ELIZABETH BALES—a Pattern for Sunday
School Teachers and Tract Distributors


By John Angell James

"No one should despise your youth; instead, you should be an example to the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity." (1 Timothy 4:12)

"In all things see that you are an example of good works—holy in your teaching, serious in behavior." (Titus 2:7)

"In the obscurity of retirement," says a striking modern writer, "amid the squalid poverty and revolting privations of a cottage, it has often been my lot to witness scenes of magnanimity and self-denial, as much beyond the belief as the practice of the great; a heroism borrowing no support, either from the gaze of the many or the admiration of the few; yet flourishing amidst ruins and on the confines of the grave; a spectacle as stupendous in the moral world as the falls of the Niagara in the natural world; and like that mighty cataract, doomed to display its grandeur only where there are no eyes to appreciate its magnificence."

Although this striking paragraph is not altogether descriptive of the subject of the present memoir, yet it occurred to my mind in connection with her humble lot and beautiful history.

Elizabeth Bales was born at Nottingham, of parents who, though once in better circumstances, her father being by trade a hosier, were gradually losing their standing in life, and declining in their means of comfortable support. Mr. Bales, with the hope of retrieving his affairs, determined to relocate to Ireland. On approaching the shores of that country a violent storm arose which drove them back to the coast of Wales, where the vessel struck upon the sands, and they were in imminent peril of shipwreck. The passengers were lowered by ropes into a boat, in order to be taken ashore from the vessel; among them was Elizabeth, the subject of this memoir, then about four years old, and who up to that time had been a healthy and well-formed child. It is conjectured that in the act of lowering her into the boat she received some spinal injury, for from that time she complained much of her back, which soon after exhibited signs of incipient deformity. This continued to increase until she presented an affecting spectacle of bodily infirmity.

Through the days of youth she was a most dutiful and affectionate daughter, and possessed considerable sweetness of temper and placidity of disposition. From a very early period she manifested a general reverence for true religion, and a vague notion of its importance. She used, while a child, to assemble her little companions, when she would read to them the Scriptures, and sing and pray with them; but it was not until she was about seventeen years of age that she had any clear and impressive sense of her fallen and sinful condition, or of the way of pardon and eternal life, through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. She was then residing at Hanwell, near London, when she heard the preaching of Mr. Gregory, who kept a large boarding-school, and preached in his own house. Here she was much loved, and received great attention on account of her engaging manners, sweetness of temper, and piety.

Her father having lost his all by the failure of his trade, removed his family to this town, where he earned a scanty livelihood by weaving cotton gloves upon a stocking-loom which he kept in his house, and selling them as opportunity presented. In consequence of her deformity, Elizabeth could not be put to any bodily labor, and therefore employed herself in sewing the seams of the gloves which were woven by her father. Poverty at length, in most of its privations and rigors, took possession of the dwelling of this gradually sinking family, who still, however, contrived to do without the aid of others.

By the labors of a few pious and zealous young people connected with my congregation, a Sunday-school was set up in that part of the town where Elizabeth lived. In addition to the instructions delivered in the school, preaching was carried on in the room where the children met. The neighborhood of Great Barr-street and Garrison-lane, where these operations were conducted, peculiarly needed such efforts, as, from more causes than one, morals were at that time in a very low state in this locality, and there were no places of religious worship within even a moderate distance. Among those who listened to the glad tidings of salvation, was the subject of these pages. Her views of religion here became still more clear, and as a sinner condemned by the law, she believed in Christ, the great subject of the Gospel testimony, enjoyed peace through faith, and became altogether a new creature. Settled and evangelical piety not only made her happy, but excited in her heart a wish to be useful in leading others to that Savior whom she had found to her own unutterable consolation; and she solicited to be admitted as a teacher in the Sunday-school. Her personal appearance rendered her rather ineligible, and made it somewhat doubtful whether it was desirable to expose her to derision and contempt; but her earnestness, combined with great simplicity and modesty, overcame this objection, and she took her place among her young charge. The school was at that time held in an inconvenient upper room, to which the only access was by a kind of step-ladder; and oftentimes, when in a state of greater weakness than usual, it was necessary for one of the stronger teachers to carry this good girl in his arms up the steep ascent, and deposit her in the scene of her Sunday occupations.

In the year 1822 Elizabeth entered into the fellowship of the church under my care, when a written testimony was borne to her character and conduct by the deacon who visited her at the time of her admission to our communion, from which the following is an extract:

"Elizabeth Bales first became acquainted with us in consequence of her desire to be made useful as a teacher in our Sunday-school; having expressed that wish to a pious woman, well known in that neighborhood, it was made known to us, and she was introduced there about twelve months since. Her conduct as a teacher, during the whole of that time, has been one unvaried, beautiful exhibition of what a teacher's conduct ought always to be—the most exact regularity, and an assiduous and unwearied attention to each and every child in her class. But in order to put the full value upon these good qualities, it should be known that her health is so delicate as would furnish a sufficient apology for altogether declining the employment, and her appearance such as must awaken the painful sympathy of the benevolent spectator; and yet she commands the respect of her young charge, and well maintains her gentle authority among them; and although they are at that early age when it is so difficult to fix the attention, the mild and unremitting efforts of their instructress have produced a change too obvious to be overlooked, in comparison with other classes. Conduct like this could not fail to attract the esteem of those who observed it; the marks of its heavenly origin could hardly be mistaken; the superintendent of the school therefore felt it his duty to invite her to be united with us in closer ties. After due deliberation, and obtaining permission from her friends, she at length consented."

From this extract it will be seen with what efficiency, notwithstanding her personal appearance, Elizabeth discharged her duties as a Sunday-school teacher. Her deformity was greater than is usually found in those who are affected with spinal distortion; and when we consider how frequently this is an object of ridicule or disgust with children who have not been trained to restrain their feelings by the courtesies of society, we can imagine that there must have been some latent and counteracting power to awe the crude spirits of her young charge. This lay in her eminent piety; in the sweetness and placidity of her temper; in her judicious affection for the children; and in her constant punctuality in the discharge of her duties—and withal, it may be added, she possessed a soft musical voice, and a rather attractive countenance.

Never did a teacher enter more fully, or more delightfully, into the occupations of her important office, or more clearly understand and more steadily pursue its ultimate end. Her eye was fixed on the souls of the children; her heart longed for their salvation; and her efforts were unwearied to engage their affections for Christ. To teach them to read, though she was assiduous in this, was the lowest of her aims; her great object was to form their pious character. Not content with teaching them on the Sunday, she would meet them at other times for instruction, conversation, and prayer—nor were they reluctant to comply with her wishes, or to gather around her chair to listen to the effusions of her pious solicitude for their welfare. Yet, from her poverty, she had nothing else to give them but the love of a heart devoted to their welfare.

The intelligent and observant stranger would have been struck to notice the almost reverent and affectionate attention with which a circle of poor girls would look up to that little deformed creature who took her seat in the midst of them as their instructress; and whose influence over them was another demonstration of the power as well as the excellence of godliness. This was acquired in part, as I have just hinted, by the interest she took in her children's concerns outside of the school. She did not lay aside her labors when she left the school, never to take them up again until the next Sunday morning—but carried them through the week, by inquiries after the absentees, and by visiting and praying with those who were sick. It was a stimulus to regularity of attendance, on the part of the children, to know that the truants would be sought after by their vigilant teacher; and it was a comfort to those in trouble to be assured with equal certainty that their sorrows would come under the notice of her attentive eye, and the sympathy of her feeling heart. All this, of course, tended to produce, and did produce for her the gratitude and respect of the children's parents.

From the time that Elizabeth's own heart was renewed by the grace of God, she evinced that true and necessary evidence of personal piety, a deep solicitude for the salvation of others, and especially for those who dwelt in her own neighborhood, where it must be admitted she witnessed the aboundings of iniquity and the overflowing of ungodliness. She was concerned about the conversion of the distant heathen—but the state of the heathen around her still more deeply affected her heart. She felt all the claims of locality—this was, perhaps, the predominant feeling of her heart and trait of her character; she seemed to feel that each Christian should be a light in his own vicinity, especially when, as was the case with hers, that neighborhood is characterized by peculiar darkness and depravity. Her heart groaned over the wickedness of the people, and like Lot, she vexed her righteous soul daily because of the filthy lives of the wicked—the immortal souls perishing at her own door; and was stirred up to seek their salvation.

To aid the good work of reformation which the church, of which she was so consistent a member, was attempting in her vicinity, by various means, and among the rest by a Religious Tract Society; Elizabeth commenced the labors of a tract distributor. In this new office she was no less diligent, devoted and affectionate than in that of a Sunday-school teacher. In winter and in summer, amidst storm and calm, when the sun was blazing with summer heat, and the winter's snow was deep upon the ground, this little, indefatigable creature would be seen pursuing her rounds, and going from house to house upon her visits of mercy to the dark souls of those who inhabited them, and when permitted, as was very common, she would read and explain the tracts which she brought to them. Sometimes she would be refused admittance by the surly growl of brutish ignorance and profanity; and at others would be distressed with the scornful sneer of infidelity with which the neighborhood was much infested. But nothing daunted—she would mildly continue, and usually won an entrance for her tract by the gentleness of her manner and the unruffled serenity of her spirit.

It may be imagined that even in her presence, contemptible as it might seem to have been, many an athletic form of impiety stood abashed, and felt "how solemn goodness is." For this she prepared and armed herself by fervent prayer. Before setting out on her distributions, she would say to the associate of her labors, "Come, my dear, let us look up to God for his help and blessing;" and then, in a strain of sweet and fervent supplication, invoke the grace of Him, without whom nothing is wise, good, or strong.

Insult or derision, however, was the exception, not the rule. She was generally regarded in the neighborhood with a species of reverence, which eminent and consistent piety, united with extraordinary benevolence, only could inspire. Sturdy and powerful men would say to her, "If anyone shall dare to molest or hinder you in the discharge of your ministry, send for us, and we will even fight for you." To which she would reply with a grateful smile, "I can best fight for myself"—meaning, by her gentleness and dependance upon God, which would disarm all hostility, and be her best protection. Her usual reception was that of great respect and kindness; nor was it uncommon to hear the exclamation as she approached, "Here comes our little angel!"

The labor of tract distributing made her personally acquainted with the sorrows of her poor neighbors, arising from poverty and disease. She had an ear for every tale of woe, and became a visitor of the sick, to whom the kindness of her manner much endeared her; and who frequently sent for "the little woman," as they called her, though, as in the case of her Sunday-school children, they could expect no money from her—to read and talk to them, and pray with them. These requests, when able to comply with them, she never refused; and she was welcomed as a ministering angel to many a wretched abode, where the glad tidings of salvation were listened to with deep and solemn attention, as they fell in the soft tones of her sweet voice upon the sufferer's ear.

Having an excellent gift, as well as much of the grace, of prayer, her impressive and beseeching supplications were as much valued as her instructive counsels—and perhaps more. These visits were, of course, usually, though not always, paid to people of her own gender. In this way she may be said to have acted the part of a 'town missionary'. Her labors in this department of Christian activity were incessant and laborious, and they were carried on under the pressure of almost constant and frequently severe pain. Sometimes she would come in, sit down, and faint—and after recovering from her exhaustion, would set off again upon a visit to some other object of her pious solicitude. It was a frequent occurrence not to return from her ministrations in the sick chamber until ten o'clock in the evening—and then to receive another summons to the sick or dying bed of some afflicted and anxious neighbor, who coveted the wisdom of her instructions and the efficacy of her prayers. The clock has struck twelve sometimes before she has returned to her own dwelling, when upon being cautioned the next day by her mother, upon the injury she must do herself by such efforts, she would reply, "I must work while I can, for I may not be able to work long!" It was a common exclamation, "I cannot do work enough for Christ." Her mother has often gone into her room and found her faint upon the floor.

It is not to be wondered at that by such conduct as this, Elizabeth had acquired such a character for godliness and benevolence that her neighbors were ashamed or afraid to sin in her presence. The swearer would not utter his oath if she were by; licentious levity would grow serious if she were coming; and the Sabbath-breakers, when going to purchase articles on the holy day, at the shop in her vicinity, would feel a pang of conscience as they passed her door, and looked to see if her reproving eye was upon them; and if this were the case, went home with a tolerable certainty of a solemn visit or note next day.

I introduce here one specimen of her tract visits, with its results. She was going her round one day in company with her most intimate friend, Mary Fox, the sister of an excellent Wesleyan missionary in Africa, when a woman asked them to go in and visit her son, then dangerously ill. The history of this youth was somewhat affecting. A caravan of wild beasts happening to be in town, he most imprudently climbed up the back of one of the wagons, and put his arm through an air hole into the den of a tiger, when the beast instantly sprung at the arm and bit it clean off in a moment. Soon afterwards he was again carried to the hospital with a white swelling in one of his knees, which rendered an amputation of the leg necessary. This was not the end of the poor youth's misery, for no long time elapsed before the other knee became affected, and, mutilated as he was, there appeared no other means of saving life—but by amputating the other limb. This he refused to undergo, preferring to die rather than to endure further torture and mutilation.

While lying in this hopeless condition Elizabeth visited him, and found him in some concern about the state of his soul. She poured into his ear the glad tidings of salvation, and soothed his troubled spirit with the hope of mercy through faith in Christ. He listened with deep attention, expressed his gratitude for her visit, and begged a repetition of it. She lost no time in making her friend Mr. Derrington, then employed as the town missionary for the neighborhood, acquainted with the case, who immediately visited the youth, and paid him great attention. His mind was opened by the Lord to receive the truth, and having believed the Gospel, was brought to the enjoyment of great peace. Elizabeth continued also to visit him, and contributed to his growth in knowledge and grace. As a proof of the state of his mind, both in holiness and happiness, the following incident might be mentioned. His father was one day drinking liquor, and singing in the yard, just under his window. To drown the voice of noisy merriment, he commenced a song of his own, which he had learned, but it was one of the songs of Zion; it was that simple little hymn—

Mark the righteous man, and see
Peace and joy his steps attend—
All his path is purity—
Happy is his end.

Come and see his dying bed;
Peacefully his moments roll;
Angels hover round his head;
Heaven receives his soul.

Come and view his mortal grave;
Silence and repose are there;
Never more shall sorrow's wave
Wreck the slumberer.

O, there is something at once touching and beautiful in the idea of this dying youth turning the subject of his own mortality into song, and making his "dying bed" and "mortal grave" the very theme with which to drown the sound of the drunkards' voices. At length he prevailed upon the party to break up, sent for his father into his room, and sang over to him the hymn with which he had been entertaining his devout mind during the scene of conviviality. After lingering awhile on the borders of the grave with a most joyful hope of immortality, he laid down his mutilated body in the dust, to await the perfection of the resurrection, while his spirit departed to be with Christ, leaving Elizabeth and her female companion to rejoice in the blessed fruit of their tract labors. Mr. Derrington addressed a large congregation on the following Sunday after the burial, and it may be hoped not without spiritual effect upon many minds.

After carrying on for some time the Sunday-school and the preaching in the inconvenient room already alluded to, the congregation in Carr's Lane erected, at a cost of about four hundred pounds, a new building in the same neighborhood, which like the other was also to serve the double purpose of chapel and school-house. This was a matter of great delight to Elizabeth on many accounts. Often would she borrow the keys and retire there, either for more leisure and a better opportunity for meditation and prayer than she could always command at home; or else to pour out her heart to God in fervent supplication for his Spirit to descend on the labors which were carried on upon that, to her, most consecrated spot. And who shall say, or who can conceive, what communings with God were maintained in those seasons of seclusion by her wrestling spirit; or how much of the success of the efforts pursued there, both by teachers and preachers, is to be traced up to her solitary intercessions in the place where they were made?

In that building Elizabeth was a constant attendant, year after year, upon the ordinances of public worship, as often as the doors were opened, on week days as well as on the Sundays; and in all weathers, on winter evenings as well as summer mornings. She was exceedingly fond of the prayer meetings, and as long as her health permitted, always was present at the one which was held at the chapel early on Sunday morning, though to accomplish this she had to rise as early as five o'clock, in order to recover her breath from the fatigue of dressing, and have time for her own private devotion.

It was her custom, by a rapid glance around the congregation, to ascertain who among the habitual worshipers were absent from the house of God, and then to call upon them, either in her way to chapel in the evening, or next day; not, however, to arraign and accuse, but, in some such gentle language as this, to expostulate; "My dear, I did not see you at chapel this afternoon." In all her labors, whether as teacher in the Sunday-school, as a tract distributor, or a visitor of the sick, her great and constant object was to get the people to attend the preaching of the Gospel, knowing as she well did "that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Nor can any one engage in any way of usefulness more easy, or more likely to be effectual, than in persuading those who neglect the means of grace to attend constantly upon the preaching of the Gospel. Thousands have been thus the means of winning souls to Christ and saving them from death; and thousands more, not excepting the youngest, or the weakest, may be blessed in the same manner if they would try.

Some few years ago the Christian community at Carr's Lane, considering that the end for which Christian churches are formed is to sound out the word of the Lord all around them, established and supported by the subscriptions of its own members, a town mission. One of the first spheres of its operation was that part of the vicinity of Birmingham, in which the little chapel was built, and in which Elizabeth lived—the exact locality being called Garrison Lane. In the same neighborhood lived Mr. Edwin Derrington, already mentioned, one of her fellow-members, who had made himself exceedingly useful in visiting the sick, instructing the ignorant, and preaching in turn with others at the chapel, and from whom she had received the kindest and most humane attention. Her gratitude to him was exceedingly ardent, and it was her earnest hope that he would be appointed as the town missionary for that neighborhood. Her desire for this arose in part from a high opinion of his adaptation to the situation, and an anxious hope that he would be a blessing to her poor neighbors; and in part also from Christian regard to one whose instructions and sympathy had contributed so much to her growth in knowledge, grace, and pious enjoyment. Mr. Derrington was appointed to this situation, and soon after received from her a letter, an extract from which I now give in her own simple and artless language. I should remark, however, that her infirmities were now increasing so fast as frequently to confine her to her house, and this will account for her writing to her friend.

"Dear Sir,—I again take up my pen to express my gratitude to you for your kindness in visiting me, for I had been looking to that hour with great pleasure, for I was cast down by the way, together with great pain of body day and night, which you know weakens the spirits; and I was far from enjoying religion in my soul, which distressed me much. I did not forget the heavy affliction you had been called to bear, which was no small trial to me, but the cause of many tears—I thank you for what you then said to me, and your prayer for me. The Lord has answered it. I have been much more comfortable since. I can say it has kindled a flame of love to Christ in that heart which was so cold to him before. Oh that I could reward you for all, but the Lord will. I do not forget to pray for all your brethren laboring with you in the work of Christ, for I love them all. I have long been anxious to see you engaged in the work of winning souls to Christ. I have prayed for this, and when my friend came last Tuesday evening, and told me of the appointment, although I was then suffering much pain in body, those few words gave me such joy, it was as though my pains all left me for a few minutes. If I had been going to receive a worldly treasure, I can assure you it would not have given me so much happiness in my mind as this does. I have spent much time for you upon my knees at the throne of grace, for I have had opportunity, as I have been in my chamber with affliction. May the Lord answer my prayers and grant me the desires of my heart, though so unworthy of it. Whatever good thing he may withhold I wish to be submissive to his will. May the Lord bless you with strength of body and mind for all your engagements at Garrison Lane; and may your soul prosper and be happy in your work is my earnest prayer for you, with many tears. May your labors be blessed in this neighborhood in converting many souls that are now in the broad road that leads to death. Please correct me at any time if I express anything wrong in writing, or otherwise; as children need the correction of their father, so do I the same. I thank you for all your prayers and kindnesses to me, though not worthy of them all."

Such are the strains of humble piety, fervent gratitude, and Christian meekness, in which this daughter of sorrow expressed herself to one who had helped, by generous attentions, to alleviate her sufferings and relieve her solitude. Nor was he alone in his kindness. Her pastor felt it a duty and a pleasure to go to her lowly cot and her sick chamber, though prevented by his numerous avocations, large church, and distance from her locality, from seeing her so often as he otherwise would have done—and he knew, moreover, that she lived amidst a circle of friends, all of whom, for the love and reverence they bore for her, delighted to flock around her, until she was in danger of being oppressed by the attentions of Christian friendship.

It should be here stated, that for several of the last years of her life, Elizabeth, through the increasing poverty of her father, who could scarcely earn the means of subsistence for himself and his aged wife, was supported in great measure by the bounty of the church of which she was a member; in the dispensation of which the deacons felt it a pleasure to be more than ordinarily liberal in administering to her needs—this resource, and the kindness of friends, supplied her not only with the necessaries but the comforts of life; and it may be hoped she was thus rather a help than a burden to her impoverished parents.

I now mention a peculiar circumstance in her history, not for the purpose of exciting wonder, as if there were anything unprecedented, much less supernatural in it, but as being a part of her history, and a part which excited no little talk at the time of its occurrence, and evinced the habitude of her mind and heart. About three years since she was liable to extraordinary fits of a semi-coma state, from which nothing could rouse her, neither noises, pungent aromatics applied to the nostrils, nor bodily violence; and during which she would go through, in an audible voice, various soliloquies, pious exercises, and conversations. Take for example the following, which was the first that occurred in the presence and hearing of Mr. Derrington, though he heard many afterwards. Supposing herself going her round of visits to the habitations of her neighbors, she comes, in imagination, to the house of a poor aged female. Seating herself near the object of her concern, she addressed her as follows—"Come, old woman, I am called to see you; do you think anything about your soul? You are getting old, and if you don't think about your soul it will soon be too late, and there is no change in the grave; but we must be changed. Reach me that book; here is a beautiful hymn, we sometimes sing it at chapel—'Come, we that love the Lord.'

Do you love the Lord? If you do not you cannot sing that hymn—I do love the Lord. The hymn is a long one; the last verse I think is—

'Then let our songs abound,
And every tear be dry,
We're marching through Immanuel's ground
To fairer worlds on high.'

Yes, marching; I have been marching a long time; I don't mean marching as soldiers march, but marching to heaven. I have had many storms and conflicts by the way, but I would not go back; no, there is a sweetness in it. But what makes it sweet, do you know? It is because Christ is with me. There is a passage in the Scriptures which says, 'Come unto me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,'—rest—rest; rest from what? The soul rests from what? Sin. Oh how sweet that rest is; I wish all the people were weary of sin. The Scriptures say, 'The wages of sin is death.' What poor wages; we cannot live by them; I cannot live by them, and yet how many are serving Satan. And then how sweet the other part of the passage—'The gift of God is eternal life.' Is not that beautiful? You don't know much about it, because you don't go to chapel. There is a verse in a hymn which begins—

'How firm a foundation, you saints of the Lord.'

Yes, it is a firm foundation; it is one that will stand; men build, but their foundations will not stand in the day of trial. I build upon Christ, and that is a good foundation; I have nothing to build upon of my own; my works are very imperfect. Then the last verse of that hymn—

'The flame shall not hurt you; I only design
Your dross to consume, your gold to refine.'

Here afflictions are compared to fire; you know fire is sharp, and so is affliction. But God says, I only design your dross to consume. I don't mean the dross of metals, gold or iron—my brother works at iron, and there is a great deal of rust upon it, but I don't mean that; it is the dross of sin; I have a great deal of dross. In the last verse it says,

'I'll never—no, never—no, never forsake.'

Father, mother, brother, sister, husband, wife, may forsake—but Christ will not, and that's my Savior, who will not forsake me. Well, I must go to chapel now, but I will come again; I will ask Mr. D. to call and see you, perhaps he may be the means of saving your soul."

Being anxious to be present at one of her seasons of mental exclusion and isolation from the world around her, I called one day, with the hope that it would take place while I was there. My wish was gratified. I took my seat by her bedside. For awhile her lips moved with great rapidity, as if in conversation, but without articulate sound. At length she said, let us sing the following hymn—

"Alas! and did my Savior bleed,
And did my Sovereign die?
Would he devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?"

Here she paused, and described the time, place, and circumstances of her first hearing this pathetic strain, and the effect it produced upon her mind. She then applied the sentiment of the hymn to herself, in a most simple yet impressive manner—"Died for me, died for poor Betsy." After many remarks of this kind, expressive of her wonder that grace should be bestowed upon her, she broke forth into song, in a sweet, clear, musical voice, and in a tune which, I think, was composed on the occasion, as I had no acquaintance with it whatever. Verse after verse followed in the same tune, and with a soliloquy on each. She then gave out this text—"That no man take your crown." Rev. 3:11. She described with great correctness the nature of the crown, stating that it was not a golden one such as monarchs wear, but a crown of life and glory that fades not away—she then considered the people who were invited to possess the crown, and again thought of herself, saying, "There is a crown for poor Betsy, and a crown for my dear father and mother, if they will have one." Next came the enemies who want to take from us our crown, especially Satan, whose power she described as being limited, though very great. It certainly was no contemptible sermon. But the most impressive part of the scene was the prayer which followed. It occupied about seven or ten minutes, without a single pause, incoherence, or word out of place. Among other subjects, she remembered with respectful affection her pastor, then seated, though unknown to her, by her bed-side; nor did she forget one dear to him, since risen above the need of prayer; but still the burden of her supplication was Mr. Derrington and Garrison Lane; for whom, as was natural, the most fervent aspirations of her heart rose to heaven.

It must have been an eye more unused to weep than mine is, that could refrain from shedding tears, while listening to this slumbering wrestler with God, pouring out from the inner and hidden world of her own thoughts, such affecting petitions for my happiness and usefulness. I am not the only individual who wept over that scene; a physician whom I know, and who visited often her chamber, has been seen profusely shedding tears as he listened to the unconscious strains of her prayer or praise. Now I do not mean for a moment to insinuate that there was anything of vision or trance in all this—it was an action of the brain, which continued more or less at times for some months; but, as the terrors and remorse of the slumbering sinner show the state of his heart and conscience, so did these exercises of Elizabeth's soul, when the judgment and will were suspended, and the heart was left to follow its own unchecked and unguided impulses, show what objects held her in the spell of their fascination. It should be observed here, that on a return to consciousness she remembered nothing that had passed through her mind during the fit.

Advancing infirmity had now confined Elizabeth to her sick chamber. But could the energies of her zeal be repressed? Could she cease to be useful? No. But what could she do? They whose hearts are bent on doing good, will find means of usefulness everywhere and at all times, not excepting even the bed of disease and the confines of the grave. This devoted teacher could no longer go to her class of Sunday scholars—but her class could come to her. A sick chamber has few attractions for a set of lively girls; yet in this case they gladly obeyed the summons, and occasionally hastened to the retreat of their beloved instructress. Solemn, and serious, and affectionate was the manner in which she there taught and counseled them, and commended them to God in prayer. Nor was this the extent of her efforts to do good—from her seclusion she sent forth many letters to her friends, the writing of which must have put her to severe bodily pain; among them was an epistle to her fellow-teachers, from which I make the following extracts:

"Dear Christian Friends, the Teachers at Garrison Lane Chapel.

"I feel it my duty, as well as privilege, to write a few lines, though very imperfect, and still in the chamber of affliction. The Lord has been pleased to spare and raise me up thus far, after a severe and heavy affliction of body, which has deprived me of attending to my dear children for many Sundays at school. But it is all for the best; thank God, I can look up and say—

'Father, I bless your gentle hand;
How kind was your chastising rod.'

He has given me strength to bear up; it was all for my good; Christ says—

'Fear not, I am with you. I only design
Your dross to consume, your gold to refine.'

"Oh, when I think of the goodness of God to me, and how I have been nursed on the bosom of affection by my dear friends at Garrison Lane, I am overwhelmed with gratitude to God for such kindness to one who is less than the least, and most unworthy of all his children; it soothes my pain and trials by the way; but heaven will make amends for all. I thought my affliction would soon call me to bid farewell to the world of sin and pain. At one time when I thought I was going home to be at rest, there was no one in the chamber; yet I was not alone, I felt my God and my Savior was with me, and all was well. I thought the cold hand of death was upon me, and I was going to pass through the dark valley of death—no, my dear friends, it will not be dark nor gloomy, for Christ will be with us and will make it light. Then why do we fear? I had a desire to depart and be with Christ. My fits call me to give up my dear children in the Sunday-school, which is no small trial to me. I believe I have been engaged in your school sixteen years, or it may be more. Oh, my dear friends, what have I done for Christ in so long a time? This causes me to weep when I think of it. I have spent many happy Sundays with the teachers and children—though I am leaving that work, I shall, I hope, be still engaged with you. I think the dear superintendents will still allow me the favor of coming to see you. I do pray for you all, for a blessing on all your engagements. I rejoice to hear there is so much brotherly love among the teachers; this is the spirit of religion—oh, that it may abound more than ever, is my prayer. The Lord has answered my feeble prayers for Garrison Lane, on the bed of affliction. One day I had been praying that God would incline the hearts of our friends at Carr's Lane to come forward and do something for the chapel,* to help and cheer the heart of our dear minister, and each of you, my dear brethren and sisters; but you have taken the first step. May the Lord bless you all for this. When Mr. Derrington came and told me of the good news, I can assure you it was a cordial to my drooping spirits. I almost forgot my affliction at that time. How delightful to see minister, and teachers, and friends, all helping on the Gospel plough. Fear not; look up, and press onward. God has and will bless your labors. Prayer makes the darkest cloud withdraw. Prayer gives exercise to faith and love, and brings every blessing from heaven. I thank you for your prayers at the school, while absent in body, but not in heart; and for other kindnesses which I am unworthy of. Pray for me that I may be kept to the end."

* She here alludes to an enlargement of the chapel which was then needed, which the Carr's Lane friends were not backward to effect, as the sequel will show. And the first step of the teachers of which she writes, was the commencement of a donation among themselves.

Soon after this she received a letter, from a friend, to which, as well as her declining strength would allow, she returned a reply, from which I give the following extract—

"In the good providence of God I am again laid upon the bed of affliction. Affliction has long been my lot; but, blessed be God, he has always been near to help me in a time of need. He has ever been a kind and gracious God to me; yes, he has followed me all the days of my life with his loving-kindness. The providence of God to his creatures is a delightful theme to dwell upon; but, oh, how delightful it is to dwell upon those more desirable blessings you speak of. What a blessing is it to have God, even the Most High, whom angels adore, and by whom all things were created, for our Father—it is a blissful thought. And more—to have Christ for our Savior, husband, brother, friend, and heaven for our eternal home. There is something in the thought that fills the soul with rapture, and while these thoughts pervade the soul, glory is begun below. I bid you adieu. I shall transcribe one verse of that beautiful hymn of Cennick—

'Blessed be the dear, uniting love
That will not let us part,
Our bodies may far off remove,
We still are one in heart.'

Your affectionate sister in Christ,
Elizabeth Bales"

The influence of Elizabeth among the young females who attended the chapel, or taught in the Sunday-school, was of the happiest kind; her good sense and affectionate disposition, united with her eminent piety and well-known zeal, secured at once their esteem and regard. They made her their friend in the various troubles of a spiritual nature which agitated their minds; and they laid open the secrets of their hearts with a freedom which they could not use towards any other; and often have they returned from her chamber, relieved from those doubts, fears and perplexities with which they entered it. By them her departure is felt as the loss of a friend of inestimable value.

The last time that Elizabeth left her house for a public service, was to be present at a quarterly tea-meeting, which was held at her much-loved spot, Garrison Lane Chapel, by the members of the church dwelling in that neighborhood, with a view to promote their brotherly love, and to enjoy more perfectly "the communion of saints." As her parents had removed farther from the chapel, of course it was impossible for her to walk; her friends, therefore, procured a vehicle to convey her to the scene of holy fellowship, which was soon to be exchanged for the higher and more perfect fellowship of the church triumphant. For some time previous to her death she had been staying with her friend Mr. Derrington, but finding herself getting worse, she wished to be removed to her own dwelling. It was, however, with great difficulty she accomplished the object of her desire, in consequence of her extreme weakness. A kind of bath-chair was procured, and she was drawn home in it, but was obliged to stop many times by the way, to recover from the pain and fatigue before she could proceed. This was on Friday, and early on Sunday morning, July the tenth, she left an earthly Sabbath to enter on that rest which remains for the people of God. It does not appear from any remarks she dropped, that she anticipated so soon to be removed, and therefore said nothing about her decease; for this, however, she was always ready.

In absence of death-bed expressions, we must refer to the holy, consistent, and blameless tenor of her life. What an exchange was made by her emancipated spirit in that moment when it escaped from the little, distasteful, and unsightly habitation in which it dwelt on earth—into the glorious and boundless regions of immortality! "It was sown in weakness, it shall be raised in power; it was sown in dishonor, it shall be raised in glory; it was sown a natural body, it shall be raised a spiritual body."

It was not to be expected that such an individual would be carried to her grave unattended or unlamented by her numerous Christian friends. She was interred in the General Cemetery, and although this is situated between two and three miles from the spot where she died, she was followed by a procession which would have graced and honored the remains of a person of wealth or rank. Her beloved friend Mr. Derrington, and her class of Sunday-scholars, preceded the corpse, which was borne by a company of the male teachers, and accompanied by the female teachers in mourning, who felt a melancholy pleasure in paying this last tribute of respect to one whom they tenderly loved and justly esteemed. Her aged and venerable father and mother followed as mourners. In addition, a crowd of her neighbors and fellow-members joined the procession. Her pastor conducted the funeral; and frequently as he has had to perform the same mournful rites in that beautiful place of burial, he can truly say, he never saw such a multitude there as stood around the opened grave of this honored member of his church; nor did he ever see so many tears fall, as dropped when her little, infirm body was laid in its lowly bed of death, to wait the raptures of the waking morn.

The following hymn was then affectionately sung, and the mourners retired from her grave, but not to bury in oblivion the memory of her whom they had there deposited.

Farewell, dear friend! a long farewell,
For we shall meet no more
Until we are raised with you to dwell
On Zion's happier shore!

Our friend and sister, lo! is dead,
The cold and lifeless clay
Has made in dust its silent bed,
And there it must decay.

But is she dead? no, no, she lives,
Her happy spirit flies
To heaven above; and there receives
The long-expected prize!

Then let us dry our mournful tears;
From gloomy grief refrain;
In heaven our sister now appears,
And shall forever reign!

Farewell, dear friend, again farewell!
Soon we shall rise to thee;
And when we meet, no tongue can tell
How great our joys shall be!

Many who visit that picturesque burying place will pass by the sculptured tombs and flattering memorials of the rich and the great, to stand upon the spot where reposes all that was mortal of ELIZABETH BALES. She deserved as an appropriate epitaph, "She did what she could!"

Elizabeth departed, as we would be ready to say, too soon for the completion of her felicity upon earth; inasmuch as she did not live to witness the commencement of the erection of the second new chapel in her neighborhood. This undertaking had been long delayed by obstacles which could not be overcome; at length, however, a prospect was presented of its being accomplished, and ground was purchased within about fifty yards of the dwelling in which her parents formerly resided. The progress of the arrangements for the new building was watched by her with deep interest, and, in consequence of some new and threatening difficulties, with almost painful solicitude. When Mr. Derrington visited her, one of the first and most anxious inquiries used to be about the new chapel; and when hope of its being built was uppermost, she would please herself with the idea that she might yet be strengthened to worship God again in his house, and for this purpose begged her parents to move back to their former neighborhood, and to take a cottage near the sanctuary. But her desire was not granted her, for the foundation-stone was not laid until three weeks after she had entered on her long Sabbatic rest. How would she have exulted over the thronging multitudes who assembled to witness the ceremony of that interesting occasion, and with what anticipations of still greater blessings for her vicinity would she have beheld the scene. Perhaps she was there, though we saw her not. It might have been permitted to her, for anything we can tell, to be a spectator of a scene which is doubtless to be traced in some measure to the influence of her labors and the fervor of her prayers.

I was much affected by an expression of her mother during a visit I paid to her since the death of this precious daughter. "Our house, sir, is now so solitary since Elizabeth is gone—during her life it was always full of company, as she had friends ever coming to see her; but now we seem to have nobody about us." This little incident shows in what estimation she was held, and how much attraction went forth from her humble dwelling.

And now, what LESSONS are to be gathered from this short memoir?

I. We see in it a beautiful exemplification of the true nature and transcendent excellence of religion.

True religion is not merely an outward observance of ceremonies, nor an attendance upon ordinances; these things are nothing worthy in themselves—mere bodily exercise that profits nothing and of no acceptance to God. They are profitable only as they spring from the inward principle of a renewed, holy, and humble mind. True religion begins in deep conviction of sin, a sense of our fallen and ruined state as exposed to the wrath of God in consequence of transgression; and then goes on in a simple faith in the Gospel, leading to an entire, thankful, and peace-giving dependance on the blood and righteousness of Christ for acceptance with God. From this faith there arises love to God, to his people, to his ways, and to holiness. In proportion as faith is felt, it makes its possessor humble, meek, and benevolent; full of pity for man and zeal for the glory of God.

See how all this was exemplified in the subject of this memoir. Never was there a more pure and sincere creature; a more dutiful daughter; a more harmless and inoffensive being, than she was! And yet how did she confess and bewail her sinfulness in the sight of God; how entirely did she renounce all dependence upon her own good doings, and how exclusively did she rely upon the righteousness of Christ. Observe the holy virtues which clustered in her character—how profound was her humility—how gentle her demeanor—how striking her meekness—how uncomplaining her submission—how exemplary her patience—how exquisite her benevolence—how ardent her zeal—how tender her attachments—how intense her piety—and, to crown all, how unmixed was all this with any spiritual pride, any sense of superiority, or any sanctimonious airs. Had she been a Roman Catholic, or a Mystic, superstition would have invested this union of personal deformity and eminent piety, of usefulness and trance-like hallucinations, with something of supernatural visitation. How much is there for all of us to learn and to copy. Her body and her soul were in striking contrast with each other.

But the peace-giving nature of piety is most strikingly set forth in this beautiful example. Elizabeth, amidst all her poverty, her personal appearance, and her sufferings—was happy. Many a modern belle, of envied beauty, dwelling amidst the splendors of wealth, emblazoned with rank, and flattered and caressed by the great, might, on account of the untroubled flow of her thoughts, and the quiet, lake-like, heaven-reflecting surface of her heart—have looked with envy upon the little decrepit form that pursued its daily rounds of mercy, panting for breath, in the neighborhood of Garrison Lane Chapel. She looked happy, for she felt so. Notes of praise and not of complaint were ever flowing from her lips. Many heard her expressions of gratitude, none ever had to expostulate with her on a murmuring expression.

And now contemplate the elevating nature of religion. How entirely did moral and spiritual excellence raise her above all disadvantages of person and station, and cover with its luster her deformity and poverty. What would she have been without religion? An object of pity to the good, and of ridicule to the bad, but of respect or interest to none. She would have lived without comfort and died without esteem. It was this divine excellence that, in spite of all that was repulsive to the bodily eye, made her an object of regard to all that knew her. Yes, and this did so raise her, that half the women who have passed through society, with all the advantages of beauty, and elegance, and wealth in their favor, whatever they may have had of admiration and of flattery—have had far less of love and of esteem than this child of poverty and sorrow. So true is the language of God—"Since you were precious in my sight, you have been honorable." Isaiah 43:4.

II. What a proof is this narrative of the common remark, that where there is a heart to do good—there is an opportunity; that where there is a will to be useful—there is a way to be useful, and that no disadvantages and obstacles are so great as to be insurmountable to an intelligent and determined zeal. If with feeble health and all the circumstances that seemed to forbid her active usefulness, Elizabeth could do so much good by direct personal effort—what might not be done by others to whom these disadvantages do not belong? Alas! how much less good do any of us do than we might! And if she lamented over the little work she did for Christ—with how much greater shame and grief should we deplore our unfruitfulness? How shall we excuse ourselves for our indolence? What defense shall we set up? The world is perishing around us! Sinners are going down to the pit before our eyes! Immortal souls by countless millions are crowding to the regions of eternal despair! And what have we to say, that we do not do more for their salvation? How little are we affected by the terrific scene! How little are we pierced by a sense of the ignorance, sin and misery which appeal to our very senses! Oh where is the constraining love of Christ? Where is the compassion for souls? Where the sense of responsibility to God? All may do good, and all should do it. There needs not the gender and strength of the man—woman may do good. There needs not personal advantage—decrepitude may do good. There needs not wealth—poverty may do good. The blessed luxury is within the reach of all, and to have no appetite or taste for it is but too plain an indication of a wrong state of soul.

In this world of sin and sorrow, where our purest enjoyments are so mixed, there is no bliss equal to that which is derived from the exercise of benevolence. There is a very admirable Tract published by the Religious Tract Society, entitled, "How to do good," or ways of caring for the souls of others, which enumerates the following methods of pious zeal. You can pray for your families, friends, neighbors, and the world. You can set a holy example, and show that religion makes you holy, kind, gentle, good-tempered, and happy. You can speak to your families, friends, neighbors, about their souls. When you see people do or say wrong, you can kindly speak to them. You can read the Bible and pray with your families. You can lend and give gospel tracts. You can read the Bible and good books to those who will listen. Some of you can be Sunday-school teachers. You can give property to support Societies for spreading the Gospel. You can beg people to go to God's house. You can visit the sick. You can send your children to a Sunday-school, or beg others to send theirs. You can speak to your companions about religion. You can be kind to others, and then they will be more likely to mind what you say. You can write letters to your friends, and try to do them good, and ask them to do good to others. When you are going to the house of God, you can speak to those whom you see sinning. In walking along the road or anywhere else, you can often drop a word to other people. In coaches, steamers, and other places you can speak to people. When you have a few minutes to spare, you can visit some neighbors and speak to them about their souls. Here are twenty ways of doing good. The tract which enumerates them gives instances of success with most of them. Harlan Page was a man who loved to do good, and between the hours of his work he went and spoke to others about their souls, besides other ways of doing good, and he was the means of turning more than a hundred people to God, some of whom were afterwards ministers.

III. What a lesson is here taught to the POOR. Much are they to be pitied. None can fully know the ills of poverty by observation. Experience alone can give this knowledge. But still it cannot be denied that these ills are always increased by sin, and diminished by piety. Godliness is the best antidote of poverty; it has in ten thousand instances prevented it, and in ten thousand more alleviated it. Who can be poorer than was Elizabeth? For years she lived almost entirely upon the bounty of others; yet who more happy, respectable, or useful? Let the poor read her history and learn that happiness may be found in a cottage. "A man's life," said our Lord, "consists not in the abundance of the things that he has." True blessedness comes from spiritual things—not from temporal ones. "Hearken, my beloved brethren, has not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which he has promised to those who love him?" James 2:5.

Such are the accents which Christianity floats in heavenly music over the humble valley of poverty. "Rich in faith." This may mean either that faith is the best, the true riches—a blessed truth, for if it were ponderable, we should say a grain of saving faith is better than a ton of gold, for it secures an inheritance in all the unsearchable riches of Christ, of grace, and of glory! It justifies, sanctifies, and eternally saves! Or it may signify that the faith of the poor is peculiarly strong—yes, it is amidst the privations of poverty, where the believer has nothing in hand and nothing in hope but what he sees in the promise of God, that faith puts forth its mightiest power, and manifests its richest glories!

Was not this exemplified in the case before us? What had Elizabeth to live upon, but God's promise that she should not lack any good thing? Her faith was rich and gloriously influential. And then see the other terms of this poor man's text—HEIRS! And to what an inheritance? Toil? Sorrow? Poverty? Yes, oftentimes—but of something else if he is a Christian; "of God;" "of salvation;" "of a kingdom." He is a son of the King of kings, and destined to wear a crown of life, James 1:12; to sit upon a throne, Rev. 3:21; and to reign forever and ever in a kingdom. 2 Tim. 2:12. Rejoice, you poor, all this for you if you are partakers of faith.

True religion will make you respectable. Who was more truly respected than Elizabeth? Her poverty, her deformity, her dependence, detracted nothing from her moral worth; did not sink her in public estimation, or number her with the many who are treated with contempt and scorn. On the contrary, few, very few of far higher rank and station, have received more attention and respect. Ours is happily a country where moral worth is sure to find its proper level, where there is enough of morality and piety to estimate respectability more by character than by wealth. Many a rich man is despised—as he ought to be, on account of his vices. Many a poor man is as much esteemed because of his virtues. I allow that something else besides piety is necessary to give true respectability to the poor, but it is all within their reach—I mean good sense, good manners, and good temper. Let a man have all these, and no one will pass his door or himself with contempt. With piety as the substance, and general good conduct as the polish—the poor man is a gem, which all judges of excellence will know how to value, and be sure to admire, though the setting be in copper instead of gold. Take comfort, my poor friends, you are not disesteemed by those who know you—if you answer to this description! God respects you—Christ respects you—angels respect you—godly men respect you—bad men respect you—many who seem to despise you, really esteem you. Be assured that godliness is respectability, whether it lives in a mansion or a cottage—whether it wears satin or cotton—whether it feeds upon venison or a crust.

Nor are you, though poor, shut out from doing good, any more than you are from being good. O if you had a heart to be useful, you might find abundant opportunities to employ your energies. Instances might be adduced without number, if it were necessary, of people in the humblest walk of life doing great good; and that not only by all kinds of ingenious devices, but in the way of direct effort. Take the two following as specimens.

There was a member of the church under my care, who lived in an alms-house, and was so distorted by rheumatism as to be quite a cripple and unable to walk or stand; and withal, her fingers, through the power of her disease, were twisted into all kinds of shapes. On entering her apartment one day I found her with some Christian tracts. "Well, Mrs. H." said I, "what are you doing?" "O sir," she replied, "I am sorting my tracts." "What for?" "To send out to my neighbors." The fact was, that she received these tracts from richer friends from time to time, and then employed someone to carry them around the spacious court of alms-houses in which she lived, and other dwellings in the neighborhood; and her work was to keep up a regular supply and exchange. Thus poor old Ellen in the almshouse could find some way to be useful.

To give one more instance; I was visiting a brother minister a few years ago with a view to assist him at a missionary meeting which was to be held in his chapel. While I was in his house he called me into the kitchen, for what purpose I did not know until the scene explained itself. There stood an aged woman about eighty years old, talking with the minister, and looking with a smiling countenance and with sparkling eyes, as far as such aged orbs could sparkle, upon some silver which my friend at that moment held in the palm of his hand. It might have been supposed she was going to receive this money to multiply her comforts, for all her income was half-a-crown a week from the parish, and what the kindness of her friends might occasionally bestow, out of which she paid eighteen pence for lodgings; but no, she came to give, not to receive. That money, amounting to more than ten shillings, she had earned by knitting various articles and selling them, and she was then in the kitchen, where I saw her, to place it in the hand of her minister for the missionary society.

So you see the poor can do something for God's cause, if they have "a mind to work." But they may also do much in the way of direct effort for the conversion of souls. Can they not warn a profane sinner? or explain the way of salvation to those who are ignorant and out of the way? or distribute tracts, and explain their contents? or invite the neglectors of public worship to the house of God? Let the poor understand, value, and enjoy their privilege.

IV. Is there not a word for the RICH from Elizabeth's memoir? Can they learn nothing from this chapter of the humble annals of the poor? Should this little book meet the eye of any whom Providence has blessed with wealth, station and influence, I would say to them—does your piety flourish amidst the comforts and the elegancies of life as did hers in the cottage of poverty? Must you not admit that if you are richer in money—was richer in faith? Learn to think less and less of the wealth of this world, and more and more of the unsearchable riches of Christ. Lower the estimate which pride and vanity form of the importance of worldly distinctions. "The brother of humble circumstances should boast in his exaltation; but the one who is rich should boast in his humiliation, because he will pass away like a flower of the field. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and dries up the grass; its flower falls off, and its beautiful appearance is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will wither away while pursuing his activities. (James 1:9-11)

How many rich professors are far less happy—than was this daughter of poverty and affliction! And oh! how much below her will they be in that world where the degrees of glory will be in proportion, not to the amount of wealth—but to the degrees of grace. How much would the rich learn were they more frequently to visit the dwellings of the poor, and see how contented and peaceful those of them who are pious are, amidst all their privations. The well known anecdote of poor Mary is so much in point here, that it cannot be repressed. She had a rich neighbor who was of a grumbling temper, and found only cause for complaint, where multitudes would have only found matter of thankfulness. One day, on returning from the chapel where she had been worshiping God, this lady overtook Mary, who frequented the same place, and who was well known to her. She entered into conversation, and as usual had many causes of complaint. Mary, who was a woman of good sense as well as piety, endeavored to lead her mind away from her sorrows—to her mercies. When they arrived opposite her door, she respectfully asked her wealthy neighbor to walk in, and then leading her to her empty cupboard, opened it, with the question, "Do you see anything there, Ma'am?" "Nothing," was the reply. And opening a drawer or two that contained her scanty wardrobe, repeated the question, "What do you see there?" "Very little." Then you see all I have in the world—but why should I be anxious, who have God for my Father, Christ for my Savior, salvation for my portion, and heaven for my home?" The lady felt the rebuke so wisely and so respectfully given, and found grace to profit by it.

And then what a lesson to the rich as regards their usefulness. O did but the wealthy know their opportunity, and feel their obligations, and appreciate their privileges to bless their race—how happy might they be themselves, and how happy might they make others. It is a distressing spectacle in such a world as ours, where evil of every kind so much abounds, to observe the disgusting and odious selfishness of many of the rich, who are wholly taken up with their own luxurious gratification, as if born only to pamper their appetites and indulge their tastes—without bestowing a thought or a care upon the misery which prevails around them! Can they wonder at the envy, suspicion, ill-will, and hatred of the poor? Can they be astonished at the sullen murmurs and convulsive heavings of that 'mass of wretchedness' in which they have left the principles of infidelity and sedition to be scattered by the spirits of mischief, unresisted and unchecked by kindness, liberality and religious effort? Whatever are the vices of the poor, they are deeply sensible of kindness, and alive to the feelings of gratitude. More of the oil of benevolence poured over the waves of discontent and disaffection would have a mighty influence in calming the troubled surface.

Especially let the rich who make a profession of religion remember their obligations. Let it be their hallowed ambition, their constant study and rich enjoyment, to find how much good they can do. Let them win for themselves, and it is a precious prize, the widow's tear of gratitude, the blessing of him that was ready to perish, the thanks unutterable of souls saved by their instrumentality, and the testimony of their approving Savior. Few, very few, of the wealthier members of the flock of Christ are yet exerting themselves as they ought to do. Few, indeed, like the subject of this memoir, "go about doing good." Their liberality and usefulness are rather a compromise to be let alone, than an actual engagement in the service of our Lord. True it is, Elizabeth had few duties and few occupations—benevolent activity was a relief from what would otherwise have been a burdensome solitude—and after all, it is, I allow, a loftier course of mercy, a nobler stretch of costly and unselfish goodness, to sacrifice the hours which might be devoted to innocent recreations and to elegant ease—to take something from the profits of business, the pleasures of friendship, or the soft enjoyments and engrossing demands of domestic scenes—and offer this contribution to the good of others. Happy in time, happier still in eternity, will those be who thus exhibit the mind that was in Christ.

V. And is there no lesson for WOMEN? What! when the interesting subject of this memoir was of that class? Your gender, my female friends, stands with honor on the page of every history under heaven, and especially of that one which is written by the inspiration of God. The same blessed page which proclaims your dishonor in the sin of your first mother, displays the glorious part you are to bear in the instrumentality of saving a lost world; and many successive chapters of the sacred volume accumulate the testimonies and the evidence of your usefulness. A useless woman, a selfish woman, an unfeeling woman, is a sin against her gender, formed as it was for sympathy and mercy, and is a sin also against the history of her gender. Be active, my sisters, be active! You are far more so than your fathers, husbands and brothers. You outstrip us in zeal and in piety too—still last at the cross, first at the sepulcher, most often at the sanctuary, longest at the throne of grace, busiest in the house of sorrow! Go on—value and maintain your distinction—and especially maintain it with that profound modesty which is the ornament of your excellence, and reveals while it conceals genuine worth.

Elizabeth with all her activity was singularly retiring in her deportment and unobtrusive in her demeanor. It was the activity of principle, not of passion merely—the constraint of redeeming love, which, like its Divine source, did not cry nor lift up its voice in the street. There is a danger in this age of female activity of some loss of female modesty; especially of young women becoming forward, obtrusive and bold—thus it is that weeds grow with the flowers, weaken their strength, hide their beauty, and corrupt their fragrance. Be watchful. Let not your good be evil spoken of. Do not imitate the Catholic nuns, who attract attention by their religious garb. But imitate as much as possible—those blessed angels who minister to the heirs of salvation, and who perform their embassies unseen and unheard.

VI. Tract distributors and visitors of the sick, behold a model which you may imitate with great advantage. Elizabeth's work in this department of her labor was at once her business and her delight. She went to it as a vocation, and pursued it with a steadiness, produced by the double stimulus of conscience and affection. Her tracts were not thrown in at the door, as if, like the distributors of hand-bills, she had so many to give away, and which the sooner the last was gone, no matter how, the better. To her they were means of introduction for herself—little harbingers to prepare her own way to go in, and sit down, and talk with her neighbors about their souls. And this is the way to do good.

A good tract distributor needs more than a foot and a hand—she should have an eye beaming with affection, lips on which is the law of kindness, and a tongue, the accents of which are instruction, warning, and consolation to the ignorant, wicked and wretched. Tracts are now happily become very common; so common that in many instances they are received with indifference, where they are not surlily refused—this makes it the more necessary to add conversation, explanation, and in some cases reading. Great skill and tact are necessary to gain a ready access to the houses and hearts on such errands—but the secret of this is love and gentleness. Elizabeth in many instances conquered by affection. She never resented rudeness, was never petulant—but by the meek and quiet manner in which she bore with unkindness, in the few cases which manifested it, she subdued and softened the individual who expressed it. A disposition, the serenity of which is with difficulty ruffled by opposition and rudeness—is essential to a visitor of the ungodly, who goes to reclaim them from sin. The sweet persuasiveness of her manner often served her in dealing with the skeptic and the scoffer, instead of argument; for it is willingly conceded that she could more powerfully recommend godliness by being an example of its blessedness—than prove its divine authority by argument, or answer the objections of the caviling disputant. She was herself with such men, an argument of greater weight, than all the logic of others. Still, it is desirable in this age, when infidelity has become condescending, and leaving the heights of society has descended into the valley of poverty, that tract distributors should know how to answer the objections of infidels, and how to prove the divine claims of the religion they are anxious to spread.

Happily, the merciful spirit of Christianity is also seen in this age, not only in sending missionaries to distant lands, but in the various benevolent institutions for visiting and relieving the sick in our own country. Many, like our deceased friend, go to the 'chamber of affliction' and to the 'bed-side of disease', to impart the 'medicine of the soul' in words whereby men may be comforted and saved. Let no one venture upon such an errand without tenderness of spirit and gentleness of manner! Elizabeth was a pattern in a sick chamber, so soft in voice, so gentle in manner, so tender in spirit, though perhaps a little too prone, from the very longing of her soul after the salvation of those she visited, to believe that they were saved.

I know no office so difficult as to the discharge of its duties, as the visitation of the sick; and with the exception of cases of chronic disease, which leaves the mind long at leisure to think, and meditate, and pray—I do not anticipate so much real good from visits of this kind as many do. True religion is a mental process from beginning to end, and the man half delirious with fever, in a state of extreme prostration of strength, or writhing in agony, can attend but little to the words of instruction. It were well to take the people off as much as possible, from a kind of superstitious regard to, and dependence upon, the prayers of a minister, or pious people, in sickness—and lead them to consider that the time of life and health, are the time to seek the salvation of the soul. Still there are innumerable cases to which these remarks do not apply, but in which, during the slow waste of disease, the soul has leisure to think of her dark and winding course, and opportunity to return to God—and for which the voice of the godly visitor is essentially necessary. Ministers can do but little alone for such instances, and may be materially assisted by such gentle spirits as have been described in this memoir. As a general remark, it may be said that much Christian intelligence, as well as much kindness of heart and gentleness of manner, are necessary for such an office; and also a very clear, discriminating, simple method of stating the ground of a sinner's hope towards God.

VII. And now I devote a few pages in conclusion, and with great earnestness, to that useful and honorable class to which Elizabeth especially belonged, I mean the SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHERS. It is in this character I wish you to contemplate her, and in which she really is so bright a pattern.

I will not conceal an apprehension which I have sometimes felt, lest you, my dear friends, should be in any measure injured by the manner in which you have been often appealed to of late, and in which the importance of your useful labors has been described. It is indeed true, that your office is important, and its duties of momentous consequence to the well-being of those who are the objects of your kind attention—for you have to do not only with thinking minds, but with immortal souls—and your object is not only to train the 'rational' creature—but the 'everlasting' creature. Nothing, of course, can be more momentous than eternity, and it is to eternity that your labors relate—but, in proportion to the grandeur of your object and the loftiness of your aim, is there a danger of your having the 'feeling of pride' elicited by descriptions of your work, and calculations and statements of your numbers. The latter idea gives a sense of importance in any cause. Many an individual who is quite humble in his state of isolation, and when he labors on amidst his own difficult duties, and his consciousness of imperfection, still feels something of pride when he calculates the number of those he teaches and influences—his mind inflates to the limits of the vast circle in which he moves. Beware, then, of the pride of success, and allow nothing to corrupt the deep humility of your spirit.

In the beautiful instance which I have set before you in this brief memoir, you have seen a just conception formed of the ultimate object of Sunday-school teaching. Elizabeth never for a moment forgot that her children had immortal souls; that these souls were lost by sin; and that her business was to seek their conversion from the error of their ways and save them from eternal death! This is the true light in which to view the subject. There is as much philosophy in this, as there is of piety—for in seeking the greater good we seek all the lesser ones contained within it. You want to fit your children, or you ought to do so, for all the stations they may be called to occupy in future life—now the best way to do this, is to endeavor to bring them under the influence of true religion. I beseech you to consider you have to do with souls. Ponder the worth of a soul! Weigh the solemn significance of that word, damnation. Measure, if you can, the height of salvation. Yearn for souls. What would you not do—to save your children from falling into the water or the fire? Oh, think of the bottomless pit, and the fire that is never quenched. Take a proper aim in all you do. Look as high as heaven, as deep as to the mouth of hell, and as far as eternity!

For such an object qualify yourself well, by a large measure of mental improvement. Make yourself well-acquainted with the powers of the human mind and the best method of training them; especially the means of fixing the volatile attention of youth, and of exciting a thirst after knowledge and self-improvement in your young charge. But above all cultivate a habit of devotional feeling. Remember that piety is as truly the first qualification of a good Sunday-school teacher as it is of a good minister. Catch the fervent piety of Elizabeth. Imitate her devotional habits, her meditative, prayerful spirit. She was eminently a woman of prayer. Her mother has often found her faint on her knees. The intensity of her devotion and the greatness of her labors exhausted her weak frame. Our Sunday-schools should be the very atmosphere of piety. The children should be made to feel that in the presence of their teacher, that they are standing before an embodied form of living godliness. You cannot seek the salvation of the souls of others—if you are not alive to your own. Ask the question, are you in earnest for eternity? Are you fleeing from the wrath to come? Are you walking with God, living a life of faith, prayer, watchfulness, and holiness? Oh, you will make a poor Sunday-school teacher without this!

Mark the DEVOTEDNESS of Elizabeth. Her soul, her whole soul, was in her work—it was her food and her drink; her life was bound up in it. We can do nothing well—which we do not do in earnest. "Whatever your hand finds to do—do it with your might." They who carry to the Sunday-school only half a heart—will do nothing. They had better stay away; they only keep out others who would do far better than themselves. All our schools have some such teachers, who are hindrances, not helps. Lukewarmness is not only inefficient in its results, but makes the work disagreeable. It is impossible to enjoy what is done in such a manner. It is all mere drudgery, and is very irksome. Zeal is pleasure—it is the vital glow and energy of a healthy and active mind. It is good to be always zealous in this good thing. Watch, labor, teach, pray—as one in earnest. Be constant, and lose no opportunity. Be punctual, and lose not a moment. Eternity hangs upon every instant! Let no measure of duty satisfy you. Adopt your children as objects of interest and affection. Follow them to their houses; know all about them. By loving them, you will acquire an influence over them. If teachers have no influence over their children; if the children are crude, refractory, insubordinate, in a school where order is generally observed, the teacher is unfit for his office. The disorderly state of his class proclaims his incompetence, unless there be some counteracting cause over which he has no control.

If Elizabeth, notwithstanding her deformity, poverty and weakness, could by her love, and gentleness, and devotedness, keep her children in such order—who need despair of doing it, if proper means were used? Love, firmness, system, mildness, devotedness and patience—will tame a savage! Lions and elephants are tamed by love and firmness; for love is a language which brutes understand; a law which they are willing to obey.

Conciliate the affection and secure the esteem of your fellow-teachers. What a pattern of this excellence is before you. Elizabeth was never known to quarrel with a single teacher. She loved all, and by all was beloved. Her kindness to others brought back kindness to herself. To her influence might, in some measure, be attributed the uninterrupted harmony which pervaded the school. She kept peace, and therefore had never to make it. She prevented breaches, which is far easier than to repair them. A good teacher is ever a peaceable one. He neither raises a faction nor joins one. He has no ear for murmurs or complaints, except it be to hush them; and never blows the coals of discord nor waters the root of bitterness. What mischief might one discontented and turbulent teacher do in a school, where there are other inflammable spirits ready to take fire from his own! The putrid fever of complaining is as contagious as it is malignant. Keep clear from the disease, and neither communicate nor receive it!

Imitate also the untiring patience, the unwearied zeal of this estimable woman! Nothing but the 'hand of infirmity' arrested her, and when kept by this from the school-room, she used to have her class occasionally in her own chamber. Hers was a service of nearly twenty years—and she loved her work from the beginning to the end. Had she lived until seventy she would still have been a Sunday-school teacher. Be not weary in well-doing. Amidst many who soon tire and faint—be it your ambition to see how many of these your zeal can outlive. What an honor is it to have it said, "There is a teacher of twenty years standing."

Like Elizabeth, be attached to your ministers, and be ever willing to consult them, and to follow their counsels. How devoted was she to the comfort, how regardful of the peace, how concerned for the usefulness of the town missionary who labored in the neighborhood, and whom she considered as her minister. I believe she would have been almost willing to die, rather than for one moment to have thrown an obstacle in the way of his useful ministrations, or to hinder the prosperity of the congregation at Garrison Lane Chapel. Her labors, much as she loved them and delighted in them, were no separate and detached department, but part of a whole over which he presided. Her usefulness was a rivulet—which flowed into the greater stream of his. She was his willing handmaid, and she looked up to him with a deference, which though not servile, was eminently respectful.

It is this blessed harmony between the Sunday-school teacher and pastor which I am most anxious to promote. I want our ministers to look with the tenderest interest, and with the most affectionate solicitude on the labors of these their invaluable assistants; and the teachers to look up without jealousy, and with unfeigned respect, to their minister's general, unobtrusive, and paternal superintendence. In him there should be nothing dictatorial—as if the teachers were servants. It is a delightful sight to behold a good understanding between a Christian pastor and a body of devoted teachers.

Remember, eternity is at hand—the bliss of which will be enhanced by the recollections of our earthly sojournings! Our friend has experienced this already by meeting in glory some whom she was the honored instrument of helping to raise from the privations of poverty to the felicities of immortality. Some harps, doubtless, are struck with a stronger hand in praise of our Lord, since she has arrived in heaven—for the instructions of her lips, the consistency of her example, or the fidelity of her reproofs. Sunday-school teachers, go and do likewise—be stimulated, encouraged and guided by the example of Elizabeth Bales!

"No one should despise your youth; instead, you should be an example to the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity." (1 Timothy 4:12)

"In all things see that you are an example of good works—holy in your teaching, serious in behavior." (Titus 2:7)