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have endeavoured, from time to time, to address a lew words to von from the pulpit and the desk. But, well knowing that good instruction is often soon forgotten, I have determined to address a few words to you through the "Juvenile Companion." My subject is, " A Minister's Great Desire." Well, and what is it that I so much desire? It is, that I may meet you all in heaven. You will at once admit, that 1 could hardly desire anything greater or better than this. And do you not also desire it? I feel persuaded you do. But, my dear young friends, have you ever seriously thought of heaven,—of its holiness, of its glory, and of the purity of those who dwell therein.
You have, doubtless, read the 27th verse of chap. xxi. of Revelation. You there see that you must not only avoid those sins there spoken of, but your names must be "written in the Lamb's book of life," before you can enter Heaven. And who is this Lamb? The Lamb is that Saviour of whom you have heard and read so much. But why is He called a Lamb? Tarn to Isaiah liiL, and there you will read,— "He is brought as a Lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openoth not his mouth." John the Baptist said, "Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world." John i. 29. He is called a Lamb, because of his meekness and innocence; and because—as a lamb was offered morning and evening on the Jewish altar, or place of sacrifice, for the sins of the people— Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, was offered on the cross for the sins of the world. The Saviour died on account of our sins, and by his stripes we are healed. Those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life arc such as have "redemption in his blood, the forgiveness of sins."
Perhaps, you are asking how you arc to got your names written in this book? Well, you are sinners; yes, young as you are, you are sinners, and you must come as sinners, guilty sinners, to God. You deserve punishment, yea, severe punishment. You must humble yourselves before God. You must also confess your sins, and heartily forsake them. You most believe in Jesus Christ for pardon. You must trust in him. You must expect him to save you, and believing in Mm you will be saved; for it is said, "believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." Now, there is no Saviour but Jesus Christ. God will have mercy on you for Christ's sake; that is, on account of what Jesus Christ has done for you. This then is required of you, that you believe on him whom God hath sent. Have you thus repented? Have you thus come to Christ? Have you thus believed? Say not you are too young to repent; believe, and come to Jesus, for, young as you are, you need salvation. Young as you are, you arc invited to come to Christ. That loving Jesus when on earth gave a general invitation to the young: then he said, "Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me, for of such is the kingdom of heaven." Matt. xix. 14. And—
"What bless'd examples do we find, Writ in the book of truth, Of children that organ to mind Religion in their youth." And what a delightful time to begin to fear, love, and servo God. It is—
"The time, the moat approv'd, and best, Most free from care and toil." Besides, "the ways of religion arc ways of pleasantness, and all her paths axe peace." Prov. iii. 17.
Now, shall my great desire bo realized? Nay, not mine only, but the wish of God, of Christ, of angels, of all the good in earth and heaven. If not realized, what an awful result will follow! The curse of God, the frown of Christ, the loss of heaven, of happiness, of all worth enjoying.
Will you give God your hearts, or will you refuse him that which belongs to him, and which he now claims? Will you have a curse instead of a blessing, Satan instead of God, holl instead of heaven, and the company of devils instead of the company of the blessed for ever? Dear young friends, consider. "The way of trangessors is hard." So you will find it, and that to your sorrow, if you pursue it. "There is no peace saith my God to the wicked." Look at the honour which God waits to put upon you. He desires to make you his children. He desires to make you happy here, and when you die, to take you to heaven. O, what love. O, what kindness! And will you slight, reject, or spurn it from you? But, perhaps, you are only putting off thia work until you are a little older. And aro you then too young to do it now? Are you too young to die ?. Are you so foolish not to do that now, which can never be done at a better time? Remember, that sinners who grow old in sin, grow hardened in their crimes—
"Youth is the time, would you be blest
With God's peculiar smile."
Perhaps you plead that you would be jeered at by those
around yon. "Well, shall this prevent you? Shall this lead
you to commit sin in not living to God? Will it not be so
whenever you begin to serve God? Christ was reviled and
persecuted, though he had done no sin, neither was any
guile found in his lips. If you refuse the cross, you cannot
have the crown, and the greater the cross, the brighter
and more glorious the crown. "Blessed are ye, when men
shall revile you and persecute you, and shall say all manner
of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be
exceeding glad; for great is your reward in heaven." Matt.
v. 11,12. Determining to live for God, the strength and
grace of God will be sufficient for you. When you have
grown up to manhood, and womanhood, how thankful you
will be that you gave your hearts to God in youth. What
feelings of indescribable pleasure will then be realised. How
Tou will thank and bless God. You will find that it has
saved you from innumerable snares and evils. Will you
then be wise, or will you pierce yourselves through with
many sorrows? You are now arrived at that point in life
in which you arc called upon to choose whom you will serve.
Much depends upon that choice. If you choose that good
part which Mary did, and which the Saviour so highly
approved of, and continue faithful, then my " Great Desire"
will be realised, and I may hope to meet you in heaven.
Some of you I shall probably see no more on earth. I am,
however, cheered with the consoling thought, that I may
meet you in glory, to part no more. Though I love your
souls, and love you sincerely, I am determined to avoid
meeting you in hell. The rich man would, on no account,
meet his five brethren there. Luke xvi. 28. Will you meet
me then in heaven? Old Wimfori. MEMOIR OF MISS MARY THOMAS.
The subject of this brief account, was born at Collacott, North Petherwin, Devonshire, January 28th, 1832. At a very early age, she was possessed of a very amiable disposition. She was much esteemed by her parents, and by the other members of the family circle. When she went to school, her rapid improvement indicated that she hud more than ordinary abilities. She delighted in the improvement of her mind, and in the acquisition of knowledge. The word of God was her precious treasure, and every opportunity for reading and meditating on its sacred pages, was diligently improved. She attended the public means of grace, and manifested an ardent attachment to the Sabbathschool at Copthorne, in connexion with the Wesleyan Methodist Association. Desires to get good and do good inspired her youthful breast.
I cannot state the exact time when she was converted to God. The work, in her case, seemed to be gradual; her heart was opened, by the influence of the Holy Ghost, to receive the Saviour, as flowers under the rays of the sun.
As her mind, by Divine teaching, became more enlightened, she was convinced of the necessity and advantages of church fellowship, and in the early part of the year 1848, united herself with the church of the Wesleyan Association, Copthorne, in the Launceston and Stratton Circuit. She continued to teach in the Sabbath-school, as long as her health would permit- As a teacher, she was regular and zealous, and was much beloved by the little band she was accustomed to instruct. The scholars were much affected, and wept as though they had lost a friend, when her remains were committed to the tomb.
Miss Thomas was a pious and devoted Christian. She loved the house of God, and enjoyed the services of the sanctuary. After she had returned from the public means of grace, she was often overheard pouring out her soul before God, in her closet, imploring the Divine blessing upon herself, the Church, the Sabbath-school, and the world. Her intense desire to be found in the means of grace, occasionally led her to make efforts to enjoy the fellowship of saints, which exceeded the strength of her delicate frame. As far as her health allowed, she was an active disciple of Christ, and a useful Missionary Collector. Her conduct was such as becometh the Gospel of Christ.
Her health began to decline about seventeen months before her death; but by medical aid, and a short visit to Bode, for the benefit of the change of air, she seemed to recover. But, alas! it was not so in reality. In the spring of 1849, the disease returned with greater force, and was then attended with the fearful symptoms of consumption. It soon became evident, that no human means could save her from an early grave. Her affliction was very severe, and prevented her from having much bodily rest; she, however, had spiritual rest and peace in Christ. She had a title to Heaven, and conld rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
When she was informed, by her medical attendant, that her case was hopeless, she received the statement with composure of mind, and expressed resignation to the will of God. Although she suffered much, she was patient under her affliction, and committed herself into the hands of her heavenly Father. Disease made rapid progress, and soon brought her days on earth to an end. The enemy of souls tried to harass her mind, but, through grace, she was enabled to conquer. Being asked by a friend, a few hours before her death, whether she was happy, she immediately replied in the affirmative, with as much energy as the state of her bodily weakness would bear. Soon after this, September 12th, 1849, she fell asleep in Jesus, withoiit a struggle or a groan, and her disembodied spirit soared aloft, as on eagle's wings, to the paradise of God. She died in the eighteenth year of her age.
Her mortal remains were interred the Sabbath following, in the burial ground attached to the Weslcyan Association Chapel, Copthornc. A large concourse of people assembled to pay their last tribute of respect to one whom in life they admired, and whose early death they lamented. A sermon was delivered on the occasion, and the funeral solemnities performed, by the writer, who consigned the body to the grave, " in sure and certain hope of a glorious resurrection