« AnteriorContinuar »
under a dark veil of forgetfulness, being horribly astonished and Troubled with strange apparitions : for neither miglit the corner that held them, keep them from fear; but noises as of waters falling down, sounded about them ; and sad visions appeared unto them with heavy countenances. No power of the fire could give them light--only there appeared unto them a fire kindled of itself very dreadful : for being inuch terrified, they thought the things which they saw, to be worse than the sight they saw pot-For though no terrible thing did scare them, yet being scared with beasts that passed by, and hissing of serpents, they died for fear :—for whether he were husbandman, or shepherd, or a Jabourer in the field, he was overtaken—for they were all bound with one chain of darkness. Whether it were a whistling wind—or a terrible sound of stones cast down, or a running that could not be seen, of tripping beasts; or a roaring voice of most savage wild beasts, or a rebounding echo from the hollow mountains, these things made them to swoon for fear.See Psalm lxxviii. 46.
To this description nothing need be added, except this circumstance, that the darkness with its attendant horrors lasted for three days.
AN AWFUL PROVIDENCE.
God is greatly to be feared in the Assembly of His Saints.
Ar Amsterdam, in Holland, occurred the following remarkaBle event in the 17th century. As Mr. Fleming, a pious and godly minister, was preaching on a Lord's day to his congregation, there was observed amidst the multitude three young gentlemen, whose behaviour, during divine service, was so indecorous and infamous, that it not only attracted the notice of the people, but also excited the attention of the minister, who, after a little time, reproved them in public, desiring at least that they would behave decently while under the sacred roof. tle admonition seemed rather to increase than check their misbehavior, and they most daringly offered still greater contempt to the preaching of the word which they signified by pealing oranges, cracking nuts, making wry mouths at the minister, The serious preacher was moved a second time to admonish them, at which they appeared still more enraged than before, persisting in their shameful and profane practices. He was then so impressed and shocked at their hardened behaviour, that in the midst of the discourse, he made a solemu pause. turned and looked them full in the face for some time, apparently with much agitation in his countenance, and then spoke to the three young men in the following awful and solemn manner : “I am sorry to be the author of such a dreadful, alarming message to you, and I have begged of the Lord to excuse me from it, but he will not, therefore I must not shrink from the painful duty of declaring the awful and confirmed impression on my mind. I now tell you that you have not a week longer to live in this world.”This direful sentence, proceeding from the mouth of a man, somewhat excited the doubtful apprehensions of the congregation, who thought it proceeded from precipitancy and rashness, and some of his intimate friends were of opinion, that religion would suffer reproach for it, especially if it should not prove true. The minister said, “Let the event prove the truth of it, for I am persuaded I was moved by the Spirit of God to say what I did, as prophetic of their awful end."
Monday passed, and nothing occurred: but on the Tuesday, one of the young men went on board a vessel to prosecute an intended voyage, (as had been fixed previous to the affair,) but in consequence of a violent storm that arose the ship was driven on shore, whereby this poor unhappy wretch was launched into an awful eternity. On Wednesday, another of the young men was concerned in a quarrel with some person, the issue of which was fighting a duel with swords, wherein this unhappy victem fell. On Thursday, the only surviving one was taken suddenly ill, at which he begun to be terrified, as two of his sinful companions vere already cut off. He then sent for the same minister whom he had ridiculed the preceding Sabbath. When Mr. Fleming arrived at his house, he asked the young man what he wanted him for; the young man begged he would pray with him ; when the minister requested to know what he would have him peti
tion for, the other told him, "for his life :” “ that is not in my power to do,” said he "for I am sure you will die.” Then, said he, “beg or pray for the life of my soul, if you please.". The minister so far consented as to kneel down by his bed-side, in which posture he continued for a considerable time, and then arose without speaking a word. He then said to the young man, that he found his lips so sealed that he could not utter a syllable on his behalf, and so took his leave of him, when, soon after, the young mau ched in horror and despair, which closes the sad and awful catastrophe.
In the beginning of the late Rebellion in Ireland, many of the inhabitants formed themselves into independent companies, for the defence of the country; but as they learned their military exercise on the Lord's day, Mr. Averell, a very pious minister, advised the Methodists not to unite with them. It was not the order of the government that they should thus profane the Sabbath, but only the order of the gentlemen. However, they were so deeply offended with him, that they sent him word, that he should not be protected; that what ever danger he might be exposed to, he might take the consequence, since he had given such advice to the Methodists. All his neighbours that were able fled for their lives, so that there were none left but a few very poor people, who were chiefly his tenants. He invited them all to his house, where they all lived together for some time, and had all things in common. They spent the greater part of their time in prayer and other religious exercises, and the Lord mercifully preserved them, so that none of them were hurt at all. It was strongly impressed, about this time, upon Mr. Averell's mind, to visit a certain village, about 24 miles from where he lived. He went accordingly, and when he came thither, the family where he was generally entertained were quite overjoyed to see him ; so much so, that he asked them the reason of their extraordinary joy. The good man of the house replied, because you are come to die with us, for we have received certain information that this place will be attacked by 2500 rebels this night, and we have only 36 soldiers to defend us, and therefore we rejoice that we shall all die together. Mr. Averell replied, " Then send about, and let the people know that we shall have preaching once more before we die.” They did so, and be preached as a dying man, and the people heard as for eternity, expecting that this would be the last sermon they should ever hear.
They then committed and commended each otner to the protection of God, and went to bed, but did not sleep much. They rose very early in the morning, and Mr. Fox, the master of the house, came into Mr. Averell's room, and intreated him to come down, saying, “ the poor women are all in confusion, they are so terrified.” He came down and prayed with them, and they were tolerably quiet, and patiently waited for whatever might follow. A maid servant, looking out of the window, saw one of the gentlemen yeomanry on horse-back, without the gate of the town, and soon after saw the horse without his rider ; upon this they concluded that he was killed.
In this they were not mistaken, for he was found afterwards dead, having had a hundred pikes run through his body.
There were ten young men, members of the methodist soci. ety, who went to the commanding officer, and requested him to give them arms. He cursed them, and said, that as they had refused to unite with the yeomanry, he would place them between the fire of the rebels and that of the king's soldiers, and they should all be cut off. One of them boldly replied, “Sir, you are welcome to do with us just what you please; we bless the Lord we are not afraid to die; death is no king of terrors to us; but if you think good to intrust us with arms, you may, if you please, place us in the front of the hottest battle, and we shall die fighting for our king and country.” Struck with the uncommon courage of the young men, he gave them arms, but none of the soldiers would fight in company with them, because they had not learned the regular exercise. “This, sir," said one of the young men, “ is the very thing we desire; we wish to fight alone, and to die upon the spot, if such is the will of the Lord.” The commanding officer then appointed them their station upon a certain bridge, where he believed the rebels would make their first attack, and ordered them upon the approach of the rebels to fire upon them, and then retreat into a certain house which he described.
"No, sir," said the young man, * we will not retreat; we will stand our ground, and die upon the spot.” They were placed upon the said bridge, and very soon a thick fog came on, and like a cloud covered them allover. They soon beard, but could not see the rebels, who had brought 100 Irish cars with them to carry away the plunder of the town, being quite sure of victory. When they came nearer, they set up a dreadful yell, something like the war-whoop of the Indians, and set fire to some houses, and the wind blew the smoke upon those young men, so that they were still the more hidden from the sight of the rebels. When they judged that the rebels were near enough, they fired upon them, and retiring a little, charged again, and fired a second, a third, and a fourth time, with very good effect. This stunned the rebels, as they could form no proper judgment of those who thus fired upon them. .
There was a house near the bridge occupied by a young woman, a member of the methodist society, who had sixteen young girls under her care. She kept a boarding-school. The rebels desired very much to get possession of this house : and while their commander was attempting to get in at a window, a little boy of about 14 years of age, who was in the house, fired upon the man and killed him upon the spot. The king's soldiers seeing these ten young men fight so valiantly, joined them, and the battle became general; and in about an hour and a half, the
rebels began to fly in all directions. The poor people in the house where Mr. Averell was, had shut in all the windows, such was the noise and confusion in the streets, and gave themselves wholly to prayer. One of the maids at last ventured to open a window and look out, and, clapping her hands, she cried out, “ Glory be to God! he has given us the victory! I see a soldier throwing his helmet into the air, in token of victory." They then kneeled down, and, with floods of tears, returned thanks to the Lord who had so wonderfully appeared for them.
They then expressed their concern for the young woman and the 16 girls before mentioned : and it being death for any of the men to appear in the street, the maid said, “ Send me, I am prit afraid to die ; l'll go in the name of the Lord, and see what is become of them." She set out, and made her way through the street over the dead bodies of men and horses, and found the young woman and the 16 girls, all quite safe, up in the garret. The house was between the two fires, that of the soldiers and the rebels, and consequently all the windows were broken in pieces, and the walls of the rooms within were lined with bullets which had flown in all directions, and yet the Lord had preserved the poor young woman, and all that were under her
The maid brought them through the street to the house where Mr. Averell was. They were so overcome with wonder and love, that they were hardly able to bear their excess of joy. One of the ten young men came a little after, and gave them a full account of the whole business, and informed them that the Lord had so wonderfully preserved them all, that not one of them had received the slightest wound. Only one of the society had consented to learn the manual exercise on the Lord's day, and he was mortally wounded. The young men found him, brought him to a house, and took care of him; and as he had lost a sense of the love of God, they kneeled down round his bed, and never ceased erying to God, till he gave him a clear sense of his pardoning love, and he then died peace.
An interesting historical extract_showing the tyranny of sin and
ignorance exercised over those countries where the principle of the gospel of Christ are not known.
By ADAM CLARKE, LL. D.
On the subject of vicarious punishment, or rather the case of one becoming an anathema or sacrifice for the public good, in illustration of chap. ix. 3. I shall make no apology for the