when in the closet, or the sanctuary; and great caution. Excellent as you may they restore themselves to their ordinary think such society in comparison with occupations, without any serious concern what you have left, judge of it by its to remain under the influence of their effects. If it does not promote the spirit confessions, prayers, and worship. This of prayer, meekness, charity, and faith, it is frequently carried so far, that many is not good for you. Remember that “he persons seem to be the reverse of their that walketh with the wise shall become prayers and professions; and their reli- wise, while the companion of fools shall gious services seem as a sort of penance be destroyed.” Then there are temptations for the inconsistent temper and principles peculiar to the times in which you live. which they habitually indulge. Remem- So far as the young convert is concerned, ber, then, that religion is not a thing of these are chiefly two. First, you will be time, and place, and posture ; and that if tempted by novelty, and the love of change. we are truly under its influence, we shall Your recent state has necessarily been be always so.

See that it is your great one of great excitement. Every thing regulating principle in the family, in the

has been new to you.

Your own condifriendly circle, and in your worldly en- tion, the character of God, the future gagements. Let it soften your temper,

world, the method of hope and mercy, exalt your thoughts, and rectify your

have all been revealed as you never bejudgment. Retire to your rest at night; fore saw them. Apart from the allowed arise in the morning ; accept the refresh- importance of these things, the sense of ments of the day, with the holy and freshness will fade away; and you will be exalted purpose of glorifying God, in ful- in danger of craving some other discofilling the duties of your station. This veries by which you may be surprised and would make every meal as a sacrament

affected. Watch against this snare; many to you; each day as a Sabbath ; and around you have been caught in it, and your most ordinary service, an act of wor- are only

, entangled increasingly in its ship to the Most High. For the want of meshes day after day. Remember that this, many have been a stumbling-stone the novelty of these things to you was a in the way of the inquirer, instead of an mere accident, and that it is their real exedifying example; and the “good way

cellence which should interest you. If has been spoken of as evil!

your mind is rightly affected, they will V. PREPARE TO MEET AND TO RESIST become more precious to you as you know

You must not enter on them; while what is unimportant or false your course with false views and flatter- owes all its interest to its freshness and ing promises. If you enter into the king- extravagance. What is the gift of tongues dom it must be through tribulation. Your


you had it, compared with that chief trial will arise from yourself. Over charity, without which you are nothing! your own heart, then, especially you are

What is the faith to work miracles, if you to watch with ceaseless jealousy. Your had it, compared with that faith which temptations will be principally to despon- saves the soul! What is the hope of an dency and to presumption. Your enemy earthly and sensual millennium, were it will tempt you to think of sin as trivial true, compared with that more blessed before commission, and as unpardonable hope of heavenly purity and everlasting after commission ; that you may be dis- joy! Let no man beguile you from the posed to entertain it with hope, and after- simplicity that is in Christ! The remainwards to retain it from despair. What ing temptation of the day is to worldlithousands have fallen by these practices ! The world, it may be said, You will meet with temptation from your the same, and is always the tempter of companions. Of your former associates, the Christian. But the present peculiarity some from affection, may seek to win you and danger is, that we have so much of back to paths you have left; others may the world in the church. Professors and assail you with reproach and bitter per- even saints are so immersed in business secution. But stand firm be resolved. are so intent on gains-are so incessantly Show that you are on the Lord's side, occupied at home and abroad, that the and that you have counted the cost be- ascendancy of religion on the mind beforehand. If they see you waver, you comes questionable. They hear the word, will give them a sad advantage over you. but the cares of the world choke it; they In forming new connections, even among offer prayer, but it is with haste and the professors of religion, you will need hesitation ; at best, they are too often


to you,



But you

[ocr errors]



found cultivating the common vineyard to and ever press forward within the mark the neglect of their own. They have no for the prize of your high calling! As time to be calm-no time to put them- nothing can induce the worldling to look selves at a distance from the world—no to the end of life, so nothing should intime to cherish the aid of devoted medi- duce you to lose sight of it.

He has notation. Hence it is that, with so much thing but what he has here; if he look at profession, we have so little living piety; death, at heaven, at eternity, it is without and where we have real piety that we hope-with tremendous fear ! have so little eminence of Christian cha- have no reason to be alarmed at the racter. Mark this evil as a prevailing future. However appalling it once was, one, and set yourself to resist it.

it is now clothed with attractions. HeaVI. MAKE WITHOUT DELAY A PUBLIC ven is your home; immortality your inAND COMPLETE PROFESSION OF THE NAME heritance. Your treasure is there ; your of Christ. This is only done when you heart should be there. Let the troubles submit to all his institutions. Especially of the way be forgotten, and the end of at this time it is your duty to unite your- the way kept steadily in view. It is not self with his people, and to commemorate becoming of you to cleave to the world, to his love and his death in the sacrament of idolize the creature, to recoil from death, the Lord's Supper. Having first given called as you are to "glory, honour, and yourself to the Lord, you are not to with- immortality! hold yourself from his people. As you VIII. FINALLY. BE STRONG believe with the heart, so you are to con- GRACE THAT IS IN CHRIST JESUS OUR fess with the mouth. Christ has re- Lord. In entering on a new course of deemed the body, and the body in its life and of duty, it is important to know order must show forth his praise. Let no your own weakness. He who has brought excuses, arising from unworthiness or dif- you into the way of peace, must keep you ficulty, induce you to delay. If you are there; he who gave you the first victory really converted, it is your present duty; over sin and temptation, must still teach and to postpone duty is not to make it you to fight and to conquer; the same more easy, but more difficult. Those hand which began the good work must who have delayed at first, have, for the perfect it till the day of his appearing. most part, renewed their excuses, and Entertain, then, no confidence in the flesh have lived and died without coming into -in yourself. Explore the riches of the a state of Christian fellowship. This is Saviour's grace ; the resources of his love, dangerous, inconsistent, and sinful. It his power, his wisdom. Make these all discovers an inadequate sense of the love your own, by the application of continual of Christ; it is a known violation of his


and faith. So shall you be strong. command; it is remaining without the The stone that rests on the foundation fold, when to be within is our privilege, has all the strength of the foundation by and the means of our safety; it is to do which it is supported ; and you, by perwhat you can to annihilate the church of fectly depending on the Saviour, shall be Christ, for if all were to act in the same perfectly filled with his might-growing manner there would be no visible church

up into him in all things. O aspire to on earth!

this! Praise him for what you are; but VII. THROUGH YOUR WHOLE COURSE desire earnestly to be what you are not! HAVE RESPECT UNTO THE END. Cherish Look to him; thirst for him ; honour him. habitually the temper of a stranger and a Rest not on any thing you know; any pilgrim on the earth, and let it regulate thing you have done; any thing you your mind, and moderate your pursuits. have. Seek by his grace to give an emiLet the cares of life affect you but lightly; nent example of Christian life, and emilet its pleasures be watched with jealousy; nently to enjoy that life, which, though let its comforts be received with thank- hidden, shall soon be revealed, and which fulness, as meant to assist you on your flows into immortality. journey. Forget the things behind; shake

A SINCERE FRIEND. off the incumbrances present to you; still



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, glorythat 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, am 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 apprenticesall 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 tri- it is a solemn and instructive event when fled with. Hell is not to be trifled with. one member of a family is taken to glory! Souls are not to be trifled with. Remem- Brethren! what effect ought it to have ber the day is coming, it is nigh at hand upon us who remain here a little longer ? when you will see and feel that these Think-some of us have half of our famithings deserved your chief attention. lies already in heaven. Others have a

Thirdly. What a cheering circumstance father, or mother, or wife, or husband, or it is when one in a family has chosen son, or daughter there--and shall not this heaven for his portion! Look at that man. produce an effect? 0, it ought! Yes, it Mark him well. Set it down as a certainty ought. It ought to loosen our hearts from that he will not go to heaven alone. He earth, and to raise our souls to heaven. cannot be satisfied to walk solitarily in the “There our best friends, our kindred dwell, way to Zion. He must have companions,

There God our Saviour reigns." and through God's blessing he will make Reader! shall we join this happy comthem.

We anticipate great things from pany ? Soon, soon you will leave this such a character, and well we may, for earthly state, and whither will you go? God says to every new convert, “I will Will you join your family in heaven? bless thee, and thou shalt be a blessing.” Have you any preparation for it? Except From the day of his conversion he begins a man be born again, he cannot enter that to pray, and the effectual fervent prayer kingdom. You must be born again. Are of a righteous man availeth much. He you born again? What is there about also begins to shine, and he giveth light you which indicates your heavenly birth? unto all that are in the house. Perhaps it

Recollect that the removal of one member would be difficult to find a family con- of a family to a better world, has sometaining one pious and consistent disciple, times been overruled by Divine Providence without finding also that he is beginning for leading all the other members to conto make a favourable impression on the sider their ways, to repent of their sins, to minds of his relatives, by softening down seek mercy through faith in the Lord Jesus their prejudices, drawing away their atten-, Christ, and to walk humbly with God, tion from the world, and leading them to until a voice from above said unto them, think more than formerly on things divine. “ Come up hither.This was a happy All is not done that his heart could wish, effect, was it not? and why may it not be but there is a change-a beginning. Go the same with you? Oh, it will be the forward then, ye heavenly-minded. Be same if you earnestly seek it! thankful for every indication of a change. To others, the removal of a part of their God does not despise the day of small family to glory has been greatly sanctified. things, neither must you. Think of the Though they were pious before, yet they prophet, when his servant said, “I see a never thought so much of heaven, nor little cloud rising up out of the sea, about wished so earnestly to be there, as they the size of a man's hand,”-that was

have since their much loved relatives were enough. The prophet took it for granted taken thither. This loosened the cords that his Lord was come. Do you the which too strongly bound them to earth. same. Look out for marks of God's bless- This brought them with more relish to ing. He is faithful. He is strong. Trust those parts of the Bible which treat of him, and be not afraid. Salvation is al. heaven. This made them look unto Jesus ready come to your house. All the people with more gratitude than ever, and this in it are in some measure given to you. Oh, seemed to give them eagles' wings, by watch for their souls! Look up to God which they might soar upward to the for divine guidance, that you may act

family in lieaven. wisely in your station. Never be discou- Happy, unspeakably happy is it, when raged. God waited long for you,

there- the death of friends is attended with such fore be patient with others. Let the hope a quickening influence. O Rachel! weepof bringing a whole family to heaven ani- ing for her children because they are not, mate, quicken you. In the Lord Jehovah let thy tears flow on; but let it be in a is everlasting strength; and when you are stream of mingled grateful submission leaning simply on him, he will make you and adoring love. almost forget your own weakness, by the Fifthly. How alarming it is when only assurance that his arm is almighty. one in a family gives evidence that he is

Fourthly. When a part of a family is not preparing for heaven! What a blank already in heaven, what a powerful in- it will cause to see a whole family in heafluence should that have on survivors! Oh, ven but one! perhaps the youngest--the

darling not there. Or it may be the first close with my questions, for if you cannot born--the child who first diffused joy bear to be so strictly interrogated, then be through a parent's heart not there! Oh, how sure there is something wrong. How are can we bear to think of a whole family in the members of your church acting towards heaven but one! Who should we select to each other? I hope that in general there be that miserable absentee? Whose child is much love, much good feeling, much should we pitch upon ? Whose brother Christian affection; and if it is not so in should we mark as the victim? Do we not all cases, then let each examine himself. feel our flesh begin to creep upon our Remember you are not fit for heaven if bones? Does not our blood run cold? Do you cannot, if you do not love your brother. not our hearts shudder at the thought ? You would find yourself quite out of your Are we not all ready to exclaim, “let not element in the heavenly world, if you do this misery fall on one of mine ?” See the not love one another with a pure heart fond father, looking around, his soul re- fervently. Oh, if ever you expect to have joicing over one, two, three—but where is the divine blessing resting upon your Absalom? What is he not here? O Ab- souls-if ever you expect to see many salom, my son, my son! Art thou not turnir. ; to the Lord from among your here ?--No! Parents, I feel for you. I neighbours, you must first see to it that you also have a parent's heart. I know your love one another; and whenever there is feelings on this subject. Oh, if the eye any thing amiss, and it may often be excould weep in heaven it would shed a pected in this wicked world, those who flood of tears over an absent son! But are most like the Saviour, will be the first now parents now is the time. Is there to seek a reconciliation. Therefore, I call one in your family not preparing for hea

upon you, I urge you in the name of that ven, what ought to be done in his case ? Saviour whom you profess to love, that ye Shall you

let him alone ? Oh, no! How walk together as the redeemed family did the man act who had a hundred sheep, then will you live a heaven upon earth. and one of them went astray? He left Lastly. How dreadful will it be to see the ninety and nine, and went after the a whole family in hell! And is there not wanderer; nor did he give up his search reason to fear that many whole families until he found him; and when he had are already there ? Awful thought! See found him all shattered, and hungry, and them shut up in endless despair. Oh, see faint, he took him on his shoulders, and them in the everlasting fire, prepared for returned with him rejoicing. Here then the devil and his angels. But what is is a pattern for you. Let your tears flow. more necessary for our present consideraLet your prayers ascend. Let your hearts tion is thisAre there not many whole melt. Let your language pierce his soul. families at this moment on their way thiOh, follow him! Determine never to give ther; to whom not one word of solemn, him up until you have reclaimed the pro- friendly, godly counsel has been given; digal - until you have snatched the fire- who have never once been warned to filee brand from the flame; then you may go from the wrath to come ? on your way rejoicing, in hope that all Oh, brethren! ye that love the Lord inyour family will meet in heaven.

deed, is there nothing for you to do, among Sixthly. How ought the members of the multitudes which are ready to perish? this heavenly family to live together while Surely, if you had compassion like unto they are here upon earth! They are re- the Son of God, here is work enough for deemed by the same blood—justified by

it all. And where ought you to begin ? the same grace-sanctified by the same Oh, begin at home! Search your own heart; Spirit-brethren of the same family- examine how matters stand with you heirs of the same inheritance. They tell there. Then search your own habitations; us that they expect to meet in glory, and examine how matters are there. Next, to join in the same song of praise, * Unto call on your neighbours. Perhaps you Him who loved us, and washed us from will succeed better than you could have our sins in his own blood, to Him be glory expested. Exercise a holy solicitude for for ever. Amen." This is delightful. Pray one another. Use much Christian fidelity, how ought they to live together here? much plain dealing; and when you come Like brethren certainly. Like the children to die, you will not regret that you la. of God. Like the heirs of heaven. And boured hard to bring a whole family to do they act thus ? How do you act? On heaven--that you laboured hard to save a what terms are you living with your bre- whole family from hell. thren? Do not think I am coming too St. Petersburgh.

« VorigeDoorgaan »