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doubt. How cheering that ray of light, which removes that mental darkness, in which mankind were enveloped, respect. ing this momentous truth. Ils demonstrative rays dart conviction to the heart, while they assure man that he is destined for immortality. Under this conviction, he no longer wanders in the wilderness of doubts and fears respecting his future destiny.
But what consolation is it to the man defiled by sin, and therefore unfit for a happy immortality, to be assured he shall live forever? Are you defiled by sin ! The same inspired volume which declares you immortal, opens a path to the ever flowing fountain which washes away sin and uncleanness.While Christianity points to the fair fields of immortality as the future residence of man, it takes the willing and obedient sinner by the hand, gently leads him to that flowing fountain of the water of life, washes away his spiritual defilement, makes him white and clean, and then triumphantly conducts him through the valley und shadow of death, to his immortal residence. While on his way, if he disobey not, this kind assistant of human nature, this celestial messenger, regales him with the fruits of paradise, and refreshes his spirit with the gentle zephyrs which softly blow from the promised land.
What a radiance does the light of this truth shed on the otherwise gloomy path of life! Do dark and mysterious provi. dences surround me? If faith cannot now penetrate the cloud, and discern the divine hand in all things, it nevertheless declares, that eternity will soon unfold things to my view; and that if I endure as seeing Him that is invisible, I shall soon,
Comprehend the eternal mind, and grasp the infinite." Do afflictions roll in upon my soul, and threaien to drown me in despair ? I will hear them with patience for a few days, rather than miss the enjoyment of immortal blessedness. Does care
. oppress my soul ?
"Let cares like a wild deluge come,
Let storms of sorrow fall,
My God, my heaven, my all.” The turmoils of life shall soon end, and the felicities of immortality shall a thousand times recompence all my labours. Do temptations from without, and fears within, torment my soul! These shall only serve to purify and refine my nature, that I may be better fitted for my destined enjoyment.
Ah! but what heart rendings at the parting of Christian friends. But I look up to the ever blooming fields of immortality, and joyfully anticipate an eternal re-union. There, kin. dred spirits shall greet each other, and their congenial souls shall reciprocally recount the instances of eternal love, which conducted them safe through a toilsome life, and seated them at
last on the fruitful hill of immortality. There under the blooming tree of life shall they forever regale themselves with its lifegiving fruit. Must this poor body, possessed of so many ave. nues to convey pleasure to the soul, be dissolved, and be scatter. ed to its native elements ? It must! But it shall not lie scattered and forgotten forever. “The hour is coming in the which all that are in their graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good to the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation.?' It shall not sleep, therefore, in the dust of the valley forever. The redeemed and purified soul, already mounted to the high hill of perennial felicity, is joyfully waiting the final doom, the last loud groan of expiring nature, when at the stroke of Omnipotence death itself shall be annihilated, to bail the resurrection of its companion in sorrows and joys. Coming forth from the tomb, freed from the seeds of corruption, immortalized by the Almighty skill of Christ, its re-union with its immortal partner, shall be complete and eternal.
Hail happy day of immortality! Blessed book that reveals this sublime truth! To Thee, O Father, to Thee, O Saviour, and to Thee, thou eternal Spirit, does my soul bow in grateful homage! First
, I thank Thee for giving me an immortal spirit. Secondly, I thank Thee for making it known to me. Thirdly, I praise Thee for providing a ransom for this spirit, that it might be purified from the filth of sin. And I praise and adore Thee, thou Triune God, for preparing an habitation eternal in the heavens, whither I may flee and be at rest, when this short life is over. By Thy grace assisting me, and Thy wisdom directing me, I will endure the toils of life, submit with patience to all Thy righteous dispensations, however severe, if I may but win Christ, and be seated with him on the flowery banks of immortality. If darkness surround my path, or heaviness depress my spirit, I will look up to that eternal hill, and hope in God until my change come. This shall be my consolation amid all the vicissitudes of life, That my heavenly Father is fitting me for my heavenly inheritance. I will think of this, and be comforted.
BEWARE of associating with a man who suspects you ; for he will misconstrue your motives, magnify your failings, convert infirmities into sins, betray your confidence, and seek every opportunity to exhaust your patience. And when he has gained his point, he will boast of his skill in gaining an ascendancy over you, by taking advantage of your weak side.
Religious and Missionary Intelligence.
For the Methodist Magazine.
Short Sketches of revivals of Religion among the Methodists in
the Western Country.
CHARACTER OF BISHOP ASBURY.
Having brought to a conclusion our Introductory Retnarks, and those made in addition thereto, being a brief view of the Western Country, previously to its discovery and settlement hy English settlers or citizens of the United States, we will, before we resume our narrative, in this number present to the view of the reader a character, of whom it may with propriety he said, on the general scale as to government, that he gave the first impulse to Methodism, not in the Western Country only, but in the whole of these United States.
The late Rev. Francis Asbury, the principal Superintendent, or Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States, was a man whose whole life, from the time of his arri. val in America till the day of his death, is so closely connected with the rise and progress of Methoclism in the United States, that in giving a sketch of its rise and progress in this Western Country, as we consider him under God its principal founder and promoter, we should do violence to our own feelings were we not to take a view, in our brief manner, of his character and usefulness in the cause of God. In our very humble attempt to notice these, we must omit many things that might be said of him, and for the present confine this sketch of him and this number, to simple facts.
This great and good man was born at Barre, in England, on the 20th day of August in 1745. At the age of about thirteen, he became deeply concerned about religion, though he was under serious impressions as early as the age of seven. At the age of about twenty-one, in 1766 he was admitted by Mr. Wesley, as a minister in the Methodist Connexion in England: in that connexion he continued till the 7th of August 1771,-He volunteered his services for America, and came over with Mr. Richard Wright, and arrived in Philadelphia the 27th of October following:
During his voyage he kept a journal. Sept. 12, he minutes down the following close questions put to his own heart, “Whither am I going? To the new world. What to do? To
says on this
gain honour? No, if I know my own heart. To get money? No, I am going to live to God, and to bring others so to do. The people God owns in England are the Methodists. The docirines they preach and the discipline they enforce, are, I believe, the purest of any people in the world, they have been greatly blessed of the Lord in the three kingdoms; they must therefore be pleasing to him. If God does not acknowledge me in America, I will return to England. I know my views are upright--may they never be otherwise.” Again, he expresses his sincerity after his arrival in America. “I have not yet the thing which I seek, a circulation of preachers, to avoid partiality and popularity. However I am fixed to the Methodist plan, and do what I do faithfully as to God. I expect trouble is at hand. This I expected when I left England, and I am willing to suffer, yea to die, sooner than betray so good a cause by any means. It will be a hard matter to stand against all opposition as an iron pillar strong, and stedfast as a wall of brass : but through Christ strengthening me, I can do all things."
His soul seemed deeply cxercised for the extension of the gospel through the country. The field was too large and the harvest too ripe to confine him to one spot. He score, Nov. 22: " At present I am dissatisfied; I judge we are to be shut up in the cities this winter. My brethren seem unwilling to leave the cities, but I think I shall shew them the way." "I have nothing to seek but the glory of God, nothing to fear but his displeasure. I am come over with an upright intention, and through the grace of God I will make it appear: and I am determined that no man shall bias me with soft words and fair speeches : nor will I ever fear, the Lord helping me, the face of man, nor know any man after the flesh, if I beg my bread from door to door ; but whomsoever I please or displease, I will be faithful to God, to the people, and to my own soul.”
Mr. Asbury continued to travel and to preach until 1779 he was appointed general superintendant of the Methodist Societies in America. This office he discharged with such ability as to give general satisfaction. His prudence, firmness, and intrepidity gained the affection and confidence of both preachers and people. On the
27th of December, 1784, he was elected unanimously to the Episcopal office, and accordingly ordained.-It is well known in Europe as well as Arnerica, with what fidelity and zeal this man of God continued to exercise his talents and to discharge the duties of this office until the day of his death.
Bishop Asbury was a man of an agreeable stature, about five feet eight or ten inches high, of a square frame; hazle eyes of a blueish cast, small and piercing; a fine high and square forehead. In early life his hair was perhaps of an auburne or brownish cast, a nose indicative, (agreeably to the physiognomical rule) of sensibility and judgment; his complexion was fair, and his countenance was very striking and impressive. It is a good likeness of him taken by Mr. Paradise and engraved by Mr. Tanner.
His personal appearance, I am told, in early life was good. In his later years his whole carriage and appearance was grave and venerable: He maintained with dignity and propriety both his office and age to the last hour of his life.
Bishop Asbury was selected evidently under a superintending providence to the discharge of the duties of the station he filled. What but the love to the cause of his Redeemer, the love of souls, and a desire to preach the gospel to a strange people, could have induced him to bid an adieu to parents, relatives and friends ; tread under foot all earthly considerations, and leave his native shore for life? As a minister entering upon the important duty of his office, he exhibits an interesting example to the world of evangelical zeal and perseverance even unto death. His zeal was tempered by an excellent judgment as respected both the religious and temporal concerns of the church. As a speaker, he appeared to discriminate well when 10 threaten the terrors of the law, and when to soothe with the consolatory promises of the gospel. His subject, and mode of treating it, were suited to his auditory; plain and simple, or argumentative, energetic and powerful." His voice was strong and agreeable. When his system had given away, and he enfeebled both by age and infirmities, he always spoke with such an audible voice as to command the most profound res. pect. He said much in a few words, and always to the point. His mind was strong and energetic. His bible was his constant companion, and his sermons were studied when on his knees. He possessed naturally a great flow of animal spirits, cheerful yet solemn. He was not a man of tears, yet possessed a sympathising heart. His doctrines were pure and evangelical. In other particulars, his “ love was without dissimulation ;" dil. igent in business; “ fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;" rejoiced “in hope ;"? " patient in tribulation;" continued “instant in prayer;" and humble in spirit.
Exalted to the Episcopal office of the Church of Christ, it was no ordinary task to superintend the affairs of three or four thousand local, and near one thousand travelling ministers, with more than two hundred thousand members of society. Yet he was like the unwearied sun. He moved from day to day in his tract around this vast continent of five thousand miles annually, and diffused his benign influence from centre to circumference. His expanded soul seemed ever ready to receive and to com