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to be, not all the vile and abundant evils, lusts, and sins, with all their strength, power, and malignity, with all the vanities, allurements, or opposition of the world; joined with all the wrath, malice, temptations, or opposition of the devil, shall ever put out this little spark, or smother or root out of the heart of a poor sinner this word of God; for it is of heavenly extraction—it is the sinless seed of God-it is the incorruptible seed, the word of God, that liveth and abideth for ever.
E. P. D.
THE TRIUMPH OF TRUTH. WHEREFORE do we find that the religious instruction communicated to children is based, generally speaking, on Arminianism? Is it because Arminianism, being suited to human nature, finds a readier reception in the heart of the child? Is it from the theoretical or experimental Arminianism lurking in the teacher, which makes him hesitate to trust God with his own truth? or does it proceed from false views of the nature and character of true religion? The religion of God communicated to the soul, is a supernatural act upon the heart and affections, in which the purposes of God, and not the powers of the disciple, are concerned ; and the same almighty energy is alike displayed in the impartation of this principle to the mature or infant mind; natural capacity having nothing to do with the saving reception of divine truth; for the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God. Fallen man possesses no faculty that can grasp God's religion, hence the need of that total change spoken of in the word of God-“Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God;" which change consists in the impartation of a new nature, and not the amendment of the old man, which is essentially and unalterably corrupt. The subjects of this new nature are chosen by divine purpose (Jer. i. 5); the principle is imparted in time according to divine promise (Isa. xliv. 13); and maintained to all eternity by divine power (1 Peter, i. 5). It is not the work of the teacher to sow the seed in the heart, for “ he that soweth the seed is the Son of Man;" but the work of the teacher of babes, like the work of the ministry, is to set forth the nature, character, excellency, and effects of the seed from experimental acquaintance ; the origin of it, in God's eternal, irrespective will; the persons for whom it is intended-God's elect; the storehouse where it is kept-Christ Jesus; and the bountiful Distributor-the Holy Ghost. Our Lord says, “ Freely ye have received, freely give;" but instead of the Lord's people observing this injunction, they attempt to impart a religion which contradicts their own experience. Thus, in our Sabbath schools, God's religion is shaped into Arminianism, in order to adapt it to the comprehension and natural mind of the child, which the Spirit declares is enmity against God; avd these infant gatherings, instead of being used for the purpose of scattering the seed of the truth, by which God's elect shall be discovered, are turned into plots for the cultivation of Arminianism, and they are taught a religion which the Lord must cut up root and branch, should it be his purpose to pluck them as “brands from the burning."
In the winter of 18–, I became acquainted with a family in a respectable walk of life, and after visiting them for some time I was led to notice the second eldest child, a boy about three years and a half old, from the following circumstance. Seeing a little book in my hand one day, he made a movement for me to give it him; on inquiry I found he could read a little, and as his parents were utterly regardless of even the forms of religion, it struck me that I might take advantage of instructing the child, in order to
set divine truth before the parents. The next week I took the child a catechism, which contained as small a portion of the common run of little children's divinity as I could procure. I found him in the uttermost ignorance of religion, as I expected from his years and situation ; but being powerfully impressed with the belief that the reception of God's religion is through a miraculous work upon the soul, whether of an adult or of a child, I considered him merely as a sinner before whom God, in his providence, permitted me to lay open his truth simply; which I endeavoured to do as to words, but in all its mystery as to matter; regardless of the Arminian opposition it excited in the child's mind, which some might have termed artless inquiries, but which I viewed as intuitive enmity to God's truth. I set forth God's eternal love as displayed in the person of Christ, his life, his sufferings, nis death; and that for his own people chosen from among men ; his work in them through the Spirit, by which they loved him and hated sin ; their eternal perfection and preservation in him, and final glorification. After some time I began to discern much feeling in the child about spiritual things; tears were often in his eyes while I talked to him of the love of Jesus for his precious lambs ; and on one occasion he was quite overcome with emotion, and in his infantine accents he said, “Oh! I do so wish I was one of Jesus' little lambs.” From this time he began to watch for my visits with eagerness, and manifested great desire to repeat his hymns to his mother, and talk to her of the little he learned from me. His infant brother dying about this time, he showed much anxiety as to his state, and being told that baby was gone to heaven, he said, “I should not mind to die if I were to go there." During this period he would often say to me, “I am a naughty little boy; I have a very wicked heart; do you think Jesus will love me?” I began to hope that the work was commenced in him, but knowing how often children put forth a false blossom of early piety, which is nothing but practical Arminianism, as riper years discover, I was fearful of being too sanguine as to the result.
I had occasion to leave the neighbourhood for some months, and during my absence I received a letter which informed me of his death. In the midst of health and strength he was seized with inflammation on the chest, which carried him off in four days. His end was most blessed, he seemed absorbed in the love of God, his fears were all gone, and a full assurance, grounded upon the truth of God, refreshed his soul. During his illness, his mother weeping over him said, “If you die, what will become of all the hymns you have learnt?” “Sing thein with Jesus, for ever and ever.” On another occasion he said, “I am not afraid to die now; I don't care for being shut up like baby in a coffin and put in the ground ; Jesus loves me and I shall live with him." While he had voice he repeated in a singing tone his hymns, and seemed quite regardless of his bodily sufferings. Shortly before he died his eldest sister said to him, “Whom do you love best, Charles ?" expecting he would decide between his mother and his father. He replied, with promptitude and animation, " Jesus Christ.” She then said, “ Well, whom next?” He answered with deep solemnity of voice and look, “ Gov.” As every member of his family was then, and still is, dead in trespasses and sins, I could not get a more regular account of his last days than these few fragments, which I have gathered by way of encouragement to godly parents and teachers, to trust God with his own truth, the setting forth of which will refresh and confirm their own souls, while it accomplishes God's purposes and finds out his elect, according to divine promise-" Thy children (the seed of the Holy One and the Just) shall be taught of the Lord, and great shall be the peace of thy children.”
Camberwell, Feb. 4th, 1842.
OBITUARIES. (Reader, are the doctrines of sovereignty and grace favourite doctrines with thee ?
Dost thou love to see God exalted and man abased—the glory of Omnipotent Power set forth in opposition to the weakness of the creature? If so, thou wilt bear with us; nay, thou wilt be an attentive reader while we bring before thee an account, with which we have been favoured, of the dying experience of one that has been lately removed to glory. Wouldst thou have a confirmation of the apostle's language, or rather the Holy Ghost by the apostle-"God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty'—thou hast it in the instance before us; since the subject to whom it relates was from childhood regarded as imbecile; and, consequently, though in respectable life, was never taught to read. She was supposed to have no capacity for learning, or for retaining anything that she heard, and was consequently treated with the utmost simplicity, as if a child, though a woman in advanced years. One remarkable feature was, the pleasure with which she listened to the word of God. From all we can learn this was the only book that seemed to awaken any interest; to this she appeared ever willing to attend ; and often would she invite, and gratefully receive, the attentions of a little relative of the writer, who used occasionally to read to her. This, coupled with her regularity at the house of God, was regarded by her neighbours as singularly striking. . And surely her subsequent history will prove that hers was a special instance of the sovereign dealings of Him who giveth no account of any of his matters. One would imagine that, if the pride of the heart did not oppose the reception of the case we are about to cite, the fallacious ideas of a self.cultivated intellectual religion must give way, and its advocates retire into the shade till they were better taught-till they were more savingly instructed in a knowledge of the freeness and the fulness of God's discriminating grace. With what we are about to bring forward doubtless many will find fault, and seek out sources of objection here and there, as if with the endeavour to overthrow the wbole. Bat with this we have nought to do. We give the account as it was forwarded, unsolicited, to us, vouching for its correctness; we deliver the message thus entrusted to us, leaving the results to the Lord. If the Church be edified -if any of the feelingly-ignorant, short-sighted, feeble-minded, sensibly. deficient ones of the Lord's family be comforted, it will amply repay us for every opposing voice and every unkind remark to which we may be subjected.-ED.]
N- B--, daughter of Capt. B-, was from infancy weakly constituted, both in body and in mind ; so much so, that she was unable to learn to read. Her first impressions were made on going to hear a lady preach in the village where she lived. She had been urged repeatedly to go to hear her, but she always made answer, that she was afraid she should become melancholy and not able to take her pleasure. At last she was prevailed on to go, and she has often said since, that she went into the place one person and came out another : from that time she never willingly lost an opportunity of going.
For many years she was much afflicted, yet during her greatest trials she was never heard to murmur, but would often exclaim, “I am sure God Almighty afflicts me to make me think more of himself and less of the world.” She knew nothing of the wisdom of this world. Her inability to read any book-particularly the Bible-was to her a source of great trouble. For this sacred book she ever manifested a great love ; earnestly desiring it might be read to her ; and when brought for that purpose she would press it to her lips and say, “ Blessed book! this is what I like to hear read.” Whenever a book was brought which she did not like, she always took the first opportunity of hiding it.
On Sunday, the 21st of November, 1841, she was taken unusually ill. The dear creature put her hands together, and with uplifted eyes (such as I shall never forget) she most earnestly prayed to her Heavenly Father to look down upon her, and, if about to take her, to forgive her sins. Her whole thoughts and conversation were of heaven and heavenly things. While sitting by the fire, and before she had taken to her bed, she said to me one day, “ I think this affliction will be unto death, for I have been a long time looking for it; and twice or thrice lately, while sitting in my chair, I have seen such great lights shine down upon me, that make me think I shall not be here long.” From having a bad leg she had been confined to the house for some time, which was a great trouble to her, as it prevented her attending a place of worship; and although she could not hear, I do believe that the good Lord made it up to her by filling her heart with joy, for she would come home as delighted as if she had heard. She told me that, as she was deprived of going to chapel, she had often prayed that God Almighty would be pleased to take her to himself; and she prayed to God to give her patience to wait his time, which she felt sure was now come. • Often while lying, or rather sitting, on her bed-for her breath was so bad she could not lie down-would she put up her hands in gratitude and thank. fulness to her God for his mercy in not catching her off suddenly, but gave her time to thank him more for all his goodness to her. She said one day to me, “How much good you do me, talking to me about my blessed Saviour, you fill my heart with joy." I said, “ My dear, if I have been enabled to give you a minute's happiness, I am truly thankful, for it must have been the Lord that put the word of comfort into my mind to speak to you.” “() yes," she said, “ it must indeed, for we cannot think a good thought of ourselves ; you know, we must be born again." I said, “ Yes, but not as at first from our parents." “Oh no," she replied, “ I understand the new birth; it is through the Holy Spirit, my precious Jesus dying and shedding his blood ;" she then quoted the poet, and said,
“Yes, he did for sinners die,' and he surely died for me;" then with uplifted hands, though so feeble she bad hardly power to hold them together, and with eyes directed to her Saviour, she said, “ He has blotted out my sins, and I feel so happy I believe he will take me." She continued, “What a poor wicked sinner I am !" putting her hand to her heart, “Something here tells me that my blessed God has forgiven me.” One evening being more sorrowful than I had seen her before or after, she called me to her bedside and said, “ You do not think that God Almighty will turn me out of heaven after all, do you po. “No, my dear,” I said, “I am sure he will not; for your dependence has been on Jesus, and him only, not on any of your own performances.” “Oh no, the blood of Jesus can save me, and to him I am looking." I said, “Do you feel afraid that he will forsake you?” She replied, “ I feel sometimes that I have been such a great sinner that I have been in doubt;" and, suiting the action to the words, she said, " It is Satan that makes me think so-get thee behind me, Satan, I will have nothing to do with you ;" and from that time I believe there was not a wave of trouble allowed to cross her breast.
Before taking to her bed, she expressed a wish that some friend would come in and talk to her of the best things. I sent for a kind neighbour, who poured into her believing heart the joy and hope of ere long enjoying for ever Him whom on earth she loved. On one occasion, with a faltering voice, she sang,
“Often I seek my Lord by night;" and many passages of Scripture and hymns she would be continually repeating. On being taken worse one night she wished to see me, and going to her bedside she said, “I am wrong to disturb you, but I think I am dying, and I wanted to shake hands with you, and to ask my blessed Jesus to bless you.” My feelings at that time cannot be described. Her gratitude and thankfulness to me for my poor services to her, were unbounded; often she thanked her blessed God for his kindness in placing her (as she expressed herself) in such kind and good bands. Indeed, a day never passed without her returning thanks for the mercies she received at his hands; and she bore her severest pains without a murmuring word. I often remarked to her how much pleasure it gave me to
see her so patient. She would reply, “I have always prayed that, when God Almighty was pleased to bring me upon a sick-bed, I should be able to bear my affliction patiently; and I hope I have not been impatient, for I know that would be wicked; I must bear whatever the Almighty is pleased to put upon me.” All her concern was to be with her precious Jesus. At one time she said to a kind friend who was just leaving her room, “I am like poor pilgrim in the river, but heaven's gates are open to receive me." Speaking to her respecting some little affairs of her own, she said, “These things never enter my head now, I want to think of nothing but Christ.”
At one time speaking of her mother, she asked me if I thought we should know each other in heaven. I said I thought we should, but not in a sinful state like we are now. “Oh no," she replied, “ it would not be heaven to carry sin there; it is all glory there.” Whenever led to doubt a little, she would refer to a dream ; her manner of relating it was very impressive, as at the time her body and soul appeared convulsed. “I dreamed,” she said, “that God Almighty called me to an account for my sins, and asked me how I could expect to go to heaven, seeing I had been so great a sinner?” She said she was very sorry, and hoped he would forgive her. With that, she thought the Almighty brought a large book, in which were written the sins of the whole world. In this book she saw all the sins she had ever committed ; but though she could distinctly read her own sins, she could not read those of other persons. At the multitude of her transgressions, hope died within her, and she felt she could not expect forgiveness; but the possibility of being shut out of heaven distressed her to an agony, and crying bitterly, she awoke. This brought her no relief; she prayed and wept till she went to sleep again, when the Almighty came a second time, and brought the book to her, but it now appeared a blank; all her sins were blotted out, and God told her that he freely forgave ber. The comfort arising from this dream was never erased from her mind.
At another time she dreamt that she had to cross a river to get to heaven ; but she did not fear it, as she saw two angels on the opposite side waiting to receive her. When she had passed over, the angels were gone, and she could not tell how she should reach the heavenly city. She endeavoured to get up on a wall which was near her, thinking by that means to see some of the glory of the place; but after getting there she found herself in complete darkness, so that she could see nothing. She then attempted to descend from the wall but she found it impracticable; seeing two men pass she called to them for assistance, but they refused: another man passed, and hearing her cry, he called to the two men who had gone before, and asked them why they did not help the poor creature down. However, he also went his way without assisting her. She now began to ask in her mind what she should do-she prayed earnestly to God-he heard her prayer-he came, took her down, and opened to her the gates of heaven. The glory of the place she could not describe.
At another time she dreamt she was out walking, when she met with two individuals ; one of them said to her, “You are always thinking of religion ; do not think of it any more, it will only make you melancholy; come along with me and I will give you plenty of pleasure, and make you so comfortable that you will never be in trouble again.” She thought it would be a good thing to be made so happy; but on looking at the speaker she saw the cloven foot. The other person she discovered to be the Saviour, and he gave her a look which much terrified her, because she knew she had been listening to Satan, though she did it ignorantly. She flew to her Lord and Master ; but just as she came to Jesus, Satan caught hold of her in order to secure her for himself. Jesus, however, commanded Satan to let her go, as she was one of his own flock. With that she awoke, grasping the bed clothes with all her strength, and said, “My Jesus conquered, and I know be will save me."
Another correspondent writes_“ I called on her and was much struck with her answers, and the rich experience she possessed in divine things; her lan. guage so affected me that I could not refrain from weeping tears of pleasure. There was such a Stephen-like glow of light on her countenance, and she repeated such beautiful lines that I never heard before, and how she learnt them no