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The attention of all who love our Lord Jesus Christ, is earnestly solicited to the plan here presented. May it not be hoped, that every one into whose hands it may come, will at least give it a hearty trial? Will the Redeemer's kingdom ever come, until his people, with humble, fervent, and united supplications, prostrate their souls before the eternal throne? Why lingers the work of salvation so long? Why do such numbers perish from among ourselves? and why do the heathen continue to go down to ruin, in countless multitudes? Alas! PRAYER IS WANTING; humble, believing, united, persevering, prayer. This is the means which secures efficacy to all other means—the mighty power to set every vehicle in motion.
The Lord has promised, that his glory shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. Beloved Christian friends, do we desire to see this glory? Then let agonizing supplication ascend for the upbuilding of Zion. (
(Psalm 102: 16.) Let our whole souls be engaged in the work. Cherishing the deepest sense of our weakness and entire dependence, let us humbly plead with God, remembering and believing, that “ he will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer." Do we desire our own prosperity? It is written, “ Pray for the peace of Jerusalem. They shall prosper that love thee.”
With regard to the selection of subjects, the propriety of assigning the duties and privileges of the Sabbath to that day, will be obvious to all. How would the hands and the hearts of our spiritual teachers then be strengthened! The subject for Monday was selected on account of its coincidence with the monthly concerts;—that for Saturday, because it is the Jewish Sabbath, the day when they still assemble to worship, to read the law and the prophets, and to bewail their desolations;-and that for Tuesday, because the American Education Society have established a monthly concert of prayer, to be observed by their beneficiaries this day, and some ecclesiastical and ininisterial bodies have recommended this concert to the churches. There is no reason for the assignment of the three remaining subjects to their particular days. They should, however, hold a prominent place in our supplications. The present situation of " our country loudly calls for humiliation and prayer. The “ rising generation” is a subject interesting to parents, teachers, and indeed to almost every one in the community.
Christians must awake to their duties and their responsibilities, or the world can never be evangelized; and that this may be effected, the "
watchmen, must be endowed with power from on high.
The three subjects last mentioned, are rendered more interesting by their connection with our Saviour's injunction, “ Pray ye, therefore, the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth laborers into his harvest.” A great multitude of our youth must be excited to hear the voice of the Lord, saying, si Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” and the churches must be aroused to qualify and employ them. Prayer with corresponding effort will accomplish all this.
pastors,” the "
If this plan for uniting the supplications of the children of God, should be found inefficient upon trial, will not every Christian endeavor to devise a better?
It should be observed, that this concert is designed either for secret or family devotion, or both, and is not restricted to any particular hour
EFFICACY OF PRAYER EXEMPLIFIED. We have been repeatedly requested by various Christian friends, to reprint the following article, from the Quarterly Christian Spectator. It was believed that the knowledge of so remarkable a case would be adapted to do great good, and encourage many trembling believers to make more effectual trial of the efficacy of prayer. We have found it necessary to omit some parts of the original article, but every thing es. sential to the case, and the great lesson it teaches, is retained.
If this narrative shall prove instrumental in guiding one soul on the way to heaven, if it shall diffuse over the visage of the tempted and disconsolate Christian one solitary ray of a brighter hour, and lead him to a more strenuous effort, to escape from thraldom and gloom, we shall not have labored in vain. If, by pointing out the error, we should prevent a single individual from its repetition, it will ever be a matter of thankfulness to the writer, that these facts have come to his knowledge, and that he has had the privilege of recording them. The subject of this sketch now sleeps in the burial-ground of her native village, far away from the scene of her labors and her brightest joys; but her memory lives in the heart of many a Christian friend, and of converts who have risen up to call her blessed. On the tablet which marks the spot where her body moulders, are inscribed two passages, oft repeated by her, as summing up the ground of her trust, and the assurance of her felicity. • I know that my Redeemer liveth.'—' To die is gain.' Her spirit has entered, we trust, upon the full fruition of those brighter thoughts, and purer joys, of which she was granted so large a foretaste here; and where, after passing through great tribulation, sanctified and blessed, she joins in the song, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain.'
From her earliest childhood, she was noticed for an uncommon loveliness of disposition, accompanied by great delicacy and feminine reserve. She had an intellect of a superior order, and a sensibility which fitted her to sympathize largely in the joys and sorrows of others, as well as most keenly to feel her own. Her youthful days were spent, as usual, with persons of her rank, in adding to her natural accomplishments, those of literature, science, and the elegant arts. At the age of eighteen, she became anxious respecting the state of her soul; and her convictions of sin were, for a time, pungent, and even overwhelming. At her first awakening, which happened without the use of any extraordinary means, she was not aware of the real cause of her distress, attrib
uting it to some change in her state of health. As she obtained clearer views of her character and condition by nature, she became more distressed, till she was reduced, at times, to a state of absolute despair. But her feelings, at this period, will be best learned from the description of her spiritual guide, as given in his own words. After mentioning her anxiety on account of wicked and blasphemous thoughts, he proceeds, -"She remained several days in this state of deep distress. I had never before seen, nor have I ever seen since, what appeared to me such deep, pungent, overwhelming conviction of sin, as she exhibited during that time. There seemed to be a bitterness and agony of spirit, beyond the power of language to express. I recollect once, while I was urging her to come to the Saviour, she looked upon me with an earnestness of expression that I can never forget, and said, 'How shall I come? O tell me how!' At length, there seemed to be a change in her feelings; not a sudden transition to light, but a softening of heart, a yielding to the claims of the Saviour, a calmness of spirit, which indicated submission. Among the evidences of this, I recollect her saying that the penitential hymn, beginning,
“O that my load of sin was gone,
O that I could, at last, submii,” &c. expressed better than she could do in her own larguage, what she felt. After this, as I saw her from day to day, she appeared to me to exhibit increasing evidence of having become a new creature in Christ Jesus. About this time, her tenderness of conscience was such, that she requested some of the family to remove a novel, or book not of a religious character, which happened to lie upon the Bible. When she rode out, she took Doddridge's Rise and Progress with her, as a sort of guard against the intrusions of the world. In conversation, she never expressed strong hope or confidence that she was a Christian; but she seemed to me to give the most satisfactory evidence, that such was her character. During a journey, Mrs. remarked, and I fully concurred with her, that A. exbibited, in a happy manner, the Christian graces. She appeared calm, peaceful, and consistent. I knew her fine talents and her capacities of usefulness; and rejoiced over her in the anticipation that she would soon become a burning and shining light in the church.”
The anticipations of her respected pastor, however, were not immediately realized. The placid calm was over, and she became the subject of settled despondency, and even despair. Her hope was gone, or remained only as a flickering ray in the midst of darkness and gloom. This change, as will be seen hereafter in some extracts from her own writings, she attributed to a rejection of the evidence which God had given her, of her interest in Christ. Connected with this, there was probably a disordered state of the system, which brought on severe illness. It is not our purpose to trace her progress through the period of despondency which followed, or to depict the mental anguish which, at times, she suffered. She ever retained a vivid recollection of the whole, and would
describe her bitterness of soul in the most thrilling language. For thirteen years, she felt the withdrawal of the light of God's countenance, and her spirit withered in doubt and darkness. The incidents of these years were many and varied, and served to display her character more and more clearly; confirmning others in the belief, that she had a right to hope, and yet strengthening her ow
wa conviction, that she had nothing left her but despair. The word of God, which she had before Joved, she could read with little or no delight. Still, she found it more agreeable than any other book. To her, however, it was a volume sealed; or, when she read it, the veil was upon her eyes: there were promises, she knew, but they did not reach her case. She had become familiar with its pages, and evinced a wonderful readiness and ingenuity, in gathering from it and applying to herself every condemnátory passage, while the heart-cheering promises of the Gospel were turned aside, as having no application to her case. Owing to her peculiar situation, she was at times much troubled with doubt, respecting some of the essential doctrines of revealed truth. She was extremely reluctant, however, to disclose her feelings to her pastor or her pious friends. Even her mother, though sharing her entire confidence on every other subject, could gain no access to a knowledge of her religious feelings; and so tenacious was she in this particular, that she forbade her mentioning to any one that she had ever cherished a hope in Christ. Prayer, to her, was comparatively irksome. There seemed to be no heart in her devotion; and she could not, without perpetual wandering of thought, find words in which to breathe forth her desires. Accordingly, at intervals, she either wholly or partially neglected this duty. She always listened to religious conversation, and attended upon the preaching of the word, with apparent interest, but complained of habitual languor, heartlessness, and a listless state of mind. Her heart she often compared to a rock, and reproached herself with insensibility, at the moment when it was evident to those around her, that she was full of affection and tenderness. The amusements of the world, as might naturally be expected, had lost their charms for her, and her greatest and almost only enjoyment was in her friends and her home. During this period, she was frequently advised by her pastor and other Christian friends, to make a profession of religion, in the hope that she might find peace in performing this duty, from which she unhappily shrunk when she first trusted in Christ. But all their solicitations were in vain; and it ought here to be recorded, for the instruction of young converts, that her unhappy state of mind, though greatly aggravated, no doubt, by bodily disease, is to be traced, in part, to her not having come forward publicly, at an early period, and declared herself on the Lord's side. While too much haste on this subject is certainly to be deprecated, too much delay, it should be remembered, is very often followed by distressing doubts, and long-continued spiritual desertion.
It was remarkable during this protracted despondency, that the more she could be induced to forget her own case, and enter upon the active duties of life, the more she seemed to rise into the
region of enjoyment and hope. This was exemplified, in one inet stance, in her devoting herself to the care and education of her
sister's child, who bore her own name, and in whose welfare she felt a lively interest. 'Such was also the course prescribed to her by a venerated Christian friend, with whom she resided for a considerable time, and who then had her confidence, as to her spiritual state, more than any other person.
Some years after this time, she became connected in marriage with a minister of the Gospel. He had marked the superiority of her intellect, had deeply felt for her soul, and, with a firm conviction that the only relief for her despondency, was to call into action her feelings, purposes, and efforts, he solicited her hand. One great inducement to her forming this connection, as she frequently said, was the hope that it might subserve her spiritual good. Yet she trembled, and almost shrunk back, at the idea of assuming the responsibilities which rest on the wife of a preacher of the Gospel.
In entering on her new relations in life, she found a broad and une tried sphere of action opening before her. With a delicate con
scientiousness, in view of her new duties, she most painfully felt and
lamented her deficiencies. She had naturally a very strong sense bel
of what was right and wrong in conduct, and more than any thing else, under her change of circumstances, she dreaded self-deception. She could not bear disguise, and her feelings, whether of happiness or sorrow, were most legibly imprinted on her countenance. Never has the writer seen a face which told so perfectly every varied emotion of the heart; on which was written, in the changing circumstances of life, such bitter anguish or such heartfelt delight. Her natural timidity, in connection with her want of spiritual enjoyment, prevented her from assuming, at once, the part which her new situation demanded. In the Sunday school she was indeed a teacher,
and in the domestic and social circle she contributed all her efforts ed.
to make others happy. In societies for benevolent effort, she lent als
her ready aid. She was ever pro to obey the call of charity, d.
and deemed it a privilege to participate with others in relieving
distress. The best her house afforded, any little delicacy which
might soothe the pain, or awaken the appetite of the sick, was sent or carried to minister to their wants. In all these things there was no failure; but to administer spiritual comfort, to pray beside the
bed of disease, to guide the devotions or enliven the hearts of others, -Y
by a free communication of her feelings, demanded an effort which she could not make. With tears in her eyes would she again and again confess her unfitness for her place, and long that she night
be better qualified, by the Spirit of God, for the discharge of her id
duty. She was affectionate, kind, respected, and beloved; but this d
was not enough,-she wished for the light of God's countenance, and she wished, above all, to be useful. A few months after her marriage, she ventured to make a public profession of her faith in