Page images
PDF
EPUB

ORIGINAL LETTER
FROM MR. PEARCE TO MR. BIRT.

The following Letter was written by the late Rev. Samuel Pearce, soon

after his first awakening, to the Rev. Isaiah Birt, whose ministry had been Blessed to his conversioa. My very dear Mr. Birt,

Plymouth, Oct. 27, 1782. Was I to make the least delay in answering your very affectionate letter, I should deem myself culpable of the greatest ingratitude to its author. Its contents so fully manifest the regard you have for me, that I am constrained to acknowledge myself under the highest obligations to you. I wish I could express it better.

You almost commence your kind letter with mentioning, that my tears at parting with you demanded your fervent prayers. But do, my dear Sir, consider, that separating from an earthly parent, the author of animal life, must, where a filial affection subsists, he an affectionate scene. How much more moving then must it be to part with a father in Christ Jesus ! To part with one whom the Almighty had made the happy means of raising from a state of death in trespasses and sins, to that of life in a dear dying Redeemer !

0, Sir! such it was when you and I parted ; such was the case when I parted with my ever dear Mr. Birt. Did this require your fervent prayers ? Has this caused you to reigember me when prostrate at a footstool of mercy? Let me bescech you, my dear Sir, still to continue it; and whenever you bow the suppliant knec at a throne of grace, not to fail beseeching the Author of mercy to extend his mercy to an object so unworthy as myself. O! beg of him that, since he has begun a good work in me, he would carry it on. As he has enabled me to put my hand to the gospel-plough, may I never look back; but may he grant me grace and strength to hold on, and hold out to the end; to conquer every foe, to be continually pressing forward toward the mark and prize of my high calling in Christ Jesus ; and, in the end, to come off more than conqueror through Him, who, I trust, has loved me and given himself for me. of him that he will ever keep me from possessiog a lukewarm, a Laodicean spirit! May my affections to the crucified Saviour be continually on a flame.

I am “' prone to wander ;'' yes, I feel it,“ prone to leave the God I love." that my affections may be more and more united to him! My dear Sir, pray for me, and you will do your best. Use your interest at a throne of grace on my behalf; and as God bas promised to be a God hearing and answering prayer, and as he is willing and able to perform all his promises, I doubt

Oh beg

not but it will meet with a gracious reception, and perhaps with a gracious answer too. 0, Sir! let me once more entreat you never to forget me whilst offering up prayers to your God. Religion, you may well say, is worthy the choice of all: it makes a beggar superior to a king. Whilst destitute of it, a king is inferior to a beggar. What! oh! what can cqual the felicity, the enjoyments of a Christian ? Nothing, surely, on this transikory globe! Nothing this work! calls good or great can be put in competition with it, -- with the joyous feeling of him, who has the imspeakable lappiness of experiencing himself interested in a dear Redcerner. He feels that

Which nothing earthly gives, or can destroy,

The scul's calm sunshine and the heartfelt joy. Yes; the happiness lie feels is beyond all conception, beyond at the stretch of human thought. Is there aught to be conparcu with serving the Lord ? Surely, ne.

Pleasure springs fresh for eyer thence,

Cnspeakable, unknown But that which adds to its reality is įts 'permanency. It is noi confined to this life only; what we have here is but a foretaste of those joys which accompany onr iminortal part to the hright realms of endless day; where we shall have joy added Lo joy, pleasure to pleasure, and there

Shall drink iinmortal vigour in,

Wilha wonder and with loye. Surely, no tongue can express, no heart can conceive, what God has prepared for those who love him! Oh bow abundantly thankful then ought those to be, whom he has called by divine grace to the knowledge of himself! What an unspeakable mercy is it, that he has called me by diyine grace to the know, ledge of himself! What an zinspeakable mercy is it, that he has distinguished me in such a peculiar mamer, as to (give me leave to use your own words) be taken into his service, adopted into his family, made an heir of God, a joint heir with Jesus Christ! What now is required of me? What am I now required to do? When I reflect on this, how short do I come in my duty! How, hackward am I to it! how unwilling to perform it! Even when I would do good, evil is present with me.

What shall I do with this my heart?

Where shall I bring my sin ?
O Lamb of God, who bore my smart,

"Tis thou must inakcine clean ! I have no righteousnes of my own, no merits of mine to bring ; the best of my performances come infinitely short of the holy law of God. On Jesus alone then I musi cepend for salvation. Here I rest. llence I draw all my hope: Jesus Christ has died, And Jesus shall not sie in vain. 'The Redeemer's blood cleanses krozn all sin. Marty, thrice happy they who have washed ani made their robes white in the blood of the Lamb! May it be the blessed experience of my dear friend and me!

I thank you, Sir, for your kind admonitions. I hope the God of all grace will enable me to abide by them. Tribulations, trials, and temptations, I am sensible, are the lot of all God's children here below; but I am equally certain, that, as long as we rely upon our God, and confide in him only, he that has given us a sure word of promise, wiereby he has caused us to hope, will with them all work out a way for our escape, that we may be able to bear them.

And now, that it may be our joint happiness, my dear Sir, to be kept in a holy, happy fellowship with our God; that we may be often brought to Pisgah's summit, and behold the promised Canaan ; that we may often, whilst there, anticipate the pleasures of the heavenly world; and, when we have passed the floods of Jordan, meet around the throne above, there to chant eternal lays to Him that sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb for ever, is, Dear Sir, the constant prayer of him who is, and wishes ever to remain, Your affectionate friend,

SAMUEL PEARCE.

RELIGIOUS HAND-BILLS. Mr. Editor, As you have admitted a Specimen of a Religious Hand-bill, I send you one,

which was written before the last Annual Meeting of the Religious Tract Society.

Yours, &c. TO THE PUBLIC. Stop, traveller, and reflect, - that the world, through which you are passing, will soon be wrapt ia deyouring flames! Look up to the heavens: shortly you will see them open, to disclose the Son of God descending in clouds to judge the world!

66 Lo! he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him; and they also 'who pierced him ; and all kingdoms of the earth shall wail, because of him. Even so, Amen.” Lay your hand upon your breast, and say, “ Am I prepared to see the world in flames, and the Son of God enthroned for judgment?” But you cut short the appeal, by saying, “ I shall not live to sce the end of the world.” Then, by your own confession, the earth on which you stand, is about to open to receive your corpse; and your immortal soul will stand before the God who gaye it, to hear the sentence which shall doom you to Heaven or to Hell ! and who knows but this may happen before you reach the place to which you are now walking! Are you prepared? Are your sins forgiven? Is your soul of a heavenly turn, that it may expect a heavenly abode ? But your body shall rise again, and those eyes which now read this paper, shall see the Redcemer

stand at the latter day on the earth. The world which now smiles around you, you will behold all on fire. How are you prepared for the inevitable day? Think how it would affect you, if it were to happen this moment! Your heart shrinks, you abhor the thought of being torn from the world, - you long to enjoy its riches and pleasures, - you dread the thought of having no retreat to flee to but the immediate presence of the most holy God. Then learn, from your own feelings, the truth and importance of the Saviour's words : -“Except a man be born again, he cannot enter the kingdom of Heaven;" for that great change of true religion, which the Spirit and grace of God must produce on your mind, which is so complete as to be called being born again, is designed to fit you for Heaven, by rendering you holy and heavenly-minded. If eyer you know by experience this change, you will wish no higher bliss than to be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, and so be ever with the Lord. Is there a wise reflecting mind now saying, “ But if my heart were thus changed from disaffection for God and love of the world, to supreme delight in God and Heaven, this would not atone for my sins? How then can they be forgiven? “The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin ; for God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son ; that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life!"" We are justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God hath set forth to be a pro: pitiation, through faith in his blood, to declare his righteous, ness in the forgiveness of sins, that he might be just, and the justifier of him who believeth in Jesus."

Go, reader, bear i here divine principles in thy heart, with the steady faith which they deserve, live under their holy influence, and then say,

6 With Jesus' merits for my robe,

And in my heart his image wrought,
When flames shall wrap the tumbling globe,

I smile t’ascend the heav'n I sought!!
[Another Specimen from a different Hand.]
THOUGHTS ON THE ALARM OF

fire!!! Wild confusion now spreads around! - horror and dis. tress imprinted in every countenance! - multitudes run to view the im pending danger ; but how few, comparatively, to assist the unhappy sufferers, or to attempt to quench the flame! Alas! my soul, the case of every unbeliever, rightly considered, is much more alarming, even while he thinks himself secure from every danger. Here is only a danger of bodies, or effects being consumed : but every sinner out of Christ, every unbeliever, is running directly into a much more terrible flame, –a fire that cannot be quench:exl! - and yet, how many do we see with calm and composed countenances, not at all apprehensive of the mighty storm that hangs every moment over their heads, ready to burst upon them! - an awful proof of the depravity of human nature ! It shews us to be shockingly insensible in an affair of the greatest concern, — our spiritual and eternal welfare! That reasonable creatures, in the pursuit of happiness, should so widely mistake the mark, and run so eagerly in the path that leads directly to eternal misery ; and that no remonstrances, no persuasives, should be of any effect to open their eyes to see the imminent danger, and turn them into the path of life, is a striking proof that they are without God in the world, and that “ the imaginations of the thoughts of their hearts are only evil continually!". Miserable creatures ! to what a deplorable state has sin reduced us! But, thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ; there is yet a way to escape the wrath to come!

J. M.

ADVICE TO THE LAITY;

ÖR, REMARKS ON HEBREWS XIII. 16-18. Mr. Editor,

The Paper in your Magazine for January, entitled, Consilio ad Cleros, is truly excellent : it displays a spirit of genuine humility and zeal for the best interests of man. I hope many of the writer's brethren will derive considerable benefit from an address, at once affectionate and seasonable : for myself(who am not worthy to be called a Brother) I beg him to accept the best thanks of a grateful heart. Permit me now, in the hope of subserving the same good cause, to suggest a few hints of advice to the serious hearers of the gospel, on the passage referred to in the title. I shall endeavour chiefly to comprize my thoughts in three heads of exho:tation, viz. Benevolence, Obedience, and Prayer. 1. Benevolence.

“But to do good and communicate, forget mot.” That benevolence is a Christian's duty, I shall take for granted; yet the claims of benéyolence apply to all Christians. The poor and middling classes are not to be excused from attending to them, any more than the superior orders of society. Benevolence is founded in the nature of the gospel, and transfuses its spirit more or less through every precept that respects our fellow-creatures ; and, therefore, a Christian should carefully avoid the sin of forgetting to do good when he is called to observe it. In what directions our benevolence should flow, and how far it should extend, we must be guided by prudence, property, and the spirit of the gospel. The spirit of an individual as a mun, or as a party-man, ought not to obtrude its selfish and sectarian reasonings'; for they are ever inimical to the noble philanthropy the gospel inculcates : yet Clericus refuses his mite for propagating the Gospel with Dissenters, because he is an Episcopalian, and for fear his diocesan should know of it! Does not this ap. pear as if the gospel, and prelacy, and all the rest of it, were at

« PreviousContinue »