Page images


trust in him, and who have been but it is out of the question to sent forth by his Spirit to preach night.”—The poor man, almost in his dying love and quickening despair, ran to the Episcopal Papower to poor ignorant sinners. lace, and stated his case. M. d?

The diocese of Alêt or Alais is Alêt was gone to bed. He, how. situated near the foot of the Py- ever, immediately rose. On look,

Whoever may have seen ing out of the window, and seeing the dreadful passes in these moun

that the weather was really bad, tains, will be convinced that grace, he ordered the torches to be lighted, and not nature, could alone have and prepared to go himself. The induced an aged man, when above grand vicar, astonished, asked if seventy, to tempt them every he had not better order the curate month. Some of the places had to go, and do what was in fact his no road, but a path scooped out of duty. No,” said the Bishop, the rock; in others, the footing“ not for this once; a Bishop, a was washed away by torrents, and Christian overseer at the head of only a few loose stones remained. his flock, like Cæsar at the head Over these tremendous passes, the of his legions, should, if he inean litter of M. d'Alêt was constantly to succeed, oftener say venite seen to traverse. Frequently the (come) than ite (go).” road was too narrow for its width, Thé Bishop possessed a very and it was seen overhanging preci- happy way of explaining himself in pices a quarter of a mile in perpen- a few words. A person, who had dicular depth; in which one false long practised many austerities; step of either mule must have without finding any comfort or infallibly precipitated him. On change of heart, was once comsuch occasions, it was delightful plaining to the Bishop, “ Alas,” to see the people's love for their said he,“ self-will and self-righaged pastor; the young shepherds teousness follow me every where; fell on their knees in prayer for his only tell me where you think I shall preservation, whilst the hoary- learn to leave self. Will it be in headed ones, whose faith was discipline, in study, in prayer, or stronger, seemed to chide their in good works?

“ I think," redoubts, exclaiming, “ God is with plied the prelate," the place where him ! his footsteps shall not slide.” you will lose self, will be that There are several hamlets be- where


Saviour." longing to the village of Alet, Another person pleading in behalf which are both remote and diffi- of uniting worldly acquaintance cult of access. A poor woman with religious professions, said, who was exceedingly ill, desired “ Believers are called to be the her husband to go to the curate and salt of the earth.” Yes,” said request him to come, and to ad- M. d'Alët, and yet if salt be minister the sacrament immediate- cast into the ocean from which it ly. It was very late in the even- was originally drawn, it will nielt ing and quite dark. As the roads away and vanish entirely.” A were besides covered with snow person once excusing his non-atand exceedingly dangerous, the tendance on public worship, by curate did not like to go at such an pleading the disagreeable appearhour. “My good friend,” said he, ance and manner of the minister, “perhaps your wife may not be so “ Let us look more at our Saviour, ill as you imagine. You see the and less at the instruments," said weather; besides, at this late hour, M. d'Alèt; “ Elijah was as well consider the imminent danger of nourished, when the bread from falling over the precipices. I will heaven was brought by a raven, as wait on your wife early to-morrow, Ishmael, when the spring of water was revealed to him by an angel. Esau, you will find their voices Whether then we are fed immedi- and their hearts are still belonging ately from God, as the Israelites, to Jacob.” with manna in the wilderness, or All M. d'Alêt's household apby the glorious instrumentality of peared to partake in different dethose who may seem

to us as grees of the same spirit. The angels; or by the base one of those ministers who resided with him who appear to us contemptible, were all men of genuine piety ; let us be content and thankful, if some of them also possessed deep they are but appointed of God, and learning. Those chiefly assisted if it be the bread and water of the Bishop in drawing up instruclife that they bring.”

tions for bis diocese. Even the M. d' Alet's manners were un- very servants breathed the same commonly sweet and prepossess- spirit. Their recollection, silence, ing: and he strongly recommended humility, obedience, and exactChristian politeness to others, as a ness, was truly edifying; and they constant exercise of love, patience, performed their business with humility, and self-denial.

He wonderful attention and seemed to looked as constantly to Christ in live in a constant spirit of prayer little things as great; nevertheless, and praise. no one ever bore with greater kind- Such was the house of the Bishop ness the entire want of these things of Alêt; such is a brief view of in others, or was more united in the character of that excellent man, heart to them where they were that apostolic pastor of a Christian so with Christ. “ My dear friends." Church, and that humble saint rehe used to say to his flock, “never joicing in persecution for Christ's forget it is your glorious privilege sake: whom the great of this to be a chosen generation; a holy world treated as the

offscournation; a peculiar people; and a ing of the earth, and that because royal priesthood. Let us then re- he refused to sign an iniquitous semble the high Priest, who when formulary of persecution-a formuhe was anointed with that sacred lary which denounced banishment, unction, let the oil run down to imprisonment, and death against the very hems and fringes of his the true servants of our Lord Jesus garment, that even the smallest Christ-a formulary, which, whilst parts might shed the fragrant per- it was the means of bestowing the fume of the sanctuary. But, do crown of martyrdom on some, has not cultivate a fastidious delicacy been a stumbling-block to thoutowards others, in making requisi- sands. tions you find it so hard to comply The court never forgave him for with yourselves. Be content, ifi refusing his assent to the persecuby a living faith they cleave in tions of the Jansenists; and he sincerity to Christ our died in disgrace in the year 1677, even if their manners are sometimes having attained to the venerable rough and unpolished. Remem- age of eighty. . ber, though their hands be those of




FROM A CLERGYMAN TO HIS PARISHIONERS. If Christians were every night that they make known to us the to call themselves to a strict ac- only means of salvation; and that count for the actions of the past they testify of Christ?-John, v. day, and were also at all other 39. suitable opportunities seriously to Do I ever make any irreverent examine into the state of their mention of the name of God? hearts before God; they would Exod. xx. 7.; Isa. lii. 5. greatly promote, through the merits Do I religiously observe the of Jesus Christ and the gracious duties of the Sabbath day?- Exod. influences of the Divine Spirit, the xx. 8. ; Isa. Ivi. 2. best and eternal iuterests of their Do I abstain from the holy ordisouls.

nance of the Lord's Supper, from

a consciousness that I live in al. It is good for me to draw near to lowed habitual sin, or in the neglect God.-Psa. Ixxiii. 28.

of enjoined duties; or from illI thought on my ways, and founded apprehensions of the peril turned my feet unto thy testimonies. of the unworthy receiving thereof? - Psa. cxix. 59.

-1 Cor. xi. 29. ; Acts, viii. 22. Thus saith the Lord of Hosts; Does my act of communicating Consider your ways.-Hag. i. 7. in this Holy Sacrament imply an

At those times let some such open confession of my guilt and inquiry as the following be made : ruined state; my faith in the atone

Now that I am retired from the ment of Christ, and in the necesworld, and am seen by no mortal sity, reality, and suitableness of eye, let me solemnly ask myself; his sacrifice and vicarious sufferWhether I approach God with pro- ings; and is it a strong expression found reverence, with a deep and of

my love and gratitude to him? awful sense of the greatness of his Is it a declaration that I forgive Majesty, the purity of his Holi- those who have injured me, and ness, the wonderful extent of his that I am desirous of living peacemercy, and the immutability of bis ably with all men?-Rom. v. 11.; justice ;-Exod. iii. 5.; Eccles. v. vii, 24.; xii. 18. 2.; Exod. xv. 11.; 1 Chron. xxix. Am I careful to exhort my

chil11.; Isa. xlv. 21.

dren and household, to keep the Have I by habitual prayer and way of the Lord; to do justly, to supplication, with thanksgiving, love mercy, and to walk humbly made known my requests unto God? with their God?-Gen. xviii. 19.; Phil. iv. 6.

Micah, vi. 8. Have I not drawn nigh unto Do I call my family together him with my mouth and honoured every morning and evening, to join him with

my heart in prayer to God?-Josh. xxiv. 15. hath been far from him?-Matt. In what sinful pleasure or pursuit

have I denied myself this day for Do I read and study the Holy Christ's sake? - Luke, ix. 23. Scriptures with diligence and atten

Am I a companion of them that tion; with an honest simplicity of fear God and keep his precepts; mind, and an humble desire to be or do I associate with wicked and guided, directed, and instructed by ungodly men ?-Psalm cxix. 59.; them ?-2 Tim. iii. 16.

Prov. xiii. 20. Do I believe that they contain Have I transgressed or neglected the revelation of God's will to men; any of the duties of my station, as


my lips, whilst

xv. 8.

a master, servant, husband, wife, Christian brethren upon religious parent, child, &c.-Eph. v. 22 to topics ?-Deut. vi. 6. vi. 9; Col. iii. 18. to iv. 2.

Does not filthy, obscene, or corDo I dread sin and its con- rupt communication, proceed out sequences as the greatest of all of my mouth ?--Col. iii. 8.; Eph. evils, as opposed to my present iv. 29. and future happiness, and as tend- Am I diligent in business, and ing to involve me in everlasting temperate in all things? - Prov. destruction ?-Rom. iii. 23., vi. 23. xxii. 29.; 1 Cor. ix. 25.

Am I, indeed, sorry for my past Do I speak the truth on all occasins, and are they as a heavy sions ? Am I honest, upright, burden too heavy for me? And do and sincere in my dealings with I believe that they would sink me other men ?-Psalm xv. 2.; Rom. into despair and ruin, if they were xii. 17.; 1 Thess. iv. 6. not forgiven by God? - Psalm Do I act upon this important Xxxviii. 4, 18.

Christian precept: All things whatDo I live in the habitual neglect soever ye would that men should do of any one duty, or in the wilful to you, do ye even so to them?commission of any one act of im- Matt. vii. 12. piety ? -- Psa. cxix. 101, 104.; Does

my character resemble James, ii. 10.

that of the proud and self-righIs there no worldly care, in- teous Pharisee, or that of the terest, or indulgence; no evil pas- humble and penitent Publican? sion or vicious inclination, that Luke, xviii. 9—14. hinders my spiritual progress, and Are my hopes of eternal glory overcomes me more easily than built on Jesus Christ, as the only other sins ?-Heb. xii. 1.

foundation? Do I trust in Him, Am I careful to abstain from all as the only anchor of my soul; the appearance of evil, and to act only Rock of my salvation; my uprightly, both in public and in only Redeemer, Mediator, Advoprivate ?-1 Thess. v. 22.

cate, and Intercessor with God? Do I set the Lord always before Do I confide in him, as the only me? Have I never forgotten the propitiation for sins? And do I Lord my Maker?—Psalm xvi. 8.; believe in him, as the Lord our Isa. li. 13.

Righteousness, Emmanuel, God Is there not iniquity in my heart with us?-1 Cor. i. 30. iii. 11. x. 4.; Does

my heart rejoice in the Lord? Heb. vi. 19. vii. 25,; Psalm xcv. -Psalm lxvi. 18.; Hos. iv. 8.; 1.; Jer. xxiii. 6. I. 34. ; 1 Tim. ii. Zech. x. 7.; Phil. iii. I.

5.; 1 John, ii, 1, 2.; Matt. i. 23. Is not my mind polluted with Have I reason to hope and to impure and unchaste desires, which, be persuaded, that I am actuated although concealed from men, are by the quickening Spirit of God, abominable in the sight of God? and that that Spirit beareth witness Prov. xxiv. 9.; Hab. i. 13.

with my spirit that I am a child : Do I offend God and man, by of God? Do I not resist and pride, anger, malice, hatred, re- grieve that Spirit ?-John, vi. 63. venge, or lust!--Proverbs, xvi .18.; Rom. viii. 16.; Acts, vii. 51; Eph. iv. 31.; 1 Peter, ii. 1.; Lev. Eph. iv. 30. xix. 18.; Rom. xii. 19.; James, There is but a step between me i. 15.

and death : Has the closing day Am I tender of my neighbour's brought me nearer to heaven or to reputation? Do I not needlessly hell? What is the state of my expose his faults ?- Titus, iii. 2.; soul towards God?-1 Sam. xx. 3. James, iv. 11.

God may require my soul of me Do I ever converse with my this night: Am I prepared to obey

DEC. 1824.


3 o

so awful a command without ex- displeasure ;-Matt. XXV. 1, 15.; treme fear and trembling? Do I Rom. xv. 13.; Heb. x. 27. enjoy the blessed hope of an en- Know therefore and see that it trance being ministered to me into is an evil thing and bitter, that that house which is eternal in the thou hast forsaken the Lord thy heavens?—Luke, xii. 20.; 2 Cor. God, and that my fear is not in V. 1.

thee, saith the Lord of Hosts.Am I in a fit condition to die? Jer. ii. 19. Is my lamp burning ? Have I im- O wretched man that I am! Who proved the talent committed to my shall deliver me from the body of care? Am I filled with joy and this death? I thank God through peace in believing? Have I not Jesus Christ our Lord.-Rom. vii. cause to dread God's everlasting 24, 25.


“ Search me, O God, and know “ Give ear to my words, O Lord, my heart; try me and know my consider my meditation. Hearken thoughts; and see if there be any unto the voice of my cry, my King, wicked way in me, and lead me in and my God : for unto thee will I the way everlasting.” Psalm pray. My voice shalt thou hear in cxxxix. 23, 24. the morning, O Lord; in the morn- If any man begins and ends the ing will I direct my prayer unto day, without feeling a strong imthee; and will look up.”—Psalm pulse of devotion, and a warm v. 1-3.

and affectionate sense of gratitude As for me, I will call upon to God, he has reason to suspect God; and the Lord shall save me. the inclinations of his heart, and Evening and morning, and at noon to fear that he is unacquainted with will I pray, and cry aloud; and the true spirit of piety. If, alhe shall hear my voice.”—Psalm lv. though permitted again to behold 16, 17.

the light of the sun, and although “ When Daniel knew that the awakened from sleep, and in the writing was signed, he went into enjoyment of health and safety, his house; and his windows being he neglects to dedicate the first open in his chamber towards Jeru- moments of the day to prayer, salem, he kneeled upon his knees praise, and other devout exercises ; three times a day, and prayed, and and if, when darkness is spread gave thanks before his God, as he around, he consigns himself to did aforetime."-Dan. vi. 10. his usual repose, without previously

“ And in the morning, rising up beseeching God, for the sake of a great while before day, he went Jesus Christ, to pardon his sins, out, and departed into a solitary and to vouchsafe, at all times, the place, and there prayed.”—Mark, gracious and necessary influences i. 35.

of the Holy Spirit; if any man “ Lawaked, and beheld; and my lives thus without serious meditasleep was sweet unto me." -Jer, tion and earnest prayer; if be xxxi. 26.

does not, on all proper occasions, « Blessed is the man that en- make known his wants to his dureth temptation : for when he is heavenly Father; if he does not tried, he shall receive the crown of avail himself of the condescension, life, which the Lord hath promised to mercy, and love of his Creator, them that love him."-James, i, 12. Preserver, and Redeemer, he has

« PreviousContinue »