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ectly consonant with the strictest decorum, with the went into the meeting house the appearance of the most refined spiritual sensibility ? Shall science, assembly was thoughtless and vain; the people hardly ball politics, shall literature, have their special ser
conducted themselves with cominon decency.” vices, and not religion? How likely a plan is it to
as the preacher proceeded, it is certain that the Ouse the minds of the careless-to fix the thoughts of the volatile-to decide the choice of the wavering
audience was so overwhelmed with distress and -and to kindle the ardour of the lukewarm, thus to | weeping, that the preacher “was obliged to speak to arry on a succession of appeals to them through a the people and desire silence that he might be heard;", vhole week? Keep out extravagance, let there be no
and a powerful revival followed. And it is said that nxious seat, no vociferation, no extravagant appeals
a minister in the pulpit, in the agitation of his feelo the passions; but only the vivid, solemn, and faithul exhibition of the truth. As one minister, the
ings, caught the preacher by the skirt, and cried, jastor, may not have strength enough for such ser-“ Mr E., Mr E., is not God a God of mercy?" and ices, another, or more than one, may be called on to that hearers were seen unconsciously bracing them. seisé him. During all this while, much prayer selves against the pillars and the sides of the pews, hould ascend from the Church for the divine blessing
as if they already felt themselves sliding into the o come down upon such efforts. What can be ob.
bottoniless pit. This fact is often cited simply as a ected to in such a scheme? Who has ever tried it ithout a blessed result? What, in fact, were the
proof of President Edwards' peculiar eloquence---the Whitefield and Wesley, vea, what were the more striking because it was his habit simply to read ibours of apostles, but such continuous services as from his notes without gestures. hese? It is said of the blessed Paul, he disputed, But there is another element to be taken into the ir as it signifies by a better translation, discoursed,
account in explaining this result. The following laily in the school of Tyrannus. ..., On writing for his opinion on this subject to one
quotation will exhibit it. " While the people of the whom God has honoured and blessed in his efforts, neighbouring towns were in great distress for their and who is one of the most devout and sober-minded souls, the inhabitants of Enfield were very secure, of our brethren, he thus replies to my inquiries : “I loose, and vain. A lecture had been appointed there; chink that, considering the state of the churches
and the neighbouring people were so afiected at the generally, there is a call for something of this kind.
thoughtlessness of the inhabitants, and in such fears The ministers are unsettled, which they would not be f thev were doing good. I am sorry to say also the
that God would in his righteous judgment pass them :hurches are often dissatisfied with their ministers, by, as to be prostrate before him a considerable part in evil wbich would be obviated were more good ac- of the evening previous, supplicating mercy for their complished. It appears to me that special efforts, Bouls. When the time appointed for the lecture i wisely conduceed, would be productive of much
came, a number of the neighbouring ministers attendbenefit; first of all, to the ministers themselves, in eaching them to understand better the nature of the
ed, and some from a distance;" a proof of the extent work in which they are engaged. They would be led of prayerful interest in behalf of the town. Here, co know inore how to aim at the conversion of sinners then, we have the secret of the powerful impression n their preaching. Secondly, it would do much of that sermon, in the fact that Christians in the Good to the churches in arousing them to a better churches around, themselves under the unusual influconception of their calling and duty, and they would
" ences of God's Spirit, were offering their fertert icquire more of the taste for seeing good done, which vould render them discontented with the desolation I prayers for God's blessing on that sermon. cround thein, and constrain them to give themselves Another sermon, the immediate results of which nore to prayer for the outpouring of the Spirit. were perhaps more striking than the results of any When a church has once witnessed a season of re sermon of modern times, was preached by Mr Livvival, it is much more likely to witness the saine again
ingstone, in Scotland. This, also, is often cited as an and again, than one that knows nothing of it but by hearsay. Thirdly, the world around the church
illustration of the power of eloquence. But in the where the special effort is made will often receive an old work by Robert Fleming of Rotterdam, entitled, iinpression, the effects of which are visible for many “ The Fulfilling of the Scriptures," will be found years. Thoughts are first started in the mind which precisely the same explanation of these extraordinary are not for long after matured into conversion. This
results :-“I must also mention that solemn comI look upon as the greatest of all the benefits de
munion at the Kirk of Shotts, June 20, 1630, at which rived from special efforts. A leaven is cast into the community, which makes the regular preaching of
tinue there was so convincing an appearance of God, the gospe! afterwards much more efficacious. Iam and down-pouring of the Spirit even in an extraorsure this was the case at C , and I have reason to dinary way, that did follow the ordinances; especially believe it has been the case at other places also.” that sermon on the Monday, 21st June, with a strange This is the testimony of reason and experience, and
unusual motion on the hearers, who in a great mulcannot be gainsaid. Similar testimony is borne by all who have had the courage to institute such ser.
titude were there convened of divers ranks, that it vices, the fervour necessary for their efficiency, and
was known (which I can speak on sure ground) near the discretion requisite to conduct them with pro
five hundred had at that time a discernible change priety.
wrought on them, of whom most proved lively Christians afterwards. It was the sowing of a seed
through Clydesdale, 80 as many of the most eminent THE SECRET OF POWERFUL PREACHING.
Christians in that country could date either their No sermon preached in New England has acquired conversion or some remarkable confirmation in their greater celebrity than that preached by President case from that day. And truly this was the more Edwards at Enfield, July 8, 1741, from the words, remarkable, that one after much reluctance, by a " Their fool shall slide in due time," “ When they special and unexpected providence, was called to
preach that sermon on the Monday, which then was evidences though I be but a young man, and they not usually practised; and that night before, by most stick very close to me. But one thing troubles and of the Christians there was spent in praver: so that , afflicts my spirit very much, that when I grew very the Monday's work as a convincing return of prayer
serious, being exercised about serious work, the
search of my heart for eternity-evidences, I permight be discerned." Here then is the secret.
ceived this seriousness of mine was judged by some "Christians having received on the Sabbath an an to be melancholy for fear of death. Now this, inointing from on high, spent the night in that wrest deed, troubles me very much, that any should take ling and prevailing prayer which such an anointing
me to be such an one who am afraid to die." alone calls into exercise."
Just before his death, he discoursed with great These two extraordinary facts, therefore, are to be
power concerning the sweetness and fulness of
Christ. His last words were-" Well, it is a sweet cited as examples, not of the power of eloquence, but thing when he that speaks of Christ hath Christ of the power of prayer. --Puritan Recorder.
dwelling in him at the time when he speaks.” Why
should not every Christian possess the same clear THE OLD SLAVE'S PRAYER.
eternity-evidences, and attain the same nearness to
Christ? Mr RAVENCROSS was a slaveholder in Virginia, and reputed a hard master. His poor distressed slaves were in the habit of meeting at night in a distant
GEORGE WHITEFIELD. iut, for the purpose of worshipping God. He was ' WHEN visiting America, Mr Whitefield often stood nformed of this, and at the same time put on his uard, as it was suspected their motives for meeting
on the outside steps of the court-house, in Market were different from what they held out, and that an
Street, at the corner of Second, in Philadelphia, and insurrection might be the consequence. Under this preached to thousands who crowded the streets below. am ression he determined to prevent their assem On one of these occasions, a youth pressed as near to n future, chastised the promoters of this work.
his favourite preacher as possible; and, to testity his no gave positive orders, under the most serious
respect, held a lantern for his accommodation. Soon enalty, that they should never assemble again under .. ny pretence whatever. A short time after he was
after the sermon began, he became so absorbed in the old they had been seen going in a body into the hut.
subject, that the lantern fell from his hand, and was Much displeased at their disobedience, and resolving dashed to pieces; and that part of the audience in the hat night to put a stop to their proceedings, he immediate vicinity of the speaker's station were not Criroached the hut with all the teclings of an offend. I a little discomposed by the occurrence. master. When he reached the door, it was partly
Some years after, Mr Whitefield, in the course of spen. He looked in; they were on their knees. He ist ned; there was a venerable old man, who had
his fifth visit to America, about the year 1754, on a betri long in his service, pouring out his soul in journey from the southward, called at St George's. prayer to God. The first words which caught his in Delaware, where Mr (afterwards Dr) Rodgers (one
ar' were, “ Merciful God, turn my poor massa's of the ablest and most spiritual ministers of his day) heart: make him merciful, that he may obtain was then settled in the ministry, and spent some time miercy; make him good, that he may inherit the ingdom of heaven." Jie heard no more, but fainted.
with him. In the course of this visit, Mr Rodgers, epon coming to himself he wept, went into the
riding one day with his visitor in a close carriage, acred hut, knelt by the side of his old slave, and | asked him whether he recollected the occurrence of prayed also! From this period, he became a true the little boy who was so much affected with his penitent, studied the Scriptures, took orders, and be | preaching as to let the lantern fall. Mr Whitefield vanie a shining light. He preached at the general
answered, “Oh, yes! I remember it well; and hath convention of the Episcopal church, in the city of Philadelphia, before more than two hundred of the
often thought I would give almost any thing in my clergy, in the year 1820.
power to know who that little boy was, and what has become of him.” Mr Rodgers replied, with a smile,
“I am that little boy.” Mr Whitefield, with tears SUBMISSION.
of joy, started from his seat, clasped him in his arms, WHEN Mr Thomas (toodwin, who died in the prime
and with strong emotions remarked, that he was the of life in the year 1658, was on his deathbed, a friend fourteenth person then in the ministry whom he had sisited him, and recoinmended submission to the will discovered in the course of that visit to America, of
God. Goodwin assented to the propriety of the whose hopeful conversion he had been the instrument. counsel given, and added, “ But my desire is to reach further, and not only to submit, which an ordinary Christian may do, but to raise myself to courage and cheerfulness under the rod. Blessed be God, that
CITY HEATHEN. hitherto I can date his choicest mercies from some An excellent but somewhat eccentric clergyman, great affliction." Have the afflictions of the reader
one Sabbath, at the close of the services, gave been thus sanctified? A few days before his death, he overheard the
notice to his congregation that in the course of physician expressing his fears that the disease would the week he expected to go on a mission to the prove fatal. This led him to a very solemn self heathen. The members of his Church were struck examination. “I did all along in my sickness," said with alarm and sorrow at the sudden and unexpected he, " set my heart to labour for a sanctified use of the
| loss of their beloved pastor, and one of the deacons, Lord's hand; but overhearing that, I thought it
in great agitation, exclaimed, “What shall we do?" needful to look most carefully into my heart as to
idences for eternity: and truls, upon a thorouch " Oh, brother C--," said the minister, with great search of my heart, I bless God I find good old apparent ease, “ I don't expect to go out of town!"
THE BEECHER FAMILY.
HINTS ON SERMON-MAKING. The humble, weary, and anxious toils of the nursery,
| In one of the lectures addressed to his students
| on the composition of sermons, Dr Stanford says: sometimes need glimpses of the future, to impart to
_“I cannot deny myself the pleasure of stating, them their true dignity and value. Let any mother
that many years ago I met with a plain yet good who feels that she is of small value, and that her duties and cares are of litile account, ponder over
old minister, who, in conversation with me on the
subject of the composition of a sermon, very ples such incidents as these :
santly said, “I know of no better rule than the proOn the east of Long Island, in one of the most
portions observable in the structure of the human secluded spots in this country, more than thirty years
body. Let your introduction be short, like the head a zo, a mother, whose rare intellectual and moral
of the man, round, and tull of expression. Make up endowments were known to but few, made one day
the body of your sermon of the solids of divine truth; this simple record :* This morning I rose very early to pray for my
but be sure that Christ be the heart, and thie Spirit children, and especially that my sons may be minig.
of God like the lungs, to produce respiration. The ter- and missionaries of Jesus Christ."
legs to run after every class of your hearers; and a A number of years after, a friend who was present,
pair of arms tenderly to embrace them. This may thus describes the mother's dying hour: “ Owing to
appear to you a little fanciful, but I must confess, extreme weakness, her mind wandered, and her con
however singular the description, yet to my mind it versation was broken: but as she entered the valley of
seemed worthy of being remembered." the shadow of death, her soul lighted up and gilded its darkuess. She made a feeling and most appropriate prayer, and told her husband that her views and
A UNIVERSALIST MINISTER. anticipations had been such that she could scarcely sustain them, and that if they had been increased, A UNIVERSALIST minister was travelling, and had sent
on an intimation that he intended to preach in a cerslie should have been overwhelmed; that her Saviour bad blessed her with constant peace, and that through
tain place. On his arrival, he found a congregation, all her sickness she had never prayed for te. She
to whom he proclaimed the doctrine of universal dedicated her five sons to God as ministers and mis
salvation. After the sermon, he informed his hearers sionaries of Jesus Christ, and said that her greatest i that he should be that way on his return, at such a desire was, that her children might be trained up for
time; and if they desired it, he would then preach God.
again. No one replied till he had twice repeated his “She spoke with joy of the advancement of the
statedient. At last an old Frend, in the back part kingdom of Christ, and of the glorious day now
of the congregation, rose, and said, “ If thee hast told ushering in. She attempted to speak to her chil- the truth this time, we do not neca thee any more: dren, but was so exhausted, and their crics and subs
and if thee hast told us a lie, we do not wurt thee any were such, that she could say but little. Her hus. more"--an answer which, although somewhat groband then offered up a prayer, in which he gave her tesque, was yet very much to the purpose. back to God, and dedicated all they held in common to him. She then fell into a sweet sleep, from which she awoke in heaven."
fragments. The prayers of this mother have been answered. All her eight children have been “trained up for What is a saint, but a stranger and pilgrim upon (d." Her five sons are all “ ministers and mis- earth-a man in a strange country travelling homesioparies of Jesus Christ." And the late Rev. ward? So David professed himself; and so those George Beecher was the first of her otfspring whom wortbies who are now at home in heaven professed she welcomed to heaven.
themselves. A viaticum contents a traveller ; he will not encumber himself with superflu' us things, which would rather clog and tire, than expedite,
and help him in his journey. PRAYER FOR A MINISTER'S CONVERSION.
In company, set a guard upon your tongue; in THE Rev. Solomon Stoddard of Northampton, the solitude, upon your heart. predecessor of the far-famed President Edwards, was Diogenes used to say, “ Other dogs bite their eneengaged by his people on an emergency. They soon mies, but I my friends, that I may save them." found themselves disappointed, for he gave no indi
Seest thou a man diligent in his business ?-he cations of a renewed and serious mind. In this dif- lehall st
shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before ficulty their resource was prayer. They agreed to
mean men. set apart a day for special fasting and prayer, in reference to their pastor. Many of the persons
Sir Peter Lely made it a rule never to look at a meeting for this purpose bad necessarily to pass the
bad picture, having found by experience that whendoor of the minister. Mr Stoddard hailed a plain
I ever he did so, his pencil took a tint from it. Apply man whom he knew, and addressed him, " What is
the same rule to bad books and bad company. all this? What is doing to-day?" The reply was, | What is misfortune? Whatever separates us from
are meetiny to pray for your con- | God. What a blessing ? Every means of approxiversion." "It sunk into his heart. He exclaimed to | mation to him No right opinions, clearness of comhimself, " Then it is time I prayed for myself!" He prehension, or fulness of belief in religious matters, was not seen that day. He was seeking in solitude signify any thing to our establishment and conversion, what they were asking in company; and " while they unless they are from God. The crosses and mortifiwere yet speaking," they were heard and answered. cations we meet with from others are a precious The pastor gave unquestionable evidence of the means of humbling, instructing, and improving us; change; he laboured airongst a beloved and devoted we should be undone without them. If God gives people for nearly half a century; and was, for that internal comfort, it is not that we may live upon it. period, deservedly ranked among the most able and but to support and animate us to some further endo useful of Christian ministers.
Now the setting sun casts its slanting ray over | know that thou will bring me to death, and to i bare fields and full barn-yards; the embrown- | the house appointed for all living.” ing shade is stealing over the woods; the plovers This little leaf had serced its end in the cegetable congregate, showing and hiding by turns, in economy. It had expanded itself in delicate their rapid evolutions, their white breast and green from the manifold en wrappings of the back; the partridges emit their harsh sound bud; it had fluttered joyously in the breeze, from the fresh stubble; the shortening day and it had glanced in the sunshine; along with its lengthening nights-all tell that the year is | fellows it had served to expand the surface of
the tree on which it had hung, preparing its " Tending to the dark some hollows, Where the frosts of winter lie"
juices and ministering to its nourishment; but
now the end is gained, nature rids herself of Still, there are days full of enjoyment and
the leaf as superfluous, and it falls, to be for a sacred to meditation, in which autumn meets the lingering summer-days in which a stray
time the sport and plaything of the winds,
and then to rot and decay, and to be trampled swallow may be seen, and the last butterfly is
under foot. The fall of the leaf is not a single on the wing. In one of these delightsome days,
result. It is symptomatic of the fall of all its walking in an alcove of trees, where the broken
fellows. The frosts will loosen them, the sunbeams were struggling through the thick
winds will shake them, and they will drop off branches, and the grats were besporting them.
in showers, until the forest bereft of its selves during their little hour, and the only
honours become a leafless scene. So falls man. sound which broke the stillness was the song
| At times singly and silently. Again as with of the red-breast, with its sweet cadences and
| an overflowing flood they are carried away. pauses, a gentle rustle was heard amid the foli
As in the late mortality, death smites with a age-the rustle of a moment-and a beech leaf, undulating for a little in the air, lighted noise
fearful force, and multitudes are hurried into lessly on the ground. It was the falling of the
an unexpected grave. Let me meditate grati. first leaf we had observed, and it carried the
tude for preservation when death's shafts have
been flying thick through the land! And yet mind away into many grave reflections.
it is at best only a difference of time; when a It told of decay. It resembles the first grey
| few years are over and gone, we all must go hair, or the first loosening tooth, or the first
the way whence there is no return. “And occasion on which a man is made convincingly
Joseph died, and all bis brethren, and all the to feel that his legs have not the strength
men of that generation." which they once knew, or some other of the
Scripture overlooks not the fall of the leaf. numberless messengers of ebbing vigour. The
Amid confessions of sin are those affecting prophet Hosea says of Ephraim, “ Yea, grey
words placed, “ We all do fade as a leaf.” They hairs are here and there upon him, yet he knows
tell of decay and decline not only in the natuit not.” This is spoken in reproof. For man's
ral, but in the spiritual world. “ We are all wisdom is to know his weakness. The lesson
as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness is great gain when we learn practically and
are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; personally that our strength is not the strength
and our iniquities like the wind have taken us of stones, nor our bones brass.
away.” « 0, let the soul in slumber break,
As we tread amid the scattered leaves of Arouse its senses and awake,
autumn, let us humble our proud hearts, for To see how soon Life, with its glories, glides away,
each leaf may be a monitor to us of impresAnd the stern footsteps of decay
sions which have faded, and of resolutions Come stealing on!"
which have failed. If grace is implanted and My soul, seek thou Job's knowledge: “I maintained, it is by the power and repeated
renewals of Him who is the author of it, to the that prayer is useless, because in all her operations glory of whose grace be all the praise. That | nature is uniform.]
Every event in nature or history has a cause in falling leaf may admonish me of the first step
some prior event that went before it, and that again of a declining course which hastens on to more
in another, and that again in another still higber ungodliness, until, one by one, all the symbols than itself in this scale of precedency; and so might
we climb our ascending way from cause to cause, from and evidences of spirituality disappear, and the
consequent to antecedent, till the investigation has poor soul is left all the more hardened and the been carried upwards, from the farthest possible more hopeless. The latter end of that man is verge of human discovery. There it is that the
domain of observation or of philosophy terminates; worse than the first.
but we mistake if we think that there the progresIt is the voice of the Church's lamentation, sion, whose terms or whose footsteps we have traced when driven by God's visitations to the pure
thus far, also terminates. Beyond this limit we can.
not track the pathway of causation, not because the and wholesome fountains of true penitence.
pathway ceases, but because we have lost sight of it, By these rivers she sits and she weeps; and, having now retired from view among the depths sympathizing with decaying nature, she be.
and mysteries of an unknown region, which we, with
our bounded faculties, cannot enter. This may be wails in sorrow her past defections. She re
termed the region of faith-placed as it were above views the state of religion, and sees much total the region of experience. The things which are done prayerlessness, and more formal, ineffectual
in the higher, have an overruliny influence, by lines
of transmission, on all that happens in the lower, yet prayer - a withdrawing and a smiting God.
without one breach or interruption to the unitormity Yet embracing in her fellowship “the small of visible nature. Whatever is done in the transcen. remnant" cast down, but not forsaken, she
dental region-be it by the influence of prayer; by
the immediate finger of God; by the ministry of cleaves in faith to her covenant God. “But
angels; by the spontancous movements, whether of now, O Lord, thou art our Father. Be not displeasure or of mercy above, responding to the sins wroth very sore, O Lord, neither remember
or to the supplicating cries that ascend from earth's
inhabitants below-that will pass by a descending iniquity for ever; behold, see, we beseech influence into the palpable region of sense and obser. thee, we are all thy people.” In this spirit may vation; yet, from the moment it comes within its the Church at present conduct her inquiries
| limits, will it proceed without the semblance of a
miracle, but by the march and the movement of and her exercises regarding the condition of nature's regularity, to its final consummation. God religion in our land.
hath in wisdom ordained a regimen of general laws;
and, that man might gather from the memory of the But what of that land itself? Behold, in every
past those lessons of observation which serve for the case which emerges fresh instances of growing guidance of the future, he hath enacted that all those corruption. Britain, once the fortress of Pro successions shall be invariable which have their
place and their fulfilment within the world of sensitestantism, pandering in her legislation to Po
ble experience. Yet God has not, on that account, pish and Socinian influence- her Sabbaths made the world independent of himself. He keeps a violatedher Government deaf to the voice of perpetual hold on all its events and processes not
withstanding. He does not dissever himself, for a God's judgments, and to the remonstrances of
single instant, from the government and the guardian. the Christian community-obstinately bent on ship of his own universe; and can still, notwithstandnew encroachments—and, as if testifying to
ing all we see of nature's rigid uniformity, adapt the
forthgoings of his power to all the wants and all the every eye the currency of ungodliness, with.
prayers of his dependent family. For this purpose, drawing from her last coinage all acknowledge he does not need to stretch forth his hand on the ments of the Highest.* Where is now the
inferior and the visible links of any progression, so as
to shift the known successions of experience; or at Protestant spirit of the Brunswick race? Sleeps all to intermeddle with the lessons and the laws of it in the grave of the departed? Is the age of this great schoolmaster. He may work in secret, and Christian legislation for the present gone? Ye
yet perform all his pleasure, not by the achievement
of a miracle on nature's open platform, but by the that fear the Lord, and love your country, touch of one or other of those master springs which arise, anoint the shield, and be ye valiant for lie within the recesses of her inner laboratory.
There, and at his place of supernal command by the the truth.
fountain heads of influence, he can turn whithersoever he will the machinery of our world, and without
the possibility by human eye of detecting the least THE EFFICACY OF PRAYER AND THE intringement on any of its processes-at once upholdUNIFORMITY OF NATURE.
ing the regularity of visible nature, and the supremacy
of nature's invisible God. [The following is a portion of a sermon preached by
When the sigh of the midnight storm sends fearDr Chalmers on this subject, during the visitation ful agitation into a mother's heart, as she thinks of of cholera in 1832. It furnishes an eloquent and un her sailor boy, now exposed to its fury, on the waters answerable reply to the common Infidel objection,
of a distant ocean-these stern disciples of a hard and
steru infidelity would, on this notion of a rigid and * The florin, which has been issued from the mint lately, impracticable constancy in nature, forbid her pravers. has not the usual inscription, “ Victoria, by the grace of Gou holding them to be as impotent and rain, though Queen," but only " Victoria, Queen,"
addressed to the God who has all the elements in his