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comforts without urging you to adopt a better course. To be idle is to be unhappy, for it is the hardest work in the world to do nothing. Look at an idle man: he is clothed with rags, the grass grows before his door, and weeds cover his garden; his gate swings on a broken hinge; the lock and key of his door are rusty; his house is filthy, and his furniture in confusion, and broken. Discomfort dwells with him, his moments pass heavily, and disgrace and want continually await him. Come, come, bestir yourself; for “ the hand of the diligent maketh rich," and “ seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings,” Prov. xxii. 29.
There is another evil, John, of a fearful kind, that attends idleness. He who is idle in the affairs of this world, is not likely to be diligent in the affairs of that which is to come. He who drags his heels heavily along the earth, will move his heart sluggishly on the way to heaven. I have not time to say more; but take what I have said in good part: I mean it for your good. Turn over a new leaf; adopt a new plan; be no longer “slothful in business,” but “ fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.”
Be an active servant to your earthly master, and a diligent disciple of Jesus Christ; and you will never regret the rebuke that I have given you. Farewell.
A CALL ON A HARD DRINKER. I am glad to find you alone, Morris; for I want to speak a few plain words to you. If no one else will be friend enough to tell you the truth, I will. Twice have you been seized with sudden illness, and brought to the very borders of the grave, and yet, here you are, indulging in intemperance and sin. That little property which you have, is a curse to you instead of a blessing. That glass before you, is poisoning your soul. There is no time to lose : no, not a moment, Morris; for you are like a sailor on board a ship that is about to go to pieces. A man standing on a precipice on a windy day, is not in greater danger than you are. It is of no use to warn you, that “ The drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty; and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags,” Prov. xxiii. 21; for this would have been your case many a long day ago, to the ruin of your family, the loss of your reputation, and the danger of your soul, if you could have made away with your little annuity. I will give you another text now; for as the disease gets worse, the medicine must be made stronger. The word of God says, that no drunkards “ shall inherit the kingdom of God," 1 Cor. vi. 10. Awake, Morris, from your guilty sloth in time, lest you sleep the sleep of death, and wake in an eternal world.
The fool, through every passing hour,
Beset with sin and sorrow,
Though that may be to-morrow.
Be not this fool any longer, but now, at the eleventh hour, haste, run, flee for mercy to the fountain that yet is open for sin and uncleanness.
Your doctor tells me that he would not ensure your life a single day, and that your next attack will, most likely, be your last. Morris, Morris, despise not the goodness, the forbearance, and the long-suffering of God, nor think that continuing in sin you shall escape his judgments. Would that I had words that would sink into your soul; for faithful are the wounds of a friend. Again, I say, lose not a moment, but flee to the Merciful for mercy. “ Christ did not die for sin, that we might live in sin. He died that our sins might die, and our souls live.” He who puts off repentance an hour, adds to his labour, and lessens the time allowed him for its performance. Morris, the lightnings are about to flash; the thunders are about to roar; if you despise the mercy that would save you, you will assuredly feel the judgments that will destroy you.
A CALL ON AN AGED DESPONDING CHRISTIAN.
Ah, Andrew, I see how it is with you! still groping among cobwebs in a dark corner, rather than gratefully enjoying the pure light of heaven; still choosing shade rather than sunshine. Really, Andrew, one might suppose that God had dealt very hardly with you, since you put so little confidence in him.
You have been preserved in your pilgrimage, these threescore and ten years, leaning on the staff of God's eternal promises in his Son Jesus Christ; and what stronger proof would you require of your heavenly Father's future goodness, than the remembrance of his past mercies ! “ The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness,” Prov. xvi. 31. Come! come! you must look upwards, and then you will not see the black beetles that crawl under your feet. God is faithful in that he has promised; and what good thing is there that he has not promised to his people? Have you taken the Scripture as your guide and counsellor, and delighted in the law of the Lord? Have you enjoyed communion with your Father in heaven for so many years, to mistrust him at the last? You may think you are forsaken, Andrew; but he will never forsake
you. He who has hitherto guided you by his counsel, will, in his own good time, bring you safe to his glory. Think of the great compassion of God, in giving up his only Son for sinners. Think of the grace of the Redeemer, in offering up himself as a willing sacrifice.
" See from his head, his hands, his feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down ;
Or thorns compose so rich a crown ?”
And do you, or can you think that love like this should be called in question ? Is there any reason to doubt the goodness of One whose only begotten Son has died for you. Andrew! Andrew! I am afraid there is more sin in our dark moments than we are aware of, and that when we think we are only afflicting ourselves, we are in truth dishonouring God, and rebelling against him. A godly sorrow for sin is not inconsistent with a lively hope in God's mercy; but we cannot refuse the consolation which our heavenly Father offers us in his word, without despising his unspeakable gift, and telling him in our hearts, that his word is not to be taken.
I am sorry to speak hard words to you, Andrew; but you know that I have sorrowed with you, and spoken gently to you without any good effect. God's people require to be borne with,