« AnteriorContinuar »
lives to God's glory. All else is but a blank in creation. And were the sum total of my days to be made up under this numeration, it could only correspond to the character of him, who being regenerated after he had attained the age of three-score, ordered for the inscription of his tomb-stone; "Here lieth an old man of four fMBkvk&t" i« . f..
lean only tell the reader, that if from my first apprehension of divine things must commence the calculation of my real life, I have but a little path to go over. But from this aera would I desire to date my history.
What were the secondary means which the Lord in his providence was pleased to employ, it is not so interesting to the reader to be informed of, as to behold their efficacy under grace. It will be sufficient for him to know, that from an ardent pursuit, like that of the generality of the world, of the several objects which attract attention in the circle of life, I found my mind suddenly arrested by matters of an higher nature; and among the first evidences of the renewed life, I discovered two or three leading principles manifesting the mighty change. As for example,—From being occupied in an unremitting regard to things temporal, I now-found my heart earnest to pursue the things which are eternal; and if at any time, the necessary and unavoidable claims of the world broke in upon me, to call off my attention; my heart, like the needle under magnetic influence, which cannot be long diverted from the object of its attraction, soon was turned again to its favourite pursuit. In like manner the troubles of life, and the disappointments necessary to the presentpreliminary state, which in the days of my unrcgeneracy operated with all their severity, now lost their power, or at least became lessened, in the greater anxiety of what might be my situation in the world to come. This, like the ocean, whose boundless in all the rivers flowing into it, up every lesser stream of sorrow; and an awakened concern for the one thing needful,' made me forget every other consideration. Add to these, I had been so exceedingly prodigal of time, while I knew not its value; and having been literally sending out into the streets and lanes of the city to invite passengers to take it off my hands. But when it pleased God to call me by his grace, I found every part of it to be so precious, thatlike the fugitive man-slayer hastening to the gate of refuge, I dreaded every moment lest the adversary should seize me before I had found a sanctuary from his fury. As well as I recollect, (and great cause have I to recollect every thing connected with a situation so critical,) I was in this state of mind when my desires were first awakened to an inquiry after Zion j and the question involuntarily was bursting from the fulness of my heart,' Who will show me any good? Lord, do Thou lift up the light of thy countenance upon me; and it shall put more gladness in my heart, than in the time when corn, and wine, and oil increase!' '."
Awakened to a concern which I had never before experienced, and called upon continually by a voice from within, which neither the engagements of pleasure nor the clamour of business could wholly stifle; I found myself, insensibly, as it were, entered upon the road to Zion, eagerly disposed to ask every one by the way,'Who will show me any good?' though unconscious at that time what that good meant, or whether there were any means of attaining it.
It was in the midst one of those highly interesting moments, when my heart seemed to be more than ordinarily impressed with the consideration of the importance of the inquiry, and perhaps too ready to receive the bias of any direction which might first offer, that it occurred to my recollection, there was a person who lived in the neighbourhood,who might help me in my pursuit of happiness, whom, for the sake of distinction, I would call
THE MORAL MAN.
His house lay on the left-hand side of the road in the way to Zion; and therefore it would not be going much out of my direct path to call upon him. I mention this for the better information of those travellers who may come after me on the same errand, concerning both his situation and character.
I had long known him, and pot unfrequently been witness to some striking instances of the benevolence of his mind. He was well known indeed to all around for the extensiveness of his charity. The poor man never went from his door with his tale of misery unheard, or his wants unrelieved. And it was said of him, almost to a proverb, by the pensioners of his bounty, that if ever any man went to heaven, it would be him. I considered myself particularly fortunate in the recollection of such a character, to whom I might unbosom myself on the subject which lay so near my heart: so that calling upon him, with that kind of