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The following " Musings" were written in leisure moments arising from the study of the Book of Life; and were originally intended for the perusal of only my intimate friends. But at the request of some, I have been induced to give them a wider circulation. I feel well aware that so juvenile a production will be subject to the arena of criticism, still as "none but an author knows an author's pains," I entreat indulgence in their perusal; since in every work, as the poet says, "the Writer's end" should be considered. But with me (as St. Paul) "it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self though I feel no unfaithfulness in what I here state; for I know nothing by myself, yet am I not hereby justified, but he that judgeth me is the Lord."
My principal aim has been to bring before the Christian his many religious and moral duties, and his very great responsibility in consequence of them, to show him that it is not all who call themselves Israel, who are of Israel; and to prove how far he can become an ensample to others, and a follower of his dear and blessed Redeemer! I have endeavoured throughout to advance those principles, which I consider most adapted for us all, and most conducive to our worldly happiness, as also our eternal interests.— There are many who read the Prophecies in the Bible, without looking as to what may be derived from a closer application.
Some, perhaps, will affirm "that it is no use to write; that man will remain the slave of his passions, the creature of circumstances; that it is useless to reason, vain to consult rules, imbecile to surrender independence, to follow the guidance of those who assume to be wise, or receive instruction from those who have been taught by years." With equal propriety might they say, "Close the pulpit; silence the press; cease from parental discipline, moral suasion, and the training of education. Do what you will, the world will go on as before." This I deem most absurd! If we cannot do every thing, let us do something! If many choose to float down the stream of perdition, it is no reason why others should not be warned, and encouraged to sail in a different channel;— and though indeed we may know millions who reject the voice of the Lord, and the counsels of his servants, we know not how many have enjoyed peace and happiness in this world from having obeyed the voice of others, who were desirous to see them walking in wisdom's ways; and as Solomon said " a word in season, how good is it."
With the fervent wish of promoting more Christian zeal to God, and inducing a greater display of the Christian virtues by man towards man, have I entered upon, and now completed the present undertaking. The Young I would most affectionately exhort to "remember their Creator in the days of their youth,"—to attend to those things which concern their everlasting peace before the evil days come, and their time of probation is over, to "set their affections on things above," for every kingdom shall be destroyed, and every worldly endearment shall fail; this is proved, by the ruins of Nineveh!
Finally,—To All, would I sound the Watchman's cry from Zion, "Watchman, what of the night? Are you sleeping in sinful indulgence? Are you wasting precious moments which when gone, are gone irrecoverably? Are you by your present course of living preparing for that great final day of account, when for every thought and deed you will be brought to judgment to receive a just reward? Again, the trumpet sounds " Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light." In a little while the Redeemer will come— he will not tarry ;—" Go ye out to meet him." Behold, the King of Zion! the Watchman issues his royal mandate for the last time, "Blow ye the trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm in my holy mountain." What I say unto you, I say unto all—Watch!
And lastly, I pray earnestly that the following pages may give some comfort to the poor in spirit and contrite in heart; and if they should be instrumental in arousing only one sinner in ease in Zion, my labours will not have been in vain. May the Holy Spirit bless you in their perusal; for whether I plant, or Apollos water, God only can give the increase, and to His blessed influence I now submit my labour of love!
A. M. W. High Street, Chelmsford, Sept. 1845.
The Sin of attaching too much importance to Worldly Objects.
"And he walked in all the ways of Asa his father; he turned not aside from it, doing that which was right in the eyes of the Lord: nevertheless, the high places were not taken away; for the people offered and burnt incense yet in the high places."
22nd chap. 1st Kings, 43rd verse.
It is not my object to enter into the particulars of this reign of Jehoshaphat, but rather to render the verse a practical lesson to all Christians; since it shows us that even a King, who should have abolished every thing contrary to the demands of God, still could not give up all for his service, as we notice " the high places were not taken away," notwithstanding all his other good deeds and good reign.
How similar to the Christian of the present time! Who has not to lament some idol in his heart which he cannot surrender? God's voice utters "My son, give me thine heart," which plainly declares the whole heart; but how often does the Christian, to his shame be it re