« VorigeDoorgaan »
congregation were employed in singing the praises of God, he was in a consternation, better to be conceived than expressed. The hymn being ended; and having no other alternative, he read the text. · He had not spoken many minutes, when he observed a well dressed person, a stranger, apparently in the clerical habit, enter the place. This man, thought he, must have come to hear what the babbler has to say. In this fear he was soon confirmed; for the stranger, reclining his head upon the front of the pew, and his body appearing to be agitated, Mr. Neale apprehended he must be talking some nonsense, and that the man was laughing at him. At length he perceived him pull out his handkerchief to wipe his face, that seemed to be bathed in tears. Mr. Neale now began to be reliered from his embarrassment. "Ah!” saỹs he,
this is the work of God. He bas given me a text for this gentlc.
lle has suggested a word in season.” So he proceeded in his sermon, and never had he more liberty in delivering a discourse. Through the whole of the service the stranger never raised his head; but seemed to feed upon
message of grace that was delivered. In the evening he called upon Mr. Neale, and wished for a copy of the discourse he that day delivered; he took him in his arms; said his purse was at his service for the sermon; and added, “Two or three years ago I heard you, in such a plaçe, preach upon such a subject, and ever since I have been under the spirit of conviction and bondage. This day I took my horse and rode to hear you; and, bless. ed be God, he has now given me to see him as my recon. ciled God and Father in Christ Jesus, and has given me to enjoy that liberty wherewith he makes his people free." This and more did he say, before Mr. Neale could speak-a
word to him. He then informed him how he had been circumstanced, relative to that text. He also assured him, that were he to give him the whole world, he could not commit the sermon to writing; for he had delivered it, just as it had occurred to his thoughts in the pulpit, “We both by this time,” continued Mr. Neale, “begun to see. the good hand of God in this matter; and his good Provi. dence in determining me, in such a remarkable manner, to preach upon a subject I had never before prepared, and which he had accompanied with such a powerful efficacy,ası to be made an immediate message from himself. This stranger to come fourteen miles to hear me preach that day! To me, it was one of my best days, and one which, both by him and me, will be remembered through a long and joyful eternity.”
“A GOOD BOOK IS NEVER LOST."
The truth of this common adage has been often exemplified, but seldom in a more extraordinary way than by the following fact. There lived in the town of C....., a person of the name of Johnson, by profession a painter, and much esteemed in that line of business. Notwithstanding
he had been privileged with a religious education, his con. • nexions in the world led him into the company of some
persons of a deistical turn, by whom his mind was much injured, though he was not without occasional checks of conscience, and slavish fears of death. From this miser. able state it pleased the God of all grace to deliver him, in the year 1796, in the following singular manner. His wife, in passing along the streets, picked up, and brought home, three or four books, which had been lost by one of the members of a book society in the town, among thena was the four missionary sermons, with the portrait of Capt. Wilson; being a painter by profession, the picture first engaged his attention, and after dipping a little into the book, he resolved, as illness confined him at home the fol. lowing Sabbath, that he would read over the four sermons; the blessed consequence was that the Holy Spirit set home the truths contained in them on his heart, and from that day he was a new man. For some time he attended the ministry of Mr. D. with much profit, and at length died full of faith, and of the Holy Ghost. Thus we see that cir. cumstances, very trivial in themselves, may, by the appli. cation of the divine Spirit, be made effcctual to the conversion of singers; and even the loss of a book may prove, through his blessing, the finding of a soul.
VOL. I. * 16
The circumstance above related, suggested an hint to our minds, which we beg leave to propose to the serious reader. May we not hope that much good might be done, if those to whom the Lord hath given ability, were to par. chasesmall tracts, upon spiritual subjects, and, bydropping them as they walk,slipping them into the pocket of a stage coach, or leaving them at an inn on the road as they travel, induce some, from motives of mere curiosity, to look into these kind of books, which, otherwise, they would disre. gard? "Cast thy bread upon the waters, for thou shalt find it after many days.”
AS THY DAYS THY STRENGTH SHALL BE.
UNDER the reign of paganism, a Christian, notwithstanding her pregnancy, was condemned to die for her pro. fession. The day before her execution she fell into labor, and crying out in her pangs, the jailor insulted her,saying, "If you make a noise today, how will you endure a vio, lent death tomorrow?” To this she replied, “Today I suffer what is ordinary, and have only ordinary assist. ance; tomorrow I am to suffer what is more than ordi. nary, and shall have, I believe, more than ordinary assistance.” Oh! woman, great was thy faith!
THE PIOUS SOLDIER.
A SOLDIER was lately brought upder concero for his soul, and becoming visibly religious, met with no little railing both from his comrades and officers. He was the servant of one of the latter. At length his master asked him, “Richard, what good has your religion dune you?" The soldior made this discreet ans wer; “Şir, before I
was religious, I used to get drunk; now I am sober. I used to neglect your business; now I perform it diligent. ly.” The officer was silenced, aod seemed to be satisfied. For, so is the will of God, that with WELL DOING ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men, i Pet. ii. 15.
The Lord has various means to bring about his own gracious purposes, and sometimes condescends to make use of incidents, apparently trifling, to accomplish his most important designs. The truth of this remark may be exemplified in the following fact. A young gentleman of high connexions, and great respectability, was induced by gay acquaintance to accompany them to a ball. Arrived at the scene of dissipation, the festive company proceeded to their amusement. The music struck up, and he, among the rest, was highly delighted with the diversion. In the midst of their enjoyment, as though a messenger had been sent immediately from heaven, the clock struck one. That striking passage of Dr. Young's instantly rushed upon his mind;
“ The bell strikes one.....we take no note of Time