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spiration in the direction which the apostle gave about his of the same chapter:—“ Unto the married,” said Paul, “I cloak and his books, it may very naturally be thought that as command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart little inspiration was necessary to tell us how often he had from her husband." The meaning is, that upon this particureceived forty stripes save one; that he had fought with wild lar Christ had issued his own mandate; nevertheless Paul beasts at Ephesus; that he had undergone an endless variety gave command by the Spirit of Christ. “To the rest,” said of perils; that he had been let down over the wall of Damas- he, “ speak I, not the Lord.” That is, the remaining councus in a basket, and put into the stocks at Philippi. Of all sels of the apostle were such as the great master had left no theso, and many other similar instances, it may be said, that express injunction about, but which were nevertheless enthese are cases in which, as it would be absurd to suppose trusted to him by the Spirit. At the 25th verse of the same any inspiration, so it was unnecessary to disavow it. We chapter the apostle has the following expression: “Now, shall thus get quit of the whole account of the sufferings of concerning virgins, I have no commandment of the Lord; yet the apostles. The apostle says, that “all Scripture is given I give my judgment as one that hath obtained mercy of the by inspiration of God, and is profitable,” &c. If there be Lord to be faithful.” The thought is the same here as in many passages, or any passages, in which it would be absurd the former instances. Though no express command had been to suppose any inspiration, or which is not profitable, then he given by Christ, on the subject treated of, yet the apostle, as is guilty of stating what is not true.'
one of his inspired servants, had received that grace which Besides this general defence of the full inspiration of the qualified him for a full development of the divine will, in all passages in question, they admit of a more specific support. those things to which the personal ministry of Christ had Take the first of them, viz:-Paul's counsel to Timothy res- not been directed. pecting the use of wine. Does not the exhortation in ques- In the last verse of the chapter the apostle adds—“And I tion stand in the midst of a group of precepts, the most sol- think, also, that I have the mind of Christ;” an expression emn and weighty that can be conceived of? Who, then, can which some of the most eminent critics have shown not to prove to me, that the apostle was under inspiration in deliv- indicate an uncertain opinion, but full conviction and unhesiering them, if not in delivering it? And was it altogether un- tating knowledge, as in John v. 39. worthy of the Holy Spirit to dictate to Paul such an injunc- But supposing all the above passages, and some others tion for the use of Timothy, when the preservation of his which might be quoted, to be instances in which the apostle health, and his continued labours and usefulness in the church spake without the immediate guidance of inspiration,-a thing might depend upon it? Besides, does not the very permis- which I cannot admit for a moment,-it is clear that he must sion to Timothy of a “ little wine” inculcate the doctrine of have acted under inspiration in apprising the church that the temperance, especially upon all the ministers of Jesus Christ ? Spirit did not influence him in such communications; so that
As to the second passage, we may fairly assume, with nothing can be derived from the objection against the immeGrotius and Erasmus, the poverty of Paul, but not surely the diate and full inspiration of other parts of the word of God; absence of inspiration. “See," said Grotius," the poverty but on the contrary, it would rather go to the conclusion, that of so great an apostle, who considered so small a matter, left nothing short of an apostolic denial of such inspiration can at such a distance, to be a loss to him!” “ Behold," said justify any man in hesitating about the immediate divine auErasmus, “ the apostle's household furniture, a cloak to de-thority of a single portion of the word of God. fend him from the rain, and a few books!" With regard to the “ books or parchments,” unless we knew what they were, it would be the height of presumption to affirm that the request which relates to them was uninspired.
4. I shall only notice one supposition more, viz., that the writers of Scripture sometimes intimate themselves that they
CONCLUSION. are not speaking by inspiration of God. Now, before referring to the instances in question, I would here take leave to From the whole of the preceding remarks, we may infer observe, that should it even appear, in certain given cases, the paramount duty of entire and unreserved submission to that inspired men do disavow the immediate dictation of the the authority of God in the written word. Our reason, our Holy Spirit, all that can be fairly gathered from this fact will conscience, our affections, are all called to surrender thembe, that on all other occasions, not thus limited, they spake selves to the heavenly vision. In this inestimable volume under his immediate guidance. In reference to certain delica- God speaks to us upon subjects of the highest interest ; and, cies belonging to the marriage compact, the apostle thus ex- refusing to listen to his voice, we seal our own unhappy presses himself in his first Epistle io the Corinthians :—“I doom. “ Hear ye the word of the Lord,” is the message speak this by permission, and not of command.” Now who dressed to all who possess the sacred boon; and he who by permitted Paul to lay down the rules referred to? Why, un- prejudice or sin excludes himself from the benefits of this questionably, the Spirit of God. What is meant, then? message, which reveals the only method of salvation, is 'l'hat Paul spake by inspiration, but that there was no express chargeable with a degree of rashness and folly which eternity command from the Lord on the subject. As at the 10th verse itself will but fully disclose. Let the prayer of each one who
reads this little treatise be-"Open thou mine eyes, that I * Mr. Carew, as quoted by Mr. Haldane.
may behold wonderful things contained in thy law !"
from the wise and prudent, and revealed them unto babes.
Even so, Father; for it seemed good in thy sight.” •Even Her Early Life.
so, Lord Jesus; in thy rejoicing will I too rejoice ; let the
world think me a fool or an enthusiast, or beside myself, as “The works of the Lord are great; sought out of all them they thought Thee.' The story of · Little Henry and his that have pleasure therein." Elevated, indeed, is the Chris- Bearer,' to which I believe you allude, I have been assured by tian's pleasure in “seeking out the great works” of creation. Miss - is every word of it true. Do not then bring upon But it is the work of " Redemption, which mainly attracts yourself the dreadful sin of limiting the power of the Holy his delighted contemplation; as the mirror in which the One of Israel. Jesus has said, "Suffer little children to glory of his God and Saviour is most fully unveiled before come;" and they will come, if He calls them. As facts are him. The "new creation" on the heart of man is one grand the strongest of all proofs, bear with me a little longer, while division of this perfect work of God; and often does its dis- I tell you briefly the history of a child, for the truth of which play of “the beauties of holiness” constrain the world to a I can vouch. I knew a little girl, about sixteen years and a Teluctant acknowledgment, and excite the Church to joyful half ago. She was much like other children, as full of sin adoration—" What hath God wrought!" For not only will and vanity as ever she could hold; and her parents had not the Redeemer's glory be manifested in his saints at the bliss-as yet taken much pains to talk to her about religion. So she ful era of his coming; not only will they then be seen as the went on in the way of her own evil heart, and thought her“ jewels" of his everlasting crown; but even now are they self a very good little girl, because she said her prayers every “ the glory of his inheritance," set forth for the conviction of night and morning, and was not more passionate, wilful, and the world, that they may see, and know, and consider, and perverse, than most of her young companions. The God of understand together, that the hand of the Lord hath done this, love did not think this sinful child too young to learn of Jeand that the Holy One of Israel has created it.” It is the ob- sus. He so ordered it about the time I am speaking of, when ject of the following sketch to bring forth to view one of these she was just seven years old, that she was led by a pious serstriking manifestations of Divine power and grace, and to il- vant into some almshouses belonging to Rowland Hill, who lustrate, in connexion with this memorial, some of those edi- had just been preaching at them. The servant and an aged fying and instructive lessons which it will be seen to present woman entered into a long conversation together, to which before us.
the little girl listened, and wondered what could make them
like to talk about such things. But at the close of it, the old MARY JANE GRAHAM was born in London, April 11, 1803. woman took the child affectionately by the hand, and said to Her father was engaged in a respectable business, from which her, “My dear child, make the Lord Jesus your friend now he retired a few years before his daughter's death (and chiefly that you are so young; and when you come to be as old as I from regard to her delicate health,) to the village of Stoke am, He'll never leave you nor forsake you.' God the Spirit Fleming, near Dartmouth, Devon. She appears to have been sent these simple words to the poor sinful child's heart. She the subject of early religious convictions. At the age of seven walked home in silence by her nurse's side, thinking how she had acquired those habits of secret prayer, which may be she could get Jesus to be her friend. Then she remembered considered a favourable mark of Divine influence upon her how often she had slighted this dear Saviour; how she had soul. But we will give the history of this era of her life in read of Him in the Bible, and been wearied of the subject: her own words. To a friend, who had evinced some incre- how she had heard the minister preach Jesus, and wished the dulity of the genuineness or permanency of early impressions long dry sermon over; how she had said prayers to Him withof religion, she thus writes:
out minding what she said; how she had passed days, weeks,
and months, without thinking of Him; how she had loved
March 20, 1827. her play, her books, and her toys, and her play-fellows_all, • You appear, my dear friend, to think very early piety too all better than Jesus. Then the Holy Spirit convinced her wonderful a thing to be true. It is wonderful, so wonderful of sin. She saw that no one good thing dwelt in her, and that, when David was contemplating the starry firmament, he that she deserved to be cast away from God for ever. Would was drawn for a moment from his meditation on the wonders Jesus love her now? Would he ever forgive her! She feared he there beheld, by the still greater wonder of “God's ordain- not; but she would try. She would make herself very good, ing strength out of the mouths of babes and sucklings.” But and then, perhaps, Jesus would be her friend. But the more David's wonder and yours were of a very different nature; he this little girl tried to be good, the more her naughty heart wondered and adored. Jesus, too, that “inan of sorrows,” once got the beiter of her; for she was trying in her own strength. “rejoiced in spirit,” because God “had hid these things She was led to give up trying in that way; and many long nights did she spend in praying “with strong crying and tears” to that she was enabled to walk with God in sincerity and Jesus, that He would teach her how to get her sins pardoned, without any considerable declension during the greater part and make her fit to have Him for her friend. Let me mention of her childhood, and the commencement of a riper age.' Afit for the encouragement of those who seek Jesus, that He ter this period, however, more than once,' as her letter indid not disdain to listen to the prayers of this little child. He forms us, she forsook' her Heavenly Friend, turned to put it into her heart to read the Bible, of which, though she follow the vain things of the world,' and “ went on frowardly understood not all, yet she gathered enough to give her some in the way of her own heart"_"leaning to her own undercomfort. One day her attention was fixed on these words, standing," and led captive in her own folly. “The Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the Of this period future notice will be given. Meanwhile we world.” Now something that could take away sin was just revert to her early years as spent under the roof of her parents what this little girl wanted; and she asked her father to tell or at school. Her parents considered her virtues as those of her who this Lamb of God was. He explained the precious every day, and not merely called forth on particular occasions. verse. But who can describe the raptures which filled the She was a most amiable, affectionate, and dutiful child, selbosom of this little child, when made to comprehend that the dom needing correction, tender-hearted when told of her “ blood of Jesus cleanseth from all sin.” Now she fled to faults, and by her general kindness of disposition attaching all Jesus indeed. Now she knew that He had loved her, and the members of the household to herself. She was remarkagiven himself for her; now the Spirit of God, who often bly free from selfishness; always ready to yield to her comchooseth the weak and foolish things of the world, to con- panions, even to deprive herself of what she valued. Her litfound the wise and mighty," "shed abroad the love of God tle pocket money was generally reserved for some object of in the heart" of a weak and foolish child, and "filled her with distress, or for some token of affection to a friend. peace and joy in believing." She had no one to whom she Her quickness of mind was a subject of early observation. could talk to of these things. But she held sweet converse Her reading was chiefly obtained by attending to the lessons with her reconciled God and Father; and gladly would she which were given to her brother, then preparing for school. have quitted this life to go and dwell with Jesus. Since then She was seldom seen without a book in hand, and seemed she has spent nearly seventeen years of mingled happiness never so happy as when employing herself in the improveand pain. But she has had Jesus for her friend; and He never ment of her mind. Yet this thoughtful cast of character was has, and never will, forsake her. She has forsaken Him by no means tinged with unnatural gloom. In all the harmmore than once for a season, and turned to follow the vain less games of childhood none of her companions excelled her things of the world. But her Shepherd's eye has been over in playful activity;* while in the midst of her cheerful temher in her wanderings, and He has never suffered her quite to perament, it was abundantly evident that the main concern of depart from Him. To this day her vain and treacherous religion was uppermost in her mind. 'I recollect,' her couheart is continually leading her to provoke her heavenly sin writes, that when we were quite little children, she Friend. He “visits her transgressions with the rod, and made some attempt to talk to me about religion; once espeher iniquity with stripes;” but He has sworn never to take cially, when we were sitting behind the curtain in the drawing, His loving-kindness from her, nor to suffer His faithfulness room at - I did not like the subject, and therefore walked to fail.” She is constrained to acknowledge, that during all away and joined my more worldly-minded companions.' this time she has never done one thing that could merit God's Her school career commenced soon after she was seven favour. Free-grace, free-mercy, are all her song: “It is of years old. She was however shortly removed, from ill health, the Lord's mercy she has not long ago been consumed." and again, about the age of ten, sent to a school of a different She is quite sure she could never have changed her own kind. Many of her companions who survived her will proheart. No; God has begun the good work in her, and he bably long preserve the remembrance of her peculiar kindness must carry it on; and from first to last, let glory be ascribed and gentleness of spirit, combined with her superior powers. to Him, and let her take shame and confusion to herself. At One of them remarks her great carefulness to screen, as far this moment she desires to live, if she may be made the as it was lawful to do so, the faults of her fellows, and her means of converting one sioner to Jesus; but if not, she anxiety to plead for them when in disgrace: and so powerful would rather " depart and be with Christ, which is far better." was her advocacy, that her preceptress was constrained to She is far from despising earthly blessings. Every morsel remove out of her way, when her judgment compelled her to she puts into her mouth, the very air she breathes, is made persevere in her discipline. In all the school difficulties, she sweet and refreshing by the loving hand that sends it. Once was the constant resource, ever ready and willing to assist, there was a curse on all her earthly blessings. But now without any assumption upon the ground of her acknowledged **Christ hath redeemed her from the curse of the law, being superiority. One trait of peculiar loveliness was here exhibimade a curse for her.” She would give it as her living ex- ted, (the spirit of which was marked on various occasions in perience, and leave it when she goes hence as her dying tes-after life,) in her consideration of any of her companions who timony, that there is nothing worth living for except to know from any unfavourable causes might appear to be neglected. Him, and see others come to Him, and wash their guilty Those were the objects of her particular notice, and with them souls in the blood of the Lamb. God has given her the bless-she shared all her little indulgences. ing of seeing a happy change take place in some of the dear Her religious impressions appear to have been cherished companions of her childhood and youth. She waits upon by the familiar exhortations of the husband of her perceptress, Him for the salvation of the rest; and there is no one whom and by devotional exercises with those of her companions she longs after more ardently in the Lord, than that dear and who were living under the practical influence of their Chrisvalued friend of her earliest days, to whom this letter is ad- tian instructions. To one of them she proposed to learn every dressed ; and to whom she wishes every spiritual blessing, day a portion of Scripture in private, and to repeat it to each that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, other when they retired to rest. At this time she committed can bestow now and for evermore! Amen and Amen!' to memory the whole of the Prophecy of Isaiah, besides other
Some apparent discrepancy may be observed between this portions of the sacred Volume. exquisitely beautiful and natural letter, and her published ac- At the age of twelve her delicate health again occasioned count of this important crisis.* Her apprehensions of Divine her removal from school. Her illness lasted for about two truth, as expressed in her letter, were indeed clear and en- months, during which time, when confined upon the sofa, she livening far beyond the average spiritual capacity of children. committed to memory the whole Book of Psalms. Indeed Yet her view of many of the doctrines of Christianity,' her powers of memory were of an extraordinary order. She which she afterwards so fully developed and so richly en- was much delighted with Milton's Paradise Lost, and had joyed, were at this time very indistinct.' Doubtless also learnt the greater part, if not the whole, of that magnificent much of natural feeling and excitement was mingled with poem. For many successive mornings she repeated to her these early impressions of religion; wbile what was of a father most correctly upwards of three hundred lines each spiritual character, as she afterwards discovered, was not suf- morning. Upon her recovery from illness she passed several ficiently grounded upon that sense of universal guilt and help- months with a careful servant by the seaside. So instinctive lessness which prostrates the sinner at the foot of the cross, were her habits of active usefulness, that she employed hersimply dependant upon a free salvation. This superficial self, though only in her thirteenth year, in collecting a few cast of impression, without invalidating the reality of a Divine children for the purpose of instruction, and in distributing change, will account for the instability which marked her tracts. In returning home to her parents, she enjoyed with early course in the ways of God. From her own history we learn
* One of her early friends however remarks, that her games and Test of Truth. By Mary Jane Graham. This very valuable manner of amusing partook more of imagination and of talent than work has just been republished by J. Whetham, Philadelphia.-Ed. those of the generality of children.
them the rich and responsible privilege of the ministry of the be referred to her own published account; some digest of Jate Rev. Samuel Crowther, Vicar of Christ Church, New- which will here be given, in order to connect the thread of gate Street ; an eminent “watchman of Ephraim, now with her history, and to exhibit a clear view of one of the most his God.” Under his faithful and affectionate instruction she important eras in her life. was brought to the ordinance of Confirmation about the age Miss Graham's mind opened in a metaphysical form, anof sixteen, and publicly "joined herself to the Lord in a per- favourable to a simple reception of truth. And this, conpetual covenant never to be forgotten.”
nected with a defective apprehension of her lost estate, induced These interesting materials of Miss Graham's early life may a spirit of self-dependence, one of the most subtle and sucsuggest a few profitable remarks.
cessful hindrances to the Christian life.* Thus was the Let Christian parents be excited to an immediate and per- way opened to a secret habit of backsliding from God. The severing discharge of their anxious responsibilities. Early foolish vanities of the world for a while captivated her heart; impressions are of the highest moment in reference to the fu- and her manners were remarked to be like any other thoughtture course of their children. Let them be prayed for, expected, less girls of her own age. From frivolity she sought refuge cherished. They cannot be too early or too urgent in present- in her more solid intellectual pursuits. All sources of selfing. (after the example of the believing parents of old) the gratification within her power were resorted to with the fruitpetition of the Angel of the covenant; " How shall we order less attempt of obtaining peace in a course of departure from the child, and how shall we do unto him?" They can scarce- God. Wearied at length with disappointment, this prodigal ly fix the precious seed too soon into the fresh soil
. The pure child " began to be in want;" and many a wishful eye did simplicity of the rudiments of the Gospel is specially suited she cast towards the rich provision of her father's forsaken to the dawn of infant intelligence; and well would it be, if house. In turning, however, to religion for comfort, she our children should never be able to recur in after life to the found, to use her own words; • Alas! I had no religion: I time when these vital truths were first presented to their had refused to give glory to the Lord my God; now my feet minds. The child's intellect opens faster than is commonly were left to stumble upon the dark mountains.' considered. The first impressions often retain a firm and per- The doctrine of the Divinity of Christ had often been to manent grasp through life. And abundantly has the experi- her (as to many other minds cast in the same mould), an ocence of the Church testified, that early piety is eminent casion of perplexity. Now it was “a stone of stumbling, piety.*
and a rock of offence." Though repeated examination had It may appear suspicious, that so little shade is discovera- fully satisfied her that it was the truth of the Bible, yet so ble upon the records of Miss Graham's childhood. But de-repulsive was it to her proud heart, that she was led from fects cannot be noticed, where they were not observed. thence to question the truth of the Bible itself. •I suspected, Probably our own sphere of observation, if not our immediate said she, that a system of religion, which involved such circle, is not wholly unfurnished with similar cases, sufficient apparent absurdities, could not possibly come from God. to preclude an unwarranted incredulity. And indeed these Determined to sift the matter to the utmost, I eagerly acinstances often afford the most striking illustrations of the quainted myself with the arguments for and against Christotal depravity of the fall. For while Miss Graham was in tianity. My understanding was convinced that the Scriptures the estimation of her parents all that their fond hearts could were divine. But my heart refused to receive the conviction. wish, what was she in the sight of God ? Self-knowledge The more my reason was compelled to assent to their truth, under Divine teaching soon discovered to her, that under this the more I secretly disliked the doctrines of the Bible.”
, attractive garb was hid the mighty principle of alienation of Continued resistance to convictions was the natural and heart from God. There was no natural preparation for heav-melancholy result of this inquiry. She determined to lay the enly influence. It was only a more lovely appearance of the subject aside for a while, still • persuading herself that there death that reigned within. Her subsequent expressions there- must be flaws in the evidence of so strange a history,' which fore of self-abhorrence were not the ebullitions of a false only her want of maturity of judgment, prevented her from humility, or of misguided fanaticism, but the genuine con- discovering. Those early religious impressions, that usually viction of the Spirit of God upon her heart.
form a bulwark against infidelity, in her case proved a stumThe subject of our history suggests also the importance of bling-block to her faith. Ignorant of the native bias of her an early excitement of the principles of active usefulness. heart against the Gospel, she considered them as the effect No doubt Miss Graham's habits of early activity had an im- of prejudice, before her mind had been intelligibly informed portant influence in maturing her character for the high privi- or exercised. She now, therefore, determined to burst her lege of devoting herself to the interests of her fellow creatures. chains, and to think and examine for herself. It was Cotton Mather's practice to endeavour to enlarge the Hitherto she had confined her perplexities within her own minds of his children, by engaging them daily in some bosom; partly dreading the influence of external bias, and • Essay to do good.' He encouraged and commended them, partly fearing to infuse into another's mind doubts concernwhen he saw them take pleasure in it, and never failed to ing a book, which, she could not conceal from herself, might show them that a backwardness would subject them to his after all be true. She endeavoured now to strengthen her displeasure. This example cannot be too strongly inculcated. mind by pursuing a course of intellectual study, with the diTo give to children an object beyond themselves, would tend rect design of preserving herself from becoming a dupe, to much to counteract the natural principle of selfishness, so “cunningly devised fables." And here she did not fail subbaneful to their personal happiness, and to their intellectual, sequently io acknowledge the special forbearance and wisdom moral and spiritual improvement.
of her heavenly Father. Justly might he have deprived her of that reason, which she had so presumptuously set up in his own place. Yet was he pleased to overrule this way
wardness of his child as an ultimate means of her restoration, in applying her course of mental discipline to the effectual
discovery of the fallacies with which she was now deluded. CHAPTER II.
The immediate effect however of these studies was deci
dedly injurious. Their absorbing interest diverted her mind Her Relapsc into Infidelity.
from the main subject of inquiry; while they proved also a were indeed felt, but without any permanent or practical she was enabled to " believe unto righteousness.” The chainfluence.
temporary refuge against the uneasy disturbance of her conAbout the age of seventeen, Miss Graham's mind underwent science. Even her intervals of reflection were too easily a inost extraordinary revolution. She fell, for a few months, soothed by the indefinite postponement of the great concern from the heavenly atmosphere of communion with God, into to “a more convenient season." Occasional convictions the dark and dreary regions of infidelity. Allusion has already been made to this afflicting circumstance, in her letter. But for a most interesting and graphic detail, the reader must • She alludes to an injury, which her own mind, in common (as
she conceives) with many others, had received from adopting Dod* Barker's Parent's Monitor' gives an useful digest of informa- dridge's form of covenanting with God. (Rise and Progress, chapter tion, well calculated to guide the instructor, and to encourage the xvii.) This was in her thirteenth year. Let it however be remembered, diligence and patient perseverance of parental faith. The principles that, though this mode of dedication may have frequently ministered of Christian Education are brought out with much simplicity and to a legal spirit, yet it by no means necessarily partakes of an unpractical detail in the valuable and well-known works of Mrs. Hoare evangelical character. This “subscribing of the hand unto the and Mr. Babington, which cannot be too highly recommended. Per- Lord,” has been found by many eminent Christians, (as, for examhaps the most full and interesting illustration of these principles will ple, in Philip Henry's family) to be a cord of love, not a yoke of be found in the Biographies of the Henry Family, (Life of P. & M. Rondage. Allusion is probably made to it as an acceptable ordiHenry, and Mrs. Savage) by Mr. Williams, of Shrewsbury. nance in the service of the Gospel.- Isaiah xliv. 3—5.
racter of Christ, as a proof of the credibility of the Christian Through the Divine mercy this state of infatuation did not revelation, arrested her particular attention. A minute scruprove of long duration. After a few months' captivity, she tiny of His spotless life was most satisfactory in its result.* was brought, though not without severe conflict of mind, to. The more,' said she, “I studied this Divine character, the the full light and liberty of scriptural truth.* The conviction more I grew up as it were into its simplicity and holiness, of the being of a God, in her darkest moments had never the more my understanding was enabled to shake off those wholly forsaken her. A few hours' contemplation of the slavish and sinful prejudices, which had hindered me from starry heavens darted into her mind a piercing reflection upon appreciating its excellence. Truly his words were dearer to her stupidity and ingratitude, in what she justly called an me “ than my necessary food." He was my “ All in all.” . unnatural and parricidal attempt to banish God from his I did not want to have any knowledge, goodness, or strength, own creation, to depose him from his natural supremacy over independently of him. I had rather be " accepted in the Be. her heart. Her whole life now appeared to her (what in- loved,” than received (had that been possible) upon the score deed the Scriptures declare it to be) one continued act of sin my own merits. I had rather walk, leaning upon his arm, and folly. Her convictions however of sin, being wholly than have a stock of strength given me to perform the jourunconnected with any discovery of the way of forgiveness, ney alone. To learn, as a fool, of Christ; this was better to naturally tended to despondency. Every fresh sense of the me than to have the knowledge of an angel to find out things corruption of her heart and of the unsullied purity of the Di- for myself.' vine character, brought with it a corresponding sense of guilt. After her recovery from this fearful snare of Satan, she was She could expect therefore nothing but punishment propor- mercifully preserved from “ turning again to folly," and led tioned to the infinite sinfulness of her offence. She could forth in the path of the just," with increasing light, strength, not conceive the consistency of her forgiveness with the claim and establishment. • From that moment,' she adds, • I ceasof Divine justice; and the alternative of her eternal punish-ed to stumble at the doctrines of the cross. The doctrines of ment seemed even less dreadful than the supposition of any Seripture, which had before appeared to me an inexplicainconsistency in Him, who, in her view, was the Perfection ble mass of confusion and contradictions, were now written of Holiness. •I had acquired, she remarked, such a per- on my understanding with the clearness of a sunbeam. Above ception of te beauty of holiness, that the thought of an un- all, that once abhorred doctrine of the Divinity of Christ was holy God was worse than hell to me. I felt that I had rather becoming exceeding precious to me. The external evidences God should pour out on me all the vials of his wrath, than of Christianity, though I now perceived all their force, were that, carried away by an unworthy softness and weakness, no longer necessary to my conviction. From that time,' she he should forgive, and thereby encourage sin. To undergo concludes, “I have continued to "sit at the feet of Jesus, and eternal punishment was horrible. To acknowledge an un- to hear his word;" taking him for my Teacher and Guide in holy God was more horrible.'
things temporal as well as spiritual." He has found in me a As her last expedient, her despised Bible was brought to disciple so slow of comprehension, so prone to forget his lesmind. And how different'--she observes—was the tem- sons and to act in opposition to his commands, that were he per of mind, in which I now addressed myself to its perusal, not infinitely “meek and lowly in heart,” he would long ago from that in which I had read it in the commencement of my have cast me off in anger. But he still continues to bear disbelief of Christianity! I was no longer a proud sophist, with me, and to give me “ line upon line, and precept upon triumphing in the strength and penetration of human reason, precept." And I am certain, that he will never leave me, and in the comprehensiveness of human knowledge. The nor forsake me;" for, though I am variable and inconstant, contemplation of my own ignorance, weakness, and wicked- " with him there is no variableness, neither shadow of turnness, had laid my pride in the dust. My eyes were opened ing:”?; to view myself as I really was-depraved and blinded in my The Writer cannot but hope, that at this awful crisis, when
Writer reason, judgment, and understanding. And this is the pro- a moral pestilence (far more dreadful than the late provideueess, which must take place in the soul of every man, before tial visitation) is stalking through the land, the preceding he can pursne the search after truth in a right spirit. narrative may suggest seasonable caution, conviction, and
Her interest was early directed to the promises of Divine encouragement to some, especially of his young readers. teaching to the sincere inquirer after truth. Their suitable- Let them mark the connexion of the first principles of infidelness fixed her attention. Their freeness encouraged her ity, with the exercise of the understanding, and with the state heart. “Ask, and it shall be given you ; seek, and ye shall of the heart. find. He giveth his Holy Spirit to them that ask him”- Pride of intellect in Miss Graham's case, was evidently one especially arrested her. She determined to make trial of main cause of her departure from God. When her mind left them, conceiving that their fulfilment in her own case would the strong-hold of faith, her scriptural light, which could only be a • Test of the Truth of the book, which held them forth be apprehended through spiritual optics, became obscured, for her acceptance. Though hindered at first by a sense of until she was gradually left to the Egyptian darkness of her nnworthiness, she ventured to apply; justly considering, that own understanding. And this we apprehend to be a very whatever might be her apprehensions of her own demerit, usual commencement of an infidel course, upon principles yet a state of submission and desire could not be so displeas- equally opposed to reason and to revelation.' Man, in his ing to God, as one of carelessness and rebellion. But the prurient desire to pass the bounds of revelation, forgets that description of this anxious crisis must be given in her own while the things that are revealed belong to us and to our striking words. Impelled by these reflections-fearful and children,” the secret things” are no less the property of uncertain, but with uncontrolable, unutterable longings, 1 God. As he has, therefore, reserved them for himself, this directed my applications. To the unknown God.' O my Redeemer! the first breathings of my soul were not uttered in * This is not a solitary instance of impression from the contema mediator. But doubtless even then Thy comeliness was of human nature in its native purity and simplicity; and showing at thy name! I rushed into the presence of my Judge without plation of the character of Christ. Even Mr. Chubb must have felt thrown over the deformity of my soul; and the eye of my once what excellent creatures men would be, when under the influFather beheld me with pity, for thy dear name's sake. Mylence and power of that gospel which he preached unto them.' ('True prayer ascended up to heaven, fragrant with the incense of Gospel, p. 56.) Rousseau's exquisite contrast between Socrates and ihy merits; though the poor wretch who offered it thought to Christ is well known, concluding with the remarkable acknowledgplease God by leaving thee out of it.
ment respecting the latter :- The inventor of such a personage In this prostration of soul, she continued watching daily this man's heart resist the clear conviction
of his judgment I can
would be a more astonishing character than the hero. Yet could at her Lord's gates, waiting at the posts of his doors." It
not-he subjoins believe the Gospel.' His Confessions, however, need scarcely be added, she did not seek in vain. The Divine clearly trace his unbelief to its proper cause the love of sin. See character now appeared before her, not, as before, in its con- John iii. 19, 20,-a text which throws more light upon the secret suming holiness; but in the combined glory of holiness and springs of infidelity, than whole volumes that have been written upon love. Her apprehensions of sin, of Christ, and of the whole the subject. system of Christian truth, were now irradiated with heavenly
+ Test of Truth, pp. 112-117. The extracts given from this inlight; and with simplicity, and godly sincerity" of "heart," teresting little work, will be sufficient to commend it to the read
er's attention, as the production of an author of no common power,
and deeply imbued with the glowing principles of the Gospel. It It may be remarked, that severe providential afflictions about will remind the reader of some of Mr. Scott's painful exercises of this period concurred with the exercises of her own mind, to awaken mind described in his 'Force of Truth' and of the argument so sucher mind to this self-abasing recollection of her fearful departure cessfully handled by Bishop Burnet in his disputations with Lord from God.
Rochester. VOL. II.-Z