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felt the horrors of my situation ; and now I see there are only a few moments between me and the infinite torments I have made the subject of ridicule. Wretched man! I have lived the le of a beast, and go to meet the final doom of a sinner justly abandoned of God!"
Under these affecting circumstances his compassionate neighbour, an “ interpreter, one of a thousand," earnestly directed his attention to the gospel of Jesus, as an all-sufficient and immutable ground of hope to the chief of perishing sinners. “Here, Al. cimus,” said he, “the justifying righteousness of God our Saviour is brought nigh to the guilty; and here you will find that, in the work of salvation, nothing can be impossible with him. He has power to forgive, - unconditionally to forgivo all manner of sins and blasphemics unto men, even in the last period of life. Believe then on him, - and “ thou shalt not perish, but have everlasting life.” Look from the borders of The pit to his recovering grace; - and this day, if he call thee from earth, thou shalt be with him in paradise.
The prescribed bounds of this essay forbid a more minute detail of particulars. We will only further observe, that the word of truth came with such efficacy to the mind of Alcimus, that when his friend came to visit him next morning, he was joyfully surprized by a complete revolution in his sentiments and language. “ Yes,” said he, “ the Son of Man hath power to forgive all manner of sins and blasphemies unconditionally. This is the report of the gospel ; -- this is the faithful saying that is worthy of all acceptation; and here I will rest." In the evening of this day he died, repeating the prayer of the publican, with an addition that proved the depth of his humility, “God be merciful to me, the greatest of sinners.”
When the set time of Jehovah is come to discriminate the vessels of mercy afore prepared unto glory, all places are consecrated to the sovereignty of his decrees ; all events and circumstances combine to celebrate the sovereign efficacy of his grace; which, like the wind, not only bloweth where it listeth, but when, and as it listeth. Sometimes, amidst scenes of confused gaiety and noisy dissipation, that drown the voice of reason, there ihe voice of God has leren heard, awakening the guilty mind to reflection. That Spirit, whose power is so glorious in the sanctuary of God, has been known invincibly to triumph in the synagogue of Satan. How many have been subdued to the wisdom of the just, while in the act of gratifying some foolish and criminal passion! And in bow many instances has our Lord Jesus made the very sins of men subservient to their conversion! The curiosity of Zacheus, the persecuting spirit of Saul, and the dishonesty of Onesimus, are among the most striking instances of the overruling providence and wonderful grace of Jestis recorded in Scripture.
Ile, as the God of grace, and Governor of the world, ordains
and manages whatsoever comes to pass, so as to promote the increase, and secure the final and eternal perfection of his purchased possession; and all the most minute circumstances and casual incidents of life, thus co-operate in advancing the glory of his mediatorial character, by.magnifying the depth of his condescension, and the majesty of his power. To accomplish his design of converting the Eunuch, he gave directions concerning the journey of Philip; and permitted the imprisonment of Paul and Silas, with an immediate view to the conversion of the jailor. By means which our pride might despise as unworthy of God because of their meanness; which our ignorance and unbelief, as in the case of Naaman the Syrian, would angrily reject as inadequate on account of their insignificance ; and which, by reason of their variety and novelty, our foresight could never have anticipated, by such means does he often display the efficacy, and maintain the honours of his grace. But whatever be the mode, or the medium of divine operation, the invariable tendency, and the infallible consequence of it is, to annihilate the haughtiness of man, and to perpetuate the undivided praise of finished redemption.
Finally, Let us contemplate the triumphant efficacy of the grace of Jesus, in the great and extraordinary consequences that are immediately produced by some conversions. All who are themselves brought near to God by the blood of the cross, will be earnestly concerned for the salvation of others, especially their own kindred ; and they will estimate the success of their labours, for the accomplishment of this object, as their highest joy in time, and their crown of rejoicing in that day when the Lord of hosts shall make up his jewels. No sooner did our Immanuel manifest himself to the woman of Samaria, than she went into the city to proclaim the glory of his name; and many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him through her testimony. Salvation to one of a family, to one of a city, is often but the prelude of salvation to the whole house, and to hundreds in that city. When the streams of mercy begin to flow through such channels, wlio can say how many different directions they. may take, and how far they may ultimately extend? Upon the important result of one conversion no man is able to calculate; and therefore it is said, and said, we have no doubt, with some reference to the truth of this remark, That “ there is joy in the presence of the angels over one sinner that repenteth.”
Of the wonders of grace, after all that we have felt, witnessed, or heard, we know only in part; but when our Lord Jesus shall appear in his glory, to gather his elect from the four winds of Heaven, then the whole mystery of his love, from the beginning of time, will be laid open to our view. On that day ten thousand important, but now secret circumstances, more nearly or rcmotely connected with our own conversion, will become the subjects of our perfect knowledge; and the reservation of such discoverics
till the glorious morning of our resurrection to everlasting day, will greatly increase our obligations and our gratitude to his covenant wisdom. Scripturally satisfied that we are made the happy partakers of his grace, our final enjoyment of his glory can be no question of doubt. It is irrevocably fixed, that no unbeliever can be saved, that no believer can be lost. As the work of conversion is not carried on by cautious and precarious gradations, the issue of it cannot be involved in the least possible degree of uncertainty. All that the grace of Jesus does shall stand for eternity, and cternity shall celebrate the commencement, the progress, and the consummation of its operations. This grace will be the only, the delightful tbeme of the whole ransumed world, in life, in death, in Heaven. The cross of Christ, the great and marvellous works of free, eternal, discriminating grace, will be all their glory
“While life and thought and being last,
ANECDOTE OF A SAILOR.
[Illustrative of the foregoing Essay.]
Mr. Pratt, in the second volume of his Gleanings, relates an affecting anecdote of a sailor on board the Venerable, the ship in which Admiral Duncan commanded the fleet in the action against the Dutch, off Camperdown. Ile received the account from Dr. Duncan, Lord Duncan's chaplain and relative, who, in the action, assisted the surgeon and his mate in bind. ing np the wounds, and amputating the limbs of the unfortunate sufferers. "A mariner,” says the Docter, “of the name of Covey, was brought down to the surgery deprived of both his legs; and it was necessary, some hours after, to amputatę still higher. "I suppose,” said Covey, with an oath; “ those scissors will finish the business of the ball, master mate?" Indeed, my brave fellow,' cried the surgeon, there is some fcar of it.' “ Well, never mind,” said Covey, “I have lost my legs to be sure, and mayhap may lose my life; but,” continued lie, with a dreadful oath, we have beat the Dutch !
we have brat the Dutch Isol'll even have another cheer for it: Huzza ! hozz!”
This anecdote is rendered more interesting still, by some prior and subscquent circumstances attending this poor sailor. Covey was a good seaman, and noticed among his ship-mates for b's intrepidity; but he was pre-eminent in sin as well as in courgeous actions. About a fortnight before the English tell in with the Dutch fleet, he dreamed that they were in an engagement, in which both his legs were shot off, and that he was cut of his mind. The dream made this courageous scaman tremble, and sometimes attempt to pray; but, not liking to retain God in his thoughts, he endeavoured to obliterate the impressions from his memory, and the recollection of his sins from his conscience, by drinking and blasphemous intercourse with the ship's company. His efforts, however, were in vain. The thoughts of his sins, of God, and of death, harrassed his mind day and night, and filled him with gloomy forebodings of what awaited him in this world and in the next, till the sight of the Dutch flect, and their conversation with each other concerning the heroic achievements they should perform, dispelled the gloomy subject from his mind. As the two fleets were coming into action, the noble Admiral, to save the lives of his men, ordered them to lie flat on the deck, till, being nearer the enemy, their firing might do the more execution. The Dutch ships at this time were pouring their broadsicles into the Venerable as she passed down part of the Dutch fleet, in order to break their line. This stout-hearted and wicked Covey, having lost all the impressions of his former reflections, heaped in rapid succession the most dreadful imprecations on the cycs, and limbs, and souls, of what he called, his cowardly shipmates, for lying down to avoid the ball of the Dutch. He refused to obey the order till, fearing the authority of an officer not far from him, he in part complied, by leaning over a cask which stood near, till the word of command was given to fire. At the moment of rising, a bar-shot carried away one of his legs and the greater part of the other ; but, so instantaneous was the stroke, though he was sensible of something like a jar in his limbs, he knew not that he had lost a leg till his stump came to the deck, and he fell. When his legs were amputated higher up, and the noise of the battle had ceased, he thought of his dream ; and expected, that as one part of it was firtilled, the other would be so too. Indeed, considering the pain of amputating and dressing both legs, and the agitation of his mind from fearing the full accomplishment of his dream, it appears next to a miracle that he retained his reason in the most perfect stale; but this was to be explained to him at a future period. Some time after, he came out of Haslar Hospital, capable of walking by nicans of two woolen legs and two crutches; but his spirits were sorely dejected, from fearing that as his sins had brought upon him the judgments of God in the loss of his limbs, they would bring it upon him in the loss of his reason and the loss of his soul.
Having heard of Orange Street Chapel, Porisea, he came on the first Sabbath evening after his leaving the hospital. The text that evening was Mark v. 15," And they come to Jesiis, anil sec him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in luis right mind.” The minister represented this demoniac as a fit einblem of sinners in general ; but especially of those who live without rule and order, drunkards, blasphemers, and injurious to themselves and others; but his sitting at the feet of Jesus clothed, and in his right mind, as an engaging representation of the sinner converted to God by the gospel, made sensible of the evil of sin, the value of his soul, and the necessity of salvation through a crucified Redeemer; enjoying peace of mind, having fellowship with Christ and his people, submitting to the authority of the Scriptures, and feceiving instructions from Christ the friend of sinners. Covey listened with attention and surprize ; wondered how the minister should know him among so many hundred people; or who could have told him his character and state of mind. His astonishment was still more increased, when he found him describe, as he thought, the whole of his life, and even bis secret sins. He could not account for it, why a minister should make a sermon all about him, a poor wooden-legged sailor. His sins being brought afresh to his mind, filled liim with horrors tenfold more gloomy than before. Despair for some minutes took a firm hold on his spirits ; and he thought he was now going out of his mind, should die, and be lost; till the minister declared Jesus Christ was as willing to save the vilest of sinnors, as he was to relieve this poor creature possessed of the devil; and that a man was restored to his right mind when he believed in him. He now began to understand the true interpretation of his dream. He thought he had been out of his mind all liis life, and that to love and serve Jesus Christ would .be a restoration to his right senses again. He was now almost overwhelmed with pleasure. While hearing of the astonishing love of Jesus Christ to sinners, hope took the place of despair, and joy of grief and horror! Those eyes which had never shed a tear when he lost his legs, nor when the shattered parts of his limbs were amputated, now wept in copious streams, flowing from strong sensations of mingled joy and sorrow!
Some weeks after this, he called and related to me the whole of his history and experience. He was surprized to find that I had never received any information about him at the time the sermon was preached, which so exactly met his case.
Something more than twelve months after this time, he was received a member of our church, having given satisfactory evidences of being a genuine and consistent Christian. A few wecks since, hearing he was ill, I went to visit him. When I entered his Toom, he said, “Come in, thou man of God! I have been longing to see you, and to tell you the happy state of my mind. I believe I shall soon die ; but death now has 110 tcrrors in it. “ The sting of death is sin, but, thanks be ío Col, le has given me the victory through Jesus Christ.” I am going to Heaven ! O! what has Jesus done for me, one of the vil-st sinners of the human race!" - A little before he died, when he thought himself within a few hours of dissolution, he said, “I have often