and laying His gentle, loving hands on their heads and blessing them. And in after years, when I had grown to be a young man, away from home, and far from God by wicked works, that little hymn of my childhood would often come to my memory; and more than once I have sung it with choking voice and tearful eye, and with motions of real penitence in my heart. It is true that these effects were transient, but they were real and mighty; and I doubt not that God used that child's hymn and the sweet echoes of many others now forgotten-to keep my heart from becoming perfectly hardened against His "gentle voice."


To-day, on looking back over the fourteen years that have passed since I gave my life to Jesus, among the precious recollections of those happy days I recall a few dear old hymns that sung themselves into my heart, and taught me truths of God that otherwise I might not have learned, and led me to the sources of joy and delight which otherwise I might not

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have found. I can hear those voices now, that used to lead the singing in that blessed revival time. Some of them, it is true, were poor and cracked and discordant-it was a congregation of "common people and would have utterly spoiled and ruined any songs other than those of the sanctuary, that were sung in those hours of the Spirit's presence and power, with hearts making melody to the Lord. I think it was the singing of that simple old hymn and chorus-which I now quote-that awakened in me the desire to be a Christian, by setting before me its promise of "sweetest pleasure" and "solid comfort" in strong contrast with the unsatisfying portions I was getting from worldly pleasures, and the fear and dread of death that was so constantly before


"'Tis religion that can give,
In the light, in the light,
Sweetest pleasure while we live;
In the light of God.

'Tis religion must supply,
In the light, in the light,
Solid comfort when we die,

In the light of God.

Let us walk in the light,

In the light, in the light,

Let us walk in the light,

In the light of God.”

Eternity only will reveal the power that hymn had over me, both in bringing me to God, and in strengthening and encouraging me in the first days of trial and temptation that came to me as a young Christian.

Time would fail me to speak at length of my experimental relations to those old classics,

"There is a fountain filled with blood,"

"Rock of ages, cleft for me,

'Jesus, lover of my soul," &c.


I am profoundly sure that among the divinely ordained instrumentalities for the conversion and sanctification of the soul, God has not given a greater, beside the preaching of the gospel, than the singing of "psalms and hymns and spiritual songs." I have known a hymn to do God's work in a soul when every other instrumentality has failed. I could not enumerate the times God has

rescued and saved my soul from darkness, discouragement, and weariness, by the singing of a hymn, generally by bringing one to my own heart and causing me to sing it to myself.

A year or two after I entered the ministry, I passed through an experience that on the dark side of it culminated in leading me. to believe not only that I had been mistaken in supposing that God had called me to the work of the ministry, but also that I was even mistaken in supposing that I was a Christian at all. Oh! the blackness and darkness of those hours! I cannot portray the dense gloom that gathered about my soul, and was fairly pressing me down to hell. In this fearful state of mind, having almost yielded up to despair, I was returning to my home from a neighboring town where I had been assisting (?) a "ministering brother" in a "protracted meeting." I got aboard the train, flung myself into a seat next a window of the car, and made another desperate effort to recover myself, my faith, my hope, my confidence in God. I prayed in Spirit,

I even called aloud on God, unmindful of the people around me; I went I went over the promises, and searched my memory through for some word of the Lord that would bring me help. But God's Word was a silent and sealed book for me, and my heart seemed to be turning into stone. In the midst of this wretchedness I was looking out of the car window up into the star-lit heavens, and wondering if there was a God, if there was any Jesus, any Christ, if there was any hereafter. While thus gazing into the dimly lighted. darkness without, from out of the midnight darkness within, with only the numb sense of my own wretchedness, as a man might feel who knows he is freezing to death without power to help himself, and, indeed, not caring to any longer, because it seems easier to die, I heard the low voice of singing in my heart, I say I heard the voice of singing within me, and harkening I caught the words of it, and with my own lips in low, tremulous tones began to sing,

"Jesus, I my cross have taken,

All to leave and follow Thee:

Naked, poor, despised, forsaken,

Thou from hence my all shall be."

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