« PreviousContinue »
WITH PRACTICAL AND DEVOTIONAL REMARKS, SUITED TO
THE Design of this little Volume is sufficiently explained in its Title. A short account, however, of the manner in which it eventually was written, may help Christian Friends in the use of it.
The Writer was accustomed, more than twenty years ago, when he had Pastoral Duties in a large Provincial Town, to carry with him a Bible or Testament, in which he had marked Select Passages, in the Margin, with a broad ink-line; so that, in visiting the Poor and Sick, the eye might readily turn to some portion of the Word of God suitable to their case. This is nothing more, he is aware, than what is done by many Ministers and Benevolent Christians, who seek out the Poor, for the purpose of teaching them the things necessary to their Salvation but it is here mentioned, because the habit, early formed, has been found by the Author
useful to him in many after-scenes of his life; in the parlour, in the prison, in the hospital, in the cottage, and the sick-chamber; in voyages, in journeys, and sometimes in scenes where he has been suddenly called to speak to dying persons, who perhaps never before heard the Gospel. Such was the case with a young Englishman, whom he found (in 1819) in a distant part of Egypt, languishing, and almost senseless; to whom there was just time, before his death, to speak of the Saviour, from the passage with which this Volume opens, "The Faithful Saying."
Now, however, during a residence of five years in or near this great Metropolis, the Writer daily perceives, that there are myriads of his FellowCountrymen living in the lowest depths of ignorance, sin and misery: and he has sometimes been led to think, that it may be easier to go forth as aMissionary to Malta, to India, or to China, than to reach the wants of these multitudes, who are perishing within a short distance of our own doors.
Both objects, however, must, according to our abilities, be aimed at; Foreign Missions, and HomeLabours. And where we cannot do much, we must attempt a little; not hiding our one talent.
It has ever appeared to the Author, that one of the most desirable of Talents, would be, the art of