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BREAD CAST UPON THE WATERS FOUND AFTER
It was a fine summer's morning in the month of July when I set out to visit a Missionary station about ten miles from Belfast. The beauties of nature appeared to vie with agreeable fellow-travellers in rendering our short journey both interesting and profitable. Two hours' ride brought
It is a small town, and at its north-west extremity we perceived a neat little sanctuary lifting up its head, and inviting the attention of those who sought fellowship with God. We repaired thither at the time appointed, and found an encouraging congregation devoutly waiting to hear the word of life. I conducted the service in the usual way, but before dismissing the audience a brother rose to announce that a field meeting would be held that afternoon at a country place about three miles from the town. There was no expectation that I should attend, having to preach in the Chapel again in the evening. But though unexpected, I at once resolved to go, wishing to give encouragement to open-air services, which are calculated to do much good when properly conducted, especially on Missionary stations.
After dinner, I walked to the place with a friend, who gave me much information respecting the Circuit, and a brief report of the manner in which the New Connexion was introduced to the village we were going to visit. To my mind the narrative was peculiarly gratifying, especially as I found the cause originated not in faction or division, but in the force of truth, operating on the conscience of an individual who formerly sat under our ministry at Bangor. In her youth she resided there, and frequently attended our Chapel, though without making a profession of religion, or evincing any anxiety for the salvation of her soul. In process of time she married, and removed with her husband to the place where the meeting was about to be held. Several years elapsed without her being heard of by our friends, and there is reason to believe she heard nothing of them for the same length of time. An increasing family soon involved her in domestic anxieties, but nothing particular occurred until a mysterious Providence laid her aside by affliction. In health she forgot her Maker, and lost sight of those things which merited her supreme attention; but affliction, painful and protracted affliction, awakened proper reflections, and produced the most salutary effect on her mind. In her extremity she thought of God, of the value of her soul, and of all those religious privileges which she had so long neglected and misimproved. Such considerations humbled her in the very dust before the Lord. She became a true penitent, and her distress was unutterable. In the bitterness of her soul she cried to God for pardon, but could find no peace. Her guilt and condemnation remained, and she knew not where to look for comfort. Whilst thus depressed in spirit, her religious privileges at Bangor came fresh to her recollection. She thought of the sanctuary, of the of
and of those devoted men whom she formerly heard ministering in holy things. To get back to that house and to its sacred ordinances, was impossible; and her only hope appeared to be in obtaining a visit from one of its ministers; hence, she requested her anxious partner to go to Belfast, and prevail on one of them to come over and see her. The distance was considerable; but the request of an afflicted, a dying fellow-creature, was irresistible, and he resolved to go. Just before setting out he fortunately heard that one of our Missionaries was residing at where a station had recently been formed with encouraging prospects of success. He hastened there to see him, and was kindly received. Our devoted brother was prepared for the invitation, and an early visit to the house of mourning was the result. He found the afflicted woman in deep distress, but anxiously seeking the favour of God as the only source of life and peace. That interview was rendered a blessing; for when the simple plan of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ was clearly marked out, she ventured on the atonement, and found redemption in the blood of Christ, even the forgiveness of her sins. It was enough. Her utmost wishes appeared to be realized, and, like Simeon, she would say, “ Now, Lord, lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word; for mine eyes have seen thy salvation.” Her remaining days were spent in peace; and, after suffering awhile, the carthly house of her tabernacle was dissolved, and her happy spirit entered into that rest which remaineth for the people of God.
But though death removed her from this vale of tears, the husband remained, and through mercy he also became a subject of saving grace. Before her death their house was opened for public worship, and a class was commenced, which still meets regularly on the Sabbath morning. The husband is the leader, and renders himself useful in the Circuit. On reaching his house I sat down for a few minutes, and then proceeded to the place appointed for the meeting. It was not a field, nor yet the highway, but a large plot of land “by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made.” Many “resorted thither;" and whilst a number of rough unhewn stones furnished seats for some of them, others sat on the grass, and listened attentively to the word of life. A local brother spoke first, and I followed, from Num. x. 29, “ Come thou with us and we will do thee good, for the Lord hath spoken good concerning Israel.” Service being over, I had to hurry back to preach in the town at seven o'clock. Afterwards I returned home, where I arrived about eleven, wearied, but thankful for such favourable opportunities of publishing the glad tidings of salvation. “In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand; for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.” Belfast, August, 1845.
The late Rev. Robert Johnson says, “ In Bishop-Wilton lived a good man, named Thomas Wetherell, much respected, with whom I was intimately acquainted about twenty years ago. I heard that he was ill, and went to Bishop-Wilton to see him. On my arrival, I said, “ I am an old friend come to see you. I was afraid you would make your escape to heaven before I had an opportunity.'--He replied, 0, dear sir, I fear I shall never get there. I have lost my way! I have lost my way! Oh, what
a stumbling-block am I now, after enjoying confidence for forty years!' I answered, “I am very sorry that you have turned out so badly. I imagine my visit will not be acceptable. I suppose you have become very wicked, and fond of trifling, vain, worldly company. He immediately rejoined, “Oh, no, no! I cannot bear them. I cannot bear them.' I said, 'I am glad of that; and you may be sure of this, that the Lord will not send you to hell among them hereafter, when you so much dislike their ways and company now.'
“ He was particularly struck with the manner and language in which I addressed him.
Come,' said I, 'let me have the history of plaint.' He proceeded, and said, “Some time ago, I had a paralytic stroke. I was very ill, but very happy in God. Every one thought I was dying, and I thought so myself, and was full of peace and joy; but, contrary to expectation, I got so far better as to be able to walk about, though unable to work. I never was married ; and by frugality and industry I saved about one hundred pounds. But it occurred to me that I might live a considerable time in this debilitated state: my hundred pounds would soon be gone; and I should, after all, become a burden to my friends. I entered into a hurtful train of perplexing reasoning, then of doubt, distrust, and fear. I have grieved the Spirit of God, and he has hid his face from me, and I am troubled. I have lost
confidence in God, and am now in darkness and despair.'
“I remarked, "My dear brother, I clearly see your case. Your mind as well as your body, is debilitated, and the enemy has taken advantage of your weakness to harass and distress you. In your present circumstances you are not capable of reasoning with him, or of steadfastly resisting him: he is too cunning for you, and too strong. But lift up your heart unto the Lord; venture to look unto Jesus, who will soon bruise him under your feet who is thus painfully bruising your heel. You are just like a musical instrument when all its strings are slackened. Ify try to play there are only discordant sounds, not because it is a bad instrument, but because it is out of tune.'
“ He replied with great earnestness, 'Do you really think so, sir?' "Yes, I know that it is so. Because you are so unhinged and slackened in your nervous system, you are ready to imagine that the Lord is disaffected towards you, and that his mercy is clean gone for ever. But, oh! venture to call upon him in your trouble and distress, looking unto Jesus who suffered, being tempted, and who
weth how to succour them that are tempted, and he will most certainly deliver you,
you shall praise him.'
“We then prayed together, and he was greatly encouraged. In a short time afterwards he was completely set at liberty from all his fears, and was filled with peace and joy in believing. A few days after this, he was so happy in his soul, and strong in his body, that he proposed going to York, on Whit-Tuesday, to see me, and to inform me of what the Lord had done for him. He rose early in the morning, took a thin slice of bread, and said, “When breakfast is ready, call me down stairs.' Accordingly, his friends called him—but there was no answer. They then went up, and found him on his knees at the side of his bed, with his Bible before him, speechless and dying: so that instead of going to York, he took his flight to the paradise of God, to that holy city where sickness, pain, and sorrow are no more."
you NOTICES OF BOOKS.
MEMOIR OF THE LIFE AND WRITINGS OF THOMAS CARTWRIGHT, B.D., the distinguished Puritan Reformer, including the Principal Ecclesiastical Movements in the Reign of Queen Elizabeth. By the Rev. B. BROOK, author of “the Lives of the Puritans.” London: John Snow. 8vo. cloth bds., pp. 489.
To those who appreciate the rights of conscience and the great principles of religious freedom, this work will be cordially welcome as a valuable history of one of the most eventful periods in our national existence. It contains a faithful delineation of a great and noble character—the character of Thomas Cartwright. It records his manly but solitary struggles for that liberty which we now to a great extent enjoy; it describes scenes, which, whilst they excite our indignation and disgust, enhance our esteem for the man who could with Christian boldness resist the tyranny of priestly and arbitrary power. Those questions relating to Church discipline which were on the part of Cartwright and his persecutors the subjects of controversy, are also introduced, and the views of both parties exhibited. Those who are fond of studying facts and principles will read this volume with deep interest, whilst the lovers of mere romance and fiction will speedily lay it aside.
MEMOIR OF THE LATE REV. JOHN REID, M.A., of Bellary, East Indies. Comprising Incidents of the Bellary Mission for a period of Eleven Years, from 1830 to 1840. By RALPH WARDLAW, D.D. Glasgow: J. Maclehose. post 8vo. cloth bds., pp. 468.
What wonderful developments of character has Christianity exhibited to the gaze of angels and of men, and in no department of its operations have these exhibitions shone with brighter lustre, than in the field of missionary labour. In that field it is our high privilege to contemplate splendid examples of the spirit of self-sacrifice, of entire devotedness, of unwearied zeal combined with the simplicity and fervour of a high-toned piety. One of these examples is presented to us in the memoir of the Rev. John Reid. In his intellectual powers and attainments, he was far, very far beyond the ordinary standard: in this respect he occupied a decidedly superior and commanding position; but it is his admirably, yea, we had almost said, his perfectly formed character that wins our highest admiration-in every feature so consistent with itself, and with the glorious object he had in view—a model not only to missionaries, but to ministers. With deep interest we follow him through the period of preparatory study; our sympathies accompany him to the land of idols and of sin; and with delight do we watch the efforts of his zeal, conducted in the spirit of purest devotion, and guided by the dictates of a heavenly wisdom; and few we apprehend will read the account of the closing scene without the deepest feelings of sympathy and sorrow. His course was honourable, faithful, and holy, his end was peace and triumph. The memoir whilst indicating the tender affection and esteem of the Christian father-in-law, also evinces the spirit of the impartial biographer. The remarks which are interspersed are invaluable for the counsel they furnish; they give no needless interruption to the interest of the narratives, neither do they weary by their frequency or length. The volume is full of interest, and full of instruction.
THE JUVENILE MISSIONARY KEEPSAKE. 1846. London: J. Snow. Foolscap 8vo., pp. 138.
This Keepsake is designed for young people, and for them it is admirably adapted; persons of mature age may also profit by it, nor will they find their time misspent by a perusal of the affecting narratives and interesting articles, with which this new annual abounds. Most cordially do we wish it success.
D'AUBIGNE'S HISTORY OF THE REFORMATION IN THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY. Translated from the latest French Edition. Vol. 1. London and Edinburgh: Blackie and Son.
This is the cheap edition of D'Aubigné. We rejoice that such a pnblication is placed within the reach of the millions. We have neither time nor space to record the excellencies of this transcendant work—a work as sublime in thought as it is in language. To every Christian reader, to every lover of truth and piety, we say-read this book.
FRIENDLY HINTS TO FEMALE SERVANTS, on the Best Means for promoting their Own and their Employers' Happiness. By Mrs. J. BAKEWELL. Fourth Edition. Fifth Thousand. London: J. Snow. 32mo. cloth bds., pp. 87.
This edition of 6 Friendly Hints to Female Servants” has been considerably enlarged, and we trust improved. Of its merits it is not for us to speak; but the fact of its having arrived at a fourth edition, will be admitted as no slight testimony in its favour,
CONVERSATION CARDS on Intellectual and Moral Subjects. Second Edition. By Mrs. J. BAKEWELL. London: J. Snow.
Who has not lamented the absence of profitable conversation in those private parties which, during the winter season, are convened for the purpose of reciprocating the feelings of friendship, and of enjoying the pleasures of social intercourse? These cards are designed to relieve such parties of dulness, frivolity, and scandal, and to furnish them with topics of conversation, which shall at once be instructive and entertaining. The best way of ascertaining their suitableness for this purpose will be for our friends to subject them to the test of experiment.
THE YOUTH'S KEY TO THE BIBLE, including the Evidences and History of the Sacred Books, and a Dictionary of every Important Word in the Old and New Testament. Adapted for the use of Families, Schools, and Bible Classes. Abridged from the Author's “Key to the Bible.” By the Rev. T. TIMPSON. London: W. Smith.
A most excellent compendium.
CHILD'S COMMENTATOR ON THE HOLY SCRIPTURES. Parts XX. XXI. Ward and Co.
Was born at Church Broughton, Derbyshire, on the 25th of January, 1776. Our late brother Harding was led during his childhood to the house of God, and as he grew in years, he became gradually impressed with the importance of personal religion. In early life he was the subject of gracious strivings and influences by which he
preserved from those
in which thousands indulge in their
youthful days. When about twenty-three years of age, he entered into the marriage state with her who now survives him; in a little more than three years after their union, they removed to Fenton; after settling at this place our brother regularly went to Lane End Church, where he derived considerable profit under the ministry of the Rev. Thomas Cotterill. In course of time our chapel was erected, and our brother, with his wife and family became regular hearers. A few days before the opening of the chapel, a beloved child was called away by death rather suddenly, which tended to arouse him to increased earnestness in the work of salvation. As soon as the chapel was opened,
he joined the society and continued a devoted and consistent member till his death.
His love to God was warm and constant; when health permitted, his attendance on the means of grace was punctual and devout. He was a lover of the Bible and a man of prayer; he enjoyed constant communion with God, and expressed at all times the greatest confidence of his acceptance; feeling the spirit bearing witness with his spirit that he was a child of God."
He possessed a deep concern for his children's welfare and happiness; the salvation of his household lay near his heart; he could not bear the thought that any of those who composed his family should be found wanting at the last day.
Our brother at all times seemed to live with eternity in view; in relating his religious experience, he often referred to the period when he should leave this world, and at the same time expressed his anxious desire to be found constantly watching and prepared for his change.
Religion shed such a lustre on his declining age, and filled his soul during his long affliction, with so much light and peace, as enabled him to look down into