The New Zealand Evangelist
In the early days of Methodism, the daughter of a certain English Nobleman was providentially brought under the influence of the spirit of God, through its instrumentality, and came to a saving knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus, Her father was almost distracted at this event, and by threats, temptations to extravagance in dress, by reading, and travelling in foreign countries, and to places of fashionable resort, took every means in his power to divert her mind from “things unseen and eternal.” But her heart was fixed. The God of Abraham had become her “shield and exceeding great reward.” At last her father determined upon a desperate and final experiment by which his end should be gained, or his daughter ruined as far as her prospects in life were concerned. A large company of the nobility were invited to his house. It was so arranged, that, during the festivities, the daughters of different noblemen, and among them, his own, were to be called upon to entertain the company with singing and music on the piano. If she refused compliance, she would be publicly disgraced, and lose, past the possibility of recovery, her place in society. It was a dreadful trial, but with peaceful confidence did she await it. As the crisis approached, different individuals, at the call of the company, performed their parts with the greatest applause. At last the name of his daughter was announced. In a moment all were in fixed and silent suspense, to see how the scale of destiny would turn. Without hesitation, she arose, and with calm and dignifled composure took her place at the instrument. After a moment spent in silent prayer, she ran her fingers along the keys, and then, with an unearthly sweetness, elevation, and solemnity, sang, accompanying her voice with the notes of the instrument, the following stanzas:—page 112
“No room for mirth or trifling here,
For worldly hope, or worldly fear,
If life so soon is gone:
If now the Judge is at the door,
And all mankind must stand before
Th’ inexorable throne!
No matter which my thoughts employ,
A moment's misery or joy;
Bat O! when both shall end,
Where shall I find my destined place?
Shall I my everlasting days
With fiends or angels spend?
Nothing is worth a thought beneath,
But how I may escape the death
That never, never dies!
How make mine own election sure,
And when I fail on earth secure
A mansion in the skies!
Jesus, vouchsafe a pitying ray:
Be thou my guide, be thou my way
To glorious happiness!
Ah, write the pardon on my heart,
And whensoe'er I hence depart,
Let me depart in peace.
She ceased. The solemnity of eternity was upon that assembly; without speaking they dispersed. The father wept aloud, and when left alone, sought the counsel and prayers of his daughter for the salvation of his soul. His soul was saved, and his great estate consecrated to God. “A word spoken in due season, how good is it!”—Prov. 15. 23.—Gleaner.