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himself how he might die in quiet. This is in reality the chief and best lesson of life-and a lesson which all the institutions in the world had endeavoured to teach in vain, before the Christian revelation; which, at length, has brought life and immortality to light, plucked the sting from Death, and disarmed the
grave of victory!
But before I deliver any thing further of my own, on this subject, I shall insert the following letter, sent from a reverend divine in the remoter parts of this province,* and delivered to me by the proprietors of the magazine, in order to be incorporated in some proper place, among my monthly lucubrations. I intimated, at my first setting out, my earnest desire of obtaining the assistance of true Gospel-ministers, in carrying on this work for the service of our common Christianity; and shall never fail of making due use of every thing, they may be pleased to communicate for that good end. It is with pleasure, therefore, I insert the substance of this letter, as having such an affinity to the subject I proposed to treat of in this number.
· THERE is no one circumstance, which does more honour to your extensive and laudable undertaking, than your having set aside one part of it, as sacred to Christianity. If the following reflections might have a place therein, it might be an honourable testimony in favour of the blessed Gospel.
This letter was in substance from the Rev. Dr. Finley, afterwards of Princeton college ; with a few additions and alterations by the author.
* It has always been my opinion that nothing so much displays the power of religion, endears it to our choice, and encourages us in the glorious course, as the holy language and joyful hopes of Christians, in their last moments. It is truly an affecting and instructive sight, to behold feeble and sinful mortals, in the most abasing and gloomy .circumstances of human nature, surrounded with the dread solemnities of Death, yet relying.on the merits of a Redeemer, delighting in their covenant-interest in God through him, and triumphing over all the terrors of this last scene; in the joyous prospect of a blessed immortality. This is, indeed, a glorious lecture on the grace of the Gospel, the efficacy of the Redeemer's blood, the influences of the spirit, and the reality of religion! Beholders wonder and melt under the powerful conviction, and wish to be such saints them. selves!
· Hence, in the hermit's moving history,* that: pássage is felt peculiarly striking and delightful, which represents the hopeful, easy and effectionate way the aged father resigned his life.'
“ While he was bestowing his counsels upon me (says the venerable writer) as his last and most valuable legacy, repeating and enforcing them by every motive of duty and interest, he felt his spirits begin to fail, and nature gently warning him of his approach, ing dissolution. He feebly raised his head, gave his left hand to me, and his right he stretched out to his weeping wife, He fixed his eyes upon us, commended
* See the Hermit, No. I. p. 98.
us to the blessing of God, and himself to the mercies of his Redeemer. Immediately he sunk back, uttered a gentle groan, and expired—as he had lived a good Christian and an affectionate man!"
* This is to die indeed! or rather it is to depart from sorrow, and be for ever with the Lord! And who would not cry out-Oh! let me live such a life, and may my latter end be like bis!
• Nor is the death of the lovely Amelia less instructive. When we behold the roses withered on her cheek, the living lustre fled from her eye, and are full of sympathetic distress for the amiable fair one, how pleasing the thought that, instead of the blasted joys of life, she inherits the regions of eternal day?
• This brought to my mind a very moving scene, at the separation of two endeared Christian lovers by death, in the bloom of youth and fullness of hopes, after a short enjoyment of wedded friendship. I was an eye witness of what happened, and took notes soon after; so that the relation is not feigned but real. From these notes I have transcribed the following passages.
* The lovely saint, being much wasted by a slow disorder, told us that she thought her dissolution drew near, and hoped for a happy change.
I have, from myearly days, said she, been deeply sensible of my fallen and degenerate state, and have been constantly looking to Jesus for redemption. Nor have I looked in vain. When I have been laid abased and ashamed at his feet, and scarce daring to hope for mercy, his word and spirit have assured my heart of the sufficiency of his righteousness and grace,
and enabled me to rely thereon, to the reviving of my drooping soul. 'Tis the believing views of Jesus on the cross, and of God reconciled in him, that kindle repentance and mortify sin; that quicken faith and cherish hope, thereby composing and sweetly reconciling the heart-blessed God! how glorious thy justice! How abundant thy wisdom! And how infinite thy grace, manifested in this
way of saving sinners! Thou makest me accepted in the beloved, not imputing iniquities! Thou hast made me experience the graces of the spirit, to which the promises belong; and now I go to inherit them in glory.”
She then had some discourse with us about sanctification and Gospel-promises; and afterwards she added
“ Through the last six months of my declining life, my heart and thoughts have been mostly full of an astonishing delightful sense of redeeming love, of the riches of grace and glory in Christ, and the joy of being forever with him. How infinite the price he paid! How glorious the blessings obtained for us! Pardon, holiness, fellowship, with God: the privilege to dwell with him, and with the lamb forevermore! My sense of these things is too big for utterance! Often have they so broken in upon my mind in company, that I could not bear my part there, but longed to be alone, that I might give the freer vent to my wonder and praise. Sometimes nature seems to shrink at the thoughts of dissolution, and laying down the body in the gloomy grave; but the prospect of a glorious resurrection helps to reconcile me."?
THE HERMIT, No. V.
On the Perfection and Efficacy of the Christian Religion.
Arg. I. continued from No. 4.
IT is an observation of the excellent Dr. Young, that
“ The chamber where the good man meets his fate, “ Is privileg'd beyond the common walk of virtuous life, « Quite in the verge of heaven.”
The death bed of the dying Christian is one of the grandest and most improving spectacles, within the compass of this earthly scene. It shews man, more than man, and almost become a God.
A* gentleman of a neighbouring government, in a very elegant eulogium, on the late reverend Mr. Burr, speaking of the moments of his death, has the following noble apostrophe
“Come, ye ministers of the Lord! behold a spectacle even to you of fruitful instruction. Behold the triumphs of grace, in the dissolution of nature! what patience, what resignation, what lively hope and divine affiance! See the king of terrors disarmed of his
• William Livingston, Esq. of New York.