« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
testimony, against many growing evils, that I see in the world. One in particular, is that, of excluding female gifts, from the Church of God.Which I view, as an occasion of great provocation; and as one principal means of immense loss to the Church of the Lord Jesus, throughout.
It was the woman, we apprehend, that was first beguiled of the serpent; and she was the earliest seducer, of her prime associate. So, do I believe at the present day; that from the prejudice of education, she is an instrument of much evil, in the world. But we trace that evil, to its principal source,--and as the woman was deceived, and in the transgression: so we admit, it may be still, with regard to many; while those, from whom she reaps her instruction,In a great degree, are not deceived. At all events, if they are, it is because, they will not be enlightened: and we hence are to infer, that the sin lies at their door. According to the advantages of each, are they not to be considered either praise, or blame-worthy? Instead of becoming habituated to the enquiry, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" she has been taught, for ages, to understand herself, but a subordinate being* --unfit for such an elevated vocation, as a teach
of righteousness," and hence, merely passive in the building of the Lord Jesus. Which is, in exact contrariety, to the word of God; that in no one instance, furnishes any member with authority to say of its opposite, "I have no need of thee."-
* I have heard of its being questioned of some, whether a woman, possessed any soul. Indeed, if we were to judge from the conduct of many, we might suppose that they admitted the idea.
Hence, instead of becoming an help-meet, even in the domestic circle, to the salvation of souls, as it is her exalted privilege; she is but an hinderer of much good-too often, I regret to say, even through those, to whom she is the nearest allied. It is for the most part, I see with much painfulness, that those females who are the companions of ministers, possess but a very small degree of vital piety.--And this, is what to me, speak volumes--respecting the instruction that is infused into their bosoms, nearest home. Of a man, it is required according to what he hath; (opportunities for doing good, &c.) not according to what he hath not. I do not wonder, for my own part, that so many Churches extant, are so destitute of spiritual life: or that it is so often, like people and like priest, which will be the case, as long as things remain, in such a state. But "a word to the wise is sufficient," and I only add, "I wish to deliver up my life, a sacrifice, for one, towards remedying these evils; and seal my testimony, as with my blood, in vindication of the rights of woman!"
In travelling over the Province of New Brunswick, I chanced to fall in, at a certain residence, where "such a spectacle of woe" caught mine eye, as before, I had never witnessed, It was an aged man: after whom I gazed, speechless, for a length of time. Indeed, I was horror-struck! He was bare-foot, dressed in a white flannel frock, and drawers, (buttoned loose about the waist,) and a white cap on the head. His frame, resembling that of a gaunt spectre,-and Oh! in his countenance depicted, such consternation and horror, as language would fail me to describe! He kept the same motion, back and forth; with the same, slow, tottering steps; and at the end of every round, he laid aside his cane, clasped his withered hands, and with his ghastly eye-balls fixed upwards, exclaimed, "God have mercy on my poor tormented soul!""" Oh! that most doleful cry! and that horrible sound! Methinks, it is fresh in my ears, as I now record the tale-so fraught with woe! Thus, without regard to any person, or thing passing in his presence; he kept the same regular course: and about every four minutes, in the same attitude as before, he cried, "God have mercy on my poor immortal (or tormented) soul!"
The family insisted, that I should hold a meeting at the place; which I was very willing to do: and an assembly had soon collected. I observed, that every individual on entering, and hearing the dreadful sound-burst into a flood of tears! And thought I, Who could forbear to weep?— Enough to cause a heart of adamant to melt! I had, as yet, made no enquiries respecting the man; but I was led to address them from the words of the parable, "For this, my son was dead, Sc." After having commenced, he still paid no regard to my movements, but kept on his former course; and his tone still the same. When I observed to him, "I have somewhat special, to say to you; and I desire that you would hear me. Please to take this seat, and be silent, till I have ended." That he accordingly did, until I had spoken an hour or more; in describing the prodigal, &c.-How he wandered off; wasted his substance; came to himself; returned to his Father; and particularly--in shewing the readiness of the Father to receive his lost son. O, I realized as I spoke, the love of Christ so boundless, unchangeable and free, that I imagined, he must feel as I did, before I had ended. But alas, no sooner was I seated; than he began his former tone, "God have mercy on my poor tormented soul!"---and that appeared more, an exclamation of guilt and horror, than of either desire, or hope, of obtaining mercy of the Lord. On being asked of his wife, afterwards, "How he liked what he heard." "Oh," replied he, "That was exactly my character! But I was tormented, soul and body too! While you pray for me, the Devil
mocks: and defies, all the Angels of Heaven to deliver me, out of his hands!" I see Heaven's door, forever shut against me! God, has turned his back, and will not hear my cry! Hell is open wide, before me; and Satan, I continually behold, laughing at my miseries! The first, I see coming to meet me there--is a Roman Catholic priest, with whom I used to play cards, and spend many days in drunkenness, in Halifax.---He comes, it seems, to torment me before the time!"
"There has been no sin," added he, moreover, "ever committed on the earth, of which I have not been guilty: and they are now, all laid open, before my eyes." Seventy years, I denied the existence of a God, and a Devil too:--that there was any Heaven to obtain, or Hell to shun. I gave a loose rein, to all my Hellish passions: and in all manner of wickedness, I tried to take my fill. In the late war, between Great Britain and America, I was master of a privateer: and I used to go ashore in your land, and plunder, wherever I was able. Many times, I have dragged the sick from their beds:--stripped them of every article of consequence, and so left them to their miseries, and to perish. I had no pity; and now God is returning it, on my own guilty head!-Four years, I have been in this state of despair, as you now see me. I have sometimes gone into the river, to drown myself--to the neck; but the thought occurred, "You will then be in Hell,”-which made me tremble, and draw back. The Adversary, has often appeared to me by night, in human shape; and bidden me, destroy my family and myself. But said one, to him, "Why is it