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you have fallen, and repent, and the means by which Providence do the first works ; let all your intends to keep alive in us the energies be exerted to redeem the sense of eternal things. The time. It is now high time to most healthy persons are pecu. awake out of sleep ; “for now liarly subject to the more violent is your salvation nearer than disorders, and they also are most when you believed.” And doubt exposed to a variety of accidents. not but that, through the bless- These are the men who fall in ing of God upon the means of war, and encounter the perils of his own appointment, you may the sea ; who visit unhealthy yet retrieve all that you have climates, and die under the dis. lost; and that your progress in orders which so much abound faith and hope, and holy joy, there. These also, it is to be may even greatly exceed your feared, are the men who are the former attainments.
least disposed to religion. If it But let those of the children should happen to any of these „of Zion, who are in some meas- hale and thoughtless persons to ure diligently engaged in work.
cast an eye on
present paper, ing out their own salvation with I would entreat them for once fear and trembling, go on and to consider seriously the subject prosper. Never remit your dili. of which it treats. A little med.
you arrive in the land itation upon it will not bring of eternal rest ; forgetting those Death the nearer, and it may things which are behind, and serve to lessen the dread of this reaching forth unto those things king of terrors, whenever he which are before, be continually shall actually approach, pressing towards the mark for
Death, in one sense, comes the prize of the high calling of suddenly upon almost all : I God in Christ Jesus. Every mean, that however slowly it new attainment in religion will may advance, however plain and be accompanied with Trew de. full may be the notice which it light, and will make your farther gives, few dying men are inclined progress more rapid, and more to believe that it is extremely easy; and you may in this manner near. We feel our health decay; indulge the joyful hope of having but our friends are perpetually an entrance ministered unto you telling us of some one who has abundantly, into the everlasting had exactly the same symptoms kingdom of our Lord and Savior of decline, and has recovered. Jesus Christ. Wherefore, my We have manifest tokens of a beloved brethren, be ye stead. speedy departure ; but our phy. fast, immovable, always abound, sician deems it necessary to sus. ing in the work of the Lord, for. tain our spirits, and endeavors asmuch as ye know that your to cheer us in proportion as our labor is not in vain in the Lord.” danger is become plain and im, Evan. Mag.
minent. We entertain, at the
most, only a slight suspicion of ON OUR LIABILITY TO SUDDEN the true state of the case.
lose our faculties before the se. TaE liability of man to sud- cret is fully disclosed to us ; and den death, is doubtless one of perhaps the opportunity is scarcea
ly given even to cry out, " the a laborious work is often that Lord have mercy on our souls." of an executor !
flow large a Such being the common course, portion of the concerns of men it cannot be improper to suggest of large fortune is thrown into to the living, and more particu. chancery after their decease, on larly to those who are presum. account of the obscurity which ing on their health and strength, involves them ! What family a few means of preparation for disputes, what animusities, what that sudden death to which we disappointment and distress, are all so evidently and so con. what doubt and suspense, what stantly exposed.
unnecessary labor and turmoil, The first point on which I arise out of this cause! I say shall touch is, the making of a unnecessary,
because a few hours will. It is surprising that this of prudent consideration and act of prudence, and indeed of patient industry in the deceased, justice, should so often be neg. would have saved as many months lected. The mode of bequeath. of anxiety and toil in his succes. ing our property should be re
We have no right thus to ligiously considered. How many tax posterity. Let our bills are there who chiefly consult then be punctually paid. Let their ambition or their foolish there always exist a list of our partiality in drawing up this debtors and creditors, and a gen. solemn instrument ? "I commit eral inventory and estimate of my soul,” say they, “to the
our chief property. Let there hands of God'_" and my mon. be a periodical statement, upon ey,” they might add, " to the paper, of the whole of our in. hands of one already overloaded come and expenditure. Let our with wealth, which causes him title deeds and other securities to riot in luxury ; or to some be in their proper places. Let flatterer of my person, some fa. all engagements, which we are vorer of my vices, some one by in honor bound to perform by whom I have been through life ourselves or our executors, be agreeably deceived ; and this I reduced to writing.
And let do in sure and certain hope of there be no papers kept by us, life everlasting.”
which either charity, prudeace, A second suggestion which I or general propriety ought to would offer, respects the orderly have led us to destroy. settlement of our general affairs. A third hint which I would It is the part of a wise man, give, is, that restitution should never to let his concerns fall in. be made to as many as we have to a state of confusion, out of injured, before either death arwhich no man can extricate them rives or a dying hour approach. but himself. 6 Set thy house in es—I use the word restitution in order, for thou shalt die and not a large sense. There are few, live,” is an expression which probably there are none, whom will bear to be construed literal.
we have wronged in their prop. ly. Some men never know the erty ; there may
many, trouble which their own negli. ertheless, whose interests we have gent, desultory, and idle habits unjustly prejudiced, whose repu. in this respect occasion. What tation we have unfairly lessenen,
whose faults we have more or vine, of which we hope to parless exaggerated, whose kindness take together with Christ himself we have inadequately returned. in his kingdom above; before we There may be some whom we join the general assembly and have peevishly or too hastily church of the first born, whose assumed to be our enemies, and names are written in heaven ! against whom we have fancied The believer may prepare himself, that we have only been protect. by the special exercise of forgive. ing ourselves by becoming ene. ness at regularly returning sea. mies to them in our turn. Let
for the table of his Lord us endeavor, while we are in life on earth : but he may be called and health, to do justice in points by a sudden voice to the heavenlike these. Let us not die being ly feast. Let us, therefore, be in this sense in debt to any one. always ready to meet the BrideOur pecuniary debts will be dis. groom ; for we know not at charged by our executors; but what hour the Lord may come. if we die, leaving this species of Let us be in the exercise of faith debt, it will be never paid. and hope, and,
66 above all Fourthly. I would add, that things, let us have fervent chari. we are called by our christian ty among ourselves.” profession to do much more than I proceed, fifthly, to urge a justice to our neighbor : we general moderation in our affec. should even forgive his wrong. tion to the things of this life. How blessed a thing is it to die The men of the old world were being in this important sense in swept off in the midst of their debt to no man, but leaving many planting and building; they men in debt to us ; having parmarried and were given in mar. doned freely the injuries which riage, they ate, they drank, until we had received, and having in. the flood came and destroyed flicted no injuries, without have them all. It is an awful thing ing endeavored at least to make to be carried away while enjoyfull restitution ! Let us beware, ing the full relish of even allow. on this ground, of long protract. able gratifications. “O David, ed controversies and quarrels. David,” said Dr. Johnson to “ Let not the sun," said the his friend Mr. Garrick, while apostle, “ go down upon your walking in Mr. Garrick's beauwrath.” Perhaps that very night, tiful garden at Hampton,) in which you fail to lay aside the 6 these are the things which anger of the preceding day, may make death seem so terrible." be the night of your sudden de. Christianity as clearly inculcates parture into the presence of God. sobriety of mind as to all world. It is required of all who are par. ly enjoyments, as it does absti. takers of the Lord's supper, that
vices. they shall be in charity with all this I say, brethren, the time is men ; otherwise they shall not short. It remaineth that both presume to eat of Christ's flesh they that have wives be as though and drink of his blood. How they had none, and they that much more necessary is it to be weep as though they wept not, in charity with all men before we and they that rejoice as though go to taste of that fruit of the they rejoiced not, and they that
buy as though they possessed included in the admonition ?) not, and they that use this world Take heed lest “thou in thy life as not abusing it ; for the fashion time shouldst receive thy good of this world passeth away." things ;''---take heed lost the
Contemplate that envied indi. sum which thou art giving to the vidual. He has succeeded in all poor should be only like the the objects of his ambition. He crumbs which Lazarus gathered has increased his fortune, raised from the rich man's table ;... his fame, established his family, take heed lest thy heart should enlarged his influence on every be overcharged, if not with sur. side, and multiplied his credita- feit and drunkenness, at least ble connexions. He is living in with the cares of this world; no vice; he is a decent friend and so that day should come up. even to religion, But his mind on thee unawares. The day of is occupied in still adding house true glory to the Christian, 'is to house, and field to field ; not that in which he shines here in admiring the foundation of below above his earthly fellows; worldly prosperity which his it will be that in which he shall early wisdom had laid, and in appear in white raiment before raising still higher the splendid God, holding a palm in his hand, superstructure.
There is, as in token of his having when on yet, no sensation of weakness in earth gained the victory over the his frame, no paleness in his world. Alive to the dangers of cheek ; his conscience is easy his station, knowing how hard and his sleep is sound ; he ren- it is for a rich man to enter into ders, he says, to every man his the kingdom of heaven,” he is due, and he diverts some little ever jealous of bimself; and part of his ample revenuc to the amidst all his earthly prosperity poor and needy. He looks with feels that he carries about with complacency on the minute good him a body of sin 'and death. which he is doing, but with still He desires to escape from the higher satisfaction on the multi. temptations to which his wealth tude of dependents who obcy exposes him ; from the allure. him, of humbie friends who so. ments of the flesh, from the licit his favor, of rich and great temptations of the world, from men who admit him into their the mob which is ever attempting circle and call familiarly at his to surround him.--the mob, I door. He fills a large space in mean, of selfish, flattering, eager, his own eye, and in the eye of worldly minded men..--those around him; and his heart præclarum illum diem, cum ex is distended with joy, while he hâc turbâ proficiscar.” ....To contemplates his still increasing such a character, sudden death honors, possessions, and enjoy- is only sudden deliverance. ments : 66 Is not this great Acquaintance with God is Babylon that I have built ?"---I another important point, which would not pronounce a severe
must be mentioned. Many per. sentence against any man ; I sons think that they sufficiently would, nevertheless, say to ev. prepare for death, by perform ery such person (and what pros. ing (it matters "little, according perous individual may not be to them, from what principle,)
the proper duty of their station. and will afford to them their Duty to God enters little into share in the common mercies re. their thoughts. Even duty to served for his creatures, even man is very imperfectly compre- though he should not exalt them hended by them ; and the little to the highest place in heaven. part of it which is understood, Our liability to sudden death is very inadequately performed. is one, perhaps, of the most They seem to themselves to do as awakening topics which can be well as their neighbors ; indeed, set before such persons. Is it self-love suggests that they do not an awful thing for a man to better. They do not disbelieve appear before his eternal Judge the gospel ; they have not ex. -a man who perhaps has apamined it sufficiently to make plied his mind to the whole cir. them disbelieve. They incline cle of human sciences-without to the doctrines of their church, haviog ever exercised his thought because competent men having either on the laws of God, on declared them to be true: it is the nature of his government, or the part of modesty to adopt the the means of salvation which the received system of orthodoxy. divine wisdom has provided for After all, however, their chief the sons of men, and has expressa reliance is this, that their life is edly revealed from heaven? I good.
would ask the person whom I “He can't be wrong, whose life is in the have described, the following right.”
questions : Is it not possible They occasionally hear of some that the atonement for sin, in doctrinal points, but into these which you scarcely know wheth. they do not take the trouble of er you believe, might, if duly entering. “If,” (say they, for contemplated, become the means example) when I arrive in the of opening to you a new view of world of light, I shall find that your whole condition ; of dis. the doctrine of the atonement is covering to you that natural cortrue, my good life on earth will, ruption of man, which it so neas I trust, entitle me to a share cessarily implies ; of softening in the benefits of that atonement. your hard heart, and attracting If the tenet shall turn out to be your affections to God and refalse, my good life, in that case ligion ? Might it not thus supalso, must be the means of saving ply powerful motives to virtu
Much thought upon the ous action, and thus conduce to subject is therefore unnecessa- that good life which you ac. ry.” Moreover they are con. knowledge to be necessary? May tinually occupied ; they have not, therefore, a lively faith in this their family affairs to manage, doctrine, a doctrine which implies their company to entertain, their the renunciation of that confidence profession to attend to ; and in your good works to which human nature, they add, requires you are inclining, be appointed also some recreations. God, by God to be the very instru. they trust, will not condemn ment of your salvation ? Again : them for having been no great May you not err, as I have intheologians; he will make al. deed already intimated that you lowance for their circumstances, are likely to do, as to the na