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form of godliness without its power; for the heart was unchanged and unrenewed by divine grace.
But though the heart was unchanged, and though she was rather of a haughty disposition, the admonitions of her parents, and the principles upon which her education had been undertaken and conducted, had been very useful. The duties of filial obligation were too deeply rooted in her bosom for example or inducement to shake. From this principle, she rarely left the house without the consent of her parents, or paid any visits except in company with them, or by their approbation. Nothing which she thought would give them pain, was either pursued or neglected by her; and as her mother's afflictions were long and severe, her constant confinement rather tended to enervate a constitution already weak, than to afford it an opportunity of acquiring that additional vigour which it wanted. But personal considerations had little influence on her. The thought of rendering her parents some assistance, and of yielding obedience to their commands, presented motives of superior efficacy; and by this principle of filial duty she was actuated, till divine grace renewed her nature, and the death of her parents discharged her from the obligation.
The dear object of these memoirs was under tirenty, when she lost her mother. She ad already acquired habits of retirement through her mother's long indisposition, which, though she was now more at liberty, she found no inclination to leave. At this time she had an uncle and aunt, of the name of Gwyer, who resided in Bristol. Her uncle, who was her relation only in the law, and a local preacher in our connection, frequently paid visits to Mr. Smith and his daughter. During these visits, having observed something serious in her deportment, he took every occasion which opportunity offered, to speak seriously, closely, and faithfully to her, on the nature and necessity of experimental religion. His words were attended with power, and sunk deeply into her heart. The books which she read, tended to rivet her convictions; and all united to cut off from her views, all hopes of heaven, through the performance of prescribed duties, or the discharging the various charities of life.
On attaining the age of twenty, her convictions were permanent and severe. She now saw that she was a sinner, and feeling the sentence of death in her soul, was constrained to cry vehemently for that mercy which she had hitherto sought only in
a languid manner. Her anguish on this occasion was particularly acute; "the sorrows of death compassed her about, and the pains of hell gat hold upon her.” She saw those foolish amusements, on which she had looked with an eye of comparative indifference, to be exceedingly sinful. Dancing and cardplaying appeared before her in their true colours, and she instantly formed a resolution, through divine grace assisting her, that she would be found in these practices no more. A breaking off from those few companions with whom she had occasionally associated, was almost a necessary consequence of this resolution. A concern for the salvation of her soul rose superior to every other consideration ; so that the language of her heart was, " What shall I do to be saved ?"
Her companions, on perceiving a change so remarkable in one of whose former piety they had entertained a most extravagant opinion, began to think that she was actually deranged.And they imagined themselves justified in this conclusion, from making a comparative estimate of such facts as came within the reach of their knowledge. They knew that she had been obedient to her parents, had regularly attended church, and had shewn much devotion while there. They knew that she had been charitable to the distressed, had sympathized with the afflicted, and had read 'good books. On the contrary, dancing and card-playing were the only innocent recreations in which she had indulged; and for a person of this description to imagine she was a lost sinner, afforded such a convincing proof of madness, as would even prove themselves insane in case they should presume to disbelieve it. These contrary views being entertained on each side, a mutual separation took place between them ; they avoided her company from a persuasion that she was deranged, and she avoided them because they relished not the things of God. The former pursued happiness among the amusements and gaie. ties of life, and the latter in the mercy of God through Jesus Christ, into that eternal world into which her spirit had begun already to enter.
Being considerably affected with a sense of her spiritual condition, her father, whose health at this time was good, permitted her to visit Bristol. But the novelties of the city were not sufficient to overcome the anguish which weighed down her soul. While in this place, she regularly attended on the ministry of that heavenly man, Mr. Valton. Relief from the anguish of her
heart was the object which she sought; and while drinking in the divine word, God was pleased to speak peace to her soul; and the clear sense of pardon and acceptance which she here received, was retained by her to her dying day. As her convietions had been very acute, so her sense of forgiveness was strong and lively, being attested by internal and external evidences which could not deceive.
Having found that mercy manifested to her soul which she had sought with much earnestness, very different prospects presented themselves to her view. Her darkness was turned into light; her sorrow into joy; her days of mourning were at an end; her warsare was accomplished; for she had received from the Lord's hand double for all her sinş. “ The Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world," was revealed in her soul, and she was enabled to call God Father by the Holy Ghost. She felt his love shed abroad in her heart, and experienced a divine assurance that her sins were blotted out from the book of his remembrance. Hence she was enabled to walk in the light of God's revealed countenance, and, by obtaining power from on high, to yield obedience to his commandments, from a principle of grateful love and filial fear.
Having thus, through the power of divine grace, passed from death unto life, she felt a desire to associate with such as had experienced its saving influence on their hearts. Her father, who was rich in works of benevolence, had infused into his daughter's mind, a love for those principles by which he had been actuated. This concurring with her natural inclination, conducted her frequently to the abodes of misery, to relieve the wants of the unhappy sufferers, and brought her acquainted with some pious young ladies, who sought out these haunts of wretchedness with the same benevolent intention. This beneficent plan she had rarely neglected, even while she was a stranger to God. But now having felt the powers of the world to come, she renewed her diligence, and became qualified to administer relief to the disconsolate souls, as well as suffering bodies of the afflicted poor. Engaged in these errands of love, a congeniality of spirit soon introduced to her notice some of the pious Methodists who had been raised up in Bradford, the place of her nativity. With these she took sweet counsel, and was much edified in the things of God by learning their experience, and hearing them declare what God had done for their souls. The correspondence and
similitude which she discovered between their experience and her own, tended, in no small degree to encourage her in the ways of God, and to remove those doubts with which she was occasionally assailed. This she found peculiarly profitable to her soul; for as her doubts disappeared, her faith obtained strength in the same proportion.
But though her father was by no means an enemy to christianity, he was very unwilling that she should regularly attend the preaching and private means of grace among the Methodists.-The principle from which this disinclination arose, it is not difficult to discover:
.“ For still the world prevail'd, and its loud laugh,
It was thought degrading to associate with persons who were beneath her in point of worldly circumstances; and beneath the dignity of the family to countenance a sect which was almost every where spoken against. It is true that when the Rev. Jobạ. Wesley, and the Rev. B. B. Collins, preached, she was permitted to hear by the toleration of her father, though at other times she was interdicted. And as a sense of filial duty reigned in her bosom, she chose rather to suppress her own desires than to indulge them at the expense of her father's displeasure, because all his cautions operated like imperious commands.
When attending on the ministry of Mr. Wesley and Mr. Collins, her soul seemed to drink in every word with as much eagerness as a thirsty soil when imbibing a fertilizing shower. On entering the chapel, her condition in life was lost in the superior consideration of holy worship. It was her custom to kneel on the floor during prayer, with the poorest of the people, and while hearing the sermon, the pleasure which beamed from her countenance, strikingly indicated the joy which triumphed in her soul. Through the whole of her behaviour on these occasions, she manifested a high degree of satisfaction, that she was permitted to assemble with those whom she considered as the people of God. She ranked these seasons among her most exalted privileges, and esteemed these opportunities as some of the happiest incidents of her life.
(To be continued.)
RELIGIOUS AND MISSIONARY INTELLIGENCE.
SERMON BY A BUDHIST PRIEST.
Extracted from the Melhodist Missionary Notices, for 1816. Agreeable to the promise we gave in our last number, we now present our readers with a Sermon by PETRUS PANDITA SEBARRA, the celebrated and learned Budhist Priest, who bas recently embraced Christianity, and experienced the converting power of the gospel of Christ. The circumstances by which this divine change was effected are so well known, that it is unnecessary to enlarge upon them. The following Sermon appears to have been one of his first productions of the kind. We forbear giving any comment upon it, being persuaded that the novelty of the production will be a sufbcient apology for the simplicity of the style, and the peculiarity of the mode of illustration. It appears to be of eastern character, and well adapted to the circumstances of the people to whom it was addressed. We are confident it will be read with much interest, and with feelings of gratitude to God, wbo has made known the riches of the glory of his grace among the Gentiles.
JAMES v. 19, 20. « Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him,
“ Let him know, that he which converteth a sinner from the error of his way, shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.”
Beloved brethren, to err from the truth, is to err from the true religion.The apostle James says, If one could convert a beathen, he would save a scul from death : that is, he whose soul was in danger of being lost, by continuing in a wrong way, is led into the right way, which leads to eternal life, and is saved. The multitude of his sins is covered, or prevented from being brought against him.
Beloved brethren, there are a great number of religions in the world, but of which one only can be the true religion, for all cannot be true. Therefore, that must be the true religion, which admits a Creator, and one only everlasting Cod. Now, if one, with a hope of saving his soul. turns his back upon the religion of this eternal God, and worships another, his labour may be conipared to a fanislied foolish kid, that endeavours to suck the horns of its mother instead of the teat. Some religions deny the everlasting God, who created the world. But how, it must be asked, can a rational person beliere them to be right ? No man can see the soul; yet, from the motions, feelings, and other actions of the man, there can be no doubt of bis having a soul. Therefore, my friends, cannot you be convinced, from this wonderful world, and the va. rious parts of creation, namely, the heavens, earth, sea, sun, moon, stars, men, &c. and their regular organization, that there is a God, and all these are his works ; and likewise, can't we consider that these things cannot be made by themselves, and that it is impossible so to be.
If the world was created by itself, and not created by God, how is it possible that the wonderful events thereof should remain invariably the same, without the interposition of God? Will ever a puddy field be ploughed properly by the oxen alone, without a husbandman? If the creation is of itself, there must be much changeableness in the world, and a want of regular system and order.