Page images

it was his entire aim, to have his conversation among them, and to dedicate himself to their good with his whole heart, and with his whole soul. To this he added, that as he was sure he was sent in answer to their many prayers; and especially to the prayers and exertions of their late Minister, so he requested he might have an interest in their fervent prayers, that he might be upheld in the sacred work; especially as he felt himself so unequal to fill the station of one, who was so eminently useful, and so highly devoted to God. In short, it appeared among them all, as though Mr. Merryman was actually risen from the grave. So that it would be difficult to determine whether the excessive grief the people were called to sustain on the previous Sunday, while they were paying their last token of respect to the memory of Mr. Merryman: or the ecstacy of joy, occasioned by this unexpected event, had the more powerful effect on the people's minds.

At the conclusion of the sermon, Mr. Sprightly himself, was seen in the singing gallery, and heard giving out the following hymn; which was sung with astonishing ecstacy and delight.

Commission'd from the Lord of hosts,
Servant of God arise and shine;
Arise and gird thine armor on,
And prove the strength of Jesus thine.
Go dare the dreadful powers of sin;
From conq’ring and from conquer go:
Strike with the Spirit's mighty sword,
And bring the vanquish'd monster low.
Strong in the strength of God alone,
Let Satan the first sinner feel,
The energy of truth divine,
The vengeance of thy holy zeal.
As darkness flies before the sun,
And seeks a region where to dwell,
Remote from earth in worlds unknown,
Hard by the dismal gloom of Hell.
So learn to make delusion fly,
And with the beams of Gospel light

Chase down the lofty pride of man
Down to the shades of endless night.
Nor let thy fears presume to quell
The flame that kindles on thy heart,
Strength more than equal to thy day,
The great Jehovah shall impart.
In weakness shall thy strength be found,
While unbelief shall shrink away,
As sinners burst the bands of death,
And rise to bless the Gospel day.
Thus may thy faithful servant prove
"The Chainpion of the Lord most high,
Thus urge the ling'ring combat on,
The battle win, and gain the sky.

After the service was over, I will leave the reader to conjecture the joyful salutations from every quar. ter, that crowded in upon Mr. Brightman, when Mr. Sprightly and he returned together from the Church ; blossing and praising God, for such an unexpected mercy, after such a calamitious event. The unhappy gloom which sat upon every countenance, seemed to be banished, they now perceived that while the voice of prayer, most fervently offered up from house to house for the preservation of the invaluable life of Mr. Merryman, was not to be answered, yet that the Lord had in reserve for them, the continuation of the same mercy, though through another channel. They could now bless God, that while they had been beneftted by the bright example which had been set before them, in the life and death of Mr. Merryman, the light of divine truth was still vouchsafed for their future good. Long live Mr. Tugwell, if the uninterrupted blessing of such a Minister is to be continued to the people of Sandover thereby, and O that every mitred head, might feel the wisdom of illing our British Sion, with such Ministers as are thus *made wise to win souls to Christ;" allowing them at the gaipe time a little more elbow-room, that they may exert their wisdom and zeal a little more extended ly, in their delightful work,






HE settlement of Mr. Brightman among the

inhabitants of Sandover, had now fully taken place. He became an inmate at Mr. Sprightly's where he had his board and lodging, and where he could at the same time, hear much of the pleasing and profitable conduct of the late Mr. Merryman, to which he was inquisitively attentive; being fully determined, for the good of the people, to follow him, as he followed Christ.

It seems however that, very soon afterwards, he met with a little interruption, by an unexpected visit from his late Rector Mr. Whimsey, who called upon him, on his return home from a Town of considerable magnitude in the north, where, as he expressed himself, a great work of God had been carrying on, though many of them, since then, had fallen from grace. I question if Mr. Brightman would have accepted this offer, though he could scarcely have done otherwise, out of civility but for the following circumstances.

He expected a visit, just at the same time, from good old Mr. Slapdash; whose constitutional warmth, was still regulated by a sound judgment, and excellent disposition; and who perhaps was better calculated for such a controversy, as next took place, than the more thoughtful, and judicious Mr. Lovegood.

Mr. Whimsey accordingly arrived, and visited Mr. Brightman at his lodgings. Both Mr. Brightman, and Mr. Slapdash were just then paying some visits about the Town. Mr. Sprightly therefore sent a note after them, informing them, that a Gentleman had arrived at his house, who appeared to him to be half crazy; and wanted to see Mr. Brightman directly. They accorlingly returned, and the conversation after a short introduction, thus commenced.

Whim. 0 Sir! finding that Sandover was not much out of my way, I thought I would call on my return, and tell you what a glorious work is carrying on in the north; for I perceived, when you were my Curate, that you were but a babe in knowledge.

Bri. Sir, I love to hear of good news, if it be really good.

Whim. Good Sir! what can be better? at one of the public prayer-meetings, there were eleven convinced of sin, eight set at liberty; and three were made perfect; and are now as free from sin as they will be in Heaven.

Slapd. What state was the moon in when all this happened?

Whim. O Sir, it was near the full : for I remember it was very light, when we went home, and we did not break up till near twelve : “ the Lord was so much among us."

Slapd. I thought it must have been about that time ; for some sort of people are always worse about the full, and change of the moon.

Whim. Why, I hopo Sir you don't call all this great work of God, madness; as the heathen Festus thought St. Paul was mad, when he told his experience.

Bri. No Sir, I hope we shall never conceive that which deserves to be called a great work of God, to be the effect of madness, for that brings disorderly sinners to the possession of their sober senses, that

they may serve God with “ all wisdom and spiritual understanding."

Whim. Why Sir, it is wonderful how powerfully these people were convinced of sin, as in a moment, so that their screams and cries for mercy, were heard all the Chapel over. And don't we read how - the Spirit convinces the world of sin; and when three thousand people were pricked to the heart, how they all cried," Men and brethren, what must we do to be saved !"

Bri. Does it in the least appear, that they, one and all, cried out at the same time, so as to interrupt the Apostle in his preaching? Is it not rather evident, that they first heard Peter's sermon, with


serious attention, and then waited, though with eager surprise till a proper opportunity was given them to ask the important question, “what must we do?" or in other language, “ how shall we escape from the wrath to come ?" Or does it appear though the occasion was so extraordinary, while their convictions were so powerful and strong, that there were any of those hysterical ravings and screamings, that we have heard of in other places? With what calmness and deliberation the Apostle answers this solemn and important query: “Then Peter said unto them, Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off's even as many as the Lord our God shall call." And still addressing their reason, we are further told, how that “ with many other words did he testify and exhort saying, save yourselves, or be ye saved, * from this untoward generation,” concluding evidently, that they were all capable of receiving his instructions with rational and attentive minds.

And now Sir, allow me to ask, if there be any, even the most distant similarity between such meetings as

* Acts ii, 38, 39, 40, the original expression is passives

« PreviousContinue »