« AnteriorContinuar »
Am travelling from friend to friend. A Dr. W.accident. ally called at the house of my kind host Mr. G. yesterday, and hearing some one address me by name, he evinced much pleasure, said he had no time to lose, that he had long wished an interview with me, and if I would indulge him with permission to ask a few questions, not to gratify an idle curiosity, but in the hope of obtaining truth, I should confer upon him an important obligation.
You will not doubt that my readiness to hear corresponded with his wishes to question, and he proceeded to request my ideas of the net birth, which I delineated precisely as the word of God, from whence I have received my sentiments, describes it.
I found I was speaking to a candid, sensible man, who, equally surprised and satisfied with what he heard, proceeded to ask a variety of pertinent questions, to which, as he assured me, I was enabled to give satisfactory answers. He heard me with great attention until the bell summoned us to church, where I delivered my sentiments upon the eighth verse of the eighty-fifth Psalm :
“I will hear what God the Lord will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly."
I firmly believe God sent this gentleman to this place, that he might obtain the knowledge of salvation. I never saw a more striking instance. He passed the night with me, and hath parted with me this morning, full of gratitude to that Divine Being, who bath brought him into an acquaintance with his grace and truth, while his soothing expressions of affectionate regard to me, as the
Vol. II. 2
instrument, were abundant. I think he has gone home as fully convinced of the truth as it is in Jesus, as I myself am. How truly consolatory are such instances! How doth my soul rejoice, as often as they occur, as often as I can behold my fellow men feeding upon the bread of life!
I have been interested in an account given by a friend, who had placed his son with an uncle who was not very friendly to what they denominate my principles. The good gentleman was in the habit of taking his family to church on the Sabbath ; and on Sunday morning, the child, about twelve years of age, was ordered to get ready to attend with the rest. He sighed deeply, and discovered manifest reluctance-- Come, my boy,” said the uncle, “ why do you not get ready ?"_“Why, Sir, I would rather not go.”—“Why so, pray?-_“I believe what they call Mr. Murray's doctrine, Sir.”“ You do! Pray what have you to do with Mr. Murray's doctrine?”
“Why, Sir, I think it is God's word, I read it all in the Bible.”6 Well, suppose it is, why should that discourage you from going to meeting ?"_" Why, Sir, it makes me feel bad, when I hear the minister telling the people the word of God is a lie.”—“Why, you young rogue, you never heard any minister say so.
.“ But, Sir, they say our Saviour is not the Saviour of all men, and God
he is, and that is saying the word of God is a lie.”—“ Well, my boy, if you stay with me, you must go to meeting.”—“If you insist
upon it; Sir, I must; but I am sure, Sir, you would not like to go yourself if you loved God.”—“Why so, pray ?”—“ Because, Sir, if you loved God you would not like to hear so much bad said of him."The observations of this child were impressed upon the mind of the uncle, he could not erase them, and happening to be in this town on business, he has attended the ministry of reconciliation, and has been so fully convinced of the truth, that he attended me home to my lodgings, coinmunicated many particulars relative to the exercise of his mind, repeated this story of his nephew, and confessed himself fully established in the truth.
This same child seems to be an early observer of, and proficient in, the truth. When he was but ten years of age, reading one of Watts’ hypins, he said to his mother, who was much of a bigot, “ Mama, I never saw the like.”—“The like of what ? --- Why, some part of this lıymn says, that all mankind are saved, and the rest talks of damnation.”—This originated the first question in the mind of his parent. She struggled with conviction, but it forcibly
impressed her, until at length she believes with her heart, and makes confession with her mouth to salvation.
Thus this boy seems to have been made instrumental in communicating peace both to his parent and his uncle.
The friends with whom I reside have been tortured by sickness of body and distress of mind : they are much changed since last I saw them. They have only two sons, one of whom is enclosed within the walls of an English prison. Mrs. G. has been dangerously ill, and she was visited during her confinement by many who hoped to seduce her to a renunciation of her principles "No, indeed,” said the good lady, “ surely I cannot afford to part with them now; they are now more precious to me than words can express. No, no, except you can point me out a better hope than Christ Jesus my Lord, I must be suffered to leave this wilderness leaning upon the beloved.” I hoped, said the afflicted lady, to have visited those dear Christians who worship God in spirit, and have no confidence in the flesh, but it is now reduced to a certainty I shall not see them this side heaven. Mr. G. too is ill; I am persuaded he will never recover that soundness of body and mind which he once possessed. But there is one thing which I am persuaded he will never forget : he will always remember that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. The honest man dwells on the emphatic name of his Redeemer with never ceasing delight. Neither Mr. nor Mrs. G. ever expect to be restored to health again, but they are very indifferent about it ; their believing hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord, and so fully persuaded are they of the truth of the divine word that bringeth unto all men salvation, that they rather long to be dissolved, and to be with Christ.
Many are the scenes I witness as I pass along which lacerate my bosom; but a view of the Christian patiently waiting for the complete salvation of his God always renders me comparatively happy; and I shall be happy, not only comparatively, but altogether happy. We shall all be happy, we were made for happiness : “God had not created but to bless.” Happiness, however, is not designed for us in the present state ; in the world we are taught to expect tribulation. But in the Saviour, blessed be his balmy name, in the-Redeemer, we shall, yes, we shall have freace.
But we are exempted from much of the tribulation with which this world abounds. Thanks be to the Father of mercies for his protecting goodness. For my own part, I seriously declare, that when
ever I am called to reflect upon this subject, I am confounded at my own ingratitude. Frequently am I guilty of murmuring and despondence, but never with impunity. Truth severely questions, “ Of what do you complain? What do you want, or in what particular are you afflicted ? Have you not reason to believe your Divine Master perfect in wisdom, and perfect in goodness? Would you not, if left to yourself, be subjected to real and permanent affliction? Whenever you are miserable are you not your own tormentor? When you are permitted to have your own way, what is the result? do you succeed to your wish? Is it not more for your happiness that God should mark your way, than if he left it to your self? Where is the individual more blessed? Can any felicity, in the present state, surpass what you derive from beholding the light of life, through your instrumentality, breaking the clouds of thick darkness, and with healing in its wings, notwithstanding the machinations of the grand adversary, making its way into the benighted inind?
And with regard to your multiplied enemies, if you revert to their characters and the language they adopt, can any consideration be more flattering, than that such were the men and the same their reproaches, who were early embodied to oppose the first great promulgators of divine truth? But what are your sufferings from malicious calumniators? They talk of you, but do they break your rest? You cannot affirin that they do. Have they deprived you of any friend whom you ought to regret? They certainly have not. they inflicted upon you corporeal punishment? Surely not. they done you any rcal injury of any sort ? I cannot say they have. Well then you have in fact nothing to complain of, and if you would not appear totally unworthy the many and valuable friends by whose uniform kindness you are distinguished ; if you would not appear utterly unworthy the astonishing goodness of your God, cultivate, I charge you, an equal and tranquil disposition of soul, and do not surrender your peace to every petty attack. Let resignation to heaven's high will, become supreme in your bosom, and see that your walk be at all times worthy a disciple of the meek, the lowly, the suffering Redeemer."
I dined yesterday with a respectable and very dear friend, who gave me an opportunity of surveying the burial place of the royal family of the Indian Kings. None but royal dust can be deposited in this burial ground. There are many grave stones, which bear
record of the wonderful deeds performed by the individuals reposing beneath. Every stone inforrns the reader, that the royal Incas are buried there, and that they are a family as ancient as the hills that surround them.
Ye proud European princes, what can ye say more? Which of you can say as much? The place these Indians have chosen for the resting place of their chiefs is truly romantic, and exhibits as much of the sublime and beautiful as any spot they could have procured. One of the royal family was deposited here during the past week: the surviving prince officiated as priest, and as the spot is on my friend's estate, just below his garden, he attended the funeral. When they had laid the body in the earth, and covered it very neatly with turf of the finest sort, the old king, turning to the survivors, pronounced in a solemn tone of voice, “Verily we must all go.” Silence succeeded this declaration, and they stood for some time with folded arms, and eyes fixed on the earth, when, with olemn steps, pensive features, and measured movements, they slowly returned to their respective habitations.
O, for that splendid era, when God shall bring in the fulness of the Gentiles, with his ancient people, the Jews, that there may be no more sorrow!
I passed from the house of my friend, to church, where I preached to a very large congregation, upon Hosea xiii. 9. “0, Israel! thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is thy help.” Many of my friends are called to their everlasting rest since I was here before. We know we ought to bless the Lord always : yet in the cleparture of friends, it is hard to say, Thy will be done.
The religionists in this town, have made a discovery new to the professing Christians assembled here. In opposition to me, they declare, that Christ Jesus tasted death for no man, and this doctrine they publicly proclaim, affirming positively, that his death was only designed to manifest the righteousness of God, that the merits of his life, sufferings and death belong to no individual of the human race, but are by him applied to all those on whom he chooseth to bestow these tokens of his special favour.
They have been asked, how the death of Christ manifested the righteousness of God, if he did not die for the sins of the world ? Seeing he, himself, wus holy, harmless and undefiled, if there were no union of the divine and human nature, no imputed transgression, how