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to write as if I were a King's daughter, sending you a few lines. Unworthy, indeed; for I can assure you, my dear girl, I feel inyself to be most vile. Often I fret and repine at the dispensations of Providence, although satisfied that all that befalls me my Heavenly Firther has ordained for my real good. He knows best what is needful to keep me near to Himself. He knows what a foolish heart I have got; how soon it is caught away with the things that must soon perish. What a kind Father is ours, even when He withholds the things we supplicate Him for! I hope He ever will keep from me those things that are not in accordance with His will, however much I may seem to pant after and keenly feel the denial of them, which I often do. Since I last wrote to you I have seen many changes, many ups and downs. My father was ill a month, and I thought the Lord was going to take my only earthly parent from me. The first week of his illness I was in great distress of mind,- -no enjoyment at the throne of grace, felt as if I had I find the preciousness of that promise,
I will never leave thee nor forsake thee," and was favoured to feel as if I did not mind were He to take away every earthly comfort. I seemed to live for a time alone with my Lord, and as if no earthly comforter were needed, and sometimes retired to rest thinking shortly to be without an earthly home, yet leaving the matter with my
much-loved Lord, and crying myself to sleep as on His bosom.
Surely it was a weaning time for me then; I can say I have enjoyed most in times of trouble; afflictions, I think are some of our best blessings in disguise. The Psalmist could say so many a time. How prone we are, my dear sister, to take a part of our dear Saviour's promise, when He not only, said, “In me ye shall have peace, but also, “In the world ye shall have tribulation." If a dear friend whose company had often afforded us joy and happiness, was upon the eve of departing from us, how we should
treasure up the last words he said to us! If so of an earthly friend, how should the last sayings of our blessed Lord affect us! Before he left this world He comforted His disciples and gave them consolation, the blessings of which, you know, belong to us now. He reminded them of what they might expect in this vale of tears, and how then can the saint of God now expect to be exempt from troubles ? And meet with the children of God where you will, you find them tried ones, tossed to and fro, finding no rest for the soles of their feet; thus runs the unalterable decree of a covenant God. It is only as we view our interest in Christ, that we are enabled to rise above the sorrows and trials of this time state. What a sweet consolation to know that they work for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Cheer up then, my sister! our journey is but short, we shall soon arrive at the desired haven, and then in the embraces of our Lord, be lost in forgetfulness of all the troubles of the
Our anuiversary will be on the second Tuesday in April. I should be glad to see you there. Do come, my dear girl; you should be welcome to my house, to stay a day or two. Anna Taylor sends her kind love to you, also Lucy Robinson. I have sent the Gospel Heralds, and you will have them every month. Farewell, my dear sister. The Lord bless you with every new covenant blessing, is the prayer of your sister in Christ,
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MR.
PHILIP DICKERSON. Continuation of my Narrative. BELOVED CHRISTIAN FRIENDS, Beautifully has our poet expressed the watchfulness of our covenant God over all the movements of His people in a time state; and if of His children generally, then in a special manner of His ministers.
Thy flock, thy own peculiar care,
his views of Divine truth so fully Though now they seem to roain uneyed,
corresponded with my own. He said Are led, or driven, only where They best and safest may abide.”
he should not be able to get out the
next day, but desired me to come and The mere man of the world may dine with him. The next day being stand by and look upon the removal Lord's-day, January 15th, 1832, at of a pastor as a common event; but family worship in the morning, my the man of God himself, who is re- good brother Deane engaged in moving from one station to another, prayer, and in that exercise he greatly looks upon
the matter in a very differ- excelled most of his brethren; and ent light. He sees that, probably, that morning he was peculiarly exmuch importance hangs upon the cellent. He prayed that the preacher step he is taking, and he cries fer- might be helped to preach, and be vently to the Lord: “If Thy presence favoured to feel the truth, “as it is go not with me, carry me not up in Jesus ;” that the word might be hence." And it may be he fears he blessed to the awakening of sinners, may hear a voice from behind him, to the consolation of believers, to the saying: “With whom hast thou left
restoration of backsliders; and, he those few sheep in the wilderness ?”
perhaps some of us need roThen he cries afresh to the God of proof; where it is so, Lord, let us have Israel : “Let heaven's choicest fa- it, prepare us to receive it, and grant jours rest upon those I am leaving, we may profit by it.” My soul was and the contents of the mercy-cloud deeply affected under that prayer, and of distinguishing grace plentifully fall I said to myself, if this is a specimen upon those I am about to visit." of the feelings and prayers of the Thus, if God works, sinners will be people, they must be blest; for this saved, and His great name will be good man is so desirous of a blessing, glorified.
that he minds not which way it may Such were the feelings of the writer may come, whether by consolation or while making preparations for coming chastisement. Arrived at the chapel, up to London. Our journey took I felt pleased with the size of it, but place on Friday, January 13th, 1832 ; found it thinly attended. My mind a very rough, cold, stormy day, at had (after much agitation) fixed upon times. We reached our quarters, Eph. vi. 23, and from that portion which were at Hackney (and which of sacred writ I opened my commiswe supposed to be the very heart of sion at Little Alie-street.
" Peace London) about five o'clock. Never be to the brethren, and love, with was a prince received and entertained faith, from God the Father, and the with more kindness than we were by Lord Jesus Christ.” The Lord helped our ever dear friends, Mr. and Mrs. me, and the word was so blessed, that Deane, and whose friendships ended many of the old members often adveronly in death. Sacred be their ted to it afterwards. memory.
I was discouraged in the afternoon The day after my arrival in London, at seeing such a very few people, but I was taken by my friend, Mr. Deane, was told that the afternoon was not a to pay a visit to their afflicted minis- favourable time to get out, which was ter, Mr. William Shenston.
just the reverse of what I had been suffering from some internal disease, accustomed to see. However, I was which caused a large amount of pain, mercifully helped through the day, and for a long time; indeed, he was a and retired to rest, blessing the God of worn-out man at the age of fifty-nine all our mercies. My dear old friend years. Mr. Shenston was very pleased and co-pastor rallied after I came, to me, and from the short and lived eighteen months. He would conversation I had with him that day, have liked to take the morning sermy mind was greatly relieved to find vice regularly; but such was the
character of his affliction, he could impelled to mention: An excellent never be depended upon. He preached woman, who had been for many years occasionally till the last Sunday in a member of the church (and who, the year 1832, when he delivered his in her younger years, had been an last discourse from those solemn words intimate friend of the celebrated of our blessed Lord : “ Give an ac- Rowland Hill,) who was very clever, count of thy stewardship, for thou and well informed as to the truths mayest be no longer steward,” Luke of the gospel generally; yet so it xvi. 2; when it seemed as if he had was, her soul had never been fully a consciousness of its being his last set at liberty upon the subject of sermon; for he addressed us all-me, justification. The evening of my as his successor, the clerk, the dea- second Lord's-day, I preached from cons, the pew-openers, the church, the words, Who shall lay anything and the congregation. It was, indeed, to the charge of God's elect? It is a solemn discourse. He came to God that justifieth.” That discourse chapel but once more, and that was was blessed to the joyful liberation on the first Lord’s-day in February, of her soul, and she was accustomed when he spoke some sweet things to speak of it with gratitude and joy from “ Jesus Christ the same, yester- all her remaining days. Herein was a day, and to day, and for ever,” and clear display of Divine sovereignty. gave out the hymn
Our predecessor was very clear upon “Rise, my soul, and stretch thy wings,
that fundamental doctrine of the gosThy better portion trace."
pel; and hundreds of sermons she had
heard from many of the best preachers And he sung with unusual energy
in England; yet it was reserved for (which surprised us all), the last lines
the poor instrumentality of the writer
to be made that blessing to her soul. " Yet a season, and you know
And she talked of it to others, and Happy entrance shall be given; thus became useful in exciting affecAll your sorrows left below,
tion toward our ministry: Truly is it And earth exchanged for heaven."
said of the ministry of the word, and From that time he got out but little, the preachers of it, “My word shall and, after much suffering, he peace- not return unto Me void; it shall acfully departed to his eternal rest, June complish that which I please; and it 27th, 1833. At the time of Mr. Shen- shall prosper in the thing whereto I ston's death, the congregation had sent it.” What poor, little, helpless considerably increased, the chapel was creatures we are, and what a wondergenerally pretty full; and many had ful God have we for our Master and professed to have been blest under Friend! Lord, help us more implicitly the word, and had been baptized ; to trust in Thee, and not be afraid. and others were “asking their way to At the termination of the third Zion, with their faces thitherward.” month, the church · held a special
But we are getting on too fast, we meeting, for the purpose of deciding must come back a little way. My whether I should be elected to the first invitation was for one month; pastorate or not. There were one at the close of that, the church gave hundred and fifty-six members present, me another invitation for another who voted by ballot, one hundred and month; and at the end of that period, fifty-three, yes; and three, no. When a request that I would supply one we told this to the late Mr. Elven, of month more, with a view to the Bury, he clapped his hands, and expastorate. Those three months formed claimed, “Well done, bruther Philip; a time of peculiar anxiety to the mind many sons have done wonderfully, of the writer, yet not without tokens but thou excellest them all; rarely, for good, and instances of great en- if ever, has any man before pleased couragement, one of which we feel one hundred and fifty-three people out of one hundred and fifty-six. Well, At the period in the history of our the majority was immensely large, country now referred to, it was not only but there were a few neuters, which, considered and treated as a crime to for a short time, made work for worship and believe otherwise than as prayer, faith, and patience.
directed by the State Church; but owned the word; many were brought it was also reckoned as an offence to to believe, and unite with the church; be visited with punishment that comand, probably, very few churches prised the most savage cruelties, to have enjoyed a larger measure of utter protests against the popish and peace, love, and happiness than the tyrannical prelates then ruling in the church in Little Alie-street has done said Church. It will be remembered for upwards of forty years.
God has that the period in question was when blessed us with excellent deacons, Archbishop Laud was at the head of men of God, men of prudence, and ecclesiastical affairs in this country, men of peace. We have loved each it being the reign of Charles I. This other, and striven in harmony to prelate tried to do in his day what the promote the welfare of Zion, each Ritualists of our day are trying to do, sinking his own private feelings for that is, to get as much popery into the good of the whole. Behold, the land as may be possible to do how good and how pleasant it is without recognizing the supremacy of for brethren to dwell together in
When we consider the unity!" But I must here break off, arrogance of these men, their pretenor shall encroach too much upon your sions and extravagant claims, together space. Peace and joy be yours, so
with their profane jestings at the docprays
Yours affectionately, trine of justification by faith, their
trines in connection with the Lord's
Supper, and the mummeries and foolEARLY WITNESSES FOR THE
eries set up by them as being all-imTRUTH IN NORFOLK AND portant matters in the worship of God, SUFFOLK.
the mind is compelled to admit that (Continued from page 185.)
the doings of Laud are being repeated
in the present century, and that at WHAT afterwards became of these the present time. Happily, however, thirty poor prisoners of the Lord thus
for us, the priest no longer has the shut up in Yarmouth gaol, history power of the sword at his command, does not record. Probably some of and in that respect, in this country, them died in their prison house, whilst we need not fear a repetition of the others were liberated by their im- atrocious deeds formerly enacted at prisoners, perhaps to be again incar- the bidding of a persecuting hiercerated if found again assembled to archy. In other respects, however, worship their Lord after their own and to a wonderful extent, considering fashion, and not after the fashion pre- the rapidity with which the change scribed for them by their priestly per- has come over the land, we are witsecutors; but the details of the suf- nesses to the fulfilment of Dr. Gill's ferings of such humble followers of prophecy respecting popery again the Lamb of God as these are not to flourishing in this country, which in be found in annals written by human one form or other it certainly does. hands. God, however, who puts the One of the atrocious deeds just retears of His saints into His bottle, has ferred to as being connected with the recorded them in that chronicle which
history of nonconformity in Suffolk shall be completed and read out at the is related by Mr. Browne, as showing end of time, when “the books shall what fiendish kind of treatment men be opened,” and the secrets of all
were, at one time, subject to from hearts be revealed.
their fellow mortals who arrogated to
themselves the right of dictating to others the form and manner in which the Majesty of Heaven should be worshipped and His word preached. It arose and was carried out as follows: In the year 1636, there appeared a pamphlet bearing the title," Newes from Ipswich," and purporting to have been printed in that town. It is not certain that it was printed at Ipswich, but its contents related to the popish doings that had been enacted in the diocese of Norwich in general, and some matters of the same kind in particular, that had transpired at Ipswich, in all of which the Norwich bishop (Wren) had been concerned. It contained also a protest against the
- detestable practices of the prelates of the day in general, which, indeed, it was the main design of the writer to censure. The “practices” in question included "shutting up the mouths of godly preachers, closing the presses against works of truth and piety, encouraging Lord's-day afternoon revellings, and ordering the discontinuance of afternoon sermons on the Lord's-day, that the people might have more time for sport and play on the sacred day.” These, certainly, were detestable practices to lay to the charge of professedly Christian bishops. The writer, Mr. William Prynne, a man of great learning, a lawyer, and a zealous Puritan, had only spoken the truth. He had taken some precautions to prevent it becoming known that he was the author, being already under cruelly, inhuman punishment for a sentence occurring in a book he had written against the immorality of the stage, which was falsely construed as a libel on the Queen. It was, however, discovered that he had written this “ Newes from Ipswich," and, in consequence, was brought before the Star Chamber by the bishops. That cruel, arbitrary, and unconstitutional engine of despotism and priestcraft of those days sentenced him to pay a fine of £5000 to the king, to be branded on the cheek with S. L.,
for slanderous libeller (which he was not),
to stand in the pillory and have his ears cut off, and to be perpetually imprisoned in Caernarvon castle. What an accumulation of horrors to endure for writing a letter complaining of the misdeeds of the “Fathers of the Church.” As regards the cutting off his ears, having suffered that cruel indignity on a previous occasion, for libel," it might be thought that his inhuman persecutors would have omitted that part of their wicked sentence. But no, that might not be, and so, in default of ears proper, the stumps were now sawn off, in consequence of which, the temporal artery being cut, the blood flowed down in streams. Mr. Bastwick, a physician, and Mr. Burton, a divine, were fellow sufferers with Mr. Prynne, undergoing a similar punishment, having been convicted of the same offence of finding fault with the episcopal bench. History relates that in twelve years of Laud's administration, four thoysand Puritans became planters in America, having left their native land to “ make that their country, which would afford them what was dearer than property or life, the liberty of worshipping God in the way that appeared to them most conducive to their eternal welfare.'
A considerable number of persons left Ipswich for New England at this period on these grounds; being, said one of their persecutors, “dissatisfied with the government of our church.” That is, they objected to be mutilated, flogged, fined, and imprisoned for not submitting to the rule of a tyrannical priesthood, which, to use the words of one of the sufferers, “ now added to its other marks of Antichrist, corruption of doctrine, and a bloody persecution of the saints.”
During the time of the Commonwealth, there was a brief respite from the reign of priestly intolerance. The great Protector was ever ready to lift his strong arm to put down or prevent persecution for conscience' sakė, whether at home or abroad, and it was & cause of deep sorrow to the churches when the death of Cromwell took