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destitution which he never knew; at obstacles which no previ. ous lessening has taught him to surmount. He begins with all his sensibilities softened and alive; with his energies reluctant and unnerved ; his alarms too sudden and frequent; his expectations too eager and unlimited. He will rush to the battle unprovided : experience only will be his preparation ; and in the very tumult of conflict he will learn the nature of that true armour of defence, which is to serve him in the hour of trial.
Among the foremost, nay, first of the foremost in the list of great as well as pure beings, who have left all that they might gather in the desolate heathen to their Saviour's fold, stands one, the fourth edition of whose memoirs has already issued from the London press, and, we rejoice to find a fifth on this side of the Atlantic. In an age of piety and learning, HENRY MARTYN may be regarded as one of the most cultivated scholars that ever graced the walls of a college, and one of the best and heavenliest spirits in the annals of Christian benevolence. The fellow-sludent of Kirk White, like him he toiled in the labours of mind, and then cast his blushing honours at the foot of the cross. Like him, though not so soon, he sunk into an early grave : with a constitution somewhat stronger, a temperament more ardent, a mind more versatile and powerful, a faculty of acquisition more mighty and rapid, he made the interests of his Master's kingdom all his own; threw behind him every fond vision of preferment in that illustrious church in whose ranks he was enrolled; flew to the distant East; and after a race of learning and of love unparalleled in the records of missionary exertion, poured out his exhausted spirit in the solitude of a Persian desert.
The life of this wonderful character is drawn up by the Rev. John Sargent, jun. a clergyman of the Church of England. He has followed the true method of all faithful biographers, by suffering Martyn to speak for himself. In a journal which was never intermitted to the time of its author's death, and in occasional extracts from his correspondence, we are permitted to live with him through his short, but splendid career; to penetrate the varied workings of his heart; to join in the hard struggles of his nature; to follow the impetuous strides of his mind. It is, in truth, one of the most interesting of books: it has attracted universal atten. tion in the land where talent and virtue always find their market; and if not suffered here to lie unheeded between avarice on the one hand, and indifference on the other, may yet carry the voice of heavenly peace to ears that never heard the sound.
It is impossible to peruse the memorials of a course like this, without a sublimity of feeling fresh at every burning page. And, indeed, where is the understanding so acute, the range of knowledge so extended, the piety so devoted, as to catch no inspiration from the effusions of such a man? In very truth it is a queslion whether many such glowing spirits breathe upon this earth; but if so, they must draw new glory from so bright a centre of light. The scholar will prove it, as he wanders with him through the groves of classical enchantment; the philosopher, as he treads with him through the wide fields of metaphysical inquiry ; the poet, as with him he drinks pure melody from the immortal streams; the painter, as with him he makes nature start on the canvass into second life; the musician, who wakes like him the heavenly harmony of sounds; the mathematician, as he winds with him through the mazes of subtle calculation; the minister of Christ, as, like him, through this fretting and tempestuous scene, his affections are ever drawn longing to that peaceful home, where the wicked cease from troubling, and the weary are at rest.*
From tho Presbyterian Magazine.
By the Rev. Wm. Neill, D. D. This is certainly a subject of some importance. The avidity with which pious people receive narratives of religious revivals elearly evinces, that, in their judgment, "times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord” are devoutly to be wished. Christians may differ in their views, concerning the nature of a genuine revival; but the thing *itself all will readily acknowledge to be desirable. The diversity of opinion which obtains, on this subject, among the friends of Christianity, is, perhaps, rather apparent than real. In our apprehension, it arises partly from a want of agreement, in regard to the meaning of certain terms and phrases, commonly used on topics of this kind, and partly from a neglect to distinguish the effects of a divine influence on the heart, from those excesses of passion, or extravagances of conduct, which sometimes attend a real work of grace, and which ought to be ascribed to the ignorance and depravity of the human heart.
Every denomination of Christians have a set of phrases, or forms of expression, against which other denominations are very apt to entertain some prejudice: hence a mere strife of words is often mistaken for a doctrinal difference, where none exists in fact. If you choose to distinguish wbat I call a revival of religipn, by another name, be it so; I will not contend with you about the name, provided you concede that the work intended 10 be designated thereby, is of God. Call it, if you please, an awakening, an outpouring of the Spirit, a display of redeeming mercy, a shower of gracious influence, an ingathering of souls to the Saviour, or an extension of the power of godliness; any of these phrases would be sufficiently intelligible, and might be used interchangeably, without detriment, so far as we can perceive, to the cause of vital piety. If Christians would take a little more pains to understand one another, and agree to construe each other's language and conduct fairly and charitably, might they not offer to God their joint supplications for the revival of religion, with as much consistency and cordiality, as they do for the coming of the Redeemer's kingdom?
* The following is the title of the work to which we have referred : « Memoir of the Rev. Henry Martyn, B. D. late Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge, and Chaplain to the Honourable East India Company."
We should be careful also, to distinguish the genuine effects of a divine influence on the minds of men, from those wild excesses of feeling, and extravagances of conduct, which often attend strong religious excitement. Considering what human nature is, we should expect some departures from Christian decorum, where large numbers of careless persons, many of them very ignorant of divine things, arę roused to a deep and awful concern about the salvation of their souls. To prevent or correct evils of this sort, should be the constant aim of ministers and other experienced Christians. No intelligent friend to revivals approves, or countenances fanaticism, or the violation of church order; nor should he be rashly charged with such a design. On the other hand, we should not suppose that a temperate remonstrance against those disorders that sometimes appear in extensive revivals, implies hostility to a work of grace, or a cold indifference to the saving power of true religion.
While we would resist confusion and all infringement of that wise and wholesome order, which Christ has appointed in his church, we deprecate a languid monotony of feeling, on the momentous concerns of the soul. "Let all things be done decently and in order;” but “ let us not sleep, as do others." The day of grace is a short term; and the bliss of heaven is suspended on its religious improvement. It is our seed time for eternity: “he that soweth to his flesh shall, of the flesh, reap corruption; but he that soweth to the spirit shall, of the spirit, reap life everlasting.”
The writer of these thoughts is far from thinking that no souls are converted to the Lord, or that nothing is done towards the edifying of the body of Christ, where there are no special revivals of religion. He firmly believes that, wherever the pure gospel of the grace of God is preached, it proves, to some of the people, "a savour of life unto life." A portion of the sced, wherever it is faithfully dispensed, falls into good ground, and bears fruit. He is well aware, too, that a large proportion of real believers have been brought to the knowledge and love of the truth, not, indeed, without deep conviction of sin, and a feeling sense of their lost and helpless condition by nature, but in circumstances which have excited no great degree of attention, even in the church to which they belong. God's methods in turning sinners from the error of their ways, are various; and it were arrogance in us to say, that he is limited in his gracious influence, to any particular set of means, appearances, or instruments. We rejoice, as do the angels, at the repentance of one sinner, whoever or whatsoever may have been the means of his recovery from a state of condemnation and spiritual death. While one here, and another there, are brought home to God, under the gentle droppings of the sanctuary, we charge our souls not to "despise the day of small things;" yet, we do long, and will pray to see sinners flying to Jesus, as clouds, and as doves to their win
However gently and silently some may be reduced to the obedience of faith, and enfolded in the arms of redeeming love; or. dinarily, the translation of souls, from darkness to light, and from the bondage of iniquity to the glorious liberty of the sons of God, is attended with an awakening sense of sin, and with a change of temper and conduct, which cannot be easily concealed : and where considerable numbers become subjects of this change, at the same time, and in the same congregation, or neighbourhood, there is what we call a revival of religion. There we behold the stately steppings of Zion's king, the conquests of his grace—the trophies of his power-and the precious fruits of his travail of soul, when he sweat in Gethsemane, and died on Calvary, “the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God.”
Let revivals be tested by their fruits; and we doubt not that real Christians of every name will be constraineddo hail them, as blessings from the Lord. Visit those favoured congregations, where the special outpouring of the Spirit, as we believe, is experienced, and you will find the happy subjects of hope in Christ, abounding in every good word and work,-earnest in prayer for a blessing on the ordinances of the gospel, and on all charitable exertions to diffuse the light and consolations of evangelical truth : there you will see some of the most irreligious persons reclaimed from their evil courses, and licentious habits : there you will see whole households, in some instances, devoted to God in Christian baptism, their dwellings converted into bethels, and consecrated by daily prayer and praise : there you will hear the people say, one to another, “Come, let us go up to the house of God, and he will teach us of his way, and we will walk in his paths :" there you will find many Andrews and Philips endeavouring, by friendly entreaties, by letters, by religious books and tracts, to bring other Peters and Nathaniels to the knowledge of Him who is "the way, the truth, and the life :" there you will see animosities among kindred and neighbours buried at the foot of the cross-pride, envy, and evil surmisings giving place to concord and brotherly kindness: in a word, you will find more additions made to the communion of the church, of hopeful sub
jects of saving grace, in a few months, than had been made, in the same congregations, enjoying the same means of religious improvement, for many years.
It is a painful truth, indeed, which experience and observation oblige us to admit, that some persons, who are awakened on such occasions, are not converted in heart unto God; and, therefore, after appearing to run well, for a little season, they relapse into their old habits of negligence and sin. These are they whose “goodness is as the morning cloud, and the early dew, which passeth away :" they seem to begin in the spirit, but end in the flesh: these are the characters designated by the stony ground, in the parable of the sower: “ but he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon, with joy receiveth it; yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while : for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by, he is offended."
But such unhappy instances, while they admonish him that thinketh he standeth, to take heed lest he fall, furnish no solid objection to the work, as being, upon the whole, a work of God, for which he is greatly to be praised, in the assemblies of his saints.
If these observations be just, then a revival of religion ought to be regarded by every Christian congregation, as one of the richest of heaven's blessings. The power of the Holy Ghost should be sought, by prayer and supplication, as the only effectual agency, in the recuscitation of souls that are dead in trespasses and sins.
“Come from the four winds, O breath of the Lord, and breathe upon the slain, that they may live !"
“ Thy ministers are sent in vain
AN AWFUL FACT.* Sir--1 beg leave to state a fact, which took place some time ago. A young lady, the darling of her parents, and who was brought up in all the follies of fashion, till she was completely imbued with the spirit of the world, was suddenly taken ill.
* This “awful fact” is taken from the Supplement to the Evangelical Magazine and Missionary Chronicle, for 1820. The Editors say they are assured, by a respectable correspondent, that it is strictly true.