Page images
PDF
EPUB

A sermon which I one day heard Mr. Pritchard preach on the subject of Charity, affected 'me very sensibly. I was convinced that though I loved God, I had not loved my neighbour as I ought; that I had not done altogether to others what I should wish others to do unto me. And I considered that the best proof I could afford of my love to God, was the exercise of universal love and good-will towards all men. As God therefore had forgiven me my sins, I was constrained to forgive all who I thought had offended or injured me. I was dead to every impression of anger or resentment, I regarded all mankind as my equals. I sympathized with the afflicted ; visited, relieved, and comforted, to the best of my ability the sick and the needy ; I found it more profitable to go to the house of mourning than to the house of feasting; I wept with those that wept, and rejoiced with those that did rejoice. I experienced now the value of health and other temporal blessings, and the possession of these excited in me fresh sentiments of gratitude, and demanded constant returns of thankfulness and praise.

My heart was devoted to God; my thoughts centered in him, I feared neither the censures nor courted the applause of the world, I endeavoured to have in view the glory of God in all my , words and actions. I could say with the Psalmist, “ The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid ? As the hart panteth after the water brooks, fo panteth my soul after thee, O God. Whom have I in Heaven but thee, and there is none upon earth I desire in comparison of thee. A day in thy courts is better than a thousand; I had rather be a door-keeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness; for the Lord is my Sun and my Shield ; the strength of my heart and my portion for ever." · Mr. Charles Wesley in one of his hymns, represents so well the state of the soul when newly converted to God, and his description accords so exactly with my own feelings at the time, that I shall make no apology for inserting it here.

How happy are they
· Who the Saviour obey,
And have laid up their treasure above !

Tongue cannot express

The sweet comfort and peace
Of a soul in its earliest love.

That comfort was mine,

When the favour divine
I firft found in the blood of the Lamb;

When my heart it believ'd,

What a joy I receiv'd,
What a Heaven in Jesus's name !

'Twas

'Twas a Heaven below

My Saviour to know;
The angels couid do nothing more

Than fali at his feet,

And the ftory repeat,
And the lover of finners adore.

Jefus all the day long

Was my joy and my fong :
O that all his salvation might see!

He hath lov'd me, I cried,

He ha:5 suffer'd and died,
To redeem such a rebel as me.

On the wings of his love

I was carried above
All sin, and temptation, and pain,

I could not believe

That I ever should grieve,
That I ever should suffer again.

Oh! the rapturous beight

Of that holy delight
Wliich I felt in his life-giving blood;

Of my Saviour poliest

I was perfectly blest,

As if fi!ld with the fulness of God. It is not to be wondered at, that my present conduct fhould appear so strange in the eye of the world, as to lead many to suppose I had loit my reason and was beside myself. I found nevertheless, that I was equally capable of attending to business, and discharge ing the necessary duties of my calling, with credit to myself and satisfaction to others. But I am inclined to believe, that had this rapturous state of mind continued much longer, it would have been more than my strength could have supported ; and it pleased God that I soon became more calm and composed, and I enjoyed a solid peace, which though less ecstatic, was infinitely superior to all the pleasures this world could afford, and which I would not have exchanged for the wealth of the Indies. This peace I fill retain ; I praise God night and day; it is my meat and drink to do his will. I know that it is God that worketh in me both to will and to do of his good pleasure ; to him therefore I ascribe all the glory of every action pleasing and acceptable in his fight; “ I praise him for all that is pait, and I trust him for all that's to come."

I still however feel the necessity of a watchful and praying spirit. I feel that though the power of sin be subdued, yet, the liability to commit it still remains, and that when temptations assail and crosses intervene, my temper is apt to be ruffled, emotions of an unpleasant kind arise in my breast, which tend to humble me in the dust, and cause me to apply earnestly to the

throne

throne of grace, that God would renew my strength and establish my goings,

I am thankful that God hath given me a tender conscience, and that the least omission of any known duty, as well as the commission of any actual sin, fills me with remorse and godly sorrow. This teaches me that my dependant itate, is an excellent preservative against presumption and spiritual pride, and drives me con. tinually to that fountain which is ever open to the sincere penitent. “ Every moment Lord I need the merit of thy death," and fresh supplies of grace. May that God who hath justified me freely sanctify me wkolly, and preserve my whole spirit, soul, and body blameless, unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ! . . I have now spoken my mind freely and fully. I have disa charged a duty which I thought incumbent upon me to perform, and I leave the event to God. . I cannot conclude without expressing a grateful acknowledge. ment of the many marks of candour and liberality I have experienced from my friends. I have not only met with less opposition than I expected, but I have been treated in many respects with a degree of tenderness and affection, which I fear is not very commonly displayed on like occasions. God knows, that the only circumstance which has afforded me any uneasiness, is, that my conduct should not altogether be approved of by those persons, whom it is no less my interest and inclination, than my duty to please and obey. But if, “ when a man's ways please the Lord, he can make even his enemies to be at peace with him," how much more may we expect that he will eitablish union, harmony and love amongst those who are related to each other by the ties of nature and a long habit of social intercourse.

I am your sincere friend,
January 1, 1796.

DISNEY ALEXANDER.

degree expected, friends.it, candoulting agra

THE NATURE AND PRACTICE OF MERCY.

A SERMON on LUKE VI. 36. í "Be ye merciful, as your Father also is merciful.” (Translated from the French of John Frederick Nardin, Minister of the Gospel

at Blamont, in the province of Lorraine, by Adam Clarke.*) W H EN a finner is redeemed from his iniquities, and brought

V into union with God through Chrift, he is born again, and adopted into the family of Heaven. By virtue of which new birth and adoption, he receives the impress of the Image of God.

And, * In the following SERMON I have endeavoured to imitate, as nearly as possible, the style of the original. If I have added a word or a sentence, it was to make the whole more intelligible, and con- . formable to what we deem the analogy of Faith, · If the same things

appear

'Twas a Heaven below

My Saviour to know ;
The angels could do nothing more

Than fall at his feet,

And the story repeat,
And the lover of' finners adore.

Jefus all the day long

Was my joy and my song:
O that all his salvation might see !

He hath lov'd me, I cried,

He hath fuffer'd and died,
To redeem such a rebel as me.

On the wings of his love

I was carried above
All sin, and temptation, and pain,

I could not believe

That I ever should grieve,
That I ever should suffer again.

Oh! the rapturous height

Of that holy delight
Which I felt in his life-giving blood;

Of my Saviour poflest

I was perfectly blest,

As if fild with the fulness of God. It is not to be wondered at, that my present conduet should ap. pear so strange in the eye of the world, as to lead many to suppose I had lost my reason and was beside myself. I found nevertheless, that I was equally capable of attending to business, and discharging the necessary duties of my calling, with credit to myself and fatisfaction to others. But I am inclined to believe, that had this rapturous state of mind continued much longer, it would have been more than my strength could have supported ; and it pleased God that I soon became more calm and composed, and I enjoyed a folid peace, which though less ecstatic, was infinitely superior to all the pleasures this world could afford, and which I would not have exchanged for the wealth of the Indies. This peace I fill retain ; I praise God night and day; it is my meat and drink to do his will. I know that it is God that worketh in me both 10 will and to do of his good pleasure ; to him therefore I ascribe all the glory of every a&tion pleasing and acceptable in his : “ I praise him for all that is past, and I trust him for to come."

I ftill however feel the necessity of a watchful i spirit. I feel that though the power of sin be subdu liability to commit it fill remains, and that wher aisail and crosses intervene, my temper is apt to be tions of an unpleasant kind arise in my breaft, humble me in the dust, and cause me to apply

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »