Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

the goodness of God, which had filled him pressed me to go, but I could not leave my with peace of mind, and made him feel children. perfectly satisfied with the Lord's dealings The Lord, as he removes one friend raises with him. I said, Since our heavenly up others. The two European ladies resi. father has exercised us with so many trials dent at this station are exceedingly kind I have felt much pleasure in thinking upon to me. Major and Mrs Dickson take quite his infinite wisdom, and feel a desire to an interest in our school and the native possess such a frame of mind as will enable christians. I received intelligence yester. me to say and feel with Mr. Newton, day, that it was more than probable my “ What Thou wilt, and how Thou wilt, and friends, Mr. and Mrs. Stubbins, will be when Thou wilt.” Yes, he replied, the in. obliged to go to England before they return finite wisdom of God and his boundless to Berhampore. It is painful news, but I love are always a consolation to my mind. dare not murmur; I ought to feel thankful About two o'clock in the morning, Mr. that I have been favoured so long with their Grant desired me to call Mrs. Grant, whom valuable example and advice. They have we had persuaded to take a little rest in my done everything for my temporal comfort room. I then left my friends, and was glad that can be done. to find in the morning brother G. had slept This morning brother Wilkinson, his a little, and appeared really better. I was wife, and Mrs. Grant, came in. The for. not with him much that day, for beside my mer asked, To whom are you writing! I school duties, I had several notes to write, said, To my dear parents. Tell them, he re. which entirely took up my spare moments. plied, with my love, not to be concerned

On Saturday, Dr. B. observed to Mrs. about you, whilst we have anything you Grant,-Mr. Grant only now wants good shall never want. What our future plans nursing to make him well. How little did will be I am not able to tell you now. I we then think ere the sun set the immortal long to hear from you, and sometimes won. spirit would have taken its leave of mor. der why it is my own dear friends don't tality! About two in the afternoon brother write oftener. I know this is selfish, but I Grant complained of a return of the in. believe it springs from love. I should like flamination pain. We informed the Dr., to write to dear Mrs. Fox and Mrs. J. and he recommended another hot bath. Kirkman had I more time ; remember me Just before brother Grant went into the affectionately to them. Nothing but a be. water he said to Mrs. Grant, Put your lief that it is my duty not to let writing in. trust in the Lord, he is my rock and my terfere with my missionary work could make confidence. Convulsions seized him in the me such a poor correspondent. I hope, how. water, and in less than half an hour after ever, as my knowledge of the language in. he expired. The Dr. was with us. I do creases, and it is less needful for me to study not think he was sensible after he came out to be able to write more. The dear children of the water. The scene was too distressing improve and are affectionate. Their sponfor me to attempt to describe. The Dr. taneous request is that you will send was astonished at the sudden change, and me your likenesses. The hot weather is said the cause of it was a perfect mystery coming, but I am thankful to say my health to him, and if Mrs. Grant would give her and spirits are good. With kind love to all consent, he should like to ascertain the enquiring friends, and especially to my dear natural cause of his death. It was found to brothers and sisters, from whom I long to be an irrupture of the spleen. The ways hear, I remain, your affectionate daughter, of the Lord to us are truly mysterious.

S. DERRY. Oar dear brother was every day becoming more and more prepared for important use.

ADDITIONAL PARTICULARS.- Mr. Wilkinfulness in the best of all causes. Our in. son says, "A few minutes before he breathed fant Church appeared to greatly need his his last, though unable to speak, he seemed pastoral aid, but I am cheered with the to derive great comfort from some remarks thought, “the Lord can and does bring made by Pooroosootum, and on his saying to forth his own glory and his people's good him in Oriya, 'Fear not brother, Christ will out of the darkest and most mysterious not forsake you,' a very marked change came dispensations." I was very happy in the over his countenance; the words appeared society of my dear brother and sister Grant. to act like a charm upon him; the delirium, In every way they were anxious to make from that moment, seemed to leave him, and me comfortable. Dear sister Grant needs he calmly and sweetly sighed his soul away." the sympathy and prayers of all christian Mr. Sutton says, “One lobe of the liver friends. Brother Wilkinson thought, as was reduced to water, and the spleen enlarged Mrs. Wilkinson was so poorly as not to be to thrice its natural size. In all probability able to come here, sister Grant bad better brother G. had one or both diseases before return with him for a short time. He also he left England."

[blocks in formation]

Thou renewest the face of the earth, Psalm civ. 30.” THE season now passing away is interesting. The time of the Spring is one which diffuses joy and pleasure through all animated creation. The Earth, as if waking from a long sleep, puts forth afresh its energies, and life appears in every direction. The fields acquire new verdure—the trees new foliage—and the soil receiving the seed for the future harvest, causes it to germinate, and send forth the tender blade. The external aspect of nature is clothed with various and delightful hues, the charm of the season and the promise of future fruit. Everywhere the eye is enlivened by scenes of beauty; the senses are regaled by odours carried on every breeze; and the ear is charmed by the voice of the songsters of the grove, and of thousands of living beings glad to attest the joy and pleasure the return of the spring communicates unto them.

We are too apt to pass over these interesting changes in the aspect of external nature, without deriving from them those sentiments of gratitude to the great author of all good, and those lessons of obedience and spiritual wisdom they are adapted to impart. We enjoy the change, and forget its author. We delight ourselves in the beauties of a renewed creation, and do not sufficiently recognize the hand that produces them. Hence the tendency to deify nature, or to speak of the works of creation as the works of nature, and to forget that all these delightful changes occur under the direction, control, and agency, of a wise, faithful, and beneficent Creator and governor, who worketh all things according to the counsel of his own will. Whatever

may be the laws of the universe, they were impressed on it by his power and skill, and to him should the ascription be made at this beautiful season, Thou renewest the face of the earth.”

In the consideration of this subject, we should not be unmindful of the importance of the season, and of the benevolence and fidelity, as well as the power of the Deity, as displayed in its periodical return. He who causeth “ the sun to know his going down,” and appointed the lights of heaven to be for signs and for seasons, and for days and for years, has said “ while the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” And in their regular and VOL. 5.-N. S.

X

periodical return, God bears witness to his own power, fidelity, and beneficence. He may be forgotten by thoughtless and ungrateful man, but this

, instead of diminishing the value of his gifts, “who daily loadeth us with benefits,” in reality increases them, and exhibits him as “ kind to the unthankful and the evil.” Should he interrupt this order in any respect, should be withhold the spring time, and perpetuate the winter, a circumstance which the ingratitude and atheism of men might fully justify; how soon would desolation and dismay overspread the earth ! What terror would seize all ranks and orders of men ! But God is good, and though men forget or deny him, “ he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust ;” and for the happiness and well-being of his creatures, “ renews the face of the earth.”

There are lessons too of a spiritual kind which are suggested by this season, some of which may be glanced at in this paper. The strong resemblance that subsists between the works of nature and those of grace, is often recognized in the inspired volume. The operation of divine truth on the heart, the influence of grace, and the results which are secured, are frequently presented to our minds under the beautiful imagery provided by the works of nature. Thus Moses says, Hear, 0 earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain ; my speech shall distill as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass.” So it is foretold of Messiah's reign : “He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass, and as showers that water the earth.” And again, without alluding to the instructive parable of the sower, “ As the rain cometh down and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater; so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth; it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”

In comparing the works of grace with those of nature at this season, when God renews the face of the earth, it is proper for us to notice the state of singular unproductiveness and death, out of which the beauty and life of this season sprung:

A few months ago, and the entire of the external world was covered with apparent death. The trees were bare, and to all appearance dead; their juices were stagnant, and their former foliage gone. The fields presented a barren and desolate appearance ; chilled or petrified by cold, or covered with a garment of snow. All life seemed extinct. But now, those trees are adorned with abundant foliage and with the richest bloom, and those fields with beautiful living and thriving verdure; and it seems almost as if there was a new creation. God has • renewed the face of the earth.” For death there is life, for deformity beauty, and for the dreary aspect of desolation, the cheering presence of light and gladness.

And what was the state of spiritual death and sterility out of which those were brought who are renewed in the spirit of their mind? Was it not once winter with them, and were they not in a spiritual sense, as totally unproductive in all “ the fruits of righteousness” as can well be conceived ? They had no spiritual life. They cherished no thoughts of God, or desires after the enjoyment of his love. They had no inclination to obey or tu honour him. God was not in all their thoughts. They had minds, capacities, and powers ; but these were cold, insensible, and dead in relation to the highest, holiest, and happiest exercises. Until they were touched by the power of God, they were without life. As then, when surveying the interesting and delightful change which external nature has received, we feel bound reverently to acknowledge the hand and agency of Jehovah; so when we trace his " noblest wonders,” it behoves us to recognize the same power. It is God that has quickened us, by his word and spirit.

The reluctance with which the former yielded to the present genial season, suggests another point of legitimate comparison. Reasoning philosophically we might argue that as the ascent of the sun towards the zenith is gradual, the transition of the season from the frigid to the vernal, would be equally gentle and almost imperceptible. Experience, however, is at variance with such a theory. The “ruffian blasts” of winter, as one of our poets calls them, do not so quietly retire. Often, after a succession of several days, or even weeks, of agreeable and, as we are ready to say, seasonable warmth, they will return upon us in all their force, bearing on their bosom storms of chilling sort, cutting us to the quick, and leaving behind them the full resemblance of the rudest winter. And, not unfrequently, when the season is considerably advanced, and we are all ready to apply the language of the song, “Lo the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land,” there yet come such severe visitations as for a time to blight our prospects and blast our hopes.

Does not this resemble the progress of the work of grace, as observed in those around us, or experienced in our own minds? Often have our hopes been excited as to individuals ; we have been happy to imagine that grace reigned within them, and that they were really on “the Lord's side ;” when alas, some unforseen temptation, some new developement of “the old man” within them has denied our conclusions. In our own minds and course, we have all felt the same thing. We can look back to the outset of our christian course, and mark the time when “our steps were almost gone, our feet had well nigh slipped,” and when, but for great mercy, we had been borne down to “the gates of death.” And yet, for our life is a conflict, we have to seek for “ grace to help in time of need,” in order to maintain the ascendancy of the devout and holy, over the debased and hateful principles lurking about us. The same power in both cases produces the desired results.

The opening Spring is the occasion of involuntary joy to the spectator. Every one, almost in spite of his temper, his constitutional dulness, or depression, is sensible of a degree of pleasure arising from the first indications of the coming Spring. The swelling bud, the opening bloom give delight. Even those shrubs the least valued, that happen, from their nature, to be the earliest in their bloom, acquire an interest in our estimation on this account. They are the promise of a brighter season, and of new life and beauty to the world around.

Every benevolent and intelligent mind is delighted with the first indications of spiritual life. “There is joy among the angels in the presence of God over one sinner that repenteth.

When first the sinner cherishes conviction, and the sentiments of contrition ; when he becomes dissatisfied with himself, and retires to “ponder the path of his feet,” and to confess his sins before God and seek his mercy; when he lifts at first his “ tearful eye” to the cross of Christ, and calls on him as his only Saviour and Redeemer, and meditates on his word that he may know “the way of God more perfectly,” the angels of God hover over him with delight, and hail these buds of promise with rapture and with praise. Nor is the Church on earth uninterested in the outward evidences of such exercises. The manifestation of a renewed and gracious temper is ever pleasing to a pious mind; and when they are seen in our children, over whom we yearn and pray, and when they multiply in our congregations, for which our warmest solicitudes are excited, the joy is unspeakable. They rejoice that God is fulfilling again his promise, “I will pour my Spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon their offspring; and they shall spring up as among the grass, and as willows by their water courses. One shall say, I am the Lord's; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the Lord, and surname himself by the name of Israel.”

But while there is an enjoyment experienced by the intelligent spectator of the changes effected in this beautiful season, this joy appears also to pervade the entire of creation itself. Which way soever we turn our eyes, there seems to enjoyment. The feathered tribes rejoice in the Spring, and fill the air with their melodies. The insect race come forth from their cells with delight, and some take wing and vie with larger and nobler forms in the rapidity and sportiveness of their flight. The beasts of the field are filled with enjoyment, while they roam over the verdant hills, or graze along the meads. The rivers and streamlets gurgle and run with renewed vigour, and their varied inhabitants, both small and great, become playful, and luxuriate in the milder and brighter sky reflected on the glassy surface of the element of their abode. Even the vegetable classes themselves, though void of real sensation, appear not less to sympathize with, than contribute to, the common joy. Adorned in their richest dress, putting forth their new and most vigorous efforts, all appear at once instinct with life and bliss.

Is there not joy experienced in the mind itself that becomes the subject of the renewing grace of God, as well as in that of the interested observers of such a change? Whose are the real sweets of the joys of pardon, of hope, and of divine love? Who is it that plumes his new fledged wings, and soars with delight into the newly discovered and serener skies? Who is sensible of the extacies of love to Christ, and confidence in him? The young and happy convert himself. “ His heart has known his own bitterness, and a stranger does not intermeddle with his joy." It is he that, recovered and renewed by divine grace, “rejoices with joy unspeakable, and full of glory.”

And when the warmer gales of heavenly grace visit the Church of God, raising what was low-quickening what was dead—infusing new fervour into devotion—imparting heavenly vigour and happy spontaneity into obedience—and giving success to their varied benevolent efforts : how happy is their communion! How delightful their Sabbaths! How blessed their ordinances ! Not the beauties of external nature, not the joy of the animated world, can compare with the felicities of those who experience these visits of mercy and grace. O let us ardently seek them, and devoutly pray, “Come from the four winds, O breath of the Lord, and breathe upon us, that we may live !"

The Spring season is admonitory to youth. It is then that the labourer casts his seed into the earth, and waits for the coming months to secure his reward. If there be no labour in Spring, and no promise, there will be no

« EdellinenJatka »