« PreviousContinue »
thought it was a hard thing to die, but now I find it a very easy thing to die. The presence of Christ makes it easy. The joy I feel from a sense of the love of God to sinners, from the thought of being with the Saviour, of being free froin a sinful heart, and of enjoying the presence of God for ever, is more than I can express! O bow different my thoughts of God, and of myself, and of another world, from what they were when I lost my precious limbs on board the Venerable! It was a precious loss to me! If I had not lost my legs I should perhaps have lost my soul!”- Witli elevated and clasped hands, and with eyes glistening with earnestress, through the tears which flowed down his face, he said, “O, my dear minister, I pray you, when I ain deaú, to preach a funeral sermon for a poor sailor; and tell others, especially sailors, who are as ignorant and as wicked as I was, that poor blaspheming Covey found mercy with God, through faith, in the blood of Christ? Tell them, that since I have found mercy, none that seek it need to despair. You know better than I do what to say to them! But, 0! be in earnest with them; and may the Lord grant that my wicked neighbours and fellow-sailors may find mercy as well as Covey!" - lle said much more; but his last words he uttered were “Ilallelujah! Hallelujah!"- If the anecdote of his fortitude and courage is worthy of being recorded, I think it due to Covey, and to the honour of divine grace, to relate his dying testimony in favour of the religion of Jesus Christ. I wishDr. Duncan and Mr. Pratt lad witnessed the last dying hours of this once ignorant and blasphemous sinner; - they would have seen what a pleasing change was effected by the meek and cfficacious grace of our compassionate Redeemer. As these things require testimony, I give you my name, Portsea.
THE SPIRITUAL CABINET;
OR, SELECT EXTRACTS FROM THE MOST DISTINGUISHED CHRISTIAN AUTIIORS. Mr. Editor, Ja is the duty of Christians to endeavour, by every proper mean, to diffuse
divine knowledge in its purity. How far the mean I have in view may meet with acceptance, I must leave to your better judgment to determine. When lately reading the works of that great and good man, Arcibishop Leighlon, I was so delighted wiih many of his seieci passages, that, in the fulness of my joy, I could not but wish that ali my Chrisian brethren might have an opportunity of participating in the same pleasure. « Taese precious writings (such was my meditation) are, lanks be to God for it, ia the hands of thousands: but how many thousands are there, who have them not!-- whose means are not adequate to inci: purchase ; or whose lalo.ious cuploymenis engross so much or their time, as lu de prive ihein
of opportunity to enjoy them in all their extent. How happy then would such be to have some of the beauties of pious and distinguished authors in a less expensive and compendious form !" Such thoughts determined me to request of you to appropriate a page or two of your valuable Miscellany (which obtains so wide a circulation) for a series of papers, formed of the sentiments of a Leightou, a Walts, a Doddridge, &c. on subjects the inost interesting and important that can engage the attention of an imninortal soul. If, therefore, my dear Sir, your thoughts on this matter coincide with inine, I present the following paper as the first number of the plan I have ventured to propose ;, and happy shall I be to. find that it meets with your approbation. Kennington.
W.C. The Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world.
John i. 29. “Men are not easily convinced and persuaded of the deep stain of sin; and that no other laver can fetch it out but the sprinkling of the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Some that have moral resolutions of amendment, dislike at least gross sins, and purpose to avoid them ; and it is to them cleanness enough to reform in those things; but they consider not what becomes of the guiltiness they have contracted already, how that shall be purged, and how their natural pollution shall be taken away. Be not deceived in this ; - it is not a transient sigh, or a light word, or a' wish of God forgive me: no; nor the highest current of repentance, nor that which is the truest evidence of repentance, amendment; it is none of these that purifies in the sight of God, and expiates wrath ; they are all imperfect and stained themselves; cannot stand and answer for them. selves, much less be of value to counterpoise the former guilt of sin. The very tears of the purest repentance, unless they be sprinkled with this blood, are impure; all our washings without this are but washings of the blackmoor ; it is labour in vain *. There is none truly purged by the blood of Christ, that doth not endeavour after purity of heart and conversation ; but yet it is the blood of Christ by which they are all fair, and there is no spot in them. There is nothing in religion farther out of nature's reach, and out of its liking and believing, than the doctrine of redemption by a Saviour, and a crucified Saviour; by Christ, and by his bloot!, first shed on the cross in his suffering, and then sprinkled on the soul by his Spirit. It is easier to. zuake men sensible of the necessity of repentance and amendwent of life (iliongh that is very difficult) than of this purging by the sprinkling of this precious blood. Did we see how need. til Christ is ivy us, we would esteem and love him more.
*. It is not by the hearing of Christ and of his blood, in the doctrine of the gospel; -- it is not by the sprinkling of water,
* Jer. ii. 22. Job ix. 30, 31.
cven that water that is the sign of this blood, without the blood itself, and the sprinkling of it. Many are present where it is sprinkled, and yet have no portion in it. Look to this, that this blood be sprinkled on your souls, that the destroying angel may pass by you. There is a generation (not some few, but a generation) deceived in this; they are their own deceivers, “pure in their own eyes *.” How earnestly doth David pray, “ Wash me, purge me with hyssop. Though bathed in tears t, that satisfied not, wash thou me. This is the honourable condition of the saints, that they are purified and consecrated unto God, by this sprinkling; yea, have on " long white robes, washed in the blood of the Lamb." There is mention indeed of great tribulation, but there is a double comfort joine i with it; 1st, They come out of it; that tribulation hath an enl: and, 2diy, They pays from that to glory, for they have on the rohe of candidates, “long white robes, washed in the blood of the Lamb," washed white in blood. As for this blood, it is nothing but purity and spotlessness, being stained with no sin ; and, besides, hath that virtue to take away the stain of sin, where it is sprinkled. “ My well-beloved is white and ruckly," saith the Spouse, thus, in his death, rudly by bloodshed, white by innocence, and purity of that blood.
“Shall they then that are purged by this blood, return to live among the swine, and tumble with them in the puddle? What gross injury is this to themselves, and to that blood by which they are cleansed! They that are chosen to this sprinkling are likewise chosen to obedience: this blood purifieth the heart; yea, this blood " purgeth our consciences from dead works, to serve the living God 1.
LEIGHTON. Mr. Editor, As Mr. Foster's ingenious Essays seem to have escaped the notice of your
Reviewer, or rather, perhaps, were not corsidered to fall within your department, whic! is confined to works oa religion only ; permit me lo name them to such of your readers as have a taste for literary and mctaphysical subjects; and, at the same time, to give a fow extracis perfectly congenial with your work. I refer to the Second Essay, which is on Decision of Character; in which, after a skeich of the illusirious Howard, which yields, in point of strength and eloquence, only to the inmortal eulogy of Burke, the author has the courage to introduce another name, lighily esteemed among men, but highly honoured by the provi. dence of God.
- UNLESS the cternal happiness of mankin: be an insies nificant concern, and the passion to promote it an inglorious distinction, I may cite George Whitencld, as a noble instance of this attribute of the decisive character, this intense necessity
# Prov. XXX. 12.
+ Psal. vi. 6,
# Heb. ix. 14.
of action. The ardour of his mind carried him through a course of exertions which it would have fatigued a contemporary biographer to record ; and, at the same time, threw into each of them a vehement eloquence, at which folly and wickedness were often alarmed as by the assault of a tempest. The great cause, which was so languid a thing in the hands of many of its advocates, assumed in his administrations" an unmitigable urgency.
“Many of the Christian Missionaries among the Heathens, such as Brainerd, Elliot, and Schwartz, have displayed memorable examples of this dedication of their whole being to their oflice, this elernal abjuration of all the quiescent feelings.
[Farther Extracts will be given in our next]
[This Department is designed to include Anecdotes, Ilints,
and other Detached Papers. ]
The author of a Pamphlet, entitled “ Circumstantial Details of the Last Moments of Mr. Fox," among many interest. ing particulars, relates the following conversation with that great statesman :
“A nobleman mentioning that he had formed a party of pleasure for Christmas, in which he had incluiled Mr. Fox, added, " It will be a new scene, Sir, and I think you will approve of it." I shall indeed be in a new scene by Christmas next,' said Mr. Fox. "My Lord, what do you think of the state of the soul after death?' Lord (confounded by the unexpected turn of the conversation) made no reply. Mr. Fox continued, " That it is immortal I am convinced. The existence of Deity is a proof that spirit exists ; why not, therefore, the soul of man? And if such an essence as the soul exists, by its nature it may exist for ever. I should have believed in the immortality of the soul though Christianity had never existed ; but how it acts as separated from the body, is beyond my capacity of jucigment. This, however, I shall know by next Christmas.
A LAND WIIERE IS NO SICKNESS. As a gentleman, eminent for his happy mode of introducing religious conversation among young people, was one day going in the stage-coach to his country-house at Hampstead, he was accosted by a young man, who was his only companion, in the following terms: “ Sickness, Sir, is a very uncomfortable thing. I have been running almost all over London to find out a physician to attend my sister, who is sick at Hampstead ; but I have been so unfortunate as not to meet with him; and I am
now so fatigued, that I am compelled to take the stage." Sir,' replied the gentleman, sickness is a very uncomfortable thing ; but I know a land in which there is no sickness.' you indeed," rejoined the young man ;
pray where is it? I have travelled all round the world, and never heard of that liind yet." See Isa. xxxiii. 24.
ARCHBISHOP LEIGIITON. One day happened a tremendons storm of lighting and thunder as he was going from Glasgow to Dunblane. descried, when at a considerable distance, by two men of bad character. They had not courage to rob him ; but, wishing to fall on some method of extorting money from him, one said, “I will lie down by the way-side, as if I were dead, and you shall inform the Archbishop that i was killed by the lightning, anu beg money of him to bury me.” When the Archbishop arrived at the spot, the wicked wretch told him the fabricata? story : – he sympathized with the survivor, gave him money, and proceeded on liis journey. But, when the man returneri 10 his companion, he found him really liteless! immediately he began to exclaim aloud, " Oh, Sir, he is dead! on, Sir, he is dead !". On this the Archbishop, discovering the fraud, left the man with this importiut reflection :-" It is a dangerous thing to trifle with the judgments of God!”
A CRITICAL HINT.
It seems a little extraordinary that the same original term (Paracletos) should be translated “ Advocate," when applied to the Son of God (1 John ii. 1); and “ Comforter,” when applied to the Holy Spirit (John xiv. 16). I confess, the latter rendering appears to me not quite accurate. The original term certainly means a public pleader, whose office corresponded with that of a Counsellor witli us; namely, to inform and advise his client, and to defend his cause. Christ is the “ Wonderful Counsellor” of his people, as well as their “ Advocate with the Father.” When he was about to leave his disciples, he promised to send them “ another Counsellor” (so I would render it) who should “guide them into all truth ;" or rather (as Bp. Lowth observes) "all the truth," that is, of the gospel. At the same time, the blessed Spirit performs the other part of the Counselior's office. “lie makeih intercession for (or in) us with groanings which cannot be uiterad.” (Rom. viii. 26.) Comfort is certainly i he effect of the Spirit's teaching, but expresses a small part only of his oflice. As a Counsellor's office is to accuse as weil as defend, so the Spirit was promised to convince the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment.”