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in the shop a venerable gentleman, dressed in black; the mistress of the house stood behind the counter, and I was just within the door. A poor beggar, looking miserably ill came in for a tart. “ Ah! John," cried the old gentleman, « what, you have left the infirmary. Is your disorder declared to be incurable ;” “ Yes, Sir," replied the poor man, “ they say they can do nothing more for me.” “Well, John," an, swered the old gentleman, “ there is one Physician more which I would have you try : and he never fails to cure. And he doth it also without money and without price.” The poor man's countenance seemed to brighten at this ; and he said, “ Who is he!" “ It is the Lord Jesus Christ,” said the gentleman ; “pray go to him, John; and if he be pleased to heal your body, it will be a blessed recovery for you indeed ; and if not, he can and will heal your soul.” The poor man did not relish the advice ; for he went away looking angrily. As for me, I cried out, (for I could not refrain,) May the Lord bless you, Sir, for what you have said in your recommendations of my Master and Saviour ! He is indeed all you have described him, for he hath cured both my body and soul. Astonished at what I said, the gentleman expressed his surprise in observing, “ I thought you were a
Jew!" "I was, Sir,' I answered, ' once ; but by grace
I am now a Christian.' He caught me by the hand, and entreated me to go with him to his house, where I related to him, as I have to you, the means under God of my conversion. And when I had finished my story, at his request, we dropped on our knees in prayer. And oh! Sirs, the fervour and earnestness with which he prayed, and the thanksgivings which he expressed for the Lord's mercy to my soul, never shall I forget. The recollection, even at this distance, continues to warm my heart.'
When the poor man had finished his narrative, my friend and I looked at each other, then at him, and then upwards. One sentiment, I am persuaded, pervaded both hearts; and this was the language, “Great and marvellous are thý works, LORD GOD ALMIGHTY! Just and true are thy ways, thou King of Saints !
My companion offered him money, at which he seemed hurt. I am sorry,' he said, “ that you should think so unfavourably of me.' Well, but,' (answered my friend,) ( we have detained you from your employment, and it is but just; as you have so highly contributed to our pleasure, we ought not to make it detrimental 10 your interest."
I should be very sorry,' (replied the poor man,)“ if my diligence would not
make up for those occasional interruptions, which are so sweet and refreshing in my own heart, while giving satisfaction to others. No, Sir, I thank you for your intentions ; but I cannot accept your offer. Besides, I need it not ; I have enough, and to spare. God supplies all my wants, and enables me sometimes to help the wants of others.'
The poor man took his leave, after mutual wishes and prayers for our spiritual welfare. And the night being now advanced, after reading the Scriptures, and prayer, we departed each to his chamber.
The town clock five, just ter I awoke from a state of sleep much refreshed. I called to mind that sweet promise of God to his people, and found cause to bless him, in that it had been again verified to my experience; "When thou liest down thou shalt not be afraid ; yea, thou shalt lie down and thy sleep shall be sweet*.'
I recollected also, that many of the Lord's children were at that moment in a state of pain and suffering, and, like Job, complaining that
wearisome nights were appointed unto themt.' I felt my heart drawn out, under the fulness of
* Prov. iii. 24.
† Job vii. 3.
the impression, to adopt the language of the sorrowful sisters, and to tell the Lord, . Many whom thou lovest are sick*.'
When we consider the defenceless state of sleep, and the many dangers to which our poor fallen nature is then peculiarly exposed; not merely to the ravages of enemies, against which bolts and bars might cast up some little security; but the carelessness of friends, from which none but his watchful eye,' who never slumbers nor sleeps, can guard us; how suitable is that sentiment of the church of old, to form the first impression of the mind at the dawn of day; It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not; they are new every morningt.' - I have often thought, when looking upon some dear child of my affection, in its unconscious state of sleep, what creature of all God's works is so truly helpless, and so much exposed to danger, as man in that season! But I have not unfrequently found relief therefrom, in the assurance, that this very state, in the necessity of it, implies the existence of a peculiar superintendance. And, indeed, the eventual experience of thousands is continually bearing testimony to the truth of that precious promise: My
* John xi, 3. - † Lam. iii. 22.
people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.'
ACCORDING to my constant custom, since the Lord was pleased to call me by his grace, I opened my diary in my little pocket companion, to inquire - What is the word of the Lord recommended to my serious consideration to-day?' For it is a favourite maxim of mine, with the first dawn of day, to seek a morning blessing from the Lord in this way, in one of his sweet promises. The promises of God are the present heritage of his people. They are evidently intended to be their support and stay in the house of their pilgrimage. In a little book, which I always keep by me for this purpose, to have recourse to as occasion may require, and which I call my pocket companion, I have also a diary, containing some refreshing portion of Scripture for every day in the year. And though it cannot be supposed, (neither will any one I should hope imagine,) that by a selection of
Isaian xxxiia 18,