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just so may be thy case, when thou art praying 10 thy God as Caleb's daughter did unto her father, Dedisti mihi terram aridam, da etiam irriguam, thou hast hitherto made me the owner of a dry, a barren heart, but give me now some springs of water, some feeling at least, some sorrow for my sins. Though at six times bending of thy knees, God doth not grant it thee, though at the seventh there appear but one small drop swimming in thy eyes; yet be not discomforted, that drop may prove a shower, or if not suddenly, yet in the mean time the angels begin their joy in that; for, as the least piece of a broken glass may serve to reflect the face that is before it, so from that small drop, that spot of sorrow, there is a reflection made of thy repentance; and as there is a full joy for the total, the full conversion of a sinner, so there is a proportion, a measure of joy for one tear, nay for one desire of a tear of any one sinner that repenteth.
But stay, you must remember I told you repentance had two faces, not only a sad one that looked back, but a cheerful, that looks forward on new resolutions; for, as in diseases, it is not enough to purge, to sweat, to bleed, unless we keep a stricter diet after it: so neither are tears, or sighs, nor a broken heart sufficient, unless we forbear to commit again the sin we sorrowed for: for, however Bellarmine be pleased to censure Luther for over: magnifying that saying, Penitentia optima, nova vita, the best repentance is a new life; yet in the practice of it we shall all find, that though contrition may begin our peace with God, yet a new life must crown it; though tears may soften the wax for pardon, yet a resolute amendment must set to the seal. You therefore that have recovered out of the contagion of any particular bosom sin, let me beseech you, as ever you would have the angels joy for you, not to lean, or listen, or incline again to the opportunities, the occasions that have betrayed you; to cast off all inducements to sin, to hate even the garment that is spotted by the flesh; for who, having escaped the plague, would not burn the clothes he wore when he was infected ? Be not like those planetary, un. steady penitents, who, having discharged their sin this day in the ears of their God, take it up again the next day in the arins of a sinner; as if God were bound to set no end to pardoning, because they are wilful to set no end of sinning: Hoccine pænitere? is this to repent ? can the angels joy at this? no: as there are no rests, no stops, no pauses in their holy anthems; so they look too there should be no digressions, no breakings off, in thy repentance. If then any of thy former sins will needs knock unseasonably at the door of thy heart for entrance, answer them as the spouse
in the Canticles : I have put off my clothrs, how should I put them on? Į have washed my feet
, how should I defile them? I have put off my sins, why should I resume them? I am reconciled to my God, why should I offend him? O what triumphs does he cause above, that thus answers his temptations here! what shouts, what peals, what jubilees of joy, even for one such sinner that repenteth.
We are now come to the last particular, For one sinner : but what, for one? yes, even for one; for could it be supposed, saith Saint Austine, that there were but one lost soul in the whole world, suppose it were only thine; yet thy Saviour, thy Jesus, would have come into the world, he would have suffered all that he did suffer; those scorns, those buffetings, that passion, and that death, for that one soul of thine. If God then would have died for a single sinner, may it not become the angels to joy for him, whom their God would die for? Of the ten lepers whom Christ had cured, there was but one turned back to thank him, yet there was joy in heaven even for that one; of the many shesinners in Jerusalem, there was but one Mary Magdalene that washed her Saviour's feet with tears, yet there was joy in heaven even for that one. Should there want one string to a lute, the music would not be full; or one link to a chain, the chain would be imperfect; or one regenerate soul to the number of the elect, heaven would not be satisfied; why then doth not every one of us strive to make up that number? how long shall God expect for one sinner to make towards him ? when shall bis holy angels spy so much as a promising cloud in thine eyes, that thy tears are coming to a settled resolution in thy heart that thy life is changed? what shall I say more? Let there be but one among you that shall reckon his conversion from this day; God the Father shall bless the memory of this day for ever, for he shall gain a son: God the Sou with his own blood shall give it a red letter in his calendar, for lie shall gain a brother : God the Holy Ghost shall sanctify it, for he shall gain a temple : or if this be not loud enough all the glorious angels shall at this instant shout, for joy, even for that one sinner that repenteth. Who then would not thus make holiday in heaven? who would not feast the Trinity ? or who would not joy the angels? begin therefore your repentance. early. Begin it now, since this is the only way to fill up the number of those angels that expect you, when instead of having your sorrow's the burden of their songs, you shall become the fellow-singers of their anthems. Amen.
To the Editors of the Methodist Magazine. DEAR BRETHREN,
The friends of George Erwin, will be gratified to have the following memoir of him inserted in the Magazine. Huntingdon, Sept. 8, 1824.
GEORGE Erwin was born August the 1st, 1794, of respectable parents, in the county of Tyrone, Aughnacloy, Ireland.
In the early part of his life, his father, ALEXANDER ERWIN, emigrated from Ireland to America, and settled, with his family, in Franklin county, Pennsylvania, where his son George, in the twenty-third year of his age, was made a happy subject of converting grace.
In the year 1818, being persuaded of his call to the ministry, he made application to the Baltimore Annual Conference, for admission into the travelling connexion, and was accordingly received, and appointed to Greenfield circuit. In 1819, his appointment was to East Wheeling circuit, where he laboured with considerable zeal, and some success, until autumn, when he took Olrio circuit for the purpose of restoring his health, which was much declined. On this circuit he laboured in the application of his mind to the great doctrines of the gospel, and in communicating to others what he learned out of the Holy Oracles, beyond his ability of body to bear, until near the close of the year. But his ardent soul bad at last to yield to his emaciated body, which, from the fatigues, exposure and labours, of nearly two years itinerancy, and, perhaps also from a predisposition, was now wasting by a consumption, which finally terminated his life and labours. This affliction prevented his attending the Annual Conference to pass his examination as a candidate for admission into full connexion, and election to Deacons' Orders.
From the Conference of 1820, he received his last appointment which was to Aughwick circuit, where many of his family connexions resided, to labour as his health might permit.
In the spring of 1821, he took a journey to the south for his health, -visited some of his friends in Nashville, Alabama, &c. and took a fever, which brought him so low that his life was despaired of. But contrary to all expectations, he so far recovered as to be able once more to return to his mother's, near Concord, Franklin county, Pa. where he remained until his dissolution.
After his return, he exercised in public twice or thrice. to the sati-faction of those who beard him, and still manifested considerable strength of mind. Indeed his soul was so fired with the spirit of the gospel, and the energy of the Christian Religion, that until his last, be expressed great pleasure in bearing that religion was reviving around him.
About two weeks before his departure, he was supposed to be in the agonies of death, and his friends were called around his bed to take their leave of him. It was a trying season indeed : for his adversary seemed to be making his last attack on him, to destroy his peace of mind. But the snare was soon bruken, the elouds removed ; and the bright Sun of Righteousness once more arose with a bealing in bis beams,” and shed forth a glory upon his mind, which we believe he enjoyed, uninterruptedly, while he continued among us : for he remained in continual raptures of joy, until he took his flight to dwell with the redeemed; exhorting all the unconverted around him, to "flee from the wrath to come,” and be saved; while few, however hardened, remained unaffected; but left him, bewailing their condition, and declaring it impossible to resist the power with which he spoke." He conversed but little with those who possessed religion, being more solicitous for the salvation of those who were out of the “ark of safety :” and as he had but little strength, perhaps he thought it would be most conducive to the glory of God, to spend it in en. treating sinners to turn to Him.
At last, on the 14th of January, 1824, the time of his departure arrived, and, clasping his hands together, with a countenance be speaking the triumph of his holy soul, he shouted, “Everlasting glory to God!” As these words dropped from bis quivering lips, his spirit took its flight from a decayed tenement, to the indestructible mansion that is “built for the sons of God." And, while he sleeps in Jesus, he still lives in the memory and affections of many of the respectable inhabitants of Concord, and his numerous friends elsewhere; who, no doubt, are ready to join us in the language of Scripture, “Let" us “die the death of the righteous, and let' our last end be like his !"
In all his ministerial labours, this faithful servant of God was so attentive and zealous, that even an adversary could not but say, that he had in view, the “recompevce of the reward,” the glory of God, the edification of the church, and the salvation of sinners: and, although his testimony to the truth was rejected by many, to their own condemnation, we doubt not that some will be his “crown of rejoicing in the day of the Lord Jesus ;" while others will joyfully hail bim as an instrument of strengthening their hands, and establishing them in the faith of the gospel.
A SHORT MEMOIR OF THE REV. SAMUEL BUSHNELL.
MR. BUSHNELL was born in the state of Massachusetts, Nov. 28, 1782. When he was thirteen years of age, he removed with his parents to Lexington, Greene county, in the state of New York, where he continued to reside until he commenced his labours as an Itinerant Minister.
It is said that his mother, who was a pious woman, used to pray and converse with him on religious subjects; and that he was of sober, steady, moral habits, from his childhood; but we have no evidence that he was convinced of the necessity of experimental religion, until the sixteenth year of bis age. About this time he went one evening several miles to hear a M-thodist preacher. Under this sermon, which was the first he ever heard from a Methodist preacher, he was awakened to a sense of his lost condition as a sinner; and he plainly saw that unless he was saved by the free grace and mercy of God, through the merits of Christ, he must perish everlastingly. He sought the Lord earnestly, for about a week : when one morning, he rose very early, went into the woods, and kneeled down by a brook, and poured out his soul in fervent prayer to God. While thus wrestling with God, he was enabled to cast himself by faith upon the merits of Christ, as his only and all-sufficient Saviour. Here God appeared to his deliverance, and turned his mourning into joy. He now felt that his sins were all forgiven him for Christ's sake; and that he was acknowledged as an adopted child of God. His heart was changed, and he was made a partaker of the love of God. When he rose up, the face of nature seemed to be changed around him; the sun, which was just making its appearance over the eastern horizon, seemed to him to shine with new beauty and glory, and he felt that old things were passed away, and all things had become new.
Soon, however, he began to experience the truth of this saying, "if any man will live godly in Christ Jesus, he shall suffer persecution.” His father, though a moral man, was a stranger to vital religion, and a violent opposer of the Methodists. He accordingly persecuted his son, and forbade his joining thenı; and even threatened to turn him from his house, on their account. But Samuel, knowing that the authority of God was paramount to that of an earthly father, and feeling it to be his duty to attach himsel to the people who had been instrumental in his conversion to God, joined the church; and he so improved in the knowledge and love of God, and in the confidence of his brethren, that at nineteen years of age, he was appointed Leader of a class, in which office he continued until he began to travel. When in his twentythird year, he was married to Miss Mary Rowley, of Hilsdale, New-York. She was at that time a professor of religion, and a member of the Baptist Church; but soon after became a member of the same church with her husband.
On his becoming the head of a family, he set up the worship of God in his house, expressing at the same time, a desire that it might always be continued : which has accordingly been done ever since, whether he was present or absent.
Soon after his marriage, he was licensed to exhort, and he continued to exercise bis gift as an exhorter until about three years thereafter, when he was licensed to preach. From this time he was variously and greatly exercised about travelling and preaching the gospel; but he was strongly opposed by his wife, and his other relatives. Such however were his convictions of this duty, that, on a certain time, he came from his labour in the field, into the house, fell down as in a swoon, and lay for some time; and when he revived, he said to his wife ; " do not oppose me--let me go and preach the gospel, for this is the work to which God hias Vol. VII.