« AnteriorContinuar »
voices to that of Christ when he should judge his people,
We see then, that a man will be accepted by God on the judgment day, even though he has had much imperfection"; but I would also add that, imperfect as those apostles for a long time were, both in their faith, their knowledge, and their goodness, they were in due time led on and strengthened, as well as comforted, by the good Spirit of God, to whose guidence they committed themselves; and almost every one of those, who, once through their worldly fear, forfook their master, are believed to have died martyrs, 1 I say, therefore, let us encourage ourselves by these examples, and let us not be deterred by the difficulties of the way, but 5 let us press forward in our course, and let us be followers of them, who by faith and patience inherit the promises." And let me now also bring another point to my reader's comfortable remembrance, which is, that a man's past fins, even if ever so great, will, when they are repented of, be no ob. itacle to his salvation; for such is the merciful appointment of God in the gospel. 66 Who are those," it is said in the Revelations, who are clothed with white robes, and have palms in their hands;" the answer is, " these are they that have washed their garments, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb._66 Christ is that Lamb of God, which taketh away the fins of the world ; and by him all who believe shall | be justified from all things.” Heaven, as we have reason to suppose, will not be peopled by those who were innocent from their youth, and whose spotless lives will form their title to admila fion; for an adulterous, though penitent David, will be found there; a once persecuting Saul, a converted Mary Magdalene, a thief, who repented even on the cross, and a Peter, who once denied his Master. These, and many more, in point of sinfulness not unlike to these, fhall, through the all-powerful grace of Christ, obtain a glorious resurrection; for these all repented of their fins, they all, as they had time and opportunity,“ brought forth fruits meet for repen. tance," and these fruits which are called in Scripture, the fruits of the Spirit, being produ. ced by the Holy Spirit's influence on the heart, are those very works which we have been so largely describing.
Let us then lay our foundation for good works in repentance and deep humility. The tempers which have been spoken of, such, for instance, as forgiveness of injuries, and a dread of judging others, as well as an overflowing love and pity to our fellow.creatures, arise naturally and calily from a heart broken with a sense of our own iniquities; for the qualifications for Heaven which God requires in us, are not those of a finless being, but of a penitent and humbled finner that has been taught in the school of repentance, and has thus learnt to walk in new. ness of life; and even that love of God, which is to leading a part of true religion, is not a lit
the excited and encreased by the sense of God's forgiveness of us, according to that remark of Four Saviour: “ Her fins which are many, are forgiven, therefore hath she loved much."""
Let it be our great fear, however, lest profelling to admire the grace of the Gospel, and to I believe its truths, we should not be found on the day of judgment to have been walking in a manner worthy of it; and let us treasure up in our minds the many warnings given us in Scripture, that it is by our works that we shall be called upon to prove that we have been frue disciples. - Behold,” says the blessed Saviour of the world, “ I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give to every man according as HIS WORK shall be."
TWO WEALTHY FARMERS,
THE HISTORY OF
Mr. BRAGWELL AND Mr. WORTHY.
nw of uninterrupich is very liab
MR. BRAGWELL was so much afflicted at the disgraceful marriage of his daughter, who ran off with Timothy Incle, the strolling player, that he never fully recovered his spirits. His chearfulness which had arisen from an high opi. nion of himself, had been confirmed by a constant flow of uninterrupted success; and that is a sort of chearfulness which is very liable to be impaired, because it lies at the mercy of every accident and cross event in life. But though his pride was now disappointed, his misfortunes had not taught him any humility, because he had not discovered that they were caused by his own fault; nor had he acquired any patience or sub. mission, because he had not learnt that all afflic. tions come from the hand of God to awaken 'us to a deep sense of our fin, and to draw off our
For the five first parts see Vol. I.
. hearts from the perishing vanities of this life. Besides, Mr. Bragwell was one of those people, who, even if they would be thought to bear with tolerable submissiou such trials as appear to be sent more immediately from Providence, yet think they have a sort of right to rebel at every misfortune which befalls them through the fault of a fellow-creature; as if our fellow.creatures were not the agents and instruments by which Providence often sees fit to try or to punnish us. This imprudent daughter, Bragwell would not be brought to see or forgive, nor was the degrading name of Mrs. Incle ever allowed to be pronounced in his hearing. He had loved her with an excessive and undue affection; and while he gratified his vanity by her beauty and finery, he deemed her faults of little consequence; but When she disappointed his ambition by a disa · raceful marriage, all his natural affection only erved to increase his resentment. Yet, though e regretted her crime less than his own morti. ication, he never ceased in secret to lament her Joss. She foon found out she was undone, and wrote in a strain of bitter repentance to ask his brgivenefs. She owned that her husband, whom he had supposed to be a man of fashion in difquise, was a low person in distressed circum. kances. She implored that her father, though he refused to give her husband that fortune for
hich alone it was now too plain he had married Jer, would at least allow lier fome subsistence, pr that Mr. Inkle was much in debt, and the