« AnteriorContinua »
the grand Author of all that is fair, sublime, and good in the visible creation. The characters of grandeur and magnificence are so legibly inscribed upon the general face of nature, that the most untaught eye cannot fail to read them. Let the great powers of nature be brought into action, and still more sublime and awful appearances rise to our view. Let woods and forests wave before the stormy winds; let occan “heave from his extended bed,” and roll his threatening billows to the sky; let volcanoes pour sorth pillars of smoke and melted torrents from their fiery caverns; let lightnings dart their vivid fires through the sky, whilst thunders roar among the bursting clouds ; what imagination shall remain unimpressed with emotions of admiration mingled with terror ? Let it now be observed, that the Book of Nature may be read with peculiar advantage, when we hold in our hand, at the same time, the Sacred volume of divine revelation, and view it in this highly polished mirror. Philoso. phy is no natural enemy to religion; but a mighty incentive to it, when properly used. We find the inspired writers frequently directing our attention to the works of nature. To illustrate the greatness of his power, our God is represented, as measuring the waters in the hollow of his hand, as comprehending the dust of the earth in a mcasure, and as weighing the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance. The heavens declare his glory in silent, but forcible language: a language which may be heard and understood throughout all the earth, by men of every colour, and of every tongue. When the prophets would exo hibit and illustrate those infinite resources of wisdom and knowledge that guide the conduct of the Eternal Jehovah; they tell® us, “ That as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are his ways higher than our ways, and his thoughts than our thoughts." To point out in energetic language, and to paint in glowing co. lours, the mighty efficacy of the word of God: some of the grand resources, and means of general fertilization, are resorted to by the evangelical prophet: “For, as the rain cometh down from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the carth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater : so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth; it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent il.” To excite us to put our trust and confidence in God, they represent him as the great and stupendous
Being, “ Who hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth-as the God that divided the sea, when the waves thereof roared-who cut Rahab and wounded the dragon--and made the depths of the sea a way for the ransom. ed to pass over.
." To comfort the mourners, and raise the drooping spirit, and desponding mind, the strongest and the most beautiful things in nature are referred to by the sublime prophet: “For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee.” Then he adverts to the mines where are deposited sparkling gems, a part of the riches of nature, the treasures of the earth : “O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest and not comforted, behold I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones." Objects also sublime and beautiful in the creation of God, are frequently borrowed as similies to express the glories of the illustrious Saviour, “God manifest in the flesh.” The sun shining in his strength, resembles the splendour of his countenance; the whiteness of snow, the colour of his hair; and the roar of many waters, the sound of his voice.
And though we are fully assured that the whole realm of nature might be examined and explored in vain, to find a metaphor that would completely express his worth, his glory, or his grace; yet these similitudes afford some faint ideas of his transcendant greatness and ineffable glories.
THE GRACE OF GOD MANIFESTED.
HEMOIR OF MISS URSULA MILLWARD, OF EVESHAM, WORCESTER
In a letter from her father, an itinerant Methodist Preacher, in
the Editor of the London Methodist Magazine.
(Concluded from page 68.)
Then she said, “ I wish it was day, that all the people in the town might come and see how a Christian can die." then asked, if there were any in particular that she would like
to see, on which she mentioned several individuals, who were accordingly sent for. While the messenger was away she said, “ Now I must rest a little, but I am afraid my strength will not hold out till they come ; give me a little wine and water, and pray for me, that I may be able to say something to them.” When they arrived, she said to one, “O my dear, I am glad to see you, how do you do? I am happy, I wish you were as happy as I am, you may in a few wecks be like me; you must not be light and trifling, you have a never-dying soul to save ; and remember, you must not put off the work of salvation. I shall never see you more in this world ; but I trust I shall see you in heaven." To several others she spoke to the same effect. To one “ I fear you are in the way to destruction ; you cannot be offended with me now, for I am dying. O what would you do if you were dying ?" To another she said, “ Here you see me, I am dying, but O how happy! O turn to the Lord, and love him, then you will be happy. You must not only appear to be a Christian ; that will not do." Then she proceeded “ Bless the Lord, he has given me strength for this. O how I love all the world. I wish I may be the means of saving one soul ! 0 that we may all meet in heaven!" Mrs. M. asked her if she would have a funeral sermon preached on account of her death ; she first said “ No;" but after some time she said “ Yes, I think I will, perhaps it will be of use to some who may attend to hear.” Then said Mrs. M.“Who shall preach it?" Why," said she turning to Mr. M. “It will be too much for father, you must preach it Mr. Allen.” “What text will you have ?" “O I do not know, I am only a little girl; Mr. Allen must choose." “ And where will you be buried ?” She replied with the greatest readiness and composure, “ In the chapel yard.” This makes it plain that she had seriously thought the business over, though she had mentioned it to no one. She then said, " It is long in coming ; how much longer will it be !"' Mrs. Af. answered,
Every beating pulse you tell,
She said, " () that's beautiful.” Then calling Mrs. M. to her, she said, “ Promise me you will not shed a tear for me." my dear,” said Mrs. M. “I cannot promise that." - Well
then,” said she, “ You must support and comfort father, and we shall soon meet again ; I know we shall, and I will welcome you to heaven.” Soon after, she said," I now can say, for me to live would be Christ, and to die is gain;" then receiving a little wine and water, she said, “ I am afraid it is too good, I fear it will support me too long.” Then she broke out; “O what a good time is this !” I said to her, “My dear, you have now quite the advantage of us ;" she answered, “Yes, I have, O how I pity you !" Then she said, “ Pray on.”
When we rose from our knees, having been favoured with another plentiful shower of grace, she said, “ How is she ?” meaning her mother, whose feelings had compelled her to leave the room. Being informed she was happy in the happiness of her child, she turned to Mr. M. and said, “How sudden it is ! I did not think I should die." Said Mr. M. “ You are now the Lord's,
Yes, father, I am not yours now. Pray for me, that I may not shrink.” She then broke out in singing,
“ My soul through my Redeemer's care,
Sav'd from the second death I feel,
My feet from falling into hell.”'
She then cried out, “ Sing the other verse,” meaning,
This was a memorable moment ; she called upon all to sing, and her power of voice was remarkable, for she was heard, distinctly, above all the rest by those who were below stairs; and the emphasis which she laid on the words made it plain that every power of her soul was engaged ; and it was observed, I believe, by most of those who were present, that the joy she experienced was visible in her countenance. She then turned to Mr. M. and said, " I am going first, father; I used to sing,
But I am going first; we have been united, but the union is dissolved." Hearing the chimes go twelve, she said, “O, I am thinking of the singing in heaven; the chimes are so solemn. I hope before the clock strikes again, I shall be in glory.” Then she said, “ How long it holds ! still pray for me.” Her father said, “My dear you are safe ;" she answered, “ Yes, I know I am ; be sure to comfort my dear mother, and pray for me, that I may be able to give her up." Mr. M. addressing her, called her his little angel; she said, “ Yes, I shall be an angel, I know I shall.” Mr. M. said, “ My love, I shall often think of you when I am returning from my country places, after preaching in the evenings ; and I believe I shall feel great union with your spirit.” She answered, “ Yes, father, I will attend you, and be your guardian angel, and mother's too, if God permit.” Then she said “ I am unworthy of all that which is now conferring upon me. Father, I shall praise him forever, yes, for ever and
We all must die, and why not at fourteen, as well as at eighty or ninety?” After a short pause she said, " I have been thinking what a happy little life mine has been, and O what a mercy, that such a little life should be crowned with such a glorious end. Bless the Lord that I ever came to Evesham, for my afflictions here have brought me nearer to the Lord.” She then said to Mr. M.“ Write to Mr. Wilson, give my love to him, and tell him that while he is reading your letter I am in glory; for I know I shall.” After she had disposed of some of her books to her friends, her father said, “You give your heart to God:” “Yes," she answered," My all.” Then she said, “ These are the happiest moments I ever felt.” Some time af
ter she said, “Go and see how mother is ; how is she, father? * tell her I hope she will not shed a tear for me." About this
time the doctor came into the room, to whom she said, “Sir, I am so happy, that I would not live for any thing. I shall soon be in heaven, to praise God through all eternity, I know I shall, I have given up father and mother, and they have given me up." Some time after, she said, “I have been very much blessed since I came to Evesham, by reading a chapter of the Word of God every day upon my knees; and I would recommend the practice to every Christian.” Her father said, “I hope Christ is still precious ?” She answered, “ O yes, I must not lose sight of him, I shall not be here long; and though I pass through the valley and shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” Then she