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has distinguished the transactions of several religious denominations, may well be considered as one of the most conspicuous proofs, that, through the influence of the Holy Spirit, there is a manifest growth in grace, and in the love and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, throughout his whole church, from which we may confidently expect the most extensive blessings. And we see already in the fervent and wide-extending zeal, which animates the Lord's people of every name, for the spreading of the kingdom of Jesus, and in their cordial exertions to send the glad tidings of great joy, that unto us is born a Saviour, unto all people--an earnest of the fulfilment of the promise, that the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth, as the waters cover the sea.
We rejoice that we do not labour alone. We count ousselves higlily favoured to be joined by so many chosen and faithful witnesses; and pray the Lord to bless them so abundantly, that our poor, weak exertions, and their fruits, may appear as
a dust in the balance ; yet we intreat him to continue to use us as he thinks fit, and to suffer us also to join the great company of preachers, to whom he gives the word. May we all, in true unity of spirit, faithfully keep to the word of Jesu's patience, knowing nothing among men but Jesus, and him crucified! And may he bless and reward you, dear and reverend brethren, with the choicest spiritual blessings in Christ, and grant grace and success to all your transactions !
With the most sincere esteem, and the most grateful salutations from our whole Society,---I subscribe myself,
Reverend and dear Sir,
C. J. LATROBE.
Furtberance of the Gospel.
SINGULAR PIETY IN A FEMALE AFRICAN.
Letter from the Riv. Mr. CLARK, Chaplain to the SierraLeone E stublishment, to his Futber in Scotland.
Sierra-Leone, Africa, July 29, 1796. I
NEED not say I long to hear from you; this you will take'
for granted, when that I inform you, that I have received wo letter from Scotland since that I left England. I hope
you are well, because I sincerely wish you may be so. Me thinks I hear you asking, what success has, or is there likely to attend the preaching of the Gospel amongst your people? I answer, Blessed be God! I dare not say that there is not any, though I lament I cannot say there are many, that, as yet, seem to credit ihe report, and account the joyful tidings of life and salvation, through a crucified Saviour, worthy of their reception. Thiere are a few here who have tasted that God is good, to whom he is indeed precious ; it is pleasant, and to me, I trust, profitable, often to converse with these. There is one old woman about seventy years of age, (named Mary Perth), the like of whom I never talked with ; she is more like one come down out of heaven to earth, than like one who is only preparing for glory. Often I think, when in her company, O what a delightful place will heaven be, if there is such joy---joy unspeakable, to be experienced in the fellowship of one militant saint, whilst Jesu's love is the theme ; what will there be in the church triumphant, in the general assembly and church of the first-born, where we shall behold bim as he is, and be eternally satisfied with his likeness ! I biush in her presence, and find I know nothing ---freely give vent to my tears ; for in vain should I attempt to restrain them---hours pass away as minutes ; yea, at times, I almost forget I am in the wilderness. I often used to think, was it possible we should never weary in heaven? now I am persuaded, that, with Jesus in the midst of the throne, and an innumerable multitude of such happy souls surrounding it, we never shall. She is the best assistant I have here, next to my Bible, for aiding me in studying my discourses on experimental religion. I spend the Tuesday evenings in preaching on such subjects as naturally lead me to treat of this. These are delightful seasons. We have but few who attend on these occasions. She, however, is always one of them. Often have some of them told me, that they found it was good for them to be there. More attend now than at first; and if the Lord be amongst us, as we hope he is, we will increase ; if I may use the language. She is an aged disciple; long has she been a follower of Christ; like Mary of old, she has chosen the one thing needful, that good part which shall never be taken from her; like her also, she has been made to sit as at the feet of Jesus, and has had his Spirit for her only teacher. Hence it is so pleasant to hear her talk with a child-like simplicity, yet with a celestial sublimity, about divine things. Often do I wish you were a December night in her company; but what were Vol. IV. 3. T
thus ? the morning would become ere you was aware, Trust we shall all meet one blessed morning, which no evening shall ever succeed, and that will be far better. She is a widow; and, by the accounts she gives me of her husband, he had been just such a happy soul as herself. One day, lately, she gave me an account of his death. My text, a few nights after, naturally led me to speak of dying saints, without mentioning any names. I represented their blessed death in the following manner, with scarce any other thing than what was actually realized in him : “ When this world is passing away with the child of God, and death approaching unto him, then does he look forward to the unseen state with a joyful hope, and upwards to his God, as the strength of his heart, and his portion for ever. With pleasure does he then part with sorrowful relations, and those friends which were dear to him as his own soul; and whilst he beholds the tears flowing from their eyes, streaming down their cheeks, and bedewing his pillow-whilst he witnesses their sympathetic anguish, expressed by the wishful look, and made known by the mournful sigh--- with a power more than human does he raise his feeble voice, and address them thus : Oye tender friends, ye delight of mine eyes, ye sharers of my joys, ye partners of my bliss, and ye soothers of my cares, weep not for me! your sorrow is my joy, your momentary loss is my eternal gain: Would you be so cruel as to entertain the most distant wish to keep me a moment longer from my Father and my God, in yonder blest abodes, where there is fulness of joy---where rivers of pleasure eternally flow? I hope, ere long, to meet with you, and there with you to spend an eternity of joy! After a few more rising suns, as I now am, so shall all of you be. Farewel, Farewel, dearest relatives, and all ye Christian friends, ye tender and beloved ones ! Farewel!---to God I commend you all, and to the word of his grace! For ten thousand worlds I would not turn back again. Adieu! Adieu !
Whilst thus exulting, methinks I behold the member of Christ, with an holy contempt, turning his back on the world, all that was near, on all he held dear below, singing thus :
My friends, in Christ, that are above,
Then will I go and fee;
Will soon come after me. With his face to the wall, and his eyes to heaven, he exclaims, Nor do I fear to pass through the dark and shady yale ! O death! where is thy sting? O grave! where is thy victory? Make haste, my beloved! why do thy chariotwheels tarry so long? Be thou like a roe, or a young hart upon Bether's mountains. Farewel, now, now, all things here below! Welcome, welcome, thrice welcome, O ye glorious messengers, whom my Father and God has sent to pave my way! Borne on your pinions, shall I wing my flight, my flight, and, wafted through the ærial regions, reach the paradise of God; into thy hands, dear Redeemer, 1 commend my spirit. We can follow him no farther. The bliss he now enters upon our hearts cannot conceive; but I trust, ere long, all of us shall perceive it. i Cor. ii. 9. - Are ye not saying, Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his ; for sure, blessed are the dead in the Lord. Be ye concerned all of you now to lead their life, and then you siiall receive your wish,”. I might have told a great deal more about this good woman, this zealous and truly lively Christian ; but have not time at present. . On some future occasion, God willing, this I will do. I cannot conclude, however, without telling you, that she was once a preacher. When in America, after the Lord was pleased to make her acquainted with himself, (liere she was a slave), she used for so many nights in the week, after having put her master and mistress to bed, to take and tie her own child upon her back, and to go up into the country; and, during the night, to assemble a number of other slaves, and instruct them. The distance of this place from that where she stayed, was ten miles; so that during the night she walked twenty miles; yet she assures me she was never thereby unfitted for her work, and was always back before her master and mistress got up. She continued this practice long, and never left going till they were formed into a body, so considerable as to invite a minister to settle among them. When this took place, she forbore going, and directed her course to somewhere else. But I must stop. I intend, if she will allow me, to write a short account of her life, and send it home to be printed. I need not tell you she is a black. This I can assure you is no hindrance to our Christian fellowship. I am as happy in her company, and in that of some others, as ever I was in that of any Christian of my own colour.
I am, &c.
Is it possible that ariy serious person can read the above account without the niostiively emotions of gratitude to God, foradorning the soul of a poor illiterate negro with such pecu1:ar grace? Wherë among ourselves, with all our boasted advantages, shall we find Christians, whose conversation is so heavenly and instructive, that the hours of a long winter's night would pass away unperceived, and the morning dawn upon us unawares? Or, where shall we find such tender compassion for souls, and such lively zeal in our Master's service?
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With such a specimen of exalted piety before our eyes, shall we be indifferent to the immortal interest of these poor Africans ? Shall we, who profess to be followers of the Lamb, add to the cruelties inflicted on them for ages, the unspeakable crime of neglecting their conversion, when God hath so evidently put the means in our power? Has not the Missionary Society intimated their intention to send among them some faithfui ambassadors of the Lord; and shall not we, who live in the enjoyment of the means of grace, and the bounties of Providence, enable them, by our property and inäuence, to carry their generous design into efect?
Ye ministers of God, arise, and stir up your people to the most vigorous exertion! See in the blessing that accompanied the labours of this poor woman, what good may be done by the meanest instruments, if we are active in the cause of our Redeemer! Think also on the multitudes of Hottentots Jately converted by the Moravian Brethren; and turn a deaf ear to those who dare to insinuate, as an excuse for their inac, tivity, that “the Lord's time is not yet come."
ANSWER TO A HINT TO MINISTERS,
ticularly struck with a piece addressed to ministers; and