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I am not come to send you to the bar of God with a lie in your right-hand. But neither am I come to mortify you, to put you to unnecessary pain, to embitter you, or to exasperate you.” There is a kindness, affection, tenderness, meekness, and patience, which a man's feelings and conscience will condemn him while he opposes! I have found it a very effectual method to begin with myself: it awakens attention, conciliates the mind, and insinuates conviction:-“ Whatever others think of themselves, I stand condemned before God: my heart is so desperately wicked, that, if God had not shewed me in his Word a remedy in Jesus Christ, I should be in despair: I can only tell you what I am, and what I have found. If you believe yourselves to be what God has told me I am and all men are, then I can tell you where and how to find Mercy and Eternal Life: if you

will not believe that you are this sort of man, I have nothing to offer you. I know of nothing else for man, beside that which God has shewed me." My descriptions of my own fallen nature have excited perfect astonishment: sometimes my patients have seemed scarcely able to credit me; but I have found that God has fastened, by this means, conviction on the conscience. In some cases, an indirect method of addressing the conscience may apparently be, in truth, the most direct; but we are to use this method wisely and sparingly. It seems to me to be one of the characteristics of the

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day, in the religious world, to err on this subject. We have found out a CIRCUITOUS way of exhibiting Truth. The plain, direct, simple exhibition of it is often abandoned, even where no circumstances justify and require a more insinuating manner. There is Dexterity indeed, and Address in this; but too little of the simple Declaration of the testimony of God, which St. Paul opposes to excellency of speech or of wisdom, and to enticing words of man's wisdom. We have done very little when we have merely persuaded men to think as we do.

But we have to deal with a worse Death-Bed character, than with the man who opposes the Truth. Some men assent to every thing, which we propose. They will even anticipate us. And yet we see that they mean nothing. I have often felt when with such persons: “I would they could be brought to contradict and oppose! That would lead to discussion. God might, peradventure, dash the stony heart in pieces. But this heart is like water. The impression dies as fast as it is made.” I have sought for such views as might rouze and stir up opposition. I have tried to irritate the torpid mind. But all in vain. I once visited a young Clergyman of this character, who was seized with a dangerous illness at a Coffee-house in town, whither some business had brought him: the first time I saw him, we conversed very closely together; and, in the prospect VOL. III.


of Death he seemed solicitous: to prepare for it, But I could make no sort of impression upon him. all I could possibly say met his entire approbation, though I saw his heart felt no interest in it: When I visited him a second time, the fear of death was gone; and, with it, all solicitude about religion. He was still civil and grateful, but he tried to parry off the business on which he knew I came. “I will shew you, Sir, some little things with which I have worne away the hours of my confinement and solitude.” He brought out a quantity of pretty and tasty drawings. I was at a loss how to express, with suitable force and delicacy, the high sense I felt of his Indecorum and Insipidity, and to leave a deep impression on his conscience-I rose, however, instantly said my time was expired-wished him well, and withdrew.

Sometimes we have a painful part to act with sincere men, who have been carried too much into the world. I was called in to visit such a

“ I find no comfort,” he said. “ God veils his face from me. Every thing round me is dark and uncertain." I did not dare to act the flatterer. I said “Let us look faithfully into the state of things. I should have been surprized if you

had not felt thus. I believe you to be sincere. Your state of feelings evinces your sincerity. Had I found you exulting in God, I should have concluded that you were either deceived or a deceiver: for, while God acts in his usual order,


how could you expect to feel otherwise on the approach of death, than you do feel? You have driven hard after the world. Your spirit has been absorbed in its cares. Your sentiment-your conversation have been in the spirit of the world. And have you any reason to expect the response of conscience, and the clear evidence, which await the man who has walked and lived in close friendship with God? You know that what I say is true.” His wife interrupted ine, by assuring me that he had been an excellent man. “ Silence!" said the dying penitent, “ it is all true!"

Soon after I came to St. John's, I was called on to visit a dying lady, whom I saw many times before her death. I found that she had taken God for her portion and rest. She approached him with the penitence of a sinner grateful for his provision of mercy in Christ. She told me she had found religion in her Common Prayer Book. She blessed God that she had “ always been kept steady to her Church; and that she had never followed the people called Methodists, who were seducing so many on all sides.” I thought it would be unadviseable to attempt the removal of prejudices, which, in her dying case, were harmless; and which would soon be removed by the light which would beam in on her glorified soul. We had more interesting subjects of conversation, from which this would have led us away. Some persons may tax her with a want of charity: but,

alas ! I fear they are persons, who, knowing more than she did of the doctrines of the Gospel, have so little of its divine charity in their hearts, that, as they cannot allow for her prejudices, neither would they have been the last to stigmatize her as a dead formalist and a pharisee. God knoweth them that are his; and they are often seen by him, where we see them not. Were a benighted inhabitant of Otaheite to feel the wretchedness of his present life, and lift up his soul to the God he worshipped as a Supreme Being for happiness, no doubt God would hear such a prayer.

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