Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

on for nearly a week, when the this serious time he felt any pecuimpressions came fo close that he liar impressions on his own mind ; finally gave in that he must retire he answered that he had not. I and make a business of prayer. then afked him if he had not lately The next day or next but one thought more on ferious subjects. after this point was established, he He said he had and believed that was attacked in the same manner there was not one man in town but by his conscience as distinctly as if had ; but he actually appeared no some one spoke to him, “ You more concerned for his soul than must pray in your family ; Oh no, the generality of people at other says he, that I can't do, “ But times. you must do it," no, it is not ne 1 In reading over my text, the cessary, 'tis not commanded, “ But latter part of which was, “ who 'tis your duty, &c. Thus the di- bold the truth in unrighteousness ;" alogue continued for almost anoth- Almighty God deeply impressed er week, and finally he was obliged him with a conviction that he was to yield to the impresfion. But the very man ; that he had held not being in heart disposed to com- the truth in unrighteousness. In ply, and not being conversant in the course of the sermon he came prayer he became very uneasy, and to the most fixed resolutions to reone kind of guilt and another from form and lead a better life. He time to time starting up into his felt it important to delay no long. mind, he began to be greatly dis er ; and that the salvation of his treffed ; yet he determined no one foul was of immediate and infinite fhould know it ; he used all his art importance. He attended a meetu to suppress his feelings especially ing in the evening where his resobefore people, but nothing would lutions received greater confirmaanswer; he was finally obliged to tion. But as he was walking home own himself a hell-deserving creat- alone, so earnestly engaged and ure, before the face of all, and af- resolute, the spirit of the Lord ter a season of powerful convic- gave him an extraordinary sense of tion and heavy distress he found his perfect weakness and insufficomfort in submitting to God. ciency, and indeed of the total

Another man of 35 years, re- moral depravity of his heart ; and spectable for his good sense and the conviction was so clear, that judgment, is also an instance which all his hopes were dashed to pieces, I would mention. He was at first and he became fully sensible, that disaffected to the work that was nothing but the grace of an Ala among us. He had opposed the mighty sovereign could help him. distinguishing doctrines of the gof- But whether sucli a vile, ungodly, pel, not because he did not see them obstinate finner as he was, could in the bible, but through a di rel. I ever partake of that grace, was ish of them. He contrived to matter of great doubt and anxiety.. think that possibly, there was fome | He almost despaired of it, and wrong translation, or that some spent the whole night in horror words had been foisted in by de- , without a moment's sleep. The figning men ; and with this impo- | next day he attempted to labor fition on himself rested easy con- but his mind was 100 much absorba cerning them. Being about to ed in the view of his certain guilt preach ac his house in the latter and exposedness to everlasting ruin part of March, I asked him, if in 'to allow it. . Ile attended a deca ture, hoping to receive that helption. About the dawn of day he and those good affections which had some new views of the prohe knew he ought to have. But priety of submitting to God, un. in this he was disappointed. In- conditionally ; and that it was a stead of having his heart melted thing most suitable and excellent and mended, he found it more un- that Jehovah should do his pleasfeeling and inattentive, for he look. ure concerning all things. His ob. ed to the means and not to the God stinacy now gave way; he thought of falvation. This increased his he could acquiesce in the divine apprehenfions of his danger, he fovereignty, and immediately found debated whether it would be best relief. The thought that all to attend the evening meeting, left God's administrations were perhe should be made ftill more unfeel. | fectly holy, just and good ; that ing, but finally concluded he would he would do nothing but that which attend. Here, also, he found him- the best interests of the universe self more stupid than before, and required, gave him a calmness of began to conclude that nothing mind to which he had been a per. could affect him; that God would feet stranger. But all this time it most certainly refuse his grace, and did not enter into his mind that he thought he justly might. Then | he should be saved ; on the cona fenfe of the all-powerful, and all. trary it was his prevailing opinion seeing God made him tremble in that he must be rejected, for the every part, he flept done this night. wrath of God was revealed from In the morning, after some inef | heaven against him. As soon as feétual attempts to attend upon his it was light enough to fee, he read secular concerns, he thought of vi. a few verses in the bible, and set fiting me. He came, but found no out to walk a small distance ; but relief. In the afternoon, he at- the inipreslions were so powerful tended a sermon at a funeral, but on his mind as induced him for a this seemed rather to harden him ; moment to stop. In this moment a merciful God in all these attempts a number of texts of scripture Thewing him the desperate wicked. came to him as distinctly as if they ness of his heart, the insufficiency had been spoken by some other man, of human aid, and cutting him off such as these, Come unto me ye that from every dependence but his own labor and are heavy laden. Ho infinite grace. He became more every one that thirsteth, &c. and and more sensible of his wretched a number of others which he did ness and the sources of that wretch not recollect to have heard or read edness; he found that his deceitful for a long time. He now concluheart would look to any thing but ded it was the Lord of glory adto God through Christ for help ; dressing his word to him. But the hence he concluded it was perfect | inference was not such as proud enmity against God ; and if God and self-conceited fanatics would did not appear in a way of love draw-namely, that he should be reign mercy, he must perish eter | saved, for God was now his friend, nally.

on the contrary he concluded that This evening being exhausted, Jesus addressed him in this manhe had an hour or two of broken ner to fhew him the aggravation of Neep, but awaked to keener feelings. his condemnation. And his reHe felt himself all night in a moft flections were most pungent and forlora and uncomfortable Gtua- ' bitter, “Oh, what a Saviour I kare

$ rejected-how able and ready close of that year, he obtained a

has he been to help and save me hope that he had passed from death 6-but I have rejected him and unto life. But no representations « held all his truths in unrighteous- could induce him to pray in his “ ness-eternal death is my portion, family. This man being the next • in spite of all the love and mer. fpring convinced of thefallegrounds Sits of Jesus he has in perfect of his hope-gave it up, and after * justice turned against me and I great distress, obtained comforta, 6 cannot open my mouth to 'com- ble acquaintance with the doctrines 6 plain.” With reflections like of the gospel and the way of life these he walked backwards and by : Jesus Christ. After this he forwards a few minutes, wringing found that all the obstacles which his hands in fearful agony, as be- hindered family worship were of ing now certain of his miserable no weight, that it was only the doom for eternity. At this time want of a religious heart that prethese words came into his mind as vented him. And his 'views and distinctly as before, “ Have I not feelings being now apparently chandone enough for you? Have you ged, he could introduce it witla not stood out against me long

want me long joy. enough ?" An overcoming power From this narrative you are not attended these words so that he was to conclude that a reformation has constrained to cry, " yes, Oh yes | reached every person in the town Lord, I bow to thee, Oh make me or the society ; on the contrary it what thou wilt.”

is to be feared that great numbers - This was succeeded by a serenity remain destitute of saving grace.-. and peace, which he never felt be. Many have not been impressed at fore and of which he had no idea. all, many have lost what they had It was divine refreshment to a soul and some are more discontented dissolved in penitence and love with gospel truths than ever.

- The day before this he told a May God of his infinite mercy friend that it seemed to him, if bring them to repentance ! Amen. ever he should be so happy as to Yours, &c. obtain an interest in Christ, he

JOSHUA WILLIAMS. could never pray in his family, be- Harwinton, December 1800. is cause he was such an ignorant and helpless creature. But this morn Memoirs of Mrs.

H a , who ing he foon returned into his house, clofed a life of exemplary piety called his family together and with Christian comfort and refigo poured forth such strains of adora- | nation. tion and acknowledgement, and L ARLY in life he was a subsuch fervent prayers as melted the Ta ject of sericas impressions, family into tears. I will only add obtained a hope in Chrilt, and that his apparent perseverance gives made a profesfion of religion. She Creason to believe chat this was not was far from being confident and

- aflured when speaking of the ex· Another person, whose wife ercises of her mind; but gave good joined the church in the summer of evidence to others that her hope 1798, was deeply impressed at was well founded. Her life apa that circumkance, although noth- peared to be that of a pious, praying that was said to him could af- erfül, humble and exemplary fect him before. Towards the ! Christian. In the management

Vol. I. No. 12, Mmm

of the concerns of her family she | abroad in her soul. Her heart was was discreet and prudent. The filled with such raptures of joy as heart of her husband safely trust overcame the fears of death, dised in her. To her children she armed the king of terrors, and was a tender and affectionate pa. rendered him lovely in her light, rent, a pious and able counsellor. | as a messenger of peace.. With · Such was the general character such views The several times exshe exhibited in life ; but the prin. | pressed herself to the minister, as cipal design of this fketch is to de- he called to vilt her, in nearly the fcribe some of the leading exer following words. As he came to cises of her mind during her last the side of the bed, on which she sickness. In the first ftage of her lay, expecting hourly to depart, illness, having little hope of re- he took him by the hand, and in covery, the was greatly tried with a cheerful voice, and with joy im. the thought of leaving her chil. preffed on her countenance, said dren, who were moft of them in “How sweet death is. It is pleafthat period of life when most ex. | ant as the morning, sweet as the posed to be deceived and led astray honey and honey-comb, to go to by the allurements, amusements my dear Redeemer.” Seasons and vanities of the world. She of social prayer were exceedingly found it difficult to bring her mind precious in her fight; and on such to a willingness to part with them, occasions the appeared remakably and to commit them wholly to fervent and devout. Her joy was God. This inordinate anxiety, at times like that described by the and want of confidence in the Apostle, « Whom having not great disposer of all things she seen ye love. In whom, tho' now greatly lamented. It seemed to ye fee him not, yet believing, ye be the chief source of her trouble. rejoice with joy unspeakable and She did not wish the clergyman of full of glory." the society, when he called to vis | She uniformly manifefted a thorit her, to pray for her life, but ough conviction and feeling sense of that fhe might be entirely resigned her entire unworthiness, and as. to the divine will. This refigna- cribed all the good, which she extion she soon obtained in a very perienced, or hoped for, to the considerable degree ; and said that free grace of God, through the fhe was willing to give all up, to merits of the Redeemer. To her commit herself, her children, and husband and friends bewailing her all her concerns into the hands of expected death, the addressed God. To preserve and establish the words of Christ, “Weep not her mind in this patient, resigned for me, but weep for yourfelves and submissive frame, she would and for your children. The salvafrequently reflect upon the suffer tion of fouls and the prosperity of ings of Christ, to which he cheer- religion lay near her heart. She fully fubmitted in our head, and urged it upon her family and othmention the impropriety and inex- ers to make religion their chief cusablenefs of our complaints un. pursuit. This fhe enforced by her der trials and sufferings compara words but more powerfully by her tively small, and which fall fo far example. Her peace and comfort below our defert.

of mind continued to the last. At times the love of God Having finished her courfe she fell feemed to be remarkably shed l afleep in Jesus, and as we truft is

gone to her Saviour, in whom she mercy, and of having others be. lo much delighted.

come veffels of wrath, fitted for Io scripture much is said respect destruction. I ing the pleasures of religion, and " By God's hating Esau is not its confolat ons in times of trial. meant that God exercised any mal. When we see such declarations ice or malevolence trwards' him. exemplified, the power, the joys God is not a malicions being. But and the supports of religion felt he exercises a benevolent good will and evidenced, we are led more towards all his rational creatures. fully to believe in the divine prom- He had a benevolent regard to ises, and more feelingly to realize | Esau's happiness. But his benerthe excellency of religion. When olence seeks the highest happiness we see persons, languishing on a bed of his holy kingdom, and not the of sickness, under a lively fense of greatest individual happiness of all the near approach of death, of and each of his creatures. And their own characters as guilty and God's ultimate end in forming a ill-deferving, and of the perfect rational creature is not the individ. holiness and justice of God, ex- ual happiness or misery of that perience inexpreffible joy in con creature ; but his ultimate end is templating the divine character, and his own glory, or, what amounts through faith in Christ triumph to the fame, the glory and blessedover death and the grave; the ness of his holy kingdom. And righteous mast feel their faith God, in determining to give exifftrengthened, and be enabled more tence to such a person as Efau, faw fervently to praise and adore their it would be most for the glory and glorious Redeemer who is thus blessedness of his kingdom, to give mighty to save. Sinners also at up the holiness and happiness of such times are constrained to pay Esau, and let him become a vessel an involuntary tribute to religion, of wrath, fitted for destruction. and to join with Balaam in saying, And therefore God comparatively “ Let me die the death of the hated him ; that is, God had in. righteous, and let my last end be finitely greater love to himfelf and like his."

to his holy kingdom, than to EPHILO. sau, as an individualGod was

not deftitute of benevolence to.

wards Efau. Esau's individual TO THE EDITORS OF THE CON-| happiness was as dear to God, as · NECTICUT EVANGELICAL MAG the individual happiness of Jacob, ? AZINE.

supposing them to have equal capa

city to enjoy happiness. But the THE following thoughts are

individual good or happiness of offered for your inspection.

Efau must be given up for the fake

of a greater good. God in the Romans ix. 13. Jacob have I lov.

exercise of his benevolence must ed, but Esau bave I hated. I

regard objects according to their

worth. As God's holy kingdom, TT is conceived that the con- with himself at the head, is of inI nexion of these words with finitely more worth than such an the context leads us to consider individual as Efau, God can, in God's eternal purpofe of forming perfect wisdom and love, dispense fome of mankind to be vessels of I with Efau's good or happiness,

GENTLEMEN,

« AnteriorContinuar »