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An old man was called upon by a young Christian friend, who, finding him very sick, began to spcak to him about religion, and his soul's salvation. “Ah, my young friend,” said the old man, with tears, "had I thought on these things many years ago, how happy I might now be—but it is now too late!” and so he died, crying, “I am lost for ever." You
may remember, that in the parable of the Ten Virgins, in the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew, five were foolish, and were not prepared with lighted lamps in time. And while they went to buy oil to trim their lamps with, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready, went in with him, and the door was shut. When the five foolish virgins came, they found the door closed and they were " too late!"
Oh, who will be too late among all who read this? Think of it, my dear friends, and give your hearts to God to-day.
THE GREAT DAY.
Were we to judge from the general conduct of mankind, who would suppose
any such great day of grand assize and solemn trial is approaching, when the conduct of all men will be reviewed, and their allotments for eternity fixed in heaven or in hell, beyond the possibility of a change! Alas! do they believe it? Unbelief says no!
But the day will come, for which all other days were made.
The day of resurrection will be the day of this world's deliverance from the effects of the curse under which it has long groaned. When it was first brought into being, its mighty Framer looked round with complacency on the stupendous monument of his skill and benevolence, and pronounced it very good. Sin, alas! has marred its beauty, and impregnated with death all its elements. It bears on its front the marks of divine displeasure; it has become the theatre which Jehovah visits for transgression; and all its materials and scenery, which might otherwise have been immortal, are now devoted to gradual decay and final dissolution. “ The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works therein shall be burned up.” A scene is here presented to our view which absorbs thought, and bewilders imagination! The destruction of a city by the shock of an earthquake, or the eruption of a volcano;
dismemberment of a state, or the fall of an empire by some sudden or political convulsion, prompts the sigh of commiseration and the thrill of awe. Any unusual appearance in the heavens, such as the eccentric movement of a blazing comet, or the eclipse of the bright orb of day, will fix the attention of half mankind, and fill the breasts of millions with strange forebodings of impending judgments. What then must be the solemn emotions excited in the soul at the departure of a world; when its funeral pile shall be kindled by the breath of the Almighty, its knell sounded by the voice of the archangel and the trump of God, and its melancholy obsequies celebrated by an assembled universe!
WALKING WITH GOD.
Man in his best estate is altogether vanity. He is born, raises up a family, and dies! These are his memoirs: all else is a cypher, or a blot, except he walks with God. The page of history records the splendid actions of the great and illustrious; the report of the day proclaims the wealth which some have accumulated and left behind, and of which they are gone to render an account. The monuments of the dead are often inscribed with pompous titles and flattering commendations: but may it, with truth, be engraven on my tomb: “He walked with God, and was not, for God took him!" and so far from envying their distinctions, not even Enoch's privilege shall be anxiously desired, but, as one expresses it
“I'll hail the sharpest pangs of death,
Which break my way to God.” We may
also observe, that they who begin young to walk with God, may expect to walk with Him long, comfortably, and usefully; and the true Christian's perseverance in holiness, through many a year, till God takes him, will best evince and illustrate the doctrine which many oppose and others pervert.
But walking with God requires no monkish celibacy and soli. tude: it well consists with the cares and comforts, and much consists in the conscientious performance of the duties of social and relative life. As, however, we need better comforters under our toil and sorrow than the dearest relations and most promising offspring, may we seek and find the comforts of faith in Christ, and of joy inthe Holy Ghost.
It is quite clear that one of the most important objects of Temperance movements is to break in upon those bad customs and practices amongst the sober, which, as a matter of course, lead to the love and habit of drink. We must pity the confirmed drunkard, nor can we for a moment doubt the possibility of his being reclaimed. All things are possible with God, who can bless the means which he sees fit to use: but how important to nip the mischief in the bud, and to prevent all the fearful misery to which drunkenness must lead, however short or long its career. It is well to reclaim the drunkard, but it is far, far better that the drunkard should never exist.
Under this strong impression, I rejoiced to hear lately, that a Society has been formed, (I think in Manchester, *) for the very purpose of resisting the too common practice of making bargains over a glass. The wretched system is too universal amongst all classes of trade. A traveller cannot go his round, a farmer will not sell his cattle or his grain, without the accustomed glass. And thus bad habit is formed where it did not exist before, and a fondness is induced for liquor, which perhaps had previously been disliked. But there is so much of false honour, and etiquette, and bashfulness at work, to prevent many making a stand, and doing that which they really may wish to do in the way of refusal, that I hail with great delight the formation of a Society, the object of which is to strengthen efforts to oppose by union; and to prevent the awkwardness of singularity by getting a goodly company keep each other in countenance. And who can tell but in time such a wholesome leaven may leaven the whole lump?
My company outside a coach, the other day, afforded a striking illustration of this important matter. I found seated by my side a man of business, who soon got into conversation. He was a Wesleyan, and evidently regarded himself as an important and attached member of his communion. He also got on the subject of Temperance Societies, and discussed their merits, and spoke of their necessity with great feeling. He went to the root of the matter, and pictured very strongly the immense evils arising from the prevailing custom of making bargains, paying bills, &c., over
* I should be glad if any reader could give further information re. specting it.
a glass. He allowed the mischief of the habit to himself formed in early youth, and growing with his growth. He boasted of his attachment to the Temperance cause; said that he had composed many Temperance songs, specimens of which he proceeded to sing to me. Yet, withal, he could never resist the opportunity of the coach stopping to alight and take his glass, the effects of which were too obvious, and in a little time it was clearly more prudent for him to get inside the coach. But what a contrast presented itself in a quarter where I could least have looked for it. My good natured neighbour, at one inn, ordered a glass for the coachman, which he civilly refused, stating that he hoped he at least should be able to keep honestly to his Temperance pledge, and adding, “I think, sir, it would be as well for you if you were to do the same.” What a humiliating rebuke for the poor unhappy Wesleyan! « The first shall be last, and the last first.”
Oh! my readers, think what you can do in your own circle to check the growing evil. When will men awake from their sleep, and be bold to advance their own good?
UNION OF GOOD MEN IN HEAVEN.
If the mere conception of the re-union of good men in a future state, infused a momentary rapture into the mind of Tully: if an airy speculation, for there is reason to fear it had little hold on his convictions, could inspire him with such delight, what may we be expected to feel, who are assured of such an event by the true sayings of God? How should we rejoice in the prospect, the certainty rather, of spending a blissful eternity with those whom we loved on earth; of seeing them emerge from the ruins of the tomb, and the deeper ruins of the fall, not only uninjured, but refined and perfected, “with every tear wiped from their eyes ;" standing before the throne of God and the Lamb, “in white robes, and palms in their hands, crying with a loud voice, Salvation to God, that sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb forever and ever!” What delight will it afford to renew the sweet counsel we have taken together; to recount the toils of combat, and the labour of the way, and to approach not the house, but the throne of God, in company, in order to join in the symphonies of heavenly voices, and lose ourselves amidst the splendours and fruitions of the beatific vision!
To that state all the pious on earth are tending; and if there is a law from whose operation none are exempt, which irresistibly conveys their bodies to darkness and to dust, there is another, not less certain or less powerful, which conducts their spirits to the abodes of bliss, to the bosom of their Father and their God. The wheels of nature were not made to roll backward; everything presses on towards eternity; from the birth of time an impetuous current has set in, which bears all the sons of men towards that in
Meanwhile, heaven is attracting to itself whatever is congenial to its nature; is enriching itself by the spoils of earth, and collecting within its capacious bosom whatever is pure, permanent and divine: leaving nothing for the last fire to consume but the objects and the slaves of concupiscence; while everything which
grace has prepared and beautified shall be gathered and selected from the ruins of the world, to adorn that eternal city, "which hath no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it; for the glory of God doth enlighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof."---Robert Hall.
HE DIED RICH. How many spend their days in laborious efforts and unceasing toil to lay up treasures on earth, in order to have it said of them at the close of life, “ He died rich.” Such an one rises early and sits up late, and eats the bread of carefulness. He fills his heart with anxieties, and burdens his mind with harassing cares to hoard up riches, not one farthing of which he can take with him through the iron gate, across the threshold into eternity. Without true piety, such an one may have the name of dying rich, but he actually dies poor. His poor soul, which is himself and not his worthless decaying body, has nothing, not even a garment to hide its nakedness, but must go and stand before its Maker, clothed with shame. He has taken care of his body, but neglected his soul, and what will it avail him in that other world to have said of him, "he died rich; he left a great estate”? Alas! the poor man hath slept his sleep, lost his dream, and now he awakes, he finds nothing in his hand. Where lies his golden heap? Only the rust of that heap is gone to witness against him: his mammon fails him, only the unrighteousness of it follows him; others have the use of it, only the abuse of it he carries to the judgment with him. He hath made his friends ,