« AnteriorContinuar »
joy, my gratitude, my rapture of soul. Thus at even: ing tide it is light; thus God brings his people through fire and through water into a wealthy place; thus those who ask do receive, and their joy is full. O love the Lord, ye his faints! there is no want to them that fear him!
« Oct. 26. Had much enlargement this morning whilst speaking on the nature, extent, and influence of divine love-what designs it formed with what energy it acted with what perseverance it pursued its object what obstacles it surmounted—wbat difficulties, it conquered—and what sweetness it imparted under the heae viest loads and severest trials. Almost through the day I enjoyed a very desirable frame, and, on coming home, my wife and I had some conversation on the subject of my goa ing. She said, though in general the thought was painful, yet there were some seasons when she had no preference, but felt herself disposed to go or stay as the Lord Jould direct.
“ O&t. 31. I am encouraged to enter upon this day (which I set apart for supplicating God) by a recollection of his promises to those who seek him. If the facred word be true, the servants of God can never seek his face in vain; and as I am conscious of my fincerity and earnest desire only to know his pleasure, that I may perform it, I find a degree of confidence that I shall realise the fulfilment of the word on which he causeth me to hope.
“ Began the day with folemn prayer for the affiftance of the Holy Spirit in my present exercise, that so I might enjoy the spirit and power of prayer, and have my personal religion improved, as well as my public steps directed. In this duty I found a little quickening.
“I then read over the narrative of my experience and my journal. I find my views are still the fame, but my heart is much more established than when I began to write.
“ Was much struck in reading Paul's words in 2 Cor. i. 17. when, after speaking of his purpose to travel for the preaching of the gospel, he faith, · Did I then use
lightness when I was thus ininded? or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the fesh, that with me there should be yea yea, nay nay?' The piety of the apostle in not purposing after the flesh, the serious. ness of spirit with which he formed his designs, and his stedfast adherence to them, were in my view worthy of the highest admiration and strictest imitation.
“ Read the 2d, 3d, 4th, sth, and 6th chapters of the second epistle to the Corinthians; felt a kind of placie dity, but not much joy. On beginning the concluding prayer I had no strength to wrestle, nor power with God at all. I seemed as one desolate and forsaken. I prayed for myself, the Society, the Missionaries, the converted Hindoos, the church in Canon-street, my family, and ministry; but yet all was dulness, and I feared I had offended the Lord. I felt but little zeal for the Mission, and was about to conclude with a lamentation over the hardness of my heart, when of a sudden it pleased God to smite the rock with the rod of his Spirit, and immediately the waters began to flow. O what a heavenly, glorious, melting power was it! My eyes, almost closed with weeping, hardly suffer me to write. I feel it over again. O what a view of the love of a crucified Redeemer did I enjoy! the attractions of his cross how powerful! I was as a giant refreshed with new wine, as to my animation; like Mary at the Master's feet weeping, for tenderness of soul; like a little child, for 'submission to my heavenly Father's will; and like Paul, for a victory over all self-love, and creature-love, and fear of man, when these things stand in the way of my duty. The interest that Christ took in the redemption of the heathen, the situation of our brethren in Bengal, the worth of the soul, and the plain command of Jesus Christ, together with an irresistible drawing of soul, which by far exceeded any thing I ever felt before, and is impossible to be described to, or conceived of, by those who have never experienced it; all compelled me to vow, that I would, by his leave, serve him among the heathen. The Bible, lying open before me (upon my knees),
ac victory over lavenly Father'a little child. f Weep
maný pallages caught my eye, and confirmed the put.. pofes of my heart. If ever in my life I knew any thing of the influences of the Holy Spirit, I did at this time. I was swallowed up in God. Hunger, fulness, cold, heat, friends, and enemies, all seemed nothing before God. I was in a new world. All was delightful, for Christ was all in all. Many times I concluded prayer, but when rising from my knees, communion with God was so desirable, that I was sweetly drawn to it again and again, till my aniinal strength was almost exhausted. Then I thought it would be pleasure to burn for God. ,6 And now, while I write, such a heavenly sweetness fills'my soul, that no exterior circumstances can remove it; and I do uniformly feel, that the more I am thus, the more I pant for the service of my bleiled Jesus among the heathen.. Yes, my dear, my dying Lord, I am thine, thy servant: and if I neglect the service of so good a Master, I may well expect a guilty conscience in life, and a death awful as that of Judas or of Spira! :' ." Nov. 3. This evening received a letter from brother Ryland, containing many objections; but contrái diction itself is pleasant, when it is the voice of judg: ment mingled with affection. I wish to remember that I may be mistaken, though I cannot say I am at present convinced that it is so.“ I am happy to find that brother Ryland approves of my referring it to the Committee. I have niuch confidence in the judgment of my brethren, and hope I shall be perfectly satisfied with their advice. I do think, however, if they knew how earnestly I pant for the work, it would be impossible for then to withhold their ready acquiescence. O Lord, thou knowest my sincerity, and that if I go not to the work, it will not be owing to any reluctance on my part! If I stay in England, I fear I shall be a poor useless drone; or, if a sense of duty prompt me to activity, I doubt whether I shall ever know inward peace and joy again. O Lord, I am, thou knowest I am opprefied, undertake for me! o Nov. 5. At times to-day I have been reconciled to VOL. II, No. 6.
the thought of staying, if my brethren should so advise; but at other times I seem to think I could not. I look at brother Carey's portrait as it hangs in my study; I love him in the bowels of Jesus Christ, and long to join his labours; every look calls up a hundred thoughts, all of which enflame my desire to be a fellow-labourer with him in the work of the Lord. One thing, however, I have resolved: upon, that, the Lord keeping me, if I cannot go abroad, I will do all I can to serve the Mission at home.
Nov. 7. This is the last day of peculiar' devotion before the deciding meeting. May I have strength to wrestle with God to-day, for his wisdomi to prelide in the Committee, and by faith to leave the issue to their determination.
“I did not enjoy much enlargement in prayer to-day. My mind seeins at present incapable of those sensations of joy with which I have lately been much indulged, through its strugglings in relation to my going and staying: yet I have been enabled to cominit the issue into the hands of God, as he may direct my brethren, hoping that their advice will be agreeable to his will.”
. (To be continued.),
'TIS ALL FOR THE BEST.
[From Miss Hannah More's Works.] S TT is all for the best,” said Mrs. Simpson, whenever
any misfortune befel her. She had got such as habit of vindicating Providence, that, instead of weeping and wailing under the most trying dispensations, her chief care was to convince herself and others, that however great might be her sufferings, and however little they could be accounted for at present, yet that the Judge of all the earth could not do but right. Instead of trying to clear herself from any possible blame that might attach to her under those misfortunes which, to speak
on her fit repining accept
after the manner of men, she might seem not to have deserved, she was always the first to justify him who had inflicted it. It was not that she superstitiously converted every visitation into a punishment; she entertained more correct ideas of that God who aver-rules all events. She knew that some calamities were sent to exercise her faith, others to purify her heart; fome to chastise her rebellious will, and all to remind her that this was not her rest;" that this world was not the scene for the full and final display of retributive justice. The honour of God was dearer to her than her own credit, and her chief defire was to turn all events to his glory.
Though Mrs. Simpson was the daughter of a clergyman, and the widow of a genteel tradesman, she had been reduced, by a succession of misfortunes, to accept of a room in an alms-house. Instead of repining at the change; instead of dwelling on her former gentility, and saying, “ How handsomely she had lived once; and how hard it was to be reduced; and the little thought ever.to end her days in an alms-house;" which is the common language of those who were never fo well off before; she was thankful that such an asylum was provided for want and age; and blessed God that it was to the Christian dispensation alone that such pious inftitutions owed their birth..
One fine evening, as she was sitting reading her bible on the little bench shaded with honey-fuckles, just before her door, who should come and sit down by her but Mrs. Betty, who had formerly been lady's maid at the nobleman's house in the village of which Mrs. Simpson's father had been minister, Betty, after a life of vanity, was, by a train of misfortunes, brought to this very almshouse; and though she had taken no care by frugality and prudence to avoid it, she thought it a hardship and disgrace, instead of being thankful, as she ought to have been, for such a retreat. At first she did not know Mrs. Simpson; her large bonnet, cloak, and brown stuff gown (for she always made her appearance conform to her circumstances) being very different from the crefs (ne had
misfortun Betty, aftech Mrs. Sin at the