« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
anguish as I never before witnessed. At one time, everything was still, except the continued, loud, and impressive moaning of about twenty penitents. At another, a large portion of the congregation gave utterance to the words, 'Lord, have mercy upon us !' About half a dozen came and knelt near me ; some saying, 'Can I be forgiven ? I have crucified my Saviour. I have driven the nails again into His hands. O my Jesus, have mercy upon me!'
“One woman, in her agony, seized my hand, and grasped it with great force, until a person near, with considerable difficulty, unclasped her fingers, and set me free. Some were cold, as if dead, and had to be carried home. Those who professed to find peace, will, I trust, continue steadfast. They really seemed to rejoice with joy unspeakable.'" Again she writes, “The revival I have before mentioned is still going on in Jamaica ; and it is the most wonderful work you can well imagine. When reading in the New Testament of persons being possessed with evil spirits, and of the spirits being cast out, we almost feel that we are living in similar days...... Satan seems to have roused himself to battle; but, thanks be unto God, the Holy Spirit is poured out; hundreds are being brought from the power of sin and Satan into the happiness and liberty of God's dear children, and rejoice and sing in a manner you cannot conceive. There is much in this revival which we cannot understand, and we are sometimes tempted to doubt the sincerity of some of the penitents; but something has seemed to say, “ Judge not; suspend your judgment; wait for results :' we have done so, and have been enabled to testify, It is the work of God.' My dear husband received about a hundred on trial at Yallahs; and between twenty and thirty couples, who were living in sin, had their barns of marriage published."
About this time the whole of the family suffered much from attacks of ague and fever. Mrs. Edman writes, “ When I see my husband and children prostrated with fever, and have no one near upon whose judgment and skill I can rely, I am led to encourage myself with the assurance that I am under the eye of a kind and gracious Providence. At such times, having no arm of flesh to rest upon, I am made to feel that I must either lean upon the Arm Omnipotent or perish. I am thankful to say that hitherto I have found God to be the strength of my heart, my sure refuge, 'a present help in time of trouble,' and I trust He will be my Guide, even unto death.”
Again she writes, " Christmas is drawing near: I trust it will be a very happy one to you all. It is a time which, since I have been in Jamaica, I have regarded almost with dread. Thoughts of bygone days rush into my mind, when as a family we assembled with our beloved parents.
“ Sometimes I fancy I hear your loved voices singing one of our beautiful hymns; but such bright dreams pass away, and the reality of our separation comes upon me with double force.
"The wide and treacherous ocean, which this morning looks so calm and lovely, is ever before me, reminding me that we are sundered far from each other. But when we think of the shortness of time, and the eternity of the happiness and glory, which our heavenly Father has prepared for those who love and serve Him, we may well exclaim,
O, what are all our sufferings here,
If, Lord, Thou count as meet
And worship at Thy feet!' Our 'affliction' is not worthy to be compared with that 'eternal weight of glory.' I do still hope that we shall, as an unbroken family, meet again on earth.”
At a subsequent period, Mr. Edman having been appointed to labour in a favourable locality, the salubrity of the climate appeared to establish the health and strength of the subject of this memoir. She was indulging the hope of again seeing England at the end of the year ; but the return was postponed for another twelve months, and the family was again located in the lowlands, at Port-Royal. She writes, “Jamaica will ever claim our love; many here will never be forgotten. Here we have received innumerable blessings, tasted that the Lord indeed is good; and we have also learned many useful lessons. Our cup has been mixed. Sometimes our hearts have been almost overwhelined, and we have had to wait for light. Then the darkness has passed away, light has appeared, and a Voice has whispered, 'Fear thou not ; for I am with thee; be not dismayed; for I am thy God.' 'I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.' 'I have loved thee with an everlasting love.' O what could we do without these and other precious promises ! ”
One other extract from her numerous letters shall be given. It is from the last that she addressed to her father, dated “November, 1863." After speaking much of her beloved children, she says, “We do, dearest father, anticipate the pleasure of seeing you all; and we try to think calmly and prayerfully of our meeting. But sometimes such joyous, happy feelings rush into our hearts at the prospect, that we almost forget our resolutions not to be excited about it, and are away in the happy future-seated with our children near beloved parents and sisters, talking of dangers past, and blessings too, of joys and BOTTOws, of God's boundless love and goodness, and regretting only our own unfaithfulness, unworthiness, and unprofitableness....... Yesterlay was the Lord's day, and was to me a very profitable one. I do not know when I have felt so enabled to cast off all my doubts and fears, and to trust to Christ alone for all I want. I could indeed say,-
My happy soul would stay
In such a frame as this,
To everlasting bliss.' This week a good old friend of ours, an African woman, died. She was truly pious, and during her sickness was very happy. When well, she loved the house of God, and on a Monday morning would say, 'O, Massa tell me sweet words yesterday of my blessed Massa Jesus.' She seemed always happy in God. Her rap at the door was well known to us. Several times during the week she would come with little presents of vegetables and fruit for dear minister.' She suffered persecution when young; and, I suppose, in the days of slavery, had been whipped through every street in Port-Royal, by her mistress's command, for attending the prayer-meeting. She is now before the throne of God, gone to her reward.”
Mrs. Edman suffered from the climate of Port-Royal, from the commencement of their residence there in 1863 ; but her spirits were naturally so good, and the disease to which she fell a victim so insidious in its approach, that those by whom she was surrounded did not perceive the danger until it was too late to have recourse to the only remedy,-a return to her native land. The result was, that a few short weeks before the time so longed for by herself and her friends," the silver cord was loosed, and the golden bowl was broken," and her loving, gentle, pious spirit returned to “God who gave it." The mail which was expected to bring the date of her setting sail brought a letter, of which the following is an extract. It is from the pen of a friend of Mrs. Edman, who had been led to the Saviour partly through her instrumentality, and who, with her husband and sister, had shown her every possible kindness :
“MY DEAR MR. AND MRS. CLARKE,
“ Having been honoured, in no small degree, with the friendship of your beloved daughter, I seem to feel that I am privileged to unite my tears with those of her bereaved family.......
“Dear Mrs. Edman departed this life on January 5th . She had been complaining for some weeks. We held our Missionary meeting at Port-Royal on November 25th. She was present, and enjoyed the society of her friends. Although we were scarcely aware of the fact, yet the disease from which she was suffering was rapidly undermining her constitution; so that about Christmas-day she was no longer able to bear up, but was confined to her bed. At times she suffered considerably ; yet she was often so cheerful and happy, that we continued hoping for the best. But on Monday, January 4th, about five o'clock in the evening, she sat up in bed, and calmly summoned us around her. She then put her arms round her beloved husband, and told us she must die. It was a most affecting scene. She looked around, and a bright ray from heaven seemed to beam on her countenance while she said that she had fondly hoped to go to England, but now she'must go to Jesus, which was far better.' 'He calls me to Him,' she added; and, looking on Mr. Edman, said, Now, mind, my dear, you are not to murmur ; you must have no will in this matter : His will be done.' She then lifted her hands and eyes, and said, 'Bless my father, bless my mother, bless my sisters Jesus, bless them. O, how I have loved them all! His will be done.' From that time she sank rapidly, and had evidently done with earth. She continued, however, to express her confidence in the Saviour, saying, 'How sweet ! how precious! Jesus is here.
My Jesas to know, and feel His blood flow,
'Tis life everlasting, 'tis heaven below. His blood has cleansed me. He is precious.' Mr. Edman's prayers, and the promises which he repeated, caused her to praise God with a strength that astonished us. With almost her last breath came her last words, 'His will be done.'
"Her mortal remains were conveyed to Kingston ; and, after a solemn service in the Coke Chapel, conducted by the Rev. J. Edmondson, they were followed by more than a thousand persons, amidst much weeping, to the burial-ground of Ebenezer chapel, where they were committed to the dust by the Rev. J. Bowden.......... May the Lord Jesus comfort you during the short time you must sojourn on earth, and be separated from her who has gone before you to heaven!”
The following testimony was furnished by one of the ministers stationed in Jamaica :-“Her sick room was a solemn but happy place. There were mourners there; her husband, and children, and friends wept, but she wept not. She saw earthly things now from the heavenward side. The cloud that over us hung black and heavy, appeared bright and big with mercy'as seen from that'verge of heaven' on which she then stood.
* The sum of her parting counsels to her friends was, that they should cherish the religion that made her so happy. She spoke in loving terms of her friends in Lincolnshire ; and, then, as if her last daty were performed, sank upon the piilow. After eight years of missionary life in Jamaica, at the age of thirty-four, a Voice from heaven said to her, “Thy warfare is accomplished,' 'Thy work on earth is done.' The heart ceased its throbbings, and she calmly slept in Jesus.”
THE CLASS-MEETING IN ACCORDANCE WITH
SCRIPTURE AND REASON.
(Concluded from page 22.) We last month spoke of the example which David, and the godly in the days of Malachi have left us, in relation to social worship; and also pointed out the character of the persons for whom such means of grace-class-meetings in effect-are designed. It now remains that we consider
III. TIE THEME ON WHICH DAVID PROPOSED TO DWELL,"WHAT HE HATH DONE FOR MY SOUL; AND TIE PROBABLE TOPICS ON WHICH THE GOD-FEARERS, IN MALACHI'S DAY, SPAKE OFTEN ONE TO ANOTHER.”
By referring to the contents of the Psalm, we learn that David, in declaring what God had done for his soul, included providential deliverances, answers to prayer, succour in distress, defence from enemies, national blessings, as well as the operations of grace on his heart: and, judging from the circumstances in which the saints in - Malacbi's times were placed, they doubtless conversed about God's
gracious promises and terrible threatenings to their nation, their personal duties and privileges, trials and temptations, hopes and fears, joys and sorrows. The whole economy of redemption, indeed, is a fit subject for Christian discourse, when the servants of God meet for mutual edification ; because each believer is authorised to regard that as done and suffered for himself which has been done and suffered for the race; and that as promised to him, which has been promised to the entire company of the faithful. Hence Paul said of the world's Redeemer, He “loved me, and gave Himself for me;
" and the Apostle Peter claimed for himself, and the saints of his day, the “exceeding great and precious promises” which are given by Christ Jesus to the Church in all ages. (Gal. ii. 20; 2 Peter i. 4.) Every church has an undoubted right to fix the order of its own worship, both public and social, provided it does not violate any plain Scripture teaching. We therefore find no fault with those who occupy the time devoted to private meetings in reading the Scriptures, and discussing the doctrinal truths therein contained. But the liberty we concede to others we claim for ourselves, and feel justified in recommending tbat the members of our Church confine themselves, in their social assemblies, to devotional exercises and conversation on practical and experimental subjects. The following reasons, among others, may be assigned for this preference :
1. Many of the children of God who can speck to edification on what God has done for them in His providence, and by His grace, are unable to define and defend the sublime doctrines of our holy religion.
These will probably be regarded by some as only " babes,” yet they