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himself as one “ forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin” to that sufferer; and he died full of hope: but it is to be feared, that many who in health neglect their souls, grow hardened in sin, and are not warned to “consider their ways,” even in prospect of death. May district visitors be encouraged to persevere in their “labour of love," for no seed sown in faith, and with a single eye to the glory of God, will ever be finally lost. “They that sow in tears, shall reap in joy,” Psa. cxxvi. 5.
ON PREPARATION FOR THE LORD'S SUPPER. AT this solemn time, set apart a time for preparation, that you may be in a right frame. Do you think, if you go to the table of the Lord without some consideration beforehand, you have good reason to expect the Lord's presence and blessing? I think not. The apostle says, “Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup," I Cor. xi. 28: at least, you had need to take some serious time in examining your evidences of being a Christian indeed, according to that scripture, 2 Cor. xiii. 5; for, commonly, those who have most need of self-examination,have the least mind to it. But be it
you are a Christian indeed; the Lord be praised for it; yet still, for your actual preparation for the ordinance, I will propose to you some questions, and enjoin you some duties, before
you come to set to your seal again in public profession at the table of the Lord. Ask yourself, my brother, as follows:
I. Am I growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ ? Have I reason to hope that since I last partook of this ordinance, by a blessing on my reading, meditation, prayer, and seeking, I have more abiding, endearing, powerful views of Jesus in his person and offices ?
II. Have I, in this view of Him, been led to a gradually closer walk in my duty in secret prayer, in family prayer, and public worship in the house of God; my heart being more drawn to these ordinances by the communion which I have enjoyed with God in Christ in them? Also, to a closer walk in my duty, in that state of life to which it has pleased God to call me, towards my family, and towards all men ?
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III. Has it had a happy effect on my temper, to make it more patient, humble, gentle, and full of love ?
IV. Have I broken off some more sinful practices or compliances with the world, and some things in which I once allowed myself, and that because, by walking closer with Jesus, I have seen their guilt and danger?
V. Am I, upon the whole, hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and an increasing knowledge of it? Am I quite dissatisfied with my present attainments in religion, as St. Paul expresses himself to be ? Phil. iii. 12–14; and am I seeking to go forward ?
VI. What particular things now lie on my conscience, of short-coming in any duty, inconsistency in practice, lightness and foolishness, if not worse, in talking, giving occasion to the enemy to blaspheme, which I might correct ? and am I resolved, in the strength of Jesus, to endeavour to do so?
VII. Do I act righteously by all men ? Am I doing as I would be done by ? Am I fair in all my dealings? Am I no extortioner, nor oppressor of the
servants or customers ? Am I not an eye-servant, idle, slothful to my master or employer? In short, do I ask, or could I ask God's blessing on all I do; and if not, am I grieved and fully purposed, the Lord helping me, to amend my ways ?
And many more such questions will be suggested in a gracious heart: but I go on to mention the duties.
I. Pray. I mean in a particular manner. Persevere, some days before the ordinance, in prayer for a peculiar blessing upon the opportunity, to your soul, and that of your brethren: pray
that you may meet in love there; for, remember, one great meaning of this ordinance is to express that you, being many, are one body and one bread; and consider, also, what is weak in you, and pray that then and there God's strength may be applied to the weak part.
II. Meditate, first, on your own wretched self as a sinner; consider what a vile creature you were and are, till you wonder at the grace of Jesus in having loved such a one as you. But principally meditate on the tender and kind Saviour. O, consider Jesus! Kead over and over again the Scriptures which speak of his dying love. Consider him, the great God, your Creator, John i. 1-3, being a poor, weak infant for you; leading a suffering life for you; shedding his blood for you; rising again for you; sitting at God's right hand to plead for you ; loving you, watching over you! You cannot have too endearing views of the love of Jesus towards you : see Isa. xlix. 14, 15. Meditate also on that happy hour, when he first called you by his grace out of darkness into light.
III. Resolve to forsake all for him. Be ashamed of your backslidings, hard-heartedness, unforgiving tempers, unmercifulness, reaching after worldly things, and the like; and determine, in Christ's strength, in future to renounce these things, and to aim at more fruitfulness in good works, especially to the brethren of Jesus, (see Matt. xxv. 34-40;) and so, humbly desiring to meet in love the Lord your righteousness and strength, and to have your heart go out in love to your dear brethren in Christ communicating with you; so come and welcome to the Lord's Supper.
The late Rev. John Bull.
POPISH PROSELYTIZING. A PIOUS and respectable female, now advanced in life, stated to me, not long ago, as follows :—"A lady, in whose service I lived some years ago, was a regular hearer of the Rev.
BW- one of the most excellent clergymen, I suppose, who ever preached in the neighbourhood of London; and I also used to attend at his chapel. After some time, my mistress, I believe, went into worldly company; she was led into conduct that was wrong and sinful; her sin required secrecy, and falling into an ill state of health, she became very uneasy both in body and mind. She was visited by Mr. —, a popish priest in the neighbourhood, who knew her circumstances. He wrought upon her state of mind, assuring her that her sins would be pardoned, and her salvation sure, if she would but join the Roman Catholic church, till he persuaded her to do so; and she lived and died a rigid papist. I was often employed in carrying notes and messages between them; and many attempts were made to draw me aside, both by Mr. and Dr. another priest, who was then actively engaged in controversy. They would show me the ornaments and other things used in their worship, and ask me if these were not far more attractive than the plain whitewashed churches of the Protestants. I have no doubt that the same course has been pursued with many other young people; for I knew a Sunday school boy, not long since, who was completely led astray by the Roman Catholics in his neighbourhood; and I fear this is often the case with girls or lads in service, whose employers are not sufficiently watchful over them, and who have little or no religious instruction after leaving the Sunday school. The singing and music, for which the popish chapels are remarkable, are a great temptation. They would also take me into a room where fruit and wine were provided, with everything else likely to please a young person, and invite me to take what I pleased. The priests also lent me many Romish books, intended to make an impression on the mind; one of which, “ The Horrors of Hell,” I shall never forget; it set forth, in the strongest and most frightful manner, the misery of all who would not join the Roman Catholic church. Nothing but the mercy and grace of God preserved me from being taken in these snares. I did not then know much of the Scriptures, but the little with which I was acquainted proved a safeguard to me; and one text I shall particularly mention, as describing their earnest endeavours, and the awful end which I felt would await me, if I yielded to their entreaties; “Ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves,' Matt. xxiii. 15. I often think of the danger I escaped ; I trust I feel thankful to God, who has preserved me hitherto ; and I desire to warn all young people against listening to the persuasions of Roman Catholics. I have often thought of the piety of the martyrs in former times, and I pray that many may still be found in this place who would rather die than turn from the ways of truth.”
E. A. ** Protestant servants and others in similar stations are often proselytized to Popery by such means.
A FISHING VILLAGE. THE following particulars, extracted from the letter of a clergyman, cannot fail to interest our readers :
“Our fishermen and sailors here are much improved I have, through God's mercy, great reason to believe. When I came to them, sixteen years ago, they had the name of being the worst body of men in England. I am thankful to say, that I now hear well of them from all quarters, and that I can myself see striking evidence of a change for the better; still, I feel that our operations have been quite inadequate to the effect produced, which I must simply ascribe to God.
“ One of my first objects on coming to this populous place was to establish an efficient Sunday school. I met with difficulties in the task; but, by dint of hard work, at last succeeded, and have now above 60 gratuitous teachers, and between 800 and 900 scholars. Many of these were, of course, the children of fishermen, and they carried home to their drunken parents some of the lessons they heard at school. Others, among the boys, became apprentices on board our trawlers; and when they were on shore, they came up to school as usual; but being now older, and less manageable, I was obliged at last to separate them from the other boys, and get them into a room by themselves.
These boys brought with them, from time to time, others who could not read; and these again were followed, by degrees, by some of the men also, till at last we had a regular sailors' Sunday school established in the place. For this Sunday school God has given us, from time to time, suitable teachers; and I have endeavoured to prepare them during an evening in the week for their duties on the Sunday,
“This school has gone on with more or less favour and success among our men and boys for nearly fourteen years; and to it is, in a great measure, owing the beneficial change that has taken place in' the minds and habits of our fishermen. We generally, when all our men are at home, assemble from 100 to 150 of them every Sunday; and lately, owing to the great exertions of my curate, we have had sometimes above 200 present. We generally then read and explain the Scriptures to the men, and teach those to read who cannot do so; we then finish with some instructive book, and a short exhortation, closing with a brief prayer and a psalm or hymn.
Another means that we use with our fishermen, and closely connected with the school, is the circulating of books and tracts among them. We have a little lending library for the supply of interesting books, and we take care that they shall always have some tract on board their vessels, to fill up profitably an idle hour. They receive and purchase largely Bibles, Testaments, Prayer-books, and Psalm-books.
“We have again, a little quiet meeting on Friday nights, to which those who are at home generally come. Mr. or I are always there; and we converse with the men on religious subjects, explain to them any difficulties they may meet with, and try in any way we can to benefit them. They have also meetings among themselves and with their teachers.