Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

employment of that evening, if allowed to speak out without restraint.

A few days after the ball I was present at a communion. At the table many of my near friends were found. The scene before me, and the thoughts of a future, eternal separation, affected me greatly. The sermon, too, reached my conscience ; and I might, at the close of the services, be said to have been under strong convictions for sin. The same day a very devoted Christian was accidentally thrown in my way. He began to address me on the subject of my salvation, without knowing any thing of my previous history, or the state of my feelings at the time. Then my heart began to rise with a strength of bitterness which I never knew before. I reproached him, pointing to the inconsistencies in the church; raved like a madman ; and, while my conscience was grinding me like a millstone, I still kept pouring out my invectives. He bore it all with meekness, perfectly unmoved, and, by his gentleness, held up a shield which caused every dart I threw to recoil upon myself. His Christian meekness was too much for me ; I rose up in wrath and left him. Had he given only one retort-shown one angry feeling, it would have relieved me ; but no, I could find no handle. I went out into the woods, smarting under the wounds which I had been giving myself ; and when I could stand under it no longer, I returned- told my Christian friend my situation and feelings, asked his pardon, and begged his prayers. Truly, as Henry Martyn beautifully says “And this also I learned, that the power of gentleness is irresistible.

I had now been under deep and pungent convictions for sin for more than three weeks. I could not pray. I could not feel sorry for sin, nor hate it, except as it must bring me to unspeakable ruin. There seemed to be no mercy for me. The heavens were brass, the earth was iron, and I was fast preparing to look up and curse God. Perfectly sensible of my situation, perfectly convinced that I deserved hell, I could not feel regret or humbled. Every feeling of my soul was deep, awakened enmity to the character and government of God.

At length, after struggling with the terrified conscience, and the stirrings of the Spirit of God, I determined to take my own life. It was not the result of a paroxysm of despair, but the cool, deliberate determination of one who dares throw himself upon the thick bosses of the Almighty's buckler.

After coming to this determination, I selected my time and place. Not far from me was a considerable waterfall ; thither I went, one beautiful morning, fully resolved to return no more. The waters, dark and deep, gathered themselves together in a narrow channel, and after whirling themselves around several times, as if recoiling from the plunge, they rushed headlong over a time-worn rock, and fell forty feet or more into a large bason beneath. On that rock I placed myself, prepared to do the deed. I looked down into the great basin, forty feet below me, and there the falling waters were boiling and foaming up, as if indignant at being thus cast down-fit emblem, I thought, of the helpless raging of the wicked in the world of despair. But I will now know the worst which God can inflict upon me. I will plunge in, and in five minutes I shall know what hell is, and what is to be my situation for eternity !

I drew myself back to take the plunge. There was no faltering-no shaking of a single muscle-no sensation of fear. But just as I was in the act of leaping, the hand of Omnipotence seemed to be laid suddenly upon me. Every nerve seemed to be paralyzed, and every bodily function to fall. A cold shivering came over me, and I had not the strength of a child.

I turned my face away; the beautiful sun was shining, and, for the first time, a voice, like that of my departed mother's, seemed to say, Perhaps there may yet be mercy for you." “Yes,” I replied, “I will seek it till God takes my life !And there, and on the very spot where I was about to consign soul and body over to endless misery, there the mercy of God found me, and there the first ray of hope visited me. Oh! I can never think of this temptation without feeling that I have been near the pit; and that man, if left by God, will quickly destroy both soul and body.

Before closing this narrative I will add, that this interesting young man lived the life of devoted, consistent, ardent piety. He completed his education, and devoted himself as a missionary to Africa. He was all ready to depart—had taken farewell of his friends, and was, as I believe, on his way to the ship which was to convey him to Africa. He arrived at Richmond, Va., on Saturday night, and was to have preached the next day ; but about midnight he was seized with the cholera, (of which he was the first and only victim in that city,) and, after twelve hours passed in indescribable pain, he calmly and sweetly fell into the arms of God's messenger, and was carried to that glorious assembly where the praying mother, we doubt not, welcomed to her everlasting embrace the child of so many prayers.

How mysterious are the ways of God! He raises up pious friends, and leads them to labour, and pray, and go down to the grave, without seeing any good fruit from the plants which they nourish and water with prayers and tears. But, long after they are gone, their prayers are answered, and their labours blessed. Let no praying mother doubt that her prayers will finally be answered. He is mysterious, too, in that he raises up instruments apparently fitted for great usefulness, and then cuts them off just when they promise to be most useful. But his own glorious plans will go on, and he will raise up others to take the places of those who are dead. All shall be for the glory of God! O the blessedness of belonging to a kingdom which cannot be injured by any changes among such beings as we are ! Reader, if you belong to this kingdom, be up, be doing, be vigilant, be faithful. Your crown is near, it is sure. If you do not belong to this kingdom, come at once and give yourself to the work of serving God. Repent of all sin, forsake all sin, and that same Redeemer who saved the dear youth of whom I have been speaking, shall be yours.

THE TRUE FRIEND. His affections are both united and divided ; united to him he lovethdivided betwixt another and himself; and his own heart is so parted, that, while he himself hath some, his friend hath all. His choice is led by virtue, or by the best of virtues—religion; not by gain, nor by pleasure ; yet not without respect of equality of condition, and of similarity of disposition ; which choice, once made, admits of no change, except he whom he loveth be changed quite from himself; nor that suddenly, but after long expectation. Adversity doth but fasten him ; while he, like a wellwrought vault, lies the stronger, the more weight he bears. When necessity calls him to it, he can be a servant to his equal, with the same will wherewith he can command his inferior ; and, though he rise to honour, forgets not his familiarity, nor suffers inequality of state to work strangeness of

He em

countenance. On the other hand, he lifts up his friend to advancement with a willing hand, without envy, without dissimulation. When his mate is dead he counts himself but half alive ; then his love, not dissolved by death, directs itself to those orphans which never knew the value of their father. They become heirs of his affections, and the burthen of his cares. braces a free community of all things, save those which either honesty or nature reserves as proper, and hates to enjoy that which would do his friend more good. His charity serves to cover infirmities; not by untruth, not by flattery, but by discreet secrecy. Neither is he more favourable in concealment than round in his private reprehensions; and when anothers' fidelity shows itself in his reproof, he loves his monitor so much the more, the more he smarteth. His bosom is his friend's closet, in which he may lay up his complaints, his doubts, his cares; and as he leaves, so he finds them, save for some additional reasonable counsel for redress. If some unhappy suggestion should either disjoint his affection, or break it, it soon knits again, and grows the stronger by that stress. He is so sensible of anothers' injuries, that, when his friend is stricken, he cries out, and equally smarteth, untouched, as one affected, not with sympathy, but with a real feeling of pain. He interposeth his aid to prevent mischief, and offers to redeem his friend with himself. No hour can be unseasonable, no business difficult, no pain grievous, when in the service of his friend; and what he either does or suffers, he neither cares nor desires to have known, lest he should seem to look for thanks. If he can, therefore, steal the performance of a good office unseen, the consciousness of his faithfulness herein is so much sweeter as it is more secret. In favours done his memory is frail ; in benefits received, eternal. He scorneth either to regard recompence, or not to offer it. He is the comfort of miseries, the guide of difficulties, the joy of life, the treasure of earth, and no other than a good angel clothed in flesh.

ON CLOSET DEVOTION. The greatest difficulty will be to maintain the daily performance of closet duties. On your maintaining that part, the fate of the whole battle depends. Your adversary knows that if he can beat you out of the closet he shall have you in his power. You will be in the situation of an army cut off from all supplies and reinforcements, and must either capitulate or surrender at discretion. He will therefore leave no means untried to drive or draw you from the closet. And it will be hard work to maintain that post against him and your own heart. Sometimes he will probably assail you with more violence when you attempt to read, or pray, than at another time; and then try to persuade you that prayer is rather injurious than beneficial. At other times he will seem to withdraw from the contest and lie quiet, lest if he should distress you by too much temptation, you might be driven to a throne of grace for help. If he can prevail upon us to be careless and supine, he will rarely distress us ;-every day you are preserved from going back, the enemy sustains a defeat. It is a great mercy to be preserved from open sin and from complete apostacy. Then in this spiritual conflict let us dispute every inch of ground with christian courage and constancy—being armed with the shield of faith, and the sword of the spirit, and wielding them by an imparted Omnipotent power, we shall not faint as do others, but rise by a gradual process till our graces are perfected and consummated in eternal bliss.

REVIEW.

pp. 216.

A PLEA FOR TAE LIBERTY OF EDUCA- SACRED POEMs. By L. M, THORNTON.

TION. A second leller to the Right Hon. Hamilton and Co., London ; Brooks,
Sir James Graham, Bart., one of her Leicester. 8vo., P.p. 104.
Majesty's principal secretaries of state, on

This is a small volume of poems, chiefly the educational clauses of the Factories' Bill. By John Howard HINTON, M. A., informs us, in his twelfth year, and now

on Scripture subjects, commenced, its author one of ihe secretaries of the Baptist Union published by the advice of friends. Joveof Great Britain and Ireland. Houlston nile productions are often attractive as in. and Stoneman. pp. 52.

dicative of singular precocity of talent; bot This is a very excellent and well-written they do not always demand attention on other pamphlet. The question of the interference grounds. We had perused several of these of government with the education of the poems, and marked a number of false or people is discussed in a calm, dignified, and defective rhymes and feeble thoughts for impartial manner. The withdrawment of criticism; but, when we cast our eye on the educational clauses of Sir James Gra. the extreme juvenility of their author, our ham's Bill, does not render the argument of resolution failed, and we determined to in. this pamphlet of no service, as it is not di. sert a poem as a fair specimen. We refer rected against the peculiarities of that bill our readers to it, in our poetic corner, that so much as against the general principle. they may judge for themselves. We wish all our readers who have any Tae Miracles of Christ, with explanadoubt on this subject to procure and peruse this masterly production. It sets the whole

tory observations and illustrations from

modern Travels. question before them in its various aspects,

Tract Society. 18mo., and we doubt not it will convince them that the proper province of government does not Tuis is a beautiful little volume. It include the education of the people. Mr. contains a large amount of valuable infor. Hinton shews that penalties to enforce the mation in reference to the miracles of Christ, attendance of scholars, and that inspection and is adapted to lead the young reader to to secure the competency of the teachers, peruse with greater interest the evangelical are unavoidably tyrannical and oppres. narrative. It is also embellished with a sive. He examines the reasons frequently number of beautiful engravings. It is a urged why government should enforce the suitable reward book. education of the operative classes at large. These he states fairly, and refutes effectu. Uncle BARNABY; or recollections of his ally. He enters on the question of parlia

character and opinions.

Tract Society. mentary grants, and concludes by iuvoking

18mo., pp. 360. the energies of the people themselves. We UNCLE Barnaby seems to be own cousin have not room for extracts, but earnestly to “Old Humphrey,” another celebrated recommend the pamphlet to the patient pe. and shrewd character brought into pablic rusal of our readers.

notice by the Tract Society. Perhaps the RACHAEL OF PADANARAM, Type of the former is more philosophical than the latter,

Church. A sacred history from the Mo. but he is very humorous and instructive. suic record. By WILLIAM ARCHER. The practical wisdom contained in the ra. Simpkin and Marshall. 12mo., pp. 187. rious articles in this volume is of great im

portance. “If I were you," " I don't care," This will be to some a very fascinating * It's of no use to try," are clever things; volume. It is written in poetic prose, and but they are only a small section of the is full of touching and tender allusions. twenty subjects which he brings before us. The idea entertained by some of the early fathers, that Rachael was a type of the A SELECTION OF Hymns, designed as a Church, is adopted with good effect by the supplement, &c. By J. JARROM. writer. Some of the poetic effusions with A SMALL SELECTION OF Hymns, especi. which the book is embellished are pleasing.

ally adapted for meetings for prayer, and There is, however, too much of invention

the revival of religion. Sherwood and and fiction, poetically introduced, no doubt, to render the volume more palatable to

Co., London ; Brooks, Leicester. matter-of-fact men. We were frequently Of these hymn books we need say but reminded of “The Messiah" and " The little in commendation, They are al. Death of Abel,” while perusing it. It is by ready in the possession of many of our no means a publication void of merit. readers. It would be a pleasing addition to our stock of hymns if both these supple. minister's child, who gave bright evidence ments, a new edition of which is now pub. of very early piety, and was early called to lished at reduced prices, were in use in all glory. our Churches.

MISSIONARY GLEANINGS. Tract Society. TøE YOUTHFUL DISCIPLE; An Account

32mo., pp. 128. of one who was early called from grace to facts relative to missionary labours and

suc

A beautiful little book, full of interesting glory. Tract Suciety. 18mo., pp. 36.

cesses, adapted to interest the young, and to This is an interesting narrative of a imbue their minds with a missionary spirit.

OBITUARY.

The important changes which frequent- Joshua ROBERTSHAW, the subject of ly take place in ourselves, in our circum. this notice, was born at Queenshead, March stances, in the family and social circles, re. 6th, 1767, and departed this life June mind us that this is not our rest; and every 29th, 1843. The villagers of Queenshead one who has stood by the couch of a dying, up to the year 1773, in which the old patriarchal father, and who has there re- General Baptist chapel was built, were des. ceived his last, his parting blessing; who titute of a sanctuary; and to a still later has there remembered what the departing date they had not a properly organized saint was to himself, to the family, to the Lord's day school. Under such circumChurch, and to the world; who has followed stances therefore, it may be supposed tbat the endeared form of an aged, pious parent few parents felt the importance of that in. to the grave, will sympathize with those junction which says, “ train up a child in who are anxious to place upon record those the way he should go," and in consequence facts that may continue to aid the memory few children were lead to "remember their and influence the life. The rapid and rest- Creator in the days of their youth.” The less light of time, which is carrying us for mother of Joshua died when he was young. ward upon its swift but noiseless pinions, and as his father was not a religious man, has already landed, we hope, many of our it is believed that little care was taken of friends on that peaceful shore

his moral and religious training. And “Where tempests never beat, nor billows roar.' when the mind of youth is not stored with If we look at the family of which we form a divine knowledge; when the beauty of reli. part, and if we extend our notice so as to in. gion is not exhibited by example, we cannot clude our friends in general, we shall speed. reasonably expect to see tender branches ily feel sensible of the many breaches which bearing the fruits of righteousness, but we death has made amongst us. There are may expect to see them laden with the fruits now many of those little ones who were of sin. For many years sin had dominion

over our departed brother, and he obeyed it -"to lisp their sire's return,

in the lusts thereof. About the year 1793 Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.” he entered the first West York Militia, and Oh! there are many that can toll of tender he did not obtain his final dismission till buds that have been nipt, and of opening the year 1802. In the capacity of a sol. blossoms that have been blighted by death. dier he visited most parts of bis native When we cast our eye over some small country and some parts of Ireland, and he families with which we are acquainted, how obtained some knowledge of most of the mournful are our feelings! How altered, great men who figured either in the senate how changed is the scene ! ah ! these child. or in the field. The information collected ren have no mother, and the father of during this period of his life wus retained, those is dead! We knew them once, but and sometimes used for the instruclion and they are gone, and we know them no more, entertainment of his family and friends. And, not further to indulge in these reflec. When upon duty he was allowed to devote tions, it may be remarked that if we have a considerable portion of his time to his pursued life's journey for a considerable own calling, but the money so obtained number of years, we shall find, in looking seems to have been injurious rather than back upon the past, that we have lost many otherwise, as it enabled him to indulge to a of our earliest-our best friends. We sorrow greater extent in the habits of intemper. for them, but we would not do so as those ance. But while he was thus the servant, that have no hope. We shall meet again; the slave of sin, he sometimes felt bis de. and till then we would hoard their memory, graded condition and the burden of a guilty treasure up their counsels, and follow them conscience; but he knew not the truth so far as they followed Christ.

which was destined to make him free. VOL. 5.-N. S.

2 V

wont

« EdellinenJatka »