Page images

found him. Oh, when I saw him again, his very looks indicated most plainly the agony of his mind. I endeavoured to bring him to see the fulness of grace which was offered him in the invitations and promises of the gospel. He said, "I am worse and worse; I cannot believe that there is mercy for me. I cannot be more miserable in hell than I am now. I expect to be lost, I have been such a wretch." For several hours I continued to urge him to venture his soul upon the sacrifice of Jesus. I prayed with him several times during the interview; but no relief seemed to be given to his tortured spirit; he frequently exclaimed, in a manner that pierced my very soul, “I shall be lost." Wearied and cast down, I left him, with a promise

to see him early the next morning.

On my next interview, as I entered his room without turning towards him as on former occasions, fearing to discover in his looks the same distress as on the previous evening, his wife said to me, "Don't you see he wants to shake hands with you?" I approached his bed, and was received with a joyous expression of countenance that filled me with utter amazement. As he took my hand, he said, “I am a different man now." I enquired what had produced the change; he replied, "After you left me last night, I thought if I die as I am I shall perish for ever, I will have another try. I began to pray again, in greater agony of mind than ever; and while praying it seemed to me as though a very heavy load had been taken from my body; I opened my eyes to see if I could discover the reason for the change. I thought this must be a delusion. And while reflecting for a moment, that word came to my mind, as though a voice was addressing me, 'Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out;' I felt assured then that I was not deceived, and now I am not afraid to die."

He lived a few days after this period; I saw him frequently, and at every interview, my conviction of the safety of his condition was increased. In my last conversation with him, he said, "If you think it worth while to say any thing about me when I am gone, I wish you to warn young men against the FIRST GLASS. A few years ago, I was a teacher in the Sabbath-school. At that time, I was much concerned about my soul. One Sabbath afternoon, after the labours of the day, several of my fellow-teachers proposed a walk into the country. After walking a considerable distance, and feeling weary, it was agreed that we should call at a public-house and take some refreshment; I objected to this as improper on the Lord's-day. My objection was overcome, and we entered the house, which was full of company. On the following Sabbath, we took the same direction for recreation, and again called at the same house for a glass of ale. I found on this occasion, that the company and the place were less disagreeable to me than on the previous Sabbath. From this time I occasionally visited the ale-house, and neglected the Sabbath-school, until

I became a drunkard. I entered earnestly into the political discussions of the day. I began to question the truth of the Bible, and hated in my heart the professors of religion. And," he added, "for the last two years nothing has been brought into this house but what has been obtained (pointing to his wife, who sat near him) by that woman. It was that first glass that has brought my body to the grave, and well nigh ruined my soul."

His sin against his convictions, in the first instance, hardened his heart, and prepared him for deeper degradation, until finding the bible and its professors condemned him, he denied the one and hated the other, that he might escape from his conscience, and go more easily down to perdition.


WHAT! REFUSE ETERNAL LIFE!-What! refuse eternal life! reject a kingdom! and in their stead take death, and shame, and weeping as thy portion?-prefer an eternity of darkness to an eternity of light!-turn away from an open paradise, and choose the desolation of the everlasting wilderness! Does not all this seem incredible, impossible? Meanwhile the day is wearing on. The shadows of the night that has no morn beyond it are falling down upon you. "There is sorrow on the sea, and it cannot be quiet" (Jer. xlix. 23). The world is growing old; and the cry of its transgression is going up, like the cry of Abel's blood, demanding speedy vengeance. That cry must soon be heard; for the sole reason of delay is the long-suffering of God, "Not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Pet. iii. 9).—What, then, are you to do, who are still unsaved and unsheltered? Will pleasure be pleasure then; or will it not be gall and wormwood? Will the world's gay glitter continue then to bewilder you? Where will be the spell of its beauty, the music of its siren song? They "are not ;" and "in one hour thou art made desolate." Its blossoms have gone up as dust; and its joys are forgotten dreams. The freshness of youth has faded; the ties of kindred are broken; the gladness of companionship is at an end; the greetings of neighbourhood have ceased; the voices of home are silent; and the old familiar melodies of earth have died away. All have been "covered with a cloud" in the day of the fierce anger of the Lord! And for thee, unsaved one, there remaineth nought but the everlasting darkness which no star shall gladden, and on which no hope shall arise. The judgment seemed long in coming; thou wert hoping that it would never arrive. But it has come at last. And its coming is the final quenching of all hope to thee!-Bonar.

A WORD IN SEASON.-An eminent minister, on one occasion, seeing a young man in a pew uneasy, he turned towards one of the members in the gallery, and said aloud, "Brother, do you repent of coming to Christ ?" "No, Sir," he replied, "I never was happy till then; I only repent that I did not come to him sooner." He then turned to the opposite gallery, and addressed himself to an aged member. "Brother, do you repent that you came to Christ ?" "No, Sir," said he, "I have known the Lord from my youth up." He then looked down upon the young man, whose attention was fully engaged, and said, "Young man, are you willing to come to Christ ?" This unexpected address so affected him, that he sat down and hid his face. The minister repeated it, "Young man, are you willing to come to Christ?" With a tremulous voice he replied, "Yes, Sir." "But when, Sir?" added the minister, in a solemn and loud tone. He mildly answered, "Now, Sir." "Then stay," said he, "and hear the word of the Lord, 'Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.' At the close of the service, the young man went into the vestry dissolved in tears, decided for God, and afterwards joined the church in company with his father and mother. Reader, will you come to Christ, and when?


A SOLEMN FACT. Our opinions, experience, and practice will have to do with us beyond the narrow limits of time. They will have an influence upon our state when time itself shall be no more. Yes, when your body shall be mouldering in the grave. Yes, when the blast of the last trump shall be heard. Yes, when all shall appear in judgment, and shall stand before the great white throne. Yes, when the final separation shall take place between the righteous and the wicked. Yes, when as many millions of years shall have passed away as there are atoms in the universe. Then your present opinions, experience, and practice, will have to do with you. Then, if these shall be found dross, you will find yourself in hell for ever and ever! but if these are found genuine, you will find yourself happy-inexpressibly happy-in heaven. Reader, is not this a solemn fact?

AN APPEAL.Poor sinner, awake; Eternity is coming, and his Son, they are both coming to judge the world; awake, art yet asleep, poor sinner? let me set the trumpet to thine ear once again. The heavens will be shortly on a burning flame, the earth and the works thereof shall be burnt up, and then wicked men shall go into perdition; dost thou hear this, sinner? Hark, again, the sweet morsels of sin will then be fled and gone, and the bitter burning fruits of them only left; what sayest thou to that, sinner? Canst thou drink hell fire? Will the wrath of God be a pleasant dish to thy taste? This must be thine every day's meat and drink in hell, sinner." Bunyan.


What we mentioned as almost certain, has now been done. These awfully wicked murderers are no more. The manslayers have been slain by man. Those who presumed to send their fellow-mortal by violence to the bar of the Eternal Judge, have also been sent thither by violence themselves. They allowed no "room for repentance" to their unhappy victim, and but little room for repentance was allowed to them. They took life through avarice; Society has taken their's in retribution. They did not hesitate to kill in cold blood; but Government has also its regular agent for killing in cold blood, and he has done it and has done it, for how much per week? We have often thought, that the Government officer for killing in cold blood, ought to be an individual of the highest rank,-ought to be a man whose unquestioned character might shew that the noblest virtues sanctioned the deed;—that the Hangman should be an officer of equal rank with the Lord Chancellor at least, as one to whose hands was intrusted by far the most solemn act a mortal can perform;-that such officer ought to be present at every trial for a capital offence,-and that he ought to be satisfied, as well as the Jury, that he has a right to strangle the criminal. But could such a man be found? And why not? Russian and Turkish emperors have beheaded men themselves, and prided themselves in doing it dexterously! Yes; but christian sentiments utterly revolt at it. Sentiments which rise so far above the law of "like for like," which regard Death as a summons to the bar of the Final Judge, and therefore leave to him also the right to issue it; which recognise an atonement adequate to remove the guilt of the vilest penitent, and which shudder therefore at cutting off any from repentance, sentiments like these revolt from taking even the murderer's life. A christian may do any deed of "necessity and mercy;" but does society need the murderer's death? Have not murders increased rather than diminished, notwithstanding capital punishments? Is it not worth while to try for a few years, the effect of cutting off the murderer from liberty instead of life? Let him be for life excluded from society,-let him lose every gratification he has been accustomed to, let him do enough to earn his livelihood, that he burden not the community, and we think that most murderers would dread more the certainty of a joyless life, and a death in prison, than the chance of conviction and execution. Be this as it may, we regard the profession of man-killing, whether in the hands of the Duke of Wellington or of Hangman Calcraft, as the most unchristian, and even the lowest, by which men can earn either splendid estates or weekly wages. We consider public executions to be such demoralising scenes, that we feel it to be our duty, even in this periodical, to appeal to our reader's better feelings and judgment against them.

[blocks in formation]

ESCAPED WHAT? Agonising pain-prostrating sicknessviolent death.

HOW HAVE YOU ESCAPED? Was your neighbourhood exempt? Was your home unmolested? Was your person unattacked? Or, amidst many families, have you alone stood upright? While father and mother have perished, have you alone been spared? After suffering pain and prostration, have you recovered?

TO WHAT DO YOU ATTRIBUTE YOUR ESCAPE? To your general healthiness? but many healthy have fallen. To your youth? but many younger than you have been cut down. To the air in which you live? but who controls this? Shall we not rather attribute your escape to that God alone who “killeth and maketh alive."

FOR WHAT PURPOSE HAVE YOU ESCAPED? 1. To prepare for eternity: "Seek ye the Lord while He may be found; call ye upon Him while He is near." In the day of trouble we need a friend at hand, and not a friend to seek. "Give glory to the Lord your God (therefore) before He cause darkness." 2. To serve the Lord more entirely. "I beseech you by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service."

FOR HOW LONG HAVE YOU ESCAPED? A year? a day? an hour? "What is your life? it is a vapour, which appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away."

HOW WILL YOU ESCAPE THE SECOND DEATH? There is one only way; it is through Christ. "No man (saith He) cometh unto the Father but by me." Salvation is to be found no where else; "For there is none other name given among men whereby we must be saved." Christ is an all-sufficient refuge; believe in Him, therefore, and you will be saved from this death also. "He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and he that liveth and believeth in me, shall never die " (that is, eternally).

« PreviousContinue »