Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

“ mind under all its pressures, than the recol“ lection of early notices of God and from “ GOD; and so sweet a promise of being ree membered through all.”

« And as for you, my brother,” (the good man said, addressing himself to me) “there is “ no passage of Scripture more suited to your “ case and circumstances, than that which is "contained in the prayer of the Lord JESUS, F in the conclusion of His ministry upon earth “ (John xvii. 11.) Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom thou hast givena Me. Originally given, as all the faithful are,

“ by the Father to the Lord Jesus, before the ..Redeemer manifests the Father's náme unto " them ; evidently the property of the Father

at the time of the donation, for Thine they were, and Thou gavest them to Me; fully « proved to be redeemed by Jesus, by having

the Father's name manifested unto them, and “ having kept His word; strongly and power, « fully recommended to the Father's keeping, “ by One whom the Father heareth always, “ and whose joint interest in the believer is one « and the same with the Father's, for all Mine « are Thine, and Thine are Mine : how is it 6 possible that such can ever perish, or that any « should pluck them out of His Almighty hand “ Keep this sweet Scripture therefore, I charge ¢ you, always in your bosom, and carry it about (with you whithersoever you go; that its in« fluence may be perpetual, and that the wil

“ of the Redeemer, corresponding with the

gift and grace of the Father, may never

escape your recollection; Father, I will that so they also whom Thou hast given Me be with 66 Me where I am, that they may behold the glory which Thou hast given Me." John xvii. 24.

The Interpreter conducted me to the door, and as I stepped over the threshold, I turned about once more to express my thankful acknowledgment of the affectionate manner in which I had been entertained

Since we part,
Adieu kind friend, Interpreter from God,
Sent from whose Sov'reign goodness I adore.
Gentle to me, and affable, hath been .
Thy condescension, and shall be ever honor'd
With grateful mem'ry,

But it was an event, which the coincidence of circumstances in a Pilgrim's life, like mine, could only produce, that soon after I left the house of the Interpreter, I met the poor man, of whom such honorable testimony is made by me in the former part of these memoirs, accompanied with my moral neighbour, at whose instance I attended the elegant preacher's sermon, who is also mentioned in the first days of my inquiry for the way to Zion. Struck with astonishment at what I saw, that such an one should come on pilgrimage, I was going to express my surprise ; when he anticipated all my inquiries, by accounting for the change.

OS

“ To this dear friend” (he cried, taking the poor man by the hand) “I am indebted, under • God, for the gracious conversion of my mind “ from the error of its ways. I felt no small “ confusion from the strength of your observa“ tions respecting the ineffectual tendency of “ morality to justify before God; and particu6 larly from the manner in which you stated it « in your conversation, as instanced in the e conduct of brethren towards one another,

while deficient in love and obedience towards ~ their Father. But the remarks of this poor “ man at the church porch, after the sermon “ we had heard, were such as threw to the 6 ground, through God's grace, all the build“ ing of self-confidence which I had been

rearing up from the supposed rectitude of “my life. And since that time, I have been “ so thoroughly convinced, from the frequent “ instructions of this dear friend, whom I have “ made my constant companion, of the utter “ impossibility of man's being justified by any “ thing of his own before God, that all my “ astonishment now is, not that I have for ever 6 relinquished the vain pretension, but that I “ ever should have imbibed it. I am now most “ fully satisfied, I bless God, that so far is “ the highest moral virtue from affording any “ ground of justification before God, that, 6 unless Divine grace keep the soul humble 66. under all its attainments, it is apt to produce “ pride in our hearts, and thereby to subject us

“ to the greater condemnation. It may very “ safely be granted, that all moral excellencies “ will be the necessary result of true religion, “ as good fruit will be the natural production of “a good tree; and that, after the greatest pre“ tensions, we have no authority to call that, “ man religious who is immoral. But it must “ at the same time be insisted upon as strenu“ ously, that so far detached is morality from “.religion in a great variety of instances, that “ nothing is more common in life, than to see 5 persons who are truly irreproachable in their

conduct towards man, who are totally remiss “ and even profane as to their demeanor before “ GOD. Hence therefore there are a thousand 6 cases to which the best and most extensive “ laws of morality cannot reach; but yet they .“ are all cognizable before Him who trieth the

“heart. I discovered these truths by this poor “ man's instruction, through Divine grace, and “ immediately found the fallacy under which I “ had been living. And, blessed be God, I “ have now learnt, that, without repentance to" wards God and faith in our LORD Jesus 66 Christ, the most punctual and diligent dis“ charge of the moral obligations I owe my “ neighbour, cannot justify me before God.” : My heart rejoiced at what I heard, and secretly I felt within me the full force of that. question, What hath God wrought ?. . )

I detain not the reader with the relation of what followed this unexpected meeting: neither

do I think it necessary to extend my narrative, by an account of a great variety of occurrences, with which my pilgrimage hath since been distinguished. I promised him at the commencement of my history, that it should be a short one, from the hour in which the LORD was pleased to call me by His grace, to the period in which I sat down to communicate it; and having brought the subject thus far, I shall therefore now relieve the reader's attention altogether. .To tell him of my present feelings, amidst a mingled state of many precious assurances, tempered with many trying dispensations, would be to relate the uniform history of every pilgrim to Zion. These are the spots of God's children, and they all prove a family-likeness. I am frequently exercised with deep and sharp trials, and sometimes feel a heart disposed to tell my Heavenly Teacher, that I think I might be spared many such lessons. But the upshot of the instruction generally brings me to this conclusion; “ How happy it is for me, that I am “ placed under a wiser and a better direction “ than my own !"

I am now waiting the Master's call, rather, I persuade myself (if I know any thing of my own heart) with a pleasing, than an anxious, expectation. My desire is to die daily to the world, and to crucify the flesh with its affections and lusts. I wish to sit as detached as possible from every thing here below, that, when the carriage

« AnteriorContinuar »