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ness, in the face of so much piety, and practise it under the severe lashes of a guilty conscience? It is as if he was given up entirely to the devil, to sin in the open face of gospel light.

Cushi. It is the eye of justice darting his rays on the guilty conscience that alarms it, and keeps it awake the devil finding this, he cannot get such a soul into a state of carnal security, the strong man cannot keep possession of such a palace in peace; therefore, he stirs up the enmity of the mind to oppose and resist the light; he blows up heat and passion, and when he can get such an one to sin, it is in a desperate way, that he may sink the poor soul in despair, and so overwhelm him with guilt and horror. The eye of justice is as terrible to Satan, and his dark kingdom, as it was to Pharaoh and his host at the Red Sea. The devil hates the light of truth; hence it is that he so often stirs up the carnal mind of sinners to hate those that long for their salvation; the light of truth discovers the sinner's state, and Satan's works, which he cannot endure. When our Lord sent his disciples out to spread the true light, Satan, with all his counterfeited lustre, sunk down and skulked into his own infernal shade: "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven,” Luke x. 18. This being the case, the devil is obliged to act with an awakened conscience as the highwayman does with the fearful traveller, do his business in haste, and be desperate in it.

Ahimaaz. I almost wonder that our benign

Benefactor did not indulge the pious parents of this poor sinner with the pleasing sight of his conversion before their decease, as you know it must have greatly excited their gratitude to God; and the Lord says, "Whoso offereth praise glorifieth


Cushi. The Lord is a sovereign, and doth as he pleases; yet several reasons may be assigned why the Lord did not thus indulge them: First, As he was their only child, I think he engrossed too much of their affections: Secondly, They gave him too much indulgence in his childhood, which his rebellion requited them for: Thirdly, Their travailing hard in prayer for him, brought many blessings on their own souls, and served as a spur to their devotions, under which they ripened for glory: and, lastly, His cruel requital to his parents helped forward his convictions, when God brought in his bill and laid him under a divine arrest.

Ahimaaz. The conversion of this man affords a deal of encouragement to praying parents; and I believe it is right for believers to persevere in prayer for their children, notwithstanding the discouragements that they often meet with; and, indeed, the Messiah spoke a whole parable to this end," that men ought always to pray, and not to faint."

Cushi. We ought to pray for them, and must leave the event to God; "they that sow in tears. shall reap in joy." Many prayers and tears have been scattered about a throne of grace, that have

been answered afterwards in a shower of blessings, Ezek. xxxiv. 26. And much seed hath been sown in sinners hearts, that for a while may seem to lie dormant, but afterwards it sheweth itself. "And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground, and should sleep, and rise, night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself, first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear," Mark iv. 26-28.

Ahimaaz. Pray how old was the youth when his parents died? Were they people of property? Did they leave him any thing?

Cushi. I believe he was about fifteen years of age at the death of his father, who left him an apprentice to an attorney at law, and left him with a very considerable property; but he soon spent it, when he got it into his own hands, which I do not wonder at, for as the old people were dotingly fond of him, they were perpetually endeavouring to save what they could, in order to leave him in great possessions; and, if I am rightly informed, their anxiety in this matter was their sin; and for my part, I do believe that whatsoever people get for their children, with an unwarrantable anxiety, so as to close the bowels of liberality to all but their own offspring, do greatly dishonour God by a visible distrust of his providence; and in reality they entail a curse upon all that they leave; and

perhaps this was the reason strong bands in their death.

why they had such
God will
God will purge the

soul that he saves from sin, if it be by fire.

Ahimaaz. Their putting their son out apprentice to an attorney, a business in which it is impossible for a man to live and keep a good conscience towards God, and their carefulness after this world's goods, gives me room to suspect that divinity never made a very deep impression upon their souls; for he that drinketh of the living water that the Saviour gives shall never thirst after the riches of this life. "But the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life," John iv. 14. Pray did you know them, or do you go by report?

Cushi. I have seen them, but had no acquaintance with them; though they are reported to be singularly pious, yet I know it is not all gold that shines, nor are they all maids that pass for such, and wear white aprons. I know the best of saints are burdened with the remains of corrupt nature, which, at times, has broke out and left its spots in the brightest characters, as. incest in Lot, excess in Noah, adultery in David, and blasphemy in Peter; yet there are some sins that they stand clear of, I mean such as are real partakers of the Holy Ghost.

Ahimaaz. Pray, my brother, what are those sins that you suppose every inspired soul to stand free from? For my part I would wish to stand for

ever free from all; for it is the death of all real comfort, as well as a great dishonour to God, and a sweet morsel to them that eat up the sin of God's people.

Cushi. I think there are two sins which are not found in the dark catalogue of any gracious character in the Bible. One sin is what the law calls presumption, Num. xv. 30; which David calls the great transgression, Psalm xix. 13; which John calls the sin unto death, 1John v. 16; but Christ calls it the unpardonable sin, Matt. xii. 31.

The other sin is covetousness; for this sin God was wroth with Israel and smote him, and of this he promises to heal him, Isaiah lvii. 17, 18. Paul calls it the root of all evil, 1 Tim. vi. 10; and idolatry, Col. iii. 5; which the Saviour calls the service of mammon, Matt. vi. 24; and pronounces a wo on all such servants, Luke vi. 24, 25. To the best of my knowledge, I do not remember that ever daring presumption, and the love of money, are once filed among any of the bills that God hath brought in against a real citizen of Zion; his character excludes both these, Psalm xv. These are the two sins against which David levels the force of his 66 prayers, Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins," Psalm xix. 13. "Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness," Psalm cxix. 36. Both these are the devil's own marks, and I defy the world to prove them to be marks of a saint; wherever we find any thus marked, we may say, "They have cor

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