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back with augmented violence. The attempt to flee from conscience is sure to make its presence, one day, more terrific. The effort to stifle its voice is sure to make it more terrific. Escape conscience! Can a man escape from himself? Where can he go from his own presence ?
5. Conscience is a prophet which will verify all his own predictions. No Jewish or Christian prophet could do this. They would only utter what must be executed by other hands. But here is one who executes his own prophetic declarations. It speaks of future woe for guilt, and inflicts it. It speaks of
a worm that dieth not,” and is that worm ; of " a fire that shall not be quenched,” and is that fire. It tells the guilty that they “shall go away into everlasting punishment,” and then goes with them to be the executioner of it.
6. Conscience will never lose the prophetic office. Other prophets may retire from the work, or drop their mantle by a call to ascend on high, and so their prophecies cease. But conscience ever liveth. Never will it cease to prophesy to the guilty in hell, and it shall be of "wrath to come,” wrath ever coming, and its vials never all emptied !
Such is conscience as a prophet. How much every human being has at stake in the attitude taken by such a prophet towards himself! Reader, its prophecies concerning you, what are they?
THERE IS NO OTHER WAY. “ THERE is no other way,” said old Amos, who was telling his grandson how he might get health, and knowledge, and wisdom, and money, and friends, and a good hope, and peace at the last, and, after all, enter heaven, the happy dwellingplace of saints and angels, and of the Lord of life and glory. “ There is no other way,” said he: but perhaps it will be better to put down the words that passed between them.
Amos. You may as well, Thomas, attempt to get grapes from thorns, and figs from thistles, as expect to have good health without living temperately, and taking fresh air and exercise. The glutton may grow fat, and the drunkard in his cups may have high spirits, but they will both get weaker and weaker, instead of stronger and stronger. And then, look at those who are pent up in close rooms, and seldom breathe the pure air that the breezes of heaven are wafting to and fro in the earth, how dull and pale, and sickly they are; some cannot get into the open air, but those who
can should be thankful. He who would be healthy must have exercise and fresh air: there is no other way.
Thomas. There are no people who have such a colour in their cheeks as those who live in the country.
Amos. True! they are up with the lark, and work in the open fields, and have fresh air and exercise all day long. I would they were more thankful for their blessings than they
you wish to get knowledge and wisdom, Thomas, there is but one way; mind your book, keep your eyes and ears open, and think on all you know, ever remembering that “ The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the holy is understanding," Prov. ix. 10. Books of themselves will never make you wise, though you can hardly expect to be wise without them. Read, observe, think, and pray to the Father of mercies for instruction if you wish to get knowledge and wisdom : there is no other way.
Thomas. I will keep as close to my book as I can, grandfather.
Amos. That is right, Thomas, you cannot do better. If you wish to get money you must work for it, though I tell you beforehand that “ Better is little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure and trouble therewith,” Prov. xv. 16. “ The hand of the diligent maketh rich,” Prov, x. 4. If therefore you will be rich, and get your riches honestly, you must be diligent: there is no other way.
Thomas. I shall never be afraid of work, I hope.
Amos. If you wish for friends, try to deserve them. The word of God says, “ A man that hath friends must show himself friendly,” Prov. xviii. 24. You can neither beg, buy, borrow, nor steal real friends, and can only gain them by friendly qualities. However, you may try, by following another fashion; I do not think you will find it answer. To gain friends, your thoughts, your words, and your deeds must be friendly; this is my plan, and I am of opinion there is no
Thomas. We can hardly expect friends if we do not try to deserve them.
Amos. 66 There is a Friend that sticketh closer than a brother,” Prov. xviii. 24, even the Saviour himself, and well will it be for us if he is our friend. I have told you how to get a few good things, and now I will tell you how to obtain a few more. If you want a good hope you must look for it to the Giver of every good and perfect gift, for you may look to other quarters all the days of your life without getting it;
happy is he 6 whose hope is in the Lord his God," Psa. cxlvi. 5. Where is the use of hoping for that which may be here to-day and gone to-morrow! There is no hope like the hope of everlasting life, and if we ask our heavenly Father for it, having faith in his Son Jesus Christ, who died for sinners, he will give us a good hope through grace, that shall be “ anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast,” Heb. vi. 19. Never be satisfied, Thomas, till you have a good hope, and never forget where to go for it. There are two other good things yet that I wish to speak of.
Thomas. What are they, grandfather?
Amos. Why, one is peace at the last, and the other an abundant entrance into heaven; for if you have not these, all the good things that were ever enjoyed would be but a mockery to you. Oh what a blessing is peace, both in life and death! Again and again I would bid you remember, there is no peace to the wicked.
Thomas. You have told me so very often.
Amos. Not too often, I think, Thomas. You can hardly have it too frequently sounded in your ears. He who would enjoy peace must cast the load of his trials and cares, his sins and his sorrows, on the Lord of life and glory, and trust in him. The prophet Isaiah says of the Lord, “ Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee,” Isa. xxvi. 3. No wonder then that he should cry out,
in the Lord for ever, for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength!” There are those in the world who get es, rank, and honour in abundance, without getting peace. Peace is of great value at all times, but it is of double value in the hour of death. The wicked and the worldly minded, and the thoughtless, look for it then in vain; but “ Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace,” Psa. xxxvii. 37. I have now but one other thing to mention.
Thomas. And that is the best of all, for it is about going to heaven.
Amos. True, Thomas. You would not like to be shut out of the mansions of glory, should you ?
Thomas. No, not for the world.
Amos. I dare say not, but it is not wishing to go to heaven that will take us there; we must go beyond that. Some try to scale the battlements of heaven with the ladder of their own good works, but they always find it far, far too short. And some try to mount up to heaven in the balloon
of their own self-conceit, but the higher they get the more suddenly they come down again, and great is their fall. Neither the ladder nor the balloon will do; they must go in at the strait gate, or they will not go in at all. Jesus Christ has said, “ I am the way,” John xiv. 6. Through that way they must go, for there is no other. Again I say, there is no
Thomas. You have given me quite enough to remember, grandfather. Amos. Ay, Thomas, but it is all worth your reme
membering, and if you think it would help you, were I to say it all over again in a few words, you should have it in as short and as plain a way as I could speak it.
Thomas. Why I think that I should then remember it better.
Amos. Very good. All that I have told you amounts to this. To get health you must live temperately, and take exercise and fresh air ; to get knowledge and wisdom you must read, keep your eyes and ears open, think and pray to the Father of mercies to instruct you ; to get money honestly you must be diligent in business; to get friends you must show yourself friendly ; to get a good hope you must look for it to the Giver of every good and perfect gift; to get peace at the last you must cast all your trials and cares, your sins and your sorrows, on the Lord of life and glory, and trust in him ; and to get to heaven you must pass through the strait gate, you must enter in by Jesus Christ, the only way that is open for a sinner. For the last time, then, I say that if you
would get all the good things of which I have spoken, you must seek them in the way pointed out to you, for be assured there is no
REJOICING IN GOD. In the morning, as soon as up, I retired to meditate; it pleased God to carry my heart by meditation into heaven, and I had very large thoughts of the happiness of that place, with which
my heart was much transported; and the consideration of the different state of the church triumphant, and the poor saints here upon earth still conflicting with their corruptions, made me to have very high admiring thoughts of their happiness, who were entered into rest and freed from sin, whilst I was in this Bochim, this place of tears. The consideration that they were absent from the body, and present with the
Lord, did make me wish I were so too, being then in my deliberate thoughts convinced that to depart and be with Christ was far better for me. I did then make strong sallies and egresses after the enjoyment of God in his fullest love in heaven, and I found inexpressible comfort in the hopes that I should be ever with the Lord, whom I found I did truly love above heaven and earth, or any thing contained in them both. I did enjoy sweet communion with God this morning for full two hours together; for which, O Lord, I bless thee, and for sending me away from my morning meditations able to say, that I had joy which a stranger intermeddles not with.
Lady Warwick's Diary.*
THE TWO SONS. Two young men, the children of pious and wealthy parents, felt themselves exceedingly displeased at being constantly refused the family carriage on the Lord's day. It was in vain they urged their confinement during the week as a sufficient reason why they should be thus indulged on the Sunday. It was their father's settled rule that the authority which commanded him to rest included also his servants and cattle; he therefore turned a deaf ear to their entreaties and remonstrances. In their madness or in their folly they determined to resent this refusal, by leaving their situations and going to sea. Intelligence of this step was transmitted to the Rev. John Griffin, of Portsea, and he was requested to make diligent inquiry, and on finding them to use every possible means to induce them to return home. After some search he found them in a rendezvous house, and introducing himself he stated his business and urged their return. He, however, urged in vain, for bent upon the fulfilment of their design they thanked him for his advice, but determined to reject it. Among other reasons for their return, he urged the feelings of their parents, and especially those of their mother. “ Think,” said the good man, what must your
mother's situation be after years of anxious watching and fervent prayer; after looking forward to this time, when in your society and in your welfare she hoped to meet a rich reward for all that she had suffered on your account; yet in one moment, and by one imprudent step, she finds you plunged into misery, the depths of which you cannot conceive of, and herself the subject of a wretchedness she has never deserved at your hands.” In the heart of
* About to be published by the Religious Tract Society.