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together with her direct endeavors to and been reminded how desirable it impart to her the knowledge of salva- was that she should be able to read tion, was the means of her conversion. them herself, she immediately applied Whenever she visited at her dwelling, to the task, and from the proficiency the Bible was produced, a portion of it she has hitherto made, it is likely she read and commented on, and her at- will soon be able to “read in her own tention directed to the only way where- language the wonderful works of by a sinner can be saved. Nor was God.” She has also evinced much she directed in vain ; for under a deep anxiety about her husband, and is inconviction of guilt, occasioned by hear- defatigable in her efforts to lead him ing her friend read and explain the to the knowledge of God in Christ : parable of the rich man and Lazarus, in consequence of which, he has reshe looked to the Saviour, thus made nounced idolatry, and accompanies known to her, and found rest to her her to family and public worship.' soul. When she removed to Doorga- To the Christian females of our own pore, she could not read; but having country, wej say, “ Go thou and do discovered the worth of the Scriptures, likewise.”
MRS JUDSON’S MEMOIR. From various sections of our country, creditably performed. His preface, connecting we are gratified by the intelligence, remarks, and occasional observations, are per that the perucal of this interesting spicuous, often spirited, and always pious.” and valuable Memoir has awakened The Editors of the New Baptist new fervors of piety, and created or Miscellany, for July, observe: deepened a conviction of the imperi- • This is one of the most interesting pieces of ous obligation of Christians to send the female biography which has ever come under gospel to the heathen. The anniver
our notice. Mrs Judson possessed far more thair saries of Associations in the United gratitude of the Christian church, and her name,
ordinary claims on the esteem, affection, and States, many of which will be cele
we doubt not, will long be embalmed in the membrated in this and the following months, ory of those by whom she was known. To a will furnish very appropriate seasons high degree of inental acuteness she united great
susceptibility of feeling and strength of religious for inviting attention to the work. Ef- principle, and was thus eminently qualified to forts for circulating it in sections where devise and to execute things which are excellent. Christian benevolence has not been
• Having entered on the field of Missionary opextensively awakened, may confer the eration, her life was a scene of continued inci
dent. For a considerable period sbe passed, in most important benefits on the cause company with Mr J., from place to place, seeking of missions, and the interests of Chris- with unconquerable perseverance some station tianity.
which might be occupied with advantage to the
church of Christ. At length they were compellThe publishers early forwarded a
ed, in order to escape the suspicious vigilance of copy of the first edition to the Baptist the East India Company, to repair to Rangoon, Missionary Society in London, and we
which become the scene of their future residence are pleased to notice, that an edition of distant and benighted portion of the heatheu
Of their labors, trials, and sufferings, in this the work was immediately printed. world, the volume before us furnishes a highly inIts circulation will undoubtedly fan teresting account. The war which speedily took the flame of benevolent effort which dis- place, between the British and Burman govern
ments, exposed them to the suspicions of the lattinguishes the land of our ancestors.
ter, and entailed on them an amount of suffering From the reviews of the work in to which there has been no parallel in the history the London periodicals, we make the
of modern missions. No quotation which our following appropriate and interesting and we must therefore reter our readers to the
limits can allow would do justice to these facts, extracts.
volume itself. The Baptist Magazine for June, re- In closing, we cannot too strongly express our marks:
approbation of this work.
It possesses all the
interest of fiction, the stirring qualities of roWith the name of Judson, we have for a con- mance. It excites emotions of the intensest orsiderable time been accustomed to connect more der, while it communicates those principles of of missionary enterprize, endurance, and achieve- wisdom and piety which are of the highest imment, than with that of missionaries in general; portance to the happiness of man. From what and the perusal of this Memoir has refreshed and we had previously known of Mrs J. we exstrengthened the conviction which had previously pected a volume of no ordinary kind; and, now taken possession of our mind. We have no doubt that we have gone carefully through it, we hesithe “Memoir of Mrs Judson,” including, as it tate not to say that' it has surpassed our anticipadoes, the history of the American mission to tions. We need not, therefore, formally recomBurmah, from its commencement to the present mend it to our readers; but shall content our time, will receive a most cordial and universal selves with remarking, that it ought to be imme
The part of the compiler is very diately added to every family library.'
[ Ordinations, Accounts of Moneys, &c. deferred to our next Number.
The article on prayer, in your number for August, I read with pleasure and with profit. There is one sentence in the opening paragraph, to which I wish to call the attention of the churches through the medium of the same publication. It is the following: “ The volume of inspiration abounds in assurances that prayer ascending from believing hearts shall be heard." To the truth of this sentiment I
readers will readily subscribe; but I cannot dismiss the apprehension, that very many who subscribe to it, are the subjects of a sinful incredulity, and that in this lies the real cause why so many of their petitions are unanswered. Spiritual blessings are conferred upon men on the principle on which sight was imparted to the two blind men, Matt. ix. 29. “ According to your faith be it unto you." These men had, just before, professed faith in the Redeemer's power to relieve them, and he who“ knew what was in man,” saw that their profession was sincere ; but to furnish the witnesses with a proof of its sincerity as well as to teach us the principle on which he imparts his favors, he makes their healing to depend on the genuineness and strength of their faith. This connexion between a vigorous faith in the petitioner and the communication to him of extensive spiritual blessings is very forcibly expressed by the apostle James, "Let him ask in faith, nothing wavering; for he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea, driven of the wind and tossed ; let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.”
The indispensable necessity of an unshaken faith on the part of a petitioner, is shown in our Lord's conversation with Peter, respecting the withered fig-tree. When Peter expressed surprise at the suddenness of the event, our Lord took occasion to urge the Ост. 1829.
necessity of believing when we pray, that what we ask shall be imparted to us. “ Have faith in God; for, verily, I say unto you,
Ι that whosoever shall say to this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea, and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass ; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, what things soever ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” Mark xi. 22–24.
This passage may, it is true, be perverted into a warrant to pray for unlawful things, or for things lawful in an unlawful manner; but, rightly understood, it can have no such tendencies: on the contrary, it will be found one of the most encouraging passages to the duty of prayer that the word of God contains. This declaration and command suppose some things and have some limitations which do not appear on the face of the passage. These must be known in order to our intelligently availing ourselves of the encouragements which it suggests.
First, the passage supposes some things. It supposes that what we supplicate are promised blessings. It can never be imagined that our Lord enjoins on us the exercise of an unwarranted confidence; for unwarranted confidence is presumption. But a confidence which is warranted, must be based on a divine testimony or promise; and must have distinct reference to Christ as him in whom the promises of God are Yea and Amon.
Hence it appears that the passage supposes the applicant to the throne of grace to be a believer in Jesus, and the petitions he offers to be warranted by promises in the word of God to bestow the blessings they specify.
The passage supposes further, that the petitioner rightly understands the promise he pleads. The promiser is obliged to fulfil his promise in the sense in which he intended it to be understood ; not in any sense in which it might be misunderstood. Now doubtless God intended men to understand his promises in the right sense, that is, in the sense in which he intended to fulfil them ; it is, then, no impeachment of his veracity that men's expectations have not been realized, even when their expectations were based on his promises, if they were such as God did not intend to excite, and such as arose from a misapprehension of his promises. Let me illustrate the case: A person in business is considerably straitened for money; he receives from a correspondent a draft on the bank of the United States; overjoyed, he presents it for payment, and it is honored. But to his inexpressible disappointment, instead of being, as he supposed it, a draft for $1000, he finds it was only for $100. Here, the bank is good, the check genuine, the claim actually made is recognised and met, and yet the merchant is disappointed; but his disappointment arises from his misunderstanding the purport of the draft, what he expected was not promised. Now the promises of God's word are drafts on the bank of Heaven, drawn in favor of poor sinners; but though the bank is good, and the drafts are honored, it sometimes happens that the presenter is disappointed, because he read them incorrectly. Hence we may learn how important it is for us deeply to study the sacred volume, and
patiently and industriously to compare scripture with scripture, that we may obtain clear and consistent views of its promises, that we may plead them in our petitions without wavering.
Secondly, The passage is bounded by some limitations. We have already said that they must be promised blessings which we thus confidently expect, and of course if the promises be conditional, and not absolute, our confidence cannot be absolute, but must be dependent on the conditions of the promise. Thus temporal blessings are promised; but not absolutely, in any greater degree than to supply absolute necessities. Consequently when praying for these blessings, absolute confidence is not warranted, any farther than that absolute necessities shall be supplied. Here then is a limitation arising from the nature of the blessings sought. Another limitation may be mentioned arising from the character of the person seeking. This is often the hinging point of a promise. Let me instance Isa. 1. 10. “ Who is among you that feareth the Lord and obeyeth the voice of his servant, who walketh in darkness and hath no light? Let him trust in the Lord, and stay himself on his God.” Here is a promise that God will be the strength and stay of such a soul. But if he who would take consolation from it, though generally a good man, were remiss in some known duty, (family worship, for example,) could he possibly impugn the veracity of the Promiser, because he still feels condemned by his heart, and without confidence before God? Certainly not. The promise has just such a limitation; he who would hope, confidently, for the promised blessing must obey the voice of God's servant, or he has no warrant to “trust in the Lord, and stay himself upon his God.”
There is another limitation arising out of the circumstances of the petitioner; for with respect to them, promises, in some instances, appear to be given. God has said that he will supply all his people's need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Now this does not mean according to the riches of his power to supply them, according to the plenitude of his resources ; but that, according to the riches of his wisdom, as well as power, he will proportion his aids to their exigencies. Thus to Paul, who prayed that his peculiar ternptation might depart from him, our Lord replied, “ My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness." We see then, that the letter of a promise may remain unfulfilled to the petitioner, and yet no impeachment lie against the truth of the promise, because it was given subject to such limitations as might arise out of his particular circumstances.
Again, the glory of God may sometimes require that the letter of a promise shall remain unfulfilled; and in such cases the promises are to be considered as given, subject to such a limitation. For example, there are many promises of deliverance from the persecutor's power, the scourge of the tongue, &c.; yet thousands of God's faithful servants have fallen by the power of their enemies, and thousands more have suffered, and do suffer from the tongue of slander. Are then the promises of God of none effect? God forbid. But God's glory requires the trial and affliction of his servants,
and to his glory the promise of their deliverance must be subject. The spirit of the promises is fulfilled, indeed :—this requires that the good promised, or a superior one be communicated; and this is done for the martyr when he enters the joy of his Lord; and for the reviled Christian when grace is given him to resemble his Saviour in the meekness of endurance, and to believe that great is his reward in heaven.
But notwithstanding all that this passage supposes, and all the limitations to which the assurance it contains is subject, it appears to be among the most encouraging promises to the duty of believing prayer, that the word of God contains; for it teaches us, that if we are assured that what we solicit, God has promised, we may present our supplications in the “ full assurance of faith.” Now there are many promises in the sacred volume, which are made with respect to things, the bestowment of which will glorify God, honor the Redeemer, and promote the true and highest interests of the petitioners; and which they may be certain that they understand. In praying then for these things, we may, without presumption, believe that we receive them, and so believing, we shall have them. Such promised blessings, among others, are the following:
. the increase of spiritual knowledge, and devotedness, and zeal, &c. in the servants of God; the increase of purity, and love, and union in the churches of Christ; the enlargement of the borders of Christ's kingdom ; the downfall of Heathenish, and Mohammedan, and Anti-Christian idolatry and superstition; our own personal victory over the world, the flesh and Satan and the more unreserved and perfect consecration of our bodies and souls to the service of God. Possibly some persons may be ready to say, that for these blessings, they have prayed so long, and to so little purpose, as to be nearly ready to complain with Zion of old, “The Lord hath forsaken me; my God hath forgotten me," and to be silenced by the taunts of the enemy, “Where is the promise of his coming ?” But, beloved, is it surprising that you thus despond? Your despondency is to be charged on your unbelief;—you do not " believe that whatsoever things you ask in prayer, you shall receive;" and as these blessings are bestowed on the principle above mentioned, according to faith, it is not strange, that, where there is a predominance of unbelief, petitions should be unheard and disregarded. You are such petitioners as James censures, who, when they ask for blessings, ask wavering; and thus secure a denial.
That we often thus ask, appears even in our grateful surprise, when our petitions are answered. How are our souls overwhelmed in astonishment in such cases ! But this surprise can hardly consist with a state of vigorous faith; it will scarcely ever be found in a person who is much in intercourse with heaven. Why should it surprise us that the God of TRUTH should be faithful to his engagements? On the contrary, it would be surprising if he were otherwise. Our astonishment might justly be excited, were they not fulfilled ; but their fulfilment never should excite it. What should we say of a person who should present a check at the bank, and on