« AnteriorContinuar »
OBSERVATIONS ON YOUTIIFUL PIETY.
But Christians, who have early begun to serve God, and persevered in his service to the end, so that they can humbly say, with the venerable OBADIAH, “İ, thy servant, fear the Lord from my youth,” will happily escape this misery : for though, according to the course of nature, their 6 flesh and heart fail,” yet God will be the strength of their hearts, and their portion for ever.” They will reflect upon the past with grateful pleasure, and look forward to the future with holy joy. Upon the subject of regret on account of having neglected religion, the language of Ephraim is remarkably striking : “ After that I was turned I repented ; and after that I was in. structed I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded," (mark the occasion of this poignant lamentation,) “ because I did bear the sins of my youth.” To escape these torturing reflections in mature life, you must resist the beginning of evil, and pray that the moral stream may be purified at its rise. The maxim, anciently taught on this subject, is worthy of profound attention. "Boldly resist the first motions of sin. It is presumption to say, I will first survey, then approach, and then resist and retire.”' I would urge you with earnestness and solemnity, not to approach the current of vice, lest you be whirlede into its vortex, and plunged with accelerated speed into the ocean of despair and ruin.
6. Religion will qualify you for usefulness, and afford you substantial happiness in the present world. For true piety is a generous and diffusive principle ; it enlarges and ennobles the heart in which it dwells. Whoever possesses it, greatly desires the extension of its blessings to others. The “lights of the world,” would faio illumine the universe. In all with whom
of salvation” has been placed, there is an ardent desire to haud it all around. Blessed in themselves, they endeavour to be blessings unto others ; yes, Blessed, and blessing, on they go,' like the glorious sun in the firmament, who emits both light and heat, from the time when he first forth from his eastern chamber, till he sets illus
triously in the western sky. But religion will make you happy as well as useful. For it is a salubrious and refreshing stream, issuing from the “river of the water of life.” It is “ the day-star from on high," pointing out the path of peace. It is the healing beam of the eternal Sun of Righteousness, irradiating, cheering, and influencing all the faculties of an im. mortal spirit. It is the soother and the balm of life; and the source of tranquillity and triumph in death itself.
Finally: The Religion which we have now been recommending to you, will, through the merits of Jesus, prepare you for the blissful regions of eternal glory. There are roses without thorns, holiness without sin, and hearts without sorrow. In heaven is the “ tree of life,” the “river of the water of life,” and 6 life for evermore.” Myriads of happy spirits are there engaged in singing the song for ever new: they see God as he is, and enjoy his beatific presence without interruption, or fear of change. This transcendent blessedness will ultimately be the inheritance of all those, who, like the excellent OBADIAH, have “feared the LORD from their youth," and persevered in a course of scriptural holiness, even unto their lives' end.
Surely, my young friends, to live is a serious thing: and you are now about fully to enter into life, and to embark in its busy scenes. It is fit then, that you should make a pause,-a solemn pause,-at its portal, and consider well what is expected from you, and how you are prepared to perform your part. There are many delusive prospects; but recollect, all do not lead to the bowers of happiness. Many will only seduce you from the path of virtue, by false appearances of felicity, and draw you on, through false and unreal bliss, to a deceitful region, where snakes lurk under the grass,
Her horrid crest." Pray then for grace to refrain from every evil way, and to walk only in that which is safe and good. Let
OBITUARY OF MISS MARY, CHAMBERS.'
no part of your future conduct disappoint the hopes which some of you have:excited. Strive to shine in every species of moral excellence, and to support the character and dignity of beings formed : for endless duration. Remember, that superior abilities demand a correspondent superiority in the exercise of every good quality. . What is all learning, without that wisdom, which has for its beginning the fear of the: LORD, and for its end everlasting felicity?
May your lives be holy and happy; and when you approach even to the verge of your earthly existence, may your retrospect of the past afford abundant.cause for gratitude and humble joy; so that, while you cast your souls, exclusively, upon the merits of the REDEEMER, you may depart in peace, saying, “ I, thy servant, feared the LORD from my youth."
JUVENILE OBITUARY. 1. DIED, June 19, 1822, at Howsley-Hall, near Sheffield, aged 18, Miss MARY CHAMBERS, daughter of Mr. Matthew CHAMBERS, of Thorncliffe IronWorks. Very early in life, those amiable dispositions were discovered, which, during her short stay in this world, ensured the love and esteem of all who knew her. But although Divine Providence had thus fa. voured her, she had not then experienced the work of saving grace on her soul; and before the fruits of the Spirit could be expected to appear, it was necessary that the heart should be renewed in righteous
In the year 1818, she had very strong con victions of her state as a sinner against God; but did ņot, at that period, obtain a sense of divine mercy. In the beginning of 1822, her health greatly declined; and the physician who was consulted gave no hope of her recovery. She regularly retired into. private, for the purpose of prayer, but did not, for some time, experience those strong consolations which she afterwards enjoyed. On the 20th of May, returning from a Missionary Meeting held at Thorncliffe,
Mooiro she expressed to her mother a strong desire to be made happy in the love of God; and on retiring to rest, and kneeling down to prayer as usual, she discovered a more than ordinary anxiety for the salvation of ber soul. In the midst of her agony of spirit, whilst some of the family and a pious friend were praying for her in the name of Jesus, she was enabled fully to commit herself by faith into the hands of the SAVIOUR, and found rest to her soul. Filled with peace and joy, she exclaimed, “ I am saved.--The Lord has pardoned my sins.--This is such a night as I never experienced in my life." From this time, she could not rest without a constant sense of the love of God in CHRIST Jesus; and the LORD was pleased to afford her such clear manifestations of his mercy, that she was often sweetly constrained, notwithstanding her increasing weakness of body, to acknow ledge ħis goodness by the most rapturous expressions of praise and thanksgiving. So great was the change, so lively her faith, and so spiritual her conversation, that now her thoughts and affections appeared to be always in heaven. She rejoiced in the hope that she should soon make her escape from the troubles and anxieties of this life, and be permitted to act as “a ministering spirit" to her beloved parents. There was now no occasion to be reserved with her on the subject of death, for fear of alarming her; for she looked upon it as the gate of endless life and felicity. In June, she became much worse ; yet, in her severest affliction, all was peaceful and heavenly. On the 18th of that month, the pangs of death appeared to be.come upon her. In the former part of the day, she had many hard struggles. When a little revived, she said, “O! I was happy when I thought I was going. I want to leave you all; I want to go to Jesus! Come, ye his angels, and transport me away :--but I must be patient; soon it will be over;" adding, with strong emphasis,
“ To patient faith the prize is sure :
The cross, shall wear the crown."
OBITUARY OF ELIZABETH AGUS.
About noon, she was better, and conversed most des -lightfully and profitably with those around her. At five o'clock, she was so much recruited, that she sat - up, and took tea with the family. On one saying, that it was a favour to have her presence once more at table, she said,-her countenance beaming with feli. city,“ how I love you all!” And, truly, to all present, it seemed as if we entertained an angel. When carried up stairs, she said, “ It has been a suffering day, but a happy day.” Her affliction, through the night, was very great; yet the Lord, / she said, did not forsake her. The next day, she gloriously finished her earthly course, and entered. into the joy of her LORD.
2. Died, July 8th, 1822, aged seven years, EliZABETH Agus, of Barford, near Norwich. From her infancy, she was uncommonly affectionate ; and appeared as if she never could sufficiently express her gratitude for any kindness which she received. When very young, she took great delight in reading the Holy Scriptures, and other good books, and especially the Youth's Instructer and Guardian. Hep acquaintance with the contents of the sacred volume was astonishing: and from perusing that best of books she appeared to derive her chief pleasure. Frequently did she take her Bible, and say to her mother, “Come, my dear mother, and hear me read this chapter; it is the best you ever heard.” And when she met with any particular passage which she did not under. stand, she was unwilling to pass it over, without first receiving an explanation. She used to call the Sab. bath-day the best of all days, was very conscientious in keeping it holy, and was much pained whenever she saw it violated. One Sabbath-day morning, some time before her death, her mother took the brush to sweep the floor : she observed it with pain; and looking at her, with a countenance that bespoke the grief of her soul, she said, “ Mother, what are you doing? You know, that you ought not to do so.” Her mother stood reproved, and was constrained to put down her brush' immediately. She delighted