« הקודםהמשך »
while, and these pangs will be no more, and thy enlightened soul will exclaim, “O! Death, where is thy sting? O! Grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But Jesus Christ hath become the end of the law, he hath brought in everlasting righteousness," the redemption he hath wrought is complete ; for his precious blood is indeed the salvation of every individual, and it is therefore with devout gratitude we say, Thanks be to God, who hath given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
It was in some such manner I addressed the dying lady, and I had the inexpressible happiness of beholding despondency, and every concomitant evil, flee before the emphatic, the healing name of Jesus. I am again summoned to the chamber of the dying. I hasten on the wings of sympathy.
She is gone! this instant she departed from this valley of tears. I saw her breathe her last: she hath made a most happy exit. The agonies, attendant upon the dissolution of her frame, were fearful, and feeling impatient to begone, she supplicated, with great fervency, that God would take her from her misery. As she grew nearer her end, she was apparently less tortured. The malignant adversary aimed his last stroke, when, lifting up her hands, she earnestly said “ If I should, be shut out of heaven at last.” Dear child, I replied, it is impossible, for are you not the purchase of a Saviour's blood, and doth not Jesus say, “because I live, you shall live also ? You belong to God by creation, and by redemption, you are his, I pledge my soul you are his, and nothing shall be able to separate you from him. She was afraid, she feebly observed, she did not love God with sufficient fervour. I answered she never could, but the grace, the love of God, was sufficient for her, and she was going to dwell in the immediate presence of perfect love, and that she would unite with the blessed in heaven, to sing, Thou art worthy, O Lord, for thou hast redeemed us by thy blood. She raised her eyes and hands in pious gratitude, in pious rapture, exclaiming, “Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly, why, why are his chariot wheels so long in coming ?” We endeavoured to console her, by an assurance that all would soon be over. She took an affectionate leave of us all, desiring the most duteous and tender remembrance to her absent father. She refused to take the offered cordial, lest it should still longer detain her a prisoner here, frequently repeating, Why are his chariot wheels so long in coming ?
Her power of utterance was continued until the last moment. She departed assured of redeeming love, and consequently made a most happy exit. May my last hours resemble hers. Her respectable mother performs the part of a real Christian. Indeed I view her as an uncommon woman, possessing extraordinary talents, she unites these with a mild submissive and a teachable disposition. She is upon this occasion gentle as a child. · She sees and acknowledges the glory and the beauty of the redeeming plan, but at the same time she sees and laments the force of prejudice, the prejudice of education. I have had much conversation with her, and a great deal of pleasure in that conversation.
Speaking of the death of one Christian, Icads me to inform you of the triumphant exit of another. There is a village five miles distant froin hence, where I have occasionally delivered the message of my Redeemer. The master of the house in which I formerly delivered the truth as it is in Jesus, has very lately taken his flight to the abode of beatified spirits. He has, in the evening of his life, been persecuted by inany mistaken friends, who have fruitlessly laboured to remove him from the rock on which he stood. But against this rock the gates of Hell will never prevail. The fame of this Christian man hath spread far and wide. His mind, as he journeyed on toward his native home, as his outward man decayed, gathered fresh strength, fresh confidence : and in him the light of life shone so bright, through the mortality in which it was shrouded, as nearly to blind the spectators; ministers and people were struck dumb, as he passed out of time with a song of triumph on his tongue. His life and death are the subjects of much conversation ; while the worshippers of Antichrist fail not to assert, that he died in the utnost horror and distress, pouring out horrid execrations on me, as the means of destroying his soul.
Thus, the grand adversary goes on, but his devices will turn on his own head. Blessed be God, the aged Christian is at rest, where the wicked shall not persecute nor trouble him any more for ever. Many a time has he come to this place, beseeching me to visit him. I am grieved that I have so frequently sent him sorrowing away.
Were it not for the grace manifested by the gospel, the death of another member of the human family, an account of which I presume hath reached you by the papers, would render me seriously unhappy. As it is, I do assure you, my heart is pained, as often as
I reflect upon his demise. A worthier man never lived than Mr. -, he was a descendant of Abraham, of high standing in the synagogue, eminent for opulence, rectitude, benevolence, and every virtue which can dignify humanity. But, poor gentleman, he is numbered with the dead. His death was sudden and accidental ; and it happened in the presence of a beloved wife, and other relalives, loving, and beloved.
Preaching once in Newport, this meritorious son of Jacob, led by curiosity made one of my audience. It isappened that my subject was selected from the eleventh of Romans, and I was induced to take a cursory view of the whole chapter. You will recollect the Apostle in that section of the divine writings, gives a kind of history of the dealings of God, with both Jews and Gentiles, that he dwells upon the restoration of the Jews, and positively asserts that all Israel should be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.
This most worthy descendant of Israel met me at the pulpit stairs, took me most affectionately by the hand I had never before seen him-You deserve to be knighted, Sir. May God Almighty forever bless you, Sir, I wish you, from my soul I wish you good success, wherever you may be called to deliver your message.
The destitute children of penury, will greatly feel the death of this gentleman. What is life? It is even a vapour, that cometh up out of the ground. It continueth a little while, and then vanisheth away. But when such men are cut off in the midst of their usefulness, the ways of heaven are indeed unsearchable. Yet we are right happy that the Supreme Disposer of events, is the Creator of our frames, and the Father of our spirits.
Many of my friends who were in perfect health on my last visit to this place, are now no more; at least no more here, but they have all died in the faith, unwavering believers in the truth of God. Blessed be God! I can say of all my Christian friends, who have departed this life since I have been in this country, these all died in faith, confident of a blessed immortality.
Yesterday was a tumultuous day, the state-house in which I preached on Mark xvi. 16, was too small, and two inconvenient to accommodate the multitude. The proprietors of the church met for the purpose of obtaining a vote to open it, but they lost it by a majority of two votes. The key of the Presbyterian meeting-house was obtained, but not by the consent of the committee ; a few
elderly persons were frightened ; they united to demand the key, but were informed, there was a large majority of the proprietors of the meeting, who were determined to make use of their own property whenever they thought proper, nor would longer submit to imposition. On this the committee assembled, and addressed to me by their deacon, a very polite letter, wherein they gave me to understand, that the key of their meeting-house had been obtained in a very dishonourable manner, and they supposed for the purpose of my preaching therein ; but being persuaded I was too much of a gentleman and a Christian, to enter their house under such circumstances, they, as a committee, had taken the liberty to lay the matter before me, &c. &c.
I desired the good deacon to present my most respectful compliments to the gentlemen of the committee, and assure them of my cheerful compliance with their request, and that I should have been very unhappy, had I entered the house under such circumstances.
The deacon observed, that they had concurred in opinion, that if I knew the state of the case, I would not pass the threshold of the house. Then, Sir, I replied, you did me justice, and you inay be assured I shall never knowingly enter that or any other house, in a disorderly or illegal manner.
I then proceeded to the state-house, and there, in presence of an amazing concourse of people, finished the subject, Mark xvi. 16 which I had commenced the preceding evening. But as the greater part of the congregation stood through the whole service, and I myself was greatly fatigued, I did not propose another meeting
This morning is, with respect to the weather, the very reverse of the preceding day. The sun mounts the horizon in all his glory, and all nature seems to welcome his life-giving power. The blushing blosom is just ready to burst its inclosure. The birds look forth with new born glee, and each, in his own language, is cheerfully hymning the praises of his great Creator. The honest drudge, the sweet scented female of the same species, seem by their looks, as they pass the green before me, to bless the power which spreads their table with a repast so flowery, while by their mellow lowings they appear to join the general joy. Happy beings! you are not deprived of the pleasures of the present scene, by sad retrospective, or melancholy future prospects, when indulged with
the means of happiness, you gratefully improve them, and being happy, are completely so.
But how your lords, the lords of the creation, suffer by comparison. I at least, as one of those superior beings, am at present so wholly out of tune, that the fly in yonder window, is more musical, and seems more happy than I ! but yet, however gloomy I may be, I certainly would not change situations with you, for I have hope, even now I have hope. What a mercy that, let our circumstances be what they will, this faithful flattering, though sometimes delusive friend, will still attend us ; and may this rich soother never leave, nor forsake'us, until severed from time, and sense, and scenes of terrifying uncertainty, while passing the threshold of a brighter world, we finally and cheerfully surrender this treasure of the mind. į
Do you ask why I am thus sad ? Gloomy reports have reached me; I am told that the profane language and ill conduct of many professors of the truth, are bringing an odium on the doctrines of God our Saviour!! I was told, when I was last here, that the light of life had irradiated the minds of many, that truth was prevailing, and that numbers were daily added, who cheerfully sat their seal to the divine veracity of our testimony. But alas! the walk of some of our first and warmest professors is so disorderly, that they terrify serious persons who contemplated uniting with us. This is the argument to which they resort. If your doctrine were of God, its professors would be found in the practice of virtue, for although morality may or may not be found, where a belief of truth hath not obtained, yet it is indubitable that whenever the truth which the Holy Spirit teaches, takes place in the heart, morality will be a certain concomitant. Can you believe, says one, that religion is from heaven, which leads its professors to works of darkness?
Certainly not, I reply, but the truth, as it is in Jesus, never leads to transgression, however its professors may conduct. This is granted, but still it is urged, by their fruits they shall be known ; if they practise the works of darkness, they are children of darkness; if they walk as children of light, they are children of light. The minister of this place is, I am informed, quiet now; he used to be very much alarmed, but now his only argument is, “behold the men.” Thus, what our enemies could not do, our friends have accomplished; and thus is the Redeemer wounded in the house of his falsely professing friends. Thus are those friends converted into our most