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I remained with her three years; during which time, by the divine blessing on parental instruction, she grew in grace as she grew in age, and became a truly lovely and pious child. When she was little more than fourteen years of age, Bishop Seabury held a confirmation in the parish, and Louisa was admitted to that sacred rite; not merely because she was old enough to say her catechism; but because, in the estimation of her pastor, who took unwearied pains to fit the young members of his congregation for this rite, she was well prepared to renew her baptismal engagements. Louisa had been faithfully taught by her pious mother, how solemn was the vow which she was about to take upon herself, and exhorted to weigh the matter well, before she made this public and deliberate consecration of herself to God. The Sunday following, she came forward to the Holy Communion, and during the few months afterwards which I remained with her, she was ever careful to "walk worthy of the high vocation wherewith she was called." To her parents she was always dutiful—to her brothers and sisters uniformly gentle and kind--amiable and humble in her deportment towards all. These lovely virtues made her always cheerful and happy, and I have often mourned the day when we parted.
Returning from Church one Sunday evening, with her Bible and Prayer Book wrapped up in her handkerchief, by some unlucky accident I slipped out, without her noticing it, and she walked on, leaving me in the path.
It was nearly dark when I fell from my young mistress's hand, and I lay all night in the street. The next morning I was picked up by a venerable looking man in black, who proved to be a preacher, returning on horseback to his home in a remote part of the state. He hastily turned over my leaves, to ascertain the nature of his prize, and as he put me into his pocket and remounted his horse, I heard him say, “This is just the thing.” What he meant by “just the thing,” I had afterwards to learn; but
considering it at the time a compliment to myself, or at least an expression of good will, I felt no solicitude as to my future treatment, although I conld not but regret being thus separated from my dear young mistress, who I knew would grieve when she discovered her loss.
My new master, on his arrival at home, placed me upon his study table, and from that moment I was his daily companion. On Saturday evening, especially, he studied me with the closest attention : and I the next day understood what he meant by “just the thing,” when I found that he delivered from the pulpit, those prayers which he learned from me. This I was pleased with, as it was an acknowledgement of my superior excellence. I afterwards learned that, although educated from childhood in the denomination, he “ never could be thoroughly reconciled to the practice of public extempore praying and preaching, which he looked upon
great engines of enthusiam. When at college, he had conceived an aversion to extempore prayers, by observing the use that was made of them there, and the tendency of this practice to promote self-conceit and spiritual pride." While I remained with him, "he went on in the discharge of parochial duties, not appearing to vary from the customs of the country. As to his prayers, he commonly made use of forms which he
provided for himself in the best manner he could, and chiefly out of the Liturgy.”
Soon after I became an inmate of his study, his reading was chiefly the works of standard Episcopal divines, especially the writers on ecclesiastical polity, and on the doctrines and ministry of the Church. He (with many fervent prayers for the divine guidance) resolved to apply for orders in the Episcopal Church. It was painful, indeed, to leave the communion of his fathers; the people, too, to whom he was bound by so many endearing ties, and whom he had reason to believe were devotedly attached to him, and to go, an entire stranger, into another fold:
but duty prompted him to this course; and duty with him was paramount to every selfish consideration. “When Mr. — took leave of his people, whom he greatly loved, he affectionately told them, that if they could see reason to conform to the Episcopal Church, he would never leave them; but after obtaining such ordination as he thought to be necessary, that he would return to them again in the character of their minister. But with such an offer they were unable to comply, notwithstanding their esteem for him. He expostulated with them, and urged them seriously to consider the matter. Among other things, he said, that they had hitherto professed to admire his preaching, and especially his prayers. And, indeed, his prayers were so much admired by people in general, that it was common for persons belonging to the neighbouring parishes to come to his church, on purpose to hear them. Now he told them that his instructions and prayers had all along been taken from the Episcopal Church ; and that they ought to be esteemed as much, after this circumstance was known, as they had been before. This declaration greatly surprised them; however, no more than four or five of them could then be reconciled to receive him in the orders of the church. After a few days, therefore he took his final leave of them.” Before leaving home, to obtain Episcopal ordination, my master presented me to a friend of his, a Churchman, who was about removing with his family into the western parts of the state of New York. My new master, a pious man, zealously attached to the church of his ancestors, and regarding me, next to his Bible, as his richest treasure, shortly afterwards emigrated to those then western wilds, taking me, with several of my companions along with him. As this is a most important period of my history, I may be permitted to dwell more minutely upon it.
To be continued.
ARM OF THE LORD.
My Saviour is the “ Arm of the Lord.” Under this title, Isaiah invoked the long-tarrying Messiah—“Awake awake, put on strength, 0 Arm of the Lord ! Awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon ? Art thou not it which hatb dried the sea, the waters of the great deep; that hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over ? “Now, these were “the redeemed of the Lord.” The Arm of the Lord, therefore, which made their way for them, means Jehovah, the Redeemer of his people, the Saviour of my soul. .
It has been justly observed that “God speaks in our way, but acts according to his own." By his arm, then, we are to understand, the extent of his power; as his stretched-out arm, or infinite might, reaches to all things: by his hand, the most minute, exact, and perfect workings of that power, which descends to the arrangements of the least of his dispensations, equally with the greatest-at once kindling the glimmer of the glow-worm, and the blaze of ten thousand suns, and sustaining alike the movements of seraphs and of babes : “and by his right hand, the brightest display of his omnipotence and majesty." If the finger of God, or the least exertion of his strength, could create the heavens, who can prescribe bounds to the reach of his arm, or what is impossible to the strength of his divine right hand? But these terms do not merely imply the omnipotence of Jehovah ; they often signify Jehovah himself; so that I am fully justified in declaring that the Arm of the Lord is my Saviour.
Thus Moses told Israel well to remember the mighty hand, and stretched-out arm, whereby the Lord their God brought them out of Egypt, an office which I have seen to have been discharged by the angel of the Lord, the Saviour of the world. For, says the Psalmist, “ Thou hast
sonage who “
with thine arm redeemed thy people,” and I well know by whom alone this was or could be effected. Of whom, again, does Isaiah speak, in that remarkable portion of his prophecies, which he seems to have written as on Mount Calvary, in view of the bleeding cross ? Of whom can he speak but of my Saviour, when, with energy and sor
he asks,“ To whom is the arm of the Lord revealed ?" He can mean no other than the divine and glorious per
was wounded for our transgressions, who poured out his soul unto death, who was stricken for the transgression of his people.” The same prophet tells us, " that the Lord hath sworn by his right hand, and by the arm of his strength,” in confirmation of his promise to his people. But “ as he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself;" and refore we see all the
engagements of God established in Christ.
Not only the power and Godhead of Christ are revealed under the denomination of Jehovah's hand, but also the mediation of Christ between Jehovah and his people. A hand, or arm, is the instrument or mean of communication; and this Christ is to his people; he reaches out, and takes from the Divine fullness, and deals of it unto every one of them according to his respective need.” What other arm could rise itself so high, or let itself down so low ?
On this Arm of the Lord, it is at once my privilege and my duty to lean. On an arm of flesh I dare not rest, for God has most selemnly anathematized such confidence. For thus saith the Lord, “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.” On him I may repose, in full assurance that he will never fail me. The Church in her pilgrimage state, is thus beautifully described in the question of an admiring spectator; “Who is this that cometh up from the wilderness, leaning upon her beloved ?" Numerous, very numerous, are the occasions