« FöregåendeFortsätt »
was drawn to look again to a crucified Saviour, and to grieve that by my sins I have pierced him afresh.
“ To Jesus I am now humbly looking for a full salvation. My only plea before God is,-my Saviour died to save the chief of sinners! Oh, may my future days be all devoted to his service! The Lord has often been very merciful unto me, in saving me from death. My trade being a grinder, and our stones running at a great speed, if one break, and the man is not killed, it is considered wonderful. · With me five stones have broken, and I still live! What a
“That dreadful thunder-storm, which, by God's permission, visited us on the night of the 2nd of November, has, I trust, had also the effect of awakening my soul to prayer and self-searching before the Lord. Blessed be his name for overruling all these things for my soul's good!
“Now I conclude the poor account of the life of a wretched sinner, whose only hope of present and everlasting peace and joy is in the finished salvation of Jesus Christ. May he be still more and more precious to your soul and mine, is the humble prayer of
(Signed) “ R. R-K.”
This narrative forcibly reminds individual Christians and Christian Churches of the duty they owe to their professing brethren when reduced, by whatever cause, to poverty, or when they appear to backslide from the Lord, either in heart or conduct.
All Christians required to promote the knowledge of Christ—Reformed
prisoners employed on this principle-Prayer and zealous labour to be conjoined- Death of Edward Marlow-Christmas-day-The author receives a poisoned wound-More are impressed-Letters of J. W-n, T. C-3, and John MʻD.
hearts of men.
It has long appeared to me that, in addition to an admirable efficiency, there is a most striking sublimity in the very simplicity of the means appointed by the Great Head of the Church, for the sacred purpose of diffusing throughout the world the knowledge of his truth, and establishing his spiritual reign in the
To no part of the economy of grace has this remark more obvious reference, than to the obligation laid upon every believer, legitimately to use his influence to the utmost in making known that "glorious gospel of the blessed God," which, through grace, he has received for his own personal salvation. It is written, Rev. xxii. 17, “ And let him that heareth say,
Come.” These words constitute it both the privilege and duty of every individual who has heard the joyful sound of salvation through faith in Christ, to commend to his fellow-sinners the Divine Refuge to which he hath fled, saying unto them, by example and conversation, by the fervent prayer of faith and love, and by tender and judicious entreaty, “We are
journeying to the place "—the heavenly Canaan, “of which the Lord hath said, I will give it you. Come thou with us and we will do thee good, for the Lord hath spoken good concerning Israel." * It was thus that the first disciples acted, of whom we read in John i. They tell each other of the Divine Saviour they had found, and bring one another to hear from his lips the words of eternal life. It was thus that the woman of Samaria acted on experiencing the Divine power of the Messiah's words ; she instantly went and called her townsmen, saying, “ Come, see a man who told me all things that ever I did; is not this the Christ? And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in him for the saying of the woman." † It was thus that the members of the Christian church at Jerusalem acted, when driven by persecution from that city; "they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word." | And thus it is that every true Christian approves himself as salt appointed by God to preserve from moral corruption and death all that come under his holy influence. No encouragement, however, is given to private Christians to interfere with the office and peculiar duties of the scripturally-appointed minister,ş or to neglect the proper duties of their respective stations in the church or in the world. The faithful minister of Christ will rejoice to find in every one who is rescued through his ministry from the bond
* Numbers x. 29. † John iv. 28–39. # Acts viii. 1, 4.
§ 1 Tim. iii. ; Titus i. ; Acts xx. 17, 28.
APPOINTMENT OF RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTORS. 101
age of sin, a wise, praying, humble, and efficient help; and the multiplication of such helps will he regard as the most satisfactory evidence of the success vouchsafed by the Great Head of the Church to his ministerial labours.
Although the serious attention of the great body of the people had been for some time arrested by the facts and doctrines of the Bible, and although so many had given scriptural evidence that they had received Christ, and taken up their cross; nevertheless, daily close examination proved that there still prevailed amongst us a deplorable amount of ignorance of the sacred writings, and want of a clear perception of the plan of redemption. The nature and multiplicity of my duties not permitting me to labour for the spiritual interests of the prisoners to the extent I desired, and which their circumstances required, I felt myself called upon to turn to the highest possible account the agency of those prisoners who seemed to have received the truth in the love of it, and to be fitted by spiritual gifts and graces for dealing solemnly, faithfully, and prudently with the understandings and consciences of their fellowprisoners.
Accordingly, the most intelligent, spiritual, and prudent of the people, particularly of the petty officers and schoolmasters, were spoken to on this interesting and momentous matter, and one of them was appointed to every one or two messes, the members of which he engaged to consider the objects of his spe
cial care, with a view to the instruction of each in the things belonging to his present and everlasting peace.
Thus the prison, to adopt the language of Dr Chalmers, was localised, and not one of my people left without a spiritual instructor, who charged his own conscience with the furtherance of their best and highest interests. In communication with these spiritual monitors was my efficient "help,” W. B., who was in daily and constant correspondence with
This arrangement was made Dec. 21st, on which day, in addition to our usual morning and evening meeting, we, to the great satisfaction of the prisoners, set apart an hour for spiritual exercises, from one to two o'clock, P.M.; and this practice the people, of their own accord, and with great apparent seriousness and the most pleasing outward decorum, kept up to the termination of the voyage.
On the day following the schoolmasters were assembled and solemnly addressed with reference to the spiritual state of their pupils, and were urged to take the utmost pains to instruct them in the fundamental facts and doctrines of the Bible; and the pious amongst the prisoners manifested a desire to meet together, to lift up their hearts in prayer for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon themselves and their fellow-sufferers : especially on such as were yet under the influence of the powers of darkness.
Dec. 22nd,* we had further evidence of several being deeply impressed.
* In the remainder of my narrative, circumstances induce me to quote occasionally from my rough journal, and to give dates.