Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

word of God more than any other book; the people of God more than other persons; he felt an attachment to the ministers of the Gospel; he delighted in doing the will of God; he felt an unspeakable pleasure in the public and private means of grace; class meetings and prayer meetings were his delight; many Sabbaths he attended the morning prayer meetings at six o'clock; the school in the forenoon, and the preaching in the afternoon and evening, walking a distance of nine or ten miles to and from the house of God; he was ready for every good word and work. But now "he rests from his labours."

How mysterious are the dealings of Providence: we cannot fathom the depths of Jehovah's wisdom—" His ways are past finding out." We must however bend to his wise arrangement. '' Whate'er he does is best." We did hope our young friend would have been spared; apparently he was wanted in the church below; but he has been cut down in the bloom of youth; snatched away early by the ruthless hand of death. Our hopes respecting him and future usefulness in the vineyard of the Lord, have thus been blighted. The flower so promising, has been removed out of this vale of tears, and transplanted into a milder clime—" regions of eternal day :" amongst the blood-washed throng he occupies a place, and with them joins in singing—" Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, and hath redeemed us to God by his blood.

"There in celestial strains,

Enraptured millions sing;
And love in every bosom reigns,

For God himself is king."

MEMOIR OF THE LATE MRS. ELIZABETH NICHOLSON,

OF APPLEBY.

By her Husband.

Elizabeth Nicholson, the daughter of Edward and Jane Railton, was born December 2, 1791, at Clifton, in the county of Westmoreland. In the year 1811, December the 25th, she was united in marriage to Jonathan Blake, with whom she lived eight years. During that time, she became concerned for the salvation of her soul, and joined the Wesleyan Society in Penrith; but on account of the opposition she met with, she discontinued meeting in class: this she afterwards deeply regreted. In the year 1819 she had a fever, which brought her down to the brink of the grave. Having, after her disunion with the Society, lost her confidence in God, she felt exceedingly unhappy; but by the Divine blessing on the instructions and prayers of her pious mother, who attended her in her illness, she was restored to the joys of God's salvation. The knowledge of this she soon desired to communicate to her husband, who was, at that time, in the last stage of consumption. Being assisted to go into the room where he was, she told him what the Lord had done for her; and earnestly besought him to seek the salvation of his soul: and, it is hoped, she did not exhort him in vain; for, before he died, he professed to have found salvation through faith in Jesus, the Saviour of all who come unto him.

On the 13th of August, 1822, she again entered into the matrimonial state with William Nicholson (the writer of this short account), at Penrith, in Cumberland. Although I am bereaved of an affectionate wife, yet I sorrow not without hope; as 1 am fully persuaded, that if I am faithful, I shall meet her in the kingdom of glory. As a wife she was truly a help-meet. She was meek in spirit; and such was the tenderness she always manifested to me and to our children, that whenever I was called from home, I felt it my greatest interest to return as early as possible.

My dear wife was the subject of affliction eight years; two years and nine months of which she was wholly confined to her dwelling. During that time she suffered much, but with resignation, often saying "The will of the Lord be done." Being unable to attend the house of God, during the two years and nine months, she had not joined in commemorating the death of her Redeemer, she therefore desired that the sacrament might be administered to her in her own house. In compliance with her request, our minister visited her for that special purpose, when the presence of the Lord was unusually felt.

My dear wife did not exhibit any of those signs which indicate the near approach of death, until Friday, the 14th of January, 1842. On that night she was severely tried by the enemy of souls in reference to her sins of omission and commission. When she told me afterwards about it, I advised her, if the enemy came again, she should say to him, 'I have laid my sins upon Jesus who died for sinners ;' she answered, 'O yes, on Jesus, on Jesus.' After that night, it does not appear that she was the subject of another temptation.

On Saturday afternoon, January the 15th, Mr. Horsley visited her for the last time, to administer the emblems of her crucified Redeemer. He had often visited her, and bears his testimony to the spirituality and ardour of her devotions. She always evidenced great interest when the Saviour was the subject of conversation, and when his praises were sung, and prayers were offered. She never showed any fatigue in such exercises. After Mr. Horsley had conversed with her, she desired him to give her the sacrament, which she said would be the last time. She desired all the family to be present.

She said, ' I know in whom I have believed;' 'I know that my Redeemer liveth.' And then she spoke to all in the room of the value of religion, and exhorted some that were present speedily to seek it. The sacrament was then commemorated with deep feeling; it was a time long to be remembered. When Mr. Horsley was taking his leave of her, she said to him, with corresponding feeling, ' What shall I say to my preacher, I have never had the opportunity of hearing you preach; but O be faithful; warn sinners to flee from the wrath to come.'

"The chamber where the good man meets his fate
Is privileged beyond the common walks of virtuous life;
Quite on the verge of heaven."

About six o'clock in the evening, she said, let me sing my favourite hymn, " Come to Jesus, he can save you ;" she exulted in a most surprising manner, when she repeated these words, 'I believe it, I believe it just now.' At the close she cried out, 'Victory, victory, through the blood of the Lamb.' And then exhorted her friends present to live to God, and be faithful unto death, and then we shall meet in heaven.' She then exclaimed, ' Glory to God, I feel Him according to His promise, for He has enabled me to sing His praises, even while I am combating with the last enemy—death.'

My beloved partner, during her affliction, often felt a fear of the pains of death, but used to say, 'the Lord will give me dying grace when I want it.' She slumbered a little; and when she awoke, her father being present, she exhorted him to be faithful to the grace given him, and to choose such company as would help him on in the road to heaven. About ten o'clock she desired those present to join her in singing—

"Hark the gospel news are sounding,

Christ has suffered on the tree;
Streams of mercy are abounding,

Grace for all is rich and free.

CHORDS.

I love Jesus, Halelujab,

I love Jesus, yes I do;
I love Jesus, he's my Saviour,

Jesus smiles and loves me too."

While singing the latter part of this hymn she rose into a rapture of joy, which, when they considered her weakness, quite astonished all present. She then repeated the following verse:—

"O for a heart to praise my God,
A heart from sin set free;
A heart that always feels thy blood,
So freely spilt for me."

And added, 'Yes, so freely spilt for me, so freely spilt for me.' Prayer was then offered to God, in which she devoutly engaged. Her strength began now rapidly to decrease. She fell into a slumber, and came out of it about twelve o'clock. I asked her if she felt the Lord was precious? she looked very affectionately at me, and said, 'O yes, William, Jesus died for sinners, and Jesus died for me.' These were the last words she spoke that could be understood. About half-past twelve o'clock her happy spirit took its flight to the region of the blessed, to join in celebrating for ever the praises of her blessed Lord.

Thus died Elizabeth Nicholson, January 16th, 1842, in the fiftysecond year of her age. Mr. Horsley improved the event, in our Tabernacle, Appleby, on Sunday evening, January 30th, from the fourth verse of the twenty-third Psalm. It was an impressive time.

218

THE PEACE OF JERUSALEM.

The substance of a Sermon delivered in Pleasant Street Chapel, Liverpool, before the Annual Assembly of the Wesleyan Methodist Association, on Sunday, August 1, 1841; by Mr. T. B. Young; and published at its request.

"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee. Because of the house of the Lord our God I will seek thy good."—Psalm cxxii. 6—9.

It is considered by some as probable that this psalm was written in prospect of the return of the children of Israel from the captivity of Babylon, when proclamation was made by Cyrus permitting the rebuilding and re-peopling of Jerusalem. For seventy years, Jerusalem had been a comparative waste. For seventy years her tribes had been captives in Babylon. By its rivers they had sat down, yea, they had wept, when they remembered Zion. They had hanged their harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. And when they that had carried them away captive required of them a song, they said, "How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land ?"—Ps. cxxxvii. 1—4. The prophet Isaiah delightfully pictures the different effect that would be produced by their restoration. "Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head; they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away." Isa. li. 11. The writer of this Psalm also :—" I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord. Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem." Ps. cxxii. I, 2. Indeed, the attachment of the Jews to Jerusalem forms an undying feature in their character to the present day; and no wonder, when we consider the amazing scenes of glory which have there been manifested; for to them "pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; whose are the Father's, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen." Rom. ix. 5. It is true that, in the degeneracy of ages, they lost all perception of the spiritual glory of Jerusalem, and sunk into dreams of worldly splendour and grandeur, and so blindness has happened to Israel, which remaineth unto this day; such blindness, that when He came who was to fill the second temple with far greater glory than the first,—inasmuch as He was therein manifested ;—yet, when he came unto his own, his own received him not, but esteemed him stricken, and smitten, and afflicted; and they rejected the Messiah, and put him to death. Yet there are unfulfilled prophecies concerning Israel; though Zion may still be, comparatively, a ploughed field, and Jerusalem in heaps; and it is devoutly hoped by many, that there will once more be a rebuilding and a repeopling of Jerusalem, on the restoration of the Jews to their own

land. God tells us that the blindness that hath happened to Israel shall be done away; that the natural branches which have been broken off shall be grafted in again; and that all Israel shall be saved. And, do not many of the events of the past year seem to indicate a preparing of the way of the Lord?

"Yes, He hath said, the day shall come
When Zion shall in glory reign;
When shouting to their beauteous home,
Her scattered tribes shall march again;
When from the mountain to the plain,
Shall Salem's banners be unfurled,
And Judah's sceptre rule a world."

Our object, however, is to shew from analogy, that if the care and love of the Jews for Jerusalem were so remarkable, there ought to be equal care and love in the hearts of Christian believers towards the Church of God, the one being confessedly prefigured by the other; and all those traits of character discovered in pious Jews, ought to predominate in Christians also.

We shall inquire, First, in what the peace and prosperity of the Church consist?

Secondly: By what instrumentality that peace and prosperity are to be promoted?

Thirdly; The encouragement which the text holds out to those who comply with the exhortation.

It may not be improper to premise what we understand by a Church of God. In the most definite application of the term, we consider it to mean, a congregation of believers in Christ Jesus united together in the Gospel; and although the same term is often otherwise applied, it is either in an accommodated sense, or it is misappropriated. Sectarian distinctions and divisions are not of God, but result from the ignorance, infirmities, and passions of men. - God's plan is one of unity; and if a company of true believers form a Church, the universal, or Catholic Church on earth, is composed of the entire aggregate of all such believers throughout the world. Every member of this Church is "born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever." And hence all such "as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God, by Jesus Christ." (1 Pet. i. 23; ii. 5.) Let our minds, then, take a wider range; think of the members of the Church of every sect, cast, colour, and clime; and, while we do so, embrace them in the arms of faith and prayer, and pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

We consider these two qualities of peace and prosperity to have an intimate connexion with each other. It will be admitted that there can scarcely be prosperity unless there be internal peace in the Church; and we question whether peace can prevail without prosperity following. There may, it is true, be no noise of war and conflict, and yet be no prosperity; but that is a state of indifference and apathy, of spiritual inanition and death, resembling the state of the dry bones in the valley of vision. Where true peace dwells, it is

« AnteriorContinuar »