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the world. They have a vine- | transported beyond himself, and yard to keep, which calls for to have exceeded the bounds of much labor and self-denial. Let sober reason.
The same apprethem attend to their spiritual hension was entertained husbandry, if they would have cerning Christ. Some of his their souls as a well watered gar- acquaintance, seeing him so inden. Let them not have their tent on his work, as to go out of desires running out after the doors to preach to the people, creature, after selfish and sinful | when he was already spent with objects, and gratifications. Such watchings and public services, vain hankerings and pursuits came out to lay hold upon him, will certainly chill their pious af- saying, He is beside himself. He fections, and cause a languor in failed of taking his necessary their religious exercises and meals, for the sake of seizing an comforts.
opportunity to feed and instruct 2. A vigorous, animated piety the multitude. And this was ever lies exposed to the charge thought to indicate a transport of enthusiasm. The truly reli- of passion, not altogether regugious must be prepared to meet lated by the dictates of sobriety this reproach. Such as are for and moderation. These exama cold, philosophic religion, will ples may teach animated Chrisdeem the workings of the pious tians to expect the charge of enheart, to be flights, partaking thusiasm. Think it not strange of imagination, and transient in if it be sometimes insinuated, their nature. The living mem- that they are beside themselves. bers of Christ's mystical body, In the eye
of carnal reason, the they who have given the best ev- workings of a warm benevolence idence of their being living in the christian cause, appear in stones in the temple of God, the light of partial derangement, have commonly had an enthusi- proceeding from a disorded state astic spirit ascribed to them. of the affections. On account of their fervency, 3. We shall add a word conthey have been supposed to ex- cerning the importance of mainceed the bounds of reason. taining a meek and humble walk Their noble and elevated acts of with God. Such as have prefaith and love, have been viewed cious discoveries of divine things, as the reveries of a heated imag- should take heed that they be not ination. Their deadness to the listed up in pride. The genuworld, their abstemious, mortifi- ine tendency of grace upon the ed lives, and their hardships and heart, is to produce humbleness conflicts under the cross, have of mind. And yet, through rebeen frequently deemed a mis- maining corruptions, there is guided zeal and affected singu- danger of making the vital exlarity. The Apostle Paul was ercises of grace, an occasion of thought by some to be beside self-exaltation. Let Christians himself: Counting all things but be guarded against this temptaloss for the excellency of the tion. Let them not make a merknowledge of Christ Jesus, and it of their duties and frames, nor being willing to suffer the loss of magnify themselves, on account all things, that he might win of their spiritual attainments. Christ, he was supposed to be! A proud pharisaical temper;
has ever proved an enemy to Living more important than Dysouls, and should excite much
ing. alarm. Christians, have a warfare to endure with this formida- T is a common remark, that ble enemy. They have a con- it is a great thing to die. flict within themselves, to keep To those who believe the scripunde he workings of a self-tures the scene of exchanging righteous spirit. And this con- worlds is considered as peculiarfiict proves to be none of the ly interesting. And it undoubtleast and most painful part of edly is so, as well as solemn and the christian warfare. But let affecting to nature. While the them be animated in this strug-body returns to the dust as it gle; keeping in constant re- was, the spirit assends to God membrance, that a legal spirit who gave it, to be disposed of marrs and eats out the life of all for an endless eternity. The true religion.
soul is dispossessed of its organ, Let them live near to God and hastened into the eternal cultivating meekness and mod-workil, to be made completely csty under the reception of his blessed, or to receive her porundeserved gifts and graces. tion in endless misery. A scene Their sensible comforts and gra- like this, must undoubtedly be cious frames spring from the considered as solemn and interfountain of all good. God deals esting. Still, is not living more out the measure of their faith. important and interesting than He is the life, of their spiritual dying? Is it not a great thing joys and exercises. In his in- to live as well as to die? Howfinite mercy, he enlarges their ever important may be the scene hearts to have intimate and of dying, let us enquire whethsweet communion with Himself. er living be not still more imHe gives them to participate in portant. the influences and gifts of the REFLECT, in the first place, Holy Spirit. When in strait- that life is the time appointed ness, he brings them out of a for our day of probation ; but strait into a broad place. When death is not. In this world we sinking in the miry clay, he have talents committed to us, brings them forth, and establish- with which we are required to cs their goings. And when they occusly.” Death is so far from cry to him from the belly of being a state of trial, that it is hell, he causes their prayer to compared, by the Saviour, to come in unto him, in his holy the season of resigning up our temple. Let them humbly talents. Is not an appointed thank and praise his holy name, season for us to obtain a valuafor his marvellous grace which ble object, more interesting than hath wrought them for the self- any period after this season is same thing. The meek will he past? We remember, that the guide in judgment, he will beau- rich man, who lifted up his eyes tify the meek with salvation.- in heil, and prayed for a drop of
that humbleth hi self shall water to cool his tongue, was be exalted.
referred to his conduct in life.
time. “ Son, remember that Y, Z. thou, in thy lifetime, receivedst
thy good things, and likewise | Examine the whole preaching Lazarus evil things.” It was of Christ, of his Prophets and not suggested, that his manner Apostles, and we shall fir i they of death brought him to that ever referred their hearers to place of torment, but his life. their duty in life. Would not
Again—The day of judg- the gospel refer us to the most ment will have particular re- interesting period? And would ference to life ; and not to death. not the great errand, for which When we shall be summoned to the Saviour came into the world, "the judgment seat of Christ, it point us to the season which will be, to give an account of is the most interesting ?
the deeds done in the body. It may be added, also, that
An inspired writer tells us, death is not a season in which “ We must all appear before our conduct could be properly the judgment of Christ, that connected with eternal conseevery one may receive the quences. For a moral agent to things done in his body, accord- exhibit a character, choose the ‘ing to that he hath done, wheth- offers of grace, or refuse them, er it be good or bad.” This re- he must enjoy a season of rafers us to life, and not to death. tional reflection. Truths must The message of death is no be placed before him, and the other than a summons, sent out mind must rationally act in view by the Judge, to call us to the of those truths. And how can court of heaven. An indict- this be done, when the whole ment is always predicated upon
organ of nature has become previous conduct.
unstrung and is under the strugactions, therefore, for which we gles of departing breath? Can are to be arraigned cannot have we suppose, that the time when their special reference to death. this body is becoming lifeless, Indeed, there is not the least and the soul ascending to God hint, in the whole Bible, that who gave it, would be appointed the judgment day will have any by the Deity as a season for the reference to our death.
mind to exercise that change, And further-Life is the sea. upon which eternity is dependson in which we have the calls ing? No; “ He hath made and invitations of the gospel set
every thing beautiful in his before us. That speaks to us,
time.” 10-day, while in life and health, As, therefore, life is the only and tells us, “ Now is the ac
appointed time of probation-as cepted time, behold now is the the day of judgment refers us to day of salvation.”
We are no
life and not to death-as life is where told that death is a day of the only season to which the salvation., or an accepted time. calls of the gospel refer us; and It is true, at death our state is as death is not a proper time decided; but this decision is upon which things of eternal made altogether according to
consequence could be made to our treatment of the gospel depend, then, living must be a while in life. Cod
more important season than dytherefore, in his word, to seek ing'. him early to hear his voice to- From the thought we have day, and not harden our kcarts. ' pursued, some interesting reVOL. V. No. 5.
flections naturally follow. And, more depending on life than on
1. Does not what we have death, have we not reason to been contemplating afford us conclude, that many, who have ground to fear that many are
left this world with a strong ruined by overlooking the most hope of salvation, have met with important period of their exis- an eternal disappointment ?tence, and looking forward to a There is not the least intimaperiod that is less important ? tion throughout God's word, of How numerous are those, who any one being savingly changed pass very calmly on with the while in the immediate agocurrent of time, without concern nies of death. Nor does the with regard to living, while at Bible mention but one instance the same time they will ac- of a change within a few hours knowledge that it is a great of this period. At the Saviour's thing to die. View people near crucifixion, there were special their end, and we may see a reasons for his making a miragreat part, much more concern- culous display of his grace.ed about dying, than ever they We know that the repentance were about living. When the of the dying thief was real, and grim messenger of death ad- his faith saving; but how defivances to stare them in the face, cient is the evidence that others they will acknowledge they have are not deceived at this late hour, now arrived to a period which even though their external apthey ever viewed important; pearance be equally as favorabut while in life and health, they ble? When this frail system will rest without alarm, though is dissolving by disease, wrecked God's law be sounding louder with pain, and the mind consethan thunder in their ears, and quently weak and credulous, while the Saviour is inviting what more than delusion, can them in the most pathetic | those rationally expect who terms. To meet death, having through life have rejected and all that to do, at this distressing despised their Saviour? In these moment, which was required in discomposed moments it is easy a time of health and prosperity, to imagine things to be real must certainly be a most ruin- which an omniscient and holy ous step. And is it strange Judge will never acknowledge. that Satan should use this strat- It is not strange, that people gem, to
unguraded should speak very rationally of souls ? While he can lead peo- the fading nature of the things ple to pass away life as a trifling of tiis world, and calmly resign thing, and place their views for- | them up when they are made ward to death as the impor- sensible they can no longer entant period, weli may he con- joy them? From being under sider them as a sure prey to his distress of body, and realizing fatal wiles. Let us then en- the certainty of death, people in quire, whether our anxiety with a Christian land, without the regard to a future state has aid of true godliness, may resign not often referred us to a wrong up their lives with great calmperiod. And let us see that we ness, and do no more than many avoid so destructive a delusion. heainena have done. And in
2. Since there is so much dced, it is not strange that some
who are totally unprepared for 4. Is life a more important heavenly felicity should
than death ;-then we possess great joy, from viewing ought to concern ourselves themselves about to make SO 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 attention? 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 dyty? How shall I evidence is not contradicted a- improve the precious moments mong those who are spared to of life and health? And not,
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 lcave thee about living than about dying. nor forsake thee. Nor shall Hence, any pluck them out of my 5. It appears, we are now hands.” We may rest assured, passing through the most interthat wherever there is a real esting scene we shall ever beunion formed between Christ hold. It is true we are not adand the soul, while in life, itvancing through the dark valley cannot be dissolved in deaih. of the shadow of death; nei