« AnteriorContinuar »
gion, he had ruined his health, and wasted his time in idleness and dissipation; and was now tottering on the verge of the grave, with no hope in the Saviour. While he gazed with streaming eyes on the remains of his departed sister, as they descended to their dark abode, and thought of his own approaching end, he appeared to be filled with remorse and terror; his heart shuddered with horror, in view of the dark prospect that opened before him; and he shivered as if chilled by the frosts of winter, or as if he already felt the cold icy hand of death. What would he now give for the Christian hope? An empire, or a world would be nothing in comparison. But alas! it is not to be purchased with earthly goods; and reformation in his case seems as hopeless, as changing the spots of the leopard, or washing the sable stain from the skin of the Ethiopian.
What does it now avail him that he could once trifle with the idea of eternity, among his thoughtless companions, and “ laugh at the poor bug-bear death,” over the intoxicating bowl? Notwithstanding all his efforts, reflection has, at last, overtaken him; death is staring him in the face, and what pleasure does it afford him now, to think that he could once despise the idea of an hereafter? Ah! it is this that now bites like a serpent, and stings like an adder! It is the reflection that he has spent his life in sinful pleasures, which now fills him with the keenest anguish; and which will be to him, unless prevented by a miracle of grace, a source of unceasing torment through everlasting ages.
O when will vain mortals learn to reflect in season! when will they be wise! and instead of laying up fuel for the flames of Divine vengeance, “be laying up in store a good foundation against the time to come!"
Peace! peace, to the departed saint, (I exclaimed, as I left the hallowed spot, to pursue my journey,) “ for she rests from her labours, and her works do follow her;" but wo to those who neglect a timely preparation for the great event of death.
AMONG the banks of gaudy flowers
Of Eden's curst remains,
For Satan artfully concealed
He glossed it with a charm ;
The solitary Pilgrim's eye
LATE MISSIONARY INTELLIGENCE.
From the London Missionary Chronicle, for March, 1822.
SOUTH AFRICA-TAE Paarl.
Extract of a Letter from the Rev. Evan Evans, Missionary at this
place; dated 12th Sept. 1821.
“THE attendance on the means of grace continues to increase. The number of hearers in the village and vicinity amounts on an avarage to about 1100 whites and 1200 blacks; in fact there are few now to be found who have not attended several times. Last year a very neat chapel was built in the Wagon-maker's valley, which will contain upwards of 300 hearers. Our Directors (of the Paarl Auxiliary Missionary Society) are desirous of having our chapel enlarged, or rather of building a new one ;''—But Mr. E. states the dif. ficulty of procuring sufficient pecuniary aid, and proposes some ingenious plans for the purpose.
There are, it appears, about 5000 heathen in the Paarl and its vicinity. There are 175 slaves and free blacks on the school list; but, as many of them are obliged to come only in turn, the attendance in general is from 40 to 80. Most of them are learning the Catechism and Hymns. Several can repeat the whole Epistle to the Ephesians. It is encouraging to see that many, both of the children and adults, are indefatigable in their exertions, and it is hoped that many will follow their good example.
Mr. Evans says, “ The week before last I spent a few days with the Rev. Dr. Philip, at Cape Town. I was exceedingly rejoiced to see that they have commenced building the chapel. His labours have been very much blessed there. It is delightful to see the resrectable congregation that attends. On sabbath evening the place is crowded, and I have no doubt that, when the chapel is finished, the attendance will be thrice as numerous. It is very pleasing to observe the improvement which has taken place in Cape Town during the last two or three years. Mr. Beck's labours among the Dutch inhabitants of the town, as well as among the slaves, have been crowned with the blessings of the Almighty. Their large chapel is often too sinall to contain the congregation.”
Mr. E. then states his want of more Dutch Tracts, which he has excellent opportunities to circulate; and he says he has reason to hope that those he had dispersed had been useful to many. Several instances have come to his knowledge. Mr. E. then relates the following account of
The happy Death of a Female Hottentot Slave. Jan. 26. I baptised a female slave at Great Drakenstein, and May 20, six more, in our chapel-two men and four women. Their walk and conversation hitherto adorn their profession, and having, as I trust, received the love of Christ in their own hearts, they are zealous in persuading others to follow their example, and dedicate themselves to the service of the Lord.
We enjoy most delightful seasons when we commemorate the dying love of our blessed Redeemer. I have always observed that the celebration of the Lord's Supper has a most remarkable influence on the minds of the heathen, even of those who are only observers, and are as hard as stones under other means of grace. · The female slave whom I baptized in Great Drakenstein died lately, rejoicing in the hope of everlasting glory. It was most pleasant to witness her experience in her last days. After having been for some time troubled with doubts and fears, she was enabled, through grace, to put her whole trust in the Saviour, and to proclaim his praises to all around her.
Shortly before her dissolution she called her children, and spoke to them in such a pathetic and earnest manner as drew tears from every eye. After entreating the blessing of Almighty God on each of them, she turned to her eldest and said, “Hitherto you have been the cause of great grief to me, for your heart is as hard as a millstone. All my advices have been in vain, yet still I do not despair. Very probably this is the last time your mother will ever speak to you in this world ; therefore, I pray you, consider your ways, and what their end will be. Death will call you shortly as he is now calling your mother ; but consider how you would meet him, suppose he were to call you this day. Could you meet his deadly weapons with that serenity and peace of mind your mother can ? I fear not; yea, I am sure not. And what is the reason that the fear of death is taken away from me? It is the Lord Jesus, who came into the world to seek and to save that which was lost, who found me also, when I was travelling the broad road in which you are walking at present. He drew me with the cords of his love out of the pit of corruption, and brought me to seek salvation through that blood which he shed on Calvary, to purify sinners from all iniquity. O yes! this is the fountain which is opened for sin and uncleanness, and the streams of these living waters now make my soul to rejoice in the midst of all tribulations, and to meet the king of terrors without fear or dismay. Therefore, my dear son, yea, all my children, and all present, seek the Saviour while he is to be found, call upon him while he is near; his blood cleanseth from all sin ; he is able to save to the uttermost; he will in no wise cast out those who come to him; his arms are open to receive you as freely as he received an unworthy and sinful creature such as I am; therefore come all to him, he knocks continually at the door of your hearts. I can assure you he is a good master; he is the best King; you will never be tired of his service. But if you despise his great salvation, you will be forever miserable. Oh seek him now! seek him now! and do not delay a day longer, for he says himself that his enemies shall be as chaff; and further, “ Because I have called, and ye have refused, I have stretched out my hands and no one regarded; but ye have set at nought all my counsels, and would none of my reproof; I will also laugh at your calamity, and will mock when your fear cometh.”
Together with these she recited some other broken passages of the same chapter, which she could recollect. Thus she went on, as far as her strength would permit, either rejoicing in the Lord, or praying, or admonishing those around her, until her soul was loosed from the earthly tabernacle, and took its flight, as we have every reason to hope, to the regions of everlasting bliss.
She was possessed of a retentive memory; and during the last months of her life delighted greatly in religious conversation, the benefit of which she experienced even to her dying moment.
It would far exceed the limits of a letter to write all, or even half of the precious words which she spoke. Some irreligious persons were heard to say, that Lea Elizabeth (for that was her name) must certainly be in happiness, for it was like a little heaven upon earth to be near her, particularly in her last illness. A more delightful scene can scarcely be conceived than that which her appearance presented to our view,-a poor, and completely worn-out slave, without any of the pomps and vanities of this world about her, sitting or lying on her mattress; yet, at the same time, an heir of an everlasting kingdom, and beginning to feel those joys which shall never cease, and about to participate in that glory which shall never fade away."
One day she said, “Yes, yes, I am but a slave on earth, but I have a good hope, through grace, that I have been made free indeed through the blood of the Lamb, and that hereafter I shall sit with any blessed and glorious Redeemer in his heavenly kingdom, never to be separated.” I was quite astonished at the progress she had made in the knowledge of divine things, and so were all who heard
CRUEL TREATMENT OF AGED HEATHEN, IN the Journal of Lewis and Clark, it is related of the Sioux and some other Indian tribes on the Missouri, that was they are setting out for some new excursion, where the old man is unable to Collow, his children, or nearest relations, place before him a piece of meat and some water, and telling him that he has lived long enough, that it is now time for him to go home to his relations, who can take better care of him than his friends on earth ; leave him, without remorse, to perish when his little supply is exhausted.” How different is such conduct from the spirit of the command, “ Honour thy father and thy mother," and from the example of Him, who, while enduring the agonies of the cross, commended his mother to the care of the beloved disciple! Who, that lives in a Christian country, can contemplate instances like these without feelings of gratitude and compassion arising in his breast ?
Ye aged, can you look around you on dutiful children, and children's children, it may be “ to the fourth generation,” and not feel desirous, before you go hence, to be here no more, to do something towards sending the gospel to the wretched heathen?
Ye youth, who have often hastened with eager steps to the dwelling of your father's father, and have delighted in receiving the çarpeces of the old gray-headed man, and a kind grandmother's tokens