Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

he burnt his hands and knees in the attempt; this rendered bim furious, and he returned to the room in which all the family slept, and wbich was in total darkness; he there fell into a passion against bis son, a lad of 14 years, for not baving told him that the oven had been lately heated, and took up a large bar in order to strike bim. His father, more than 60 years old, ran and endeavored to cool the rage of bis son, but this only enraged him the more, and be was about to strike bim, wben bis mother went to the assistance of her husband. She was no sooner come near him, than the prisoner struck her twice on the bead with the bar, of which blows she died a few hours afterwards, praying heaven for the pardon of her son. During the trial, the prisoner constantly denied these facts; but the jury having unanimously found him guilty, he was sentenced, as a parricide, to be conducted to the place of execution in a shirt with his feet paked, and his head covered with a black vail, to have his right hand struck off, and afterwards to be beheaded.

Chap. i, ver. 15.—This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

Mr. Bilney, one of the martyrs of Queen Mary's reign, compared the priests and friars to the physician, upon whom the woman, vexed twelve years with a bloody issue, spent all that she had, and found no help, but was still worse and worse ; till at last she came to Christ, and was bealed by bim. “Oh," said he, “ the mighty power of the Most High, which I also, a miserable sinner, have often tasted and felt, whereas before, I spent all I had upon those ignorant physicians, ipsomuch that I had little strength left in me. But at last I heard of Jesus : and that was when the New Testament was translated by Erasmus ; for at that time I knew not what it meant. But looking into the New Testament, by God's special providence, I met with those words of the apostle St. Paul, “ This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, whereof I am the chief.' Oh most sweet and comfortable sentence to my soul ! This one sentence, through God's instruction and inward working, did so exbilarate my heart, which before was wounded with the guilt of my sins, and almost in despair, that immediately I found wonderful comfort and quietness in my soul, so that my bruised bones leaped for joy. After this the Scriptures became sweeter to me than the honey and the honeycomb; for by them I learned, that all my travels, fastings, watchings, redemption of masses, and pardons, without faith in Christ, were but, as St. Austin calls them, a hasty running out of the right way, and as fig leaves, which could not cover Adam's nakedness. These things I preached, and for these things was cast into prison and condemned.

Chap. ii, ver. 9.— In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety ; not with broidered hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array.

A minister of the Gospel occasionally visiting a gay person, was introduced to a room near to that in which she dressed. After waiting some bours, the lady came in and found him in tears. She inquired the reason of his weeping; the minister replied, “ Madam, I weep on reflecting that you can spend so many hours before your glass, and in adorning your person, while I spend so few hours before my God, and in adorning my soul.” The rebuke struck her conscience,she lived and died a monument of grace.

Chap. iii, ver. 3.—Not given to wine.
Ao Italian artist, who was employed by a cardinal

to paint the apostles Peter and Paul, was much provoked by the trifling criticism of his patron, who told bim he colored the faces of the apostles, as if they took too much wine. “ No," said the angry artist, “ I have not painted them drunk, but blushing for the drunkenness of their successors.

Chap. iii, ver. 6.---Not a novice, lest being listed up with pride, he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

“ The apprehension of cursed pride, (the sin of young ministers, working in my heart,' says Dr. Cotton Mather, “ filled me with an inexpressible bitterness and confusion before the Lord. In my youth, when some others of my age were playing in the streets, I was preaching to large assemblies, and I was honored with great respect among the people of God. I feared, and thanks be to God that he made me fear,) lest Satan was hereby preparing a spare and a pit for such a novice. I therefore resolved, that I would set apart a day to humble myself before God, for the pride of my own heart, and to supplicate his grace to deliver me from that sin, and from the dreadful wrath it would expose me to."

Chap. iv, ver. 8.--For bodily exercise profitteth little, but godliness is profitable unto all things; having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.

“Oh blessed be God that I was born,” said the pious Haliburton when dying. “I have a father and a mother, and ten brethren and sisters in heaven, and I shall be the eleventh. Oh blessed be the day that I was ever born! Oh that I were where he is ! And yet were God to withdraw from me, I should be weak as water. All that I enjoy, though it be miracle on miracle, would not support me without fresh supplies from God. The thing I rejoice ip is this, that God is altogether full; and that in the Mediator Christ Jesus

is all the fullness of the Godhead, and it will never run out. Study the power of religion. 'Tis the power of religion, and not a name that will give the comfort I find. There is telling in this providence, and I shall be telling it to eternity. If there be such a glory in his conduct towards me now, what will it be to see the Lamb in the midst of the throne ? My peace hath been like a river.” Soon after, one of those about bim having said, “ You are now putting your seal to that truth, that great is the gain of godliness." He replied, “ Yes indeed.” Then said another, “ And I hope you are encouraging yourself in the Lord?" On which, not being able to speak, he lifted up his hands and clapped them; and quickly after, went to the land where the weary are at rest. _

Chap. iv, ver. 15.—Meditate upon these things: give thyself wholly to them, that thy profiting may appear to all. A PRAYER USED BY THOMAS AQUINAS, BEFORE HIS STUDIES.

“ Infallibly wise and good Creator, illustrious origin, true foundation of light and wisdom, vouchsafe to infuse into my understanding some ray of thy brightness, thereby removing that two-fold darkness under which I was born of sin and ignorance. Thou that makest the tongues of infants eloquent, instruct, I pray thee, my tongue likewise, and pour upon my lips the grace of thy benediction. Give me quickness to comprehend, and memory to retain. Give me a happiness in expounding, a facility in learning, and a copious eloquence in speaking. Prepare my entrance into knowledge, direct me in my journey, and render the event of it complete, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."

Chap. v, ver. 6.—But she that liveth in pleasure, is dead while she liveth.

The late pious Mrs. Judson, referring to her for, mer neglect of religion, says, “ The first circum

stance, which in any measure awakened me from this sleep of death, was the following :-One Sabbath morning, baving prepared myself to attend public worship, just as I was leaving my toilet, I accidentally took up Hannah Moore's Strictures on Female Education, and the first words that caught my eye, were, · She that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.' They were written in italics, with marks of admiration, and they struck me to the heart. I stood for a few moments amazed at the incident, and half inclined to think, that some invisible agency had directed my eye to these words. At first, I thought I would live a different life, and be more serious and sedate; but at last, I thought that the words were not applicable to me, as I first imagined, and resolved to think no more of them.”

Chap. v, ver. 20, 21.-—Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things, without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality. .

The late Mr. B. was entertaining himself one day, with seeing some of his parishioners catching salmon. At the same time, came Colonel with several gentlemen. As the former who was at that time a justice of the peace, was swearing in a very profane manner, Mr. B. thus addressed him ;-“Sir, you are a justice of the peace, and a gentleman of family and fortune, therefore your example to all should become the state in which kind Providence has placed you." He answered, “Sir, I will not come and swear in your church." This was spoken with great bitterness. Mr. B. then left him, but the fisherman afterwards said that the gentleman was very angry, and declared that if the minister had not gone away, he would have thrashed him. But his future conduct towards Mr. B. became the gentleman; for some

« ZurückWeiter »