תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

time afterwards, Mr. B. having some business to transact with the justice, the latter at first sight thanked him for his reproof, but added, that he should not have given it in so public a manner. Mr. B. replied, “Sir, my reason for doing so, was because 'the fishermen who were present are my parishioners; and as swearing is a prevailing vice with them, I am frequently under the necessity of reproving them.Therefore, sir, reflect but a moment, and you will see the propriety of what I did, and of the public manner in which I did it. Would not the fishermen have said, that the minister could reprove them, but that he was afraid to reprimand the justice, had they not witnessed the contrary?” Suffice it to say, that the gentleman was well pleased with Mr. B.'s remark, and ever after treated bim with the greatest kindness and respect.

Chap. vi, ver. 7, 8.- But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

Sir John Mason' was born in the reign of Henry VII, and was in high esteem with Henry VIII, Edward VI, Queen Mary, and Queen Elizabeth, having been a privy counsellor to the last four, and an attentive observer of all the various revolutions and vicissitudes of those times. When on his death-bed, he called his family together, and spoke to them in the following terms: “ I have lived here to see five princes, and have been privy counsellor to four of them; I have seen the most remarkable places in foreign parts, and have been present at most state transactions for thirty years together, and have learned this, after so many years experience,—That seriousness is the greatest wisdom, temperance the best physician, and a good conscience the best estate. And were I to live again, I would change the court for a cloister, my privy counsellor's bustles for an hermit's retirement,

and the whole life I have spent in the palace, for an hour's enjoyment of God in my closet. All things else forsake me besides my God, my duty, and my prayers."

Chap. vi, ver. 17.-Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.

Count Oxensteirn, chancellor of Sweden, being visited, in his retreat from public business, by commissioner Whitlock, ambassador from England to Queen Christina; in the conclusion of their discourse, he said to the ambassador, “I have seen much and enjoyed much of this world, but I never knew how to live till now. I thank my good God who has given me time to know him, and likewise myself. All the comfort I have, and all the comfort I take, and which is more than the whole world can give, is the knowledge of God's love in my heart, and the reading in this blessed book,” laying his hand on the Bible. “ You are now," he continued, “ in the prime of your age and vigor, and in great favor and business; but this will all leave you, and you will one day better understand and relish what I say to you; then you will find that there is more wisdom, truth, comfort, and pleasure, in retiring and turning your heart from the world, in the good Spirit of God, and in reading his sacred word, than in all the courts and favors of princes.”

Chap. vi, ver. 18.—That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate.

A rich old gentleman residing at Manchester, was lately called upon by some members of the Bible Society there, to subscribe his mite; he replied, “he had been thinking about it, but would first wish to become acquainted with their plans," &c, and wished them to call again. Some time after, they did so, and he told them that he had made up bis mind to subscribe a guinea a year, and immediately began to count out upon the table a quantity of guineas; when he had got to 21, the gentlemen stopped him, and said as their time was rather precious, they should feel obliged if he would give bis subscription, that they might go. The old gentleman still continuing to count them out upon the table, they interrupted him a second time, when he simply hoped the gentlemen would suffer bim to go on, and on he went till he had counted down 80 guineas. “ There, gentlemen," cried the old man, “I promised you a subscription of a guinea a year; I am 80 years old, and there are the 80 guineas."

II. TIMOTHY. Chap. i, ver. 10.-But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel.

General Burn had, during his residence in France, unhappily imbibed inside sentiments, so far at one time, as to doubt the immortality of the soul. Though these sentiments and doubts were afterwards removed, not only by a thorough conviction of the truth of Christianity, and after diligent investigation, but by personal experience of the power of religion on his heart, they nevertheless did him lasting injury, and in after life often afforded Satan the means of distressing this holy man. At one period of extreme weakness and suffering, during bis last illness, the great enemy of souls was permitted to barass him, by suggesting the thought, that perhaps annihilation would follow death. He mentioned this temptation to one of his children, standing by the bed-side, who

V

replied, “ Life and immortality are brought to light by the Gospel." This passage of Scripture immediately dissipated his fears, and proved a shield against the fiery darts of the devil;-he reclined his head again on the pillow, and for some time after, his beaming countenance indicated the sweetest serenity and joy.

Chap. i, ver. 13.-Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

The celebrated Claude, a French minister, said on his death-bed, “I have carefully examined all religions. No one appears to me worthy of the wisdom of God, and capable of leading men to happiness, but the Christian religion. I have diligently studied Popery and Protestantism. The Protestant religion is, I think, the only good religion. It is all founded on the Holy Scriptures, the word of God. From this, as from a fountain, all religion must be drawn.Scripture is the root, the Protestant religion is the trunk and branches of the tree. It becomes you all to keep steady to it."

Chap. i, ver. 25.- In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth.

Dr. Dwight mentions a man of bis acquaintance, of a vehement temper, who had a dispute with a friend, a professor of religion. He met with so much frankness, humility, and kindness in his Christian friend, that, on returning home, he said to himself, “ There must be something more in religion than I have hitherto suspected. Were any one to address me in the tone of haughtiness and provocation with which I accosted my friend this evening, it would be impossible for me to preserve the equanimity of which I have been a witness. There is something in this

man's disposition which is not in mive. There is something in the religion which he professes, and which I am forced to believe he feels; something which makes him so superior, so much better, so much more amiable than I can pretend to be. The subject strikes me in a manner to wbich I bave hitherto been a stranger. It is high time to examine it more thoroughly, with more candor, and with greater solicitude than I have done hitherto.” From this incident, a train of thoughts and emotions commenced in the mind of this man, which terminated in his profession of the Christian religion, his relinquishment of the business in which he was engaged, and bis consecration of himself to the ministry of the Gospel.

Chap. iii, ver. 2.—Disobedient to parents.

The following instance may show to young persons the danger of disobeying their parents, though but for once, and may at the same time guard them against profaning the Sabbath. A poor, but pious man, who was employed as a collier, one Lord's day, sent four of his children, two boys and two girls, attend, as usual, the Sabbath-School and divine service at a neighboring town, with suitable admonitions to avoid loitering and playing by the way. The boys, however, contrary to their usual practice, separated from their sisters, and trifled away a part of the day in the fields, instead of attending the school, or the worship of God. About noon they were discovered, and pursued by a person who designed to take them to their parents; but they escaped, and being afraid of correction for their sinful conduct, came to the resolution of hiding themselves in a neighboring coalpit, where their father and others wrought, and where they probably expected to be found, and released next day. They cast off the rope to the depth of two hundred feet, and attempted to descend by it; but both missed their holds, and were dashed to pieces by the fall. Jo a few hours their mangled bodies were

« הקודםהמשך »