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meetness for heaven, and are prepared for a happy entrance into the port of glory. “Give all diligence to make your calling and election sure, add to your faith fortitude; and to fortitude, knowledge ; and to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love : for if ye do these
shall never fall; for so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."
“See the haven full in view !
And the moment your feet touch that shore, they will hail your arrival. Then will arise the shout of universal joy. And having dropped your anchor within the veil, you will enter an everlasting rest.
It is not every voyage that ends well. How often does the sailor get upon a lee-shore !-how often is he wrecked and lost ! And oh ! how many set out on the sea of life, and professedly sail for heaven, who never reach that blessed land—that sweet home of all the saints! How many precious souls have been lost on the shores of a dark eternity! Like a ship before the wind you are making rapid way. It is time you were taking your observations. It will not do to move on at this rate, without knowing where you are—whether you are on the right tack. If not, you are nearing a great gulph—you are in danger of being drawn into it:—and once in it, you are lost for ever. Thousands have perished in it-tens of thousands. Be resolved then to change your course, if you find you are not in a straight wake for glory. Resolve now. There is no time to delay. Now is the day of salvation. And having under the direction and command of the great Captain of salvation, safely crossed the sea of life, you will then enter that land where all is light, and loveliness, and joy for ever!
REMARKS ON PRAYER.*
I. That it is our duty and privilege to pray for the things which we need with the expectation of receiving them.
This truth is taught in such texts as the following:—He shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper, Ps. lxxii. 12. And it shall come to pass before they call I will answer ; and while they are yet speaking I will hear, Isa. Ixv. 24. If any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God, who giveth liberally to all and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him, James i. 5.
Open the new Testament and read attentively our Saviour's declarations as recorded in Matt. vii. 7-11. Luke xi. 5–13.-xviii. 1-8.
II. The scriptures also clearly teach us that the general promises above quoted, have actually been realized by those who, in a right spirit, have availed themselves of them. This truth is taught in passages
like the following :-The Lord hath heard my supplication, Ps. vi. 9. I sought the Lord and he heard me, and delivered me from all my
fears. This poor man cried and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles, Ps. xxxiv. 4–6. Open the old Testament and read the whole narrative.—2 Kings xix. 14—37. 2 Kings xix. 20—36. Then Isaiah the son of Amoz sent to Hezekiah saying, thus saith the Lord God of Israel, that which thou hast prayed to me against Sennacherib, king of Assyria, I have heard. By the way that he came, by the same shall he return, and shall not come into this city, saith the Lord.And it came to pass that night, that the angel of the Lord went out, and smote in the camp of the Assyrians an hundred four score and five thousand; and when they arose early in the morning, behold they were all dead corpses. So Sennacherib, king of Assyria departed, and went and returned, and dwelt at Nineveh.
But we are not confined to scripture for the verification of these promises. Many a christian, in every age, has known and felt that his own prayers for particular blessings have been heard and favorably answered ; and such instances in the life of a christian are numerous, just in proportion to the simplicity and uniformity with which he relies on God. A few insulated cases of this kind, might be explained on the ground of accidental coincidence; but when they occur uniformly, and through a series of years, it is contrary to all the laws of sound reasoning to explain them in this manner.
I will illustrate my 'meaning by a few well authenticated examples. Henry Young Stelling was an eminent physician in the service of the grand duke of Baden. He died in the year 1812, and consequently was well known to many persons now living. His career was an extraordinary one. By his skill as an oculist, he restored more blind persons to sight than there are miracles recorded of our blessed Saviour himself. I have been acquainted with some of his children and grandchildren, and feel no doubt of the entire accuracy of the facts about to be related. Stilling was an intimate friend of the German poet Goethe, who will not
By Calvin E. Stowe, D.D. Professor of Biblical Literature, in Lane Seminary, Cincinnatti, Ohio.—Taken from the American Biblical Repository.
be accused of credulity or superstition, and it was at Goethe's suggestion that he published the account of his own life, from which the following incidents are taken. Goethe, in his autobiography, says of Stilling, “he had a round understanding—and an enthusiasm for all that is good, right, and true, in the utmost possible purity. His course of life had been very simple, and yet had abounded with events, and a manifold activity. The element of his
energy was an impregnable faith in God, and in an assistance immediately proceeding from Him, which obviously justified itself in an uninterrupted provision, and an infallible deliverance from every distress and every evil. He had experienced numerous instances of this kind in his life, and they had recently been frequently repeated; so that, though he led a frugal life, yet it was without care and with the greatest cheerfulness ;' and he applied himself most diligently to his studies although he could not reckon on any certain subsistence from one quarter of a year to another. I urged him to write his life, and he pro ised to do so."
Such is the unequivocal testimony of Goethe, who was most intimately acquainted with him; and surely no one will say that Goethe was a man to be beguiled by religious fanaticism, especially towards the latter part of his life, when he wrote the sentences which I have just quoted.
In youth, Stilling was extremely poor, destitute of the common comforts and necessaries of life. After a long season of anxiety and prayer, he felt satisfied that it was the will of God, that he should go to a university and prepare himself for the medical profession. He did not, at first, make choice of a university, but waited for an intimation from his heavenly Father ; for as he intended to study simply from faith, he would not follow his own will in any thing. Three weeks after he had come to this determination, a friend asked him, whither he intended to go. He replied he did not know. “Oh,” said she, “our neighbour Mr. T. is going to Strasburg to spend a winter there, go with him.” This touched Suilling's heart; he felt that this was the intimation he had waited for. Meanwhile Mr. T. himself entered the room, and was heartily pleased with the proposition. The whole of his welfare now depended on his becoming a physician, and for this, a thousand dollars at least, were requisite, of which he could not tell in the whole world where to raise a hundred. He nevertheless fixed his confidence firmly on God, and reasoned as follows :--"God begins nothing without terminating it gloriously; now it is most certainly true that He alone has ordered my present circumstances entirely without my co-operation. Consequently it is also most certainly true, that he will accomplish every thing regarding me in a manner worthy of himself.” He smilingly said to his friends, who were as poor as himself—“I wonder from what quarter my heavenly Father will provide me with money.” When they expressed anxiety, he said, “ Believe assuredly that He who was able to feed a thousand people with a little bread lives still, and to him I commit myself. He will certainly find out means. Do not be anxious, the Lord will provide.”
Forty-six dollars was all that he could raise for his journey. He met unvoidable delay on the way, and while in Frankfort, three days ride from Strasburg, he had but a single dollar left. He said nothing of it to any one, but waited for the assistance of his heavenly Father. As he
was walking in the street and praying inwardly to God, he met Mr. L. a merchant from the place of his residence, who said to him—“Stilling, what brought you here?” “I am going to Strasburg to study medicine.' “ Where do you get your money to study with ?" "I have a rich Father in heaven.” Mr. L. looked steadily at him and inquired, “How much money have you on hand ?” “One dollar,” said Stilling. “So,” said Mr. L.—“well, I'm one of your Father's stewards,” and handed him thirty-three dollars. Stilling felt warm tears in his eyes.-“I am now rich enough, I want no more.” This first trial made him so courageous, that he no longer doubted that God would help him through every thing.
He had been but a short time in Strasburg, when his thirty-three dollars had again been reduced to one, on which account he began again to pray very earnestly. Just at this time, one morning, his room-mate, Mr. T-, said to him :—“ Stilling, I believe you did not bring much money with you," and offered him thirty dollars in gold, which he gladly accepted as in answer to his prayers. In a few months after this, the time arrived when he must pay the lecturer's fee, or have his name struck from the list of students. The money was to be paid by six o'clock on Thursday evening. Thursday morning came and he had no money, and no means of getting any. The day was spent
Five o'clock in the evening came, and yet there was no money. His faith began almost to fail ; he broke out into a perspiration-his face was wet with tears. Some one knocked at the door. 'Come in,” said he. It was Mr. R-, the gentleman of whom he rented the room. “ I called,” said Mr. R- " to see how you like your room?" · Thank you,” said Stilling, “ I like it very much.” Said Mr. R. - “I thought I would ask you one other question ; have you brought any money
?” Stilling now felt like Habakkuk when the angel took him by the hair of the head to carry him to Babylon.* He answered, No, I have no money ?" Mr. R— looked at him with surprise, and at length said, “ I see how it is, God has sent me to help you.” He immediately left the room, and soon returned with forty dollars in gold.
Stilling then said he felt like Daniel in the lion's den, when Habakkuk brought him his food. He threw himself on the floor and thanked God with tears. He then went to the college and paid his fee as well as the best. His whole college life was one series of just such circumstances. He was often in want of money, but he never asked man for it; for he had no man to ask; he asked God for it, and it always came when he needed it. Was he authorised to enter on a course of study with such prospects, and such expectations ? The leadings of providence were such, that he had not a shadow of doubt that it was his duty to enter on this course of study; he prayed fervently for divine guidance, and felt that he had it; he availed himself of all the lawful means in his power for the supply of his own wants—and when he had no means of his own, he asked help of God-and never failed to receive what he asked for. He became one of the most useful physicians, and one of the greatest
See history of Bel and the dragon in the Apocrypha, verses 33–39
benefactors to the poor
that the world has ever seen. He restored sight during his life, to nearly five thousand blind people, most of whom were very poor, and unable to render him any pecuniary reward.
What stronger proof can we have that God was his guide ? Let us take a series of events of the same kind from the life of another person who lived a century previous, and was of a calling and character quite different from that of Stilling. Augustus Herman Franke was a parish minister in the city of Halle, with a small salary, barely sufficient for his own support, and no property except his books. He was a man of cool deliberate judgment and extensive learning, and was benevolent on principle rather than impulse. His heart was affected with a view of the wretched condition of the children of the uneducated poor, in Halle, and was determined to do something for their relief. In process of time he had a large orphan establishment, containing between three and four hundred children, entirely dependent on his exertions for their education, their clothing, and their daily food. His means of course were continually running short, and he had no other resource than prayer to God.
This was a resource which never failed. Hear his own testimony, as it has been confirmed by thousands of witnesses : In the month of April, 1696, our funds were exhausted, and I knew not where to look for the necessary supplies for the next week. This caused me great distress; when some person, who is yet unknown to me, put into my hands a thousand dollars for the orphans. At another time when our stores were exhausted, we laid our case before the Lord, and had scarcely finished our prayer, when there was a knock at my door and a letter was handed in with fifty dollars in gold; twenty dollars soon after came, which completely supplied our wants, and we were taught that God will often hear prayer almost before it is offered. In the month of October, 1698, I sent a ducat to a poor and afflicted woman, who wrote me that it came to hand at a time when she greatly needed it, and she prayed God to give my poor orphans a heap of ducats for it. Soon after, I received from one friend two ducats; from another twenty-five; from two others fortythree; and from prince Paul of Wertemburg five hundred. When I saw all this money on the table before me, I could not but think of the prayer of the poor woman, and how literally it had been fulfilled. In February, 1699, I was almost entirely without funds, though much was needed for the daily wants of the children and other poor. In this state of difficulty, I comforted myself with the promise of the Lord Jesus :
Seek ye first the kingdom,' &c. When I had given out the last of our money, I prayed to the Lord. As I left my room to go into the college, I found a student waiting for me, who put 70 dollars into my hands. Soon afterwards, we were in the greatest want, but I trusted in the Lord and determined to go to my closet and spread my wants before him. I arose to go to my closet, and while on my way, a letter was put into my hands from a merchant, informing me that he had received a cheque for a thousand dollars, to be paid me for the orphan house. How forcibly did I feel the truth of the promise, “Before they call I will answer, and while they are yet speaking I will hear.'
I had now no reason to ask for assistance, but I went to my closet and praised the Lord for his goodness. At another time the superin