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of his Lord is perpetually in his years. Only a seventh part of view, and he never rests till he that time is left to me now, and is assimilated in every point to of that small remnant of life I his divine pattern. This is the have no assurance. How few calling, the business, the indis. arrive at that period of life to pensable duty of the christian. which I am already come ! Al.
This imitation of his Savior, most all that were born before especially in the spirit and tem me are now in their long home. per of his mind, is repugnant in. A very few only of the compan. deed to his corrupt nature ; but ions of my youth survive. Some it is on that very account to be of them had constitutions that more assiduously pursued. Ac. promised a longer life than mine, curacy in doctrines may be con. and disease or accident has made sistent with much warmth and an end of them. I almost won. acrimony. It is the humble, der that I am still in the land of meek, benignant, tender char- the living. If it had been said acter, who gives the best evidence by an heavenly messenger ten of a right frame of heart. It is
years ago, that either my friend to be feared that we are in gener. J. S. or myself would be in the al too culpable in this respect grave before this time, it would too little careful of putting on have been thought highly proba. as the elect of God, holy and ble that my friend was to be my beloved, bowels of mercies, kind. surviver, and that before this day, ness, humbleness of mind, meek my eternal doom was to be pro. ness, long-suffering.” But let nounced. And what would it us contemplate the Son of God have been ? I tremble at the as “meek and lowly of heart,” as thought. I have all reason to “bearing the contradiction of sin. fear, that it would not have been ners against himself," as breath.
with the righteous. It is writ. ing in every action, not the an.
ten, that without holiness no gry, contentious spirit of mod. man shall see the Lord. That ern polemics, but love, peace, God is of purer eyes than to be. gentleness, kindness, long-suffer- hold evil, or to look upon iniqui. ing, and grace ; 66 when he was
ty ; that light can have no com. reviled, reviling not again, when munication with darkness ; that he suffered threatening not; but righteousness can have no fel. committing himself to him that lowship with unrighteousness, judgeth righteously :” and let
nor Christ any concord with Be. us labor to acquire in these res. lial. But I must deceive my own pects the mind which was also in
soul, if I presume to rank my. Christ Jesus.
self with those who are cleansed from their filthiness.
It would be presumptuous to ON HIS BIRTH-DAY.
pass sentence against any one of
my departed friends. But is it On this day I am no less than not to be feared, that some of sixty years of age, and surely it them are gone to the world of is more than time for me now to torment ? For many, in whose awake out of sleep. The days company
I once took pleasure, of man are thrcescorc and ten were, I had reason to think, as
REFLECTIONS OF A
careless about their own souls this time have been a devil, reas I have hitherto been ; and no mored beyond the hope of sal. signs of amendment appeared in vation by Christ. I should them before they went down to have gone down to the grave with the grave. A change might pass my bones full of the sins of my upon them unknown to me, or youth, which would have lain there might be some good thing down with me in the dust, and I in them with which I was unac should have risen with them at the quainted. God forbid that I last day, to be exposed to the view should deal damnation amongst of the whole world in all their either the living or the dead. horrible deformity, . My business is with myself. I What has not been may be. am well convinced by late re I have no assurance of my life fections on my own conduct, for a single moment. Should I that if I had met with the fate of at this time breathe my last, those of my friends who died in what would become of me? a late epidemical fever, or of one must I not sink down into endless who died by a fall from his horse, perdition with those sinners who I must have been in a place which have gone before me. Some of I cannot name without horror. my friends, it is to be feared, God be thanked that I am yet would meet me there, and load in the land of the living. I have me with grievous curses for the read of a nobleman who was encouragement I gave them to condemned to die for offences hold on in these evil against government, and felt which led them to the place of such terror in his soul at the torment. They would tell me, thoughts of an eternal world, that if they had seen me more that he cried out, О for some careful of my salvation, they more days, though I should live might have been awakened by in a mouse hole! But the poor mine example to consider their wretch was chased out of the ways ; that if I had reproved world, in all appearance with them for their drunkenness, their his sins cleaving fast to him, profane words, their neglect of and pressiog him down to the pit divine ordinances, they might of destruction. I am sure that have repented
and prevented I have infinite reason to bless those eternal horrors, from which God that I am still alive, al. there is now no escape for them. though I were compelled to spend How shall I hear their execraall the rest of my time on earth tions against me for endless ages, in a dvogcon, or to drag them when I find it so difficult to en. out in incessant toil on board a dure an unjust reproach, which galley. I have been sometimes is over in a moment, and forgottempted to envy some of my tep in a few days. neighbors, because they were But in that world I will prob. more prosperous than myself; ably find, that some of my friends but henceforth I will compare once not better than myself, have my condition not with those escaped that misery to which I who are alive, but with the dead. am doomed. The Bible spoke Ilad I been with them in the of a rich man in bell, who lifted land of forgetfulness, I must by up his eyes and saw Abraham
afar off, and a poor beggar, who into the place of torment, must once lay at his door full of sores. not my tortures be dreadfully What if I too should see some aggravated by the reflection, that whom I pitied on earth, crown. my conscience frequently sound. ed with endless felicity, whilst I ed an alarm to no purpose, and am for ever confined to the re that I neglected the great salva. gions of unmingled misery, with tion which was often preached in the devils that deceived me, and mine ears. with my companions in sio, who I stood in fear of my state must hate me with a perfect ha- from the earliest times that I can tred ; and whom I too would remember, and I durst pot neg. hate and curse, because we ner. lect daily prayer and weekly ater did any thing to hinder one tendance upon the public minis. another from coming to the place trations of the word of God. I of torment, although we were shudder at the thoughts of my often warned of our danger. stupidity in reading and hearing I am filled with horror at the
so many things in vain! Will thought of my own stupidity : I not the sermons I have heard, might have been at this moment and every book of the Bible, all involved in all that misery which of which I have read more than is felt by so many millions, who once, be like coals of juniper in were once as I now am, if divine my conscience for ever and ever, patience had not prolonged my if I die in my present condition? days to this time, whilst I was I often thought after reading doing all that lay in my power or hearing of the danger of un. to proroke the Omnipotent to converted sinners, that I should do his worst against me.
It is soon take a convenient time, and true I was not an adulterer, nor make diligent search by COD. a thief, nor a murderer, in the versing with mine own heart cyes of men; but was I not told concerning my prospects. Not by the Bible, that the law is only years, but almost my whole spiritual ; that he who lusteth life-time has passed away since I after a man's wife hath already formed this purpose :
yet noth. committed adultery with her in ing has been done to any good his heart; that he who hateth purpose ; for the greater part his brother in his heart is a mur. of that time I entertained a hope, derer ; that if any man love not that although I was conscious of our Lord Jesus Christ, he must much imperfection, yet I was be anathema maranatha ; that not worse than a great part of except a man be born again he those who have a good charac. cannot see the kingdom of God. ter in the church. I flattered
My conscience was not seared myself that little or nothing as with a hot irou. I some might be wanting to insure my times trembled at the thought of eternal felicity, although I was death : I sometimes rejoiced at frequently troubled with misgiv. hearing that there was a Savior ing apprehensions that my works infinitely kind and powerful, would not be found perfect bewho would reject none that came fore God. But of late I have unto him for the life of their thought more deeply than for. souls. But if I should be cast merly on the subject, and am
persuaded that all my feeble hopes doned sioner. I thank God that were delusive, and that without I am not yet become the object a complete change I am undone. of general detestation. I have
In consequence of some seri. not been left to the commission ous admonitions which I heard, of those gross iniquities which concerning the right way of using might have made me the object the scripture, it has become my of public scorn. But the fashcustom to bestow some thoughts ion of this world passeth away. on every chapter which I read, At the day of judgment, persons and to consider what the mind and things will appear very difof God is to myself in these por. ferent from what they are at tions of his word. This I could present. Then many adulterers, not long do, till I found my fornicators, and drunkards, comheart smitten with the convic. pared with whom I was account. tion that not only imperfection ed a saint, will not appear to adhered to my best works, but have been worse men than I, that they all wanted what was when my secret iniquities are essentially necessary for their disclosed. Unbelief, hypocrisy, acceptance with God. I have formality in the divine worship, prayed, but my prayers were will then appear to have been as not true prayers, for I did not loathsome to God, as the vile offer up sincere desires to God gratifications of lust, which are for things agreeable to his will. detested, and cannot be too Although I earnestly desired the greatly detested by men. blessings of divine Providence, these enormities, perpetrated by I did not hunger and thirst after men who bear the christian name, righteousness. If my desires shall be found to expose the do. after holiness had been more ar. ers of them to a more dreadful dent than after the good things condemnation than their fellow of this life, I would not have sinners, who, through the knowl. given that indulgence which I am edge of the gospel, escaped the now sensible I have done to my pollution of the world through sinful propensities. I have lust, yet of this I am assured, sung portions of the psalms in that I must (if I continue impen. public and private worship, itent) be found a viler creature, but I have been utterly des. than the most abominable sinner titute of that joy in the Lord, of the heathen world. My stu. that reverence and high admira. pidity, my neglect of the salva. tion of his name, without which tion purchased by the Son of the singing of psalms is no more God, my preference of the pleas. an act of holy worship, than the ures of vile lusts to the pleasure's sounding of a flute.
of holiness, will be found more But why should I specify par. inexcusable, and will put me to ticulars. My heart is deeply more shame before the assembled impressed with a sense of innue world, all of whom will then merable evils, all of which will view things in their proper light, be brought forth against me at than the sins of Sodom and Go. the day of judgment, to my ut. morrah would have done, if my ter confusion, if I still remain light had been no clearer than what I am at present, an unpar. theirs. But God forbid that I VOL. II. Nero Series.
should, after all that I now derive any comfort from them? know concerning myself, be He saith elsewhere, “Him that found at the left hand of my cometh unto me, I will in no. Judge at the time of his appear. wise cast out.” Will any man ance. I have indeed arrived say that these blessed words are at old age without obtaining a to be understood only of per. share in the salvation of Christ, sons below sixty years of age? because I have treated it with I know indeed that few, that contempt. But I am ashamed perhaps next to none at that pe. and confounded at my folly, riod of life, who have spent all and from henceforth I will do their former days in sin, are re. more trample on the grace and newed to repentance. But this blood of the only Savior. O consideration shall urg: me to that they had known, says the greater earnestness in my appli
. gracious Redeemer, the things cation to Jesus for the life of my that belong to their peace in the soul. Not many wise, not many day of their merciful visitation ; noble, not many mighty are but now they are hid from their called. But have any of the wise eyes. This is not the case with and noble been deterred by this me, I am not yet in the place consideration from seeking sal. where the mercy of God is clean vation by Christ? Perhaps gone for ever, but I still remain some have ; but this is certain, in the earth which is full of the that none of the wise or mighty goodness of the Lord. I still that ever came to Christ were dwell in the valley of vision, and cast out by him. Dionysias the hear the Savior saying to sinners, Areopagite was made as wel
. who like me have long continued come to Jesus, as the poorest to provoke him by their folly, sinper of Athens or of any oth. “How long, ye simple ones, will er place. Sergias Paulus was not ye love simplicity, and ye scorn. rejected any more than the most ers delight in scorning, and fools obscure individual in Cyprus. hate knowledge.”
Some have told us, that the Is there hope for an old sinner converted robber who was cru. who has turned for sixty years a cified with Jesus, never perhaps deaf ear to the voice of eternal enjoyed the means of grace wisdom? Yes; who shall set lim. he was doomed to die, or till be its to the grace of Christ, or was nailed to the cross. But who has a right to restrict the whence do they derive this sup. meaning of his gracious calls ? position? Salvation was of the It is evident that when he says, Jews; John's doctrinc wu "How long will ye love simplic heard of through all the land; ity," he speaks to men who have what man in Judea had not heard Jong refused to receive his in. of the preaching and miracles of structious. Aod who will say Jesus ? Bibles were common is that he means only those who the land. The robber, wherever have for ten, or twelve, or twen. he was, might have enjoyed the ty, or fifty years refused to means of conversion if be had bear him, but that po person of not despised them. His example sixty years who has hitherto per. is surely designed as an eacour. sisted in unbelief, has a right to agement to those who are dor