« הקודםהמשך »
Mr. Dod, in the sixty-third year of his age, had a fever with very threatening symptoms; but things turning happily at the crisis, and the physician having thereupon said to bim, “ Now I have hopes of your recovery:" Mr. Dod answered, “ You think to comfort me by this; but you make my heart sad. It is as if you should tell a man, who, after being sorely weather-beaten at sea, had just arrived at the haven where his soul longed to be, that be must return to the ocean to be tossed again with winds and waves.”
Chap. v, ver. 9, 10.—Wherefore we labor, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him. For we must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to what he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
“ The difficulty of the ministerial work,” says Mr. Samuel Davies in a letter to a friend,“ seems to grow upon my hands. Perhaps once in three or four months
preach in some measure as I could wish; that is, I preach as in the sight of God, and as if I were to step from the pulpit to the supreme tribunal. I feel my. subject, I melt into tears, or I shudder with horror when I denounce the terrors of the Lord. I glow, I soar in sacred ecstacies, when the love of Jesus is my theme; and as Mr. Baxter was wont to express it, in lines more striking to me than all the fine poetry in the world ;
'I preach as if I neer should preach again,
And as a dying man to dying men.'' Chap. v, ver. 17.-Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away ; behold, all things are become new.
The Rev. Legh Richmond, on his return from Scotland some years ago, passed through Stockport,
at the time when radical opinions disturbed the country. In consequence of his lameness, he was never able to walk far without resting. He was leaning on his stick and looking about him, when a poor fellow ran up to him and offered his hand, enquiring, with considerable earnestness, “ Pray, sir, are you a radical!" “ Yes, my friend,” replied Mr. Richmond, “I am a radical, a thorough radical."
“ Then,” said the man, “ give me your hand.” “ Stop, sir, stop ; I must explain myself: we all need a radical reformation, our hearts are full of disorders: the root and principle within us is altogether corrupt. Let you and I mend matters there ; and then all will be well, and we shall cease to complain of the times and the government." Right sir," replied the radical,
you are right, sir :" and bowing respectfully, he retired.
Chap. vi, ver. 3.—Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed.
Doctor Brockmand, Bishop of Zealand, was once present at a wedding, which was attended by a large promiscuous company of all ranks. At table the conversation turned upon the conduct of a certain disorderly clergyman: some of the company reprobated, and others pitied him. But a lady of rank, no doubt one of those who take the lead where busy scandal feasts her votaries, gave a new turn to the subject, and with a scornful mein, added : “ What a pretty set of creatures our clergy are !” It grieved Brockmand to hear the whole clergy thus villified, yet he did not think proper to offer a serious reply. But shortly after, he related an anecdote of a noble lady, notorious for her ill conduct, concluding with these words : “ It does not follow, however, that all our noble ladies should resemble her.”
Chap. vi, ver. 14.-Be not ye unequally yoked with unbelievers.
Eliza Embert, a young Parisian lady, resolutely discarded a gentleman to whom she was to bave been
married, because he ridiculed religion. Having given bim a gentle reproof, he replied, “ That a man of the world could not be so old fashioned as to regard God and religion.” Eliza started !-but on recovering herself, said, “ From this moment, sir, when I discover that you do not regard religion, I cease to be yours. He who does not love and honor God, can never love his wife constantly and sincerely."
Chap. vii, ver. 6.—Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus.
During the ministry of the late Mr. Willison of Dundee, a serious woman who had been hearing him preach from Psalm lv, 22. “ Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he will sustain thee,” came to his house in the evening, with a broken and oppressed mind, in order to make known to bim her perplexed case. The poor woman, as she passed through the house to bis room, heard a little girl repeating the text, which came with such power to her heart, as effectually dispelled her fears, and set her at liberty. When she was introduced to Mr. W., she told him that she was come to make known her distress; but the Lord, by means of his grand-child repeating the text, as she came through the bouse, had graciously dispelled her fears, and removed her burden, and now she only desired to give thanks for her spiritnal recovery.
Chap. vii, ver. 15.--And his inward affection is more abundant toward you; whilst he remembereth the obedience of you all, how with fear and trembling ye received him.
The late excellent Mr. Cathcart, of Drum, was in the practice of keeping a diary, which, however, included one particular department, seldom to be found in like cases. Mr. Cathcart describes his plan and object in the following words : “ A memorial of acts of kindness, that as memory is liable to fail, and as the kindness and friendship of former times may be forgotten, the remembrance of friendly offices done to the writer or to his family, or to his particular friends, might be preserved, in order that he may himself repay the debt in grateful acknowledgments while he lived, and that his family after him might koow to whom their father owed obligations, and might feel every debt of gratitude due by him as an obligation on themselves.”
Chap. viii, ver. 2, 3.—How that in a great trial of affliction, the abundance of their joy, and their deep poverty, abounded unto the riches of their liberality. For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power, they were willing of themselves.
Mr. Thomson, a clergyman in the west of England, long since dead, had made it his custom for many years, to distribute the overplus of the proceeds of his farm among the poor of his parish, after having supplied the wants of his own household. One year, however, he engaged to subscribe thirty pounds for the building of a chapel in a distant town. Being unable to raise the money by any other means than by breaking in upon the little board of bis poor parishioners, he was under the necessity of selling so much as would raise the thirty pounds for his subscription to the chapel. The expedient, though painful to him, was unavoidable.-Having procured the money, he left home to be the bearer of bis benefaction. In bis journey he overtook a young lady riding on horseback, whom he thus accosted :-Well overtaken, fair lady, will you accept of an old clergyman for your companion over the down! I am too old, indeed, to promise you much protection, but I trust God will protect both.” There was a certain something in the manner with which Mr. T. said ibis, that was very attractive, so that the young lady felt a strong prepossession in his favor, before be had balf finished what he said. She expressed herself much satisfied with his company, and by enquiring, found they were both going to the same town. In the course of conversation, he told her his name, and the name of his church ; what a happy village of poor people his was, and how dear they were to him. When they arrived at the town, and were about to part, Mr. T. informed the lady of the name of the friend to whose house he was going, expressing a wish that she would call upon him before he left the place. The young lady, the same evening, mentioned to her friends, to whom she was on a visit, the name of the clergyman, and the many precious subjects of conversation with which he had entertained her. 66 Thomson !" cried the lady," I wish it was Mr. Thomson we have been so many years enquiring after in vain. I bave thirty pounds, tied up in a bag by my late husband, due to a person of that name, who desired to leave it till called for.—But I suppose he is dead; and his execcutor, whoever he be, knows nothing of it." Mr. Thomson was sent for, when it soon appeared, that the Mr. Thomson, to whom this money had been so long due, was his own brother, who bad been dead for several years; and to whose effects he was the executor and residuary legatee. On the bags being put into his band by the lady of the house, he fell on his knees, and with eyes lifted up, exclaimed, “ Blessed be God! how gracious, how wonderful thus to provide money for my poor people at home! The money will be theirs again. He hastened to his friend in the town to inform him of what had happened; and as he entered his house, he cried out, “ Praise God: tell it in Gath, publish it in Askelon, that our God is a faithful God.”