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own life; for his son, Mr. George Brown, on his father's death, pursued the line of conduct of which the example had been set him both by his father and grandfather. Personal piety is not hereditary; but it is pleasing to see it thus in successive generations. In the religious history of Mrs. Brown there was nothing unusual. She was a sincere, uniform Christian. She had sought the Lord early, and found his mercy in Christ Jesus. Her faith was as the shining light, gradually rising higher and higher. Her delight in the ordinances of the Lord's house, with her consistent deportment from day to day, afforded abundant proof that she truly feared and loved God, and was indeed a member of Christ, a child of God, and a partaker of the present, inward kingdom of heaven.
In the affliction which terminated her mortal life, she suffered acutely; but she was kept in great peace, and preserved in a state of quiet submission to the divine will. When questioned concerning the state of her mind, her answers were very satisfactory, and she spoke of her future home with pleasing confidence. Shortly before she died, she expressed her feelings by repeating the lines,
My Jesus to know, and feel his blood flow,
29. Died, September 17th, at Strixton, near Wellingborough, aged forty-six, Miss Elizabeth Stevens. She was, from a child, of a meek and quiet spirit; and as her disposition was naturally retiring, though surrounded by those who sought their happiness in the world, she avoided all needless intercourse with it. But this did not proceed from a cold and selfish heart. To her relations, especially, she was most affectionate, manifesting deep sympathy with them in all their joys and sorrows. But, notwithstanding these pleasing features in her character, one thing she lacked. She was devoid of spiritual religion, and had no conviction of the necessity of loving the greatest and best Being, God, from whom all her blessings
She attended the means of grace, believing it to be her duty ; but she did not enter into their spirit, till, in January, 1839, while attending a meeting for prayer at Higham-Ferrers, conducted by Edward Brook, Esq., from Huddersfield, she was awakened to a sense of her deficiency and guilt. The burden of sin she felt to be intolerable ;, but she was told of Christ, and of his ability to save, with a free and present salvation, all who came to him. “ Wrestling on in mighty prayer,” she did endeavour to come to him, saying, in the earnestness of her spirit, “I will not let thee go, unless thou bless me.” And he did bless her: she was enabled to cast herself on the atonement, and arose from her knees rejoicing in the God of her salvation. From that time she was a most exemplary and devoted Christian. Nature was sanctified by grace; her affections flowed from a higher source; she
gave herself to God, and to his people because she had given herself to bim. Having joined the Wesleyan society, she continued in membership with it till she was removed to a better world. Her piety was constant and uniform. However circumstances might change, there were evidently the same singleness of purpose, the same ardent desires after holiness, the same fixed resolution to live wholly to God. She highly valued the ministry of the word and Christian communion, and never allowed trifles to prevent her attendance. The chapel was a considerable distance from her residence; but, whatever was the season of the year, or the state of the weather, if health permitted, she was seldom absent from her place. During the last two years of her life, she was called to pass through deep and continued affliction; but even in this she rejoiced, because of the abundant comfort and support which she experienced. An individual who was intimately acquainted with her, in domestic as well as in religious life, has thus spoken of her :-_“Never, after her conversion, did I know her to manifest a spirit contrary to her Christian profession; but it was during her long and trying sufferings that this was most strikingly apparent. Even when pain was most excruciating, all seemed to be not only peace, but satisfaction. She not only never murmured, but never appeared to entertain a wish that any circumstance had been otherwise than her heavenly Father had appointed it to be.” Her medical attendant, who well knew the painful nature of the disease, often expressed his astonishment at her quiet fortitude.
er strength was in her Almighty Helper. She prayed not so much for the removal of the affliction, as for the patience by which she might glorify God during its continuance. And her prayers were heard. Her resignation was complete, her patience most exemplary. She was a witness to all who saw her of the faithfulness and power of God. It would be impossible to repeat all her edifying remarks, her expressions of love to God, and of confidence in him, as well as of affectionate concern for those who were around her. A few, however, ought to be recorded, for the instruction and encouragement of others. Her brother once said to her, that he thought she would not be here long. She replied, “No; but I am only going a little while before you to glory.” She added, “ Be faithful; 0, be faithful!” At another time, being visited by her Class-Leader, she said that she had been tempted to doubt of the goodness of God, and of the fact of her own adoption into his family ; but that she had overcome the temptation by immediate application to the throne of grace. “This," she said,
was all my plea, that Christ had died for me, that he had loved me, and given himself for me. I feel no condemnation, no fear of death; but, instead, a blessed hope of heaven. Where could all this come from, but from my heavenly Father's goodness to me as his pardoned child ?” On one occasion, when her suffering was more severe than usual, she exclaimed, “O come, Lord Jesus; come, and take me to thyself!” She then referred to an individual who had been favoured with great triumph in death, and added, " I, also, can say,
A little longer here below,
And I shall then to glory go.'' In the course of the day on which she died, her spirit seemed admitted to closer communion with the unseen world, to which she herself had now been brought so near. She said, “O come, Lord Jesus. Come, even now.' I love thee, my Lord, my Saviour. O, I see Jesus, I Jesus. Lord, thou knowest that I love thee.” In this happy frame she continued till suffering ceased, and mortality was exchanged for eternal life.
IN TWO PARTS.
PART II.-ILLUSTRATIVE DEVELOPMENTS.
(For the Wesleyan-Methodist Magazine.)
PART II.-ILLUSTRATIVE DEVELOPMENTS. PRACTICAL Antinomianism (on which, as distinguished from that which is chiefly doctrinal, we are now remarking) has been shown to be a partial neglect of the divine law, occasioned by those mistaken views of faith which prevent the attention necessary for detailed and full obedience, so that there is found in the conduct something which the law forbids, or the evident omission of something which it requires. The general operation of these mistaken views has likewise been described. It is usually two-fold. First, the law itself is not studied with sufficient care. It is not examined in those minuter, but always important, details which the inspired volume contains. In reference to these, therefore, the mind is not sufficiently enlightened, the knowledge of the rule of duty is not sufficiently particular. But so completely is our life made up of minute actions, so seldom are we called to the exercise of great virtues, or tempted to the commission of great crimes, that it is in reference to these very details that we need to have the whole body full of light. And, secondly, our conduct and character are not, on these smaller points, examined with sufficient care. We are too easily satisfied when no alarming symptom of great mischief presents itself to our inspection. As to conduct, we do not enough detach our actions from our own usual state of feeling, and from the ordinary circumstances to which they refer. We regard them only as means to some particular end which we have directly in view, and forget that they sustain a certain character in relation to the unerring standard of the law of God. We do not view them as rigidly and separately as though they were the facts of some other person's history. Thus we may be in trade ; competition may be severe, our neighbours seek to draw custom from us by selling more cheaply ; we are hard pressed, we see that they seek to secure both custom and gain by presenting an inferior article, of the real quality of which the customer cannot judge, and which he thinks to be equal to our superior, but dearer, one. We imitate his example: we refer it to some most imperfect, and often corrupted, rule, called “the custom of trade," and thus see no harm in it; whereas, if we carried it higher, even to God's law, we should see that we had come into the just condemnation of those who do evil that good may come. Man's ultimate end is eternal life ; and as to this all his lower ends should be subordinated, so to this, likewise, should all his actions refer. Actions may seem to be useful as securing some of these lower ads, while, when measured by God's law, they are decidedly wrong. We ought, therefore, to go along the whole chain, examining each separate ring to see that it is sound, and ascertaining that it is properly interlocked with those which go before and follow ; we should see that each is present that ought to be there, that its position is secure by being fixed
VOL. III.-FOURTH SERIES.
well in the staple at the right point of suspension, and that it extends unbroken the whole of the proper length, being there also rightly fixed. Nor must we be deceived by names. Living actions, as performed by ourselves, may receive such names as to satisfy us of their propriety without any search into their true nature. Unless we closely apply all to the standard of the law, we shall easily be deceived. Numbers, actually, are thus deceived. Most classes of men have their maxims, such as “the law of honour,”—“ professional consistency,”—“the custom of trade;" and often do these justify proceedings which will not abide a moment's examination in the light of the law of God. No wonder, then, that when men will not bring their entire conduct to the law for judgment, they should allow themselves in actions which the law condemns. They are content without supreme and constant reference to the law. They allow themselves in wrong-doing without perceiving it. They are Antinomians. So was St. Paul an Antinomian even when a Pharisee. He thought he ought to do many things against the disciples of Jesus of Nazareth. He did them, and his conscience was at rest. And yet when he was exceedingly mad against them;" when he was “ breathing out threatenings and slaughter;" he forgot that it was said by the very law in which he trusted, “Thou shalt do no murder :"_“Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
He himself confesses that when, in his own estimation, he “ was alive,” it was “ without the law;" and when the commandment came,” when his judgments began to be guided by the law, then the “ sin,” on the absence of which he had congratulated himself, “ revived,” stood before him as no longer a forgotten, but real, existence, and he “ died.”
And the same remarks may be made as to our character ; that is, our conduct, taken as a whole, and in connexion with its originating views and feelings, thus forming a moral whole, considered as the mentally visible moral form of the living man. We may content ourselves if this appears to be right generally, and taken altogether. Instead of this, we ought to make these inquiries, not viewing it as from some distant point, hazed, diminished, and seen in little more than outline : we ought to come close to it, that we may see it as it is, and ask, 1. What are the facts which it really does include? 2. Trying each by the portion of law applicable to it, Are they all right, and are they properly connected ? 3. Is all present that ought to be there? For want of such examination something actually wrong may pass unnoticed; some natural disposition may be mistaken for a Christian grace, merely because directed to a religious object; or some real Christian grace, which ought to be present, may be absent, because the disposition to which it is allied may exist in us only in a defective manner, so that we may be content, ourselves, with seeking the sanctification of what is prominent and obvious, without perceiving that something is wanting which ought to be supplied. We may be right so far as we may go; but we may not go far enough. In an important sense, every one needs a rule for himself. Allowing that it is right to have a chart of the whole ocean, that he may not be at a loss if called to a distant voyage, yet he needs to have a most correct one of the portion in which he actually navigates. It is not enough that the mariner, who goes from one port to another, knows the general direction of the coast along which he has to sail ; he must know its particular projections and indentations, its rocks and its harbours ; else, when he happens to be near the land, and the wind is contrary, the night dark, or the weather foggy, he may easily, especially in a storm, mistake his course and run his vessel ashore, lose his cargo, and perhaps life. And this is one of the dangers to which the Christian is exposed, and against which he is warned. He may “make shipwreck of the faith, and of a good conscience.” On the general points, whether of duty or danger, revelation is sufficiently explicit. But it was impossible that it should describe particular events, as occurring in the history of individuals. We must, ourselves, make the application. We are thus commanded to do justice, and to love mercy. The faithful Minister has no difficulty in constructing a discourse on the text : but here is a difficulty,—the faithful Christian has to discover what it is to do justice and to love mercy in the actual circumstances of his own life. Our safety is to be secured, not by a preservation to which we are no party, but by sufficient grace conferred on watchfulness and prayer. For avoiding danger, and fulfilling our course,—a course, in some respects, differing for every one,-three directions are necessary. 1. We must secure mercy and grace, and keep on the whole armour of God, that we may successfully withstand in every evil day. 2. We must know well, and continue studying, the directions given to us both for doing and shunning. 3. We must possess that practical wisdom, that sound sense in reference to moral subjects, which shall enable us promptly and rightly to apply the rules furnished, to the circumstances through which we are actually ourselves passing. All three are necessary. Such is unpardoned man, that without the first we shall not be able to attend to the two latter. But no attention to the first will compensate for the neglect of the latter. We are only safe while we are kept by the power of God unto salvation through faith. And precisely here is the danger of that practical Antinomianism, against which we so earnestly desire to suggest cautions. True faith is always active. It comprehends in its range of view entire revelation, in its practical references as well as in its redeeming provisions. It not only receives God's promises in Christ, but also the instructions given us that we may secure their accomplishment. But the effect of that practical device of Satan which we are describing, is, so to limit our view to one object, namely, the promised salvation, as to occasion a degree of negligence as to the others,—those which refer to scriptural directions, precepts, and warnings; all, in effect, that is described in the true significance and extent of the term, “the law of the Lord.” Mistaken faith practically annuls certain portions of the divine record, deprives them of force, makes them as to us as though they were not. True faith, full, as well as strong, says,
« Therefore I esteem all thy precepts concerning all things to be right; and I hate every false way.”
We have proposed, in order the more effectually to guard the Christian pilgrim against this God-dishonouring and soul-injuring error, to give instances of the operation of its principle. But that our remarks may be the better understood by being confined to one object, in its several aspects, we observe that we altogether set on one side two cases. We refer not now to those who, in scriptural phrase, are called “ backsliders.” Previously walking in the way of truth, they have, unhappily, not been faithful. They have “ turned aside to their crooked ways;" and, if they do not penitently seek that their backslidings may be healed, “they shall be led forth with the workers of iniquity.” But this is a case in which the law of God is evidently violated, not made void through faith. Nor do we now refer to those who have been, it may be through unwatchfulness and temptation, “overtaken in a fault.” Judas was a direct backslider ; Peter fell through self-confidence and sudden temptation. Happily for the latter, he “ wept bitterly," and was restored. This, however, was a single