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other gods ? To hear that they, who had perhaps never gone over the bounds of the holy land, were to be witnesses to the faith of Christ, even to the ends of the earth. And yet, did these apostles object to the command, which directed them to a course of life so singular-so useless--so hazardous ? If any of the followers of Christ may object, on account of difficulties, obstacles, or dangers, these should have done it. But where are their objections ? Hear what is said of them. When he was parted from them, immediately after giving the command, “They worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God.' The next thing we see of them-wasting no time, and appalled by no dangers—they are making preparations to commence their ordered course, Peter, standing up in the midst of the eleven, says, Of all the men which companied with us, all the time that Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day when he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.' Having thus prepared, and aster having continued in prayer, endowed with power from on bigh, and being enabled to speak with other tongues, they begin their work. As the prospect before them did not deter them, the evils that they meet do not induce them to desist. They go on, a pat. tern to succeeding ages, in obeying the divine command. Shall it be said that they were not a pattern, for they were miraculously endowed? I answer, the adversary made, if I may dare to call it so, miraculous opposition. They were entering an untried field-feeble in strength, few in number, and almost unknown in the world. But now, if I may say so, we are grown so powerful, that, without miracles, we are as strong as they were with miracles. Without them we can as well overcome the obstacles, remove the difficulties, or brave the dangers. It is obvious now, that I speak of their miraculous powers alone ; and not of that converting agency of the spirit, which, alike with them or us, is the only effectual cause of the spread of the gospel.
" My brethren, if the little band, who saw only the humiliation of our Lord, were not deterred, shall we be ?--when such a multitude of Christians covers the world, witnesses that he blesses the efforts of those who promulgate the gospel ?”
From the Guardian.
SICK-BED REPENTANCE. The author of the following narrative, has given assurances of its truth.
Providence, June 5, 1820. The subject of the following melancholy narrative, resided in his town a few years since--was a near neighbour, and personly known to the writer. She was the only surviving daughter
of respectable parents, and a darling child. Her temper was mild and conciliating; and her life had been comparatively inoffensive; or as some would say, innocent. I had missed her several weeks, and, upon inquiry, learnt that she was lying ill in the last stage of a consumption. I immediately went to see her, and found her as described. She evidently had not many weeks to live: and upon conversing with her, I found she was perfectly insensible of her situation. Nothing appeared further from her thoughts than death. Though almost wasted to a skeleton, she seemed to cling with determined hope to life, and said she was mending daily. I saw the idea was strengthened by the assurances of her physicians, and the mistaken tenderness of her friends, who could not bear to alarm her. The perplexity and painful embarrassment I laboured under, from a sense of duty, and the fear of being prevented seeing her, if I attempted to undeceive, cannot be described. But as I had always believed it was better to draw by love than drive by fear, to allure by the promises of the gospel rather than terrify by its threatenings, Í determined to try, by tenderness and persuasion, to gain her attention to eternal things. I visited her every day, and spent hours in reading the word of God, and endeavouring to point out its truths, and adapt its precious counsels and promises to her case. Often has my heart died within me, when, in the most interesting part of a subject I was reading, or speaking of, she would fall asleep, or betray, by a look of listless attention, or total abstraction, that she took no interest whatever in it. One effort was yet to be made, which was to apprise her of her danger; for it was evident her whole thoughts were employed on the subject of her recovery. Some of the family became convinced of the necessity of undeceiving her. They consented she should be told; but were unable to tell her themselves : and to me they delegated the dreadful task. Gratified as I was at this revolution in their feelings, I can never describe my own, when I found the room deserted, and myself left alone to deliver so fearful a mes. sage. The sense of my accountability, both to her God, and her earthly friends, for the manner in which this was done, almost overpowered me; and I was more than once tempted to retreat: but again, the worth of an immortal soul would urge me to faithfulness. She regarded me with disturbed attention, while I endeavoured, in the gentlest manner, to convince her of her danger; and the imploring look that seemed to say, “Oh, for pity's sake, deceive me,” wrung my heart to agony. At last, after a pause, she told me I was mistaken—that I did not know the nature of her disease-nor how sick she had been before--that she was now much better; and, if not disturbed, should certainly recover.The only satisfaction I obtained, was a promise of attending to the things of religion, and a consent to have a pious minister, whom she named, visit her, and pray with her. He came; and
being a man of some medical skill, as well as faithful in his vocation, he questioned her respecting the progress of the disease : after which he prayed. His prayer was for a person about to launch into the eternal world. It was fervent and appropriate. He even commended her parents to the supporting grace of God, in the trying dispensation they were about to experience. All delusion vanished. She could not now remain insensible to her situation. For a moment after his departure she was profoundly silent. A convulsive heaving of her bosom, alone evinced she had life. At last she uttered a piercing shriek, “Oh, now I know that I must die." With frightful violence she wruog her hands, and uttered the loudest lamentations. Apprehensive that her inmediate dissolution would follow, some one administered a strong opiate; but it had no effect. A Christian friend in the room succeeded in calming the hurricane of passion and terror, by telling her these loud lamentations had no part in appeasing the wrath of God, or in fitting her soul to appear in his presence. For an hour she listened with deep attention, while we endeavoured to open the gospel plan of salvation through a crucified Redeemer, and dwelt upon the mercy and goodness of that Being who casts none away that come to Him. Soothed by these promises, she resolved to set about the business of prayer and self-examination without delay. For several days her attention seemed absorbed in this great object. She assiduously studied the scriptures, and seemed engaged in prayer and repentance. Her friends had contemplated removing her a few miles from town, anxious to try the effect of change of air and scene; low as she was they could not give it up; and she was accordingly removed. A new physician was called in from the neighbourhood, who gave her hopes, that, by adopting a change of diet and medicine, she might be restored to health. Delusive hope! During the succeeding fortnight, which was the last of her life, the business of religion went on slowly; divided between her fears of death and sanguine hopes of life; and, separated from her Christian friends, she relaxed her efforts and zeal, confined them to quietly reading a chapter in the Bible, offering up the morning and evening sacrifice, and awaited, with composure, the dreadful messenger, of whose near approach she seemed to have no idea.
One evening she awoke at the going down of the sun, and complained of intense cold. It was in vain every attempt was made to warm her. She continually demanded new applications, until her father, unable longer to conceal the cause, said, to her oft repeated question, “ What makes me so cold ?" • is death!” With a look of indescribable horror, she exclaimed, “ Is it possible? Can this be death I feel ? Am I dying ?” “ You certainly are, my poor child," said the afflicted parent. “Oh why,” said she, “ did I not know this before? But, self-deceived, I have no excuse to offer. Oh, had I attended, as I ought, to the
my child, it
words of the good minister, or to that Christian friend who sought to warn me of my danger, instead of the terrors I now feel, I might have been rejoicing in a reconciled God: though late, He would have accepted my sincere repentance.” Her mother exhorted her to go to Him now. She apparently prayed in great agony of spirit. And here let me pause to remark-whatever difficulties sinners offer to the scripture character of Jesus Christ whatever doubts they may have, or affect to have, with respect to His nature, or His mission-"the great teacher, Death,” seems to take away the film of ignorance, as well as prejudice, and to reveal the divine character of the Saviour fully and clearly. The prayers of this interesting penitent were continually addressed 10 ihe Lord Jesus Christ, not only as the friend of sinners, but as the God whom she had offended, and who had created and redeemed her. “Thou God of mercy, thou Saviour of sinners," she would say, “have mercy on my soul! Spare me until I have made my peace with thee!" She then asked if she could live until to-morrow. 'Being told it was improbable she could survive but a few hours, she prayed with great earnestness for another day to live. “Oh, but for one day," she would say, " but one more day to live;" but finding herself going fast, she continued to implore the pardon of her before neglected Saviour. Her agonizing prayers, clothed as they were in rich pathetic language, were enough to melt a heart of stone. Her afflicted, mother, whom nothing but the grace of God supported in this trying scene, tried to apply the promises of the gospel, exhorting her to give herself up entirely to the care of that compassionate Saviour who died for such as her. She continued until past midnight in this distress. Her voice and strength seemed to hold out to the last. There was no cessation of her cries until a few moments before her death, when she was silent. Her mother, hoping to gain some evidence of her peace, said, “Do you feel any more comfortable ?” “I don't know," said she: “would I could live one more day! But if it must be so--not my will but thine be done. Blessed Saviour take me to thine arms." She then sunk back on the pillow, and expired.
We do not presume to lift the veil that hides the eternal world, or to anticipate the judgments of God, further than His word has revealed them. But surely we may, from this example, press upon the attention of all, particularly those who trust in a death-bed repentance, the necessity of attending now to the things that concern their everlasting peace. The uncertainty of such a repentance being sincere, when driven to it by the near prospect of death, cannot be too often shown. Still more vain the assertion that we are good enough to die. The young lady mentioned, was as amiable as most who are denominated so; but she was at last taught she wanted "that holiness without which no man can see the Lord.” Her mother has often told me, that, amiable and use. VOL. VII.
ful as she was, she never presents herself to her mind but in one character; and that, whether asleep or awake, whenever she is brought to her view, it is in the attitude of pleading for mercy; and with the heart-rending supplication, “Oh for another day to live!" “ Thou God of mercy, if but one more day.”
BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY.
Right Hon. Lord TEIGNMOUTH, President. Summary of the Sixteenth Annual Report, May, 1820. We were favoured with a copy of this report last month, and shall improve the first opportunity of laying the substance of it before our readers, though our limits will not permit us to do justice, either to the Report itself, or the bigbly interesting appendix which accompanies it. Many articles of intelligence which it contains, have already occupied our pages, and those we shall barely notice.
France.—Commencing with France, the Committee announce with pleasure, that the Protestant Bible Society of Paris, has amply justified every expectation which its establishment, and the high character of its patrons and conductors, had excited.
After noticing the first annual meeting, and the report and addresses delivered on that occasion, (which will be found p. 781 of our last volume, and pp. 303–307 of this volume,) the Committee express their satisfaction in adding—" that the zeal for the dissemination of the scriptures, and the desire to peruse them, are not confined to the Protestant part of the French population. In the course of the past year, a larger number of Catholic Testaments have been issued than in any preceding. They have been dispersed through Catholic channels: they have found their way into the hands of adults, as well as into schools, and many instances have heen reported, in which the perusal of them has been attended with the happiest effects."
United Netherlands.—During the last year, this society has made considerable progress, and put into circulation 2,500 copies of the scriptures more than the issues of any preceding year.
The numerous constituent societies of this National Institution, have emulated each other in exertions within their respective districts, and in a zealous co-operation with the Central Society at Amsterdam. Christians of every denomination, and even Jews, evince the most eager desire to possess the scriptures : and their dissemination has been, in a variety of instances, attended with the happiest. ffects.
Attention has also been diligently paid to the wants of the co