Imatges de pÓgina

no sins to trouble their consciences; therefore they were happy: but I have many evil actions to remember, Henrie. If religion is true, and there is a place of punishment in the next world, I must be miserable: I dare not think of it, and should be sorry to believe it.'-' Oh, dear Father,' said Heurie, how you mistake the nature of religion! Our dear Saviour came to save sinners, not faultless beings: he came to cure the sick, and heal the broken-hearted. If you have been a sinner, dear Father, you are such a one as our Saviour came to seek. Do, dear Father, let me read the Bible to you. I have got a little Bible; and I will, if you please, read a little to you every day, as you can bear it and then you will be able yourself to judge from this holy Book, that in the eyes of God all men are miserable sinners; and that it was on this account that God sent his Son, that through faith in him they might be saved.'

"The Marquis did not refuse to hear Henrie read accordingly, every day this pious son used to read certain portions of Scripture to his father, choosing those parts first which shewed man's utter wickedness, and want of power to save himself; and afterwards, those parts which set forth what had been contrived of God for man's salvation. The Marquis having nothing else to take his attention-no cards, no wine, no gay companionsand being still confined by weakness to his bed, often lay for many hours listening to the holy Word of God. At first, as he afterwards owned, he had no pleasure in it, and would rather have avoided hearing it; but how could he refuse his darling son, when he begged him to hear a little, only a little more?

"In the mean time, the Marchioness appeared sullen, proud, and unforgiving: she seldom came near her husband, but sometimes spent the day in

crying and lamenting herself, and sometimes in looking over the few things which she had brought with her from Paris. The Governor of the castle, seeing her so miserable, told her that he had no orders from the King to keep her or her son in confinement, and that she had liberty to depart when she pleased, and to take her son with her: but Henrie would not hear of leaving his poor father, and used all his endeavours to persuade his mother to stay.


"When the Marquis was first able to leave his bed, and sit in his chair opposite the window, Henrie was very happy: he brought him clean linen, and assisted him to dress; and when he had led him to his chair, he set the table before him, and arranged upon it, as neatly as he could, the little dinner which the old man had brought in the basket, with a bottle of weak but pleasant wine, which the Governor had sent him. 'Dear Father,' said Henrie,' you begin to look well: you look even better than you did when you were at Paris. if you could but learn to love and fear God, you might now be happier than ever you were in all your life; and we might all be happy, if my poor mother would but come to you, and love you as she used to do. Oh! come, dear Mother,' added Henrie, going up to her, and taking her hand; come to my father, come to my poor father: you loved him ence; love him again.'-In this manner Henrie begged and entreated his mother to be reconciled to his father. The Marchioness at fi st seemed obstinate; but at last she was overcome; and running to her husband, put her arms round his neck, and kissed him affectionately; whilst he, embracing her, called her his beloved wife, his own Adelaide. This little family then sat down to their dinner, enjoying the lovely prospect, and the soft

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and delightful breezes from the opposite hill; and after they had dined, Henry sang to his parents some of the sweet hymns he had learned when living in the valleys of Piedmont.

"Henrie had done a great work; he had made peace between his father and his mother: and now he saw, with great delight, his poor father, gaining strength daily; and though sometimes full of sorrow, yet, upon the whole, composed, and never breaking out in blasphemous words. Henrie used to lay his Bible, and Book of Martyrs, on the table, by his father: the Marquis sometimes took up one, and sometimes another, and would read awhile; and then, laying them down, sit in a thoughtful manner for some time. All these things pleased Henrie; and he believed that God had already heard his prayer, and begun to change his father's heart..


"About this time the Governor of the castle invited Henrie to dine with him. Henry was much pleased with the Governor, who received him kindly, and took him to walk with him in the village. am glad to hear,' said the Governor, that your father is more contented than he was at first; and you may tell him, from me, that if he will endeavour to make himself easy, and not attempt to escape, I will always do every thing in my power to make him comfortable: and now, if you can tell me what I can send him, which you think will please him or your mother, if in my power, you shall have it.?

Oh, Sir!' said Henrie, God has certainly put it into your heart to be kind to my dear father.' Henrie then mentioned that he had heard his father say, that in his younger days he had been very fond of drawing; and he begged of the Governor a small box of colours, and some paper; and also needles and thread, and linen, for his mother. With what

joy did Henrie run back to his father and mother, in the evening, with these things! They received him as if he had been a long while absent from them, instead of only a few hours.

"What Henry had brought afforded great amusement to the poor Marquis and Marchioness: the Marquis passing his time in drawing, and the Marchioness with her needle-work, whilst Henrie continually read and talked to them, giving them accounts of the holy and happy lives which the Waldenses led, and the sweet discourses which used to pass between Claude and his little children: he often talked till his poor father and mother were melted into tears. One day the Marquis said to his son, Oh! my Henrie, you are happy, and Claude is happy, and Maria is happy. To be at peace with God must be the first of all blessings : bad I all I once possessed, all my fine houses, all my large estates, all my money, I would give them all to be at peace with God. But I fear, Henrie, that I have sinned past forgiveness. Oh! how have I blasphemed God, and mocked him, and enI cannot deavoured to persecute his children! think, Henrie, that I can be forgiven. I think of God as of an enemy. I feel that he hates me, and this makes me feel angry against him in return, and I cannot love him. Oh, Henrie, Henrie, would to God I had been brought up as you were!'-To this Henrie answered, that the atonement which God had provided for sinful man was so large, so abundant, so great, that it is more than sufficient for all our sins. He that died for us, my dear Father, is God,' said Henrie; the infinite, eternal, ever-living God. If your sins, my dear Father, have been without number, and black as night, yet he that died for you was all fair; there was no spot in him: and he has promised, Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though

they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.' (Isa. i. 18.)


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"In this manner Henrie and his father used to Neither were Henrie's arguments lost upon his father: the Marquis read the Bible more and more; and Henrie, early one morning, found him at prayer in one of his closets. He was so delighted, that he could not help crying with joy; but he did not mention what he had seen.-In this manner the summer passed away, and the winter came the Governor then finding that the Marquis was content, and made no attempt to escape, allowed the prisoners abundance of wood for fire, and candles, with every convenience which could make the winter pass away pleasantly; and he often came himself and passed an evening with them, ordering his supper into the room. The Governor was an agreeable man, and had travelled into many countries, which he used to describe to Henrie. He loved to hear Henrie read the Bible; and though he did not say so directly, yet it appeared that he in his heart favoured the Waldenses; for he often asked Henrie about them and their manner of living. When the Governor paid his evening visit, it was a day of festivity to the Marquis and his little family; and when he did not come, their evenings passed pleasantly, whilst Henrie read the Bible aloud and the Marchioness sewed. In the mean time the work of grace seemed to advance in the heart of the Marquis; and he that but a year ago was proud, insolent, self-indulgent, boasting, blasphemous, was now humble, gentle, polite, in honour preferring all men. His behaviour to the Marchioness was quite changed: he was tender and affectionate towards her, bearing with patience many of her little fretful ways. Henrie often observed him during the day going into his closet; from which he came out with his eyes red, as if he

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