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Jericho and Achor (PART 111.)
The way of happiness.....
Correspondence
Jericho and Achor (PART IV.)
The Cross and the Judgment-seat..
The Head Pew-opener
Correspondence
The Wedding Garment
The Atonement
Grace and Holiness.
What is a Christian ?
Correspondence .....
The Wedding Garment (Part 11.).
The Atonement
A Solid Foundation.....
Correspondence
The Wedding Garment (PART 111.)
Isolation
If saved—what am I saved for?

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Things New and old.

CONVERSION: WHAT IS IT?

The first chapter of first Thessalonians presents a very striking and beautiful picture of what we may truly call genuine conversion. We propose to study the picture in company with the reader. If we are not much mistaken, we shall find the study at once interesting and profitable. It will, most assuredly, furnish an answer distinct and clear, to the question which stands at the head of this article, namely, What is conversion ?

Nor is this, by any means, a small matter. It is well, in days like these, to have a divine answer to such a question. We hear a good deal, now-a-days, about

a , cases of conversion; and we would heartily bless God for every soul truly converted to Him.

We need hardly say we believe in the absolute, the indispensable, the universal necessity of divine conversion. Let a man be what he may ; be he Jew or Greek, barbarian, Scythian, bond or free, Protestant or Roman Catholic; in short, whatever be his nationality, his ecclesiastical position, or his theological creed, he must be converted, else he is on the broad and direct road to an everlasting hell. There is no one born a Christian, in the divine sense

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of that word. Neither can any one be educated into Christianity. It is a fatal mistake, a deadly delusion, a deceit of the arch-enemy of souls, for any one to think that he can be a Christian, either by birth or education, or that he can be made a Christian by water baptism, or by any religious ceremony whatsoever. A man becomes a Christian only by being divinely converted. What this conversion is, we shall see in the course of our present study. What we would, at the very outset, insist upon, and earnestly press on the attention of all whom it may concern, is the urgent and absolute necessity, in every case, of true conversion to God.

This cannot be set aside. It is the height of folly for any one to attempt to ignore or to make light of it. For an immortal being-one who has a boundless eternity stretching away before him, to neglect the solemn question of his conversion, is the wildest fatuity of which any one can possibly be guilty. In comparison with this most weighty subject, all other things dwindle into utter insignificance. The various objects that engage the thoughts and absorb the energies of men and women in the busy scene around us, are but as the small dust of the balance in comparison with this one grand, momentous question of the soul's conversion to God. All the speculations of commercial life, all the schemes of money making, the absorbing question of profitable investment, all the pursuits of the pleasure hunter--the theatre, the concert, the ball-room, the billiard room, the card table, the dice box, the race course, the hunting ground, the drinking saloon-all the numberless and nameless things that the poor unsatisfied heart longs after, and grasps at—all are but as the

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vapour of the morning, the foam on the water, the smoke from the chimney top, the withered leaf of autumn--all vanish away, and leave an aching void behind. The heart remains unsatisfied, the soul unsaved, because unconverted.

And what then ? Ah! yes; what then? Tremendous question! What remains at the end of all this scene of commercial excitement, political strife and ambition, money making and pleasure hunting ? Why then the man has to face death! “It is appointed unto men once to die.” There is no getting over this. There is no discharge in this war. All the wealth of the universe could not purchase one moment's respite at the hand of the ruthless foe. All the medical skill which earth affords, all the fond solicitude of affection. ate relatives and friends, all their tears, all their sighs, all their entreaties cannot stave off the dreaded moment or cause the king of terrors to sheathe his terrible sword. Death cannot be disposed of by any art of man. The moment must come when the link is to be snapped which connects the heart with all the fair and fascinat. ing scenes of human life. Fondly loved friends, charm, ing pursuits, coveted objects, all must be given ap. 4 thousand worlds could not avert the stroke. Death must be looked at straight in the face. It is an awful mystery-a tremendous fact—a stern reality. It stands full in front of every unconverted man, woman, and child beneath the canopy of heaven; and it is merely a question of time, hours, days, months, or years, when the boundary line must be crossed which separates time, with all its empty, vain, shadowy pursuits, from eternity with all its stupendous realities.

And what then? Let scripture answer. Nothing else can. Men would fain reply according to their own vain notions. They would have us believe that after death comes annihilation. “Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die.” Empty conceit! Vain delusion ! Foolish dream of the human imagination blinded by the god of this world! How could an immortal soul be annihilated ? Man, in the garden of Eden, became the possessor of a never dying spirit. • The Lord God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul”—not a dying soul. The soul must live for ever. Converted or unconverted, it has eternity before it. Oh! the overpowering weight of this consideration to every thoughtful spirit! No human mind can grasp its immensity. It is beyond our comprehension, but not beyond our belief.

Let us hearken to the voice of God. What does scripture teach? One line of holy scripture is quite sufficient to sweep away ten thousand arguments and theories of the human mind. Does death annihilate ? Nay! “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment."

Mark these words, “ After this the judgment." And this applies only to those who die in their sins-only to unbelievers. For the Christian, judgment is passed for ever, as scripture teaches in manifold places. It is important to note this, because men tell us that, inasmuch as there is eternal life only in Christ, therefore all who are out of Christ shall be annihilated.

Not so says the word of God. There is judgment after death. And what will be the issue of the judg. ment? Again scripture speaks in language as clear as

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