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The baptismal vow.
by which he could now be adopted into that family of God from which he had been an outcast, and restored to all the privileges of his dear child.
“ While indulging in this train of thoughts, the minister commenced, and proceeded without interruption. When the first question was put,
• • Dost thou renounce the devil, and all his works, the vain pomp and glory of the world, with all covetous desires of the same, and the sinful desires of the flesh; so that thou wilt not follow nor be led by them,' instead of a simple assent which was all that I expected from Mr. L-, I was delighted to hear him repeat in a subdued, but a very resolute tone,
“I renounce them all, and by God's help will endeavour not to follow nor be led by them.'
“When required to answer to the following,
“ • Wilt thou then obediently keep God's holy will and commandments, and walk in the same all the days of thy life?'-he closed his eyes, as if imploring strength from above for the fulfilment of this mighty requirement, then firmly replied
"I will, by God's help.'
"O how fervently did we all join in the petitions which followed, especially that the old man might be buried—that all sinful affections might die in them, and that they might have power and strength to have victory, and to triumph over all their spiritual enemies. When the water was poured on his forehead in that holy name, and he declared a member of Christ's church, the humility, penitence, and self-abasement which characterized his whole deportment, and were visible in his countenance, indicated more truly and eloquently than words, the real state of his feelings.
" Then the children, one, and another, and another came up to the table to receive the sprinkling, and the sign of the cross : and last the little babe was taken from his mother's arms and presented to the Saviour, and enlisted
under his banner. That little one has been spared all conflict! It has taken its flight before us, while we must fight our way after.
Mrs. L- - you know was deeply affected, and wept all the time.
“ As I witnessed these things I was forcibly reminded of the days of primitive Christianity, and of the first institution of baptism. I thought especially of the circle also around the apostle Paul on that memorable night, when the jailer, having heard the truth, believed and was baptized, he, and all his, straightway. O how many such sights must have delighted the eyes and encouraged the hearts of the first heralds of the gospel, when parents converted from heathenism gave themselves and their offspring to God! This family was as striking an instance of conversion as those of old, for Mr. L- was literally a heathen, his mind being wrapped in pagan darkness.
.“ At the close of the service, the minister earnestly commended them to the care and guidance of heaven, and implored that they might be enabled to walk steadfastly in that Christian course they had now commenced.
“ We left them happy-happy in God. And as we returned, I could not but reflect on that long chain of providences which had at length produced such blessed results.
6 Yours, &c."
AFTER Mr. Lewson received the ordinance of baptism, I visited him as often as my engagements would permit, and from time to time put such books into his hands as I thought would be useful to him. From all that I could discover, I felt satisfied that he was growing in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
There was one subject, however, upon which his mind was greatly exercised ; and in reference to which he was considerably agitated, until he was enabled to look at it in the light of God's truth, and then his mind again settled down into a holy calm.
I can in no way better present this subject before the reader, than by here introducing an extract from a letter, from the same pen which has already furnished us with several interesting sketches.
“ I never knew a person who regarded the Lord's supper with such reverence and holy awe as Mr. L
He had such a sense of the responsibilities resting upon those who became partakers of it, as well as the qualifications they should possess before approaching it, that when the proposal was made to him, he shrunk instinctively from it, thinking himself utterly unworthy of so high and sacred
an ordinance. • I dare not make so bold an approach to the holy Lord God as that,' said he, • lest I should incur his displeasure by my presumption.'
“ You know upon what his difficulty here was founded, and by throwing light upon that, you removed every scruple. After his conversation with you, he told me, · That was a barrier which stopped my way completely. It was like a wall which I could not pass. But when I was taught to understand it aright, it seemed as if a mountain had been removed from my mind, and the way was clear for me
forward.' The difficulty adverted to in this letter, and which existed in Mr. L- 's mind, arose from several erroneous views which he was cherishing. He was looking too much to the work of grace within him for sources of comfort, and not enough to the all-sufficient sacrifice of Christ. He had embraced the idea that no one should go to the table of the Lord, that had not arrived at great attainments in holiness -that in partaking of those holy symbols, we declared that we verily had an undoubted assurance of our acceptance and final salvation. He found within him still, evil
propensities and the remains of a corrupt nature, and thought that until these were completely extirpated he had no right to think of drawing near to that holy feast. He was informed, that one great design of this institution was to fix the believer's gaze more intensely on Christ, to prompt him to give himself up unreservedly into his hands; and also that it was a channel which the Holy Spirit would employ to convey light, and strength, and comfort to the feeble, and those who were just starting in the way of life. In short, that the Lord's supper was one of the appointed means of grace, in which the humble and contrite sinner was to draw near to God, and in which God had promised to draw nigh to him; that the most devoted followers of Christ did not presume to approach that table, trusting in their own righteousness, or feeling that they had any thing in themselves upon which to rely—that the most devoted followers of
An answer to prayer.
Christ, on every communion season, deeply felt that they
“not worthy so much as to gather up the crumbs that fell from that table”—but yet they saw they must go to Christ, or perish everlastingly. In that holy ordinance they saw most affectingly exhibited a finished salvation, in the broken and bleeding body of their Redeemer. And they went to that table to cast themselves upon his infinite sacrifice, and to declare that they had no dependance upon any thing but that precious blood, for their acceptance. He was told that the true believer drew near that table to testify his gratitude and love to the Saviour for his mercy; and that he received the symbols of that broken and bleeding body, as an expression on the part of Christ of pardon and acceptance. It was these considerations that relieved his mind and opened to him the path of duty.
“ Still,” continues Miss T-in her communication on this subject "Still from week to week he delayed. One day-surely I can never forget it--with an overflowing heart and eyes sparkling with joy, he said now. I have nothing more to wait for. I have been long praying that I might be able to say, as for me and my house we will serve the Lord. These prayers have been heard and answered; for my dear wife has come to him,devoted herself to his service, and desires with me, to seal her vows at this holy feast.'
“ I turned to her. She instantly burst into tears, saying, *0, how stupid have I hitherto been. I am astonished at the forbearance of God. How long has he borne with my rebellion ? I am ashamed and confounded when I think that my whole life has been wasted, while I have been standing unconcerned upon the brink of ruin. But now my eyes are opened. My heart has been touched-my one purpose from this time shall be to become a partaker of that precious faith which my husband enjoys.'
Notwithstanding this family had had so many proofs of the vanity and emptiness of the world, Mrs. L had not till now been completely disenchanted of the delusions and dreams of fancy. Even amid their greatest des