Изображения страниц

which she had redemption, even the forgiveness of her sins according to the riches of his grace. Happy souls, who, from a well grounded hope and confidence in the God of their salvation, can, when on the borders of eternity, look the king of terrors in the face, and say in the triumphant language of Scripture, · I am persuaded that neither death nor life can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.' I was not present when my dear friend resigned her spirit into the hands of Jesus, but was with her not long before; the last words she spoke to me were,– • Pray for me that my faith fail not;' and taking me affectionately by the hand, rested her head on the pillow, which lay on the table by her, (for she took not to her bed till just before she expired.) After this, I withdrew almost immediately, being greatly affected. Her last words were, “Lord, let thy will be done in me;' and presently after she fell asleep in Christ, with a sweet smile in her countenance. May our latter end be like hers! With regard to myself, I cannot say that I have been quite well lately; but when I consider my own deserts, I am amazed that the Lord deals so gently with me, and that the heavy rod of his displeasure has not long since fallen on so unprofitable a branch, with this dreadful sentence, Cut it down, why cumbereth it the ground ?? But grace is free, or it would not be grace. Here then will I set my footGrace is free, and comes by Jesus Christ; and he saith, look unto me, and be ye saved. O for a steadfast faith on his infinite merits and glorious work. The believing heart through the power of the Holy Ghost applies them to itself, and fails not to reap every

real advantage, both in time and through eternity. I cannot express ' how greatly I think myself indebted to you for the kind regard which you show me; I trust we


have established a friendship upon such solid foundations as can never be overthrown. Our meeting again in this world is very uncertain ; God only knows if it will ever be: but, through grace, the time will come, when we shall meet to part no more ; when a period shall be put to all our worldly troubles, and we shall join the heavenly host, who are day and night singing praises to the Lamb who redeemed them by his blood. Before I conclude, I must beg leave to offer you, my dear friend, a word or two of advice, which you may find useful in your Christian course, of which experience has taught me the necessity. Be earnest and diligent in prayer, and however backward you may at times find yourself to be to this exercise, yet never give way to sloth or listlessness; but if you find your heart cold and dead, pray, (as was Luther's custom), till it be warmed and enlivened. Never rest satisfied with the mere performance of this duty, but always seek to maintain that communion with God in it, without which it will be dry and unprofitable, and perhaps nothing better than lip labour. Be diligent also in reading the word of God, and supplicate that Spirit which inspired it to be your teacher, to lead you into all truth, and to enlighten your understanding, that you may see the wondrous things of his law. Avoid, as much as your situation will allow, whatever may be destructive of a holy, lively, and spiritual frame of mind, such as vain company and unprofitable discourse, which greatly tend to injure and impair the life of God in the soul. I would also beg leave to caution you against the unprofitable walk of profes

Let us always remember, that there is a great and a wide difference between knowledge in the head and grace in the heart. Beware, my dear Madam, that you are not encouraged to go beyond your Chris


graces, be

tian liberty in any matter, because you see others do so; but whilst you copy



careful not to stumble by their falls, or be led aside by their infirmities. I am in a particular manner bound to repeat this caution to you, from a consciousness, that my example before you has not been such as becometh the gospel; but be assured, that the reflection of my undutifulness affords me constant matter of humiliation, and that it is the earnest desire of


heart to be daily more and more conformed to the image of Christ, and more and more meet to be a partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light. As the directions here suggested are diametrically opposite to the principles and practices of a world lying in wickedness, it will be no wonder if your adherence to them should bring upon you reproach and opposition from those who are yet in a state of blindness and alienation from God, whether they be totally careless or outwardly decent. There cannot be conceived any two things so contrary, as the Spirit of Christ which dwells in all true believers, and the spirit of Satan which dwells in all the children of disobedience. If ye were of the world,' says our Lord, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you ;" but be of good cheer, he who spoke these words tells you likewise, that he has overcome the world.' If we would have Christ, we must have his cross also; and if we suffer with him, we shall likewise reign with him."

[ocr errors]

[Aged 24.] The only place of public religious instruction to which Lady Glenorchy had at this time access, was the parish church of Kenmore. But then the service was chiefly conducted in the Gaelic language, which she did not understand, there being only one short sermon delivered in English. Neither had she any friend but Miss Hill who could aid her; she of course was obliged to apply to her, to solve her inquiries and her difficulties. In answer to a letter conveying intimation of these, Miss Hill thus wrote.

56 October 1st, 1765. “ I began to entertain many anxious and uneasy thoughts respecting you, and am most truly concerned to find that my apprehensions were but too well grounded, and that


have been so much worse. But thanks, all thanks be to the Great Physician, who has again been merciful to my dear friend! His name is Wonderful. None is like him. His skill and power are beyond comparison. There is no disease which he cannot cure. There are none so poor whom he is not willing to heal. No one ever applied to him, even in the most desperate case, and perished. Indeed, how can they ? For his name is Jesus, his nature is love! Love all mighty to save his people, and that from the first moment of their conversion to the last moment of their lives, even to the endless ages of eternity. He is and ever will be our Saviour, to keep us from all evil, and to bless us at all times with every good. Your letter seems to be written on purpose to humble me. I be

your nitor! O, my dear friend, what an unworthy object have you employed ! Conscious of my own demerit, my pen is ready to shrink back, lest it should do injustice to the cause which it wishes to promote. Yet encouraged by the hope that God often makes use of the weakest instruments for the greatest ends, I presume to offer you all the assistance in my power towards your progress in the road to Zion. And for


this end I know of nothing more useful than a deep impression of the importance of salvation, to which every circumstance of human life ought to be subservient. We must consider that the same omniscient eye is over our thoughts, views, affections, frames, language, and behaviour, as well whilst we are conversant with the common affairs of life, as when we are engaged in public ordinances or in our closet. This consideration, when allowed its full effect, will make every thing serve as a fresh gale to waft us forward to our desired harbour. We must likewise remember, that every religious duty is performed in the presence of a heart-searching God, who sees the inmost recesses of our souls. It will be therefore necessary, indispensably necessary, for us, by previous meditation, to endeavour to obtain a lively sense of the infinite perfections of that God before whose throne we would

appear, keeping our hearts as free as possible from deadness, coldness, or wandering thoughts, and habitually striving to maintain a devout and spiritual frame of mind. We should approach God with an abasing sense of our sinfulness both by nature and practice, and with earnest importunity for the assistance of his grace and Spirit ; and though we come self-loathed and self-condemned, yet we must not dishonour God so far as to appear before him with a distrustful dread; but, sensible of our own misery and want, we should with faith and dependance plead the merits of a crucified Jesus, and the riches of his boundless grace. We should frequently ask ourselves, if we are fit to die ? This is a question of the utmost importance, and should at once excite us diligently to flee from the wrath to come, and animate our love and gratitude to God, and our zeal for his service, in hope of the glory to be revealed. Before retiring to rest, we should constantly recollect

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »