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contemplate but with grateful and reverential aspirations to Him, who made a scene so full of loveliness. It is here "He maketh man to lie down in pastures of tender grass, He leadeth him beside the waters of quietness." And if the gracious and holy influences of such a scene were allowed to have their fullest influence upon the mind and heart, it seems next to impossible, that the hand of God our Father should not be recognised in all. No consuming fire appears to drive away the spectator, no relentless, inexorable wrath is depicted, no Almighty vengeance has sent forth its blast and cursed fertility to barrenness.
But the mind, even of childhood, is poisoned in its openings, and the heart glowing with feelings of affection, is perverted by Confessions and Catechisms. The Book of Nature is left, for Boston's "Fourfold State," and the religion of creation is displaced by systematic theology. And then, instead of viewing creation as the mirror of Infinite Goodness, it learns to regard it as a wilderness and a desolation; and man, the high-priest of its riches, is a vile and loathsome worm-and hell yawns for its predestined victim, and the blackness of darkness shrouds him for ever.
Never was the contrasted influence of "Heaven's, golden alphabet," and priestcraft's iron pages, more ap-, parent, than in the history of a young woman, which has now been published nearly twelve months, and is entitled "Peace in Believing: a Memoir of Isabella Campbell of Fernicarry, Roseneath, Dumbartonshire." The book is written by the clergyman of the parish, the Rev. Robert Story, a minister of the Established Church of Scotland! It contains a narrative of the religious experience of this female, interspersed with her letters, and extracts from those of others who visited her. The work is divided into twelve chapters and an introduction, each preceded by "The Hymn" and "The Scripture." Of the latter, pas-. sages are cited, supposed to be applicable to the contents. of each chapter, but which, in many cases, convey a totally different meaning from that which they are quoted to ex-press, as they occur in the Bible. Of the former, the following lines must suffice as a specimen. They will exhibit at once the doctrine of the volume.
"Hosannah; welcome to our hearts; Lord, here
Enter, and chase them forth, and cleanse the floor;
Where thou hast chose to set thy face;
The stones out of the temple wall
Hosannah! and thy glorious footsteps greet.-Amen.”
Sprinkled and ransomed by thy blood,'-
Isabella Campbell was the daughter of a retired officer of the army, and residing on a beautiful spot near the shore of the Gair-Loch. In her very early childhood, there was a teacher in the family. From her infancy, she was "blameless and of good report, of singularly mild and gentle manners, full of affection and tenderness, and beloved by all who knew her, because so lovely and worthy of love." On the formation of a Sabbath-school at Roseneath, she became a regular attendant; neither her own constitutionally delicate health, nor the beating storm preventing her, though she had more than five miles to walk to it. "When in the school, her demeanor was singularly decorous and solemn, her diligence most assiduous, and her intelligent discernment of the meaning of what she would utter, was very apparent, from the mode and emphasis of her expression. In all this she was a model for your children."-" She exhibited not merely that outward decorum which we have described, but many serious thoughts of God and of her condition: many a scheme of righteousness, framed in much anxiety, occupied her mind, and many breathings after holiness, would agitate her heart."
These passages, and others of a similar kind, are descriptive of Isabella Campbell previously to her eighth year. They present a captivating picture of infantile simplicity and purity. And,
"What brighter throne can brightness find
Ere sin destroy, or error dim
Yet, strange to say, the Rev. Robert Story affirms, "Had she then died, it was her fixed persuasion, when the light of truth [the darkness of error?] took possession of her mind, that she must have gone to a place of torment, en
tirely ignorant as she was of her God reconciling in Christ her rebellious heart unto himself!"-" I, you, or any other, looking upon her outward frame, saw only the loveliness, simplicity, and innocence of childhood, a beautiful form of an interesting age. But what was it, in reality? If her own conceptions were correct and true, a lovely mansion of all levity and unholiness-an object meritorious of wrath, EQUALLY with the most infamous receptacles of pollution and impiety!"
Nor let the reader imagine, that this is a mere hypothetical statement of the clergyman's, for he adds, “The decorum, the services of her childhood indeed, she saw, as she believed God saw them, only as varying manifestations of error and guiltiness. Do not, then, in this deceive yourselves, ye fathers and mothers of my people! by resting on the seemly behaviour of your children, any hopes of their safety. I tell you, the worm that never dieth, may be nourished by the heart's blood of the loveliest and most decorous among them!"-"Oh! then, from the earliest age, press upon them to seek for newness of life; and let your yearnings be breathed in continual prayers, that their pollutions may be washed in that blessed fountain, opened in the smitten heart of the Lord, for the young and the old; to which the infant may go with as much freedom, because its necessity is the same, as the hoary sinner groaning beneath the accumulated guilt of an hundred years!" That Isabella Campbell, called to lose a brother whom she affectionately loved, and in a year after, to lay the head of her father in the silent grave, and feeling within herself the seeds of that destructive malady, which had already swept away those in whom her soul delighted, and now that the prop of her house was removed, beholding indigence staring in her face that gloomy thoughts should come upon her in her hours of solitude, is not at all surprising. The wonder would have been, in one so educated, had not melancholy musings sometimes weighed down her spirit. But that a man of education, capable of discerning the beauties of nature, and of regarding the benevolence which beams from the pages of Revelation, should, in this age of boasted enlightenment, uphold a doctrine so revolting to every feeling of humanity, as that of infant damnation, is most lamentable, most degrading. It shows that Calvinism, in its direct, most disgusting features, is still current in the
Nay, here it is uttered without one accent of humanity mingling to bewail its mercilessness. Stern as Calvin was, embrued as were his hands in the blood of Servetus, yet even his inflexible spirit recoiled at the horror of this sentiment—the natural and inevitable result of his system. "It is a dreadful decree, I must confess." Such are his words. But his modern disciple lets fall no sorrowing tear over the damnation of man's infant offspring, but depicts the God who has planted him "in pleasant places," and given him "a goodly heritage," after
the resemblance of
"Moloch, horrid king, besmear'd with blood
May he repent of the wrong he has done his Maker. May God forgive him his iniquity.
It would be doing injustice, however, to Isabella Campbell, not to notice, that, in contradiction to the opinions which Mr. Story has here given, he has recorded in another part of his Memoir, that in conversation with a brother minister, she declared, “I really think there can be little room for any one to doubt, that all who die in infancy are saved." And on another occasion, when debating whether it was right for a Christian to smile, she referred to the Saviour taking the children in his arms and blessing them; and surely, she thought, he must then have smiled. Oh yes, the feelings of nature are sometimes too powerful for creed idolatry. For, what was it that called forth the smiles of Jesus, if her system-if Calvinism be true? Loathsome worms, the cursed of God, the heirs of hell! And can it be, that he who was without guile, mocked at human misery, and regarded with demoniac triumph, the victims of damnation? Impossible..
The Memoir then proceeds to detail Miss Campbell's feelings on the loss of her kindred-the revulsion that took place in her mind, when her prayers for her brother's life were unanswered, till at length her mind was "startled suddenly by the words, This is the accepted time, this is the day of salvation, to-day if ye will hear his voice."" Then began the awakening of her spirit; but still, on reading the Bible, "successive blasphemies filled her mind." At midnight, her sister Mary, heard her exclaiming, "O Lord, I can see nothing but the blackness of darkness for ever; I feel that I am far from thee, and that is misery."—"The sin against the Holy Ghost [what
is that but a denial that the miracles of Jesus were wrought by God's power? and that she never denied] was charged upon her conscience with resistless energy. Long she struggled and toiled beneath this fearful burden." She was relieved, however, from this anguish, on reading this passage in Erskine's works, "But thou mayest consider, that Satan cannot know thou art a reprobate. Was Satan, think you, in God's council when he made his ete al decrees? Satan, who is not so much as one of God's hired servants, but a slave and a malefactor, kept in chains? He is so far from being of God's council, that he is not so much as one of his family. If thou sayest thy conscience tells thee that thou art a reprobate, know that no man living can tell who are reprobates, nor can any man know himself to be a reprobate, except he hath committed the sin against the Holy Ghost, which no man hath committed, who is sorry to think he hath committed. For it is impossible that such a one should be renewed either by or to repentance."
This terror being removed, another sprung up, in doubts as to her election. Those doubts, also, were removed by another passage from the same book, "I must say, that it is presumption in you to inquire into your election. What God hath folded, no man, no angel, no devil, no creature can unfold, until God himself do it. If an angel from heaven should come to you, before you come to Christ, and say, you are an elect person, you ought not to believe him, for it is a lie to tell you what he does not know. If the devil from hell should come and tell you that you are not elected, you ought as little to credit him, but tell him he is a liar for telling you what he does not know, for that is the folded leaf which no creature can unfold."
But all this did not satisfy her, "her conscious vileness was the burden of woe under which she groaned." Her soul was "a very hell of pollution and of torment." "While listening one morning to her brother and a stranger, conversing about a person who had been guilty of some infamous profligacy, she said to herself, 'Oh, did they but know how much more abandoned and depraved I am! would they allow me to remain in their presence?"" "O sin, sin is just hell. I can understand well that which David said, the pains of hell took hold of me [a mistranslation for death-the grave-the state of the dead].