« AnteriorContinuar »
felt the most of my own weakness, then the Lord has given me the greatest liberty, though not when I have been the least concerned about preparation.' Zeal for God and love for souls are the soul of preaching ! Seeing some persons in their shirts, at play, in the fields between Prome and Weslbury, I thought duty called upon me to oppose this sin, which shewed its head in such an inpudent manner. Accordingly I told them, That they ought to be ashamed of this profanation of the Lord's Day, me it was a practice that ied to Hell ! May the Lord set home the observation !
28. Preached at Southwick this inorning, and had a comfortable frame ; as I had also at Trowbridge, in the afternoon, from the same text. When I went into the pulpit, I intended leaving this subject for the evening, and to insist on another text in the afternoon : but though some of the Southwick people were there, who had heard me from Malt. ix. 12, in the morning; set as the audience was very large, there being no service at church, and I thought this subject was most likely to profit souls, I changed my mind while singing, and repeated the same discourse. The Lord only knows whether a good end will be answered by this change; but as it led me to speak of Christ as a physician, and some persons were evidently affected, I hope his hand was in it. In the evening I had a very barren Sraine. Perhaps, the Lord koew I should have been too much elated bad I found enlargement all the day.
15. Heard Rev. Mr Whitefield, at Kingswood, from Isa. xxxii. 17: found that an affectionale representation of the misery of lost sinners, and of the mercy of God to us, very much melled down the audience, . 16. I saw in Pictells a citation of Calvin ; in which he places a man as talking of justification before, the Lord ; - the reading of which was blessed to iny s ul, as well as reflecting on the Greek word for Gospel, -as signifying a good Message! In an evening walk, my soul was drawn out to God in adoration and love, ou account of his works of nature, providence and grace. I stood siill under a hedge, and, with great earnestness, addressed God, - felt ardent desire towards him, and zeal for his honour : and had some satisfaction of interest in him. The pleasure was sublime and the effect holy; and therefore I conclude the experience was genuine.
27. I frequently propose in the inorning some great things to be done in the day; but never in the evening can reflect upon their having been executed. I wander from God; first in my heart, and then speech and actions follow. Saw the forwardness of a fellow-student justly blamed; aad that i greally lessened his esleem in the hearts of the company. Learn ino. desly in all thy deportment.
May 1. After meditating on three suljects, on which I expect to preach to-morrow at Bath, I proposed meditating (1.) On my sins in preaching, in order for ainepdment; -- (2.) My wants 28 a minister, in order to apply to my great Master for supplies. Sins appearing first, are preaching for self, --not for God and souls, and non-reliance on divine assistance. Wapis are, a much greater knowledge of divine things, greater zeal for God, and more lovelo Christ, a more just and affccting apprehension of the value of
soul, an habilual belief of the absolute necessity of special influences, in order to my sermons doing good, &c. In order to rectify thy end, think of God's knowing it, and of the great evil of acting wiil any sinister view. No end, but that which pleaseth God, will, if allained, do thy soul any real service.
Il. I find the greatest opposition in my heart to those duties which require the grealeat degrees of spirituality, and in aitendance on which the honour of God is most concerned. I believe I should ucver be proud, could I always see my rcal self. The more I view God in his works, the more I love him; but the more I view my own works, the inore I hate myself,
Jul!c 5. I have been ill for somedays with a lover and sore throat. I found myself, when at the worst, ünfil for a! religious exercises ; but now my dis• order is removed, and I have been enabled to view it as coining from a wise
God, to whom I tell myself resigned.. The Lord grant that, from the inea
pacity for 'duty, which I felt in my illness, my pace in the path of duty may be quickened now I am restored! No pleasure is equal to what is enjoyed in undisturbed and enlarged meditation on divine subjects. I trust my love to God's word increases. I know also more of my need of assistance from the Lord'rightly to discharge any duty.
20. Conversed with a woman, who had been a sinner, but seems a true penitent, who dates her conversion from reading The Family Instructor, on a Lord's Day, when she staid at home, in order to perpetrate sio.
July 16. Prayer and reading the word was attended with peculiar de. light. I meditated on Christ, his excellencies, tae kindness of his heart, words, and actions as man, his office as Mediator, und bis glories as God, which, I Trust, increased my love and zeal. My sins appearing numerous and aggravated, laid me low. Nothing affords any relief, save Christ crucified. Why, my soul, dost thou think so seldom of him: --- why live so little to him?
July 23. This morning, in reading Isa. xlv. 20, 1 observed, that the Person to wbom every knee shall bow, and every tongue swear, is called Gop and LORD: he also swears by himself (23) which is proper to God. This same person is said to be the Lord Jesus Christ. Rom. xiv. 11. Phil. ii. 10. Let tbis confirm thy belief of the proper Deity of Christ; and so of his being, together with the Father and Holy Spirit, the only true Object of divine worship.
MUSTARD SEED. "AGRAIN of mustard seed' is said, in the parable *, to be the smallest of all seeds; but when it is grown up, it is the greatest among herbs ; and becometh a tree; so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.' The mustard of our own country is very far from answering this description, but there is, in the east, a species of the sinapi, to which, no doubt, it alludes. It is called by Linnæus, Sinapi Erucoides. Its branches are real wood, as appears from a specimen in the collection of Sir Joseph Banks. Lightfoot, Buxtorf, and others, quote the Jewish Rabbies to the same effect, whose testimony canyot be suspected of partiality to the New Testament. In the Talmud of Jerusalem +, it is said, “There was in Sichi a mustard-tree, which had three branches, one of which, being cut down, served to eover the hovel of a potter ; and yielded three cabs of seed.' The Rabbi Simeon, son of Chalaphtah, assures us, that he had in his garden a shoot of the mustard-tree, on which he climbed, as if on a fig-tree.' These statements are, at least, sufficient to shew, that we should not form a judgment of eastern herbs by those which are familiar among ourselves. * Matt. xiii. 31
+ Tract. Peah. f. 20.
AN INTERESTING ANECDOTE.
Recommended to the Attention of Pious Youih. Events often occuro, which we are not prepared to expect. If they copsist with our ideas of virtue and goodness, they never fail to prove li us so many sources of genuine joy. One of this agreeable kind the subse. quent statement records.
A little before nine o'clock, on a Toesday evening, March 1805, as I was passing by a shed, erecled in a newly-formed street, on the sohth side of Edinburgh, for the purpose of sawing timber, my attention was attracted by the voice of a person within it, speaking in rather a low tone. Curia sity prompted me to make a nearer approach. I then heard, very dig.
tinctly, the terms Jews and Romans, in a combination of words, fluently “pronounced. The first thought that struck my mind was, -- This is a
young lad at college: he is a member of a Debating Society *. It will be his turn to deliver an essay at their next meeting ; and he is now attempt. ing to repeat it. I shall advance a little nearer to learu the subject of the oration. " I silently drew nigh, I listened, I could hardly believe my ear to be correct! I felt the mingled sensations of surprize and pleasure, when I heard, not a part of an oration, but the voice of Prayer! This is a serious youth, thought I, apprenticed in some ungodly family. In his master's house be can find no opportunity for the purpose ; and, therefore, to this place he retires to pour out his soul unto God. I too, I called to mind, was once, before I had attained the years of twelve, in like manner deprived, in the house of a friend, of such a privilege. On the neighbouring hills I daily walked, and offered up the desires of my heart to God, the Guide of my youth :' -- but recollecting too, that the inconvenience of the situation occasionally interrupted tbe regular discharge of the duty, and gradually weakened the sense of the obligation to perform it, the ardent wish rose within, May the Lord preserve thee in the good way!
These thoughts had scarcely passed through my mind, when I found that he was just at the conclusion of the exercise. No sooner had he pronounced Amen, than, to my agreeable surprize, another began to pray. Prom the manner in which he expressed himself, I understood they had come together with the intention of uniting in this duty, in a social capacity. His voice and manner seemed to indicate that he was younger than the other. Fourteen years, perhaps, might be the age of the former ; ten or eleven that of the latter. He proceeded with less ease and Auency than his associate; but appeared deeply and seriously impressed. When drawing towards a close, he requested that the Lord would be with them, as they were yet to be engaged. This led me to apprehend, that, probably, according to the practice which generally prevails in Praying Societies in Scotland, they might now be going to converse on some religious topic for their mutual edification. Having finished, however, a third engaged in prayer. He seemed, so far as I was able to judge from his voice, to be older than the second, but younger than the first, or about 12 or 13 years. He had a delightful liberty in the duty. He raised his voice rather higher than the others, though it was still much suppressed. His fervour was great. Several of his petitions pleased me much, being exceedingly appropriate to their condition : -" O Lord, whatever other children do, as for us, o may we serve thee, the Lord ! Lord bless us, and our meetings here from time to time! Bless our teachers ! and let not their labours, with respect to us and the other children in the school, be in vain,” &c.
Had I thought sooner of committing the incident to writing, I could have preserved a greater pumber of their petitions. He proceeded to supplicate the blessing of Heaven to rest on all Sabbath-Schools; and that the children in them might be converted unto God. He prayed for their parents, for their masters, for the ministers of religion, for the success of the gospel, &c. I pow understood, that they were boys connected with some Sabbath-School, who had agreed to associate frequently (once a week, probably) for mutual prayer; and wishing to conceal their pious exercises from the knowledge of parents and masters, met in this retired place, without the fear of being seen or heard. God has his hidden ones in every period, and among persons of every age. How pleasing the
* It is very customary for young men at college to form themselves into Societies, for their mutual inprovement. Every time they meet, the member who presides delivers an Essay, on a subject that accords with the design of the Society (Logic, Moral Philosophy, &c.); and after remarks have been had upon it, they proceed to some controverted point.
thought, That multitudes, not only of fathers, but of young men and little children, are often, though to us unknown, presenting their fervent supplications in our behalf, before their heavenly Father's throhe and ours.!
Religion is the same at all timer; and to persons of every description, experiencing its power, it has proved an invaluable benefit! As a cordial, it has often revived the fainting soul, to the weak, it has communicaied strength, - and with courage it has inspired the fearful! Here we see three children, laying aside the timidities of their years, and, in a dark :Winter night, venturing to resort to a lonely dreary saw-pit, in order to taste the pleasures and participate the joys which the ways of genuine wis. dom ever impart! From the manner in which this boy cupcluded his praper, I learned that they were about to separate. - May the God, who never leaves por forsakes his people, be with you, was my earnest desire, from henceforth, whether together or apart:! I stepped 'aside as quickly and silently as possible, jest they should perceive themselves discovered, and thus be discouraged from assembling there any more. I placed myself in such a situation as I thought would secure a sigbt of them when they should enter the street. I was however disappointed. - Let the reader, in adni. ration and gratitude, exclaim with the psalmist, Out of the inouths of babes and sucklings thou hast ordained strength!'
From this interesting little story, I would take occasion to recommend to the imitation of all my young readers, of a serious turn, this pleasing example of juvenile social devotion. Lei parents and guardians also be exhorted to encourage young people under their care to form themselves" betimes into little religious societies, in order to promote their mulual advancement in knowledge and grace!
This incident, in my opinion, is a very satisfying attestation of the great importance and utility of Sabbath-Schools; and a strong encouragement to those pious and benevolent persons who devote a portion of their tune and pains, not to make, as I have seen some do, an idle display of their speaking powers to gratify their own vanity and self-conceit,but lo lead the minds of youth into an acquaintance with the doctrines, and to form in them a relish for the duties of Christianity,- to impress them with the necessity of a divine change of heart and of a holy life, in order to admission into the kingdom of God!
*** Might not societies, formed in various parts of the country, for the purpose of promoting Sabbath-Schools, or generous individuais, cause this Anecdote to be printed and dispersed among the young people attending them ?
AGAINST PRIDE OF BEAUTY. BEHOLD the blushing rose
. When tempests threaten loud, Her lovely tints display,
His rays of light he pours, The queen of every flower that blows And forms the rainbow on the cloud, Beneath the eye of Day!
Dissolving soon in showers! Yon lily of the vale,
· And shall a child be vain, Scaree peeping thro' the green
Less than the lily fair? That folds around her blossom pale, Can I so soft a tint obtain, Aspires not to be seen.
Or with the rose compare ?
The beauty of the mind
Let me then learn to prize;
The pride of flowers and lies 1
I am as frail as they.
delay! W. B. C.
. REV. S. GAFFEE.
compose himself to sleep; le re. Tus Rev. Samuel Gaffee was edu..
plied, “I must speak for Christ Faled for the Christian ministry
while I can: it will soon be over, at the Independent Academy, Ho..
and then my body shall have a long merton; and was afterwards or.
and comfortable sleep; --it shall dained pastor of the Church of
sleep till the trumpet of God shall Christ at Hatfield Heath, Essex ;
sound: he will call and I shall answhere his labours were remarkably
wer; and he will have respect to the
work of his hands.' Another friend successful; and he had the satis. faction of seeing a sinking church
enquiring how he did, -- Going to rise to a great degree of prosperity.
Heaven, said he, . as fast as I can.' The doctrives of the gospel were the
He was compleiely resigned to the delightful theme of his ministry;
divine will, heing, as he expressed and, while he never failed to ena
himself, willing to live, and not force on the people their practical
afraid to die.' He dreaded nothing tendency, his ewn conduct displayed
so much as being left to entertain a their vital and animating influence.
murmuriy, disposition. Whilst His spirit and temper became the
under strong convulsive agonies, office he held, and procured bin the
Mrs. G. said to him, “ It is sharp ardent affection of his people, and
work, iny dear." "Yes,' he re the esteem of all who knew him.
plied, . but it is all right work ;' He was, indeed, a solid, humble,
adding, she answered, " It is well."
Addressing his servant, he said, holy minister of Jesus Christ, and an affectionate, vigilant, faithful
“ Mind the best things, -- live near pastor of the church under his care.
to God, and sct the best of examHis health, of late, was frequently
ples.' interrupted; but he never omitted
When his rephew, from London, preaching whilst any ability of body
to whom his ministry had been use
ay ful some years before, entered his remained, The first Lord's Day in Dec.
chamber, he thus addressed him :
"0! my dearson in the gospel, 1808, was the last Sabbath he was able to be in God's house; and then
it is all glory within ! - all Heaven he preached twice, and administered
in my soul! I am not going to the Lord's Supper. During the
Hell, but to Heaven !' month's illoess which preceded his
He chose a text for his funeral. 'n death, he was richly favoured with
sermon, which indicated his affecthe consolations and hopes of the
tionate concern for those to whom gospel ; and could speak of leaving
he had ministered the word of life the world with the greatest com.
for 30 years; and desired the fol posure. The infinite grace of im- .
lowing hymns might be sung: manuel, which he "had gladly
138th, 100th, and 27th, in the first preached to olhers, and was the
X book of Dr. Waits. only source of his own hope, be
To innumerabie instances of his came the solace of his dying hours,
very feciing and affectionate dispo. and supported in him a placid ex.
sition towards the people of his pectation of everlasting glory. He
charge, this was added on his death
bed :-he desired his nephew to frequently said, 'I am not afraid
write down, from his lips, a kind to die, for I know whom I have believed; and am persuaded that he
farewell message to theil ; which is able to keep that which I havo
was read, as he ordered, at the cominitted to him against that day.
close of his funeral-sermon, preached
y by the Rev. W. Chaplın, of Bishop • Jesus, my God, I know his name, - siortford, on Lord's Day afternoon,
His name is all my trust, &c. Jan. 8, 1809, from Gen. 1. former When a friend requested he would part of the 24th verse, I die, and not fatigue hiinseli by talking, but God will surely visit you,' - The