who has done nothing but what was perfectly consistent with his duty;" adding, moreover, "if you do not immediately return your sword, and crave Mr. Erskine's forgiveness, I shall order you to prison, and abide the consequences of my doing so." The blustering hero, now effectually crest-fallen, did not take long time to deliberate; but instantly replacing his weapon, asked pardon of Mr. Erskine; and during the rest of the evening, set a strict watch upon the door of his lips.

[ocr errors]

Ir not unfrequently happens with sermons as it once did in the case of the sons of Jesse, that the most promising among them, in man's estimation, is not that which God makes choice of, or honours with the unc tion of his Spirit, for converting sinners or edifying saints. Discourses, on the composition of which ministers bestow the greatest pains, are preached, and fly over the heads of the audience; while those they have not got so much time to dress, go directly to their hearts. Shall this thea encourage Ignorance to run to the pulpit, and petulantly pour forth her incoherent rhapsodies? or, Shall the better qualified construe it into a hint to remit their labours, and henceforth serve God with that which costs them next to nothing? No. Not a novice," saith the apostle, lest he be lifted up with pride, and fall into the condemnation of the Devil;" and in his exhortations to his son Timothy, he insists particularly on a diligent application to his work. Let the ministers of Christ labour, therefore; but let them labour not to be fine, but to be plain;-not to gratify the fastidious ear of those who sit rather as judges than as humble receivers of the word, - but to enlarge the views, and touch the affections of the simple and unlearned, who, at all times, compose the greatest part of their bearers; and if at any time they are called to speak in public, without having it in their power to pay the attention they could have wished to the structure of their sermons, still let them not be cast down with the apprehension that their preaching will be in vain. The Master they serve has established no necessary connexion between their very best efforts and the divine influences of his Spirit. He is a sovereign Lord, and worketh by this, or by the other meaus, according as it seemeth good in his sight. These remarks have been suggested by the following well-authenticated Anecdote:

The late Rev. J. Pattison, of Edinburgh, having occasion, about forty years ago, to preach on a Sabbath-day in Dundee, had, previously to his leaving home, laid aside, and ordered to be packed up, with some other necessary articles, a certain note book, which contained a sermon on which the good man had bestowed considerable pains, and which he hoped might not be unacceptable to a congregation of Christians, who then enjoyed the stated labours of the late excellent Mr. M'Ewen. On his arrival in Dundee, however, which was not till the Saturday evening, and on examining the contents of his saddle-bags, he found the note-book wanting, nor had any other been substituted in its place. He was therefore, late as it was, obliged to make choice of a new subject, and to cast his thoughts together upon it in the best manner he could; and after all his pains and bis prayers, was not a little apprehensive that such defective preparation would not only affect the respectability of his appearance in the pul pil, but, in some measure, mar the success of his work. Not by might, however, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord." It happened, in adorable Providence, on the afternoon of Sabbath, that a poor fishwoman, notorious for clamour and profanity, stumbled into the meeting, and fell the sermon, particularly in its application, come home with such life and peculiar energy to her soul, as instantly to produce the most happy thecis on the disposition of her heart and the tenor of her conduct.

On Monday she attended with her fish-basket at market as usual; but, O how changed! - instead of her former noise and profanity, she is calm and quiet as a lamb ; - instead of asking from her customers double or


triple the value of the fish, she speaks to them with discretion; and tells them the lowest price at once. Surprized at this new behaviour of the woman, some, who were present, judging that she might be indisposed, began to enquire about her health. One of them particularly said to her, Margaret, what is the matter with you, woman? You are not at all as you used to be.”. -No,' replied Margaret; and hope I never shall. It pleased God to lead me, yesterday, to Mr. M'Ewen's Meeting - house, where I heard words that I'll never forget; and fand something come o'er me, the like of which I never knew before." The woman lived to give the most satisfactory evidences of the soundness of her conversion by a walk and conversation becoming the gospel.


DR. Moore, in his " View of Society and Manners in Italy," describing the state of Rome at the time when he visited it, has the following passage relative to the Jews: "Of many triumphant arches which stood formerly in Rome, there are only three now remaining, all of them near the Capitol, and forming entries to the Forum: those of Titus, Septimius Severus, and Constantine. The last is by much the finest of the three. The relievos of the arch of Titus represent the table of shew-bread, the trumpets, the golden candlesticks with seven branches, and other utensils brought from the temple of Jerusalem +. The quarter which is aliotted for the Jews is not a great distance from this arch. There are about 9000 of that unfortunate nation at present at Rome, the lineai descendants of those brought captive from Jerusalem. I have been assured they always cautiously avoid passing through this arch, though it lies directly in their way to the Campo Vaccino, choosing rather to make a circuit, and enter the Forum at another place. I was affected at hearing this instance of sensibility in a people who, whatever other faults they may have, are certainly not deficient in patriotism, and attachment to the religion and cus toms of their forefathers."


LYSIMACHUS, for extreme thirst, offered his kingdom to the Getæ, to quench it. His exclamation, when he had drank, is wonderfully striking: Ah! wretched me, who, for such a momentary gratification, have lost so great a kingdom!"-How applicable this to the case of him who, for the momentary pleasures of sin, parts with the kingdom of Heaven! Bp. Horne.

He who seldom thinks of Heaven, is not likely to get thither ; -as the only way to hit the mark is to keep the eye fixed upon it.


BEES never work singly, but always in companies, that they may assist each other. An useful hint to scholars and Christians.


SOME think variety of religions as pleasing to God as variety of flowers. Now there can be but one religion which is true; and the God of truth cannot be pleased with falsehood, for the sake of variety. Ibid.

DEATH will blow the bud of grace into the flower of glory. Mr.Brooks. Gop made Man in his own likeness, Man hath made Sin in his own likeness, and Sin hath made Misery in its own likeness. Mr. Venning. It was a sweet saying of an ancient father, "The name of Jesus is mel in ore, melos in aure, jubilus in corde. Honey in the mouth, melody in the ear, and a jubilee in the heart.


AFFLICTION is a pill, which, if wrapped up in patience, may be easily swallowed; but when discontent puts us upon chewing it, proves bitter and disgusting.

* A Scottish phrase for a sensation not to be described.


+ Titus Vespasian was the general by whom Jerusalem was taken, and the temple destroyed. The sacred utensils were the trophies of his success.

Mr. Editor,


An affecting case occurred during the last year in our congregation, which, however, was unknown to me till after the decease of the party: but one of my friends, after making himself acquainted with particulars, drew up the following Narrative; which, if you judge it suitable, you are at liberty to insert in the Evangelical Magazine:

A YOUNG Man, of the name of S C, grandson to a late eminent Dissenting Minister, and brought up by him, came to reside at K- g about the year 1803. He attended at the Baptist place of worship, not only on the Lord's Day, but frequently at the weekday lectures and prayer-mectings. He was supposed by some to be seriously inclined; but his opinion of himself was, that he had never experienced that divine change, without which no man can be saved.

However that might be, there is reason to believe he had been for some years under powerful convictions of his miserable condition as a sinner. In June 1806, these convictions were observed to increase, and that in a more than common degree. From that time he went into no company; but, when he was not at work, kept in his chamber, where he was employed in singing plaintive hymns, and bewailing his lost and perishing state.

He had about him several religious people; but could not be induced to open his mind to them, or to impart to any one the cause of his distress. Whether this contributed to increase it or not, it did increase, till his health was greatly affected by it, and he was scarcely

able to work at his business.

While he was at meeting on Jord's Day, September 14, he was observed to labour under very great emotion of mind, especially when he heard the following words: "Sin

ner, if you die without an interest in Christ, you will sink into the regions of eternal death."

On the Saturday evening following, he intimated to the mistress of the house where he lodged, that some awful judgment was about to come upon him; and as he should not be able to be at meeting next day, requested that an attendant might be procured to stay with him, She replied, that she would herself slay at home, and wait upon him; which she did.

On the Lord's Day he was in great agony of mind. His mother was sent for, and some religious friends visited him ; but all was of no avail. That night was a night dreadful beyond conception. The horror which he endured brought on all the symptoms of raging madness, He desired the attendants not to come near him, lest they should be burnt, He said that "the bed-curtains were in flames, — that he smelt the brimstone, that devils were come to fetch him, that there was no hope for him, for that he had sinned against light and conviction, and that he should certainly go to Hell. It was with difficulty he could be kept in bed,


An apothecary being sent for; soon as he entered the house, and heard his dreadful howlings, he enquired if he had not been bitten by a mad dog. His appearance likewise seemed to justify such a suspicion, his countenance resembling that of a wild beast more than that of a man.

Though he had no feverish heat, yet his pulse beat above 150 in a minute. To abate the mania, a quantity of blood was taken from him, a blister was applied, his head was shaved, cold water was copiously poured over him, and foxglove was administered. By these means his fury was abated; but his mental agony continued, and all the symptoms of madness, which his bodily strength thus reduced would allow, till the following Thurs

[ocr errors]

day. On that day he seemed to have recovered his reason, and to be calm in his mind. In the evening, he sent for the apothecary; and wished to speak with him by himself. The latter, on his coming, desired every one to leave the room, and thus addressed him: " C, have you not something on your mind?" Aye,' answered he, that is it! He then acknowledged that, early in the month of June, he had gone to a fair in the neighbourhood, in company with a number of wicked young men that they drank at a public-house together till he was in a measure intoxicated; and that from thence they went into other company, where he was criminally connected with a harlot. "I have been a miserable creature," continued he, "ever since; but during the last three days and three nights, I have been in a state of desperation." He intimated to the apothecary, that he could not bear to tell this story to his minister: But," said he," do you inform him that I shall not die in despair; for light has broken in upon me: I have been led to the great Sacrifice for sin, and I now hope in him for salvation."

[ocr errors]

From this time his mental distress ccased, his countenance became placid, and his conversation, instead of being taken up as before, with fearful exclamations concerning devils and the wrath to come, was now confined to the dying love of Jesus! The apothecary was of opinion, that if his strength had not been so much exhausted, he would now have been in a state of religious transport. His nervous system, however, had received such a shock, that his recovery was doubtful; and it seemed certain, that if he did recover, he would sink into a state of idiotcy.

He survived this interview but a few days. When he could talk, he would repeat many of the promises made to returning sinners. By his desire, various hymns were read to him: one in particular, which was sung at his funeral.

He said to his mother," My dear mother, you do not know what couflicts of soul I have had. I have

lain whole nights without sleep, pleading for my own soul and yours; and have reflected with grief on my disobedience to your counsei."


At another time he said, Blessed Jesus, tho. art all my hope!"-His strength kept declining; and on Monday morning, Sept. 29, at one o'clock, he calmiy breathed his last.


1. To the greatest part of mankind sin appears a light thing, es pecially in time of health and prosperity but a view of the holiness and the majesty of God,-a sense of his threatenings,

a conscience

wounded by his arrows,- nay, the witnessing of them in a case like that which has been related, will, even in the present life, cause us to know that it is "an evil and a bitter thing."

2. If a drop of the cup of God's wrath can make a sinner thus mit serable, what will it be to drink the dregs of it, and that for ever and ever?

3. It is to be hoped, that God had mercy on this poor youth. He appears to have had those two marks of a truly converted person, "Repentance toward Ged, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." It is true, he did not merely, like Christian, begin to sink in the mire of the Slough of Despond. What he suffered there brought him to his grave. Yet at last he discovered the steps (the promises) and was plucked out, and set on that side of the slough that was farthest from his own house, and next to the wicket-gate, into which also he appears to have lived to enter. example holds out encouragement to sinners in the most wretched circumstances. If, like this young


man, they look to Jesus, the great sacrifice for sin, even as the Israeliles, who had been bitten by the fiery serpents looked at the braz n serpent, like him, they shall be healed. Thus far, my friend. I add,

4. We may learn from hence, the importance of early instructions. It does not appear that this young man had lived in such habits, but that he had been icd from his child

hood in the paths of sobriety and chastity. When, therefore, he had deviated from them, his conscience immediately smote him." Had his venerable instructor been alive, and acquainted with his vicious conduct, he might have concluded that all his counsels were lost upon him; but had he lived to see the issue, he might have seen reason to thank God that they were not so.

5. We here see an affecting instance of the mysterious depths of the divine judgments. A poor sinner appears to have been brought to Heaven by the gates of Hell! Mercy extended to him, but vengeance taken on his inventions! Sin is suffered to take its course, so far as to destroy life, and yet the destruction of life proves the salvation of the soul!

Lastly, We here perceive the sovereign and discriminating grace of God. I never made any enquiry who were his wicked companions; but it is likely, though they were guilty of the same things, yet, instead of being smitten witn remorse, and brought to sue for mercy through a Mediator, they are now hardened in sin. He has been awfully chastened of the Lord, but they may be condemned with the world.


His remains were interred in our burying-ground; and, at his own request, a hymn was sung on the orcasion, beginning, "Behold the path that morials tread," &c.

Doddridge, Hymn 27.

MRS. ELIZABETH NUNELLEY Was born at Great Wigstone, in Leicestershire. From her childhood, she had been accustomed to hear the gospel; and before she had reached her 18th year, gave pleasing evidence that she had not heard in vain. In whatever way her mind was first wrought upon I have not been able to learn; but her temper and conduct ever after afforded the most satisfactory evidence of true conversion. When about 21, she was admitted a member of the Independent church at Wigstone, unser the pastoral care of the Rev. H.


Davis; and continued to fill that relation with consistency and honour till, in May 1799, she was united in marriage to Mr.J.Nunelley, of Market Harborough. In the spring of 1803, the family removed to Leices ter; and from which time to her death, the writer of this can attest, that her deportment uniformly displayed the sincere, humble, con. scientious Christian. In the family, in the church, in her intercourse with the world, she might be truly said to adorn the doctrine of God her Saviour; and it was by no means the least excellency in her character that she seemed scious of none. Her life to her fa mily and connexion seemed pecu. liarly desirable, being the mother of three children, all too young to be sensible of their loss in her removal; but He, whose ways are unsearchable to mortals, had otherwise determined. Her constitution was naturally very delicate, and always bore evident signs of a tendency to consumption. In May 1806, while attending a meeting of ministers at Leicester, she caught a cold, which was followed with a violent cough, and other alarming symptoms of a speedy decline. possible means were used to check the disorder, but without effect: the malady continued to gather strength; and, on the 31st of March last, after a lingering confinement of many weeks, issued in her removal to a beiter world. She was in her 34th year.

[ocr errors]

The frame of her mind throughout her affliction was, almost without interruption, cáim and resigned. Though she had many strong ties to life, she was not anxious to live. Though fully sensible of the solemnity of death, and persuaded from the first that her departure was at hand, she was not alarmed. To her, Death was not the king of terrors that Saviour, whom she had known and served for 15 years, was her support and consolation. She knew, as she said, in whom she had believed.

Frequently, during her confinement, she conversed on the subject of her approaching change, with a degree of composure and cheerful

[ocr errors][merged small]
« VorigeDoorgaan »