« السابقةمتابعة »
through his name; and, after about eighteen years faithful and close walk with God, he died in the rejoicing of hope, and blessed Him who sent the meanest of his creatures to open his ears to instruction.
MERCY AND JUDGMENT.
In the last century, a Scots gentleman, of the name of Wastraw, was remarked by all for his profaneness; but, particularly, for a sanguinarydisposition, it being his study and delight to excite quarrels, which ended in bloodshed. Having succeeded in forcing a neighboring gentleman to kill another, and finding him greatly troubled on account of it, he gave him this horrid advice, namely, to practise it more as the best cure; for, that he himself had killed six men; that, on the first occasion he was rendered uneasy; but, by a repetition of such deeds, he became quiet.
As Mr. W. was one day riding to a place where two persons had engaged to decide a quarrel by a duel, his horse stumbled on the side of a steep rock and threw him down it a considerable depth, his sword falling out before him, yet without any hurt! His mind was greatly affected by this peculiar deliverance. The Lord broke in upon his conscience with great convictions of sin. Detesting the object of his journey, he immediately returned home; where a gracious change was long evidenced by deep repentance and tenderness of heart. He spent much time in private, mourning on account of his sin. On the day of his death, which was not expected by any, he was overheard to be wrestling in prayer for a long time; at length, the family, after waiting for him, and knocking much at his chamber door in vain, were constrained to break it
open; when to their great surprise, he was found dead on his knees, a vast quantity of blood having issued from every passage of his body, and swimming about the floor;* an awful proof to the world, that though God will pardon the sins of his people, yet he will not suffer some sins to pass without a visible mark of his anger, and taking ven, geance on their inventions.
A THOUGHT ON DEATH.
Of some departed soul!
That bids this empty world farewell,
The feeble wings of sense must stay,
Nor thought pursue the hidden way,
Quick as the light that brings the day,
O, could she come, and softly say
But ah! no tongue can e er unfold,
Or sure some friend e're now had told.
But stay, my soul, no farther pry
For thou shalt know what 'tis to die,
* Charles IX. of France, the author of that dreadful massacre, whereby the blood of so many thousand Protestants, at Paris, was shed, died by an extraordinary effusion of blood from all the passages of his body.
Hail, happy hour! come, glorious day!
Then shall I wing that unknown way,
THE SEALING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
[In a letter to the Editor of the Evangelical Magazine.]
SOME months passed over, after my late restoration to the knowledge, love, and powerful experience of the truth, before I was led to consider what may be meant by being sealed with the Holy Spirit. Perhaps this sealing may consist of two parts, which necessarily go together. Our comfortable persuasion of God's knowing us as his children and an abiding faith; or, if you will, assurance that he is our reconciled, loving Father in Christ, both arising from, and founded upon the word of God. No wonder we cry Abba, Father, when the Lord enlargeth our hearts with the invigorating rays of his glory, with the energetic constraints of his love, and the indisputable feeling of his presence. But to have no doubt of his love, of the validity of his promise to us, when beat down with a consciousness of guilt; when deprived of the felt effects of his gospel; when unhinged for praying, &c. is quite a different thing. Yet, I believe this state of mind, or rather, strength of faith, is gifted to some, perhaps to thousands of the Lord's dear people in the present world. Indeed, I enjoy, at present, something of this nature. The Lord hath so stamped upon my mind the immutability of his character, the unchangeableness of his record, that I have met with nothing, for months past, to make me doubt of his love. I hate sin; I would depart from all iniquity if I could. I know sin
hath crept into the hearts of God's dearest servants in every age; that a body of sin will accompany the best to their graves; that God hath reserved perfect freedom from a depraved nature to the heavenly Jerusalem; that he has promised certain deliverance in the end; that he will never leave nor forsake me; and a number of such truths so dwell upon my mind, even when I am melancholy through the prevalence of iniquity, that I have no doubt of the continuance of God's love, and of the evidence I shall by and by have of its reality to my sinful soul. Some may call this presumption, others fanaticism; but,as for me, I consider it the result of redeeming love; a temper as far above my power to produce, as to change myself into an archangel. Dare I boast of it? No; pride and every sin so far mars it, but not so as to extinguish it.
Some might say surely he has no fear of death! I know not how I would be affected, were he this moment to appear; but, I feel no tormenting or distressing fear of him. I am enabled to commit that important crisis to the care of my great Savior. His honor and faithfulness, as well as my safety and comfort, are concerned in that matter. It is mine to hold fast the beginning of my confidence firm unto the end; it is his to be faithful to the word upon which he hath caused my soul to hope. I know well about the terrors of death; few have drank deeper into the cup. My deliverance from them was neither a human nor angelic work, but the doing of the Lord, which is still fresh upon my mind, and wondrous in mine eyes. Praise the Lord, O my soul! Hosanna in the highest.
I find the witnessing of the Spirit is to and by theword. He removes every cloud from it; gives a peculiar kind of perception of the truth contained in it; draws the man
to take the comfort it contains, freely, and without reserve. The Spirit gives such a knowledge of, and delight in the law of God, as makes him hate unbelief, consider faith not only a duty, but a pleasant privilege. He is led, from discoveries of God in the word, to abhor, and aim at abstaining from, every thought derogatory to the divine glory. Sinful thoughts ruffle and distress him, no less than sinful words and actions. He loves God; he desires to obey him. He knows that with the mind he must serve him; that God is offended if he does not. He knows, from experience, if his heart be not watched, his peace and comfort are injured, and that he proportionably becomes indisposed to upright walking.
Daily foils and failures concur with scripture, in demon. strating the need I have to give up the government of my mind to Jesus. Sin being admitted, my confidence in God is marred. The persuasion of having formerly received many marks of the divine favor, does not always reinstate my joy; nor am I much advantaged by strong efforts against rising corruption, nor by peremptory resolutions. Upon scrutiny, I find a degree of self interwoven with all these plans. The query now is, How then do I obtain relief? Suppose my complaint to be an ungovernable mind; I turn up the Bible, and read what assurances or promises the Lord has made about keeping the minds of his people, of living, walking, and reigning in them. I recollect the character of Christ, that he uniformly acts in correspond. ence with his word; that it is my duty to believe what he says, and I do assure you I find it my interest.
Again; I have sinned, and do deserve to be punished. I must not attempt to extenuate my guilt. To atone is