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29. When the thoughts of a dying Jesus, for your sins, little dissuade you from an unchristian conversation. 30. When you can remember past sins committed, rather with liking than loathing.
31. When you can see spectacles of mortality carrying to their long home, and be as practically unconcerned, as though yourselves were exempted from the like state of mortality.
32. When you find greater satisfaction in the company of the world, than with the people of God.
SOLEMN ADMONITION TO MINISTERS.
THE Rev. Mr. D. one of the ministers of Edinburgh, during the reign of Charles the second, was one of those pious and faithful men, whose labors were blessed, and with whom was the secret of the Lord; so near did he live unto God, and so much was his mind impressed with the importance of his work, that he seldom or never was troubled in choosing a subject of discourse. His gracious and kind Lord always prevented that anxiety of mind with which few are unacquainted, by forcibly impressing on his heart the texts of scripture from which he was to preach. Thus he was never in any uneasiness for a subject of discourse; for He whom he served, laid furni ture and supplyto his hand, when the season of duty requir ed. One remarkable instance of this, and a proof that the secret of the Lord is with them that fear him, happened in the end of 1650 and the beginning of 1651, being appointed to preach at Scoon, in Scotland, at the coronation of Charles the second there, and when he swore the covenants VOL. I.
engrossed in the standard books of the church of Scotland, which was on Jan.1, 1651; he,as usual, had his mind deeply impressed with a text of scripture, as the subject of the sermon he was to preach, which, from the Lord, was one of the plainest and most applicable predictions of the person to be crowned that could have been found in the scriptures. The text was as follows, Jer. xxii. 30. "Thus saith the Lord, Write ye this man childless, a man that shall not prosper in his days; for no man of his seed shall pros. per, sitting upon the throne of David, and ruling any more in Judah." On receiving this text in his usual way, as from the Lord, the good man was much troubled what to do; to preach from it would certainly bring down the vengeance of the court; to reject it, would perhaps expose him to divine chastisements; after much anxious and painful deliberation, with the above text rolling in hisheart, and almost ringing in his ears, he resolves to pitch on an other as much suited to the occasion as possible; the one he made choice of, and preached from, was 2Kings xi.12, "And he brought forth the king's son, and put the crown upon him, and gave him the testimony, and they made him king, and anointed him, and they clapt their hands and said, God save the king. And Jehoiada made a covenant between the Lord and the king and the people, that they should be the Lord's people; between the king also and the people." No passage could be more applicable to the exercise of the day, and the selection of it shews, that that good man was well acquainted with the scriptures, and knew how to use them; but, alas! He found he was following his own inclination, and not the mind of God. For after this circumstance, in that he had rejected the counsel ofGod, and follow. d his own devices, the Lord in that particular thing left him
during the remainder of his life, and he was often in great trouble of mind for a subject to preach on; was left ever after to choose and search for himself, when formerly the Lord, whom he served, laid plentifully to his hand at every season. There he had been found to strive against God, and studied to please man. A useful lesson to all the min. istering servants of Christ, to preach and declare the whole counsel of God, and to wait on him, that he may direct their steps, lest haply, in following their own devices, they may be found to strive against God.
THE UNKNOWN GOD WONDERFULLY REVEALING HIMSELF TO A POOR PAGAN.
PAMMEHANUIT, an Indian of the first eminence in Martha's Vineyard, and his wife, buried their first five children successively, within ten days after the birth of each, notwithstanding all the efforts of powaws and the use of medicines for their preservation. In the year 1638, which was before the English settled there, a sixth child was born. The mother, agitated with fear lest this child also should die, and utterly despairing of help from the means she had formerly tried, took the babe in her arms, and walked out into the field, that there she might freely vent her sorrows and her tears. While she was there, musing on the insufficiency of all human help, she felt it powerfully suggested to her mind, that there is one Almighty God who is to be prayed to; that this God hath created all things that we see; and, that the God who had given being to herself and all other people, and who had given this child to her, was easily able to continue his life.
Upon this, the poor pagan resolved that she would cry to this God for that mercy, which she accordingly did. The issue was that her child lived; and her faith, such as it was, in Him, who thus answered her prayer, was wonderfully strengthened. The consideration of which caused her to dedicate this child to the service of that God who had preserved his life.
Soon after this the English came to settle in the island; and the Indians who had been present at some of their devotions reported, that the man who spoke among them frequently looked upwards. The woman hearing this, concluded that their assemblies were for prayers.and that their prayers were to that very God whom she had addressed for the life of her child. In this opinion she was soon confirmed when Mr. Mahew preached the gospel there to the Indians; which gospel she readily, cheerfully, and cordially embraced. And in the confession she made at her admission into the church, she related that preparation for the knowledge of Christ, with which Godhad so wonderfully favored her. But that which enhances this wonderful mercy is, that this very child has proved an eminent preacher of Christ among the Indians. He is living at this time, says our author, *1696, a very serious Christian andalabo rious minister; he is pastor of an Indian church, composed of some scores of regenerate souls, and has taken pains to extend the gospel to other Indians on the main land with great success. His name is Japhet.
Who can tell how often the good Spirit may impress the mind of an heathen? Who can tell how many Otaheilans, Indians, and Africans may now be under similar
* Dr. C. Mather, in his Magnalia Christi Americana, Book vi. P.
impressions, "a people prepared for the Lord," to whom a missionary may address the words of St. Paul; "Whom, therefore, ye ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you!"
LETTER OF A DYING SOLDIER.
A COPY OF A LETTER FROM A SOLDIER IN AMERICA, TO HIS WIFE IN ENGLAND; WRITTEN A SHORT TIME AFTER THE BATTLE OF BUNKER'S HILL.
My Dearest Love,
BEFORE these lines reach you, grim death will have swept me off the stage of life, and filthy reptiles will be feeding on that form once so dear to thee. No more shalt thou repose in these arms; no more shall these eyes, now swimming in the shades of death, behold thy lovely person, or gaze with delight on thee or my dear infants. Yesterday we had a bloody and obstinate fight, in which we had great numbers killed and wounded. I received one ball in my grein, and another in my breast. I am now so weak with the loss of blood, that I can hardly write these few lines, as the last tribute of my unchanging love to thec. The surgeons inform me that three hours will be the utmost I can survive. Alas! Too true was the dire presage which brooded in my mind, that we should never meet again on this side eternity.
On our passage from England to America, I gave my. self up to reading the Bible, it being the only book I was possessed of. The Almighty Parent of mankind, was pleased to draw my heart to him by the sweet attractions of his grace, and at the same time to enlighten my mind. There is in the regiment a corporal who is a methodist. VOL I.