Abbildungen der Seite

Chap. xvii, ver. 18.— Then certain philosophers of the Epicureans, and of the Stoicks, encountered him. And some said, What will this babbler say ? other some, He seemeth to

be a setter forth of strange gods; because he i preached unto them Jesus, and the resurrection.

5 This has been one of the worst nights," says Mr. Bampton, one of the missionaries in India, " I ever endured. Mockery! mockery! cruel mockery! almost unbearable. I talked for a while, and was heard by some, on the blessings to be enjoyed by faith in Jesus Christ: when a man came with a hell-bardened countenance, and that peculiar constant laugh wbich I can bardly bear. The burden of his cry was—Juggernaut is the foundation ! Juggernaut is completely God! victory to Juggernaut!' He clapped his hands-he shouted—be laughed, and induced the rest, or a great part of them, to do the same. On the ground of reason I fear no one; and rage I can commonly bear very well; but these everlasting laughing buffoons are nearly too much for me. It is my one great care, that amidst a reviling, laughing, shouting crowd, I do not seem abashed."

Chap. xviii, ver. 3.–And because he was of the same craft, he abode with them and wrought; (for by their occupation they were tent-makers.)

A violent Welsh squire having taken offence at a poor curate who employed his leisure hours in mending clocks and watches, applied to the bishop of St. Asaph, with a formal complaint against bim for impiously carrying on a trade contrary to the statute.His lordship having beard the complaint, told the squire he might depend upon the strictest justice being done in the case: accordingly the mechanic divine was sent for a few days after, when the bishop asked bim,“ How he dared to disgrace bis diocese by becoming a mender of clocks and watches?” The other, with all humility, answered, “ To satisfy the wants of a wife and ten children." " That won't do with me,” rejoined the prelate. " I will inflict such a punishment upon you, as shall make you leave off your pitiful trade, I promise you ;” and immediately, calling in bis secretary, ordered him to make out a presentation for the astonished curate to a living of at least one hundred and fifty pounds per annum.

Chap. xviii, ver. 26.- And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue : whom, when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.

It is said of the Rev. Ebenezer Erskine, that, for some time after bis ordination, his views of divine truth, in common with those of a large proportion of godly ministers of the church of Scotland in that age, were not quite clear and correct, but consisted of a confused mixture of legal and evangelical doctrine. It pleased God, however, to give him more accurate and satisfactory conceptions of the truth, and to bless for that purpose, the interviews be had with his brother Ralph and others. Nay, according to his own ingenuous acknowledgments to his children and friends, he was more deeply indebted to no one, as an instrument of helping him to understand. “ the way of God more perfectly,” than to his amiable partner, Alison Turpie, a young lady of engaging dispositions and eminent piety, whom he married soon after bis settlement at Portrnoak. A confidential conversation, which he overheard betwixt ber and his brother Ralph, on the subject of their religious experience, is thought to have contributed greatly towards the happy change ihat took place in Ebenezer's views and impressions with relation to the Gospel. Whilst they were freely opening their minds to each other, in a bower in his garden, immediately beneath the window of his study, which then happened to be open, be listened with much eagerness to their interesting communications. Their views and feelings appeared so different from his own, that he was immediately struck with the idea that they possessed valuable attainments to which he was a stranger; and the impression seems to have remained till, with regard to vital and evangelical Christianity, he became not merely almost, but altogether, as they were.

Chap. xis, ver. 18-20.-And many that believed came, and confessed, and showed their deeds. Many of them also which used curious arts, brought their books together, and burned them before all men ; and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver. So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.

The Earl of Rochester, of whom it has been said, that he was

a great wit, a great scholar, a great poet, a great sinner, and a great penitent,” left a strict charge to the person in whose custody bis papers were, to burn all his profane and lewd writings, as being only fit to promote vice and immorality, by which he had so highly offended God, and shamed and blasphemed that holy religion into which he had been baptized. Dr. Watts refers to him in the following lines :

"Strephon, of noble blood and mind,

(For ever shine his name !)
As death approached, his soul refined,

his looser sonnets to the flame.
Burn, burn, he cried, with sacred rage ;
Hell is the due of every page,
Hell be the fate. (But, oli, indulgent heaven!

So vile the muse, and yet ihe man forgiven !") Chap. xix, ver. 35, 36.---And when the town clerk had appeased the people, he said, Ye men of Ephesus, what man is there that



knoweth not how that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana, and of the image which fell down from Jupiter ? Seeing then that these things cannot be spoken against, ye ought to be quiet, and do nothing rasbly.

“I have heard one say,” observes Dr. Mather, " that there was a gentleman mentioned in the 19th chapter of the Acts, to whom he was more indebted

than to any man in the world. This was he whom our translation calls the town-clerk of Ephesus, whose counsel it was to do nothing rashly. Upon any proposal of consequence, it was an usual speech with biinWe will first advise with the town-clerk of Ephesus.' One, in a fond compliance with a friend, forgetting the town-clerk, may do that in haste, which he may repent at leisure—may do wbat may cost him several hundreds of pounds, besides trouble, which he would not have undergone for thousands."

Chap. xx, ver. 9. And there sat in the window a certain young man named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep: and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken


dead. One Lord's day afternoon, the late Mr. Fuller of Kettering, perceiving some of his learers to be drowsy; as soon as he had read bis text, he struck his Bible three times against the side of the pulpit, calling out, “ Wbat! asleep already! I am often afraid I should preach you asleep, but the fault cannot be mine to day, for I have not yet begun!”

Chap. xx, ver. 21.- Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

In the year 1680, the Rev. Philip Henry preached on the doctrines of faith and repentance, from several texts of Scripture. He used to say that he had been told concerning the famous Mr. Dod, that some called him in scorn, faith and repentance, because he insisted so much upon those two in all his preaching. “ But,” says he, “ if this be to be vile, I will be yet more vile,” for faith and repentance are all in all in Christianity. Concerning repentance, he has sometimes said, “ If I were to die in the pulpit, I would desire to die preaching repentance; or if I die out of the pulpit, I would desire to die practising repentance.” And he bad often this saying concerning repentance, “ He that repents every day for the sins of every day, when he comes to die, will have the sios but of one day to repent of."

Chap. xx, ver. 29.-For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in

among you, not sparing the flock.

A pious clergyman in England had long, through the divine blessing, successfully ministered the word of life to an affectionate flock: but the ties, which for many years had united them so closely, were at length about to be broken.

The faithful pastor was laid on his death-bed. In that solemn hour, one single care distracted bis soul. He thought of his people,-He knew that a patron had the power of sending a bireling as his successor-one who would not feed the flock. Anticipating such an event, he said, in the agony of bis spirit, “ It will be all confusion!Had the cht of choosing their pastor been vested in the Christian people, he would have left them with the consoling persuasion, that his successor would be one who would follow out the plans which he himself had originated for their spiritual improvement, and who would " watch for their souls." His fears were verified--a successor was appointed whose principles were wholly in opposition to his, and all was confu

« ZurückWeiter »