My companion was much struck with the old man; he talked long, and then prayed with him; and afterwards added his most unequivocal testimony to that of the many who had formerly visited him. It was my last interview with O'Neil; but I had the comfort of knowing that he enjoyed the daily portion of nourishment, and the pastoral cares of his beloved minister. It was a welcome communication which told me, twelve months afterwards, that he had departed in a state of unspeakable rejoicing, to be with Christ for ever. His death was remarkable for the vivid realization that he enjoyed of future glory, strikingly contrasted with the humility and self-suspicion that had formerly characterized him, I remember once taking a Christian divine to visit him, who preached up personal assurance as an indispensable evidence of saving faith; but all his expostulations could not extort from O'Neil a stronger word than *I hope,' as regarded his eternal inheritance.' ' Are you going to heaven, O'Neil V 'I hope, through the precious blood of my Redeemer, that I am, sir.' ' That is not enough : you must be sure of it. ' I am sure, sir, that Christ came to save such sinners as me ; and I am sure I desire to be saved by Him; and I hope He will save me, sir.' ' Why, have you not the earnest of the Spirit ? I hope I have, sir.' At last my friend plainly, told him that his state was far from satisfactory; the tears streamed from the poor old man's eyes, and repeatedly he struck his breast; but all that he would utter was the ejaculation :—' I hope—I hope He will save me ! I took care to run back to his-bed side, when the others were departing, and to tell him that his hope would never make him ashamed; and that though assurance might be a privilege, it was no test of saving faith. Dear O'Neil enjoyed it at last, though if his latest breath had been but an 'I hope,' I should be just as well satisfied concerning him.
My beautiful Guernsey Lilies—what is their exquisite dress to that in which old Patrick O'Neil, the Irish beggar of St. Giles's, now shines ! " Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these :" but all the glory of this gorgeous creation affords not a type for that in which the redeemed soul stands complete before God. I know not the exact spot where the distorted joints of the old Irishman now moulder into dust; but well I know that thence shall arise a being fashioned like unto Christ's glorious body. The form that wears the white robe, bleached in the blood of the Lamb, will not bend under the burden of disease ; the hand that tunes a celestial harp will be pained and crippled no more ; neither smite upon the breast in the anguish of self-accusing compunction. My poor O'Neil, now rich with inexhaustible treasures, has already changed ' I believe' into ' I see,' and ' I hope' into 'I possess.' The bountiful lady whose alms first enabled me to nourish him, is with him there : and D. who ministered like a comforting angel unto him in the dark dungeons of St. Giles's, is likewise " made equal unto the angels," and joining their hallelujahs in the courts of heaven. Howels, whose energetic plea from the pulpit once poured upwards of fifty pounds into my St. Giles's purse, is there too ; 'an in-door servant,' according to his own beautiful, dying thought, rejoicing among the souls which he helped to gather in. And now what matters it, whether like that titled lady they lived in princely halls, faring sumptuously every day, or like O'Neil, received at the hand of charity a daily dole in a garret: whether like Howels they formed the centre and chief of an admiring congregation, "known and read of all men," or like D. paced the darken-26* ed streets, and obscure alleys, to do good by stealth, concealing from the left hand the works of the right ! All were the Lord's dear children ; all glorified Him where he had seen good to place them. Affluence and destitution, beauty and distortion, health and disease, fame and obscurity, all were blessed ; all made a blessing, through the grace of God in Christ Jesus. Go then, dear reader, and give thanks unto the Lord for your lot, whatsoever it be ; and pray, like poor O'Neil, for the teaching of the divine Spirit, that your body may become a holy temple unto Him, and that your soul may be saved in the. day of the Lord Jesus Christ.