1(1)r

Meditations:
From the Pen of
Mrs. Maria W. Stewart


Presented to the
First African Baptist Church and Society,
in the city of Boston.


Boston:
Printed by Garrison and Knapp.
18321832.

1(1)v 1(2)r

Introduction.

“Tell me no more of earthly toys, Of sensual mirth and carnal joys, For these are trifling things.”

Once more I am about to make a feeble effort,
in presenting the meditations of my heart before my
friends and the public. I am sensible that my writings
show forth the want of knowledge, and that they
are scarce worthy of a perusal. But as I have said
before, I say again, such knowledge as God giveth
to me, I impart to you.

The author has, as it were, upon the one hand,
basked in the sunshine of prosperity; and, on the
other, she has drunk deep in the cup of sorrow.

Never did I realize, till I was forced to, that it was
from God I derived every earthly blessing, and that
it was God who had a right to take them away. I
found it almost impossible to say, “Thy will be done.”
It is now one year since Christ first spoke peace to
my troubled soul. Soon after I presented myself before
the Lord in the holy ordinance of baptism, my
soul became filled with holy meditations and sublime
ideas; and my ardent wish and desire have ever 1(2)v iv
been, that I might become a humble instrument in the
hands of God, of winning some poor souls to Christ.
Though I am sensible that “Paul may plant, and Apollos
water, but that God alone giveth the increase,”

through Christ strengthening me I can do all things:
without him I can do nothing.

It appears to me that “because sin abounds, the love
of many has waxed cold;”
and I cannot believe that
God would have so long withheld the divine influences
of his Holy Spirit from this people, had the professing
followers of Christ more faithfully defended
the cause of their blessed Lord and Master; for he
has said that he will be “inquired of by the house of
Israel”
, to do those things for them that they need. I
have borrowed much of my language from the holy
Bible. During the years of childhood and youth, it
was the book that I mostly studied; and now, while
my hands are toiling for their daily sustenance, my
heart is most generally meditating upon its divine
truths. I am more and more convinced that the cause
of Christ will never be built up, Satan’s kingdom will
never be destroyed, the chains of slavery and ignorance
will never burst, and morality and virtue will
never flourish, till pure and holy examples are set at
home, and the professing followers of Christ arise
and shine forth, and prove to the world that there is
a reality in religion, and a beauty in the fear of the
Lord.

1(3)r

Meditations.

Meditation I.

My Friends:—I have been sorely troubled in
my mind: and why? It is because I have seen that
many, who have professed the name of Christ, are
not careful to discharge their duty faithfully to their
dying fellow immortals around them. I have been
considering that it will be but a poor excuse for me
to say, when I appear at the awful bar of God, that
the reason I neglected my duty was because I was
fearful that this one would frown upon me, and that
one would smile. Religion has become too unfashionable
and too unpopular, even amongst the professing
followers of Christ. O, how will they feel in
that day to see their skirts filled with the blood of
souls? Will not their eyeballs start from their sockets,
to see sinners who have stumbled into hell over
them? and will not their hearts be rent in twain, to
hear them in anguish condemn them? If thou warn
not the wicked man to flee from his ways, and he die
in his sins, his blood will I require at thy hand, saith
the Lord of hosts. O, the value of time! O, the
worth of immortal souls! “The harvest indeed is
plenteous, but the laborers are few. Pray ye, therefore,
to the Lord of the harvest, that he would send
forth faithful laborers into his vineyard.”

My respected friends, I have indeed found that the
Christian’s life is a life of warfare; for the spirit wars
against the flesh, and the flesh against the spirit; and
I am forced to cry out with St. Paul, from time to
time, “‘O, wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver
me from this body of sin and death?’
‘for the
good that I would do, that I do not; and the evil that
I would not do, that I do.’”

1(3)v 6

Meditation II.

“How pleased and blest was I, To hear the people cry, Come, let us seek our God to day; Yes, with a cheerful zeal, We’ll haste to Zion’s hill. And there our vows and honors pay.”

“How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of
hosts”
, and “the place where thine honor dwelleth”!
Truly I can say with the Psalmist, that “I had rather
be a door-keeper in the house of my God, than to
dwell in the tents of wickedness”
. What a sublimity
dwells among the assemblies of thy saints! Truly
thine abodes of worship are none other than the very
gates of heaven. The sun has risen gloriously upon
the earth. O, that its rays might shine into this benighted
soul of mine. Soon I shall be laid in the
silent tomb, or beneath the sod; and the places that
know me now, will know me no more for ever. Then,
O my soul, improve thy Sabbaths, and waste not their
precious hours. Grant that what I hear this day, O
God, may not be “as water spilt upon the ground, which
cannot be gathered up”
; but may be as good seed
sown in the heart, springing up unto life eternal.

I have just returned from church. The discourse
made a deep and solemn impression on my mind. O,
may what I have heard prove a rich and lasting blessing
to my soul. Disrobe me, O God, of every impure
and unholy affection, and make my soul a fit
temple for thee to dwell in.

Prayer.

“O thou King eternal, immortal, invisible, and only
wise God”
, before whom angels bow and seraphs veil
their faces, crying, “‘Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God 1(4)r 7
almighty’
.”
“True and righteous are thy ways”, “thou King
of saints”
. Help me, thy poor unworthy creature,
humbly to prostrate myself before thee, and implore
that mercy which my sins have justly forfeited. O
God, I know that I am not worthy of a place at thy
footstool; but to whom shall I go but unto thee?
“Thou alone hast the words of eternal life”. Send me
not away without a blessing, I beseech thee; but
enable me to wrestle like Jacob, and to prevail like
Israel. Be graciously pleased, O God, to pardon all
that thou hast seen amiss in me this day, and enable
me to live more to thine honor and glory for the time
to come. Bless the church to which I belong, and
grant that when thou makest up thy jewels, not one
soul shall be found missing. Bless him whom thou
has set over us as a watchman in Zion. Let not his
soul be discouraged. May he not fail to “declare the
whole counsel of God”
, “whether sinners will hear or
forbear”
. And now, Lord, what wait I for? My
hope is in thee. Do more for me than I can possibly
ask or think, and finally receive me to thyself.

Meditation III.

My friends, I have been brought to consider that
“it is because the Lord he is God, that I have not
been consumed. It is because that his tender compassion
fails not”
; that I am not now “in hell lifting up
my eyes in torments”
, “where the worm dieth not, and
where the fire is not quenched”
. And I cannot help
but exclaim, Glory to God that I am yet upon praying
ground, that I am yet a prisoner of hope. I rejoice
that I have been formed a rational and accountable
creature, and that ever I was born to be born
again. I rejoice that the Lord God omnipotent reigneth,
and that he searches the hearts and tries the reins 1(4)v 8
of the children of men. When I sin, I feel that I
have an advocate with the Father, even Jesus Christ
the righteous, who was in all points tempted like
unto ourselves, yet without sin. He knows what sore
temptations mean, for he has felt the same; and with
his supporting grace, I am determined to resist the lusts
of “the world, the flesh and the devil”, and “to fight the
good fight of faith”
, and win the crown and by my
Father’s side sit down. “Choose ye this day, therefore,
whom ye will serve”
; but as for me, I am determined
to serve the Lord.

Meditation IV.

“Afflicted saints to Christ draw near; The Saviour’s gracious promise hear; His gracious words declare to thee, That as thy days, thy strength shall be.”

“Why art thou cast down, O my soul, and why art
thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God; for
I shall yet praise him”
.—Have just returned from
church meeting. Did not perceive that Christian
spirit of fellowship which ought to exist. Is there
an Achan among us, O God, who has done the accursed
thing? or is there a Jonah among us, who has
refused to obey thy will? If not, why hast thou so
long hid thy face from us? for “we are consumed by
thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled”
. Return
again unto us, O Lord God, we beseech thee,
and open the eyes of our understanding, that we may
see wherein we have sinned against thee. O God,
we have robbed thee, in not presenting thee the first
offerings of our hearts. O turn away from us thy
fierce anger, and pardon this our iniquity, and lift
upon us once more the light of thy reconciled countenance,
and the joy of thy salvation. Have met 1(5)r 9
with an earthly disappointment. Am somewhat disheartened.
“Naked came I forth from my mother’s
womb, and naked shall I return thither. The Lord
gave, and the Lord hath takentaken away; blessed be the
name of the Lord”
. O my soul, “labor not for the
meat that perisheth, but for that which endureth unto
life eternal”
. Lord, thou hast chastened me sore;
but though thou hast caused me to fall, thou hast not
utterly taken from me thy loving kindness; but thou
hast dealt in tender mercy and compassion with me.
I adore thee, praise thee, and bless thee, Parent of
mercies, for thy patience and forbearance with me;
for hadst thou left me to myself, where would my
mad career have ended? Parent of mercies, give me
calm submission to thy holy will, in all things; for
thou hast said, that “as thy day is, so shall thy
strength be”
.

Prayer.

“Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy
name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done.”

Enable me to say from my heart, Thy will be done,
O God. The heaven is thy throne, and the earth is
thy footstool; neither may any say unto thee, “what
doest thou?”
But though thou art “the high and lofty
One that inhabiteth eternity”
, yet wilt thou condescend
to look upon him that is of a humble, a broken, and
a contrite heart. As such, enable me, O God, to
bow before thee at this time, under a deep sense of
my guilt and unworthiness. It was my sins that
caused thee to arise in thy wrath against me. Be
pleased, O God, to blot them from thy book, and
remember them no more for ever. Bless the church
to which I belong. “Thine arm is not shortened
that it cannot save, neither is thine ear heavy that
it cannot hear”
; but it is our sins that have separated
thee from us. Purge us from all our dross; 1(5)v 10
hide thy face from our iniquities, and speak peace
to our troubled souls. Bless thy servant, our pastor;
let not his soul be discouraged, but may an
angel appear unto him, strengthening him. Bless all
the benighted sons and daughters of Africa, especially
my unconverted friends. Send them not away
from thy presence into the “lake that burneth with
fire and brimstone”
, but magnify the riches of thy
grace in plucking their souls as brands from the
burning; and though I may long sleep in death before
thou wilt perform this work, yet grant that in
the resurrection morn we may all awake in thy likeness,
and our souls be bound in the sure bundle
of eternal life.

Meditation V.

I have been contemplating that if we live pure
and virtuous lives here, when we come upon the bed
of death, we shall be enabled to lean our heads upon
the bosom of Jesus, and to breathe our souls out
sweetly there. He will safely carry us through the
dark valley and the shadow of death, and angels
will convey us to heaven. There we shall sit down
with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and with the
“spirits of just men made perfect”. There the Lord
God will wipe away tears from all our faces, and
we shall join with the hundred and forty-four thousand,
in singing the song of Moses and the Lamb:

“Worthy the Lamb that died, they cry, To be exalted thus! Worthy the Lamb, our lips reply, For he was slain for us!”

My Christian friends, let us examine ourselves,
and pray for peace and conscience, joy in the Holy
Ghost, increase of grace, and perseverance thereunto
the end.

1(6)r 11

Meditation VI.

Before we proceed any farther, permit me to ask
you, my Christian friends, in the name of the Lord
Jesus Christ
, what progress are you making in the
divine life? Are you bringing forth the fruits of
righteousness, and proving to the world, by your own
conduct, that there is a reality in religion, and a beauty
in the fear of the Lord? Are you “letting your
light so shine before men, that they may see your
good works, and glorify your Father which is in
heaven”
? Christ has said, that he is more willing
to give his Holy Spirit to them that ask him, than
earthly parents are to bestow good gifts upon their
children; and that if two or three shall ask any thing
in his name, believing that he is able to perform, it
shall be done for them of their Father which is in
heaven; and certainly the fervent effectual prayer of
the righteous availeth much. O, then, shall precious
and immortal souls perish through our neglect? Shall
they stumble into hell over us, and rise up in judgment
and condemn us? Is it not to be feared that
many who profess the name of Jesus, at the present
day, are too much like whited sepulchres, which
indeed appear beautiful without, but inwardly are
full of all manner of uncleanness? Do not many love
the praise of man more than the praise of God?
Have we not all been unprofitable servants? And is it
not to be feared that at the great and terrible day of
the Lord, he will arise and shut the door? and many
will stand without, and begin to knock, and say, “Lord,
Lord, open unto us;”
but he will say, “I know not from
whence ye are: depart from me, ye workers of iniquity.”
And soon the summons will go forth against
you, my unconverted friends; cut them down, for
why cumber they the ground? Christ has been seeking
fruit of you these many years, and lo, he hath 1(6)v 12
found none. O, how can you go on, year after year,
and month after month, sinning against a holy and a
righteous God, who is constanly showering down the
choicest of his blesingsblessings upon you? O, how can you
see your friends dropping into the eternal world, and
yet feel no concern for your never dying souls? Will
not the terrors of death alarm you, nor the calls and
invitations of mercy pesuade you? “‘Come, now,’
saith the Lord, ‘and let us reason together; though
your sins have been seen as scarlet, they shall be made
as wool, and though they have been red like crimson,
they shall become whiter than snow.’”
O, my friends,
believe me or not, I have felt at times to exclaim
with Moses, “‘O Lord God, this people have sinned a
great sin; but now if thou wilt forgive them, blot me
I pray thee from thy book’”
. And the Lord said, “‘him
that sinneth against me, him will I blot from my
book.’”

Meditation VII.

“At his presence nature shakes, Earth affrighted hastes to flee; Solid mountains melt like wax, What will then become of thee?”

O, my unconverted friends, where will you hide
yourselves in the great and terrible day of the Lord?
Where will you secrete yourselves, from the presence
of the Almighty? “If you ascend into heaven, he is
there; if you make your bed in hell, he is there. If
you take the wings of the morning, and fly to the uttermost
parts of the earth, even there shall he find
you, and his right hand shall search you out”
. “Be not
deceived; God is not mocked”
. “If the righteous are
scarcely saved, where will the sinner and the ungodly 2(1)r 13
appear”
. “Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest
he tare you in pieces, and there be none to deliver
you”
.

“Where are now their haughty looks? O, their horror and despair, When they see the open books, And the dreadful sentence hear!”

O, my friends, it is painful to tell you the truth,
but you had better hear it now before it is eternally
too late. Oh then, fly to the Saviour before the door
of mercy is for ever shut against you. Repent and
believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be
saved.

Prayer.

O Lord God, Paul may plant, and Apollos water,
but thou alone givest the increase. We are sensible
that without thee we can do nothing. Vain are all our
efforts without thy blessing. But, O Lord God, thou
hast the hearts of all thy creatures in thy hand; and
thou canst turn them whithersoever thou wilt. Strip
the hearts of this people from their idols, we humbly
beseech thee. Take off their eyes from beholding
vanity. Thou canst glorify thyself in making them
the monuments of thy mercy; and thou canst glorify
thyself in making them the monuments of thy wrath.
Glorify thyself in making them the monuments of thy
victorious grace. Open their eyes that they may see
that their feet stand upon slippery places, and that
fiery billows roll beneath them. And, O Lord God,
wilt thou in an especial manner have mercy on our
unconverted bretheren. Soften their proud and rebellious
hearts, and be not angry with them for ever. O,
Jesus of Nazareth, hast thou not died that they might
live? Hast thou not become poor, that they might
become rich? Is not thy blood sufficient to atone?
Wherefore, O Lord God, hast thou hardened their 2 2(1)v 14
hearts, and blinded their eyes? Wherefore hast thou
so long withheld from the divine influences of
thy holy Spirit? Open their eyes that they may see
that they are going down to hell, as fast as the wheels
of time can carry them. O, stop them in their mad
career! Grant that a grievous cry might be heard
among thy professing children, in behalf of perishing
souls; and may it be like the cry of the Egyptians in
the night that thou didst slay their first-born. And
not only for ourselves do we pray, but for all nations,
kindreds, tongues, and people. Grant that an innumerable
host, which no man can number, may be
gathered in from the four winds of heaven; and when
the last trumpet shall sound, grant thay we may be
caught up into the clouds of the air, and our ear saluted
with the joyful sound, “‘Well done, thou good
and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few
things, I will make thee ruler over many things;
enter thou into the joy of thy Lord’
.”

Meditation VIII.

“Is there no balm in Gilead, and is there no physician
there”
? Yes, there is balm in Gilead, and there is
a physician there. And O, my soul, thou hast found
that physician, and he hath applied his healing medicines
to thy bleeding heart, and hath cured thee of
thy wounds. Come, then, all ye mourning souls to
this physician; he alone can heal your maladies.
Are you poor? He is inexhaustibly rich and benevolent,
and will heal you without money and without
price. Is your case a desperate one? Are you full
of “wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores”? Come
just as you are. Look steadfastly to him, believe in
his skill, and you shall be made whole.

2(2)r 15

Another year is past and gone forever. Have
been deeply impressed on account of past sins and
ingratitude. But methinks I hear a voice which says,
“‘Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.’”
Methinks I hear a voice which says,—
“Daughter, ‘be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven
thee’
.”
Consoling thought! O, thou compassionate
Redeemer, was it love that induced thee to leave the
realms of bliss, and take upon thee the form of a servant,
and descend into this lower world—to die for
fallen man? Infinite love! Amazing condescension!
A mystery indeed, that the angels desire to look into.
Even eternity will be too short for blood-washed
millions to celebrate thy praises.

Prayer.

O, thou sin-forgiving God, “they that are whole
need not a physician, but they that are sick”
. Lord, I
am sick, and full of diseases. If thou wilt, thou canst
make me clean. Though my sins have been as scarlet,
thou canst make them as wool; and though they
be red like crimson, thou canst make them whiter
than snow. Were it not that there is a sufficiency in
thy blood to atone for the vilest, the view of my past
sins and transgressions would sink me in despair. But
thou hast said, “him that cometh to thee, thou wilt in
no wise cast out”
. Lord, I come, pleading alone the
merits of my Redeemer; not only for myself do I
plead but for the whole race of mankind; especially
for the benighted sons and daughters of Africa.
Do thou loose their bonds, and let the oppressed go
free. Bless thy churches throughout the world.
Clothe thy ministers with salvation, and cause thy
saints to shout for joy. Grant that the time may
soon come, thay all may know thee “from the rising of
the sun unto the going down thereof”
. In an especial 2(2)v 16
manner wilt thou look down upon the church to which
I belong. Fire our souls with a holy zeal for thy
cause, and let us not rest at ease in Zion, whilst souls
are perishing for the lack of knowledge. Wilt thou
increase her number of such, and such only, as shall
be saved. Bless our pastor with a double portion of
thy Spirit. Encourage his heart, and strengthen him
in the inward man, and may he see the work of the
Lord prosper in his hands. And now, Lord, what
wait I for? Dispel every gloomy fear that pervades
my mind, and enable me to hope in thy mercy, and
to thee will I ascribe praises everlasting.

Meditation IX.

I have been impressed in my mind, my unconverted
friends, with the awful idea that God is about to execute
upon us the fierceness of his anger, and to pour
forth heavy judgements upon this people. And why?
Because your sins have reached unto heaven, and
your iniquities unto the clouds. God has been calling
you these many years to repentance, by his loving
kindness and tender mercies; and Christ has been
knocking at the door of your hearts for admittance,
until his locks have become wet with the dews of
heaven. Nay, even more; he hath chastened you
with the rod of his wrath, and hath deprived you of
your kindred and friends; he hath sent death and pestilence
amongst you, and many have become widows,
and their children fatherless; and still you go on unconcerned
as though all were well, saying with proud
Pharaoh, “Who is the Lord, that we should
obey him?”
You have closed your eyes against the light;
you have stopped your ears against the truth; and
you have hardened your hearts against the calls and 2(3)r 17
invitations of mercy; and I am fearful that “the queen
of the south will arise in judgment against this generation
and condemn it—for she came from the uttermost
parts of the earth to hear of the wisdom of
Solomon—and behold a greater than Solomon is here”
.
I am fearful that “the men of Nineveh will rise in
judgment against this generation, and condemn it; for
they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold,
a greater than Jonah is here”
. O, you that sit
under the gospel’s joyful sound, from Sabbath to
Sabbath, and you that neglect the means of grace,
who know your Lord’s will and obey it not! O, you
that are exalted to heaven in point of privileges,
shall be thrust down to hell; “for if the mighty works
that have been done in you have been done in Tyre
and Sidon, it would have remained unto this day.”

Wherefore I beseech you, in the name of the Lord
Jesus Christ
, to repent and quickly put away from
among you the evil of your doings, and turn unto the
Lord your God with weeping, with mourning, and
with fasting. It may be he will repent himself of the
evil that he hath determined against you: lest if ye
continue to rebel against the word of the Lord, he
will arise in his wrath and say,—“‘Because I have called,
and ye have refused; I have stretched out my
hand, and no man regarded; I will laugh at your calamities,
and mock when your fear cometh; when
your fear cometh as a whirlwind, and distress and
anguish shall come upon you; then shall ye call, and
I will not answer; ye shall seek me early, but ye
shall not find me’
.”
And O, my Christian friends, you
who have been the professed followers of Christ from
ten to twenty years, bear with my plainness of speech,
I beseech you, and permit me to ask you in the name
of the Lord Jesus Christ, where are the fruits of
righteousness that you have brought forth? Where
are the souls that have been converted to God through 2* 2(3)v 18
your instrumentality? Where are the men that will
give glory to God on account of your good works?
Where are those amongst you that will boldly vindicate
the cause of Jesus and him crucified? “They
that turn many to righteousness shall shine in the
kingdom of heaven as the stars forever and ever”
;
whilst the slothful and negligent shall be bound hand
and foot, and “cast into outer darkness, where there are
weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth”
. O, my
Christian friends, if we are ever so happy as just to
enter within the gates of the holy city—if it were
possible, I say—we should mourn throughout the
boundless ages of eternity, for having done so little
to promote the cause of Christ and the good of souls.

Broad is the road that leads to death,

And thousands walk together there;

But wisdom shows a narrow path,

With here and there a traveller.

Yes, Glory be to God in the highest, there is here
and there a faithful one, who is travelling towards
Mount Zion, the city of our God.

Meditation X.

“The God who built the sky, Hath said, and cannot lie, ‘Impenitence must die, And be damned.’”

“‘What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole
world, and lose his own soul?’”
dropt from the dying
lips of the companion of my youth. O God, was
not my conscience stung with remorse and horror,
was not my soul torn with anguish, and did not my
heart bleed when the summons came: “He must die,
and not live.”
Die! Oh, must he die? Must we
part to meet no more? And oh, must I be left, forlorn
and unprotected? “Spare his life, O God, if 2(4)r 19
consistent with thy will,”
was my cry; if not, make
me to say, “Thy will be done.” O, my soul, thou hast
watched the sick-bed of one who was near to thee,
even the half of thyself; thou hast heard his dying
groans, and seen his restless head turn from side to
side in quest of ease; and his dim eye hath he turned
upon thee, and implored thee for relief. Alas, what
could I do? Friends, what were they but miserable
comforters? And he had no God to look to.
Heart-rending scene! who can describe it? O, my
soul, thou hast wiped the sweat of death from off his
cold forehead, and his eyes hast thou seen glazed in
death, and those eyes were fixed upon thee! And
thine arm supported his expiring form, till the spirit
ascended to God who gave it. O, my soul, forget
not that awful scene; forget not that awful moment.
“Come all ye that pass by, and see if there is any sorrow
like unto my sorrow”
. And what gratification
will it be to you, my friends, to think that you
have been able to be decked in fine linen and purple,
and to fare sumptuously every day, if you are
not decked in the pure robes of Christ’s righteousness?
And friends—what are they in that awful
moment, if the eternal God is not your friend and
portion? Could many of our departed friends but
speak, they would say,—“Fools you may live, but
fools you cannot die. Do not as I have done, but
improve your precious hours; take care of your immortal
souls.”
But you have the word of God to guide
you. Search the scriptures, for in them you have
eternal life. You have the ministers of the gospel to
counsel you, to point you to the “Lamb of God, which
taketh away the sins of the world”
. Hear ye them:
if you will not hearken to them, such are the hardness
and obduracy of your hearts, that you would not believe,
though one arose from the dead, and told you
of all the joys of heaven, or the terrors of hell.

2(4)v 20

Prayer.

O Lord God, “when I consider thy heavens, the
work of thy fingers, the sun, moon, and stars, what
is man that thou art mindful of him, or the son of
man that thou shouldst visit him?”
Thou didst at first
create man after thine image, pure and upright; but
man, by his disobedience, fell from that holy and happy
state, and hath involved all his posterity in guilt and
ruin. Thine awful sentence was just: “Dust thou
art, and unto dust thou shalt return.”
Help me to
realize that thou art a consuming fire to those that
obey thee not, and that thou art arrayed in terrible
majesty. “Thou chargest thine angels with folly, and
the heavens are not clean in thy sight; how much
more filthy and abdominable must be man, who drinketh
in inquity like water?”
Thou canst not look upon
the least sin but with abhorrence, and thou wilt by
no means clear the guilty. But though thy name
alone is so terrible, yet Mercy stands pleading at thy
bar, saying—“Father, I have died, behold my hands
and my side! Spare them a little longer, and have
mercy upon the souls that thou hast made.”
O God,
help me to realize that “man that is born of a woman
is of few days, and full of trouble: he cometh forth
as a flower, and is cut down; yea, man giveth up the
ghost, and where is he?”
And help me to realize that
it is with great tribulation that we enter through the
gates into the holy city. Once more I beseech thee
to hear the cry of thy children in behalf of the unconverted.
O God, this great work is thine; thou
alone canst perform it. My church and pastor I
recommend to thee; ’tis all that I can do; and that
thou wouldst supply them with all needful blessings is
the prayer of thine unworthy handmaiden.

2(5)r 21

Meditation XI.

“Not every one that saith, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter
into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will
of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say
unto me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied
in thy name, and in thy name cast out devils,
and in thy name done many wonderful works?’
And
then I will profess unto them, ‘I never knew you.
Depart from me, ye workers of iniquity.’”
Blessed is
he that doeth the will of my Father, “that he may have
right to the tree of life, and may enter through the
gates into the holy city”
. “For the kingdom of heaven
is like unto a man, which sowed good seed in his
field; but whilst men slept, the enemy came, and
sowed tares amongst the wheat. The servant saith
unto him, ‘Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy
field? From whence hath it tares?’
He saith
unto him, ‘an enemy hath done this: let both grow together
until the harvest; and in time of harvest I will
say to the reapers, “Bind the tares in bundles, to burn
them.”’”
Many who profess the name of Jesus, are
not careful to walk according to their profession; and
thereby prove themselves a stumbling-block and a
rock of offence in the way of sinners; but when the
mighty angel shall descend from heaven, and step one
foot upon the earth and the other upon the sea, and
swear by him that liveth for ever and ever, that time
shall be no longer; when the last trumpet shall sound,
“‘Awake ye dead, and come to judgment’;” —when the
world shall be on fire, and the elements shall pass
away with a great noise, and “the heavens shall be
rolled together as a scroll”
; when death and hell and
the sea shall deliver up the dead that are in them, and
all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, shall be
arrayed before the awful bar of God, and the books 2(5)v 22
shall be opened; then, then, if we have not the pure
and undefiled religion of Jesus, wo, wo, wo, will be
unto us. Better for us that we had never been born;
“better for us that a millstone were hanged about our
necks, and that we were cast into the depths of the
sea”
.

Meditation XII.

“Come, welcome death, the end of fears, I am prepared to die; I trust my soul will straight ascend Up to the Lord on high.”

Alas, “and am I born to die?” O, my soul, wilt thou
ere long take thy flight to realms of endless bliss, or
to the shades of darkest night, and leave this frail
tenement? Will these eyes be closed, a lump of cold
and lifeless clay? these lips cease to speak, and this
heart cease to beat? these hands and feet become
inactive, cold, and stiff, and this form of mine become
food for worms, and turn to dust? Alas, alas,
how mournful is the thought! but, pale messenger, I
fear thee not, with all thy grim and ghastly terrors,
for my Redeemer lives. He lives, and He is able to
disarm thee of thy sting, and no one is able to pluck
me out of my Redeemer’s hand. He will safely
carry me through the dark valley and the shadow of
death, and angels will convey me to heaven. Then
whilst my body lies mouldering here, my soul shall
rest from all her sorrows, and shall chant the praises
of my Redeemer, till the last trumpet shall sound;
then shall my sleeping dust awake, and my soul and
body be reunited and fly with transport to meet my
Saviour, when he shall come with ten thousand of his
saints and angels, to take vengeance on his enemies.

2(6)r 23 “The trumpet sounds, Hell trembles, Heaven rejoices; Lift up your heads, ye saints, with cheerful voices! No more shall atheists mock his long delay, His vengeance sleeps no more, Behold the day! His guards are nigh; Tempest and fire attend him down the sky When God appears, All nations shall adore him; Whilst sinners tremble, Saints rejoice before him.”

Prayer.

Almighty God, it is the glorious hope of a blessed
immortality beyond the grave, that supports thy children
through this vale of tears. Forever blessed be
thy name, that thou hast implanted this hope in my
bosom. If thou hast indeed plucked my soul as a
brand from the burning, it is not because thou hast
seen any worth in me; but it is because of thy distinguishing
mercy, for mercy is thy darling attribute,
and thou delightest in mercy, and art not willing that
any should perish, but that all should come to the
knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus. Clothe my
soul with humility as with a garment. Grant that I
may bring forth the fruits of a meek and quiet spirit.
Enable me to adorm the doctrines of God my Saviour,
by a well regulated life and conversation. May
I become holy, even as thou art holy, and pure, even
as thou art pure. Bless all my friends and benefactors:
those who have given me a cup of cold water
in thy name, the Lord reward them. Forgive all my
enemies. May I love them that hate me, “and pray for
them that despitefully use and persecute me”
. Preserve
me from slanderous tongues, O God, and “let not my
good be evil spoken of”
. Let not a repining thought
enter my heart, nor a murmuring sigh heave from my 2(6)v 24
bosom. But may I cheerfully bear with all the trials
of life. Clothe me with the pure robes of Christ’s
righteousness, that when he shall come in flaming
fire to judge the world, I may appear before him with
joy and not with grief; and not only for myself do I
ask these blessings, but for all the sons and daughters
of Adam, as “thou art no respecter of persons”, and as
all distinctions wither in the grave. Grant that all
prejudices and animosities may cease from amongst
men. May we all realize that “promotion cometh not
from the east nor from the west, but that it is God
that putteth one up and setteth down another”
. May
the rich be rich in faith and good works towards our
Lord Jesus Christ, and may the poor have an inheritance
amongst the saints in light, a crown incorruptible
that fadeth not away, eternal in the heavens. And
now what wait we for? Be pleased to grant that we
may at last join with all the Israel of God, in celebrating
thy praises.

Meditation XIII.

“The widow and the fatherless, Seek for his aid in sharp distress; In him the poor and helpless find A God just as a father kind.”

“Leave thy fatherless children, I will preserve them
alive;”
and, Lord, thou hast preserved me alive.
While thousands as good by nature, and better by
practice, have gone to silence, thine eye hath watched
the helpless years of my infancy and youth, and thou
hast preserved me from thousands of temptations to
which I have been exposed. “And let thy widows
trust in me;”
Lord, in thee I have trusted, let me
never be confounded.

“Thou shalt by no means afflict any fatherless child: 3(1)r 25
if thou afflict them, and they cry at all unto me, I
will surely hear their cry.”
Lord, when mine enemies
multiplied themselves against me, then I cried
unto thee in my trouble, and thou didst deliver me
from all my distresses. Thou didst behold from thy
holy habitation, that I was wrongfully persecuted, and
that there was none to help. Then was thine anger
kindled, and “thy wrath waxed hot” against mine adversaries;
and thine own arm saved me, and thine own
right arm wrought salvation. Thou didst vindicate
my cause in the presence of mine enemies, and didst
bring forth my righteousness to light as the noonday.

Let all those be ashamed that wrongfully persecute
my soul; that say unto me., “Ha, ha, where is thy
God?”

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within
me, bless his holy name. Come, “magnify the Lord
with me, and let us exalt his name together”
. I cried
unto him in my trouble, and he delivered me from all
my distresses. Come, all ye that have breath, and
I will tell you what great things the Lord hath done
for my soul: how he hath delivered my feet from the
miry clay and the horrible pit, “and hath put a new
song in my mouth, even praise unto our God”
. “What
shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits? I
will take the cup of salvation, and will pay my vows
before him in the presence of all his people.”
I will
consecrate my soul and body, and all the powers of
my mind, to his service, from this time henceforth,
yea, even forever more: for his mercies are more to
me than the hairs of my head, or the sands upon the
sea shore. Trust not in an arm of flesh; for vain is
the help of man. Come, all ye poor and needy, ye
widows and fatherless, trust in the Lord; he is your
help and your shield; “for whom he loveth, he chasteneth,”
even as a father the son in whom he delighteth;
“neither doth he willingly afflict nor grieve the 3 3(1)v 26
children of men”
. “Although the fig-tree shall not blosssom,
neither shall fruit be in the vine, yet will I rejoice
in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.”

Prayer.

O Lord God, “as the heavens are high above the
earth, so are thy ways above our ways, and thy
thoughts above our thoughts”
. For wise and holy purposes
best known to thyself, thou hast seen fit to deprive
me of all earthly relatives; but when my father
and mother forsook me, then thou didst take me up.
I desire to thank thee, that I am this day a living
witness to testify that thou art a God, that will ever
vindicate the cause of the poor and needy, and that
thou hast always proved thyself to be a friend and
father to me. O, continue thy loving kindness, even
unto the end; and when health and strength begin to
decay, and I, as it were, draw nigh unto the grave, O
then afford me thy heart-cheering presence, and enable
me to rely entirely upon thee. Never leave me
nor forsake me, but have mercy upon me for thy
great name’s sake. And not for myself alone do I
ask these blessings, but for all the poor and needy,
all widows and fatherless children, and for the stranger
in distress; and may they call upon thee in such
a manner as to be convinced that thou art a prayer-
hearing and prayer-answering God; and thine shall
be the praise forever. Amen.

Prayer is the Christian’s vital breath, The Christian’s native air, His watchword at the gate of death— He enters heaven with prayer.

3(2)r 27

Meditation XIV.

“If there’s an idol in my heart, Whate’er that idol be, Help me to tear it from thy throne, And worship only Thee.”

“And he gave them their request, but he sent leanness
into their souls.”
O, my soul, has not the voice
of thy weeping ascended up before the throne of
God? Hast thou not almost offended the majesty of
heaven, with thy murmurings? Hast thou not wept
like the rebellious Israelites for the onions and for the
garlics that were in Egypt? And hast thou not rejected
the Lord, from reigning king over thee? O,
my soul, are not thine affections prone to wander from
the fountain of living waters, and to place themselves
upon broken cisterns, that can hold no water? Parent
of mercies, rivet this heart alone upon thyself. Help
me truly to say,—“‘Whom have I in heaven but thee?
and there is none upon the earth that I desire beside
thee’
.”
O, my soul, cast off from thee every darling
sin, however dear, even to the plucking out of a right
eye, or the cutting off a right hand. Soon this mortal
will put on immortality, and this corruption incorruption,
and these eyes will open upon eternal scenes;
then, O my soul, what gratification will it be to thee,
that all the desires of thine heart were given thee?
As death leaves me, so judgment will find me. O,
my soul, vain and trifling will then appear thy disappointments.
“Cleanse thou me, O God, from secret
faults.”
O, my Father, strip this poor unworthy worm
of thine from every impure and unholy desire; from
all self-righteousness, pride and hypocrisy; from
slander and deceit. Hast thou not a blessing for me?
Bless me, even me, O my Father! Bless me when
I go out, and when I come in; when I lie down, and
when I rise up. Put underneath me thine everlasting 3(2)v 28
arms, and keep me from evil. Sooner extinguish
the lamp of life, than leave me to bring a reproach
upon thy cause, or wound the hearts of thy children.
Hold me in the hollow of thine hand, or I shall fall.
“Lord, save me, or I perish.” Mind filled with gloomy
doubts and fears; feel at times as though I should
fear to die. Death is truly the king of terrors. O,
my Saviour, take from me this awful fear, I humbly
beseech thee! and when I come upon the bed of
death, do thou be graciously pleased to manifest thyself
unto me, and enable me to lean my head upon
thy bosom. Let guardian angels watch around my
pillow; and when I behold my weeping friends, may
I say to them with a cheerful smile,—“Weep not for
me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.”

And when pain and anguish shall distort these features,
may I calmly say,—“‘Did Jesus thus suffer, and shall
I repine?’
‘O Death, where is thy sting? O Grave,
where is thy victory?’”
May this poor unworthy worm
of thine be clothed with the breast-plate of righteousness;
and girded with the helmet of salvation. May
the testimony of Jesus be within her, his seal engraved
upon her forehead, and her name written in the
Lamb’s book of life. May she overcome the temptations
of the wicked one, and wash her robes white
in the blood of the Lamb; and do thou present her
faultless before thy Father’s throne, without spot, or
wrinkle, or any such thing; and when thou shalt call
me to go, may I arise, having my lamps trimmed and
burning, not having a wish or a desire to stay, but to
depart and dwell with thee, which is far better.
Blessed is that servant whom his Lord, when he
cometh, shall find watching.

The End.