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vield to the prince's invitation—reasons which, in whom the narrative introduces to us as sitting other circumstances, a good man might have en- beneath the oak on the way from Beth-el. He tertained. But he might not do so. He had received was a servant of the Most High God, the fearless a positive command of God, and that command denouncer of His judgments to the wicked,— must be obeyed to whatever advantages an oppo- whom, in the discharge of his duty, the pomp of site course might seem likely to lead. It is not royalty could not overawe, nor the rage of the for the man who fears Jehovah to inquire into multitude intimidate, who had learned to deny all the reasons of his Lord's command. It is not himself, whom no bribe could corrupt, yet withal for us when a distinct command is given, to shape a man ready to forgive, who harboured not reour conduct which that command should regulate, sentment against those that did him wrong. Well according to our own ideas of fitness or expediency: had he discharged the duty committed to him. This, alas, is too often done when a general and He did not shrink from the undertaking because anbending law is made to yield to circumstances, it was beset with dangers. He met the enemy in explained away as inapplicable to some particular his own land, and rebuked the haughty king in case

, as if the specialties of every case had not the midst of his own people. Alas! that such an been foreseen by Him who made the law and issued one, so zealous in the cause of God, should yet the command. If, in any case, no obvious rule is have fallen a prey to the deceiver. It seemed as given us for our guidance, we are at liberty, nay, if every peril had now been escaped. His duty we are bound to act according to our own pru- was performed. God's message was delivered. dence. But if the command has been issued, if He had been highly honoured of heaven. The the word of God has decided, then, although in king of Israel had been made his suppliant; and any instance, it might seem to us that another line now he had safely escaped from all the apparent of conduct would tend more obviously to promote dangers with which his duty was beset. What our own advantage, or the good of others, or even evil could overtake him now? What danger the glory of God,—nay, though obedience to the could terrify him, who had already braved such command might, according to our ideas of pru- perils ? What temptation could seduce one who dence, and expediency, seem certain to be pro- had already proved himself so able to resist ? Ah! ductive of injurious consequences to ourselves, or it is not in man that walketh to direct bis own even to the cause of Christ, our part is still to steps. Frequently our dangers are in reality only yield implicit obedience, leaving all the issues to beginning when we fancy we have escaped them. Him who ruleth over all, and causeth all things to The warning is never out of place,-* Let him work together for the furtherance of his mighty that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." plans. To do otherwise, is to oppose our wisdom This righteous man, and fearless servant of Jeto His—to set up the authority of our own pru- hovah, who had so well fulfilled the duty comdence in opposition to the authority of Him to mitted to him, is destined yet to fall. He, whom whom all things are naked and open, and who opposition could not terrify, will yield to strataknows the end even from the beginning. gem. Although he has begun his journey home

It was not so with the prophet of Judah. He ward, his home is never to be reached. He shall did not confer with flesh and blood. He did not not be laid in the sepulchre of his fathers, but attempt to find a reason for disobeying Jehovah's shall die dishonoured,—a warning to every geneinjunction. He resisted all solicitation, and when ration—and be buried far from his home, in a the king's invitation and promise were made, this land of strangers, even in Beth-el, from which he was his ready answer : “If thou wilt give me is now fleeing as from a place accursed. half thine house, I will not go in with thee, Fatigued with travel, and faint, perhaps, with neither will I eat bread nor drink water in this fasting, he had cast himself down under an oak place : for so it was charged me by the word of by the wayside, not far from Beth-el. He was the Lord, saying, Eat no bread, nor drink water, reflecting, doubtless, on the events of the day, nor turn again by the same way that thou camest. mourning, perhaps, over the apostasy of his brethSo he went another way, and returned not by the ren of Israel, pleasing himself, probably, with the way that he came to Beth-el." The command of review of his own conduct

, in discharging the the Lord was most explicit. He must maintain difficult duty assigned him, exulting in that he no intercourse with the apostate Israelites, further had escaped the dangers and temptations with than was necessary to deliver his message. They which he had been beset, and congratulating himwere unclean. Having uttered his prediction, and self that now all his difficulties were at an end, delivered the message with which he was charged, and all his dangers past. Alas! now he was off he must fortbwith be gone, as though they were his guard, now he had laid himself open to attack. a people infected with some deadly pestilence, A danger more formidable than any was yet awaitwith whom it was unsafe to maintain any con- ing him. He had begun too soon to fancy himself verse. No feeling of weariness would induce him secure. to remain ; be would neither eat nor drink in that It is often thus with men in general, it is often polluted and degraded land; no offer, however thus with the Christian. Satan has many wiles great, would induce him to halt an instant: so be with which to assail him. Many and most various turned away, and began his journey homeward. are the dangers of him who has to wrestle not

Such was the character of the man of God with flesh and blood, but with the powers and


principalities of darkness. Sometimes you may shut the ear to the voice of his seducings, when have seen the Christian bravely contending with he charms wisely,--to shut the eye against bis formidable temptations, and maintaining his inte allurements, to detect his falsehood under the teil grity in circumstances of utmost peril, yet after- of truth, his malevolence under the guise of kindwards yielding to an assault, the strength of which ness-to be prepared for this, as well as for his you would have thought him ready to despise. If, open and direct assaults,-to be ready not merely after having withstood some violent attack, and to overcome the Philistines, but to resist the sequenched the fiery darts of his assailant, a man be- ductions of the false Delilah,—verily we had need gin to cherish a spirit of security or self-sufficiency, to take unto us “the whole armour of God,"—to then it is that his real danger has commenced. become “wise as serpents," as well as • harmless His success has put him off his guard, and now as doves.” Surely of ourselves we are not suffithe weakest foe may make a prey of him. He cient for this warfare. If we know our own true must never think himself to have attained. He circumstances, if our eyes are at all open to our must be ever watchful. His success should make danger in this contest on which our eternity dehim only the more cautious. He must watch pends, our prayers shall not cease to ascend to unto prayer, else he will fall. He may, by care Him who only can uphold our footsteps, and estaand watchfulness, have succeeded in passing safely blish our goings,-to Him who is greater than all through some portion of his narrow way, where that can be against us, and who has promised to dangers were most apparent, avoiding the preci- be “a very present help in time of trouble." By pices which threatened his destruction, cautiously Him only can we hope to stand. threading his way under the uncertain light of the The man of God whose case we are considerearly dawn; but if, exulting in his success, and ing, presents a melancholy warning to us all

, and fancying all danger over, now that the sun has urges most strongly the necessity to which we risen on his path, and the road begins to widen, have just referred. Let us fear lest, a promise and no frightful precipices show themselves, and being given us of entering into rest, any of us all seems smooth and void of peril, he become should seem to fall short. We have seen this careless, and heed not to choose his steps, and prophet of Judah zealous for the Lord, and, without walk incautiously, he is sure to stumble, his dan- fear of man, pronouncing his coming judgment; ger is tenfold increased, there are a thousand pit- but we have yet to see him seduced and dishonfalls ready to receive him,-a thousand devious oured by the wiles of a deceiver, brought back paths to lead him from the right way. Never in again to Beth-el, to hear his sentence pronounced any condition should the Christian cease to hear by the very lips which had beguiled him,—to see these solemn warnings,—“ Trust not in an arm him put to a violent death for disobeying God. of flesh;" “ Watch unto prayer;" “Pray without Surely “it is not in man that walketh, to direct ceasing ;" “ Let him that thinketh he standeth his own steps ;” surely no man is safe till he bath take heed lest he fall.”

passed the waters of the Jordan, and his feet have Every man has his own peculiar weakness ; each | been established on that mountain of the Lord, has some point on which he is especially open to where there is nothing “to hurt or to destroy." attack. The man who is ready fearlessly to declare The spot which the man of God had chosen as God's message, and whom no threats will be able his resting-place, to refresh him after his toils in to deter, may be unable to detect the wiles of the the service of his God, was the scene of his disseducer. He who would resist a direct tempta- honour,— where he proved himself disobedient to tion to evil, may become a prey when the lure is God's command. Ūnder this oak tree he was ashidden under the vague semblance of some good; sailed, and fell! he who would withstand the devil undisguised, What remains of this man's history, we must may become his victim when he skilfully clothes reserve for future examination. Meanwhile, let himself as an angel of light. The man of courage us be again exhorted to diligence, and watchand firmness of character, whom violence could not fulness, and continual confidence in help from on force to wickedness, may, especially if withal he high. Let us never suppose, that because we possesses kindness of disposition, and unsuspecting may have done somewhat in the service of the generosity of heart, become the easy victim of the Lord, and for the promotion of his glory, we shall crafty deceiver. That charity which thinketh no therefore be exempt from danger. At the best, evil, may, if there be not prudence and caution, we are but " unprofitable servants ;” and even dispose to this. It is, indeed, no easy matter to when engaged in his service, we are exposed to be a Christian. The Christian character, in all its the onsets of his adversaries : yet, if in him we parts, is of most difficult attainment. It is com- put our trust, he will make perfect that which paratively easy to cultivate certain virtues,—to en- concerneth us. If we commit our ways to him, courage the growth of certain peculiar graces, he will uphold us. Trusting in him, let us watch but to grow in all grace,—to maintain the due ad unto the end, and he will make us more than conjustment of all the powers,—the nourishment of querors. We are surrounded with perils,—God all the virtues,--this is the difficulty. To be only can deliver us; but this is the promise of ready to meet, not this or that temptation, but all him who is faithful and true, in whom no one the schemes of the wicked one; not merely to that trusted was ever put to shame : “My grace quench bis fiery darts, but to resist his lures,—to is sufficient for thee; my strength is made perfect in weakness." “ Be ye therefore stedfast and un- tor or guide, and of saving it from its mad projects and moveable, always abounding in the work of the impoverishing habits. Who can estimate the value of Lord;” and “unto him that is able to keep us

such a monitor ? But had I none ? Ah, how superior

a one had I at all times to what I could now prove ! from falling, and to present us faultless before the

O slighted Bible! I feel, I feel that every deviation Father with exceeding joy, to him be glory, both from the right way, every foolish and wicked thing which now and for ever. Amen."

I have said or done, has been owing to a disregard of

thy counsel ; every misery and mischief into which I TO THE MEMORY OF A BELOVED CHILD." have fallen has been through a neglect of thy warning ! By David Vedder, Esq.,

How true is that saying in my own experience, “ Oh

that thou hadst hearkened unto me, then had thy peace Author of " Orcadian Sketches," &c.

been like a river !" What peace would now remain My griefs remain, but thine are o'er,

were it not for the Gospel ? The ignorance and unbeMy loss thy endless gain shall be !

lief of the multitude may cause them to pass it as a I weep. but thou canst weep no more, I still am bound, but thou art free!

barren rock, I, like a traveller overtaken by a storm, Rev. T. DALE.

am glad to flee to it and be safe ; and entering in, I find She came,-the child of many a prayer,—

honey, one drop of which exceeds the world's highest Like a precious, peerless gem;

enjoyments. O Immanuel, God with us ! if I did not And she glowed a while, like a ruby rare

see thee thus come down to us, and visit thine apostate In a regal diadem;

creatures, invite them to return, and consecrate by thy But the light of the gem was soon o'ercast,

blood "a new and living way," I might think of God, It was all too glorious far, to last.

but with no proper ideas, no hope, nor interest. “Re

turn unto thy rest, O my soul." I feel this is the She came like an iris upon the breast

grand secret for obtaining peace in a world of sin and Of the swelling ocean afar ;

sorrow. When the heart turns away from the conLike morn upon a mountain crest,

fusions and disturbances to which it is continually exOr the light of a new-born star;

posed, and, taking wing, flies to the bosom of God, But the tempest o'er her radiance past,

when the voice of Christ, walking in the night on the It was all too glorious far, to last.

troubled waters, is heard, “It is I, be not afraid.” She came like a rose on the streamlet's side, This is peace! And this, too, is his own direction for When the winter's storms are gone;

obtaining it. “In the world ye shall have tribulation ; Whose odorous leaves, in crimson pride,

but in me ye shall have peace. Be of good cheer, I Expand to their parent sun;

have overcome the world."--Cecil. But she perished by an untimely blast,

The sin of neglecting to do good.- The Holy ScripShe was all too beauteous far, to last.

ture abounds with denunciations, not merely against From verdan t fields, and from cloudless skies activity in evil, but against negligence of good. That And from ever blooming bowers,

slothful servant, who hid his talent in a napkin, is also She came like a bird of paradise

called wicked. Yet we do not find him charged with To this stormy land of ours;

profligacy or flagitiousness : he is merely accused of not But her plumage was strewn upon the blast,-- employing his powers. It is simply as an unprofitable It was all too beauteous far, to last.

servant, that he is doomed to punishment.—JEBB. Her voice was the limpid water's gush

Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? To the parched pilgrim's ear;

It is God that justifieth; Who is he that condemneth? Her cheek was the rosy morning's blush

It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, To that pilgrim lorn and drear;

who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh That cheek is wan, that voice is mute,

intercession for us.-Corruption is in thee and it will That rivallid an angel's face and lute.

strive for dominion. Thy sins will sometimes fiercely

assault. Their allies the world and the devil will join Her mind was pure as the morning dew

them with stratagems and force : when the battle is That bathes the opening flowers,

hot, and thou art weak, then it behoves thee to live by Or the cloudlet, tinged with a sunny hue,

faith on Jesus as thy surety, now acting for thee in That descends in balmy showers;

heaven, as he acted for thee upon earth. That mind hath soared from our vision dim, To mingle with the CHERUBIM !

up as thy high priest to carry thy name within the vail.

He bears it upon the ephod on his shoulders, and upon Charlotte Gray Vedder, who was born 22d April 1832, died 21st | the breastplate upon his heart: his power and his love July 1836.

are engaged for thee, now he is in glory. He stands in CHRISTIAN TREASURY.

the presence of God as thy representative. The Fa

ther sees thee in him, and thou art in his sight what Afliction.-0 affliction! when sent to instruct thou thy forerunner is. As he stands there, so dost thou becomest a deep and faithful casuist! Of many past stand-righteous as he is righteous-beloved as he is transactions and present habits, I said, “It is nothing," beloved and shalt be blessed as he is blessed. View or “ It is settled." Thou bringest the book again be- by faith thy nature in him exalted and glorified, fore me: what errors in the account! what blindness and for the joy set before thee in him, take up thy in the adjustment! Poor bankrupt! I said I was “rich It is a heavy burden,-—it is a bard warfare. and increased in goods, and behold I am miserable, and True, but consider, who shall lay any thing to thy poor, and blind, and naked.” Who is the man that, in charge for indwelling sin ? It is God that justifieth health and spirits, abounds in his own sense and in self. thee from it. Who is he that condemneth? If any satisfaction ? He may, perhaps, live to learn that his man sin we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus God can make an affiction present such views in one Christ the righteous; and he is the propitiation for day as a whole life of contemplation and study would sins. In this office he is skilful, and faithful, and never bave afforded. I now feel capable of instructing compassionate, and his very glory is so interwoven myself in former periods, as if I were talking to a giddy with thine, that they are one; yea, the advocate and child. I feel ready to seize the arm of the silly wan- his clients form but one spiritual body, of which every derer on this and that occasion, as one without a moni- / member is what the head is. O my God and Saviour 1

He has gone



I bless and worship thee for thus acting for me as mine, been engendered in the shades of that long dark advocate and intercessor. Increase, I beseech thee, my night from which they had lately escaped. faith, that I may see more of the glory of thine ofñce, and may make more use of it in bearing of my inward

The most singular, certainly, of all the crimes cross ! 'o let thy faithful witness abide with me, to which characterised this age, and that which bas enable me, without doubt or wavering, to trust in what occasioned most speculation, was that of witchthou hast done for ine upon earth, and to draw comfort craft. The prosecutions which were instituted, from what thou art now doing for me in heaven. Into both in civil and ecclesiastical tribunals, against thy hands I commit my cause, --undertake for me.- those who were charged with this crime, exbibit ROMAINE.

a very strange picture of society. It does not THE REVIVALS AT STEWARTON AND

come within our present province to enter upon KIRK OF SHOTTS.

this subject. We shall not discuss the policy of

those laws which were enacted in the reign of By The Rev. Thomas M'CRIE, EDINBURGH.

James VI. against this crime, and under the The general state of religion in Scotland, during operation of which so many unhappy individuals the earlier part of the seventeenth century, was were subjected to a cruel death. The unholy very far from being satisfactory. In the large towns, arts of necromancy, sorcery, and divination pracwhich had enjoyed the labours of a faithful minis- tised among the heathen nations of antiquity, try, the good fruits were apparent in the holy lives were prohibited in the law of Moses, under the of many; but, in consequence of the niggardly penalty of death, as heing a worshipping of false provision made for the support of a settled minis- gods, and treason against heaven; and witchcraft try, many parishes in the country were left, in a is among the sins condemned in the New Testagreat measure, desolate, the place of ministers ment. Whether the god of this world is now being often supplied by Readers, who, for a small permitted to exercise his power in the same mansalary, were engaged to read portions of the ner as then over the souls and bodies of men, Scriptures, and the prayers which were may admit of question ; but it cannot be denied, tained in the book of Common Order, prefixed that even the pretence or profession of holding to the psalms in metre. In some cases, these intercourse with evil spirits, and practising diaReaders were permitted to act as exhorters and bolical arts, amounts to a crime of no light concatechists, and to celebrate marriage. But it may sideration, either in a moral or civil point of be easily imagined, that this class of men, little view; and it is certain, that at the period of our hisraised above the peasantry from which they were tory to which we refer, there were individuals who chosen, without learning, without authority, would avowedly acted as the agents of Satan, and pracill supply the place of a regular and well trained tised on the credulity and the superstitious fears ministry. The General Assembly, long before of their neighbours, to an extent of which we can this period, were deeply affected with this state of now form no conception, often employing their spiritual destitution, and many were the plans arts to the vilest of purposes. It is melancholy to proposed, and the efforts made, to supply the think that so many wretched creatures should have country with good and faithful ministers. But, fallen victims to these delusions; but while we in the absence of all funds for their support, this condemn the cruelties exercised in their discovery was found impracticable; and on the entrance of and punishment, we should bear in mind the Episcopacy, the case became still worse, two-thirds peculiar state of society at the time. It is unfair of the benefices, formerly appropriated to the to single out the ministers as eminently chargemaintenance of the ministry, being claimed by the able with these prosecutions against witchcraft, bishops to support the dignity of their station. in which they only participated with persons of

The state of religion in Scotland, at this period, all ranks, with the king on the throne, the judges was, therefore, very peculiar ; some spots being on the bench, and the most learned men of the richly cultivated, while others were left in their age. And it is preposterous to confine the charge native sterility; and the character of the people to the Presbyterian ministers; for the trial and corresponded, being something like the prophet's burning of witches went on with equal activity figs, “ the good, very good, and the evil, very during the reign of Episcopacy. evil.” In some parishes, where the Gospel was In the midst of all this corruption, however, preached, piety flourished to an uncommon degree, and in spite of the banishment of so many faithand discipline was exercised with a rigour which, ful ministers, the Gospel flourished in some places in the present day, would be considered intoler- of the country, to an unprecedented degree. The able. In other places, the people remained desti- persecutors might remove the labourers from the tute of all privileges and all restraint, in a state of field, but they could not destroy the fruits of their ignorance, superstition, and crime, very little bet- labours. A spirit of grace and supplication was ter than that which existed in the days of Popery. poured out on their bereaved flocks, and they were This accounts for the apparent contradictions which wonderfully enabled in patience to possess their the histories of the time may be found to contain. souls, so that no sufferings could induce them to The country, in fact, was but very partially civi- abandon their principles, neither did they ever lized, and the ministers of religion had to contend, resign themselves to despair. “ Nay,” says the not only with the ordinary sources of human de- author of Memoirs, in reference to this period, pravity, but with strange forms of evil which had “when the darkness was at the greatest, and when, to the eye of reason, there seemed scarcely a ray / place during this period of excitement, from which of hope, the Presbyterians declared that utter deso- some took occasion to bring reproach on the lation shall yet be to the haters of the virgin good work; but these were checked and condaughter of Scotland. The bride shall yet sing as demned by Mr Dickson and others who conversed in the days of her youth. The dry olive tree shall with them; and the sacred character of the work again bud, and the dry dead bones shall live.” was attested by the solid, serious, and practical Many faithful ministers, such as Dickson, Bruce, piety which distinguished the converts. Many Livingston, and Henderson, had great boldness who had been well known as most abandoned given them to preach the Gospel, with the con- characters and mockers at religion, being drawn nivance, or in spite of the mandates of the bishops; by motives of curiosity to attend these lectures, and two remarkable revivals took place, one at afterwards became completely changed, showing Stewarton in 1625, and the other at the Kirk of by their life and conversation that the Lord had Shotts in 1630, which deserve to be recorded. “opened their hearts to attend to the things

The parish of Stewarton, at the period referred spoken by his servant." to, had for its minister a very worthy man, Mr The excitation produced by this revival conCastlelaw ; but, what is remarkable is, that the tinued from 1625 to 1630, when it was followed principal instrument of the revival was not be, by a similar effusion of the Holy Spirit in another but the minister of the neighbouring parish of part of the country. This took place at the Kirk Irvine, Mr David Dickson. Mr Dickson had of Shotts. And here also is observable that been formerly Professor of Moral Philosophy in the honour of being instrumental in originating the University of Glasgow; and was settled in the revival was reserved, not to the minister Irvine in 1618. His zeal against the Perth Ar- of the parish, though a good man, but to one of ticles exposed him to the rage of the bishops, who those faithful servants who had suffered for their summoned him before the High Commission non-conformity to the innovations of the time; Court, and after subjecting him to the most in the Lord thus signally accomplishing his word, sulting treatment, banished him to Turriff in the Them that honour me, will I honour.” The north of Scotland. To all this Mr Dickson circumstances which led to this revival were the meekly replied, “ The will of the Lord be done ; following. Some ladies of rank who had occasion though ye cast me off, the Lord will take me up. to travel that way, had received civilities at differSend me whither you will, I hope my Master will ent times from Mr Hance, the minister of Shotts; go with me, as being his own weak servant.” By and on one occasion, when their carriage broke the intercession of the Earl of Eglinton, whose down near the manse, he kindly invited them countess, though reared in her youth amidst the to alight and remain at his house till it could splendour of a court, was a humble and devoted be repaired. During their stay they noticed that Christian, and exerted all her influence for the the house stood much in need of repair, and in promotion of religion and the protection of its return for bis attentions, they got a new manse faithful ministers, Dickson was restored to his erected for him in a better situation. Mr Hance, beloved people in Irvine. After his return in on receiving so substantial a favour, waited on the 1623, his ministry was singularly honoured of ladies to thank them, and wished to know if there God for the conviction and conversion of multi- was any thing in his power he could do to testify tudes. Crowds of persons, under spiritual con- his gratitude. I rejoice to say, that at this time, cern, came from all the parishes round about as well as afterwards, the noblest of the daughters Irvine, and many settled in the neighbourhood to of Scotland distinguished themselves by their zeal enjoy his ministrations. Thus encouraged, Mr in the good cause. These ladies loved the Gospel Dickson began a weekly lecture on the Mondays

, and the persecuted ministers who were witnessing being the market day in Irvine, when the town for its purity. They, therefore, gladly seized the was thronged with people from the country. The opportunity of asking Mr Hance to invite such people from the parish of Stewarton, especially, of them as they named to assist at the sacrament, availed themselves of this privilege, to which they in order that they might enjoy the benefit of their were strongly encouraged by their own minister. ministrations, and afford to others an opportunity The impression produced upon them was very of partaking in a privilege at this time rarely ensingular. In a large hall within the manse there joyed. To this the minister gladly consented; would often be assembled upwards of a hundred and information of it spreading abroad, brought persons, under deep impressions of religion, wait together an immense concourse of people from all ing to converse with the minister, whose public parts of the country, to attend the dispensation of discourses bad led them to discover the exceeding the ordinance, which was fixed for Sabbath the sinfulness of sin, and to cry, “ What shall we do 20th of June 1630. to be saved ?"

And it was by means of these Among the ministers who were invited on this week-day discourses and meetings that the famous occasion, at the request of these ladies, were the Stewarton revival , or the Stewarton sickness

, as noble and venerable champion, Robert Bruce of it was called, began, and spread afterwards from Kinnaird, who was still able to preach with bis house to house for many miles along the valley wonted majesty and authority, and John Livingin Ayrshire through which the Stewarton water stone, chaplain to the Countess of Wigton, who funs. Extravagances, as might be expected, took I was afterwards settled some time in Ireland, but

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