Εικόνες σελίδας
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση


many; and unto them that look for him, he shall appear a second time without sin unto salvation." Heb. ix. 27, 28.


In one of the huts of this place I found a sick man, who had been most miraculously preserved from the jaws of a lion, two or three weeks before my visit. While sitting by his side, he furnished me with the following particulars:—

Accompanied by several other individuals, he went out one morning on a hunting excursion; and on coming to an extensive plain, beyond the precincts of the colony, where there was abundance of game, they discovered a number of lions, which were disturbed by their approach. A male lion instantly separated himself from the troop, and began slowly to advance towards the party; most of whom were young, and altogether unaccustomed to rencounters of so formidable a nature. While droves of timid antelopes only came in their way, they were all brave fellows, and boasted loudly of their courage, but this completely failed, and the young Nimrods began to quake, when the monarch of the desert appeared. Nevertheless, while the animal was yet at a distance, they all dismounted, and, according to custom on such occasions, began tying their horses together, with the view of keeping them between themselves and the beast, until they could take deliberate aim at him; his movements, however, were too quick, and before the horses were properly fastened, the lion made a tremendous bound or two, which suddenly brought him down on the hind parts of one of them. Being hereby startled, they instantly plunged forward, and knocked down the poor man in question : over him went the horses, and off ran his comrades at full speed: he arose from the ground as quickly as possible, but, on perceiving him stand up, the animal turned around, and with a seeming consciousness of his superior power, stretched forth his paw, and, by a single stroke on the back part of the neck, laid him prostrate again. He had but just time to roll on to his back, before the lion set his foot upon his breast, and lay regularly down at full length upon him. He now became almost breathless, partly from fear, but principally, from the intolerable pressure of his terrific load. In order to get breath, he endeavoured to move himself a little, upon which the lion instantly laid hold of his right arm, just below the elbow, and bit it in several places down to the hand, in the thick part of which its teeth seemed to have completely met. All this time, however, it does not seem to have been at all fierce, but merely caught at his prey, as a cat would sport with a mouse half dead. In this dreadful situation he remained for a considerable time, writhing in pain, gasping for breath, and momentarily expecting to be torn limb from limb. On raising his head a little, the creature opened his mouth to receive it, but providentially lost its hold, in consequence of the hat slipping off the points of the teeth: a slight wound only therefore was made; thus mercifully was he prevented from having his head crushed to pieces. The lion then placed his paw upon his arm, from which the blood was flowing, and the purple stream soon covered it. This the lion again and again licked clean, and then fixing his flaming eye on that of the man, now smelt on one side of the face, and then on the other, and appeared to be only awaiting the inducement of voracity wholly to devour his hapless prey. "At this critical moment," said the poor fellow, "I recollected having somewhere heard, that there was a God on high, who was able to deliver at the last extremity; I therefore began to pray, that He would prevent the lion from eating my flesh, and drinking my blood. While engaged in this act of devotion, the beast turned completely round, placing the head towards his feet, and his tail over his face: this induced hope in the mind of the sufferer, that he might now possibly rid himself of his load; and under this impression he made an effort, which was no sooner discovered than checked, by a terrible bite in the right thigh. He again lifted up his voice to the Almighty for help; nor did he pray in vain. The lion, without being disturbed in any way, soon afterwards gave up his hold: calmly rising from his seat, he deliberately walked off 1838.] WATCH AND PRAY. 29

to the distance of 30 or 40 paces, and then lay down in the grass, whence, after watching the Hottentots for some time he finally took his departure, and was seen no more. The man now arose, and crawling off in the best manner he was able, at length obtained the aid of his cowardly companions, who set him upon one of their horses, and brought him to the place where I found him.

Dr. G., son of the Rev. John Gantler, a military surgeon at one of the neighbouring stations, hearing of the case, hastened to his relief, and very humanely rendered all needful assistance. On first seeing him, amputation (cutting off) of the arm was thought absolutely necessary, but to that the patient would not consent;" for," said he, "as the Almighty had delivered me from a death so dreadful, I thought He was surely able to save my arm also." At the time of my visit, several of his wounds were already healed, and there was every prospect of a complete restoration. Sent by C. R.


This advice belongs to us, particularly, at the beginning of a New Year. If we always lived by this rule, it would signify very little when we were called upon to depart from this world.—" Watch and pray."—Yes, my readers, if we are found so doing, we are prepared for our Lord's coming To "watch," means to be on our guard, to be thoughtful, to be considerate, to guard our acts that they may not be contrary to the commands of God; to watch our thoughts, that they may be pure and holy; to watch our tempers, that they may be such as becomes those who would be followers of their Saviour, who was meek and lowly in heart, who laid aside his heavenly glory for a time, and humbled himself to the lowest condition in this world, and submitted patiently to every persecution that his enemies could invent,—and all for us. He endured, at length, the death of the cross for us, that we might be delivered from the punishment which our sins justly deserved. When we think of the sufferings of our blessed Saviour, we are urged to watch, and consider, and examine ourselves, as to the effect that the consideration of this has produced on our hearts and feelings. How is our faith on this point? Do we feel, that, if Christ suffered so much for us, here is a gracious, and blessed, and merciful proof of his love to us:—love to us, yes, even when we were sinners against Him, even whilst we were His enemies. And do we feel how much we owe to Him? Do we love Him, who so loved us? And is our faith in Him such that we can rest our whole trust and confidence in Him? Watch, my readers; we know not how soon we may be called away. It may be this day. But, whenever it may be, if we are found resting wholly on our blessed Saviour's merits, and leaning, as it were, wholly on Him, then we are safe. But though nothing can save us but Christ's merits, nothing else reconcile us to God, and make us acceptable in His sight, we are still to watch our conduct; for He who lives in opposition to the known will of God, cannot be one of Christ's people. He whose heart is not turned to the love of God by the converting power of the Spirit of God, cannot be right as to faith, or in a state of acceptance with God. "Take heed then, watch and pray." It is not enough to " watch." Our Lord tells us also to " pray." We cannot indeed " watch" as we ought to do unless we "pray." To watch the conduct faithfully, fairly, effectually, implies that God's Spirit is working within us: and it is prayer that brings the Spirit's help, and that continues it to us. The word of God tells us, that " there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus." How blessed a thought, how full of comfort to the true believer! But the character of the believer is marked by the same Apostle, immediately after the declaration of His deliverance from condemnation. Those who are in Christ Jesus are they " who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." Be ever, then, in a watchful state of mind, and give yourselves much unto prayer. Your wants, your necessities, your trials in this life require this: your preparation for the world to come absolutely demands it. "Ye know not when the time is," we none of us know. It is not needful that we should know. What is needful we do know. We know that we are to watch, to pray, and to be ready. Some of you, my readers, have already past 1838.] WATCH AND PRAY. 31

the age of man, three score years and ten. But are you ready? Are you, in faith, looking for the coming of your Saviour? Are you able to put your trust in Him, as " a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, satisfaction, and oblation for your sins?" He is this: but can you, and do you, so receive Him? You must meet Him soon: He is coming to be your Judge. But is your faith in Him, and your trust in Him, and your love for Him, such, that you can believe all the terrors of the Judge removed, and no longer dread Him as one mighty to punish, but look upon Him and love Him, as one mighty to save? Whatever longer time may be allowed you upon earth, give that time to God: "look unto Jesus ;" live to Him. Continue to watch and to pray. Pray still for forgiving mercy: pray still for strengthening grace. But our blessed Lord speaks not only to the aged, but to all. "What I say unto you, I say unto all, Watch." This call is addressed to the young, as well as to the old; it applies to all ages. We know not when our Lord will come. How blessed are they who are found watching, who are so living, that, when they are called away, they are only called to remove their dwelling place, and to live henceforth with their heavenly Father whom they have loved on earth, and in whose service they have delighted. Their blessed Saviour has prepared a place for them, and where He is, they will be also,—and that for ever. They have loved, on earth, that which God loveth, and they have lived to His service; and that service has been to them perfect freedom, it has been their happiness and their delight. They are indeed prepared to " enter into the joy of their Lord:" they are prepared by God's own Spirit. And the service which they have loved upon earth will be continued to them: it is no new service to them, but it is then unmixed with infirmity and sin, and undisturbed by temptation. How glorious, how blessed is this heavenly state to those who have loved the service of God! For those who have loved to praise Him upon earth, blessed indeed will it be to praise Him for ever in heaven. But this would be no joy to the ungodly. We must be fitted for the happiness of heaven before we

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »