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her from the forgetfulness and unfruitfulness of the mere hearer; and she strove, by varied efforts, to make the sermons to which she listened her own, that she might turn them into practice in the week. The inconsistency of those who are mere church-goers, and who despise in the week that which they affect to treat on the Sabbath with decent respect, she grieved
Another thing which she described as too hard for her, and above her comprehension, was, “ how professing Christians, who would seem devout at church, could laugh at others for being serious out of it, and could burlesque the Bible, and turn religion into ridicule.”
The account of the last Sabbath which she spent in health, as contained in a note in her diary, written the day before she was taken ill, will best illustrate how fully her thoughts kept Sabbath too, and how completely they were centred upon high and holy themes. It is affecting, too, to observe, that the anticipations of her dissolution were deeply impressed upon her mind, though at the time there were no visible symptoms of it in her frame. But she could say with Paul, “I die daily.” Death, so alarming an event to those who live without Christ, had no terrors for her; it was one of the most constant subjects of her thoughts; and she used to speak of those walks, in which she made it the matter for meditation, as “going to take a turn with death.”
“ March 24, 1678.-—As soon as I awoke, I blessed God. I then meditated, and endeavoured, by thinking of some of the great mercies of my life, to stir up my heart to give glory to God. These thoughts had this effect upon me, to melt my heart much by the love of God, and to warm it with love to him.
Next, I prayed, and was enabled, in that duty, to pour out my soul to God.
“ After I had begged a blessing on earthly ordinances, I went to hear Mr.
His text was, · Pass the time of your sojourning here in fear, 1 Pet. i. 17. Two sermons were preached from the same text. After concisely and methodically recapitulating them, she says, “ I was in a serious frame at both the sermons, and was by them convinced of the excellency of fearing God, and of employing the remainder of the term of my life in his service.
Afterwards I retired, and meditated upon the discourses, and prayed them over. I had also, this evening, large meditations of death and of eternity; which thoughts had this effect upon me, to beget in me an traordinarily awakened frame, in which the things of another life were much realized to me, and made very deep impressions
upon me; and my soul followed hard after God, for grace to serve him better than ever yet I had done.
“ O Lord, be pleased to hear my prayers, which come not out of feigned lips, and to hear the voice of my weeping for more holiness, and for being more weaned from the world and all in it."
On the following Tuesday she was taken ill, and suffered from four or five fits, until the 12th of April. On this day she rose, in a moderate degree of strength, and after sitting up for some time, was again laid upon her couch ; but still continued in cheerful conversation, on subjects relating to God and heaven, with those around her. One of the last sentences which she uttered was, as she turned back the curtain with her hand, “ Well, ladies, if I were one hour in heaven, I should not wish to be again with you, much as I love you.” Again rising from her couch, she requested that a minister who was in the house would pray with her. Her Ladyship, almost at the beginning of his prayer, was heard to fetch a sigh, which was regarded by those present as arising from her deep feeling of devotion; but a lady who kneeled beside her, looking up, saw her face turn pale, and her hand hang down. She started up !-all applied themselves to restore the sufferer,—but her hand had lost its pulse,—her spirit had fled! She died in the actual exercise of prayer; and in this God gave her the desire of her heart, for she had often been heard to say, “ that if she might choose the manner and circumstances of her death, she would die praying.” She died, therefore, as she lived, -a woman who gave herself to prayer, -who knew its value, and loved its exercise. She used to call it heart's-ease, for she often experienced it to be so. On the very day before she died, she shut herself up in her chamber for more than an hour, notwithstanding indisposition ; that she might pour out her soul in that exercise, which was the vital breath to her soul, the very element in which she lived, and in which she was wafted to heaven.
To those who peruse this brief narrative of one whose highest honour, notwithstanding her exalted rank and good estate, was to be a follower of Christ, she "being dead, yet speaketh." The desirableness of such an end as was hers, none can doubt; but there is a close connexion between that life which is characterised by a humble, self-distrusting, careful, yet cheerful walk with God, and that death which is, indeed, falling asleep in Jesus. The word of God assigns it as a positive duty, to “ follow those who through faith and patience now inherit the pronises.”—If we would follow them to heaven, we must tread in their footsteps on earth. The commencement of such a course consists in one specific act, to which God's grace induces, and for which that grace must be sought: a thorough and determined yielding up of the heart to Jesus, sinful as it is, that it may be forgiven; polluted as it is, that it may be sanctified by his Spirit; and deceitful as it is, that it may be constrained to his love and service. " This,” said Jesus, “is the work of God, that
believe on him whom he has sent." This is the foundation of all genuine religion :. Jesus Christ embraced with the whole heart by faith-faith working by love love inciting to obedience to his commandments and imitation of his example. Christ must “ dwell in the heart by faith.” This was the secret of that history which these
record. In this originated that devotedness to God, which prompted this noble lady to take delight in the more private exercises of religion; that consistent walk before men, that earnest anxiety for the spiritual welfare of her dependents, — that longing to set a crucified Redeemer before the hearts of her friends, as “ the only way, the truth, the life.” Dear reader, all that she was, you may be. Like the apostle, she would say, By the grace of God, I am what I am. The perusal of this narrative has, perhaps, caused you to be disquieted at the dissimilarity between its varied points and your daily course. Conscience will suggest, that if she were right, you must be in the wrong ;
that if her rank and station, with all its temptations, prevented not her intercourse with God, neither ought your circumstances to be allowed to be an impediment. Turn, then, from these pages, and ask of Him, who will give liberally, that grace which changed her heart, --- which brought her to the cross--which supplied her principles of conduct,-which enabled her to decide between God and the world, and gave her so much joy in his service, as that she never repented her choice. Yield yourself to the Lord. Do not keep back any part of
heart from Him, who gave himself for you. It was her wont to observe, that the almost Christian is the unhappiest of men ; having religion enough to incur the dislike of the world, but not enough to enjoy the favour of God : and among her recorded thoughts were these weighty words
“ O Lord, what I give thee doth not please thee, unless I give thee myself; so, what thou givest me shall not satisfy me, unless thou givest me thyself.”
J. F. SHAW, BOOKSELLER, SOUTHAMPTON ROW, LONDON.
THE REASONABLENESS OF A DECIDED
ATTACHMENT TO CHRIST.
It appears from the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John, that on a certain occasion, when our Lord taught in the synagogue of Capernaum, and delivered some most invaluable instructions respecting his own character and work, his doctrine was highly offensive to his audience. He was often interrupted by their loud murmurs and sceptical questions. which he made to their inquiries, proving too spiritual for their carnal apprehensions and taste, served only to strengthen their prejudices and inflame their resentment. So extremely unpopular was his discourse, that it not only hardened
in their unbelief, but determined also a considerable number, who, from questionable motives, had appeared among his followers, now entirely to desert him. “ From that time,” says the Evangelist, many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him," John vi. 66. Under these circumstances, our Lord put this rousing and affecting question to the twelve: “Will ye also go away? Though he was perfectly acquainted with the real character of each of them, and foresaw the part which they would severally act, yet he wisely proposed this interesting question, with a view to excite them to self-diffidence and selfexamination; to confirm them in the faith and profession of his name, and to draw forth a seasonable expression of their inviolable attachment-encouraging to him, honourable to themselves, and calculated, in some degree, to stem the torrent of apostasy among the rest of his followers. The question at once found its way to the hearts of the disciples, and all the ardour of holy affection was kindled within them. With a glowing countenance and an animated tone, Peter, speaking in the name of the twelve, addressed himself to Jesus, saying, “ Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life; and we believe, and are sure, that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God." The zealous apostle did not coolly answer, “ We will not go away;" but, regarding every thought of desertion with generous abhorrence, he exclaims, in the most pathetic, emphatic language, “ Lord, to whom shall we go?” and at the same time assigns a weighty reason for his firm resolution, to cleave inviolably to his person
and cause. THOU HAST THE WORDS OF ETERNAL LIFE.—It is certain, that, in his original character, as a person truly and properly divine, Christ is “ the Living One,” and that with him is the fountain of life. It is equally true, that, in his mediatorial capacity, he confers upon his people all the blessings of spiritual and eternal life; but the apostle seems here immediately to refer to his office as a Prophet and Teacher come from God, who publishes the words of eternal life to mankind, and renders them effectual by the concurring influence of his Holy Spirit
. The expression appears to have been suggested to Peter, by his Master's frequent mention of eternal life, in the discourse which he had just delivered, and by that striking declaration : “ The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” Christ has the words of eternal life, as he once spoke on earth with his own mouth, and as he still continues to speak from heaven by the ministry of others, the words by which eternal life is not merely announced and described, but also secured and conveyed, begun and promoted in the soul, and ultimately perfected.
Seeing that the fact of our Lord's having the words of eternal life, is distinctly avowed by an apostle to the Redeemer himself, in a season of prevailing defection, and in reply to an express interrogation, as at least one of his reasons for resolving to cleave steadfastly to him alone, as his Teacher and his Saviour,-it is manifest that this must be a reason of very great weight, and that it ought to have a powerful influence upon all those who fear his name, in every age of the world.
To illustrate the force of this reason, let it be observed, that it is founded on two maxims of common sense, which no rational man will be inclined to dispute.
It is an indisputable maxim of common sense, that the highest excellence merits unbounded and permanent esteem. Who would not acknowledge, that a first-rate teacher is worthy of the constant attention and respect of his scholars,--that an incomparably skilful general is entitled to the habitual confidence and submission of his soldiers,--and that a prince of singular magnanimity and worth deserves the zealous attachment and the unshaken allegiance of all his subjects ? But if Christ