Page images
PDF
EPUB

An Address to the Sick when unprepared

for Death.

MY DEAR FRIEND,

It has pleased God, in whose hands our breath is, and whose are all our ways, to lay his afflicting hand upon you. He has done much to convince you of his love; he has nourished and brought you up as his child 1; crowned you with loving-kindness and tender mercies, and invited you to partake of all the blessings of the gospel salvation. But bitherto all has been in vain ; his terrors have not alarmed you, his mercies have not melted you, but his love still follows you; and rather than you should perish, he is laying his correcting hand upon you. You have often seen the love of a father in the chastisement of his child ; and will you not believe your Heavenly. Father, when he declares, whom he loveth he chasteneth; not for his pleagure, but to purify them from sin, and make them partakers of his holiness ? This is, perhaps, the last nieans that he will try. Now he is shewing you the vanity of the world, and how poor a portion it is for an immortal soul! He is now shewing you the value of that time, which you have trifled away :-He is

drawing you nearer to an eternal world, that he may rouse you from your fatal security. We would not, my friend, wish to alarm or terrify you ; but we must be faithful, where the life of au immortal soul is at stake. You know that you are a mortal, and ought you not to suppose that this sickness may be into death? Let me intreat you to put to yourself this serious question-Am I ready? Take the gospel marks of salvation into your hands, and judge yourselves faithfully, as one who must be judged of the Lord.

Jesus Christ bas told you, that “ except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God :" does not this imply, that you bave a sinful nature, that must be changed and renewed ? He tells you that one thing is needful; and what is this one thing, but the

your soul? Has this been the one thing needful with you ? Have you sought first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and preferred the hopes of eternal life, before all the pleasures and prosperity of this world ? Have you walked after the flesh, or after the spirit? Have you been spiritually minded, wbich is life and peace; or carnally minded, which is death ? Have you hated sin, and been striving, watching, and praying against it? Have you seen yourself to be one of those lost sinners whom Jesus Christ came to seek and to save ? And have you cast yourself upon him for life and salvation? O, my friend, how will you escape if you neglect so great a salvation? Arise and call upon thy God !-Seek him while he may be found !--Call

care of

upon

him while he is near.

Prayer. O my God! I have been examining my heart, and searching my ways; and I find that I have sinned against heaven and in thy

sight; I have lived without thee in the world! 'Thou hast called, but I would not answer.

I have cast off fear, and restrained prayer before thee. I have resisted thy Holy Spirit, and trampled upon the blood of a Redeemer! o that my head were waters, and iny eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night. Have mercy upon me, O God ! Turn me, and I shall be turned! I have undone myself, but to thee do I look for help! Lord, save me, or I perish ! I have heard that the King of Israel is a merciful King, and that thou hast declared thyself the Lord God, merciful and gracious! I have heard thy gracious invitations to the weary and heavy laden ; and I come to lay hold of thy grace and mercy! O take away this heart of sione,

[ocr errors]

did we know, and how much were we ignorant of; and what pains did our little knowledge cost us! But there, one sight of the face of God; will put an end to this long night, and there you shall understand the works of God, and the frame of the creation; the place, the office, and reason of all the things which here you know not. The move. teries of the gospel which angels pry into, will be there unfolded to you. What wel. come will those blessed angels give you, that here disdained not to minister for you, and bear you up in all your ways, and interested themselves in your concerns ; rejoicing before God at your conversion! How glad then will they be of your safe arrival at the promised harbour of felicity with themselves! Wbat joy will you be entertained and welcomed into ;-to the acquaintance of those blessed spirits, and of all the holy spirits that are delivered from this flesh and world ; and to see their order, be numbered with their society, and to be employed in their joyful work. O how much better company is there, than the best below! There is no ignorance, and therefore, no error ; no want of love, and no contention; no narrow private interest to contend for; but all made happy in perfect love: no cruel mockings or imprisonments; none destitute, afflicted, or tormented; no

[ocr errors]

more sufferings for the sake of righteousness; bat having suffered with Christ, they are now reigoing with him; no wars or rumours of wars, because no lust to war in their members : there we shall have no suffering friend to mourn for; your righteous soul will no longer be grieved with the wicked ; the whole society will shine in light, and flame in love; and none through weakness or corruption will be a cloy or hindrance to another. Above all this you shall behold the person of your glorified Redeemer! You shall see that body in its glorious change, which was once humbled to a virgin's womb, to a life of poverty, and to the scorn of sinners : the wonderful condescension of his incarnation, and the mystery of his divine nature will there be better understood.

You shall see the blessed God himself ; in that place which he hath prepared to reveal his glory in. You shall see him, whose sight will perfect your understandings; and love him, and feel the fulness of his love. O, my dear friend, bad you and I but a glimpse, with blessed Stephen or Paul, of these unutterable pleasures, how deeply would it affect us ! and how weary should we be of this prison, and how glad to be delivered into the glorious liberty of the sons of God! This is the life that you are going to

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »