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so evident a blessing. The sinner must have the truth proclaimed to him, and the truth is, that he is under the wrath of God. But lie will not be brought to the knowledge of this truth by the thunders of the law, or by awful descriptions of the pains of hell. This may excite the feeling and produce a momentary alarm, but it will rarely lead to conviction, and to that godly sorrow" which works "repentance to salvation not to be repented of." Far more convincing will it be, to show how the wrath of God has been manifested in history, and in the unconverted heart itself. Thus we would notice the fulfilment of his threatened judgments on his people Israel, with the exhibitions of his mercy as soon as they repented of their evil ways. We would point the unconverted sinner to the state of his own heart, its bondage to sin, its impotence for good, even with the best intentions, its want of peace and rest, and any certain hope of everlasting life.
But the proclamation of the love of God in Christ Jesus has a very close connection with the severity of his wrath against sin, and contains a powerful warning to repent. It is in the sufferings of Christ that his wrath against sin is displayed most unmistakeably.—" He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities;" "He his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree." In the punishment borne by the only begotten Son of God, we recognise the greatness of our guilt, and the awefulness of the curse which lies upon us, as long as we are yet unreconciled by the propitiatory sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and so freed from the curse. The true knowledge of sin consists, not in the preception of our deficiency in holiness, or of the prevalence of particular sins, but in the conciousness of our entire depravity and condemnation. Godly sorrow is not the feeling of our unholiness in opposition to God's holiness, but the conciousness of our guilt as against the suffering Lamb of God. If then our ministry is to be awakening, and to call sinners to repentance, it must set forth the wrath of God, as legible in the history of all nations, and especially in the history of the people of Israel down to the present day,— in the history of individual souls, and the misery of every unconverted heart,—but, above all, in the sufferings of the holy Lamb of God. Then we may open the door of grace, and invite all to come and buy freely, and to be reconciled to God.
While this forms an essential feature of a Gospel ministry, it must likewise be borne in mind in our individual dealing with souls. That such a special care is not only serviceable, but needful, for the promotion of the work of God in the hearts of our charge, admits of no doubt; and the members of the Conference pledged themselves anew to faithfulness in this branch of their office. The discharge of this duty furnishes abundant opportunity for applying the truth to the circumstances and requirements of different individuals. And multiplied experiences of the blessing which the Lord has laid on such a pastoral care, encourage us to new zeal in our Master's service.
There are, however, at all times and everywhere, some on whom all labour seems to be lost, and who even repel all pastoral effort. Yet even in such cases, there remains one means of action, and that is faithful prayer. This is a last resource—an instrumentality from which no member of the flock can withdraw himself; and prayer, if we rightly consider it, is the most efficacious labour of the pastor. Conversion is not man's work but God's, and must be wrestled for in prayer. And affecting instances were referred to, of the blessed efficacy of intercessory prayer, by which the Conference were deeply moved, and stimulated to faithfulness in this important duty.
Still, however earnest and faithful a servant of the Lord may be, he may often be cast down by the sad, and disheartening experience, that his most conscientious endeavours, both in the pulpit and from house to house, are attended by no visible results.
III. This naturally introduced the third inquiry, "What encourages us to hope that our labour will not be in vain?"
We were directed by the programme to the gracious promise: "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 bring 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." Such promises encourage the joyful hope, that when the Lord's hour comes, the fruit of our labour will show itself; while, at the same time, they remind us that our business is to preach God's word,—not the enticing word of man's wisdom, but the plain and simple word of God, the word of the cross of Christ; for that is "quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow." And though we may often labour long apparently in vain, and see no fruit, yet the above quoted promise from Isaiah reminds us that our work is but to sow; the harvest is the Lord's. A waiting-time must intervene. There must be the patience of hope; we must believe without seeing. The fruit is often there, when we do not see it. And we must acknowledge, that it is often good for us that we cannot see it or else we might rob him of the glory, and attribute to ourselves what is his due. We must abide in humility, and labour on in faith.
Some evidences of the power of God's word were adverted to. The whole Christian church is such an evidence. The preaching of the Gospel " with the demonstration of the Spirit of power" called it into existence; the Gospel is the foundation on which it stands, and its extention in heathen lands is an evidence of the power of the word in turning man from darkness to light. Reference was also made to the great awakening at Hermansburg in Hanover.
In conclusion, we reminded each other, that we may derive powerful encouragement to patient and believing effort, from looking into our own hearts, and reviewing our own experience of the Savior's patience and pardoning love, and the power of his atoning merits. Thus we shall learn to have patience with sinners, and to set before them the salvation that is in Christ, to comfort the mourners with the consolations of the Gospel, and to strengthen the weak and wavering, in dependence, not on our own power and strength, but on the power of the Divine word.
We regretted that time did not allow us to take up the fourth point in our programme; for each of us would gladly have profited by the experience of his brethren on a subject so importrnt and so difficult as the proper course to be adopted in the instruction of youth.
(To be continued.)
THE BALM IN GILEAD!
Is there » balm in Gilead
To cure the sin-sick soul?
Death's mighty influence can control?
Is there a hath, whose genial waves
When man despairs is there a charm
Yesl tliere is a bairn in Giletid
That bids me still believe;
Whose powers can make the sinner live,
fin CaK'rjr'a mountain springs* stream
And by the word the Savior spoke,
0 halm of life, O source of health,
Extend Thy influence divine,
G make me whole, and seal me Thine.
Let me approach the Spring of Ufe
There let me wash away each stain,
Yes I will wait, till Thou shalt send
A heavenly messenger of peace,
And find from ev'ry woe release.
But no—no waiting, 'tis thy word,
The word of life that bids me live,
Thou droopest in death me to receive.
I come! thy suff'rings be my strength,
From Golgotha I hear my call
Thy death my life—and Thou my All!
The following letters, written to the Female Auxiliary Missionary Society of Bethlehem, contain interesting accounts respecting the Mission at Bluefields on the Mosquito Coast, and the condition of the poor Negroes belonging to the congregation at New Fulneck, Jamaica.
Br. Plesdng of New Fulneck, writes:
It is truly gratifying to me, to acknowledge herewith the receipt of $30 for our poor. With great pleasure I shall execute the real christian wish of the dear Ladies constituting the Female Missionary Society at Bethlehem, and when you receive this reply, you may fancy about fifteen poor persons, mostly widows and children, provided with a suit of clothes and a blanket for the night, who otherwise would have but their usual rags, barely hiding nudity. We know from experience on such occasions, how the receivers invoke a heap of blessings with many a profound bow and courtesy, too long, often, to await the end, in token of gratitude, and some who received their share have done so already; please express therefore our sincere gratitude to the Society for this timely grant; and we believe and pray, that our good Lord who especially delights in works of charity towards his poor brethren and sisters here below, will repay each individual member specially. The grant is very seasonable indeed for our poor, who had less than ever before. The smallpox having this year, (1853) visited almost all the families of our congregation, a general complaint is heard among them of scarcity and distress, which are only too apparent in view of the truly touching pictures of destitution, that come to our notice. It can therefore be imagined that the poor, who generally are either crippled or totally reduced by sickness, induced often by their former sinful lives, and who so very frequently are entirely forgotten by those of their own color, have nearly drained our means for their support this year. I would request you to give our very kind love to sr. L., and her son, with whom we got so well acquainted; on their departure from us we felt very sorry to see them go so soon. Those nice Tracts, which they brought along for us, we distributed soon after in a lovefeast kept with our helpers, chapelservants and monitors of Sunday School, and all who hold gome office; and I need not to mention their willingness to receive such fine little presents. It was a great encouragement for them, and made us wish occasionally to be enabled to reward them and stir them up for their duty, in this way. I would have answered your favor before this, had I not been prevented by a few weeks fever, which had seized my partner and myself, obliging us to fleefto the mountains for change of air. With very kind love to the friends that so christian-like remembered us, we recommend our congregation and ourselves to your prayers and remain your affectionate br. and sr.
G. & M. Plessing.
Br. Pfeiffer, senior missionary of the Mission in Mosquitia, writes.
Your letter enclosing a donation of $30, from our kind friends of the Bethlehem Female Auxiliary Missionary Society, in aid of this Mission, should have been answered sooner. But for want of regular mail communication, between this and Bluefields, (an advantage, which we in this part of the world, do not as yet enjoy) and pressing engagements, never wanting in a new Mission, the reply has been delayed till now. I trust this explanation will be a sufficient apology, and that our dear friends will not attribute this delay to indifference or neglect.
I now tender our sincere thanks to those dear friends at Bethlehem, who have more than once, shown their christian liberality to the infant Mission on the Mosquito shore. May the Lord, who has promised, that a drop of cold water, given to the least of his disciples, shall not be left unrewarded—bless them abundantly with the never failing riches of his grace and love.
What a pleasure would it afford me, could my long and frequent cherished desire, to pay a visit in some of our congregations in America, be realized, and I become personally acquainted with those dear brethren and sisters, whose indefatigable zeal for the house of the Lord has prompted them, again and again, to come forth in the spirit of love, to aid that glorious work, which has for