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Such works were His! rejoicing all who came
THE KEY TO THE HEART.
The circumstance which we are about to relate occurred several years ago, and is narrated without embellishment or exaggeration, as corroborative of the sentiment that there is a key to every man's heart, which properly used will open it. Often, indeed, the infatuated transgressor, after locking his heart, has thrown the key away, and long and painful search may be requisite to its recovery ; but blessed is he that finds it-blessed in all silent hours of thoughtful retrospect-blessed on earth and among the stars, now and for ever blessed is he that saves a soul from death. To save a soul is better than to create one. In the one case immortal existence is given instead of non-existence; in the other immortal misery is exchanged for immortal joy.
In the city of in the fall of 18-, lived a young man (Barnet, we shall call him), of pro
fligate habits but of respectable origin and training, but whom an expensive viciousness and acquaintanceship had reduced to the necessity of becoming a sharper in order to sustain him. self and keep up appearances, or else to reform, shake off his associates, and labor for an honest living. He chose the former course. For a year or two he appears to have earned the character of a regular chevalier d'industrie, and on several occasions barely escaped the clutches of the law. Finding himself suspected and watched in his then residence, he resolved to change the field of his operation. A highly favorable opportunity soon occurred. Mr. G., the junior partner of a house in that city, engaged in an extensive business in the west and south, was about to make a collecting tour. By some means Barnet made himself acquainted with the details of Mr. G.'s business, and the
THE CHRISTIAN PARLOR MAGAZINE.
points at which he proposed stopping, and deter- his horse was capable he discharged his errand, mined to set out at the same time on the same
returned, replaced the money, resumed his route, to gain his acquaintance, and if possible watching by the sick man's bed, and in a short his confidence on the journey, and in due time
time rejoiced to see him able to continue his plunder his victim. The plan seemed to pro
journey. mise complete success. The travellers were
Barnet's means were now exhausted. Withsoon on the best of terms. Barnet possessed out mentioning his situation to his companion, that easy affability, that unanxious, cheerful
who now resumed his route, he gave some spirit, which disarms suspicion and invites com- feigned reason for changing his own course, municativeness; and Mr. G., glad of the compa
and the travellers parted. B set his face tony of his townsman to relieve the silence and wards home and reached it, by working on the tedium of the journey, frequently urged Barnet way, weeks after his companion had returned to wait for him, when he affected to be in haste
in renewed health from his successful tour. to get on, and hesitated not at all at being his
Poor B. found himself at home without credit, room-mate or even bed-fellow. So artfully did
without friends, and without employment. B. manage his card, that not a misgiving arose
None knew him but to scoff at him. His situ. during the whole journey but that he was on ation was desperate. The recollection of the urgent and honest business. Mr. G. was very
crime of which he had commenced the execu. successful in collecting, but Barnet, not consi
tion, haunted him like a fiend. He could neither dering his friend's saddle bags quite heavy
unbosom himself to any one, nor find relief enough, delayed. At this time G. was taken from the sting of conscience. It was then that with a sudden and alarming fit of sickness, and
he resolved to do something that should expose Barnet was his only dependance and nurse. A him to imprisonment and afterwards suffer himraging fever, attended with delirium, set in, and
self to be taken. With this view he committed such was the violence of the disorder, acting a robbery, was taken by the police, and contoo upon a constitution naturally frail, that it
demned to the state prison, and to solitary conseemed that he must die. While in this condi. finement for three years. Here, within this tion he remembered that at a town about thirty gloomy and frowning enclosure, conscience held miles distant was settled as a physician a rela
her solemn inquisition upon his conduct and his tive of his wife, and he felt an earnest desire to heart, and smote with scorpion whip the tremsee him. He begged, therefore, of Barnet to bling and self-condemned culprit. Mysterious take his horse, a fine fleet animal, and ride ex- and awful power that men call conscience! Wo press after his relative. This seemed to B. the to him who has incurred its curse! Like a thief right moment. Stealthily possessing himself of
in the night, silently and suddenly it shall steal the merchant's treasure, which was easily done, upon him and demand, “ Pay me that thou he started apparenıly on his errand, but with owest,” and show to him the loathsome depths the intention of fleeing with his booty, and leav- of his polution and degradation. In this state ing his unfortunate companion to his fate. Es.
of mind Barnet continued months after the priscape seemed easy, and the amount of money in
on had received him. The one idea of his dehis hands large. It was then that the better graded and guilty character filled his mind and angel reasoned with the heart of this guilly man.
wrought it into agony. Hope and comfort for It seemed to him that he could hear the deep
him he seems not to have dreamed possible. In breathing and the heavy groans of the sick tra
this situation he was found by one of the direcveller whom he had plundered and deserted,
tors of the prison, a pious man, who was accusand as if he heard him calling him to return and
tomed to feel a warm interest in the spiritual cool his parched lips. He thought of the wife
condition of the prisoners, and who was happily and children of the lonely, smitten man. The gifted with that winning manner, and that manawful sin against humanity which he was com
ifest benevolence of character, that are so immitting, the virtual inurder he was perpetrating
portant in such labors. He inquired judiciously upon one who had never wronged him, entered and kindly into the state of Barnet's mind whom his soul like a burning bolt. And then that he found at first indisposed to be communicative, deep breathing seemed again to mingle with the
but after awhile he evidently gained upon his breeze, and to hang upon his ear, the most sor
confidence. At the next interview he completely rowful and reproachful of all sounds. He succeeded, and then, for the first time to any could go no farther. In an instant his purpose
human being, the wretched man disclosed his was changed. With the utmost speed of which whole history. His statement was so extraor