Abbildungen der Seite

for his presumption in touching the ark, this man was smitten by the hand of the Lord.

Chap. xiv, ver. 1, 2.-And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews, and also of the Greeks, believed. But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren.

About the beginning of 1825, Mr. King, the American missionary, spent about six months in Tyre, in Syria, and made some efforts to establish a school there for the instruction of Tyrian females. He was very near succeeding, when one of the principal priests rose up and said, “ It is by no means expedient to teach women to read the word of God. It is better for them to remain in ignorance, than to know how to read and write. They are quite bad enough with what little they know ; teach them to read and write, and there would be no living with them." These arguments were sufficient to convince all the Greek and Catholic population of the impropriety of female education.

Chap. xiv, ver. 15.-- We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you, that ye

should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein.

When the French ambassador visited the illustri. ous Bacon in his last illness, and found him in bed with the curtains drawn, he addressed this fulsome compliment to him : “ You are like the angels of whom we hearand read much, but bave not the pleas. ure of seeing them.”—The reply was the sentiment of a philosopher, and language not unworthy of a Christian--" If the complaisance of others compares me to an angel, my infirmities tell me I am a man."

Chap. xv, ver. 1, 2.-And certain men which came down from Judea, taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem into the apostles and elders about this question.

A gentleman, who was in company with the late Rev. John Newton of London, lamented the violent disputes that often take place among Christians respecting the non-essentials of Christianity, and particularly church government. “Many," be said, "seem to give their chief attention to such topics, and take more pleasure in talking on these disputable points, than on spiritual religion, the love of Christ, and the privileges of his people. “Sir," said the venerable old man, “ did you ever see a whale ship? I am told that when the fish is struck with the harpoon, and feels the smart of the wound, it sometimes makes for the boat, and would probably dash it to pieces. To prevent this, they throw a cask over board; and when it is staved to pieces, they throw over another. “Now, sir,” added Mr. Newton, “ church government is the tub wbich Satan has thrown over to the people of whom you speak.”

Chap. xv, ver. 11.-But we believe that, through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, we shall be saved, even as they.

The late Rev. Andrew Fuller, one day during his last illness, complained of great depression and sinking, saying that he must die. A friend replied, " I do not know of any person, sir, who is in a more enviable situation than yourself; a good man on the verge of a blessed immortality.” He humbly acqui

[ocr errors]

esced, and hoped it was so; and then lifting up his hands, exclaimed, “If I am saved, it must be by great sovereign grace,-by great sovereigo grace."

Chap. xv, ver. 36.-And some days after, Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do.

It is observed of Dr. Doddridge, that before he went to visit his friends, and especially before be undertook a journey, it was his custom to employ some time in seriously considering what opportunities he might have of doing good, that he might be prepared to embrace and improve them; to what temptations be might be exposed, that he might be armed against them; and on bis return he examined himself, what his behaviour had been, and whether he had most reason for pain or pleasure on the reflection; and his previous and subsequent reflections were attended with correspondent devotions.

Chap. xvi, ver. 14.-And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us; whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended to the things which were spoken of Paul.

The late Rev. John Patison of Edinburgh, having occasion to preach on a Sabbath day in Dundee, bad previously to bis leaving home, laid aside, and ordered to be packed up with some other necessary articles, a certain note-book, wbich contained a sermon, on which the good man had bestowed considerable pains, and which he hoped might not be unacceptable to a congregation of Christians, who then enjoyed the stated labors of the late excellent Mr. M.Ewen. On his arrival in Dundee, however, which was not till the Saturday evening, and on examining the contents of his saddle-bags, he found the pote-book want

ing, nor had any other been substituted in its place. He was, therefore, late as it was, obliged to make choice of a new subject, and to cast his thoughts together upon it, in the best manner he could ; and, after all his pains, and all bis prayers, was not a little apprehensive that such defective preparation would not only affect the respectability of his appearance in the pulpit, but in some measure mar the success of his work. Not by might," bowever," nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord.” It happened in adorable providence, on the afternoon of that Sabbath, that a poor fish-woman, notorious for clamor and profanity, stumbled into the meeting, and felt the sermon, particularly in the application, come bome with such life and peculiar energy to her soul, as instantly to produce the most bappy effect on the dispositions of her beart, and tenor of her conduct. On Monday she attended with her fish-basket at market as usual,-but, ob how changed! Instead of her former noise and profanity, she was quiet and calm as a lamb-instead of asking from ber customers double or triple the value of her fish, she spoke to them with discretion, and told them the lowest price at once. Surprised at this new behavior of the woman, some who were present, judging she might be indisposed, began to enquire for her health; one of them in particular said to her,-Dear Margaret, what is the matter with you ? you are not at all as you used to be. No, replied Margaret, and I hope I never shall. It pleased God to lead me yesterday to Mr. M.Ewen's meeting-house, where I heard words I will never forget, and found something come over me the like of which I never knew before. --The woman lived to give the most satisfactory evidence of the soundness of ber conversion, by a walk and conversation becoming the Gospel.

Chap. xvi, ver. 27, 28.--And the keeper of the prison awakening out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm; for we are all here.

An ingenious young man, having come to London in the hope of getting some employment, was unsuccessful in bis attempt, and being reduced to extreme poverty, came to the awful resolution of throwing himself into the Thames. On passing near the Royal Exchange to effect bis desperate purpose, he saw the carriage of the late excellent Mr. Hanway, under the arms of which was this motto, “ Never despair.” The singular occurrence of this sentence, had, under Providence, such an effect on the young man, that he immediately desisted from his horrid desigo, gained soon afterwards a considerable establishment, and died in good circumstances in the common course of mortality.

Chap. xvii, ver. 2.-And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath-days reasoned with them out of the Scriptures.

The late Mrs. Graham of New York, regarded with particular esteem the works of Dr. Owen, the Rev. William Romaine, and the Rev. John Newton, and read them with pleasure and profit. One day she remarked to Mr. B- that sbe preferred the ancient writers on theology to the modern, because they dealt more in italics. “Dear mother,” he replied, “what religion can there be in italics ?" “ You know,” said she, “ that old writers expected credit for the doctrines they taught, by proving them from the word of God to be correct; they inserted the Scripture passages in italics, and their works have been sometimes one half in italics. Modern writers on theology, on the contrary, give us a long train of reasoping to persuade us to their opinions, but very little in italics."


« ZurückWeiter »