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by faith upon Christ, as your strength for the performance of duty, as well as your righteousness for the justification of your person. To speak of forcing one to a holy life, is the greatest absurdity. We are created in Christ Jesus unto good works, and holiness can only be maintained by vital union with him. In this and every other necessary truth, may the Lord himself, by his word and Spirit, fully instruct you! May he preserve you from the numerous temptations to which you are exposed! May your path be as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day! Amidst the reproaches of the world, and the other discouragements which you must lay your account to meet with, may the Lord strengthen, settle, and comfort you! Having endured to the end, useful in your generation, may you finish your course with peaceful cheerfulness, and enter into the joy of your Lord!
CONVERSION OF A FARMER,
BY A CIRCUMSTANCE RATHER UNCOMMON,
was long a stranger to
JOHN D......, a farmer, in the inexhaustible riches of grace. He paid no regard to the sacred ordinances of the gospel; or, if ever on the Lord's day he entered the church, it was more from a desire of ridiculing, that profiting by what he heard. The word preached did not profit him, not being mixed with faith. In this dreadful situation was he, when, on the 10th, of March, 1790, his wife died, after bringing into the world an infant daughter. The good providence of that gracious God, who calleth the weak things of this world to con. found the strong, had ordained that the nurse of this child should be a woman of exemplary faith, who "walked in
the Spirit, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost." "The carnal mind of the father still continued at enmity with God;" but, he was, ere long, to be brought to a full conviction of his own unworthiness, and a delightful experience of the riches of redeeming love. The child being now about twenty months old, and beginning to prattle a few words, was one day sent for by the father, who was sitting after dinner with some of his profane acquaintance To his great astonishment, the child repeated two or three times, in its infant tones, "O the grace of God!" These words made a deep impression upon the father. He be gan to reflect upon his sins, and the power of that grace, "which cleanseth from sin," so long the subject of his impious ridicule. The Holy Ghost "had opened his heart," and now brought him like a sheep that had been astray, into the fold of divine love. Since that time he has ever walked as becometh one "called in the Lord, bringing forth fruits meet for repentance." The words which, through the grace of God, became the happy instrument of his conversion, were the customary ejaculations of the pious nurse, and had thus been learned by the infant; so truly was the scripture verified, that "out of the mouths of babes and sucklings the Lord hath perfected praise."
LORD Peterborough, when on a visit to Fenelon, at Cambray, was so charmed with the virtues and talents of the archbishop, that he exclaimed, at parting, "If I stay here any longer I shall become a Christian in spite of myself."
A CIRCUMSTANCE, which happened some time after the death of Massillon, calculated to affect every heart of sensibility, proves how dear the memory of this great and good man is, not only to the poor, whose tears he wiped away, but to all who knew him. A traveller, passing through Clermont, wished to see the country house in which the prelate used to spend the greatest part of the year; and he applied to an old vicar, who, since the death of the bishop, had never ventured to return to that country house, where he who inhabited it, was no longer to be found. He consented, however, to gratify the desire of the traveller, notwithstanding the profound grief he expected to suffer in revisiting a place so dear to his remembrance. They ac-, cordingly set out together; and the vicar pointed out every particular place to the stranger. "There," said he, with tears in his eyes, "is the alley in which the prelate used to walk with us; there is the arbor in which he used to sit and read; this is the garden he took pleasure in cultivating with his own hands." Then they entered the house; and when they came to the room where Massillon died, “This," said the vicar, "is the place where we lost him;" and, as he pronounced these words, he fainted.
The ashes of Titus, or of Marcus Aurelius, might have envied such a tribute of regard and affection.
RELIGION's solace sooths the troubled mind;
When ills assault us, and when troubles vex,
If on this never failing rock we rest,
Our God will send us what he thinks is best.
EVENTS of the last importance often arise from causes apparently insignificant. The links of the chain of Prov. idence are wonderfully connected. An infidel ridicules;
a believer admires and adores.
The following is a story that can be authenticated by the evidence of many who have heard it from the person who is the subject of it, but now gone safe to God and glory.
When the Rev. Mr. .... went to his living in the coun try, a very great audience collected from the neighboring towns and villages; in one of which lived an old innkeeper, who, having made free with his own tap, had well carbuncled his nose and face, which bore the visible marks of his profession. He had heard the report of the concourse at this church, as many went from his own town; but he always stoutly swore he would never be found among the fools who were running to turn Methodists. Indeed, it was equally contradictory to his practice as well as profes. sion to be found among those who followed the gospel of Christ; but, on hearing the particularly pleasing mode of singing at church, which was much spoken of, his curios. ity was excited, and he said, he did not know but when next P.....n feast came, which was half way, he might go, and hear the singing; but, with some imprecation, that he would never hear a word of the sermon.
He lived about six miles distant; and, when P.....n feast came, after dining with a party, instead of sitting to drink, he came to the afternoon service, merely to hear the singing at the church, with a full resolution of keeping his Tow, and excluding every word of the sermon.
He was a large fat man, and, as it was a hot summer's day, he came in sweating and wiping; and, having with difficulty found admission into a narrow open pew, with a lid, as soon as the hymn before sermon was sung, which he heard with great attention, he leaned forward; and,fixing his elbows on the lid, secured both his ears against the sermon with his fore fingers. He had not been in this position many minutes before the prayer finished, and the sermon commenced, with an awful appeal to the consciences of the hearers, of the necessity of attending to the things which made for their everlasting peace; and the minister addressing them solemnly, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear." Just the moment before the words were pronounced, a fly had fastened on the carbuncled nose of the innkeeper, and, stinging him sharply, he snatched one of his fingers from his ear, and struck off the painful visitant; at that very moment, the words, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear," pronounced with great solemnity,e entered the ear that was opened, as a clap of thunder. It struck him with irresistible force; he kept his hand from returning to his ear; and, feeling an impression he had never known before, he presently withdrew the other finger, and hearkened with deep attention to the discourse which
That day was the beginning of days to him; from that moment, a change was produced upon him, which could not but be noticed by all his former companions. He never from that day, returned to any of his former practices, never afterwards was seen liquor, or heard to swear; began to pray,and hear God's word; for many years walk. ed all weathers six miles to the church where he received the first knowledge of a dying Redeemer, and salvation