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adopt its external behaviour, use its language, associate (when fame will recompense the sacrifice) with its company : contented with these beggarlyelements, we shall never inquire of Christ, whether we are beloved? When this question is oftenest on our lips, we shall be too watchful for an answer of peace to heed the dissonant sentiments of others. We shall not join the followers of any preacher because of his good or great fame; or subscribe to the creed of any writer because of his profundity or eloquence. . The Bible will be our treasury; the Almighty Author will direct us to its doctrines for our foundation of eternal hope, to its precepts for our counsel; the characters therein pourtrayed will be our examples; the histories recorded our warning; the promises a perpetual feast of comfort; the denunciations a solemn call “to rejoice with trembling."
I am jealous, lest an abundance of gospel ordinances should tempt us to recede from the high privileges of the gospel dispensation. New Testament believers are not imprisoned to the means of grace: the ministration of types was a fetter of bondage ; but the sacraments of Jesus are as bracelets of gold, worn in token of love; they are enchased with this motto—"Do this in remembrance of me." The church wherein we assemble to hear Christ's message, the friend with whom we converse to repeat its sweetness and solemnity, are testimonies of the Lord's appearance; but these spiritual blessings are mostly diffused when we partake of their influence in the liberty “wherewith Christ hath made us free.”
The word of the Lord, by Jeremiah, reveals this character of Gospel times in lively expressions of their eminence of enjoyment. “But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel. After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, know the Lord; for they shall all know me, from the least to the greatest of them; saith the Lord : for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”—Jeremiah, xxxi. 33, 34.
Personal narratives to be published with diffi
dence-The right motive for such is our tribute of praise to the God of our mercies—A diffusive religious society not desirable Contrast between visits of the world, and intercourse with the brethren -- Interviews with Betty Warner and Jane Crossdale.
In the preceeding relation of those instructions, by which I benefited, whether conveyed under the ordinance of a preached gospel, or enclosed within the correspondence of the Lord's providences, I have been desirous to evade any superfluous statement of personal feelings, or personal history. To ourselves, no narrative can be so interesting as the record of our own life, and perhaps none can be so profitable. With the Bible in one hand, and a volume of our past history in the other, we shall be led to make the most improving comment upon every sin, and every preservation. Few can claim
more touching circumstances in proof of Almighty guardianship than I might recount. By inheritance of birth a daughter of misfortune, the morning of existence shone in tears; and the brightest noon of youth was overcast by a cloud of perplexing distresses. The gloom of sorrow, or the flashing rays of hope, alternately struggled with the aspect of my years; but, which ever had its prevailing season, I have at length learnt that every recurring sigh, and every transient pleasure, the acuteness of pain, and the blessing of repose, were equally, included within that covenant ordered in all things, and sure and which, with him of old, I can confidently add, “ is all my salvation and all my desire.” 2 Samuel xxiii. 5.
However the heart may be softened, and faith elevated under such a contemplation, I have often thought that private anecdotes, and individual experience, have the allurement of too much egotism and vanity, to be the most appropriate mode of publication. Impressed with this conviction, I hesitate to retrace the annals of this little memorial; in the subduing certainty that its insignificance must wither the expectancy of its usefulness. Nevertheless, I
am again encouraged by two considerations; one drawn from : the grace of the Lord, who hath enabled me to declare his goodness in the land of the living : to speak of his dealings with my soul, and ask the sympathetic joy of his regenerate people: the other arising from the integrity of that inducement which presents these pages for the reader's interest and courtesy. When one, whom Jesus restored to health of body and spirituality of soul, would feign have devoted his days to follow the Lord : this wish is checked with a command to go home, and relate to his acquaintance and kinsfolk the great things which had been done for him. The Lord had no doubt a design by this man's testimony to glorify himself, and manifest the riches of his grace towards others, who hereafter should believe on the Son of God, through this appointed medium.
So far, therefore, as the employment of time is sanctified by the aim of our endeavours, there is a scriptural precedent to recite the incidents of our own conversion. The babe who lived but an hour, and the child of God who can number the threescore years and ten of labour and sorrow, which is the pilgrim's span;