Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

divine operation by which the Holy Spirit makes sinners "new creatures in Christ Jesus." The precise agent in nature, by which vapour is condensed into dew, is not known. Whether it is by cold or by electricity, or both, is still as much a mystery as when God asked Job from the whirlwind," Who hath begotten the drops of dew?" In like manner, although we know that the Holy Spirit is the agent who changes the heart, by making the Gospel power unto salvation, we are ignorant of the nature of his operations. Whether they are partly physical, or wholly moral, is unknown. "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh or whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit." But we do know what is better-that his sacred influences are inseparably connected with the conscientious use of the means of grace, and forthcoming in answer to serious prayer. This we know: that as water exposed to the sun will be evaporated in part, and water excluded from the sun will never become dew, so we may expect divine influence in the use of divinely-appointed means, and can look for none if they are neglected.

Again the similarity of dew-drops in pureness and beauty, although formed from all the varieties of vapour, is a fine emblem of that uniform spirit which characterizes the diversified classes of mankind, who are brought to believe on Christ for salvation. There is what may be called a family likeness, prevailing throughout the dew-drops of the morning. They differ in size; but they are all transparent, tender and pure. This is the more remarkable, seeing their original elements were so different: part of the vapour was drawn from the

briny deep, and part from the putrid fens; portions of it from the slimy pool, and portions from the steaming surfs. Now, that the exhalations from springs and rivulets, from the herbs of the field and the flowers of the garden, should return to the earth in sweet dews, is not surprising: but that the gross and tainted vapours should return sweet and pure, is wonderful! And yet all this is realized under the Gospel. The sinner drawn from the very dregs of society, and the sinner drawn from a respectable family—the convert from sensuality, and the convert from intellectual pride -the wanderer returning from vice, and the wanderer renouncing vanity-become alike in their leading views, principles, and feelings: they build their hopes on the same foundation, ascribe their escape to the same grace, and aim at the same kind and degree of holiness. "Whosoever hath the hope of eternal life "in Christ," "purifieth himself," even as Christ is pure. Converts differ, indeed, in the degrees of their knowledge, gifts, and graces-as the dew-drops in their size; but, like them, they are all partakers of a new nature, and each, compared with what he was before conversion, "a new creature in Christ Jesus."

Again: the refreshing and fertilizing influence of the dew is a fine emblem of the salutary influence of converts in their respective families and spheres. The dew cools the sultry air, revives the parched herbage of the earth, and bathes the whole landscape in renovated beauty: and, in like manner, holy families are harmonious-holy churches tranquil. Even an individual convert is not without a portion of sweet influence in his circle: the change in his character and spirit suggests to others the necessity and the possibility of being changed too;

and thus "they that dwell under his shadow revive as the corn, and grow as the vine." His example distils, as dew upon the tender herb-quickening the formal to the power of godliness, and awakening the careless to consideration. Thus the pious are the salt of the earth. The absence of dew would not be more fatal to the natural world, than the want of converts to the moral world. Were they withdrawn, or were their succession to cease, even the general morality of society would wither and sink far below its present standard and strength.

Again the dew is regularly drawn up again by the sun, when it has refreshed the earth; and is thus a fine emblem of the first resurrection, when all the saints shall ascend to meet the Sun of Righteousness in the air. No scene of nature is more lovely than a summer landscape at sunrise, when every field, grove, and hedge, is spangled with morning dew. The drops seem to sparkle with conscious delight at the approach of the sunclimbing, as he ascends, to the top of every leaf, as if impatient to meet him in the air.

Every admirer of nature has noticed this scene, and watched the dewy vapour rising like incense from the golden censer of summer. Who has not gazed with rapture on the glowing myriads of dewdrops, when each of them is a miniature of the sun which gilds them? And, when the Sun of Righteousness shall arise on the morning of the resurrection, the heirs of glory will be as numerous and beautiful as the dew from the womb of the morning all in the beauty of holiness; for they "shall be like him, when they see him as he is."

THE MODERN MARTYR.
No. 7.

MISS HUTCHINSON.-PART I.

How much was done in hours so few?
Hopes wither'd, hearts divided,
Joys, griefs, loves, fears, and feelings too,
Stern death at once decided.

With thee 'tis over! There are some,
Who, in mute consternation,
Fearfully shrinks from hours to come
Of heartfelt desolation.

1

BARTON.

Domestic bereavements-The happiness of a bereaved family, dependant on the character of ExecutorsHenry at School-The base conduct of the Uncle.

Miss Hutchinson was an intelligent and an accomplished young lady, but the disastrous events of her life had cast a gloom upon her mind, which repressed a temper naturally volatile and sportive. When about ten years of age, she lost her father, to whom she was much attached, and though at the time she knew not the extent of her loss, yet she often adverted to it in the most pathetic strains, in her epistolary correspondence with her juvenile friends. But her mother and her brother were still living, with whom she resided, till she was placed under the care of Miss ****, to finish her education. Here she met Hiss Lester, and the intimacy which commenced at school, was ripened into the most mature friendship, and proved a reciprocal advantage.

The connexions which we form in advanced life, are generally formed with more deliberation and

[merged small][ocr errors]

caution than our early unions, but they are very rarely cemented with such strong affection; and consequently are more liable to be broken asunder, by some of the numerous accidents to which they are incessantly exposed. But when two young persons of the same age, of the same complexion of character, in the same rank of life, and with the same prospects opening before them, residing under the same roof, and engaged in the same pursuits, are suffered to grow up together, their affections often become so interwoven, that no skill or artifice can ever disentangle them; and though they may not when apart, feel that ardent glow of attachment which their mutual presence enkindles in their breasts, yet it is cherished as a latent passion, that increases in its strength as the years of their life roll on. To these early connexions and friendships we are often indebted, for the sweetest solace in the days of adversity, and find, under the shadow of their protection, a calm retreat, when the desolations of a mysterious providence, lay waste the inheritance of our domestic happiness. They are, as the angel of the Lord, pointing us to the well spring of consolation in the wilderness of wo; or as the mystic pillar of fire, guiding us through the labyrinth of perplexity and difficulty, which intersect the path-way of our goings; and like the ivy which preserves its vigour and its verdure, after vitality is become extinct in the tree, around whose trunk and branches it has entwined itself, they survive the decay of youth, and the luxuriance of prosperity, to support us in the decline of life, or befriend us in the season of affliction.

After Miss H., had finished her education, she returned home to reside with her widowed mother and her brother, who was several years younger

N

« VorigeDoorgaan »