« PreviousContinue »
the unspotted purity of his soul, and sees what he purposed by his dying, he presently reflects on his own conduct
, he reflects that it was his sins, together with the sins of the world, that caused such agonies, then does he as it were gird up his loins withi sack-cloth, and putting his hand upon his mouth he bows himself to the very dust, and gives way to a godly sorrow called repentance.
This repentance is a necessary concomitant of true saving faith. I have beard it said, by an amiable divine, that“ repentance is the tear that drops from the eye of faith.” Yes, it is so; for when a believer arrives at a knowledge of bis sin, and of the mercies of God in Christ, he mourns and laments for his past transgressions, and longs to have sin eradicated from his bosom. Where true saving faith is, there also is prayer. The believer feels that he cannot expect any thing of the Father unless he ask it; and he remembers the saying of our Lord;—“ If any man ask any thing of the Father in my name, he will give it him.' And believing he does ask, and asking he does receive. True evangelical repentance is then a sure mark and necessary concomitant of saving faith,
Faith is of vital importance to the soul; for without it, it is impossible to please God. The Apostle abundantly shews us the importance of faith. He shews us that the works of the law cannot save us, but that it is by faith we are saved. If then it is by faith we are saved, it is an invaluable gift to the poor sinner. Faith is a delightful harbinger of everlasting bliss. Connected with faith the next fruit mentioned is,
Meekness. This grace is connected with long-suffering and gentleness. The believer is meek because he insitates his blessed Lord, who is an example to him in all things. What an example of meekness was our blessed Lord; he was well entitled to the name of “the meek and lowly Jesus.” He was omnipotent, yet he was meek: he was a king, yet beggars were attended to by him. He encouraged meekness, for he says, in his very
sermon, “ blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Christian meekness is connected with humility. The believer is humble, and looks upon himself as being vile in the sight of God. No vain aspirings are in his breast; for he sees he has nothing of which to be proud. The lamp of God's Word has been held to him, and he has gotten a sight of his own heart, and seeing nothing there excellent or honourable, but every thing vile and polluted, he humbles bimself to the very dust, feeling how ill-furnished and garnished the chamber of his heart is to entertain the King of Glory in, may
He knows from the Scriptures, that those who humble themselves in the sight of God shall be lifted up. James iv. 10. True humility is a sure mark of the believer; for although hypocrites may blindfold us with respect to the other Christian graces,
and have them in appearance though not in reality, yet humility they cannot have, it is beyond their reach. The very nature of hypocrisy is opposed to humility: the one delights in vain sbew, while the other is quite the opposite. It matters not then to what degree of perfection lıypocrites may seem to arrive, if they want this grace we may suspect their sincerity. Meekness is then a mark of the believer. But there is, lastly,
Temperance. This is a comprehensive term, as it does not refer to a mediocrity in any one thing alone, but in all the actions of life. We must not abuse any of the good gifts of God. We must be temperate in eating and drinking, dress, recreations and pleasures, joys and sorrows; we must be temperate in well-doing even in our charities and almsgiving ;- in a word, as the Apostle says, we must be temperate in all things. It is to be feared that few run into extremes in well-doing, but many, as is awfully notorious, run into the utmost extremes in sin or vice. If we look at intemperance in the case of ardent spirits, what an appalling spectacle does it present! -thousands of persons betaking themselves to a liquid death, which proves fatal not merely to the body, but also to the soul. Ah! death; many poor mortals think that thou castest the funeral pall too soon around them, causing their ruddy cheeks or venerable brow to moulder into dust; but others, wishing as it were to hasten thy progress, betake themselves to a noxious poison which irritates thee to carry them, it may be to perdition. What an awful seducer is ardent spirits; and when it has seduced, what a canker-worm does it prove to be ? The believer is no drunkard, he is temperate, and with bis temperance he has joy.
These graces, on which I have briefly commented, are given to us as being the fruits of the Spirit, against which the Scripture saith there is no law. When united together, they form for the soul a garment made of the net-work of righteousness, so that he on whom God may have conferred them, is ready to exclaim in the words of the Prophet Isaiah," I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, and my soul shall be joyful in my God: for he bath clothed me with the garments of salvation, be hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with jewels.”
Reader, such are the marks of the believer, which distin guish him from the world as the grapes distinguish the vinetree from the thistle. Examine yourself and see are those marks to be found in you;' for if they are not,' then are you living in sin, so that
should neither give sleep to your eyes nor slumber to your eye-lids, until by constant prayer to God the day-spring from on high may rise upon you with healing in his wings. But if on examination you find these marks really existing in you, then may you rejoice in the Lord, that whilst you were yet embosomed in the dark labyrinths of iniquity, he by the resplendent beams of the Sun of Righteousness, lighted up for you a path and led you hence; and that now the oil of joy instead of mourning burns most brilliantly in the inmost chamber of your heart. That now your soul, being free from the slavery of sin, walk abroad in humble majesty, that she dwells beyond the measure of the chains of error that burst from around her, and that hereafter you
shall stand redeemed, regererated, and disenthralled, by the unparalleled love of the Lord Jesus.
LONDON MISSIONARY SOCIETY.
The London Missionary Society has for many years past sent a Deputation to Ireland. Last year Mr. Knill was appointed to the work, and remained among the friends of Christ on that island for twenty weeks; during which time he travelled about 2000 miles, and addressed 200 congregations, and collected a larger amount of money, it is believed, thau was ever sent to the Society on any previous year.
He was received with great affection by Protestants of every denomination, and requests, through this medium, to send expressions of gratitude to the Ministers and people who aided bim in bis labours, and from whom he received such marks of fraternal kindness.
On three different occasions he was permitted to address congregations in Episcopal Churches, while their Rectors and Curates took a lively interest in the proceedings,
When “ the Synod of Ulster" held its annual meeting at Omagh, Mr. Knill was present, and on one evening was invited to plead the cause of Missions before many of that reverend body, which greatly facilitated his work, as several
pulpits were immediately offered to him in behalf of the Society.
Soon after this, " the Secession Synod held its annual meeting, at Armagh, when Mr. Knill was present there also, and was permitted to address the Synod during the time of its sitting. One Minister felt so interested, that he became a supporter of a boys' school in India. This also opened the way for numerous pulpits, so that work was immediately prepared for months to come. So deep was the feeling of compassion for the benighted heathen, that on many occasions the collections were remarkably large. Thirteen" Fifty Pounds,” were raised especially for the manumissior of thirteen pious and gifted negroes, in the West Indies, who might be employed as instructors of their sable brethren.
Many friends, especially ladies, became supporters of girls' schools in India, at an expense of £10 per annum.
There were some fine specimens of good feeling among Sunday-school Teachers and children, some of whom became supporters of boys' schools in India, also at an expense of £10 per annum.
Mr. K. was greatly delighted by a visit to the Dublin Unin versity, where he met a large number of Divinity Students, whose hearts appeared to be deeply imbued with the spirit of Christ.
Several young persons of great promise, in different parts of the Island, offered themselves as candidates to preach the Gospel to the heathen. One instance of a parent publicly dedicating his son to this service, produced an overwhelming effect on a large meeting, at York-street Chapel, Dublin.
During the services at Belfast, there was a Presbyterian Minister recovering from a dangerous illness. His case had excited an unusual sensation in the city. A public meeting for prayer was held daily while his life was in suspense, and now that he was recovering, it was proposed by a Seceding Minister, at a public meeting, that the present collection be presented as a thank-offering to God for his recovery; This was succeeded by an Independent Minister, , and one hundred and ten pounds were immediately subscribed, eighty of which were from members of the Temperance
Mr. Knill commenced his labours in the town of Youghal, and then preached in various places, until he came to Dingle
, the most western town in Europe. Leaving the romantic scenes of “the far west,” he proceeded to Limerick. He
had been prepared by his visit to kind friends in Cork, to propose to a Limerick friend to print five Tracts in the Irish language, for the benefit of the Irish-speaking population. This he accomplished, -and to be enabled to leave tive editions of precious little books for this interesting people, he considers one of the happiest events of his life.
From Limerick he worked his way to Dublin, and after spending three busy weeks among the warm-hearted friends there, be posted on to Vinegar Hill, Wexford, Ross, Waterford, Kilkenny, &c., and back to Dublin again.
The next trip was directly across the island to Sligo, and then to the far north, hard by the Giant's Causeway. Every where received great personal kindness, and liberal aid to the Mission.
Many of the beautiful towns round Lough Neagh testified their love to Missions; and in some of them the excitement was so great, that if oft repeated, it would shatter the body to death.
It is a difficult task to make arrangements for so long a journey, so as not to clash with the diversified plans of numerous ministers and congregations; but so desirous were all parties to help in the good work, that we scarcely ever met with a disappointment.
All preceding Deputations have borne witness to the farfamed hospitality of the sister isle,--and none of them partook of it more largely, or recorded it more gratefully, than their affectionate fellow-labourer, RICHARD KNILL.
The Wesleyan Missionary Society at present occupies about 180 principal stations. Its operations extend to Sweden, Germany, France, Gibraltar, and Malta; Continental India, and Ceylon; the Islands of the South Seas, (where the most extraordinary success has lately attended the Society's efforts ;) Southern and Western Africa; the West Indies; and the British dominions in North America. In the most spiri. tually destitute parts of Ireland, also, the Society employs 24 missionaries, 8 scripture-readers, and 26 salaried teachers. "The accredited missionaries of the Society are about 280 ; its catechists and salaried schoolmasters are about 260 ; the as. sistants and teachers not salaried, are upwards of 4000. More than 20 different languages are used by the missionaries; and