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she had then, as she said, but little ters of comfort. No really good experience in divine things, and thing will he withhold from you, if knew but little of God, she kneel- you faithfully serve and obey him ; ed down in a certain field, dedi- and if you live the life, you will cated herself to him earnestly, and die the death of the righteous, a implored his blessing upon all her death full of peace, and joy, and future plans and situations in life. consolation. This was fully exSuch a prayer and dedication could emplified in our beloved sister. not go unanswered and unreward. Her confidence had been in God ed. God heard and accepted her, through life, and he did not forsake and endowed her with his choicest her in the awful hour of death. gifts; not riches, nor honours, nor She was a true believer in Jesus ease, nor beauty; these, which Christ, and therefore, through him, too many earnestly covet, are in- God gave her the victory over all differently dispensed to the evil her enemies. The power of sin, and to the good; but he showered which is the sting of death,' was down his grace upon her, that only taken away from her by the prevailsure mark of special love and adop- ing influence of the Holy Ghost; tion. This incorruptible seed re- the curse of the law, which is the mained in her, and uniformly strength of sin, was removed by brought forth corresponding fruits, the satisfaction of her divine Surety, during a period of more than forty in whose blood and righteousness years; for whosoever is born of all her hope of salvation was God doth not commit sin, for his placed. Satan in vain attempted seed remaineth in him ;' yea, he to pluck her out of her Saviour's cannot sin, because he is born of hand : she lived to the Lord, and God: i. e. cannot sin wilfully, pre- died in the Lord. The feelings and sumptuously, deliberately. Sins prospects of the real Christian canof infirmity he will be subject to, as not perhaps be more justly or more long as he continues in the flesh; strikingly represented, than by the for the infection of nature doth following interesting exhibitions of remain, even in the regenerate,' as the state of her mind. They who the Article speaks; but it doth not. most abound in grace are always rule the dominion of sin is taken most lowly in their own eyes. Like away. It is hated by them, and the great Apostle, they look upon overcome by the new and better themselves as the chief of sinners. principle implanted from above; so because their lively sense of God's that the general bent of the will free love and undeserved mercy and affections is towards righte- fills them with a deep conviction of ousness, and the conduct is there. their own demerit, and strikes them fore habitually good and gracious with a most humiliating feeling of
“ My dear young friends, of their own sinfulness and ingratitude. every rank amongst us, let me im- Such was her experience. When press this example upon you, and first she was confined to her chamrecommend it to your imitation. ber, she said, “I know I have no Devote yourselves early to God. good works wherewith to appear Give him the first fruits of your age, before God, nothing that can justiyour time, your labour. You will fy me with him. My only trust is find him a kind and gracious Mas- in the all-sufficient sacrifice of ter. Satan is a hard and cruel Christ; and when I am admitted tyrant, and his service terminates into heaven, I am sure I shall in eternal death; but the Lord will shout, Grace! Grace! louder than protect and nourish you. He will any that are there. I am vile, comake you to feed in green pastures, vered with sin; my evil thoughts, and lead you forth beside the wa- any one of them, would sink me
down into hell at any time. If prayer should be answered, it . God were to enter into judgment would be all mercy, for she had with me, I could not answer him nothing in herself to deserve it; she one of a thousand. But mercy re- had never done one work that could joiceth against judgment, and the merit any favour from God.' After beautiful sight of my Saviour hang- pointing to a very favourite hymn ing upon the cross, is all my com- on that passage in the Revelations, fort and all my hope. Mercy has “As many as I love, I rebuke and followed me all my life through, chasten,' she said, “All my sufand especially through my years ferings show the hand of a tender of servitude.' She added, If you Father, and I bless and praise him should hear any one speak well of for them all. If it please him to me after I am gone, as that I was shorten my trial, and take me a faithful servant, or ever did any early, it will be a great mercy ingood, pray turn them all from me, deed; but if not, I pray that I may and tell them it was the grace of have strength to endure, and not God in me; that in me was no good dishonour my Saviour by impathing, for I never did any thing tience. I only desire, that his from myself. Being told of one will may be done in me and by me. who, when speaking of the happi- I wish not to be troublesome to ness of the righteous in heaven, en- others; but I am ready myself to tirely disclaimed the notion of suffer more, much more, even wages, she cried out, Wages! lengthened sufferings, if thereby o, how can poor guilty worms my God and Saviour will be more dream of wages ? I used often to glorified. I am fully sensible, that think, how undeserving I was of the unspeakable joys of heaven wages from my earthly master; but will far, far more than compensate when we talk of wages from God, for the longest, wearisome life here, O they are eternal death! Eternal and the most protracted sufferings.' life is the free gift of God through She said that occasionally she Jesus Christ. Grace is the found had felt a dread of the last enemy, ation and the top-stone. On be- and of passing through that Jordan: ing asked, whether she had not but she knew it was Satan's tempthad a restless night, she replied, 'I ation, and that he was sometimes have songs in the night. I lie mu- permitted to give the children of sing on the goodness of God. He God much uneasiness towards the is very merciful to my soul, and close of life. However, she had gives me such divine comforts, prayed that the assault might be that I do not suffer so much as any removed, and her prayer was body would suppose. She fre- heard. She felt that Satan was a quently expressed her strong faith vanquished enemy, and believed in the Saviour of sinners, and said, that the everlasting arm would so • It was wonderful how he had pre- support her that she would be carserved her from her youth in his ried over dryshod.' She told me fear. It was all grace; free, rich, afterwards, that · Satan was not wonderful grace to the vilest of allowed to buffet her at all, but sinners. She observed, it had seemed to be entirely trodden under been always her prayer, that she her feet, and overcome for her by might be useful in her generation, her blessed Saviour.' She prayed serviceable to her fellow-creatures, that her faith might not fail. "I'regive glory to God, and then that minded her that her Saviour would he would be pleased to take her secure that blessing to her by his home before a troublesome old age all-prevailing intercession, accordcame upon her, and made her a ing to his promise to St. Peter, burden to others. If this her whom Satan had desired to have,
that he might sift as wheat; and by gular spiritual gifts. When at any that consideration she appeared to time the family were in distress, be greatly comforted and support- she used to say, “It is all well; ed: She spoke much of her own ut- remember, no cross, no crown.' ter helplessness and sinfulness, but At a season of deep affliction in with such strong faith in the Saviour the preceding spring, when it as her Saviour and mighty Deliver- pleased God to take to himself our er, as could not but exceedingly most dearly beloved child, of whom strengthen and encourage all who she was particularly fond, she so· heard her. Indeed it was a high laced and encouraged all around privilege to witness her deportment, her by her pious and appropriate and the power of grace in her soul. reflections, and frequently observed, I attended her rather with a view It is better to be in the house of to my own edification than hers. mourning than in the house of After receiving the holy sacrament, feasting. She said, that in the she said on rising, I am greatly course of her illness she had called refreshed, very much refreshed in- to mind all the persons mentioned deed. All the food I have taken in the Scriptures, in other books, has not done me good like this. I or that were known to herself, who feel it all over me; the least drop had gone to glory, and she could of my precious Saviour's blood is find none who had not been tried sufficient to wash my guilty soul, and sifted, and in some way puto cleanse it from all sin, and pre- nished for their sins ;' adding, - The sent it faultless before the throne of rule is general; we must through his Father.'
much tribulation enter into the king" Her patience was most strik- dom of heaven. No murmur ever ing and exemplary. She usually escaped her lips, or, as I believe, lay perfectly composed, as if she arose in her heart. Thankfulness endured no pain, whilst her altered was the prevailing disposition of tone of voice and expression of her mind." She was very fond of countenance occasionally indicat- Dr. Watts’s Hymn, • Come ye ed a considerable degree of suf that fear the Lord,' and desired it fering. She knew that her suffer- might be read to her one morning : ings were less than her deserts, and when the last verse was repeated, was therefore thankful that they "Then let our songs abound, were not more severe. How odi And every tear be dry; ous must sin be in the sight of God, We're marching through Immanuel's when even his dearest children suf
ground fer so much in consequence of it,
To fairer worlds on high ;' and require such purification in the she seemed to feel it in every nerve, furnace of affliction! This was and quite laughed with joy. Her her prevailing sentiment when in mistress upon one occasion, seeing health. She always justly appre- her in great pain, involuntarily shed ciated the nature of the soul, and tears; for which she mildly rewas convinced of the comparative proved her, and entreated that she worthlessness of the body, and would only bless God for her. looked upon trials of a temporal “ Our beloved sister was a wonature as necessary to purge and man of prayer. Prayer is the purify the children of God. She breath of the soul, without which thought it fit that this body of sin it cannot live. Thereby it draws should suffer, that judgment for in strength and nourishment from our offences was righteous and ne- the Father of spirits. This is what cessary. She was blessed with a David meant, when he said, in remarkably strong mind and sound the 119th Psalm, 'I opened my understanding, as well as with sin- mouth and drew in my breath, for my delight was in thy command- heaven to notice me, and I of ments.' Those commandments he course hastily retired, fearful of incould neither delight in nor keep terrupting such holy intercourse by without divine grace, and that an unseasonable intrusion. This grace could only be obtained by has sometimes occurred too at a prayer, therefore he applied to very late hour, and after a weariGod for a daily provision of this some day of labour ; but in that saneedful succour. So did this ser- cred exercise she sought and found vant of God of whom we speak. repose, refreshment to her body, In the closet, in the family, and in and true rest to her soul. I believe the congregation, she was constant it was upon no occasion ever interand earnest in supplication. She mitted. This practice I would eardid not rest satisfied with joining in nestly recommend to all my hearthe public worship, or even in the ers. We are continually exposed morning and evening sacrifice of- to danger and temptation of one fered up by the family, but she kind or other, and therefore stand likewise poured out her soul to in constant need of help and God in private. There she unfold- strength. The grace of yesterday ed to him her individual wants, will not supply the wants of to-day. confessed her transgressions, im- God for our good keeps us in a plored his pardon, and besought constant state of dependence upon his grace. By this practice, she him for every good, spiritual and · sanctified and rendered doubly use- temporal; and justly requires us to ful every other ordinance of which ask that we may have, and seek she was a partaker. Often when I that we may find; to knock, that have been retiring to rest, suppos- the door of mercy may be opened ing that all the household had re- to us. Hence our Saviour has intired before me, bave I been struck structed us to pray, that he would by observing a light in one of the “give us day by day our daily lower apartments, and upon step- bread, under which metaphor every ping to the door to see that nothing thing we require of him is included; was amiss, have beheld her pro- and it implies that we should seek strate on her knees before her God. it every day. Her eyes were too intently fixed on
[To be continued.]
A SHORT COMMENT ON A GLOOMY PASSAGE IN A
Widow of Crescentius, by Mrs. Hemans.
There is a dew shall bathe the flower,
REVIEW OF BOOKS. Letters and Conversations on These remarks have been sugs
Preaching. By S. T. Sturtevant. gested to our minds by the perusal Baynes, 1822. Pp. xii. & 384. of the works before us. They are The Preacher ; or, Sketches of all intended to instruct or assist in original Sermons. 4 Vols. 12mo. the art of preaching, and each of Baynes, 1822–23.
them may doubtless be perused Sketches of Sermons. 4 Vols. 12mo. with considerable benefit by those Holdsworth, 1822-23.
for whom they are written. The art of preaching is of very The volume of Mr. Sturtevant; great importance, and of very dif- both as to its design and its execuficult attainment. Its importance, tion, is far superior to the other indeed, can scarcely be estimated works. Its object is to assist too highly. It was the subject of those preachers who are destitute the Saviour's parting injunction to of better help in the composition of his disciples; and however inferior their own discourses, and to furit may be in comparison of prayer, nish them with the means of giving in the experience of the private an original cast to the divisions and Christian, or in the estimation of discussions, and thus to relieve any, it must ever be remembered, them from the painful and mortifythat the preaching of the Gospel is ing necessity of adopting the outthe divinely appointed means of lines and skeletons, and preaching promoting Christianity in the world, the printed discourses of others. and of exciting men to “ pray every H e introduces his subject by a where, lifting up holy hands without series of letters, in which, among wrath and doubting.”
other topics, he gives some direcBut to preach well is unques- tions for attaining an acquaintance tionably a difficult attainment. It with the original languages of Scripis one thing to secure the approba- ture, an attainment highly desirtion of an audience, it is another able by all who would be good to interest and affect the heart. scribes, thoroughly instructed for Yet until the heart is affected, un- the kingdom of God, but requiring til conviction of sin, true repent- a degree of labour and perseverance, living faith, and entire de- ance which the persons for whom votion, are produced in the soul, he writes can seldom bestow. He whatever may be the acceptance next proceeds to give some direcwith which in other respects a mi- tions with respect to public prayer, nister may have laboured, he must, the choice of books, the selection as to the great ends of preaching, of texts, and the general parts and be said to have laboured in vain. divisions of a discourse, and then
The preacher's experience, in- introduces a series of conversadeed, will usually, as Mr. Newton tions on subdivisions, propositions, has somewhere intimated was the application, the sources from which case with himself, consist of two matter may be derived for filling up parts. At the beginning of his course, a discourse in which he notices the inquiry will be, What shall I separately the twenty-seven topics say? As he proceeds, he will in- of Claude), and on the mind or disquire, To what purpose shall I say position required for the work of it? In proportion to his own personal the ministry. Throughout the religion he will, usually speaking, whole publication Mr. S. freely arrive with greater rapidity at the uses the valuable work of Claude latter inquiry; but until he has on the composition of a sermon, reached this point, his discourses and illustrates his positions by.cowill seldom be productive of much pious extracts from the most dispermanent advantage.
tinguished preachers and writers of JUNE 1823.