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ÆTAT. 23] INTENSE SOLICITUDE FOR USEFULNESS.

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My soul has been much troubled, and I have been pleading with God for her life. I have a peculiar hope that I shall prevail. I have thought on those words of Jesus: 'this sickness is not unto death but for the glory of God.' 'All things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer believing, ye shall receive.' 'All power is given unto Me both in heaven and in earth.' 'The prayer of faith shall save the sick.' Several considerations support my faith. I have been led in a peculiar way to pray for her. God answered my prayer in regard to. Both Mr. P and myself need some remarkable answer to prayer to keep us steadfast in our adherence to God and His truth. I heard to-night that Mrs. T of Tirle has been so near death that they began to make arrangements for her funeral, but she is now recovering. The natural power of Christ is under the dominion of His moral power. His power is now around her, His eye is upon her. And now I again lay my case before God. I feel unwell myself, perhaps even now I am sharing her affliction.

Here again is an answer
He is the same God I

2nd. "Mrs. P- is better. to prayer. The glory be to God. read of in the Bible. May He complete what He has begun.”

9th. "It is not unlikely that the work of saving souls upon a large scale will often have some disgrace attached to it. But few professing Christians will cordially approve the conduct of that man who tries the utmost power of faith and prayer and effort to save men. There will be an energy and a boldness in his movements which they cannot comprehend."

"It is painful to think how little I sometimes feel for the souls of my fellow-men. Were I fully awake to their value and danger my heart would yearn with pity, and my understanding be fertile in expedients to bring them to God. O that the desire of saving souls were a master

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passion-that every capacity of my nature were subject to its sovereign sway !"-I am not sure that there was not something morbid in this feeling. I believe he felt as intense a desire for usefulness as was compatible with his physical capability to use the means for securing it. An American writer, after accounting for the retention of physical vigour by one of his countrymen extensively engaged in revival services, by stating that it was because of "a native freedom from care, and by cultivating activity rather than intensity of feeling," adds: "we all wish to have a deep sense of eternal things; but it is evident that concentrated thought and intense feeling, long continued, will just as surely derange the nervous system and destroy the health, as fire will consume wood. All the feeling on the subject of religion which we want is just enough to make us unceasingly active and vigilant in the service of the Lord. More than this we cannot endure."

"The amount of temporal happiness arising from the conversion of one soul is incalculable. It is a delightful truth that a person truly converted to God, and continuing steadfast is beyond the reach of distressing poverty."

12th. "My sermons ought to be a means of grace to myself. I must aim at a more distinct and forcible enunciation. The success of a sermon may depend much upon this; for in order to make an adequate impression the sounds should be clear and full. The voice has great influence over the mind of the speaker, as well as his mind over his voice."

"If a man rest contentedly destitute of Christian perfection he cannot be a faithful minister of Jesus Christ. He is not likely to do much for the destruction of sin who allows it in his own breast. A thing that appears insignificant may materially affect the usefulness of a minister. To be successful, a minister must be entirely devoted to his

ETAT. 23]

SELF-IDOLATRY DEPLORED.

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work; he must be a man of one book and one aim. If he seeks to shine as a literary man, to acquire reputation as a philosopher, to attract the world by his eloquence, or even to pass for a profound divine, he misses the mark, and fails of his high calling. The work in which he is engaged must absorb his powers. The battle he has to fight Iwith sin and Satan is so arduous that he cannot afford any of his forces to be drawn off."

He had experienced no return to vigour after the violent attack of "tic," when hemorrhage from the lungs came on, and loosened the last pin of the frail tabernacle. His soul was delightfully tranquil in the prospect of speedy dissolution. It is, shall I call it the privilege (?) of some dying Christians to look forward only-to have regret for unfaithfulness absorbed in blissful anticipation. Such was not his case. A brief record in his Journal attests that the light reflected from the eternal world brought into affecting prominence some of the transactions of the past. It evinces at the same time a noble elevation of character. I ask for it a serious consideration from my young readers, and especially from "young men of talent." March 1838. "There are some things I wish my friends to bear in mind, should it please God to take me away now. I most deeply regret that I did not give my heart to God when I was about twelve years of age. I then very much experienced the strivings of His spirit, and had I yielded, I should have shunned an infinitude of sin and disquietude; have been a blessing to my fellow-men; and have brought glory to God. My great sin has been self-idolatry. Let all young men of talent beware of it. It is most deceitful, blinding, and ruinous."-Man's estimate of this evil is widely different from that of God. It is to be feared that the poet's representation of it as an infirmity, rather than the Scripture declaration of it as a sin, is generally accepted. Many

things however wear a very different aspect to the intelligent and enlightened man who is consciously approaching eternity, from that which they presented amid the bustle of active life. Eliza Hessel felt constrained to utter an experience very similar to this of her brother's. "The greatest bane of my life" said she, “has been the love of praise." It is easy to attribute this to the action of erroneous teaching upon a debilitated frame and perhaps a morbid sensibility. But is such teaching erroneous? Is it not a sin for the creature to appropriate the credit of a possession imparted by the Creator? That is what they both felt they had sought to do, though neither of them betrayed this to an extent that appeared unusual.

"The

His mother was sent for, but before her arrival a considerable improvement was experienced. "I have been much better since Monday, and have been able to walk about," he writes to his father on March 22nd. bleeding has almost ceased, but I have still a troublesome cough. I think I have the prospect of restoration. I have had scarcely any pain, and have great reason to be thankful. The Lord has wonderfully supported me in the prospect of death. The people have been peculiarly kind. I have no doubt that if God restores me my illness will be of use both to myself and others. Let us all live for eternity. Nothing in this world is comparatively worth a straw. Thank God I can tread it beneath my feet."-He ultimately recovered so as to be able to preach. The impress of death was so visible however that it was scarcely possible to resist the conviction that every effort must be his last. In vain did his friends enforce rest. While sufficient strength remained to enable him to reach the pulpit, he was bent on proclaiming the "great salvation."

On May 3rd he writes: "Have had a pleasant walk along the Eden. As I sat upon the little bridge, watching

ÆTAT. 23] HOW FAILURE MAY OFTEN LEAD TO SUCCESS. 221

the gurgling stream rush over its stony bed, I was filled with thankfulness to God for having cast my lot in this part. The scenery, the retirement, the circumstances, are peculiarly suited to me. If I be near my end, I recognise the Divine goodness in thus soothing my latter days. And if I am to live a little longer, I see that the circumstances amid which I have been placed are admirably adapted to prepare me for my work. Thus, whatever the issue, I have abundant reason to adore the goodness of God."

"Few things are more valuable than a certain determination of mind, which makes the best of existing circumstances. He who has attained this, instead of sinking into dispondency under failure and disappointment, and wasting his time in useless complainings, rises up with renewed energy and often recovers what is lost. Misfortune is commonly aggravated by vain regrets. A great part of mankind know not the latent strength which God has given them, almost every thing requiring a little more than wonted energy and perseverance is deemed an impossibility. It often happens that a defeat supplies the elements of a future victory. This is eminently the case in the moral world. How often when overcome by temptation, have we been led to gird up the loins of our mind, and watch more perseveringly, and pray more earnestly. But it is easy to throw away such advantages. Instead of putting forth. every energy in order that we may prepare afresh for battle, we too often weakly allow ourselves to be disheartened, and give up all for lost. O for an invincible spirit-a determination not to be conquered! To such a soul, knowing where its strength lies, all things are possible."

"How much time is wasted in forming plans which can never be carried into operation. When we depart from the simplicity of faith we burden ourselves with a thousand needless cares. They have learnt much, who know how to live

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