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was deeply affecting. The writer will not attempt to describe it. Grace made her more than conqueror. Around her she saw her dearest friends, sorrowing that they so soon should see her face no more; but her prospects of heaven were bright and transporting: she saw by faith her God and Saviour, and the glorious company of saints and angels; and the momentary feelings of anguish occasioned by the sight of those whom she was about to leave were absorbed in the feelings of triumphant joy, inspired by faith, in the view of those whom she was about to join. Her language to them all amounted to this, “I am going to leave you; but I am going to Jesus.”
Immediately after this painful, but holy and delightful, scene, she exclaimed, “I am in the valley; but there is light in the valley. It is full of light.” The text was repeated to her, “And have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." “ Yes,” she rejoined, “in the blood of the Lamb, the atoning blood.” She added, “Ohow I long to go to my Saviour and my God!” She quoted several passages of Scripture, and verses of hymns, as expressing her own feelings. During her previous Christian course she had often expressed apprehensions of the dying hour; but her remedy had always been, trust in Christ for present salvation : the future she left to God, only being careful, while she lived to live to him. And when the solemn hour came, ber fears were all dispersed. A brighter testimony to the inestimable value of religion than that which was afforded by her dying moments, could scarcely have been given. After declaring so strongly her peace and joy, she slept for some time. About an hour before she died, she awoke; but though, by several signs, she manifested perfect consciousness, articulation had failed, and at length she calmly fell asleep in Jesus, January 5th, 1844, aged twenty-seven.
BRIEF BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES. 18. Died, March 18th, 1843, in the Donegal Mission, Ireland, aged seventy years, Mrs. Isabella Bradshaw. She was brought to a saving knowledge of the truth in the fifteenth year of her age; at which time she joined the Methodist society, and remained in connexion with it till called to her reward. In devotedness to God, the faithful discharge of all her varied duties, and in strong and constant faith in God's word, and all the provisions of the Gospel, she attained to a rich and established experience of evangelical blessings, and maintained a scriptural and consistent character for piety and usefulness throughout her Christian course. Her last affliction was severe; but she was preserved in patience, resignation, and confidence in God. As her dissolution drew near, her happy soul seemed to plume itself for flight, and to rise triumphantly above bodily suffering. By faith and hope, her future inheritance appeared as though present to her view, so that she longed to be set free from the prison of clay. Every breath was praise. While her friends were watching the last flickerings of life, she slowly opened her eyes, and, with a tremulous voice, said,
“ Angels beckon me away,
And Jesus bids me come.”
19. Died, April 25th, at South-Witham, in the Grantham Circuit, Mr. Robert Ward, aged ninety. From early life he was a strict attendant on the services of the established Church, and his moral character was good; but he was a stranger to inward piety, until the year 1803, when the Wesleyan Ministers were first introduced into the village. Mr. and Mrs. Ward were among the earliest members of the society that was then formed, and very gladly entertained the Preachers : indeed, for eight years, until a chapel was built, a large room in his house formed their place of worship. He soon learned that mere outward morality would not save him; he therefore fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before him in the Gospel, and gave full proof that he had passed from death unto life. He was a man of few words, and of a retiring disposition; but he was a good man; and when he first began his Christian course, had to pass through many trials and persecutions. But for forty years he held on the even tenor of his way, never looking back, but often regretting that it was so late in life before he entered upon the service of the best of Masters. He had the happiness, before long, of seeing nearly all his children, comprising a large family, become members of the Methodist society. Though he lived to so great an age, he retained all his faculties to an unusual extent. In his eighty-fifth year he undertook a journey to London, to visit his three daughters, then living there, and returned in health and safety. About a year subsequently, one of them visited him ; and when she was about to take her leave of him, and return home, he said : “ Mary, you may not see me again in this life ; but let not that trouble you : tell Jane and Ann that it is well with me. I am waiting patiently until my change shall come. My eyesight is beginning to fail ; but your mother is never tired of reading that precious book to me;" and with tears of gratitude and joy, he added, “I thank God for sending us his written word: that word is truth ; it reveals to me Jesus Christ, on whom rests all my hope for salvation. My feet are on a sure foundation,-on the rock, Christ Jesus.” Soon after this, it pleased God to take from him his aged partner, to whom he had been united fifty-six years. They had lived in the same village, and in the same house, the whole of that time. They were well known and much respected, both by rich and poor. He felt that this was a heavy stroke; but he cheerfully submitted to the will of God, knowing that he should soon follow her. About a year afterwards, his health began to sink under the weight of years. However, he was not confined to the house, and was seldom absent from the means of grace. But on the evening of Saturday, the 22d of April, he took a walk nearly round the village. When he returned, he said to his daughter, who was living with him, “I feel faint and poorly : I should like to go to bed.” During the night he became worse, and in the morning medical aid was called in; but he was evidently sinking. In the forenoon, a friend called to see him, to whom he said, “I shall soon be with my friends above; I am very happy; I shall soon be with my blessed Jesus." He soon after became lethargic, and spoke no more, but lay composed until Tuesday evening, when he died in the Lord.
ST. PAUL'S EPISTLE TO THE PHILIPPIANS.
(To the Editor of the Wesleyan-Methodist Magazine.) We often lose much of the instruction which we might derive from the Epistles of St. Paul, through not endeavouring vividly to realize, and to keep before our minds, the circumstances in which he was placed at the time of writing them, and the situation of those to whom they were addressed. Did we advert to these particulars, we should read his letters with the most lively interest; we should perceive the beauty, the tenderness, the power, of many passages which we are in danger of hastily passing over; and we should be able to trace the development of the Apostle's character and views, and to mark the breathing forth of the deep and warm emotions of his heart.
There is another loss which we sustain, in consequence of the omission referred to. We fail to perceive the strength of the internal evidence which these Epistles afford of their genuineness and authority; and thus we remain destitute of a powerful confirmation of our faith. To every thoughtful mind, it must be a point of deep interest, to feel assured, while reading the Pauline Epistles, that it is indeed listening to the instructions of that great Apostle, whose conversion afforded so powerful a testimony to the resurrection and glory of the Lord Jesus, whose whole history was a proof of the truth and excellence of our religion, and whose character, when changed and purified by divine grace, presented that union of dignity, humility, and tenderness, which is calculated to call forth our admiration, and to win our esteem and love.
The genuineness of St. Paul's Epistles is indeed established by abundant and overwhelming evidence. No writings of Heathen antiquity can at all deserve to be placed in comparison with them in this respect. We have far more numerous and satisfactory proofs that these letters, generally speaking, are from the pen of the great Apostle of the Gentiles, than that any writings of Cicero or Virgil may be correctly ascribed to them. If we except the Epistle to the Hebrews, respecting the authorship of which a controversy existed, all of them were received by the early churches; they were read and circulated from the very first, as the undoubted productions of Paul ; and they were collected very early into one volume, termed “The Apostle,” to which several Fathers of the second century refer. In a period in which the claims of any production to an apostolical origin were anxiously inquired into, not the slightest doubt was ever expressed in relation to the genuineness of these writings; and to deny that they were composed by St. Paul, is to set all history at defiance.
But the Pauline Epistles afford also, to the sincere and thoughtful inquirer, the strongest internal evidence of their genuineness. Not only do they bear the name of Paul, but in many of them we find references, or allusions, to a number of incidental circumstances, affecting his personal history, the state of the churches which he addressed, and the relation in which he stood to them. And the manner and connexion of these allusions are, in the highest degree, natural and appropriate. They are not introduced formally, and in one part of the Epistle only; but they are interwoven with stateVOL. III.FOURTH SERIES.
ments of Christian truth, and exhortations to Christian duty ; and they are of such a character, and are so simply and naturally blended with the general trains of thought which are unfolded, as to bring before our view the heart of the Apostle, the inmost sentiments and feelings of his mind, disclosing themselves without any effort or reserve.
In illustration of these remarks, let us take the Epistle to the church at Philippi.
The circumstances connected with the formation of that church must be familiar to every one who has attentively read the Acts of the Apostles. Called into Macedonia by a special intimation from above, Paul and Silas visited Philippi, and preached the Gospel there with considerable success. It was in that city that they were cast into prison, and afterwards honourably released ; God having interposed on behalf of his servants by that mighty earthquake which affected the jailer, and led him to inquire of the persecuted followers of Jesus the way of salvation and peace. From Philippi, Paul and his faithful companion went to Thessalonica and Berea ; and afterwards he proceeded to Athens, and thence to Corinth. The course which the Apostle subsequently took, until the interruption of his widely extended evangelical labours, by his imprisonment at Rome, is traced in the Acts of the Apostles; and it appears probable, that during this interval he paid two other visits to the church at Philippi. Froin Corinth he sailed to Syria, touching at Ephesus in the course of the voyage ;(Acts xviii. 18—20;) and having landed at Cæsarea, and saluted the church there, he went to Antioch, from which city he had set out on each of the two great missionary tours which he had now completed. Having spent some time with the believers in Antioch, he entered upon his third evangelical mission; traversed Galatia and Phrygia ; and then came to Ephesus, where he remained more than two years, preaching, with great power and success, the Gospel of the Lord Jesus. When the tumult raised by Demetrius had rendered it desirable for him to leave Ephesus, he took an affectionate farewell of the church, and “ departed to go into Macedonia." The brief narrative of St. Luke does not enable us to affirm positively that he now visited Philippi ; but it is highly probable that that city was comprehended in the evangelical labours with which he now favoured the churches of Macedonia. The statement of the sacred historian is in these general terms,—“And when he had gone over those parts, and had given them much exhortation, he came into Greece ;” but even this general statement seems to imply, that every place of importance was visited by the Apostle; and it would be a most improbable supposition that a church so justly endeared to him as that at Philippi, would be omitted. Besides, it is evident that the plan of St. Paul was, after he had visited the churches of Macedonia and Greece, to return by sea to Syria ; so that he did not now anticipate another opportunity, at least for a considerable time, of seeing the believers at Philippi ; and we cannot, therefore, suppose that he would fail to visit, at this period, that interesting church, which he himself had planted, and which had ever manifested towards him so strong an attachment. The mnalice of the Jews, however, who lay in wait to intercept him as he was about to sail into Syria, led him to change his purpose, and he returned again to Macedonia, and a third time came to Philippi, from which place he sailed to Troas, on his way to the capital of Judea. (Acts xx. 3, 6.)
But the time was approaching when this eminent servant of Jesus Christ was to experience a painful interruption of his more active labours. The prejudices of the Jews, and especially of those who dwelt in Jerusalem,
seem to have been particularly directed against him, since they regarded him as an enemy to their national customs, to the strict observance of their law, and the peculiar sanctity of their temple. Called by the Lord Jesus Christ to preach the Gospel chiefly among the Gentiles, St. Paul had given prominence to that distinguishing feature of the Christian economy, that under it the grand condition of a church-relation to God, on the part equally of Jews and Gentiles, is the reception of the Saviour by faith ; and he had affirmed that the Gentiles who came into the Christian church were under no obligation to observe the peculiar rites of the Jewish dispensation. These views, though sanctioned by all the other Apostles, and solemnly confirmed at the council held in Jerusalem, (Acts xv.,) were not pleasing even to some of the Jewish believers. They would fain have regarded Christianity as a continuation of Judaism, exhibiting indeed, to the faith of men, the Messiah as actually manifested, and as having accomplished the work of our redemption, but requiring of all the Gentiles, who should come to him for blessing, and for admission to the visible church, to be incorporated, as in former ages, with the family of Abraham by circumcision, and to undertake the observance of the whole ritual law. Those Jews who rejected the Gospel were especially displeased at the constitution of the Christian church, and were greatly incensed against that eminent teacher who had, in so many countries, brought together in religious fellowship Jews and Gentiles, on the simple condition of faith in Jesus, and the open confession of his name. They even perverted the doctrine of Paul, and represented him as teaching the Jews that it was unlawful for them to circumcise their children, or to observe the ceremonies of the law. When, therefore, Paul appeared at Jerusalem, and went up to the temple, he was assailed with all the violence of popular rage ; and the Captain of the Roman guard had to interpose to rescue him from the hands of the infuriated multitude. Paul was now brought before the Sanhedrim ; but as this council was divided in opinion on his case, when it was first submitted to them, and as several of the Jews had formed a conspiracy to take away his life, when he should be again brought before them, the Captain of the Roman guard sent him under a strong escort to Cæsarea, where the Roman Governor of Judea was accustomed to reside. Here he was detained more than two years; but he was allowed to hold intercourse with his Christian friends, and doubtless contributed greatly to their establishment in the faith, and advancement in knowledge and holiness. That dispensation of divine Providence, which permitted this restriction of St. Paul's labours, may appear to us mysterious ; but it was certainly intended to accomplish important purposes. Among other incidental advantages which resulted from it, it gave him an opportunity of bearing testimony to Christ, and unfolding his Gospel, before Kings and Governors, and many persons of the highest distinction; and it showed, as the various sufferings of his previous career had done, his patient endurance in the cause of the Redeemer. Having claimed his right as a Roman citizen, and appealed from the partial and prejudiced judgment of the Jewish Sanhedrim,—to which tribunal Festus had proposed again to submit his case,-to the decision of the Emperor himself, he was sent to Rome; and thus his cherished purpose of visiting that great metropolis, and of holding personal intercourse with the Christians who resided there, and to whom he had already addressed an elaborate letter, was at length accomplished. It is instructive to turn to the close of the Epistle to the Romans, and to mark the plan which the Apostle had formed in his own mind, relative to visiting