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"fore God. But now the recollection fills me with dismay. I have now little heart to pray. Conscience "indeed drags me along to the duty, but I enter the "presence of my God with a slavish fear; or a chilling "indifference. Then it was better with me than now!” "Once I had sweet communion with the Saviour of "sinners. When oppressed with a sense of guilt, I "saw the all-sufficiency of his sacrifice, and the per"fection of his righteousness, and by believing I en"tered into rest. Under every accusation, he was near "that justified me. In every duty, and in every trial, " he encouraged me by saying, my grace is sufficient "for thee. I will never leave thee nor forsake thee. "Now I only see my sins, and my enemies-but where "is the Saviour, and the helper ?-Then it was better "with me than now!"


"Once I experienced the gracious influences of his "holy spirit. By these I was enlivened, refreshed, and enlightened. I saw clearly the path of duty. I could harmonize providences and promises, I claimed the "privilege of a child and an heir of God. But now "the Comforter who should relieve my soul is far from I have grieved the holy spirit of God, by which "I was sealed unto the day of redemption. Then it "was better with me than now."


"O what enlargements of soul had I in his ordinan"ces! How often did I find the sanctuary to be no "less than the house of God, and the gate of heaven! "How sweet was his word to my taste, yea, sweeter "than honey to my lips! What a feast did I enjoy at "his table! His flesh was meat indeed, and his blood ❝ was drink ndeed!-Then it was better with me than

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"And O, with what cheerfulness I carried my cross; "I could even glory in tribulation also; for as the suf "ferings abounded, the consolations did much more "abound. The storm without raged in vain-for all "was peace within-but now conscience gnaws me "like a worm....and the promises which should be my

"support, are neither within reach or sight. Then it "was better with me than now."

"There was a time that I could see him not only in "ordinances, but also in providences; not only in his "word, but also in his works. I could enjoy him in my creature comforts. I relished his love in my "daily food. I saw his goodness in my wife, my "children, my servants; but now I know not whether any thing I possess is sent in wrath or mercy; I can "find him in nothing. Behold, I go forward, but he "is not there: and backward, but I cannot perceive "him; on the left hand, where he doth work, but I "cannot behold him; he hideth himself on the right "hand that I cannot see him :"


"I cannot fully describe my case. All I know is--" and this I feel by an experience too bitter to be con"ceived....that it is not with me as it...once was.”

Some of these feelngs in a lower degree, are common to an apostate professor, who has left off to be wise and to do good. But the experience of such a man, differs exceedingly from the feelings of a backsliding be liever; for the judgment of the believer was never drawn over from the Lord's side, though it was not suffered for a time to be heard: and he has enjoyments to look back upon, which a stranger never intermed led with. He can remember not only the dreadfulness of a state of utter distance from God by nature, but also the blessedness of being brought nigh by the blood of Christ. He knows what it is to live under his smiles, and by his influences. And now that the charm which deceived him is dissolved; now that he has leisure for that he is separated from his very idols, no wonder he resolves, if possible, to return to a state in which it was better with him than now.

-And let those who have been led astray and have fallen by their iniquity, adopt immediately the same resolution. While you consider the melancholy change that has taken place in your experience....remember two things-first, that it cannot be better with you than it is till you return to God;-since it is by your departure

from him that you have sustained all these losses, and incurred all this misery. "Set thee up way-marks, "make thee high heaps; set thine heart toward the "high way, even the way which thou wentest: turn "again, O virgin of Israel, turn again to these thy "cities." And secondly, while with weeping and supplications, you are disposed to seek him again, guard against that despondency which would tell you that it will be in vain. It is not vain. There is hope in Israel concerning this thing. He waiteth to be gracious, and is exalted to have mercy upon you. "Re"turn, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your "backslidings. Behold we come unto thee; for thou "art the Lord our God. Truly in vain is salvation "hoped for from the hills, and from the multitude of "mountains: truly in the Lord our God is the salva"tion of Israel."

Have any of you been restored? been restored? Turn not again to folly. Has it not cost you enough already? After all this, will not the very appearance of evil terrify you? Live near to God. Your welfare depends upon it.

And as for those young converts who have just sub. scibed with their own hand, and surnamed themselves by the name of Israel; let these also beware. Now, perhaps you think there is very little danger of this caution. Such at present is your attachment to the Saviour and his way, that it seems to be impossible for you ever to forget the one or forsake the other. But how many who once had the same confidence with yourselves, have since denied him or followed him afar off. "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth, take "heed lest he fall. Watch and pray, lest ye enter into "temptation: the spirit indeed is willing but the flesh " is weak.' ""

"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.





Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.-Acts v. 31.

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ELEVATION is necessary to influence. Of what advantage is a candle under a bushel?—but place it in a "candlestick, and it giveth light to all that are in the "house.' While the sun is below our earth, all is dark and cold-but when he arises, there is healing under his wings; and from his loftiness in the skies, he scatters his enlightening and enlivening beams. When the shrub rises up out of the ground, it rather requires than affords support and assistance-" but when it is grown, it becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air "come and lodge in the branches thereof." A man in the obscurity and contractedness of private life, may feel dispositions prompting him to do good-but he can only pour forth benevolent wishes, and shed ineffectual tears. But give him pre-eminence, place in his hands the reins of empire, and at his disposal the treasures of the state, and lo! thousands are refreshed by his shadow, protected by his power, and enriched by his bounty; his fame spreads encouragement; prayer also shall be made for him, and daily shall he be praised. Thus Jesus" ascended far above all heavens that he might fill "all things.

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Or take another illustration. The life of Joseph is not only affecting as a history, but also important as a

type.-Joseph was hated of his brethren; and they sold him as a slave to a company of Ishmaelites, in order to prevent the fulfilment of his dreams. But the means used to hinder his advancement, terminated in the promotion of it: aud in process of time he was made ruler over all the land of Egypt. And it is worthy of our regard, that his elevation was-not only the aggrandizement of himself-but also the preservation of thousands, and in a peculiar manner the salvation of his father's house. He was the only dispenser of supplies, to those who were perishing with famine--and go unto Joseph-was the order given by Pharaoh to every petitioner.

But a greater than Joseph is here. Thus Jesus suffered from the hands of sinners; and they acted only as enemies—but the curse was turned into a blessing. His sufferings led to his exaltation; and this exaltation was not only a personal reward—but a relative glory. He is made head over all things unto his body the church. He has power given him over all flesh, "that he should give eternal life to as many as the "Father has given him." And him, say the apostle to the Jews, "him hath God exalted with his right "hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repent"ance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins."

Thus he is advanced as mediator to the grandeur and resources of his present station, not only to gov ern, but to save; and to save by governing. Some are exalted as princes, who are by no means saviours. They do not study to secure the common right of mankind. They do not set examples of temperance, humanity, and social affection. They do not cultivate harmony and peace. They seem only raised up to oppress and to destroy. Murder and desolation mark their progress. The ruins of towns and villages, the tears of widows and orphans are the materials of their glory.-They sacrifice the lives of their subjects to save their own....yea, they frequently sacrifice them to gratify their pride, their vanity, their avarice, their revenge. But he sac

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