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character at supper, casting his eyes upon me, cried out, You are very quiet, sir, and seem to take pleasure in listening to the opinions of every one of us, without, however, letting us know your own. To tell you the truth,' I replied, I have been for some time in doubt whether I ought to state mine, for it is altogether so much at variance with yours, and that of every one else, that I can scarcely think it would be pleasant for you to hear it.' At these words, the general attention was directed towards me, and all seemed to say, Here is a strange person, truly!' Still I thought it best to continue silent, and to play my part of a looker on, as before. The person, however, who had singled me out, and, in fact, all the others, were so pressing to hear what I had to say, that at length I consented, under the condition of being permitted to speak out my whole mind without any one taking offence at it. This was agreed to on all sides. After profound silence, which lasted for several minutes, during which I lifted up my heart to God, humbly entreating him to strengthen and assist me at a moment when I felt all my weakness and incapacity in their fullest extent, I then drew forth my New Testament from my pocket, and, after a few words by way of introduction, read the second chapter of the First of Corinthians with the deepest seriousness. I was listened to with surprising attention; and the very people who, a moment before, appeared to be under the sway of an infernal spirit, now seemed by degrees to return to their right mind as I continued reading. I read the same chapter a second time, and still more slowly than at first, accompanying each verse with such an exposition as I was able to give, and which even astonished myself; for I felt that it was not I that spoke, but that the Lord himself was pleased to put into my mouth the words which I was to declare. All around me seemed struck with surprise, and no one ventured to ask me, Who art thou?' I dwelt at some length on the 14th verse, making a direct application of it to themselves, and endeavouring to set before them the gross impiety of their conversation, the danger which they incurred, and the fearful state in which those are who live in rebellion towards God. While I was discoursing on these topics, with all the energy which I was master of, the storm which was heard without seemed to increase in violence, and a loud clap of thunder shook the whole house. feeling of solemnity seemed to pervade all around. Even the man of importance, as well as his admirers, suddenly turned pale, and united in begging me to continue my reading. I was next overwhelmed with questions respecting the Bible-not mere captious or frivolous questions, but questions induced by an undeniable interest in the matter-so that the conversation was continued till deep in the night. In fact, I know not how long it might have been carried on, had I not felt myself compelled to put an end to it, being almost overcome with the fatigues of a long journey.
"The thought of foolishness is sin." -PROV. xxiv. 9.
Arm my weakness with thy power—
What a mass of vanity should we find in our minds, if we could bring our thoughts in the space of one day, yea, but one hour, to an account! How many foolish thoughts with our wisdom, ignorant with our knowledge, worldly with our heavenliness, hypocritical with our religion, and proud with our humiliation! Our hearts would be like a grot, furnished with monstrous and ridiculous pictures; or, as the wall in Ezekiel's vision, "portrayed" with "every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts," a greater abomination than "the image of jealousy at the outward gate of the altar."Charnock.
Thy sins be forgiven thee."-
Here is my hope, my joy, my rest;
We have been great sinners, but we have a great Redeemer, able to save to the uttermost all that come to God by him, and have called him by that name of his which is as ointment poured forth-"The Lord our Righteousness." Our sins have
reached to the heavens, but we have seen God's mercy in Christ reaching beyond the heavens. We have been wretchedly defiled in our own ways, but we have seen not only a laver, but a fountain opened for the house of David to wash in; and have been assured that the blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin, even that which, for the heinousness of its nature, and the multitude of its aggravations, hath been as scarlet and crimson.-Henry.
"We have boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus." HEB. X. 19.
Bold shall I stand in that great day;
The death of Christ hath removed and rent away all obstacles and obstructions that might interpose betwixt believers and the blessedness of glory. The rivers lead to the sea; the stream of Christ's blood, if thou beest embarked by faith, runs directly into the ocean of endless, boundless, bottomless happiness. If thou hast opened the door of thine heart to let Christ in, the blood of Christ hath opened and unlocked the door of heaven, and thou canst not be shut out. A crucified Christ entertained, will one day make glorified believers: his humiliation is the ready road both to his and his people's exaltation. Meriton.
"We are debtors."-ROM. viii. 12. Poor debtors, consider how ye may
A full acquittance now receive! And criminals, with pardon blest,
May at the Judge's instance live!
Take an account of your debts to God, as all prudent tradesmen do of their debts to those with whom they deal. Think how many the particulars are, how great the sum total is, and what circumstances have enhanced the debt, and run it up to a great height-how exceeding sinful your sins have been-how exceeding hateful to God and hurtful to yourselves. Put that question to yourselves which the unjust steward put to his lord's debtors: "How much owest thou unto my lord?" and tell the truth as they did for themselves; and do not think to impose upon God, by making the matter better than it is, as the steward did for them, writing fifty for a hundred.(Luke xvi. 5, 6.)-Henry.
FOSTER, PRINTER, KIRKBY LONSDALE.
(Concluded from our last.)
It was Molly Gay's constant habit to trace up every little act of kindness which she received, to the Lord as its giver. "Every good gift," she used to say, "and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." I well remember that when I had once occasion to remark, that one of our farmers, who happened at that time to be the guardian of the poor, was more rough in manner than unkind in heart
is a rough
"It is remarkable," she replied, "that none of the parish officers with whom I had to do have ever spoken unkindly to me. Others say that Farmer hard man; but he was always civil to me. turned the hearts of all to be kind to me. an unkind word from any overseer in my life."
God has I never had
Thus had God smoothed the way of his servant, and made it plain before her face; and as she was full of thankfulness for, the past, so she was full of confidence for the future, that she should never be left or forsaken. She had no store laid by for the future but that contained in the storehouse of the promises of her God; but she did not even appear to wish for anything besides.
When I next called, she seemed weaker than usual, and after I had sat down, she said, "Sir, I am sinking fast; going home! O for more love! I want to love my Saviour more. I find my heart full of sin."
She then spoke of the text of the sermon which had been preached last Sunday morning, which had as usual been told her by Mrs. Ge. No man having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." (Luke ix. 62.) (Luke ix. 62.) "I hope," she said, "the sermon may do good; we must be faithful unto death if we would have the crown of life. I thought, sir,
of- when I heard the text; she used very often to come and see me and my neighbours, and to read to us, and she was, I believe, very constant at the Lord's table; but I have not seen her for a long time, and I am told she is gone back into the world again. Oh may she listen to the words of that text before it is too late!"
It was very seldom that Molly Gay spoke of any text or sermon as suited to others. It was for herself that she read the Scriptures and heard them explained; she did not, when the sinner was rebuked, consider how well some neighbour deserved it, and express a hope that he would profit by it, nor did she, when she read some of those awful threatenings against the disobedient sinner, with which the Word of God abounds, think how heavily they would fall on some acquaintance; she applied everything home to herself, considering it as a word sent to her by God, and more suited to her than to any one besides. I cannot remember any other instance than this which I have just mentioned of Molly Gay's expressing a hope that a sermon would do good to others; for it was her desire and habit to consider the sermon as a message from heaven to her own soul, and the minister of Christ who delivered it merely as the messenger or postman, the bearer of the Lord's messages or letters to her she thus desired the sincere milk of the word that she might grow thereby. It would be well if every class and every member in our congregations would forget all those around, and pray and hear for himself alone. If the rich would not consider how useful such a discourse ought to be to the poor, and the poor would not think how fitted such exhortations are to the rich, but would each rather value it because it is applicable to their own case; but Molly Gay's heart to-day seemed absorbed in the case of this poor, and she exclaimed, "She can't be happy!"
I turned the conversation, as I did not like to encourage even so old and experienced a Christian as my aged friend in talking of the faults of others.
As I rose to go, she caught my hand, and said with earnestness, "Oh, my dear sir, do not forget me in your prayers !"
"No," I replied, "I will not; and remember for your comfort that your Saviour ever liveth to make intercession for you, and pray yourself that you may not in your last hour, for any pains of death, fall away from him. You must expect trials; but then you know that is through much tribulation that we are to enter into the kingdom of God. Strive for more holiness. Consider the cross of Christ; if that cross moved heaven, surely it has power enough to move the earth. Now we know that the cross of Jesus Christ has moved heaven, for it has moved God to be reconciled to man; let it then move us to love and serve our God."
It was on the 20th of February, 1843, that I again visited Molly Gay; the day was cold and chilly, the snow lying deep in drifts upon the ground. When I knocked gently at her door, and she opened it as usual, I observed that the poor old widow did not at once know me, and appeared almost to tremble at me as if I were a stranger; but as soon as I spoke, the smile as usual welcomed my arrival, and the ready chair was placed for me to sit down. Seeing how very weak the poor old woman was, I expressed a hope that her niece Debby, as she used to call her, helped her to make her fire in the morning.
"Oh! my dear sir," she replied, "she would gladly do so, but I will not let her; I like to muddle for myself as long as I can, and when I can't, then God's will must be done, and I hope he will give me grace to bear it patiently."
"It is a great blessing, Molly," I said, "to have our health and strength to the last; but this book" (laying my hand upon her large Bible lying open upon her table) can comfort us, come what may.'
Yes, it can," she answered.
the Bible the king of books.'
"I find it so. I call
It was about this time that old Farmer Weeks passed one day along the road, and poor old Molly was standing leaning upon her hatch enjoying the fresh air. Some new stones had just been laid on the road opposite her little garden, and she complained of their roughness.