Изображения страниц

soul of the poorest, the meanest, to be lost. It is of more value than the world, and all the riches, and pleasures, and pomp, and glory of the world. It must live for ever, in happiness or in misery, in heaven or in hell; and when once lost, it is lost for ever: Oh, then, think, think now, and think seriously, of the value of the soul, your soul! "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"

Think now, and think seriously, of the importance of the means of grace. It is their design to save the soul, to bring it to Christ, to lead it to repent of sin and believe the gospel. And what must become of those who neglect the means of grace, and refuse to accept the great salvation? who disobey and disbelieve the gospel of the Saviour, and reject his pardoning love and mercy? "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God." "Now consider this, ye that forget God, lest I tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver." Supposing God, the almighty One, were to destroy our land by pestilence, or famine, or storm, or flood, or by raining fire and brimstone from heaven upon it, as he did upon Sodom and Gomorrah, the cities of the plain, what would become of the people? What would become of you? "Who can dwell in everlasting burnings ?” “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation ?" 66 Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." Oh, then, think, think now, and think seriously, of the importance of improving the means of grace.

Think now, and think seriously, of the preciousness of time. It is only

during time that you will be able to
secure the salvation of your soul. In
eternity no such opportunity will be
afforded. There all is fixed, unalter-
ably fixed. Your state will be fixed;
and it will be fixed according to the
life you have led, and the state in
which you are when you come to die.
There is "a time to die;" a time for
all to die; a time for you to die! This
time has come, and gone by with
many; it must come to all; it must
come to you, and it may come soon.
"For what is your life? It is even a
vapour, that appeareth for a little
time, and then vanisheth away." If
your character is that of a Christian,
and if you die believing in the Lord
Jesus Christ, and trusting in him as
your Saviour, your state will be a hea-
venly and a happy one; but if your
character is that of a hard-hearted
sinner, and if you die in impenitence
and unbelief, your state will be one of
extreme wretchedness and misery in
hell, and this state will be unalterable.
Oh, then, improve your time, the time
of life: "To-day if ye will hear his
"9 "Re-
voice, harden not your hearts;'
fuse not the voice of him that speak-
eth," lest when you come to die it
may be too late. Think then, oh think,
think now, and think seriously, of the
value of your soul, of the importance
of the means of grace, and of the pre-
ciousness of time!

"Improve the present moment as it flies;
Think what a moment is to him who
Dec. 1847.

X. Y. Z.

into communication
with a gay young woman, and, as my

custom is, recommended strongly the perusal of the Bible, as the only place where a sinner may discover true happiness, I was met with the reply, "Oh, no, sir; I read novels. I am young yet, and there is plenty of time to think about such serious things."

After a little further conversation, we parted; but the thought lingered with me, "I read novels;" and I was led to contemplate the sadly diseased state of mind of those who read them, and could but inquire within myself, What! is the Bible so dry, so unmeaning, so old, so stale? Is religion of such little importance? Is death so far off? Are the solemnities of an eternal world of so small moment as to gain scarce attention, while novels, with their pernicious influence on mind and morals, so captivating as alone to influence the soul? And yet, thought I, she knows no better. Hence, alas! how many are there who profess to love the gospel-who will weep under faithful preaching-and yet can revel in the excitement of the last new novel!

Can we wonder at the worldling, with no hope beyond the grave, seeking pastime in fiction, in anything, when the professor, the member of a church, with apparently tender emotions, at times, concerning Jesus, the Chief among ten thousands-with love for the gospel, the only remedy for human love-can trifle in such vain, such paltry amusements as a novel affords? Fallen, deeply fallen, must that man or woman be that can do this, or wink at this; and yet I know numbers, professing the highest regard for the Bible and religion, who love and read this sickly fiction, and allow their daughters to read it too!

I have my eye on a young man, whom I know well, with good natural abilities, and calculated to do much good in the Church of Christ, whose soul as well as intellect has been almost ruined by a love of fiction! Being a member of a church, and a Sundayschool teacher, much was expected of him; but the appetite for this accursed stimulant has brought him to such a state of morbid sensibility, that he has purchased this light reading going to his class of a Sabbath morning. I could enumerate one or two nearly similar cases; but this may suffice. What a fountain of mischief then must that be, to produce such baneful and sorrowful effects!

Reader, as you value your relative position as church member, if one, (and if not, there is something sadly wrong,) or Sunday-school teacher, as you would wish to make a sanctified impression upon the minds of your charge-as you love your Saviour and admire his precepts-remember "that which is highly esteemed among men, is had in abomination in the sight of God." As you would cherish the memory of him who is all or nothing to the sinner-as you would carry a salutary savour as regards your principles and acts-oh, banish, as you would the defamer of your friend, from your regard, your company, everything that partakes of a disrelish of religion and God. I heard the other day of a Sunday-school boy, who, when chided and expostu lated with for reading a romance, said,

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

"No sorrow can breathe in the air." Death is vanquished for ever. Not one of its inhabitants shall ever be heard to say, "I am sick," for "God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain." In heaven are no scorching fevers, no aching

destructive pestilence, to be felt or
feared; no fractured limb, or disfigured
visage there. Friends will not be seen
bending over the death-couch of loved,
yet dying relations, to exchange the
last and mournful salutation, or catch
the dying accents that fall from sainted
lips. They will not be called to de-
posit, in the dark, narrow house of
death, the remains of cherished friends,
and thus be excluded from their so-
ciety. No, O no!

"The saints in his presence receive

"I Go to prepare mansions for you,
not one but many." "In my Father's
house are many mansions." This must
be so, in view of the fact, that unnum-heads, no wasting consumption, no
bered multitudes are already there;
besides, a "host" are on their way
thither, repeating the promise, as they
go, "Where I am, there shall ye be
When all are assembled with
the angels before the throne, what a
large company! Will they not require
spacious apartments? The number
seen by the revelator, at one time, was
"ten thousand times ten thousand,
and thousands of thousands," though
he saw but a part of those who are to
enjoy celestial scenery for ever.
yet there is plenty of room for more.
The invitation still is going out, "Come
unto me, all ye ends of the earth," be-
cause there is room for the guests.
None need fear fatigue, in consequence
of "numbers crowded together," for
this is the "rest which remains to the
people of God." And when this vast
choir shall stand before the Lord they
love, and sing his everlasting praise,
with voices sweet as heavenly zephyrs,
in notes of celestial melody, O, how
shall we rejoice to know, "this is
home"-this is mine for ever! Here I
am to stay with my Redeemer, and
"80 be ever with the Lord." The ex-
tent of this heavenly land is doubtless
intended to be represented in Rev. xxi.
16, where, by the aid of the Holy
Spirit, he viewed it in his grandeur.

Their great and eternal reward."
And among other things, they receive
a "body like unto Christ's glorious
body." It was a view of this glorified
body, on Mount Tabor, that caused the
disciples to exclaim, "Lord, it is good
for us to be here." And will bodies
like that ever die-ever suffer?
know, that when he shall appear, we
shall be like him," and this enables the
dying saint to shout, "I shall be satis-
fied, when I awake in thy likeness."
Immortality is stamped on everything
at home. If this is my land, and yours,
dear reader, can we not say, with the

"O land of rest, for thee I sigh;

When will the moment come,
When I shall lay this body by,

And dwell with Christ at home?"

[ocr errors]


"As many were astonished at thee; his
visage was so marred more than any
man, and his form more than the sons
of men; so shall he sprinkle many na-
tions."-ISAIAH lii. 14, 15.

WE cannot be mistaken in the individual to whom the prophet here refers. He speaks not of himself, but of some other man, the man Jesus Christ. Three things are here observed respecting him:

The wonder he excited.-" As many were astonished at thee." Everything about the Saviour was wonderful. How mysterious was the union of the divine and human nature in one person. Many were astonished at his birth, the poverty of his condition, his doctrine, his miracles, his kindness and compassion, his sufferings and death.

Isprinkling is applied to the conscience. It is emblematical of the outpouring of the Spirit.

The manner in which it is imparted."So shall he sprinkle." That is, in this manner-by these sufferings. Thus, "by his stripes we are healed."

The number that shall participate in it. -"Many nations." The sacred influence of his grace shall be received by countless myriads of souls, Gentiles as well as Jews. Let me seriously inquire if I have thus been sprinkled. of what avail will be the sprinkling of water in baptism, without the application of the blood, and the outpouring of the Spirit of Christ.


IT is a blessing, at once precious and inestimable, to enjoy religion in the soul; not merely to possess a theoretic acquaintance with it, however extensive; not merely to converse about it, however pleasing may be the conversation indulged; but to enjoy its divine virtue-to realize its divine sweetness

The sufferings he endured.-These are here alluded to in a most touching manner; his countenance indicated the pains of body and agonies of soul he felt. How well he was called "a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief." He who is fairer than the children of-to experience its healing and divine men, in the dignity of his person, the glory of his nature, and the excellences of his character, had "his visage marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men." These sufferings were voluntarily endured on his part, cruelly inflicted by his enemies, but efficacious in their results.

The grace he manifests.—" So shall he sprinkle many nations." Everything is observable here:

The nature of the blessing." He shall sprinkle." This may allude to the sprinkling of blood on the door-posts, in the Jewish Passover. The blood of

influence-to feel its divine and transforming power. If religion be enjoyed by us, how lovely does the Saviour appear! The characters he sustainsthe relations he bears-the work he performs-the compassion and grace he displays, are clothed with powerful and irresistible attractions.

If religion be enjoyed by us, how beautiful and captivating does the word of God appear to us; in the wide range of its doctrines-in the simplicity, adaptation, and fulness of its precepts

in the amplitude and tenderness of its invitations-in the holiness and sweetness of its promises, we go to it

continually as to the richest feast, and we feed on its discoveries with ever augmenting delight. If we enjoy religion in the soul, how precious are the ordinances of the gospel in our estimation! Those simple and devout observances those hallowed and sublime institutions which the Lord has commanded us perpetually to regard for our increased illumination, our scriptural edification, our unceasing growth in grace. These ordinances will not be neglected-they will not be undervalued, much less trifled with. We shall esteem them most highly. We shall prize them as some of God's choicest blessings conferred upon us, and we shall never be so happy as when we are engaged in their celebration. If we enjoy religion in the soul, how are we supported under all the trials of our chequered and shadowy existence below? How are we enabled to meet every difficulty, though most formidable; to brave every assailant, though most violent; to encounter every storm, though, perhaps, most raging; to endure every suffering, though, sometimes, most intense; and to look forward to the closing scene, without being overwhelmed with terror and dismay, but in the swellings of Jordan, to be sustained-in the valley of death, to be tranquillised-and in the immediate anticipation of eternity, and all its awful disclosures, to be composed, and even joyful. These are the advantages-this is the blessedness of religion. These are some of the treasures with which it crowns and enriches its truly humble, obedient, and persevering followers.

Dear reader, may you enjoy the religion of Christ! It will dignify your character; it will expand and ennoble

your mind; it will purify and transform your spirit. It will enlighten, when nothing else can illuminate; it will cheer, when nothing else can invigorate. It will save, when nothing else can deliver.

Value and love the religion of the Bible, and you are redeemed; neglect it, trifle with it, despise it, and you are lost and beggared for ever: "O happy souls that know the sound: Celestial light their steps surround, And show that jubilee begun, Which through eternal years shall run."


TO-DAY, while the Saviour calls thee, impenitent reader, is the time to hear his voice. There is no encouragement whatever given for you to defer attention to this subject. The future may come, but, you may then not be able to hear the invitation. The future may come, but then the means of grace may be taken from you. The future may come, but then you may not be sensibly affected by the voice of Christ. Your heart may then "be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin." The future may come, but with respect to you, God, in righteous judgment, may "send a famine, not of bread, but of hearing the word of the Lord." The future may come, but your continued obstinacy and unbelief may provoke Jehovah to give you up to your own evil lusts, to do the things which are not convenient, to become the subject of "strong delusion, to believe a lie.' The future may come, but bring with it the evil days of disease and deaththe raging fever-the wild deliriumthe exhausted frame-wandering recol lection-the stupor of insensibilitywhen you will not be in a condition to

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »