« 이전계속 »
During the last six months of his life, he became very weak, and Satan tried him frequently by causing him to see sights, and hear sounds, which were only in his imagination, and which afflicted his purified and honest heart. He had heard, with much sorrow, of the people called socialists, who dare to say, “there is no God;" and of the chartists, who rebel against government, and refuse “to render unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's.” Hugh Proverbs knew that the Bible says, “ Fear God, honour the king;" and when there was much talk in Gloucestershire, of Rebecca and her daughters, who broke the toll bars down in Wales, he cried out, “ Sbaine upon such rioters."
Now, in his weakness, he fancied himself assailed by unbelievers and rioters; and clothed in heavenly armour, and with a stern grieved voice, he would say, 6. I do not like you, I will not listen to you; you
ask me to change my religion; I will not: my religion is Jesus Christ and him crucified. You want me to break out against the laws; I will not. I have tried never to injure my neighbour, I never will.” Then with uplifted hands and eyes, he cried out, “Good Lord, deliver me! Good Lord, deliver my old wife from these wicked foes!"
Sometimes Satan seemed to raise in his fancy a violent storm of thunder and lightning, and for a time he appeared alarmed at the terrors of the Lord; but soon a heavenly calm returned, and he murmured, “ Fear not, little flock, it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”
But his happiest delirium was that in which he kept company with the patriarch Jacob and his flock. There seemed a fellow-feeling between them-each holy and heavenly-minded; each following the labours of the field; both lame, halting on the thigh. He used to say aloud, “I'll help thee, Jacob; we'll drive the flock to the top of the hill. 'Tis a steep hill, but how beautiful the view from the top! How glorious, Jacob, when once we've reached the hill top!"
Peggy was with her father when he died: the good child, who had honoured him, and nourished him, and comforted him, was permitted to close his eyes:
One morning last spring, at five o'clock, he begged to be turned in his bed, and to have his mouth moistened. Peggy rose quickly, and saw him changed in countenance, and waked her mother, who was sleeping soundly by his side. Firmly he again repeated those words with which he had so often resisted the enemy, “Good Lord, deliver me," and then he passed away to enjoy with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the paradise of God.
Rich and poor stood round his coffin, and gazed on his fine old face, and repeated to each other, "He was a good man; we shall not soon see his like again.”
He was followed to his grave by a large company of those who revered his character. Being rich in faith, and an heir of the kingdom which God hath promised to them that love him, his memory is blessed.
“Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.
MAN'S LAST DAY.
Our last day! How many reflections and associations crowd upon our minds at the mention of those words ! Sometimes the thoughts connected with the last day of some particular series are pleasing, and sometimes they are painful; but they are always striking and noticeable. We remember, when we were children, how much we thought of the last day of the school term; next fortnight, or next week, or to-morrow is the last day, sad or joyous to us, in proportion to the pleasantness or irksomeness of school confinement. The last day of the year--what solemn feelings it is calculated to produce within our minds ! One more year has fled-its events are numbered with the past. One year less have we in which to prepare for eternity: its last moment has sped—its last opportunity gonel The last day of one's Life—what a solemn day is that! We look upon some person upon whose frame disease has fastened. We see him in his gradual decline--we feel that the lamp of life is wasting away, and that his last day has dawned upon him! Earthly joys will soon no more animate him-earthly hopes no more excite him-earthly sorrows no more depress him. His time to serve God and prepare for eternity has gone. The golden bowl is broken, the pitcher is broken at the fountain, and the wheel at the cistern. The dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit to God who gave it. Higher joys than those of earth, or deeper sorrows, are now his inheritance. Hope is lost in heavenly fruition, or in black despair. The last day of our mortal life -- what a day!
THE WORLD'S LAST DAY.
As to every individual there is a last day, so there is a last day to the world. That long series of succession of centuries and ages, which we call worldwith its teeming generations and its great events-must end! This hoary-headed world must have a last day! And what a succession of great and small events will then terminate! Kingdoms rising and falling -nations springing into notice from rude, unnoticeable beginnings, spreading themselves forth and becoming mighty empires, themselves in their turn to be overthrown and give place to others more mighty. That wonderful, and complicated, and mysteriously efficient system of divine operations called providence will then be complete. We can then look back upon many events, seemingly dark and inexplicable, and see God in them, accomplishing great and eternally glorious results. This succession of events, great and small—this rise and fall, growth and decay, of individuals, of families, and of nations—will then terminate. The day of the Lord will consummate the history of this world.
That history will then be consummated—but not forgotten. What reminiscences of events once regarded as trivial-entirely forgotten - will rush upon the minds of the vast multitudes who will then stand before the "great white throne !" All actions, all words, all thoughts, which have been done, and spoken, and con
templated, will then come up in review. How well as one said,
“ Great day, for which all other days were made!” How many days of folly and nights of dissipation must then be accounted for! How many days wickedly wasted in sluggish idleness! How many days misspent, energies squandered, time thrown away on what had much better been left undone! How many days spent in accumulating treasures, merely to be burned up in the final conflagration! Oh time! what a treasure it will appear, when it is all spent--in how many cases misspent! Looking back from that point, how many hours, how many days would we annihilate, were it possible, and consign to everlasting oblivion the record of their deeds! It cannot be--it cannot be! Those days, those actions, those words, we must meet face to face ! “For we must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ, that every one may receive according to the things he hath done in the body, whether it be good or bad. “For every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
A poor woman was born at Denbigh, in 1708, who was unable to read; for, to use her own expression, “ There were none of these blessed Sunday-schools in my days.” However, when a hundred years old, she continued to attend divine worship; she could hear, though she could not read. Though so very old, she wished to learn to read, and we shall now state in her own words the way
in which this desire was fulfilled : Why, you see, when I used to go to the old church, many of the folks that used to come would sometimes offer me a book, and dear heart, I could not read; and I was ashamed to refuse it. Besides there was a very pretty psalm they had used to sing, and I thought I should like to learn it; but then I could not read. So I came home one day, and I told my daughter that I
was determined to read; but she thought it was too late. However, I went to a neighbour, and asked him if he would teach me a lesson, and he promised he would. Accordingly I went to him every day, and when I had tired him with one lesson, I would go to another neighbour for another; and in this way I got on by little and little. When they were building the school-house in this neighbourhood I told my daughter I would go to it as soon as it was ready; and as soon as they opened it I used to go every day for a lesson ; and the little lads would come here on a night, and first one would teach me and then another, till I had tired all. Then, when the Sunday-school was removed into this street, I used to go every Sunday to say my lesson, and some of the scholars would come in now and then to teach me; and so, from one thing to another, you see, at last I learned to read.”
By the time she had attained her 105th year she could read tolerably well. She took a great interest in the Sunday-school, in which her great grandchildren were taught as well as herself. She said once, “I wish the children may all take the right road; they will all have reason to bless God for it, dear little lambs. I hope the Lord will carry his blessed work into their hearts; it is a fine opportunity for them, and I hope they will all be the better for it.”
Many of them were in the habit of calling to see her, and she seldom failed to give them good advice; and to reprove them if they were giddy, or showed a love for fine clothes or sinful amusements.
She was able to read her Testament without spectacles until she was 107 years
In her 109th year she died in peace, trusting in that Saviour wbose word she so dearly loved.
PSALM LXXI. 9. 66 Cast me not off in the time of old age.” Can we say with one of old, “O God, thou hast taught me from my youth;" “thou art my hope, O Lord God;