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MISSIONARY RESULTS. We have heathens in Christendom, and savages in our religious communities; therefore we have no need to cross sea and land to find enemies to God and man. They meet us everywhere; but, if there is unity with regard to sin and alienation from God, there is oneness in the remedy. And, moreover, there is oneness and unity in the manifestation of that remedy in the life and walk. Poor, feeble, and small, it may be, but the principle is there, and the fruits appear more or less in every Spirit-taught child of God.
The following brief memorial, extracted from missionary records, carries with it this proof, and may convey rebuke or encouragement to some tossed and tried believer struggling under the burden of a strong wayward will, desirous to maintain a Christian demeanour; but finds daily the cross of a mind naturally angular, and that defies subjection in heart to the persons and things wherewith he is connected. The work of God 80 signally displayed in the conduct of the poor heathen girl may stir up a spirit of prayer and holy emulation in the heart of some believer whose eyes God hath opened to see the evils of an unsubdued temper. Some there are, and we may say, without fear of contradiction, the great bulk of professors, deem every one wrong but themselves, and the blame of all they do that is evil they push off upon others. A feeling sense and acknowledgment that they are in fault is unknown to them. But the work of the Spirit is on this wise, “He smote upon his breast, saying, God, be merciful to me, a (or the] sinner."
When God begins with a soul it is personal work. Sin and salvation comprehend the feelings, fears, and desires of the new-born soul, and all this is matter of individual experience. This makes a humble Christian, and this breaks the neck of a proud self-confident spirit. But there is a large class of humble talkers, who speak of themselves in lowly language; expatiate upon their evil tempers, and enlarge upon their shortcomings and misdoings, and there it ends. They expect in this instance to be contradicted; the only spot where opposition is sweet. The anecdote is not out of place here of a wife who was confessing and bemoaning her frequent outbreaks of ill-temper to her husband, who quietly observed, 'Tis all true enough.” This was a remark neither expected nor desired, and very unpleasant results followed, showing that the woman's ill-temper far exceeded her own confession.
Humility, meekness, patience, these are the characteristics of a Gospel spirit, not to the self-satisfaction of the believer; not as the prerequisite for grace or glory, but for the manifestation to others of the work of God on the soul. Partial and comparative we admit it is in the best, and under the most advantageous circumstances ; but the struggle is there to do right, the conscience is kept tender, the soul is humbled because of sin, and the desire is given to walk in accordance to the mind and will of God. Observers who see only the failures little comprehend the trial that goes on within, to keep down the wrong and manifest the right. They little know at what a cost the war is maintained, in the breast of a child of God; while they eat up the sin of saints as though it were bread, and are ready at all times to say, " Ah, so would we have it." But this triumphing is short, for the last day will prove that the saints were robed in a better righteousness than their own, and that their attempts to walk in holiness of life amidst countless failures was well pleasing unto God, who created them unto good works in Christ Jesus.
There were some things about Hannah and the work of divine grace in her that demand grateful record. She was the daughter of one of the most intelligent and wealthy Nestorians, who placed her in the seminary as early as 1815. She was then quite small, and the teacher objected very much to taking her, but paternal importunity prevailed. As soon as her father turned to go she began to scream, but he left, saying, “She must remain and learn wisdom." The kind teacher took her in her lap to soothe her, but it was of no use. Her bleeding hands bore the marks of the nails of her new scholar for weeks. She called for her father, but he was intentionally out of hearing. The child remained, but learned wisdom very slowly. She had her fits of rage so often that she was sent home, sometimes for weeks, and again for months. She made little progress either in study or other good, till the winter of 1850, when she seemed to begin to have a desire for spiritual things. Though her general deportment was correct, she often showed such a determined will, that her instructors feared that she had never been humbled, and said from the heart, “Not my will, but Thine;" and often told her that if she was a Christian, God would in love subdue that will. She could not feel her need of this, and thought that they required too much of her. So they were obliged to leave her with God, and He dealt with her in an unusual way. The mission premises had formerly been occupied by an oriental bath, and here and there were old pits, once used for carrying off the water, but now covered up so that no one knew where they were. One evening Miss Fiske called the girls together, and told them some things she wished they would refrain from. They promised compliance and went out, but hardly had they gone before their teacher heard the cry: “Hannah is in the well!” She ran there, but all seemed right. Then they led her to an opening just before the back door, saying, "The earth has opened and swallowed her up." The covering of one of the pits had given way, and she had fallen, perhaps twenty feet below the surface. Providentially, as in the case of Joseph, there was no water in the pit, and in a few days she was able to resume her place in school, but much more gentle and subdued than ever she was before. The change was marked by all. Months after, in a private interview with her teacher, she gave an account of the whole matter. She said the girls went out saying, “We will obey our teacher ;" but she, stamping her foot, said, “I did what I liked before, and I shall do so again.”
With these words on her lips she sank into the earth. At first she did not know what had happened, but remembered all that had been said and felt that God had been dealing with her. Lying there helpless and bruised at the bottom of the pit, she was humbled, and made willing to renounce her own will. From that time she was a most lovely example of all that was gentle. She seemed to give up everything, and bear all things. Her father saw the change, and one day said to her teachers, “I am not a Christian, but Hannah now seems to know nothing but God's will. If she was to die now, I should believe she was with Christ, she is so like Him." Her Christian character was beautifully developed. The school learned of her what it was to be Christ-like. She longed to do good, and was ready to make any sacrifice for the good of souls.
The parting prayer-meeting with four girls, one of whom was Hannah, going as missionaries to the mountains, was one of the pleasantest memories that Miss Fiske carried away from Oroomiah. She left soon after, but often heard from Hannah and her companions, that she was happy in her
life of privation for Jesus' sake, and did what she could. She suffered,
To the Editor of the Gospel Magazine. MY DEAR BROTHER, — I was very glad to meet with you once more, and strange I should not have recognized you till you came into the vestry. I am getting now very infirm, and cannot preach more than one sermon in the day. My working days are nearly over. I am trusting my work will never arise against me, for I know it will not stand the test; and soul-sins, as Tiptast said, stain deep. To “finish transgression,” was a wonderful work for the Saviour to come for, and so to put souls into a position as if they had never transgressed at all!
Yours in Gospel affection, J. A. WALLINGER. [We fully sympathise with our dear brother in the foregoing remarks ; and, whilst wondering at the Lord's condescension in making any use whatever of such poor vile instruments, we take comfort from two thoughts : first, that he has declared that “the treasure is in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us; and, secondly, that the Lord said, “When ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants, clearly intimating, that their labours (poor and imperfect as they were) were kindly and graciously recognized. Oh, what would become of “thé sins of our holy things,” to say nothing of our other sins and transgressions, but for the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than the blood of Abel?”—Ed.] THE RIGHT ROAD, THOUGH ROUGH AND THORNY.
To the Editor of the Gospel Magazine. MY VERY DEAR SIR, -Having a long time purposed to write you some account of myself, I thought it not an unsuitable time to do so, that you may receive it on your birthday, as I think you would as much, or even more, rejoice to hear how the Lord blesses your labours than in a costly gift; and further, I desire that you may increasingly testify to the faithful loving-kindness of a covenant-keeping God. I most sincerely and heartily wish you very many happy returns of this day, and may it be the Lord's
will to spare you, not only to your own family, but to His living ones, for their comfort and encouragement for very many years to come. You little know how much your services are valued, perhaps it is not
necessary you should know how much ; but for your encouragement, I do think, persons should not be slow in speaking when the Lord has done anything (for a poor cast-down one, for there must be in the ministry much oft-times to discourage. During the past year, you have been so led to trace out from time to time, so exactly and minutely the path I have had to walk, that sometimes I have thought some one must have told you of the then occurring circumstances, but I found it not so; then, again, there have been times when none but God and my own soul knew what I was enduring; and on the borders of despair I have come to the church, and to my utter astonishment you have taken a most suitable text to my case, and held up as it were a picture of myself too. Never to be forgotten times! I will name the first : “ The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations.” I came as if it were to be the last time to see if anything may be said to give me the least hope that the Lord would have mercy on me, and give me a particle of encouragement to hope I was among the number of the saved; and, oh, I can never forget how you seemed to plead with my poor tried tempted soul, and how preciously you spake of the “ how." I returned home, like one having gone out with a
I heavy load and been relieved of it. Not long after I was in a similar state ; but so far worse as to feel unable to ask the Lord to give me a word. I felt as if it were useless; yet amidst difficulties to come, I felt I could not keep away, and, most despondingly entering the church, you gave out these words, “He hath ascended up on high . . . . and received gifts for men : yea, even for the rebellious also." Oh, my heart seemed broken! I burst into tears, and could hardly bear to remain, as you so minutely went into the then state of my mind. I thought, Surely it must be of God, and I felt such sweet encouragement flow into my heart, that, although at times very low and distressed, I have never been brought 80 low as then. I could write a list of texts which have been most sweetly blessed to me during the past year; and, although it has been a year of the greatest trials I ever was called to endure, yet I was never favoured with so many tokens for good; those two sermons from these words were very precious too. All seemed for me; nor have I ever had such comfortable hope to believe that my name is among the number of the redeemed with precious blood. At the beginning of my troubles, I was filled with self-pity, self-will, and anger ; with a host of rebellious feelings, and a determination to have it put right in my time and way, I was led to open upon the passage in Micah, "I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned, and wait till He arise and plead my cause." I was so instantly cut down with shame and confusion and distress. The sins of my whole life were presented to my view. The sins of my very earliest years—tender years— seemed enough to leave me without hope if anything in the leastwise depended upon me for salvation. So that I was so brought to self-loathing and self-abhorrence, that I cried, “If I perish I perish, but it must be at His dear feet," begging for mercy; and I felt that, though I did not deserve at the hand of man such cruelty as I was called to suffer, that there was nothing I did not deserve at the hand of God; and honestly I can say,
“If my soul were sent to hell,
His righteous law approves it well;" but those precious lines for weeks were in my mind,
“ Yet save a trembling sinner, Lord,
Whose hope still hovers round Thy word,” &c.
The Lord has so wonderfully sustained me; and, truly, to this moment, I can testify to His making good His word to me, "As thy days, thy strength shall be."
I never was so blessed with health and bodily strength, for I was never before accustomed to menial work at all. And now, with comparative ease, I can do what I should once have declared an impossibility. As growing necessity has appeared, so has fresh strength been imparted; and, although the trial is in no wise lessened, I feel I am in my right place—the Lord so graciously and condescendingly sustains and gives (blessed be His name) increasing patience. I used to think, as Hart's hymn describes, that patience would come before the trouble; but I have had to learn the mistake. I do still cry and beg, and at times beseech the Lord to
and deliver, for sure I am that none short of Him can do it, and on this I rest; but I have, indeed, dishonoured Him, by trying many schemes of my own, and do even now plan and plan when I am greatly desiring peace and comfort.
I remain, yours respectfully,
RECOLLECTIONS OF DEPARTED MINISTERS.
To the Editor of the Gospel Magazine. DEAR SIR,_Reading the GOSPEL MAGAZINE for this month, I came to
“The cause of love is in Himself,
And in Him we'll rejoice.” My mind, as though by electricity, called up the author of the hymn, with whom I was well acquainted. Who was he? Sixty or more years ago he was one of the “poets” of the GOSPEL MAGAZINE, then edited by Mr. Row, a staunch friend of the immortal Toplady, and his pieces were inserted under the signature of “A Nazarene." These
pieces, or hymns,
.' he afterwards published, with many others, under the title of the “Nazarene's Songs."
Still the question remains, “Who was he?" He was a poor ribbon weaver, a native of Attleborough, in Warwickshire, and finally one of the most eminent ministers of the gospel in his day, contemporary with Huntington, Hawker, Watts Wilkinson, Nunn, &c., &c. He was none other than the celebrated William Gadsby, of Manchester, made a blessing to thousands. Here is the hymn in full :“Let saints lift up their hearts, He'll love His saints unto the end : And, with a cheerful voice,
Then let them all rejoice,
All that He has is yours; “Whatever be your frame,
His life, His honour, oath, and blood, Though dark and cold as ice,
Your happiness secures. No change has taken place in Him;
“Nor sin, nor death, nor hell, Then in the Lord rejoice.
Can make Him hate His choice; “Till God can change His mind, The cause of love is in Himself, And swear He has no choice;
And in Him we'll rejoice. The soul that in the Lord believes,
“He made an end of sin, Shall in the Lord rejoice.
And bought us with a price; “As sure as God is God,
Our life, our hopes, our all's in Him, And Abram heard His voice,
And we'll in Him rejoice."