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THE EFFECT OF A TEAR. For the accomplishment of his gracious purposes in the recovery of ruined sinners, God is pleased to act in a vast variety of ways. Hence, by means apparently the weakest, and most uncontemplated, he often works his sovereign will. This will appear, by the recital of the following recent facts.
In a little village, in the northern part of the county of Essex, open-air services, for the purpose of preaching the gospel to the ignorant and profligate, had been carried on, during nine successive summer seasons; and not without some salutary effects, as evidenced in the reformation of character, and the conversion of heart of several of those who came to hear what " the babbler" would say. But whilst certain individuals received the word with pleasure and profit, others only attended, in order to indulge their feelings of malevolence against their more seriously disposed or pious neighbours. Of this latter class was Joseph K- Full of self righteousness and prejudice, he despised in his heart the preacher, his message, and all who loved the truths which he declared.
In the week, he was by necessity associated with two or three, who, since the preaching of the Gospel in their village, had tasted that the Lord was gracious, and who, as a consequence, ardently longed that others should enjoy the same holy privileges and pleasures as those in which they participated. But Joseph K- despised all their desires and efforts, because, in his heart, he viewed them only as hypocrites, or as enthusiasts. Many a word in season was dropped by these plain Christians in their daily intercourse with their fellow labourer. But, for a long time, all was to no good purpose: Kế remained insensible, caring for none of these things. During the winter bis master ordered him and John B— to thrash together in a barn. And often between the strokes of the descending flail, was many a stroke tenderly aimed at K-'s conscience. However, the only return which he usually made, was a taunting answer, as to some people being righteous overmuch ; or else a silent, yet significantly contemptuous sneer. But his associa in labour was a man of a patient and tender spirit, yet of very susceptible feelings. He grieved inwardly at the hardness and impenitency of heart manifested by his neighbour. At length, having, on one occasion, spoken to K— very kindly about his need of a Saviour, and of the things which related to his everlasting peace, and seeing that he disregarded all B-'s counsel, and would have none of his reproof, the fountains of his grief were suddenly broken up, and turning toward a dark part of the barn, a gush of grief burst forth, and betrayed itself, rolling down the cheeks of the poor and pious, yet despised thrasher. But although B- had turned aside, and endeavoured to hide his tears, by hastily wiping them away with the rough sleeve of his smock frock, K -- saw the big round tear glistening in his fellow-labourer's eye, who silently but thoughtfully soon resumed his work, by diligently plying with his flail the corn which lay spread out on the thrashing floor.
That tear, by the overruling power of God, did more than all the sermons he had heard from the preacher under the elm tree, or all the kind and truly Christian expostulations of his associate in labour. That tear subdued his heart. He was melted into tenderness and godly sorrow for his past sins. From that moment he considered. “What !” thought he, “ shall John B— shed tears on my account, and yet I have never shed one tear about
soul's concerns ?” After much inward conflict, he obtained joy and peace in believing. He began soon to love the minister and the people, whom before he as heartily despised. He became in consequence, a better husband, a kinder father, a more sober and industrious member of society, and is now a humble, consistent member of a Christian church.
From this statement let the reader learn, that God can use the feeblest instrumentality, even an unlettered thrasher, to be the means of converting a precious soul. And when words fail of producing the desired effect, a tear may melt the stubborn and rebellious heart to the obedience of faith.–From the Tract Magazine.
LONDON: PUBLISHED BY W, HARDING, 11, Red Lion Court, AND 14, Gray's
London : Printed by C. Roworth and Sons, Bell Yard, Temple Bar.
THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND PREACHER.
Patronized by the Clergy and others.
ON DILIGENCE IN THE CHRISTIAN CHARACTER.
PREACHED BY THE
REV. W. DODSWORTH, A. M. At Christ Church, Albany Street, Regent's Park, St. Pancras,
ON SUNDAY MORNING, AUGUST 20th, 1837.
Text. -" Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to
make your calling and election sure; for, if ye do these things, ye shall never fall."--2d Epis. Peter, 1st chap. 10th
verse. The conduct of Christians, when viewed in connection with their professions, evinces a fearful inconsistency. consider, by adducing one example, what consistency is, and wbither it would lead us in our Christian course?
St. Paul was a consistent man. He believed in the eternal misery of hell, and in the eternal blessedness of heaven, and his conduct was consistent with that belief. He considered no sacrifice too great to escape the one, and none too great to secure the other. For this object no present danger was shrunk from, no exertion was spared. He knew himself to be by nature born to sin, and that if sin were yielded to, it would ruin him both in body and soul. Hence no selfdenial was refused, if he might thereby avert this threatened danger. He brought under his body, and kept it in subjection, lest, after having preached to others, he himself should be a cast-away. He knew the value of Christ; and, consistent with that knowledge, he "counted all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus his Lord; for whom he suffered the loss of all things, and counted them but dung that he might win Christ.” He estimated the value of human salvation by the sacrifice which procured
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it-even the death of the son of God. For this cause, therefore, he willingly sacrificed his own ease and comfort, and worldly prospects, being, for the Gospel's sake-"in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft” — scourged, beaten with rods, shipwrecked, in perils of various kinds—"in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.” Some might think the Apostle too zealous, some might think him beside himself, some might blame him for believing a cunningly devised fable, but all must acknowledge his consistency. If the Gospel be true, if there be a heaven of delights, or if there be a hell of misery, it can scarcely be argued by any reasonable being that the zeal, and energy, and devotedness, and self-denial of St. Paul were too great. Nor is this remark in general less true of the other Apostles. They thought little of their own ease, or comfort, or worldly prosperity, when it stood in the way of their Christian duty, or of their progress towards heavenly glory. They not only abstained from sin in its blacker colours, but they denied themselves lawful indulgencies, from the fear that this world might obtain a too strong hold upon them; and some “ had trials of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover, of bonds and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, they were tempted, they were slain with the sword, they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented.” All these things they willingly endured for the Gospel's sake, and for the salvation of their souls. They were consistent men. They were willing to do anything, or to suffer anything, rather than to lose heaven.
We must admit, too, on the other hand, the consistency of those who, having no faith in the divine revelation, having succeeded in blinding their eyes, and hardening their hearts, live without God and without hope in the world. We must admit their consistency, when they give themselves up to the pursuit of mere worldly objects. Their course, wretched as it is, is still a consistent one. They have no hope beyond this world, why then should they not yield the full tide of their
to enjoy it? Let us eat, drink, and be merry, for to-morrow we die. This, at least, is consistent.
But, my brethren, let us dispassionately compare the conduet of professed believers with their own acknowledgments of faith and hope-and there what inconsistency is manifest! How shall we account for men believing that heaven, with all its endless treasures, is the reward of those who diligently seek God, and yet they do not seek him—at least, not diligently seek him." They believe that eternal blessedness may be secured by yielding themselves entirely to God. They believe that it may be lost by their want of earnestness-that they may, by slackening their spiritual course, come short of the heavenly glory, and yet they evince no anxiety about the matter, and are scarcely willing to give themselves trouble or inconvenience in order to secure so great an object. Immortal beings, on the brink of eternity, knowing and believing themselves to be so, and yet careless! Running the race of which heavenly blessedness is the prize, and yet loitering upon the way. Knowing that a result awaits them of life or death-Eternal Life or Eternal Death, and yet pleading for neglect of appointed means, inconvenience, or trifling impediments, which would not, for a moment, be allowed to stand in their way in the pursuit of any important object in this present life.
This subject, to which I now wish to draw your attention, is conneeted with some previous Discourses which I have been delivering to you. I have already endeavoured to place before you the misery of man's sinful state-his condemnation by nature, and the gracious revelation which the Gospel has provided through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus. I have also shown you, from the Scriptures, that baptism is God's appointed door of entrance into this salvation. In baptism, as we are taught in the first rudiments of our faith, we were made members of Christ, children of God, and inheritors of the kingdom of heaven. You see then, bere, brethren, your calling your election of God -for I address those who have been admitted into this holy fellowship I address those who have been made partakers of this distinguishing favour of God. It is certainly not of our will, or of our doing, but of God's will, and of God's doing, that we have been brought into his Church. We have not chosen him, but he hath chosen us. Nothing can more impressively teach us this than infant baptism. It questionably proclaims salvation to be, not of works, but of