صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

mind which, under divine illumination, is habituated to the consideration of such subjects, must be continually advancing in intellectual improvement.

To the ideas already suggested, others might, without difficulty, be added. It might be observed that, by the purity of the principles which the Christian imbibes, and the efficacy of the motives by which he is influenced, he is led to a conscientious improvement of his time, to a due regulation of his hours. of leisure, and to a careful avoidance of those amusements, indulgences, and habits, which would have a tendency to impair the vigour of his mind.

It might also be observed, That the association enjoyed by Christians of the lower classes of society with their brethren of superior station, has a salutary influence in promoting the enlargement of their minds, and the extent of their knowledge. These, and, probably, other considerations might be adduced, to account for the obvious and interesting fact, That the entrance of the divine word giveth light, and tends greatly to elevate the intellectual character. H. F. B.


A Correspondent of the late Rev. Mr. Newton having requested of him an Account of a poor Pious Woman, whom he had formerly known, he gave him the following simple and affecting Narrative * : —

'I BELIEVE you refer to an old woman who lived upon Wavertree Green, near Liverpool, and was known by the name of Dame Cross. Though very poor when I knew her, and, I believe, through her whole life, she was above the level of the common poor. She was a person of natural good sense and reflection, and had an agreeable address. Hers was a dignified and respectable poverty.

[ocr errors]

Under the first impression of serious thoughts, she set out upon the laudable plan of aiming to please God; but she soon found that she could not even please herself. This startled her. She considered, I am certainly sufficiently partial in my own favour; and if I cannot please myself, how can I expect to please the holy and heart-searching God, who sees me as I really am, and doubtless notices much more evil in me than I am able to perceive?' This reflection threw her into great distress; but Mr. Hervey's Theron and Aspasio' came in her way, which afforded her a key to the Bible. She well knew the great and leading truths of the gospel; but I believe she never once heard the gospel in her life, except what she might hear from me in

*See Letter 8th of Correspondence of the late Rev. J. Newton with Dissenting Minister,' lately published.

our family-worship, during a week that I had the honour of entertaining her in my house, before I was in the ministry. I was then obliged to use caution, lest she should be starved; for if at meal-time I occasionally spoke of the Lord Jesus, his love to sinners, his sufferings, his glory, or the like, she usually burst into tears, and could eat no more.

She was a staunch church-woman, had a high veneration for gowns and cassocks, and for those who wore them. She thought all sermons were good: they were so to her, for she would at least feed upon the text. I remember when this was my own case; but, notwithstanding her prejudices, remaining ignorance, and want of discrimination in hearing,-if humility, benevolence, submission to the will of God, strong faith, and a spiritual mind, are eminent parts of the Christian character, she appeared to me one of the greatest and most exemplary Christians I ever met with.

[ocr errors]

' Á relation offered to settle ten pounds per annum upon her during his life. She said, If he could have settled it for her own life, she would accept it; but such an addition for a time, would probably add to the number of her wants, and then, if he died first, she should be worse off than before. Upon this principle, she refused his offer.

She kept a little school. The parents of the children were mostly as poor as herself, and, not being able or willing to pay longer, took the children away. She went round the neighbourhood to them, and said, I shall be glad if you can pay me, because I am poor; but, whether you pay me or not, do let your children come to me: perhaps something I say may be useful to them when I am dead.'

One morning I found her at breakfast upon dry bread and a little tea. I said to her, "Dame, Do not you like butter?" She answered, 'Yes, I like butter; but it is very dear, and I cannot afford it; but my Lord (so she usually spoke of him) takes care that I should have bread: it is very good, it is enough, and I

thank him for it.'

'Once when I called, she had a good many fowls and chickens about her. I said, "Dame, Are these all yours?"Not one of them, Sir: they belong to my neighbours; but they are accustomed to come to my door. I save all my crumbs and scraps for them. I love to feed them, for the sake of Him who made them.'

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

"When I asked her, Are you not uneasy at being alone, now you are so old? (she was more than fourscore). Suppose you should be taken ill in the night, you have nobody to help you she replied, Do you think my Lord does not know that I am an old woman, and live by myself? I am not uneasy: I believe he will take care of me.' She once said to me, I believe my Lord will not permit me to die for want of food; but if such should be his pleasure, I hope I am willing. Perhaps I should

not find that so painful a death as many rich people feel, who live in great plenty. I am in his hands, and he will do what is right,' or to that purpose.

There were several genteel families upon the Green; and, as her general conduct was striking, and she had not been in the way of being marked with the stigma of Methodism, she was much respected. They often sent her a plate of victuals from their tables. At last, two ladies called on lier, and said, That they and some of their acquaintance had agreed to make her as easy as possible for her few remaining days; and asked her how much a year she would have. She said, "I am old, and live quite by myself; but I believe I could get a room in a house not far off (to which she pointed); if you will please to pay the rent of my room, and allow me tive pounds a year, it will suffice.' They offered to double it; but she declined, and said, Five pounds will be quite enough.'I knew both the ladies; and have no doubt but that, if she had asked thirty pounds per year, she might have had it.

She did not live long after her removal into her new lodging. She went to bed one night in usual health, and was found dead in the morning. She seemed to have died in her sleep, for there was no appearance of any struggle, nor any feature in her countenance ruffled. Thus she died alone at last; for, though there were several people in the house ready and willing to assist her, she needed no help from them. Such care did the great Lord, who humbles himself to notice the worship of angels, take of a poor old woman, who was enabled to put her trust in bim, and to acquiesce in his dispensations.

'I believe it is now forty years since she exchanged Earth for Heaven. I cannot pretend, at this distance of time, to per fect accuracy in recording all her expressions, though several of them affected me so much at the time, that they were deeply impressed upon my memory; and, I believe, you have them from me verbatim, as I had them from her own mouth. However, you may depend upon it, that the substance of what I have written is strictly true. Much more I could have added, if my memory did not fail me.'



To the Editor.

I REG leave to suggest, through the medium of your Magazine, whether evangelical knowledge might not be considerably promoted, by the establishment of Free Circulating Libraries, in different situations of the metropolis, and in every town and village? These institutions, it should seem, would



aid the exertions of the Religious Tract Society, by placing books of approved worth within the reach of persons desirous of religious instruction, but who are uninformed what books are proper to be read, and unable to procure them by purchase. A library of this description was established at Macclesfield, by the late Rev. David Simpson, which had the desired effect of promoting a spirit of religious enquiry and concern. In his Plea for Religion,' he has pointed out a number of books which, he says, are calculated to advance the spirit of religion in the soul, which he has had an opportunity of perusing, and can recommend them every one, as containing much that is valuable.' The utility of the plan seems obvious. Surely, there are individuals in every town and village throughout the kingdom, desirous of promoting the best interests of their fellowmortals. Let such step forward, recollecting, for their encouragement, the words of St. James:- Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him, let him know that he who converteth a sinner from the error of his way, shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.' No one need be discouraged from the attempt by the expense. It may be commenced upon a small scale, with the publications of the Religious Tract Society, and enlarged as assistance may be received, with the books recommended by Mr. Simpson, or others; which are to be met with secondhand, for a small sum. I am, &c. JUVENIS

Rev. Sir,


To the Editor.

[ocr errors]

Should the following Anecdote of R. L- of U (as related to me by himself) meet your approbation, its insertion in your Periodical Miscel lany, will much oblige your constant reader,

Hales Owen.

T. D.

'I HAVE known the grace of God for nearly 30 years; but, in spite of all my advice, my five sons and two daughters, all grown up, ran on in the broad way to destruction. This cost me many a prayer, and many a tear; yet I saw no fruit of all my labour. In January last, I dreamed that the day of judg ment was come. I saw the Judge on his great white throne, the holy angels sat around him, and all nations were gathered before him. I and my wife were on the right hand; but I could not see any of my children. I said, I cannot bear this; I must go and seek them; so I went to the left hand, and found them all seven standing together, tearing their hair, beating their breasts, and oursing the day that ever they were born.

As soon as they saw me, they all caught hold of me, and said, "O, father! we will part no more!" I said, 'My dear children, I am come to try, if possible, to get you out of this dismal situation;' so I took them all with me: but, when we were come within a bow-shot of the Judge, I thought he cast an angry look, and said, What do thy children with thee now? They would not take thy warning when upon earth: they shall not share the crown with thee. Depart, ye cursed!' At these words I awoke, bathed in sweat and tears.

Awhile after this, as we were sitting all together, on a Sunday evening, I related my dream to them. No sooner did I begin, but first one, then another, yea, all of them, burst into tears, and God fastened conviction on their hearts. Five of them are now rejoicing in God their Saviour; and, I believe, God is at work with the other two: so that I doubt not but he will give them also to my prayers.'

The remainder of his children have since been converted, and walk according to the truth as it is in Jesus.



To the Editor.

About twelve years since, I became acquainted with Mr. Joshua Bretherton, of the city of Gloucester, one of the first fruits of Mr. Whitfield's ministry in that city. Being ia conversation one evening on the privilege of the fellowship of saints, he said he would furnish me with a treat, and immediately produced a box, containing some bundreds of letters, which he had received in the course of many years, being a correspondence from different ministers and private characters in the church. The principal part of them were in the hand-writing of that eminent servant of God, Mr. Whitfield; and many from Mr. Bedggood,-a copy of one of whose I have now sent you. Of this person, Mr. Bretherton gave me the following remarkable account :-He had been a very wild, diss pated youth, and in the course of his carreer formed a connection with similar characters. He and another of his companions agreed to break open a house; for which crime they were apprehended, tried at the Assizes at Gloucester, and condemned to die. While under sentence of death, Mr. Bretherton frequently visited them; and it pleased Him, who had mercy on the penitent thief on the cross, to make Mr. B. the instrument of good to his soul. He was reprieved for fourteen years transportation to America; and his companion, I believe, suffered death. After his arrival on the continent, he had the privilege of attending the ministry of Mr. Whitfield, and other gospel divines. Under the former th

« السابقةمتابعة »