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sufficiency of the atonement he had made, my pardon sealed in his blood, and all the fulness and completeness of his justification. In a moment I believed and received the Gospel. Whatever my friend Madan had said to me, so long before, revived in all its clearness, with demonstration of the Spirit and with power.
“Unless the Almighty arm had been under me, I think I should have died with gratitude and joy. My eyes filled with tears, and my voice choked with transport. I could only look up to heaven in silent fear, overwhelmed with love and wonder. But the work of tne Holy Spirit is best described in his own words : it is 'joy unspeakable, and full of glory. Thus was my heavenly Father in Christ Jesus pleased to give me the full assurance of faith ; and, out of a strong, unbelieving heart, to raise up a child unto Abraham.' How glad should I now have been to have spent every moment in prayer and thanksgiving! I lost no opportunity of repairing to a throne of grace, but flew to it with an earnestness irresistible and never to be satisfied. Could I help it? Could I do otherwise than love and rejoice in my reconciled Father in Christ Jesus? The Lord had enlarged mny heart, and ‘I ran in the way of his commandinents.'
“For many succeeding weeks, tears were ready to flow if I did but speak of the Gospel, or mention the name of Jesus. To rejoice day and night was all my employment. Too happy to sleep much, I thought it was but lost time that was spent in slumber. Oh that the ardor of my first love had continued ! But I have known many a lifeless and unhallowed hour since; long intervals of darkness, interrupted by short returns of peace and joy in believing."
Brainerd, like President Edwards, was the subject of religious impressions from his early youth. He attended regularly to the duties of religion in public and in private, and earnestly sought to do something to recommend himself to the favor of Heaven. But being continually disappointed in attempts of this nature, his heart at length broke out into a violent and sensible quarrel with God. He was displeased with the strictness of the Divine law, with the prescribed and unalterable conditions of salvation, and especially with the doctrine of Divine Sovereignty. After continuing in this state for some considerable time, seeking rest and finding none, he was brought to acquiesce in those views of God, which he had formerly opposed, and to rejoice in hope of his glory.
“I was attempting to pray; but found no heart to engage in that or any other duty ; my forıner concern, exercise, and religious affections were now gone. I thought that the Spirit of God had quite lest me; but still was not distressed ; yet disconsolate, as if there was nothing in heaven or earth could make me happy. Having been thus endeavoring to pray-though, as I thought, very stupid and senseless—for near half an hour ; then, as I was walking in a dark thick grove, unspeakable glory seemed to open to the view and apprehension of my soul. I do not mean any erternal brightness, for I saw no such thing ; nor do I intend any imagination of a body of light, somewhere in the third heavens, or any thing of that nature ; but it was a new inward apprehension or view that I had of God, such as I never had before, nor any thing which had the least resemblance of it. I stood still; wondered ; and admired! I knew that I never had seen before any thing comparable to it for excellency and beauty ; it was widely different from all the conceptions that ever I had of God, or things divine. I had no particular apprehension of any one person in the Trinity, either the Father, the Son, or the Holy Ghost; but it appeared to be Divine glory. My soul rejoiced with joy unspeakable, to see such a God, such a glorious divine Being; and I was inwardly pleased and satisfied, that he should be Gud over all for ever and ever. My soul was so captivated and delighted with the excellency, loveliness, greatness, and other perfections of God, that I was even swallowed up in him; at least to that degree, that I had no thought (as I remember) at first, about my own salvation, and scarce reflected that there was such a creature as myself.
“Thus God, I trust, brought me to a hearty disposition to exalt him, and set him on the throne, and principally and ultimately to aim at his honor and glory, as King of the universe. I continued in this state of inward joy, peace, and astonishment, till near dark, without any sensible abatement; and then began to think and examine what I had seen; and felt sweetly composed in my mind all the evening following. I felt myself in a new world, and every thing about me appeared with a different aspect from what it was wont to do. At this time, the way of salvation opened to me with such infinite wisdom, suitableness, and excellency, that I wondered I should ever think of any other way of salvation ; was amazed that I had not dropped my own contrivances, and complied with this lovely, blessed, and excellent way before. If I could have been saved by my own duties, or any other way that I had formerly contrived, my whole soul would now have refused it. I wondered that all the world did not see and comply with this way of salvation, entirely by the righteousness of Christ. The sweet relish of what I then felt, continued with me for several days, almost constantly, in a greater or less degree.-I could not but sweetly rejoice in God, lying down and rising up.”
DR. SAMUEL HOPKINS, OF NEWPORT. Dr. Hopkins was a self-righteous and confident professor of religion, for some time before he came to a saving knowledge of the truth. He was awakened to a deep sense of his true character and danger, while a member of Yale College, through the instrumentality of David Brainerd.
“My conviction fixed upon me. I saw I was indeed no christian. The evil of my heart, the hardness and unbelief of it came more
and more into view; and the evil case in which I was, appeared more and more dreadful. I felt myself a guilty, justly condemned creature, and my hope of relief by obtaining conversion failed more and more, and my condition appeared darker from day to day, and all help failed, and I felt myself to be nothing but ignorance, guilt and stupidity. Thus I continued for some weeks, generally retired, unless when I attended private meetings of young people for prayer, &c., which were frequent then in college, and in the town.
“At length, as I was in my closet one evening, while I was meditating, and in my devotions, a new and wonderful scene opened to my view. I had a sense of the being and presence of God, as I never had before ; it being more of a reality, and more affecting and glorious, than I had ever before perceived. And the character of Jesus Christ, the mediator came into view, and appeared such a reality, and so glorious, and the way of salvation by him so wise, important and desirable, that I was astonished at myself that I had never seen these things before, which were so plain, pleasing and wonderful. I longed to have all see and know these things as they now appeared to me. I was greatly affected, in the view of my own depravity, the sinfulness, guilt, and odiousness of my character ; and tears flowed in great plenty. After some time I left my closet, and went into the adjoining room, no other person being then there. I walked the room, all intent on these subjects, and took up Watts' version of the psalms, and opened it at the fifty-first psalm, and read the first, second and third parts in long metre with strong affections, and made it all my own language, and thought it was the language of my heart to God; I dwelled upon it with pleasure, and wept much. And when I had laid the book aside, my mind continued fixed on the subject, and in the exercise of devotion, confession, adoration, petition, &c., in which I seemed to pour out my heart to God with great freedom. I coutinued all attention to the things of religion, in which most appeared more or less engaged. There were many instances, as was then supposed, of conversion. I felt a peculiar, pleasing affection to those, who were supposed to be christians.”
In his youth, this excellent man had frequent convictions of sin, and frequent struggles between his inclinations and his conscience, between the strivings of the Floly Spirit, and the suggestions of his evil heart. He oficn spent his evenings in vain and sinful company, to which he was strongly attached, and on leaving which he was uniformly in great distress.
“ One morning,” says he, “I think in November, 1769, I walked out by myself with an unusual load of guilt upon my conscience. The remembrance of my sin, not only on the past evening, but for a long time back, the breach of my vows, and the
shocking termination of my former hopes and affections, all uniting together, formed a burden which I knew not how to bear. The reproaches of a guilty conscience seemed like the gnawing worm of hell. I do not write in the language of exaggeration. I now know that the sense which I then had of the evil of sin, and the wrath of God, was very far short of the truth; but yet it seemed more than I was able to sustain. In reflecting upon my broken vows, I saw that there was no truth in me. I saw that God would be perfectly just in sending me to hell, and that to hell I must go, unless I were saved of mere grace, and as it were in spite of myself. I felt, that if God were to forgive me all my past sins, I should again destroy my soul, and that, in less than a day's time. I never before knew what it was to feel myself an odious, lost sinner, standing in need of both pardon and purification. I knew not what to do! I durst not promise amendment ; for I saw such promises were self-deception. To hope for forgiveness in the course that I was in, was the height of presumption ; and to think of Christ, after having so basely abused his grace, seemed too much. So I had no refuge. As near as I can remember, I was like a man drowning, looking every way for help, or rather, catching for something by which he might save his life. I tried to find whether there were any hope in the divine mercy, any in the Saviour of sinners; but felt repulsed by the thought of mercy having been so basely abused already. In this state of mind, as I was moving slowly on, I thought of the resolution of Job, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.' I paused, and repeated the words over and over. Each repetition seemed to kindle a ray of hope, mixed with a determination, if I might, to cast my perishing soul upon the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, to be both pardoned and purified; for I felt that I needed the one as much as the other. In this way I continued above an hour, weeping and supplicating mercy for the Saviour's sake: (my soul hath it still in remembrance, and is humbled in me!) and as the eye of the mind was more and more fixed upon him, my guilt and fears were gradually and insensibly removed. I now found rest for my troubled soul.
“When I thought of my past life, I abhorred myself, and repented as in dust and ashes; and when I thought of the Gospel way of salvation, I drank it in as cold water is imbibed by a thirsty soul. My heart felt one with Christ, and dead to every other object around me.
“ From this time, my former wicked courses were forsaken. I had no manner of desire after them. They lost their influence upon me. To those evils, a glance at which before would have set my passions in a fame, I now felt no inclination. “My soul' (said I, with joy and triumph,) is as a weaned child !' I now knew, experimentally, what it was to be dead to the world by the cross of Christ, and to feel an habitual determination to devote my future life to God my Saviour.” VOL. 111.—NO. 1. ove. NO. 1.
SAMUEL J. MILLS.
MR. Mills was one of the most extraordinary characters which America has produced. Unobtrusive and unobserved, he caused his influence to be felt (and it was ever a good influonce) in exciting and directing most of the great religious movements of the day. With him, while a member of college, the spirit of Forcign Missions in this country may be said to have originated. He set on foot the Foreign Mission School, and the mission to the Sandwich Islands. "He matured the plan, which eventuated in the establishment of the United Foreign Missionary Society.” The formation of the American Bible Society " Mr. Mills thought of, and suggested, and pressed the suggestion, long before it probably entered the mind of any other individual.” By his repeated and extended travels in the southern and western portions of our country, to search out and make known the spiritual wants of the people, he was as instrumental in arousing the spirit of Domestic Missions, as he had previously been in exciting interest in behalf of the heathen. His agency, too, in originating and maturing the plans of the American Colonization Society, in the furthering of which he lost his life, can never be forgotten by the friends of Africa.
The spiritual career of this devoted servant of Christ and the church commenced in the following manner: When about fifteen years of age, his attention was specially directed to the great concerns of the soul. For two full years, he continued in a state of anxiety, quarreling with the sovereignty of God, and often wishing that he had never been born. One morning, as he was about to leave home, to return to school in a neighboring town, his pious " mother took an opportunity of inquiring into the state of his mind, and begged him to make an ingenuous disclosure of his feelings.”
“ For a moment he was silent, and wept; but his heart was too full long to suppress the emotions produced by so affecting a request. He raised his head, and, with eyes streaming with tears, exclaimed, “O that I had never been born! D that I had never been born! For two years I have been sorry God ever made me.” What reply could such a mother make to such a disclosure ? It was given her in that same hour what she should speak :-“ My son," said she, “ you are born, and you can never throw off your existence, nor your everlasting accountability for all your conduct.” This heavy thought was like a dagger to his soul. His mother expressed her fears that he had never thoroughly seen the evil of his own heart, and that he had much to learn before he was acquainted with himself:—to which he ventured to say, “I have seen —to the very bottom of hell !" With this frame of mind, he took a melancholy leave of his parents for the winter; and it was a day never to be forgotten in the life of Mr. Mills, nor in our recollection of those splendid schemes of benevolence which characterized his subsequent history, and to which the events of this day bore so intimate a relation. What took place under his father's roof may be easily conjectured ;-a scene, apparently of very little moment,