« PreviousContinue »
The beggar's parents are called and questioned,—they acknowledge him to be their son,-they know he was born blind; but the miracle they dare not speak about. 6 Our son is of age, ask him?" Again the young man is called for. The Pharisees now adopt another course, and say, “Give God the praise, we know that this man (Jesus) is a sinner.” If thou hast received thy sight, give the Glory to God. If not acknowledge the fraud, for we know this man to be a sinner. Wearied with the questioning, but unshaken in the truth, the young man still repeats his story, undaunted by the threatening look of the proud Pharisee. He thinks them either blind or deaf-being asked again, he says, “I have told you already; have ye not heard it ? Will ye also be his disciples ?”
W. H. RINDER.
SUPPORTING MISSIONS. TO THE EDITOR,—DEAR SIR,
The appeal in your last number, by Mr. Rinder, to the Sunday-schools throughout our Connexion, quite delights me. It is just the thing. I hope all the schools will be up and at it; every thing is favourable for such an effort. Trade is good, provision and clothing are very cheap. Then let all teachers and scholars do something. I know that in this Circuit some action is being taken among some of our schools; but unfortunately it happens to be amongst the smallest of them, I hope the others will be very soon induced to follow. Do, Mr. Editor, use your pen, and try to get our Sunday-schools into a good way, let them remember that, it is said, “There is that giveth, and yet increaseth; and there is that witholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty."
SYMPATHY. " Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."- Matthew xxv. 40.
Mock not another's sorrow,
So young and buoyant spirits,
The life-boat manned by Heaven.
BIRTH-PLACE OF COLONEL GARDINER. COLONEL JAMES GARDINER was born in the house represented in our engraving, at Carriden, Linlithgowshire, in Scotland, on the 10th of January, 1688. His father was a captain in the army; his uncle was a colonel, and his eldest brother was also a military man. When James Gardiner was only fourteen years old he became a soldier, having a cadet's commission in the Scottish army. Before his conversion he was a very wicked man, as soldiers then generally were, and now are. No truly good man would choose to be a soldier. Those who voluntarily enter the army are mostly persons of dissolute habits.
When Colonel Gardiner was only eighteen years old, he was engaged at the battle of Ramillies; and was one of the officers on a “forlorn hope"- that is, of a company employed on a most dangerous enterprise. While endeavouring to drive the French troops from a churchyard, when he was calling to his men, a musket-ball was fired into his mouth; the ball passed through his mouth, and the back part of his neck, without injuring his tongue or teeth, and came out about an inch and a-half on the left side of the spinal column. At first he did not feel any pain from the wound, and supposed that he had swallowed the ball; but the bleeding of the wound soon convinced him of his mistake, and he soon after fell from weakness, occasioned by loss of blood. He was left thus wounded in the open air, in cold weather, for two nights and a day, and then had his wound dressed by an ignorant barbersurgeon; yet the wound healed, and he was soon restored to health.
This wonderful deliverance did not lead him to the exercise of gratitude and obedience to God. He continued for twelve years after to lead a dissolute life. In his person he was tall, well proportioned, and handsome. He had a strong constitution, and gave himself up to the indulgence of vice and licentiousness. By his companions he was called the “happy rake;" but it was impossible that a person following such a sinful course of life could be happy.
While thus engaged in the practice of gross wickedness, he was converted from the error of his ways in a most remarkable manner. One Sunday, in the month of July, 1719, he had been spending the evening with some of his wicked companions until eleven o'clock, when he retired to his lodgings. Having an appointment to meet a wicked woman at twelve o'clock, he took up a book to pass away the hour. The book had been left in his room by his mother, or aunt, and was entitled, “ The Christian Soldier.” The title arrested his attention, and he expected to find in it some amusement, from references made to the military profession. His biographer, Dr. Doddridge, states, that while Major Gardiner was engaged in reading this book, he was surprised by a sudden and extraordinary blaze of light, shining on his book, which at first he imagined proceeded from the candles ; but, upon looking up, he was astonished to behold a representation of our Saviour upon the cross, surrounded with a radiance of glory; and he heard a voice saying-—“Oh, sinner, did I suffer this for
thee? and are these thy returns ?" He was terror-stricken, fainted in his chair, and for some time was insensible.
Dr. Doddridge frequently suggested to him, that he probably had fallen asleep, and had in a dream seen and heard what he had described; but he never would admit such to have been the case, but insisted that he was awake when he saw the light, and the Saviour, and heard the voice. Whether he were awake or dreaming we cannot decide; but this is certain, what he thus saw and heard had a very happy effect upon him. He at once abandoned his wicked practices, renounced the company of his former wicked associates, and became a truly pious man.
In July, 1726, he married Lady Francis Erskine, daughter of the Earl of Buchan, by whom he had thirteen children.
Before his conversion he fought several duels ; but after his conversion, having been challenged by one of his brother officers, who had quarrelled with him, Gardiner refused the challenge, calmly saying, “ I fear sinning, though you know I do not fear fighting.”
During the twenty-six years which Colonel Gardiner lived after his conversion, he maintained the character of a religious man; yet he continued to be a soldier until the end of his life, and died from wounds received in the battle field. Many interesting anecdotes, illustrative of his character, have been recorded, among which is the following. On one occasion he invited the commanding officer of the king's troops at Edinburgh, and several other officers of rank, to dine at his house. Knowing that soldiers were addicted to profane swearing, and deeming it improper that he should allow such sinful conduct in his house, and yet being unwilling to violate the laws of hospitality, he adopted the following plan. When his guests were assembled, he addressed them in the following manner. He told them that he had the honour, in that district, to be a justice of the peace, and that he was sworn to put the laws in execution, and, amongst others, those against swearing; that, therefore, he entreated all the gentlemen who had honoured him with their company to