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was not withheld from us. Blessed and praised for ever be his holy name !
Dec. 18th was the Lord's day; and a most solemn and memorable day it was to us on board the “Earl Grey.” The state of the weather rendered it necessary that we should assemble for church below in the prison. Nearly the whole of the people had met of their own accord in the morning, immediately after breakfast, to read the Scriptures, and engage in social prayer for the Lord's gracious presence, and the outpouring of his Spirit upon us when assembled at church. As I entered the prison for church, I found one of the petty officers just concluding the third chapter of Malachi. They had begun their worship with singing the Morning Hymn. My mind was most agreeably impressed by this voluntary demonstration of the people's desire to worship God, to edify one another, and to seek the salvation of souls on board. The scene, as I entered the door, was truly impressive. A deep seriousness pervaded the assembly. We prayed the Litany; and I hope the Lord was with us, and was truly worshipped.
In the afternoon service, the captain of the second division recited, with accuracy, the whole of the Sermon on the Mount. Being called to attend to other duties, the meeting was concluded by W. B- reading to the people a section of my address to the Irish women transported to Sydney, under my care, in the year 1840. In the evening, after some remarks on
1 John iii., which had been recited in the afternoon, the people's attention was drawn to certain expressions in their communications to me, which clearly implied great legality of sentiment and feeling, in reference to their salvation such as, “I have resolved to do my utmost ;” “I mean to commence a new course ; "I have resolved” to do this, and to do that, which expressions imply a want of perception of the presentness, freeness, and perfection of the salvation of the Son of God, as set forth in the Scriptures, for example in Romans x. and John ii.-a blindness to the truth, that Jesus the Saviour is the free and unspeakable gift. of the Father to guilty, lost, and helpless sinners. The subject was illustrated by reference to a debtor offered a full and free discharge from his debt. The discharge is held out to him, it is close to him; he is simply to accept of it as a gift; it is offered to him now, it is pressed upon his acceptance, and he is required, without a moment's delay, to accept of it, for the purposes for which it is given. A man is perishing of hunger : bread, without money and without price, is set before him; he is implored to receive it, to eat and live. Does he say, Well, I am determined when I get on shore, or to the colony, or am placed in other circumstances, I will most strenuously labour to obtain this bread, that I perish not? Why, it is presented to him now! He needs it now !
He needs it now! It is a gift! It cannot be bought. It is the free gift of his Sovereign. And so is the salvation of the gospel. The serpent-bitten Jew in the wilderness looks, simply
looks, in faith, to the serpent lifted up on the pole, and in looking is healed and lives! The Philippian jailer, overwhelmed with guilt and fear, cries, What must I do to be saved ? He is told to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ; he believes, and is saved, and immediately obtains peace and joy.
Divine worship concluded on this most interesting day with singing the hymn
“Not all the blood of beasts
On Jewish altars slain,
But Christ, the heavenly Lamb,
Takes all our sins away,
And richer blood than they." On the day following, I received information of another man being under deep concern about his best interests, but my numerous and urgent duties not permitting me to converse with him myself, I could only appoint W. B— to do so in the mean time: and it was a great relief to my mind that the Lord had been graciously pleased to provide and qualify a man whom I could employ in such sacred work, and in whose spiritual discernment, judgment, and integrity, I could place such entire confidence. The peculiarities of individual cases afforded subject of general instruction, calculated, under the Divine blessing, to benefit all the people, as well as the persons more immediately in view. But whatever might be those peculiarities, we never ceased to keep before the
minds of all, the scriptural answer to that all-engrossing question, “ How can God be just in justifying the ungodly who believe in Jesus ?” Their responsibility for the exercise of their will and affections is urged upon them; and the iniquity, folly, and danger of delaying, for an instant, their grateful and joyous reception of Christ for all the ends for which he is given, is so unceasingly pressed upon them, that they cannot escape from the thought that either they have received the Son of God, or are rejecting him every hour; that they are voluntarily yielding to the Holy Spirit's persuasive dealings with them, or are resisting him, and most wickedly putting him away from them.
More earnest prayer for the promised gift of the Holy Spirit-Hospital
patients, J. H., W. C., T. G., and John Walker-Written statements from James B., Robert T., R. R-k.
NOTWITHSTANDING that we had now great cause of gratitude and praise to the God of all grace for his infinite mercy vouchsafed to so many of the prisoners, through the knowledge of his Son Jesus Christ, and were daily sent to his footstool to adore him for the manifestations of his love and pardoning mercy to one prisoner after another; and although nearly the whole of the people seemed more or less under Divine influence, and concerned for their best interests; yet, the consideration that so many still afforded no decided evidence of being “brought to themselves," and of turning their heart and feet towards their Father's house, tended to fill the mind with deep anxiety, to excite to more earnest, wrestling prayer for the further outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and to call forth still greater efforts to instruct them in the Holy Scriptures, and to urge upon their consciences their responsibility and spiritual danger.
On Tuesday, December 20th, at two o'clock in the afternoon, the people were assembled below for exa