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- the seed, flower, and fruit of variety in himself !-I declare to you, that the value of this earnest rises so high in my mind while I write, that what I have said seems the weakest nonsense, and unfinished expression of something implied. What have we that we have not received ? and who gave us what we hade?
what for? He raised us from the slumber of death in trespasses and sins; and we arose, saw, and heard, in the midst of a profane world, unutterable things, which they see and hear not. He put his fear in our hearts, or, how came it there? and his law be wrote in our minds; witness its power in us; as a cortstant rule of life in every thing we do, or say, or think. His gospelfeast he has not suffered us to make light of, and go away to our farm and merchandize; but has made us welcome as bis guests, and entertained our souls with the highest entertainments we ever enjoyed in our lives. Out of this entertainment there springs and now lives in us an equal, a supreme love, joy, peace, and pleasure, that proves us to have passed from death unto life, and to be heirs of the kingdom of Heaven! God's workmanship within us, reveals his hand; and it is no less presuni ptuous to say, Our own will bas changed us, than to say, Our own hand has created us; and if so, let us give thanks to God for beginning a work which we are sure he will finish; and thus our full assurance will dawn : in which state we go most out of ourselves into Christ, and are most willing and most capable of acting purely to the glory of God, and, as branches in Christ, of bringing torth much fruit!
If we are led by his Spirit, let us tbank God for his Spirit received ; and, depend upon it, we shall, by so doing, acquire strength to work out our salvation, and stedfastness in asking his Holy Spirit. Our Lord has a meaning, in John xv. 7, more plain and honest than some would have us think; and so you and I shall find, as surely as you are a living man, when we, on a larger scale, suck our sap at the root. Watch daily at his gates, and wait at the posts of bis doors, though it be in a bung. ling manner to the last, and attended with some laziness, considering the thing waited for. . There is a familiar acquaintance with Christ before us, that will put us on asking rightly and receiving surely. A man may see Jesus Christ in this way a great deal plainer than if his bodily., eyes beheld him, and with more astonishment, and to more purpose. O who can bear to see in God, a loving Father, redeeming Son, and revealing Spirit, without exulting? No man. Nay, it is no great thing to say, That a man may in this life see Jesus Christ with ihe eye of faith, to be as great and good as the Scrip. tures say he is, viz. seated at the right hand of the throne of God, with all power in Heaven and Earth, administering to those in whom his words abide, and who abide in him, all they ask, let them ask what they will: - administering his Holy Spirit
to them, pleading with God for them, and actually working in them!
Do you preach now ? - if you do, speak as a dependent on his power; not on the strength, nor order, nor suitableness, nor any thing else, of what you say. Whereas I am very sure the contrary is too much tbe case with us all. The weakest, simple rehearsal of God's own word is often blessed in one moment, where studied, elaborate composition has been retailed for years, unowned, unblessed, 'unsanctified. Let us follow Paul, and rejoice over our weakness, that the dependence on his strength may be more manifest to our spirits. Two farmers argued; the one complained he had no crop, and asked the other how he sowed his seed, so as always to have a good crop, whether the season was, good or bad; the prosperous farmer replied, that he steeped all bis seed in prayer. :)
There is more to be learnt, from the case of these two farmers, by a faithful minister, than many learn in a college or academy concerning the holy art of sowing God's seed; and I do not know how to determine which teaches most; he that sowed in prayer, or he that sowed, but prayed not. If any thing, the prosperous man had the advantage by one word, and that is, steeping in prayer. Which do you think is scarcest now-a-days in the world, a sermon steeped in study, or a sermon steeped in prayer , and which is best? Again: a sermon steeped in learning, or a sermon steeped in study ? Again: a sermon steeped in ig. porance, or a sermon steeped in learning? Again : a sermon steeped in ignorance, or a sermon steeped in double ignorance, both of the wisdom of God, and of the wisdom of man? AÚ things in order, - learning, study, and prayer. Reverse the order at leisure. What I seem to dictate, forgive; what I seem
to communicate, accept; and what I seem to know, consider of; , and the Lord give thee understanding in all things!
I shall want your advice very speedily, when I come home. My intention is to wait for the call of my Master; but things will be so disposed, that there will be little time to wait. The ship goes out the same season she comes home in. All this, if we live. Upon the whole, I think I shall go no more to sea, for seyerąl reasons of an independent extraction; though I have no doubt but the profits of another voyage would amount, at least, to €1500; which is, by calculation, less than the 1500th part of one promise, I will help thee. If I must reckon by the views of the ministry, I say then, I had rather preach the gospel upon Jesus Christ's salary, Food and raiment day by day,'. than have €1500 a-year, and be a gentleman. I do not forget Paul's Afflictions of the Gospel;', or, in other words (though the same things) Bishop Thompson's huge Bush-faggots, I see but little now of the nature of preaching the gospel ; but I do see a Felix tremble, an Agrippa almost a Christian, and a Herod
his best steeped in study of scarcest a
hebt but the prohich is, by calle.
If I mus
doing many things gladly. These are my converts at present; but I hope, bye and bye, to meet with my Master's converts, though I have no doubt but that he has a hand in these; but a saving, healing hand, I doubt of.
AWFUL PROVIDENCE, ,
To the Editor. As I have sufficient documents by which to prove the truth of the follow,
ing very affecting Narrative, I shall be happy to see it inserted in the Evangelical Magazine.
. ' Stockwell, Feb. 20, 1808.
THOMAS JACKSON*' H -A , a butcher in the neighbourhood of Smith. field, who was, for some years, proverbially wicked, and a determined, open enemy to divirte revelation, returning home one day in the month of September last, somewhat intoxicated, began first to abuse his wife, and then the Bible. 'At length, he went out into the court in which he lived; and, falling down upon his knees, prayed in the most shocking manner against the Scriptures." "He proceeded to curse God and Clirist, and the Holy Ghost; and wished that his eyes might be damned, and drop out !- when, awful to relate! he became immediately blind! his eyes were prodigiously swelled, and his whole frame was seized with a kind of convulsions! In this state he continued from Friday until the Tuesday following, when he died, blas. pheming and cursing God. While he lay in this state, a serious neighbour visited him, and proposed sending for a minister ; to which he objected, saying, 'No, no, you shall not; for I am the Devil's right, and shall soon be with him !?
Reader, Are you in the habit of blaspheming that venerable name, at which angels bow and devils tremble? beware, lest he make you, even in this world, a monument of his terrible displeasure, and cause you to lament your folly in that world from whence there is no return ! As you value your immortal soul, let this narrative warn you to fly from the wrath to come, io that Saviour whose precious blooil cleanses from all sin !
* The Editor, judging that this Narrative was of a very extraordioary kind, requested that further enquiry miglit be made concerning its truth. In consequence of which, he received the following note:
“Sir,.- At your request, I have masłe further enquiry concerning the inclosed Anecdote ; a3d find it to be fully attested by indubitable evidence. A providence so awful, should not be suffered to remain unknown, as it proves to us, that there is a God who still takes cognizance of the actions of men!
Yours, &c. . « Brixlon Place, April 12, 1809.
To the Editor. That great missionary, the late Rev. Mr. Brainerd, being often referred to
at our Annual Meetings in May, as an example worthy of close imitation by all embarked in the same divine cause, I solicit the insertion of the following Extract from his Life in your widely-circulated Magazine. Hoburr.
• I HAVE,' says he (page 193) · ever since my coming among these Indians, been favoured with that assistance which to me is uncommon, in preaching Christ crucified, and makiog him the centre and mark to which all iny discourses were directed. I have often remarked, whatever subject I have been upon, after explaining the truths contained therein, I have þeen naturally and easily led to Christ, as the substance of every one. If I treated on the being and glorious perfections of God, I was then naturally led to discourse of Christ, as the only way to the Father. If I attempted to open the miseries of our fallen state, I was then led to shew the necessity of Christ to undertake for us, to atone for our sins, and to redeem us froin the power of them. If I held forth the commands of God, and shewed the relation of lhem, this brought me in the most casy way to speak of the Lord Jesus Christ, as one who had magnificd the law we had broken, and become the end of it for righteousness to every one that believes. I have frequently heen enabled to represent the divine glory, the infinite precious. ness of the great Redeemer, his fulness to supply the wants and answer the utmost desires of immortal souls; to open the infinile riches of his grace, and the wonderful encouragement proposed in the gospel to un' worthy, helpless sinoers; to expostulate with them respecting their neglect of one so infinitely lovely and freely offered to tiem; and this is such a manner, with such freedom, pathos, and application to the conscience, as I never could have made myself master of by the most assiduous application. It is also worthy of remark, that numbers of these people are brought to a strict compliance with the rules of morality, and to a conscientious performance of the external duties of Chris ianity, without having Them frequently inculcated upon them. God was pleased to give the grand gospeltruths such a powerful influence upon their minds, that their lives were quickly reformed, without my spending time in repeated harargues upon external duties. There was, indeed, no room for any discourses but thi se that respected the essentials of religion, and the experimenlal knowledge of divine things. While there were so many enquiring daily, not how loy should regulate their external conduct, but how they should escape the . vrath to come, my great work was, still to lead them into a further view of their tolal depravity ; but, at the same time, to open to them the glorious remedy provided in Christ for helpless, perisning sinners, and offered freely to those who have no goodness of their own, no work of righteousness to recommend them to God. When these truths were felt at heart, there was no vice unreformed, co exiernal duty neglected. The reforination was general, and all springing froin the internal influence of divine truths upon their hearts, aod noi b:cause they had heard their vices particularly spoken agaiast and exposed, So thai happy experience and the word of God, with the example of Christ and his apostes, have taught me that the preaching which is best suited to awaken in kind a lively apprehension of their depravíty and miser, -, to excite in them earnestly to seek after a change of heart, and to fiv for refuge to Christ as the only hope, is like to he most successful towards reformation of external conduct. Thave fouad that close and solomn addresses and application of divine XVII.
truths to the conscience, strike death to the root of all vice ; while smooth and plausible haran: ués upon inoral virtues and exiernal duties, at best do no more than lop off he branches of corruption. I de noi intend, by what I hare observed, to represent the preaching of morality, and keeping persons to the external performance of duty, as unnecessary and useless at any time, and especialy when there is less of divine power attending the means of grace; but what I principally design is, to discover a plain 'matior of fact, viz, That the external compliance with the rules of Christ.
ianity, aspearing among my people, are out the effect of any merely rational view of the beauty of, inorality, but of the internal influence of divine truths upon their hearts.' Page 196.
· AYLMER, Bishop of London, in 1580, took the following method of. reproving an inaltentive auditory: He look a Hebrew B ble out of his pocket, and began to read it. This immediately awakened his hearers, who looked up to hiin, a razed that he should entertain them so vapro. fitably; when, finding they were awake, and very attentive, he proceeded in his sermon, after admonishing them how much it reflected on their good sense, that in maiters of mere novelty, and when they understood not a., word, they should listen so heedfully, and yet be so very regardless of points of the utinost importance.
, MARY BARTLETT was deprived of her parents very early in life. Her distressed circumstances exciter the atiention of a friend, who took her under bis protection, with a view to placing her in the Bristol Asylumn for Orphans; but, bcing past the age of admission, his application was of course unsuccessful. Mary Bartleit was reserved to be one instance, among many, of the vast advantages to be derived from schools founded on the principles of the gospel, and in which vital religion is made the principal, and not an inferior object. On the 9th of Dec. 1806, she was admitted to the Tabernacle Benevolent Daily-School. From the regular order of piayer here observed, morring and evening, she first became deeply sensible of her guilt, in having lived in the neglect of that import, ant duly. To the friend who procured her admission, she said, “ What shall I do if the ladies should ask me to pray? Thave never prayed in my life.' She bezged to be taught a pi ayer; and one of Archbisbúp Cranmer's was given to her. When able to read, she chose to use one in the spelling. book given at the Taburoacle Sunday-School; but soon becoming dis. satisfied with the constant use of a form, she often expressed a wish that she could pray without one. As serious iinpressions appeared to increase, her attendance at the school, and to all its duties, was marked with increasing diligence. Having recrived, at the Sunday-Schooi, Dr. Walls's Second Catechism, she made several enquiries respecting the quesiion, What did Christ do on earth to save sinne;' ?' – and said to her friend, • Do you think, Sir, that Christ has obtained pardon for me?' On the 23d of April, 1807, the Rev. Mr.
W e visited the school. His conversation with the children, and his prayers for them, were greatly blessed to her. On returning home, she said, I did not know tili this inorning that I was such a sjoner, and whai an ignominious death Christ died.' Her desire to read the word of God was, from this tine, greatly increased. On receiving the Assembly's Catechism, she began diligently to learn it, and corematted eight questions to memory the first week. A friend said to her, “I hope, my dear, the Lord will bless the Caleehisın to you : -- pray over it.” She answered, 'I caonot pray ; but I should like to join the children who remain aficr school-hours for realing and prayer anong themselves.' Her per. mission to do so she considered a great privilege, and derived wuehau: