Page images
PDF
EPUB

sive to the will of my heavenly Father, who is the giver of every
good and perfect gift. Though sometimes I feel a fear which
brings me into sorrow, but thanks be to God for the gift of his
dear son; in leaning upon Christ there is a balm for every wound.
When I look back on my past life, there is nothing I can bring
before God but what is imperfect. Sin is mixt with all I do; I
love the Lord because he first loved me; it was he who found me
in the wilderness, and brought me to his fold to weep, and to
rejoice with his dear people. At this present time it has pleased
the Lord to bring my body in a very weak state, but I hope,
trusting in my heavenly Father, as the outward man decays the
inward man will increase day by day. It was his good pleasure
to lay me aside from my employment on the third of August, since
that time I have not been able to do any work; to all human ap-
pearance the Lord is bringing this tabernacle of clay near to the
dust; from dust I came, and unto dust I must return. O that
my soul may be prepared for that solemn change which must take
place sooner or later. It is of his mercy that I am not consumed.
1 often think of the good advice I have had from you, my dear tea-
cher in the Lord, and try to profit by it. I remember when I
thought it a task to learn the Assemblys Catechism, but now I
have reason to bless God that I was taught it. I hope the Lord
will bless you, and every Sunday School teacher. I feel thankful
that he has provided Sunday Schools, and that I was permitted to
attend one; I hope I can say it has been good for my soul. Jesus
Cbrist says, I am the good shepherd, the good shepherd giveth
his life for the sheep; he has been a kind shepherd to me, un-
worthy as I am. He has kindly protected, preserved, and blessed
me in my affliction. I have reason to be thankful to the most high
God, that he has abundantly provided for me ; that he has opened
the hearts of the people of God to feel great kindness towards me,
I desire to thank the Lord for that,and every blessing, knowing it
comes fronı his bountiful hand. I hope this affliction will be
sanctified to my soul, and the souls of my dear parents, and to all
about me, viewing it as the hand of God. I beg you to pray for
me and mine, and I know you will, and believe me to be

Your bumble and obliged servant,
Kidderminster

MARY Weston.”

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

. From this time she daily became worse, but appeared growing

grace, and gradually ripening for glory. Her minister, the teachers, and many other christian friends visited her frequently, and uniformly found her enjoying peace and serenity of mind, the effects of a good lope. She felt Christ to be the rock of ages, on him alone she depended for salvation, and was enabled to look with composure, and even pleasure on her emaciated haods and arms. These sentiments composed her mind, and inspired her heart with joy; nor was this joy the effects of agitated spirits, or fuctuating passions, but the result of a calm reflection on her state; as not having on her own righteousness which is of

4

the law, but clothed with the righteousness of Christ which is by faith.

During her long and painful affiction, no expressions of murmuring, fretfulness, or even of impatience escaped her; on the contrary, she possessed much gratitude for the blessings she enjoyed, such as having affectionate relatives to nurse her, and kind christian friends to visit her. She said sometimes it did her good to see the people of God, though she was unable to talk much to them.

In the morning of the 26th of January, she strictly charged her sister to live in the fear of the Lord, and requested her not to be alarmed, saying, Jesus Christ is now coming to fetch me, go and call Mrs. (naming a pious neighbour who had spent much time with her.) As soon as she entered, she looked earnestly at her for about a minute, with a sweet smile upon her countenance, then exclamed, “O come,” endeavouring to stretch out her arms to receive her, “ Come, come, O come to Jesus Christ. He is a tree of life. Come, come, O come,” then calling the names of several of her friends, she said, “tell them all to come to Jesus Christ."

She then sent for a ncar relative, and exhorted him in the most affectionate manner to reverence the Sabbath day; intreating him to seek an interest in that Saviour whom she now found so precious. After that she gave him her new quarto bible which sbe had taken in by numbers, and had bound. His feelings overcame him and he wept aloud. Upon which she said I am disturbed, and should wish to have the room quiet, but in a few minutes her former tranquility of mind returned, and she took an affectionate leave of all her family and friends. Throughout her illness the adversary of souls was kept at a distance from her till about four o'clock the last afternoon, when she had a sharp conflict with the enemy, but it was short. Afterwards she clasped her bands together, and with a benign smile said, "All is well, Jesus is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. I know, I know," (when the shortness of her breath prevented her proceeding), one who was standing at her bed-side said, 'I know that my Redeemer liveth.' She replied “Yes, yes.” She lay silent about an hour, momentarily expecting her departure, when on a sudden she faintly exclaimed, "Will you, will you, will yon?"-Upon being answered“Yes, I will, she said, “Tell, tell, tell, (naming the friend to whom she wrote the above letter), I am gone to, I am gone to my heavenly Father;" and in a few minutes after, she entered into that rest which remaineth only for the people of God.

Thus died in the twenty-fourth year of her age, this valuable young person, a fresh instance of encouragement to all friends, and teachers of Sunday Schools. My friends, the work is ari duous, the discharge of it important and difficult; but if your endeavours are crowned with success, how rich the reward ; and humbly depending upon God's blessing, you have every thing to hope from his power and goodness, for he has declared, That in due time ye shall reap if ye faint not.'

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Extract from the Eighteenth ANNUAL Report of the

COMMITTEE of the EDINBURGH GRATIS SABBATH School Society. 3d May, 1815.

THE young are a most interesting portion of the community. They are the hope of families, of our country, aud of the Church of God. They are coming forward to fill those places in civil and religious society which we occupy at present but from which we must ere long retire, worn out by age, or cut down by disease, and hurried prematurely to the grave.-If they are neglected ; if they are suffered to grow up in ignorance of God, of Christ, and of their own hearts, and to follow the bent of their corrupt inclinations, without the benefit of salutary discipline, it must fare ill with themselves, and with that society in which they are destined to act a part. They will enter upon life without armour to resist its teinptations, and without qualifications for performing its duties. They will commence the journey through time to eternity, not aware of the dangers in their way, nor prepared for avoiding them; ignoTant of the path which leads to happiness, and indifferent to all that concerns their everlasting welfare; ruining themselves by their irreligion and vice, and by their example corrupting and ruining others.

If, as good citizens, we wish well to the country which gave us birth; if, as Christians, we love the prosperity of Zion, and teel any portion of anxiety that her citizens may abound, and flourish in holiness and zeal, when we shall be numbered with the dead; still more, if we cherish in our hearts any genuine affection for the young, and desire not merely their

temporal good, but their eternal salvation, we shal watch with the most solicitous care, over those of the rising

VOL. II.

[ocr errors]

ost;

generation who are under our more immediate inspection, and promote to the utmost of our ability, every benevolent institution, which has in view their general welfare as its object. By commencing early our endeavours for their benefit, we have the greatest reason to hope that our labour will not be the tree will keep the bent which was given it, while a twig; the man will retain the principles instilled into the boy, and the habits to which he was formed in his tender

years. At least, we use the most likely means for the temporal and eternal good of our fellow-creatures, when we endeavour to initiate them early in the first principles of the doctrine of Christ, and to impress their consciences and hearts with the awful importance of eternal things, before they become yet more corrupted by intercourse with the world, seduced by its pleasures, or engrassed by its affairs.We use the prescribed means, and have reason, when we prudently and conscientiously use thein, to hope for the divine blessing.

The religious instruction of the young is the immediate duty of their parents; and it is the sin and the disgrace of such as are their natural protectors, when they are at no pains to promote it; when, on the contrary, they suffer themselves to forget that their offspring are immortal beings, and ainidst their general care of them, overlook that most important and most nccessary branch of erlucation-education for eternity! preparation for filling an honourable station among the blessed in the kingdom of our Father.

But are the interests of Society, and of the Church of God, to be neglected ? and are precious souls to be suffered to perish through lack of knowledge, if those whose direct duty it is to watch for the souls of the young, are either themselves so ignorant as to be incapable to teach them the things of God, or feel so little the power of religion on their own hearts, as to be indisposed to it? Shall multitudes of human beings grow up to maturity in a Christian country, our eyes and our ears bearing joint testimony to their depravity, and to the cruel neglect of their parents; and shall it be said, that no man careth for their souls?

Reflections of this kind, as you well know, suggested the formation of the Edinburgh Gratis Sabbath School Society. Your intention was not to supercede the labours of parents for the religious instruction of their children, but to give aid to the diligent and conscientious, and to perform towards ' the young those labours of love, which the negligence of others did not even attempt. You could have no motive but compassion to souls ready to perish, and the desire of doing good, is your labours were from their commencement graiuitous, and not such as were likely to procure for you the honour which cometh from man. You have persevered now for these tighteen years, and have not seen any reason in the course of your experience to conclude, that your Society was unnecessary, nor to be discouraged from want of sucreas. Your former Reports furnish delightful evidence, that your labours have not been altogether in vain; and it is the pleasant duty of your present Committee, in reporting on the state of your schools, to lay before you such information as must satisfy you that soine measure of the divine blessing still accompanies your labours, and that it is your evident duty to continue, and even to increase your exertions,

The first circumstance to which your attention must be directed is the number of the schools, and of the scholars who ordinarily attend them. It will give you pleasure to be informed, that the number of your schools, is at present Sixty-Four, and that the Scholars who attend them amount to Four Thousand and Fourteen. There has been therefore an increase during the year, of Nine in the number of schools, and of Light Hundred and Forty-Four in that of the scholars. This is the more gratifying, as it appears to be the consequence not of any diminution of the numbers artending the parochial Sabbath schools, or other similar institutions, (which, so far as is known, are as numerously attended as formerly); but it is to be hoped, of an increased desire on the part both of parents and children, for religious instruction. In this number, your Committee do not include those schools which, though erected by your influence, or for a while under your patronage, are not now receiving from you support.

You will be anxious to learn whether their be any evidences that good is doing by the labours of so many Teachers.

It is proper however to remind you, that we are not to estimate our duty by the measure of our success.Our duty may be clear, while it pleases him who giveth none account of his matters, to withhold from long continued and diligent endeavours, almost every visible token of fuccess, and all that encouragement to perseverance which Success affords. Our great Master, notwithstanding very unpromising appearances that he had laboured in vain, did noi faint nor was discouraged ; and it would in like manner be our duty to persevere in our endeavours for the spiri.

« PreviousContinue »