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SENSE OF THE WORTH OF THE SOUL. 121

ese hani bappiness of my immortal spirit was at stake. need bred Let endless praises be paid thee for thy condeton-uri scending kindness, praises as lasting and as th faith fervent as thy love. Bless the Lord, O my soul, come who redeemed thy life from destruction. And med ri now, O Lord, may thy Holy Spirit, whose grace il cool I have so often resisted, whose teachings I have orruptionSo oflen slighted, may he possess this soul of

in ca mine, and make it a temple worthy of himself. dshed abroad thy sanctifying influences upon of thid me, implant every grace within me, and train death; * up my deathless soul for that holy and happy en world, where I shall never be tainted with sin,

or feel pain or sorrow more.

Blessed Jesus, thou hast died to set my spirit free from condemnation to eternal death: and

take this precious jewel, and keep it safe beneath Laboral thy tender care. I cannot guard it from its rave

. nous foes. They seek its destruction ; but, al.. The mighty Saviour, they cannot tear the soul away

that is lodged within thy protecting arms. To of thee would I commit mine. It is the purchase - hort of thy blood! and thou wilt keep what I comen mit unto thee. Guard my soul from every foe,

while I am a pilgrim here; and, in my departteking hour, may I see heaven opened, and expire

with the dying prayer of thy first Martyr on my il lips, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Amen.

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CHAPTER VII.

iled

HIGI,

E IMPORTANCE OF RELIGION FURTHER SHOWN, BY
REFERENCE TO THE COUNSEL OF THE MOST HIGH,
"INTAINED IN HIS WORD
¢1 Os all-subjects in which eternity is

.

122 THE BIBLE A GUIDE TO HEAVEN., concerned, the word of God is our surest guide. Do not you profess to believe that word ? By it your views should be regulated, as by it your conduct will be judged. A distinguished Christian, who is gone to his eternal rest, referring to the scriptures, justly says, “I have thought I am a creature of a day, passing through life as an arrow through the air. I am a spirit come, from God, and returning to God; just hovering over the great gulf, till, a few moments hence, I am no more seen: I drop into an unchangeable eternity. I want to know one thing, the way to heaven; how to land safe on that hap., py shore. God himself has condescended to teach the way. For this very end he came from heaven. He hath written it down in a book. O, give me that book! At any price give me the book of God! I have it; here is knowledge enough for me. Let me be homo unius libri, (the man of one book.) Here then I am, far from the busy ways of men ; I sit down alone, only God is here. In his presence I open, I read his book, for this end, to find the way to heaven.” What this pious writer felt himself to be you, my young friend, are now; a creature hastening to eternity, as fast as an arrow darts through the air, or as a shuttle through the loom : and will you not make that sacred book your guide ? It teaches you that religion is true wisdom, and all else folly. That this is the one thing needful, the good part. It teaches you to seek this, whatever you lose by pursuing it; to embrace it, though at the expense of all you possess ; to hold it fast, though that or life must be resigned. It teaches you, that in possessing the blessings of religion, you would

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REPRESENTS RELIGION AS MOST IMPORTANT. 123 renedo possess every good; and that the want of them vonly is worse than hunger, poverty, or pain, prisons,

or martyrdom. That if you enjoy the Saviour's vital love, it is a matter of very little importance not me what you suffer; for here will be found enough

to make amends for all : and that if you have We not this, it signifies little what you possess; for

on the want of this is the want of every thing that Kis worth the thoughts or wishes of an immortal

soul. metal. 82. The judgment of the blessed God, as to w the importance of real piety, and of piety in

youth, is solemnly given in his word. There his beloved Son and his inspired messengers speak

in his name to you ; and, God of mercy! give na my youthful readers grace to listen to those ad

monitions of thine, that I would now repeat to

them. Behold then, my young friend, “Bese hold the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and

to depart from evil is understanding. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all they that do his commandments. Seek ve the Lord while he may

be found. Call ye upon him while he is near. La Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unLand righteous man his thoughts. What shall it proW fit a man, if he gain the whole world and lose

his own soul. One thing is needful. Seek ye birst the kingdom of God and his righteousness, Enter ye in at the strait gate. Strive to enter in; because strait is the gate and narrow is the

way that leadeth unto life, and few there be that F ind it. Ye must be born again. Behold the

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Lamb of God. Believe on the Lord Jesus Job, xxviji. 21. Ps. cxi. 10. Is.lv. 6,7. Mark, viii. 36. Luke, x. 4e.

John, iii, 7. John, i. 36. Acts, xvi. 3).

46. VI. 33.

Matt. vii. 13.

Lake, xiii. 24.

Matt. vii. 14

124 SCRIPTURAL REPRESENTATIONS TE UPOR Christ. Fight the good fighi of faith. Lay beg hold on eternal life. Be diligent, that ye may with a be found of him in peace, without spot and colore hlameless. Let us labour, therefore, io enter than into rest. Remember now thy Creator in the capie days of thy youth. I love them that love me tha the and they that seek me early shall find me. O, dirine that they were wise, that they understood this, albaten that they would consider their latter end! Fear to fra not them which kill the body, and after that tan have no more that they can do: but I will becom forewarn you whom ye shall fear; fear him, kilorem who, after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, fear him. Lay Mimada not up for yourselves treasures upon earth; but there lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where it is neither moth nor -rust doth corrupt, and where that in thieves do not break through nor steal.”

83. Are not these important admonitions the winra admonitions of your God? Religion is the file che blessing which they teach you to choose; a dless blessing which makes the poorest rich, and to as without which the wealthiest are poor. Notice Wimer a few scriptural admonitions more fully. The thes Lord Jesus gave it as his solemn and deliberate judgment, that one thing is needful. He made milie this impressive declaration to one who loved once him, and whom he loved, “One thing is needfal." abesten Compared with it, all that man deems most im- min portant is an insignificant trifle: his wisdom, van folly ; his business and cares, laborious idling; om n his pomp and pleasures as vain as the plays of said children, and his possessions as worthless as to a their toys. But one thing is needful. All that lead 1 Tim. vi. 12. 2 Pet. iij. 14. Heb. iv. 11. Eccles. xii. l. 48 Prot. viii. 17. Deut. v. 29. Luke, xii. 3. Matt. vi. 19, 20. butun

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OF THE IMPORTANCE OF RELIGION. 125 1053

has agitated the generations of men for six

thousand years; all that has engaged their , 7 hearts and employed their fleeting days, com20u fpared with this, is needless, is lighter than the

driven chaff, emptier than the bursting bubble, reale) and vainer than the flying shadow. that lork The com

The same divine speaker said, “Labour not | for the meat that perisheth, but for that which endureth unto everlasting life.” He did not

mean to forbid a proper regard to the duties of 74] this life, but to command à far superior atten

tion to the concerns of the soul; and he assigns 1; b] an important reason for conduct which the

world deems madness. Clothing and food, the s hie 1 body which they cherish, and even the world on In early which they are enjoyed, must shortly perish, earez, "1 and the time in which they are possessed is like w 2017 the twinkling of an eye; but the blessings of =2]" salvation endure to everlasting life; and the soul onits that has these shall enjoy them through an eterEion 1 nity so boundless, that, compared with it, ages, chok as numa

as numerous as the drops of the sea, and one Erich,1, Heeting moment are alike: both so short, that OT. "I placed by the side of eternity, their difference ulp would be imperceptible, both would be nothing Ideme there. Similar to this is the commandment, Hle" "Seek ye FIRST the kingdom of God and his

righteousness.” Jesus had been speaking of 32ct) lood and raiment, those blessings so important 5 m3 19 this life, and then he added, “ seek ye FIRST s the kingdom of God and his righteousness;" as

if he had said, “Let thy earliest and thy chief care be to gain a title to the kingdom of God, and an interest in the Redeemer's righteousness.

reler this not merely to worldly vanities and lollies, but to the most important earthly bless

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