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the same stock: if I were to put all of them into the earth in the same soil, the same situations, under the same aspect of sun, and rain, and dew, they would as certainly produce the same in equal fruitfulness. But if I put a part only into the earth, and reserve the remainder in my pocket, is it not equally as certain, that the part reserved will remain inert and unproductive; and that which is cast into the ground be alone fruitful? The human heart, like those seeds, being from one and the same stock; and in its genus, species, and kind, in all instances the same, must invariably in all cases be alike, if all other circumstances concur. So that if this be not induced, it arises not from a diversity of character, but from other causes. It is grace which prevents the sun, and rain, and dew, (if I may be allowed the figure,1 of temptation and opportunity, from exerting their influence; and then, like the seeds in the pocket, in the absence of those causes, they remain barren and unfruitful.'
'But, Sir, (I replied,) if such be the universal state of mankind, what a deplorable situation is our nature in! And how then can any be saved? - ,.
'It' is the very state of nature, (the traveller answered,) which made way for salvation by grace. Because man is fallen, Christ died. If you were not a sinner, what necessity would there have been for a Saviour!'
'Tell me, (I cried with great earnestness,) is that Saviour for me V
'I shall be ready, (rejoined the traveller,) to answer any questions you think proper to propose to me upon the interesting subject, as far as I am able; from whence you may be assisted to gather information on the point.'
'I thank you Sir, (I answered:) but one circumstance I will beg you previously to explain. In calling lately upon a family, whom I found at their devotions, I discovered nothing like what I have since felt of the deadness and unprofitableness of my heart; but they all seemed to be perfectly cheerful and happy. From what principles will you account for this?' f' i The thing speaks for itself, (replied the traveller.) In a state of unawakened, unregenerated nature, the carnal security and blindness of the mind induces this false joy, and prevents a real concern for the' one thing needful.' False reasonings, presumptuous hopes, and views of religion different from those of the openly profane; these act as mighty persuasives on the imagination; and speak 'peace, peace, where there is no peace.' Like children amused with a rattle, such persons take up with the carcase and shell of religion, and are ignorant of the vital principle within. An outward form of godliness satisfies for the inward power of it. And thus resting upon the means, and unconscious of the end, their forms and ceremonies of devotion,instead of leading the heart to God, tend to carry the heart/rora God, and they know nothing more of religion than the name. And herewith their conduct uniformly corresponds. You will find such characters as well at the playhouse as at the Church. They can sit both at the Lord's table and the card table, and are as well known at the one as the other. Thus they live in the vanity and ignorance of the mind; and thus not unfrequently they die; ignorant of themselves, ignorant of their own corruptions, strangers to all the principles of grace, without God, and without Christ. The portrait of these persons is accurately drawn by the pencil of God in holy Scripture, and you may view two correct outlines of it in the 21st chapter of the book of Job; and the 73d Psalm of David. Very different is that which the Blessed Spirit hath given us in sweet miniatures of his peo» pie, throughout his whole word. But come, Sir, as you have seen the gaity of the formal worshipper, let me lead you into the assembly of the real. I am just going to a prayer-meeting, where you will be introduced, if you think proper, among that 'poor and afflicted people, which the Lord said he would leave in Zion.'
—I arose, and followed my guide towards the place, with strong expectations of improvement.
-i Mt guide led me into a room upon the
first-floor of a dwelling, in which every thing around indicated the humble circumstances of the owner, where we found several persons assembled for the purpose of devotion. They had just began their evening-service, and were engaged in singing an hymn as we entered. The words of the hymn were interesting; and,as I thought, not inapplicable to my state and circumstances: . ,
"Come, ye sinners, poor and wretched,
—The hymn was followed up by prayer, which issued from a voice that I thought I had heard before. And it was an agreeable surprise to me, at the close of it, to recognize in the person praying, the countenance of the Poor-Man, whose observations at the church-porch had made such impressions upon me. He noticed me also, and with that kind of regard which seemed to say, 'I am glad to see you here.' But the purport of the meeting so occupied his whole attention, that he appeared to have no leisure for other objects. By what followed, I was led to conclude, that if any place of pre-eminence was found in this humble circle, it was his province, ior as soon as the prayer was ended, and the company seated,'iie took up the Bible, which lay upon the table before him, and read, from the part where it happened to open, the 16th Psalm. I could not be mistaken as to the number of the Psalm, by what followed in his observations upon it. f
THE POOR MAN'S EXPERIENCE.
'In relating my experience, (he said,) of the Lord's gracious dealings with my soul, I desire