Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

night hour was awaked by the outcry of his neighbor at the window, and the first sentence he hears informs him, that his house is on fire—that the flames are just ready to burst upon bis pillow; but he replies, it is true I am in danger, no words can make it more evident; and I am - almost persuaded” to rush from the devouring element, ere it quite approaches and prevents my escape; but before he summons resolution enough to move a single limb, the timbers and the buruing contents of the upper apartment fall and in. gulph him in rain. Tell me not, that this is hyperbole. The best resolution of the best impenitent sinner, in relation to personal religion, is at such a remove from christian feeling, that his folly exceeds a thousand-fold, any description of the highest colouring; for to be once - almost a christian," is to be absolutely lost forever and ever.

H. S.

(For the Monitor.)

ON QUENCHING THE SPIRIT.

My children, said the old man, few will be the words of your dying father. I wish them to sink deep into your hearts. Then raising himself a little in his bed with a degree of strength which he had not been able to command for several of the last weeks of his sickness, he proceeded.

When young I enjoyed religious privileges and was the subject of occasional serious reflection. When just entering my sixteenth year religious impressions were made on my mind with unusual force.

I seemed to hear a voice continually saying to me seek religion now. I was unhappy; my former amusements lost their relish. Still I was not willing wholly to relinquish them, and obey the voice which urged me to seek religion immediately. One day, after much réflection, I deliberately promised to God that as soon as the season of youthful amusement was past, I would

give myself to religious pursuits.--My anxieties immediately left me; I returned to my amusements and the whole subject was soon forgotten.

When at thirty-five, the monitory voice returned, reminded me of my promise, and again pressed upon me the importance of eternal things. —Though I had not thought of my promise for years, I acknowledged its obligations, but an immediate fulfilment seemed more impracticable than it did nine years before.

I vowed with increased solemnity, that when the cares of a rising family should subside I would certainly attend to the concerns of religion.

Again I applied myself to worldly avocations and soon buried all thoughts of the admonition I had received. At fifty, when you, my children, were diminishing instead of increasing my cares, this heavenly monitor returned.-"Fulfil your promise, seek religion now" was continually pressing upon my mind. I knew that I had made such a promise but I felt dissatisfied that its fulfilment should be claimed so soon, I regretted that I had not attended to the subject before when I could have done it with less difficulty ; but such was the extent and pressure of my business that to do it then seemed impossible. The subject made me unhappy, and after much deliberation I sought relief to my troubled feelings by most solemnly renewing my promise to God. When, I said, the pressure of business is past I will devote my whole attention to a preparation for for eternity.

No sooner had I fixed my mind on this course than my anxieties left me-the strivings of the Spirit ceased in my bosom, and ceased forever. When sickness warned me of approaching death I sought to fix my feelings on this subject, but it was in vain. There was a gloom, and terror drawn around religion at which my soul shuddered. I felt that I was forsaken of God but it did not

I had no love to God, no repentance for sin, nor wish to forsake it. I felt nothing but the sullen gloom of despair-I knew I was in the hands of a justly offended God from whom I expected po mercy and could

move me.

ask none. With these feelings I am now about to enter the eternal world. To you my children I can only say profit by my example-quench not the Spirit-seek religion now if you would avoid a miserable eternity; put not off the concerns of your soul till”.

The sentence died upon his lips; his strength which had been all summoned to make this last effort suddenly failed, he fell back upon his bed, and with a groan that seemed to speak the pains of another world, the immortal spirit took its fight from that body which it had inbabited nearly fourscore years, to receive according to that it had done.

This little narrative I had from a grandson of the old man, who stood by his dying bed. He was a minister of the Gospel, and dated his first permanent conviction from the solempities of that awful scene. The descendants of the old man were numerous,most of whom became hopefully pious. Two, who are now preachers, and several others were first awakened by his dyiog charge.

A few particulars in the last years of this aged sinner are perhaps worthy of remark.

Three years before his death there was a revival in. the place where he resided, and the son with whom he lived was a subject of its influence. He made the most violent opposition to his son's religious feelings, and never whilst able to move about the house did he remain in the room during family prayers, nor till his dying hour was a prayer offered in his hearing at his request.

He so studiously avoided all religious conversation, that, from the death of his wife, which was thirteen years previous, he was never known to say a word about his own feelings till in his dying moments he made the communication above given.

Dear youth, whose eyes may glance over this brief narrative, did you ever feel any anxiety about eternity ?—any of the strivings of God's Spirit? If you did I pray you suffer a word of entreaty from one who desires your everlasting peace. Quench not the Spirit. Say not to the heavenly Messenger when I am old I will hear, lest in old age you lie down in sorrow and despair ;' lest God should say of you, “ he is joined to his idols, let bim alone.”

[ocr errors]

It has been my privilege to witness several revivals of religion, chiefly among youth, and there is not one in which I cannot recall individuals who were awakened, and deeply anxious, for a time, but who resisted God's Spirit, and appeared at last to be hardened in iniquity. Few, perhaps, attain that eminence in hardness of heart to which that aged man I have mentioned arrived, but he only who searcheth the heart knoweth how many there are to whom, after repeated invitations of mercy,

God

says, because I have called and ye have refused—therefore will I laugh at your calamity, and mock when your fear cometh.

Should you grieve this Holy Spirit, should you provoke him to take a final flight from your bosoms you would as surely lie down in eternal sorrow as if the pit were already closed upon you. Seek ye the Lord then whilst he may be found, call ye upon him whilst he is near, and may the Holy Spirit enable you to seek that you may find salvation, that your souls may

live. XANTHUS.

ANECDOTE OF DR. ROGERS.

were

THE Rev. John Rogers and several of his hearers

once summoned to appear before Sir Richard Craddock, a justice of the peace, for worshipping God according to the dictates of their conscience. While they were waiting in the great hall, expecting to be called upon, a little girl, six or seven years of

age,

who was Sir Richard's grand-daughter, happened to come into the hall : she looked at Mr. Rogers and was much taken up with his venerable appearance. Being naturally fond of children, he took her upon his knee, caressed her, and gave her some sweetmeats. The child being a particular favorite of her grandfather, had acquired so great an ascendancy over him, that he could deny her nothing, and possessing too violent a spirit to

bear contradiction, she was indulged in every thing she wanted. At one time, when she had been contradicted, she ran a penknife into her arm, to the great danger of her life. This ungovernable spirit was in the present instance over-ruled for good. While she was sitting on Mr. Rogers' knee, eating the sweetmeats, she looked earnestly at him, and asked, 6 what are you here for, Sir?” He answered, “I believe your grandfather is going to send me and my friends to gaol.”—Upon this she ran up to the chamber where Sir Richard was, and knocking with her head and heels till she got in, she said to him, “What are you going to do with my good old gentleman in the hall

?” “ That's nothing to you," said he,“ “get about your business.” “ But I won't," said she : " he tells me that you are a going to send him and his friends to gaol, and if you do send them, I'll drown my. self in the pond as soon as they are gone : I will indeed." When he saw the child thus peremptory, it shook his resolution, and induced him to abandon his malicious design. Taking the mittimus in his hand, he went down into the hall, and thus addressed these good men: "I had here made out your mittimus to send you all to gaol, as you deserve ; but at my grandchild's request I drop the prosecution and set you all at liberty.bowed and thanked his worship. But Mr. Rogers going to the child, laid his hand upon her head, and lifting up his eyes to heaven, said, God bless you, my dear child! May the blessing of that God whose cause you have now pleaded, though you know him not, be upon you, in life, at death, and to all eternity!" The prayer of the good old man was heard, and many years after was graciously answered in her conversion to God.

An additional fact may increase the interest of this anecdote. A son of Dr. Rogers who was, years after this, participating the politeness and hospitality of a pious lady, related at dinner the above incidents of his father, for the entertainment of the company. When he was through, the lady says, 46 Are you che son of that Dr. Rogers ??? He answered, yes. She replied, “I am that little girl.”

They all

« VorigeDoorgaan »