The Convert's Corner.


AMONG the many conversions in connexion with the Great American revival, are those of several sea-captains, which give the most convincing proof of the power of Divine grace. One of these captains had followed the sea, and business connected with the sea, for more than forty years. He was in the Feejee Island trade twenty-six years. He has retired, and was nearly sixty years old. He was in the vigour of good health, and had the prospect before bim of many years of ease and comfort. Some twenty years ago he was the subject of serious impressions, which lasted for nearly two years, with more or less intensity.

His wife was a praying woman, and had been a professor of religion twenty-eight years. The serious impressions of this captain's mind at length wore off, and he became indifferent to the claims of religion, and regardless of his own personal interest in the salvation of the soul. Never, however, did he cease to feel a respect for religion. He had been in all parts of the world, and had escaped many perils and dangers, when by reason of shipwreck, or at the hands of cannibals, he had expected to meet death in some of its most terrific forms. For the last five or six years, since retiring from the sea-faring life, heretofore pursued, he had been going farther and farther from God, caring less and

less for religious things, and was filling up the measure of his iniquity. He did not like to go to meeting, though he went to please his wife.

When the daily prayer-meetings commenced, he did not think very favourably of them. He told his wife that they would not amount to anything; that a few would go a few days, get discouraged, see a great failure, and that would be the end of it. He seemed to regard the whole thing as a hazardous enterprise, which would end in disgrace.

His wife wanted him to go to the meetings, but he said he should not go to the lecture-room. He was a large man, and needed a larger place to sit in than that. He said that when they had them in the church he would go, not dreaming that they would ever be held there, as it was the largest church in the place. This he said rather out of derision than out of any expectation that he would ever be called upon to comply with the promise which he was then making. He did not suppose they would ever be held there, so he thought he was safe in making the promise.

At the end of the first week, the prayer meetings became so thronged, that it was announced that hereafter they would be held in the church, a large building, capable of holding many hundred people. The opening of the church became a necessity. He then thought he must

go, but resolved to finish up by going once or twice, simply to comply with the letter of his promise. The time drew near, and he felt ashamed to go; and to get rid of it he told his wife he would not go unless he could go just as he was, without changing his dress. He supposed she would object to that; but she answered, "Go any way, only go." He started, and felt so ashamed, that he would have denied it, if any one had asked him on the way if he was going to the prayer meeting.

At this first meeting his mind was somewhat interested. But he did not intend to go again. Indeed he made up his mind that he would not. In conversing with another sea-captain, he found him somewhat interested in the prayer meetings, and they agreed to go together next day. At this meeting of the next day he was more interested still. He went again the next day, and had more feeling. As his feelings deepened, he tried to keep clear of the other captain, but did not succeed. In conversing together, he found that he had similar feelings and anxieties. Still he was ashamed to be seen on his way to the prayer meetings. In the course of a week he had deeper convictions than he had ever had before. He could not sleep, and his family wondered what was the matter. He endeavoured to divert attention from his case by saying it was the spring of the year, and he did not feel very well. Medicine was recommended; but he knew he needed a medicine for the soul, though he studiously avoided letting any one know that he felt religious anxiety. He would not even tell

his wife-but after she was asleep he would weep and pray all night. He had not shed a tear for twenty years, and was not easily moved to tears. Oh, what a miserable, wretched man he now felt himself to be! His eyes were now literally fountains of tears.

At length he resolved to tell his faithful, praying wife just how he felt, but could not. He did, however, tell the other sea-captain, and they wept together. Both of these men endeavoured to get up in the meeting and ask for prayers, but both failed. They seemed to be unable to rise from their seats. As his convictions deepened, he felt that he must tell his wife. He entered his house again and again fully resolved to do so, but his courage failed. He was dumb before a praying woman. He wanted to read the Bible, but could not do so without its being known to the whole house. He started to go up stairs that he might not be seen, but was hindered by the fear that some one would follow him. So he left the house in greater distress than ever.

He went into the fields outside of the town and sat down and wept bitterly. What oppressive sorrow weighed like a mountain load upon him! A few days more, and he made known his feelings to his anxious wife, who all this time was praying for him. The result was a great increase of tenderness of heart and conscience, but no relief. His eyes poured forth floods of tears. His sense of sin was perfectly overwhelming. He was so overpowered after a night of weeping, that the next day he was completely ex

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hausted. As the hour of prayer drew near, he longed for the moments to fly more swiftly so that he might go -though he knew not why he should feel so. At the meeting he was greatly distressed. The meeting was nearly ended, and brought no relief to his agonised spirit. He felt as if he should really die. At length the meeting was closing, when a pious sea-captain-quite out of time, as it then seemed to all-begged the privilege of saying a few words. He said that the way of salvation was plain. All could make their passage straight to heaven. "See what we have," said he, in his earnest, blunt manner; see what we have! We have a book of directions; we have a compass; we have a chart; we have all the rocks and shoals laid down; we have our course laid straight to heaven. No sailor was ever half so well provided. He must be a poor sea-captain that cannot get his vessel into port." And he sat down.


Oh! what words-what words-to this poor, anxious, distressed captain! "They were apples of gold in pictures of silver." Blessed words, sent of the Holy Spirit-the Comforter. The rays of light shot into that hitherto dark mind and heart. He thought how he had shaped and steered his course for almost every port on the face of the globe. "I, who always knew I could get into port, felt confident I could-shall I give up in despair? What if I am in mid-ocean, and have been drifting

about all my days-I will lay my course now-I will follow my 'directions'-I will make straight for heaven." Light gleamed into his mind. The burden on his heart was lifted up! He went home to ad his Bible, and con of directions which he hau neglected so long that he had not read ten chapters in ten years.

THE FOREST TREES.-Build your nest on no tree here; for you see God hath sold the forest to death, and every tree upon which we would

As he was leaving the house, he promised that he would go home and pray with his wife that night. This promise was kept. He read the Bible, and then they kneeled down to pray. After she had prayed, he attempted to pray, and all he could say was, "God be merciful to me a sinner." This he repeated more than fifty times!

He could not go to sleep that night, but continued to weep and pray; hearing the clock strike and tick till near morning. Every tick of the clock seemed to say, "Jesus lives! Jesus lives!" Suddenly he found himself walking the room in an ecstasy of delight-and, as he looked out of the window, such beauty never met his eyes before. He longed for the morning to come, so that he might tell of his Saviour, and how he had found Him, and what a blessedness there was in believing in Him. From that time he had light and joy in his soul, and he shed the light all around him. He became a most active Christian, spending all his time in recommending Christ, and seeking the salvation of others.

rest is ready to be cut down, to the end that we may flee and mount up and build upon the rock.-Rutherford.

The Counsel Chamber.


NOT only is it important that the truths presented be adapted to convert the soul, but also, that every thing be avoided in the manner of presenting them, which has any tendency to prevent the desired result. That this suggestion is not needless, will be apparent on the slightest reflection. How often has the whole power of truth been destroyed by something unhappy in the manner of presentation. To prevent such a result, attend diligently to the following suggestions

1. Avoid a hasty, heartless manner. This is, in fact, a contradiction of all that you say, and is so felt to be. For it really implies that you do not believe what you utter. How is it possible to believe that a dear friend, or, in fact, any one, is exposed to endless perdition, and sincerely to exhort him to flee to Christ, without indicating great earnestness and deep feeling? And if you speak in a hasty or heartless manner, as if it were a point of mere theory, or as if you did it merely from a sense of duty, to escape the goadings of your own conscience, how can you expect any other result than to chill all feeling and destroy all effort?

2. Avoid a gloomy and forbidding manner. Religion is, in fact, the rational and delightful service of God; and it is possible to rejoice in God and delight in His government, and at the same time to be moved with the deepest compassion for the souls of the impenitent. This state

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of mind will indicate itself, at all suitable times, by great tranquillity and cheerfulness, and by self-possession even in the midst of the deepest feeling. This produces on the minds of the impenitent a conviction, that so far as love to God is concerned, you are perfectly happy, and that your sorrow is caused by a sincere and deep interest in them, and a painful certainty that they must be lost for ever if they do not repent. Nothing tends more powerfully than this, to convince the sinner of the desirableness of religion, and to arouse him to earnest effort. On the other hand, a severe and morose manner excites a prejudice against the whole subject, and leads him to conclude, that to become religious is to abandon all pleasure, and involve himself in the deepest gloom.

3. Avoid a harsh, imperious spirit. It is possible to speak as if the sinner had offended against you instead of against God; and to produce the impression, that it is in virtue of your own authority that you urge him to repentance. The fact is, however, that he has sinned, not against you, but against God, and that you yourself are a pardoned sinner, pleading the cause of God. In spirit, therefore, be bold, earnest, and decided; urge all the claims of God: and yet, do it with so much kindness, tenderness, and humility, as to leave the full conviction on his mind, that it is God's cause which you plead, and not your own.

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4. Avoid all vague and general remarks on the importance of religion, that tend to no definite result. If you attempt to converse, be faithful and thorough. In many general remarks, the sinner will agree with you; and if you say no more, and bring him to no point, you may even produce a self-complacent feeling in his mind, as if in many important respects he had made some progress towards religion. Leave no such impression. Do not perform your work slightly. Make the truth so clear that he cannot avoid seeing his condition and character, and call on him at once to repent and obey God.

5. Be self-possessed, so as not to be confused, or thrown off your guard by a harsh or hasty reply. Meekness is invincible; but the moment you permit your passions to be excited, you are stripped of all your power. With equal caution avoid being drawn from your purpose by vain and needless discussions. It is desirable, no doubt, to remove all difficulties as it regards doctrine or duty, which are sincerely and honestly felt. But it is easy to discriminate between such a desire of instruction and an effort to escape the pressure of duty, by resorting to doubtful disputations. Avoid being diverted from your purpose by any such effort, and be only the more earnest to hold up truth and press obligation. If any matter of doubtful disputation is suggested, manifestly tending to no good result, avoid it, and direct his attention to some plain and practical duty, such as repentance, faith, family prayer, &c., concerning which there can be no doubt.


6. Study diligently the character of those with whom you converse, and adapt your remarks accordingly. Endeavour also to gain access to them at the most suitable times, and in the most favourable circumstances. In this way your remarks will have their utmost power. On the other hand, if you proceed without discrimination, their whole power may be lost, and even reaction be produced. Avoid, however, mistaking timidity for prudence; and do not, through a pretended fear of doing hurt, criminally neglect all opportunities to do good. Sincerely desire to save souls, and seek wisdom by earnest prayer, and abundant occasions of judicious conversation will daily be presented by the providence of God, and you will be aided to use them aright.

7. Let your whole life be such as to add power to your exhortations. It is an old maxim, and no less true than old, that actions speak louder than words. The real state of a man's mind will develop itself by his habitual mode of living. If he is a man of God and watches unto prayer, it will be seen and felt. If he is sincerely desirous of the salvation of souls, all must and will perceive it. The face of Moses shone when he came down from the mount, and all saw and felt that he had been with God. So, if you dwell much on eternity, and meditate daily on the value of the soul, and earnestly desire the salvation of men, it will show itself in a thousand numberless ways, in your looks, manner, tone, spirit, and all the intercourse of life. And after all, a holy life is the strongest possible argument that can be used to convince the impenitent of the truth

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