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pauses to recover his breath, and sighs from his inmost soul, while again he pleads to flee from sin; even while the rope is adjusted and his arms are pinioned, and he resigns himself to the inevitable sentence, as if he would say, "Let my sufferings warn you of the end of sin; and see all of you that its wages are death." If human justice has these terrors, what must be the features of the divine? Look on this scene, ye who trample under foot God's commandswho say, There is no eye to see who make even a mock at sin, and declare that judgment will never overtake it. Look, I beseech you, on these wretched victims. Intoxicated once by the flattering pleasures of sin, infatuated by the idea of impunity, and fearing neither God nor man, they were led on blindfold by their souls'

mity of crime, and promised themselves impunity or escape in both worlds. Is not Satan, whom they have served, a hard master? Is not his service deadly thraldom? Does their master repay them thus? Is it thus Satan will reward all his servants? Can he give them no consolation? Does he even mock and deride them, and exult in their ruin? O my soul, rejoice that thou hast abjured his service! O my God, give these unhappy men to abjure it, though at the eleventh hour! Grant them that repentance for their sins, not only that sin for which man punishes them, but all those against thee which thou wilt punish if unrepented of; and let them feel, by the aid of thy Spirit, a firm faith in the efficacy of the atoning blood of Christ! O Thou that didst make bare thine arm in the salvation of the dying thief, have pity upon these murderers, have pity upon their youth, and for the glory of thine own name, disappoint Satan of his wished-for prey, and make them yet monuments of mercy!

4,5. There were, no doubt, many present at the awful scene I have just witnessed who pitied and sympathized with the unhappy sufferers, yet could not but own the justice of the sentence. But how few, while acquiescing in the laws of man, felt their own real situation in the sight of God, or anticipated the day when there must be a public execution of the divine sentence against all who break his law and die without repentance! Looking at the thousands assembled even with more concern than I looked at the criminals under the gibbet, that question | occurred to my mind: "What went ye out for to see?" Here is a vast multitude gathered together to witness the most awful and solemn scene that can be witnessed in this life-the infliction of death upon sinners-sin itself ripened into death; or, in another view, the arch-enemy step by step, till they reached this enorenemy of man, the great tyrant, seizing his prey, and going off with them to eternal torments. But how little of the reality is perceived or felt by the spectators! How few look through the veil of death, or follow these immortal beings into the eternal world! Here I see indifference there is rude mirth; many countenances look really pleased-there is a jester making sport at death, and ever and anon I hear profane oaths and blasphemies. Who that has witnessed such a scene as this can hesitate to pronounce the exhibition decidedly injurious to the public morals? The effect produced is anything but what should be desired by our governors. The motive may have been good that directed such public punishment of criminals; but experience has abundantly shown that the effect is anything but good upon the mass assembled. I said to myself, My soul, stand apart from this giddy, thoughtless, impious crowd, and in the presence of thy Maker sift this melancholy scene-trace out the cause of this pitiable catastrophe. Whence is it that my eyes witness, both in the sufferers and in the spectators, that which fills me with pain, even with horror, at the thought of what all will soon experience, when death has borne them away to the reality of their eternal state? See, the criminals stand before the multitude of their fellow-men! How unhappy they look! How every one that looks at them seems to reproach them! Behold, one of them has beckoned with his hand, and wishes to speak! Listen, to hear a word from the lips of a man in full health, who in a few moments will be in the eternal world! Surely this is a word of truth spoken as from the grave, in this world of deceit, sinning, and suffering! The young man stands forth, and with an earnest voice and streaming eyes warns, entreats, and implores all who hear him, and who witness his sufferings, to walk not in the ways of wicked men. See how his bosom heaves with anguish-how his spirit writhes with an inward convulsion! What a picture he presents of that Scripture: "Sin when it is finished bringeth forth death!" He

But while I was praying thus the cord was drawn, the attendants were descending and leaving them to their fate; the bolt was drawn, and I saw them struggling and convulsed for a few moments-then they were still-the crowd was awed-the men were launched into eternity! My meditations turned upon myself. I thought of John Bradford's saying, when he saw any one taken to execution-"There goes John Bradford, but for the grace of God." Now, my soul, think what is thy state better than theirs? Once thou hadst entered the path that might have led thee even to this issue. Satan is perhaps even now deceiving thee concerning some cherished sin-drawing thee out by little and little, but hiding from thee the end. Start not at the suggestion; for thy self-confidence may warrant it. Remember the subtlety of thy watchful foe. 'Tis true thou hast won some victories by that grace which has wrought| mightily in thee. You have detected some of his designs and machinations, and by faith hast overcome hitherto; but hast thou constantly been on thy watch-tower? hast thou

never been sipping of the isoned cup, nor venturing on the enemy's ground, nor sleeping at thy post, nor putting down thy weapons? Alas! these are painful recollections of narrow escapes. Let me be more watchful that I enter not into temptation; let me awake to righteousness and sin not; let me run the race that is set before me, looking unto Jesus-looking so stedfastly unto Jesus as to obtain his support, his intercession, that my faith may never fail, but that I may so run as to win the prize, even Christ himself, the author and finisher of my faith!

THE DEPARTED CHILD.

His seat is vacant at table-it is vacant at the fireside-it is vacant at the altar. A thousand afflicting incidents remind his parents that he is gone; but, often as this saddening thought recurs, it is softened and transformed by the cheering recollection that he is gone to glory; and the full heart almost disburdened of its sorrows, responds to the songs of holy resignation:

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Why should we mourn departed friends,
Or start at death's alarms?

'Tis but the voice that Jesus sends
To call them to his arms."

Delightful idea! Supported by this, I have seen the parents of a much endeared child sitting with composure beside his bed of death.

They were parents familiarized with sorrow. Once they had been blessed with an ample fortune and a numerous offspring. But the hand of God had been upon them. Stripped of the one, bereaved of the other, they were left in the decline of life, naked and defenceless, like the trunk of an aged oak, whose leaves and branches have been swept away by the pitiless storms that have beat upon it. One little son, the child of their old age, alone remained to them. His brethren and sisters were dead, and in his life the life of his parents were bound up. Hitherto they had considered this son as a special gift of Providence, granted to solace their sorrows in old age, to minister to their wants in death, and afterwards to preserve their name and become their memorial among the living. He was, indeed, a lovely child; and what rendered him the more so in the eyes of his godly parents was, that he also feared God. Often as he hung upon his mother's arm, or clambered upon his father's knee, and stroking back his grey hairs, he would inquire of them so earnestly about death, and talk to them so sweetly about heaven and Jesus, that their hearts were overcome, and their lips had not the power of utterance.

Christ, and the angels who attend him. Have you not often told me that he is the friend of children? earth, and I am sure he will bid them welcome to his I have read, too, how he took them in his arms on arnis in heaven." Thus early ripe for glory, this dear child, without a murmur and without a groan, drew his last breath, and fell asleep in Jesus. I saw, indeed, that his parents wept; but their tears were tears of joy. Happy, thrice happy parents, called to comsign a spirit thus ripe for glory, unto God who gave mit such precious dust into the sepulchre, and to re

it!

THE WORLD.

THE world is seldom what it seems
To man, who dimly sees;
Realities appear as dreams,
And dreams realities.

The Christian's years, though slow their flight,
When he is called away,

Are but the watches of a night,
And death the dawn of day.

MONTGOMERY.

WILBERFORCE AND THE SABBATH. THE celebrated Wilberforce ascribes his continuance for so long a time under such a pressure of cares and labours, in no small degree to the conscientious and habitual observance of the Sabbath. "O what a blessed day," he says, "is the Sabbath, which allows us a precious interval wherein to pause—ta come out from the thickets of worldly concerns, and give ourselves up to heavenly and spiritual objects! Observation and my own experience have convinced me that there is a special blessing on the right employment of these intervals.

"One of their prime objects, in my judgment, is to strengthen our impression of invisible things, and to induce a habit of living much under their influences. O what a blessed thing is Sabbath, interposed between the waves of worldly business, like the divine path of the Israelites through Jordan! Blessed be God, who has appointed the Sabbath, and interposed the seasons of recollection. It is a blessed thing to have the Sabbath devoted to God. There is nothing in which I would commend you to be more strictly conscientious, than in keeping the Sabbath-day."

A FATHER'S PRAYER. PHILIP JAMES SPENER had a son of eminent talents. but perverse and extremely vicious. All means of The love and persuasion were without success. father could only pray, which he continued to do, that the Lord might yet be pleased to save his son at any time and in any way. The son fell sick; and while lying on his bed in great distress of mind, nearly past the power of speech or motion, he suddenly started up, clasped his hands, and exclaimed: "My father's prayers, like mountains, surround me !" Soon after pen-face-his malady came to a crisis, and the son was his anxiety ceased-a sweet peace spread over his saved in body and soul. He became another man. Spener lived to see his son a respectable man, in public office, and happily married. Such was the change of his life after his conversion.-N. E, Puritan.

Thus did this child increase in wisdom as he increased in stature; till one day, like the child of the Shunammite, he cried out, My head! My head!--Like that child, too, he was carried from the field unto his mother. But, alas! no prophet of Israel was nigh. No swift Gehazi ran from Carmel to lay the staff of the holy seer upon the face of the child. It was indeed a sickness unto death. His soul, however, was resigned his faith in the promises immovable. "Do not grieve thus," said he to his aged parents, as they watched the changes of his countenance, and in sive silence bedewed his pillow with tears; will take care of you, and he will take care of me too. My body will be laid in the grave, where the body of my Saviour was laid. My soul will fly up to heaven, where I shall see my brothers and sisters, and Jesus

"God

THE CHRISTIAN TREASURY.

217

GOOD NEWS.

FROM AN OLD AUTHOR.

THE revelation of Christ, and the grace of God through him, is beyond comparison the best news and most joyful tidings that poor sinners can hear. It is such a message that no good news can come before it, nor ill news follow it. No good news can come before it ; no, not from God himself to the creature. He cannot issue out any blessing to poor sinners, till he hath shown mercy to their souls in Christ. "God be merciful to us, and bless us, and cause his face to shine upon us." (Ps. lxvii. 1.)

First, God forgives, then he gives. Till he be merciful to pardon our sins through Christ, he cannot bless, or look kindly on us sinners. All our enjoyments are but blessings in bullion, till gospel grace, pardoning mercy, stamp and make them current. God cannot so much as bear any good will to us, till Christ makes peace for us-" on earth peace, good will to men." (Luke ii. 14.) And what joy can a sinner take, though it were to hear of a kingdom fallen to him, if he may not have it with God's good will?

Again, No ill news can come after the glad tidings of the gospel, where believingly embraced. God's mercy in Christ alters the very property of all evils to the believer. All plagues and judgments that can befall the creature in the world, when baptized in the stream of gospel grace, receive a new name, come on a new errand, and have a new taste on the believer's palate; as the same water, by running through some mine, gets a strong taste and a healing virtue, which before it had not. "The inhabitants shall not say, I am sick; the people that dwell therein shall be pardoned their iniquity." (Isa. xxxiii. 24.) Observe, he doth not say, "They shall not be sick;" gospel grace doth not exempt from afflictions; but, "They shall not say, I am sick." They shall be so ravished with the joy of God's pardoning mercy, that they shall not complain of being sick; this, or any other cross, is too thin a veil to darken the joy of the other good news. This is so joyful a message which the gospel brings, that God would not have Adam long without it, but opened a crevice to let some beams of this light, that is pleasant to behold, into his soul, amazed with the terror of God's presence; without which, as 19.

he was turned out of paradise, so had he been turned into hell immediately; for such the world would have been to his guilty conscience. This is the news God used to tell his people of on a design to comfort them and cheer them, when things went worse with them, and their affairs were at the lowest ebb. (Isa.vii. 14; Micah v. 5.) This is the great secret which God whispers by his Spirit in the ear of those whom he embraces with his special distinguishing love. (Luke x. 21; 1 Cor. ii. 12;) so that it is made the sad sign of a soul marked out for hell, to have the "gospel hid from it." (2 Cor. iv. 3.) To wind up this in a few words, there meet all the properties of a joyful message in the glad tidings of the gospel. Five ingredients are desirable in a message, yea, must all conspire to fill up the joyfulness thereof into a redundancy.

1. "It must be good." None rejoice to hear evil news. Joy is the dilatation of the heart, whereby it goes forth to meet and welcome in what it desires; and this must needs be some good. Ill news is sure to find the heart shut against it, and to come before it is welcome.

2. "It must be some great good," or else it affects little. Affections are moved according to the degrees of good or evil in the object presented. A thing we hear may be so inconsiderable, that it is no great matter how it goes; but if it be good, and great also, and of weighty importance, this causeth proportionable pleasure. The greater the bell, the more strength is required to raise it. It must be a great good that raiseth great joy.

3. "This great good must immediately concern them that hear it"—that is, they must have propriety in it; for though we can rejoice to hear of some great good befalling another, yet it affects most when it is emptied into our own bosom. A sick man doth not feel the joy of another's recovery with the same advantage as he would do his own.

4. It would much add to the joyfulness of the news, if this were "unheard of, unlooked for," if the tidings steal upon us by way of surprise. The farther our own ignorance or despair has set us from all thoughts of so great enjoyment, the more joy it brings with it, when we hear the news of it.

The joy of a poor swineherd's son, who never dreamed of a crown, would be greater at the news of such a thing conferred on him, than he whose birth invited him to look for it, yea, promised to him as his inheritance; such a one's heart would stand but level to the place, and therefore could not be so ravished with it as another who lay so far below such a prefer

ment.

5. To fill up the joy of all these, "it is most necessary that the news be true and certain," or else all the joy soon leaks out. What great joy would it afford to hear of a kingdom befallen to a man, and next day, or month, to hear all crossed again, and prove false? Now, in the glad tidings of the gospel, all these do most happily meet together, to wind up the joy of the believing soul to the highest pin that the strings of his affections can possibly bear.

1. The news which the gospel hath in its mouth to tell poor sinners is good. It speaks promises, and they are significations of some good intended by God for poor sinners. The law-that brings ill news to town, it can speak no other language to sinners, but denunciations of evil to come upon them; but the gospel smiles on poor sinners, and planes the wrinkles that sit on the law's brow, by proclaiming promises.

2. The news the gospel brings is as great as it is good. It was that the angel said, "I bring you tidings of great joy.” (Luke ii. 10.) Great joy it must needs be, because it is all joy. The Lord Christ brings such news in his gospel, as that he hath left nothing for any after him to add to it. If there be any good wanting in the tidings of the gospel, we find it elsewhere than in God; for in the covenant of the gospel, he gives himself through Christ to the believing soul. Surely the apostle's argument will hold "All things are yours; ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's." (1 Cor. iii. 22.) The gospel lays our ducts close to the fountain of goodness itself, and he surely must have all, that is united to him that hath, that is, all. Can any good news come to the glorified saints which heaven doth not afford them? In the gospel we have news of that glory. "Jesus Christ hath brought life and immortality to light by the gospel." (2 Tim. j. 10.) The sun in the firmament discovers only the lower world. O! it hides heaven from us, while it shows the earth to us; but the gospel enlightens both at once, "Godliness hath the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come." (1 Tim. iv. 8.)

3. The gospel doth not tell us news we are little concerned in; not what God has done for angels, but for us. "Unto you," saith the angel," is born a Saviour, Christ the Lord." If love made angels rejoice in our happiness, surely the benefit which is paid into our nature by it gives a further pleasure to our joy at the hearing of it. It were strange that the messenger, who only brings the news of some great empire to be devolved on a person, should sing, and the prince to whom it falls should not be glad. And, as the gospel's glad tidings belong to man's nature, not to angels', so in particular to the poor soul, whoever thou art, that embraceth Christ in the arms of thy faith. A prince is a common good to all his kingdom; every subject, though ever so mean, hath a part in him-and so is Christ to all believers. The promises are so laid, that like a well-drawn picture, they look on all that lock on them by an eye of faith. The gospel's joy is thy joy, that hast but faith to receive it.

4. The glad tidings of the gospel were unheard of, unlooked for, by the sons of men; such news it brings, as never could have entered into the heart of man to conceive, till God unlocked the cabinet of his own good pleasure and revealed the counsel of his will, wherein this mysterious piece of love to fallen man lay hid far enough from the prying eye of the most quick-sighted angel in heaven, much more from man himself, who could read in his own guilty conscience within, and spell from the covenant without, now broken by him, nothing but his certain doom and damnation. So that the first gospel sermon preached by God himself to Adam anticipated all thoughts of such a thing intended by him. O, who can conceive, but one that hath really felt the terrors of an approaching hell in his despairing soul, how joyous the tid ings of gospel mercy are to a poor soul, dwelling amidst the black thoughts of despair, and bordering on the very marches of the region of utter darkness! History tells us of a nobleman of our nation, in King Henry the Eighth's reign, to whom a pardon was sent a few hours before he should have been beheaded, which being not at all expected by him, so transported him that he died for joy. And if the vessel of our nature be so weakly hooped, that the wine of such an inferior joy breaks it, how then could it possibly be able to bear the full joy of the gospel tidings, which doth as far exceed this as the mercy of God doth the mercy of mortal man, and as the deliverance from an eternal death in hell doth a deliverance from a temporary death, which is gone before the pain can well be felt!

THE DELIVERANCES OF THE WALDENSES.

5. The glad tidings of the gospel are certainly true. It is no flying report, cried up to-day, and like to be crossed to-morrow; not news

that is in every one's mouth, but none can tell whence it came, and who is the author of it; we have it from a good hand, God himself, "to whom it is impossible to lie." He from heaven voucheth it. "This is my beloved Son; hear him." (Luke ix.) What were all those miracles which Christ wrought, but ratifications of the truth of the gospel? Those wretches that denied the truth of Christ's doctrine were forced many times to acknowledge the divinity of his miracles; which is a pretty piece of nonsense, and declares the absurdity of their unbelief to all the world. The miracles were to the gospel as seals to a writing. They could not deny God to be in the miracles, and yet they could not see him in the doctrine; as if God would set his seal to an untruth. Here, Christians, is that which fills up the joy of this good news the gospel brings, that we may lay our lives upon the truth of it; it will never deceive any that lay the weight of "This is a faithful say their confidence on it. ing, and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners." (1 Tim. i. 15.) This bridge which the gospel lays over the gulf of God's wrath, for poor sinners to pass from their sins into the favour of God

here, and kingdom of God hereafter, is supported with no other arches than the wisdom, power, mercy, and faithfulness of God; so that the believing soul need not fear, till it sees these bow or break. It is called the " everlasting gospel." (Rev. xiv. 16.) When heaven and earth go to wreck, not the least iota or tittle of any promise of the gospel shall be buried in their ruins. "The word of the Lord endureth for ever, and this is the word which by the gospel is preached to you." (1 Pet. i. 25.)

THE DELIVERANCES OF THE
WALDENSES.

THESE humble and faithful Christians have been at last fully emancipated, after long groaning under the most cruel oppression. Their sufferings have excited a deep sympathy throughout the whole world. How many times have we not read the mournful pages which relate the trials and punishments suffered by the Waldenses of Piedmont! They have seen, for more than six hundred years, all the powers of earth leagued against them. They have been anathematized by popes, and massacred by kings. All the varieties of martyrdom which an atrocious fanaticism could invent

219

imprisonment, banishment, invasion by armed force, murder of wives and children, the axe of the executioner, the torture and fires of the

Inquisition,-all, all have been employed by intolerance for their utter extermination. And yet they have survived these bloody persecu tions. There remain still in the valleys of the Alps more than twenty thousand Waldenses who profess the faith of their fathers. Glorious' witnesses of the truth, they are connected by an uninterrupted historical chain to the primitive Church, and their presence shows that the light of the Church has never been wholly extinguished in Christendom.

Are they not a living proof of the impotence of fanaticism? Ah! if the rage of men could have destroyed the Waldenses to the last man, and have abolished their memory, it would have done it. But no: the sword of Popery and the sword of princes have not succeeded in

their work of destruction. There is a God in heaven, who protects, who sustains right, justice, truth; and if, in his mysterious designs, he allows sometimes that iniquity and error obtain an apparent triumph, he imposes for them, as for the waves of the sea, bounds that midst of the most violent tempests, a firm conthey may not pass. Let us ever have, in the fidence in the decrees of the Lord, and our hope will not be deceived. The day of reparation will come: it must come, because justice and truth are eternal, like God.

The Waldenses of Piedmont are now freeenjoy the same rights; they can fill the same as free as other citizens of that country; they offices in the State; all the old acts of exclu

sion are rescinded, and the Piedmontese have been received at Turin with acclamations of joy. We will give at the close of this narrative, an account of the great national festival which was held on this occasion: but we must first

show what has been the religious and civil tion of 1789. It will be then easier to understand their great joy and their deep gratitude to God for the complete emancipation they have obtained.

condition of the Waldenses since the revolu

The principles of religious toleration, which were proclaimed in the eighteenth century, had not acquired much authority in Piedmont and Savoy. This country was governed by priests. The princes, instructed in the principles of ecclesiastical power, submitted themselves unreservedly to the dictation of Rome. The Waldenses were treated as an inferior caste, and as enemies. They had not been exposed, indeed, for sixty years, to be led to the scaffold: Europe would have shuddered with indignation and horror at such atrocities; but they were still subjected to the most oppressive tyranny. The law compelled them to be shut up in their valleys as in a prison; they were forbidden to occupy any civil office, or exercise any liberal profession; none of their communion could be

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