Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

its perishing idols. I am walking over a sea of vanity, and heaven is my object. Oh Lord, I set out with faith like Peter's, to meet my Master, confident of strength! Now, “ save or I perish.”

The hidden evil of the natural heart, is a disclosure that God mingles with mercy ; nay, its disclosure, under any circumstances, is the height of mercy, as it induces the sinner to flee from the monster self, to the only refuge of safety. But to have that mental blindness, removed by degrees, which is the only cause of our feeling safe; to have grace and mercy keeping pace with our self-knowledge; to have displays of the meanness of our vileness; and yet witness that support which bids faith fail not; which prevents hope from expiring, is, oh! it is among those wonders of mercy, to which the golden harps of the redeemed shall be for ever attuned. Oh! my

there may we fall, and the humblest of the humble in that blest choir, sound grace-grace grace -on all the strings !

Before I had a hope that Jesus was my friend, I felt convicted of my wretchedness, yet too proud to go to Calvary for relief. I was like a bird that would have built her nest, but knew not where. In vain did I gather sticks and straws; my duties would not - save from the pangs of conscience; yet, I prayed I prayed that God would show me the extent of my depravity; that he would give me a view of my own heart. But now, well may I magnify that mer. cy which was deaf to my petition. I saw I was stout against the Lord ; yet, I secretly said, “ what have I spoken so much against thee?” I have since believed, that if my prayer had been answered if I had seen myself as I was, and as I have since seen, when there was “no deliverer near, nature must have sunk, and I have been lifting up my eyes in an- guish.

Do you ever feel afraid of this world ? or is

Ball the best choill, and the

your faith so strong, your love so ardent, that you fear not principalities or powers? If it is, you can pray for a poor child that feels trembling, weak, and fearful; and “ the faithful, fervent prayer of the righteous, availeth much.” I have no confidence, but in the strength of Christ. My heart once promised fair, that it would be for ever entirely devoted to his service; and when I see how faithless it has proved, I dare no more trust it. I shrink from the touch of the world, and feel “it is dangerous to let loose our love beneath the eternal fair.”

the world, wore trust ice how entirely deve

“ Our nearest joys, our dearest friends,
« The partners of our blood,
« How they divide our wand'ring minds,
« And leave but half for God!"

Well might the dear Saviour of sinners exhort us to watch and pray, lest we enter into temptation. Oh! Let us be faithful to his commands ! Let us cast our burden on his arm, and rest upon his word.

“ His arm can well sustain
“ The children of his love ;
“ The ground on which their safety stands,
“ No earthly power can move."

Thanks be to him who hath loved us who hath said, trust in me, and ye need not fear; who is our strength and our Redeemer; to Him be glory for ever.

Canaan, June 6, 1803.

I HE mind of the believer, I have sometimes thought, witnessed a kind of annual renovation, in sympathy, as it were, with the material world. You, my good , who have, I hope, attained to a growth of grace that enables you always to “ live above the world,” will pity the feebleness of that faith which looks for helpers to love, among the flowers and shrubs. And I confess I am often ashamed to think that there are any provocations necessary, to keep alive the most ardent love for one, who has done such things as our ascended Redeemer has done for us. Yet, at this season of the year, every thing invites to adoration ; and the transition from contemplating the beauties of nature, to adoring nature's God, is so natural, that my mind accompanies the appeal of the poet to niy fellow-creatures.

« Mortals ! can you refrain your tongues,

“ When nature all around you sings!" And benevolence adds

« Oh! for a shout from old and young,
6 From humble swains, and lofty kings."

I have thought frequently this spring, what a pleasure and advantage I should derive from your presence in some of my solitary rambles. How we could chat and expatiate on some of those inexhaus. tible subjects that are co-extensive with eternity! How the budding of a germ might lead us to con. template the cause of causes; or, perhaps, to reflect on that wondrous moment, when the Spring of immortality should release us from the winter of death! We might gather from the volume of nature, if rightly investigated, perennial flowers of knowledge, and of faith ; and as our dear Saviour set the example, we might moralize, and sermonize, on the different objects which a diversified prospect presented to our view.

“ Thoughts shut up want air,
« And spoil like bales unopened to the sun."

What helps might not' Christians be to each other, if they would be sincere and faithful ? As lifeless brands may be kindled by coming in contact, so would a collision of minds create new warmth enkindle higher devotion-and give birth to a kind of noble emulation in the race to glory. Let us, then, my dear , try to help each other, and laying aside every weight, whether idleness, or that huge burden, the world and its cares, or diffidence, or fear, and the sin that doth most easily beset us, run, not creep, snail-like, as your poor friend is too prone to do, the race that is set before us, looking-where? not to each other ; but unto Jesus, who despised more than can tempt us to faint, and has arisen our triumphant friend and helper.

To be lukewarm in the business of religion, is: stupid inconsistency. “On such a theme 'tis im. pious to be calm." I see it, I feel it; yet I am compelled to say, Alas! my languid heart! I see too the necessity of humility, and a resigned spirit; yet fear I am not of that “ broken heart” and “contrite spirit," which the Lord will not despise. Want of zeal and life is my bane: a sense of it makes me frequently look back with regret on the fervour of my first espousals, (if I ever knew the truth, when I could say, “whom have I in heaven or in earth but thee; and there is is none I desire beside thee!" Yet I cannot give up my hope; it is placed not in my own warmth or righteousness, but on the sovereign power and righteousness of Christ ! .“ If he has loved me from the beginning”-“ if he is the lamb slain from the foundation of the world”-principalities and powers, things present and to come, in vain exert their influence against me. He is God over all, and will mould me as he pleases. And I think the plan of salvation, and the “ hated" doctrine of the potter's “ doing what he will with his own,” is daily fairer and pleasanter to my view.

Growth in grace, is said not to be incompatible with an increased sight of our own corruption. I hope I am stronger in faith, than when truth was first revealed to me; nay, I am sure I am, or I should certainly despair. For who, ah! who that sees the depravity of her nature, (and nature is in all the same,) but will exclaim with the apostle, “Oh! wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me ?” And who that, dares to covenant with the Holy of Holies, but must subscribe himself “ miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked ?”

Those who would laugh" at the bustle of a conference," might also ridicule a letter, whose subject was experimental religion. It is the same spirit that cried, " If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross;" it is the same that platted" the crown of thorns, and mocking, said, “Hail, king of the Jews !” which influences our modern revilers. And what example did the great pattern of meekness set for his followers, towards them? Though he said, Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish! Did he not pray, likewise, “ Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do ?

FOR THE CHRISTIAN'S MAGAZINE.

THE DOCTRINE OF THE RESURRECTION.

And the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we . shall be changed.—1 Cor. xv. 52.

_ (Continued from page 75.) III. W E shall show that our bodies shall be changed..

The resurrection is the work of God, with whom

« AnteriorContinuar »