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XEW YORK PUBLIC IIBRAPY
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J 2:



16'07



Foot76tb . 7»f

THE CONTRAST:



n



SKETCHES FROM REAL LIFE;



CTiie STrue Source of J^appfncss.



GofUiness is profitable unto all things ; having promise of the
life that now is, as well as of that which is to come."

St. Paul.



NEW-YORK:



PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY J. F. TROW,

114 Nassau-street.
1840.



THE NEW YORK

PUBLIC LIBRARY

'171103

A8T0R, LENOX AND

TILDEN FOUNDATIONS.

1909







'^ Q



IBEA3I,



• street, E. R.



" One adequate support
For the calamities of mortal life
Exists, one only ; — an assured belief
That the procession of our fate, howe'er
Sad or disturbed, is ordered by a Being
Of infinite benevolence and power ;
Whose everlasting purposes embrace
All accidents, converting them to good."



03



s



-•)



THE CONTRAST.



" Death wounds to cure : we fall— we rise — we reign —
Spring from our fetters — fasten in the skies,
Where blooming Eden withers in our sight.
Oh ! when will death, (now stingless,) like a friend.
Admit me to that world 1 Oh! when will death
This mouldering, old, partition-wall throw down?
Thrice welcome, happy day, that breaks my chain,
That manumits, ihat calls from exile home,
That readmits us, through the guardian band
Of elder brothers, to our Father's throne;
"Who hears our Advocate, and, through his wounds
Beholding man, allows that tender name.
'Tis this makes Christian triumph, a command;
'Tis this makes joy a duty to the wise."



PREFACE.

The incidents, made permanent by the fol-
lowing pages, came, with some slight vari-
ations, to my immediate knowledge, only a
short time prior to a severe fit of sickness.
The abstraction from the affairs of life, which
this produced, and the prospect of their being
so soon broucrht to a termination, o-ave me a
more realizing sense of eternal things than I
had ever before experienced, and doubtless
caused these incidents to produce upon me a
more than ordinary effect.

As health gradually returned, I employed
myself in committing them to paper, together
with some of the reflections by which the im-
mediate view of death had been made pleasant
to my mind. Having completed this design,

I showed my little work to some friends, who
1*



8 PREFACE.

expressed their belief that its pubhcation would
have a good effect upon the minds of those,
who should be induced to read it, and in this
hope, therefore, I now offer it to the public.
Should any of the readers of this httle book, be
led by its perusal to realize more fully the
great truth laid down in the Gospel, that the
chief object of our life in this world should be
to prepare for an eternal existence in the un-
dying hght of a changeless one hereafter, my
end will be fully attained, and my sincere
wishes and fervent prayers most abundantly
realized. E.

Mw-York, 1840.



THE CONTRAST.



PART I.

"Be of good cheer ; we are more than conquerors through him
that loved us."

A FEW days since, as I was writing in my
study, a message was brought to me from
Mr. Leroy, one of my neighbors, requesting
me, if not particularly engaged, to call and
see him that afternoon. I had become ac-
quainted with Mr. Leroy not many months
before. He was an Englishman, who, having
been reduced by misfortune from a state of
affluence to one of comparative poverty, had
left his native country, and with his wife and
three children sought a home upon our shores.
Soon after his arrival, he had with his wife
united himself to the church of which I was
pastor ; and very few of its members were
more exemplary in their Christian deportment
than were Mr. and Mrs. Leroy. For a time



10 THE CONTRAST.

his business went on prosperously, but the
constant confinement which it required, grad-
ually undermined his health, and brought on
a complaint upon his lungs which was rapidly
hurrying him to the grave. During his sick-
ness his wife exerted herself to the utmost to
procure for him every thing which her fond
affection could suggest as likely to alleviate
his sufferings, or to furnish any hope of his
recovery; and her naturally delicate frame
was beginning to sink under her constant ex-
ertions ; yet still her faith enabled her to bear
up against the pressure of calamity with un-
shaken fortitude. I had visited them fre-
quently in the course of his illness, and had
long felt that there was little or no hope of
his recovery. Of this he was himself fully
sensible, and had it not been for the thought
of leaving his wife and children in a land of
strangers, he would have rejoiced in the pros-
pect of being so soon summoned home to his
Father's house. With respect to his family,
however, he was comforted w^ith a comfort
not of this world, for he knew whom he had
believed, and he knew that the promise stood
sure, " Leave thy fatherless children with me ;



THE CONTRAST. 11

I will take care of them ; and let thy widow
trust in me."

Fearing from the message I had received,
that he must be much worse, I hastened to
comply with his request j and the first glance
I gave at his countenance upon entering his
humble dwelling told me that I was not mis-
taken in my conjecture. The peculiar hue of
his sunken features showed that death was
fast approaching ; but the expression of calm
happiness that beamed in his eye proved that
for him it had no terrors. He smiled when
he saw me, and reaching out his hand to me,
said in a feeble but composed voice, " I have
taken the liberty of sending for you, Mr. M.,
as I feel that I have not many hours more to
remain upon earth ; and before I go, I wish to
commend to your kindness my wife and chil-
dren. They will soon be left without a pro-
tector in a land of strangers, for there are few
here with whom we are acquainted, and fewer
still who would feel for them the interest of
friends. We have all felt that we enjoyed a
great privilege, sir, in having you for a pastor ;
and your uniform kindness towards us, induces



12 THE CONTRAST.

me to hope, that when I am gone you will not
be unmindful of my poor Jane, but will induce
her, by your counsel and advice, to place
an undoubting trust in God, without whose aid
our best strength is but weakness."

" My friend," I replied, " do not call send-
ing for me a liberty. How could a minister
of the gospel be more fitly employed than in
visiting the abodes of the sick and distressed %
Fear not for your wife ; all that I can do to
comfort and support her under her loss shall
be most cheerfully done; and you have read
this blessed book too much," I continued,
pointing to a Bible which lay by his bedside,
" not to know that one mightier than I will be
a father to the fatherless, and a guide to the
widow."

" I know it," he answered, " and may His
name be praised that I have that trust ; yes.
He whom the heaven of heavens cannot con-
tain ; He who hid his uncreated glory in a
tabernacle of flesh, and took upon himself the
punishment due to the sins of our fallen race ;
He it is, who hath promised to bless and com-
fort those who are afflicted ; and I feel," he



THE CONTRAST. 13

continued, looking solemnly upward, " that as
sure as God liveth is the pledge that that pro-
mise shall be fulfilled."

His strength here seemed to fail, and he
sunk back upon the pillows. His eldest child,
a girl about twelve years of age, who was the
only person in the room with us, immediately
ran to him, and raising his head with my as-
sistance, gave him some medicine, which
seemed to revive him. As soon as he had
recovered a little, I asked him if he had not
better send for his wife.

" No," he replied, " she laid downi a short
time since at my request, to try to get a little
repose, and I do not wish to have her dis-
turbed until it is absolutely necessary. Poor
Jane, she needs all the rest she can obtain, for
though she knows I have not much longer to
remain with her, yet she does not think my
departure quite so near as I feel it will be.
Heavenly Father, be thou her strength and
shield when I am gone ; increase her faith,
so that she may cling undoubtingly to thee,
as her ever-living and all-sufficient Friend, re-
signing herself and our dear children to thy
disposal, with humble trust, that what thou
2



14» THE CONTRAST.

hast graciously promised in the gospel, thou
wilt assuredly perform."

He paused a moment to gather strength,
and then proceeded :

" My spirit is willing, but my flesh is weak.
O that while strength was given to me I had
employed it more in glorifying and magnifying
the name of my Heavenly Father ; and would
that all the followers of Christ might learn
from my example to devote more of their
time and talents to their Master's service
while it is with them called to-day; would
they might realize that all, from the least to
the greatest, exert more or less influence upon
those around them ; and that, whether at home
or abroad, whenever they are in the society
of their fellow-beings, they should employ the
opportunities so given to them in exerting
that influence to promote the cause of our
blessed Redeemer, who manifested himself in
the flesh, that we through him might have
eternal life. my Saviour, soon shall I be
with thee ; not because I am worthy, but be-
cause thou hast promised, that those that come
to thee thou wilt save to the uttermost. Thine
arms are even now around me, raising me



THE CONTRAST. 15

above this world of sin and pain, to that
eternal mansion where I shall be at rest for



ever i



I"



" My dear Mr. Leroy," said I, " it rejoices
me to see your mind in so happy a frame 5 and
most sincerely do I unite with you in the
wishes you expressed just now respecting the
influence which Christians exert upon those
around them. Were they to act in that
spirit, the earth would wear a different aspect
from what it now does. But in speaking of
heaven as a place of rest, I trust you do not
confine your ideas of the happiness to be en-
joyed there by the redeemed in Christ, to a
mere freedom from the trials and sorrows they
suffer on earth."

" No," he said, " far from it. When my
spirit is freed from this poor shell of clay,
w^hich now confines it, I shall indeed have
rest from the temptations of sin ; since it is
promised, that those who have been washed
in the blood of the Lamb shall be clothed in
the garments of light and righteousness,
which, as I conceive, means, that glowing
with humble transports of love and gratitude
we shall be changed into his pure and glorious



16 THE CONTRAST.

likeness, even as the melted wax receives the
impression from the seal. Then while stand-
ing in the immediate presence of the great
I AM, the sight of his glorious perfections
will so delight my soul, that through the end-
less ages of eternity I shall still seek to com-
prehend more ; and it will be a desire and
joy which will for ever increase, since that
upon which it feeds is infinite. This is that
river of the water of life proceeding from the
throne of God and of the Lamb, concerning
which the sainted John speaks ; and it will be
indeed a fountain of ever new delight to those
who are allowed to partake of it. 0, thou in-
finitely precious Redeemer, to thee do I owe
it, that a worm of the dust like myself is per-
mitted to have so glorious a hope as that in a
few moments he shall be with thee in Zion,
rejoicing with the myriads who are already
there, in being permitted to exert their new-
born energies for thy service, and pouring
forth hymns to thy praise !"

As he spoke, his bodily powers seemed to
derive a momentary energy from the fervor of
his spirit, for his eyes kindled with an almost
unearthly lustre, his voice became clear and



THE CO^'TRAST. 17

firm, and a slight flush passed over his hither-
to pallid features. I was about to answer him,
when an inner door opened, and his wife en-
tered.

After accosting me with the usual saluta-
tions, she approached his bedside and said,
"Was not that your voice, my love, which I
heard just now 1 I think you must feel bet-
ter, or you would not have been able so to
have exerted yourself."

" My spirit is strong, Jane, with a strength
that comes not from earth," replied her hus-
band, " but my bodily powers are failing fast ;
I feel that the time is rapidly approaching
when I shall be called to leave you and our
dear children. Had it pleased God, I could
well have wished that you might have been
spared this bitter trial ; but 1 pray, how
fervently, that you may be supported under it,
and that it may work out both for you and
them a far more exceeding and eternal weight
of glory. Do not weep thus, my beloved wife.
Has not he who gave, a right to take away '?
and have we not since our union known, that
whenever it should seem good to him one or
other of us must bear this sorrow V
2*



18 THE CONTRAST.

While he was yet speaking, Mrs. Leroy
sunk on her knees by his bedside and clasped
one of his hands between her own ; when he
ceased there was silence for a moment, and
then she said :

" It is all true ; and I thought I was pre-
pared to part from you without a repining
thought ; but O ! were it not for our children
I should pray that God would take me along
with you."

" We shall soon meet again, my love," he
replied ; " let that thought cheer your soul,
and do not mourn as one Avithout hope. Cast
all your care upon the Lord, with a realizing
faith that he is abundantly able to give rest
and peace to your heavy-laden soul ; and
doubt not that he will do so in answer to your
prayers ; for hath he said it, and shall he not
make it good I Where are our other chil-
dren] I wish to speak to them all once more
w^hile I have strength."

"Call them, Mary," said his wife, address-
ing her daughter, who during this time had
been sitting by the bedside of her dying father
in silent sorrow, " they are in the garden, I
believe."



THE CONTRAST. 19

The little girl left the room, and Mr. Leroy,
pressing his wife's hand, affectionately said :
" Mr. M. has promised to be a friend to you
when I am gone, Jane, and I am sure we have
tested his kindness often enough to know
that you could not have a better earthly
one."

" I thank him most sincerely for his con-
stant goodness to us," answered Mrs. Leroy,
" and I know that all he can do to comfort us,
he will ; I trust I feel resigned to the will of
God; but," she continued, clasping her hands
with a momentary burst of anguish, which she
could not control, " all the affliction I have
ever felt has been nothing to this ; I never
knew what sorrow was till now."

" My dear madam," said I, " it is natural
and just that you should feel grief at parting
with one so dear to you ; but let the thought,
that what is your loss is his exceeding gain,
be a comfort to your mind. The gospel does
not command us to extinguish our natural af-
fections, but to chasten them, so that they
may be indulged solely with a reference to the
will of God ; if there were no sorrow felt there
could be no resignation. Even our Saviour



20 THE CONTRAST.

wept and groaned within himself at the tomb
of Lazarus."

Mr. Leroy's three children, two boys and
the young girl whom I have before mentioned,
here entered the room ; but they came not
with the bounding, joyous step, so peculiar
to youth, but slowly and silently, as if they
feared to disturb the repose of one they loved
so well. Their father extended his arms to-
wards them, and as they came near to the bed
kissed and partly embraced them all. " My
dear children," said he, " it is not the will of
God that I should remain much longer with
you ; I am dying, and I have sent for you to
give 3'ou the last request I shall ever have it
in my power to make, and which I entreat you
to follow, as you value your happiness either
in this Avorld or in that to which I am going.
From your infancy I have endeavored to teach
you to love and obey God, as your ever pres-
ent Father and best Friend ; and now, my chil-
dren, I charge you to make that love and ser-
vice the first object of your lives. Seek tO
acquaint yourselves with hirn through the me-
dium of the Bible ; mal^ that precious book
your daily study, and never suffer yourselves



THE CONTRAST. 21

to read it with carelessness, or without first
praying to God to enable you to understand
its truths. Strive always against the first
risings of sin in your hearts ; and when you
commit a fault, lose not a moment till you
have prayed to God to forgive you for it, and
to purify your hearts by his Holy Spirit, so
that you may not so ofTend him again. If you
thus do, at the same time sincerely repenting
your sinfulness, your Heavenly Father will,
for the sake of our blessed Redeemer, forgive
you your transgressions, and keep you from
going astray another time ; — ^but if you will-
ingly and wilfully indulge in any sin, no mat-
ter how small, remember that by so doing you
are disobeying the commands of your infinitely
merciful Creator, and that his wrath is de-
nounced against all unrighteousness. You
will soon be without an earthly father and
protector, my children ; but to the care of
that God, who has watched over and blessed
us so long, do I leave you and your dear
mother, in the perfect confidence that while
you love and trust in Him, He will never for-
sake you." ^



22 THE COx\TRAST.

He paused a moment, and then requested
me in a lower tone to unite with them in
prayer. I readily complied; and never, even
while standing before the altar, did I feel that
the presence of God more hallowed any place
than it did the bedside of that dying believer.
As I pronounced the benediction, he repeated
the " Amen," with a strength and clearness
that surprised me ; then drawing his wife close
to him he said: "I leave you, beloved one;
may God reward you as you deserve, for all
the love and unwearied kindness you have
manifested towards me. It is His will we
should part now, but we shall soon meet again
in His presence, where are fulness of joys for
evermore." At this moment a brilliant ray
from the setting sun darted in through the
window, and filled the apartment with a flood
of crimson light. Mr. Leroy smiled faintly,
and said : " It is beautiful, as are all created
things; yet it is but a shadow of the glory
now^ opening before me." Clasping his wife
and children in his arms, and summoning up
all his remaining strength, he then continued,
*' thou infinite Creator and Preserver of all



THE CONTRAST. 23

things, to whom I owe the hopes which now
animate my soul, to thine abounding mercy-
do I commit these precious gifts."

As the last sound died from his lips, his
countenance lost its animation — he passed his
hand across his eyes — breathed a moment —
and then life stood still.

Who that has been in the chamber of
death has not felt how almost awful is the
stillness, which immediately follows the de-
parture of the spirit from its frail tenement, —
when that, which but a few minutes before
was the object of so much care and anxiety,
is at rest for ever ! Never was I made so
deeply sensible of this, as upon the present
occasion. For some minutes after Mr. Leroy
had ceased speaking, not a sound was heard
in the apartment ; the children sat motionless,
gazing, in mute sorrow and expectation, al-
ternately at their father and mother. As her
husband's grasp had relaxed, the latter raised
herself from her partly reclining position, and
with fixed and tearless eyes sat in agonized
contemplation of the cold remains of him who,
while in life, had been so closely entwined
with her very being, that though she had long



24 THE CONTRAST.

been in anticipation of his departure, it now
seemed to strike her with almost stunning
force ; and so pallid and deathlike did her
countenance become, that I almost doubted
whether her spirit was not about to burst the
bonds which confined it, and flee away to
join her husband's in the mansions of the
blessed. At last her youngest child crept
close to her, and throwing his arms around
her neck, said: "Mother, dear mother, why
do you look so 1 will not papa speak to us
again 1" The sound seemed to rouse her, she
took the child upon her lap, and her eyes be-
came slowly suffused with tears. Rejoicing
to see her feelings thus venting themselves,
I approached her and said : " Your dear hus-
band is now happy with the spirits of the just
made perfect j to indulge in grief, therefore,
would be not only selfish, but would indicate a
repining spirit. Our Heavenly Father never
afflicts us needlessly nor for his own pleasure ;
but he designs by so doing to bring us nearer
to himself, and fit us for more perfect happi-
ness in another world j and though grief hath
abounded, it is in his power to make consola-
tions much more abound."



THE CONTRAST, 25

" I know it," she replied, in a subdued but
firm tone, ''and the truth of that promise I
now realize j the Lord is with me in his
strength — it is all for the best — God's will be
done."

Feeling that it would perhaps be best to
leave her to commune a while with that Being,
who alone could give her true comfort, I
now took my leave ; promising, as I did so, to
request a friend of hers, who lived near, to
come and pass the night with her ; and then
saying that I would come with my wife and
see them in the morning, I left, with sincere
regret and sympathy, this deeply afflicted
family.



THE CONTRAST.



" From vice, sense, fancy, no man can be blessed ;
Bliss is too great to lodge within an hour ;
When an immortal being aims at bliss,
Duration is essential to the name.
Hear this, ye careless, and be wise in time ;
For who shall answer for another hour 1
Seize wisdom, ere 'tis torment to be wise ;
That is, seize wisdom ere she seizes thee.
"Why then persist 1 No mortal ever lived,
But, dying, he pronounced (when words are true)
All earthly vanities were worse than vain.
Earth, turning from the sun, brings night to man;
Man, turning from his God, brings endless night."



PART II.

The sting of death is sin. Consider this, ye that forget God."

When I returned home, I related to my
wife the event to which I had just been a
witness. She sighed when I concluded, and
said: "It must be a great affliction to Mrs.
Leroy, and most sincerely do I sympathize
with her ; yet her grief is nothing to what it
would have been, had her husband not been as
well prepared as he was for another world.
What would notMrs.Langton give if poor Mrs.
Wetmore's soul were in a state to meet death
with half the joy and serenity which Mr. Le-
roy manifested!"

"Have you seen Mrs. V/etmore to dayl"
I inquired.

" Yes, I have been there this afternoon ;
and never did I see a person show so much
unwillingness to leave this world. It really
made my heart bleed to converse with her.
She has to-day learned for the first time that
her disease was considered at all dangerous j
3*



30 THE CONTRAST.

for though her physicians have, you know, for
some time entertained but little hope of her
recovery, yet her friends, with mistaken kind-
ness, have been afraid even to hint to her the
possibility of her sickness having a fatal ter-
mination, lest they should aggravate it by so
doing. When it was first told her, she refus-
ed to believe it ; saying she felt better than


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