« AnteriorContinua »
following him, he said, "I desire you will not speak to me any more. I do not agree with you."
One morning, a short time after, I was praying and meditating in the church, when it came to my mind forcibly that I must go to this man's parish. I rose from my knees forthwith, saying to myself that I would go; but immediately the thought came to me, "This suggestion is not from God, for He must know that my horse has lost two shoes, and could not go all that distance." However, I returned home, and went to the stable to inquire, when, to my surprise, I found that my man had taken the horse out very early in the morning, and had got him properly shod. "He is all right for a long journey, master," he said, "if you want to go."
"Well," I said, "put on the saddle, and be ready in half-an-hour." I went in to prepare, and started in due time. On the way I was thinking what I would say, and how I would begin the conversation, for as yet I did not know the particular message I was to take.
When I arrived at my friend's gate, I saw the marks of his horse's feet, as if he had just gone out. However, I rode up to the front door, and rang the bell. His wife appeared, and said that her husband had gone out, and would not be back before six o'clock; she added, "You look disappointed"; and so I was, for I thought the Lord had sent me with some message to him. The lady kindly asked me to put up my horse, saying, "Perhaps he may return sooner; you had better rest a little." I thanked her, and doing so, went in.
As soon as we were seated, the lady said, "I have been wishing to see you for a long time; we have started more than once to visit you, when my husband's courage has failed him, and we have returned. He says that he loves you still; but, somehow, he is very much afraid of you."
EFFECT OF AN ACCIDENT.
Then she went on to tell me that when they were removing from their late parish to where they now were, having sent all their furniture on, they were driving in their own carriage; and that coming along over a bleak and desolate moor, the horse took fright at something, they knew not what, and ran away. Because it could not get along fast enough from its imaginary object of fear, it began to kick, and breaking the carriage in pieces, made its escape, leaving her and her husband on the ground. He was not much hurt, and soon rose, and came to help her. She was severely bruised, and her leg was broken besides. He managed to drag her gently to the side of the road, where there was a little bank, and, collecting some of the broken pieces of the carriage, he placed them round her for protection, and hurried off in order to get assistance. He had to go two miles, and was absent nearly three hours. During that time she suffered great pain, but it came to her mind all at once that her sins were pardoned; she was exceedingly happy, and could not help thanking and praising God. In this state her husband found her when he returned, and on hearing her talk, became very unhappy, because he thought that besides her leg, her head was broken too; and that she was going out of her mind. She assured him over and over again, that she was wonderfully well, and really happy; but he could not bear to hear her talk like that, and said that he should go mad also, if she did not stop.
During the six weeks she was laid up, he continually brought doctors and clergymen to talk her out of her delusion, as he thought it, but without avail. Her happiness continued for several months, and then gradually died away. She asked me, "Can you tell me the meaning of this?" I was deeply interested with her experience, and told her that I had read of a similar one only a few days before.
My heart now began to cheer up, for I saw why I had been sent to this place. I at once pointed her to passages of Scripture, where we are told that we have forgiveness of sins through the blood of Jesus, and I put Christ crucified before her as the object of faith. I told her, that as certainly as the blood of Jesus had been shed, there was mercy and forgiveness for her. I said, "I believe it, and have forgiveness and you may have it too; not because you feel happy, but because Jesus died." She did believe, and we rejoiced together.
She exclaimed, "Oh that the Lord would change my husband's heart, and bring you here for a revival!"
"Very well," I said, "let us ask Him," and we did so. I then rode home praising God.
Before leaving, I promised to come again on the follow. ing Wednesday. I kept my word, and had an interview with her husband; but it was not encouraging. He said he could not agree to ask for mercy as a sinner, because he had been baptized. Some months afterwards, his manservant came to me on horseback at three o'clock in the morning, to say that his master was very bad, and would I come as soon as possible and see him. I asked, "What is the matter?" "Oh, bless the Lord,” said the man, "it's all about his soul!" "That is right," I replied, thanking God; "I will go with you at once," and immediately I saddled my horse, and rode back with him.
I found my friend was under deep conviction, and in the greatest misery; he now thought that he was a most "uncommon sinner," and that there was no mercy for him, there could not be any! After a time he acknowledged the power of God to forgive sin, and declared that he believed in Christ, and I was led to say, "he that believeth hath everlasting life." Upon this text he found peace, and we all praised God together
The Sunday following, he asked the congregation to thank God with him for having saved his soul; and in his sermon told them something of his experience. Subsequently his church became the centre of a work of God, as Mr. Aitken's church and mine were in our respective neighbourhoods.
The power of the Lord overshadowed the place, and there was as usual a simultaneous melting of hearts all over the parish, and a running together of the people to hear the Word, and what is better to obey it. Then followed a true Cornish revival with full manifestations, and Mr. Aitken came to preach. The fire was burning and shining before; but when this mighty man stirred it, it rose to a tremendous height. The excitement of the parson and people was intense, and hundreds of souls were added to the Church, who had been brought from the death of sin into the life of righteousness, which all the previous preaching on Baptism and the Lord's Supper had failed to produce.
A Visit to Veryan.
EXT, I will tell of a clergyman who was altogether different to the others I have mentioned. He was one to whom I was much attached, although we were diametrically opposed to one another, especially in my Puseyite days. He was Evangelical; I was High Church; consequently, we fell out more or less, at every meeting, though we never really quarrelled. After my conversion, I made sure this friend would sympathize with me; but I found to my disappointment he was in reality more opposed now than before, because I had become, as he called it, "a dissenter." He would scarcely speak to me, and said, he was not so sure of my conversion as I was, that he would give me seven years to prove it, and then pronounce.
I said, “You are an old bachelor, and know nothing about the treatment of babies; we do not put our babies out on the lawn for seven days before we decide whether they are born or not !"
He could not resist joining in the laugh against his inexperience in this respect, although he was not over-pleased.