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he continued saying, Praise the Lord, oh my soul! Glory, glory be to God! Thus
on his lips,
His dying lips, the sound of glory quivered;
and with this language of triumph he closed his mortal career."*
The lesson of religion and morality taught by this profane relation is, that the worst of men may be certainly persuaded that their sins are forgiven, may dismiss the terrors of a future judgment, and close their career in triumph; although their repentance be deferred till the hand of death has seized them," and all hopes of recovery have fled!" The observation which such a case suggests are very obvious; and let it be remarked, that this is not a solitary case; examples of a similar kind, but not equally aggravated, for that could hardly be, are scattered throughout the obituary of the Evangelical Magazine.
"Mrs. Martha Paul" was a very different character; "she was blessed with a religious education, through which she obtained a reverence for God, his ordinances and his people." She was to outward appearance blameless, and made choice of God's people for her constant companions at all times, and in all places, avoiding the company of the world, and shun
* Evangelical Magazine, July, 1811, p. 268. · + Evangelical Magazine, August, 1811, p. 307.
ning every appearance of evil."* Yet this virtuous woman suffered the same spiritual agonies, and was regenerated in the same crisis as the abandoned libertine above mentioned. During her last sickness, "The Lord began to operate powerfully by his spirit on her soul, and caused her to tremble before him on account of her sin. She was afraid she was going to die, and that if she did she would go to hell. She then broke out in an agony, and cried to the Lord for mercy. The Lord heard her cry, answered her supplications, pardoned all her sins, shed his love abroad in her heart, and caused her to rejoice with joy unspeakable. The change, indeed, was very apparent, for naturally she was timid and bashful; but all her fears fled away, and now she could proclaim the loving-kindness of the Lord to her soul with confidence and courage. A friend called at night to see her, and when he was praying, she seemed lifted up above every earthly object, saying often, I will go, I will go!' On being asked where she would go, she said, to heaven!"†
Rebecca Gwennap's history furnishes an exception to the general rule of experiences. From her infancy she evinced a pious disposition, so that it was impossible for her friends, and very probably for herself, to fix the precise era of her conversion." +
* Evangelical Magazine, August, 1811, p. 307.
+ Id. p. 308.
+ Evangelical Magazine, June, 1809, p. 247.
This was extraordinary indeed, according to the creed of Methodism: but it appears that she was of a melancholy temper, and being exhausted by a lingering consumption, was rather depressed with imaginary terrors, than elated with false confidence. "She complained that Satan had been endeavouring to persuade her she was on a wrong foundation, and of darkness of soul, saying, Satan has been accusing me of hypocrisy; but,' said she, if I perish, it shall be at the feet of Jesus."
However, before her departure, she took courage, and exclaimed, " Soon the conflict will be over, and the battle won, and then I shall enter into the joy of my Lord, all through rich grace," &c.*
"Mrs. Blow's first hearing (of the doctrine of grace) was attended with such strong emotions, that they moved her whole frame, shook her pride, and brought her down to be saved in God's own way; yet at seasons she resolved to hold out, and began to spurn at the sovereignty of grace." She had a will of her own, it seems, and was not overpowered yet; "she wandered from place to place, seeking rest, but finding nothing to fill the void: at length she determined on taking a seat in the chapel, saying, Here will I worship till I die." She still exercised that abjured principle, the power of choosing for herself; but as it led her to a conventicle, all
* Evangelical Magazine, June, 1809, p. 248, 249.
was well. After this, the "effects of divine grace were remarkably clear in her humility. In one of my visits," adds her biographer," she said to me, I have peace with God, pardon through blood, and righteousness divine to appear in heaven. I will not stand in my own righteousness before my Judge-no, no:
Jesus, thy blood and righteousness
Her ecstasy increased towards the last, when she "had a sharp conflict with Satan;-and after prayer she exclaimed, I conquer! My Jesus is near-it will soon be over-my adversary is fled-I shall soon be in glory!
O! what hath Jesus brought for me
Before my ravish'd eyes?
Rivers of life divine I see,
And trees of paradise!'
Lifting up her withered arms, she cried out
I'll clap my wings, and soar away,
And mingle with the blaze of day.” *
Can one read such relations as these, without reverting to the apostle's caution against those, "who having the form of godliness, but denying the power thereof, creep into houses, and lead captive silly women, laden with sins, and led away with divers lusts?" Can we too earnestly
洛 Supplement to Evan. Mag. 1809, p. 549.
exhort our brethren, and more especially our sisters, in the apostle's words, "From such turn
These specimens will probably be considered more than sufficient to evince in what manner the influence of the holy spirit is represented by the editor of this periodical and popular work, as deciding the salvation of the departing soul.
This article forms a material part of its contents; and it is observed by a writer, who appears to think that the notice of such cases is still too limited, "that the Evangelical Magazine would prove a suitable repository for these histories of converting grace; and the religious public would be much obliged to ministers and others, who would favour this work with short accounts of this description," &c.t
Certainly, these records of infatuation would best become a publication that propagates more extensively than any other those erroneous doctrines from which they all proceed: but what a ministry must that be, which can lend the weight of its authority to such delusions ?"
* 2 Tim. iii. 5, 6.
+ Magazine for March, 1810, p. 104.
A writer on "Sudden Conversions," in this very Magazine, exposes the danger and absurdity of publishing "so liberally and incautiously" these marvellous accounts. "On reading in our works," he says, "the obituaries of those who are said to have been converted in their last days, I have asked, Supposing such conversions real, what good can their publication do? I deny, however, that you can have full