worldly pursuits, bent on gain or ambition, or immersed in a round of follies and pleasurable amusements, little is remembered, save that time was, and is gone. Perhaps, indeed, a confused recollection of insincere and anxious joys, with many more seasons of cruel vexation and misery, may, strike the mind of the mere worldling, when looking back on time thus wasted in vanity. What is a life thus spent, but an empty show, a dream, and far worse than nothing and vanity ? Such an one feedeth on ashes. A deceived heart hath beguiled him, and he knoweth it not. He is driven away as the morning cloud, or as the dew when it feeleth the sun. He seeketh rest and findeth none. And why doth he not? It is because he taketh “ no note of time.” Year after year comes to a period, and finds him in pursuit of the same shadows, which flee as he pursues. In defiance of the admonition he receives from every striking clock, and every setting sun, and every annual period, that draws to a close and returns no more, he goes on in heedless unconcern of all but his beloved gain, or the food of his ambition, or his sensual pleasures. He considers not that soon he must stand on the very shore of that boundless eternity to which he is ever hastening, and into which he can carry none of the objects of his present pursuit.

Is such the inevitable lot of man? Is he thus unavoidably doomed to feed on vanity and things of nought? Far from it. The candle of the Lord is set up in his breast, and his pure word is at hand. Both proclaim aloud, remember the time is short. Each revolving season takes up the same language, and in reason's ear repeats, remember the time is short ; and whosoever frequently calls this to mind, takes a stand and looks back on the past, surveys what he has done, and forward, to see what is before him, will be laying in provisions for eternity ; will be seeking for more durable goods; for pleasures which will leave no sting behind; for comforts that are without alloy. And no time is more proper in which to take such a stand, than at the close of one year, and the commencement of another. That which is past exclaims, remember the time is short. That, on the threshhold of which we stand, re-echoes the cry, remember the time is short. Listen then, O man, to these admonitions, and be wise.

While thus you are invited by the closing year to think of the shortness of time, close not your meditations till you have looked forward to the great day, seen in vision, by the beloved Jobn; when a mighty Angel shall rise and swear by him that liveth forever and ever ; by him who created the Heavens and the things that therein are, and the earth and the things that therein are, and the sca and the things that are therein, that there shall be time no longer.*

That duration should have an end, is impossible. A moment cannot be conceived beyond which another shall not follow. But days and years may have an end. He who balanced the earth upon nothing, he who set the heavenly spheres to wheeling their mighty rounds, and causing the vicissitude of day and night, summer and winter, can, with the same word which commanded them to be, speak them into nought. He hath set them their bounds, beyond

* Revelations a. 5, 6.

which they shall not pass. He hath limited a time, beyond which they shall no more exist. The sun, with his effulgent beams, shall no more mark out the day; nor the moon and stars with milder ray, preside over the night. The time is coming when they shall have accomplished the end of their creation, and be no more. And thus time, as measured on earth, shall have an end.

But this is not the most important light, in which we should contemplate the ending of time. In the word of God, and in common discourse, time is very often put for the things and enjoyments of time. These also must have an end; for on worldly things they depend for existence. With worldly things they must fly away. If rightly used they are suited to our present probationary state, but can have no place when that is ended. Prize them as we may, they are but dross. They will not endure but for a moment. That whereon they rest shall vanish in that dread moment, when the hea. quens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat ; and when the stars shall fall from the heavens, as the falling fig from the fis-tree.

Nay, and what is far more, the mediatorial Kingdom of Messiah will come to an end. Being instituted with relation to a temporary world, it will have answered its end, and cease. It will have gathered iogether in one all them that are worthy, and will deliver them up to God the Father. Whilst it is in the world, it is a thing of ume, accommodated to the circumstances of man in his temporal above. All the ordinary and special dispensations of Providence, have a view to this Kingdom, that it may accomplish its end, as it assurediy will, before it cease in the day of consummation, when they that are holy shall be holy forever, and they that are unclean shall remain unclean; in the day when time, and all things that relate to it, shall be swallowed up in a boundless eternity ; as in an ocean without a bottom, and without a shore.

How awful the thought! How affecting the consideration! The very earth, and all that it does contain, shall be no more! The place that now knows it, shall know it not again! What then; shall there be one universal blank in boundless space ? By no means. God will exist. His holy Angels will exist. Our souls will exist, and retain a consciousness that once they existed here. How vain will ther appear these transitory scenes ! How idle the cares and anxieties, which they may have occasioned! And if we have been found worthy to enter into glory, how triumphant the reflection that we have escaped their bewildering enticements!

While thus we are invited by the current season to contemplate the end of all time, and of all its concerns, it can but be useful to take a backward look on the year just past. The sun hath rose and set his complement of days. The moon hath waxed and waned in her course, measuring that space

of ume denominated a year; with regard to which the oath of the Angel is already fulfilled, it shall be 19 more. If it were gone by us, as the way-faring stranger with whom we had no concern, it were a matter of small consequence that it is out of sight. But this is far from being the case ; for it bas taken along with it our thoughts and our designs, our busy cares and our amusemenis, our pleasures and our pains, our joys and our

griefs, our wishes and our desires,. to present them before God. We have done nothing, said nothing, and thought nothing within the year, but it has taken away; it is registered in the book of God, and we cannot recall it; it shall witness for, or against us, in the day of account. Then what an account! How solemn will be the reckoning!

And that we may not be altogether unprepared to act well our part on that great occasion, wisdom requires that we now begin to examine ourselves, and impartially answer to the queries suggested by the ending year-What evil have you done, of which you have not repented? What duty have you omitted to perform to yourself, to your fellow-men, or to God? Have you not given way to immoderate anger? Have you not harbored hatred, malice, or revenge, in your heart? Have you not injured a neighbor by wrong and violence, or by detraction and evil-speaking ? Have you not hardened your heart, and closed your hand against the wants of the needy? Have you not given the reins to your intemperate desires, and transcended the bounds of moderation in your enjoyments ? Have you not, on frivolous pretexts, slighted and turned your back upon the ordinances of God ? Have you not, in short, done many things which you would fain hide from God and your own conscience? These are enquiries which will one time be made by a greater than man; and better, far better will it be that you now answer them to yourself without disguise, than be compelled to do it with shame and confusion, when he shall ask, who is the author of your being.

Neither is it enough that you have done no evil. To stand idle all day in the market-place, is defrauding God of his due. You must have laboured in the vineyard, or not expect to receive a reward. What good, then, have you done? What evil propensities have you corrected ? What virtuous habits have you acquired, or confirmed? Have you been learning humility and submission, to the allotments of Providence? If laboring under calamities, have you learned to resign and adore ? If, on the contrary, you have enjoyed prosperity, have you enjoyed it with self-debasement, remembering from whom it came? Have you sought peace and good-will among men? Have you honored God with your substance, and with the first fruits of your increase ? Have sincere piety and reverence of his holy name been present to your mind, and entered into all your thoughts? Then have you used the year as not abusing it; and it is well for you that it is gone, no more to return.

But whether it hath been used well or ill, it is gone; and you must render an account of the precious talent, that has been committed to your hands. Such a portion of your probationary state is over; and that it hath so quickly flown, is a repeated earnest that the remainder will fly as fast. To every serious mind it is a loud admonition, that he is one year nearer to the eternal world. After a few more such short revolutions are come, and gone, time to him will be no longer. His probationary state will be ended; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, in the grave, by which he can prepare to stand before the Son of Man.

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Within the year now ended, how many millions, throughout the carth, have been summoned to take their last leave of temporal things? How many thousands and tens of thousands have fallen in a day, and bestrewed the bloody field of war? How many have been crushed by the concussions of nature ?* How many have been overwhelmed in the ocean by storms and tempests, that arise at God's command ?

· Add to this the ravages of innumerable diseases, which stalk the earth in perpetual round, and with slow, yet certain aim, are cutting down their thousands in a day : consider all this, and see how great is the mercy that you are yet spared ; that still your day of trial is lengthened.

With all this in the mind's eye, wilt thou not, O man reflect, that rapid is the flight of time, nor canst thou stay its course ? Con. siderest thou not how many of thy friends the past year has borne away into the ocean of eternity, and that thou art hurried along by the same sweeping torrent, which never stays, and shall surely plunge thee down, never to open thine eyes again on temporal things ? Perhaps the year now commenced, is destined to be thy last. Of one and another among thy friends it certainly shall be said, “ they are no more.” Wilt thou not, then, take a stand, look into thyself, and say, Lord is it I? Wilt thou not be wise in time, that thou mayest be blessed in eternity ? Take up this resolution, thus suggested by the season, and thou wilt not be shaken when the sun and moon shall go out in darkness; and the earth be dissolved in smoke ; for the Lord God will be thy tower of defence, and thine everlasting shield.

January 1, 1807.

A Series of Letters,
Addressed to the Author of the “MISCELLANIES,” published in the year

1805, in the Albany Centinel.

Continued from page 452, vol. 3.

LETTER V. IN pursuing our chain of evidence, we are next led to notice the case of the church of Jerusalem. This has been so well stated by Cyprian, that there is but little room for me to make additions. I shall just observe, that it is a wonderful instance of the power of prejudice, that men, with this example of an episcopal church, should ever have conceived the notion of what they call cangregational episcopacy. Here is an apostle, a president, a bishop, (call him what you will) governing all the presbyters and deacons, and the scripture tells us, myriads of christians, who must have composed numerous congregations; and yet, 1500 years afterwards, up start a few men, who insist upon it, in direct contradiction to this and other instances, and to the concurring testimo

* Witness the dreadful catastrophe in Switzerland, in which many bun. drcds were overwhelmed by the falling of a mountain

nies of antiquity, that a bishop was no more than the pastor of a single congregation.* To what purpose is it to adduce testimonies with such men? It is really fruitless labor.

It may be pretended in this case, as it is with respect to Timothy, that St. James was an extraordinary officer. Gratis dictum, and directly contrary to matter of fact. The apostles to show that the rank which St. James † bore in the church of Jerusalem was to continue according to our Lord's most gracious promise, “ to the end of the world," appointed Simeon to the episcopal chair. Hegesippus, who was almost contemporary with Simeon, recorded according to Eusebius, that after the destruction of Jerusalem, the apostles and christians who retired to Pella, returned, and the former chose Simeon, the son of Cleophas, to be bishop of that diocese, in the place of the deceased James. And from the same authority we learn, that Simeon lived to the great age of 120 years, and died in the 10th year of Trajan's reign ; that is, he lived till the beginning of the 2d century, which brings him near the time of Hegesippus. The same historian gives us a list of bishops, who presided over the church of Jerusalem, down to the reign of Adrian, making the number 15, and at the head of them places St. James. The same plan of government was established at Rome, Antioch, Alexandria, and other places ; and acute, wonderfully acute must that genius be, who can point out any other plan, in any place under the sun.

I know some will endeavor to evade the scripture proof of St. James' superiority over the presbyters of Jerusalem, by saying that the passagos quoted by, episcopalians are not explicit and strong enough to be deemed decisive. They are certainly much more so than the testimonies from scripture, in favor of the change of the Sabbath. Let any one compare two or three texts, which speak of the apostles' meeting on the first day of the week for the purpose of religious worship, when we know that they met every day for the same purpose ; and St. John's saying, that he was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, which is as applicable to the yearly, as to the weekly commemoration of our Saviour's resurrection ; let him, I say compare these slight hints with the following passages, and then let him decide this point. Wherefore my sentence is, that ye trouble not those who from among the Gentiles are turned unto God. When Paul and his company were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received him gladly; and the next day following, Paul went in with them unto James, and all the elders were present. Again ; Peter after he had declared to the christians to whom he went, his miraculous deliverance, bade them go and show these things to James and to the brethren.

Once more ; See this scheme of church government completely demolished by Dr. Maurice, and by Mr. Slater in his “ original draught of the primitive church," in answer to Lord King, to which no reply was ever made. Mr. M‘Leod, also, in his catechism, has in a very compendious manner, shown the inconsistency of the congregational plan with the scriptures. O si sic omnia !

† St. James was not one of the twelve. James the brother of John was killed with the sword; and James the son of Alpheus was not any relation to our Saviour. Mention is made of James and Joses, and Simon and Judas, who are called our Lord's brethren. No doubt, this is the James that was made bishop of the church of Jerusalem.

* Euseb. Lib. 4. C. 22.

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