Imágenes de página

for years, previously to his being thus tempted. A short time before his dissolution, he exclaimed with horror and anguish, 'I die a confirmed hypocrite!' A friend, by his bed-side, seeing him apparently motionless, said, ' lie is gone!' which the wife (who was in an adjoining room) hearing, immediately came in, and, with strong emotions of grief, threw herself on the bed of her supposed lifeless husband; when, to the great surprize of surrounding friends, he again opened his e\Tes, and, fixing them on his wife, said (as though he were quite assured of his eternal safety) ' Cruel love! cruel love! I was just entering my heavenly Father's gate, and voMi have disturbed me !'— and instantly expired.

The reader may judge how great relief such an exclamation must have afforded those Christian friends who, but a few moments before, were the sad witnesses of his despair. Timid Christians should learn from this to be cautious of forming sugh rash conclusions respecting their final doom. Nor should surviving friends conclude, that the death-bed of those whose lives and conduct have been consistent with the gospel of Christ, is without hope, because they cannot }eave such pleasant and visible testimony as is desirable.

Yqtdley Hastings. , J. H.


Prayer and devout-perusal of the Scriptures, rank amongst the principal duties of the Christian; but they are duties, alas! too much neglected, while their importance is acknowledged. It is easy to slide into occasional, and then habitual omission of duty. Barrenness of soul inevitably ensues,—and, perhaps, some severe stroke may be inflicted, to recall the Christian to those duties, from the observance of which he has Criminally departed. Moutnirig under bereaving dispensations, let the chosen people of God consider, Whether negligence of soVne important Christian duty may not have been the cause of the separating stroke! The following anecdote is submitted to the notice of Christian Parents, as calculated to suggest important and useful reflections upon a subject that cannot but strike home ta their feelings as parents, and their consciences as Christians;;—• One of my hearers lately buried an only son, a fine boy, about five years of age. The mother, almost inconsolable for her loss, stated to me the following circumstance, with reference to her departed child. About four months before its death, the child fixed its eyes upon me in an unusuallyserious manner, and said, ' Mother !'—I said, "What, my dear 1" —' If you do not pray more, and read the Scriptures more, God will take me away from you!' — Parents) beware of ileglectfng your Bible and your closet!

"w.'F; -



Sir, To the Editor.

The following passage appears to me to deserve the serious regard of those

who preach to, or converse with, the Jews, in hope of their conversion.

I transcribe it from Bishop Kidder's ' Demonstration of the Messiah,'

part iii, p. 197. Yours, J. L.

•I Cannot but admit of the advice of a certain learned person, who hath been an instrument of converting more Jews ■ (among whom are a. considerable number of Rabbins) than perhaps have ever been converted !>y any one person in the world siuce tne age of miracles: it'is the Uev. Esd»as Edzard, of Hamburgh. Be tells me (in a letter, dated Sept. 13, 1698) that he generally begins with the Jews from Deut. xxvu. 20/ Cursed be he that confornieth not all the of ths law to do them; Ami all the people shall say, Amen ;' — and chap, xxviii. 58,' If thou wilt not observe to do all tne words of this law, that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearfulj name, The lord, thy God, then the. lord will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long-continuance, and sore s ckuess, and of long continuance;' and although I will not say that the very same method is to be used in all cases,—yet I cannot but think that, generally speaking, it is veryfit to begin here; for we begin with an avowed principle, — we makeoisu of the law to the best purpose, as ' a schoolmaster to bring men to Christ;' and use the same topic which St. Paul used, in Gal. iii. 10, ' As many aj are of the works of the law are under tlie curse; for it is written, Cursed is every one that continued! not in all things which are written in the bo *k of the law to do them.' 1 have always thought this to bear hard upon the Jews; and think so still. They are certainly under the curse, of their own law; and that is expressed by as plain words as may be. They could tiever pretend to have continued in All the words or precepts of the law to do them.

'During their abode in their own land, and the standing of their temple, they had some relief in this matter; because God allowed of an atonement, by sacrifices, in some casts of failure. They might then hope that, though they failed iu obedience, they might, upon their sacrifices, be admitted to God's favour ; but they have not that' hope now, — for they are without a sacrifice' (Hosea iii. 4); and though, under the law, they were, in some cases, not allowed a sacrifice, but were liable to excision for the heinousness of their sin (Levit. xx) yet their condition is now much worse, for they are not allowed Sacrifice in any ease; and, consequently, they lie under .the curge of their own law; and thus the providence of viod, which has excluded them from their own land, and from their temple, seems plainly to direct them to our Messias, and the meritorious sacrifice of his, death.

This topic may he so urged against the Jews, that, with God's assistance, it may have a good effect upon them; and it may be so pressed, that a Jew will not find it an easy thing to bear up against the weight of it.'

In addition to the above, we insert an Account of an Interview between T<vo Jewish HaUbies, taken from the well-known Narrative of the Life of Solomon Duitch, a learned Rabbi, and teacher of several synagogues in Germany, who, having travelled for seven years from place to place, under doubts as to the truths of Christianity, at length openly confessed himself a disciple of Chiisl; and lived and died in Holland * Christian minister,

'In the year 1763, Oct. 21,1 arrived at one of the chief cities of Saxony; which, for particular reasons, I shall not mention. The Ruhbi of the city behaved in the mrsl friendly manner to me. The 24th of November I bad read so far of my Bible as the fifty-third chapter of Iaaiah; which I took now for the first time under my proper consideration. The Lord was pleaied to open the eyes of my understanding, plainly to comprehend that the prophet spake here of the Messiah, who was to suffer death for our tins; but Satan endeavoured to raise in me many doubts against that explanation. Wherefore I resolved to converse with my friend (the beforeincntioned Rabbi) about tbe contents of this chapter; neither could I find rest within rue {till I actually went to him. 1 had scarcely introduced my desire, when he looked stedfastly in my face, and made signs with his eyes to be silent, immediately repeating something out of the Talmud. In the evening his wife and children went t..> the playhouse, leaving us to ourselves J they were scarcely out of sight, before he took me into another room, which he locked upon us. This put me into a terrible fright, imagining for certain that he had received some intelligence bf my ciese, and would now seek to make me .answerable for. my conduct with my liTe: but I was soon freed from my fears, when, with tears in his eyes, he spake thai to me: —

• O, Mr. Solomon, my beloved and faithful brother,' I will disclose all the secrets of my heart unto you I <—hut it is under the express condition that you keep the secret; for if the least word should get vent by you among the Jews, I shall, for my own security, charge you with wnat I should confess to you, and make you the author of it; in which case, it is easy to comprehend what a persecution you will be exposed to. This pre-supposed, I will now no longer withhold from you the secrets of my heart. Did you not desire me to explain to you the fifty-third of Isaiah?' Having answered in the affirmative, he went into another room, and brought from thence a German Bible; out* of which he read to me, with the greatest reverence and devotion, the 26th chapter of Matthew; and then add reused me thus: ' My beloved friend, you see here, in the fiftythird of Isaiah, the clearest prophecy of the Messiah, who should be scorned and despised, and suffer death, and for what? — for his own trespasses? Oh no! it was far our iniquities and for our trespasses; which jou will clearly perceive, and even must be allowed by many of our Rabbles: but in that chapter, which 1 have read to you out of the German book, is contained the fulfilment of the prophecy of Isaiah. 'Jesus of Nazareth is the true Messiah ;' but alas! what an unhappy thing is that to us! Our forefathers, who lived iu his days, would not receive nor acknowledge him as the true Messiah and Saviour; and'should you ask me why they did not, I could answer you a great deal on thai head; but 1 am. sorry our time is too short to give a full insight into the extreme blindness and prejudices of our forefathers in those days: their poor and unhappy •tfspring following their example, have continued in their blind ways, and have led us on as blind leaders to this very day. Oh, what shall I, poor wretched creature, now do or undertake! 1 see clenrly the beams ot the sun shining into my understanding, but cannot possibly rise out of the dark cloud. How could I leave my wife, whom 1 love ns myself! — and how could I abandon my children, who are of my own flesh and blood i Oh, my heart, my fatherly heart cannot bear the thought of it! Besides, by what means could I get my bread? 1 cannot labour, having learnt no hasiness; and to seek my support from charily is revolting against my nature; besides Ibis, I am afraid of being turned off by the Christians, who, without doubt, would mistrust my sincerity, after they have so often been, deceived by false and inconstant proselytes! What shall I do, miserable as I am!'

Having related to him all ihe ways in which the Lord had led me from the beginning, he fell down on his knees, and shed a il.oii of teats. It

Xviii. . Ji


:- is impossible for me to describe th« anxiety of bis soul : he prayed >*ith a .broken and contrite heart before God, that he might in pity look down upon him, and grant him the same grace as to me; to deny himself and

'unloose his heart from all temporal concerns, enabling him to rely and trust in him aioue. — See S. Duitch's Narrative, London edition, 1771, pege 33. . . .



Designed lo be read to them by Heads of Families.
, [From a Foreign Publication.]

• My dear Children,

« When you look abroad, in the diy time,, and observe the trees, the hills, the clouds, the sky, or the sun; or when you look upwards* in the eveuing, and observe the moon and the stars, are you not led lo enquire, ' Who hath made all these things V You have been taught that there is a God, Creator of Heaven and Earth. With this God it concern* you to become acquainted; for if he is the Maker of Heaven aud Karth, he is likewise your Maker. Freni what jou soe of God's works, you perceive that his power must be Very great. He is not only powerful, but unspeakably wise and holy. Hating all kinds of wickedness, he is pleased with them only who obey his commands. This God provides for you continually : he gives you health and ease of body, enables your parents to procure you food and clothing, and preserves you from harm by night and day. You are always in his presence. Thajgb you do not s:e him, he always sees you, and knows not only your actions, but your thoughts; and these not only in the light, but in the darkness also.

'God made men that they might love and s^rve him, and be happy for ever: hut men would not love a.;dserv« him, — they chose lo offend him by their wicked doings. They became proud and cruel, idle and profane: they then deserved to he punis'ied and destroyed; but God, who was very merciful and kind, would not destroy them; but sent his only-begotten and dearly-beloved Son, to teach men the right way, to make tueiu sorry for their sins, and to procure for them pardon,.

4 Tliis ?ou of God is our blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. He was entirely happy with his Father in Heaven before the world was made; jet he pitied mankind, and could not bear to see them hurtiug and destroying themselves, doing wickedly, and thus making themselves miserable. Our blessed Saviour, the Son ur God, kind, that he came down from Heaven, aud suffered rutch paiu and trouble for the good of men. He noi. only suffered, hot did much, with the same des;gn. He went about doing good; he cured Ihe sick, enabled the Ume to walk, and opened the eyes of t;ie blind; he preached good news lo poor people ; he showed them, that if Ihcy were good and holy here, thay would be" happy and honourable after death, — a great deal more happy aud honourable than the rich: st men now arc, and ai happy as the be.u of Ihciu ever will bs!

'He dul much good to all, bui. no harm lo any; yet he was scorned and ill treated.' At 1.114th, being iufljenced by a desr* to fullil his Father's will, and lo sive souls, he willingly yielded hiuis-li to his nicked enemies, who murdered him in a very cruel m.iuuer.

1 Ths was lie In whoa), when alive on earth, they brought little children ; — this was he who was so greatly d:s;neased with his disciples, i;e*au..c they were not willing that l.tllj chi.dien should be brought to him; — this was he who said, 'tuiilr link: child.ta to, come to mv, and forbid Stem not 5 for of such is thekingdom of Heaven; and he took them up in his arms, and blessed them.'

How exceedingly kind and gracious was it in bim to regard n<t only the flock in general, hut the lambs of the flock,— to discover such affection, for infants and children! But if he were so gracious while on earth, he kaslhe s'ime kindness now he is in Heaven. If he once said ' Suffer little children to come to me,' — he says so at present. He haj the same desire to make them happy now, which he had then; for ' he is the same yesterday, to-day, and forever"!'

• Bnt you must know, my dear children, that your hearts are much inclined to sin: that you hare, in a thousand instances, offended God already; and, therefore", you have need of divine mercy to pardon what is already done; and of God's Holy Spirit to make jour hearts pure and youc lives holy.

* Yea see that all sorts of peop'edie; some older, and some younger than yourselves; but men d> not die as the hrutos die. They are not destroyed at death, hut hav« a life afterwards,,— a life too which will never have an end. Their bodies die, and all their bodily powers cease. They can neither speak, nor walk, nor labour; yet the-ir soufs are alive, and will afcways continue so; — Ihey can think, and he happy or miserable; and they are a great deal more happy or more miserable loan ever they were before they died. v

'The reason why some are made happy and others miserable is, that some have bee<» good, and others have been wicked t some have repented of sin, and loved Christ'; others have not repented of sn, but obeyed the dictates of a wicked heart. Those who love and serve God, wili he made happy forever with God in Heaven; others, who have not loved God, but have been wicked and profane, will be Ci«sl off from Qod and happiness, and Wade miserable among nicked spirits: but if you desir; to be informed Vrhat the blessed God requires of you, in order to your being made htappy after death, I will Jell you : — You must love God,and obey his Son Jesus. If you do love God and Christ, you will pray to God in Christ's name. You must pray daily, that God would take away the corruption of yoar hearts, make you holy, teach you what you ought to do, and dispose you to serve him iu all things: that he would keep you from the suarts to which children are exposed, and not suffer you to be led astray by tin; bad conduct of the wicked. You must bless God and' praise him tor ail hit gnodm Sb.

'At night, when you go to res', you must repeat some prayer which yo« understand, and which will express your sense o," entire dependence 011 God. In the morning, think of God's goodness in preserving you the past night, and pray to him to keep you from harm and from sin all the tay.— Always be sure to attend to your parents when riading, or when engaged in family-prayer. When you are called to family-prayer, see that you attend in as h-ran manner, and think of nothing else. So far as you understand the prayer thai s made, join in it, and pray for the same things. You must avoid all wicked language, all lying, forgetting of God, disobeying of parents, and unkinilness to others. You must always remember that God sees yon, and knows whatever you; think, or say, or do.

'If your hearts and lives are agreeable to thiss directions, you need not fear d-'ath ; for whenever ymi die, you will gciU> be with God, and Christ, and gtx»d men, in perfect holiness and endlessjoy : butif you live wickedly, and without God in the world, jou wilt be sent to the place of despair and B'Sery.

'.May God lake you under Ivs care, and give you his Holy Spirit I — apd may J< so* Chris:, who, whiie on earth, took little children into his arms and blessed Hum, receive you inlo favour, ami give vol; his "race, ta»l you may be ioiever wilh the Lord l' '•

« AnteriorContinuar »