« ZurückWeiter »
fulness of the blessing of the Gospel of Christ; and his speech and his preaching were with such evidence and demonstration of the Spirit, that it was easy for the hearers to perceive he had been in the mount with God.
Chap. i, ver. 6.–And John was clothed with camels' hair, and with a girdle of skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey.
A good old French bishop, in paying his annual visit to his clergy, was very much afflicted by the representations they made of their extreme poverty, which, indeed, the appearance of their houses and families corroborated. While he was deploring the state of things which had reduced them to this sad condition, he arrived at the house of a curate, who, living amongst a poor set of parishioners, would, he feared, be in a still more woful plight than the others. Contrary, however, to his expectations, be found appearances very much improved. Every thing about the house wore the aspect of comfort and plenty. The good bishop was amazed. “ How is this, my friend?" said he; “you are the first man that I bave met with a cheerful face, and a plentiful board. Have you any income independent of your cure?" sir,” said the clergyman,“ I have; my family would starve on the poor pittance I receive from the poor people that I instruct. Come with me into the garden, and I will show you the stock that yields me an excellent interest.” On going to the garden, be showed the bishop a large range of bee-hives. “ There is the bank from which I draw an annual dividend. It never stops payment.” Ever after that remarkable visit, when any of his clergy complained to the bishop of poverty,
he would say to them,“ Keep bees, keep bees!"
Chap. i, ver. 25.-And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.
Colonel Gardiner used constantly to rise at four in the morning, and to spend bis time till six in the secret exercises of the closet, reading, meditation, and prayer; in which last he acquired such a fervency of spirit, as, “ I believe," says his biographer, “ few men living ever attained. This certainly very much contributed to strengthen that firm faith in God, and reverent animating sense of his presence, for which he was so eminently remarkable, and which carried him through the trials and services of life with such steadiness, and with such activity; for he indeed endured and acted as if always seeing him who is invisible. If at any time he was obliged to go out before six in the morning, he rose proportionally sooner: so that when a journey or a march has required him to be on horseback by four, he would be at his devotions by two."
Chap. ii, ver. 25, 26.-And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungered, he and they that were with him ? How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the show-bread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them that were with him.
When the Romans had ravaged the province of Azazane, and 7,000 Persians were brought to Armida, where they suffered extreme want, Acases, the bishop of that city, observed, that as God said, “I love mercy better than sacrifice,” he would certainly be better pleased with the relief of his suffering creatures, than with being served with gold and silver in their churches. The clergy were of the same opinion. The consecrated vessels were sold : and with the proceeds the 7,000 Persians were not only maintained during the war, but sent home at its conclusion with money in their pockets. Varenes, the Persian monarch, was so charmed with this humane action that be invited the bishop to his capital, where he received him with the utmost reverence, and for his sake conferred many favors on the Christians
Chap. iii, ver. 5.—He looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts.
Some time ago a man was tried at Cambridge, for a robbery committed on an aged gentlewoman in her own house. The judge was Baron Smith, a man of an amiable character for religion. He asked the gentlewoman if the prisoner at the bar was the person who robbed her?—“ Truly my lord,” said she, “ I cannot positively say it was he, for it was duskish when I was robbed, so dark that I could hardly discern the features of his face.”
66 Where were you when be robbed you?” “ I was in a closet that joins to my bed-chamber, and be had got into my house while my servant had gone out on an errand.” 6 What day of the week was it?” “It was the Lord's day evening, my lord.” “How had you been employed when he robbed you?” My lord, “I am a Protestant dissenter; I had been at the meeting that day, and bad retired into my closet in the evening for prayer and meditation on what I had been hearing through the day.” She had no sooner uttered these words, than the court, which was crowded with some hundreds of students, rung with a peal of loud laughter. The judge looked round the court as one astonished, and with a decent solemnity laid his hands upon the bench, as if he was going to rise, and with no small emotion of spirit, spoke to the following effect :-Good God!
where am I? Am I in the place of one of the universities of this kingdom, where it is to be supposed that young gentlemen are educated in the principles of religion, as well as in all useful learning ? and for such to laugh in so undecent a manner on hearing an aged Christian tell that she retired into her closet on a Lord's day evening for prayer and meditation ! Blush and be ashamed all of you, if you are capable of it, as well you may; and if any of your tutors are here, let thern blush also to see in how irreligious a manner their pupils and students behave.” And then turning to the lady, he said, “ Don't be discouraged, madam, by this piece of rude and unmannerly, as well as irreligious usage; you have no reason to be ashamed of what you have on this occasion, and in this public manner said; on the contrary, you may glory in it. It adds dignity to your character, and shame belongs to them who would expose it to ridicule."
Chap. iv, ver. 33.- And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it.
In the month of June, 1790, Mr. Wesley preached at Lincoln; his text was Luke x, 42.--- One thing is needful.” When the congregation were retiring from the chapel, a lady exclaimed in a tone of great surprise, “ Is this the great Mr. Wesley, of whom we hear so much in the present day? Why, the poorest person in the chapel might have understood him.” The gentleman to whom this remark was made, replied, “In this, madam, he displays his greatness ; that, while the poorest can understand him, the most learned are edified, and cannot be offended.” Chap. iv, ver. 39.-- And he
arose, buked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
and reMr. Hervey, in a sermon which he preached to the sailors at Biddeford, says,—“What we have mentioned of our Lord's saying Peace to the raging waves, may instruct you whom I address in the hour of danger; may also teach you the wisdom of securing an interest in the Lord Jesus, whose divine word even the winds and sea obey. The hour is coming, dear sailors, when you shall hail with shouts your native land
Oh! then, come unto Christ; get an interest in his merits; give yourselves up to his guidance; let his word be your compass; let bis grace hold the helm, and steer your course. Let his blessing fill your sails ; let his blood, bis righteousness, bis Spirit, be the prize of your calling; let this be the precious merchandize you court, this the pearl of price
Chap. v, ver. 19.-Howbeit Jesus suffered him not; but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.
A sailor of the name of Campbell, on board a Guineaman on the Congo, wbile in a state of intoxication, bathed in that river. When he had swimmed some distance from the vessel, some persons on board discovered an alligator making towards him. His escape was now considered impossible ; two shots were fired at the formidable creature, but without effect. The report of the piece, and the noise on board, made Campbell acquainted with bis danger; he saw the creature advancing towards him, and with all the strength and skill be possessed, made for the shore. On approaching within a very short distance of some canes and shrubs that covered the bank, while closely pursued by the alligator, a ferocious tiger sprang towards bim, at the instant the jaws of his first enemy were extended to devour him. At this awful moment Campbell was preserved. The eager