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If Jesus is yours, you are rich, though seeming poor; if he is not yours, however poor, you are far more wretched than you seem to be. With such a Friend, do not utterly despond. Forget for a moment the fellow-men whom you feel induced (perhaps justly, perhaps unjustly) to blame. Think of your Father and your Friend in heaven, whom you cannot blame. Ask, why has God permitted this bitter suffering to befal me? He means assuredly my good by it. He does not willingly afflict nor grieve the children of men (Lam. iii.33). Cast thyself at His feet; ask thyself, have I not lived hitherto a forgetful and impenitent sinner? "He delighteth in mercy;" "humble yourself, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time" (1 Peter v. 6). May you find, afflicted reader, that affliction leads you to see your sins, to seek your Saviour, and thus proves to be the very means of your obtaining, through Christ, eternal joy and glory.
"IF I GO TO HELL, I SHALL NOT GO THERE
Feeling it my duty, some years since, to expostulate with an aged man for neglecting public worship on the Sabbath, he seemed to be somewhat annoyed, and replied in a surly tone, " Well, if J go to hell, I shall not go there alone." This reply showed an awfully hardened state of the heart, and was the more distressing as proceeding from an aged sinner, who had but a brief portion of his probationary period remaining, and seemed disposed only to squander that away in neglect of his salvation and defiance of God. Hear reader! perhaps you are yet in the deplorable condition of this hoary-headed transgressor, impenitent, careless, negligent of the means of grace, and regardless of the salvation of your soul, with no prospect before you but that of going to hell when you die, and yet congratulating yourself that if you go to hell, you shall not go there alone. Did you ever seriously consider what hell is, as a place of banishment from God, as the dark and dreary abode of devils and lost souls, and as a state of awful suffering and hopeless despair? Did you ever solemnly reflect on the inevitable anguish of the damned, and endeavour to realize the thought of being lost—lost for ever? Think of this,—think of
"the blackness of darkness for ever,"—"the worm that dieth not,"
"the fire that is not quenched,"—"everlasting punishment." Ponder these things, and surely you cannot imagine that it is a trifling calamity to go to hell, or feel that you are at liberty to be indifferent to your salvation.
Are you comforting yourself with the thought that, if you go to hell, you shall not go there alone. This will be no comfort to you when you get there. This will be no comfort to you when you come to die. Doubtless if you go to destruction, you will not go there alone; you will have plenty of companions; for "wide is the gate, and broad is the road, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be who go in thereat.'' But this, instead of comforting you, will only aggravate your case and increase your misery. Those with whom you have associated in sin will become your tormentors. Those whom, by your ungodly example, you have led astray, will eternally upbraid you as one of the guilty agents of their own everlasting ruin. Then do not natter and deceive yourself; open your eyes to the truth, and take alarm in time. Neglect no longer. Let it be your solemn determination that you will not go to hell, nor be any longer the instrument of leading others thither. "Flee from the wrath to come!" Flee to Christ, the gracious and only Saviour. He is able and willing to save you, even should you be an aged sinner, or the greatest sinner of all men. "He will in no wise cast you out." Go to him without delay, and give yourself up to his service, that you may both escape hell, and be the means of leading others to heaven.
Worcester. W. Crowe.
"MY SON, GIVE ME THINE HEART."
Pror. xxiii. 26.
"BEHOLD, I STAND AT THE DOOR AND KNOCK." 1 Rev. Hi. 20.
Give, now, jour heart to God! He well deserves,
He made it first, its powers he still preserves;
A boon for which Omnipotence will pray!
Around your child your warm affections rove.
No bliss to you is like the well-earn'd love
An infant's love, when God asks yours In vain I
'Twere hard if you might never pluck a flower.
No fragrance catch, whene'er a passing shower
Forbid him not within its bowers to come 1
Oh, highly honoured man ! that such a Guest
Should deign to ask within thy heart a home; Henceforth let hope and fancy find no rest, 'While this great Friend without thy doors shall roam; Let sighs and tears declare You beg for evermore his presence there 1 The Bury, Luton. Hrnrt Burgess.
Xarrattves, anertrotes, &t.
DANGEROUS SITUATION OF A SHIP'S CREW.
A short time ago, an East Iiidiaman, meeting with stormy weather, foundered on her passage home. The crew succeeded in reaching a large bare rock. They had no food but what they obtained by fishing, and by snaring the sea-fowl; neither had they a drop of water but what they caught on the eighth day of their existence on that desert •pot. By that time their case was desperate. They strained their eyes continually over the wide waste of waters in hope of seeing some sail. On the highest point of the rock they fixed a flag, and one of their number, by turns, stood near it, to keep up a perpetual watch. But the ninth day came, and no appearance of salvation. The tenth
I came, and still no rescue. The eleventh was followed by the twelfth, and still all was as before. Who can conceive the feelings they must
. have had, to see hour after hour, night after night, morning after
, morning, come and depart, in such fearful circumstances? It might probably seem strange to you, reader, if it were said that you are, at
I this moment, in a situation not less affecting. What you have just read is a narration of literal facts. Is it not equally true that you have suffered shipwreck, and that that ocean of sin which rolls around you, cannot be crossed without a Deliverer? Perhaps you have waited long, and are still unsaved. Fifteen, twenty, or thirty years, it may be, have rolled over you, and still you are without rescue. Another day has dawned upon you,—Shall That Close
ALSO WITHOUT A CHANGE?
There is something so remarkable in the circumstance of your waiting in your present condition, and even refusing to seize any opportunity of moving out of it, that it may be well to pause for a moment to consider your reasons.
You say this life occupies so much attention, that you cannot find time to think of your soul. Business of all kinds must be followed with spirit or not at all. Rising early, and retiring late, are the ouly conditions on which life can be maintained, and how can leisure be found for eternity? All this may be so; but still the soul is of more consequence than the body, and will be alive when the body lies in the grave. We may wish it were otherwise; but so it is. What is of most value, ought, in any case, to have most attention; but if you should this day set in good earnest about this matter, you will find that so far from attention to the soul losing time, it will gain time, and every thing you do will be done better.
Perhaps you say, that though convinced of this, there can be no harm in delay. No harm in staying on the rock, when you have the opportunity of bearing off! May not a storm spring up and sweep you away never to be recovered? May not starvation waste you to death, and scatter your bones around as a monument of folly? No harm in delay! Does not one delay lead to another? Have you not been delaying all your life up to this moment, and is it not most probable that you will continue to do so until all opportunities are gone? Oh, that you were ready to snatch at an offer of deliverance as these seamen did?
On the morning of the fifteenth day these miserable men, reduced almost to the point of death, caught sight of a far distant vessel. Their hearts beat with anxiety. Hope and fear fought together in their hearts. Death would be more dreadful if it followed this glimmer of safety; but it pleased a merciful God that, in the course of some hours, the commander of the ship discovered their signal of distress, and bearing down towards them, took them under his protection. They were gradually strengthened, and landed at last on the shores of Britain.
Fix your eye, dear reader, on Him who came "to seek and to save that which was lost,"—on the Son of God, who, from the cross, cries, "Come unto me, and be ye saved,"—and you also shall be delivered and landed in heaven.
Liverpool. C. M. B.
WHAT SIN CAN I HAVE DONE TO DAY?
I was conducted once, by an excellent man, to the sick bed of a woman in the worst part of the city of Bristol. She was advanced in life, most unpromising in appearance; her form and features very coarse and masculine,—I may say repulsive. After a long conversation with her, in which I could not succeed in shewing her that she was in any important sense a sinner, I enquired, "Do you think you have committed a single sin to day?" She exclaimed, with surprise, "Oh, sir, what sin can I have done to day;—sin, none, to be sure,— lying here." "Well," I replied, "I wish I could say as much;—that I had done no sin to day."
It was some time before circumstances permitted me to see her again. When I did so, the first thing she said was, "Well, sir, do you remember telling me that you wished you could say you had done no tin to day; I could never forget that; I thought if you, that came to talk to me for my good, and relieve my wants, had sinned that day, surely I must too; and the Lord has shewn me since that I have a heart that can sin when my body is ill in bed."
To be brief, this woman became a delightful christian. The whole street respected her; her example—for she said little—led many to become christians too. She recovered enough of the almost lost power of reading, to ponder over the New Testament, and she died truly happy, the most irreligious around confessing that the change was so great, that if any were gone to heaven, she was. I never myself saw a body interred in more "sure and certain hope of a joyful resurrection."
But what began these joyful hopes in herself and others? It was her finding out that she could be a sinner even when lying helpless on a sick bed; and that a friend, engaged in the very duties of charity and religion, could be a sinner too; and she learned yet further, that even such sins must be matter of real shame and sorrow, and that the blood of Christ alone could take them away. It is sin—not our sins being a few more or a few less—it is sin in any degree of it which ruins us. It is a fatal, because an unnoticed evil, in our very bosoms. We have done to day (were all other days blameless), we have done TO Day, enough to condemn us as breakers of God's most righteous law. We have done it in our hearts, and have we not in our words and deeds too? Now, have you thought this day's sin of consequence enough to go to Christ for pardon? Has the thought of your day's sins, and Christ's death, as the only possible atonement for them, entered your mind at all? Friend, let me commend to your reflections the experience of this poor and unlearned, but strong-minded and truly excellent, woman, and may our last end be like hers.
Bradford. A. T.
"HOW CAN I COME TO CHRIST?"
To an awakened sinner, this question is often involved, for a time, in the most profound and inscrutable mystery. A young man of strong mental powers, and amiable deportment, was led, under an awakened conscience, to make the great enquiry, What must I do to be saved? Pressing on successfully in the path to honourable distinction, he had before thought little about the subject of his soul's salvation, under the vague idea that he needed no other preparation for heaven than he already possessed. But now he looked into his own heart, and in the
light of God's holy law, he saw the pollution that was there, forget-.
fulness of God, deadness, insensibility to his love. He now discovered his lost condition, and earnestly sought instruction. He conversed with his pastor, who, after setting before him his real state by nature and by practice, insisted upon that Gospel direction to "Come to Christ." This was explained and enforced in repeated interviews, with the greatest possible simplicity and earnestness. But his distressed conscience found no peace. He was satisfied that the advice was good; but what did it mean to come to the Saviour?—this he did not understand. Philosophy, which had been his favourite study, failed entirely to cast any light upon the great practical question which engrossed his mind. The conviction of his guilt and danger became more deep and distressing; and most gladly would he repair to Jesus, he thought, if he only knew how." This problem must be solved. And,