Page images
PDF
EPUB

who dips and drinks from the spring, that his feelings are fanciful, that the water is hot instead of cold, you will not alter his belief in this case.

CHAPTER XL.

ILLUSTRATIONS.

Second Remedy.—The wicked may go to the practice of the precepts of the Bible. Those who practise with humble industry, are met and assisted. All, we mean, who apply to the Saviour of lost souls, quitting their sins, are met: none are rejected. Those who live as commanded, receive in their own spirits a consciousness, a knowledge of the inspiration of the Holy Scripturcs. Men

may not only have their sins forgiven, but they are not compelled to remain infants in experi. mental religion. This all.powerful remedy is offered to all. We must continue to notice it, to look at it again and again. We must exhibit it until all can understand its nature.

EXPERIMENTAL CURE.

Illustrative incidents as they happened.-Case 2.A professor of religion felt concerned at the fact that his soul was not melted at the history of the scene of calvary. He had once felt deeply at the picture of a Saviour's suf. ferings, but these feelings had left him. He heard a minister tell it over, but he had heard it or read it an hundred times before. He turned to the Testament and read again, and tried to feel : his affections were dead.

He went to the communion board : there were the cup and the bread speaking of blood and crucifixion : it was all old. He had thought it over, trying to feel it, a hundred times.—Reader, if you are unconverted, and if you think one might succeed in such a case by simple resolve, try it. Create the feeling in your own bosom, and God grant that you may feel.

Not to dwell on minute particulars, we must hasten briefly to the result. The callous professor prayed and prayed week after week. He did not feel. At last he humbled himself, fasted and prayed. When not looking or expecting to feel, the name of Christ melted his soul, as words cannot describe. Any sentence he would read in the Book, or hear from others, of the Saviour, made his tears overflow. The word Calvary would awaken in him emotions which he could not express. This man's experience that God is willing to converse with men did not stop here. There was another doc. trine which he did not feel, tried to feel, and failed -went for help to his former Benefactor, and succeeded. He desired another trait of Christian character, endeavoured to assume it by strong determination, but failed. He humbled himself before his Lord, and received bountifully.

CHAPTER XLI.

ILLUSTRATIONS.

Second Remedy.-Dear reader, there are two consid. erations which we here entreat you to treasure. First, the two individuals of whose experience we have been writing, are not the only witnesses. They are selected from a cloud of ten thousand times ten thousand. It is true, that a vast majority of professors, never do reach beyond a state of infancy; of course they do not belong to the cloud to which we refer. Many professors, and possessors of piety a little more advanced, receive answers to their prayers and forget it, or do not observe distinct. ly from whence their assistance came. This evidence of man's depravity (Christian stupidity) is visible every day. But the Lord has always an army of witnesses on the earth, such as the two we have noticed. The ungodly neighbours of these witnesses call them men of truth, and would take their testimony in a court of jus. tice, but pay no attention to their statements concern. ing their knowledge of eternal things.

Again ; impress it upon your recollection, that these witnesses have not this sight of heavenly things merely once or twice in a lifetime. They do not thus seldom have communion with God, and experimental knowledge of the doctrines of Holy Writ. This continues daily and hourly so long as they live up to their duty and near to their Saviour. Here is a witness who feels perhaps to-day that he does not mourn as he should over the low state of religion. After passing through the effort we have

partly described before, the Spirit touches his heart, and every breath is a sigh of anguish, or a sob of grief for the desolations of Zion. At another time he observes that he does not feel as he should, the nothingness of earth, and a proper indifference to the things of time. His success in this pursuit tells him of an omnipresent God again. Then he wishes to feel for the heathen, or he wishes to feel more pungent shame for the sins of early life, or he desires more industry, or more patience, or meekness, or more exulting joy, or more of any one out of the long catalogue of Christian graces; and when he comes to ask as suppliants should come, he receives, un. til he repeats again with high exultation, “ I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he will stand at the latter day upon the earth; and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God, whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another.” Job xix. 25. Reader, the watchful, obedient, and industrious soldier, although he walks by faith and not by sight, yet by gracious, spiritual, and bright communications, has, as it were, a daily sight into heaven. He obtains that deliberate confidence in eternal things which an apostle felt when he said, without hesitation, or an expression intimating doubt, " There is laid up for me a crown of righteousness."

We must relate two more incidents before we come to the application. Reader, think and pray over these things, for your soul is precious.

EXPERIMENTAL CURE.

Illustrative Incidents.-Case 3.-A person who had

obtained a hope in Christ felt great reluctance to conducting family worship. But he believed household devotion to be indispensable, and resolved to attempt the duty, however self-denying. He continued it for nine years, wishing it was not so irksome, but never omitting it. When his prayers were heard, it was strange to what an extent the Lord manifested himself to him when before that altar. His feelings might be dull elsewhere, perhaps cold at church, sluggish even at the communiontable ; but in morning and evening worship he frequently-had such views of heaven and heavenly things that he could scarcely officiate. He stated that he had sometimes been reminded of the fact recorded of Toplady before his death, that his spiritual views became so bright, that he exclaimed, “Lord, hold thine hand, for thy servant can bear no more.”

Reader, the witnesses of the Lord are not merely brought to feel on subjects of indifference, but in a direction opposite to the current of their former af. fections. They are made to hate that which they once loved, and to love that which they once hated. They are allowed any amount of evidence. The treasury can never be exhausted. No matter what degree of certainty any one may wish to connect with the words“I know that my Redeemer liveth," he may ask it of God; and living more and more devotedly to Him, in the discharge of Christian duty, he may reach a certainty as cool and deliberate as that of the man who says at midnight, "I have no doubt the sun is down," or who says "he shines,” whilst looking at his blinding glory. There is a passionate man,

he
may

obtain meekness. There is a covetous

« PreviousContinue »