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yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
"The fourth and last kind of faith," proceeded the lady of the manor, "is Justifying Faith. This is a saving grace wrought in the soul by the Spirit of God, whereby we receive Christ, as he is revealed in the Gospel, under the several appropriate titles of Prophet, Priest, and King; whereby also the individual is enabled to trust in him, relying on his righteousness alone for justification and salvation. This faith produces a sincere obedience in the life and conversation. In Heb. xi. 1, 2, it is thus described—Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Of this faith and its effects it is impossible to say too much; inasmuch as it raises the sinner from a state of pollution and misery to a state of holiness and happiness, converting fallen man into a son of God and an heir of glory. This faith not only assures the individual on whom it is bestowed of the reality and worth of eternal, invisible things; but it produces also a satisfactory and assured confidence that God will infallibly perform what he has promised, whereby the believer becomes as completely satisfied of his own salvation as if his heavenly mansion were immediately before his eyes or in his actual possession. The object of this faith is the Word of God in general, and especially those doctrines and promises which respect the salvation of man through Christ, which reason can neither discover by its own light, nor perfectly understand when revealed.
"The essential, supreme perfections of God form the firm foundation of Scriptural faith; such as his unerring knowledge, his immutable truth, his infinite goodness, and his almighty power. This faith has a prevailing influence upon the will; it moves the affections; bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. The very first effect produced in the heart by faith, is a conviction of the sinner's unbelief. All human beings are naturally infidels, though few will acknowledge this even to themselves: to convince them therefore of this, is one of the primary operations of faith. Hence our Saviour declares, in speaking of the coming of the Spirit, When he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness: of sin, because they believe not on me; of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more. (John xvi. 8—10.)
"Such persons as have been brought up in a Christian country, and among the ordinary sort of nominal Christians," continued the lady of the manor, "commonly take it for granted that they are believers: but even supposing that they may acknowledge themselves to have some doubts; yet they have by nature no sense whatever of the heinousness of this sin of unbelief, but acquiesce, nay, not unfrequently glory in this state of infidelity. Such being the case, it is necessary, as I before said, that he who is to be converted must be first convinced of unbelief, which cannot be brought about by any natural means, or by any efforts of unassisted reason. And here, my young people, you are furnished with a test by which you may in some degree ascertain your present state as to spiritual things. Have you ever been convinced of unbelief? Have you been made to see that the time was in which you lived without God in the world? Has it ever happened to you to doubt the sincerity of your belief? Have not each of you at all times from your earliest infancy been in the habit of counting yourselves among the number of believing Christians? Have you ever been led to suspect that you were not such 1 Let me tell you, that if you have never had any suspicions of this kind, the Holy and Blessed Spirit has not yet commenced his operations upon your hearts; neither have you yet been admitted even into the outer courts of the temple. Our Lord says, If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? (John iii. 12.)
"And here I must remark, that our professing friends often deal with us in a way very different from that which our Divine Teacher adopts. How common is it for our earthly connexions, when they think they can perceive any thing promising in us, to endeavour to promote our advancement in the Christian course by words of flattery, instead of labouring with all their might to convince us of our natural unbelief, and the deadly nature of this sin! Thus hollow professors are produced without end in religious societies; young beginners are thus taught to be hypocrites; while all the arts of civilized society and all the abilities of the natural man are set to work to render the deception as complete as possible in the eyes of man. It is alarming," continued the lady of the manor, "to observe the perfection of character to which mere professors may seem to approach, and to what a surprising degree such persons frequently carry the art of self-deception. But, inasmuch as I know that you do not love abstract discussions, instead of enlarging my present discourse, I shall content myself with reading to you a little narrative which is much to our present purpose."
The History of Jenetta Mannering; related by herself shortly before her Death.
"My name is Jenetta Mannering. My father was the son of a person who cultivated a small estate of his own, near a certain town in Staffordshire; the name of which, to use a form of speech authorized by a certain Spanish writer of high celebrity, / do not choose to remember. My father was brought up to trade and settled in the town of Leeds, in Yorkshire, where, having made a pretty property, he married, but dying immediately after my birth, left me to the sole charge of my mother, who continued to reside in the same house in which she had lost her husband. Accordingly, in this house, which afforded one of the few remaining specimens of the architecture of the seventeenth century as exhibited in a common dwelling-house, I first became conscious of my existence, and found myself placed under the care of a tender mother, having no companions of my own age, and seeing no other inmates than a Mrs. Hannah Wingfield, (whom I never remember in any other form but that of a stiff, wrinkled old woman,) together with two female servants, whose prim and obsolete appearance were perfectly consistent with the venerable aspect of the place of their habitation.
"My mother was the most conscientious of parents; but it is difficult beyond measure, nay, perhaps, beyond the strength of unassisted man, to bring up an only child, in that simplicity and that freedom from selfishness which are however necessary, humanly speaking, to the formation of a fine character. We know indeed that the grace of God is sufficient to counteract in any individual the most adverse circumstances of education. Notwithstanding which, as the Almighty commonly works by means, that parent who uses not the appointed means for the improvement of the character of his child, has no right to expect the blessing of God upon that child.
"In one point, and that a most important one, my mother entirely failed in her management of me, although it has pleased God to exhibit his mercy towards me in counteracting this error of my education. But inasmuch as my sufferings have been extremely severe, and my danger, humanly speaking, of final reprobation, in consequence of this failure of prudence in my mother, at one time certainly very great, I beseech all parents, and especially professing parents, who may hereafter read this history, cautiously to observe and avoid that failure of judgment whereby my well-meaning but injudicious mother, to say the least, made total shipwreck of my prosperity on earth.
"My mother and Mrs. Hannah Wingfield were closely united to a religious society, which at that time was contained within the bosom of the Church of England; and being fully convinced of the just opinions and laudable purposes of this society, they assisted it to the extent of their pecuniary means, as well as with all the little influence which persons in their retired sphere of life might be supposed to possess.
"It was natural for my mother to associate with such persons as had the same views of religion with herself. In consequence of which, during my childhood, I seldom saw any other persons except such as were or appeared to be seriously devoted to the service of their heavenly Father; nor was I accustomed to hear any other language than the language of religion. Whether I was naturally more grave than others of my own age, I cannot undertake to say; but certain it is, that my animal spirits were not excited either by the society of other children, by lively persons of more advanced agr
or by the usual pastimes and sports of youth; from all of which I was for the most part equally debarred.
"My mother's house stood in a close narrow street in the town of Leeds. It was large, but very old; and although few of the apartments were ever occupied, they were all furnished and kept with scrupulous neatness. In these wide and ancient apartments, in which were no ornaments or furniture but what might have suited the days of our Queen Elizabeth, and through which, with the exception of the parlour, moved no human being but my mother, Mrs. Hannah Wingfield, and the two female servants before mentioned—all of whom were always dressed with the most formal exactness and precision—I spent all the days of early infancy, experiencing no change of scene, except on those occasions when I was made to attend divine service in a small chapel in the neighbourhood, or when, which not unfrequently happened, my mother's friends met to read and pray in her large parlour.
"My occupations, during childhood, chiefly consisted in needlework, reading, and psalmody: while my only recreations were such as sometimes sitting on a dresser in the kitchen, sometimes looking out of a large casement window into the crowded and busy street, and sometimes examining the prints in a large Bible or Book of Martyrs.
"It may be asked by those who have been used to strong excitements from infancy, whether my life was not an exceedingly dull and miserable one. I answer, no; till my seventh or eighth year it was neither miserable nor dull; nor was I by any means uncomfortable, till, by the injudicious mode of treatment from those around me, certain selfish feelings were excited within my breast which had hitherto remained apparently inactive. Children are imitative creatures, and it was natural for me to imitate that which I constantly saw before me, or which I heard mentioned with approbation. It is very desirable that children should see nothing but what is right, and that they should be taught to imitate that only which is laudable and becoming. But much care should be taken not to give them too 'ieat credit for that which is the effect of imitation only;