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TIME, A MESSENGER CHARGED WITH SOLEMN INTELLIGENCE.
The vicissitudes of day and us, we should live so unmindful night, and the changes and suc- of him ; that when he so loudly cession of the seasons, as they speaks to us, not only from year answer inportant purposes in to year, but from day to day, common life, so are they of great “ he should not be in all our use to awaken moral and religious thoughts." reflections. If time were as Time tells us, that there is a unvaried in its circumstances, as Providence, and calls upon us to it is silent in its motions, it acknowledge it with prayer and would seein to stand still, and we praise. Who causes the sun to should scarcely notice its prog- rise and set ; the showers to ress. T'ime is in scripture com- water our fields, and the seeds, pared to a swift messenger, who which we have sown, to vegetate comes charged with momentous and yield a harvest? Who cauinformation. This information ses the seasons regularly to sucit communicates daily ; every ceed each other, and walk their morning and every evening ; at continual rounds? Yea, to come every change of the seasons; and home to ourselves; how do we with peculiar solemnity when live? how draw our breath? one year ends, and a new one how perform the vital functions, commences. We will at this while our reason and senses are season pay some attention to its bound in sleep? How are we reports.
preserved from danger and death, Time proclaims a God. “ The when all our voluntary powers heavens declare his glory, and are suspended ? These are the the firmament displays his handy works of God. In him we live works. Day unto day utters and move; from him we have speech; night unto night shows all our supplies and comforts; forth knowledge." The orderly to him our lives should be de succession of the seasons and the voted. liberal productions of the earth Time teaches us, that we have repeat and enforce the same im- a work to do. Why returns the portant truth. If we dwelt in winter sun to warm the frozen one unvaried scene of the same earth? Why rests he not beneath surrounding objects, though the the horizon, but rises at the state evidence of an existing divinity, ed hour to spread his luminous might be as decisive to reason, and cheering influence? It is yet it would not be so striking that man may go forth to his and impressive, as it is amidst labour. While we dwell here, this variety of objects, which the we need supplies for the body. changes of day and night, of sum. These inust be procured by our mer and winter present to us. It industry. If we neglect the dua is astonishing, that, when God ties of life, we treat with conso clearly manifests himself to tempt that friendly sun, which
rises to guide us in our work, Each of the slain was on trial for and sheds his beams to bless and eternal happiness. He valued succeed our labours.
his life as we do ours. IIis proHere our residence is short. bation is now finished. His conThere is an eternal state before dition is fixed. What a solemn us. While we labour for the messenger is time. Seldom a meat, which perishes, we must day passes without intelligence much rather labour for that of some, who have closed the which endures to eternal life.' mortal term of their existence.
Time warns us, that death is Such intelligence nearly conapproaching. The number of cerns us who survive. It reour months and years is with minds us what beings we are, God. This number will run out. and what an interest is dependEvery year, every day brings in- ing. telligence, that the number is die Time is a swift messenger, minisbed, and still diminishing. « swifter than a post.” WhethEvery year, every day, as it er we watch or sleep; whether comes along, repeats the exhor, we are active in our work, or tation, which every preceding amused with trifles, time continday had given, to review our life, ues its course without inermis, examine our state, repent of our sion. One hour follows another; sins, and do whatever our hands day succeeds to night, and night find to do, as “ there is no work to day; month to month, and in the grave to which we are go year to year. ing."
Think of this, ye who delay Time announces interesting the work of your salvation, and events in the world around us. imagine tomorrow will be as this From his information we learn, day. Ye know not what shall that this near friend, and that in- be, nor where ye shall be, on the timate acquaintance is gone to morrow. the eternal world ; that prevail. Think of this, ye who spend ing sickness has carried away your precious hours in pleasure numbers from such a place; and diversion. While you inthat storms have driven ships on dulge in thoughtless mirth, time rocks and shoals, and plunged the runs on, life hastes away. When helpless passengers in the ocean ; your amusement is finished, that fierce battles have hurried what have you gained ? Have into the unseen world thousands you acquired knowledge and virand thousands of our fellow pro- tue ; secured pardon and hope ; bationers. We hear of wars be obtained a better heart, and tween distant nations. We take sweeter peace of mind? You an interest in favour of the one have gained nothing; but have or the other. We rejoice in the lost much. At least, you have victory of this, or that conflict: lost a portiov of your time, and ing army. But the victory was an equal portion of your life. obtained at an expense, which Will not the hours, which you man cannot calculate or con: wantonly throw away, seem im: ceive, at the expense of life to portant when life is near its close ? more of our race, than we have Will you not then wish to recal the ever seen collected in one place. hours, which have flown to heaven
as messengers with sad reports to the narrow limits of a grave, of the abuses they have received? and send their souls to a world, Time comes to you bearing this where they have no goods promessage, “Behold now is the vided; no treasures secured. day of salvation ?” If you disre. This is the report, which every gard his message, he will fly to day makes to them. They hear the throne of God with his com- it with reluctance, and let it pass plaint against you. How many with the day which brings it. such complaints have been alrea- How miserable is the life of the dy entered in the records of man of the world, who has nothheaven, and stand charged in the ing to enjoy, but what this world book of God ? How many days, can give, and has no portion in and months, and years, which that world where he must live have favoured you with friendly forever? Live, then, under an visits, have fled, fed forever; impressive sense of another fied in anger to lodge a grievous world, and, in reference to that, information against you ? Other order all your conduct. days still come; oh send no more Revelation has taught us how of them away disappointed and the happiness of immortality was offended.
purchased, and how it may be seThink of this, ye slaves to the cured. It was purchased by the world. What profit have you blood of the Son of God, and may found in all your labours ? What be secured by faith, repentance is worldly gain to you, while and obedience. Take a serious you gain nothing else ? God is review of life, repent of your bountiful, but you are unthank- past sins, seek God's mercy ful. You receive good things; through his Son, and devote but what is your enjoyment? It your lives to him. In a word, it only sensitive ; and this em- " walk by faith.” This brings bittered with anxiety, vexation future things to be present, and fear. The true enjoyment overcomes the world, enlivens of worldly good consists in that benevolence, teaches patience in faith, which looks up to God as affliction, contentment in every the giver, feels a sense of obli- condition, resignation to God's gation, and studies grateful re. allotments, zeal for his glory, turns. The true end of life is to and diligence in every good glorify God, do good to men, work. and prepare for a happy exist- That we may maintain such a ence hereafter. To the man, life of faith, we must converse who thus lives, time, as it passes, with the word of God; this brings real good. But to those, makes the man of God perfect. who seek a portion only in this We must live near to the throne life, time brings labour and trou- of grace ; here we find grace :0 ble. It may announce successin help in time of need. We must business, and treasures laid up apply providential admonitions in for many years; but it also an- our personal afflictions and the nounces, that they are mortal, deaths around us; these are and that death is approaching, monitors sent to awaken our which will eject them from their slumbering souls. We must compossessions, consign their bodies mune with our own hearts ;
thus we learn, what we are, what ing. If we make no use of them, we have done, and what we have what should we gain by their to do. Every day should begin slower progress? If we spend with a new dedication of our them only in sin and folly, no selves to God, and with humble matter how soon they are gone. supplication for the protection of If we employ them in our props his providence in the dangers, and er work, the swifter they Ay, the assistance of his grace in the the sooner they will bring us to duties before us. And every day that world, where is fulness of should be closed with a review joy. There the swiftness of of our tempers and actions, and time will no longer be matter of with prayer for the pardon of all our notice; but days, and years, our irregular passions, foolish and ages will be lost, swallowed meditations, and known omis. up, and forgotten in an eternal, sions of duty.
incomprehensible duration. If our days thus pass we shall
Nuncius. see much good ; a good conscience, a good hope, good works done or designed. Our time, as
LETTERS OF A CLERGYMAN TO it runs, will drop by the way
HIS SON. some agreeable reports concern
LETTER V. ing our Christian progress, our Son Francis, title to heaven, and our usefulness You wish to be successful in in the circle of our connexions.
your business. But what is it Time is swift ; but not too
to be successful ? Is it to be rich swift. The only evil is, we are
and great in this world ? or to too slow. We are accountable be useful here and happy here. for no more time than we have ; after? The former. God has not let us use this well, and we
promised, and is the lot of but shall render our account with few. The latter you may expect
with assurance, if you transact The swiftness of time is a rea- your secular concerns on princison for immediate attention to
ples of piety and benevolence, every duty as it calls; for while
and apply your devotional exerwe delay, time passes, and the cises to the improvement of
these principles. Let your secthis is no reason for complaint ular and yours
ular and your spiritual vocations or discouragement, for time, be conducted on the same prinswift as it is, is well improved, ciples, and they will be mutually will be sufficient for all the pur- subservient; they will become poses of our present term of ex- one ; they will never interfere. istence.
If in your worldly vocation you If time is short, let us not are prudent and just, and in the shorten it by waste or mispense. appropriations of its proceeds The expedient to make life long, you are sober and beneficent, is to use it wisely. We are apt you are then successful in your to complain, that our days fly business. If in your social relaaway too swiftly. But before we tions you study to promote complain, let us inquire, what peace, virtue and happiness, you we are doing while they are fly. will reciprocate the benefits, and
be successful in these relations. save some, and “ that he shall be If in your attendance on divine a sweet savour of Christ in them institutions you become more pic that are saved, and in them that ous and benevolent, more devot. perish," cd to God, and more zealous of The pious parent imparts in. good works, your example will structions and counsels to his do good to many, and you may children, and commands them to reckon yourself successful in keep the way of the Lord. And your attendance. Perhaps you his parental labours he commits will not always see your success to God. And though he should immediately ; but“ commit your not see their present success, works to God, and your thoughts yet he continues in them, trust, will be established.” “Be not ing that they will not be in vain. weary in well doing, for in due And“ if he should deliver neiseason you will reap if you faint ther son nor daughter by his not.”
righteousness, yet he knows he In works of charity obey the shall deliver his own soul.” calls of providence, and the dic.. The young person, deeply tates of a benevolent heart. impressed with a concern for bis Good may be done, which you salvation, inquires, What he do not see, and a return may must do to be saved. He con, come in a time and manner quite sults the word of God. He unexpected. “ Cast thy bread learns what are the terms and on the waters, and after many means of salvation. He attends days thou wilt find it. Give a to them with some degree of dil, portion to many, for thou know- igence and seriousness. But est not what evil may be on the perbaps he finds not the success earth ;' nor what occasion thou which he expected. He is still mayest have for the charity of in darkness and fear; still a others, or even of those, who are stranger to that hope and com: pow the objects of thy charity fort of which some improved “ In the morning sow thy seed, Christians can speak. And he and in the eyening withhold not is tempted to say, “ It is vain to thine hạnd ; for thou knowest seek the Lord, and keep his ornot which of them shall prosper, dinances.” But this is too hasor whether both shall be alike ty a conclusion. If he sees more good.” “He who goeth forth of the corruption of his heart ; and scattereth precious seed, more of his own impotence and shall (loubtless come again with unworthiness ; more of the evil joy, bringing his sheaves with of sin and the worth of his soul; him."
more of the justice of God in The faithful minister acts on condemning such sinners as he this encouragement. He holds is ; let him not say that all thiş forth the word of life, and keeps is vain, but remember, that such back nothing that is profitable. views of himself are necessary But knowing thatthe word preach: preparations to his receiving the ed becomes mighty through Saviour with faith, gratitude and God, he commits it to him, im. love. Let him attend on all the ploring his grace to accompany means, and apply himself to all it. Thus he trusts that he shall the works, which God has pre