« VorigeDoorgaan »
39 me sanctifying, quickening, preventing grace; and while I am permitted to continue in this state of trial, let me not live in vain. I would not ask the honors of this vain, deceitful world. I ask for that lively faith which can overcome the world ; which shall assist me to perform every duty with delight, enable me to endure every trial with patience and submission, receive every favor with gratitude, and ascribe all the glory to thyself.
« Feb. 11th, Saturday Eve. 8 o'clock.This is an hour which has been set apart by this and many other churches, to be spent in prayer specially for the effusion of the Spirit. We may attempt the duty, but unless the Spirit assist us, it will be merely a formal service-not an odor of sweet incense. “Awake, 0 north wind; and come, thou south: blow upon these gar-, dens that their spices may flow forth.
“ Nov. 23d.-A few single females of the church, feeling an additional obligation resting on them, while comparatively free from worldly cares, to be active in the Lord's vineyard, have agreed to set apart this day for fasting and prayer before God, to seek his special blessing on themselves, and devise measures for promoting their usefulness. Wishing to avoid the painful
interrogation, · Why stand ye here all the day idle,' and feeling that the benevolent mind may ever find some work of charity or labor of love to perform, though excluded from public view, we desire to associate ourselves for mutual encouragement and assistance. Oh, thou omnipresent Sovereign, behold our intention and bless our design. With thy blessing, we may, though weak, accomplish much; without it, the most splendid display of talents can accomplish nothing.
“Reasons for fasting. The Lord has hid his face from us as a society, and from many of us as individuals. Many are apparently thoughtless and unconcerned; and some who are dear to us are, we fear, in spiritual bondage, yet insensible to`danger. The professed disciples of Jesus, though exhibiting more signs of life than a few months past, are yet far from being zealous in that cause which should excite their warmest affections.”
To a brother at a distance she wrote :
May 2d, 1823. “ We have been shielded against the inclemency of the dreary winter, and spring is now smiling upon us with exhilarating
freshness and beauty. The winter of life will soon be past. . Perpetual spring will reign in the realms of consummate felicity, and peace, and harmony, and love, be uninterrupted. It would be agreeable to your friends, if it could consist with the divine purpose, to have you live where they could enjoy your society. But we submit. The omnipotent Jehovah reigns, and orders every event; and “shall not the Judge of all the earth do right ? Separations are necessary in this imperfect state; but they are transitory, compared to eternity. May we but obtain a seat at God's right hand, and we shall be abundantly repaid for every trialevery cross we may be called to endure, in this life, for the sake of Christ and his gospel.”
To a friend under serious impressions, who was thought to be returning to a state of stupidity, she thus writes :
December, 1825. “My dear L.—You will permit me to use the utmost plainness of address, assured that it proceeds from love to your soul. I would inquire,- What are your present views and exercises on religious subjects ? Do you feel that the salvation of the soul
is the one thing needful ?? Do you realize that eternal consequences are involved in the manner in which this life is spent ? that the improvement or misimprovement of one day, or even one hour, may decide your future destiny? Do you feel that you are a sinner, exposed to the righteous vengeance of a holy and justly offended God? And, under this apprehension, are you crying, with anxious solicitude;—What must I do to be saved ??—God be merciful to me, a sinner ?? If such be the case, I would, with pleasing confidence, point you to the · Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world. I would remind you of the language of the compassionate Jesus himself; – Him that cometh to me, however desperate his case, “I will in no wise cast out.' • Come unto me, and I will give you rest.' But, if your impressions are less vivid than those described-yet I hope you are not without some of the same kind of feelings -O do not give yourself any rest till your peace is made with God.
“ The voice of mercy calls,-Repent; forsake your sins, and accept the terms of salvation, before the night of death shroud all your hope in the gloom of eternal despair. My dear L., think of the worth of the soul. Ponder on that word-eternity! What is eternity? No mortal on earth can fully comprehend its import. Would you understand its meaning ? Follow me, in your meditations, to the mansions of despair, and listen to what is there passing. What dismal sound strikes the ear?— wretched being! Why did I reject the counsel, which warned me of this doom, and entreated me to escape it? Why did I delay complying with the faithful instructions of my spiritual guide ? Why did the tender admonitions of my pious parents produce no more effect on my obdurate heart? Alas, delay has proved my ruin. I never intended to come to this prison of wo. I designed sometime to repent and live a different life. But, provoked with my daring obstinacy, my incensed Sovereign suddenly cut me off from life and hope, and now I must forever sink beneath his fiery vengeance.' Forever !—What pangs of keen anguish does that thought add to the bitterness of my torment! Could all the sufferings, which could be endured during millions of years, be heaped on my guilty head, and my release be thus procured, then a gleam of hope and joy would pervade my whole soul! But there is no such prospect, no such possibility. Oh, eternity! heart-rending thought. Worlds would be trifling in purchase for