« PreviousContinue »
TO EMBRACE RELIGIO
343 blessing ; you have no hope of glory; no interest in God; no place in heaven. You insult the Most High, who bids you to seek him today.' You are ungrateful to his beloved Son, who did not delay to come and die for wretched men, when the appointed time arrived,
§ 3. Consider also that many. are eternally shut (ut of heaven, and eternally shut up in hel), through delaying to turn to God. Some years back, I repeatedly visited an aged man, who was ill. He had spent nearly fourscore years without God in the world; but then professed penitence. He unexpectedly grew better, and a little space was added to his life; bui apparently added in vain. When his health was restored, he seemed to serve the same hard master again, as he had always served. But illness soon returned; and it was understood that he died miserably. I knew another person, that seemed much in earnest in inquiring for spiritual blessings; but, ah, delay! after a time lie grew careless. God now visited him with a painful affiction. I saw him at that time; lle seemed sensible of his sin and folly, and penitent for it. At length divine mercy favoured him once more with health ; but when health returned, the serious impressions of illness, fled away. Again he grew careless of his God. Again he delayed; but, ah! not for a long period : illness soon returned. His soul was filled with distress and misery, and death summoned the unhappy criminal to the bar of his God. Shall I relate an. other anecdote? A young person called upon an aged man, ill, and hastening to the grave; the youth spoke of the blessed Saviour and the precious gospel: for a few minutes be listened
344 WICKEDNESS AND INGRATITUDE with serious attention, then burst into a flood of dit no tears, and exclaimed, “Ah! my young friend, bad I thought on these things thirty or forty years ago, what a happy man might I now have falis been, but now (wringing his hands) it is too laghi late; hell must be my portion for ever."
“And shall I say, "'Tis yet too soon
To seek for heaven, or think of death?"
And I this day resign my breath.
Despise the gracious calls of Heaven;
And never have repentance given."
$ 4. The word of the Most High says, “Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your piese hearts ;” and that is a most important question, ving “ Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, My Father, thou art the guide of my youth. Can you, will you, hesitate to say, “Great God, thou shalt be the guide of mine ?» What! hesitate whether to seek God as your Father, or w have no interest in him! What! hesitate Wa ther Christ shall be your Saviour, or Satan your tormentor! whether heaven or hell shall be you inheritance! whether angels or devils snus your companions! If you will delay, conside well what you are about. Try if you can make a memorandum to this effect: “That, warten? weighed the importance of true religion, you
crion, you yetu, in resolve to pay it no attention at present; you resolve, for some years more, to pre
Gre to plange this i deeper and deeper in the service of the de
of the devil; My F that though your present path conducts to
Coducts to hell, Rowo yet that you will not so soon leave the way to imple co
345 interest for that to heaven ;-that, though living every - pomy day on the goodness of God, you resolve to spend
hitzat least some years more in insulting him, in forwwht Tut getting his love, in abusing his mercies, and in Candy tempting him to cut you down as a cumberer of
the ground, to send you to perdition; — that.
then will offer to God the wretched dregs of a life | spent in serving the devil.” Could you commit to writing such horrid resolutions as these? If you could not, O! do not, by your actions what you would not profess by your words; for, remember that “ actions speak louder than words."
$ 5. Rather be persuaded this day to cast.yourPolself at the Saviour's feet. Happy then would this
day be to you. Happy would be this year. Happy is the day to the condemned criminal, in which he finds forgiveness; but happier far would be the day to you, that brought you to the blessed Jesus for mercy and life; that led you to him for deliverance from all your soul.destroying sins. Inexpressibly happy would be the day to you, in which God received you as his child, in which Christ and heaven became your own. O! if this day you would, in sincerity, cry to God, "My Faiher, thou art the guide of my youth ;" it you would this day look to the Lamb of God, and commit your soul to his care; long would
HAPPY CONSEQUENCES OE
it be a memorable day to you; you might res
the day when God turned my feet into the paths · of peace. Blessed day! it has been the source
of a thousand comforts to me. I was a poor, thoughtless creature, but God met with me, and pitied my dying soul.” If this, or any other lite na tle volume like this, were made the means of awa. kening your mind, you might have to add, “With a careless heart I began to read even of those things which belonged to my everlasting peace; blessed be the name of the Lord that I laid the book down with feelings so different from those with which I took it up."
O, be persuaded now to yield yourself to God; and then next new-year's day shall find you prac
had there. , walking in the way to heaven, or landed there. In either case, how blessed a change woulo. grace of God have made in your conditio Should you be spared for future years, how ha py an alteration would it be, though you began the year in sin, long ere it ended, to have fou forgiveness for all your sins; though you be gan it a child of wrath, before it ended to be & WRIST child of God ;- though you began it without part in one spiritual blessing, ere it ended, able to say, “God and all his love, Christ ato the riches of his grace, and all the sweet pro of Scripture, and all the glories of heaven, mine!" But, perhaps, before even this years conclude, your mortal course may finish..... should do so, and none can tell that it will
without any A THE
e, Christ and all lll.
sweet promises her 8 of heaven, are prou. ven this year shall this
ourse may finish. If it rier le can tell that it will not, her
IMMEDIATELY RECEIVING CHRIST. 347 how infinitely important is it for you, without an hour's delay, to flee to Christ; for then, how happy a year would even this, though your last year,
be to you! How changed next new-year's-day to sit: 17 would your state then appear! O, happy change! 20.19 to have begun the year on earth, and ended it in
heaven ;- to have begun it with man, and endis based it with God; to have begun it unacquainted
with the ways of peace, and ere the year conclu. mot ded, to have found the way, have fought the bat5,099 tle, and received the prize; - to have begun it the most a thoughtless, prayerless creature; and, before it vetust ended, to have learned to commune with God beed a low, and to have begun communion with him read above; - to have begun it far from peace, and ad of Christ, and heaven; and, ere it ended, to have
found salvation, and to be a companion of angels and saints in the regions of glory. May the God
of all grace make you, from this hour, a child of shal of his own, in and through Christ the Lord! Amen
Cube BRIEF ADDRESSES TO SEVERAL CLASSES OF PER
SONS; AND A FEW DIRECTIONS TO THE YOUNG .CHRISTIAN.
TO THE JRRELIGIOUS CHILDREN OF PIOUS PARENTS. iteru s 1. My young friends, much of what has
Charing been here said to all, applies with peculiar force spielen to you. You have peculiar privileges; and your sf bay youthful sins are proportionably greater and his has heavier than those of others. God has laid you hamil under especial obligations to live to him; and, in if you perish, your ruin will be far more dread