« PreviousContinue »
seven years of the Patriarch’s labour in the service of the Syrian, for the reward in expectation which sweetened the whole.
At length it became necessary to depart; and the morning arrived in which I was to bid him farewell.
There were several other of Zion's Pilgrims in the house besides myself, who were also on the eve of departure ; and therefore the good man of the house called us together into the hall, in order to receive his parting blessing.
MOTTOS. "It is
uniform custom, (said the Interpreter,) when Christian friends are about to leave my house, to give them, by way of token, a written motto, consisting of some particular. passage of God's word, which, by wearing it in their bosoms, may serve at once, through divine grace, to bring to their remembrance the instructions which they have received from me; and also furnish them with somewhat of consolation suited to the peculiar frame and constitution of their own minds.' In saying this, he presented to a poor man who stood near me, and whose appearance indicated that the glass of his life was nearly run out to the last sand, a piece of paper, on which was written, Jeremiah xlix. 11. Leave thy fatherless children, I will preserve them alive ; and let thy widows trust in me.' And within this paper there was another folded piece, bearing this inscription, Isaiah liv. 5. For thy Maker is thine husband, the Lord of Hosts is his name ;. and thy Redeemer, the Holy one of ael; the God of the whole earth shall he be called.' And within this also a third, with this motto, Psalm xxvii. 10. • When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up! As the Interpreter presented this paper to the poor man, he said, “You have heard all that I have said to you, my brother, on the subject of our own everlasting welfare : and I am much pleased to see, from the evidences which appear in your experience of the renewed life, that a work of grace is wrought in your heart, and that your hopes are well founded. But as I know that the several claims of nature in your family have a strong hold upon your feelings, I beg you frequently to have recourse to these sweet covenant promises. The first is for yourself. The second for the beloved partner of
heart. And the third children.' To another, who stood also near me, and whose anxiety had been very greatly exercised respecting the deceitfulness of his heart, and
who feared lest, after all, his religion should be found to be nothing more than a cloak of hypocrisy, the Interpreter presented a paper with this motto ; Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts. And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.' Ps. cxxxix. 23, 24. And, as he presented it, he said, "Take this, my friend, and make it the subject of your daily inquiry before God. See whether you can pray with the same earnest desire as David did; or appeal to the Great Searcher' of hearts, as Paul did, "God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son.' Rom. i: 9. If the approbation of God, and not the applause of man, be the desire of the heart; if the mind hates sin as sin, and not for its consequences; if you can bless a taking God, as well as a giving God; if you feel your soul humbled with a sense of unworthiness, while God is showering down upon you the abundance of his grace ; if Jesus be loved for his own sake, more than for his gifts; these are all so many marks and touchstones of character, which never can belong to hypocrisy, and there fore may be considered by you as evidences of a well-founded hope.'
• Young man, (said the Interpreter to a very
hopeful and promising youth that was in the circle, the best motto I can present you with, is the declaration which the Lord commanded the prophet to make in the ears of Jerusalem ;
Thus saith the Lord, I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness in a land that was not sown.' Jeremiah ii. 2. Keep this precious text of Scripture in your bosom, as an infallible antidote against all the poisonous influence with which you may be surrounded in the long pilgrimage through
have yet to pass. The man that. hath inany days to count, hath many wintery dispensations to be exercised with, Nothing can serve more effectually, through divine grace, to bear up the mind under all its pressures, than the recollections of early notices of God and from God; and so sweet a promise of being remembered through all.'
• And as for you, my brother, (the good man said, addressing himself to me, there is no passage of scripture more suited to your case and circumstances, than that which is contained in the prayer of the Lord Jesus, in the conclusion of his ministry upon earth ; (John xvii. 11.) • Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me.'.Ori
ginally given, as all the faithful are, by the Father to the Lord Jesus, before the Redeemer manifests the Father's name unto them ; evidently the property of the Father at the time of the donation, "for thine they were, and thou gavest them to me;' fully proved to be redeemed by Jesus, by having the Father's name manifested unto them, and having kept his word ; strongly and powerfully recommended to the Father's keeping, by one whom the Father heareth always, and whose joint interest in the believer is one and the same with the Father's, for 'all mine are thine, and thine are mine?' how is it possible that such can ever perish, or that any should pluck them out of his almighty hand ?? Keep this sweet Scripture therefore, I charge you, always in your bosom, and carry it about with you whithersoever you go; that its influence may be perpetual, and that the will of the Redeemer, corresponding with the gift and grace of the Father, may never escape your recollection ; Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me be with me where I am, that they may behold the glory which thou hast given me.' John xvii. 24.
The Interpreter conducted me to the door, and as I stepped over the threshold, I turned about once more to express my thankful ac