תמונות בעמוד

hope in Jesus, à firm trust in him, keeps us stedfast who, being the brightness of his Father's glory, came unto the end :-yes, even in death, trust then in to this world of sin and sorrow “ to preach good Jesus ; cling to this precious Saviour! He will be tidings to the meek, to bind up the broken-hearted, with you, he will strengthen you, he will uphold you." to comfort all that mourn." We may often meet with I could see that the great enemy of souls was trying much to try and discourage us in our labours amonget her mind with many doubts, for she could only answer the poor, but those "who water shall be watered.” me with tears. I besought the Lord to have mercy on This text is particularly applicable to my present subher, assured that he alone could speak peace to her ject. Never have I felt so strongly the depth of that soul. At length I said to her, “Did you always feel love, which plucked me as a brand from the burning, as anxious about your soul as you now do? Was there as when I have been speaking of it to the perishing not a time when you thought nothing, perhaps cared souls of my poor brethren. Never did I so deeply nothing, about the matter ?” She seemed roused from feel the providential mercies of my God, his love, her deep sorrow by this question, and said, “I will in bestowing on me all things richly to enjoy, until, tell you about it, ma'am.” She then gave me the in the cottage of the starving poor, I was led to ask following account of herself-often, indeed, she was myself the question, "Why am I made to differ ?" obliged to pause, for want of breath ; and the dis- But I must add further, never, until I stood by the tressing cough, which was excited by the effort of dying bed of one poor fellow-sinner, whom it had speaking, made it painful to listen :

pleased God to make me the honoured instrument of “My father was drowned at sea when I was only directing to flim, who only can give peace , in that six years old ; but I now remember the sad day, when solemn hour, did I feel the power of those words, my poor mother, after being recovered from the fit “He which converteth a sinner from the error of his into which the sudden intelligence of my poor father's ways shall save a soul from death.” A soul from death! death had caused her to fall, threw her arms round me, What words are these! Reader, they are words of and said I was now her only comfort. Ah! how often that deep importance which, until we meet before the the words came to my mind after that sad day; for, as judgment-seat of Christ, we shall never fully underI grew up, I prided myself on the decent life I led, stand. Let us, then, now never forget, that in that and the comfort I was to my mother. I married solemn day we must meet not only those whom we when I was quite young, and came to live in this cot- have directed into the way of life, but those also tage, at some little distance from my mother. My whom, although we saw them wandering from the husband is a fisherman, and obliged to be much from fold, we cared not to lead to the good Shepherd. home, sometimes during the whole day. It used to But to return to Fanny.-" The next day I got a be my pride to have every thing bright and shining in kind neighbour to read me a chapter in the Bible : our cottage; and how gladly did I prepare his evening she chose that one which tells us about our Saviour's meal for him! Then, on the Sunday, when we went dying on the cross; and I began then to think that regularly to the house of God, how well I thought he would save me from going to hell, which I knew I of myself for all these things : but God, who sees deserved to do, on account of my sins. I often got the heart, knew that this was full of sin in me all some one to read in the Bible to me; and felt great the time. After my litile William was born, I be- comfort in prayer, and thinking of my Saviour, when came very weak, and felt the care of my two child- quite alone, which I often was.' She never told me ren try me very much: I could not keep my cot- her husband neglected and ill-treated her: it was tage so tidily as I had been used to do, and this from others I heard he did so. “ After the birth of troubled me : then I could not get to church; and I my last dear infant, now with God, my health became had a feeling about it, that I could not be so good, very much worse, and I began to think I could not and I was troubled more. Then, when my husband live long; and I now am certain I must soon die. did not come home to me after his day's work, my Sometimes the thought (were it not for my two dear spirits quite sunk; I had no heart to do any thing. children) would be joy to me; for I long to be with One day (it was Saturday) I had been trying to clean that precious Saviour who has done so much for memy house for Sunday; my strength was quite gone, then I know I shall sin no more : but when I think and I sat down to rest. When I looked round the what a sinner I have been, I say to myself, Can I be kitchen, I found it as neat as ever; but I thought, | forgiven ?" I answered, " Jesus is able and willing to where's the value of doing all this, now William won't save you; he has said, I will cast out none that come home to see it? and here I am alone. Tears come." I then repeated part of the hymn, beginning, came into my eyes. O, I felt very sad: then I "Jesus, lover of my soul." When I came to the thought of the next day, Sunday, and that I should verse, "Thou, o Christ, art all I want,” she clasped not be able to go to church; but I thought, again, I her hands together, and exclaimed with a strength cannot help it, for I am ill; and then some beautiful which quite astonished me in one so weak, “ It is so ; words I had once heard at church came into my mind : blessed Jesus, thou art all I do now want.” “ Then,” they were somethin about bearing our sins and our I added, “you must cast all your care on him; for you infirmities. I had never thought much about my know be does care for you. You do not doubt now, Saviour, but I now felt certain that this must be him : that he will take you to be with him in heaven.” they seemed beautiful words to me; and I thought I must not,” she answered; "for he gives me peace, would pray to my Saviour; I think I did then for the peace, peace.” Her strength was now quite gone; first time in my life ; for afterwards I felt comforted : she could only say, “ Pray for me." I did so, and then many happy thoughts about heaven and my Saviour wished her “good-bye,” saying, “I will, if it please came into my mind. O, ma'am," she said to me, with God, come again; but, if I never more miet you here, an earnestness I have since often remembered, “I I trust we shall, through mighty love, be together in wanted some one to tell me about these things !" that land, where Here I must pause in Fanny's history, to make a

• Doubt in full belief shall die ; few remarks on what appears to me a very important

Pain in endless bliss expire:'” duty: it is that of visiting the poor. I am well aware she smiled sweetly on me and I left her. that this employment may at times interfere with As I walked home, I thought much of the scene I first duties; and if it be done to the neglect of these, I had witnessed, and Fanny's simple story. Never had would be the last to urge it; but I much fear there are I before so strongly seen the power of God, unassisted very many who, having both time and opportunity, by the agency of man, manifested in convincing a forget that we have the exhortation to visit the father- soul and leading it into the right way, as in the preless and the widow in their affliction. How great the sent instance. " The wind bloweth where it listeth, privilege, of being permitted to imitate His example, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not telí

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whence it cometh, or whither it goethi; so is every one that though the worms destroy it, yet in the flesh we that is born of the Spirit.” God is pleased to use us shall see God ? How can these things be? O, trifrequently as the means of bringing the souls of our umphant answer to the question, Our Redermer fellow.creatures to him; yet humbling to us is the liveth; he says, “I am the resurrection and the life.” consideration of the truth, " Paul may plant, and Apol- He rose from the dead; he conquered death. We shall los water, but God only can give the increase." The all rise, we shall all leave the tomb; but there will be heart of man, until touched by Divine grace, may be this great difference in that awful day. Those who compared, I thought, as I stood on the cliff before have slept in Jesus shall waken to rise with him, to mentioned, and viewed the sea, which had now be- receive his smile of welcome; to be transformed into come very rough, to yonder troubled element, which his glorious image ; to be like him; to enter into his rises in proud defiance against every obstacle, and kingdom; "to go no more out;" there to see him as would indeed overwhelin all that obstructed it, were he is. Those who have not slept with Jesus will not it not for that great Power, which says, “So far shalt waken with him; but they, too, must rise; and O thou come, and here shall thy proud waves be stayed." tremendous truth, they must rise to meet his frown; Let the Creator speak, and the roughest billows are to receive the awful sentence, “ Depart, ye cursed, hushed, and give place to the soft rippling waves of into the fire prepared for the devil and his angels." the summer sea. O delightful, comforting reflection! (), will they not then call on the rocks to hide ihem the same mighty hand which formed the vast expanse from that Saviour whom they neglected and despised, of water before me, is about the meanest of his crea- when they might have had him for their Friend through tures for good :

time and eternity.- I was roused from my reflections

by Fanny's mother : she came $0 quietly into the " He sees their griefs, allays their fears,

room, that I did not at first see her, until she said, And counts and treasures up their tears."

“O ma'am, my poor child is now quite gone!" "Do A week passed, when, one fine morning, I again not call her poor," I answered ; "she has a richer entered the mossy lanes to go to C-- Every inheritance than any one here." “But,” she said, thing in nature looked bright, and was smiling with "what am I to do without her ?” “ You must try beauty: the thick foliage was just beginning to wear to follow her; for, although she will not return to those varied hues, which, as they adorn the trees, you, you may go to her: think what a meeting that seem to say, We thus clothe them with loveliness as will be, in that blessed land where there are no trials ! they decline, that men may, with hope and joyful an- Here, very often, you used to weep, when you saw her ticipation, look for the time when spring shall again suffering so much pain; but now, could you look on cover them with fresh blossoms and buds, which may her, you would see her face brightened with an exexpand into beauties like those now about to be lost. pression of unfading joy and glory How often, when

- Beautiful trees! well are they chosen, in the inspired she was talking, her sad cough obliged her to stop ! writings, as emblenis of those whom the Lord loves ; and I have seen you raise her in the bed, and say, for how rich an ornament they are to the landscape, with the tears in your eyes, ‘0, my dear child, you and how refreshing the wide shade they cast around will be suffocated!' And now, could you listen to them! Thus the Christian, in whatever station of life that voice, how serene and clear it would sound to he be placed, reflects his light around him, to the you, as she sings without weariness the praires of her glory of that God whose servant he is.

God and Saviour! Let us pray to be enabled to press When I reached the cottage, I found the door of it, as forwards to that happy place where she now is; to be usual, open. As there was no one below, I went to the kept simply and constandy looking unto Jesus, who is foot of the stairs, and called gently; but receiving no an- "the way, the truth, and the life.”

“ The Lord grant swer, I ascended the staircase, and entered the little bed- I may!" was the answer. “Was there peace at the room : I looked towards the bed, on which was Fanny; end ?" I asked. Her sister, who then just had enthe hectic Aush was now quite gone from her cheeks, tered the room, said, “The last words we could hear and their extreme paleness told me of death. Another were, • Peace, peace.' She wished for you, ma'am, to steady look convinced me that “her spirit had re- come to her : I had thoughts of going to fetch you, turned to God," and that this beautiful tencment of but she got so much worse that I could not leave." clay was vacant. I stood for some time gazing on the Both the mother and sister wept much : I read to lifeless form before me. There is an awfully mys- them the eleventh chapter of John. This beautiful terious feeling caused by the sight of death. So much portion of Scripture composed their agitated spirits. yet remains to be revealed to us after passing that * Who will take the charge of the two dear children ?" dark portal, that it would seem no one could look on I asked. The elder woman said, “They shall never the remains of a fellow-being who has entered it with- want a friend while I live." out being led to deep reflection. Where, I thought, It was now time for me to return home; and I left a is now the kindred spirit, who, the last time we were coltage which had been the scene to me of rich enjoytogether in this chamber, looked to me to speak the ment and deep interest. How very insignificant does words of comfort ? By faith I was enabled to behold every earthly object, which does not lead the mind to her clothed with the beauty of holiness, joined to that heaven, appear, after contemplating that last solemn great multitude who surround the throne of God, with scene, which for ever separates us from earth and its a perpetual song of glory. She is now led by the pursuits. This I felt as I walked home ; and gladly Lamb to drink of the living fountains of water : she I left the houses of C-, to enter the green fields, shall weep no more, for Jesus doth there wipe away where every thing spoke of God, and led me to think all tears. With her, to use the words of my late of heaven. The setting sun seenied to tell me of the much-loved and venerated pastor, Rev. T. T. Bid- bright beams of his love, which shine to brightly dulph, the cord is broken, ibe prison-door is burst, around the Christian ; sheep feeding peacefully, reand the free glorified spirit, in the presence of God, minding me of that Saviour, who said, “I lay down experiences joys ever varying, ever hew: with her the my life for the sheep :" the pasture on which I palm-tree is ever green, the robe ever white, the con- walked, and which fed the flocks, emblem of those flict ever passed.

rich supplies of grace with which the Lord nourishes I contrasted my own form with the lifeless one be- his people from day to day; it is always fresh, for it fyre me.

Can it ever be, that the body, now so vigo- is watered with the heavenly dews. May I who write, rous, shall become like this on which I look ? No and those who shall read my simple story, seek to motion, no sound-all, all is gone! Yes, for a time it enjoy that heavenly communion with God; which must thus be; but even for this mass of sleeping clay blessed feeling is not confined to time or place, but there is reserved a glorious destiny; for we are told, may be enjoyed when we go out, when we come in, as



for one.

we walk by the way, or sit alone in our house. So I had made light of his threatenings ; he had shall we anticipate that time when we too shall share reproved them, but they would have none of the joys of the blessed in that country, where shall know even as we now are known."

his reproof; he had “sent his prophets, rising up early and sending them," but they had

made their faces“ harder than a flint, and MAN TIIE SELF-DESTROYER, AND GOD THE

had refused to return”-thus “God would SAVIOUR:

have saved them, but they would not ; A Sermont,

God would have healed then, but they would BY THE REY. W. W. CHAMPXEYA, M.A., not be healed.” “ Israel' had destroyed Rector of St. Mary, Whitechapel.

themselves.” HOSEA xiii. 9.

Is it not so, likewise, now, with God's “ O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself; but in me is Israel-his Christian Church? thine help.”

We, like Israel of old, have destroyed ourIy these few words, addressed by the selves—" our first father sinned,” and deAlmighty to his ancient people, are set forth stroyed us in him and with him; for we were those two grand truths, the right knowledge in the loins of Adam" when he “ broke the of which leads to life eternal. I. The lost covenant of his God.” Sin entered into him state of man, both by nature and by prac- and defiled both body and soul ; sin clouded tice; and II. The means of his recovery his understanding, perverted his will, made and restoration. To know these things earthly his affections, weakened his contruly and from experience is life eternal. science; sin strewed upon the fountain of his The first of these generally leads to acknow- blood the seeds of sickness, sorrow, pain, ledgment of the second," and must always and death. And we were destroyed in him. go before it; for the man who knows and So that we are born in sin-body and soul feels himself to be ill may not always seek to are defiled—not a thought of our hearts that the physician; but he must always know and is good by nature—not an “imagination of feel that he is ill before he will care to seek the thoughts of our heart”—not a thought of

the thoughts “ that is not evil continually;" Observe to whom these words are spoken: the fountain-head is polluted, and the streams to Israel.

O Israel”—“my covenanted that flow from it must be polluted also. There people” —my professing people— the people is in the most innocent child's heart enough is who know me, and in whose mouth is my sin to turn this earth, were it


and free law”—the nation which I have chosen from from evil once more, into what now it is, the all the nations of the world to put my name burial-place of its inhabitants—a city of the there—yet thou hast destroyed thyself. How plague. truly may the same things which the Almighty But who is there whose account of sin is spoke to Israel of old, be spoken to us and of us summed up in birth-sin only? Who is there Christians now, since we are now what they that is guilty on account of imputed guilt were once! To us Christians belong, as a only? Who is there that has only sinned in people, the adoption and the covenant and the having the inclination to sin—the disposition giving the law (even Christ's perfect law of to break God's commandments--the capa. liberty) and the promises—we that were once bility of doing wrong? Who is there that not the people of God, are now the people of deserves God's wrath only because Adam God; we once had not obtained mercy, but brought guilt on all ? No, we have denow have obtained mercy.” We, then, are stroyed ourselves.” We are sinners not only God's Christian Israel - the Church is our by nature, but by practice. Had there been Sion, “ whither the tribes go up, even the no sin against us, when we came into the tribes of the Lord,” wherein is the seat of world, we should have all made a long and judgment, even the eternal throne of the fearful account since we have been in it. house of David.

We have sinned in our thoughts; the very Of his ancient people, the Lord, by his principle of mind being corrupt, whatever prophet, declares that “they had destroyed arises therefrom must be corrupt also. We theinselves."

know not indeed how these thoughts arise. This they had done—" they had broken He who understandeth them long before, and his covenant and despised his laws--they had seeth them even before we feel or perceive bowed their heads and lifted up their hand them, has said that in His siglt “ the to idols, which were so many, that according thoughts of man are but vain." David's reto the number of their cities was the number newed mind and purified taste made him of their gods: their altars were as many as hate “ vain thoughts," and the believer knows the heaps in the furrows of the field.” He and feels that “the thought of foolishness is had warned them, but they had despised his sin:” and that as for idle words, so for idle warnings; he had threatened them, but they thoughts also, which are the parents of idle


words,“ we must give an account in the day I thing on the other! If that heart-scarching of judgment.” Who is there, then, that in this God, “who looks not on the outward aphas not“ destroyed himself?” Who can num-pearance as man looketh,” but who looks ber or call back to remembrance the thoughts straight on the heart ; who judges not of of childhood : which, springing from a foolish men's motives by their actions, but their and ungodly heart, have themselves there- actions by their motives; and in whose sight fore been foolish and ungodly? Who can the reason why we act is the pith and marreckon up in order the vain imaginations- row of the action, which gives it all its value the silly fancies—the romantic folly, the secret and fixes its character in his sight; if this levities of his youth? Who can count the Almighty God were to shew us what He covetous, the angry, the envious, the proud thinks of many of those things, which the and selfish feelings of his manhood? Who world thinks best of, we should perceive that would not tremble if God were to unfold the “the things most highly esteemed among heavy roll that he could bring against us for men are abomination in the sight of God.” those thoughts of our heart, which he under- Surely it may be truly said to every man stands altogether, and not one of which, if among us, as God said to his people by the evil, he passes by unnoticed ?

prophet, “thou hast destroyed thyself,” thou And is it likely that when the heart has art by nature and by practice too “ the thus been filled with folly, the lips have over- wretched slave of sin." In thought, word, flowed with good ? It is written “out of the and deed, thou hast offended and that conabundance of the heart the month speaketh ;" tinually. “O, Israel, thou hast destroyed that which comes out of the overflowing well thyself!" shews what is within it. What have our But can we save ourselves? We have shewn Norils been? They have been often insin- that the principle of evil is within the heart and cere, seeming what they were not, appearing the mind of man, that evil thoughts, and evil to mean what they meant not. How often words, and evil works, are only the fruits of an have we “given good words with our lips,” evil nature, the muddy waters of an impure while we gave no good wishes with our spring, “ the corrupt fruits of a corrupt tree.” hearts? How often have we “flattered with Make the tree good and its fruit will be our lips, and dissembled in our double good.” Cleanse the blood, purify the sysheart?” How often have we spoken exceeding tem, change the constitution of the body, and proudly, and let arrogancy “come forth from the leprous skin shall become pure as a our mouth ?" forgetting that “God is a God young child's, the unsound flesh shall beof knowledge, and that by him actions are come healthy as a babe's. But who can do weighed.” How often has self been the sub- this for himself? Who can “make one hair ject, and vanity the motive, of our speech? of his head white or black? Who can alter How often have “ words that might do hurt the colour and complexion of a single hair? proceeded from our false tongue?” How Who, then, can change the heart, renew the often has vain, and sometimes it might be mind, put in new principles, and save that even corrupt, communication proceeded “out which sin hath destroyed ? 'We know not how of our mouth, and not that which is good to thoughts arise in our hearts: how then can the use of edifying, which might minister we get at the springs of thought, and, like grace and do good to the hearers ?". How Elisha at Jericho, ponr the salt into those bitoften have such empty nothings been the sub- ter waters, which have made the heart barren jects of our talk, that" a grain of wheat in a of every truly good fruit, and have scattered bushel of chaff” would fully represent the death and sin around them? Let any man good and evil of our convers tion ?

try of himself and by his own unassisted And words lead on to actions, His life can strength, to think but one good and holy scarcely be godly whose words and thoughts thought, and he will find the question anare ungodly; that house can scarcely be good swered ; he will say, “we are not sufficient whose ground is rotten, whose foundations of ourselves to think any thing as of ourare loose, and whose lower story is unsound.selves,"—as for the thought of changing his He cannot act aright who does not first own nature or saving himself

, “ he will let think aright. Oh ! if every action of our that alone for ever.” For he looks back life, which we have done through love of upon the past-there a long line of sins, self, love of gain, love of pleasure, love of stretching backwards through the plains of praise, love of the world, could be set on one memory, reaches from the present moment side, and on the other those of which love to to the first starting-point, to the early dawn God has been the moving spring, and desire of opening life. He looks back upon the of his glory the great and prevailing object, past—he knows that no effort of his own what a fearful list would be on one side, even

can blot out one of those countless sins which if we are now true Christians, what a mere no- are written against his name in the accountbook of the Almighty Creditor. He knows blessed Son of God stepped in, presented that no sorrow he may feel, however deep himself to suffer for the guilty rebels, and and sincere it may be, can undo one of those that sword of justice was buried in his heart, things which has once been done, or do one-sheathed in his bosom, and is wetted thing now which he ought to have done in with his blood. Thus then, if you look back times gone by; but he knows next that if he upon the past, and see your guilt, and feel could now do all his duty, he would still have that you never can remove it--nor take it nothing over, nothing to spare for the past, away-learn that in God there is help. The no extra merits (as the Papists tell us) to lay gracious King of Heaven is ready to forgive up a bank of good works withal. But he you and bestow a free pardon for all your knows more than this, he knows that he can- transgressions. Only draw nigh to him in not thus do his duty, lie knows from past expe- prayer-plead with him the atonement of the rience that the resolutions to do better, which Son of God; acknowledge that you deserve he has made in his own strength, have been what he suffered ; and God's faithfulness to as the “morning cloud,” and the mist that his word and promise pledges him fully, is scattered by the sun; he knows that lie freely, and entirely to forgive you for all that has destroyed himself, but cannot save him is past. If you confess your sins, he is self, he cannot put one good thought into his faithful and just to forgive you your sins, and own heart, one truly good word into his own to cleanse you from all unrighteousness. mouth, one really good action to his own life; But you look forward to the future. You he looks forward, therefore, to the future, and remeinber how sins have led you captive in sees for certain that, if left to his own way, times past, and you feel that if left to yourand aided only by his own strength, the fu- self they will yet hold you captive. And so ture will surely be as the past has been. But they will, if left to yourself; but the same God if any man, feeling thus, should ask honestly who pardons you through Christ our Saviour, and sincerely, “Is there no hope ?" the and leads you to believe in Him, that you may words of my text, (the words of God have forgiveness through his blood, will send himself) give an answer. “Thou hast de- the Holy Spirit into your heart, to implant in troyed thyself, but in Me is thy help.” you new principles of thought and action ; Those latter words set forth shortly each and when once he has made you love Him, believer's hope, cach mourner's comfort, for his love shewn to you, he will enable you each weak one's strength. There is no help to shew your love to Him by doing what he in thyself, poor sinner, but there is help in commands, and avoiding what he forbids. Me, the Lord the Everlasting Father, the He will give new light to your once darkened hope of all the ends of the earth.

understanding—a right bias to your once In me is thy help-in me, the Almighty perverse will--a heavenly direction to your Father—the eternal Son--the Holy Spirit once earthly and grovelling affections ; He the Creator—the Redeemer—the Sanctifier, will renew your once numbed conscience. the Just-the Merciful—the holy God ! He will give you a new nature, a better heart,

You look back upon the past-there is a a right mind; and as God was your help dark list of' sin, the guilt of which is a load to procure and to bestore your pardon, so upon your conscience. That sin derives all will God be your help to renew and to change its sinfulness from its having been done your character. He will implant in you the fear against God's majesty; every sin is high of God instead of the fear of man—the desire treason against the King of Heaven, and to please God, and not to please yourselves. deserves (and if not pardoned will receive) He will lead you to hope for heaven, and to eternal death as its punishment; but learn | long after perfect likeness of God as the that that merciful God--that much-wronged utmost object of your wishes. He will give sovereign—that Divine Majesty, offers to you daily strength for daily trials, enabling every guilty soul, that only feels and acknow- you to resist passions as they are moving, lenges its fault, a full and free pardon, for and to beat down tempers as they arise. He what the traitorous and rebellious world de- will give you watchfulness against sin, and serves to suffer. The Son of God himself make your conscience like that muscle of the hath suffered, and he is worth all the world throat which has been placed by the wise yea, ten thousand worlds. He has put him- providence of our great Creator to prevent self into our place-God's justice has a glit- anything dry from passing into the stomach ; tering sword over his throne, furbished and so that, as that muscle flings up a grain of salt sharpened for the destruction of every rebel- or a hair, with as strong throes and convulsion the punishment of every sinner. God's jus. as it would a bone or a pin, so your watchful tice drew that sword, and sware that it should conscience, set to guard your heart against not return to its scabbard till it should be the entrance of sin, shall think no sin little, red with the blood of satisfaction; but the but throw off the very smallest with abhor

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