appears that she was in the habit of meeting with some of them for serious conversation and prayer. An extract from one of her letters will prove that religion was uppermost in her mind:
"We had a delightful sermon this morning, from dear Mr. Bubier. It was about God being our rock, on whom we can lean in our sorrow and affliction, and who will always be our support. In him we may confide all our griefs; on his arm we may lean, for it is very, very strong, and he himself is a very present help in time of trouble. I feel much happier than I did a little time ago; but still I often doubt very much whether I love the Lord or no, and I am sure I do not love him as I ought; but I hope he will, in his good pleasure, turn and change my heart, and fix my affections on him as their only centre."
She returned home in the early part of 1847. What expectations were connected with this event! Her parents expected her cheerful society and her assistance in their business. Her friends expected her to become a valuable and exemplary member of their Christian communion. But the Lord
plans that had been formed, and to translate her to a holier and happier sphere!
Indisposition, that was at first attributed to a severe cold, speedily developed itself into consumption. Change of air was tried repeatedly, without any favourable result, and from the rapid progress of disease it was manifest that her end was not far distant. She suffered the keenest spiritual conflict, which was much aggravated by her great natural diffidence in all matters of personal feeling, and by the extremely excited state of her nervous system. She was always distinguished by a great abhorrence of insincerity, and too often concealed the state of her religious feelings under the dread of self-delusion. This was evidently the secret cause of her reserve upon religious subjects, and of her reluctance to describe the state of her soul. However, at last, after convulsive efforts and amidst many tears, she disburdened her heart to her minister. She then stated what distress she felt in prayer, fearing she should not be heard. "Jesus is frowning upon me," was her bitter complaint. said that she did not feel sufficient sorrow for her sins.
mind appeared to continue undisturbed to the moment of her dissolution.
During her whole illness she was very patient, though bodily restlessness was most distressing to her. On one occasion she said, "Jesus will not lay on me more than I am able to bear." On her mother's complaining of bitter disappointment, she replied, "I did reckon upon coming home to you, but we were making our heaven on earth; the Lord sees fit to disappoint us. We were expecting the year 1847 to bring us much enjoyment, but it is a year of sorrow and trouble." It was natural to expect that at first she should cling to life, and she was, therefore, much affected when informed of her danger; but she never murmured at the destruction of her earthly hopes. She one day put her feeble arms around her mother's neck and said, "Oh! my dearest mother, if I could only see you reconciled to part with me! God has, perhaps, designed it to be a great blessing to some of the family. I hope it will be the case, and that you will be resigned."
She was much affected by the decease of her uncle, a Baptist minister at Louth; and expressed her fervent hope that she should speedily have the joy of meeting in heaven all that were dear to her.
It had always been a lovely trait in her character to be fond of engaging the interest of her young friends, especially if much younger than herself. To one of her companions she addressed an earnest exhortation, referring to herself as a proof of the uncertainty of life. Some letters of religious counsel she received during her illness, she much prized, and perused frequently.
On returning home from attending the house of God, for the last time, she remarked, "I thought I should like to sing; but I shall soon be able." She had an excellent talent for music, and when, through weakness, unable to enjoy the recreation, would occasionally sit looking earnestly at her piano. For her it was unstrung. Her habit of industry was such, that even to the very Tuesday before her death, she persevered in occupying herself with reading and knitting.
Her reflective mind was occasionally much exercised upon the subject of the Trinity, the immortality of the soul, the state of the soul when removed from the body, &c. Upon the lastmentioned subject, she derived great comfort from the text, "Absent from the body, present with the Lord." As death approached, she calmly anticipated the bliss of "being with Jesus."
On Wednesday, 30th September, she became increasingly weak and restless, and was anxious for her minister to spend some time with her.
Unable to give a ready account of her feelings, owing to debility and nervous excitement, she pointed out some hymns which with trembling hand she had marked and underscored, and intimated her cordial sympathy with the sentiments they expressed. The principal hymns were those commencing
"Jesus, lover of my soul."
A mortal man ashamed of thee?" &c.
About midnight she asked her mother, "Is the Lord coming for me?" Receiving the reply, "Yes, my dear," she continued for some time silent. but
moving her lips as if engaged in earnest prayer; when her breathing suddenly ceased and she fell asleep in Jesus, leaving a happy smile upon her coun
It is evident that much of her painful conflict during the harassing excitement of disease, would have been prevented had she earlier abandoned her
reserve. How much should young persons reflect upon the momentous words, "I love them that love me, and they that seek me early shall find me." The child knows not the world; its affections centre in home. The aged know the world too well, and have learned the delusiveness of its charms; but youth instinctively look abroad upon the great scene of life, and are powerfully influenced. Early decision for God is the dictate of true wisdom: So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom."
"Really, dear Henry, I was not aware it was so late. I have been so fascinated by this book, that time has flown unperceived. Well, I must put off my visit to the cottage; for you know if I were to go immediately, I could not be back in time to dress for dinner." Thus answered the sentimental Emma Hanbury, when addressed by her brother; an amiable, intelligent youth, who was spending the vacation at home after his first turn at college.
"And may I ask, Emma," he continued, "what book you have been reading which has proved so irresistibly attractive, as to make you forget the wants of the widow and the orphan?"
Emma blushed deeply at this question; for she felt ashamed to acknowledge that it was a novel which had engaged her attention. She was, however, spared the pain of replying, as her brother, while he spoke, took up the
volume; and upon finding to what class
it belonged, exclaimed, “Oh, my dear sister, you are indeed changed! And is it possible that you have been sitting ever since breakfast (nearly six hours) perusing a fictitious narrative, which could only amuse for a time, while your poor neighbours stood in need of your good offices?"
"Indeed, Henry," she replied, "I have been more than amused: I have
entered so deeply into the joys and sorrows of the heroine, that I really seemed to myself acting the very scenes with her. I have been weeping over many parts of this book; and surely you can see nothing wrong in sensibility?"
"Certainly not, in pure sensibility, my dear; for apathy is very unpleasant to me, and I may say even disgusting. But I should denominate the feelings which have been called into exercise, in your case, SENTIMENTALISM, and not sensibility. Will you forgive me, my dear sister, if I go on?" continued Henry, as he saw his sister was much moved by his remarks.
"Oh yes, dear brother, go on; I can bear anything from you, especially as I know I have done wrong, very wrong in suffering myself to consult my own pleasure rather than attend to the wants of those who are in distress. But don't you think I had better run to Sarah, and ask her to send a few necessaries to the Thornville's immediately?"
Emma soon returned. "And now," said she, "will you tell me, Henry, why you so much object to novelreading? I have several times wished to ask you, but thought you would be forced to give such forcible reasons that I must give up the practice; and I own that I am passionately fond of them."
"I object to novels, dear Emma, on several accounts. They are confessedly fictitious and can it be right, just for amusement, to sit down and read a
complete tissue of falsehoods? They often represent a person who has been guilty of the most disgraceful actions, and frequently of great crimes, as almost angelic (except in what the writers are pleased to call, these trivial instances), and instead of showing that his crimes meet with a just punishment, he is generally allowed to redeem his character by some mere act of chivalry, and is then rewarded in the most bountiful manner. And is this in accordance with that language which says, 'Say ye to the wicked that it shall be ill with him: for he shall eat the fruit of his doings?' Have not works of this nature a tendency to make us dissatisfied with the realities of life, and make us wish, as you said just now, to act the very scenes pourtrayed by the writer? But, my dear sister, do they not make you neglect that most important of all books-the Bible? Can you go from the perusal of a novel to the study of the book of God?' If you have ever tried it, you must have found that your thoughts, instead of being fixed on what you were reading, have reverted to the incidents with which you had just been entertained. And is it not the same with regard to prayer? Can you pour out your soul before God, and beg his blessing in sincerity, when your thoughts are wandering from Him?"
Emma replied, "I know, my dear brother, that, with respect to the generality of novels, what you have said is true; but it cannot all be applied to every novel. Sir Walter Scott's, for instance, are purely historical, and, therefore, I should think cannot be improper."
"Not purely historical, Emma; the principal parts are, certainly; but there are various characters and events introduced into them which have no foundation in truth, but are merely brought in for the purpose of making the historical parts more interesting. But this is not my most serious objection to the works of this talented man. He holds up to ridicule the good men of former days who stood firm to their faith, and exhibits them as gloomy and morose; indeed, puritan seems with Sir Walter only another term for
fanatic. He also frequently introduces a passage of Scripture, and gives it a far different meaning to the true one; and, in many instances, I consider this misappropriation quite profane."
That is indeed the case, my dear Henry; and now I clearly see that I have for several months been doing very far from right. You have no idea what a number of volumes of this sort I have read during the time you have been at Oxford. O, Henry, I wish you could always be with me; I am sure to do wrong when you are away.”
"My dear sister, there is one who is able to keep you from all evil. At one time, Emma, I did hope that you were seeking his guidance; and much has it grieved me, since my return home, to find such an alteration in you. 0, dear, dear Emma, let me entreat you to seek the way of peace-you can find happiness nowhere else: and believe one who has tried them, that the ways of Wisdom are indeed ways of pleasantness, and her paths are truly paths of peace."
As he concluded these words, seeing Emma was affected, he took leave of her affectionately and left the room, that his sister might have an opportunity of thinking over the remarks which he had been making; and that he might retire and pour out his heart before his heavenly Father, on the behalf of his beloved relative.
THE WONDERS OF THE SEA. As God hath combined the sea and land into one globe, so their joint combination and mutual assistance is necessary to secular happiness and glory. The sea covereth one-half of this patrimony of man, whereof God set him in possession, when he said, "Replenish the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." Thus should man at once lose half his inheritance, if the art of navigation did not enable him to manage this untamed beast, and, with the bridle of the winds and saddle of his shipping, to make him serviceable. Now for the