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when in the closet, or the sanctuary; and they restore themselves to their ordinary occupations, without any serious concern to remain under the influence of their confessions, prayers, and worship. This is frequently carried so far, that many persons seem to be the reverse of their prayers and professions; and their religious services seem as a sort of penance for the inconsistent temper and principles which they habitually indulge. Remember, then, that religion is not a thing of time, and place, and posture ; and that if we are truly under its influence, we shall be always so. See that it is your great regulating principle in the family, in the friendly circle, and in your worldly engagements. Let it soften your temper, exalt your thoughts, and rectify your judgment. Retire to your rest at night; arise in the morning; accept the refreshments of the day; with the holy and exalted purpose of glorifying God, in fulfilling the duties of your station. This would make every meal as a sacrament to you; each day as a Sabbath; and your most ordinary service, an act of worship to the Most High. For the want of this, many have been a stumbling-stone in the way of the inquirer, instead of an edifying example; and the “good way" has been spoken of as evil!
V. PREPARE TO MEET AND TO RESIST TEMPTATION. You must not enter on your course with false views and flattering promises. If you enter into the kingdom it must be through tribulation. Your chief trial will arise from yourself. Over your own heart, then, especially you are to watch with ceaseless jealousy. Your temptations will be principally to despondency and to presumption. Your enemy will tempt you to think of sin as trivial before commission, and as unpardonable after commission; that you may be disposed to entertain it with hope, and afterwards to retain it from despair. What thousands have fallen by these practices ! You will meet with temptation from your companions. Of your former associates, some from affection, may seek to win you back to paths you have left; others may assail you with reproach and bitter persecution. But stand firm-be resolved. Show that you are on the Lord's side, and that you have counted the cost beforehand. If they see you waver, you will give them a sad advantage over you. In forming new connections, even among the professors of religion, you will need
great caution. Excellent as you may think such society in comparison with what you have left, judge of it by its effects. If it does not promote the spirit of prayer, meekness, charity, and faith, it is not good for you. Remember that “he that walketh with the wise shall become wise, while the companion of fools shall be destroyed.” Then there are temptations peculiar to the times in which you live. So far as the young convert is concerned, these are chiefly two. First, you will be tempted by novelty, and the love of change. Your recent state has necessarily been one of great excitement. Every thing has been new to you. Your own condition, the character of God, the future world, the method of hope and mercy, have all been revealed as you never before saw them. Apart from the allowed importance of these things, the sense of freshness will fade away; and you will be in danger of craving some other discoveries by which you may be surprised and affected. Watch against this snare; many around you have been caught in it, and are only entangled increasingly in its meshes day after day. Remember that the novelty of these things to you was a mere accident, and that it is their real excellence which should interest you. If your mind is rightly affected, they will become more precious to you as you know them; while what is unimportant or false owes all its interest to its freshness and extravagance. What is the gift of tongues to you, if you had it, compared with that charity, without which you are nothing! What is the faith to work miracles, if you had it, compared with that faith which saves the soul! What is the hope of an earthly and sensual millennium, were it true, compared with that more blessed hope of heavenly purity and everlasting joy! Let no man beguile you from the simplicity that is in Christ! The remaining temptation of the day is to worldliness. The world, it may be said, is ever the same, and is always the tempter of the Christian. But the present peculiarity and danger is, that we have so much of the world in the church. Professors and even saints are so immersed in business are so intent on gains-are so incessantly occupied at home and abroad, that the ascendancy of religion on the mind becomes questionable. They hear the word, but the cares of the world choke it; they offer prayer, but it is with haste and hesitation; at best, they are too often
found cultivating the common vineyard to the neglect of their own. They have no time to be calm-no time to put themselves at a distance from the world—no time to cherish the aid of devoted meditation.' Hence it is that, with so much profession, we have so little living piety; and where we have real piety that we have so little eminence of Christian character. Mark this evil as a prevailing one, and set yourself to resist it.
VI. MAKE WITHOUT DELAY A PUBLIC AND COMPLETE PROFESSION OF THE NAME of Christ. This is only done when you submit to all his institutions. Especially at this time it is your duty to unite your self with his people, and to commemorate his love and his death in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. Having first given yourself to the Lord, you are not to withhold yourself from his people. As you believe with the heart, so you are to confess with the mouth. Christ has redeemed the body, and the body in its order must show forth his praise. Let no excuses, arising from unworthiness or difficulty, induce you to delay. If you are really converted, it is your present duty; and to postpone duty is not to make it more easy, but more difficult. Those who have delayed at first, have, for the most part, renewed their excuses, and have lived and died without coming into a state of Christian fellowship. This is dangerous, inconsistent, and sinful. It discovers an inadequate sense of the love of Christ; it is a known violation of his command; it is remaining without the fold, when to be within is our privilege, and the means of our safety; it is to do what you can to annihilate the church of Christ, for if all were to act in the same manner there would be no visible church on earth!
VII. THROUGH YOUR WHOLE COURSE HAVE RESPECT UNTO THE END. Cherish habitually the temper of a stranger and a pilgrim on the earth, and let it regulate your mind, and moderate your pursuits. Let the cares of life affect you but lightly; let its pleasures be watched with jealousy; let its comforts be received with thankfulness, as meant to assist you on your journey. Forget the things behind ; shake off the incumbrances present to you; still
and ever press forward within the mark for the prize of your high calling! As nothing can induce the worldling to look to the end of life, so nothing should induce you to lose sight of it. He has nothing but what he has here ; if he look at death, at heaven, at eternity, it is without hope-with tremendous fear! But you have no reason to be alarmed at the future. However appalling it once was, it is now clothed with attractions. Heaven is your home; immortality your inheritance. Your treasure is there; your heart should be there. Let the troubles of the way be forgotten, and the end of the way kept steadily in view. It is not becoming of you to cleave to the world, to idolize the creature, to recoil from death, called as you are to "glory, honour, and immortality!”
VIII. FINALLY. BE STRONG IN THE GRACE THAT IS IN CHRIST JESUS OUR Lord. In entering on a new course of life and of duty, it is important to know your own weakness. He who has brought you into the way of peace, must keep you there; he who gave you the first victory over sin and temptation, must still teach you to fight and to conquer; the same hand which began the good work must perfect it till the day of his appearing. Entertain, then, no confidence in the flesh -in yourself. Explore the riches of the Saviour's grace; the resources of his love, his power, his wisdom. Make these all your own, by the application of continual prayer and faith. So shall you be strong. The stone that rests on the foundation has all the strength of the foundation by which it is supported ; and you, by perfectly depending on the Saviour, shall be perfectly filled with his might-growing up into him in all things. O aspire to this! Praise him for what you are; but desire earnestly to be what you are not! Look to him; thirst for him ; honour him. Rest not on any thing you know; any thing you have done; any thing you have. Seek by his grace to give an eminent example of Christian life, and eminently to enjoy that life, which, though hidden, shall soon be revealed, and which flows into immortality.
A SINCERE FRIEND.
A WHOLE FAMILY IN HEAVEN.
To the Editor of the Evangelical Magazine. I was once favoured with the sight of a to behold all Christ's redeemed family in letter written by an American lady to her heaven! Now they are separated. Part of husband, a little before she died. This
them are in heaven, and the other part are lady was an eminent christian, remarkable
yet on earth; but there is a day coming for her confidence in God, and for atten. when they will be gathered out of all tion to the spiritual welfare of her nume
nations, and kindreds, and people, and rous offspring. In speaking to her hus
tongues, and make a great multitude band respecting their beloved children she
which no man can number. O blissful used this memorable sentence, “I rejoice morning, when my eyes shall gaze on this in hope that we shall meet, an unbroken redeemed family! My heart has often family, before the throne of God,"-or, thrilled with joy to see a penitent-to see according to the phrase at the head of this an heir of glory—to see a saint made meet paper, “ a whole family in heaven.”
for heaven; but then I shall see them all, From our earliest years we are accus- and partake of their felicity: tomed to hear of a place of unutterable “ Ten thousand thousand are their tongues, glory—that place is heaven. As our minds But all their joys are one." expand we are told that heaven is the Then, the unspeakable blessings imdwelling place of God. Then if any of
parted through the operations of Bible our friends die we are taught to hope they Societies will be brought to light. Then, are gone to heaven, to be for ever with all the multitudes who have been conGod—and that it is our duty to prepare verted by the instrumentality of Missionto follow them. In some cases the minds aries, will be seen clothed in white robes of young people are deeply affected by and with palms in their hands. Then, ten these representations, and it is their un thousand times ten thousand voices will speakable happiness to begin to prepare be lifted up in praise to God for the cirfor heaven almost as soon as they can culation of religious Tracts. Then, amidst think at all. Bụt it is not so generally, the celestial harmony, there will be chilAlas! it too often happens that men run dren crying, Hosannah! on account of the on for many years in a course of forgetful- favours they received in Sunday Schools. ness of God, and of rebellion against God, Then, parents who trained up their offbefore they are brought to repentance; spring in the nurture and admonition of and some never repent at all, but remain the Lord, will be seen with rapture beamin their rebellion for ever. They proceed ing in their eyes, while they exclaim, from one step to another, from bad to “Here, Lord, ain I, and the children thou worse, until they perish in their sins! Oh, hast given me.” And near the throne, what a fearful sight is a grey headed sin- close by the feet of the Redeemer, will be ner!“Can the Ethiopian change his seen prostrate the grateful, affectionate, skin, or the leopard his spots ? then may and devoted preacher of the gospel, giving they learn to do well who have been ac- up his account with joy, and receiving the customed to do evil.” It would be well gracious approbation of his Master, “Well if these thoughts had an abiding place in done, good and faithful servant.” our hearts, but many things concur to re- Secondly. How happy will you be to move them. Ah! this busy world, this see yourselves in heaven, and every memensnaring world, this sinful world! Yet ber of your family with you—not one amidst all its snares, and vanities, and wanting! Father and mother, sons and sins, we sometimes find a person whose daughters, brothers and sisters, servants affections are set on things above; yea, we and apprentices all there. All who surnow and then are privileged to behold a rounded the family table. All who kneeled whole family setting out in good earnest, together around the family altar. Howand determined by the help of God to ap- ever separated by distance or time, yet pear “ a whole family in heaven.”
meeting in heaven at last. I say, what a In musing on this subject I thought of happy meeting this will be! Reader! is the following particulars, which I send out there any prospect that this will be the into the world with many prayers, in hope case with you ? Have you ever any doubts that those who read them may be benefit respecting it? Oh, see to have these doubts ed; and that a few, at least, may thereby removed! Have you any hopes respecting be helped on their way to glory.
it? Oh, see that your hopes are well foundFirst. What a glorious sight it will be ed ! Are you unconcerned about it? Ah!
that is dreadful. Heaven is not to be trifled with. Hell is not to be trifled with Souls are not to be trifled with. Rememher the day is coming, it is nigh at hand when you will see and feel that these things deserved your chief attention.
Thirdly. What a cheering circumstance it is when one in a family has chosen heaven for his portion ! Look at that man, Mark him well. Set it down as a certainty that he will not go to heaven alone. He cannot be satisfied to walk solitarily in the way to Zion. He must have companions, and through God's blessing he will make them. We anticipate great things from such a character, and well we may, for God says to every new convert, “ Ï will bless thee, and thou shalt be a blessing.” From the day of his conversion he begins to pray, and the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. He also begins to shine, and he giveth light unto all that are in the house. Perhaps it would be difficult to find a family containing one pious and consistent disciple, without finding also that he is beginning to make a favourable impression on the minds of his relatives, by softening down their prejudices, drawing away their atten-, tion from the world, and leading them to think more than formerly on things divine. All is not done that his heart could wish, but there is a change a beginning. Go forward then, ye heavenly-minded. Be thankful for every indication of a change. God does not despise the day of small things, neither must you. Think of the prophet, when his servant said, “I see a little cloud rising up out of the sea, about the size of a man's hand,”-that was enough. The prophet took it for granted that his Lord was come. Do you the same. Look out for marks of God's bless. ing. He is faithful. He is strong. Trust him, and be not afraid. Salvation is al. ready come to your house. All the people in it are in some measure given to you. Oh, watch for their souls! Look up to God for divine guidance, that you may act wisely in your station. Never be discouraged. God waited long for you, there fore be patient with others. Let the hope of bringing a whole family to heaven animate, quicken you. In the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength; and when you are leaning simply on him, he will make you almost forget your own weakness, by the assurance that his arm is almighty.
Fourthly. When a part of a family is already in heaven, what a powerful influence should that have on survivors! Oh,
it is a solemn and instructive event when one member of a family is taken to glory! Brethren! what effect ought it to have upon us who remain here a little longer ? Think-some of us have half of our families already in heaven. Others have a father, or mother, or wife, or husband, or son, or daughter there and shall not this produce an effect? O, it ought! Yes, it ought. It ought to loosen our hearts from earth, and to raise our souls to heaven. “There our best friends, our kindred dwell,
There God our Saviour reigns." Reader! shall we join this happy company? Soon, soon you will leave this earthly state, and whither will you go? Will you join your family in heaven? Have you any preparation for it? Except a man be born again, he cannot enter that kingdom. You must be born again. Are you born again? What is there about you which indicates your heavenly birth? Recollect that the removal of one member of a family to a better world, has sometimes been overruled by Divine Providence for leading all the other members to consider their ways, to repent of their sins, to seek mercy through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and to walk humbly with God, until a voice from above said unto them, “Come up hither.” This was a happy effect, was it not ? and why may it not be the same with you? Oh, it will be the saine if you earnestly seek it!
To others, the removal of a part of their family to glory has been greatly sanctified. Though they were pious before, yet they never thought so much of heaven, nor wished so earnestly to be there, as they have since their much loved relatives were taken thither. This loosened the cords which too strongly bound them to earth. This brought them with more relish to those parts of the Bible which treat of heaven. This made them look unto Jesus with more gratitude than ever, and this seemed to give them eagles' wings, by which they might soar upward to the family in heaven.
Happy, unspeakably happy is it, when the death of friends is attended with such a quickening influence. O Rachel! weeping for her children because they are not, let thy tears flow on; but let it be in a stream of mingled grateful submission and adoring love.
Fifthly. How alarming it is when only one in a family gives evidence that he is not preparing for heaven! What a blank it will cause to see a whole family in heaven but one! perhaps the youngest the
darling not there. Or it may be the first born the child who first diffused joy through a parent's heart not there! Oh, how can we bear to think of a whole family in heaven but one! Who should we select to be that miserable absentee? Whose child should we pitch upon ? Whose brother should we mark as the victim? Do we not feel our flesh begin to creep upon our bones? Does not our blood run cold? Do not our hearts shudder at the thought? Are we not all ready to exclaim, “let not this misery fall on one of mine?" See the fond father, looking around, his soul rejoicing over one, two, three--but where is Absalom? What is he not here? O Absalom, my son, my son!. Art thou not here ?-No! Parents, I feel for you. I also have a parent's heart. I know your feelings on this subject. On, if the eye could weep in heaven it would shed a flood of tears over an absent son! But now parents now is the time. Is there one in your family not preparing for heaven, what ought to be done in his case ? Shall you let him alone ? Oh, no! How did the man act who had a hundred sheep, and one of them went astray ? He left the ninety and nine, and went after the wanderer; nor did he give up his search until he found him; and when he had found him all shattered, and hungry, and faint, he took him on his shoulders, and returned with him rejoicing. Here then is a pattern for you. Let your tears flow. Let your prayers ascend. Let your hearts melt. Let your language pierce his soul. Oh, follow him! Determine never to give him up until you have reclaimed the prodigal-until you have snatched the fire brand from the flame; then you may go on your way rejoicing, in hope that all your family will meet in heaven.
Sixthly. How ought the members of this heavenly family to live together while they are here upon earth! They are redeemed by the same blood—justified by the same grace-sanctified by the same Spirit-brethren of the same family heirs of the same inheritance. They tell us that they expect to meet in glory, and to join in the same song of praise, “ Unto. Him who loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, to Him be glory for ever. Amen." This is delightful. Pray how ought they to live together here ? Like brethren certainly. Like the children of God. Like the heirs of heaven. And do they act thus ? How do you act ? On what terms are you living with your brethren? Do not think I am coming too
close with my questions, for if you cannot bear to be so strictly interrogated, then be sure there is something wrong. How are the members of your church acting towards each other? I hope that in general there is much love, much good feeling, much Christian affection, and if it is not so in all cases, then let each examine himself. Remember you are not fit for heaven if you cannot, if you do not love your brother. You would find yourself quite out of your element in the heavenly world, if you do not love one another with a pure heart fervently. Oh, if ever you expect to have the divine blessing resting upon your souls-if ever you expect to see many turnir; to the Lord from among your neighbours, you must first see to it that you love one another; and whenever there is any thing amiss, and it may often be expected in this wicked world, those who are most like the Saviour, will be the first to seek a reconciliation. Therefore, I call upon you, I urge you in the name of that Saviour whom you profess to love, that ye walk together as the redeemed family then will you live a heaven upon earth.
L astly. How dreadful will it be to see a whole family in hell! And is there not reason to fear that many whole families are already there ? Awful thought! See them shut up in endless despair. Oh, see them in the everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. But what is more necessary for our present consideration is this-Are there not many whole families at this moment on their way thither; to whom not one word of solemn, friendly, godly counsel has been given; who have never once been warned to flee from the wrath to come ?
Oh, brethren! ye that love the Lord indeed, is there nothing for you to do, among the multitudes which are ready to perish? Surely, if you had compassion like unto the Son of God, here is work enough for it all. And where ought you to begin ? Oh, begin at home! Search your own heart; examine how matters stand with you there. Then search your own habitations; examine how matters are there. Next, call on your neighbours. Perhaps you will succeed better than you could have expe,ted. Exercise a holy solicitude for one another. Use much Christian fidelity, much plain dealing ; and when you come to die, you will not regret that you la. boured hard to bring a whole family to heaven--that you laboured hard to save a whole family from hell.