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PREFACE. moting the kingdom of Christ beyond the narrow : limits of his own congregation, and the confined space of a few short years.
In composing the subsequent pages, it has been the Author's wish to imitate the serious plainness which prevails in the writings of some of those emi. A nent men, who lived a century and a half, or two centuries ago, rather than the more polished but much less impressive manner of the present age. Gospel truth is now often held forth in so refined a style, that the offence of the cross ceases, the force of divine truth is lost; it is little better than the mere wisdom of words, and has not much more ef- seit fect than sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.
How far the writer of this little book has succeeded itement in his aim, must now be left to the decision of God. The ci If he deign to employ it as an instrument of advancing his cause, it will be successful; but if he have nothing for it to do, the sooner it shall sink into oblivion the better,
w $ 1. My dear young friend, if a person could ned by
rise from the dead to speak to you, could come mt af from the other world to tell you what he had fined it seen there, how attentively would you listen to e for his discourse, and how much would you be afand lected by it! Yet a messenger from the dead more i could not tell you more important things, than
those to which I now beseech you to attend. I
walk in the pleasant path of early piety. O that crant I could, with all the fervour of a dying man, har beseech you to attend to your only great con.
cerns. for of how little consequence is this poor
attention, but to your life, your all, your
1. Do not let a stranger be more anxious
time you were so. You have wasted years nough. Think of Sir Francis Walsingham's oras; “While we laugh all things are serious ind us. God is serious, who preserves us, nas patience towards us ; Christ is serious,
hed his blood for us ; the Holy Spirit is us, when he strives with us; the whole crea
who shed his bl serious, when he
INTRODUCTORY ADDRESS tion is serious in serving God and us; all are serious in another world; how suitable then is it for man to be serious! and how can we be gay and trifling pos Do you smile at this grave address, and say, this is the cant of enthusiasm ? O, think, that those who laughed at these solemn truths, when the last hundred years began, now laugh no more! The friendly warning may be neglected, and the truths of the bible disbelieved, but death and eternity will soon force on the most careless heart, a deep conviction, that reli. igion is the one thing needful.
Yes, my young friend, one thing is needful; so said the Lord of life; needful to you, to me, to all. The living neglect it, but the dead know sits value. Every saint in heaven feels the worth of religion, through partaking of the blessings to which it leads; and every soul in hell knows its -value by its want. It is only on earth that tri. flers are to be found ; and will you be one of them? God forbid !
Read, I beseech you, this little book, with serious prayer. Remember that it is your welfare which is sought. I wish you to be happy here, and when time is past, happy for ever. Fain would I persuade you to seek a refuge in the skies, and friends that never fail. I plead with you a more important cause than was ever conducted before an earthly judge. Not one which concerns time only; but which concerns a long eternity. Not one on which a little wealth or reputation depends; but one on which your eternal poverty or eternal riches, eternal glory or eternal shame, a smiling or a frowning God, an eternal heaven or an eternal hell, are all de pending. And it is your cause I plead and not
TO THE YOUNG READER.
Ivice here given you a hundred years hence.
it can possibly be now. Then, my young
nd, what will you think of this friendly warn
ow happy will you be if you have fol. the advice it contains! Fancy not that
be then forgotten. Calls and mercies e orgotten here must be remembered there, when
10 is brought to the sinner's memory. If
think me over-earnest, you will not
and worlds were yours, they would ap-
hat you now enjoy; and which, per-
Ifaril it will be then forgotten.
Inic every sin is brought to th
til now you think me over-e
op ten thousand worlds we
INTRODUCTORY ADDRESS: thousands are rejoicing in heaven, that they, in past years, attended to such earnest calls. Once they were as careless as you may have been, but divine grace disposed them to listen to the word of life. They regarded the warnings addressed to them; they found salvation; they are gone to rest; and now with what pleasure may they recollect the fervent sermon, or the little book, that, under God, first awakened their attention, and first impressed their hearts! About one hundred and fifty years ago, a gentleman went into the shop of a Mr. Boulter, a London bookseller, to inquire for some plays. Mr. Boulter told him he had none; but showed him Mr. Flavel's treatise of “Keeping the Heart;" and assured him, that it would do him more good than plays. The gentleman glancing at different pages, said, “ What a fanatic was he who made this book !" Mr. Boulter assured him, he had no cause to censure it so bitterly. He bought it, but said he would not read it. “What will you do with it then ?" said the friendly bookseller. "I will tear and burn it,” said he. Mr. Boulter told him then, he should not have it. Upon this, the gentleman promised to read it. About a month after, he went again to the shop, and spoke to this effect: “I most heartily thank you for putting this book into my hands
I bless God that moved you to do it - blessed be God that ever I came into your shop!” and then he bought a hundred more to give to those who could not buy them. How much happier, my young friend, is he now, than he would have been if he had continued the same thoughtless creature as he was when he entered the bookseller's shop! Now, though to us his.