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of sensible enjoyment therein, leaving our hearts icebound, and our affections estranged from the Lord. Oh, but you should shake yourself of such feelings, says the teaching of the present day. Would that we could, but we find we can no more shake off such feelings than we could create a world.
And now, in conclusion, beloved, we do feel that while we have been writing, we have been fighting. If we began with temptation, we must finish with triumph, for temptations, after all, are not the inner workDeity surrounds the child of God. To them Satan is but a crushed power with chained limbs. The lion may roar, but he is chained.
If then there is any fellow-pilgrim reading our words, who is cast down in the valley of temptation with us, we would say, " Brother, be of good cheer!" Whatever we have to pass through, we need not wish to change lots with the light-hearted, for the days of our darkness” it is true may be many, but who can count the days of lightness and gladness in store for us? Cheer up then, brother!
We are poor sapless creatures without the quickening influence of the Holy Ghost. This, then, must be the burden of our cry at this season, for ourselves and for you (if you, like us, are “in heaviness through manifold temptations":"Ò Lord, revive Thine own work! O Lord, restore unto us the joy of Thy salvation ; forsake us not, for we are frail : keep us near Thyself, for
«• Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Seal it from Thy courts above.'
Repentance is that change in a man's judgment concerning sin, which produces a change in the affections, in short, of the whole man.
The voice of God may be heard in every judgment of His hand.
Those who are the most penitent are most apt to suspect having over repented.
There is much sorrow done by confounding sorrow for sin with repentance.
Afflictions are more frequently sent to the Lord's people for their profit, than to His enemies for their punishment.
There is no wrath in the cup of affliction which God's elect people are called to drink.
The moral law has no more to do with the justification of a sinner than the
Pope of Rome has.
Woe unto them that will bear their own burdens in that day when the Lord shall arise to judgment.
We should individually pray that our assemblies may be feasts of Pentecost.
A soul unhumbled for sin is under the dominion of the prince of darkness.
Sin is of that heinous nature that it has moved the Majesty of heaven out of His place.
RECOLLECTIONS OF PAST MERCIES. I HAVE reason to believe that upwards of twenty years ago, the sovereign mercy of the Lord arrested my soul. I had previously been accustomed to read God's holy word, to attend a Sunday-school, and to hear the Scriptures read and prayer offered to God by my father at home, usually every night and morning. It was my father's custom to have his children together twice a-day, if possible, for the reading of the word of life and prayer. The children that could read generally had a Bible or Testament in their hands, and joined in reading verse by verse. Between reading the Scriptures my father would often give out a hymn and sing it, all who could uniting with him. We were nine of us in family, seven sons and two daughters. Often while father was praying at night before going to bed, I have gone to sleep, and sometimes two or three of us boys would be fast asleep while my poor father was crying to God in our behalf. This used to vex him very much. He would frequently take two or more of us to a prayer meeting, and this was many times contrary to my will. When at some of the prayer meetings where my father took me, my mind was at times much affected, my heart ready to break, and I would come to the resolution to be a better boy. This went so far at one time as to lead me to kneel in a secret place, and try to pray to God. However, my resolutions soon wore away, and I got with other lads, and went with them into the paths of sin. Yet still there used to be a fear and dread upon my mind about the judgment-day, and a conviction that if it came while I was in the state I then was, my soul would be lost. Many times while out of a moonlight night, I havo watched the clouds which have come over the moon, fearing it was an indication that the day of judgment was coming, and I not ready for it; and as soon as the clouds passed away, and the moon shone brightly again, it seemed like a cloud taken off my mind, feeling so much relieved from the fear and dread of the day of judgment.
When a very little boy, I remember having my mind so affected with thoughts about heaven, that I went and put my ear to the wall adjoining the house where I lived, to listen, as I thought, if I could hear the music of heaven. Another time, when from home an hour or two with other children, I suddenly felt resolved to be a better boy, and at once went home and told my dear mother so.
Soon after I was able to run about, I went near a man who was cutting the stem of a tree with a hatchet; I went too near the man, and he struck me with the hatchet in the forehead, making a fearful gash. It, however, healed up, but the mark continues to this day. On another occasion while holding one end of a stick, and my eldest brother the other, he let go his end, and I fell against a wall, the back part of my head coming in contact with a sharp stone projecting out from the wall. It broke my skull. I put my finger to my head, and felt the blood bubbling up, which alarmed me not a little. I sometimes, even now, feel the effects of this; the part at times feeling very tender. What with one thing and another occurring, I have but a poor head. However, I don't mind this much, when I feel the rich grace of God reigning in my heart.
In the midst of all a merciful Providence watched over me. Bless the Lord's dear name for it. Another time, when a big boy, after leaving chapel on a Sabbath afternoon, instead of going home by the right way, I ran across a field with other boys, where there was a deep stone quarry without any fence around it. Not knowing or thinking anything of the danger I was running into, I kept running till I got close to the edge of the quarry. I was stopped in an instant. As I stood and looked down into the deep quarry, I shall never forget the kind of feeling of awe I had just then, of the narrow escape I had of losing my life, and also of the remarkable way in which I was stopped. I cannot but think that there was something miraculous in the Lord's so suddenly preventing me from falling headlong into the quarry. I feel thankful to Him for His kind preserving mercy which was then exercised on my behalf.
While at the Sunday-school, I learned the Gospel by John, and had given me as a reward for learning it, a small book called “Pike's Early Piety." I kept it for a long time without paying much attention to reading it. For several years, I worked as a servant in a hat factory, getting six shillings a week. After leaving this place, I went to a situation in Bristol, getting ten shillings weekly ; here I stayed nearly twelve months. I then returned home, and my father put me apprentice to the hatting trade. I went to it, but was not to have any wages the first year. This was rather mortifying to my pride, as I had been getting ten shillings a week before going to learn the felt hat business. However, my master was a kind man, and would sometimes put a half-crown into my hand, which I usually gave my mother. While at this trade I was led to form an acquaintance with a young man about my own age, whose father kept a beerhouse. We were often together after our day's work was over, and would go some evenings into a chapel, or prayer meeting, not out of any love to such places or to God's worship, but just to pass away the time, and see who were there. I well recollect at one of these meetings, hearing an elderly man praying so much about the Holy Spirit, using His holy name so often in his prayer as to make me feel as though I was in the presence of God, yet after the services I could go away and laugh and trifle. One night, however, we both went to a place of worship, and heard a man preach about the parable of the prodigal son. I paid attention to what the preacher said. After the preaching was over, some men engaged in prayer, and while this was going on, an arrow was directed by the hand of God the Holy Ghost into my conscience; I fell on my knees, and begged of God to have mercy on my precious soul, as I felt I was a great sinner. My companion was brought also at the same time to cry for mercy. While I was begging the Lord to have mercy upon me, my dear father, who was in another part of the chapel-hearing what was new to him, a son crying for mercy- came where I was, Seeing me in such a state and place, he was overcome and, kneeling down, blessed and praised the Lord for what He had done for his child. Bless God that I ever had a praying father and a praying mother. Several present sung, and praised the Lord, but my time for singing was not yet come. With me it was a “time to weep.” After the service, I went home with my father; mother was waiting for us; she asked me if I would have supper, but I refused, as I had such a supper as I never had before. Oh, how many things passed and repassed my mind during that night! I rose next morning, and went to work with my mind filled with deep concern about the salvation of my soul. I now began to keep company with those whom I thought to be Christian people, and some of them were forward in telling me what to do in order to get peace of mind, and liberty from my bondage, and also the assurance I was saved. They used to tell me to believe that I was saved, to have faith, to exercise faith, and cry more earnestly. In simplicity and sincerity, I used to try and do what these people advised me, thinking they knew better than I did about such things. I hoped by taking their counsel, I should get to feel what I wanted to feel, namely, deliverance from a guilty conscience, and a testimony from the Lord that my sins were all forgiven. It was laid on my mind to read God's holy word, to meditate on it, and to cry to the Lord in secret. In order to be alone, I would go after the day's work was over, into the fields, and there try and pour out my complaint before the Lord, begging Him to have mercy on my soul, to pardon my sins, and give me to feel saved.
This continued some time before I had a full deliverance, although occasional helps and hopes were granted me that the Lord would appear, and grant me the desire of my heart. My outward conduct was changed, for I could not go to those places, nor yet do those things I previously did. Sin was a grievous burden to me, and I groaned to be delivered from its guilt and bondage. One evening I was out alone in the fields, crying and praying to the Lord to satisfy my mind in giving me to feel my sins were pardoned, and at the same time during the same evening I read the little book I had given me at the Sunday-school for learning the Gospel of John, called “ Pike's Early Piety." While walking in a field, going towards home, feeling almost ready to give up all, having no real satisfaction of soul that I was the Lord's child, still begging Him to appear for me, just at this time-oh, what a time in my history !-the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to me. I was stopped from walking in an instant. He stood before me a yard or two for a short time, during which all my fears, guilt, and bondage, and sins, were all most blessedly and sensibly taken away. Oh, what a time of refreshing! What a time of love! It was heaven on earth to my soul while it lasted. I looked around the field, and thought and felt if it had been full of people, I could there and then have told them all what the dear Saviour had done for my soul. I felt no shame on this head then, nor fear of man. I shall never forget that blessed soul-delivering, sin-forgiving appearance of the Lord Jesus to my poor soul; neither do I want to forget it. Although more than twenty years have passed away since then, I feel my heart soften, and my soul's affections drawn out in love and praise to the dear Lord for what He then and there did for my precious soul.
After the Saviour withdrew Himself I moved from the place where I was so riveted-a sacred spot to me-to a gate just by, and while leaning
on it, pondering over what I had felt and seen, Satan came, and tempted - me to believe it was all a delusion. However, by the grace of God, he
did not succeed in inducing me to credit his falsehood. Many times since then, when I have been assailed with temptations from the enemy respecting the reality of my religion, I have in my mind taken Satan, as it were, to the very spot where the Lord Jesus appeared to me, and have asked him if he meant to say that the Lord did not do something for me there and at that time? Bless God, I know there is a Saviour—that He has manifested Himself to me, and done those things for me and in me which makes me feel certain He is “the mighty God." For I am persuaded none but “the Almighty" could have taken from my soul such darkness and given me such light, “marvellous light”-taken from me such
bondage and given me such glorious liberty-taken me from such a sense of guilt and given me such a blessed sense of pardoning mercy—but the Almighty Saviour. Thou holy and blessed Jesus! Thou dear Lamb of God! Thou loving, kind, and gracious Redeemer! I thank, praise, laud, and magnify Thy precious and worthy name, for Thy love and grace to my soul, in so freely and fully saving me from my sins. Ah, “Thou hast done it !” Oh for ability to “ declare Thy doings among the people!” For some time after my deliverance I was so favoured of the Lord in secret as to feel obliged to stop praying for anything more, feeling my soul was so full. On these blessed occasions I have felt such a nearness and intimacy with the blessed Lord as to make me feel a fear of leaving the place where I was, lest I should lose the heavenly savour of His gracious presence by what I might see or hear. Ah, little did I know then of the desperate wickedness of my heart! Oh for one of those former love-visits to my soul !
This summer I visited the field where the dear Saviour appeared to me, and tried to stand as near as I could remember, on the very spot where, more than twenty years ago, the Lord pardoned my sins. My mind went back to the time with, I hope, some gratitude to the Lord for His preserving mercy over me during twenty years in the wilderness ; but for the life of me, I could not get back to my soul the same feelings of love, joy, and peace, I had “when first I saw and knew the Lord.” There is a reality in Christ's holy and heavenly religion. Not long after my deliverance, the trade failed which I was put to learn. I was out of employment a week or two. It was a great trial to me to be out of work, for I was now about eighteen years of age, and my parents were poor. It was at this time laid on my mind to ask the Lord in secret, to be pleased to open a way for me whereby I might have a suitable situation, and get an honest living. This went on a few days, and no answer came. Not long, however, after this, a gentleman kindly spoke to my father about a place at Kingswood Hill, where a gentleman was in need of an in-door servant. Next day, father took me there to see the gentleman. He took me into his service, and I remained with him about six years.
When I went to my new place, I was accompanied on the road there by my companion, the young man who was led to cry for mercy the same night as I was. Poor young man, I have never seen him since. At my new situation, I found there were ten female servants and one gardener, who was as a father to me. I had many temptations. On the premises, there was a cellar where potatoes and flour barrels were kept. Into this place, I was often led to pour out my cries to the Lord, for grace to preserve me from sin. Oh, how greatly blessed has my soul been down in that cellar among the potatoes and flour barrels! I felt there, on some occasions, as though the place was full of God, and sometimes it seemed as if the Lord's holy angels were there. I have had, indeed, good company in that cellar. By and by, it began to be suspected that I went into the cellar to pray, and, after I knew this, I did not feel so much at home there as before. My master came one morning just after breakfast, and called me, and before I could go to him, he said, “I dare say he is in the cellar praying." This is what one of my fellow-servants heard him say. Tetbury.
F. F. Those Christians who are brought down by Satan's sifting can only be raised by the Saviour's gracious lifting.