Page images

their conversation is such as becometh of that profit to be derived from medithe gospel of Christ; for we have no tating on the Scriptures : for great as are sympathy with the man who, while he the facilities of the press to convey truth, contends loudly for the sovereignty of yet, as Satan has a stern hatred to the grace, shows by his walk that that grace Bible, so will, and so does, he endeavour does not teach him to deny ungodliness to control this mighty engine as to make and worldly lusts. We drop this, be it a means of robbing the saints of their cause we perceive that the most solemn holy bread; even as Saul, by his interof all evils (on the side of the church) is diction, robbed Israel in the day of battle: the laxity and recklessness of many who since he well knows if they fast in this profess to be her sons.

respect, weakness and sickness must To our Correspondents we say -We ensue. And as we know that children thank you for your many kindnesses are fond of spending their time in the shewn to this little work, and we wish little vessels by the river side, so we say, you still to receive her stores, and furnish seek to spend more in the treasure house her with such treasures as you may be of Zion, and in the picture gallery of privileged to dig from the mines of reve- inspiration; and follow not the Vessel lation and a divine experience. But, be any further than it and your souls follow careful, beloved brethren, that you do Christ. For, knowing that idolatry of a not attempt to fill us up with mere religious kind now awfully abounds, and rubbish : we keep a fire in our cabin to is putting power into the hands of the burn up useless things; and an alembic devil, we are jealous over you and ourin our dispensary to extract the essence seves with holy jealousy, lest we should of bulky matter. Nevertheless, we often be prejudicial instead of beneficial to the painfully perceive that more diligence, church. Be awake, then, beloved, he prudence, and sound judgment is needed awake, and trim your lamps, and see that in fitting out the Vessel from time to you obtain a good supply of oil from the time. · In order to make this little mes- Lord's olive trees now standing in the senger more acceptable to the real church Bible ; and when indulged with a melting of God, we pray, beloved brethren, that soul before the mercy seat, as far as you the bread you send be hot from the oven, can, remember us, and all who with us and not mere dry, mouldy collections, are aiming to glorify God. which has been the ruin of some perio- As to its Editorsħip: What shall we dicals. Let your furniture for the king's say? We will frankly confess that we house, be nicely made—your garments feel our ignorance, our weakness, and for the poor, clean and white-your wine unfitness. We have not shining talents, new-your oil fresh-and your flowers nor minds furnished with literary lore. and fruits just plucked May your ex- At most we possess but as the seventh perience be choice and savoury; your part of an editorial gift; therefore, while doctrines unctious ; your knowledge hea- standing alone and unaided, our judgvenly; your views of prophecy chaste and ment, our scrutiny, and our work must humble, and your pens dipped in the be imperfect. This must be the case, love and blood of the everlasting cove-even could we devote all our time and nant. To our real brethren in the ministry, energies to this one object; how much or any private christian possessing gifts more so then when our time is wholly for edification, we say, by dropping your occupied in other business, either in the pieces in the Vessel, you preach to a church, or in the world? We crave congregation of some thousands : but do sympathy of those who walk in the path let your subjects be short and pithy—of tribulation. We crave patience and striking and solemn-suitable and ser- pardon of all who, by oversight and viceable-salted with savoury sentences, hurry, may be neglected. And conand spiritually interesting. We speak cerning any rubbish or dross, or fruitless thus in love and meekness, because we contention that may appear, we ask desire that faithfulness and utility should gentle advice and admonition which shall mark our course.

provoke us pot to wrath, but to love and To our Readers. To you, as to a vast good works. congregation every month assembling, As a closing word, we would say, may we say, before the Lord, we sincerely we all be united in one bond of unity; desire your edification and comfort. And and there contend for the faith of Jesus, that our little visitant may not prove as the teaching of the Spirit, the hidden snare to you, we add, let it not rol, you meaning of God's word, a clear know


ledge of the signs of the times, the cru- to all human appearance, I appeared to cifixion of the flesh, and a consistent be pining away in my sickness. All my walk and conduct for the glory of God. sufferings at this time were for my actual And then, whatever may be the troubles transgressions. Soon after this the Lord of 1848; neither life nor death, angels, appeared for me as a God of providence nor principalities, nor powers, things in answer to prayer; and by that I present, nor things to come, shall ever clearly saw that he heard prayer, which be able to separate us from the love of much encouraged me to call upon his God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

At this time I found my heart THE EDITOR'S FRIEND. and soul much in the things of God. I

could read and pray with much pleasure, Another Poor Prodigal Returned. and often found

soul drawn up

into Dear Sir,

the presence of God, and have had such As I have felt unusual union and communion with you a consciousness of his presence, that I in reading your writings, I feel at liberty to use great have rejoiced with joy unspeakable, and sure to lay before you a few of the things I have felt in found my heart burn with love to Christ. my soul :

I thought at the time that all the world “ It was in the seventeenth year of my might have Christ if they would, he life when God first found me in a barren appeared so accessible to me. I could land indeed, and immersed in sin and get into a feeling of his presence at any filth; an open enemy to God and godli- time; the Lord appeared so willing to

When he had laid some solemn receive me. In this state I made a pubchecks upon my soul, and made me to lic profession, andjoined a Baptist church, tremble before him in secret, and to cry and went on comfortably in the things of for mercy; sin was so strong in me, my God for some time, and lived as though love to it so great, and my hatred to there was neither sin nor temptation; and anything serious so powerful, that at undoubtedly I felt much power to withtimes I felt as if I would live in sin, stand evil, but alas ! I fell from my exthough I perished for ever. And I went cellency into such a state of sin, misery, on sinning openly and repenting secretly, and woe, as no tongue can tell. In the (though at times I could hardly conceal first instance I found a trifling with tempit,) until one Sabbath I had been at tation until my soul was so far overcome, work; nay, I was then at work with as almost to be deluged. I lost all my some more persons; and at that time knowledge of Christ, and there appeared the Lord shewed himself to me in such no way of access to him, yea, though I majesty, power, glory and justice, that I cried and shouted he shut out my prayer, felt as if I was sinking into hell before and withheld the face of his throne. I him with this impression upon my wrestled, begged, sighed, groaned, and mind, that if I looked upward, there cried to him, but all to no purpose; my God appeared as a consuming fire; and, awful and dreadful condition which lasted if I looked down to the earth, (as I did) for about three years, I have no ability I thought I saw hell beneath me ready to describe. At the end of that time I to receive me; yea, I thought I was was sharply tried and worn out with sinking into it; and this impression was prayer and strong cries to him that hath powerfully upon my mind, · if you die to power to save, and when I had given up night, hell will be your portion ;' and all, and felt as if I must sink under my from it I saw no way of escape. Though sin, he spoke these words with power to this made an impression never to be my heart, As far as the east is from the erased; yet, that very Sunday when 1 west so far have I removed thy transgot with my companions, I went into a gressions from thee.' Immediately light wood to get nuts, but not without a broke into my heart, and I saw clearly trembling heart; and when night came how my sin was put away by the sacrifice that I got alone, I cried for mercy and of Christ. Before this time he spoke many sighed deeply to Him that sits upon the sweet words to me to encourage me to throne. I could not indulge in secret hope in him, but now I felt him to draw sins, but was often overtaken with out- nigh to my soul, and fill me with peace ward temptation, and fell a prey to my and a knowledge of salvation, and since lusts. For some time, temptations, my then he has endeared himself to me times lusts, and the wrath of God revealed without number, and frequently under from heaven in my conscience against circumstances the most painful andırying. sin, made my outward man to decay, and Oakham.



THE GOD-DISHONOURING LIFE, AND she had children ; and being forsaken of GOD-GLORIFYING

him, and left destitute, she commenced Death of Anna Catherina Merks. thieving, and went on from that sin to

others, until she became a most vile and

worthless character, and at length, we OUR attention has been particularly find her under sentence of death. Our called to a little work entitled, Jesus first extract is descriptive of the first visit Triumphant in the Conversion and Death which the minister above referred to paid of Anna Catherina Merks, executed at this wretched woman in the prison. Rotterdam, in Holland.” The work is published in London, by Simpkin, Mar

“Tuesday, the 5th of June, about five shall, & Co., and is one of the most ordered to visit a young woman in the prison,

o'clock in the afternoon, a minister was powerful witnesses of the free, unmerited, and placed there in the Mourning chamber, super-abounding grace of God, that has which woman he found unconcerned asleep. fallen under our notice for a length of The Mourning Chamber is a place where no time. We are creditably informed that persons are confined but those whose crimes a very signal and effectual blessing has are found capital, to whom the first intelliattended the publication of this work; gence that they are to die, is given by a and we are fully persuaded that testimo- minister purposely sent to them by the nies of this description will be owned court; the sentence of death is pronounced and honoured of God the Holy Ghost long after, and but a few minutes before the to many precious souls.

We not only


“ He desired she should be awakened, sayheartily recommend the work, but, knowing as we do, that many of our readers ing, that his intention in coming there was

to speak about matters of the utmost imcannot afford to purchase it, we shall

portance. Consequently she was awakened, make such extracts from it, as will, in when the minister desired to know her name, some measure, justify us in speaking so which she said was Anna Catherina Merks, highly of it.

her religion she said was the Roman CathoBefore we enter upon the narrative, lic. Upon being asked the question, Why (lest it should be forgotten) we make he found her in so sad a place ? She anone prefatory remark; and it is this : swered, she had committed such deeds as Ministers of the gospel especially should had brought her there. read this work. More faithful dealing,

Upon this the minister told her that he more wisdom manifested, we never read, cause it is always a bad omen when a min

was not at all surprised at her answer, bethan was exhibited by the minister whose ister is desired to visit a person in such a office it was to converse with this poor place; such persons indeed, said he, thus prisoner. Certainly he proved himself sent unto, can have no long expectation of to be a workman that needeth not to be life. Oh! (cried she aloud) must I then ashamed; and most wonderful was the part with my young life? The minister honour which God put upon his labours. gave her a few minutes time to weep, replyHe was indeed an instrument in the ing only, that she must part with that young hands of God the Holy Ghost of plucking life, because she had spent it so wickedly, a brand from the burning, and of bring-inquiring at the same time in what manner ing a poor wretched sinner into the ful- she had got her living? Upon which she

Inness of Christ's pardoning love, and sin- replied, that she had been a servant. atoning blood. "Oh! ye heralds of sal- quiring if she always had been a servant, she vation! read ye these tidings of love and be now in such a place.

answered, if it had been so, she should not mercy! and may the Almighty Spirit fire your souls with increased zeal; nerve A long conversation here ensued conyou with fresh

fill you


pure cerning her previous manner of life. heavenly love, in the great work to which After this, the minister began to interye are called, being assured your labour rogate her, respecting her views of her shall not be in vain in the Lord.

present awful condition, preaching to her Anna Catherina Merks was executed most solemnly the holy law of God, and in the city of Roterdam, in Holland, the consequences following upon its when little more than twenty years of violation Her answers only proved her age. She was left an orphan, and cast gross darkness and ignorance. The upon the world at a very early age.

writer then says: After living some few years in service, “ The minister beholding her great ignoshe was seduced by a soldier, by whom rance and being moved with compassion


thereat, sought to know if she knew any-1 he, the Judge of heaven and earth, God, the thing of the holy Scriptures. She declared righteous God himself! You can have no she knew nothing of them, and her reason hope at all upon this foundation: it is certain was, she could not read.

God is merciful and willing to forgive, but “The minister then desired the goal- he is righteous also, and neither can nor will keeper to let him have a Bible, out of which let sin escape unpunished; the ungodly shalt he read to her deliberately the whole law of surely see no life, and if you die in this God, questioning her, and commenting on condition, there is no hope for you, nor each section of the same. The whole law other expectation, but to be cast and kept in thus being read to her, and she having de- the flames of hell, with the devil and all the clared herself to be guilty on every com- damned.” mandment thereof, the minister told her,

From this, in a most consistent and that she being found guilty on the whole cautious manner, he went on to preach law of God, she must know that the breach of one single commandment deserves tem

to her the only way of salvation by Jesus poral and eternal death ; how much the more

Christ, and left her with fervent prayer. in her case, she being found guilty on all. On another occasion the minister opened Instructing her out of the third chapter of to her the falseness of that empty and the Galatians, and in the tenth verse, that deceitful form of prayer to which she she lay under the curse, which curse con- seemed to be clinging. The first manisisted, 1st-In a separation from God, and festation of deep conviction is thus exremaining so without hope of being saved, pressed :and without communion with, or part in The minister again visited her, and deGod, but must be banished from his face sired to know how she did. I am, said she, everlastingly miserable. 2. In an alienation in great distress ; I am afraid I shall be lost from the promises and covenant, that she for ever! and concluded, she was certain she could not now, or hereafter, expect to have should die very shortly, and if I die, I shall the least part in any of the promises pro- be miserable everlastingly; you and that mised in God's word, and without a covenant other gentleman's words lay as a heavy with God, through all the ages of eternity, burden upon my heart, and I see clearly I should be and remain, the property of him have sinned against all God's commandments with whom she was in covenant. 3. As you exceedingly, and every time I prayed I did are dead in trespasses and sins, consequently surely mock the Lord, and now I know I you never can enjoy eternal life, for nothing cannot pray, because I am a sinner, and my unclean can enter heaven. 4. You are a very prayer must be a sin to me: I do not child of God's wrath, which wrath of the know, proceeded she, from whence I shall most high and dreadful majesty, everlastingly obtain pardon for my numerous sins, and will be poured out upon you, you being se- without that pardon my damnation is sure ; parated from the face of the Almighty. Do this is the cause of my distress; oh, I do not you think, said he, as you are dead, all will know where to fly for help! be dead ? No, said she, I believe not; but, proceeded he, do you know the difference

Thursday morning another gentleman betwixt men and beasts? And she answered, coming to see her, asked her, if she rested

Which question he cleared up to her; well the last night. Oh no! said she; and and she believed, she said, that after death the reason being demanded, she answered, there remains a soul of us, which he shewed 0, sir, I have something else to do than to her further out of Matthew x. 28. Fray, sleep! I lie under God's wrath, and under said he, tell me if you can, how many ways the curse ! if I die, I am lost for ever! oh, there be after death? She answered, eternal to die is nothing ! but for ever, for ever to be glory, but spoke nothing (which was very lost is dreadful? She spoke those words in remarkable) of a purgatory.

great earnestness ; fear and anguish was “There is (replied the minister, in answer visible in her countenance. to his own proposed question) not only an The gentleman feigned not to believe eternal glory, but a hell, a place eternally that her concern and anguish proceeded from burning of unquenchable fire, wherein all the the fear of the second, but rather of the first, damned are cast. Pray, said he, look now the temporal death. Does not, said be, the upon the life you have led, and tell me which fear of death, and the shame that will attend of those two places you think will be your it, force you to speak such words ? She portion.

assured him that it was not that, but the fear “I have hope, said she, because God is of being eternally lost; this laid heavy on merciful : that he will forgive my sins for her heart. He desired to know if she had my youth's sake.

been in prayer? She answered, that one had “Will your temporal judge, replied the been reading for her, and that she had been minister, pardon you for your youth's sake? praying the Lord to give her a right sight of She answered, no. How much less, replied her sins: do you think, said he, there can be



any possible deliverance for you ? and her my sins through the whole course of my life ; answer was, I don't know, I hope so; if I the places where, the manner how, and the was only guilty, said she, before the world, people with whom I committed them ; it was my fear should not be great, nor my anxieties just as if they were written and hung up so many; I do clearly see myself to stand before mine eyes; I felt my sins, and the guilty of the breach of every commandment smart thereof caused me to be inwardly of God, and if I remain so, I am lost and so heavy that I could not bear them; it was undone for ever, and that to be lost for ever, as if the wrath of God should have consumed is too heavy for me.”

me; still I cried unto the Lord : O God, Several pages are occupied in a length- sin and guilt which I cannot bear ! and oh!

here lieth a great sinner, with a multitude of ened detail of the slow but certain work if thou wilt punish me for my sins, there can which was carried on in her soul, in be no punishment in eternal damnation which bringing her to a deep and painful ac- I have not deserved! By this I was brought quaintance of her condition as a guilty into darkness; it was as if I was blinded, sinner in the sight of God. The fol- and I was afraid I should have sunk away in lowing sentences which we extract from that darkness; but still I cried unto God, o the mass, are sufficient to give the reader pardon ! pardon! and execute not thy judgsome idea of her sufferings. So sure itment against me! is, that God kills before he makes alive.

“ Here came into my heart, as a voice,

The Redeemer liveth. O God, said I, Saturday morning the gentleman coming should there live a Redeemer for such a one to her, desired to know how she did. Ob, as I am, who is then that Redeemer? And said she, I am most miserable; I lie under now it was as if a voice said in my heart, the wrath of God, and under the curse! Il That Redeemer is none else but the Lord shall be lost for ever! But, replied he, Jesus Christ, the Saviour who hath shed his what may be the reason thereof? Oh, said blood upon the cross, that your sins should she, I have no redeemer! The following be forgiven thee.' I said thereon, Oh! wilt Lord's day, the other gentleman came to thou then redeem me? and thereon came as visit her in the morning, inquiring how she a voice inwardly in my heart, 'I am yours, did, and if she had a good night's rest ? and thou art mine.' It was

as if the Night's rest! said she ; can I sleep when I Redeemer stept in for me at the bar of God's see myself to be so guilty and damnable be- righteousness, and that all my guilt and sin fore God? Oh, I had work the whole night was laid in one scale or balance, and Jesus' betwixt God and my soul, more important righteousness in the other ; but that Jesus' than sleeping! The gentleman seeing her righteousness was far the heaviest, even more labour under the guilt that lay on her con- than all my sins. Then came I out of darkscience, endeavoured to arrest her thereby. ness, and the light broke in upon me, and He found she had lost a deal of bodily the Redeemer took away from me all my strength that night, and the persons that at- sins, and my heart melted into ardent love, tended her declared, she was the last night, and my whole soul was drawn out to the at least ten times in prayer. On another Redeemer. occasion, after conversation with her, she “ The gentleman being amazed, said to began bitterly to weep and to bemoan her-her, but Catherina, are you not afraid that self, crying out that eternity, and therein to you deceive yourself? I can scarcely believe be lost, brought a distress upon her which what you now have told me. she was not able to bear; and falling down “Oh no, sir, said she, because the Reon her knees prayed earnestly, crying out, deemer will not reveal deceitful things to me; being all in tears, o God, convert me! O besides I did not know there was a Redeemer. God, convert me! repeating that several He recommended her to pray to the Lord times.

for discerning light, in order, if she had Thus she continued, until one Monday upon eternity on any imagination ; do it,

deceived herself, not to venture her soul morning, the gentleman asked her

said he, continually ; if your experience is “ How do you do ? said he, as he entered genuine, the Lord will lead you further, and the room. I am very well, sir, replied she. clear you up in what he has done already. Wherein consists, said he, your being very And after he had prayed to the Lord for that well? I will tell you, sir, said she ; last purpose, he departed. When the minister night, after the other gentleman departed repaired unto her in the evening, the first from me, I fell upon my knees (the people thing he observed in her was, she never who attended her that night declared she was before looked a person in the face that spoke three quarters of an hour upon her knees) to her, but now she straightly fixed her eyes praying God to be pleased to give me a right upon him, and appeared outwardly as one in sight of my sins, and God gave me to see a serene and calm frame of mind." my sins; the sin wherein I was born, and all So great and marvellous a change ex

« PreviousContinue »