Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

give them the slip, and spend the Lord's day with my companions in the fields, or in houses of dissipation, rather than go to hear the word of God.

Now I felt the force of those solemn words, " Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded ; I will laugh at your calamity, and mock when your fear cometh ; when your fear cometh as á desolation, and your destruction cometh as á whirlwind, when distress and anguish cometh upon you.” In this state of mind, instead of chaff, my soul stood in need of the sincere milk of God's holy word. But, alas! every breast was dry, every womb was barren, every spring shut

up, every fountain was sealed. I was in a thirsty land where no living waters flowed, “ Therefore was my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me

was desolate.

I stretched forth my hand unto God; I cried, Hear me speedily, O Lord, my spirit faileth ; hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit. Cause me to hear thy loving-kindness in the morning, for in thee do I trust : cause me to know the way wherein I should walk, for I lift up my soul unto thee, Make me to hear joy and gladness,

and every

that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice; for I am ready to halt, and my sorrows are continually before me.

But not to enlarge any further upon this affecting state, let me proceed gratefully to acknowledge some particular instances of God's kindness to, and care over me as an individual. In the hour of danger when engaged in the wood, many fell on my right hand and on my left, when there appeared no way of escape; the regiment was broken to pieces, and I found myself alone, firing as hard as I could on the enemy, in the midst of the arrows of death. Then did the Lord cast his mantle over me, and preserved me from the destructive sword. Some may call it chance, others attribute it to the fortune of war; but, rather let me say, if it had not been the Lord who was on my side, when men rose up against me, then they would have swallowed me up quick. Yes, it was the Lord's doing, and demands my warmest praise.

At other times when engaged with the enemy but a few yards distance, when vollies of musketballs flew about me like hail-stones ; and very few about me escaped being either killed, wounded, or taken prisoners; I have escaped unhurt. I only once had the quarter of my shoe grazed

by a balt, which wounded the man standing by me in his foot. Surely these instances of preservation could not be the effect of chance, but the hand of the Almighty.

Another instance of peculiar protection I had once on the advance guard, being placed centinel near to the French lines, within gun-shot of their centinel ; I had five balls fired at me during the time I stood there, and I did not dare to move. But no sooner was I relieved, and re. turned back to the guard, than the man who relieved me returned, having received a shot through the front of his hat near his forehead; what hurt he received I am not certain ; but he quitted his post. Many instances of this kind I might enumerate to shew the hand of the Lord, or I had been doubtless numbered with the dead, or deprived of some of my precious Jimbs or senses, and made a monument of his vindictive wrath here upon the earth. O! how awful woull it have been to have been cut off, surrounded, not with the company of those whose conversation, prayers, and praises, would have a tendency to gladden the heart, and revive the spirit of a dying person--surrounded, not with the gracious purposes and sweet promises of God, exhibited in his Gospel; 00, va

[ocr errors]

such company, no such conversation, no such consolation, Quite the reverse around me, within me an accusing conscience; with nu other foundation for my hope than the mere mercy of God, without knowing whether that mercy would or could be extended toward me. How good was the Lord in giving me to see that way of salvation, in which all his perfections harmonize, and are glorified; when he might - have justly cut me off in my sins, and have sentenced me to everlasting misery. His thoughts were thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give me an end and expectation beyond

the grave.

1. Another particular instance of distinguishing mercy, appeared in the time of my sickness; : when no eye pitied me, when no kind hand was near to relieve me, when the sorrows of death compassed me about, and I had no kind friend to administer any consolation to my soul. Then did the Lord support me, then did he bear me up, then did he administer to me as my phy. sician, and make all my bed in my sickness, though I knew him not. His everlasting arms were put beneath me, or I must have sunk into the pit of corruption. My poor fellow-mortal who lay at my feet, was cut off out of the land of the living. He was called to appear before the tribunal above, there to receive his final sentence, and enter upon an unknown state, either of inexpressible happiness, or inconceivable misery, to all eternity: but I was restored. Thus did the Lord stay his rough wind in the day of his east wind. Glory be to his name, he appeared for me a very present help in time of need. He did not lay upon me more than he enabled me to bear; for while my body was afflicted with pain, my mind was somewhat composed, , so that I did not feel distress, and anguish of soul. Thus was the arm of the Lord revealed; thus did he work salvation for me.

Again, he restrained me, and kept me from those vices and abominations which so much prevail in the army. Unto whom can I attribute that tenderness of conscience, that hatred to sin, that fear of God, of which heretofore I was destitute ? Whence arose that desire after holiness and conformity to the will of God, which in a small degree pervaded my breast, and, influenced my conduct ?. Surely theșe did not spring from fallen nature; a corrupt fountain, cannot send forth

The tree must first be made good, before the fruit can be good. It must, therefore, be by the grace of God,

pure streams.

« AnteriorContinua »