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heard you tell it yesterday to John.' "Well, but with the same breath, Peter told his countrymen, Now brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it.' Be it so, William; but I, who see strong proofs of your religion around me, and even in my own wandering and depressed nation, am less excusable.' . Yet the Prince of Life prayed for his murderers, and commanded that to them first, remission of sins should be preached. You are of the nation beloved for the father's sake.' He would have said more; when seeing you, be broke off, and whispered in my ear, My Jesus loves even bis murderers. Soon after, as I was stepping into a schuyte, I stumbled, and probably should have been drowned, bad not the minister of the village, whom I had the day before, against my conscience, joined you in ridiculiog, caught hold of me with bis hand. • Honest man,' said I,. wbat virtue is this, to rescue from death one of a nation wbich killed your-Prince of Life! He kiodly replied, • My Master loves even bis murderers.' I cannot express what I felt wben I heard these words repeated, and wbat anxiety bas filled my mind ever since.”
Chap. iv, ver. 18, 19, 20. And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all, nor teach, in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
When the Assembly met at Edinburgh, in 1582, Andrew Melville inveighed against the absolute authority which was making its way into the church; whereby, he said, they intended to pull the crown from Christ's head, and wrest the sceptre out of his hand; and when several articles of the same tenor with his speech, were presented by the commission of
the Assembly to the king and council, craving redress, the earl of Arran cried out, “ Is there any here that dare subscribe these articles ?" Upon which Melville went forward, and said, “ We dare, and will render our lives in the cause;" and then took up the pen aod subscribed.
Chap. iv. ver. 29.-And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word.
“ One Sunday, when I had finished reading prayers at Madeley,” says the Rev. Mr. Fletcher, " I went up into the pulpit, intending to preach a sermon which I had prepared for that purpose; but my mind was so confused, that I could not recollect either my text or any part of my discourse. I was afraid I should be obliged to come down without saying any thing; but having recollected myself a little, I thought I should say something on the first lesson, w the third chapter of Daniel, containing an account of the three children cast into the fiery furnace: I found in doing it such an extraordinary assistance from God, and such a peculiar enlargement of beart, that I supposed there must be some peculiar cause for it. I therefore desired, if any of the congregation found any thing particular, they would acquaint me with it the ensuing week. lo consequence of this, the Wednesday after a woman came, and gave me the following account: 'I have been for some time much concerned about my soul; I have attended the church at all opportunities, and have spent much time in private prayer. At this my husband, who is a butcher, has been exceedingly enraged, and threatened me severely, if I did not leave off going to John Fletcher's church; gea, if I dared to go any more to any religious meetings whatever. When I told him I could not in gonscience refrain from going, at least, to our parish church, he grew quite outrageous, and swore dreadfully if I went any more, he would cut
my throat as soon as I came home. This made me cry mightily to God, that he would support me in the trying hour. And though I did not feel any great degree of comfort, yet having a sure confidence in God, I determined to go on in my duty, and leave the event to him. Last Sunday, after many struggles with the devil and my own heart, I came down stairs ready for church. My husband asked whither I was going. Well, then, said he, I shall not, as I intended, cut your throat; but I will heat the oven, and throw you into it the moment you come bome. Notwithstanding this threatening, which he enforced with many bitter oaths, I went to church, praying all the way that God would strengthen me to suffer whatever might befal
While you were speaking of the three children whom Nebuchadnezzar cast into the burning fiery furpace, I found it all belonged to me, and God applied every word of it to my heart. And when the sermon was ended, I thougbt if I had a thousand lives, I could lay them all down for God. I felt my soul so filled with his love, that I hastened home, fully determined to give myself to whatsoever God pleased: nothing doubting, but that either he would take me to beaven if be suffered me to be burnt to death, or that he would in some way deliver me, even as he did his three servants that trusted in him. When I got almost to my own door, I saw the flames issuing out of the mouth of the oven; and I expected nothing else but that I should be thrown into it immediately.I felt my heart rejoice, that if it were so, the will of the Lord would be done. I opened the door, and, to my utter astonishment, saw my husband upon his knees, wrestling with God in prayer for the forgiveDess of bis sins. He caught me in his arms, earnestly begged my pardon, and has continued diligently seeking God ever since.' I now know," adds Mr. Fletcher, “why my sermon was taken from me, namely, that God might thus magnify his mercy."
Chap. v, ver. 29.-Then Peter and the
other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
Philip, bishop of Heraclea, in the beginning of the fourth century, was dragged by the feet through the streets, severely scourged, and then brought again to the governor,
who charged him with obstipale rashness, in continuing disobedient to the imperial decrees; but he boldly replied, “ My present behavior is not the effect of rashness, but proceeds from my love and fear of God, who made the world, and who will judge the living and the dead, whose commands I dare not transgress. I have bitherto done my duty to the emperors, and am always ready to comply with their just orders, according to the doctrine of our Lord Christ, who bids us give both to Cæsar and to God their due; but I am obliged to prefer beaven to earth, and to obey God rather than man." The governor, on hearing this speech, immediately passed sentence on him to be burnt, which was executed accordingly, and the martyr expired, singing praises to God in the midst of the flames.
Chap. v, ver. 36.-For before those days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves : who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered and brought to nought.
In the year 434, it is related, that a certain impostor stirred up some commotions in the island of Crete. This fellow calling bimself Moses, promised that he Would carry over the Jews, many of whom were in the island, into the land of Canaan. Having conducted them to a promontory that hung over the sea, he commanded them to cast themselves down. Many obeyed, and were drowned. Diligent search was afterwards made for the false Moses, jo order to put him to death; but he could no where be found.
Chap. vi, ver. 4.-But we will give our
selves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
Nothing seems important to me,” says Mr. Cecil, “ but so far as it is connected with religion. The end-the cui bono?-enters joto my view of every thing. Even the big hest acts of the intellect become crimioal trifling, when they occupy much of the time of a moral creature, and especially of a minister. If the mind cannot feel and treat matbematics and mu. sic, and all such things, as trifles, it has been seduced and enslaved. Brainard, and Grimshaw, and Fletcher,
Most of us are dwarfs."
Chap. vi, ver. 9,—Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen.
Mr. Grimshaw was once in company with a nobleman, who unhappily employed his talents in the service of infidelity. He had some time before been engaged in a loog dispute with two eininent divines, in which, as is usual in such cases, the victory was claimed by both sides. Meeting afterwards with Mr. G. he wished to draw him likewise into a dispute, but he declined it nearly in these words: “ My lord, if you needed information, I would gladly do my utmost to assist you; but the fault is not in your head, but in your heart, which can only be reached by a divine power; I shall pray for you, but I cannot dispute with you." His lordship, far from being offended, treated bim with particular respect, and declared afterwards, that he was more pleased and more struck by the freedom, firmness, and simplicity of his answer, than by any thing be heard on the side of his opponents.
Chap. vii, ver. 24.-And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended him, and