« PreviousContinue »
proof sheets as fast as they came off. Thus God was pleased io illumine his understanding, to bring him to the knowledge of himself as a sinner, and io acquaint him with Jesus Christ as a Saviour. He was neither led long nor far about Sinai; nor was he ever exercised with many perplexing doubts. He grew rapidly in giace; and appeared like another John, leaning on his Master's bosom, favoured with peculiar access to his heart, and grew in the knowledge of his word. Old things now passed away; and in Christ Jesus he became a new creature. Possessing a new nature, new appeties, and new desires, he found in the preaching of Messrs Foster, Cecil, and some others, the food he wanted. But food is not the only requisite: babes in grace, as well as nature, weed a nursingparent. This he was also provided with, in the acquaintance of“ a mother in Israel," whose heart and house were open to God and his people. She possessed a discerning spirit; and discovered in young Jackson, talents that promised future glory to God, in usefulness to his church. To her he frequently reborted, and benefitted by her counsel. On one of these occasions, she insisted upon his praying with her. Startled at the request, he refused; but she was firin, and resolved to accept
On hearing hin, she was confirmed in this unexpected opinion. She next persuaded him to engage in a select company who assembled at her house for prayer and exhortation. With this Society he met constantly, sometimes praying; but never attempted to speak, till one evening, when being disappointed of their speaker, the old lady fixed upon Mr. Jackson to supply the lack of service. A call so public and unexpected overwhelmed bim for a time, but all waiting in silence, and every eye being fixed upon him, he felt the attempt a duty; and intieating the Lord for assistance, be addressed them in such a way, as left no hesitation on the mind of any present, respecting his fitness for the work of the ministry.
He was now about eighteen, and no longer permitted to inclose his light in a bushel; but continued to preach in London, and its environs, till the expiration of bis apprenticeship; before which, he had attracted the attention of the Rev. Mr. Townsend, of Rotherhithe, Mr. Aldrige, of Jewry Street, and other respectable ministers, whose purpits he frequently filled, to the edification of their hearers. As soon as he was at liberty from his master, he accepted an invitation from Brou.yard, in Worcestershire, where he remained about ten months; and left the congregation much increased, and the cirurch very desirous of his taking the pastoral charge of them. During his residence at Bromyard, he frequently visited Worcester (fourteen miles distant); and the savour of his labours in that city continue to be remembered by many with pleasure and gratitude. There he frequenily preached, in the meeting now Mr Osborne's ; in which, at that time, the sentiment Wits hetero-lox, and the interest so low, that the place was nearly deserted; but, through a blessing on his preaching, it quickly filled ; and the old minister, for sol, assigned the pulpit to the new bearers, who formed the church alresh, and invited their present valuable pastor.
At the close of 1790, he visited Bristol Hot Wells; and supplied Hope Chapel, where he had the unani,nous invitation to settle; but conscientious motives induced his declining it, as he from principle dissented froin the ceremonies, as well as government, of the Established Churchi.
Early in the year 1709, be rather accidentally visited Yeovil, in Somersetshire, having spent most of the intermediate months very usefully at Cradely, in Worcestershire; and a few in Ireland. While he laboured in Somersetsbire, there was a great revival of religion : a new meeting - house was erected, and filed; and he twice received a united call, and intended to accept it; but the unexpected disclosure of some sentimental diference, in a few individuals of the church, determined bim otherwise. - In October he spent a single Sabbath at Warminster, where neither his person nor name was known wher: he entered the pulpit; but his first sermon was blessed to two personis, who became ornamental members of the church; and such was the general sentiment,' that many observed, “ If this man be put to settle, and live and die among us, we hope we shall never hear him again." On leave ing Yeovil, in April, 1799, he re-visited Warminster; and, afier prontably spending six months there, was ordained to the pastoral oilice, Nov. I, of the same year *.
Warminster is a manufacturing town in Wilts, containing 4700 in habitants. The Independent Meeting, in which our friend firstįreached there, was originally a cottage, converted into a place of worship by a few pions, persons, vidio separated, on account of religious sentiments, about the year 1720, from the Presbyterian church in the town Arter forming into a church, under a pastor much he loved, Mr. Pike, charge successively devolved on Messrs. Ilorsey, Pearsall, Dr. Fisher, Mr. Jamieson, Mr. Fry, and Mr. Gibbons, not one of whom died with them.
[To be concluded in our next.)
FRENCH RELIGION. WAE ruminating the other evening on the present state of religion in France, it brought to my recollection a conversae tion which took place between myself and Monsieur de Veide,
one of the principal officers in the civil department at Boulogne, at the time I was there, commanding a cartel, soon after the late war: his reply to my remark will shew how extremely ignorant he inust be of the nature of true religion. Seeing their chief market held on the Sabbath-Day; the boys at their gaines in the streets ; troops innumerable lounging about the town, and as many upon the heights; the houses full, where their small wines are retailed ; and many oiher symptoms uniavourable to religion, - I observed to the above respectable officer, That there appeared nothing like religion among the French people. He replieci, “ Nothing at all. We have no religion ainongst us now; but the Convention are about to make one: thien we shall
Ah, when will the glorious period arrive, when men shall cease manufacturing their own religions, and be brought to submit to the pure and undefiled religion of the Bible!
GOOD EFFECT OF RETURNING KINDNESS FOR AN INJURY.
A FEW years since, a person of coasiderable property, near eighty miles from Loodun, bad part of a fence broke down, and takea off his premisses. On an investigation, the otlender was known, who, afier some time, was sent for. On bis arrival he was placed in a room, where every thing desirable was set for his refreshinent. The good man of the house repeatedly desired bim to partake plentifully; at the close of which, he steps softly to him, and with a gentle voice, says, “ My friend, I hope after this, you will not carry away my fence any more.” It had its desired effect. — Thou injured Christian, make the word of God thy guide! Grecnwich.
WORLDLY ATTACHMENTS UNNECESSARY. It is reported by the Rabbinical writers, that Melchiseder, being warned of God to build a house for him-elf, for that he had yet 500 years to live, -- answered, That for go short a time it was not worth the labour.
Whether this story be true or faise, we may learn from it the excessive folly of modern woldlings, who must calculate their lives, not by hundreds of years, -- but by the day, by the spau, by the inch, and yet are as solicitous about worldly mitters, as if they were sure of ages to come!
- Lord! make me to koow mine, eur, ad 'lie mesura of my days, what it is, that I may know how fa. I an!"
OF MADELEY, SPIROPSHIRE.
Dear Miss S-,
God blesses you with one of his choicest inercies, Affliction : ard, I trust that, though his grace and your humble subenission to his unerring goodness, I may say sanctified af. trictions. The word of God drives the nail of his fear, but Åffliction clinches it. Sickness is sent us for one or more of the following reasons: - For the glory of God, like the sickness of Lazarus; for the trial of our patience, like Job's boils; for our humiliation, like Hezekiah's an David's maladies, who, when they were sick, went to their God right humbly * ; - to quicken our graces, and inake us prepare ourselves for our approaching change, like the wise virgins, who trimined their lamps at the midnight call; – to make us edily our neighbours by the example of our patience, like Christ, who was led to the slaugher as a lamb, and opened not bis mouth. Sometimes also, God sends lis sickness to counterbalance worldly prosperity, and to make us remeinber we are but men, and one thing is needital for us, viz. Laying up treasures in Heaven, and taking the cordial of Jesus's love. God afflicted also the Corinthians with sickness, for their spiritual declensions, and to inake way for the loosening their from the flesh, that they might be saved in the day of the Lord.
Let us examine ourselves in all these respects, and pray that every one of God's gracious designs towards us may be happily answered : so shall the life or the death of the righteous be the happy consequence of our visitation. It gives me much pleasure to think, that you know whom to apply to in every trouble. “To whom shall we go:" is the cry of every publican: “ Thou hast the words of ereriasting life.” 0 speak to my inmost soul! What a Physician! He is yesterday, to-day, and for ever the same. Fle heals the soul; and, if it be best, the body too, by a word, - a touch; an ordinary or an extraordinary mear. Let his cross be the pole towards which you look, while you feel your affliction in the wilder.
Let his inerits be your confidence, his blood your cordial, bis spirit your comforter, his gracious will your stay, your firm hope in his word your sure anchor, - and you will safely outride the storm. - That you may do it uiumphantly as well as safely, is the prayer of
your affectionate friend, Maleley.
* Psalm xxx
THE NECESSITY OF MAINTAINING
Only let your conversation be as it becometh the Gospel of Christ.
Such is the nature of genuine religion, that a conversation becoming the gospel, as naturally proceeds from it as rays of light issue froni the sun. “ If the tree be good, its fruit will be good; if the tree be corrupt, its fruit will be corrupt. Men do not gather grapes off thorns, or figs off thistles ; neither doth a fig-tree bear olive-berries, or a vine figs.” Every tree will bring forth fruit according to its kind; and he who is a wise man and endowed with knowledge among you, will shew, out of a good conversation, his works with meekness of wisdom. Good works are necessary in professors of religion, to evidence their sincerity. To know who are the people of Christ, it is not enough to know what they understand, or what are the various opinions wbich form the substance of their creed ; but whether they have a conversation becoming the gospel, and in all things walk worthy of thàt vocation wherewith they are called. To maintain such a conversation will certainly be their care; and to know how the rule enjoining it is to be exemplified, is worthy of their closest study.
1. An holy conversation is becoming the gospel of Christ. " As he who hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation ; for it is written, Be ye holy, for I ain holy.” A holy conversation is the natural fruit of inward purity; and, as the soul is created after the image of God, in righteousness and true holiness, the practice will correspond to the prevailing temper of the hcart. "Holiness is that which opposeth itself to sin, and may be considered as conformity of nature to the image of God, and conformity of practice to the letter and spirit of his law; and being a resemblance to the purity of the divine character, it should run through the whole of the Christiau's conversation. It is the end of their election whom God hath chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world," that they should be holy, and without blame before him in love;" and the design of Christ's dying for them," to redeem thein froin all iniquity, to sanctify and cleanse thein with the washing of water by the word, that he may present them to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that they should be holy, and without bleinish."
2. A conversation blameless, and without offence, is a conversation becoming the gospel. “ Be wise its serpents, and harmless as doves. Do all things without murinurings and disputings, that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of