תמונות בעמוד

by them. Having satisfied bis curiosity in London, he returned to his marine pursuits, and continued at sea for seven years, without any remarkable occurrence in his history. One fine evening, when the air was soft, the breeze gentle, the heavens serene, and the ocean calm, he was walking the deck, with his feelings soothed by the pleasing aspect of nature, when all on a sudden darted on his mind, the words, “ Pray without ceasing !” “Pray without ceasing ! What words can these be?" he exclaimed: " I think I have heard them before: where could it be?" After a pause,—“Oh, it was at St. Paul's in London, the minister read them from the Bible. Wbat! and do the Scriptures say, “Pray without ceasing?' Oh what a wretch must I be to have lived so long without praying at all!”—God, who at first caused him to hear this passage in his ear, now caused it to spring up, in a way, at a time, and with a power peculiarly his own. The poor fellow now found the lightning of conviction flash on his conscience,-the thunders of the law shake his heart,-and the great deep of destruction threaten to swallow him up. Now he began, for the first time, to pray; but praying was not all! “Oh,” said he, “if I had a Bible, or some good book !” He rummaged his chest, when in a cor ner, he espied a Bible wbich his anxious mother bad, twenty years before, placed in his chest, but wbich till now had never been opened. He snatched it up, put it to his breast, then read, wept, prayed; he believed, and became a new man.

Chap. v, ver. 21.—Prove all things: hold fast that which is good.

A gentleman was once asked in company, what led him to embrace the truths of the Gospel, which formerly he was known to have neglected and despised ! He said, “ My call and conversion to God my Saviour were produced by very singular means :- -A person put into my hands Paine's " Age of Reason.' I read


it with attention, and was much struck with the strong and ridiculous representation he made of many passages in the Bible. I confess, to my shame, I bad never read the Bible through; but from what I remembered to have heard at church, and accidentally on other occasions, I could not persuade myself that Paine's report was quite exact, or that the Bible was quite so absurd a book as he represented it. I resolved therefore that I would read the Bible regularly through, and compare the passages when I had done so, that I might give the Bible fair play. I accordingly set myself to the task, and as I advanced, I was struck with the majesty wbich spoke, the awfulness of the trutbs contained in it, and the strong evidence of its divine origin, which increased with every page, so that I finished my enquiry with the fullest satisfaction of the truth as it is in Jesus, and my heart was penetrated with a sense of obligation I had never felt before. I resolved henceforth to take the sacred word for my guide, and to be a faithful follower of the Son of God.”


Chap. i, ver. 6, 7.-Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you ; and to you who are troubled rest with us.

The Earl of Argyle was not more distinguished by his genuine patriotism, than by his private virtues.Unaffected piety formed a prominent feature in his character. From the purest motives he engaged in that ill-concerted and ill-fated enterprise, which proved fatal to himself and to many of his followers in 1685. From the time that he was seized till bis execution, his whole conduct was marked with a serenity and mildness, with a generosity and dignity,

highly becoming his character as a patriot and a Christian. The following detached incident serves to display that blessed peace, the fruit of Christian faith, which the Earl experienced on that trying occasion; and, at the same time, the power of conscience when awakened, and the consequent remorse and anguish, which ungodly men, and especially cruel persecutors, are doomed sooner or later to feel. -- Before he left the castle, previous to bis execution, he had his dinner at the usual hour, at which he discoursed not only calmly, but even cheerfully, with Mr. Charteris and others. After dinner, he retired, as was his custom, to his bed-chamber, where he slept quietly for about a quarter of an hour. While he was in bed, one of the members of the council came, and intimated to the attendants a desire to speak with him; upon being told that the Earl was asleep, and had left orders not to be disturbed, the member disbelieved the account, which he considered as a device to avoid further questionings. To satisfy him, the door of the bedchamber was balf opened, and he then beheld, enjoying a sweet and tranquil slumber, the man, who, by the doom of him and his fellows, was to die within the space of two short hours! Struck with the sight he hurried out of the room, quitted the castle with the utmost precipitation, and hid himself in the lodgings of an acquaintance who lived near, where he flung himself on the first bed that presented itself, and had every appearance of a man suffering the most excruciating torture. His friend, who had been apprized by his servant of the state he was in, and who naturally concluded that he was ill, offered him some wine. He refused, saying, “ No, no; that will not help me; I have been at Argyle, and saw him sleeping as pleasantly as ever man did, within an hour of eternity. But as for me

Chap. ii, ver. 1, 2.---Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus

Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

In the year 1666, an opinion generally prevailed in England, that the end of the world would come that year. Sir Matthew Hale going the same year in the western circuit, it happened, that when on the Bench at the Assizes, a most terrible storm came on very unexpectedly, accompanied with dreadful flashes of lightning, and peals of thunder; upon which a whisper ran through the crowd, that the world was at an end, and the day of judgment beginning. A general consternation in the whole assembly followed, and all men forgot the business they were met about, and betook themselves to their prayers. This, adding to the horror raised by the storm, looked very dismal; insomuch, that the relater of the story, a man of no ordinary resolution, confessed it made impressions on himself. But he stated, “ that he observed Sir Matthew, the Judge, was not a whit affected, but went on with the business of the court in his ordinary manner.”

Chap. ii, ver. 3, 4.-Let no man deceive you by any means, for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped ; so that he, as God, sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

One day, after prayer, King Charles I, asked Mr. Robert Blair, an eminent Scottish minister, if it was warrantable in prayer, to determine a controversy. Mr. Blair, taking the hint, said, he thought he had

determined no controversy in that prayer. “Yes," said the king, “you have determined the Pope to be anticbrist, wbich is a controversy among divines.”— To this Mr. Blair replied, “ To me this is no controversy, and I am sorry it should be accounted so by your majesty ; sure it was none to your father.” This silenced the king, for he was a great defender of his father's opinions; and his testimony, Mr. Blair knew well, was of more authority with him than the testimony of any divine. Chap. iii

, ver. 10:–For even when we were with you,

this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.

Pisistratus, the Grecian general, walking through some of his fields, several persons implored bis charity. “ If you want beasts to plough your land,” said he, “ I will lend you some; if you want lund, I will give you some ; if you want seed to sow your land, I will give you some; but I will encourage none in idle

By this conduct, in a short time, there was not a beggar in his dominions.


I. TIMOTHY, Chap. i, ver. 9.--Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers.

In 1815, a person was brought before the court of Vannes, in France, accused of the murder of his mother. It appeared by the evidence given on the trial, that he had returned home intoxicated and wet through with the rain; on his arrival, he took it into his head to get into the oven, in order to warm and dry himBelf, but the oven having been heated not long before,

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