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form of religion in his house ; and for exame ple's sake, to lead his household to the church on Sundays. For the same reason I make it a point that all the elder branches of my family, after they have been confirmed, should attend the monthly sacrament; and it is my wish, that my wife and daughters should go to prayers on the week days and festivals: and I believe they are pretty constant in their attendance. And, Sir, we all find the good effects of it. We are prosperous in the world, and cheerful and happy, as you see. Religion has nothing glogmy with us. No family, I persuade myself, is more comfortable than ours.
The master of the house said this with so much complacency and satisfaction, and there seemed to be so much cheerfulness appearing in every countenance of his household, that I began to hope the object of my visit was answered without further inquiry. I concluded with myself, that if the observance of religious duties was capable of inducing so much happiness in their instance, it would have the same tendency in mine. I only remained therefore long enough among this apparently happy family, to present my congratulations on what I had seen; and then took my leave, to put into practice the lesson which I had learnt from them.
· It is impossible to tell my reader what a round of duties I laboured through, of reading, hearing, fasting, watching, praying. And to the constant routine of this kind, when the monthly sacraments came about in their periodical returns, I added every page which is prescribed in the weekly preparations. I could not have ventured in those days to the Lord's table with any of the appointed forms 'unfulfilled for the world. And as this path in the trammels of devotion opened a continual feast to feed the pride of my heart upon, I soon began to feel the sweet effects of it in the gratification it afforded me. For finding greater confidence from the supposed rectitude of my life and dutiful obedience towards God, than heretofore, I concluded that I stood on much safer ground for acceptance with him. Not that I then thought that my goodness alone and without the merits of Jesus Christ, would be sufficient to salvation : (for by this time I had learnt somewhat of the nature of the Christian religion :) but I took it for granted, that what I did would be the sure method of recommending me to God for it. So that, upon the whole, I was well pleased with myself. There were indeed certain seasons, now and then, when upon the omission of any duty, or the commission of any sin, my mind would misgive me, and for the moment induce fear. But these were but transient impressions, which I endeavoured to efface as fast as possible, in atoning for the evil, by increasing diligence in the path of what I thought good. And thus, by carrying on a commutation with God, I strove to make up what was remiss or offensive in one instance, by an over-attention in another.
-How long I should have gone on under a delusion so fatal I know not. But a circumstance occurred, which at once threw to the ground the whole edifice I had been building up for myself with so much labour, and levelled all my fancied goodness in the dust. I had been reading a chapter in Paul's second Epistle to Timothy, when those words arrested my attention so forcibly, that I could not help dwelling upon them: • Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away*! What if this should be my case, I thought with myself; and after all, I am taking up with the form, while destitute of the power of godliness? The very idea made me tremble ; and the bare possibility of the thing itself induced me to bring the matter to an instant issue by examination. And the result terminat
* 2 Tim. iii. 5.
ed but to my confusion. That single appeal of the apostle, which I found I could not make, convinced me all was wrong. "GOD is my witness, (says he,) whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son*.' Alas !' I cried out, I am no spiritual worshipper. I have the form indeed, but not the power of godliness. Mine is the shell, the carcass, the shadow only of piety.' - Under this renewed conviction and distress of mind, I sat down pensive and melancholy: I considered now, that all hopes of salvation were over, and was in a state little short of despair. I knew not at this time, that these were the blessed effects of divine teaching; and that God, the Holy Spirit, was thus, one by one, removing all the props of self-confidence, and emptying the soul, in order to prepare it for receiving out of the fulness of the Saviour. Oh! it is a gracious process of mercy. We must become poor, in order to be made rich; and the apostle's paradoxes must be literally verified; to be dying, that we may live ; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; having nothing, and yet possessing all thingst.'
Oh! ye mourning saints! be not astonished at your afflictions. Be they ever so heavy, or
S** Rom. i. 9.: T + 2 Cor. vi. 9, 10.15
of ever so long continuance, there is a needs be for every one of them. Your God is faithful in sending the affliction; and your God will be equally faithful in carrying you through it. Settle this in your mind as an everlasting maxim; every one of them shall terminate to your benefit. The Lord appoints it for the exercise of your faith. And if your faith gives glory to God, God will confirm and honour your faith. This is among the all things which must work together for good to them that love God.
In the frame of mind just described, I was seated pensive and melancholy, when a traveller approached me. "You seem dejected, Sir," (he cried, as he advanced towards me.)
Yes, Sir, I am indeed, (I replied ;) I have discovered sin to be a heavy burden.'
“Sir, I ought to congratulate you, (the man answered,) on this discovery. The knowledge of our misery is the first step towards a cure. There is a striking analogy between the diseases of the mind and those of the body. The man in supposed health will reprobate the applica