Imatges de pÓgina

(says Mr. Burn) have I witness- scriptures, in earnest prayer, and

ed in so young a person, and of such amiable qualities, so entire a sense of personal demerit before God. Though, in her conduct as a child, an instance of filial disobedience could scarcely he recollected, she nevertheless felt herself to be a sinner against Heaven. Her hours of retirement were spent in meditation on her apostasy from God, her unbelief, and her want of that conformity to his will, which his word requires. Appealing from human judgment, as the criteriqu of religious character, she directed her attention to the law of God, as the transcript of his own perfections, and the only perfect and infallible measure of the crea ture's obligation. The same gracious teaching, which convinced ber of sin, which discovered its malignity and guilt, as a transgression of the law, brought her also to acknowledge that its sentence would be just, were it to be executed upon herself. She saw, that so far from being able to recommend herself to God by the merit of her obedience to any conditions, legal or evangelical, that "by the law no flesh can be justified in his sight;" and that she must be "justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ." This discipline of the law, in the hand of the Spirit, was not the result of a sudden or single impression on the mind. It had none of those characters of an enthusiastic profession, which distinguished the stony ground hearers. It was a conviction of the conscience, following the information of the understanding, and vouchsafed in the use of means; that is, in reading the

in an attendance on the ordinances of public worship, with a simple dependence on the promised aids of God's blessed Spirit.

The following extract from a letter, written to her mother, expresses her own views relative to her awakening and conversion.

"You give me encourage, ment freely to state to you the concerns of my soul, and you say, the more open and free I am, the greater satisfaction it will afford you; and therefore I shall write what first occurs. I shall begin, by telling you, the first thing which put me upon an inquiry, was hearing the ser mons of Jonathan Edwards, upon man's enmity to God, which you read on Sunday evenings. No doubt you remember the dislike and opposition, which I then shewed to them. Before that time, I had no notion of my character as a sinner, and even then I was not fully convinced of it; for though unable to deny, I was yet unwilling to confess it. But the Lord was so merciful to me, that, from that time, I daily felt the burden increasing, till at last I found it was too heavy for me to bear, and that I must seek help from one that is mighty. Fisher's "Marrow of Modern Divinity," and Boston on the "Covenant of Works," were of great use to me in convincing me what a sad state I was in. O! how heavy did I then feel the curse of the law hanging upon me! I knew not what to do, nor where to flee for safety. I had no one, to whom I could open my mind, for this was at the time when you were confined. My heart was indeed overwhelmed within me, and I felt no comfort,

till the Lord, of his great mercy, set me upon the "Rock that is higher than I.” A sermon, Mr. preached from Is. xxvi. 1, 2, "In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; we have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks. Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation, which keep eth the truth, may enter in ;" the Lord was pleased to bless to me, and it was the means of restoring peace to my troubled soul. This text also, "Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest," was graciously applied to me. O! what a change did I then feel! My burden, like poor Christian's at the cross, seemed to fall from off my back, and I could go away rejoicing, as he did."

In the following extract she bewails her short comings in duty, and her depravity: "Alas! what do I render to the Lord for all his mercies unto me? Do I live to his glory? Do I honour his name? or rather, do I not daily dishonour him? I find, indeed, that the good that I would I do not, but the evil which I would not, that I do; and this it is which makes me cry out with the apostle, "O wretched creature that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death!" May I also say with him, "I thank God, through Jesus Christ, our Lord."

She entertained high and animating views of Christ, and the method of salvation. In a letter to her mother, she says: "Who can describe the love of Jesus! Who can tell what he hath done

to ransom fallen, guilty man! It surpasses, far surpasses all human power even so much as to

conceive of it. "He is altogether lovely, the chief among ten thousand.” I find my heart drawn out after him; I love, I praise, I wonder. O! that I could express what at times I feel, when enjoying his presence! "In his presence is life, and at his right hand there are pleasures forevermore." Jesus is my portion and my all: "Whom have I in heaven but thee, and there is none upon earth I desire in comparison with thee." I love him supremely; every thing else, compared with him, is less than nothing, and vanity. "As the hart panteth for the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?” In him, and in him alone, will I rejoice. "My soul shall triumph in the Lord, and make her boast in the God of her salvation." It is the delightful theme of praise, which occupies the tongues of angels and redeemed spirits throughout eternity. O! I long to join with them in singing this song, which is ever new. Jesus is gone before to prepare a place for me, and when he has made it ready for me, and me for it, then will he take me home to himself, to join the church triumphant, in ascribing "praise and glory to the Lamb forevermore." Till then I would follow the church militant here on earth, and raise my voice with hers, in praising our great Redeemer."

These expressions are not to be resolved into rhapsody and passion; they are such as we ought to use respecting him, "who is the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of his person;" him, who loved his church, and gave himself for it;" him, to whom Miss H. felt indebted for all her salvation, and to whom she delighted, from gratitude, to ascribe all the glory. "We love him because he first loved us ;" and so far are we from carrying this generous affection to excess, in our admiration of the Son of God, that our highest and best expressions of love to him fall infinitely below their adorable object; and come short even of the sense of obligation we feel to his rich mercy. It may be conceived by some a strange thing, to speak of religion, as an inward, vital, and transforming principle. But surely it is more strange to conceive how it can benefit any one, without being so. There is no such absurdity as this in the common concerns of life. Riches, in speculation, are held of little value by those, who have them in possession; and all persons can distinguish between the reputed efficacy of a medicine, in the prescription of a physician, and its actual effect on the health of the patient. Persons may acknowledge the authority of the Bible, and express a preference for certain sentiments, without the admission of religion into their hearts. The difference be tween the form of godliness and the power is essential; and this important distinction turns entirely on receiving, or not receiving the religion of Christ into the heart.

The effects of evangelical prin ciples were conspicuous in the conduct of Miss Hutchinson. "The tree is known by its fruits.". The wisdom of this maxim is universally allowed; but, unhappily, neither the tree nor its fruit is, in general, properly discriminated. Nature is constantly confounded with grace, and the fruits of nature mistaken for those of the Spirit. If a young person be amiable, discover a decent respect for the institutions of religion, and, especially, if correct in his morals, he is, of course, with the generality, a religious and good man. We mean not to disparage amiable qualities, much less would we discourage, in youth, a reverence for the appointments of religion, or the sanctions of morality; at the same time, we admonish them to beware, how they mistake qualities, which may be purely natural, for grace; and effects, which may proceed from education and habit only, for the genuine and distinguishing fruits of the holy Spirit. The truth is, these properties, though excellent in themselves, are manifestly defective, not only in their principle, but in the measure and motive. The fountain of desire and of action, the heart, is corrupt before God ; and the Lord, who searches the heart, declares, "A corrupt tree cannot bring forth good fruit." The tree,

therefore, must be made good, and the fruit will be good also. Where this change is real, the man not only becomes "a new creature," but a new character; his religious and moral deportment, though for merly correct, will now receive

and bear a new impression, arising from supernatural principles, and altogether appropriate to the man, who is "born of God."

Though Miss Hutchinson was called, in youth, from the stage of life, her removal was not sudden. For more than two years she lay in the furnace; but the Messenger of the covenant sat as a refiner. A brief account of what passed in her last hours will doubtless be acceptable to the reader.

When speaking of the deep convictions she formerly had of sin, she observed, "At that time I saw more of the danger, and felt more of the terrors of sin; but now I see more of its exceeding sinfulness." At different times, she addressed the servants in a very suitable and impressive manner; telling them, ".she had no dependence on any thing she had done, but that the ground of her hope was Christ, who had done all things for her," and repeatedly expressed her great love to him on that account. A short time before her departure, on be ing told, "You are very poorly," she said, "I am quite willing, quite ready; for me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. I know whom I have believed, and I am persuaded he is able to keep what I have committed to him against that day." When asked by the minister, who attended her, "Is there any subject, or view of truth, which, in your present circumstances, particularly impresses your mind, and which you would wish me to recommend to the congregation? She answered, after a short pause, with inexpressible composure," the faithfulness of God;" and, immediately after he retired, she repeat

ed the words, "Lacked ye any thing?" adding, with ineffable sweetness of countenance, "Nothing Nothing!" and expressing, at the same time, her wish, that, if a funeral sermon were preached, this might be the text. When speaking of a near relation, whom she wished to see, and who had been written to at her request, she said, "I should be happy to see him; but, if I do not, I shall be still happier; tell him, if I do not, that I am complete in Jesus" often repeating with per culiar emphasis, "Complete in him!" On that passage being repeated, "Death is swallowed up in victory," she instantly continued, in the exulting strain of the apostle; "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? Thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ!" After re covering from fainting, she seemed disappointed, and observed, "that her sight and hearing hav ing failed her, she expected to have seen the gates of heaven opened to receive her." After this, she arranged her concerns for this life, and spake of death, as if she had been going a journey; she even gave directions respecting her funeral. "Well," she said, "this poor body will once more go into the house of God." And after a short interval added, "I can now resign you all up, I am going to glory! Do you not wish you were going with me? Well, we shall all shortly meet again! Jesus is the hope of glory!" So strong was her desire to depart, and to be with Christ, that, on reviving a little, she said, with tears," I feel much better; this has been the greatest trial Į have had! I begin to think of

coming back again!"

And, a short time after, "If I desire to live, it is to tell what the Lord hath done for my soul! I have not strength to do it now." On the same day she said, "I am very happy, indeed, and quite willing to go, or to continue in the same state." Afraid of losing this sweet composure of mind, she several times repeated that verse of Mr. Cowper : "But ah! my inward spirit cries,

Still bind me to thy sway; Else the next cloud, that veils my skies, Drives all these thoughts away."

But a faithful God was better to her than her fears. Not that she was a stranger to those trying exercises, which arise from the absence of sensible enjoyment, and which are more or less common to the people of God. Even in this awful season she said, "I walk in darkness, I have no light; but my stay is on my God! I have no sensible comforts; but what are comforts! they are not the ground of my hope.". The feeble hearted may learn from this, that their temptation is no strange thing;" and they will

see, from the sequel, that "God is faithful, who will not suffer them to be tempted above that they are able ;" for her soul was afterwards filled with such manifestations of divine love, that her mortal strength could scarcely sustain the impression. She said, in the midst of this, "I am not in extacies, but I cannot express how happy I am. This is no new thing. I know not what the joys of heaven may be, but this body can scarcely sustain what I now feel!" Repeating those beautiful lines of Dr. Watts;

"A mortal paleness on my cheek, But glory in my soul !"

When her brother arrived, she was very happy, and expressed her readiness and desire to depart. "Now," said she, "I have taken leave of all, I have nothing to do but to die!" Just before she died she said, with composure, "I am going!" and on its being observed to her, "You are going to glory," she replied, with a faltering voice, "Yes; I am going to glory! I love my Jesus! I love my Jesus!"

Religious Communications.



In passing through this probationary state, many are the changes, and numerous the trials, which fall to the lot of men. Be ing mere sojourners on the earth, they are not long seen in any one situation. Their morning sun rises, it quickly reaches its meridian, and, if the span of life be lengthened out, soon gives place

to the protruding shades of night. In youth, their worldly prospects. are commonly brightening ; in old age, they are daily diminishing. In every period, and under every condition of life, the supports and consolation derived from religion are necessary; but, never more so, than when "the evil days" of old age come on, when the sun,

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