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there must and will be deep, humble, contrite, prayerful feeling; but this is not the excitement of which I speak. Is not the ocean's depth as conspicuous, and far less dangerous beneath the tranquility of a mirror surface, as when it mingles its billows in wild confusion with the clouds?
If the religion of Jesus be a rational religion, (and who can deny it,) then all excitement unfriendly to rational decision, in cases of conversion, must increase the probability of mistake. A mistake, which, without the aid of hypocrisy, may soon fill the church with those whose names are not written in the Lamb's "book of life." And if, in any case, it is impossible to guard against undue excitement, it is not always impossible to guard against its consequences. At all events, if we have awaited the production of" fruits meet for repentance," and, passed judgment by the criterion of our Master, our responsibility is at an end, and we are no longer auswerable for the result. Surely, few things merit more attention in the pastoral office, than the ingathering of the fruits of revivals; and, perhaps, no mistake is more fatal, than that by which we are introduced into the company and communion of saints, in an unregenerate state. From that moment, we are prone to rest satisfied with our condition, the doubts and fears of the true christian never assail us; the terrors of the law, and the denunciations of wrath, reach us not in our sacred retreat ; and we settle down in that false security, which the realities of death, and the thunders of the last judgment will alone disturb. Better, for a season, to exclude two of Christ's friends through caution, than to admit one enemy through negligence; when that exclusion leaves them in perfect safety, and admission must bring with it a false security.
And finally If "the knowledge of the Lord shall fill the earth, as the waters cover the sea," must it not be through" the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost?" Must not these times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord be multiplied, increased, continued, and extended in every land? The event only, is revealed in the clearest manner in prophetic vision-"The times and the seasons the Father hath put in his own power." May not the time decreed in the counsel of the eternal for the accomplishment of his nighty purpose, be near at hand? The signs of the times, both in the religious and political world, seem to indicate its approach. The reign of superstition and corruption no longer obscures the beauty, or destroys the purity of the church. At least their charm is dissolved-their power broken; and
the divine truths of revelation, stripped of tradition, and misrepresentation, are preached and published, without fear or danger, and almost without bound. The religion of Jesus, no longer made to sanction the most flagrant idolatry and barbarous persecution, is restored to its primitive purity, and extending its hallowed influence, replete with every blessing, through the nations of the earth. Those richer effusions of the spirit, for so many ages and centuries little known in the church, have become common in our more highly-favoured age. Increased facilities for extending the knowledge of the Gospel, are every where multiplied; and a spirit of benevolence, extensive in its operations as that religion which gave it birth, incites the people of God to unwearied action for the advancement of his kingdom. Animated by a new impulse, the heralds of the cross go forth in increased numbers, to proclaim the riches of Gospel grace in every quarter of the world. Obstacles, that have hitherto presented an impenetrable barrier to missionary effort, and the preaching of the cross, are giving way before the continued exertions made for their removal, or have been already removed by the finger of God. Can we examine this amount of evidence without arriving at the conviction, that the prophetic day of Zion's glory is near at hand? That the pure and peaceful light which has long shone so partially, and, in many places, so dimly, will soon glow with universal brightness? All these things seem to announce the triumphs of the church, as already begun, and that "the set time to favour her has come."
Let us then, brethern, as followers of Jesus, humbly use the appointed means. Let the revival of religion in its truth and purity, and the restoration of the wastes in Zion, be the object of our warmest desires; and, while zeal according to knowledge animates our hearts and directs our efforts, let this reflection bear us through every trial, that our Lord will be "with us even to the end of the world ;" and they that turn many to righteousness, shall shine as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.
THE REV. W. BLACKWOOD AND THE
[We have much pleasure in giving a place to the following correspondence. It affords pleasing evidence of the faithful preaching of the Gospel in one of our watering-places, and that this privilege is estimated by those who enjoy it.]
WE, the undersigned, having enjoyed the benefit of your ministrations during the period of our remaining lodgers this year at Holywood, beg leave to present you with a set of dinner tables, and a side-board, as a token of our gratitude and respect. It is a matter of thankfulness to us, that when removed from the immediate sphere of our respective ministers, we, and our families, through the accommodation so kindly afforded us by the members of your flock, have been permitted to enjoy the blessings of the Gospel, faithfully and affectionately preached. Your zeal in the sacred cause in which are engaged-your fidelity in discharging the important duties connected with it--your ability in expounding the truth, and enforcing the duties of Christianity-together with our high esteem for your character as a faithful minister of Christ Jesus, have induced us thus to communicate to you the assurance of our best regards. May the Lord impart to you an increase of grace, that you may be strengthened with the energy of his own Spirit, and made an honoured instrument in leading many sinners from their evil ways to that Redeemer, whose Gospel is alike essential to minister and people.
To the Rev. WM. BLACKWOOD,
IN returning you my very sincere thanks for the address with which you have been pleased to present me, allow me to say, that such an expression of your approbation, accompanied as it is by so substantial a proof of it, has made an impression on my mind, that, I am persuaded, will never be effaced. On behalf of the congregation to whom you express yourselves indebted, I may state, that for years past, I have known their kindness and courtesy to strangers situated as you have been, and I would trust and believe that such attention arises from the fact, that having received the Gospel in the love of it, they are actuated by its spirit, and knowing it to be the power of God to the salvation of their
own souls, they esteem it a privilege and an honour to be able to permit others to hear its delightful tidings.
You have been pleased to express your satisfaction at the manner in which I have been enabled to expound the truths of our holy religion, to those who waited on my ministry during your residence in this place. While I feel gratified at this assurance from those who know and appreciate the truth, as it is in Jesus, I would trust that the praise of man may not elate me beyond measure, nor ever cause me to forget that
by grace we stand. I am aware, that God to magnify his grace, and shew his power, can cause the humblest instrument to praise him, and, therefore, would I commit to him the seed that has been sown, believing that his word shall not return to him void, but accomplish all his purposes.
The truth, as revealed in the Scriptures, is the instrument employed by the Holy Spirit for the conversion of sinners, and I would always labour to hold it up for their reception, and endeavour to impress it on their hearts. All men ave sinned, and are, therefore, liable to eternal condemnation; but the Gospel declares a full and free pardon to all who by faith become interested in the righteousness of Jesus Christ, and trust in this alone for salvation. Experience and the word of God testify, that the heart of man is depraved and averse to holiness; and here again the work of Christ meets the necessities of the sinner, having purchased the spirit to renew and sanctify the soul.
In my ministrations, I have always endeavoured to maintain the dignity of the Saviour's person, and the fulness of his work to declare the utter helplessness of the sinner in his fallen condition, and the glorious salvation that is in Christ Jesus. And thus, while every hope of acceptance with God, must arise from our union with the Redeemer by faith, I would diligently insist on the necessity of holiness of life, as an evidence of our justification, and a result of divine grace in the soul.
These I believe to be fundamental doctrines; and if in my manner of expounding them, and enforcing the duties that are essentially connected with their reception, I have been enabled to strengthen your faith, or lead you to a closer walk with God, I would acknowledge it as a testimony of his gracious presence, and ascribe the glory to the Lord. I dare not speak of my zeal in the work in which I am engaged, for I well know my deficiencies in the discharge of every duty, and I am likewise aware, that it becometh not him who girdeth on his armour, to boast himself, as he that putteth it off.
Your kind assurances of personal respect, I accept with gratitude; and while again I thank you for this proof of your friendship and esteem, I pray that Christ may reign in your hearts-that you may abound in ever good word and work, and that you may be sanctified for the day of his glorious appearing. Let me entreat an interest in your prayers, that I may be enlightened and strengthened for the work to which I am called, and that thus I may become instrumental in saving souls, and building up in holiness the flock that is committed to my charge.
With every feeling of gratitude and Christian affection, I am, Gentlemen, your very much obliged, and obedient Servant, WM. BLACKWOOD.
Holywood, 24th August, 1835.
DEATH OF THE REV. THOMAS LESLIE, AT JAMAICA.
[This melancholy event took place at Jamaica, on the 18th August last. The only document we have seen upon the subject is the following letter from his bereaved wife, to the Rev. R. Park, of Ballymoney.]
RECTORY, (LUCIA,) August 29th, 1835.
MY DEAR FRiend and BroTHER IN CHRIST,
I FEEL it to be, indeed, a melancholy duty which I owe to you and the rest of our dear friends in your neighbourhood; I had hoped and longed to see a letter written to you by an abler hand, that you might know how the Lord had dealt with us since we left you, and how prosperously the work of the Lord seemed to be going on here; but that hope has been blighted by Him "who doeth all things well," and now I have to write you that I am motherless and a widow !-Yes, my dear friend, the hand of the Lord has been heavy upon me. The first of August, the day when we had looked forward to rejoicing with the Negroes, on their first anniversary of freedom, my mother's remains were committed to the silent tomb; and eighteen days after, my dear husband's were laid beside her, after two day's illness. On Saturday he was tolerably well, and rode out in the morning; next morning he was not able to be up, and suffered extreme pain during that day and the next. On Tuesday, the pain seemed to subside; but inflamation had made rapid strides, and we saw there was no room for hope; and at four o'clock that evening, I closed his eyes, and, through the grace of God, was enabled to say, 66 Thy will O God, not mine, be done." This was a trial which I had often labored to prepare my mind for. It was one which my coming out here had professed my willingness to suffer in the cause of Christ, should He see fit to send it, and yet the day before that very morning, found me saying, Oh, Lord! not this. But the Giver of strength in the day of need was with me; and when Mr. Grant, the kind friend in whose house we then were, prepared me afterwards for the event, by candidly telling me his fears, and that the doctors had little