« ZurückWeiter »
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 fleet, 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 breadsicles 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 cyes, and limbs, and souls, of what he called, his cowardly slipmates, 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 complicd, 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 craseel, he thought of his drcam; and expected, that as one part of it was fulfilled, 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 state; 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 wooden 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 cyening after his leaving the hospital. The text that cvening was Mark v. 15," And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, ind in his right mind.” The minister represented this demoniac as a fit emblem of sinners in ycneral ; 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 receiving 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 hiin 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 beir:g brought afresh to his mind, filled him 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 crcature 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 bis mind all his 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 wooks 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 torrors in it. “ The sting of death is sin, but, thanks be to Gol, le has given mc the victory through Jesus Christ.” I an going to Heaven! O! what has Jesus done for me, one of the vilest sinners of the buman race!” – A little before he died, when he thought himself within a few hours of dissolution, he said, “I have often thought it was a hard thing to die, but now I find it a very easy thing to die. The presence of Christ makes it easy. The joy I feel from a sense of the love of God to sinners, from the thought of being with the Saviour, of being free froin a sinful heart, and of enjoying the presence of God for ever, is more than I can express / how different my thoughts of God, and of myself, and of another world, from what they were when I lost my precious limbs on board the Venerable! It was a precious loss to me! If I had not lost my legs I should perhaps have lost my soul!”- Witli elevated and clasped hands, and with eyes glistening with earnesthess, through the tears which flowed down his face, he said, “0, my dear minister, I pray you, when I ain dead, to preach a funeral sermon for a poor sailor; and tell others, especially sailors, who are as ignorant and as wicked as I was, that poor blaspheming Covey found mercy with God, through faith, in the blood of Christ! Tell them, that since I have found mercy, none that seek it need to despair. You kuow better than I do what to say to them ! But, O! be in earnest with them; and may the Lord grant that my wicked neighbours and fellow-sailors may find mercy as well as Covey !" - Ile said much more; but his last words he uttered were “Ilallelujah! Hallelujah!” - If the anecdote of his fortitude and courage is worthy of being recorded, I think it due to Covey, and to the honour of divine grace, to relate his dying testimony in favour of the religion of Jesus Christ. I wish Dr. Duncan and Mr. Pratt lad witnessed the last dying hours of this once ignorant and blasphemous sinner; — they would have seen what a pleasing change was effected by the meek and cfficacious grace of our compassionate Redeemer. Is these things require testimony, I give you my name, Portsea.
THE SPIRITUAL CABINET ;
OR, SELECT EXTRACTS FROM THE MOST DISTINGUISHED CHRISTIAN AUTIIORS. Mr. Editor, In is the duty of Christians to endeavour, by every proper mean, to diffuse
divine knowledge in its purity. How far the mean I have in view may meet with acceptance, I must leave to your better judgment to determine. When lately reading the works of that great and good man, Arcibishop Leighton, I was so delighted with many of his seleci passages, that, in the fulness of my joy, I could not but wish that all my Christian brethren might have an opporiunity of participating in the same pleasure. - Taese precious writings (such was my meditation) are, Iwanks be to God for it, ia the hands of thousands: but how many thousands are there, who have them not! - whose means are not adequate to inci: purchase ; or whose lalo.ious employmenis engross so much of their ime, as lu deprive ihein
of opportunity to enjoy them in all their extent. How happy then would such be to have some of the beautics of pious and distinguished authors in a less expensive and compendious form!” Such thoughts determined me to requçst of you to appropriate a page or two of your valuable Miscellang (syhich obtains so wide a circulation) for a series of papers, formed of the sentiments of a Leighton, a Walis, a Doddridge, &c. on subjects the inost interesting and important that can engage the attention of an iininortal soul. If, therefore, my dear Sir, your thoughts on this matter coincide with inine, I present the following paper as the first number of the plan I have ventured to propose ;, and bappy shall I be to. find that it meets with your approbation. Kennington.
W.C. The Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world.
John i. 29. “ Men are not easily convinced and persuaded of the deep stain of sin; and that no other laver can fetch it out but the sprinkling of the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Some that bavc moral resolutions of amendiment, dislike at least gross sins, and purpose to avoid them ; and it is to them cleanness enough to reform in those things; but they consider not what becomes of the guiltiness they have contracted already, how that shall be purged, and how their natural pollution shall be taken away, Be not deceived in this; - it is not a transient sigh, or a light word, or a' wish of God forgive me: no; nor the highest current of repentance, nor that which is the truest evidence of repentance, amendment; it is none of these that purifies in the sight of God, and expiates wrath ; they are all imperfect and stained themselves; cannot stand and answer for themselves, much less be of value to counterpoise the former guilt of sin. The very tears of the purest repentance, unless they be sprinkled with this blood, are impure; all our washings without this are but washings of the blackmoor; it is labour in vain *. There is none truly purged by the blood of Christ, that doth not endeavour after purity of heart and conversation ; but yet it is the blood of Christ by which they are all fair, and there is no spot in them. There is nothing in religion farther out of nature's reach, and out of its liking and believing, than the doctring of redemption by a Saviour; quid a crucified Saviour; by Christ, and by his blool, first shed on the cross in his suffering, and then sprinkled on the soul by his Spirit. It is easier to. wake men sensible of the necessity of repentance and amendluent of life (though that is very difficult) than of this purging by the sprinkling of this precious blood. Did we see how need. til Christ is tv us, we would esteem and love him more.
- it is not by the licaring of Christ and of his blood, in the doctrine of the gospel ; -- it is not by the sprinkling of water,
* Jer. ii. 22. Job ix. 30, 31.
cven that water that is the sign of this blood, without the blood itself, and the sprinkling of it. "Many are present where it is sprinkled, and vet have no portion in it. Look to this, that this blood be sprinkled on your souls, that the destroying angel may pass by you. There is a generation (not some few, but a generation) deceived in this; they are their own deceivers, * pure in their own eyes *.” How earnestly doth David pray, “ Wash me, purge me with hyssop. Though bathed in tears +, that satisfied not, wash thou me.” This is the honourable condition of the saints, that they are purified and consecrated unto God, by this sprinkling; yea, have on. “ long white robes, washed in the blood of the Lamb." There is mention indeed of great tribulation, but there is a double comfort joine i with it; 1st, They come out of it; that tribulation hath an endl: and, 2dly, They pass from that to glory, for they have on the rohe of candidates, “long white robes, washed in the blood of the Lamb,” washed white in blood. As for this blood, it is nothing but purity and spotlessness, being stained with no sin ; and, be. sides, hath that virtue to take away the stain of sin, where it is sprinkled. 6 My well-beloved is white and rudy,” saith the Spouse, thus, in his death, rudly by bloodshed, white by innocence, and purity of that blood.
“ Shall they then that are purged by this blood, return to live among the swine, and tumble with them in the puddle? What gross injury is this to themselves, and to that blood by which they are cleansed! They that are chosen to this sprinkling are likewise chosen to obedience: this blood purifieth the heart; yea, this blood 6 purgetli our consciences from dead words, to serve the living God I.”
LEIGHTON. Mír. Editor, . As Mr. Foster's ingenious Essays seem to have escaped the notice of your
Reviewer, or rather, perhaps, were not considered to fall within your department, which is confined to works on religion only; permit me 10 name them to such of your readers as have a taste for literary and metaphysical subjects; and, at the same time, to give a few extracts perfectly congenial with your work. I refer to the Second Essay, which is on Decision of Character ; in which, after a sketch of the illustrious Howard, which yields, in point of streagth and eloquence, only to the iinmortal eulogy of Burke, the author has the courage to introduce another namc, lightly esteemed among men, but highly honoured by the provi... dence of God.
- UNLESS the eternal happiness of mankind be an insigo nificant concern, and the passion to promote it an inglorious distinction, I may cite George Whiteneld, as a noble instance of this attribute of the decisive character, this intense necessity # Prov. xxx. 12. · + Psal. vi. 6,
Heb. ix. 14.