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ly, than almost any other situation; and had I my choice on this point, I should like it, of all others, for my abode in the dying hour; for every one is so taken up with his own concerns, that there is neither time nor inclination to attend to the affairs of others: so that here a man might be free from the troublesome importunity of attendants, which sometimes becomes a sad interruption to the soul, in her preparations for her journey into the invisible world, while the carriage is at the door.'
Our refreshment, consisting of a little tea and bread, was soon served up; which, my friend having first implored the divine blessing to sanctify the use of it, we really enjoyed. 'Tea is a very pleasant beverage,' said my friend, 'to my taste; and I should find some difficulty to get any thing as a substitute, were I to be deprived of the use of it. I have heard many speak of it as pernicious; but I verily believe, that one great reason why it proves so is, because it is a graceless meal. If we do not beg God's blessing over our food, how can we be surprised, if, instead of being wholesome, it proves hurtful?'
After we had finished our repast, and like well-fed guests had arisen from the table, blessing the kind Master of the feast' who giveth us all things richly to enjoy we were about to enter upon the perusal of 'the word of God,' by way of profitably filling up the measure of time till the hour of rest; when a circumstance occurred, which at once arrested the attention of us both. .
The instant we arose from the table, as before observed, there crossed the courtyard of the inn, opposite to the room where we were sitting, a Jew, (as he appeared to be,) with a basket of pens. My friend seeing him, hastily ran to the door to inquire of him whether he knew a man of the name of Abraham Levi, one of their people. 'Yes,' he said,' I know him very well; but he is not one of my people.' 'How is that V replied my friend; 'are not you a Jew V 'No,* the poor man said, 'I thank the Lord I am not. I was once indeed; but, I trust, I am now a lover of the Lord Jesus.' The effect wrought upon my mind by this short conversation was like that of electricity. 'Pray, my friend, do us the favour' (continued my companion,) ' to walk into this room. We are both lovers and humble followers, like yourself, if you are so, of the Lord Jesus; and we shall much rejoice, if you will communicate to us the pleasing information how this change was wrought.' That I will most readily,' replied the man; 'for if it will afford you pleasure to hear, much more will it delight me to relate, a change to which I owe such unspeakable mercies.
'Without going over the whole of my history from my childhood,' he said, ' which hath very little interesting in it, and is unconnected with the circumstances of my conversion, it will be sufficient to begin it at that part which alone is worth your hearing. It is about two years since, that I first began to feel my mind much exercised with considerations on the deplorable state of our people. I discovered from reading the scriptures, the ancient love of God to our nation. In our history, "as a people, I saw the many wonderful and distinguishing mercies with which, from age to age, the Lord had blessed us. I remarked also, how, for the disobedience and ingratitude of our people, the Lord had punished us. But what struck me most forcibly was that prophecy of scripture, 'That the sceptre should not depart from Judah, nor a law-giver from between his feet, until the Shiloh should come*.' Whereas I saw very plainly, that our nation was without a sceptre, without government, without temple. I remarked moreover. that our people were a light, and vain, and worldly-minded people, who took it not to heart. And if the Lord had punished our fathers for their sins, ours deserved his displeasure more. Added to all these considerations, which very powerfully operated upon my mind, I saw a great mass of people living around me, who professed themselves to be followers of the true God; and who asserted in confirmation of their faith, that the Shiloh was come, and to him was the gathering of the people. Distressed and perplexed in my mind, by reason of these various considerations, I knew not what to do, and could hardly find power or inclination to prosecute my daily labour.
'It happened one day, while walking over the bridge of the city, that, my mind being more than usually affected, I could not refrain from pouring out my heart in prayer to God. I paused, as I stood on the bridge, and lifting up my eyes towards heaven, I cried out,' O God of my fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who hast declared thyself as keeping covenant-mer• Gen. xlix. 10, ^ '. .. i 8 . . . . . r*
'cy for thousands! look down upon me, a poor -Jew, vouchsafe to teach me what I must do. Thou knowest my desire is to serve thee, if I knew the way. Thou art justly displeased with our nation, and with our people; for we have broken thy commandments. But, oh, Lord! direct me.' ,'It was with words somewhat like these' (continued the poor man,) ' that I prayed; in which I wept much. At length I walked on and passing by a place of worship, where I saw many assembled, I found my heart inclined to go in. Who knows, I thought within myself, but the Lord may have directed me hither. I went in, and near the door finding a seat unoccupied, I entered into it, and sat down. The minister was discoursing on the mercies of God, in sending his Son to be the Saviour of the world. If this Saviour was my Saviour, I thought, how happy should 1 be! I felt myself considerably affected, and frequently turned my face to the wall and wept. And many times, during the continuance of the service, so much was my heart interested by what I heard, that I wept aloud, and could not refrain. - '1 had disturbed some of the congregation, it appeared, by my behaviour; so that, as soon as the service was finished, two or three of the