Imatges de pÓgina
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hear, no hand to help, no power to save.

Oh! what privileges do we enjoy whose lot is cast in Britain, where the true God is adored by many, and the precious Gospel of salvation is published! How great the insensibility of many! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless his holy Name: praise him for this peculiar favour, and pray that he would in mercy send forth his light, and his truth, into those dark benighted parts of the earth, that the people be not destroyed for lack of knowledge. For 6 where there is no vision, the people perish.” Our business being doney we returned back to our station..

CHAP. V.

Experience in GibraltarA dreadful Storm

He oblains his Discharge, and returns to

England. AFTER my safe arrival at Gibraltar, when I found my mind disposed, and I had opportunity, I perused my Bible, in hopes of finding something which might administer some relief to my mind; but, alas ! my ignorance was still very great. I was destitute of proper means of instruction, as to the spirituality of the word of God. I had no kind friend to assist me, no good shepherd to lead me into the green pastures of Gospel grace, or administer to my soul the waters of divine consolation. The Holy Scriptures were to me as a sealed book; yet, I could not give them up.

I used to read them over and over again, particularly the prophecy of Isaiah, which occupied much of my attention. Sometimes I found my heart melted down in reading the kind and gracious expostulations of God with his people the Jews. I found the indignation of my heart rise against that ungrate

ful, hard-hearted, and rebellious generation, not being able to behold in them my own picture, till God was pleased to convince me by his Holy Spirit, in reading the following words : « Oh that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! Then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea; thy seed also had been as the sand, and the offspring of thy bowels like the gravel thereof; his name should not have been cut off, nor destroyed from before me.” Isa. xlviii. 18, 19.

Reflecting upon these verses, they seemed to enter into my very soul, with all that force of conviction, which I had felt before when in the fields in England. My blood chilled, my eyes gushed out with tears, and guilt like a ravenous beast seized my conscience, and sent me trembling to the rock to cry for mercy; but, alas.: I found no relief, no shelter from the storm, no city of refuge appeared. My sins were set in order before me, and the avenger of blood seemed to pursue me; I looked on my right hand, and on my left, but no-kind friend was near, no days-man, no intercessor:; no, nothing but a fearful looking-for of judgment, and fiery indignation ready to devour me as an adversary. My past ill-spent life, with all its direful effects,

were afresh presented to my view. The many kind endearing entreaties to which I had turned a deaf ear, and the dreadful state into which my sins and follies had brought me, returned with redoubled force upon my mind, and produced very painful sensations. The scene was dark, and my situation rendered truly miserable; I was a stranger to peace, and frequently cried out, O that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest.”

Thus i continued often reading the same passage many times over and over again. Indeed, there was no part of Scripture which seemed so forcibly to strike my mind, as the writings of Isaiah. The manner of expression, as well as the subject, appeared peculiarly suitable, I felt much from the condescension of the blessed God toward his stubborn people, and I wept much for their obstinacy. O! what precious promises, what endearing entreaties, what kind expostulations, beseeching them to return unto the Lord, from whom they had deeply revolted ! whilst I was as one cast out, whom no man cared for. But, o ! the riches of divine grace. God, who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will, was pleased to direct my attention forward, pitying me in my low estate, well

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knowing, that, if he were to contend for ever, my spirit would fail before him, and my soul which he had made. I read chapter liv. till I came to these words, “ For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer !" What tongue can tell, what pen can describe, the effect which these words had upon my mind ? particularly the last sentence seemed to sink down into the inmost recesses of

my soul, and kindle a flame of love in my heart, to which before this time I was a stranger. Tears obstructed my sight, I could proceed no further. I retired to the hole of the rock, where I could give vent to my feelings, which were almost insupportable. I returned again to my room, look my Bible, and seemed to enjoy some little comfort from the passage ; but, alas ! like one awakened out of a dream, I wanted an interpreter. I saw a beauty in the words and suitableness to my case. I halted for awhile, as if about to take up my rest here ; but, O! the force of ignorance, the power of unbelief, and the delusions of Satan soon obliged me to give up my hold; my comforts were as a

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