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his arm with vehemence and said,—' No mercy for me;—no mercy for me; —no mercy for me. I have sinned through all;—1 have despised all;—I am dying, and I am damned!' His arm fell, and he apparently ceased to breathe. I thought him dead, but was mistaken: there still was life, there was even consciousness. Fetching a long drawn breath, as if for some desperate effort, and covering his face with the evident intention of concealing the agony which was written there, he uttered the most awful groan I ever heard, and then expired.
If any thing could increase the horror of that scene, it was the following circumstance. That man ascribed the ruin of his soul to a popular preacher, whom on some public occasion he heard deliver a sermon which deeply affected him, and whom, at the close of the service, he was delighted to meet at the house of a mutual friend. But great was his disappointment. The individual who in the pulpit was a Boanerges, in the parlour played the mountebank, and in either character he seemed perfectly "at home." His adventures, jokes, and anecdotes kept the company, till past midnight, in a roar of laughter. The consequence may be easily imagined. The unhappy man who was doomed to witness that incongruous scene persuaded himself that Christianity was disbelieved by its professional advocates, and thenceforth he treated it as unworthy of his notice. He mentioned that preacher's name. It stands not now among the living. But should any reader of these pages, who, had it not been for that circumstance, would have trembled at the apprehension, that possibly the allusion was meant for him, take warning, and bear in remembrance the apostolic caution, "If I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor." Gal. ii. 18.
The closing appeal to the unconverted is most effective. The danger and duty of the sinner is set forth by the following interesting and affecting narrative :—
"On a part of the British coast, where beetling cliffs, from three to five hundred feet in height, overhang the ocean, some individuals, during a certain season of the year, obtain a solitary livelihood by collecting the eggs of the rock-birds and gathering samphire. The way in which they pursue this hazardous calling is as follows. The man drives an iron crow-bar securely into the ground, about a yard from the edge of the precipice. To that crow-bar he makes fast a rope, of which he then lays hold. He next slides gently over the cliff and lowers himself till he reaches the ledges and crags where he expects to find the objects of his pursuit. To gain these places is sometimes a difficult task, and when they fall within the perpindicular, the only method of accomplishing it is for the adventurer to swing in the air till by dexterous management he can so balance himself as to reach the spot on which he wishes to descend. A basket, made for the purpose and strapped between the shoulders, contains the fruit of his labour; and when he has filled that basket, or has failed in the attempt, he ascends, hand over hand, to the summit. On one occasion, a man who was thus employed, in gaining a narrow ledge of rock which was overhung by the higher portion of the cliff, secured his footing, but let go the rope. He at once perceived his peril. No one could come to his rescue, or even hear his cries. The fearful alternative immediately flashed on his mind; it was being starved to death where he stood, or dashed in pieces four hundred feet below. On turning round, he saw the rope he had quitted, but it was far away. As it swung backwards and forwards, its long vibrations testified the mighty effort by which be had reached the deplorable predicament in which he stood. He looked at that rope in agony. He had gazed but a little while, when he noticed that every movement was shorter than the one preceding, so that each time it came the nearest, as it was gradually subsiding to its point of rest, it was a little further off than it had been the time before. He briefly reasoned thus. "That rope is my only chance of life. In a little while, it will be for ever beyond my reach. It is nearer now than it will ever be again. I can but die. Here goes." So saying, he sprang from the cliff as the rope was next approaching; caught it in his grasp, and went home rejoicing.
Sinner! you tremble at this incident. Believe me, yours is greater peril! Beneath you yawns the lake that " burneth with fire and brimstone."' Stand where you are, you cannot. Time will force you thence, Salvation is set before you. It is nearer now than ever it will be again. Lay hold of it. Cling to it with the firmness of a death-grasp. This is your only chance of safety. And it is not a chance alone. It is a certainty, a glorious certainty; and the only danger is, that refusing to embrace it, you will defer escape until it becomes impossible. Then make that plunge at once. Beneath are everlasting arms."
The importance of the contents of this volume has induced us to extend our remarks and quotations. It is a work of very great value, and is well calculated to awaken the unconverted to a consciousness of the guilt and danger of neglecting to secure the salvation of their immortal spirits. It presents topics of paramount interest, in a most impressive manner; and we doubt not but by the Divine blessing it will be the means of causing many to turn unto the Lord—Christians will do well to read it for their own profit, and to recommend it to others. By lending or giving it, "they may cast bread upon the waters which will be seen after many days."
THE CHARLINCH REVIVAL; an account of the remarkable Work of Grace, which has lately taken place at Charlinch in Somersetshire. By the Rev. H. I. Prince. 12mo. 90 pp. Nisbet and Co.
Charlinch is a small parish containing only about 200 souls. In July, 1840, a zealous young clergyman, having been engaged as a curate, commenced his labours there, and according to the statement in the work before us, there was not then one person in the parish "either converted or awakened," members of his own household alone excepted. For more than twelve months he laboured earnestly to awaken the attention of the people to the interests of their souls, but his labours appeared to be altogether in vain. However, in the latter end of 1841, and the early part of this year, the Lord in a remarkable manner poured out His Holy Spirit, and about one hundred adults and children were brought under deep conviction of sin; and received redemption in the blood of Christ, even the forgiveness of sins.
The zealous, faithful, and successful labours of the curate, excited the hostility of enemies of the work of saving souls. "Husbands threatened to murder their wives, and wives threatened to leave their husbands." Complaint was made to the bishop and archbishop; it was alleged that the minister visited persons in other parishes than his own, and admitted (converted) children to the Lord's table who had not been confirmed, and recommended several respectable (but unconverted), persons not to communicate. The consequence was, the curate's licence was taken away by the bishop, and he was thus rendered incapable of continuing his labours in the church of the parish of Charlinch.
Although we are very much pleased with the general contents of this pamphlet, yet there are some statements to which we cannot subscribe. We instance the following—" He (the curate) told them (the awakened) that their ruin was so complete that none but God Himself could save them from, it, and that it depended on nothing else than His own will whether he would do so; he assured them that if it were His will and pleasure to destroy them, He would destroy them; and to this he added, there was nothing left for them to do but to submit to this."
If the salvation of man depend only upon the will of God, then we may prove from Scripture, not only that all penitent sinners will be saved, but also that all the impenitent will also be saved. For this purpose we might quote the Prophet Ezekiel, by whose raoutli the Lord says, "I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth;" and also the words of Peter who testifies, that, "the Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.'' The awakened sinner, according to the teaching of God's word, ought not to be told "that his salvation depends on nothing but the will of God." He ought to be told that God hath not appointed him to wrath, but to obtain salvation "—that "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him might not perish but have everlasting life." Nor is it proper to direct penitents, that they must wait God's time to receive his pardoning love—God's time is the present time. It is the duty of man to repent and believe without delay, and to all who feel their need of Christ, and are willing to accept salvation by him, God says, "Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation."
The account of the Charlinch Revival will, we are sure, be read with much interest by true Christians, and may especially be read with spiritual profit by ministers of religion, who are forcibly addressed in the latter part of the Work. We subjoin the following extract, which will we are sure be read with profit.
"Whether a minister ought to be satisfied with using the means to save souls, without seeing them actually saved is certainly a question,—a question, too, that can be answered only by referring to the word of God. Now, an examination of Scripture will plainly show, that it is not the mind of God a minister should be satisfied without seeing the fruit of His labour. Our blessed Lord intimates that the object for which He sends His ministers into the world is the same as that for which the Father sent Himself into the world; "as thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world." John xvii. 18. For what did the Father send His Son into the world? It was to seek and to save that which was lost. The object, therefore, for which Christ sends His ministers into the world is to save lost souls. Can it be agreeable to the mind of God, then, that ministers should be satisfied without obtaining the very end for which they have been sent by Him? If the very purpose for which Christ has chosen and ordained them is, as he expressly states, that they should go, and bring forth fruit, and that their fruit should remain, it is quite clear it cannot be the mind of Christ that those ministers should be satisfied without fruit, John xv. 16. Surely there is enough in this to warrant every minister of Christ in expecting fruit, and enough to forbid his being satisfied without fruit. Does not God declare respecting His prophets under the old covenant, that if they had stood in His counsel, they should have turned his people from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings, Jerem. xxiii. 22; and is it not asserted of the priests that when the law of truth was in their mouth, and iniquity was not found in their lips, and they walked with the Lord in truth and equity, they did turn many away from iniquity, Malac. ii. 6.? Was success thus promised by God to faithful ministers under the old covenant, and actually obtained by them, whilst the Holy Ghost was not yet given; and are we to credit that the ministers of Christ, under the new covenant, when the Holy Ghost is given, should be satisfied without success, and that it is the mind of God they ought to be f Impossible! Success, that is, the actual salvation of souls is the very object for which they have been chosen and sent forth by Christ; success is the very object they ought to have in view; success is that without which they ought never to be satisfied.
We should immediately detect, in other things, the absurdity of a man's being satisfied with using the means, though he did not obtain the end. Would the husbandman be satisfied with sowing, though he should not reap; or would the fisherman be satisfied with fishing, though he should take no fish f is it not strange, that we should see at once the absurdity of this, and yet that we cannot see how equally absurd it is that they who sow spiritually should be satisfied though they do not reap spiritually, and that they who have been made fishers of men's souls should be satisfied though they do not take souls f To be satisfied with using means without obtaining the end would in ordinary, and even trivial affairs, be esteemed a mark of folly, if not worse: then how can it be accounted for that in matters of the most solemn import this should be regarded as a part of wisdom, and in accordance with the mind of God. Is there any principle that can explain this inconsistency? Yes, there is one and but one: it is this, the truth, that there are but few ministers who realize in their hearts that the great object and end for which they have been put in the ministry is to save souls; and in failing to do this they fail to fulfil the object for which they were ordained. When a minister does indeed realize this great truth in his heart, the means without the end will not content him: it will not be enough for him that he preaches the truth, that his sermons are admired, and his conduct approved, that his congregations are overflowing, and his schools flourishing, that his Bible classes and prayer meetings are well attended, and his various societies well ordered, and that he himself is diligent and regular in the performance of all his ministerial duties ;—No; to such an one all these things without conversions will be nothing : such an one will not be satisfied with anything short of the salvation of souls.
That one who does not profess to believe that men in general are hurrying on to everlasting destruction, and to whom regeneration and conversion appear as flights of fancy or enthusiasm,—that such an one should be satisfied without seeing any fruit of his labours is consistent: but that one who professes to believe that the multitudes around him are going down to hell, and that he is sent to save them from it,—that he should be satisfied without their really being saved, is so very inconsistent that it can be explained only by the circumstance of his not realizing as a truth with his heart what he receives as a doctrine with his head. Nor can a minister whose heart is really set on the salvation of lost souls as the great object for which he has been sent by Christ rest satisfied without conversions, under the plea of having cast his bread upon the waters in the hope that he may find it after many days: though such an one will not withhold his hand from sowing seed, even where there is not the slightest prospect at the time of its producing fruit: and the writer would suggest whether this be not the proper application of the text referred to, Eccles. xi. 1;—yet the necessity of sowing on some occasions with a very uncertain prospect of success will not prevent him from looking for, or make him better able to be satisfied without success from his ministry in general. Moreover, if the heart be really set on the salvation of souls as the great object of the ministry, the absence of success will stir up the soul of the minister to still more earnestness, greater anxiety, and more fervent prayer for the conversion of his people; certainly, it will not leave him satisfied without fruit; for it will make him more dissatisfied than ever with himself and his ministry, and so deeply affected with the sight of the dying souls around him, that he will be ready to weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of his people. Such was the earnest anxiety—might we not say, the agony—of St. Paul for the real conversion of men's souls, that he could find no mode of speech so adapted to express it, as by declaring that he actually travailed in birth of them until Christ was formed in them. Gal. iv. 19.
Though success may not for a time attend the use of means, yet if the heart of the minister be really set on the salvation of souls, the absence of success will invariably produce the following effect: so far from leaving him satisfied, it will lead him to conclude there is something amiss in himself or his ministry to which the want of success is to be attributed. If the husbandmen was to sow without reaping any fruit, or comparatively little, and continue so to do, would he not naturally conclude there must be some fault in the seed he sowed, his mode of sowing it, or his culture of the ground on which he sowed? Would he not with full purpose of heart set himself to discover what the error was, and where it lay, and would he, or could he, be satisfied till it had been discovered and removed? In like manner would not the fisherman who had little or no success in fishing suspect he did not fish aright, or that his nets were out of order; and would he be satisfied till this was discovered and amended? We see the reasonableness of the conclusion, and of the conduct following, in these cases; and is it not equally reasonable that the minister who is spiritually both a husbandman and fisherman, should, when he has laboured on with little or no success, conclude there is some error in himself, the means he uses, or the manner of his using them, and should he rest contented till the error is discovered and removed? Does he not go forth with an object and an end as specific and express as theirs, and are not the means he uses just as much adapted to obtain the end as theirs? Then why should he be satisfied without it? No; if his heart be really set upon that end he will not be satisfied without it. How express is the promise of success made to Timothy, and in him, to every minister of Christ! Meditate upon these things, give thyself wholly to themthat thy profiting may appear to all;—or, in all things;—take heed unto thyself; and unto the doctrine; for, in doing this, thou shall- both save thyself and them that hear thee, 1 Tim. iv. 15, 16. This Scripture warrants every faithful minister to expect success; and where success, that is, the conversion of sinners, does not attend our ministry, it furnishes a clue to the discovery of what prevents it. Let such a minister enquire of God and his own heart, whether he do really give himself wholly to these things. Let him consider how much is implied in that word wholly: the question is not whether he give himself partly, or even a great deal to these things; but whether he do give himself wholly to them, so as to give himself to nothing else. Is the edification of his own soul, and the salvation of his hearers, the only thing he is concerned about; or, at least, is his concern about these so genuine as to swallow up, and utterly absorb his concern about