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A BRAND PLUCKED OUT OF THE FIRE. On Monday, January 22nd last, a young woman, a vicar's daughter, called upon me to ask if I would visit a Miss Townsend, who resided in the house with her, and was dying of consumption. I asked what state of mind she was in. “Oh," she replied, "in very dreadful distress, fearing she will be lost! Will you please come ?” I said, “Why does she wish me to come ?" Her reply was,
" An aunt of her's, some months back, came from the country, and found the chapel in Thistle Grove, and told her of you. I have had great trouble to find you. Will you come soon?” I then said, “To-morrow morning I hope to see her."
When I went to visit her, the first interview gave me some hope there was life in her soul, but she was hopeless, and her distress was great. I felt liberty in tęstifying of the grace of the Gospel, but she could not receive it. I often saw her after this, but no change, only that she appeared to grow worse in her feelings. My wife and I called upon her alternately, and a young member of our Church, a German convert from Catholicism, saw her twice, and told her what great trouble of soul fell upon him, and how the Lord delivered him, which she appeared glad to hear. Yet still her bitter cry was, " Mercy! mercy! None for me!” The Church clergyman called at the house, and he told her that she had no faith, which she said she painfully knew and felt. She told him that she felt her sins were too great to be pardoned. He said, “Then you make Christ a liar." After this interview she did not-indeed, would not-see him any more. Then she fell into the despairing thought that she had sinned against the Holy Ghost, but I endeavoured to show her, by the Word of truth, that it was impossible to have sinned that sin, and yet be suing for mercy at the feet of Christ, as she was.
When I next saw her, I said, “Now, my child, do you feel that. you have sinned that sin?” She said, “No; that is taken from me; but the sins of my life are heavy upon me. Do you think God will have mercy upon me?” I said, “How sorry should I be to encourage any false hope in you, but I believe He will." Yet, how my faith in her case was dashed upon every visit, as she was worse and more hopeless every time! Her mother is an honestminded woman, and has light in the truth (her mother was a. gracious woman, and suffered much persecution for the truth's sake), and would say to me at the door when leaving, “ Well, do you see any change ? I am sure she will perish in her sins, if she dies in this state; " so I left the house every time with a burdened heart, not knowing if she would live through the day.
Thus she continued until Monday, February 26th, when I felt very tried about her. I may say I travailed in pain for her soul,
and said to my wife, who had just left her, “My mind is much upon Matthew xviii. 19. I should like to get Mr. B- and Mr. G— [two of the members of our Church] to meet me, and pray for her deliverance." But my wife said, “I fear it is too late. She is so weak, and appears sinking.” “Well,” I said, “ the place does not signify."
The next day, Tuesday, she was still alive, and, being prayermeeting night, those two very men only, as praying men, were there, except a young member, and I named the case, and the trial of it, hoping it would be laid on their minds; and it was, for they both prayed very earnestly for her. When we came out, I said to Mr. B- “How glad I was to see you there this evening !” He said, “Well, it is a wonder that I was, for I made up my mind to stay with my aged father, as he is ill; but I had a feeling come over me to be here, and so I went, and asked the landlady to see to my father while I came." I felt and said, “Now, I hope the Lord is in it for mercy." The next morning I saw the poor girl, and for the last time;
Ι but, to my sorrow, she was more troubled than ever, and piteously exclaimed, “I am dying, and am lost!” My heart was too full to say much, but I said to her, “ Christ came to save the lost, and there my hope rests;” and, with a look of farewell left her, feeling, “Oh, if she sinks to hell, what endless groans and misery !”
At eight o'clock that evening, she clasped her hands, looked up, and said, “And wilt Thou not forgive a dying sinner?” Her mother said, “ Maude, do you feel to have any hope ?” She replied, “A little, a little ; but oh, so little !” She lay quiet until two in the morning, and then, in the most bitter agony, broke out in shrieks of anguish that (although she lay in a back room) could be heard in the street. “Hell ! Misery! I am falling into hell! No mercy for me !" and these bitter cries continued an hour and a half, and, with wringing her hands, her nails went into her flesh. At half-past three she clasped her hands, looked up, and, as for the last time, cried out, “ Wilt Thou not have mercy ? Wilt Thou not forgive ? Hast Thou no love ? " and then she became still. Her countenance changed. All appearance of sorrow and despair left her, and a smile of delight was on her face. Her mother said,
My dear, what is it ?” She replied, “God's light and love are come! Oh, it is heaven! it is love! Do send for Mr. and Mrs. Brandon. I have much to tell
Oh, mother, I have much to tell you, but am so weak!” She then laid her head on the other side, and, before the clock struck four, she was gone to be “ for ever with the Lord.” She was just twenty-one years of age.
It was with a feeling of deep thankfulness I laid her in the grave on the following Wednesday. How good the Lord is! He
does not come too soon to prevent profitable exercise for His glory and our soul's good, and never comes too late to save.
“Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood
Shall never lose its power
Be saved to sin no more.
And Christ the Lord lives, His Word to fulfil ;
* These little ones perish ! no, never ! no, never !'"* Chelsea.
ORIGIN OF THE WORD “TRIBULATION." The Latin “ tribulan," from which we derived word " tribulation," was the threshing instrument whereby the husbandman separated the corn from the husks; and tribulation, its primary significance, was the act of this separation. Thus adversity (being the appointed means for the separating in men of whatever is light and trivial from the solid and the true) has been called “tribulation.” The following graceful composition, from the pen of George Withers, a poet of the seventeenth century, is quoted as being an excellent illustration of the expansion of this word
“ Till from the straw the flail the corn doth beat,
Until the chaff is purgèd from the wheat ;
Oh, the waste of prayer for things not worth praying for! Abundance may be the worst thing for us spiritually and eternally. Give us all needs for our true good ; only let all lead us to Thee and away from self. Raise us higher in the true scale-in Thy sight.
* Matthew xviii, 14.
A BROTHERLY EPISTLE. MY DEAR FRIEND,- .The Lord be with thee, even the Lord who hath chosen Jerusalem.”
I am glad that I do possess a place in the affections of your people, although I do not see why it should be, nor how, for I do indeed feel myself quite unworthy of such a tender habitation. I am also glad that the enemy is not allowed to put the glass of jealousy before your eye. I do indeed see no spiritual reason why we should be jealous in this respect. The holy angels feel no jealousy among themselves, and holy men have said, “I must decrease and He must increase.” “ He that hath the bride is the Bridegroom, and the friend of the Bridegroom rejoiceth greatly because of the Bridegroom's voice; this my joy therefore is fulfilled.” If we are labourers together with God, and fully know that we can do nothing only as God useth us, we shall lose sight of our own honour, as coming from one another, and seek the honour that cometh from God only. If I could always work upon this principle, and act according to this rule, what a host of pains I should be spared; but, alas ! I am often snared in the work of my own hands. “Méditation”-how this hinders my faith in Jesus ! “How can ye believe that seek honour one from another?" You perhaps have long ago got a great victory over these things, yet you must bear with the simplicity of a child. I find it a very difficult thing to lean wholly upon Christ, to look singly to Him, and entirely away from every other object--to be indeed dead. How happy I should be if I could wholly cease from myself! I do indeed feel that I need Christ in His intercessory work at the golden altar of incense as much as at the altar of burnt offering, to bear the iniquity of my most holy things. Oh, for that living practical knowledge of Him which enables those who possess it to make that use of Him that God intends!.... May the Lord of hosts furbish and sharpen His sword, and teach you how to
Yours very sincerely, March 29th, 1881.
J. W. W.
HYPOCRISY.-A true Christian and a hypocrite may both of them come to a stand in their course, through temptation; but there is this difference—the true Christian is like a watch that was going right, but some dust clogs its wheels. Directly it is removed, the watch will go right again. The hypocrite is like a watch which is so badly made that it stands, or goes wrong from its very nature ; and the only cure is to give it a new inside. Salter.
EVERLASTING PUNISHMENT. [The following extracts are taken from a tract sent us by the author, a clergyman of the Church of England, who had it printed for private circulation only. We hope many deluded ones may feel the power of those truths which are here so plainly stated. -Ed.] This doctrine, so plainly set forth in Scripture, is in these last days denied by many, and even by some who seem* to be taught of God, and who profess to teach to others the truth of God, as revealed in His Word. One would think that, without any argument at all on the subject, some few plain passages of Scripture would prove the truth of "everlasting punishment” for sin, and therefore also the eternal existence of such as are punished.
Perhaps there is no place of Scripture stronger to the point than that in Matthew xxv. 46 : “ These shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal.” Here the eternity both of the “punishment” and of the “life" is expressed by the same Greek word, so that both must stand or fall together. Any argument to lessen the force of “everlasting punishment," as applied to the unrighteous, will equally lessen the force of eternal life," as applied to the righteous.
But this plain text as to the eternity of punishment is further strengthened by the Lord's solemn words in Mark ix. 43—48, where He thrice makes mention of "hell fire ” as the portion of offending sinners, adding this, “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched."
Again, in 2 Thessalonians i. 8, 9, the Holy Ghost tells us by the Apostle that " everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord” shall be the portion of such as “know not God, and obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Again, in Jude 7, the sinners in Sodom and Gomorrah are spoken of as " set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire ;” and in the same Epistle, after a solemn mention of sinners and their sins, it is added, “ to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever” (ver. 13).
It may be added that the parable of the rich man in the torments of hell (Luke xvi. 23) would lose all its force, all its intended instruction, if he were not in torments out of which he could never pass— from which he could never be delivered. And why had it been good for Judas if he had never been born (Matt. xxvi. 24), supposing there were any termination to the punishment due to the enormity of his sin ?
Now, these few Scriptures are more than sufficient to convince such as do simply submit themselves to the Word of God, laying
* The Spirit of God always teaches sterling truth.