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who are totally unprepared for 4. Is life a more important heavenly felicity should even
season than death ;-then we possess great joy, from viewing ought to
ourselves themselves about to make much more about living than profitable an exchange as to go about dying. Should not the from a state of pain and hope- most important object command less sorrow into a state of inef
our most special atiention? If fable glory and blessedness. so, then, let the great inquiry Numerous are the instances in be, how shall I live? What which the sparing hand of God shall I now do, that my soul has shown us the deception of a may be saved? And not, how sick-bed repentance. Among shall I die, that my last end may those who exhibit the greatest be like the righteous ? Let it evidence of a saving change in be our earnest solicitude, how view of approaching death, rare shall I now discharge my indisindeed is the instance that this pensible duty ? How shall I evidence is not contradicted a
improve the precious moments mong those who are spared to of life and health? And not, recover. It naturally follows,
how shall I improve the distres3. That we have reason to sing moments of death ? Re.conclude, that some who appear flect how much more can be to die without a satisfactory evi- done to the honor of our Maker dence of their good estate, may and blessed Saviour, in the seameet with a happy change. son of life, than at the distresAs we can give but little weight sing scene of death. Hence, to a hope that is gained in the said an ancient saint, “Death hour of death, by one who has cannot celebrate thee: they that spent his whole life in sin, so go down to the pit cannot hope we are not called to give up those for thy truth. The living, the as lost who have lived a life of living, he shall praise thee, as I exemplary piety, even though do this day.” Hence the Aposthey may die under great dark- tle beseeches us, by the mercy ness and doubt. As the wicked of God, that we present our bomay be deceived respecting their dies a living sacrifice. Would good estate, why, on the other it be wise in a husbandman, hand, may not the righteous be who had retired to his field for deceived? The proper time to the purpose of tilling his ground, form our judgment concerning for him to neglect his employcharacters in the sight of God, ment and busy himself through we have seen, is at an earlier the day in reflecting how he period than at death. And should return home at night? must we not count him faithful If it would not, then we ought to who hath promised ? • For he
concern ourselves much more hath said, I will never leave thee about living than about dying. nor forsake thee. Nor shall Hencc, any pluck them out of my 5. It appears, we are now hands." We may rest assuredi, passing through the most interthat wherever there is a real esting scene we shall ever bem union formed between Christ hold. It is true we are not adand the soul, while in life, it vancing through the dark valley sannot be dissolved in death,
of the shadow of death ; nei
ther are our cars saluted by the to the spiritual privileges of awful sound of the judgment God's people. John the Baptrumpet; nor do we see the si- tist, secing their error and folly, lent dead bursting from their addressed them thus, « Think tombs. The dreadful Judge is | not to say, within yourselves, not yet saying, in view of the we have Abraham to our Father, assembled universe, to those on for I say unto you, “ That God the right hand, come ye blessed is able of these stones, to raise up of my Father-neither is he children unto Abraham.” This pronouncing to those on the left passage denotes, that God is hand, depart ye cursed into | able to convert sinners, and everlasting fire. These awful to build up his church, from the scenes are yet to come. Still, | most unpromising materials. the one through which we are | And although it might have its now passing is far more inter accomplishment in the converesting than either of them. sion of some of those hardened The present is the season on Jews, to whom John referred, which eternal life or endless was also illustrated in the sucmisery is absolutely depending. cess of the gospel, among idolaIt is acknowledged that these | trous nations, under the minisfuture scenes, which are before try of the Apostles, after Christ's us, will be vastly solemn and ascension into heaven. The trying; but reflect, that they | Gentile nations had, for many will be joyful or dreadful ac | ages successively, been involcordingly as we now lay the ved in the most dismal state of foundation. The books out of darkness, superstition and idol'which we are to be judged are atry. They are represented as now filling up. Would any sitting in the region and shadow one, therefore, have a view of of death. They committed every the most momentous period of species of abomination of which his existence, he need only look they were capable. round him at the present mo A very striking description is ment. The period has com- given of their character and menced. The scene is now conduct in the first chapter of passing before our eyes! Oh, Paul's epistle to the Romans. let us realize how great a thing They are represented as having it is to live!
“ changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image
made like to corruptible man, Great encouragement for Chris and to birds and four footed
tians to labor for the conver- | beasts and creeping things. sion of the heathen, founded on They worshipped all the hosts Matt. iii. 9. “For I say unto of heaven-offered their chilyou, that God is able of these dren in sacrifice to their idols. stones, to raise un children | Yea, paid their homage to Deunto Abraham.”
vils. Indeed we cannot gain a
clearer idea of their character, THE selfrighteous Jews pri perhaps, in any part of the sa1 ded themselves greatly in cred writings, than in Romans their descent from Abraham.. Ist chapter, and especially from They claimed an exclusive right * Cor. x. 26.
the 29th verse. Being filled i pondency, tho' they have long with all unrighteousness, wicked- labored and prayed for the re ness, covetousness, maliciousness, vival of God's work, seemingly full of envy, murder, debate, de- almost in vain. Since God has ceit, malignity, whisperers, back so frequently of stones raised up biters, haters of God, desfiiteful, children unto Abraham, who can proud, inventors of evil things, tell but this or that careless or disobedient to parents, without hardened sinner may yet be arunderstanding, covenant. breakers, rested in his course of impiety, without natural affection, impla- and be made a monumentofsovecable, unmerciful. Yet among reign mercy? How often have. these abominable nations God those who have spent their raised up many spiritual chil-substance in riotous living, and dren unto Abraham.
long withstood the calls and Upon the preaching of the warnings of the gospel, been gospel, by the Apostles, multi- brought to bow to the sceptre of tudes from among them were Jesus of Nazareth ? Many inconverted to Christ-forsook stances of the like nature, have the worship of their dumb idols | taken place, in the late revivals and demons-renounced their of religion, in different places filthy practices and horrid im- in these states. Numbers are pieties, and became the humble, now among the visible and the penitent followers of Jesus sincere followers of Christ, who, Christ, and the true worship- for many years appeared as unpers of the living God.
likely to become Christians, Churches were gathered to were there nothing more than Christ-the holy institutions of mere human means, as the the gospel, strictly observed, and stones are to arise into living many souls trained up for hea- men. ven, from those regions and 2. It may be inferred from shadow of death, where Satan's | this subject, that none should seat had so eminently been; and give up their attempts to Chriswhere he had long led soulstianize the heathen nations, tho' captive at his will.
their endeavors for that purpose These marvellous effects of have hitherto proved unsuccessthe gospel upon the minds of ful. Tho' considerable hath been those once so inconcievably re- | attempted at different periods of mote from all good, may serve time to propagate Christianity as a very clear and striking il among the heathen nations in lustration of the passage under North-America, yet who can consideration, “ For I say unto point out the season when mainyou, God is able of these stones isters and Christians in general, to raise up children unto Abra- have used their jomt and perseham."
vering efforts for the promotion Some useful inferences may | of this great and blessed design. be made from this Šubject. Have not those who profess to
1. That Ministers and Chris be Christians generally treated tians ought not to despair of the this important business with too conversion of sinners, in the much indifferency? Have they most degenerate times. Nor not considered the Indian tribes shoukl they sink down in dea-l as irreclaimales and witaheld more than is meet, in re- 1 he was an hungered they gave gard to their charitable deeds, | him no meat : Or because they for the support of the Missiona- | refused to improve their worldries among them?
ly substance and Christian priIs not God as able of these vileges, for the promotion of his sarages and barbarians, to raise kingdom in the world, for which up children unto Abraham, as he end every blessing, spiritual and was to convert those in a simi- | temporal, is granted to men. lar condition, in the days of the I entreat you, O. ye ChrisApostles ? Has the promise, / tians of every denomination, to that he will give his Son the take these things into serious heathen for his inheritance and the consideration, and think while uttermost parts of the earth for you are favored with a fulness his possession, ever been ac of the means of religious incomplished in its fullest extent? / struction, multitudes of your Then who can determine what | fellow-men are perishing in sotmay not yet be effected for their tish ignorance. Consider, also, salvation, if a permanent foun- that the small concerns and the dation should be laid, for the little pains you take for their sal. support of faithful preaches a- vation, is a powerful witness a. mong them ? And should all gainst you, that you have but a the churches in the American small estimation of the privileges States, aid this glorious design and blessings of the gospel yourby their liberality and by their selves. Such persons as place prayers, God may yet do won- a true value on their spiritual derful things for their perishing privileges, and have a proper souls.
| estimate of their own souls, are It is idle for the inhabitants always solicitous that their fel. of this flourishing .country, to low creatures of every nation, plead their inability to contribute kindred; tongue and people, a sufficiency for this purpose, should share with them in the when so much is expended year- / great salvation. It is their hearts ly for the support of luxury and desire and prayer to God, that extravagance! It is truly an the gospel of Christ might have affecting thought, that the heath- free course, run and be glorified. en are going to perdition by | If you therefore have tasted and hundreds, and by thousands, for seen that the Lord is gracious ; the want of religious instruction, if you have become heirs of the and yet multitudes are wasting purchased possession ; if you large sums daily, for the grati have learnt the worth of your fication of their fleshly lusts.-- own souls--will not your bow. Nor will many persons spare a els yearn over the poor heathen? cent or lift a finger to rescue ! And will you not exert your. the bcnighted Pagans from selves in every way, in which darkness and ruin !
God in his word and providence Such ought to take hecd lest directs, to promote, if possible, Christ, at the last day, shall sen- so benevolent and so glorious an tence them to depart, forever object as that of Christianizing from his presence, into everlast- and saving the heathen in this ing fire prepared for the Devil land ? and his Angels, because, when !
A Letter to a Brother lately re- | nal impiety, as he has many • covered from sickness. | youth at the present day. And
this is not all; his spirit has DEAR BROTHER,
often moved on your heart, and T hear that you have been very tenderly solicited you to be wise I sick. From this, I can do for yourself—to accept freely an no less than offer to your con- interest in that Saviour, whose sideration a few serious reflec- blood alone cleanseth from all sin, tions. To glorify and enjoy our and to share foreverin the unsearmaker is the great end of our chable riches of his kingdom, existence. In this way, and in I intreat you to think seriously this only, may we rationally ex- on these and innumerable other pect any true and lasting happi- | instances of divine kindness, ness. Our state, by nature, is which I cannot now mention ; deplorable beyond all concep- then ask yourself this piain, but tion, and, unless we look well to solemn question, What returns the interest of our souls, the loss | have I made to the Lord for these of them will very soon teach us | unspeakable favors? Will it be their unspeakable worth. You dealing with too much plainness will readily assent to all this, to say, that while you have of. but my great object, in this let. | fered a bleeding Saviour, the ter, is to prevail with you to con poor conipliment of a few exterduct accordingly.
nal services, you have cruelly When very young, you was denied him a place in your brought down, by the provi- heart ? What answer you are dence of God, to the borders of prepared to give to such queries the grave. However, in his as these, is best known to God tender compassion he spared and your conscience. It is woryour life, and restored you a- thy of reinark, that judgments gain to health. Since that time, I as well as mercies proceed from he has followed you, every day, infinite kindness. As tho' unwith his goodness, and has not willing to let you alone, or to been unmindful of you, even leave any method untried, which when you was most forgetful of | I might be effectual to your salhim. While his hand has been vation, God has at length visited laid heavily upon thousands a- you with the rod of affliction. round you, and many have been If I was rightly informed, you sent down to sleep in the dust, was brought down to the side of you have been defended both the pit; at least you had reason from sickness and death, and to apprehend, that your sickhave had cause, above 'most ness would be unto death. others, of your acquaintance, to What now would be your state speak of the loving kindness of had you gone a little farther, the Lord. You have enjoyed and launched into eternity ? every necessary advantage for Why did you not take the other obtaining a saving knowledge of step, and bid the world, your the truth, and laying a sure friends and all farewell ? Was, foundation for future and eternal it because you had the keys of felicity. God has not left you death in your own hand, and (to his praise alone be it spoken) could go or stay at pleasure ? to run so great lengths in exter- | Oh, how astonishing the good.