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- Canadian Wild Flowers - 4/36 -


"When I partook of the Lord's supper I felt a repetition of the happiness I had while obeying the command of my Saviour and following him into a watery grave. How vividly the last supper which Christ partook of with his disciples presented itself to my mind! and then I looked forward with joyful hope to the day when all the saints of God shall eat bread in his glorious kingdom,--when all of every age and clime shall be gathered around the table, and Jesus Christ himself be in their midst. It was a soul-inspiring thought, and for all the wealth of a thousand worlds like this I would not have been absent from that communion--from which I had so often absented myself. Yes; I had never before partaken of the Lord's supper; and it was my own wicked heart which had kept me away, for God had called loudly upon me, and his Holy Spirit had again and again striven with me. Oh, what a sinner I have been, and what a longsuffering God! I wonder that he did not cast me off forever. Oh, what mercy I 'Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.' And now, have I forsaken all for Christ? Have I thrown myself--body, soul, and spirit--upon the altar? I do want to sacrifice everything for Christ, and _by the grace of God_ I will perform the following:--

"1. When my duty appears plain I will do it, whatever may be the consequences.

"2. I will never be ashamed to confess Christ before the world.

"3. I will consecrate my talents entirely to the Lord.

"4. I will never employ my pen in writing anything which I might regret at the bar of God.

"5. I will never permit any one of my compositions to be printed unless I can in sincerity ask the blessing of God to attend it.

"6. As I shall be brought into judgment for every idle word I say, I will endeavor never to engage in trifling conversation, but on every proper occasion to speak of the wondrous grace of God.

"7. I will, whenever a good opportunity occurs, warn my young companions to flee from the wrath to come.

"8. I will strive to set my affections on things above, not on things on the earth.

"9. By the assistance of the Holy Spirit I will endeavor to keep evil thoughts out of my heart, and to meditate upon the law of God.

"10. I will never pass a day without seeking some secret place at least twice a day, and pouring out my soul in prayer to God.

"11. I will study the Holy Scriptures, and endeavor to understand what I read.

"12. I will try to do all I can.

"O God, assist me to perform what I have written in thy fear and to thy glory. I am perfect weakness: but 'thou knowest my frame, thou rememberest that I am dust.' I know thou art merciful; Oh, give me a more exalted faith. Help me to come boldly forward and claim thy promises as mine. Humble my pride; keep me at thy feet; let not the temptations of Satan overcome me, but may I trust myself in thine arms. May I love thee fervently, above everything else--better, far than my own life. I can do nothing unless thou dost assist me. Oh, support me, and save me at last in thy kingdom, for Christ's sake."

In the evening of that ever memorable Sabbath she offered aloud a few words of prayer at the family altar, and next day (as she was then teaching) had prayer in her school: thus she "confessed with the mouth the Lord Jesus" while in her heart she believed that God had raised him from the dead (Rom. 10:9). Immediately after the Son of God himself was baptized, he was in the wilderness "tempted of the devil"; it need not be thought strange therefore if his followers soon after their baptism are also grievously assaulted by the same adversary. This young Christian did not escape him entirely; yet from that day until her death, though conscious of much weakness and imperfection, having many dark days and great sufferings, she never renounced her allegiance to the King of kings, who had bought her with his blood. A few more selections from her diary will show the working of her mind about this time.

"_Aug. 7._ A calm and quiet morning. A soothing calm steals over my soul. Faith, with triumphant wing, rises far above, the scenes of earth and points to that glorious world where Christ pleads for me before the throne of his Father. The doubts which have so long filled my heart are sinful and dishonoring to God, and I will no longer give place to them: I will look away from myself--from my sins--to the holy Lamb of God. I will trust wholly in him and in his merits alone for acceptance."

"_Sunday, Aug. 8._ What I have done to-day would once have seemed impossible, the cross that I have taken up would have seemed almost insupportable. I could not have believed the last time I attended the prayer-meeting that at the next one I should stand up as a witness for Christ. But thank God! my proud heart has in some degree been humbled, and the dearest hope I now cherish is, that Christ may not be ashamed to confess me before his Father and all the holy angels."

"_Aug. 22._ While standing this evening by the grave of one dearly beloved in life, and cherished more fondly now that death has taken her from my embrace, I could not stay the soaring flight of fancy, which would portray to my mind in vivid colors our meeting at the great Resurrection morn; and the thought that that meeting was so near--that in a very little while the grave should lose its power and that she would come forth robed in immortal beauty, filled my soul with transport and almost brought to my lips the yearning cry, 'Come, Lord Jesus, and come quickly.'"

On the 27th of August Miss JOHNSON closed her school, and after spending a few weeks at home went to the academy at Derby Centre, Vt. Under date of "Wednesday, Oct. 26," we have this entry in her journal:--

"Attended the exercises to-night and read a composition. They could not have liked it, for it was upon a subject which must be disagreeable to the world; and yet it is the subject nearest my heart--one that I love to dwell upon and to hear about: the coming of my blessed Saviour. When will the glorious morn appear! Loud and repeated cheers were given when Miss ---- read her composition. Well, it was good; such as would suit the world, but not _me_--strange being that I am. But I shall not always be so: in heaven I shall not be a stranger. There I can converse with the saints dearly-beloved: for their conversation will be on the things of God; and my Saviour himself will deign to address me there! Why should I not then long, aye _long_ to obtain that blissful state? And yet I sometimes fear that I shall fall far short of it, for I am so vile and polluted."

The "composition" referred to we do not find among her papers; but much that she has written shows that she was indeed deeply interested in "that blessed hope" (Tit. 2:13). She was a decided pre- millennialist, and stood identified in her church-membership with the Evangelical Adventists. On completing her eighteenth year (Oct. 27, 1852), she said:--

"This evening, while looking back through all the events of my life, what is there that rejoices me most? It is one that the past year has brought forth,--one that will ever be remembered with deep and powerful emotions: the day that consecrated me to the Lord, when I breathed forth with a fervent heart, 'Give me Christ, or else I die,' and I was enabled to take up my cross and follow my Saviour in baptism."

Here there is no regret expressed for the step she had taken, nor did she ever feel any, though she greatly deplored her weakness and unprofitableness in the Lord's service. And why not? Listen to her, under date of June 13, 1853:--

"How sweet, when the soul has no earthly support, to fly to the Rock of Ages! The Saviour is precious to the heart of the pardoned sinner. There is nothing like the love of Jesus. He is not like other friends --oftentimes wearied by our complaints and the repetition of our sorrows, but is always longsuffering and delighting to hear and answer every cry of the burdened spirit; smiling ever in the darkest of afflictions, and forever dropping the balm of consolation into the distracted breast. Oh, what a privilege to have such a friend--such a sure and steadfast friend--such a wise and omnipotent friend. And he is _my_ friend? Yes; he is '_the sinner's_ FRIEND,' and therefore mine: for surely nothing but wondrous _love_ could have led him to die a cruel and ignominious death for me, polluted as I am. O Jesus, thou art my friend and I will be thy friend; thou didst love me first and I do love thee, but not as fervently as I should, nor so much as I desire. O God, give me more of thy Holy Spirit; may it consume every unhallowed passion, tear every idol from my heart, and consecrate that heart entirely to thee."

The only journal notes of considerable length which Miss JOHNSON seems to have made were for the years 1852 and 1853. Those for 1855 and 1860 were entered in a "daily miniature diary." We find none for other years, though she always kept her pen and pencil busy in some way as long as she had strength to write. The diary for 1855 is in rhyme-- usually six lines being allotted to each day. While some of the verses are playful and witty, most of them are religious and plaintive. The following are given as specimens:

"Arose at six o'clock today: How swift the moments sped away Engaged in household duties; Then Virgil claimed awhile my care, And Pope of time a larger share, With all his sweets and beauties."

"Mr. Goodenough and wife Came here yesterday; Through the changing scenes of life Onward be their way; And never may their path be rough So long as they are Good-enough."

"Received of Robinson to-day For my 'Address' a little pay: The first of cash I ever had For writing verses, good or bad. O Lord, whate'er my gains may be The tenth I dedicate to thee."

"I would not seek the haunts of mirth, For in the gayest scenes of earth Are hovering grief and care;


Canadian Wild Flowers - 4/36

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