Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

green pastures, and lead them beside the still waters of 'comfort and of peace. O! support him by thy grace under all his trials and discouragements; direct him by thy Spirit into all truth; ratify in Heaven the connexion this day formed; and, if it be thy will, spare liim long, we beseech thee, to be a blessing to thy, church in this place; and make him thy honoured instrument in converting numbers' from the error of their ways; and in comforting, establishing, and building up those who are already brought into thy fold. - To the church over which he is ordained, this service has likewise a voice. It reminds us of the vows of God which are upon ns, and calls us to renewed vigilance and activity in the performance of the most sacred duties to our God, to our pastor, and to each other. If it is justly expected of the Bishop to guide, instruct, and care for the people, it is not less incumbent upon them to receive his tuition with affection and thankfulness, and reduce his precepts into practice; to cstcem him very highly in love for his work's sake, and take care to respect hin them selves, and to maintain his respectability in the eyes of others; to promote, by all the means in their power, his comfort and the success of his' labours; and particularly to live in peace an: harınony among themselves, and endcavour so to walk that they may be his joy and crown, rather than a cause of sorrow' and 'hea viress to his soul; to make due allowance for the imperfections to which human nature in its best estate is liable; and, above all, to hold up his hands, ánil assist liim in his work, by fervent and unremitted prayer. But here we are ready to rep at the question, “Who is sufficient for these things :" and we ans'wer as before, None, unless they are assisted by Clirist Jesus. "If the pastor must derive strength fro:n liim for the discharge of his duties, to the very same source must the people apply for ability to fulfil theirs; for without him we can do nothing. May he then condescend to afford to each individwl amongst us the aids and influences of his blessed Spirit, and so dircet all our colle duct and coriyersation, that we may adorn tire doctrine of God our Saviour in all things; encourage the heart of our beloved minister, and help each other forwaril in our lisavenly jourucy, And O, may he cement all our hicarts closer and closer to limself, and to each other, that we may be ever ready to all the kindl oilices of mutual friendship and affection, and thus force an unbelieving world again to exclaim, " Seelow these Christians Hove!"

Nor could the ministers or memlers of other charches be una concerned spectators of these solemnities; they must have inea reminded of former engagements, and of their obligitios io fuis fil them ; for surely, if a contract just entered into is binding, that cinnot be less so wbicli his subsisted for coirsod brocansolidated by long-continued labours of love, on the one handler by frequent testimonials of esteem and alrection, ou to ourer. Such, too, with ourselves, must have experienced the sacred pleasure which ever flows from the recollection of the day of our espousals to our heavenly Bridegroom; and the period when we first obtained a name and a place amongst his dear people. May such recollections inspire us with a lively sense of gratitude to that gracious Leader, wbo bas conducted us, safely Thus far in our Christian course, and induce us to devote ourselves afresh to him, whose we are, and whom it is at once our duty and our delight to serve.

But can we hope that in an assembly of several hundreds of people, there were not some to whom these ideas do not apply? some careless sinners, who have hitherto lived in the neglect of their souls, and been saying in effect to the Most High, “ Depart from us, for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways?" If there had been none of this description, it would surely have been the most privileged, the most singular congregation that was ever known : and if such there were, what aspect did the ser vice of the day bear to them ?---had it no message, no admonition for them ? O, yes, it bad! It represented to them the awful state of rebel. lion and consequent miscry into which the posterity of Adam were fallen, which rendered it necessary for an act of free pardon and sovereign mercy to be passed in their favour in the court of heaven. It proclaimed the amazing goodness and compassion of the Almighty, in not only passing such an act, and sealing it with blood divine ; but in instituting a standing gospel ministry, to promulgate the same, and point out the medium through which alone the benefit of it can be obtained : and in raising up and qualifying instruments in all succeeding ages for this important pur. pose : and it loudly warned them of the dreadful--the unspeakably dreadful consequences of slighting such a gracious institution, and thus rejecting the counsel of God against themşçlves. o that the warning may prove effectual! Forbid, O Father of mercies, forbid it that the means wbich thou hast kindly ordained to be a savour of life unto life, should proye by sad perversion, a savour of death unto death, to any who have attended with us this day! Forbid that thy dear ministers, whose desire and whose study it is, to bring them to a knowledge and enjoyment of salyation, should be obliged to appear at the last great day as swift witnesses against them, and approve the righteous sentence that dooms them to endless woe! Rather do thou, we pray thee, convert them by thy grace, and cause them to give up their names to thy people, that they may participate with us in all the sweet enjoyments of Christian communion and sacred ordinances below; and at last assemble with us and all the blood-bought throny around thy throne above; and there celebrate the high praises of redeeming grace and love, through the countless ages of a blissful eternity.

E. T. Sandwich.

cataly warned the lighting Good again

ORIGINAL LETTER
FROM MR. PEARCE TO MR. BIRT.

The following letter was written by the late Rev. Samuel Pearce, scor after his first awakening, to the Rey, Isaiah Birt, whose ministry had been blessed to his conversion. My very dear Mr. Birt,

Plymouth, Oct. 27, 1782. Was I to make the least delay in answering your very affectionate letter, I should deem myself culpable of the greatest ingratitude to its author. Its contents so fully manifest the regard you have for me, that I am constrained to acknowledge myself under the highest obligations to you. I wish I could express it better.

You almost commence your kind letter with mentioning, that my tears at parting with you demanded your fervent prayers. But do, my dear Sir, consider, that separating from an earthly parent, the author of animal life, must, where a filial affection subsists, be an affectionate scene. How much more moving then must it be to part with a father in Christ Jesus! Io part with one whom the Almighty had made the happy means of raising from a state of death in trespasses and sins, to that of life in a dear dying Redeemer!

0, Sir! such it was when you and I parted ; such was the case when I parted with my ever dear Mr. Birt. Did this require your fervent prayers ? Has this caused you to reinember me when prostrate at a footstool of mercy? Let me bescech you, my dear Sir, still to continue it; and whenever you bow the suppliant knec at a throne of grace, not to fail beseeching the Author of mercy to extend his mercy to an object so unworthy as myself. O! beg of him that, since he has begun a good work in me, he would carry it on. As he has enabled me to put my hand to the gospel-plough, may I never look back; but may he grant me grace and strength to hold on, and hold out to the end ; to conquer every foe, to be continually pressing forward toward the mark and prize of my high calling in Christ Jesus ; and, in the end, to come off more than conqueror through Him, who, I trust, has loved me and given himself for me. Oh beg of him that he will ever keep me from possessiog a lukewarm, a Laodiccan spirit! May my affections to the crucified Saviour be continually on a flame. 'I am "prone to wander ;'' yes, I feel it, “prone to leave the God I love." that my affections may be more and more united to him! My dear Sir, pray for me, and you will do your best. Use your interest at a throne of grace on my behalf; and as God bas promised to be a God hearing and answering prayer, and as he is willing and able to perform all his promises, I doubt

be coam

pronhat my atray for more grace

not but it will meet with a gracious reception, and perhaps with a gracious answer too. 0, Sir! let me once more entreat you never to forget me whilst offering up prayers to your God, Religion, you may well say, is wortlıy the choice of all: it makes a beggar superior to a king. Whilst destitute of it, a king is inferior to a beggar. What! oh! wliat can cqual the felicity, ale enjoyments of a Christian ? Nothing, surely, on this transitory grlobe! Nothing this work calls good or great can be put in competition with it, -- with the joyous feeling of him, who has the speakable happiness of experiencing himself interested in a dear Rudcemer. He feeis trat

. Mbich nothing earthly gives, or can destroy,

The scul's caim sunshine and the heartfelt joy. Yes; the happiness lie feels is beyond all conception, beyond allthe stretch of human thought. Is there aught to be conpard with serving the Lord ? Surely, ne.

Pleasure springs fresh for over thence,

rspeakable, unknown! But thai which adels to its reality is įts 'permanency. It is noi confined to this lise only, what we have here is but a foretaste of those joys which accompany our immortal part to the heighi realms of endless day; where we shall have joy added Lajoy, pleasure to pleasure, and there

Shall drink iinmortał vigourin,

Willa wonder and with love. Surely, no tongue can express, no heart caņ conceive, what God has prepared for those who love him! Oh how abundantly thankful then ought those to be, whom he has called by divine grace to the knowledge of himself! What an unspeakable mercy is it, that lie las called me by diyine grace to the know, ledge of himself! What an unspeakable mercy is it, that he has distinguished me in such a peculiar manner, as to (give me leave to use your own words) be taken into his service, adopted into his family, made an heir of God, a joint heir with Jesus Christ ! What now is required of me that am I now required to do? When I reflect on this, how short do I come in my duty! How hackward am I to it! how unwilling to perform it! Even when I would do good, evil is present with me.

What shall I do with this my heart?

Where shall I bring my sin ?
O Lamb of God, who bere my smart,

'Tis thou must inakcine clean ! I have no righteousnes of my own, no mèrits of mine to bring; the best of my performances come infinitely short of the holy law of God. On Jesus alone then I musi depend for salvation, Here I rest. llence I draw all my hope. Jesus Christ has died, and Jesus shall not die in vain. The Ruleener's blood cleanses fron all sin. Happy, thrice happy tlicy who have washed anil made their robes white in the blood of the Lamb! May it be the blessed experience of my dear friend and me!

I thank you, Sir, for your kind admonitions. I hope the God of all grace will enable me to abide by them. Tribulations, trials, and temptations, I am sensible, are the lot of all God's children here below; but I am equally certain, that, as long as we rely upon our God, and confide in him only, he that has given us a sure word of promise, whereby he has caused us to hope, will with them all work out a way for our escape, that we may be able to bear them.

And now, that it may be our joint happiness, my dear Sir, to be kept in a holy, happy fellowship with our God; that we may be often brought to Pisgah's summit, and behold the promised Canaan ; that we may often, whilst there, anticipate the pleasures of the heavenly world; and, when we have passed the floods of Jordan, meet around the throne above, there to chant eternal lays to Him that sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb for ever, is, Dear Sir, the constant prayer of him who is, and wishes ever Your affectionate friend,

Samuel PEARCE.

RELIGIOUS HAND-BILLS. Mr. Editor, As you have admitted a Specimen of a Religious Hand-bill, I send you one, which was written before the last Annual Meeting of the Religious Tract Society. '

Yours, &c. . TỌ THE PUBLIC. Stop, traveller, and reflect, - that the world, through which you are passing, will soon be wrapt iş deyouring flames! Look up to the heavens: shortly you will see them open, to disclose the Son of God descending in clouds to judge the world! 6 Lo! he cometh with clouds, and every cye shall see him; and they also 'who pierced him ; and all kingdoms of the earth shall wail, be

cause of him. Even so, Amen.” Lay your hand upon your breast, and say, “ Am I prepared to see the world in flames, and the Son of God enthroned for judgment ?" But you cut short the appeal, by saying, “I shall not live to see the end of the world.” Then, by your own confession, the earth on which you stand, is about to open to receive your corpse; and your immortal soul will stand before the God who gaye it, to hear the sentence which shall doom you to Heaven or to Hell! and who knows but this may happen before you reach the place to which you are now walking! Are you prepared : Are your sins forgiven? Is your soul of a heavenly turn, that it may expect a heavenly abode? But your body shall rise again; and those eyes which now read this paper, shall see the Redcemer

« ZurückWeiter »