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4. Effect upon his life. Since his conversion he has not ceased to do good as he has had opportunity. Several individuals bave been led to repent and believe in Christ through his instrumentality. Some of these were individuals whose former habits rendered a change of character very improbable in the eyes of most individuals. (One of them, who had fällen into the nabit of intemperance, is now a respectable and happy father of a respectable Christian family.) He has been known to go to several families on the sameday, pray with them, and invite them to attend religious worship on the sabbath, And when some difficulty was stated as a hindrance to their attendance, he has assisted them to buy shoes, and granted other little aids of the kind, in order that they might be induced to attend Divine service. Since the first edition was issued, a most remarkable fact concerning this old man has come to the knowledge of the author. When converted, one of his first acts, although he had heard nothing of any such act in others, was to make out a list of all his old associates then living within reach of his influence. For the conversion of these he determined to labour as he had opportunity, and pray daily. On his list were one hundred and sixteen names, among whom were sceptics, drunkards, and other individuals as little likely to be reached by Christian influence as any other men in the region. Within two years from the period of the old man's conversion, one hundred of these individuals had made a profession of religion. We can hardly suppose that the old man was instrumental in the conversion of all these persons; yet the fact is one of the most remarkable that has been developed in the progress of Christianity.]
5. Effect upon his happiness. In a social meeting of the church where he worships, I heard him
make such an expression as this—“I have rejoiced but once since I trusted in Christ—that has been all the time.” His state of mind may be best described in his own characteristic language. One day he was repairing his fence. An individual passing addressed him—"Mr.
you are at work all alone.” “ Not alone,” said the old man, cod is with me." He said that his work seemed easy to him, and his peace of mind continued with scarcely an interruption. I saw him at a time when he had just received intelligence that a son, who had gone to the south, had been shot in a personal altercation, in one of the southern cities. The old man's parental feelings were moved, but he seemed, even under this sudden and most distressing affliction, to derive strong consolation from trust in God.
6. Physical effects of the moral change. As soon as his moral nature had undergone a change, his body, by sympathy, felt the benign influence. His countenance assumed a milder and more intelligent aspect. He became more tidy in his apparel, and his thousand pains,' in a good measure, left him. In his case, there seemed to be a renovation both of soul and body.
This case is not exaggerated: the old man is living, and there are a thousand living witnesses to this testimony, among whom is an intelligent physician, who, hearing the old man's history of his feelings, and having known him personally for years, the obvious effects which the faith in Christ had produced in this case, combined with other influences by which he was surrounded, led him seriously to examine the subject of religion, as it concerned his own spiritual interest. By this examination he was led to relinquish the system of rational religion,' (as the Socinian system is most
inappropriately called by its adherents, and profess his faith in orthodox religion.
CASE 3.-Two individuals, who have always been poor in this world's goods, but who are rich in faith. Many years ago, they lived in a new sett lement where there were no religious services. The neighbourhood, at the suggestion of one of its members, met together on the sabbath, to sing sacred music, and to hear a sermon read. Those sermons were the means of the conversion of the mother of the family. She lived an exemplary life, but her husband still continued impenitent, and became somewhat addicted to intemperance. Some of the children of the family, as they reached mature years, were converted; the husband, and finally, after a few years, all the remaining children, embraced religion. From the day of the husband's conversion he drank no more liquor, and, he says, he always afterwards thought of the habit with abhorrence. The old people live alone. The old woman's sense of hearing has so failed that she hears but imperfectly. When the weather will allow, she attends church regularly, but sometimes hears but little of the sermon. She sits on the sabbath and looks up at the minister, with a countenance glowing with an interested and happy expression. She has joy to know that the minister is preaching about Christ. The minister once described religion possessed, as a spring of living water, flowing from the rock by the way-side, which yields to the weary traveller refreshment and delight: the old lady, at the close, remarked, with meekness, “ I hope I have drunk, many times, of those sweet waters.”
Except what concerns their particular domestic duties, the conversation of this aged pair is almost entirely religious. They are devont, and very
happy in each other's society; and sometimes in their family devotions and religious conversations, their hearts glow with love to God. They look forward to death with the consoling hope that they will awake in the likeness of the glorious Saviour, and be for ever with the Lord.”
CASE 4.-A female who early in life united with the church, and conscientiously performed the external duties of Christian life. She had, for many years, little if any happiness in the performance of her religious duties, yet would have been more unhappy if she had not performed them. She married a gentleman who, during the last years of his life, was peculiarly devoted. During this period, in attending upon the means of grace she experienced an entire change in her religious feelings. She felt, as she says, that“ now she gave up all for Christ. She felt averse to everything which she believed to be contrary to his will. To the will of Jesus she could now submit for ever, with joyful and entire confidence.—She now loved to pray, and found happiness in obeying the Saviour.” She made, as she believes, at that time, an entire surrender of all her interests, for time and eternity, to Christ, and since then, her labours in his service have been happy labours. Before they were constrained by conscience, now they are prompted by the affections. She does not think she was not a Christian before. She had repented in view of the law, but she had not, till the time mentioned, exercised affectionate faith in Christ.* She now often prays most solicitously for the conversion of sinners and the sanctifi. cation of the church. She loves to meet weekly in Che female circle for prayer, and labours to induce
* Are there not many in all the churches who have been convicted of sin, and who have perhaps repented, but have not exercised full faith in Christ?
others to attend with her. Her little son, nine years of age, is, as she hopes, a Christian; and her daughter, just approaching the years of womanhood, has recently united with the church. Two years since, her husband died under circumstances peculiarly afflicting. She prayed for resignation, and never felt any disposition to murmur against the providence of God. She sometimes blamed herself that she had not thought of other expedients to prolong, if possible, the life of one that she loved so tenderly; but to God she looked up with submission, and said in spirit, “ The cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it ?” Her husband she views as a departed saint, whom she expects to meet in a better world. She cherishes his memory with an affection that seems peculiarly sacred; and the remembrance of his piety is a consoling association connected with the recollections of one now in heaven.*
A single incident develops the secret of that piety which gives her peace, and makes her useful.
-One of the last times that I saw her, she stated, in conversation upon the subject, that a short time before, she had read a sabbath school book, which one of her children had received, in which was a representation of Christ bearing his cross to Calvary. While contemplating this scene, love and gratitude sprang up in her heart, which were subduing, sweet, and peaceful beyond expression! How is it, reader, that the contemplation of such a scene of suffering should cause such blessed emotions to spread like a rich fragrance through the soul, and rise in sweet incense to God? It is the holy secret of the cross
* That the marriage bond becomes more sacred, and the reciprocal duties of affection more tender, between two hearts that both love Jesus, I have no doubt. The feelings of this pious widow favour the supposition; and the facts recorded in the biogra. phies of Edwards, Fletcher, and Corvosso, fully confirm it.