Page images
PDF
EPUB

and once more the chief support of the many appears to be provided for us in sufficient quantity. The potato crop seems again to have been very seriously injured ; but we are unable, at the time of our going to press, to feel very certain as to the extent of the injury.

Shall we learn nothing from these plain, yet serious facts ? Does not the Creator intend, by these uncertainties, to bring himself to our recollection ? Shall the weather, the crops, the markets, be in our minds continually, and yet the God on whom they all dependshall He not be in all our thoughts ? Are then seasons, winds, showers, and blights, gods, who can bless us and punish us as they please? Oh, how strangely infidel are our hearts! What saith the word of God ?--“Nevertheless, God left not himself without witness, giving us rain and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with joy and gladness.” To walk through a field of corn in Spring—does not the “springing thereof," and the appropriate season, witness “God is here 2" To see that same green blade become, in August, a splendid waving crop, ready for the sickle, and a season again appropriate to gather it indoes it not afresh witness “God is here ?" And when unpropitious weather threatens to take away the blessing almost grasped_does not the voice of a neglected God make itself heard amid the storm itself, “forgetful man, only remember thy God is here ?" And now, after all the warning notes we have received, what says the treasure spared us in our stacks and fields ?—what? It says aloud to each, The goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance."

Again, “our bread is given us, and our water made sure,"_"the crops are saved ;” but are we saved ? or must we renew the mournful exclamation of the prophet, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved ?” WE for whose sake this supply of food has been given and gathered,—WE whose "life is more precious than the food,"—WE, still not saved. Another time, another season, in which we might have been saved-saved from hourly exposure to eternal ruin,--saved from being afraid to die,-saved from our guilt and sin which make us afraid to die

another harvest, another summer has gone, and we are not saved! We began the summer in neglect of salvation,—we have ended it in neglect. All the herbs meet for the service of man have, in these few months, gone through the changes which have made them meet for the husbandman's garner; but my heart has undergone no change, I am not yet meet to be gathered as wheat into the garner, but rather meet, as chaff, to be burned with unquenchable fire !

Unchanged sinner, you yet live; God, therefore, is still waiting for you to come to him. Another summer, another harvest you may never see; but pardon and peace through the blood of Jesus,-a new heart and new spirit through His almighty grace these you may see, _these you may have,—these your God presses you to seek,-and these will be to you an Eternal Harvest of Salvation.

A WORD TO THE YOUNG.

“HOW CAN I PRAY NOW I AM SO ILL ?”

him waste away.

These, dear young friends, were the words of a dying young man, when he was urged to pray for a new heart, and assured that he could not enter heaven without it. It was then, with a piteous and anxious look, he said, “How can I pray now I am so ill 2"

This youth had been in a Sunday school, and pious teachers had often entreated him to seek the Lord while he might be found, and he had many times convictions and alarms of conscience; but he stifled them all by thinking there would be time enough by and bye. He listened to the suggestion of the devil,—

“Who bids young sinners yet forbear

To think of God and death;
For prayer and devotion are

But melancholy breath." However, before he was twenty years of age, consumption marked him for its victim. Oh, it was distressing to hear him cough, and see

“ His flesh and heart failed;" but he could not say, “God was the strength of his heart, and his portion for ever. We spoke to him of death; but he said, “I should not like to die yet.” We told him to pray; but he said, “How can I pray now I am 80 ill?

This affecting fact is placed before our youthful readers to warn them against procrastination. You are therefore affectionately asked, if you are guilty of the folly of putting off the salvation of your souls till you are laid on a bed of affliction ? What would you think of the man who should put off insuring his house till it was on fire ?--of him who should defer examining his accounts till he became a bankrupt ? -or of one who proposed learning to swim when his ship was wrecked, and himself plunging in the ocean waves ? Now, yours is greater madness than all or any of these. You are exposed to everlasting burnings! You must give an account at the bar of God, of all the deeds you have done in the body! You are in danger of sinking in the waves of divine wrath!

Another individual, who recently died in the same town, and with the same disease, when torn with distressing cough, or prostrated with debility, exclaimed, “Oh, what should I do if I had to seek the Saviour now? But my feet have been on the rock for years, and I am willing to go to him nowthis night if it please him." Compare these caseshow fearful the one; how delightful the other. Surely you will say, “Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his.” But, then, there is another scripture, which demands your attention, and it is this, "To-day, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” And, again, another, “He that being often reproved, hardeheth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy" (Prov. i. 8).

CORNELIUS ELVEN.

ALARM TO SINNERS.

Stop, poor sinner! stop and think,

Before you further go!
Will you sport upon the brink

Of everlasting woe ?
Once again I charge you stop !
For unless you warning take,
Ere you are aware you'll drop

Into the burning lake.

Say, have you an arm like God,

That you his will oppose ?
Fear you not that iron rod

With which He breaks his foes ?
Can you stand in that dread day
When He judgment shall proclaim,
And the earth shall melt away,

Like wax before the flame ?

Pale-fac'd death will quickly come

To drag you to his bar ;
Then to hear your awful doom,

Will fill you with despair:
All your sins will round you crowd,
Sins of blood and erimson dye;
Each for vengeance crying loud,

And what can you reply?

Though your heart be made of steel,

Your forehead lin'd with brass,
God at length will make you feel

He will not let you pass :
Sinners then in vain will call,
(Though they now despise his grace)
Rocks and mountains on us fall,

And hide us from his face.

But, as yet, there is a hope

You may his mercy know;
Though his arm is lifted up,

He still forbears the blow;
'Twas for sinners Jesus died,
Sinners He invites to come;
None who come shall be denied,

He says, There still is room!

Narratives, Anecdotes, &c.

A MONUMENT OF MERCY.

THE NAVIGATOR.

On this eart there are the two extremes of light and darkness; and among human beings who inhabit it, there are the two extremes of moral character—the righteous and the wicked. There are many who answer to the description of inspiration : “Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips; whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace have they not known: there is no fear of God before their eyes.” We have known many such. Let us mention but one.

It was in the summer of 1847, when the Wisbech, St. Ives, and Cambridge line of Railway was in course of formation-a branch of the Eastern Counties—that I first became acquainted with G1. He was a man of herculean stature and make, was about forty years of age, and was employed as an excavator in one of the cuttings between St. Ives and the village of Somersham. While the greater part of the “navvies" have lopped off some of the more objectionable of their habits, and have been advancing some steps (though but few and far between) in the path of civilization and general im. provement, the person to whom I now refer, had brought up with him all the habits of the “navvy” of twenty years back, and evinced no desire whatever to conceal from any body either the deformity of his character, or the mode of life which he chose to adopt. He was well known among the men. He had not slept in a bed for upwards of

When “beer-shops” and “bread-shops” used to be tolerated in public works,* he has very frequently slept soundly on one of the ale benches. His Sabbaths, during that period, were all spent in some such place. He had not been in a place of worship for a longer time than that last-named. He made his swearing, drinking, fighting, and out-of-door sleeping—for all of which he was renowned the subject of loud and oft-repeated boasting. One afternoon, towards the close of last summer, I heard a strange noise, a co-mingling of many voices, at a short distance from the little room in which I was sitting. It was G- - M-, drunk—not an unusual thing. After a little enquiry, I soon made out that he had stipulated, with some person who was present, to throw himself down a well, head first, of the depth of twelve feet, and with but little water in it, for two shil. lings and sixpence. The noise proceeded from the people who were

• They are still allowed by some Contractors,

sixteen years.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

gathered round the well to see him throw himself in. He threw him. self in, and sustained little or no injury. This was the last action of note done by him prior to his conversion. Such was the man!

There was a chapel on the works, built at the expense of S. M. Peto, Esq. I had a house contiguous to the chapel, and was engaged there as I now am at Doncaster, in supplying the railway men with spiritual instruction. On wet days, when the men were unable to work, they would take shelter in the chapel, and I used to speak to them. It kept vast numbers of them from the public-house. It was the day after the circumstance just alluded to, that G

M

- came in with the rest of the men. It was the first time he had been. He looked, as I was speaking to them, exceedingly sorrowful. After having addressed the mass for about half an hour, I had some conversation with him alone. I had often conversed with hiin before. He has said, “ I try to do better, Sir, but my inclinations are too many for me.” He listened this time as he had not listened before. He wept. He talked freely. He said, “I have lived a strange life. The resolutions I have made I have as often broken. I always do worse after resolving to do better. I don't know what to do.” I persuaded him, first of all, to go and get comfortable lodgings, instead of sleeping in the bridge-pit on the work, where he had slept for several weeks; and he did so at once. I invited him to attend our night school, and learn to read and write-for he could do neither-and he accepted the invitation, and came. told him that it was a matter of deep regret to me, that he did not attend a place of worship on the Lord's-day, and asked, “Why don't you come ?” His answer was, “I should like to come, Sir, but I am dis-qualified.” “Dis-qualified,” I said; “why so ?” “I have no clothes to come in,” was the reply. I observed, that he did not mind about fifteen or twenty hundred people, or more, seeing him in the open air, and I could not see why he should mind four or five hundred people seeing him inside a building. He was among the men in the congregation on the following Sabbath. The text preached from was, “Praise ye the Lord.I am not aware of having said any thing specially striking; but God seems to have taken the cause and the sinner into his own hands. After the service he came to me in great distress of mind. “Oh, Sir,” said he, “I think my heart will burst." I enquired into the cause of his uneasiness. He said, “I have found out what never came into my mind before, that I am a great sinner, and that I am going to hell.” I sat down and entered into conversation with him at some length. The arrow of penitential sorrow was evidently fixed in his soul. In one view, all the black catalogue of sinssins committed by him since the commencement of his more profligate career_all, all flashed across his mind. Conscience—that representative of heaven-Waked up like an armed man. He felt, and said, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” The discovery began just where it ought to begin. I tried to lead him to Jesus. I explained to him God's short

« PreviousContinue »