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ample of this sister, the inestimable value of true religion; how fully adapted all its precepts as well as its promises were to the necessities of dying mortals, and the consequent importance of decision in this great work. She began, therefore, to seek the Lord with full purpose of heart, and to employ somewhat of the same industry which she had been accustomed to exert in temporal concerns, in securing eternal felicity.
The anxieties which usually attend the commencement of a religious life, and the trial she was called upon to sustain during the long-continued illness of her sister, were greatly alleviated by the kind attentions and judicious advice of the pious and excellent young clergyman before mentioned, whose removal to another situation was deeply regretted by many, into whose wounded spirits he had poured the balm of consolation. Before, however, this separation took place, Miss R. received those views of divine truth which were instrumental to her support during the tedious illness she was called to endure, and which consoled her during her passage through the dark valley of the shadow of death. From the first commencement of a work of grace upon her heart, she evinced a decided attachment to religious truth, and a deep sense of the value of the means of grace. She constantly attended the Lord's table, so long as her health would permit; and when no longer able to visit the house of God, gladly embraced the opportunity of commemorating her Redeemer's dying love by receiving the sacrament at home. She derived great benefit and satisfaction from the perusal of Scott's Family Bible, Venn's Sermons, the Olney Hymns, &c.; and though not entirely exempted from doubts and fears, was yet enabled to rely on the security of the promises, and received great encouragement from the Saviour's decla
ration, that none should be able to pluck her out of his own, or out of his Father's hands. Her fear was not the slavish fear of being cast off and rejected by her heavenly Father, but that filial regard and reverence which arises from love. She could not endure the thought of ingratitude towards her gracious Friend and Benefactor; yet, knowing the deceitfulness of her own heart, and the power of temptation, she was often afraid lest she should in any way displease Almighty God, or bring reproach on her holy profession. While, however, her most earnest desire was to do all to the praise and glory of God, she habitually renounced all dependence upon her own merit, and relied solely on the merits of her great Redeemer. "If," said she one day to a friend, "if I could have all the merit of the whole world centred in myself, I would immediately put it from me, and place it at the feet of that dear Redeemer to whom I am under such immense obligations."
While thus earnestly seeking the salvation of her own soul, she was deeply interested in the spiritual welfare of others. Nothing afforded her greater satisfaction than to hear of any being brought to the knowledge of the truth. She was particularly anxious about the salvation of some poor persons who were her pensioners; and often lamented her inability and want of courage to speak to them, as well as to some others, on the way of salvation.
Miss R. had never enjoyed a strong constitution, but no apprehensions were entertained on her account until the autumn of 1820, when symptoms of a decline evidently appeared, which, notwithstanding the assiduous exertions of the most skilful medical attendants, gained ground so rapidly as to convince her that her days were indeed numbered; and with this conviction, it pleased God to give her
bling, for fear I should behave myself unseemly, or do any thing to offend God."
"Nov. 3. Miss Ruck much weaker; reclining on a sofa. Said she found Christ more and more precious to her soul; that she desired to praise God for his faithfulness towards her; that she still needed His aid, as the enemy was at work to divert her thoughts and perplex her mind;' but found great pleasure in conversing on the mercies of God, as treasured up in Christ.
"She breathed with great difficulty, saying, the struggle would soon be over, and rejoiced to feel assured that she should take possession of the mansion prepared for her.'
"Expressed great delight in thinking that Christ himself had said, none should pluck them out of his Father's hands; that it was very pleasant to read the declarations of St. Paul, and others of the Apostles; but far more pleasant to read the words which had been uttered by the Lord Jesus himself.'
"Nov. 8. She appeared much weaker to-day. Said that she felt every apprehension removed; that the Lord was taking her out of a sinful world. She was only going a little before; and thought it a great happiness to anticipate the joy of meeting with one and another in heaven, whom she had known on earth, and whom she expected to see in a world of glory. She only hoped for continued submission to wait her appointed time.'
"A friend inquired, Are you perfectly happy?' She replied, Yes, perfectly so.'
"On one observing how much superior the knowledge of the Bible was, when contrasted with the mere knowledge of Latin or Greek, to one in her present situation, she replied, "O yes; for if I knew all the languages in the
world, they would be of no use to me NOW: the BIBLE is the GRAND source.'
"Nov. 13. Her feebleness much increased; yet her manner and whole appearance deeply interesting, manifesting unspeakable love to God and confidence in his mercy, supported by unshaken faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, as the accepted atonement for her own individual transgressions.
desire to have one pain less than he pleased to lay upon her. He is so kind; he strengthens me.'
"Dec. 12. Miss R. spoke of the goodness of the Lord, and said, I found him a sweet support last night! The Physician of souls did indeed support and strengthen me. I am still enabled to hold fast.'
"Dec. 13. Saw Miss R. this morning. She spoke with great difficulty, and only in whispers. "She said, 'That Saviour whom With an expressive smile, she I once thought so lightly of, is now pointed to the following verse: very dear to me. So gracious-soThe wicked cease from troubling there, merciful-he will not let me go. I shall soon be where there is no sorrow, no SIN. O! it is the believer's greatest joy to think of living perfectly free from SIN.'
"Nov. 29. This day she was scarcely able to pronounce a word audibly; yet, in feeble accents, she said, Jesus is indeed precious to my soul; but I don't know the half, nor the thousandth part how precious he is to me. He is all comfort. My mind is perfectly quiet with respect to temporal things, and very peaceful respecting better things, and that is better.' "Nov. 30. On being asked if she still found her confidence unshaken, she replied, with animated sweetness, O yes, Sir; and, notwithstanding my pains, I find God very precious to my soul; he is all my comfort and support.'
"She said, that the grand enemy had tried to persuade her that she was become cold towards her Saviour, and had injected thoughts of unbelief; but she had been enabled to trust in Him who had been so long her stay and comfort. She hoped that the same goodness would be her support to the end.'
"Dec. 5. Miss R. this evening laboured under a violent fit of coughing. While speaking to her of the happiness and security of her state, she feebly smiled, but with an expression of great joy; and when able to speak, replied, He is the strength of my heart, and my por-, tion for ever;' that she would not
The weary are at rest:
Sorrow, and sin, and pain, and care,
"Dec. 15. This morning, at a quarter before seven o'clock, the spirit of my friend was released from its confinement.
"At six o'clock she desired her attendants to call her father, as she thought she should very soon depart. When he entered the room, she said, Father, I am going, I am going.'
"He replied, The Lord Jesus receive your spirit!'
"With a blessed and cheering confidence, she answered, O he will! he will!' and looking upwards with ineffable sweetness, she clasped her hands, and said, I am going to be happy with my Saviour for ever!"
"About five minutes before she departed, she lifted up her eyes with an indescribable smile, and (to use the language of an attendant) seemed as if she was already in heaven.
"So easy was her death, so gently had the Lord let her down to the grave, that the precise moment of her departure was not ascertained, although all were watching with intense eagerness to catch the last look-the last motion of one who had, indeed, magnified the Lord in every stage of her illness.
"Miss Ruck often expressed her grateful sense of the kindness she had received from Mrs. and Miss Peale, Mrs. Prance, and
other female friends, during her long illness. Indeed, her case was peculiarly interesting, and her manners at all times gentle and unassuming, which had obtained her many friends amongst different classes of society. She was deservedly esteemed."
The following letters illustrate the state of her mind at different periods of her complaint, and form an appropriate conclusion to the pre
"MY DEAR SIR,
"Oct. 31, 1821. "Your letter this morning cheered and warmed my heart; and I will endeavour, though with a weak and trembling hand, to acknowledge it.
"Indeed, dear Sir, if you felt pleasure in conversing with one so weak and sinful, on the tender mercies of our God and Saviour, the pleasure was always reciprocal; for He had awakened in me a desire to hear, as well as in yourself to speak. And I have great satisfaction in recollecting, that I seldom suffered the opportunity to pass without praise to Him, on your behalf as well as on my own. Encouragement and comfort I never failed to receive.
"The anticipation of the blessedness to which I hope (in my heavenly Father's good time) I shall attain, fills me with joy and gratitude; and surely I should not be backward in declaring the goodness of the Lord, who has so mercifully removed the doubts and dispelled the gloom with which I was for a time distressed. And O how sweet to think of joining in the same blissful chorus! For, however louder and more energetic your song may be (you, who have been brought out of so many and great perils), yet my humble note will speak the same. Yes, the theme is the same -thanksgiving to the Lamb that was slain.
"May God Almighty bless and keep you, dear Sir, and continually make you useful to those around; and when he sees fit, receive you to his everlasting glory. "E. R."
To Mrs. Prance.
"Nov. 7, 1821.
"MY DEAR MADAM,
"I feel very weak and ill this swer and thank morning, yet will endeavour to anfor you kind your note of yesterday.
"It gladdens my heart to know that I am remembered by such kind friends, and I earnestly beg a continuance of your prayers, that I may possess patience and entire submission.
"With respect to our late beloved pastor (Mr. Stock), I scarcely know what to say-I feel a want to say so much. But tell him, dear Madam, that I am very happy. Tell him, the poor unworthy creature to whom he was made an instrument of so much good, now calls upon him to unite with her in giving thanks to Him who has so mercifully led her, and enabled her to acknowledge his mercy in every dispensation; who has removed the sting of death, and permits her now to look forward with humble confidence to that hour when the soul, disencumbered of its frail tenement, shall ascend to dwell with its Redeemer for ever.
These, blessed be God, are my present feelings. Doubts and fears have harassed my mind, but they are removed, and a peace has succeeded-such as I never before enjoyed. Can I, then, be sufficiently thankful?
"I feel very exhausted, though I have much more to say, but I hope soon to have the pleasure of seeing you, and will now conclude, entreating you will present my most affectionate respects to Mr. and Mrs. Stock, and accept the same yourself, from your greatly obliged "ELIZ. RUCK."
Hoare's, Cunningham's, Davy's, Morison's, & Raffles's Sermons, &c. 305
REVIEW OF BOOKS.
WE have often been amused with considering the widely different views which a stranger would acquire concerning this country, according to the different classes of society he happened to meet with. In some quarters he would learn that we are a lost, a ruined, an enslaved, an oppressed people. In others he would discover quite the reverse, that we are rich and prosperous, and free and independent; that the complaints of a contrary nature, which are sometimes made, are the results of faction or hypocrisy. In one circle, an observer would be shocked at every day's report of wrong and robbery; and, in another, delighted AUGUST 1822.
with the march of benevolence, the progress of Bible and Missionary Societies, the instruction of the young, and the prevalence of pure and undefiled religion among those of riper years; and should all the observers meet together, and recount their several opinions with any thing of that pertinacity which occupied the bosoms of the knights of the Gold and Silver Shield, a fatal tournament must necessarily
For our own parts, we are disposed seriously to mourn over many and abounding evils, but we sorrow not as those without hope; we rejoice at many a favourable symptom, and are cheered by many an animating prospect. Amidst all that at times depresses and discourages, we cannot but feel deeply convinced that true religion is increasing among us; that if its apparent progress is small, its real advances are certain; and that sound principles and holy practice more extensively prevail at the present moment than they ever before prevailed in this land. If called upon to assign a reason for our conviction, we would point at the list of works prefixed to this article-all published in a very short period; some of them already having arrived at a second or third edition, and all of them deeply imbued with sound and scriptural principles; and we would ask, with the most confident anticipation of an affirmative answer, whether the extensive demand for such publications is not a decisive proof that the religious appetite has increased, that the religious taste is exceedingly improved; and when it is considered that these are but a very small part of the religious works which have recently appeared, the state of public feeling will be estimated in a very favourable light.
Our readers will conclude from this introduction that we are about