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another's burdens. “Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day,” a living witness to the faithfulness of my covenant God, that "not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord my God spake concerning me," having passed my jubilee day since Jesus told me I was His, and
Beloved mine. More than fifty years have I been at school, with various modes of discipline, yet still daily learning more of my evil heart, and its proneness to hew out broken cisterns; more of the continual warfare with the world, the flesh, and the devil; more of the forbearance of my gracious Lord with my ill manners; and more of my entire dependence upon Him for the supply of all my needs in providence and grace, being a daily pensioner upon His royal bounty, having no stock in hand, a stranger and a sojourner, no abiding-place, no fixed abode, a wandering pilgrim homeward bound.
“ Here in the body pent,
Absent from Him I roam,
A day's march nearer home.”
“Israel in Egypt, sore oppress’d,
Far from the promised land of rest;” thus you see wilderness fare is still my daily portion, in the world tribulation, in Him peace, kept by the mighty power of God through faith ; yes, kept clinging, crying, confessing, longing, wrestling still, and nearing home, as our dear brother G. C. expresses it in his “ Wayside Notes. How oft has my downcast soul been cheered by these "apples of gold in pictures of silver.” My Lord is still leading me in a very mysterious path, testing by fire every grain of faith, that the trial of it may be much more precious than gold.
“ From vessel oft to vessel thrown,
Lest I should settle on my lees,
Nor strive with His profound decrees.” By this my brother will perceive that Sarah has not yet found a restingplace in the wilderness. True it is my Lord has never taken away the pillar of cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night from before me, but through all my winding chequered path for the last twenty-four years, it has shown me where to go and when to stand. When for a time I seemed as though I had found a rest, in which I could say, “ No more a stranger or a guest, but like a child at home;" yet, alas ! I soon found the pricking brier and the grieving thorn stirring me up, preventing me from nestling down so as to think I should die in my nest, convincing me that all my earthly comforts were but of short duration, till by terrible things in righteousness my Lord stripped me of all but Himself, weaning me from earth and earthly objects, cleansing me from my idols, causing me to cease from man, and put my whole trust and confidence in the Lord alone. Ah! my brother, the world hath long lost all its charms in my heart, so that I can say, “Whom have I in heaven but Thee, and there is none upon earth I desire beside Thee; “My Maker is my Husband, the Lord of hosts is His name.'
.” He pleads the cause of the widow and supplies her daily need, either by causing Moab to be a covert to her from the face of the spoiler, or inclining the hearts of His own dear children to entertain
the stranger, so that neither cruse nor barrel fails, though hope deferred often makes the heart sick ; but surely after so many signal interpositions of His hand, so many Jehovah-jirehs and Ebenezers He has enabled me to set up on my pilgrimage journey for fifty years past,
"He cannot have taught me to trust in His name,
And thus far have brought me to put me to shame.” No
“ Himself He'll not deny,
By oath and promise bound,
'Tis sure and solid ground.” Firm footing for faith ; and, when I remember the years of the right hand of the Most High, my song in the night of adversity, and how my Lord supported me through all the fiery trials I was called to endure in 1865-66, hunted like a partridge upon the mountain, counted as the offscouring of all things, deep calling to deep
“Seeing every day new straights attend,
And wondering where the scene would end," the pillar of cloud was dark throughout, the ground of all sensible comfort sank under me, my way hedged up, Satan and my carnal reason suggesting the Lord had forsaken me, my God had forgotten to be gracious, no sympathizing friend near, no fellow-creature's ear to fill with the sad tale of all my woe, my heart was overwhelmed; in the bitterness of my soul I cried unto the Lord, “O Lord, I am oppressed, undertake for me.” Ah, my dear brother, never shall I forget, while memory lasts, how quickly my precious Jesus came to my relief, by dropping honey from the rock into my wounded spirit. The word came with power, “The King's daughter is all-glorious within ; her clothing is of wrought gold; she shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework.” The tempter skulked away, and left the isolated widow alone with her Lord, and, while His left hand was under my head, His right hand embracing me, I held Him by His faithfulness, the girdle of His reins.
“He brought me to His banqueting-house, and His banner over me was love." I forgot my poverty while ruminating over the exceeding riches of His grace that had put such honour upon a worm, counting me worthy to suffer for His sake, regarding the lowliness of His handmaid, and causing the widow's heart to sing for joy. Thus some of Sarah's sweetest notes have been sung upon the tribulated waters; when I have feared the next wave would dash my shattered barque upon the quicksands, my loving Lord has come, and said, “Fear not; it is I. Lo, I am with thee alway.' Ah, then in the triumph of faith I could say, “Rejoice not against me, O O mine enemy." "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him," and kiss
“, the rod that thus budded, blossomed, and bore fruit to the glory of God, enabling me to glorify Him in the fires, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than all the earth calls good or great. And again my Lord brought me through fire and through water, and I sang His praises, and followed the cloudy pillar, and where it rested, there I halted, and set up another Jehovah-jireh. But I soon found an Achan in the camp, and the Lord said, “ Arise, depart; this is not your rest." Then I cried unto the Lord, and He answered me by the application of that precious promise : “For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy,
now will I arise, saith the Lord; I will set her in safety from him that puffeth at her." Another spoke in the complicated wheel of providence soon fulfilled this promise, and my tent was pitched in a pleasant situation, a quiet resting-place, and a comfortable habitation, so that I said, my Lord had so manifested His tender care for me as to leave me nothing to be careful for. Again I raised my Ebenezer, in which my friends joined. Here the cloud rested over twelve months, when an event occurred over which I had no control, which soon took out the bottom of my nest, though they found no occasion against me, except it was concerning the law of my God; but even this came forth from the Lord of hosts, who is wonderful in counsel, who supported me, and gave me many great and precious promises. I saw my Father's hand, and was enabled to go forth in the full confidence of faith, not knowing what might befall me. The Lord honoured the faith that honoured Him by trusting Him where I could not trace Him, leading the blind by a way I knew not, and inclining the hearts of His own dear children to shelter the lonely widow, so that, although more than twelve months have passed since then, through the good hand of my God, and the kindness of friends, I have lacked no good thing. And, as my Lord puts down to His own account all that is done to the widow and the fatherless, and has registered in the book of His remembrance the cup of cold water, verily they shall have their reward, and find "it is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Hitherto the Lord hath helped me, and brought me to acknowledge that a wisdom that can never err and love that can never change are at the bottom of all His dispensations towards me; and I can bless Him for every twig of His rod; nor would I, when in my right mind, wish one thing altered.
“He knoweth the way that I take, and when He hath tried me I shall come orth as gold,” and confess to the honour of His great name, He hath led me in a right way, though I must confess my Lord has been teaching me some very humbling lessons, frustrating my plans, blasting my gourds, cutting off all my expectations from those I had a right to expect better things of. “Surely I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." Still I find great exercise for faith, because the providence of God seems so to run counter to the many sweet promises upon which He causeth my soul to rest. This the enemy takes the advantage of, and comes with a
Yea, hath God said ?” and this at a time when I am looking at things by the eye of sense, and prayer is restrained; yet again I cry unto the
Ι Lord, or rather groan, “Lord, Thou knowest?” Then I get a gentle
I reproof from my compassionate Jesus: “The vision is for an appointed time; if it tarry, wait.” Then I look again toward His holy temple, believing that, though He answers not a word, delays are not denials.
From this brief sketch of the Lord's dealings, you see that my present position is to stand still, praying for an increase of faith to wait my Lord's time, whose arm is not shortened, nor is He slack concerning His promise; and, judging Him faithful, it is my desire to wait patiently for Him to appear in His own time, way, and manner.
You will see by the GOSPEL MAGAZINE for this month that I have lost another dear companion in the wilderness, dear Mrs. Geare, after nineteen years' steady friendship, during which time I found her an affectionate, sympathizing friend, a wise counsellor, at whose feet I often sat as a learner. She was a mother in Israel. Of her it may truly be said, “A great woman has fallen in Israel.” It was my privilege to enjoy many
hallowed seasons of Christian communion with her, and, when at a distance, her letters were weighty and savoury. “She opened her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue was the law of kindness.” I had an interview with her towards the close of last year; but she was so deaf I found it difficult to converse with her; she was low in spirits from a bereaving Providence, but in perfect peace stayed upon the Lord. During my visit to Yeovil this summer I was favoured to enjoy many refreshing seasons, and to witness the closing scene of the dear saint. When I first saw her, on the 19th of June, she was much better than she had been for some time, and all her faculties in full bloom. A secret mourner in Zion, she sighed and cried for the abominations done in our guilty land. An earnest contender for the faith once delivered unto the saints, she told me it was the greatest trouble she had, the rapid spread of those awful errors springing up all around, feeling sure we were drawing near to an eventful crisis.
The first Sabbath in July I spent the afternoon with her, when she conversed freely upon the wonderful leadings of God in His providence, and His discriminating grace that separated her and her dear sister in early life from the vanities and follies of youth, as she has expressed it in one of her poems. She was counselled, at an early age, to read and study much the sacred page, admired the heroic Deborah, the charming Ruth, and oft repeated, as she passed along, meek Hannah's humble lay and Mary's
But I must hasten to the closing scene. On the 13th she retired to rest as well as usual; on the 14th early in the morning she complained of sickness. All means were used which skill and kindness could devise, both by her kind medical attendant and her faithful friend. Finding the means fail, with a firm voice she said, “Mr. C-, I wish to ask you a question, and hope you will be honest. Do you think I am going home? because I have a good home to go to; my mind is quite calm, death hath no terror to me." After a pause he said, “I shall do all I can to keep you alive, and you may revive again." After he left she spoke with much gratitude of his many kind, gratuitous, and unwearied attentions for years past, under very painful afflictions. But she was like a shock of corn fully ripe. She would often say, “It is all done, I have nothing to do. A sinner saved, the chief, yea, the chiefest of sinners, without one plea; a guilty, weak, and helpless worm.” I said, “The Lord is about to take you home before the coming storm.” “Yes, I think so.” Seeing her friend weep she said, “Cheer up, I may revive again; and if not, the
I Lord will provide for you, and reward you for all your kind attention to me for more than twelve years.' The morning of the 22nd I found her weak. In the evening I saw an evident change, and remained with her till the scene was closed. She had a quiet night till 4.23 a.m., complained of pain, and was very restless; after a time became more free from pain, and lay very quiet. About 12 Satan thrust sore at her. She appeared quite sensible it was him, and cried unto the Lord, “Oh, take me! take me! Oh, set me free! set me free!” The Lord heard prayer; the tempter fled. Seeing her calm, her friend said, “Do you know me?" “ Yes." “ You are not afraid of Satan, are you ?is “No, no." I said, “He is a conquered foe.” “Yes, yes." When asked, Is Jesus precious ? “ Yes." “Sown in corruption,” I said, “raised in glory?" “Yes.” After this several sentences dropped from her, which we could not gather up. After a few hours' more struggling her ransomed spirit was released from its suffering tenement, at a quarter before six, July 23. My spirit rejoiced in the Lord that the conflict was over, the tempter foiled, the victory won, the saint glorified. My desire and prayer is that her fallen mantle may rest upon me, that I may follow her as she followed Christ, the few and evil days that remain to be filled in till my
Lord shall open the cage to let me fly, and build my happy nest on high. Grace, mercy,
you, and all that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity and truth, prays your affectionate sister in Jesus,
SARAH. Bath, September, 1868.
The Protestant Beacon.
We believe that the battle of the Reformation must be again fought; and it is the strength of this conviction that we urge upon all who value Protestant principles to read and to circulate far and wide Mr. COLLETTE'S death-blow to all that is vigorous or vital in the work of Mr. COBBETT, which Papists are circulating, literally by millions, as the evidence of a Protestant against the Protestant Reformation.* Dr. LITTLEDALE and Dr. MANNING are equally happy in contemplating the assumed collapse of Protestantism. To the former the Reformation appears as a “Deluge of Divine vengeance;” and to the latter, as "an unwarrantable schism from the bosom of the true Church.” Solemnly and unreservedly, then, do we assert that between these two factions, represented as they are by these their ablest advocates, the Protestantism of England is in danger. Let Popery or Ritualism be again triumphant (as the latter was in Laud's time), and every department of knowledge will be sought to be controlled by an aspiring and ambitious priesthood; free thought and free speech will perish in the same grave. The struggle between Popery and Protestantism was carried on and ended in blood before, and it will be carried on and ended in blood again.—The Rock.
THE EXTINCTION OF THE IRISH ESTABLISHMENT FROM A FRENCH POINT OF View.–The Standard gives the following extract from the Monde, a wellknown Ultramontane journal under the control of the Jesuits : “We applaud the fall of the Church of Ireland, because it is a barrier against the development of the Catholic faith, an advanced post of the Anglican Church, which is the last fortress of Protestantisın in Europe. The Church of England fallen, Protestantism will go to pieces; it will no longer be a corps of doctrine, a block of error, but a dust which will still blind many people, but which time and wind will blow away. And what will be the consequence of the events now passing? Can we not see, at no great distance, England, animated by the faith of old times, again become the devoted daughter of the Roman Church, which brought her into civilization and placing in the service of that Church which she has so long persecuted, her power, her indomitable tenacity, her unexampled activity, and her immense resources ? This solution is possible; it is permitted to hope for it; the events which are taking place in the Parliament of England are preparing us for it.” It would be well for all Liberal Churchmen and Nonconformists to consider what are the real objects of their Roman Catholic allies at the present crisis.
* Mr. Collette's Reply to “Cobbett's History of the English Reformation.” Subscribers' names to be sent to Mr. Collette, 23, Lincoln's Inn Fields.