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"A few years ago," says the same writer, an English gentleman visited America, and spent some days with a pious friend. He was a man of talent and accomplishments, but an infidel. Four years afterwards he returned to the same house, a Christian. They wondered at the change, but little suspected when and where it had originated. He told them that when he was present at their family worship, on the first evening of his former visit, and when after the chapter was read, they all knelt down to pray, the recollection of such scenes in his father's house, long years ago, rushed on his memory, so that he did not hear a single word. But the occurrence made him think, and his thoughtfulness ended in his leaving the howling wilderness of infidelity, and finding a quiet rest in the salvation wrought out by Jesus Christ."
any consistent, God-fearing household fail of diffusing a hallowed force, in every direction. Bad influences fly thus, why shall not good ones? It is true, from the depravity of our nature, men follow evil rather than good; but it is also true, blessed be God! that divine grace uses the very same channels of connexion for the conveyance of truth and holiness.
Suppose only a single pious family, observing the worship of God, without shame or concealment, in the midst of a wicked society. Their peculiar ways, and this service in particular, will attract notice and beget remark. The visitor, or the passer-by, will hear the voice of praise or prayer. The observation will be natural, That house is a house of prayer; God is honoured in that house. Neighbours will learn that here is a man who arranges all his business, and fixes all his hours, with reference to the daily household devotion, which nothing is allowed to interrupt. There are occasions in which this peculiarity of the dwelling is brought into full light. In cases of sudden illness, calamity, or soul-trouble, every one will know whither to go for a praying man, to kneel by the bed of death, or to speak peace to the troubled conscience. Where such households are multiplied in any town or neighbourhood, by means of counsel and example, there is a mighty increase given to the expansive Christian principle, such as often changes the whole face of society. How earnestly ought we to. pray that this particular means of social and national improvement may receive an immediate extension throughout our beloved land; and that unfaithful professors, living in neglect of this plain duty, may awake to repentance and reformation! What a change might we expect soon to see in regions where now the feeble piety which exists is like a half-expiring taper, which scarcely reaches beyond its little
By this pleasing incident we are led to ob-
But we must by no means narrow down the
We are under the humbling impression that this is one of the points in regard to which, with all our boast of superior privileges, we have not improved on the example of our pious forefathers. Among the Presbyterians of Scotland, and the English Nonconformists of the seventeenth century, there was probably a far smaller proportion of Christian professors liv ing in prayerless houses than among ourselves. The performance of this duty was made matter of special investigation, by pastors and elders, and even by superior judicatories of the Church. And the effect was a diffusion of piety, more unobtrusive perhaps, but not less rapid, and
certainly not less sound, than that which, in our day, we are fond of seeking by periodical excitements and doubtful measures. The sacred treasure of one house became the portion of many, and whole communities caught the fire which may have been enkindled in a Such was the case in the town of Kidderminster, which was blessed with the labours of that eminent servant of God, Richard Baxter; and his testimony, however familiar, is too valuable to be omitted in this place.
"On the Lord's-day," says Mr Baxter," there was no disorder to be seen in the streets; but you might hear a hundred families singing psalms, and repeating sermons, as you passed through the streets. When I came thither first, there was about one family in a street that worshipped God and called on his name; and | when I came away, there were some streets where there was not above one family in the side of a street that did not so, and that did not, by professing serious godliness, give us some hopes of their sincerity; and those families which were the worst, being inns and alehouses, usually some persons in each did seem to be religious. Some of the poor men did competently understand the Body of Divinity, and were able to judge in difficult controversies. Some of them were so able in prayer, that very few ministers did match them in order and fulness and apt expressions, and holy oratory with fervency. Abundance of them were able to pray very laudably with their families, or with others. The temper of their minds, and the innocency of their lives, was much more laudable than their parts."
It may sometimes be the case, that a man of humble station, and defective culture of mind, may be called upon to perform this duty in the presence of guests, or strangers, whom he regards as much superior to himself, and this will doubtless be a trial to his faith. But let him not shrink from the service of God. In a majority of instances, those very persons will go away with a higher estimate of his character, for this very act of duty. Each of us should remember the words of David, when he said, "I will speak of thy testimonies also before kings, and will not be ashamed." When George IV. was in Ireland, as we find related by the Rev. Dr Sprague, he told Lord Roden, that, on a particular morning, he would breakfast with him. He accordingly came, bringing with him two or three of the nobility, and happened to arrive just as his lordship and family were assembled for domestic worship.
Lord Roden, being informed that his royal guest had arrived, went to the door, and with every token of respect, conducted him into the house. Then, turning to the king, he said, "Your majesty will not doubt that I feel highly honoured by this visit, but there is a duty which I have not yet discharged this morning, which I owe to the King of kings-that of performing domestic worship; and your majesty will be kind enough to excuse me while I retire with my household, and attend to it." "Certainly," replied the king, "but I am going with you;" and he immediately rose and followed him into the hall, where the family were assembled, and taking his seat in an old arm-chair, remained during the family devotion.
In reading accounts of the persecuted Nonconformists, it is remarkable how often we find that they were arrested by pursuivants and other officers, at the time of family worship: this was an hour when they were sure to be taken together. Besides, at a time when the public gifts of Christ's ministers were restrained by the act of uniformity, it was not unusual for neighbours to come in at the season of domestic prayer, and thus the household assembly would often become an unlawful conventiele. Even in our own day, ministers of the gospel, and other pious persons, have opened their doors to neighbours who thirsted for truth and devotion; and in this way the religion of the family may extend itself with blessings to the vicinity.
The household prayer-meeting cannot have a more auspicious origin. O when shall we behold the day when every professing Christian in our Church shall be duly awake to the power of the instrumentality which is lodged in his hands!
BY THE REV. JAMES HAMILTON, LONDON.* THE first Christian physician of whom we have A man of faith and any record is Luke. energy, he was the chosen companion of Paul in his missionary journeys, and had a large share in the introduction of the gospel to Europe. Luke, or Silas, as he is sometimes called, was one of those who first crossed over to Macedonia to " help" the heathen world, and on the memorable night of the Philippian earthquake he was Paul's fellow-prisoner. And no hardships cooled his zeal, no dangers quenched his courage; for, years after we find
From the English Presbyterian Messenger. This
Magazine, to which we have of late been considerably indebted, is a vigorous well conducted monthly, which, although denominational, is yet most catholic in its spirit and contains much admirable matter of a practical kind.
him still true to his friend and stedfast to his Saviour-the apostle's chief comfort at Rome. And as one of the first who preached the gospel on the classic shores of Greece and Italy was a member of the medical profession, so it was the accomplished pen of this beloved physician which Inspiration employed for preserving the early annals of the Christian faith, and writing one of the four narratives of the Saviour's earthly history.
Without reverting to the antiquities of the profession, I may just mention that the two most renowned names in the history of the English faculty are the names of Christian men-HARVEY, the discoverer of the circulation of the blood; and SYNDENHAM, the earliest precursor of the modern practice of physic. The one was a steady member of the Church of England, and the other a hearty Puritan; but, so far as we can judge from scanty records, they were both sound divines and sincere believers.
The name of which Holland is most proud, is that of HERMAN BOERHAAVE. As far as I understand it, his great glory was carrying out what our own Syndenham began. The English physician had sufficient sagacity to see that symptoms are nature's efforts to get rid of a mischief, and that the great function of physic is to help nature's process; and he had strength of mind to act on what he saw. He prescribed remedies so mild and natural that patients who liked an elaborate cure thought him a trifler; and the old school blackballed him as endangering the craft and divulging the mysteries. And Boerhaave systematized the shrewd hints of Syndenham. He took for his motto, "Simplex sigillum veri-Simplicity the test of truth;" and instead of shrouding his knowledge in an obscure terminology, or assailing disease by remedies as direful as itself, it was his great effort to make knowledge plain and practice easy. And bringing to his adopted science all the light which anatomy, chemistry, and botany supplied, as well as his vast acquirements in mathematical and mechanical philosophy, and expounding it with that classical distinctness and homely elegance which are natural to a mind master of its subject and eager to make converts of others, his lectures at Leyden infected with medical enthusiasm a multitude of ardent youth, and carried not a few captives from the other professions. But the great secret of the moral power of Boerhaave, and one chief source of his exuberant information, was his habitual piety. Being asked how he was able to acquire so much knowledge and overtake so much business, he answered, that it was his custom on rising to spend the first hour of the morning in reading the Bible and in meditation and prayer. This gave him spirit and vigour for the engagements of the day, and the consciousness that a reconciled God was present prepared him for all emergencies. And once, when a friend asked
if he knew what it was to be angry? he answered, that he was naturally of quick resentment, but daily prayer and watchfulness had given him the victory over himself. You must have noticed that in most cases moral excellence is essential to intellectual ascendency. teacher may be exact in his science, aud clear in his expositions, but from his coldness or reserve, may demonstrate with little success; whilst another, perhaps his inferior in attainment, shall fire with his own ardour a whole class of devotees. And it was Boerhaave's infectiousness, no less than his matchless information, which made him the prince of instructors. Phlegmatic Dutchman, as he ought to have been, there was a warm transfusion in his teaching which opened the heart and won the ear; and abstruse or repelling subjects became attractive in his own benignant baptism. And so far as there was a moral charm about this great oracle of last century, he himself made no secret of its cause. Faith in the sayings, and an affectionate imitation of the blessed Saviour, he often avowed to be the good means for rendering life tranquil, and for imparting elevation and magnanimity to the individual character; and they were the faith and magnanimity of his character which gave a moral spell to Boerhaave.
I feel strongly tempted to notice two pupils of this illustrious man; one of them, Sir JOHN PRINGLE, among the first who purposely applied the resources of science to mitigate the horrors of war, and who filled the chair of the Royal Society, when every year was bringing up the great discoveries of Cook, and Hutton, and Priestley, and Maskelyne-but who added to all his honours a happiness to which his youth was a stranger, and who, from calm and earnest study, became, and in the most scoffing age and amidst philosophic sceptics, avowed himself, a believer in the Bible. The other, as much the glory of Switzerland as Boerhaave was the pride of Holland; one of the most eminent combinations of genius with industry, and taste with science, and piety with all which our species has ever yielded; an anatomist, whose researches in physiology and the structure of the human frame have never been superseded; a botanist, who produced the most complete and beautiful of native Floras; a scholar, who published a descriptive list of 18,000 books belonging to his own profession; a poet, who wrote the most popular works of all his living countrymen; a professor, for whose services the sovereigns of England, Russia, and Prussia, competed, and who received beneath his roof the visit of an emperor; but, above all, a Christian, whose "Letters on the Truth of Revelation" give the triumphant reason of the hope that was in him; and whose pure morals and gentle disposition, whose cheerful life and tranquil death, alongside of his neighbour at Coppet. looked as if providence designed a
contrast between the wise man and the wit, the believer and the infidel-HALLER and Voltaire. But instead of dwelling on distant or foreign instances, I would hasten to the nearest and most recent parallels.
No doubt many here have read the last days of Dr THOMAS BATEMAN. His history is interesting as the transition from materialism to the faith of the gospel, and as the change from worldly morality and honourable conduct to that gospel's higher standard of holiness. It was a year before his death that, after some serious conversation, he one Sabbath allowed a friend to read to him Scott's "Essay on the Inspiration of Scripture." His clear and vigorous intellect accompanied every sentence with intensest earnestness, and, as powerful minds are apt, perhaps saw the argument more forcible than the judicious author puts it. When the essay was ended, he exclaimed, "This is demonstration! complete demonstration!" and begged his friend to read to him the account in the Gospel of Christ's resurrection. For some days his quickened mind was all avidity for Scripture, and, as he had nearly lost his sight, he constantly employed those around him in reading to him from the Bible; and, as one morning soon after he expressed it, "It is quite impossible to describe the change in my mind. I feel as if a new world were opened to me, and all the interests and pursuits of this have faded into nothing in comparison with it." And though he saw from the first the atonement's sufficiency, and had no distrust about his personal forgiveness, he could only speak with bitter tears of his former life of irreligion and rebellion against God. Led on step by step, he soon reached the peace unspeakable of a confirmed believer; and though he had often feasted on intellectual pleasures, and had quaffed with undisguised delight the cup of human praise and professional success, and had entered with exuberant zest into most worldly amusements, he now for the first time tasted true happiness. "The blessing of his conversion," he frequently declared, was never out of his mind; it was a theme of perpetual thanksgiving; and he never awoke in the night without being overwhelmed with joy and gratitude in the recollection of it." And once, when a friend inquired if there were no interruption in his joyful emotions, he answered, "For some months past, never; and never the smallest rising of anything like impatience and complaint." There must surely be a glorious reality in that religion which made fame and fortune so suddenly look like dross in the eyes of a man lately burning with ambition; and there must be a divine attracttion in that Saviour who drew away from gay society and a lifesome world this brilliant man in the vigour of his power, and made him exclaim, as he felt death's palsy creeping up his limbs, "Oh yes! I am GLAD to go!"
There are few members of another profession for whom I confess a more entire admiration than Dr MASON GOODE. Devoted to his calling, and distinguished by his abundant acquaintance with its numberless details-his publications proving him a master of its science, and withal most successful in its practice he had all the enthusiasm for other branches of know ledge which the more expansive natures exhibit and whilst an adept in many, and striving to be simple and familiar in all, he was a sciolist or tyro in none. Those who have read his notes to Lucretius, and Job, must be impressed with the extent of his scholarship; and from these translations and his "Book of Nature" united, we have carried away a delightful idea of their author's picturesque eye and gorgeous fancy. We recognise the devout and scientific musings of a St Pierre dissolved in the sunny verse of Thomson. And when we are told that the popular lecturer, the bookish scholar, the extensive author, the fervent poet, and the busy practitioner, was no less the fond father and the cheerful but instructive companion, we confess that there are few from whom we would sooner take a lesson in the art of living. And though something must be ascribed to a constitutional activity, more may be traced to a scriptural and deepening piety. Even in the days when he frequented a Socinian chapel, the fear of God was before his eyes, and he wished to be more devout than his meagre creed permitted. But when he was graciously guided into the "truth supreme," when in "God manifest in the flesh" he found a resting-place for his spirit and a rapture to his inert convictions, there came a new comfort over his home; and in the personality and affectionateness of this better creed he found fresh beauty in every object, and a new incentive to every exercise. And though it is asking you to form an idea of one departed by showing a lock of hair, yet as a little sample of those pleasant thoughts which blossomed along our London streets as a busy but cheerful Christian trod them, I may read the following:
"Not worlds on worlds in phalanx deep
"For who but He that arch'd the skies,
And pours the day-spring's living flood,
Could form the daisy's purple bud?
Its crimson fringe so nicely spin;
O'er hill and dale and desert sod,
But, perhaps, the finest specimen of living Christianity lately recorded in the medical profession is the instance of Dr HOPE. medical hearers are acquainted with those con
tributions he made to the literature of his science, and of which, of course, I only know by report. But there is something truly sublime, which any reader may appreciate, in that power of application and heroic self-command, to which, under God, he owed his rapid rise and enduring reputation. Averse to the profession, he forced himself to enter it, because it was his father's wish; and, naturally revolting from research into the structure of the corporeal frame, he compelled himself to be a skilful dissector, and became one of the most famous anatomical draughtsmen whom England has yielded. Nor have we a nobler specimen of devoted industry than in the self-denial with which he closed his eyes on magazines and newspapers and amusing literature till his great and laborious works were ended. And there is something spirit-stirring in the swift and steady rise to the high places of the faculty of the youth who came to London with only one private acquaintance there. But the grandest thing of all is to see how this vigorous mind was at once strengthened and softened by the grace of God. Whilst travelling in Italy he got acquainted with a pious English family, and impressed by the happy scene he witnessed there, he wrote to his brother," Whatever the world may say, my dear George, it is a clear case to me that the saints have the laugh on their side. If wishing would add me to their number I would get enrolled to-morrow." And it was not long till he got "enrolled." Soon after his settlement in London he felt constrained to bestow all the energies of his calm and comprehensive intellect on the study of revealed religion; and under the teaching of God's Spirit he was soon guided into a conclusive belief of the great saving truth. To that Divine Redeemer whom he then discovered his soul clave with an affiance which the events of life never shook, and which death only made final; and with a singleness of aim betokening the child of God, he learned to look on every step in his professional rise as an additional advantage for promoting God's glory in the world. And there were three things in his eminently intelligent but no less practical piety which we think can never be too often repeated, nor too much sought after his reverence for the Sabbath, his constant recourse to prayer, and the death by which he glorified God. On the Lord's-day he always attended public worship twice, and he usually contrived to secure several hours for the study of his only theological textbook, the Bible. And so much did he honour the Divine command," Remember the Sabbathday, to keep it holy," that twice over he cheerfully risked his appointment to an important office, rather than canvass, or do "any work" on that day. And rejoicing in God's special providence, believing that to omnipotence there is nothing arduous, and to omniscience nothing too minute, he was a man of prayer. "No work
was commenced without asking for the Divine blessing; no important step taken without applying for the Divine guidance; when harassed by professional vexation, it was by prayer he regained his wonted serenity; and, when surrounded by difficulties and threatened by disappointment, in prayer he found a strength not his own, and submission to the will of God, whatever that might be." And just as his life was devoted to God, so the Lord wonderfully supported his servant when he came to die. In his fortieth year, stricken with a mortal malady, his clear foresight told the end and nearly fixed the date. But having already completed the grand preparation, his main anxiety was to fill up the nine months on which he counted with work that should serve his generation. He continued to practise as long as his strength. permitted, and then stopped, only reserving time to complete two medical memoirs, and as he found that his handbreath would hardly suffice for this purpose, he tried to redeem the ebbing hours by discontinuing his daily exercise. Closing his town residence and bidding good-bye to his patients, he escaped to Hampstead; and though he knew that it was the house where in a few weeks he must take his last look of earth, he never gazed on spring with such youthful glee as the morning after arriving there. He was only once in his carriage after that. It was to visit Highgate Cemetery, and fix all about his funeral. And as, in his own view, the grave was all streaming with the light of immortality, he was anxious that others should see it as he saw it himself, and calling to him his only child, he would say, "You see, Theodore, what a lucky fellow I am. You have your fortune to make; but mine is ready made for me. I am going to my heavenly inheri tance. You know how hard I used to work formerly to get fees for you and mama; but all that is over now-my toil is at an end." The radiance of the better country had so settled all around him that his dearest friends felt heaven open for him; and every indication of nearer departure sensibly cheered himself. His trust was all in Jesus. “I have often taken a practical chapter of the New Testa ment, such as the winding up of one of the Epistles, or the Sermon on the Mount. I have determined to act up to it during the day; but, alas! I often forgot it altogether, and when I did remember it, how miserably did I fall short of it! This, more than anything, showed me the original sin in my nature, and threw me on the promises of Christ. I found it was useless to rest too much on details; but I took fast hold upon the grand leading truth, that Christ is an all-sufficient satisfaction for sin." | And at last one happy midnight, when he found himself dying, he called to his wife and said, "I will not make speeches; but I have two things to say." The first was an affectionate farewell to herself; and in uttering it