« FöregåendeFortsätt »
I have full confidence in Jesus Christ, and I pray for the Holy Spirit.” “But I have brought .Le bon Dieu' in my pocket, to give you the rights of the church." “But I have got the Lord Jesus in my heart, which is much nearer; and I have the full conviction that you are a deceiver, and I beg you will leave my house, and never return again.” He had laid a card for coals on the chimney piece before this conversation: he afterwards took it up, and said, “if you will not confess, then you want no coal." * No," she said, “but I shall not want what is needful for me." After he was gone, she said, “what have I to do with all those things, I want nothing but Jesus Christ: that priest is a thief; but I will not hear his voice, I will only follow the Good Shepherd. That beautiful chapter you have often read to me, 10th of St. John, is all in my heart, and I can repeat it all to myself at night when alone. Oh! how good it is; the Good Shepherd, the Good Pastor. Yes, he is indeed good, to give his life for his sheep. Do give me the little Testament you have always read to me in, I like to see it; and though I cannot read, I can ask others to read in it for me.” She appeared sleeping for some time, and then smiled and nodded. I asked her what she saw ? she opened her eyes, and looking very steadily at me, she said, “it was our Lord Jesus Christ.” " And what did he say to you?” “He told me to be of good courage.” “Do you think you will be with him soon?" “Oh yes! I hope very soon.” A short time after, she looked very much displeased, and said, “No, no-Oh no!" " What is it, Marie?" 66 A man."
Who?" "I don't know.” - What is he doing there?” She then looked up, and said, “Oh, it is that thief, the priest; and he put up his two fingers, and threatened me; but I will have nothing to do with him; I am very happy, and I would not change for all the world.”
The priest came again very late in the evening; he enquired, hastily, if she were yet alive; and standing as if afraid to approach the bed of a heretick, he said, “ Will you confess now?" "No; I have told you, once for all, I will not.” “ Then, if you should wish for me before you die, send for me. You know I have al. ways done my duty to you in every respect. I have offered you every thing you wanted, and you would accept nothing." He spoke a long time with her daughter on the stairs, and told her it was a horrible thing that her mother was doomed, and he hoped she would not follow her. It was most disgraceful, and he won
dered she allowed Protestants to visit her mother. She told him they felt under great obligations to those who visited them, as they had taught them to know what true religion was, which they were before ignorant of; and she could not think there was any thing wrong in leaving what they were brought up in, when they had found what was better.
Poor Marie suffered dreadfully for four days before her spirit left its earthly tenement. She was sensible till within the last half hour. About an hour before her death, I read her favourite chapter, Joho x. She opened her eyes, and looked much pleased. I asked her if she had peace in her soul? “Yes, yes ;” and laying her hands on her heart, she said, “ I have the Lord Jesus Christ here.” “ Have you any fear of death?” “ Oh, no; oh, no.” “ Is there any thing you wish for?” « Yes, the Lord Jesus Christ." “ Do you think you will soon be with him?" “ Yes, please God, I hope so; pray all of you for me." "Do
much?" “ Yes, in my body.” She said she received all from the hand of God; and if he saw good to send her still greater sufferings, she was quite willing to bear all: the Saviour had suffered far more for her sins. She often wept when I read of the sufferings of Christ, and said, “what sinners we must be, that Jesus Christ should bear all that for us! and when I am alone, I think of it till I cry, and then I get out of bed as well as I can, and kneel down, and
pray that the Lord will pardon all my sins. How good the Lord is to find me in that cellar, and send his holy word to change my heart! Oh! I durst not think of what I was before: it is quite a new life to me now.” She was very desirous that others should also be instructed in the word of God; and she told every one who went to see her it was the good word of God that had changed her heart. She is now, I trust, with Him who loveth us, and who washed us from all our sins, and she now knows what the love of God towards sinners is. When we think of the pit from whence we were taken, and the rock from whence we were hewed, well may we exclaim, “Oh, the depth both of the richness and the goodness of God! How unsearchable are his riches, and his ways past finding out! He will have mercy on whom he will have mercy.” He will search his sheep, and find them out, and take them out of the hands of those pastors who feed not the flock, and will feed them himself with the bread from heaven. Having himself opened the door of the sheep-fold to them, they shall go in and out, and shall find pasturage, even the hidden manna, which can be tasted only by those who are born of the Spirit: the carnal mind cannot feed upon spiritual food.
Let us pray that this instance of the power of the Gospel may give us fresh courage to sow beside all waters: in the morning to sow the seed, and in the evening not to withhold our hand; for we know not which shall prosper—this or that_or whether they shall be alike good. May we all be stedfast and unmoveable; always abounding in the work of the Lord; forasmuch as we know that our labour is not in vain in the Lord.
Brussels, January 30, 1845.
A PROFESSION OF RELIGION.
In these latter days of ease from persecution, a profession of religion may be made, and a decent conduct may be preserved without much cost. There is one class of professors, and that by no means a small one, made up of those who have received a religious education, have been trained up to an outward conformity to the precepts of the Gospel, who abstain from the open follies and corruptions of the world, but remain quite satisfied with a negative religion.
They do not profane the Sabbath.
They do not frequent the theatre, the card table, nor scenes of riot and dissipation.
They are not drunkards nor swearers.
They do not bring up their children without some regard to religion.
They do not cast off the fear of God.
They do not love Him nor experience his love shed abroad in their hearts.
They do not give God their hearts, nor delight themselves in Him.
They do not esteem his word more than their necessary food.
They do not love the habitation of his house, and the place where his honour dwelleth, though they attend it.
They do not enjoy the peace of God which passeth all understanding.
They are not the temples of the Holy Ghost.
They are not born again, consequently cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
0! that such would now stop and examine their hearts and their hopes, and let them seek the Lord while he may be found, and call upon him while he is near; for he giveth his Holy Spirit, in answer to believing prayer.
WHERE WAS YOUR CHURCH BEFORE LUTHER?
(From Archbishop Usher.) The question so rife in the mouths of our adversaries is, “ Where was your Church before Luther?" whereunto an answer may be returned, That our Church was even there where it is now. In all places of the world where the ancient foundations were retained, and those common principles of faith upon the possession of which men have ever been wont to be admitted by baptism into the Church of Christ,--there, we doubt not, the Lord had his subjects, and we our fellow-servants : for we bring in no new faith, no new Church. That which in the time of the ancient fathers was accounted to be truly and properly Catholic, viz., that which was believed every where, always, and by all, that in the succeeding ages hath evermore been preserved, and is in this day entirely professed in our Church. If you demand, then (continues the arch. bishop, after lamenting the desecration to wbich the Church of God had been subjected), Where was the temple of God all this while? the answer is at hand: There where Antichrist sat. Where was Christ's people? Even under Antichrist's priests. And yet this is no justification at all of either Antichrist or of his priests, but a manifestation of God's great power, who is able to uphold his Church even there where Satan's throne is. Babylon was an infectious place, and the infection thereof was mortal; and yet God
had his people there, whom he preserved from the mortality of that infection, else how should he have said, “Come out of her, my people, that
ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues?” The enemy, indeed, had there sown his tares, but sown them in the Lord's field, and amongst the Lord's wheat; and a field, we know, may be so overgrown with such evil weeds as these, that at first sight a man would hardly think that any corn were there at all.
Those worthy husbandmen that, in these last 600 years, have taken pains in plucking up those pernicious weeds out of the Lord's field, and severing the chaff from his grain, cannot be rightly said, in doing this, either to have brought in a new field, or to have changed the ancient grain. The field is the same, but Weeded now, unweeded then; the grain is the same, but winnowed now, unwinnowed then.
We preach no new faith, but the same catholic faith that ever hath been preached; neither was it any part of our meaning to begin a new Church in these latter days of the world, but to reform the old. A tree that hath the luxurious branches lopped off, and the noxious things that cleave unto it pruned away, is not by this pruning and purging made another tree than it was before; neither is the Catholic reformed in our days another Church than that which was deformed in the days of our forefathers; though it hath no agreement for all that with popery, which is the pestilence that walked in those times of darkness, and the destruction that now wasteth at noon-day.
AN OLD GEM.
Is it meet