Imágenes de páginas



WAS one of the subjects of a divine work, which prevailed considerably in the independent or congregational church, under the pastoral care of Drs. Hollingshead and Keith, in Charlestown, in the year 1796. She had enjoyed the advantage of an early religious education, under a pious mother; but seemed not remarkably impressed till the above-mentioned year. Several conversations which she had with some of her devout friends, were, by the divine blessing, the means of engaging her attention more particularly to the concerns of religion. Her conviction of a sinful state gave her many painful reflexions, accompanied with strong apprehensions of the just indignation of the Almighty on that account. She frequently said, she considered herself as one of the most unworthy of sinners; and thought that the glory of God required her condemnation. But, through infinite mercy, the same means which had been effectual to her awakening, proved, in a short time, the means of her consolation. From that happy period, she felt her soul released. Having a clear discovery of the grace of God, thro' the Lord Jesus Christ, she was enabled to embrace the hope of salvation with confidence, and enjoyed an assurance of the fulness and sufficiency of redeeming grace, which she never after lost sight of. The change wrought in her by regeneration, now began to be apparent to all around her. Being naturally diffident, she spoke but little on the common topics of conversation; but her heart was captivated with the things of God,

and out of the abundance of her heart, she could not refrain from speaking. She dwelt on divine subjects, particularly on the delightful theme of redemption by the blood of Jesus, with peculiar pleasure; and seemed ever desirous of spending her opportunities with her pious

friends, only for their and her own edification and improvement in the divine life.

Having now joined herself to the Lord by the determination of her heart, and, by a solemn act of selfdedication in secret (a copy of which was found after her decease) she entered upon a public profession at the same time with her three sisters, in the summer of the year 1796; and her profiting soon rendered her an ornament of her profession. Among the incidents contributing to this end, was the decease of her youngest sister, who died of a consumption in the spring of 1797, leaving behind her a strong testimony of her faith and confidence in the Son of God, and of the power of his gospel, as her support in the hour of trouble. This event made a deep impression upon her mind, and was very useful in establishing her in the faith, and animating her diligence in the pursuit of the great objects of religion. She said, that the death of her sister, not only made her more sensible of the va nity of all temporal enjoyments, but seeing her die triumphantly, seemed to disarm Death of his ter Tors, greatly to reconcile her to the thoughts of dissolution, and to inspire her with more admiring thoughts of redeeming love. About this time, the disease which had been for several years gradually undermining her constitution, began to assume a more threatening appearance, and to require more particular attention. This she submitted to as a matter of duty; but with little expectation of eradicating a disorder which already had made a great progress. It was a grief to her friends to perceive, that all medical aid was likely to prove ineffectual for her recovery. This, however, furnished another evi dence of the power of religion in her soul. She would often say, when they expressed an anxiety for the continuance of her life, "How can you desire it? I have no will.

[ocr errors]

of my own; I see that the Lord knows infinitely best what will be most for his own glory and my advantage. It would be presump

tion in me to desire to live a moment longer than he sees fit to appoint; and in whatever way he may dispose of me, I desire perfectly to acquiesce in all his will." In this sweet frame she continued under all the varieties of the disease, till death put a period to her trials. Her love of divine ordinances induced her to surmount many difficulties, to obtain the enjoyment of them. For many months she was unable to attend public worship oftener than once on every Lord's Day; and then only as she was supported by medicine: but even in these circumstances she spoke of it as matter of the most lively grati tude, that she was indulged with this privilege. "O" she would say, if the many who slight the worship of God in health, did but know the pleasure of spending an hour in spiritual worship in his earthly courts, how gladly would they relinquish all worldly pleasure for this! O had I their health and strength, what Sabbaths should I enjoy! But the Lord knows best. what is good for me; his will be done! I hope I shall enjoy an eternal Sabbath when I come into his presence and glory."

Much of her time was spent in retirement with her Bible; which she read with attention, and selected many passages applicable to the state of her soul; by which means she became possessed of a treasure which was singularly useful to her when her strength failed, so that she was unable to read much more. The fruit of this was apparent, to mention only one of many instances: When her brother, Dr. Parker, read her several passages, which he supposed to be suitable to her state of mind, in Clark on the Promises, she listened with attention and complacency till he had done, and afterwards turning to her mother, said, "That is a valuable and useful book. But what a mercy have I experienced, and how good has the Lord been to me, to. enable me to read my Bible, to fur


[ocr errors][merged small]

When one of her ministers observed to her, how sure the promises of God are,-" O yes!" said she," I have found them so ;-I experience their fulfilment every hour, in this my weak state of body. My cough is often severe, and my pain so great, that if it were not for divine support, I could not bear up under it; but the Lord does not forsake me. I hope I am not mistaken, when I think I stand upon a sure foundation. I know that the covenant is ordered in all things, and sure."—It was remarked again, How suitable are the provisions of this covenant to every circumstance! "Yes; I thank the Lord that he has placed me on this bed of sickness, where I have found them so to me; and this encourages me to expect support from them to the end.". Her minister said, You will see how all the promises are fulfilled, when you arrive in Heaven.' "Yes; I have not a doubt of the faithfulness of Christ. He has made this sickness the means of instruction and restraint to me; and notwithstanding my present weak imperfect state, in which I fear I often dishonour him, I know that he will bring me where pain. and sickness, and, what is best of all, where sin shall distress me no more."

As her disease gained upon her she became less able to go to public worship; but she thought it her, duty, on sacramental occasions, to declare publicly her attachment to the cause of Christ,-to profess her subjection to him as the Saviour in whom she hoped, and to express her adoration of him as the sovereign of her soul. She had to use great efforts on these occasions, to be able to keep up thro' the exercises of the morning; but she said, she was always repaid in sensible tokens of the divine favour.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


It gave her great uneasiness to observe, how unprofitably the professors of religion often spent their time together, in trifling and levity,.

[ocr errors]

instead of striving for edification. "O (she would say) did we but Consider the value of time, and the importance of a due preparation for eternity, we could not spend the precious opportunities of conversing together to so little purpose, and in a manner so little becoming our condition, who have so short a time for improvement before we shall be called upon to give up our account. Speaking on this subject to her sisters, she left it as one of her last admonitions,-that they would allow themselves to go nowhere freely, where they could not carry Jesus with them; nor join unnecessarily in any party where religion cannot be admitted. She considered carelessness on this head, both as the cause and the symptom of luke. warmness among professors,-and a great occasion of stumbling and offence to others.

For several weeks before her death, she grew very hoarse, and suffered much from bodily pain; her cough also was unusually troublesome; but she bore it with patient submission, and endeavoured to make all the improvement of her time which so incommodious a state would allow; particularly, in administering comfort to her afflicted mother and sisters, who were much distressed with the thoughts of parting with her. "My dear mamma,' said she, on one of these occasions, "my love to you and my sisters is more than I can express; but I can cheerfully leave you, to go and dwell with my dear Saviour; and would you wish to detain me any longer from his presence, and the happi

ness of Heaven? I have no fear of

wasted arm, and said, "See, to how low a state it is possible for God to bring us. My dear brother, let me intreat you to prepare for death. I have prayed for you, that God may bless you with things spiritual and temporal; - I continue to pray for you. May the Lord bless you, and make you happy here and hereafter! You see me a going to die; but the moment when I cease, I shall enter into life." At one time she said, she felt apprehensive that Satan would be permitted to distress her before she obtained the victory, and that she seemed to dread the onset; "but I look to Jesus, and the enemy flees away. I know that if he be permitted to disturb me, yet my heavenly Friend will never leave me ;-his promises

are sure!"


dying. If you love me, do not pray for my life,-do not request my continuance any longer."-Her mother said to her, My dear, how much you suffer!' She replied, "I am sometimes in great pain indeed; but these bitter sufferings are sweet, when compared with sin."

During this period of her greatest weakness, she was strong in faith, unshaken in her confidence in God her Saviour, and was never known to have a murmuring thought.. Her youngest brother coming in to see her, she shewed him her

On Lord's Day morning, June 6, 1802, when the morning-gun was fired at the fort, in the harbour, she said; "O this is the blessed morning of the sacramental Sabbath!" and then offered a fervent pathetic prayer for the divine presence with the communicants. As the day. light came on (which used to pain her eyes) she desired that the cur tains might be drawn, that she might once more see the light of that blessed day of God! In the afternoon, death seemed sensibly to be approaching. About an hour before her departure, she seemed to lose her speech, and continued for some time in apparent agony :-at length, when it was thought she would speak no more, she opened her eyes upon her mother, who was anxiously watching her, and said, "The tempter is gone." What she said afterwards was not distinctly articulated; but, from what was understood, it was supposed she meant to signify that she had ob tained the victory in the name of Jesus. Shortly after this she expired.

It may be observed of this young lady, that she was a remarkable instance of a full assurance of hope, from her first outset in the Christian course. She seldom had a doubt of the sincerity of her dependence on the Lord Jesus, though she had a great sense of her own

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]



As every instance of the utility of Sun-
day-Schools tends to the glory of God,
and operates as a stimulus to fresh
exertions in their support, I beg the
insertion of the following.

poor, and being greatly distressed
on that account, having scarcely a
morsel to eat, he said, "Mother,
never mind; God will send some.
thing, God is a father to the fa-
therless, and a husband to the
widow :- though my father has
forsaken us, God will not." He
was very particular in asking a bless
ing on his food; and once, appre-
hending that his mother was about
to eat without doing it, he was
greatly agitated. When he was
told, at the time of the election, that
there was music in the street, and
asked, whether he should not like
to go and hear it? He said, "No;
I am glad I am here;- I am glad I
am out of it.". When asked,
Whether he did not wish to get
well, that he might go abroad to
play? he said, "No; all is va-
nity:-I want to die." And being
asked, Why he wanted to die? he
replied, "I want to go to Christ!”
He was greatly delighted when any
serious persons came to see him, es-
pecially his minister, or the school.
master, or any one who would read
or pray with him :-as to any other
persons, he would scarcely notice
them. His illness, for the last nine
weeks, was very severe; - during
all that time he could not take a
morsel of food; but subsisted
wholly on liquids. But his patience
was great, and was never heard to
murmur. About this time some
of his school-fellows, not only came ̧
to visit and pray with him; but, of
their own accord, made a little sub.
scription of their pence for his re-
lief. Being asked, If Christ was
precious to him? He answered,
when unable to speak, by signs, de-
noting the extacy of his mind. At
length it pleased God to sign his
release; and remove him, we trust,
from a dirty room and wretched bed
of affliction, to mansions of more
than royal grandeur, in the presence
of the Lamb! Shall we not say,
in the words used for the text of
his funeral-sermon, preached to a
vast number of children and others,
"I thank thee, O Father! Lord of
Heaven and earth, that thou hast
hid these things from the wise and
prudent, and hast revealed them
unto babes; even so, Father, for
so it seemed good in thy sight 1”

G. B. B. B. was the child of poor parents; and when admitted into the schools of Coventry, was extremely ignorant, and was as light and trifing as other children. He had been a poor afflicted creature from his birth; and was lame in one arm. He was also subject to fits; which, to strangers, gave him almost the appearance of an idiot: but, by the blessing of God on the means of grace, particularly the instructions of his school-master, he became active and serious, regarded his book better, and heard the gospel with much affection; so that he would carry home much of the sermon, and repeat it to his mother. At length it pleased God to visit him with a severe and tedious illness; in which he was a great sufferer, and reduced to the appearance of a living skeleton. It was during this affliction that the grace of God more eminently appeared. Cut off from the public means, his Bible became his dear companion. He would have it always by him, read it much as he lay in bed; and it remained on his pillow day and night. While he enjoyed the use of his speech, he exhorted all about him, and particularly his mother, to attend the means of grace. His mother being extremely

[ocr errors]


First Ripe Fruits: being a Collection of Tracts. To which are added, Two Sermons. By the Rev. John M. Mason, A. M. With a short Memair of the Author, 12m0, 45. 6d.

MR. Mason had promised, on the urgent solicitation of his friends, before he left Great Britain, last autumn, to send over from New York, for publication, a volume of sermons; among which should be several of those which he had preached in London. It is not the partiality of friendship which indaces us to hope that, by the blessing of God, those sermons, when they arrive, will suppy to the Christian mind a harvest of rich senti

mental and devout satisfaction: it is probable, that in reference to such hope, the compiler of the little volume before us, has entitled it, "First Ripe Fruits." This volume contains, first, A Memoir of Mr. Mason's family,-education at New York and Edinburgh, settlement at the former; of his powers as a preacher of the gospel, and particularly of his zealous and determined opposition to infidelity. The first tract comprizes, The Letters on frequent Communion; of which an analytical account was given in our Review for March 1799. The next tract is, A Funeral Óration on the Death of General Washington, by appointment of a number of the clergy of New York, and published at their request. The last of the tracts is entitled, "The Voice of Warning to Christians, on the Election of a President of the United States of America." The object of which is, to shew the sin and the danger which a nation professing Christianity incurs, by exalting to the place of Chief Magistrate, a man of avowed infidel sentiments.

Of the two sermons, the first is entitled, "Hope for the Heathen," preached before the New York Mis sionary Society, from Isaiah xxv.6. -The second," Living Faith," preached at Edinburgh, before the Society for the Relief of the Desti

tute Sick, from Atts xv. 9. and Gal. v. 6. In these discourses, we perceive the same original bold tour of thinking, and fervour of feeling. by which Mr. Mason's pulpit-compositions are distinguished Both the sermons, but especially the first are more finished discourses than his sermon published last summer along with the other Missionary Sermons; a considerable part of which, we understand, was not written till after it had been delivered from the pulpit. It is indeed a most desireable thing, that the ministers who officiate on these interesting occasions, should have their sermons fully written and prepared for by which means they would more the press before they preach them, effectually benefit the friends of the Missionary cause, and enable the Directors to gratify them by an inmediate publication.

Letters to an Universalist; containing a Review of the Controversy between Mr. Vidler and Mr. Fuller, on the Doctrine of Universal Salvation, Svo, 182 pp. 35.

REVIEWS were formerly comprehended among those publications "which not even critics criticize." But times are changed, and hyper. criticism is now become too fashionable to need an apology. This alteration is not without its use. In reviewing the Review that is before us, we must not forget, That what is written may again be reviewed. There is indeed so little to blame in this pamphlet, that our objeċtions will be limited to the titlepage. Mr. Fuller is introduced by the author, as vindicating himself from the censure of having imputed to Mr. Vidler a doctrine which he did not profess. The difference, as it appears from the review of the controversy, consisted not in things. but in words. Mr. Vidler judged it proper, after fifteen letters had been exchanged with Mr. Fuller, to change his nomenclature, and to

« AnteriorContinuar »