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and no influence is greater, or can be better, than that of your own good example! Be constantly obedient, then you will be beloved,— and feeling unworthy of even the lowest place amid the guests assembled at the marriage supper of the Lamb, you will be counted worthy of exaltation, and the Bridegroom will invite thee, " Friend, go up higher." Oh, how incomparable your happiness, both here and hereafter! For "it is heaven upon earth to move in charity, rest in providence, and turn upon the poles of truth."
A few words to Parents and Teachers. It is too much the fashion to store the mind with facts and histories from scripture, without enforcing the importance and the necessity of moral and religious duties, every hour we live. Thus, the heart is not cultivated— thus the want of brotherly love, the absence of honest, upright, and conscientious performance of the whole duty of man! Whence cometh wisdom, and where is the place of understanding? Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding. "Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life." Then knowledge will be sanctified by the fear of God, and you will be bringing up obedient children, affectionate fathers, faithful husbands, kind neighbours and zealous friends. Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee!
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things! And although I am willing to admit, that it may be difficult to walk as Christians should and must, yet how vast the pleasure—how vast the security and safety of those who do—of the little goodly band—" the seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him." "Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. A»d the Spirit and the bride say, come: and let him that heareth say, come: and let him that is athirst come: and whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."
And now, my Christian reader, farewell! May the contemplation of the divine and august subjects which I have brought before you by the help of the Holy Spirit, be the means of arousing the lukewarm—the waverer, and the impenitent; and excite a greater love for Christ, obedience to his commands, and a daily carrying his cross. We may never meet on earth, but oh! if we have one Lord, one faith, one life, one interest, one heart, one hope, then shall we meet above, and fly through regions unconfined as air— to bask in the sunshine of eternal bliss—to carol over endless hymns of praise: where none shall hurt us, where pharasaical arrogance, human inequalities—wicked and irreligious sense of exclusiveness—all heart burnings, all thoughts of avengeful wrong— self-assurance, pride and envy shall be unknown, where nothing unclean and unholy shall enter—but all will be united in an enduring reconciliation, Jew and Greek, bond and free, in one sympathising and angelical communion!" He that hath ears to hear, let him hear." In a little while we shall have departed from this theatre of action. Are we profitable servants ?—trees in the Lord's vineyard, bearing plenteous fruit? Let not our Saviour come seeking fruit and finding none—no gathering of the summer fruits, no grape-gleanings of the vintage—no cluster to eat,—but the best a brier, a thorn hedge; and say to us, "cut it down why cumbereth it the ground?" Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? (Matt. xx. 6.)
"The God of glory walks his round,
Ye, whose young cheeks with health are bright,
And ye, whose scanty locks of grey
O Thou, in heaven and earth ador'd,
"What doest thou here?" asks the same still voice. Tremble, ye Young ! in thy reckless thoughtlessness,—tremble! for the punishment that awaits the debasing seductions of criminal pleasure in which thou mayest be indulging; say not that now is your time for pleasure and enjoyment, now is your season for gaiety and folly, and that it is therefore pardonable; when you are advanced in years,' then you will reform;—the grave may be yours between,— "man's breath goeth forth, he returneth to his earth, and then all his thoughts perish" vain all his resolutions,—he dies in the midst of his iniquities! Tremble, ye Aged! for thy worldly avarice, and calculating selfishness! Be watchful, and repent, and do the first works; or else He will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent!" If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them!" Happy! yes, happy in this world; but time is short—eternity is opening upon us, our past life appears but a span—a vapour:—improve the present; then you will look forward to more perfect happiness in the haven of rest and ambrosical flowers: you will experience here comfort and support from the promises of the gospel, through faith in Christ Jesus; there your bliss shall be unalterable; and still, to crown all, unending, "when tongues shall cease, when knowledge shall vanish away," when faith and hope shall be swallowed up in love; and the weary traveller becomes refreshed by drinking from the fountain of living waters!
"Behold, I come quickly:" blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the book of Life! who when the king of terrors takes him from this scene of probation and change feels that he shall be transplanted in the future garden of Paradise!—to blossom as the Rose of Sharon—to nourish among "the spirits of just men made perfect;" and to share Elysian joys in Eden's bower! Blessed! thrice blessed 1 are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city!!
"Beyond is all abyss,
This having learn'd, thou hast attain'd the sum
Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
Chelmsford, A. M. W.
12th Sept. 1845.