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that divine knowledge and power which it exhibits. “Go," said our Lord to Peter, “ go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money : that take, and give unto them for me and thee.”
Peter, accustomed to fish with a net, was now to take merely a single hook, — not a net, which might enclose many fishes; but a hook that could catch but one; nor was he to take many fishes successively, but that which should first bite ; and in the mouth of that fish he should find a stator : a piece of money about the value of half a crown. Whence should this fish procure the stater? Probably, the money, previously lost at sea, was to be carried, just then, by the agitation of the waves into the fish's mouth. The whole is wonderful! How accarate the knowledge of Jesus, who direeted Peter to the precise spot, and at the precise moment, when this fish, thus charged with the tribute money, should readily be caught! What an argument is this of the supremacy of our Redeemer over all nature, - even the fish of the sea! — and, at the same time, what a persuasive inducement does it afford, ever to rely, in the firmest manner, on bis all-wise, all-powerful providence, to provide for us in the use of his appointed means, all things needful for life and godliness! We do not expect niracles, but this miracle shews us that Jesus is Lord of all; and encourages us to expect that he will supply all our need, and readily repay whatever we expend in the way of duty to God or map.
REMARKABLE CONVERSION OF À DEIST.
Noi by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord.
The energy of this eternal truth was most forcibly applied to the heart of the late Rev. W. Tennant, of America, on the following remarkable occasion :- In his neighbourhood resided a professed Deist, a man of considerable attainments as to worldly wisdom. He often, from whatever motive, at. tended the ministry of Mr. Tennant, whose powers as a preacher were of a superior kind : his skill in the Scriptures being deep, and his style rich, argumentative, and impressive. Learning once the intention of the Deist to attend divine ser- · vice on the following Sabbath, Mr. Tennant most diligentiy prepared for the occasion, by meditating upon, and fixing ia bis mind every argument which might work a conviction. Thus prepared, he ascended the palpit. “ But who is Paul, or who is Apollos? Paul inay plant, and Apollos may water; but it is God that giveth the increase.” Praise and prayer be.
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ing concluded, the discourse began; but soon the preacher'* memory was plunged into perfect oblivion; and not being in the custom of' using notes, he in vain endeavoured to proceed: his mind was sealed up as to the subject of discourse; and he was under the painful necessity of confe-sing his inability, aod concluded with prayer. The Spirit of God was now at work. The Deist wa-* led to reflect r.pon the extraordinary case: he had, on former occasions, experienced and admired Mr.Tenrant's powers of oratory. From his concluding prayer on this occasion, he found him in vigor of mind. To what could he trace the sudden dereliction of his powers, when entering upon such a discourse? Happy man I he was led to discover in it theJingtr of God! The joyful change soon reached Mr. Tennant, who, doubtless, was deeply humbled and grateful; for be ever afterwards spoke of his dumb sermon as the best he ever preached. Con Disc Ipulus.
To Professors of Religion.
THE HUMBLE PETITION OF THE DOOR-KEEPERS,
That your Petitioners are not dissatisfied with their situations, because esteemed menial, nor with the pecuniary reward so kindly bestowed by their benefactors; and they trust they are thankful to the God of all their mercies, in whose house they would rather be door-keepers than dwell in the tents of ungodliness.
Your Petitioners, nevertheless, humbly beg leave to state to the Professors of Religion, that their cause of complaint is the beina; debarred from enjoying the principal parts of public worship; and they trust, that it will not be doubted, that they nre interested, equally with their brethren in a superior line of life, in the privileges of the house of God. They beg leave to remind you, that, by your irregular and late attendance at worship, your Petitioners are constantly prevented from uniting in prayer or praise, which they presume are allowed to be the chief parts of Christian worship, as" preaching and hearing, though appointed means of edification, and to be performed in si devout manner, are not direct acts of worship:" that during these parts of worship they are constantly employed in admitting to their seats those who are not very anxious to be present before the beginning of prayer, provided they are " iu time for the sermon,"
Your Petitioners presume not to point out the inconveniences that must result from such a practice to the minister, or the disturbance occasioned to any part of the congregation; but they humbly beg leave to state, that the interruptions which may be lit 11 by individuals of the congregation only partially and occasionally, by the late attendance of some, entirely prevent \ our Petitioners from joining in the public devotion, not only for a single service or day, but constantly.
Your Petitioners most humbly presume, that the importance of their object, to be permitted to join without interruption in the worship of (iod in his house, will apologize for their earnestness, and the plainness with which they have stated their case; and they trust, that no offence will be taken, as it was far from their intention to offer any.
They, therefore, rao;t humbly pray, that you will be pleased to take their case into your most serious consideration, and give them such relief as you may deem proper; and they flatter themselves, that you will not think it too much, to make such arrangements as may allow them an opportunity of joining with you to worship the great Master of assemblies;
And your Petitioners w ill, Sac.
THE WIDOW'S MITES.
[Inserted by particular Request.]
"The sacred wealth of the temple was either in stuff or in coin: for the one the Jews had a house ; for the other a ciie>t. At the concourse of all the males to the temple thrice a year, upon occasion of the solemn feasts, the oblations of both kinds were liberal. Our Saviour, as taking pleasure in the prospect, sets himself to view those offerings, whether for holy lists or charitable.
"Those things we delight in we love to behold : — me eye and the heart will go together. And can we think, OSaviour, that thy glory hath diminished aught of thy gracious respects to our beneficence i — or that thine acceptance ot our chanty was confined to the earth? Even now, that thou sittest at the right hand of thy Father's glory, thou secst every hand that is stretched out to the relief of thy poor saints here below: and if Vanity have power to stir up our liberality, out of a conceit to be seen of men, how shall Faith encourage our bounty, in knowing that we are seen of then, and accepted by ib.ee? Alas! what are we the better for the notice of these perishing and impotent eyes, which can only view the outside of out actions i — or for that waste wind of applause which vanish£th on the lips of the speaker? Thine eye, O Lord, in piercing and letributive! As to see thee is perfect happiness, so to be seen of thee is true contentment and glory!
"And dost thou, O God, see what we give thee, and not see what \vc take away from thee? Are our offerings more noted than our sacrileges? Surely, thy mercy is not more quicksighted than thy justice. In both kinds our actions are viewed, our account is kept; and we are sure to receive rewards for what we have given, and, vengeance for what we have defaulted. With thine eye of knowledge thou scest all we do; but what we do well thou seest vviiii thine eye of approbation: so didst thou now behold these pious and charitable oblations. How well wert thou pleased with this variety! Thou sawest many rich men give much; and one poor widow give more than they in lesser room.
"The Jews were now under the Roman pressure: tjicv were all tributaries, yet many of them rich; and those rich men were liberal to the common chest, Hadst thou seen those rich men give little, we had heard of thy censure: thou expectest a proportion between the giver and the gift,— betwixt the gift and the receipt: when that fails, the blame is just. That nation (though otherwise faulty enough) was in this commendable. How bounteously open were their hands to the house of God! Time was when their liberality was fain to be restrained by proclamation; and now it needed no incitement,— the rich gave much, the poorest gave more. "He saw a poor widow casting in two mites." It was misery enough that she was a widow. The married woman is under the careful provision of an husband; if she spend, he earns. In that estate, four hands work for her; in her viduity but two. Poverty added to the sorrow of her widowhood. The loss of some husbands is sup
Elied by a rich jointure'; it is some allay to the grief that the and is left full, though the bed be empty. This woman was not more desolate then needy: yet this poor widow gives. And what gives she? An oflcring like herself, — two mites; or, in our language, two half-farthing tokens. Alas, good woman, who was pooier than thyself? Wherefore w:as that corban, but for the relief of such as thou? Who should receive, if such give? Thy mites were something to thee, nothing to the treasury. How ill is that gift bestowed, which disfurnisheth thee, and adds nothing to the common stock! Some thrifty neighbour might perhaps have suggested this probable discourgement. Jesus publishes and applauds her bounty: " He culled his disciples, and said unto them, Verily, I say unto you, this woman hath cast in more then they all.'* Whilst the rich put in their offerings, I see no disciples called ± it was enough that Christ noted their gifts alone: but w hen lh*f widow comes with her two mites, now the domestics of Christ are summoned to assemble, and taught to admire this munificence; a solemn preface makes way to her praise, and her mites are made more precious than the other's talents. "She gave more than they all." More, not only in respect of the mind of the giver, but of the proportion of the gift as hers. A mite to her was more then pounds to them! Pounds were little to them> — two mites were all to her. They gave out of their abundance; she out of her necessity. That which they gave left the heap less, yet an heap still; she gives all at once, and leaves herself nothing. So she gave, not more than any, but" more then they all." God doth not so much regard what is taken out as what is left. O Father of Mercies, thou lookest at once into the bottom of her heart and the bottom of her purse; and esteemest her gift accbrding to both. As thou seest not as man, so thou valuest not as man. Man judgeth by the worth of the gift; thou judgest by the mind of the giver, and in proportion of the remainder. It were vridt With us if thou shouldst go by quantities. Alas! what have we but mites, and those of thine own lending! It is the comfort of our meanness, that our affections are valued; and not onr presents: neither hast thou said, God loves a liberal giver, but a cheerful. If I had more, O God, thou shouldest have it; had I less, thou wouldest not despise it, who " acceptest the gift according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.
"..Yea, Lord, what have I but two mites,—a soul and a body! Mere mites! yea, not so much to thine infiniteness! Oh, that I could perfectly offer them up unto thee, according to thine own right in them, and not according to mine! How graciously wouldest thou be sure to accept them! How liappy shall I be in thine acceptation!"
Versatilis, when he first felt the power of the gospel upon his heart, was an ornament to his profession, and a blessing to his religious connection,— simple, child-like, dependent, and zealous. Prepared by watchfulness and prayer, he would attend in season and out of season upon the leaching of his pastor, whose word he received as from the mouth of the Lord, and esteemed him very highly for his work's sake. Attentive to the various objects of the sermon, he would treasure up the instructions given, whilst Christ became the grand object of his delight and confidence. Constrained by a Saviour's love to a holy, humble, fruitful liie of obedience, the .family, the closet, the temporal affairs of Versatilis all derived a lustre from his profession. Deeply affected with the uncoil