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had made woman, He brought her to the man as His last and best gift ;” and this he followed up by expatiating on the conjugal alliance as the strongest image of Christ's union with the church. The practical passages abounded in plain, good counsel, -of which a copious outline has been preserved: but it is worth remarking, that much longer space was taken for the discussion of the husband's duty than of the wife's; and that a very free exposition was given to the clause requiring that the wife should " reverence her husband.” In conclusion, Mr. Butterfield remonstrated with those who would say he had been “preaching a sermon for one couple in particular;" and bid all the people “go bome and pray to God” for grace to discharge their respective obligations.
On entering her new sphere, Mrs. P. made a transition from the quiet of a retired home to the bustle of business. Family cares and afflictions henceforth called for the exercise of another class of Christian graces, and furnished opportunity for acting upon the advice left her in the " Memorial” written by Charles Perronet. But her faith continued strong, her hope bright, and her love abounding. *
(To be concluded.)
LAST DAYS OF THE REV. GEORGE MARSDEN.
For several months, the health of this venerable man had been gradually failing. But the wish of his heart was gratified, and he “ceased at once to work and live.” His last sermon was preached within fifteen days of his death. On Sunday, May 9th, his appointment was at Hadfield,- the place of his own residence. He had then become extremely feeble ; yet he was most unwilling to relinquish tbe work allotted to him, and it was not until the last moment that he yielded to the urgent entreaties of his friends, and consented that a supply should be provided for him. On Tuesday evening, the Ilth, he conducted the meeting of bis class, with even more than his usual earnestness and energy. Power from on high descended in answer to his prayer, and the unction of the Holy One seemed to pervade every heart. Mr. Marsden's testimony with respect to his own experience was uncommonly clear and unfaltering. He spoke of his strong confidence in God, of the perfect peace in which his mind
* The latter part of her domestic story was darkened by Mr. Parnell's severe affliction January 23d, 1833, the new-made widow writes :-“ On this day departed my dear husband. He followed the Lord fully, and adorned the doctrine of God his Saviour. There are but few dwellings of poverty and sickness in this city that he did not visit. He denied himself, to assist others. He preached the Gospel for upwards of fifty years, and was highly esteemed by the pious of every denomination." Mrs. Parnell often remarked, that she believed her husband to be a living witness of that entire sanctification which his creed had taught him to regard as not attainable on earth,
had lately been kept, and of his humble reliance on his dying Saviour. He referred, with deep feeling, to the death of an aged member of the class, which had occurred somewhat suddenly during the preceding week; and, while speaking of the glory into which he doubted not that this old pilgrim had entered, he alluded to the sure and steadfast hope with which he himself calmly waited until his summons also should come. During the last hymn, his strength failed him, and he sunk down exhausted. After awhile, he rallied, but only for a short space. He ascended the stairs of his dwelling with much difficulty, and not without considerable help. As he continued long at his private devotions, his faithful servant entered the room, and found him insensible. He had fainted on his knees. He was now placed in bed; but from this seizure, under the pressure of which it was thought that the spirit had already fled, he never fully recovered. On Wednesday and Thursday, however, his disease appeared, in some measure, to give way to medical treatment. He conversed cheerfully with his niece, Mrs. Gibson, and with his nephew, whom he occasionally requested to read to him, sometimes choosing a favourite psalm, and at other times asking for a few pages of Dr. Etheridge's “Life of Dr. Clarke.” He frequently interrupted the reader by interposing some apposite remark, or some question, intended to draw forth the opinion of his friends. (It may be noted, that the last subject on which he had pondered, previously to his illness, was the extent to which intercourse with the unseen world is permitted to the inhabitants of earth. The subject had always been a favourite one with him, and had recently been brought prominently before him by some passages in the Life of Dr. Clarke.)—Toward the evening of Thursday, fever came rapidly on, and his mind began to wander. During the night he was very restless, and his mind wandered continually. Sometimes he imagined himself in the pulpit, sometimes on the platform, sometimes on the road; but always about bis Master's business. He remained incoherent, and for the most part unconscious, during the whole of Friday. As night approached, the fever abated. But his strength was greatly reduced, and on Saturday he spoke but little. That little was, however, amply sufficient to satisfy the minds of all around him, that to him “ to live " was “ Christ,” and “to die” would indeed be “gain." It was evident that his mind dwelt exclusively on heavenly things. All was tranquil and serene. It was not until Saturday that his kivd and watchful medical attendant felt really apprehensive as to the termination of his illness. He was then requested to elicit Mr. Marsden's own opinion as to the result. In reply to the question whether he himself thought he should recover, Mr. Marsden answered with a quiet simplicity and calmness never to be forgotten, “I really cannot tell : I leave all that to my God.” To the same effect were his expressions throughout the day. “I rely with confidence,” he said, “on the mercy of my God, and the love of my dying Redeemer.” “All believers here are heirs of glory.” “ All sorrow and sighing
shall soon be passed away for ever.” “While we live, may we live to Him, and then meet in glory, for the Redeemer's sake.” Lord's redeemed their heads shall raise.". “ You are happy, Sir,” said his servant Edward, at one time. He replied,
He replied, “Yes ! yes ! happy in God, and in my precious Saviour. He is very precious. My dying Saviour !” He continued in the same happy state through Saturday night and Sunday, though the strength of nature was now rapidly departing. His lips were often moving, as in prayer. To the remark, “You find God to be faithful to His promises,” he replied, “ Yes; very faithful, truly faithful.” During the night, he repeated the words, “Coming! coming !-glory! glory!”
At another time, "Pardon-peace-happiness-glory-through Christ my Saviour !” A heavenly influence seemed to pervade the room where he lay. The atmosphere, to those around him, partook of a hallowed character. Addressing his nephew, the Rev. William B. Marsden, of Chester, (to whom the writer of this notice is indebted for some of his recollections of his revered uncle's last hours,) he said, “Preach Christ ! O, preach Christ crucified, as the Saviour of sinners, to a ruined world.” He sent a similar charge to his other vephews who are in the ministry. He was much delighted with the hymn, “ Jesu, Lover of my soul,” which, at his request, Mrs. Gibson read
At one time, he repeatedly murmured the word “refuge." Mrs. Gibson recited the verse, –
“ Other refuge have I none;
Hangs my helpless soul on Thee." “Yes,” he eagerly replied, “That is it. Thank you, my dear." The last time he prayed audibly was in the morning of the Sunday on which he died. “He desired,” says Mrs. Gibson, “ that the family should assemble around his bed. A chapter was read. And then, to our astonishment, he raised his voice with the strength and energy of former days, and solemnly commended himself, and all dear to him, to the care and love of his God. This prayer we can never forget.” As far as could be discerned, Satan had no power to tempt or buffet him. His confidence remained unshaken to the end. “ • My prospect," he repeated, “is bright for glory.” The last chapter which he heard read was the twenty-second of the Revelation. At the end of the twentieth verse, “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus," -- he said something which was inaudible. At about eight o'clock, the Rev. Charles Nightingale prayed by bim, earnestly and affectionately. He was then passing through the waters, but his Saviour was with him; and through the rivers, but they did not overflow him. At twenty minutes past ten o'clock, on Sunday night, May 16th, he entered, without a struggle, into the “rest” which “remaineth to the people of God,” aged eighty-five years, and in the sixty-fifth year of his ministry.
“ I WILL BE AS THE DEW UNTO ISRAEL."
SUBSTANCE OF A SERMON
BY THE LATE REV. JOHN RIGS.
“I will be as the dew unto Israel : he shall grow as the lily, and cast forth his roots as Lebanon. His branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon. They that dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine : the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon.” (Hosea xiv. 5–7.)
The history of the Jewish people is full of the most important instruction ; and, when studied with attention and prayer, it yields not only high intellectual gratifications, but also great moral and religious improvement. The privileges conferred upon the seed of Abraham were inestimably superior to those bestowed on any other branch of the human family. To them “pertained the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises:" theirs were “the fathers ;” and of them “ cerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever.” But these privileges they knew not how to value. They were “a sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evil-doers, children that were corrupters.” “ They have forsaken the Lord,” says Isaiah in the opening of his prophecy, “ they have provoked the Holy One of Israel to anger, they are gone away backward.” The commission of great national sins was followed (as it ever must be, under the government of a just and holy God) by the infliction of severe national punishment. Their “country” was left “desolate.” Their “land,” which had been like Eden, “strangers devoured it in their presence.
“And the daughter of Zion" was "left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city.” They were “as an oak whose leaf fadeth, and as a garden that hath no water.” God sold them into the hands of their enemies. They were led to Babylon in chains ; and for seventy years they groaned and writhed under the iron foot of the oppressor. After this their temple was plundered and polluted, and their blood poured out like water, by Antiochus Epiphanes,-one of the most dreadful scourges that the God of vengeance ever employed for the chastisement of a guilty people. During the brief but brilliant career of the Maccabees, Judæa was victorious over all her enemies, and shope out like the sun when his glorious orb has long been obscured by dark clouds and unwholesome vapours. But this short gleam of surpassing splendour was followed by a total eclipse ; and thick darkness, darkness wbich
be felt, still lours over those who closed their eyes upon" the Light of the world,” “the Day-spring from on high." Pompey, the ambitious but unsuccessful rival of Cæsar, threw around them those chains which it was the pride and the business of Rome to forge against the liberty of the world. These chains they dragged
for years, still watching with the most impassioned eagerness for an opportunity to snap them asunder, and break the giant arm by which they had been riveted. Convulsive efforts to effect this led to their final overthrow. As they bad rejected the Son of God, He rejected them, and sent the armies of the mighty to desolate, but not to exterminate, sinful people ; to prune, but not to uproot, a tree which had been fruitful only in bitterness and poison.
From that day down to the present, the Jews have been—what their inspired lawgiver foretold they should be—"an astonishment, a proverb, and a by-word,” in all the countries whither the Lord their God has driven them. And such they will continue “ until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in,” and then “all Israel shall be saved."
At present, the people resemble their country, uncultivated, unproductive, dreary, desolate, trodden down by the hoof of the war-horse, and the feet of the stranger and the robber. The land mourns the loss of those who peopled its cities, towns, and villages, and cultivated its fruitful hills, and its rich and beautiful valleys. But solitude, desolation, and death shall not continue for ever. The land shall again be pruned and digged. Israel shall not always be forgotten. "The glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon.” God “will be as the dew unto Israel ;” and the result will be growth, beauty, fragrance, and abounding fruitfulness.
But, though the words of the text refer to the Jewish people, they are equally applicable to the church of God in every age. In this light we may now seasonably consider them; and they will direct our thoughts to the cause and the results of a revival of religion, and the means to be employed in order to secure them.
I. The cause of a revival of spiritual religion. “I will be as the dew unto Israel.”—The influences of the Holy Spirit are not compared to the roaring wind, the bursting torrent, the pealing thunder, the sweeping deluge, or even to the teeming shower. These mighty agencies produce important, and often beneficent, results. The thunder, the storm, and the torrent, agitate and purify the atmosphere; sweep the soil from the tops and sides of hills, where it is of little value, and spread it over the valley and the plain, where it becomes highly productive. The flood, sweeping onward with resistless force, deposits throughout its course the seeds of useful vegetation, and often confers lasting advantage at the expense of mom
mentary mischief. But to these the Prophet refers not in the text. He fixes our attention upon the soft and silent dew, which steals to the earth as if it were afraid of drawing our attention to the incalculable benefits it brings. The beautiful language may teach,
1. That the influences of the Holy Spirit are imperceptible.
It is not affirmed, not even intimated, that these influences are unperceived by those to whom they are vouchsafed. This opinion is not only opposed to the teaching of holy writ, but it is in a very high degree absurd and dangerous. The mode of the Spirit's influence cannot be explained; but the reality is perceived by