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mother; “ for if we are ashamed toms of a consumption; and from of Christ, you know that he says thence he continued to pass on he will be ashamed of us."
from one stage to another of his “ Yes, mother, the Testament complaint, until, after lingering for says so; but then, mother, why a year and a half, he at length dedon't we have prayer in our house parted, I doubt not, for a better before we go to bed ?”
world. At the commencement of This was, indeed, coming to the his illness he was a stranger to point, and the mother and father every thing like real experimental hung down their heads, and an- religion. . He kept his church, as swered not a word-all was silence he termed his weekly attendance for some minutes, until the child there, and he worked hard and again asked, “ Mother, why don't paid every body their own, and we go to prayer all together before was neither a drunkard nor swearer. we go to bed?”
But, alas! with all this real deThe parents were now confound- cency of character, and amidst all ed and self-condemned, and began his self-exalted virtues, he knew to defend themselves as well as not God; he felt not his sins; he they could, by both answering saw not the necessity of being their child's question with, “I born again, nor had he any of those can't make a pray."-2" Nor I, I spiritual conceptions of heaven am sure.” Still they felt that the which endear it to those whose thing ought to be done, and they hearts and treasures are above. It also felt a wish that they had the however pleased the Lord to open power and courage to perform it; the eyes of his understanding, and but this neither of them that even to renew his heart, while he laid on ing possessed. The subject was, his body the pains and maladies however, talked over for a quarter which were to bring it down to the of an hour longer, and at length it grave. His gradual and important was proposed to the child herself change from a child of nature to a to make the prayer. They accord- child of grace was of a very clear ingly all knelt down, and the mo- and satisfactory nature, and his ther declared to me that Mary latter end was peace. He retainmade such a suitable and affecting ed the faculties of his mind to the prayer as threw both her and her very last, and was attending to the husband into a flood of tears all reading of the Word of God, and the while they were on their knees. to the prayers of those in his dying From that evening to the death of chamber, until within a very few the mother and the breaking up of minutes of his departure. the family, they had domestic.wor- But the reader is not to consider ship performed by one or other of the Village Pastor as the only inthe parents.
i strument employed by the great The last instance I shall produce Bishop and Shepherd of our souls here, is one on which my mind has in bringing on this man's soul in its often reflected with much satisfac- way to the kingdom of heaven. tion. John B . was a sober No: for John B h ad a daughindustrious man, whose weekly la- ter whose readings and conversabour, added to the small profits tion and prayers were greatly which his wife procured by selling blessed to his instruction and comgingerbread and sugar-plums to fort. Sarah was among the senior the children of the village, sup- girls of our Sunday school. She ported bis family with decency for was one whose conduct never the three first years after I knew occasioned me any uneasiness; them. About that time he was at- but over whom the Lord enabled tacked with the first decided symp- me to rejoice as a striking in
stance of his blessing on the means with him, and occasionally to sit made use of for training up chil- up for a part of the night in his sick dren in the fear and admonition of room. It was now very evident their Maker. Ten years have now that the Lord gave her strength elapsed since she first attended my according to her day. As the faministry and my school; and at ther grew fainter, the daughter inthe end of those years I cannot creased in strength, in Christian but bless the Lord for making and resignation and fortitude, and was keeping this my scholar in a great thus enabled to be of very great degree what I could desire all the service in, conversing and praying people of my charge to be. Sarah with him, as well as in reading had good sense and penetration suitable portions of the Word of enough to mark the fatal strides God. So much refreshment did which consumption was making on his soul gain by these affectionate the constitution of that father whom and Christian labours of his child, she greatly loved; and often did that often when I called at his she weep and say to me, “O cottage, he has informed me that Sir, how shall I ever bear up under Sarah had previously been with the loss which I see will soon him reading, praying, or conovertake me? My dear father will versing about the things of salvadie. The thought almost distracts tion; and scarcely ever did he me now; and what shall I do mention a circumstance of this nawhen the time comes ?”
ture without lifting his eyes toward On these occasions I endea- heaven, and exclaiming, “ O that voured to direct her to Him whose blessed girl of mine! how can I be compassionate mind considers thankful enough for such a child ?” whereof we are made; who has He was permitted to enjoy the declared that he will not lay upon presence and the prayers of that us more than he will enable us to child to the very close of his life; bear; and that his strength shall for the night on which he died, she be perfected in our weakness and one of the neighbours sat up
I repeatedly told her that I felt with him, and Sarah prayed by confident the Lord would strength- him to within the last four or five en and support her, and from time minutes of his earthly existence. to time I encouraged her naturally She then saw him depart in peace; timid mind to forget herself, and and had no doubt but that he died to endeavour to consider and be in the Lord, rested from all his lanefit her parent while life was con- bours, and was blessed for ever. tinued to him. Neither John nor As to herself, He who had taken his wife could read. This was a from her an earthly father whom subject of great regret to him now she tenderly loved, and whose loss his soul was anxiously looking for- she once feared would quite break ward to an eternal world. It was, her heart, was now pleased to therefore, his frequent practice to support and strengthen her beyond make his little girl, Elizabeth, read all her expectations and hopes. to him; but she was too young to She bore her loss as a Christian converse on what she read. Du- child ought to bear it; and since ring the last half year of his life, that time, as far as I can learn and Sarah was living at service in the judge, the same gracious God has village only a few score yards from kept her in the love and fear of his her father's cottage. The people blessed Son Jesus Christ, in the with whom she resided were very watchful, humble, unobtrusive walk indulgent, and frequently allowed of a real disciple, and in the path her to run home for a little while on of usefulness as a teacher of others purposé to read to and converse where she herself was once taught. These are a few instances in and large portions of Scripture, and proof of what'was before advanced,' at a future day these advantages that in our endeavours to impart may be blessed to their soul's salvaChristian instruction to children, tion; but let not any such teachers we are doing what the Lord often or conductors of schools marvel, if blesses to the edification and com- they are not permitted to see the fort of their parents and elder rela- fruits of the Spirit following the tions. Let these and similar in- works of the flesh. Whatever stances encourage us to labour, to just cause, there may be for any be “ steadfast and unmoveable, party of Christians preferring their always endeavouring to abound in own sect and denomination to any the work of the Lord, knowing that other, yet there is in pure Christiour labours will not be in vain in anity a great and grand principle the Lord.” But let it be borne in which rises above every other conmind by all who thus labour and sideration on earth, as it ranks long to see the Lord prosper the above all others in the kingdom of work of their hands, that much of heaven. That principle is a simple, that gratification will be propor- single desire to glorify God and tioned to the spirit in which they to benefit the souls of men; to labour, and the motives which ac- rescue immortal beings from a state tuate them to begin and to continue of ignorance and enmity against their exertions. Sunday schools, God; to bring them acquainted may be formed, and zealously con- with that salvation which Jesus ducted, and made to exhibit a very Christ came on earth to procure for fascinating external appearance, all who repent and believe; and and yet there may be little of pure thus as instruments in the Lord's simple single-minded Christianity hands to forward in their souls that at the bottom of all those labours. state of knowledge, of humility, of A party spirit and political motives faith, of fear and love, which may actuate, and it is to be feared makes the sinful children of Adam often have actuated, the conductors meet for the inheritance of the . of schools under various denomi- saints in light. Thus labouring we nations; and vanity itself has not shall reap if we faint not; and unfrequently spurred on some to though the bigots of every denomitake an active part in these institu- nation may choose to act and to tions. True, the children may, think widely different from us, yet through the mercy of God, be be- our work will one day be owned nefited; they may be taught to of God. read, and to get off catechisms,
ANECDOTE OF THE LATE REV. JOHN OWEN. This lamented individual having on a particular occasion endeavoured in vain to accommodate a matter in dispute between two friends. for both of whom he felt much respect, evinced the amiableness of his disposition by retiring and writing impromptu the following lines, which he transmitted to the disputants.
“How rare that toil a prosperous issue finds,
J. W. M.
THE COLLECT FOR EASTER DAY." “ This is the day which the of death and the grave, and was Lord hath made, we will rejoice “ declared to be the Son of God and be glad in it.” This is the with power by the resurrection blessed day that brought joy to from the dead." This sacred day, the disconsolate disciples of Christ, so dear to believers in the Son of when they were mourning over the God in all ages of the Gospel, we loss of their beloved Master. They are called upon by our Church to had “trusted that Christ had been observe and to commemorate with he which should have redeemed feelings of devout thanksgiving and Israel ;" but when they saw him of holy joy. This day is intended, expiring on the cross, they retired by the wisdom and piety of our to mourn in secret over their disap- Church, powerfully to remind us pointed hopes of deliverance. What of the victorious grace of the cross holy and triumphant gratitude, of Christ, who by it “ spoiled printherefore, must have filled their cipalities and powers," and by it hearts when their companions, re- « led captivity captive;" who purturning from Emmaus, removed chased and secured, by his suffertheir gloom and despondency by ings and death, the salvation of his the glorious news, “ The Lord is believing people, and by his glorisen indeed!” This blessed news rious resurrection opened to them cheered their disconsolate minds, the way of return to God and to and “begot them again to a lively everlasting life. “ The resurrechope by the resurrection of Christ tion of Christ from the dead” is at from the dead.” Believers in once the confirmation of our faith, Christ still know and feel some the establishment of our hope, and portion of the same holy joy on the the assurance of the salvation of all return of this most sacred day. who believe in Christ unto eternal We that love Christ, and by his life. “ If Christ had not risen, love are sweetly constrained to our faith would have been vain, serve him, feel a joy of soul more and we should have been yet in than we can express, when we se- our sins.” But, “ now is Christ riously meditate on the wonders risen from the dead, and become the and work of redeeming grace, dis- first-fruits of them that slept,” and played on this blessed day, for the hereby hath given “ assurance unsalvation of mankind. We lately to all men,” that “ if we believe met at the foot of the cross to weep that Jesus died, and rose again, at the sight of a bleeding Saviour, even so them also that sleep in Jesuffering for the sins of a guilty sus will God bring with him." world, that “ by his stripes we Well, then, may we rejoice, and might be healed.” But, we now celebrate the glorious manifestameet to “joy and rejoice” toge- tion of the power and faithfulness ther in our victorious Redeemer, as of God in thus raising Christ from having by his cross “ destroyed the dead; as by it we are also able the works of the devil,” and made to “ rejoice in the hope that is full a full atonement for sin; and as of glory." If we know any thing, thus proving to all men the power by experience, of the “ power of of his Spirit, and the truth of his the resurrection” of Christ by our promises to the end of time. Yea, own spiritual death unto sin, and this is the day on which the Lord by our rising again unto newness of of life and glory vanquished his life, we shall be ready to celebrate enemies and ours, triumphed over the mercy of God and the grace all the combined malice and power of the Saviour on this most blessed of earth and hell, burst the bonds day, and heartily to join in the prayer of the Collect, ascribing all Jesús; and they find it “ sure and the work of grace in our souls, the steadfast,” in all difficulties suffipardon of our sins, and all our cient to carry them through all the hope of glory, to the free and un- storms of life, and to bring them to merited mercy of God in Christ the haven where they would be." Jesus.
. The soul that hath an almighty “ Almighty God, who through God for its friend and protector, thine only-begotten Son Jesus may bid adieu to fear, go forward Christ, hast overcome death, and with holy courage, and under his opened unto us the gate of ever- guidance and power gain the viclasting life; we humbly beseech tory over every impediment in the thee, that as by thy special grace way to glory. “ Who through thine preventing us, thou dost put into only-begotten Son Jesus Christ.”— our minds good desires; so by thy The wisdom, the power, and the continual help we may bring the mercy of God are all graciously same to good effect, through Jesus united and gloriously displayed in Christ our Lord, who liveth and the person and work of Jesus reigneth with thee and the Holy Christ. “By him God made the Ghost, ever one God, world with- world”-“ Without him was not out end. Amen.”
any thing made that was made.” “ Almighty God.”—The Foun- By his word God created the tain of all being must be also the heavens and the earth. By Jesus fountain of all power. He whose Christ, who is “the power of “ wisdom is infinite,” is almighty God and the wisdom of God," in power. Both concur to execute he redeemed a guilty world when all the purposes of his mercy to- sunk in sin and misery. By Jesus wards the children of men. His Christ he wrought deliverance for wisdom devises the most suitable his people, and freedom from the means, his power executes the bondage of sin and death. By counsels of his will, and his grace Jesus Christ he freely offers peace directs and applies what is wisest and pardon to all who are “made and best for his own glory, and for willing to be reconciled to God," the salvation of his people. Our and salvation from the curse and God is almighty. In approaching condemnation of sin to all that God, we should come with a holy “repent and believe the Gospel.” confidence, that he is “ able to do By Jesus Christ, God accepted an for us far more abundantly than atonement“ for the sins of the we can either ask or think.” Our whole world,” that “ he might be God is revealed as a God almighty, just, and the justifier of him which " that we should have a strong believeth in Jesus.” Every mercy, consolation, who have fled for re- every blessing, every favour, that fuge to lay hold on the hope set be- we receive and enjoy from God, fore us.". His redeemed people either in nature, providence, or know his almighty power, as he grace, flows to us freely through “ is the God of their salvation.” the channel of mercy opened by They can trust him, as the “ Lord the precious blood of the cross. Jehovah,” with whom “ is everlast- By Christ we have . “ access to ing strength.” In an almighty God God," and have “ fellowship with they can confide with a trust that the Father.” In Christ, God is cannot be shaken. In him they can pleased to receive penitents to repose their fullest confidence, as mercy. Through Christ, God parable to protect them “ in times of dons the sins of the ungodly. By trouble," and as almighty to save. Jesus Christ, God hath provided å An almighty God is “ the anchor way to secure to his beloved chilof the soul" of believers in Christ dren happiness on earth, and glory