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refulgent guide, mounted aloft, borne on the floating beams of the
With incredible swiftness, we traversed the regions of ether; and with no less than angeħic speed, alighted on the fertile plains of India!
“Here observe," said Serenus, " the different objects that may arrest thy siglat. I looked; and with amazement beheld innu. merable crowds of the swarthy inhabitants of Hindoostan celebrating an idolatrous festival. The barbarous rites, the horrible clangour and confusion, with the dreadful superstition of the poor blinded votaries, displayed to my imagination a scene that rent my heart, and filled my breast with sorrow and tumult. I be. held with anguish their lamentable state, - I pitied them ; and nought but pity could I bestow. My attentive ears were pained with the loud and noisy babblings of the multitude ; my eyes, wearied at the unwelcome sight, voluntarily turned aside. Then I said in my lieart,“ Turn them, O Lord, and
hey shall be turned !” - then shall this dreary “ desert blossom as the rose.” Serenus perceiving my distress, said, in accents that spake comfort to my soul, “ Be not disquieted, thou fearful one; yet a little while, and thou shalt see of the glory of God and be satisfied; but now direct thy sight to the banks of the serpentine Ganges. Tell me, Eugenia, is there any thing thitherward to attract your attention?” I beheld, and, to my sorrow, the prospect was not of a more pleasing nature than the preceding. I could have wept; but tears would avail me nothing. Willingly would I have shed even tears of blood, to have convinced the throng of the error of their ways. I wished to invite them to the fountain that cleanseth from sin and uncleanness, instead of beholding them reverence and adore the waters that at the last day shall be dried up. The feeble cries of the helpless infants, who in vain struggled against the swellings of the food, were as daggers to my breast ! • And are the inhuman parents so deluded,' cried I, as to believe that in drowning their offspring they are performing a righteous deed ?' • Even so," replied Serenus. Pity the Heathen world, thou Sovereign Ruler of the Universe !
How long shall the prince of darkness reign, and not be confounded? When wilt thou pluck thy lilies from among the thorns of this barren wilderness ? Hasten the bappy period, thou blessed Immanuel! My heart thus prayed in silence. Serenus, acquainted with its inmost recesses, gently lisped “ Amen!" The rustling breezes long retained the sound, and on the surface of the Ganges swiftly flew the whispering echo.
My angelic guide, now willing to revive my drooping spirits, signified his intention of proceeding. Accordingly, we directed our course towards the lowly habitation of a poor Hindoo. We entered invisibly; and found him emaciated with disease, and stretched on a bed of languishing. Death had arrested him ; bint the oil as if unwilling to quit the body, still lingered te
breathe the last testimony of Jesus' love. Around the bed stood two or three men of mild deportment * ;' and, to my joy, Serenus told me they were faithful labourers in this part of Christ's una cultivated vineyard. I was delighted with their assiduous attention to the dying Indian ; and beheld how carefully they wiped away the cold and death-like sweat that sat on his brow. Nature was fast decaying ; but each convulsive throb, or beating of the fluttering pulse, spread over his countenance a divine lustre that diffused itself around, and kindled in the breast of cach spectator a fire of heavenly joy!
I felt myself reanimated, my heart glowed with gratitude to Him who had thus so abundantly dispensed his favours in this place, - every one seemed to partake of the love and joy that abode with the departing saint, -the unction of the Spirit was shed abroad copiously!
Then I experienced the truth of the poçt's words:
* The chamber where this Hindoo meets his fate
Is privileg'd beyond the common walk
Of virtuous life, - quite on the verge of Heaven!” YOUNG. The chain of thoughts that naturally crowded on my mind, was broken by the strugglings between Death and Nature. The quivering flame of life that had been nearly extinguished, now seemed to rekindle, and kindly gave the almost breathless Indian an opportunity of telling the world that his Jesus was still faithful, though he was encompassed about with the pains of Disso, lution.
I wish," said he, fetching a deep sigh, “I could impart to my dear brethren in God half the joys I now experience! I was sick of love; but my beloved Redeemer 6 stayed me with flagons, and comforted me with apples.” Glory, glory, be to my heavenly Father, for sending the blessed gospel to save such an unworthy wretch as I am! I feel the arms of my Saviour entwined about me; and though I am passing through the deep waters, the billows shall not go over my head, neither will he suffer me to sink.' After regaining a little breath, he again spake: _"May God abundantly bless your labour of love, my dearest brethren! Whether my countrymen will hear, or whether they will forbear, I beseech you not to relax in your endeavours to save their souls from death! Tell them, I bowed to idols; but did I put my trust in idols now, I should sink lower than the grave!
Tell them, I performed the rights of the Ganges; but there is no water that cleanseth from sin, besides the water of the river that “ proceedlcth out of the throne of God and of the Lamb! I would say more, but I faint. I shall soon sleep in Jesus: - in his smiles I am happy!” Here he resteil ; and Serenus having strengthencel my sight, I behell, with astonishment, the lean and ugly monster Death, grasping in his cold embrace the dying Indian (but I perceived he had lo-t his
sting); to comfort him were radiant angels kindly supporting his head, and pointing him upwards to the regions of boundless light. ." True it is," I exclaimed, “ blessed are the dead that die in the Lord !” and as I spakes the last and dreadful conflict with the world and sin was nearly over. With a faltering and tremulous voice the Indian breathed his last farewell; and as the happy soul burst through the apertures of Nature, “Jesus receive my spirit” was heard to languisb on bis tongue. Thus fled the immortal part, and left the body still in the cruel gripe of Death. The vision likewise fled ; but yet the grateful recollection cheers my soul, and leaves behind a wish to win a soul to Christ.
“ The sultry climes of India then I'd choose ;
There would I toil, and sinners' bonds unloose !
A PLAIN HINT
ON SUPPOSED PROFITING UNDER THE WORD PREACHED.
Ir frequently happens that in the occasional ministry of a stranger, the novelty of his manner, or some new and striking remark he has dropt, produces such an effect on some hearers, that they can easily imagine tliemselves to be wonderfully profited; and they directly conclude that it would conduce much to their comfort and advantage, if they could but sit under such a man for a constancy. They do not seem to consider that sensations of this kind are often mere nature, and generally transitory; for nothing is more certain than that they usually decline and disappear with a few times hearing of the same person. Nor do they reflect that the stated hearers of this very preacher may find as much canse for complaint of want of profiting as themselves. This is not, however, “ mixing the word with faith," but with sense; because it is not the faithfulness, power, love, or authority of Christ that is recognized, but some peculiarity of the speaker. Should any feel a backwardness to believe this, let them only recollect that it may not be unusual for their own minister to excite similar reflections with the congregation of the identical preacher they so much adınire; some of whom may as well fancy, in their turn, that they could profit much more under such a one than with their own. Facts, however, sufficiently cvince that this is for want of duly considering what sterling profiting is, and in what way it ought to be expected, and is usually obtained.
It seems precisely the same state of mind which has actuated many to go several miles from home to hear a stranger of some
note, when they have the same promise of the Lord's presence and blessing at their own place *. Nor is it at all uncommon for hearers of this cast to feel much more pleasure in running after a fresh preacher, or even in attending their own, than employing one half hour in secret prayer, meditation, self-examination, and communion with God, without which, it must be allowerl, the best sermons' and preachers are lost upon us, and all pretensions to profiting vain and delusive. Nothing appears more remote from the reflections of sneh, than the observation of an eminent divine, that “the more spiritual any daty is, the more liable it is to be overlooked, and the less inclination will be found for it. Preaching and preachers, of even an evangelical description, may prove gratifying to nature, where there is no grace, as well as where there is; but private duties never will, except where they are observed for the purpose of self-righteousness, &c. duties," observes the excellent Mr. Favel, “may get us a name with 'men, but without the diligent and conscientious use of private ones, the soul will never thrive with God;" and it may be profitably added, the manner in which the latter are regarded, may probably furnish a good rule to determine how far we are influenced by right motives in the former; for if our pleasure be mainly confined to thesc, our sincerity in the other may be justly questioned, or at least becomes proportionably doubtful. *Hypocrites,” says the same writer, are not so much for the closet as the synagogue ; for they will always prefer that which requires least pains and self-denial, along with most show and appearance t.
In a word, every hope or idea of profiting without as much attention to secret as to public duties, will be found to originate in the deceitfulness and unbelief of the heart. With å regard, however, to the sufficiency and faithfulness of Christ, more than to the wisdom and talents of men, united with frequent fervent supplications, our profiting may be as really expected under this as that faithful minister of the word. But where these are want. ing, we shall be liable to the same caprice and error as the weakest of the Corinthians x ; our partiality will be the proof of our ignorance and carnaliiy; and our choice and preference more resemble that of children than adults, who usually fancy themselves best served when most gratified and pleased. We shall be without the discernment requisite to improve an important apostolic remark, “ Neither is he that planteih any thing, nor he that watereth, but God that giveth the increase.” The word
* The reader inay find an affecting instance of this in a memoir of that eminent servant of Christ, Mr. Edmund Jones, in Vol. II. of this Magazine, page 179.
“ The good man was cordially devoted to the interest of his flock, with ferveut prayers and inany tears; but, alas! these things are overlooked and can be easily dispensed with by too many bearers, if they can only be accommodated to their mind in the preaching part." + 1 Sam. XV, 20-22.
I 1 Cor. iii. 17.
preached did not profit the church in the wilderness; not from a defect in the doctrines delivered, though no clearer than those of Aloses, but from the barren statć of their mind; for they wanted faith, meekness, and true spiritual desire *.
I would only remark further, that a preacher is liable to something of the same error in regard of a fresh congregation it may fall in his way to visit; for he inay as readily imagine them much better to preach to, and more likely to attend under himself than bis own charge. This has probably misled many in their hasty removals : for what is more natural than a conceit that we can be more acceptable with another people, merely from some trivial incident of an unpleasant nature at home, or of a flattering one abroad, produced by an occasional sermon or two? But, while some hearers, like the foolish Corinthians, may be every now and then exclaiming, “ I am for sach and such preaching, and such a preacher;" and others, “ I am for another:" and some preachers themselves, “I should like such a people," which God has not given them,-Does it not appear to savour of more sound wisdom and true faith in God to be able to say,
I am for that preacher or that people which he has appointed and provided for me; because he knows better than myself how to suit me; and if I cannot be happy, satisfied, and benefitted with his provision and appointment, neither shall I with my own :" The one is to be carnal, and walk and talk as men; the other is to be spiritual, and to walk as Christians +.
# James i. 21;
1 Pet. ii. 2.
+ I Cor. iii. 1-4.
“ For my days ure vanity. -Job vii. 16. Tue human mind was formed for great attainments : it has in it a restless desire after knowledge, and the accomplishment of some favourite and proposed pursuit ; and the thing which every man proposes to himself as the object of that pursuit, and the means whereby he endeavours to attain it, constitutes the morality or immorality of his character.
Lite, and the engagements of life, awake in every individual a consciousness of innumerable duties, - duties which demand our attention, and which are not to be dispensed with. On the diligent and faithful discharge of these duties depends that respect which distinguishes men in a state of society. The truly virtu: ous and pious man seldom fails reaping his deserved reward, Providence having so ordered, in the present state, that trials shall, in general, be the means to prepare for happiness. Humility is the way to honour; and an laughty spirit goes before a fall.