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Hos. vi. 3. 2 Pet. i. 19. Prov. iv 7. 6th. As we must carefully beware of imposing a meaning of our own upon any text of scripture, so we ought to beware of confining its sense, and so neglecting to dig farther into its meaning. In many cases, a proper consociation of parallel texts will be found of great use for explaining of the Lord's word, which is exceeding broad.
WISE REPLY OF A PIOUS ARCHBISHOP.
WHEN archbishop Leighton was asked why he did not preach on the political sentiments of the times, as all the rest of his brethren did? he answered, "That if all the rest of the brethren preached on time, then surely one poor brother might preach on eternity."
HAPPY DELIVERANCE OF A YOUNG MAN, WHO HAD BEEN LONG UNDER DIVINE CONVICTIONS.
"Ar last," says he, "when I had lost all hope, these words were deeply impressed on my mind; Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.' I cried out, in an agony, What is believing? What is real scriptural faith? Lord, teach me! I know nothing! I can do nothing! If thou save me not, I perish! It was then brought to my mind, Cast all thy care upon him: I cried Lord, the burden of my sin is all my care, and may I cast this upon thee? Wilt thou receive such a sinner? I know thou art able to save me, and thy blood is sufficient to atone. But art thou indeed willing? It came into my heart; only believe, I felt arising hope, and cried, I will; but my sins stared me in the face, and I thought, O, it is VOL. I.
impossible! My sins have been so secret, so complicated. It came to me again; only believe. I thought, it cannot be now. I must repent more, be more in earnest. It is impossible he should be so merciful, to forgive all my sins now. It was applied a third time; only believe. I said, Lord, help me to believe, and to cast my soul upon thy free mercy! Let me know, that I am indeed born of thee; that I do believe to the saving of my soul. I have nothing to plead; but Jesus came to save sinners, even the lost. I am lost! Thou hast said, Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. I am weary and heavy laden; I come; therefore, the promise is for me. While I was thus pleading, I was enabled to venture my soul upon the Redeemer, with an assured confidence in his promises. Then I was happy indeed. His love was shed abroad in my heart; and those precious words were applied; he that loveth, is born of God. Now, if I had a thousand souls, I could have trusted him with them all. I found a real change in my heart; I was a new creature; I was a child of God."
GOOD ADVICE TO A YOUNG MINISTER.
AN aged minister, having asked a young preacher, if ever he sought the blessing of God on his learning, he having answered that he had not, he told him, with an austere look, that "unsanctified learning had done much mischief to the church of God." His words leaving a deep impression on him, he afterwards, when in any strait, prayed for the Lord's help and blessing.
FEMALE ORNAMENT RECOMMENDED.
THE word of life is to be preached orally in the pulpit, and practically in the conversation. The former is the province of Christian ministers; the latter is the common business of all Christian professors. When the power of religion is known, love to Christ, and love to souls, will constrain the believer to the practice of good works, that so the doctrines of grace may be adorned; and that even "those who will not hear the word, may be won," by a holy walk. This idea will receive additional force by the following anecdote;
A married woman was called effectually by divine grace, and became an exemplary Christian. Her husband remained in the gall of bitterness, a lover of pleasure and of sin. When spending an evening, as usual, with his jovial companions, at a tavern, the conversation happened to turn on the excellences and faults of their wives. The husband, just mentioned, gave the highest encomiums of his wife, saying she was all that was excellent, only she was a d...d Methodist. "Notwithstanding which," said he," such is her command of her temper, that were I to take you, gentlemen, home with me at midnight, and order her to rise, and get you a supper, she would be all submis. sion and cheerfulness." The company, looking upon this merely as a brag, dared him to make the experiment, by a considerable wager. The bargain was made; and, about midnight, the company adjourned, as proposed. Being ad. mitted, "Where is your mistress?" said the husband to the maid servant, who sat up for him. "She is gone to bed, sir." "Call her up," said he, "tell her I have brought some friends home with me, and desire she would get up,
and prepare them a supper." The good woman obeyed the unreasonable summons; dressed, came down, and received the company with perfect civility; told them she happened to have some chickens ready for the spit, and that supper should be got as soon as possible. The supper was accordingly served up; when she performed the honors of the table with as much cheerfulness as if she had expected company at a proper season.
After supper, the guests could not refrain from expressing their astonishment. One of them, particularly, more sober than the rest, thus addressed himself to the lady; "Madam," said he, "your civility fills us all with surprise. Our unseasonable visit is in consequence of a wager, which we have certainly lost. As you are a very religious per. son, and cannot approve of our conduct, give me leave to ask, What can possibly induce you to behave with so much kindness to us?" "Sir," replied she, "when I married, my husband and myself were both in a carnal state. It has pleased God to call me out of that dangerous condition. My husband continues in it. Itremble for his future state. W re he to die as he is, he must be miserable for ever; I think it, therefore, my duty to render his present existence as comfortable as possible."
This wise and faithful reply affected the whole company. It left an impression of great use on the husband's mind. "Do you, my dear," said he, "really think I should be eternally miserable? I thank you for the warn. ing. By the grace of God, I will change my conduct.” From that time, he became another, a new man, a serious Christian, and, consequently, a good husband.
Married Christians; especially you who have unconvert. ed partners, receive the admonition intended by this pleas
ing anecdote. Pray and labor for their conversion; for, “What knowest thou, O wife! whether thou shalt save thy husband! or, how knowest thou, O man! whether thou shalt save thy wife?" I Cor. vii. 16.
The reader will now be at no loss to account for the title of this paper, or what that female ornament is which we proposed to recommend; it is the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is, in the sight of God, of great price.
[In a Letter to the Rev. Mr. Newton.]
MY DEAR AND REV. SIR,
I AM deep in your debt for a train of favors, for which I have often thanked you, and still a grateful remembrance is retained. I cannot give a greater proof of my confi dence, than by committing to your trust a brief detail of my late extraordinary case and cure. This I promised to do in a former letter, saying, that my main intention was by it to capacitate you still more for speaking apropos to the case of distressed, disturbed minds, as they came in your way; my motive is not altered.
I am not very anxious whether friends may judge me a believer or not, previous to my furnace state;, but I have no freedom myself in calling it in question. If not a believer, I was greatly mistaken indeed; surely I ate bread of which the world are ignorant; at least, I think so. I was awakened by the testimony of Jesus; after a term of terror, was comforted by the doctrine of a Savior. Per. haps I attained to the stature of A, in Omicron; I am certain I thought so.