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tent to bear this sad trial as a suitable punishment for my former faults. Oh, my beloved brother, what happiness to feel that, guilty and impure as my heart has been in the eyes of a just and holy God, still the atoning blood of our Redeemer has washed all
sins away. Oh, what fearful guilt has reigned in my
heart this last sad year. My only idol was removed, and instead of being resigned to the will of God, my whole soul rose in rebellion against him, while to my father and mother my feelings were almost approaching to hatred. Dr. Graham, through the blessing of God, was the first means of awakening my soul from the cold gloomy despair which I so long had laboured under. He told me of what Jesus suffered, suffered for us, that through him we might be saved. Oh, my dear brother, how utterly unworthy I felt of such love, such infinite, undeserved love! I read whenever I felt equal to the exertion, and as I read, the whole wonderful beauties of the gospel plan unfolded themselves more and more to my mind. How I prayed for more trusting faith in the Redeemer, and for my whole heart to be renewed and sanctified by the Holy Spirit of God. I found great comfort in the often repeated assurance, that if we ask anything in the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ, it will be given to us; for in the words of the Saviour, Verily, verily, I say unto you, whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.'
“ I can write no more, my ever dear brother. Oh, listen to your dying Marian's prayer :- Seek ye the Lord while he may be found : call upon him while he is near.' Oh, Charles, do not delay till to-morrow; be wise to-day, 'tis madness to defer.' My last prayer will be for you and your dear little boy, the namesake, as you so kindly say, of my ever loved and ever lamented Lovel.”
My friendship with the B-s gained fresh strength as time went on. Sir Charles bought a fine estate in S., but he often came to town, and his constant kindness to my boys has cemented a friendship which will never end while life remains.
Christmas is again at hand. What a contrast are my feelings of gratitude and love to the “Giver of all good,” to what they were this time last year. I say from my heart, in the inspired strain of the sweet psalmist of Israel, “What shall I render unto the Lord, for all his benefits towards me ?” “I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the Lord.”
“I will pay my vows unto the Lord, now in the presence of all his people, in the courts of the Lord's house, in the midst of thee, o Jerusalem. Praise ye the Lord.”
Dr. M., the physician called in by Lady Charlotte B. at the time of my dismissal, had been absent from England some years, as medical attendant to our ambassador at the court of V. He was only recently returned, and sent me a pressing invitation to visit him, at a beautiful place he possessed at H. I had seldom met Dr. M., but his first hearty greeting was such as we generally bestow on an old friend, instead of an almost strange visitor. Dr. M. reminded me of the last time we had seen each other, at the hall door of Lady Charlotte's residence. “ That day," he said, “was the beginning of a new
my life. Lady Charlotte held forth with great violence about the unwarrantable liberty you had taken in speaking to Miss B. on religious subjects; “but,' she continued, he will soon repent such arrant folly. I shall tell my friends that he is a canting hypocrite ; and then, when he loses the best of his patients, he will see the folly of assuming to himself the duty of our clergyman.'
“ I could not help being impressed with your conduct,” continued Dr. M. ; "you seemed to act Christianity, not only talk of it, and I respected you for thus firmly doing right, and then leaving the result in the hands of God. Soon after I went to the ambassador's chapel at V., and the text happened to be, “Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God; but he that denieth me before men, shall be denied before the angels of God.' I often thought of your boldness in speaking did to poor
Miss B., but still I argued that my duty was to cure bodies, not the souls of my patients.
“I was soon called to witness a fearful dying scene. No ray of christian hope seemed shed over the dark valley, no clergyman could be found to strive in prayer against that spirit of utter despair which made the last hours of this my unhappy friend fearful beyond conception. His family asked me to speak to their dying relative, but, alas ! I was profoundly ignorant as to the principles of religion. I could say nothing. Again and again that selfish idea crossed my mind :— Every one to his own business ;'Am I my
brother's keeper ?' But, thank God, my conscience was roused; and as days and weeks passed, I read and re-read the Bible, for the first time since I was grown up. I need not tell you, Dr. G., how difficult I found it to comprehend the simple gospel truths. I was always fond of argument, and the pride of intellect had been, as is so often the case, a sad hindrance to my receiving the simplicity of the gospel.' I often pondered on that, to me strange, assertion, · Except ye be converted, and become as
little children, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of God.' Then, indeed, I began to pray; and the more convinced I became of my own inherent sinfulness, the more firmly I could trust the Saviour's promise : I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy trangressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.'
“The Saviour, at last, became increasingly precious to me. I thought of him in the typical form of the burden-bearer, on whom all our sins were laid, and who bore them away for ever to the land of forgetfulness.
“ Dr. G., I thank you for thus inspiring in my heart these thoughts. I
may not see you often, as I have accepted a post in the suite of Lord D. I may not live to return to England; but whatever
say that, thanks be to God, I have no other wish than to do all in my power to promote the service of my Lord and Saviour. Oh! it must be a blessed thing to spend each day, each hour, in doing good; and, truly, if life be so sweet, death must be still more glorious—to be for ever with the Lord,' to spend a long eternity in praising the Redeemer, “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world.'”
J. F. SHAW, BOOKSELLER, SOUTHAMPTON ROW, W. C., AND
PATERNOSTER ROW, E.C., LONDON.
London: J. & W. Rider, Printers, 14, Bartholomew Close, E. O.
READER, are you one of those who seldom, if ever, open a religious book, or whose attendance at the house of God is rare ? If so, you are one of those to whom I wish to address myself. Does not the slightest mention of religion annoy you? Is it not true, that you feel contempt rather than respect for its ministers ? Do not works of a religious character appear to you to set forth something unnatural, and to evidence a want of sincerity on the part of the writers, and a desire to make dupes of their readers? Do not those who speak to you of religion, whether they are ministers or laymen, appear to you as if they made it their trade to preach, as a counsellor would plead ; or to offer consolation to an afflicted person, just as a quack recommends his nostrums, and shuts up his box when his tirade is finished ? Is it not true that such books repel rather than attract you, dissuade rather than persuade you ? And are you not oftentimes disposed to look on them as a proof that religion is only a farce, played for the benefit of priests, and paid for by a duped people ? Thus, if by chance you open a religious book, it is quickly closed, as if you had touched something pestilential; or, if such a man as I have described begins a little serious conversation, you consider it as fortunate to avoid him as if you had escaped a hornet's nest.
I have experienced all these feelings; and to such an extent did they influence me, that I became unjust, for, in condemning its professors, I despised religion also, because, while regarding the former as hypocrites, I would not see in the latter anything but error and lies. However, after much thought, it appeared to me that this course was not a wise one, and I came to this conclusion: We too often confound men and things, ministers or professors and religion, and charge the latter with the inconsistencies and falsehoods of the former. Religion may be good, and many of its professors bad; even as a just cause may be defended by a bad advocate, or a good remedy administered by an ignorant physician. We should not blame religion, nor cast it from us as false, because of the inconsistency or hypocrisy of those who profess it. The wisest