Imatges de pÓgina

them. They do not sit there and resent the charge, for they know what has passed between God and their souls, and are anxious for others to share the same blessing." She was silent; so I continued, "May I ask you the question, Are you converted? Can you tell me that you are?"

you mean.

She replied, "I do not know what "Well then, why do you suppose that I mean something uncharitable or bad?"

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"Because I know very well it is not a good thing to be unconverted. But," she added, "it seems such an unkind thing to put us all down for 'lost,' while you suppose yourself to be saved."

"You may know more about this some day, perhaps; but in the meantime will you allow me to ask you one thing: Do you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ? "

She replied indignantly, "Of course I do. Now, this is the very want of charity I complain of-the idea of asking me such a question !"

She was one of the Rev. -'s, (the confessor's) favourite devotees, and had been absolved by him for several years; the very idea of asking her if she believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, made her quite impatient, as well as indignant.

I said, "Do not be angry with me, but what do you believe about Him ?"

"Believe everything, of course! I believe the creed." "Yes, I do not doubt that, for a moment. But do you

believe that Jesus died for you?"

"Why, yes, certainly: how could I do otherwise; He died for us all."

"That is not the point. I mean, do you believe that He died; and that you have a personal interest in His death?"



She hesitated, and then looking at me said, “Do you mean objectively, or subjectively >"

"May I ask what I am to understand by these words?"
taught me that, 'Christ died,' is objective,

and that Christ died for me,' is subjective."


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"Very good indeed," I answered, "I like that very much; it is quite true. But it is one thing to know about subjective faith, and quite another thing to have it. Now I will come back to my question. Do you believe that Christ died for you?"

"You evidently mean something that I do not understand," she said, in a perplexed manner.

Then looking at the crucifix on her table, I said, "What does that remind you of?"

"Oh, I pray before that every day, and ask the Lord to take my sins away."

"Then you do not think your sins are forgiven yet. How can you ask for forgiveness, and have it at the same time?"

"Do you mean to say then," she replied, with surprise, "that you have no sins?"

"Yes, I mean to say that my sins were atoned for, once for all, on the cross; and that, believing this, I have peace and remission of sins. My past sins are cast like a stone into the deep; and as to my daily sins of omission and commission, I do not take them to the cross like a Romanist, but to the throne of grace, where the risen and living Christ is now making intercession for me."

She was silent; and so was I, inwardly praying for her. Presently she looked up and said, "I do thank Him for dying for me. Is that what you want me to say?"

66 'Thanksgiving is an indication of living faith. How can I believe that Jesus died for me, and not thank Him?”

"But I do thank Him, and it is very uncharitable of you to say, we do not thank Him; we all thank Him!"

She was gone again, and I wondered whether I should ever bring her back!

"You remind me," I said, "of three ladies of good position, whom I met last year. They all professed to thank God for Christ's death; but yet they had no peace, and were not satisfied. Seeing they were in real earnest, I proposed to go over the General Thanksgiving in the Prayer-book with them. They did so, and thanked God for creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life, but above all-then as I emphasized this 'above all,' they said, almost together, 'That is where we are wrong. We have not put the redeeming love of God as shown in Christ's death, above all.' These three ladies found peace and pardon that same evening."

"That has been my mistake too," said the lady interrupting me. "I have never put Jesus above all; but I do desire to do so, and that with all my heart."

"Then do so," I said, "and thank Him for His love in dying in your stead, and shedding His blood to wash your sins away."

"He shall have all my heart!" she exclaimed.

So saying, she knelt before the crucifix, and bowing gracefully and most reverently, she reproached herself for not putting Jesus first, and said, "Thou art worthy! Glory be to Thee, for Thy great love to me."

Then she rose from her knees, and once more turning to me, said, "Thank you so much! God bless you for your kindness and patience with me! I cannot tell you how much I thank you. Do you remember once preaching about Abraham offering up his son Isaac? You said, 'God the Father has done more than this for us; and yet how few cry to Him and say, "By this I know that Thou lovest me!" I thought, and felt then, that you knew something which I should like to know; and I have been longing to speak to you ever since. Oh, I do thank you so much!"


"Dear friend, I cannot refuse your thanks, but I should like to see you thanking God more than you thank me."

I knew that she could sing and play, so, pointing to the piano, I asked her if she would sing a hymn.

"Yes," she said, "I will. What shall I sing?" "Find 'When I survey the wondrous cross,"" I said. She did not need to find the music, for she knew it without; so, sitting down, she began to sing, till the tears came into her eyes, and her voice broke down. "I never knew the meaning of these words before," she said; ""Sorrow and love flow mingled down.' How could I be so blind and ignorant? 'Love so amazing, so divine,' does 'demand my life, my soul, my all!' O Lord, take it!"

After this, I had a few parting words with her, and pointing to the crucifix I said, "Remember, Christ is not on the cross now. He died; that is past. He is risen, and has ascended up on high. The throne of grace is not the crucifix or the confessional, but where Christ sits at the right hand of God; and we, as believers, may in heart and mind thither ascend, and with Him continually dwell. Have done, then, with this dead Popery; you know better now. Testify for the glory of God."

This lady's conversion vexed her husband greatly, and brought down the frowns and disapprobation of the reverend doctor; altogether, it did a deal of mischief in the camp. The "Sisters of Mercy" with whom she was connected were kept aloof from her contaminating influence, and soon afterwards were altogether removed from the place. There was one, however, a particularly hard-headed looking individual, who used to stare at me through her round spectacles whenever I met her, as if I were an ogre. I heard that she was a great mathematician. She looked like it; and evidently there was no fear entertained of her being converted. She and one other were left behind; but otherwise the house,


which had been built at great cost, was empty. The lady was not allowed to speak to me any more; but I hope she continued to go to the true throne of grace, and not to the crucifix-to a living, not a dead Christ.

All this, doubtless, was intended to sicken me of my reverence for the Catholic theory. I was evidently under an infatuation on the subject, which, for the time, nothing could dispel. I had some poetic or imaginary fancy of spiritual catholicity before my mind, which I supposed was something better than the fleshly spirituality of Methodism, to which I had taken a great dislike; but where to find this Utopia, or how to embody it, I knew not. These specimens of catholic people I certainly had no sympathy with; nor had I any patience with their hollow devotion and their studied imitation of Popery. I plainly saw that light could have no fellowship with darkness, or life with death. I was inore and more convinced that when a man has more sympathy with dead Catholics than with living Dissenters, he is not a living soul at all. There is no necessity to go to one extreme or the other. I believe the reformed Church of England (in her principles, at least) occupies the middle path between these two extremes, with the excellences of both, and the faults of neither. I think I was permitted to be thus unsettled in my mind, because I did not keep to my work with a single eye to God's glory.

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