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to the consideration both of the grave itself, and of all the reality that lies beyond it.
Now, the question comes to be, how is this sleep dissipated ? Not, we affirm, and all experience will go along with us, not by the power of natural argument-not by the demonstrations of human learning ; for these are just as powerless with him who understands them, as with him who makes bis want of learning the pretence for putting them away-not by putting the old materials of thought into a new arrangement-not by setting such things as the eye of nature can see, or its ear can bear, or its heart can conceive, into a new light-not hy working in the varied processes of combination and abstraction, and reasoning with such simple and elementary ideas as the mind of man can apprehend. The feelings and the suggestions of all our old senses put together, will not make out for us a practical impression of the matters of faith and there must be a transition as great as that by which a man awakens out of the sleep of nature, and so come to see the realities of Nature which are around him—there must be a something equivalent to the communication of a new sense, ere a reality comes to be seen in those eternal things, where no reality was felt or seen, however much it may bave been acknowledged, before.
It is true, that along the course of our ordinary existence, we are awake to the concerns of our ordinary existence. But this is not a wakefulness which goes to disturb the profoundness of our insensibility, as to the concerns of a higher existence. We are in one sense awake, but in another most entirely, and, to all human appearance, most hopelessly and irrecoverably asleep. We are just in the same condition with a man who is dreaming, and so moves for the time in a pictured world of bis own. He is not steeped in a more death-like indifference to the actual and the peopled world around him, than the man who is busy for the short and feeting pilgrimage of bis days upon earth, among its treacherous delusions, is shut in all his sensibilities, and all his thoughts, against the certainties of an immortal state. And the transition is not greater from the sleeping fancies of the night, to the waking certainties of our daily business, than is the transition from the day-dreams of a passing world,
to those substantial considerations, wbich wield a presiding authority over the conduct of him who walketh vot by the sight of that which is arouud him, but by the faith of the unseen things that are above him and before bim. To be thus translated in the babit of our mind, is beyond the power of the most busy and intense of its natural exercises. It needs the power of a new and simple manifestation-and as surely as the dreamer on his bed beboves to be awakened, ere he be restored to a just sense of his earthly condition, and of his earthly circumstances, so surely must there be a distinct awakening made to pass on the dark, and torpid, and overborne faculties of us all, ere the matters of faith come to be clothed to our eye in the characters of certainty, and we be made truly to apprebend the bearing in which we stand to the God wbo is now looking over us, to the eternity which is now ready to absorb us.
This awakening calls for a peculiar and a preternatural application. We say preternatural, for such is the obstinacy of this sleep of nature, that no
of nature can put an end to it. It withstands all the demonstrations of aritbmetic. Time moves on without disturbing it. The last messenger lifts many a note of preparation--but so deep is the lethargy that he is not heard, Every year do bis approaching footsteps become more distinct and more audible-yet every year rivets the affections of the votary of sense more tenaciously than before, to the scene that is around him, One would think, that the fall of so many acquaintances on every side of him, might at length have reached an awakening conviction into his heart. One would think, that standing alone, and in mournful survey amid the wreck of former associations, the spell might have been already broken, which so fastens him to a perishable world, O why were the tears he shed over his children's grave, not followed up by the deliverance of his soul from this sore infatuation? Why, as he hung over the dying bed of her with whom he bad so often taken counsel about the plans and interests of life, did he not catch a glimpse of this world's vanity, and did not the light of truth break in upon his heart from the solemn and apprehended realities beyond it? But no.
The enchantment, it would appear, is not so easily dissolved. The deep sleep which the Bible
speaks of, is not so easily broken. The conscious infirmities of age cannot do it. The frequent and touching specimens of mortality around us, cannot do it. The rude entrance of death into our own houses, and the breaking up of our own families, cannot do it. The melting of our old society away from us, and the constant succession of new faces, and new families in their place, cagnot do it. The tolling of the funeral bell, which has rung so many of our companions across the confines of eternity, and in a few short years, will perform the same office for us, cannot do it. It often happens in the visions of the night, that some fancied spectacle of terror, or shriek of alarm, has frightened us out of our sleep and our dream to. gether. But the sleep of this worldliness stands its ground against all this. We hear the moanings of many a death-bed--and we witness its looks of imploring anguish—and we watch the decay of life, as it glimmers onwards to its final extinction-and we hear the last breath-and we pause in the solemn stillness that follows it, till it is broken in upon by the bursting agony of the weepiug attendants --and in one day more, we revisit the chamber of him, who in white and shrouded stateliness, lies the effigy of what he was--and we lift the border that is upon the dead man's countenance, and there we gaze on that brow so cold, and those eyes so motionlessand, in two days more, we follow him to his sepulchre, and mingled with the earth, among wbich be is to be laid, we behold the sculls and skeletons of those who bave gone before him; and it is the distinct understanding of nature, that soon shall have every one of us to go througb the same process of dying, and add our mouldering bodies to the mass of corruption that we have been contemplating. But mark the derangement of nature, and how soon again it falls to sleep among the delusions of a world, of the vanity of which it has so recently got so striking a demonstration. Look op wards but one single day more, and you behold every trace of this loud and warning voice dissipated to nothing.
It is not philosophy which awakes him who has it, to a sense of these things. Neither is it the want of plailosophy which keeps him who has it not, fast asleep among the vanities and day-dreams of a passing world. All the powers of pbilosophy operating upod
all the materials of philosophy, will never dissolve the infatuation of him, who is not yet aroused either from the slumbers, or from the vie sions of carnality. To effect this, there must be, as we before stated, some preternatural power :-the gospel is the mean, and the Spirit
God is that power.
The first work of the Spirit manifested in the soul of the elect child of God is designated, in scripture language, “ called," or “ calling.” This we should do literally: if we saw a person sleeping, whom we wished to awake, we should call him by the sound of our voice. Now this voice, spiritually, is the Gospel, applied to the soul by the Spirit of God.
Thus we find it recorded in the Scriptures :
of your understanding being enlightened ; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inberitance in the saints.
Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them be also called; and whom be called, them be also justified. Rom. viii. 30.
Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not accorda ing to our works, but according to bis own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. 2 Tim. i. 9. That
ye should show forth the praises of Him who hath called us out of darkness into his marvellous ligbt,
Whereunto be called you by our Gospel to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thes, ii. 14.
Who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace. Gal. i. 15.
Art thou called, being a servant ? care not for it : but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather. I Cor. vij. 21.
For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness, 1 Thess, iv, 7.
But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye boly in all manner of conversation. I Pet, i, 15,
But the God of all grace, wbo hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered awhile, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen, 1 Pet. v, 10.
Q. What is effectual calling ?
A. Effectual calling is the work of God's Spirit, whereby convincing us of our sin and misery, enlightening our minds in the knowledge of Christ, and renewing our wills, he doth persuade and enable us to embrace Jesus Christ, freely offered to us in the gospel.
Q. What makes the difference between effectual and ineffectual calling?
A. Ineffectual calling is, when men bare nothing but the exteroal sound of the gospel; Matt. xx. 16. For many be called, but few chosen. Effectual is, when the Spirit works in conjunction with the word ; John vi. 45. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God; every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.
Q. What is the first act of the Spirit in effectual calling ?
A. Conviction of sin ; John xvi. 8. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of siu,
Q. Do the called of God bear any voice from heaven?
A. Ordinarily it is a call without sound, yet as efficacious as an audible voice from heaven,
Q. What is the second act of the Spirit in our effectual calling?
A. The illumination of the mind in the knowledge of Christ; Acts Xxvi. 18. To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God.
Flavels Exposition of the Assembly's Catechism. A saint's being called, is the first immediate fruit and breaking forth of electing, purposing grace. The river ran under ground from eternity, and rises and bubbles up therein first, and then runs above ground to eternity. It is that first and great difference that God puts between man and man; the first mark God sets upon his sheep, whereby be owns them, and visibly calls them His. Rom. viii. 30. “ Whom he hath predestioated, them he hath also called." That's the first and next benefit unto that in God's heart, viz. Predestination. You have the same in 2 Tim. i. 9. “ Who hath called us according to bis purpose and grace;” and hence “ make your calling and election sure." 2 Pet. i. 10. He singles forth calling of all things else, calling upon us to make it sure, and thereby election