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the wicked will be punished, while the righteous will be rewarded; what will be my condition in a future world? Can I expect the approbation of my Maker, when I have lived contrary to his express commands? I certainly cannot. I cannot escape the awful retributions of eternity. I must die. I do not expect exemption from what is common to mankind. Death is an important change; it will introduce me into an unknown world—into an untried slate of existence. The closing scene of life will be interesting. When I am stretched upon the bed of death, when the physician has bidden me adieu, and my friends arc watching for the parting gasp; what will be the situation of my soul? Shall I then look forward with joy, or with sorrow, into that unknown world? How {hall I then wish that I had lived the life of the Christian? How shall I wish for his lamp to illume my path into the invisible state of being? But if, on entering the world of spirits, I should find that I am lost forever, what rending thoughts will agonize my tortured mind? How should I wish that I had never been born? With what curses should I load my existence ?— My present life is short; when compared with that which succeeds, it is but a point. It is but the morning of my existence. I shall soon be housed in the grave, and my soul appear before the tribunal of heaven, to. receive a sentence for eternity.

These are realities. They are not the fictions of an idle fancy, or the whims of a disordered brain. They are scenes, which will be infinitely important; and to neglect preparation for them, indicates an awful degree of insensibility. To

prepare for death, ought to be the great business of living. I am now beginning the career of hu» man life. I am commencing a course os action, which will be followed by everlasting consequences. Upon my conduct in the present world, depends my felicity in another. And how infinitely important, that it be such as to meet the appropation of myjudge? The Saviour of the world told one who came to him, that he could not be saved, unless he was born again. The practice of vice will inevitably land me in the world of despair. I must change my course of conduct, or perish forever. I have every inducement to live a virtuous life. My1 peace and comfort in the present world require it, and everlasting happiness or misery will be the consequence of my conduct here. If I relinquish the paths of vice, and betake myself to the practice of virtue, I shall never have occasion to lament it. Not an instance occurs in the long annals of history, of one who regretted that he had lived a virtuous life. But thousands of the wicked h;vve gone out of the world with the molt painful reflections, wishing that they had lived the life of the Christian. I am convinced that true religion, if I can attain it, will cany me through life in peace. She will enable me to bear up against its troubles, will approach the bed of my last sickness, and inform me that my pangs are but for a moment, and will lighten my path into the world of glory.

Such being the blessed effects of a virtuous life, both in llv.z, and a future world; I will no longer tread the destructive paths of vice. I will renounce a wicked world, and devote myself to the service'of roy God. I shall deiight in the ways of virtue, because " they are ways of pleasantness and peace.' I shall not envy the debauchee his unlawful pleasures, nor wish to be a partaker in his vices. Of the innocent amusements of life I may partake as largely as he, and shall enjoy them with a better rehsti. But, knowing that vice leads directly to ruin, I {hall not have occasion to regret, that I cannot win at the gaming table, revel in debauchery, and be the first in midnight carousals; but rejoice, that I have something, which will afford me more permanent satisfaction in this world, and secure me eternal felicity in another.—With these prospects in view, I shall pass through life agreeabh, I (hall close it in peace; I ihall make my entry into the world of spirits with joy, and my arrival will be hailed by the acclamations of the blessed.

HENRICUS.

POETRY.

COMMUNICATED AS ORIGIXAI..

The comforts and boses tf the Gospel.

JESUS, thy children here below Thy love by sweet experience know:

Faith in thy Word thy glory sets,
And lives upon thy promises.

1. Sometimes while prayer employe cur

tongue*,
Or while so thee we raise eur sohgi,
Thy smiling face unveil'd appears,
And p easurt banishes our feaes.

3. Sometimes while fitting round thy

board, We tifte rhe bounties of our Lord, On wir.~f of love our spirits rife, 4nd heav'n begins beiow the ikies.

4. Yet oft a gloomy, tedious night

Hides nur Beloved from our sight;
Bereft of al! our joys we mourn,
Till thou, our Morning Star, return.

5. With longing eyes thy throne wt

view, Fain would we bid this earth adieu: We would from flelh and sin be free, And dwell forever, Lord, with thee.

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D'jnalhnt to the Mi/Jionary Society os Comu3icui.

1804. March 7. Jemima Hubbard, Glastenbury, . 9. A Stranger from State of New-York, 28. Rev. George Cokon, Bolton, - -

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[The following piece was written by Benevolus.]

A Dissertation on Family Prayer.

TRUE religion is the duty, and forms the desence, of man. While Christians are commanded to take to themselves the whole armor of God, they are directed " to pray always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit." The scriptures inculcate the duty of maintaining at all times a frame of mind which is friendly to devotion, and which will utter itfelf in the various kinds of prayer, as duty requires. Supplication is to be made in the Spirit, or with a humble reliance on the influences ef the Holy Spirit, who can help our insirmities, and teach us to pray aright.

It is common to all who acknowledge the existence of a Deity, to fly to him as supplicants in seasons when they feel themselves to be in great danger, and despair of help from an arm of stem. When the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, so that the ship in which the prophet Jonah was failing, was like to be broken,

Vol. IV. No. 11.

"the mariners were asraid, and cried every man unto his God." It is a plain dictate of natural religion, not only that we ought to look to God for help in a time of trouble, but that we ought also to ask him for favors which we need, and return thanks unto him, for those which we have received. To learn the nature of that prayer which is acceptable to the only living and true God, we must have recourse to the revelation which he hath made of his character and will in his holy word. By this we are taught, that acceptable prayer consists in pouring out the desires of our hearts to God, for things which are agreeable to his will, in the name of Christ, with a consession of our sins, and a thanksul acknowledgement of divine mercies. This is the only kind of prayer with which any gracious promise is certainly connected. All who pray in this manner will be heard of their Father who is in heaven, and will receive according to the ultimate desire of their hearts; which is, that God may be glorisied in and by them, and by all creatures and events. Praying Ddd

s

fouls will not be sent away empty, slor will one of them be shut out of the New Jerusalem.

Prayer may be considered under two general heads, secret and

social.

Secret prayer is made by an individual when retired from all his fellow-creatures. God and himself only are privy to the performance. If one in the performance of this duty, 'strives to give notice of it to others, he discovers a proud, pharisaical temper. Matthew vi. 5, 6. "And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the , hypocrites are; for they love to pray standing in the synagogues, and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily, I say unto you, they have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet; and, when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret, and thy Father which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly." Secret prayer is of high importance. When it is maintained according to its nature and design, the foul is in a healthful and prosperous state. How

.often have Christians confessed, that their declensions could be traced back to the neglect, or coldness, of closet duties?

Under the general head of secret prayer is to be classed ejaculatory prayer. This consists in a secret, informal pouring out of the heart to God; either when the subject is at labor or at rest, alone or in company. Devout persons often lift up their hearts to their Almighty Friend, in a way of adoration, or confession, or petition, or praise, as occasions occur. Their meditations naturally run into some part or other of prayer, without any formal attempt to collect their thoughts. The ob

jects around them bring their divine Author to mind. A fense of their sin and danger, and of mercies received, engages them without the formality of words, to adore, confess, supplicate, and to offer thanksgiving. They pour out their hearts to God in groanings which cannot be uttered. This kind of prayer is very well understood, and is practised much, by persons of eminent piety; hence they are said to fray al-way.

Social prayer implies the union of two or more persous in the performance of the duty. The language used is supposed, in general, to be the language of the number engaged. This dutymay be performed either in the family, or in the house of God, as well as on many other occasions. Should each member of a family, or 'of a congregation, utter no word, or give no well known sign to each other, of their thoughts, in their devotion, their prayer would be of the secret or ejaculatory kind, though they were alF gathered in one place, and each one poured out his heart to God. In social prayer, some one person leads with an audible voice, or all present pronounce with their lips a form of prayer in which they are agreed. Social prayer cannot be performed in the way in which the other kinds are, which have been mentioned.

The design of this dissertation is to consider particularly, Family Prayer; and to urge its importance. I shall pursue the following method, in discussing the subjest.

I. Show that family prayer is a reasonable and scriptural duty of great importance. And,

II. I shall consider some of the objections which have been bro't against family prayer.

I. I am to attempt to show that family prayer is a reasonable and scriptural duty of great importance.

By family prayer is meant, prayer offered up in the audience of all the members of the family, by the head of the family, or some person under his direction. To this is supposed to "be added the daily reading of the holy scriptures, in the hearing of those who are called to join in the devotion. 1 have stiled this duty a reasonable, as well as a scriptural one; because it is capable of being clearly shown to be a reasonable service, and is a subject of rational demonstration. This duty is an important one. It is not to be classed with paying tithe of mint, and anise, and cummin; but is to be reckoned among the weightier matters of the law.—The duty of familyprayer may be argued,

i. From family trials. We have troubles'in theJ present state which imply society; or that a number of persons is involved in them at the fame time, and in connexion with each other.

Families do not remain long without family trials. 'It is highly proper that under these they concur in heart and voice in addressing the Infinite Majesty; praying for the removal of the evils which they feel, deprecating those which threaten, and humblingthemselves nnder his mighty hand. Are not those who are called to weep together, called upon by divineprovidence to unite in carrying their burdens to the throne of grace? Is there not something which shocks every reflecting mind, in beholding dangerous sickness in a family, and which, while it spreads and threatens desolation, doe3 not excite the head of the family to look to God for help, by praying

before his household? Surely, all will join in saying, there is not the fear of God in that house. If his name were reverenced under that roof, we should hear the voice of supplication in this day of distress.

This familiar view of the duty of family prayer from family trials, furnishes an argument for the constant support os social worship in every family. It is unknown when trouble will come. We ought to be prepared for it at alj times. We cannot be in a proper frame to meet it, without the spirit of devotion.- God is to be worshipped by us in a social, as well as in a private manner, be our circumstances prosperous or adversei This leads me to argue the duty of family prayer, from,

2. The reception of family deliverances and mercies. Some ot the greatest blessings of life are cif a domestic nature.. There is something very beautiful and striking in the apparent union of familiesafter the reception of deliverances and mercies, in offering praise t6 their Creator, Preserver^Benefit tor and Redeemer., ...

The duty we are r.dw considering, has appeared so plain and reai fonable, that even the Pagans have had their household worshtai However erroneous their notion of household gods is, and however absurd is their theology at large! yet from their conduct in carrying worship into their houses, \ve may infer that family prayer is an oVi vious dictate of the. light of r*a£ ture. The heathens who offei'OT thanks to the images under trjsi?. roofs, will rife up "in judgment against those who, under the light of divine revelation, refuse to yzy homage, with their families,' .?$ the only living and true God"? whose loving-kindness they ought

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