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for fifty years rushed into his mind, and all the stone. Oh," he said, “all, all must be told, to sins of his long life were in array before him. warn others.”
I cannot lose the sight of them,” he said, “and The day before he died, I was sent for early. they are more than can be numbered.”
I found him standing against the back of a chair, I conversed with him, endeavoured to set with nothing on but his night-clothes, where some great truths before him, and then prayed he had been standing for four hours. I endea with him. On the whole, I was pleased with voured to prevail on him to get into bed. With the state of his mind, and the thought greatly a horrible whine, he said: “ How can you be so cheered me: Well, the prayers of his excellent cruel as to wish me to get into bed? You know mother and sister are at length to be answered if I do, I shall never see the precious light of on his behalf.
the sun any more.
Blindness is a dreadful As he had made me promise to call again in calamity? O my precious eye-sight!" In order the evening, I went. I found his mind more to rouse him, I said, “You seem to be more conawfully impressed, and that every encouraging cerned about your eye-sight than about your word which I presented, he only took occasion soul." With what one would conceive to be of to aggravate his own sin. I reasoned with the yell of a fiend, which chilled my blood, and him on the greatness of the sacrifice provided, and followed me for weeks, he cried out, “ O my on the unbounded fulness of divine mercy in soul ! that is damned, damned, double damned. Christ Jesus to the repenting sinner. “Ah !” he О that I had never seen a Bible! O that I had replied, “if I could repent, indeed there might never heard a sermon !" be hope.” “I trust that you do repent, and that This was the last effort of reason_he soon all your present feelings are an evidence of it.” went off again to complain of his eyes; he be“No, no,” he answered, “I do not repent; my came outrageous; would take no food; was heart is as hard as a rock: what I feel is not confined in a strait waistcoat; and, without any repentance-it is only the forebodings of damna- disease, actually died from starvation. tion. I still love sin, and should sin on if I had Awful, awful close to such a life! ( my soul! the power. There is no change here in this re- it becomes thee to mourn in secret over the spect. That dreadful sentence will soon be ful- sad exit of one who was once a friend, a comfilled: He that is guilty shall be guilty still; panion in worship, and a partaker in many and let him that is filthy be filthy still.?” I felt innocent and delightful recreations. myself in new and affecting circumstances, and If mercy came to him, it was left in such dark quite unequal to meet all the objections of an uncertainty as that surviving friends scarce old professor, and of one who knew the Gospel dare entertain a hope. Where, ah! where, shall in theory, and could have split hairs in divinity; we find him at the last great day? Tremble, I therefore urged it on him to see his once re- my soul, lest thou shouldst be deceived by the spected and valued minister. “Oh!” he said, “I deceitfulness of sin. Lord, what are means of have used him so ill, he cannot come to see grace, without thy Spirit's influence? How will me.” I replied, “He would soon come if he knew they become amusements to cheat the soul out you were in mental distress.”
“ But who can I of heaven, if the heart be left to itself! O for send to him ?” “I will go.” “Well do,” he said; the grace of means, to give efficacy to the “ but how can I meet him, I have done him so means of grace ! much injury?” I called on Mr told him the state of the case, and he said, “ No time is to
No. II. be lost; I will go directly." I called in the even
“ The memory of the just is blessed, and God regardeth ing on Mr merely to learn what his views
not the rich more than the poor." of him were. He was out, but his daughter WILLIAM ARMSTRONG was first brought to the told me, “I never saw my father in such agony knowledge of the Gospel by hearing that excel. before ; when he came in from seeing Mr lent clergyman, the Rev. William Cadogan at he exclaimed, on entering the study, "O, my Reading. At this time he was a farmer's ser. dear, the Son of man is coming! poor is vant, residing a few miles from that place in despair; it will end in derangement;” and Many people from the village went to hear this she said he literally rolled on the carpet, and great man preach, and William Armstrong was sobbed aloud, saying: “ All his hearing will end induced to go with the rest. He had never heard as I have often feared.” The prediction proved a Gospel sermon before, and was much struck too true. The poor sufferer could not sleep; with the difference in manner and matter from conscience seemed already like the gnawing anything he had ever heard. After this first
In the course of a few days reason taste of the truth, he took advantage of every was partially dethroned, and we heard nothing opportunity-was convinced, melted, believed, from him but that he had no right to eat--no- and was edified. The lamented death of Mr thing that was brought to the table belonged to Cadogan occurred soon after, and Reading was him; and we were obliged to adopt many modes, left without a light in the Established Church. almost of deception, to prevail on him to eat. William Armstrong soon afterwards removed
One morning, I said “What kind of a night to a situation near Maidenhead, and soon found have you had ?” “I could not sleep,” he said, in the ministry of the late Rev. J. Cooke that “there was such an insufferable smell of brim- bread after which his soul fainted. He be
came a regular hearer and consistent member, Then I said: “ You do not imagine your soul and a very affectionate and liberal contributor will have a long journey after it leaves the to the cause, in proportion to his means. For body, before it reaches heaven ?” “O no," he a very long series of years he was the faithful replied; “heaven is only on the other side that and respected servant of the late Mr L-curtain” (pointing to the curtain of his bed). There was so much Christian kindness and af- Absent from the body, present with the Lord," fection about him, that he was universally be- | I rejoined. “ Yes, that is it; my dear Lord is loved by the Christian Society with which he at hand, and I desire to commit my spirit to was connected, and by the venerable pastor, to him.” He then desired his niece to hand me whom his respect and attachment were bounded a hymn, and to point out one he meant. She only by the deep-felt conviction of the advan- found it, and he said : “ Forty years ago, or tages he had derived from his ministry. As more, that hymn gave me great light and comthe days drew near that this good man should fort, and I do not recollect having seen it since, die, one thing was eminently remarkable—his till yesterday, and it brought so many things constant and serious attendance on the means to remembrance, that I cannot tell you the good of grace. Paroxysms of rheumatic pains, which it did me. I wish to hear you read it to me.” would have detained most men from the house I beganof God, could not keep him away; for, as he
Jesus, thy blood and righteousness said a few days before he died, “ Ah ! there's
My beauty are-my glorious dress. Mr has for a long time absented himself
Midst faining worlds in these arrayed,
With joy shall I lift up my head." from the prayer-meeting; tell him from a dying man, that I have found my interest in being
As the hymn went on, rising from thought to constantly there."
thought, from triumph to triumph, he raised his The disease that was commissioned to hasten hands liigher and higher, while his fixed eye this humble saint to heaven was rapid in its seemed almost to penetrate the sky, and his progress, and attended with most excruciating
pains, which perhaps those of a martyr in the bodily suffering. I have seen him, with huge
fire could not exceed, seemed all forgot. drops of perspiration rolling down his face
When I closed, he exclaimed (seizing my from the violence of pain, look up with cheer
hand) : “ There, my dear friend, that's my fulness, thankfulness to heaven, and admire
hope; won't that do ?" “ Yes ! yes !” I said. the grace which had made him to differ. When
• Yes," he rejoined :he was taken ill, his beloved pastor was in Lon
Bold shall I stand in that great day; don, consequently he sent for me. I was sur
For who aught to my charge shall lay,
When through thy blood absolved I am prised to find him so ill, as I had noticed him
From sin-the guilt, the curse, the stain ?"the day before at the Sabbath morning prayer
Never, never did I see so affectingly illusmeeting, and at the public service.
trated the truth of that text: “ This is the vicHe pressed my hand with great fervour, and
tory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” said : “My pain is very, very great; but it is all
The Lord did not long delay an answer right. Pray to the dear Lord to give me patience and faith.” IIe then recounted to me
to' his, suffering servant's prayer; for, after the few particulars above named, in reference enabled to commit his soul into Ilis hands, and
a few more struggles and sufferings, he was to his early life, and was overwhelmed with a
so fall asleep in Jesus. sense of the mercy of God in bringing him to the knowledge of the Lord Jesus. He was calmly resting on the Redeemer, as most in
DEMONIACAL POSSESSIONS. worthy, and yet most favoured. He said : "Sa.
BY THE REV. PATRICK FAIRBAIRN, SALTON. tan las been very busy during the night, in trying to disturb and distress me; but he can't-Wuat are called demoniacal possessions were those the Lord lifts up a standard against him." He
cascs of distress, so often occurring in New Testament expressed the great advantage and pleasure he history, in which the unhappy persons afflicted are had found in the house of God, and spoke of spoken of as being under the malignant power of some of his fellow-Christians and fellow-wor- evil spirits or demons. The symptoms of the awful shippers who had entered into rest; and said : visitation are described as partly mental and partly "I shall soon be with them, through the pre- bodily; and for the most part seem to have presented
cious blood of my dear Jesus.” His heart was the appearance of a sort of madness, coupled with | filled almost to overflowing with love to Jesus, epilepsy. One of the most striking cases on record, and to his people.
as it is also one of the most fully detailed, is that of The next morning, before I was out of bed, the man who resided among the Gadarenes.--Luke I had a message from him, that he wished to viii. 26-10; Mark v. 1-12. (Matthew mentions two,
I hastened to him. As soon as he saw though one was probably so much the worse of the me, he said : “ Oh! my dear friend, I sent two, as to be alone noticed by the other evangelists.) for
you to pray to my dear Lord to take me Like a fierce and gloomy maniac, he shunned the :, home, if it be his blessed will. My agonies are haunts of living men, and tock up his dwelling among great, as you see by my great sweat; but he en- the tombs. From his wild and savage ferocity he had ables me to bear it; but I long to be at home.” become the terror of the whole neighbourhood.,
devils which held possession of his frame were so Christ's, but Satan's — permitted, and directed into many, that they took to themselves the name of certain channels, as all evil is, for the accomplishment Legion. They addressed Christ with fear and tremb- of an ultimate good. The good here was, to bring out ling. He, in return, acknowledged their presence, and clearly and distinctly, in a manner impossible to be commanded them to come out; and as they were mistaken, the utter contrariety between His working obeying his authority, they sought and obtained per- and Satan's—to show that the one was ever exerted mission to enter into a herd of swine; which they no to heal, rectify, and restore; the other, to blight, desooner did than they drove the herd headlong into solate, and destroy. To mistake the one for the the sea, while the man they left was restored to his other, as some of the Pharisees still did, and ascribe right mind, and became a humble follower of Jesus. Christ's ejection of the devils to the power of Beelze
Now, taking this case as a specimen of the whole bub, was to manifest that they had lost sight of the class, and regarding what it relates, for the present, essential distinctions between good and evil-that as true, in the plain and literal sense, there are two they confounded heaven and hell, and had reached points of great importance connected with the work that state of impenetrable blindness and seared oband character of Christ, which would thereby be stinacy to which the grace of forgiveness is not established and brought distinctly into view. 1. In promised; hence, it is in immediate connection with the first place, such cases clearly proved Christ to be such amazing perversity that our Lord utters the the enemy and conqueror of the powers of darkness- awful warning concerning the sin against the Holy which he must have been, if indeed the Messiah and Ghost.—Matt. xii. 31. This, however, does not Saviour of the world. To bruise the head of the ser- hinder but that the exercise of Christ's power on pent, was from the first the work which he was pro- those devil-possessed persons was in itself fitted, and mised and expected to do in behalf of the Church. in all ordinary cases sufficient, to render manifest the And hence, when doing the work, he is said to have opposition between the character of Christ's working spoiled principalities and powers—not as an inciden- and Satan's, and to prove that he indeed came, not tal or subordinate thing, but one that entered into to build up, but to "destroy, the works of the devil.” the very heart of his undertaking, and the doing of Then, while we see that cases of demoniacal posseswhich carried along with it the execution of the whole sion, as first existing and then cured by Christ, were work with which he was charged. For these princi- fitted to disclose and verify the truth concerning two palities and powers held in their hands the cup of points, each of them essentially connected with the Heaven's wrath, due to the sons of men, and only by design and character of his undertaking, it is in perlawfully contending with, and spoiling these mighty fect accordance with the other parts of his work on spoilers,' could Christ prevail to bring in redemption earth to suppose that these should have received the for the guilty. And it is not possible to conceive how proof and confirmation we speak of; for the whole the truth concerning him in this respect could be of Christ's course of action was ordered and arranged more impressively taught, or how his claims to the
so as to bring out, on the visible field of an earthly character of Messiah could be more clearly verified, life, what he came to do in the higher region of a than by ever and anon meeting with persons oppressed spiritual and eternal life. As Messiah, he did not of the devil, and relieving them of their oppression. properly come to operate cures upon men's bodies, 2. But further: the same cases, supposing them to but to seek and save their souls. And yet we find a be real, render clear as day the essential difference great part of his ministerial life spent, and nearly all between the character of Satan's working and that his public works performed, with an immediate deof Christ. The subtile device of his enemies to undo sign of benefiting the body-works performed, therethe impression that ought to have been produced by fore, not so much for their own sake, as for the signs his miraculous deeds, was to get up the cry that these and indications they were to give respecting the grand were performed, not by Divine, but by Satanic object of his mission into the world; so that, as he agency; and in particular, that he cast out devils by himself testified, men might“ believe him for the very the power of the prince of the devils. Nothing more works' sake.” They were mostly miraculous works, was needed to prove the fallacy of this, nothing could not simply because such were necessary to attest his have so conclusively and satisfactorily proved it, as divine character, but also because his work of redempthe effects of his interposition, compared with the tion, which they were designed to throw light upon, working of the powers of darkness in the cases re- and prepare the way for, was to be one glorious and ferred to. The hapless victim of these emissaries of continued miracle-changing at every step the course hell, as in the case among the Gadarenes, was ren- of nature, and reversing the order of its operations. dered a spectacle of misery and ruin; while the Dark minds must, by the divine touch, be enlightmoment he came under the operation of Christ's ened, and dull hearts aroused; therefore were the hand, he was restored to perfect soundness both of eyes of the blind opened, and the ears of the deaf body and of mind. And to put it beyond all doubt unstopped. Souls dead in trespasses and sins must that in their case this was no accidental thing, that be quickened, and their many spiritual disorders recwherever the instruments of Satan are permitted to tified; therefore did the grave hear his voice, and work, the signs and manifestations of their working diseases of all kinds disappear at his command. So, will be precisely the same, they were allowed to change indeed, in regard to all the great departments of his their abode-after leaving the rational being, in whom mighty work of redemption. We have only to look they had defaced the image of God, to pass into ir into the deeds of his life to see there the proof of them, rational creatures, whom they presently sent headlong and the preparation for them. And unless the two into destruction. The evil, in such cases, was not l important points formerly noticed—the victorious THE STRANGE APATHY OF PARENTS, &c.
opposition he was to make to the power of Satan, and for the reasons just mentioned in connection with the the entire contrast between the character of his work of Christ, such cases of possession were more working and that of the prince of darkness-unless numerous, or more aggravated then, it is perhaps the these were to have been made exceptions to the whole length we are either called or warranted to go. general rule, and no light to be thrown on them, no The symptoms of bodily disease or mental derangeproof to be given of them, during our Lord's ministe- ment belonging to them may have been, according to rial course, it was indispensable that there should the second objection specified, not materially different have been cases in which the powers of darkness held from certain evil affections, common to all times and an usurped possession, and were driven from it by ages; but who can tell how far even these may be prothe authority of Christ.
duced by infernal agency ? May not all evil, in some Besides all this, the language of Scripture on the way or another, be produced by the instrumentsubject is so plain and so decided, that no simple- ality of “ spiritual wickedness ?” The blessed spirits, minded Christian can read what is written with any we are told, minister in offices of kindness to the other impression, than that devils did actually pos- heirs of salvation; and may not accursed spirits be sess the persons in question, and were actually ex- even employed in offices of an opposite kind ? Satan pelled by Christ. If these devils existed only in the is the immediate instrument of Job's afflictions, as imaginations of the people, and the evil affections as- well as of David's fall. An evil spirit from the Lord cribed to them sprung from other and more ordinary troubles Saul, visiting him with what might fitly be causes, it would be impossible to avoid the conviction called a species of madness-an angel slays the host that both our Lord and his apostles had encouraged of Assyria, as he had done, ages before, the first-born a weak and pernicious delusion, and sought to advance of Egypt. In fine, there is no ground for disputing their own reputation by playing upon the credulities the existence of demoniacal possessions in the age of of men. Every pious mind will abhor the thought of our Lord, which would not equally go to discredit, in this; and especially when the shallow nature of the general, the agency of good and evil spirits in the reasons is taken into account which have sometimes divine government of this world, or their existence been alleged for a different view of the cases in ques- altogether as active beings and ministers of God tion. Of these reasons there are only two worth | And no one, we are persuaded, can consistently deny noticing, viz., that such possessions were so peculiar the plain testimony of Scripture regarding demoniaand extraordinary, that their existence should not cal possessions, without being prepared to adopt the be allowed, unless absolutely inexplicable otherwise, Sadducean creed: No angel--no spirit—no resurrecand that the symptoms were such as seem capable of tion from the dead. Let us rather say with the father explanation from other and more likely causes. of the possessed: “ Lord, I believe; help thou mine
In regard to the former, we have simply to ask, Was unbelief.” not the time also peculiar and extraordinary And must not the circumstances then existing, and the THE STRANGE APATHY OF PARENTS erents then occurring, be suitably adapted to it? It
REGARDING THE SOULS OF was the time in which Heaven's great Messenger
THEIR CHILDREN. appeared, to bring in salvation for a lost world, which How strange it is that the same parent who is so was so pre-eminently the work of God, that the exe
intent on the preferment of his children, in the cution of it forms the very centre of the world's his world, should be so utterly listless of their protory. " It is the greatest event in the annals of all
spects, nor put forth one endeavour to obtain for time; the former ages had been a preparation for it, them preferment in heaven-that he who would -the latter unroll from it.” But if such was the
mourn over it as the sorest of his family trials, character of the time, is it not reasonable to expect should one of them be bereft of any of the corporeal that peculiar circumstances would distinguish it, and senses, should yet take it so easily, although none of that things would even be absolutely necessary, which them have a right sense of God or a right principle at any other time might well have been regarded as of godliness—that he who would be so sorely asout of place-as extraordinary or incredible? The field tounded did any of his little ones perish in a conflamust have been in many respects a singular one, gration or a storm, should be so unmoved by all the which was properly fitted to serve the purposes and fearful things that are reported of the region on the exhibit the character of an incarnate God. And if other side of death, where the fury of an incensed infinite wisdom needed to be at work through pre-Lawgiver is poured upon all who have not Aled to ceding ages, fitly arranging and ordering the time of Christ as their refuge from the tempest, and they are his appearing, the same wisdom was not less needed made to lie down in the devouring fire, and to dwell to gather around him, when he appeared, the precise with everlasting burnings—that to avert from the combination of circumstances and objects which objects of our tenderness the calamities, or to obtain might render the history of his life and death a suit- for them the good things, of this present life, there able instruction for all ages. So that, if such pos- shall be so much of care and of busy expedientsessions of the powers of darkness were found in no while not one practical measure is taken either to other age of the world, it would argue nothing against avert from them that calamity which is the most their existence then, when, as we have seen, the dreadful, or to secure for them that felicity which grandest purposes of God required them.
is the most glorious!
The man whose But, in reference to this supposed singularity of heart is set on the conversion of his children-the their occurrence at that particular time, we are not man whose house is their school of discipline for sure how far it should be allowed. If we admit that, ' eternity-he it is, and we fear he only of all other parents, who lives by faith. If you love your children, for the house of God, I have pled that their bodies and at the same time are listless about their eternity, might be fit temples for the Holy Spirit to dwell in; what other explanation can be given, than that you when they left me for the week-day school, I followed believe not what the Bible tells of eternity? You be- their infant footsteps with a prayer, that their path lieve not of the wrath, and the anguish, and the tribu- through life might be like that of the just, which lation that are there. Those piercing cries that here, shineth more and more unto the perfect day; and as from any one of your children, would go to your I committed them to rest at night, the silent breathvery heart and drive you frantic with the horror of ing of my soul has been that their heavenly Father its sufferings, you do not believe that there is pain would take them to his embrace, and fold them in there to call them forth. You do not think of the his paternal arms. I have committed their way, and meeting-place that you are to have with them before taught them to commit their way, to the Lord, and the judgment-seat of Christ, and of the looks of the Lord has cared for them. It is his doing, not anguish and the words of reproach that they will cast mine; and what he has done for me and my children upon you, for having neglected, and so undone their he is willing, and has promised to do, for all who seek eternity. The awful sentence of condemnation-tbe his face. signal of everlasting departure to all who know not God and obey not the Gospel—the ceaseless moanings
MORNING HYMN FOR A LITTLE CHILD. that ever and anon shall ascend from the lake of living agony-the grim and dreary imprisonment
O God! I see the morning light, whose barriers are closed insuperably and for ever on
And Thou hast kept me through the night! the hopeless out-casts of vengeance;-these, ye men
I thank Thee for thy love and care, who wear the form of godliness, but show not the
And beg Thee hear my morning prayer. power of it in your training of families, these are
Keep me, O God! again to-day, not the articles of your faith. To you they are as the
And take my naughty heart away; imaginations of a legendary fable. Else why this
O make me gentle, good, and mildapathy? Why so alert to the rescue of your young Just like the Saviour when a child ! from even the most trifling of calamities, and this dead indifference about their exposure to the most And when to-night I fall asleep, tremendous of all ? O the secret will be out: The O come again the watch to keep ! cause bewrayeth itself. You have not faith; and
So let my life all pass away, compassed about though you be with Sabbath forms, With God my keeper night and day, and secmly observance, and the semblance of a goodly and well-looking profession, yet if you labour
MERE PROFESSORS. not specifically and in practical earnest for the souls of your children, your doings short of this are, we There are many professors and few Christians infear, but the diseased and lame offerings of hypocrisy deed; many that run, and few that obtain; many -your Christianity, we fear, is a delusion. Dr that go into the field against Satan, and few that
come out conquerors. All have a desire to be happy, Chalmers.
but few have courage and resolution to grapple with
the difficulties that meet them in their way to hapA GOOD MOTHER.
piness. All Israel came joyfully out of Egypt under
Moses' conduct, yes, and a mixed multitude with In the vicinity of Philadelphia, there was a pious them; but when they were a little pinched with mother, who had the happiness of seeing her children, hunger, and their greedy desires of a present Canaan in very early life, brought to the knowledge of the deferred-yea, instead of peace and plenty, war and
penury-they are ready to fiy from their colours, and truth-all walking in the fear of the Lord, and orna- make a dishonourable retreat into Egypt. Thus the ments to the Christian Church. A clergyman, who greatest part of those who profess the Gospel, when was travelling, having heard this circumstance, wished they come to push of pike-to be tried what they very much to see her, thinking that there might be will do, deny, endure for Christ-grow sick of their something peculiar in her mode of giving religious enterprise. Alas! their hearts fail them! they like
the waters of Bethlehem; but if they must dispute instruction which rendered it so effectual. He ac
their passage with so many enemies, they will even cordingly visited her, and inquired concerning the
content themselves with their own cistern, and leave manner in which she discharged the duties of a heaven to others that will venture more for it. O mother in educating her children. The woman re- how many part with Christ at this cross-way! like plied, that she did not know that she had been more Orpah--that
go a furlong or two with Christ, while faithful than any other Christian mother would be
he goes to take them off from their worldly hopes, in the instruction of her children. After a little
and bids them prepare for hardship, and then they
fairly kiss and leave him; loath, indeed, to lose conrersation, she said, “While my children were heaven, but more loath to buy it 'at so dear a rate. infants on my lap, as I washed them, I raised my Like some green-heads that childishly make choice heart to God, that he would wash them in that blood of some sweet trade, from a liquorish tooth they which cleanseth from all sin; as I clothed them in have to the sweetmeats it affords; but meeting with ! the morning, I asked my heavenly Father to clothe they give in, and are weary of their service, the
sour sauce of labour and toil that goes with them, them in the robe of Christ's righteousness; as I pro- sweet bait of religion hath drawn many to nibble at vided them food, I prayel that God would feed their it, who are offended with the hard service it calls to. souls with the bread of heaven, and give them to It requires another spirit than the world can give or drink the water of life. When I have prepared them receive to follow Christ fully.--Gurnall.