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many, yet the Lord was not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.’ ‘ He came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” She saw with what compassion Jesus treated sinners, while he was upon earth. * Daughter, be of good comfort: thy sins are forgiven thee.’ ‘ But,’ said she, ‘ I have mispent all my life; and now no more time remains for me.' It was told her, that neither the greatness nor the multitude of sins would exclude from God's mercy those who should seek him and turn to him with all their hearts; and that although her time was now short, yet she ought to consider that not only they who were called at the third, sixth, and ninth hours received their penny, but he also who was called at the eleventh. She said, that “God had some years ago mercifully called her, and had she answered that call, she might have been a grown Christian before now, but she had slumbered and slept.' It was told her, that she had great reason to deplore this; but such was the infinite goodness and mercy of God that he continued yet to call her: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man will hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in unto him.’ ‘O my God,” she said, ‘ I would open my heart wholly to thee: come and take possession of it.” . Some, it was further argued, who had been powerfully called, and yet had afterwards not only slumbered but fallen into grie
vous sins, have been again called:
and found mercy. David had been called in his youth, yet afterwards fell into grievous sins; but God had mercy on him, and granted him the grace of repentance and pardon. Peter was called to be our Lord's disciple, and followed him, but yet afterwards denied his Lord; and when his Lord looked on him, he went out and wept bitterly : and we see with what compassion our Lord treated him: he did not so much as upbraid him with his sin, but said,
Simon, son of Jonas, lowest thou
me? feed my sheep.” “I do not,’ she observed, “ in the least distrust the mercy, the boundless mercy and compassion of God, but the deceitfulness of my own heart, which makes me think I am penitent, when perhaps it is only the fear of hell which affects me; and should I recover again, I should again slumber and sleep.’ You have indeed, reason to distrust yourself, it was said to her; and we are bid to work out our salvation with fear aud trembling; but he that will judge. ou is the Lord who died for you. Therefore you are to resign yourself wholly, to your merciful God and Saviour, and to labour, by his grace, to have the present temper of your heart all contrition, all love, all adoration. God of his mercy has given ou this disposition at present, and 3. will not break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax, until he bring forth judgment unto victory. He now has given you a heart to adore, and love him, and to abhor and hate yourself for having been so undutiful. to him. It is God who worketh this holy disposition, in your heart, and will perfect it unto the end; and as to your fear, in case your health, be restored, of returning to a state of slumber, the Lord will either strengthen you to resist temptations, if he see it for his glory to continue you longer in this life, or he will remove you out of the hazard of temptation. “His will,” she said, ‘ be done! I have often entreated the Lord to give me a token of his favour, before I go hence; but he leads me through this dark path of the valley, and shadow of death.” It was replied to her, You have no reason to murmur for this, but to bear it with patience. You are not worthy of any comfort here; and therefore, if he think not fit to grant you any in this dark path, his will be done. If he see it expedient for you, he will not fail to grant it at last; but this is the time of your trial, and God sees it fit to visit you, not only with bodily affliction, but also with afflic-, tion of spirit, for your greater puri* and to wean your heart from 2
the love of the world and of yourself, and to make you more humble, and to let you see the vanity of all earthly things, which can give no ease to a wounded spirit, and to make you thirst the more earnestly for God, and feel that nothing can satisfy you without him. Besides, the graces you are to labour after are Faith, Hope (not Assurance), and Charity. So in the midst of this darkness, you must still hope in God, even against hope, resign yourself wholly to him, and ardently love him. They tell of one of the fathers of the desart, that a devout young man having committed himself to his conduct, to be trained up by him in a divine life, the devil, transforming himself into an angel of light, appeared to the father, and bid him be no longer solicitous in training up that youth, for he was ordained for eternal torment. The old man was exceedingly distressed at this; which the youth observing, entreated to know the cause of his grief, and having learnt it, he said, * O let not this trouble you, good father, for whatever may become of me hereafter, I will only set myself to love my God the more ardently while here, and to praise him and rejoice in his goodness.’ At last, the old man was convinced it was a delusion, and was comforted. The countess then said, 'O my good God, I will ever praise thee; 1 will never cease to praise thee; I hope only in thy mercy, and in the merit of my blessed Redeemer; I resign myself wholly to thee; I will never cease to love thee; O take the full posses
sion of my heart, and let never anyo
creature enter there any more.”You’ must not, it was again said to her, be discouraged if the Lord should not presently grant your request. Remember the Canaanitish woman. Jesus at first seemed to take no notice of her, and, when prevailed upon to speak to her, he seened to deny her request. Yet this was but to make her faith and prayers the more ardent. Be not then discouraged, but wait for God: blessed are all they that wait for him. . "O what reason
have I,” she said, “to wait for my God, who has waited for me so long, whose patience and long suffering have been so great towards me. Yes, my God, I will wait: thy will be done, not mine!” Besides, it was added, you must not despond, though God should not think fit to grant you any token of his favour in this world; for our Lord Jesus, to support his followers under such inward darkness and trials, was pleased, even upon the cross, to suffer the eclipse of the light of his Father's countenance, so that this inward cross of spirit was more painful than the outward one; which made him cry out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ If he who knew no sin yet became sin for us, underwent such agonies to bring us to God, why should we think it strange if God should see fit thus to bruise us, that the old man, self, and corrupt nature may be crucified in us. On this, the countess said, “O my Saviour, was this thy state 2 O why should I complain, who deserve not the least favour? Did Jesus on the cross cry out, as one forsaken of his God, and shal! I complain at wanting the sense of his favour? O my God, I resign myself wholly to thee: thy will be done, not mine. Thou canst do nothing amiss. I cast myself down at his feet: if I perish, it shall be there. Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him. I will never cease to praise him, never cease to love him.’ “These &nversations passed about ten or twelve days before her departure out of this life; and it pleased God to give her from that time a more quiet resignation to his will, and a humble hope in his infinite mercy, and her heart seemed always with God and in a divine frame. She had a profound view of the purity of God, combined with a deep sense of her own vileness; and these considerations made her sometimes despond, as being wholly unfit for communion with : God. But she would be again comforted, and say, ' Yet my tongue shall never cease to praise him while I have a being.” She had deep views also of the approaching judgment, so that when spoken to about worldly affairs, she would say, ‘What signifies all this to me? I am shortly to appear before my Creator and Judge.” “After having been asked about her spiritual state, or after silent Prayer to God, she would sometimes express great spiritual delight; but she would then check herself, under an apprehension that she was deluding herself, and say, that it was nothing but passion (meaning natural emotion) in her, and not a true settled principle of religion, for she had often had such fits of devotion before. She therefore begged earnestly that God would settle a solid principle of religion in her heart; that Christ might dwell in her heart by faith, and she might be rooted and grounded in divine love.”— “She never tasted any thing without begging God's blessing, or having some ejaculation, as, “Most blessed God, I do not deserve this, who am an unworthy wretch ; but thou art good and dost good:“Lord, give me thy blessing with it.” " “She had a deep sense of her sins, and was desirous to take shame to herself, and to acknowledge them before all, expressing great indigna. tion against herself on account of them. “What value I,” said she, ‘ my reputation? I will confess my sins, for they are great and many. I am sorry that any oue should have thought me good. I loath and abhor myself for my sins.” There - were two sins which she especially acknowledged with great grief and indignation against herself. One was, the mispending of her time, in being so much taken up about the cares and concerns of the world; the other in extending her pity, and her hands so little in the relief of the poor. She said, that when first married to her husband, their circumstances were, but mean in the world; yet God had since blest them with a plentiful fortune, and
that she had not, as she ought to have done, clothed the naked, and fed the hungry, and relieved the miserable; and though it was true she looked upon herself as entrusted with all by her husband, yet both of them ought to have considered that they were but stewards entrusted by God, and she might have relieved the necessitous without wronging her husband. She entreated, that whoever thought themselves wronged by her, they would let her know it, and she would make reparation according to her power...When any of the neighbours came into the room where she was, she would ask them if she had wronged them in any thing, and desired to know it, that she inight repair it. She called for some written obligations she had received of several persons, and cancelled them, delivering them up to them. ** “She was most patient in her trouble, had nothing of fretfulness, but was calm and easy to all about her. She refused no medicine that was offered to her, however disagreeable to the taste, and although she had a strong aversion to all drugs. She laboured in every thing to deny herself. “She expressed an ardent love to God, and desired to be wholly his, and prayed that he might take the *ntire possession of her heart. She would often say, ‘O my God, take thov the full possession of my soul: shed abroad thy love in my heart: fill it with thy love: let there be no room for the world: let nothing of this world obtain admission, O thou my God, my Lord, my all!” She often repeated these words, “peace on earth, good will to men. O how great is thy good will towards men'' She said she loved all the world, all mankind, all her neighbours, and only hated herself.” (To be continued.)
--Tathe Editor of the Christian Observer.
I venture to offer to you, for insertiou in your valuable publication, a
comment on one of those interjected clauses (Rom. v. 15, 16, 17), of which St. Paul makes so much use, and which, in many instances, taking their rise from his animated conceptions of the divine scheme of man's redemption, are not the least important parts of his writings. At the same time, their twofold character, as being both separate from and allied to their respective contexts, subordinate to these and complete in themselves, renders them liable to a disficulty of interpretation. The guilt and condemnation brought upon mankind by the sin of Adam, have their counterpart in the righteousness and justification superinduced by the atonement of Christ. If the former, by inconsideration, perverseness, and self-indulgence, attached to his posterity the displeasure of their Creator, aud a disposition of resistance against his authority; the latter, by forethought, rectitude, and suffering for the sake of others, procured for his followers reconciliation to their heavenly Father, and a disposition of conformity to his will. “For as by the disobedience of the one man, the many were made sinners; so also by the obedience of the one, shall the many be made righteous.” . But though the demerits of the first Adam, and the merits of the second, the misery occasioned by, the one, and the happiness wrought by the other, are thus to be contrasted rather than compared; what the one is in respect of evil, suc's contrariwise being the other in respect of good; yet, on taking into the account by what method the conduct of each tended to its opposite end, occasion is sound for comparison, and the result shews that the advantage, in point both of energy and precision, is altogether on the side of the efficiency of good. Now, the transgression of the first man may be considered as an insulated sin, which, without any further effort on the part of the perpetrator, but merely by being left to take its natural course, spread through and tainted
all his posterity: whereas the atonement of Christ may be considered, not as opposed to this single sin in the man that committed it, and then left to its natural course, but rather as set in array against this sin both in the first man and in all his descendants; each one of whom being personally and individually a sinner, each one must be regarded as having need of a special interposition for his salvation; and whoever, therefore, obtains salvation, as indebted for it to the special interposition of Christ. “And not as (is) the transgression, so also (is) the free gift. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much rather the grace of God, and the gift by grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abounded unto the many.” But further: the atonement of Christ may be considered not only as set in opposition to the one original sin committed by the first man, and carried on by all his posterity, but also as making head, against it in all its multitudinous. consequences, when, under various, forms, it has been repeated and rerepeated continually by each individual. Hence there is no man but must confess, that having been guilty of sins without number, for. each of which he is subject to condemnation; if he be accounted righteous before God, it must be, that for each particular sin of which he has been guilty, a particular. satisfaction has been made by Christ. “And not as by one that sinned (is), the gift; for the judgment (was) from one (transgression) unto condemnation: but the free gift (is) from many transgressions unto justification.” * As, then, the transgression of the first man, though thus comparatively inert and undistinguishing in its operation, has yet power to infix in those who feel its, malignancy, the corroding fear of eternal death: how much rather may the atonement of the second man, thus absolutely in. its operation energetic and appro-: priative, implant in those who, by. experience of its present effects, have reason to believe that it is exerted for themselves; that it enters into their own businesses and bosoms; how much rather may it implant in these the living and invigorating hope of life everlasting! “For if, by the transgression of the one, death reigned by the one ; much rather they that receive the abundance of grace, and of the gift of righteousness, shall reign in life by the one, Jesus Christ.” F.T.
Tothe Editor of the Christian Observer.
Yout correspondent, Laicus, in the exposition which he has given in your number for October last, of Matt. vi. 23, appears to me to have misconceived the force of the passage; and the translation which he offers, is founded upon a manifest distortion of the original. He renders the Greek as if it stood thus: si gy auro r, ow; as ax3rog isol, worow ré orzord; 73 #y ret; whereas the reading is, si & ré £3; rà iv wo) ax%ro; isol, ro axoro; worow; the literal translation of which is that given in our common version, viz. “Tf therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness.” The expression, “the light that is in thee,” is, it must be confessed, somewhat equivocal ; and hence, probably, arose Laicus' misapprehension of the passage: but a very slight alteration in the turn of the words may, I think, clear away all difficulty even to a mere English reader. If they were rendered “the light within thee” (as I think they should be), would not the obscurity be removed For the whole passage would then run thus: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your
treasure is there will your heart be also. — The light (or lamp) of the body is the eye: if, therefore, thine eye be single, thine whole body will be full of light (or be enlightened); but if thine eye be evil, thy whole body will be full of darkness (or be in darkness). If, therefore, the light within thee be darkness, how great is that darkness?” In other words, “If the bodily eye be sound or vitiated, the whole body is accordingly surrounded with light or darkness. How much greater and more momentous, then, is the darkness which arises from the corruption of the mind’s eye; that internal light, on which depends our choice of spiritual good or evil!” The leading antithesis appears to me to be not so much between 2:5, and ax%ra;, as between & 2.3%vo; tā cowaros, and rø to to #y goi; the latter phrase being, 1 conceive, equivalent to T3 çã; roß rvāvgaro; ca.
D. M. P. Sedburgh, 28th Nov. 1811.
* Job, however, does not seem to have regarded himself as one of those righteous