« VorigeDoorgaan »
vince me of it. I trust, that my earnest desire to discover “ the truth as it is in Jesus,” has not abate : in its influence; and that I still retain the same disinterested resolution to embrace and adhere to it, with which I set out. Still am I solicitously fearful of being betrayed by warmth of spirit, and by the deceitfulness of my heart, into erroneous opinions. But clamour and reproach, objections and arguments brought against sentiments I detest, or consequences I cannot see to be fairly deducible from our doctrines; or such reasonings as set one divine attribute at variance with another, make one part of the Bible contradict another, or exalt the human understanding upon the tribunal, and arraign and condemn revealed mysteries at her presumptuous bar; will have no weight at all with me, or with any who ever knew the grace of God in truth. .
And now, my dear reader, let me conclude, with leaving it upon thy conscience to search for the truth of the gospel in the study of God's word, accompanied by prayer, as thou wouldst search for hid treasure. I give thee this counsel, expecting to meet thee at the day of judgment, that our meeting may be with joy, and not with grief; may the Lord incline thee to follow it, with that solemn season full in view!-Time how short! eternity how long ! life how precarious, and vanishing! death how certain! the pursuits and employments of this present life how vain, unsatisfying, trifling, and vexatious! God's favour . and eternal life how unspeakably precious! His wrath, the never-quenched fire, the never-dying worm, how dreadful !--0, trifle not away the span of life, in heaping up riches, which shortly must be left for ever, and which profit not in the day of wrath ; in such pleasures and amusements as will issue in eternal torments; or in secking that glory, which shall be swallowed up in everlasting infamy. Agree but with me in this, that it is good to redeem precious time, to “ labour for the
meat that endureth unto everlasting life,” and to attend principally to the "one thing needful;" take. but thy measure of truth as well as duty from the word of God, be willing to be taught of God, meditate on his word day and night; let it be “the light of thy feet, and the “ lan
tern of thy paths ;” and, in studying it, “ lean not to thy own understanding,” trust not implicitly to expositors and commentators, but ask wisdom and teaching of God. Be not a Felir, saying to thy serious apprehensions about thy soul,
-“Go your way at this time, when I have a con“ venient season, I will call for you;" lest death and judgment come before that season and be not an Agrippa, almost persuaded to be a Christian; but seek to be altogether such as the primitive Christians were.
I say agree with me in these reasonable requests, and we shall at length agree in all things ;--in many, in this world ;-in all,
when we hear the Son of God address us in these rejoicing words,—“Come ye blessed of my Father, “inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the “ foundation of the world.”---May the Lord vouchsafe unto the writer, and to every reader, of this narrative, “that wisdom which is from above;" that teaching of his Holy Spirit, which guides into the
peace; that faith which justifies and works by love; that peace of God which passeth understanding; and that measure of sanctifying and strengthening grace, which may enable each of us to be “stedfast and unmoveable, always
abounding in the work of the Lord, as know, ing that our labour shall not be in vain in the
He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth
muck fruit; for without me ye can do nothing. John xv, 5.
Sanctify them by thy truth; thy word is truth.
John xvii, 17.