« PreviousContinue »
greatest trial; but Satan is kept under. I have peace, hope, and joy beyond expression; but I still find myself a corrupted creature, and have the greatest reason to cry with my latest breath, God be merciful to me a sinner! I have no wish to return to life again, but I desire to wait God's time with patience.'
"In this young person's happy death, we receive a testimony of the power and grace of the Redeemer. It is a peculiar blessing, my dear friend, that you are resigned to his will, and that you can see that the sting of death is removed. O may all who suffer by your illness be equally submissive, and not the worse but the better for the cross. I am and shall be earnest at the throne of grace in your behalf, that the Lord may pour out upon you the influences of his Holy Spirit, that what he calls you to, he may fit you for; but you have a better intercessor than I am, whom the Father heareth always. Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, be your support under, and do you good by this dispensation. Believe me to be, more than I can express, your sincere and affectionate friend.”
The family usually left Taymouth at the close of the autumn. This year, it would seem, they had taken their departure sooner, for Lady Glenorchy was in London early in October. This probably was intended by her friends to divert her mind from those serious subjects which occupied it. Aware of the danger attending this return to the seat and centre of dissipation, she had made up her mind to resist it, and had informed Miss Hill of her determination. In this resolution her friend endeavoured to confirm her, by addressing to her the following letter.
"October 14. 1765.
"As my brother goes through London, I cannot omit writing you a few lines by him, and sending you some tracts, which I trust may be of use to you in your present resolution of seeking our blessed Jesus, and of being no more conformed to this vain world. Although I am most deeply affected by your illness, I cannot but rejoice in the happy change produced on your mind. O my dear friend, what abundant cause of thankfulness and rejoicing have you, that God has thus brought you to himself—that he has shewn you the nothingness of every creature comfort, and enabled you to seek happiness where alone it is to be found, before you are called home, to be no more in the world. The power of the Redeemer's grace now makes you look upon the salvation of your soul as the one thing needful; and instead of attempting to feed your mind with the emptiness of worldly amusements, enables you to see his power and his glory in the sanctuary, and to look forward towards eternity with a hope full of a glorious immortality. This change has been wrought by the finger of God, and even in its lowest degree is to be thankfully acknowledged and remembered in every dejection of mind which, through the force of your distemper, may surprise you. I trust you will always be enabled to recollect and to say with comfort, Remember, O Lord, thy gracious word unto thy servant, wherein thou hast caused him to hope.' May your soul, my dear friend, rejoice more and more in an experimental sense of communion with the blessed Jesus, and in the sensible manifestations of his love and favour! O how far preferable is this to the vain, false, momentary, unsatisfactory toys on which the children of this world fix their deluded hearts. The worldling, it is true, sees no
excellency, no form nor comeliness in the Lord Jesus wherefore he should be desired, as if there was no more in the knowledge of Christ the Saviour than in the knowledge of the world, its vanities and pursuits. Glory, glory be to rich grace, that has taken the dark scales from off our eyes, and enables us to call Christ our Beloved and our Friend, the choice, the rest, the life and the joy of our souls, our all in all, in whom we both wish to live and die. In him all fulness dwells, and he has it for the express purpose of dispensing it liberally. This is the fulness of a fountain ever flowing, yet ever full; and, therefore, none ever applied to it in good earnest and was disappointed. O may we never dishonour the profession we make by any sinful worldly compliances, which may at once destroy both our communion with God and our peace of conscience. The fears you mention, of returning to a life of vanity, if it please God to continue you much longer in the world, are an evidence of your progress in the divine life, and that you have been effectually brought out of the captivity of Satan, into the glorious liberty of the children of God. How much do I feel myself attached to you, to whom I perceive the Lord is manifesting himself, and whom I trust he is sealing unto the day of final redemption. So long as you keep the importance of salvation in view, looking at Christ as your only satisfying good, your only enriching treasure, and relying on him for strength, you will no doubt be kept from falling; you have God's promise on your side, which cannot fail:
When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burnt, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of
Israel, thy Saviour.'- Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee.' I am glad that you examine strictly into your own heart. May the Lord enable us to approve ourselves to him, and to strive most vigorously against all unhallowed inclinations, those sources of actual transgression wherewith we more or less offend God continually, both in heart and life! To the care and protection of God I now heartily commend you. May his blessing follow you, and if it is his good pleasure, may you be restored to health; at all events, may you be conducted safe to the desired haven of eternal rest and bliss! So prays your sincere friend."
The doctrines of forgiveness by the sacrifice of Christ, of justification hy his righteousness, and of regeneration by the Spirit, were at this time revived and preached in England-They occupy the attention of Lady Glenorchy-Miss Hill writes her opinion of them-Amidst the follies of London and Bath, Lady Glenorchy determines to resist themAnd, in a letter, Miss Hill expresses her satisfaction at the determination.
FROM the time of the Reformation to that of the Restoration, the scripture doctrines of the free forgiveness of sins by the sacrifice of Christ, of justification by his righteousness, and of regeneration by the operations of the Holy Ghost, were very generally taught throughout all England. After the Restoration, however, they became too generally neglected and forgotten. So much indeed was this the case, that when they were preached by the regular clergy, Hervey, Romaine, and a few others, from their pulpits, and by the irregular clergy, Whitfield and Wesley, and their followers, in the streets and fields, there was a general commotion excited throughout the whole land, as if some new, and strange, and pernicious tenets had been introduced. About this time these topics became very frequently not only the subjects of controversy from the pulpit and the press, but the subjects also of conversation among professing Christians, and were condemned or applauded by them, according to the different views which had been formed of their nature and importance. Among others, Lady Glenorchy had her