Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

burgh, is the opposition which has been made by the ministers of Edinburgh, as well as by the false brethren from England. These steeled the hearts of the people against all the good impressions which might otherwise have been made, so that the same preachers by whom God has constantly wrought, not only in various parts of England, but likewise in the northern parts of Scotland, were in Edinburgh only not useless. They felt a damp upon their own spirits ; they had not their usual liberty of speech ; and the word they spoke seemed to rebound upon them, and not to sink into the hearts of the hearers. At my first coming I usually find something of this myself; but the second or third time of preaching, it is gone; and I feel, greater is He that is with us, than all the powers of earth and hell.

“ If any one could show you, by plain Scripture and reason, a more excellent

way
than that

you ceived, you certainly would do well to receive it ; and, I trust, I should do the same. But I think it will not be easy for any one to show us, either that Christ did not die for all, or that he is not willing as well as able to cleanse from all sin, even in the present world. If your steady adherence to these great truths be termed bigotry, yet you have no need to be ashamed. You are reproached for Christ's sake, and the Spirit of glory and of Christ shall rest upon you. Perhaps our Lord may use you to soften some of the harsh spirits, and to preserve Lady G-, or Mr De Courcy from being hurt by them. I hope to hear from you, (on whom I can depend), a frequent account of what is done near you. After you have suffered a while, may God stablish, strengthen, settle you. I am, my dear Lady, your very affectionate servant,

66 JOHN WESLEY."

have re

Lady Glenorchy, being fully aware how deeply the step she was about to take would affect Lady Maxwell, it was not till after many struggles and prayers, and then only by degrees, that she communicated to her Ladyship her intentions.

Lady Maxwell, as might be expected, was deeply affected by the communication, and it required some little time to recover from the surprise and pain which it occasioned her. Lady Glenorchy, by the prudent and cautious manner in which she finally made the separation, wisely and kindly prepared the way for this recovery. And it does infinite credit to the characters and memory of both, that what between ordinary persons would most probably have made an everlasting breach of friendship, did not divide them for an hour, and that during the whole of Lady Glenorchy's life, there never, on any occasion, appeared even the shadow of a variance between them. The extracts from the Diary and the letters which are now to follow, among other interesting occurrences in her Christian experience, give an account of this very trying event.

Friday, February 15.- This day I have often prostrated myself at a throne of grace, yet feel nothing but darkness and wretchedness in myself, and no clear views of God. This evening Mr De C-began preaching at my chapel; his prayers and sermon were good : towards the end my heart began to thaw a little. I endeavoured to humble myself before the Lord, and say, Thy will be done.

Saturday, February 16.—The Lord has given me more hope to-day concerning Mr De C- This evening Lord Gwent with me to the chapel, and heard Mr T

Sunday, February 17.—This morning I went to church, and was much refreshed with the sermon. Afterwards heard Mr De Cat my chapel, where many were deeply affected—some wept bitterly. My own heart was very full, particularly in the last prayer. The Lord was with us of a truth. In the evening had preaching in the great drawing-room to about forty people.

Thursday, February 21.-Mr De C-preached again yesterday to a crowded auditory, some of whom seemed melted under the word. This day his exhortation in the family came with power to my soul. I was convinced of sin, particularly of hypocrisy. I see my need of Jesus. O what a sight have I got of my own heart this day !

Sunday, February 24.--I heard Mr Walker in the morning, but felt no life in my soul, and saw all around me as if they were dry bones. I was in anguish of spirit during the morning service, from a sense of our great deadness,-our distance from God,-our ingratitude to him,--and our want of spiritual life. In the evening I was refreshed by a lively discourse from Mr De C-on these words, 6 One faith.” Gracious God! work in my inmost soul that one faith which I have heard described to-night, and unite me so effectually to thee, that neither the world, the flesh, nor the devil, may ever be able to separate me from thee.

Monday, February 25.-- This morning I found access to God in prayer, and was enabled to come to the Lord Jesus, and to put myself into his hands, and commit all my ways to him. I have found more peace to-day than usual. I begged of the Lord to open some door of more extensive usefulness to Mr De C, and this afternoon I received an invitation for him to preach in the Castle. I have had another remarkable answer in prayer this day also in a temporal affair. O that my hard heart were melted into love and gratitude for all the repeated mercies of the Lord! This is thy work, O Lord. Give me, I beseech thee, a grateful heart, and open my mouth that I may show forth thy praise.

Thursday, March 14.-It hath pleased the Lord for a fortnight past to lay me aside, and to try me in soul and body in various ways. On the day in which I met with the accident that now confines me, I was much oppressed in spirit, and wished that the Lord would take me out of the world. But he has shown me since, that he can deliver me from some of my trials in a different way. I can perceive his love in the present dispensation,—thereby bringing my will into submission to his, showing me the pride, impatience, self-will, and vanity of my heart, and bringing off from dependance on the creature, and the outward means of

grace, order that I may receive every blessing when and how he sees meet to bestow it. I have seen more than ever my own helplessness, and have been led to seek for the righteousness freely imputed to us through faith. My former views of this doctrine of imputed righteousness have been restored, and my peace revives in proportion to my views of this blessed truth. O that the Lord would now establish and settle me in the true faith, and not suffer men or devils to shake my confidence in Jesus, as the Lord our righteousness !

in

About this time Lady Glenorchy wrote the following letter to Lady Maxwell :

P

Lady Glenorchy to Lady Maxwell.

My dear Madam,-It gave me great concern to hear of your illness. I really grow uneasy at your many colds and headachs, and fear you do not take that care of your health which it is the duty of all to do. I am persuaded also that your mind is uneasy, and that this affects your body; and if it did not appear like prying into other people's affairs, I would ask you what distresses you, knowing how often I have felt relief from unbosoming myself to you. But not being naturally inquisitive, and seeing your great reserve with me in what concerns yourself, I have never ventured to inquire into the nature of your trials, although I feel much for you, and would willingly help to bear your burdens. So very different is my temper in this respect to yours, that I cannot be easy till I open my heart to you on a subject upon which we now misunderstand each other. You think I am prejudiced against the Methodists. Against some of them I own I am, although my sentiments do not deserve the name of prejudice, being the result of matters of fact; and I wish much to see you, to show you the cause of what

You are as much concerned, my dear Madam, as I am in what relates to the glory of God, and the advancement of his kingdom upon earth; you will, I am certain, therefore, agree with me in sentiment, if you are as free of prejudice as I am at this moment. All I beg of you is to examine coolly what I shall show you, and then tell me what you think I should do; and in order to this, I must beg, if you are able, that you will come and see me some day at four o'clock, as that is the only time I can be sure of seeing you alone ; and if you will appoint the day, I

I now say.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »