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transgressor of the command- It may well excite an ardent and

ments of God and enters into the full meaning and consequences of the concession, the most interesting question will be, How am I to be pardoned? He that is once truly awake to this in. quiry, can be diverted from it by no pressure of employments, no sophistry of error. The disputes of divines upon abstract and metaphysical niceties, are to him insipid; for heaven and eternity are at stake. Of a mind thus exercised, the anxieties and apprehensions are frequently painful, and sometimes prolong ed yet if the Scriptures be carefully studied, prayer assiduously cultivated, and the ordinary means of instruction conscientiously improved, will they yield at length to accurate conceptions of the method of redemption. He who thus diligently uses the light he has received, and earnestly implores further discoveries, will, by degrees, find his knowledge of the Scriptures enlarged and confirm ed, until he can rely with holy satisfaction on the atonement of the Son of God. Such a text as this Who his ownself bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we being dead to sin should live unto righteousness," is balm to his wounded conscience. The view of an in. carnate God, dying to redeem him; is life and consolation to his mind.

It loosens the bonds of sin. It is peace, and pardon, and deliverance. It awakens a sacred sorrow for his past delinquencies, and produces a benign and holy humility, not far removed from tranquillity and joy, Such a view may well allay his fears, and lighten his disquietude.

overflowing principle of love. It may well enable the Christian to overcome the world, and even to count, with St. Paul, all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus his Lord.

With such a view, therefore, where it is deep and abiding, will always be connected that total renunciation of sin and supreme devotedness to God, of which it is the origin and support. Why does God pardon my sins, but that being released from their bondage, I may serve him with new and universal obedience ? "How can they who are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" Hesitation, here, is suspicious and unpardonable; and if the doctrines of our holy religion are doctrines of grace, they are also doctrines according to god. liness. If there be any true godliness in the world, it arises from their influence.

The honest christian has, indeed, no interest in ambiguity. It forms his delight to follow the example, and transcribe the character of his Master. His complaints and sorrows spring from his deficiency in this respect. He would be entirely holy. He desires to glorify God in body, soul, and spirit. He aims at treading in the steps, imbibing the spirit, and adorning the gospel of his God and Savior; and whenever he falls short of this, he falls short of his principal object, and applies humbly for fresh forgiveness and fresh supplies of grace. There is no sin whatsoever which he does not de

sire to be subdued, no duty which he does not endeavor to perform. The perfect holiness

of his Lord is perpetually in his view, and he never rests till he is assimilated in every point to his divine pattern. This is the calling, the business, the indispensable duty of the christian.

This imitation of his Savior, especially in the spirit and temper of his mind, is repugnant indeed to his corrupt nature; but it is on that very account to be more assiduously pursued. Accuracy in doctrines may be consistent with much warmth and acrimony. It is the humble, meek, benignant, tender character, who gives the best evidence of a right frame of heart. It is to be feared that we are in general too culpable in this respecttoo little careful of "putting on as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering,' But let us contemplate the Son of God as "meek and lowly of heart," as "bearing the contradiction of sinners against himself," as breathing in every action, not the angry, contentious spirit of modern polemics, but love, peace, gentleness, kindness, long-suffering, and grace; " when he was reviled, reviling not again, when he suffered threatening not; but committing himself to him that judgeth righteously:" and let us labor to acquire in these respects the mind which was also in Christ Jesus. Ch. Ob.



On this day I am no less than sixty years of age, and surely it is more than time for me now to awake out of sleep. The days of man are threescore and ten

years. Only a seventh part of that time is left to me now, and of that small remnant of life I have no assurance. How few arrive at that period of life to which I am already come! Al. most all that were born before me are now in their long home. A very few only of the companions of my youth survive. Some of them had constitutions that promised a longer life than mine, and disease or accident has made an end of them. I almost won. der that I am still in the land of the living. If it had been said by an heavenly messenger ten years ago, that either my friend J. S. or myself would be in the grave before this time, it would have been thought highly proba. ble that my friend was to be my surviver, and that before this day, my eternal doom was to be pro. nounced. And what would it have been? I tremble at the thought. I have all reason to fear, that it would not have been with the righteous. It is writ ten, that without holiness no man shall see the Lord. That God is of purer eyes than to be. hold evil, or to look upon iniqui. ty; that light can have no communication with darkness; that righteousness can have no fellowship with unrighteousness, nor Christ any concord with Belial. But I must deceive my own soul, if I presume to rank my. self with those who are cleansed from their filthiness.

It would be presumptuous to pass sentence against any one of my departed friends. But is it not to be feared, that some of them are gone to the world of torment? For many, in whose company I once took pleasure, were, I had reason to think, as

careless about their own souls as I have hitherto been; and no signs of amendment appeared in them before they went down to the grave. A change might pass upon them unknown to me, or there might be some good thing in them with which I was unacquainted. God forbid that I should deal damnation amongst either the living or the dead. My business is with myself. I am well convinced by late reflections on my own conduct, that if I had met with the fate of those of my friends who died in a late epidemical fever, or of one who died by a fall from his horse, I must have been in a place which I cannot name without horror. God be thanked that I am yet in the land of the living. I have read of a nobleman who was condemned to die for offences against government, and felt such terror in his soul at the thoughts of an eternal world, that he cried out, O for some more days, though I should live in a mouse hole! But the poor wretch was chased out of the world, in all appearance with his sins cleaving fast to him, and pressing him down to the pit of destruction. I am sure that I have infinite reason to bless God that I am still alive, although I were compelled to spend all the rest of my time on earth in a dungeon, or to drag them

out in incessant toil on board a galley. I have been sometimes tempted to envy some of my neighbors, because they were more prosperous than myself; but henceforth I will compare my condition, not with those who are alive, but with the dead. Had I been with them in the land of forgetfulness, I must by

this time have been a devil, removed beyond the hope of salvation by Christ. I should have gone down to the grave with my bones full of the sins of my youth, which would have lain down with me in the dust, and I should have risen with them at the last day, to be exposed to the view of the whole world in all their horrible deformity.

What has not been may be. I have no assurance of my life for a single moment. Should I at this time breathe my last, what would become of me? must I not sink down into endless perdition with those sinners who have gone before me. Some of my friends, it is to be feared, would meet me there, and load me with grievous curses for the encouragement I gave them to hold on in these evil courses which led them to the place of torment. They would tell me, that if they had seen me more careful of my salvation, they might have been awakened by mine example to consider their ways; that if I had reproved them for their drunkenness, their profane words, their neglect of divine ordinances, they might have repented and prevented those eternal horrors, from which there is now no escape for them. How shall I hear their execrations against me for endless ages, when I find it so difficult to endure an unjust reproach, which is over in a moment, and forgotten in a few days.

But in that world I will prob. ably find, that some of my friends once not better than myself, have escaped that misery to which I am doomed. The Bible spoke of a rich man in hell, who lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham

afar off, and a poor beggar, who once lay at his door full of sores. What if I too should see some whom I pitied on earth, crowned with endless felicity, whilst I am for ever confined to the regions of unmingled misery, with the devils that deceived me, and with my companions in sin, who must hate me with a perfect hatred; and whom I too would hate and curse, because we never did any thing to hinder one another from coming to the place of torment, although we were often warned of our danger.

I am filled with horror at the thought of my own stupidity: I might have been at this moment involved in all that misery which is felt by so many millions, who were once as I now am, if divine patience had not prolonged my days to this time, whilst I was doing all that lay in my power to provoke the Omnipotent to do his worst against me. It is true I was not an adulterer, nor a thief, nor a murderer, in the eyes of men; but was I not told by the Bible, that the law is spiritual; that he who lusteth after a man's wife hath already committed adultery with her in his heart; that he who hateth his brother in his heart is a murderer; that if any man love not our Lord Jesus Christ, he must be anathema maranatha; that except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.

My conscience was not seared as with a hot iron. I some times trembled at the thought of death I sometimes rejoiced at hearing that there was a Savior infinitely kind and powerful, powerful, who would reject none that came unto him for the life of their souls. But if I should be cast

into the place of torment, must not my tortures be dreadfully aggravated by the reflection, that my conscience frequently sounded an alarm to no purpose, and that I neglected the great salva. tion which was often preached in

mine ears.

I stood in fear of my state from the earliest times that I can remember, and I durst not neglect daily prayer and weekly attendance upon the public minis. trations of the word of God. I shudder at the thoughts of my stupidity in reading and hearing so many things in vain! Will not the sermons I have heard, and every book of the Bible, all of which I have read more than once, be like coals of juniper in my conscience for ever and ever, if I die in my present condition?

I often thought after reading or hearing of the danger of unconverted sinners, that I should soon take a convenient time, and make diligent search by CODversing with mine Own heart concerning my prospects. Not only years, but almost my whole life-time has passed away since I formed this purpose: yet nothing has been done to any good purpose; for the greater part of that time I entertained a hope, that although I was conscious of much imperfection, yet I was not worse than a great part of those who have a good character in the church. I flattered myself that little or nothing might be wanting to insure my eternal felicity, although I was frequently troubled with misgiving apprehensions that my works would not be found perfect before God. But of late I have thought more deeply than formerly on the subject, and am

persuaded that all my feeble hopes were delusive, and that without a complete change I am undone. In consequence of some serious admonitions which I heard, concerning the right way of using the scripture, it has become my custom to bestow some thoughts on every chapter which I read, and to consider what the mind of God is to myself in these portions of his word. This I could not long do, till I found my heart smitten with the conviction that not only imperfection adhered to my best works, but that they all wanted what was essentially necessary for their acceptance with God. I have prayed, but my prayers were not true prayers, for I did not offer up sincere desires to God for things agreeable to his will. Although I earnestly desired the blessings of divine Providence, I did not hunger and thirst after righteousness. If my desires after holiness had been more ardent than after the good things of this life, I would not have given that indulgence which I am now sensible I have done to my sinful propensities. I have sung portions of the psalms in public and private worship, but I have been utterly destitute of that joy in the Lord, that reverence and high admiration of his name, without which the singing of psalms is no more an act of holy worship, than the sounding of a flute.

But why should I specify particulars. My heart is deeply impressed with a sense of innumerable evils, all of which will be brought forth against me at the day of judgment, to my utter confusion, if I still remain what I am at present, an unparVOL. II. New Series.

doned sinner. I thank God that I am not yet become the object of general detestation. I have not been left to the commission of those gross iniquities which might have made me the object of public scorn. But the fashion of this world passeth away. At the day of judgment, persons and things will appear very dif ferent from what they are at present. Then many adulterers, fornicators, and drunkards, compared with whom I was accounted a saint, will not appear to have been worse men than I, when my secret iniquities are disclosed. Unbelief, hypocrisy, formality in the divine worship, will then appear to have been as loathsome to God, as the vile gratifications of lust, which are detested, and cannot be too greatly detested by men. Or, if these enormities, perpetrated by men who bear the christian name, shall be found to expose the doers of them to a more dreadful condemnation than their fellow sinners, who, through the knowledge of the gospel, escaped the pollution of the world through lust, yet of this I am assured, that I must (if I continue impen. itent) be found a viler creature, than the most abominable sinner of the heathen world. My stu pidity, my neglect of the salvation purchased by the Son of God, my preference of the pleasures of vile lusts to the pleasures of holiness, will be found more inexcusable, and will put me to more shame before the assembled world, all of whom will then view things in their proper light, than the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah would have done, if my light had been no clearer than theirs. But God forbid that I 3R

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