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soul, and I will now give it thee: “ The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
“ How Far IS IT TO Canaan?" asks the persecuted Christian, "for I am an outcast from my family, a stranger upon earth; like my Lord, I am despised and rejected of men. Many are they that rise up against me, and they hate me with a cruel hatred.'”
Hold on thy way, persecuted Christian: it is a safe one and a blessed one, yea, the one thy Redeemer trod before thee. Dost thou want a word of consolation ? I will give it; lay it upon thy bosom: “Blessed are ye when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy; for behold, your reward is great in heaven.”
“How FAR IS IT to Canaan?" sighs the bereaved Christian, "for I am a lonely and desolate pilgrim. All that were dear to me on earth are taken away. My tears have been my meat day and night, and my soul yearns for the land where there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying.”—Pass on, bereaved Christian: the more lonely thy pilgrimage, the sweeter thy reception at the end. The Lord, whom thou seekest, hath a special care and pity for his desolate ones. Take these words with thee, and they may refresh thy spirit; even though they be desolate: “The redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion, and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.
“ How FAR IS IT TO CANAAN ?” asks the dying Christian, “for the swellings of Jordan are risen about my
soul. Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, • and the terrors of death are fallen
mei Alas! I sink in deep waters, I shall not see the land that flows with milk and honey.” Look up, poor dying Christian: seel yonder is the bright and morning Star; thy night is far spent, and the day is at hand. Is thine arm too feeble to be put forth for the Book of God? then I must even hold it up before thine eyes. Look on these words, and let neither flood nor flame affright thee; be of good courage, for they are the words of Him who has promised, when flesh and heart fail, to be the strength of thy heart, and thy portion for ever: “When thou passeth through the waters I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour.'
THE CANADIAN MILLER AND HIS WIFE.
A DETAIL OF FACTS.
At the distance of about nine miles from the city of
-, in Lower Canada, situated in a shady dell, is an old French grist-mill, once the property of the order of Jesuits, but now belonging to the British government. It is so much sheltered, that though near the main road, it might easily be passed by without notice; and, when seen, is so rude, that the traveller's attention would not readily be drawn to it. The neighbourhood is altogether Roman Catholic for many miles round.
A cross-road passes by the door of this old-fashioned building, along which the author was in the habit of passing, in going to and returning from his missionary duties among the Protestant settlers, in the rear of the mountain chain which forms the northern barrier of the valley of the St. Lawrence. There was nothing whatever to induce the belief that in this retired and unlikely spot might be found subjects for the grace of God; yet I never passed by the door without being struck with the conviction that I had work to do for the Lord within those walls. It seemed as though a voice had said to me, “ You must stop here, and sow the seed which will spring up unto everlasting life.” So strong was this conviction, that, after having mentioned it to several
friends, I resolved to make the necessary inquiries the next time I passed.
It was a cold wintry day when I drew up my cariole at the door of the little mill, and inquired who lived there. To my delight the answer was, in English, “Mr. T., the miller, and his family.” I asked to see him, and presently a tall, stout man, stood before me. “I am the Rev. Mr. S., the Protestant missionary. “O sir!" was his answer, “I am glad to see you; pray come in. My poor wife is, I am afraid, dying, and will be pleased to see you. We have seen none of
your profession since we have come here; pray come in.” I entered through the mill, into a small room, where, extended on a pallet bed, lay a woman, apparently not far removed from death. My time was short, for I had a long distance to travel, and night was coming on. So after a few inquiries as to her bodily health, I turned the conversation, and entered the main subject of importance—the state of her soul, and her future expectations.
I found that she and her husband had lived for several years out of reach of the public means of grace. They had come from the neighbouring state of where, I fear, the Gospel is at a low ebb. They had thence removed from place to place, not like Abraham, by the call and direction of God, but as fancy or the prospect of worldly advantages allured. As might be supposed, this was not the way for keeping up personal, heartfelt religion; and I found, without surprise, that none of it existed here. Mrs. T. had, indeed, been brought up by pious parents, who had warned her against the temptations of a world of sin, of the need of a Saviour, and of continual applications to the throne of grace; but in their wanderings all had been forgotten. Here, in consequence, were children unbaptized, the Bible laid aside, private prayer neglected, and family worship unknown. The Lord's sabbaths not only unobserved, but profaned: the natural and unfailing results of such conduct wherever it is met with.
Upon entering, however, into conversation with
Mrs. T., I soon found that I had been led to this retired spot only to complete the work which the Lord had already begun. Mrs. T. was even now under conviction of sin, bewailing the corruption of her heart, and affected with deep, and as it proved, sincere repentance. But, as it often happens when the heart is first touched, she was a legalist, seeking salvation through her own works; not indeed altogether, but what is equally dangerous and dishonourable to Christ, in connexion with his merits. She conceived that she must needs “do many things” to entitle her to the mercies of Christ; being ignorant of the precious truth, that our best and only claim to those mercies is the sincere conviction that we are lost and undone sinners, totally unable to save ourselves, or to do any, the least thing, towards our own salvation; that our only hope and dependence is in him; that his work is complete in itself, and could only be marred by any addition of
After trying to remove Mrs. T.'s fears, and directing her to place her whole trust in the merits of Christ, i read to her some of the numerous portions of Scripture which support the comforting doctrine of justification through faith alone. I then called the family together, and prayed with and for them, beseeching the Lord to carry on the work he had already begun, and to bless my poor endeavours to his own glory and the good of the souls before me. I left some tracts on the bed, and was retiring, when Mrs. T. called me back to express her wishes that I would call in on my return, and baptize her two children, of between three and four years old, whom she had hitherto kept from baptism, under the idea that she herself was not good enough to have her children admitted into covenant with God! Already, by the grace of Christ, was this error removed from her mind, and she was now as anxious to have this sacrament administered as she had hitherto been to prevent it. Already she had begun to see the allsufficiency of Christ, and the fulness and comfort of the doctrine of justification by his merits, through faith. Nor were the proofs of faith wanting. Her heart was overflowing with love, and her most anxious desire was, that all who were near and dear to her on earth, should be drawn near to God, and be brought within the pale of salvation. She opened out all her mind to me, and entreated that I would use my influence with her husband to turn him from the error of his ways unto the Lord, who bought him. He bad, she said, fallen of late into bad company, and had begun to drink ardent spirits, and the very next day intended to break the sabbath by going out to hire a servant, at a distance of several miles from home. I took him apart, and warned him of his error: but my words seemed to have no effect; and I drove away with mingled grief and joy.
On my return, I called again at the mill. Mrs. T., though still fearfully weak and feeble, was somewhat better; she had found opportunity to read the tracts, and, in warm terms, expressed the comfort she bad de rived from them. We soon entered into further conversation on the one great subject. The children were baptized. I read another portion of the word of life, and prayed by her bedside; but Mr. T. did not make bis appearance. I inquired for him, and found that he had not returned from his Sunday's excursion. I feared he might have met with some severe accident, perhaps have perished in the snow, and waited in the hope of seeing him return. But he came not; and the closing in of evening compelled me to leave his poor suffering wife in doubt and suspense. I learned afterwards, that conscience had been at work with him also; that he knew he was acting wrong in spending the Lord's day as he did; and that between shame and fear, he had purposely protracted his stay until he thought I should have left the mill; and that towards nightfall, I had passed him on my way home, lying drunk at the bottom of his cariole. His wish was to escape from the stings of conscience, and the piercings of "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; but the hand of the Lord was upon him to save him. Again I saw and spoke with him, and this time, by God's