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severing preparation for that stroke of death which we see falls on the young, and the most engaging, and the most beloved in our family. Death is God's voice to careless mortals. When God takes away one, it is a warning to all the rest. Our turn will surely come, and come soon, perhaps suddenly.
The seventh duty is Examination of our own particular state of heart before God. There are some more especial lessons which affliction is meant to teach us individually. What is it? Is it humility? Is it prayer? Is it earnestness in religion? Is it decidedness? Is it the giving up of the follies of the world? Is it the renouncing of prejudices? Let us search and try our hearts. This affliction is perhaps the turning point in our salvation. God perhaps saw that no stroke but this would answer the end proposed. À less severe one would have failed of affecting our conversion, or recovery to spiritual fruitfulness.
Lastly, the only remaining duty I mention is Prayer for the Holy Spirit
, to sanctify the affliction. God only can enable us to profit by our sorrow. The mere sorrow of the world worketh death; human resolutions are of themselves insufficient. Pray for the Holy Spirit to soften the heart under the calamity, and to nourish all the holy fruits it was designed to produce. Worldly pleasures and distractions aggravate the disease, theoretical notions leave the heart cold, but the Holy Spirit in His grace and power can give the blessing, sanctifying, comforting, and upholding us.
REV. SIR,~I take the liberty of sending you a few lines. Ify
you think they are suitable for your “ Friendly Visitor," they are at your service. Often have I read with profit the Visitor. On the return of each month, it has been a refreshing shower to my drooping soul_it has stimulated me to increased perseverance in the work of the Lord as a Sunday-school Teacher and District Visitor, when, through the obstacles that beset our path Zionward, I have sometimes thought of giving up the work. Then I think of what our dear Redeemer has done and is doing for us—in leaving all for us; and after being our surety, he is not forgetful, but remembers our weakness by giving us strength: “ According to our day, so shall our s.rength be.” The Visitor has often brought with it a message to me, and I doubt not to many more. My reasons for sending the following to you are, that many who are engaged in the same work have been encouraged thereby to persevere in casting the seed of eternal life, that in due season they may reap to the praise and glory of God; and they have often wished me to send them to you, that you might disseminate them through the means of the «s Friendly Visitor," and that many may thereby be encouraged to “ cast their bread upon the waters, that they may find it after many days.--I am, Rev. sir, yours,"
Liverpool, June 19th.
J. R. T.
In the years 1840-41-42, meetings were held in the Mariner's Church, Liverpool, at which seamen and bargemen were present. The object was to read the Scriptures, and to be instrumental in disseminating the words of eternal life among that class of men, who have for some time been neglected, to run the downward path to perdition, no man caring for their souls. Now, however, they are beginning to claim a share of our prayers and our labours for their spiritual welfare, The following instances, which occurred from time to time, have encouraged us to persevere, sometimes against hope, for Satan has been busy raising up enemies from among our own congregation to impede the work; but, thank God, we go forward, encouraged to trust all things with him, who chooseth the weak things of this world to accomplish his work. Duty is ours; results are his. George L
mate of the brig L-, attended for some time the meetings. I met with him privately. He told me the state of his mind, and the course of his former life, which was given up to evil company, spending his hard earned wages in the ways of sin, leading his companions with himself as willing slaves to sin and Satan. After spending many evenings with him, shewing him those portions of God's word which were applicable to his case, the beams of light began to shine into his mind. His attention, and desire to know more of Jesus, were seen. He came hungry and thirsty to receive the bread of life and to drink of those streams which make glad the city of God. On his going to sea, I
presented him with a little work called “ The Sinner's Friend,” which, as he observed to me on his return, had been a means of teaching him not only to know but to value the Friend of sinners. He now felt that religion is a way of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. His companions wondered at the. change, for instead of swearing, which had been
his practice, he warned them of its consequences. They said, “ You swore as we do last voyage. What has come over you that you do not swear now, but reprove us for so doing?” When before every word was with an oath, the men were afraid of him; but now his commands are given without an path. He was a wonder to them. With God all things are possible. His wife and family began to partake of the benefit of his conversion, as he was enabled to remit the whole of his wages thing he had never done before. Here was a proof of the power of divine grace. He would often add in conversation, that the meetings which we held were his greatest comfort. He now, as opportunity offers, speaks to others of the Saviour who hath found him.
Thomas Hattended the Mariners' Church. The sermons he there heard were impressed upon his mind. He would ponder over them, and add, “Was this done for me? Did Jesus die, that I might live?" He could think of nothing but his soul's welfare. He met with us, and before he left, he could join with us in cele brating the Lord's Supper, to join the ranks of the redeemed, and
fight manfully under the Redeemer's banner, against the world, the flesh, and the devil. He observed he was as the eunuch going on his way rejoicing. He has returned, and been two or three voyages since, still manifesting by his life and conversation whose he is and whom he serves.
William Ru-, of the ship W-R--, received a parcel of tracts from us. On arriving at his destination, he wrote to his father to tell him what a benefit the tracts had been to him, in teaching him to look to Jesus for acceptance, and to find in him a present help in every time of need.
His father, after reading the contents, burned the lettter He was an infidel, and it grieved him to hear of the change in his son's character.
June 9th, 1844.—At the Teacher's Meeting some person entered the School Room, and knocked at the small room door. On my opening it, the salute I first received was, “Do you know me, old friend?” It was an old sailor, about 56 years of age. I recognized him as one who had attended the meetings in the year 1840. He was impressed with the thoughts of eternity. I pointed him to Jesus, as a Saviour who died and rose again, to intercede for such as him. Often would the dear old man come to our meetings to hear more of that precious Jesus. When deprived from attending by the tides, he would send word that he desired to see me. Often on those occasions I have paced the deck, unfolding to his mind the wonders of redeeming love. When I left him, he would grasp my hand, and give it a hearty shake-the evidence of a sailor's affection. One evening he told me, that in his younger, and even more advanced years, he would walk the streets of Liverpool in search of amusement, regardless of the house or the ways of God; “but you, my dear friend, have indeed shown me the vanity of all but Jesus. Yes, how sweet his name sounds in a believer's ear. It soothes his sorrow, heals his wounds, and drives away his fear.” Often have we met in secret prayer for the beams of love to dispel those gloomy fears which at times appeared in his mind. He left the port, and I heard no more of him till this day. He said he had walked about the place for an hour on purpose to see me, as he understood I superintended the Sunday-school. Seeing all the children gone, he thought I should not be in; but, as he was to sail on the Monday, he took courage, and came in. He referred to the hours we had spent together. He had told his wife all that he remembered of our conversation; and when she knew they were coming to Liverpool, she said, “Now you will see your dear friend whom you so often speak of.” « Ah!” said he, “it is but to exchange words, and we have to part; but we will meet again.' “ Yes," I replied, “before the Redeemer's throne, to join the happy throng, and sing worthy the Lamb to all eternity.” On parting, I gave him a Bible. He said, “Often do I remember you in my prayers." May I be encouraged by this as well as other manifestations of God's favour in making me an honoured instrument to promote his glory in the salvation of immortal souls. How true is that promise, “Cast thy bread upon the waters; for thou shalt find it after many days.” Yes, two or three years, and to see the old man going Zionward—the seed cast then in faith, now springing up to his glory. (John xvii. 10.) Again I received his hearty shake, as the old man was overcome with gratitude that he had seen me, to tell me to go on in the work of the Lord, and to know that he now was like the poor demoniac, sitting at the feet of Jesus in his right mind. May I go on through good report and evil report, with a single eye to our dear Re. deemer's glory, seeing so many young and old remember me at the footstool of mercy, and by divine grace meeting the adversaries of our souls with firmness, and in his strength triumphing over them.
MATT. xxviii. 32. LUKE xxiii. 26.
M. J. D.
A. FOSTER, PRINTER, KIRKBY LONSDALE.
MEMOIR OF CHRISTOPHER PROCTER, OF KENDAL.
It was in January, 1841, that I first saw our departed friend, and it was during that visit that I heard from his own mouth an account of his conversion to God.
Mr. Houseman, of Lancaster, was the appointed instrument. It was when Mr. H. was preaching a sermon for the Benefit Societies of that town, that the word was sent home to the heart of Christopher with power. “Therefore laying aside every weight, and the sin that doth so easily beset us, let us run with patience the race set before us, looking unto Jesus," was the text; and he said, “every word went like a sword through my heart.” And for a while he had no rest. The terrors of a broken law, the voice of an accusing conscience awakened by the Holy Spirit, and an awful sense of the justice and holiness of God pressed upon his mind, and led him to cry at this time earnestly for mercy. And he found it. In attending the ministry of Mr. H. he was directed to the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world, and found rest in fleeing for refuge to the hope set before him in the Gospel. And now he used to say, “ I began to live;" and often have I heard him tell, while the tears of joy would run down his aged cheeks, of the many, many precious
seasons of holy enjoyment he has spent in St. Anne's Chapel, Lancaster, during this time; and so great was he melted during the services of the Lord's house by a sense of his Saviour's love, and by the affectionate and faithful addresses from the pulpit of Mr. H., that he often had to hide his head to conceal his emotions. He appears from the very first of his spiritual life to have enjoyed religion, to have drunk deep of the consolations which it alone can afford, and to have shared much of the light of his heavenly Father's countenance. In short, I have his own testi