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AT KIRKBY-STEPHEN. The inestimable worth of love
Affecting view of sin—The importance of frankness - John Wesley -William CarvosSo—The power of faith-Condition of Ministerial success — Hemorrhage-Ambition deplored - Gratitude Latent strength possessed by all—The energy of sacred truthJoins the Wesleyans–On an ornate-style for the pulpit Returns home-Death.
The manifest increase of Mr. Hessel's spirituality during the last twelve months of his life, affords his friends unutterable solace and delight. An interesting youth, whose emaciated frame and pallid face and bright but sunken eyes too plainly indicate that consumption has secured a fatal grasp, is an affecting spectacle. But the sadness is unutterably deepened when the victim is unwilling to believe the fact, and is revolving projects that relate only to his own aggrandizement. To pious friends such a spectacle is piercing. The emotions experienced by Mr. Hessel's friends were the opposite of these. It was painful to witness his body daily wasting, and his vigorous intellect becoming gradually shorn of strength, but it was joyous to witness the progressive maturity of the spirit in wisdom and holiness. So visibly was the grain ripening for the heavenly garner that it formed a frequent topic of conversation among his friends. On Oct. 6th he writes : “ The glorious light of the sun breaks into my little parlour through the foliage which overhangs my window. May the Sun of Righteousness break through the tangled boughs of worldliness and unbelief which overhang the entrance of my heart. Nothing in the universe is of any value but love. It is every thing. It contains all good. If I only love nothing has power to hurt me. Whatever wants I may experience are supplied by love. It plants a power in
the soul next to almighty. If I only love, it matters little how much I am hated or despised, for Christ says “If any man love me he shall be loved of my Father, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.'”. -Beautiful sentiments for a wasting man to utter ! many a reader will probably exclaim. But are they not important sentiments for a vigorous man to cherish? Is it true that “nothing in the universe is of any value but love ?” It is. What can I carry into Eternity but the thoughts and feelings with which my mind and heart are stored ? My knowledge, experiences, purposes, and mental and moral habits, I cannot leave behind. But what will all else avail if I have not love? That is not simply the grand qualification for admission to the place we designate heaven, it constitutes its blessedness. God can impart nothing to His most honoured saints so valuable as love. He has in fact no higher blessedness for Himself. Every saint in heaven will be rich or poor just as he possesses much or little love. And is it not so now? Do wealth, social status, or the applause of man make me truly enviable ? These are contingent benefits. They may prove an evil instead of a good. Possessed of any or all of these I may be discontented and unhappy. But let love fill and rule my heart, and “I have learnt” one of the most difficult lessons God is desiring to teach me, “in whatsoever state I am therewith to be content.” I can bear disappointment, provocation, reproach, contempt, and pain. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Truly, therefore, of all possessions love is the most valuable. What consummate folly therefore are they perpetrating who eagerly pursue other things and neglect this ! Reader ! act thou more wisely!
“From love we fell. Love only can restore
PRAYER PHYSICALLY BENEFICIAL.
“No view we can take of sin appears to me so terrible as that which represents it as a principle, a tendency, a fountain seated in the very centre of the soul, and ever sending forth its filthy streams. If, in a few short years, we are ready to ask, it has wrought so much misery, what must it do in the course of ten thousand years ? And oh, appalling thought ! what must be its disastrous results throughout eternity? Its fruitful womb is constantly bringing forth new monsters, and every birth, for endless ages, will continue to surpass its predecessors in horrible
In this world it is hedged in by restraints, but in a future state it will run on in uncurbed malignity.”
10th. “I have now no doubt but that prayer is highly conducive to health, and will prove the best counteractive to the debilitating effects of study. It puts the heart into a state of vigorous action, and causes all the powers of the soul to move in harmony.”—It is well known that animal spirits exercise a mighty influence upon physical vigour; and the bright consciousness of our Heavenly Father's love cannot fail to quicken the animal spirits. The intelligent Christian is supplied with a thousand facts unknown to others and unsuspected by them, illustrative of that scripture declaration, "godliness is profitable unto all things.”
25th. “I need be under no fear as to my mental improvement. The process is carried on in a thousand ways which escape my observation. If only I keep in view the end of my being, I may safely leave the rest with God. Inferior ends will not be lost, but be drawn by cords too delicate for me to discern. But if I aim at less than the end of my being I shall lose everything. If I daily implant useful, beautiful, and holy thoughts, they cannot fail to become fruitful and multiply.”—Experience supplied this sentiment, and cheering, I am persuaded, would be its effect. The
I absence of that rush of mental vigour which he formerly
experienced had caused him much solicitude. He regarded it as the death-knell of progress. Let it cheer all invalids seeking improvement to know that he discovered this to be an error. Pleasurable as it is to realize daily progress, in the mental as in the vegetable world rapid growth is not always durable. The fungus springs up in a night, but a day almost measures its existence. Succulent plants may boast themselves against the oak for rapidity of development, but the stately tree survives the decay of many generations of them. Impetuosity usually supplies the student with much to undo.
The man of observant and contemplative habits cannot fail to be constantly acquiring knowledge, and he is at the same time acquiring the elements of a worthy character. A valuable mental and moral process is going on within us, utterly unconscious though we may be of it, if we are daily implanting useful, beautiful, and holy thoughts. Eventually the results will pleasingly appear.
“ Never saw so clearly the importance of being frank with those I associate with. There is something omnipotent
. in a free and ingenuous intercouse of the soul. It unlocks the hearts of those with whom you converse, and sweetly constrains them to surrender their treasures. Thus you open to yourself a thousand sources of information inaccessible to others. You
carry on a profitable trade where others gain nothing."
26th. “I am called to bear witness to the goodness and grace of God both by my preaching and conduct. Through me all men should see what God is able to do for His creatures. I should be a specimen of the excellence and happiness which results from loving Jesus Christ. I should be known as an advocate of all that is good, and an uncompromising foe of all that is evil." -Omit the reference to preaching in the first sentence, and what person in
A UNIVERSAL OBLIGATION.
Christendom may not appropriate this entire paragraph ? Every Christian professor owns the obligation to "abhor that which is evil,” and to let his light so shine before men that they may see his goodworks, and glorify his Father which is in heaven. And is any man released from this obligation by simply disavowing feligion? So, it would appear, many persons think. But what would any tradesman think of the reasoning capability of the creditor who should assure him that because he felt reluctant to cancel his debt, he was discharged of the obligation so to do? How can the refusal to recognize a claim annul it? It is as much your duty, my young friend, to be a “specimen of the excellence and happiness which results from loving Jesus Christ” as it was John Hessel's.
31st. “My poor heart, contracted alas by selfishness, is ready to burst with the thought which swells these beautiful lines :
“Ah, Lord I enlarge our scanty thought,
Thy love immense, unsearchable !"" “O that my heart were filled with God!' How can I do anything right when my heart is wrong? My thinking, speaking, conduct, will all be impregnated with a poisonous element. If my heart were filled with God a virtue would be continually going from me. I have long had this conviction that it is easier to live without sin than with a little sin.”
In a letter to his parents dated Nov. 24th, he says : “My congregations are very good. In the evening the chapel has lately been filled. I now see that I do not labour in vain. Some, I have no doubt, have been truly converted, and many are inquiring what they must do to