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immortality, eternal life, but that they preferred the fading vanities of time to the imperishable glories of heaven, that heaven which they know they have lost, and they will also be fully sensible that their doom is fixed in that abode where there is weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth for ever.
Reader! consider this while the day of hope lingers. Consider it, at the very beginning of the year, ye that forget God, “ lest he tear you in pieces, and there be none to deliver." If the danger of continuing profitless under the means of grace be so dreadful, surely it is important to consider,
The divinely-appointed means whereby this awful state of mind may be counteracted and controlled.
God says, “ Why will ye die ?” And in proof of the sincerity of his solicitude for the sinner's salvation, “ He spared not his own Son;" “ He sent him not to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.” It is through faith in Christ alone, that we can be savedthat faith which is the gift of God; but those blessings which God has promised to bestow, he requires us to seek at his hands. In what way, then, are we to seek those blessings which are necessary to prevent a profitless attention on the means of grace ?—what are some of those holy and voluntary exercises, which indicate a right state of heart in the sight of God?
In order to prevent profitless attendance on the means of grace, there must be sacred prayerfulness of spirit for the assisting and sanctifying grace of the Holy Spirit.
It is the prerogative of the Divine Spirit to communicate heayenly knowledge to a depraved
understanding; to turn men from darkness to light; and to effect the spiritual resurrection of such as are dead in trespasses and sins; pray earnestly for the grace of the Spirit, for without his aid you cannot do any thing that will either be profitable to your own souls or acceptable to God. Are you tempted to delay; or to fear to ask so great and gracious a boon; or to wait till you feel the stirrings of his grace? Why should you procrastinate or fear, when God has revealed himself as the answerer as well as the hearer of prayer ? Go now at the very opening of the year, and plead for his grace; the Apostles waited for the descent of the Holy Ghost; but they waited in the exercise of earnest and expectant prayer. The Divine record warrants you to plead for promised blessings, “Turn you,” &c.; Prov. i. 23. And our blessed Lord gives every encouragement to plead in the exercise of hope, “ If," &c., Luke xi. 10–13.
In order to prevent profitless attendance on the means of grace, seek diligently to know the mind of the Spirit in the Scriptures.
The Divine charge is, “ Seek ye out the book of the Lord, and read;" seek, with a desire to understand the Scriptures; those Scriptures which are able to make you wise unto salvation by faith in Jesus Christ. Compare your hearts with the word of God, and give diligent and prayerful heed to the Divine and authoritative counsel, “ Search the Scriptures, for in them,” &c. John v. 39.
Again, If you would prevent a profitless attendance on the means of grace, be careful to reverence and keep holy the times and services of the day of God.
The decalogue enjoins, “ Remember the Sabbath-day, to keep it holy;" it is elsewhere added,
66 ye shall keep my Sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary : I am the Lord,” Lev. xix. 30. And an inspired apostle counsels, “ Forsake not the assembling,” &c. Heb. x. 24. The sanctity of the Sabbath should be observed out of the house of God, as well as in it; and during the intervals as well as during the seasons of public worship.
Further, That fruitless attendance on the means of grace may be prevented, show your solicitude to hold sacred the instructive and admonitory admonitions of conscience.
Does conscience speak? Does its inbred and monitory language tell you of the guilt of sin ? Does it remonstrate with you—and warn you to flee from its indulgence and practice; and to flee to Christ for salvation? Does it call upon you to begin the year by deciding publicly for God? () disregard not its admonitions, lest God bid conscience to warn and counsel you no more!
Finally, If you would prevent profitless attendance on the means of grace, look to Jesus and consider him. Look believingly unto Jesus, and exercise entire reliance on him for salvation. He is the foundation on which your hope must rest; He is the ladder by which you must ascend to God; He is the door through which you must obtain admission into heaven.
Reader! remember this, and if other years have passed away neglected and misimproved, let the year on which you have entered be the beginning of years to your soul; the year on which you shall assuredly date your entrance on the road to glory. 86
THE LITTLE OSAGE CAPTIVE.
(Concluded from page 72.) “ Little John, having been told from the beginning, that if he would go willingly, without crying, he would have the horse on which he was to ride, and the saddle and the bridle for his own, went off smiling, and was apparently much pleased with his newly acquired property.”
The journal, in concluding this affecting account, expresses the hope that the children, on their return to the Osage country, would be taken into the missionary school at Union, which had been established a short time before, by the United Foreign Mission Society. But God had other purposes in view, which, as they respected Lydia Carter, were soon to be accomplished.
It was on the twenty-third of August, 1820, that the captives left Brainerd. The weather was very warm, and a long journey was before them. After travelling a hundred miles, they came to a settlement in the western part of the Cherokee nation, called Creek Path. Catharine Brown, one of the earliest converts in the school at Brainerd, had returned to Creek Path when Lydia arrived, and was instructing a school of Indian girls. Some of her other Brainerd acquaintance were there also, who were engaged in making preparations for a new missionary establishment.
Her feelings on meeting these kind and sympathising friends may easily be imagined. They served to renew for a while the pleasure which she had lost. One of Mr. Hoyt's daughters happened to be there at the time, and returned not long after to Brainerd. The missionaries, speaking of some intelligence received by her, state the following circumstances in their journal:-“She also informs us that she saw our dear little Lydia, on her way to the Osages. Lydia told her, she wished she could write to her father and mother. Sister A. told her, she would write for her, if she could tell her what she wanted to say. She appeared pleased with this, and began, and was able to say only a few words, before she was so much affected that she could not proceed. She said she wanted her father and mother to come to the Osage country and take her.”
The particulars of her journey from this place have not been received. We learn, however, that she was taken to Governor Miller in the course of the autumn, and that by him she was conducted, with the other captives, to the Osage tribe, the next winter.
What then became of the other children is not known. But Lydia Carter and John Osage Ross, having been restored to their tribe, or as the Osages termed it, having been raised from the dead, were given back to the governor, by his request. Lydia was to be returned to her parents and friends at Brainerd, by the first opportunity, and John was to live with the governor, and accompany him on a journey which he was soon to make to New England.
Who they saw on their arrival, or whether their parents were still living, is not known. It seems probable, from the fact that they were so readily given back to the governor, that their nearest relations were not there to retain them.
On the governor's return, he took them with him; and Lydia rejoiced to think that a few months more of wearisome journeying would