« PreviousContinue »
place of fashionable news ; controversy too, is often engaged in, rather as affording an opportunity for the exercise of penetration or the display of eloquence and learned research, than with regard to its legitimate use, as a means of eliciting truth, and cooperating with Christian charity by discovering those errors which she seeks to remove. That active benevolence which is so characteristic of genuine piety, besides opening a door for ostentation and self-satisfaction, is apt to cause a species of excitement unfitting the mind for private praver, and calm selfexamination ; thus aiming an effectual blow at spiritual religion.
There is another danger more insidious yet, than these, and which especially assaults the young; it is the habit of allowing poetical religious imaginings to supply the place of sound scriptural meditation, These are but a few of the dangers. by which the professedly pious are surrounded, and the description of these dangers is far from being exaggerated. The appearance of zealous piety we know is every day assumed; but Scripture, it will be remembered, warns us that Satan is often transformed into an angel of light, his object being to render us contented in his service; and he therefore encourages us to improve the plausible appearance of moral conduct, to acquire scriptural knowledge as an ornamental accomplishment, enabling us to shine in conversation, and secure our own glory instead of that of our great Creator—and thus the enemy of our souls is constantly striving to divert us from seeking that entire change of heart which is the one thing needful.
Mary P. B. THE DYING OUTCAST.
She was one of the most abandoned characters in the city; and was, whilst I visited her, suffering under an accumulation of disease, brought on by vicious practices. She at length became the paramour of a man of depraved and dissolute habits, who treated her in a manner the most brutal-keeping a small whip, with which he constantly flogged her when unsuccessful in her midnight walks, and on one occasion flogged her so severely that she was unable to stand. In this miserablc state of degradation I found her on the 27th of July, 1839, and set before her the misery and danger consequent on the life she was then pursuing, and at the same time directed her attention to the infinite mercy of God in the gift of his Sun, who came into the world to save sinners. These statements were evidently applied to her mind by the Holy Spirit, for she afterwards evinced a deep concern for her soul, as the following entries from the Journal will show. “ Pound this poor woman a picture of wretchedness and destitution, apparently as miserable as a human being could be. At this visit she appeared much distressed in mind, and said, I have been looking at my past life-I feel my sins a burdenand am sorry on account of them. I reminded her of Him who came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
Nov. 4. She spoke of having a good hope through grace, and said, “I have been thinking of what my blessed Saviour has done for me. He died and rose again for me; and blessed be his name: when I die, I hope to live with him for ever."
Dec. 2. This morning she appeared overjoyed at seeing me, and was some time before she could speak for weeping. When she had recovered, she said, “I am thankful that you have come, for I am a deal weaker in body ; but, thank God, I am so much nearer the prize." I spoke of the richness of the grace wherein we stand, till she interrupted me, by saying, “ Yes; I know that after this life I shall live for ever, and not for my own sake, but for Christ's, who died for
Here she paused: then, with much emotion, continued, “O what mercy that God has spared me, that He did not cut me down in the midst of my sins : I have to thank him for sending you.” When I was leaving her, she earnestly entreated me to call again soon. The prayer she
offered up to a Throne of Grace on the behalf of myself and the people who dwell in this street, followed me down the stairs.
To-day, I spent a considerable time with her in conversation. She said, “My hope is in the Lord Jesus : I abhor myself for the sinful life I have lived, and ascribe it to Sovereign grace that I have been brought to a knowledge of my ruined state.” She also said she would not part with the hope she has of an interest in the Son of God for ten thousand worlds. She has no desire to live, except to adorn the doctrine of God her Saviour by her life. When leaving her, she wept, and desired me to call again; saying, “ God, in his mercy, has sent you to me, and blessed the visits to my poor soul.”
This morning, I found her evidently much weaker in body. She complained of the cold (not having sufficient clothing); then remained silent for a moment, with her eyes fixed upon me, and said, “I have more than I deserve; I don't wonder at not being assisted by those who are kind to the poor, when I consider the character I have borne :" then began to praise the Lord for all his mercies. I asked her on whom her hope was based. She replied, with uplifted hands, “ My blessed Saviour, who died for me." I read the 21st chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel, over which she wept. She sweetly fell asleep in Jesus on the 24th December, 1839, with these words upon her lips—“ I am going to another and a better world.”
From the Report of the Bath City Mission.
The Believer's Triumph over Death, being a brief account
of the Lord's dealing with Jane Cox, of Milton, Hamp
shire. 12 pp.-HOULSTON & STONEMAN. This narrative exhibits in a striking manner the power of Divine grace in supporting the mind under the pressure of severe affliction, and enabling a naturally timid spirit,-one who was for some time in great bondage through fear of death, to triumph over the last enemy.
We give the closing scene of the young
woman's life, which is very touching.
“The night before her departure, after she had taken leave of all her relatives, and earnestly requested her beloved and affectionate mother to lie down and rest, fearing the closing scene might be too much for her feelings in her weak state, she said to her friend, ‘Mary, do you think I shall live till the morning ?' She was answered, 'Do you wish to live till then ?' She said, “No, by no means, unless it be the Lord's will. After this she repeated several verses of the twenty-seventh hymn in the first book of Dr. Watts's Collection.
“ After this, she exclaimed, 'Oh, death, where is thy sting? I expected to find a sting in death ; but it is all taken away. O grave, where is thy victory ? Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly!' Having uttered these expressions, she lay for some time quite composed, and her attendants thought the spirit had fled. There was a death-like quiet in the room-a breathless stillness, only interrupted by the sighs or weeping of those who watched over her. This continued nearly two hours, when, about one o'clock on the Lord's-day morning, she moved a little, opened her eyes, and, looking up with a smile on her countenance, and brightening with immortality, she said to her friend, ‘Mary, tell Mr Wills it is beautiful-my soul is safe !' The spirit immediately took its flight from the clay tabernacle to enter into the realms of bliss : ‘Absent from the body-present with the Lord.'
“ It would appear that her happy spirit had been privileged to behold the blessedness of paradise, and to bear this testiinony to those below. It had such an overpowering effect upon those present, that they expected to have seen some of the heavenly messengers accompanying her happy spirit. Before taking my farewell of her, I had said, that if the Lord should continue her faculties to the last, and she should find Jesus precious to her soul, I hoped she would leave a testimony to that effect. She promised to do so, and the Lord enabled her to do more than realize my wishes; for she serenely, but triumphantly exclaimed, . It is beautiful !'”
We cordially recommend this simple narrative as calculated to be useful to those who, like the in
teresting subject of it, anticipate with dread the passage through the dark valley.
(Concluded from page 132.) We next observe that,
4. Ruth became an ancestor of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Her son Obed was the grandfather of David; and from her a long line of illustrious kings, and holy and mighty men sprung, and from her, though a Gentile, according to the flesh, descended the Saviour of guilty men; He who lives and reigns for ever and ever, before whom every knee shall yet bow. By faith, you, my friends, may each claim kindred with Ruth: you may become acquainted with Jesus Christ; by faith in his precious blood, and baving redemption by him, you shall meet Ruth, and all others who lived and died in faith, and throughout eternity, it will be your blissful employment to sing, “to him that loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood, to him be glory for ever.”
Lastly. THE LESSONS OF HER CASE.
1. Decision of character is imperatively necessary. Orpah promised once to return with Naomi to her country, but when Naomi, like a faithful woman, told her of nothing but difficulties and trials in pros. pect, Orpah kissed her mother-in-law, and finally left her, and we hear nothing of her in future, but Ruth displayed that quality for which religious females have often been most remarkable ;-DECISION OF CHARACTER, under the influence of which, holy women have resisted the most powerful temptations.