« VorigeDoorgaan »
In the evening, the conversation turned on various methods of doing good. Dr. G. remarked, “There can be no greater good than doing good to the soul. It is everything. This would be my delight, were I to recover.” It was observed, that much more good would be done if preaching the Gospel were not so exclusively confined to ministers. It is regarded too much as merely official, and thus the impression of earnestness is weakened. A single word from a physician to a sick man would often have much more effect than the visit of a minister, which is expected, as a matter of course, to bear a religious aspect. It being said that, though physicians have great opportunities of usefulness, they would injure their practice by speaking of religion, except with the poor, Dr. G. observed, “No! the injudicious manner might, but not the thing itself. And if it did — !"
Friday, 19. Baxter's “Last Work of a Believer" was one of the books he took great pleasure in listening to. The following sentence, which occurred in reading this morning, much struck his mind :“Did Christ himself on the cross commend his spirit into his Father's hands, and will he not receive thy spirit, when thou at death commendest it to him?"
In the course of conversation, he said, “I see where Christians are wrong. We do not make a companion of God. We should treat him more as a friend, but not as a distant friend, but as always near, close to us, so that we are never alone, but continually in his company This was a topic to which he frequently reverted. Religion is too much separated from ordinary affairs. The special seasons for worship are too distinct from their intervening periods. Such seasons are necessary, but should never be substituted for a life of prayer. All things ought to be done religiously. God may be worshipped in the shop, the field, the ship, the exchange, and not merely in the church. The ordinary doings of daily life, however insignificant in themselves, may be elevated into solemn'acts of worship, by being performed in a religious spirit, Thus, the professional man, the merchant, the tradesman, the mechanic, in their ordinary engagements, may, no less than the clergyman, when visiting the sick, and studying the Bible, and preaching the Gospel, “walk with God.”
Dr. Arnold well observes—“The true and grand idea of a church, i.e., a society for the purpose of making men like Christ, earth like heaven, the kingdoms of the world the kingdoms of Christ all is lost, and men look upon
it as an institution for religious instruction and religious worship, thus robbing it of its life and universality, making it an affair of clergy, not of people ; of preaching and ceremonies, not of living; of Sundays and synagogues, instead of one of all days, and all places, houses, streets, towns, and countries."
Dr. G. remarked, “ It is this having God with me as my companion which has made me so happy. I dislike to sleep, because I lose the enjoyment. O to think I could ever have had a care when there was a God in the world! How wonderful! How wrong I have been! “Behold the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin : and
that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall be not much more clothe
0 little faith ? Ah! I did not understand that before. But I do now. How false are the judgments of the world! Many would pity me. They don't know how happy I am."
One of his physicians, having called when he felt faint in consequence of having just awakened from a short sleep, remarked that the day was dull, and depressed the feelings. Hereplied, emphatically, “Never mind! it's a very delightful day!"
He requested the following beautiful hymn of George Herbert's to be frequently read, his admiration of which emphatically showed how well grounded he was in the great truth, “By the grace of God I am what I am."
I threatened to observe the strict decree
But I was told by one, it could not be ;
Yet I might trust in God to be my light.
Nay, e'en to trust in Him was also his :
Then I confess that He my succour is.
That we have nought. I stood amazed at this,
That all things were more ours by being His.
Christ keepeth now, who cannot fail or fall. Saturday, 20. The evening of this day was felt to be a peculiarly interesting season, as it recalled the alarming seizure of the preceding week, and the unexpected mercies we had enjoyed, in such delightful intercourse with our beloved friend during the seven days he had been spared
In reference to this, he said, “I thought I should have been taken from you. We have had many mercies. What a glorious week it has been ! the happiest I ever spent. The world cannot comprehend it. I now understand the meaning of the passage, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him : but God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit.' One of his friends bidding him good night, with the wish that he might have pleasant thoughts, he replied, “Those I am sure to have. I am never afraid of the nights.”
FROM SUNDAY, JAN. 21, TO SUNDAY, JAN. 28.
CHRISTIAN JOY-CEMETERY-ETERNITY NOT ENTERED ALONE
-MYSTERIES - CHRISTIANS NOT POOR — VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH- “BE GREAT, AND SEEK LITTLE THINGS
-OPINIONS ON OTHER SUBJECTS UNCHANGED-LIFE OF DR.
HOPE-TEETOTALISM — DIGNITY, SAFETY, AND JOY OF THE
ALTHOUGH it would have seemed scarcely possible, yet Dr. Gordon was evidently still more emaciated than he was the preceding week. Notwithstanding the occasional rallyings which took place, it was obvious that the disease was steadily advancing; but while his little remaining strength became gradually less, and the outer man was perishing, it was delightful to witness how the “inder man was renewed day by day.” Two verses, on which he earnestly commented in the course of reading, well illustrated his own experience of “perfect peace” and “joy unspeakable,” as the result of simple reliance on the Saviour. “The Lord is mystrength