Imatges de pÓgina



these things. One suggested that I should read a paper at the next Clerical Meeting, and give a statement in exposition of my views and practices. This I consented to do, and Mr. Aitken kindly helped me to write it. On the appointed day I undertook to read it, on condition that no one interrupted me till I had finished. It was a hard task for them to sit still, but they did manage to do so; and at the end, burst out upon me in a volley of censure and disapprobation. I was obliged to tell them that they were not converted, and therefore could not understand these things.

I wrote a pamphlet to show that the Church of England's teaching was based on CONVERSION, and not on baptism; and that the Reformation was to the Church of England what Conversion was to the individual reformers. Taking my own change as an illustration, I said, that I used to rest on Baptism and the Church, and that now I was standing on the Rock, Christ Jesus. Once I worked for life, and now I worked from life; that is, because I possessed it. I declared that this was the characteristic difference between the Church of England as it is, and as it was when connected with the Church of Rome. This pamphlet would not satisfy them. I then wrote and published a letter to the Archdeacon, in which, in my young zeal, I charged the clergy with being unconverted, and doing the devil's work in hindering the salvation of souls, and that they seemed to stand on their parish boundaries and say, "This is my parish, and you shall not come here to disturb the sleep of death which now reigns." This poured no oil upon the


I then wrote another pamphlet upon which I spent much time, thought, and prayer. I took the manuscript and read it to Mr. Aitken. He walked up and down in his large room, while I was reading, and ejaculated, as only he

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could, "Bless God! Glory be to God!" When I finished, I said, "Shall I print it ?"

He said, "It is worth printing, but it will do no good. It is like a little doggie barking at a dead elephant. We shall never convert the Church as a body: we must try and get at individuals. I am quite convinced we shall not succeed unless we work in this way."


Individual Cases.


N Archbishop of Canterbury, in old times, con trasted public preaching with personal dealing in this way: When we preach, it is like dashing water from a bucket upon so many vessels which are arranged before us—some drops fall into one, and some into another, while others remain empty; but when we speak to individuals, it is like pouring water into the neck of a vessel.

I gave up writing and printing pamphlets, and went on as quietly as I could with my own work, looking out for individual cases as they presented themselves in the providence of God. In this way, without fomenting controversy or keeping up public excitement, I was able more effectually to impart my meaning, than by printed statements, which I found were misunderstood or distorted; and what is more, I was able to apply the truth with an individual “Have you ?" It would take more space than I can afford to tell of the souls which were gained in this way. I will give here only a few instances, which are interesting, and which will sustain the thread of my narrative.

The first was in the case of one who began an argument on Baptismal Grace. I asked him what it was. "I know what converting or saving grace is; but what is this?" He did not say more, than that in Baptism he was made a member of Christ, a child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven.

"But," I asked, 66 suppose you have not repented and believed, what then?" Receiving no answer, I continued, Then, nothing; but the responsibility and the name."

A few days afterwards he came to me, saying that I had made him quite miserable, and asked me whether I meant to deny the necessity of baptism. I said, "Certainly not, but the condition of faith and repentance must be fulfilled. Whatever Baptismal Regeneration may be, Spiritual Regeneration is the work of the Spirit in those who believe in Christ Jesus." After a long talk and prayer, he appeared to understand that a conscious change should be wrought in him, and a spiritual faculty imparted, by which he could "see the kingdom of God." He remained for the evening service and meeting in the schoolroom, and was much impressed with what he witnessed. Instead of going away, he stayed with me till after midnight, when he found peace with God (as he said) in the church where we had been praying. Then he ordered his horse and rode home; but before he set out, he exacted a promise from me that I would not mention his conversion to any one. I consented to this, on the condition that he announced the change which had been wrought in him, from his pulpit on the following Sunday.

A few days afterwards my friend came to me in a great rage, and charged me with announcing his conversion all over the town. I told him that I was not sure enough of it myself to say anything about it, and that I had not spoken



to a single person on the subject. Still he seemed to doubt me, for he said his brother had been with him, and had told him that it was known all over the town that he had been to Baldhu, and that he was converted. Upon inquiry, I found out that my servant, who sat up till after midnight to get his horse, had overheard our conversation, and was the offending party.

I am always afraid of persons who are ashamed to acknowledge their conversion. My friend, I am sorry to say, made no announcement, but went on preaching as if he had always been the same, and consequently never came out to be of any use or help in the work. His testimony was indistinct also, and without any power. He became a very popular preacher afterwards, which was his great ambition, for he cared more for a large congregation than for winning souls.

Soon after this, I fell across another of my old friends in the street. He tried to avoid me, but I went up and shook hands with him. At first he would not look at me, and said he was afraid of me because I had changed my views. I assured him that I had not changed anything, but that I had myself been changed. As he was listening, I went on to tell him that I had long tried to make myself good enough for God's acceptance, but finding that Christ would not receive reformed characters, I came to Him as a poor lost sinner, and He saved me. Seeing that he continued attentive, I was proceeding to make my meaning plainer, when he turned round, and looking sternly at me, said, “If I understand you, I am to cry for mercy as 'a common sinner.'"

"Yes," I replied, being very pleased to find that he had understood me so well.

"Then," he said, "I will do no such thing." With this, he turned away and departed. When he saw that I was

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