« הקודםהמשך »
hazard his life upon a doctrine for wbich he bad, bowever, contended with all the earnestoess of perfect
The lady's busband was so struck by this practical confutation of a doctrine wbich he had before implicitly believed, that he never afterwards appeared at the mass.
Chap. xi, ver. 30.-For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
When Mr. Joseph Woodward, one of the nonconformist ministers in England, was settled in Dursley, he vigorously set about the reformation of many disorders in discipline and manners that existed among the people. Io particular, be declared his resolution to admit none to the Lord's supper but those who, besides a visible probity of conversation, had a competent knowledge of divine things. A certaio person said, “ He would not submit to examination; and if Mr. Woodward would not give him the sacrament, be would take it!" In pursuance of this impious resolution, this man was coming to church on the sacrament-day, but he had scarcely set one foot over the threshold before he fell down dead.
Chap. xii, ver. 2.--Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.
King Oloup Haraldson, (about eight hundred years since,) having exerted himself to convert the inhabitants of Norway to Christianity, prevailed, partly by authority, and partly by persuasion, so far as to cause to be destroyed before them, a gigantic statue of their god Thor, the grand virtue of which was that it ate every day a quantity of meat and cakes put into its mouth. When demolished, it was found to bave had in its stomach a very effective power of digestion ; a multitude of rats escaped from all parts of it, and betrayed to the people the cause of what had appeared a prodigy. They abjured Thor, and were baptized. If we cannot praise the honesty of the priests of Thor, they at least cannot be charged with want of ingenuity.
Chap. xii, ver. 15.--If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body ; is it therefore not of the body?
The Rev. Ambrose Morton was generally esteemed a good scholar, and remarkably humble, sanctified, and holy; but was inclined to melancholy, to bis own discouragement. In his younger days, wben he was assistant to another minister, some good people, in bis hearing, speaking of their conversion, and ascribing it under God to that minister's preaching, he seemed cast down as if he was of no use.
A sensible countryman, who was present, and who had a particular value for his ministry, made this observation for his encouragement: “An ordinary workman may bew down timber; but it must be an accomplished artist that shall frame it for the building." Mr. M. therefore rose up, and cheerfully replied,“ if I am of any use, I am satisfied.” Indeed, his preaching was always solid and judicious, and bigbly esteemed by all but bimself: but was especially useful to experienced Christians.
Chap. xiii, ver. 5.-Doth not behave itself unseenily, seeketh not her own.
Dr. Hammond frequently remitted his rights when he thought the party unable to pay. Once he had made a bargain with one of his parishioners to bave so much for the tithe of a large meadow ; and according to his agreement, received part of the money at the beginning of the year. It happened, however, that the produce was afterwards spoiled, and carried away by a flood. When the tenant came to make the last payment, the doctor not only refused it, but returned the former sum, saying to the poor man, “God forbid that I should take the tenth, when you have not the nine parts."
Chap. xiii, ver. 12.-For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face ; now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known.
An old Hottentot having been taken ill, was visited by Mr. Reid, a missionary. - He said, “ This is the message of death! I shall now go and see the other country where I have never been, but which I long to see! I am weary of every thing here! I commit too inuch sin bere, I wish to be free from it; I cannot understand things well bere, and you cannot understand me. The Lord has spoken,much to me, though I cannot explain it.”
Chap. xiv, ver. 9.–So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak unto the air.
A gentlewoman went one day to hear Dr. preach, and, as usual, carried a pocket Bible with her, that she might turn to any of the passages the preacher might bappen to refer to. But she found that she had no use for her Bible there; and, on coming away, said to a friend," I should have left my Bible at home lo-day, and have brought my dictionary. The doctor does not deal in Scripture, but in such learned words and phrases as require the help of an interpreter to render them intelligible.”
Chap. xiv, ver. 21.-In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that they will not hear me, saith the Lord.
A musical Amateur of eminence, who had often observed Mr. Cadogan's inattention to bis performances, said to him one day, “ Come, I am determined to make you feel the force of music,-pay particular attention to this piece.” It accordingly was played, “Well, what do you say now ?” “Why just wbat I said before." " What! can you hear this and not be charmed? Well, I am quite surprised at your
insensibility. Where are your ears?"
“ Bear with me,
my lord,” replied Mr. Cadogan, “since I too have had my surprise; I have often from the pulpit set before you the most striking and affecting truths; I have sounded notes that have raised the dead; I have said, surely he will feel now; but you never seemed charmed with my music, though infinitely more interesting than yours. I too have been ready to say with astonishment, Where are his ears?"
Chap. xv, ver. 33.—Be not deceived ; evil communications corrupt good manners.
A poor boy who had been educated in the Stockport Sabbath school, conducted himself so well, and made so great proficiency in learning, that he was appointed teacher of one of the junior classes. About this time his father died, and bis mother being reduced to indigent circumstances, she was obliged to engage him in one of the cotton factories, wbere he met with boys of his own age, who were matured in vice, and hardened in crime. Through the force of their evil example, he lost by degrees all his serious impressions ; and having thrown off the fear of God, became addicted to intemperance, and the commission of petty thefts. His dissolute conduct soon brought him into the army. The regiment was sent to Spain, where his habit of excessive drinking was confirmed ; and not satisfied with the advantages he reaped as the fruits of many a splendid victory, he plundered the innocent and peaceful inhabitants. On the close of the war in the Peninsula, he returned home with his regiment; and soon after landing on the coast of Hampshire, he, with others of his con.panions, whose principles he had vitiated, broke into several houses ; till at length he was detected, arraigned at the tribunal of justice, and condemned to an ignominious death at the age of twenty-one. - Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death."
Chap. xv, ver. 35.—But some man will
say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come ?
“ A number of the attendants on the queen's sister," says Mr. Ellis in bis Polynesian Researches, “ soon after their reception of Christianity, came to the meeting, and stated that one of their friends had died a few days before, and that they had buried the corpse according to their ancient manner, not laying it straight in a coffin, as Christians were accustomed to do, but placing it in a sitting posture, with the face between the knees, the hands under the thighs, and the whole body bound round with cords. Since the interment, (they added,) they had been thinking about the resurrection, and wished to know how the body would then appear,
whether, if left in that manner, it would rise deformed, and whether they had not better disinter the corpse, and deposit it in a straight or horizontal position. A suitable reply was of course returned. They were directed to let it remain undisturbed—that probably long before the resurrection, it would be so completely dissolved, and mingled with the surrounding earth, that no trace would be left of. the form in which it had been deposited.”
Chap. xvi, ver. 22.--If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anatbema Maran-atha.
Mr. Flavel, on one occasion, preached from the above passage. The discourse was unusually solemn, particuarly the explanation of the words anathema, muran-atha—" cursed with a curse, cursed of God with a bitter and grievous curse.” At the conclusion of the service, when Mr. Flavel arose to pronounce the benediction, he paused, and said, “ How shall I bless this whole assembly, when every person in it, who loveth not the Lord Jesus Christ, is adathema maran-atha ?” The solemnity of this address affected the audience; and one gentleman, a person of rank, was so overcome by his feelings, that he fell senseless to the floor. In the congregation was a lad