תמונות בעמוד

ment: so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many.

Death and judgment can be contemplated with comfort, only in connection' with a believing view of the atonement of Christ.

"Death's terror is the mountain faith removes." The late Rev. Archibald Hall, of London, when in Scotland, being on a visit to a dying Christian at Borrowstoupness, after much serious conversation, he took bold of Mr. Hall's hand, and said, “ Now, sir, I can with as much pleasure take hold of death by its cold hand. You may justly wonder at this, for I see and believe myself to be most unworthy; but, at the same time, I see Christ to be my great propitiation, and faith in bis blood gives me ease. I see myself all vile and polluted, but I view Jesus as the fountain opened, and faith in him supports me under a sense of my vileness."

Chap. x, ver. 26, 27.-For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins; but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

“ I was lately," observed Mr. Gunn,“ called to attend the death-bed of a young man at Hoxton. On my entering the roorn, I found him in the greatest horror of mind. Thinking perhaps it arose from that deep remorse sometimes attendant on the deatb-bed of a sinner, I began to point him to Jesus, the singer's only friend, and to the glorious promises of the Gospel; wben, with an agonizing look of despair, he replied, “ Ah! sir, but I have rejected the Gospel. Some years since, I unbappily read Paine's Age of Reason, --it suited my corrupt taste, I imbibed its principles: after this, wherever I went, I did all that lay in my


power to hold up the Scriptures to contempt; by this means I led others into the fatal snare, and made proselytes to infidelity. Thus I rejected God, and now be rejects me.' I offered to pray by him, but he replied, "Oh, no-it is all in vain to pray for me.' Then, with a dismal groan, he cried out, “Paine's Age of Reason has ruined my soul!' and instantly expired."

Chap. x, ver. 35.-Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward.

An eminent minister was much troubled with doubts and fears concerning bis own salvation, and many of his hearers who labored under similar distress, coming daily to him for direction, increased the burden. One day, after much wrestling with God in prayer for deliverance, it was impressed on his mind to to such a place, and he would find a person that would be of spiritual use to him. Accordingly, on passing through his own church-yard, be met a very aged man, to whom the minister observed, “ It is a good day." The old man answered, “I never saw a bad day in my life-time.” At hearing this, the minister, fetching a deep sigh, asked him, “How it was that he, who appeared to be so old a man, bad never seen a bad day?" To which the other replied, “ My mind is so sunk into the will of God, that, knowing his unerring wisdom and goodness, whatever is his will is my

will." “ And what,” said the minister, “if God was to cast you into hell, would you be resigned to his will in that particular?” To which it was answered, “God hath given me two long arms, the arm of faith and the arm of hope, and was the Lord even to cast me into hell, I would not let go my bold of him."

This simple word was so blessed to the afflicted minister, that, from thenceforward, he could rejoice in the Lord as his God.

Chap. xi, ver. 13.-These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed thai they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

A clergyman having occasion to wait on the late Princess Charlotte, was thus addressed by her,—“Sir, I understand you are a clergyman.” “ Yes, madam.” “Of the Church of England ?" "Yes.” “Permit me to ask your opinion, sir, What is it that can make death-bed easy?" Mr. W. was startled at so serious a question from a young and blooming female of so high rank, and modestly expressed bis surprise that she should consult him, when she had access to many much more capable of answering the inquiry. She replied, that she had proposed it to many, and wished to collect various opinions on this important subject. Mr. W. then felt it his duty to be explicit, and affectionately recommended to her the study of the Scriptures, which, as he stated, uniformly represent faith in the Lord Jesus Christ as the only means to make a death-bed easy. “ Ab!" said she, bursting into tears, “ that is what my grandfather often told me; but then he used to add, that besides reading the Bible, I must pray for the Holy Spirit to understand its meaning."

Chap. xii, ver. 23.-And to the spirits of just men made perfect.

A minister of the Gospel visiting a young man on his death-bed, he took the minister by the hand, and addressed him in the following manner:-“ For some time I have been in great fears. Though I heartily consented to, and believed in the plan of redemption, yet feeling the power of sin so strong, I thought all was yet wrong, and that I was still uprenewed in heart; but, that complete sanctification which I expected through life, I now see is to be conferred on me at death. The time is now at hand, when all the promises of sanctification and comfort shall be fulfilled in my experience. I am willing therefore to die, to receive this complete freedom from sin. Will you join me, and assist me to praise my delivering

God, by singing the first eight verses of the 40th Psalm ?” Having joined with uncommon fervor, as soon as his friends had sung and prayed, he stretched himself to rest, and soon after fell asleep in Jesus. May our latter end be like bis!

Chap. xiii, ver. 5.—Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

The Rev. Hansard Knollys, after having fled America, in consequence of being prosecuted in the High Commission Court, returned to England, at the desire of his aged father, and lived some time in obscurity in London. In reference to his situation while in this city, he says, “ I was still poor and sojourned in a lodging, till I had but sixpence left, and knew not how to provide for my wife and child; but having prayed to God, and encouraged my wife to trust in God, and to remember former experiences, and especially that word of promise which God had given us, and would perform to us, Heb. xiii, 5. I paid for my lodging, and went out, not knowing wbither God's good hand of providence would lead me to receive something towards my present subsistence; and about seven or eight doors from my lodging, a woman met me in the street, and told me she came to seek me; that her husband sent her to tell me, that there was a lodging provided and prepared in his house, by some Christian friends, for me and my wife. I told her my present condition, and went along with her to her house, and then she gave me twenty shillings, which Dr. Bastwick, a late sufferer, had given her for me, and some linen for my wife; wbich I received, and told her and her husband, I would fetch my wife and child and lodge there; and so I returned with great joy. My wife was very much affected with this kind interposition of providence; being so suitable and seasonable a supply to



She said, 'oh dear husband, how sweet it is to live by faith, and trust God's faithful word !-Let us rely upon him wbilst we live, and trust him in all straits!'"

Chap. xiii, ver. 17.-Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves, for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account; that they may do it with joy, and not with grief, for that is unprofitable for you.

Few men had more natural courage than Luther, and yet he .was often heard to say, that even in the latest part of his life, he could never conquer his fear when he ascended the pulpit. And Chrysostom used to say, that Scripture, They watch for your souls, as those that must give an account, struck his mind with constant awe.


Chap. i, ver. 14, 15.—But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then, when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin; and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

Many years since, two men were executed at Carlisle, for burglary. A minister then living in that city, was moved by compassion for the men, and applied to the judge for a respite: he was informed, that on account of the cruelty attending the robbery, capital punishment must be inflicted. His lordship recommended their humane intercessor to use the only means which could now be available to the culprits, in preparing them by Christian instruction for the awful change which awaited them. In the course of his benevolent visits to this gloomy abode,

« הקודםהמשך »