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Dwell Deep or Hilda Thorn's Life Story

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'Meet is it changes should controlOur being, lest we rust in ease.'—Tennyson.

A golden cornfield in the still sunshine of a warm August afternoon. In one corner of it, bordering a green lane, a group of shady elms, and under their shadow a figure of a young girl, who, gazing dreamily before her, sat leaning her head against an old gnarled trunk in quiet content. A small-shaped head, with dark curly hair, and a pair of blue-grey eyes with black curved lashes, these were perhaps her chief characteristics; more I cannot say, for it is difficult to describe oneself, and it was I, Hilda Thorn, who was seated there.

It was a beautiful scene before me. Beyond the corn stretched a green valley, and far in the distance were blue misty hills and moorland. My soul seemed rested by the sweet stillness around, but from the beauties of nature my eyes kept reverting to the Bible on my knee, and two words on the open page were occupying my thoughts—'Dwell deep.'

I had been left an orphan at the age of ten, both parents dying in India whilst I was at an English boarding-school. There I stayed till I was nineteen, when I went to an old cousin in London, and for three years I lived a quiet uneventful life in a dull London square, seeing very little society but that of elderly ladies and a few clergymen.

Suddenly my whole life was changed. My guardian, who had been living abroad with his wife and family, returned to England, and wished me to make my home with him. And my cousin was quite willing that it should be so.

'You are young, my dear,' she said to me, 'and it is only right for you to mix with young people and see the world. I am getting to prefer being alone, so I shall not miss you.'

It did not take long to settle matters, and I soon left London for my guardian's lovely place in Hertfordshire, feeling both shy and curious at the strange future before me.

But during my stay in London there had been another and perhaps a greater change in my life than this. I had been brought up religiously, had said my prayers night and morning, and had read my Bible regularly once a day, but with these outward forms my religion ceased.

I suppose all my thoughts were in the world and of the world. I had been a favourite with my school-fellows, who assured me I had more than my fair share of beauty, and with all the ignorance and inexperience of girlhood had planned out glowing descriptions of the brilliant offers of marriage I would have, and the delightful times before me. I listened and laughed at them, yet had chafed at the quiet monotony of my cousin's home, and had longed for a break to come in the dull routine of our daily life.

Then one night I had attended some mission services that were held in our church, and for the first time beheld life and death as they are in reality. For several days I was in great distress of mind, and turned with real earnestness to my Bible for guidance and comfort. The light came at last, and I saw how completely Christ had taken my place as a sinner, and how as a little child I must come and claim the pardon that He had died to procure, and was now holding out to me as a free gift....