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24. A Dialogue between a Believer and his Soul.

Bel. COME, my soul, and let us try,

For a little season,
Ev'ry burden to lay by:

Come, and let us reason.
What is it that casts thee down?

Who are those that grieve thee? Speak, and let the worst be known;

Speaking may relieve thee.
Soul. Oh! I sink beneath the load

Of my nature's evil;
Full of enmity to God;

Captiv'd by the devil:
Restless as the troubled seas :

Feeble, faint, and fearful;
Plagued with ev'ry sore disease ;

How can I be cheerful?
Bel. Think on what thy Saviour bore

In the gloomy garden,
Sweating blood at ev'ry pore

To procure thy pardon!
See him stretch'd upon the wood,

Bleeding, grieving, crying;
Suff’ring all the wrath of God:

Groaning, gasping, dying ! Soul. This by faith I sometimes view,

And those views relieve me;
But my sins return anew :

These are they that grieve me.
Oh ! I'm leprous, stinking, foul;

Quite throughout infected.
Have not I, if any soul,

Cause to be dejected ?
Bel. Think how loud thy dying Lord

Cry'd out, “ It is finish'd!”
Treasure up that sacred word,

Whole and undiminish'd.
Doubt not; he will carry on,

To its full perfection,
That good work he has begun:

Why then this dejection?

Soul. Faith,when void of works, is dead:

This the Scriptures witness.
And what works have I to plead,

Who am all unfitness ?
All my powers are deprav'd,

Blind, perverse, and filthy:
If from death I'm fully sav'd,

Why am I not healthy ?
Bel. Pore not on thyself too long,

Lest it sink thee lower.
Look to Jesus, kind as strong,

Mercy joined with power.
Ev'ry work that thou must do

Will thy gracious Saviour
For thee work, and in thee too,

Of his special favour.
Soul. Jesu's precious blood, once spilt,

I depend on solely
To release and clear my guilt;

But I would be holy.
Bel. He that bought thee on the cross

Can controul thy nature,
Fully purge away thy dross,

Make thee a new creature.
Soul. That he can I nothing doubt,

Be it but his pleasure. Bel. Though it be not done throughout,

May it not in measure ? Soul. When that measure, far from great,

Still shall seem decreasingBel. Faint not then; but pray and wait,

Never, never ceasing.
Soul. What, when pray'r meets no

regard ?
Bel. Still repeat it often.
Soul. But I feel myself so hard-
Bel. Jesus will thee soften,
Soul. But my enemies make head

Let them closer drive thee.
Soul. But I'm cold, I'm dark, I'm dead
Bel. Jesus will revive thee!

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THE MARINER'S MIDNIGHT HYMN OH, Thou who didst prepare

How terrible art Thou The ocean's cavern'd cell,

In all thy wonders shown, And teach the gathering waters there Though veiled is thine eternal brow, To meet and dwell;

Thy steps unknown! Toss'd in our reeling bark

Invisible to sight, Upon this briny sea,

But, oh! to faith how near! Thy wondrous ways, O Lord, we mark, Beneath the gloomiest cloud of night And sing to Thee.

Thou beamest here. That glorious hand of thine

To peaceful rest we go, That fills the fount of day,

And close our tranquil eyes, And gives the lunar orb to shine Though deep beneath the waters flow, With silvery ray;

And circling rise. That hangeth forth on high

Though swells the flowing tide, The clustering gems of night;

And threatens far above, Can point beneath a beamless sky We know in whom our souls confide Our course aright.

With fearless love. Borne on the darkening wave,

Snatched from a darker deep, In measured sweep we go,

And waves of wilder foam, Nor dread th' unfathomable grave, Thou, Lord, those trusting souls wilt That yawns below:

keep, For He is nigh, who trod

And waft them home: Amid the foaming spray,

Home, where no storm can sound, Whose billows owned th’ Incarnate Nor angry waters roar, God

Nor troublous billows heave around And died away.

That peaceful shore.

• From a small publication of the Religious Tract Society, 56 Paternoster Row, entitled “ The Icebergs.”

A SHORT SERMON. The annual distribution of sums bequeathed to the poor, will sometimes, when it takes place in the parish church, afford an opportunity, of which the zealous pastor will be glad to avail himself. On such occasions, especially in London, many poor persons come together, who are not to be seen in the church at any other time. If the business take place on a week-day, few perhaps attend besides; and therefore the clergyman whose business it is to preach the sermon (if a sermon forms part of the day's proceedings), seems particularly called upon to say something expressly applicable to the assemblage of poor persons, thus brought together. It was under such circumstances that the following discourse was preached ; and the few words of explanation, here offered, will account for the allusions contained in it.

Custom, and the nature of the arrangements for the day, required that it should be short. We hope that a sermon, now and then, will acceptably, and not

unprofitably, vary our table of contents.

Luke vii. 22.- To the poor the Gospel is preached.

Great indeed, my brethren, was the love and mercy of our God, who put it into the hearts of devout and charitable men in former days, to bequeath sums of money for distribution in our churches. It is not merely the relief to the wants of the poor. But how much good may result of a higher kind; how much good to your souls! It brings you together here, where, at other times, many of you never come. Ah, how many faces do I now see before me, that are new to this place, and new to me! And is it a small sum which you are now come to receive? Do not say too much, my brethren, upon that subject. It is large enough to bring you here. It is large enough to bring you, where you may hear words, whereby you shall be saved. Though, therefore, you may think the sum a small one wbich each receives, consider how much it weighs with you. It weighs more with you than your duty towards God. "That will not bring you to this place. It weighs more with you than all our exhortation and persuasion. That will not bring you to this place. It weighs more with you than all the wants, the urgent, pinching wants, of your perishing and immortal souls. They will not bring you to this place. It weighs more with you than the love of Christ. The love of Christ will not bring you to this place. But a piece of money will bring you. I say, the piece of money, that perhaps some of you will think too small, at the very moment when you take it, will bring you ; though the love of Christ will not bring you. Oh, if you despise him, that valued his Lord at thirty pieces of silver, what will you say of yourselves, who do not value him at one! For one piece of silver you now come thronging here ; but you will not come, at other times, to honour Jesus Christ!

I shall now enter on the consideration of our text-would that you would allow it to be true, more largely, in this church! “To the poor the Gospel is preached.” Let us inquire, first, what is meant by these words; and, secondly, what may be inferred from them

May the Spirit of Christ bring home the truths contained in them to your hearts. As you do not hear the word spoken often, inay it be now spoken effectually. For well I know, that if the Lord but once speak by his Spirit effectually to your hearts, it will more than outdo all our speaking. And if, by what you now hear, you should be once brought to seek and to find your Saviour, whom to know is life eternal; more will have been done for you in that moment, than is done for some, who sit under the Gospel in this place, from Sunday to Sunday, and hear, or pretend to hear it, all their lives. 1. “To the poor the Gospel is preached.'

the Gospel is preached.” What then, we are to inquire, in the first place, is meant by these words? They are part of our Saviour's answer, to the disciples of John the Baptist. The Baptist sent two disciples to Jesus, saying, " Art thou he that should come, or look we for another ? Before Jesus, answered them by his words, he answered them by his deeds. “In the same hour,” as we read, “he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits ; and unto many that were blind he gave sight." Then, when he had done this, and not before, " Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things you have seen and heard ; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, TO THE POOR THE GOSPEL IS PREACHED." Thus Jesus did many wonderful things, to prove to these messengers that he was indeed the Christ; restoring the blind to sight, the lame to the use of their limbs, the lepers to health, the deaf to hearing, the dead to life; but last of all he adds, “ to the poor the Gospel is preached ;" meaning, that this was something greater than all the rest. And why was it greater ? Because it was a greater mercy. It was a great mercy to restore crippled, diseased, and blind, and deaf persons; but to preach the Gospel to the poor was a greater mercy still. It was a great mercy to raise the dead to life ; but to preach the Gospel to the poor was a greater mercy still. And therefore it is that he mentions this last of all, because it is the greatest of all. To raise the dead was a greater mercy than to heal the sick. But to preach the Gospel to the poor was a greater mercy

than to raise the dead.--For consider the need of the poor. Consider how much the poor want the Gospel. What comfort have they to expect in this life? If they look around them for happiness, where will they find it? They seem, as it were, abandoned by the world, to the consolations of God! Then comes the Gospel to their help, laden with all the unsearchable riches of Christ. Then comes a Saviour to their help, bearing the marks of his sufferings upon the cross, for the salvation of this sinful and weary world. Behold


hands and my feet,” he says, “ that it is I myself.” What greater mercy than this can we conceive? What great wonder had the Lord himself to shew ?--Consider also the general disregard of the poor. Even in a world, where all are poor and miserable and “ Ye," says

blind and guilty in the sight of God, the poor seem, as it were, to be by many almost forgotten and overlooked, as if there were no such persons. Hence was it such a remarkable thing, that the Gospel should be preached to the poor. The heathen taught not religion to the poor. I hate and repel the ignorant multitude,” says one of them. The Pharisees cared not to teach the poor ; but exclaimed, “ This people, who knoweth not the Law, are cursed.” Yea, even false professors of the Gospel feel little regard for the poor. St. James, “ have despised the poor.” But not so Christ himself. He “ preached the Gospel to the poor.” As he did every thing in a different way from those who went before him, 80 was he different in this. A friend of those whom every friend forsakes, Christ takes the poor by the hand. For this purpose was he anointed of God, for this purpose came he into the world :-" The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,” he says, “because he hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor.” — He hath sent me ”_ This then is what he was sent for—" He hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted; to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind; to set at liberty them that are bruised; to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” And, being thus sent to preach the Gospel to the poor, how did he begin? Look at the commencement of his sermon, in the sixth chapter of St. Luke. “And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor” (you see he began with the poor)! “ Blessed be ye poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” He then went on, "Blessed are ye that hunger now, for ye shall be filled ; blessed are ye that weep now, for ye shall laugh.” But with the poor he began : “ Blessed be ye poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.”

II. This is what is meant by the words of the text. We are now to inquire what may be inferred from them.

1. First, then, we may infer a proof: a proof of the truth of the Christian religion. This

This was expressly what our Saviour meant, when he used the words, “ To the poor is the Gospel preached.” Such was his proof, to the disciples of John the Baptist, that the Gospel was true. For, whereas there are many systems of religion besides the Gospel, they have all this point in common; that, as we have already seen, they overlook the poor. They all neglect the poor. But the poor form the mass of mankind. Therefore a religion which neglects them, neglects the great object of religion :—which is, to stand between God and mankind, and to shew us a way, for this world of sin and woe to return and find mercy in him. No other religion does this. The Gospel of Jesus

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