« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
tranquillity, widely extending reputation, and the homage of the great and the learned. We behold him appointed soon to appear before that Judge to whom he had never alluded but with malice or contempt; yet preserving to appearance an entire self-complacency, idly jesting about his approaching dissolution, and mingling with the insane sport his references to the fall of “superstition,” a term of which the meaning is hardly ever dubious when expressed by such
We behold him at last carried off, and we seem to hear, the following moment, from the darkness in which he vanishes, the shriek of surprise and terror, and the overpowering accents of the messenger of vengeance.
On the whole globe there probably was not acting, at the time, so mournful a tragedy as that of which the friends of Humé were the spectators, without being aware that it was any tragedy at all.
Those who may feel disposed to aid the Society in continuing and extending the gratuitous circulation of these Tracts, are requested to give their Subscriptions or Donations to the distributors of the Tracts, or to send them to the Secretary of the ENGLISH MONTHLY TRACT Society, at the Office, 27, Red Lion Square, London.
THE ENGLISH MONTHLY TRACT SOCIETY,
27, RED LION SQUARE
3.&W.Rider, Printers, Bartholomew Close London.
Thou hast forsaken me, saith the Lord ; thou art gone backward : therefore will I stretch out my hand against thee, and destroy thee : I am weary with repenting."-Jeremiah.
A very wonderful passage indeed ; it were good for you, reader, to let loose your thoughts upon it in solitude; a calm but intense meditation on this verse, may, by God's blessing, lead you to take a new view of your situation and prospects for eternity. Be persuaded to shut yourself up with it, and may the Spirit of Eternal Truth apply it to your conscience and heart. I would assist your thoughts on this remarkable passage of Scripture by a few observations.
I. All sins have one common origin, namely, forsaking God.-He is the life of our immortal being. The soul is his offspring; he breathed it into man, and he became a living soul. It originally bore God's image, for in the likeness of God made he him. All, therefore, who know anything to any purpose, know and testify, that there is a craving in the heart which nothing can satisfy but God himself. To know God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent, is eternal life. To love God, is to dwell in him; and to possess his favour is better than life. If peace, love, joy, and holiness, be happiness, then happiness resides in every child of God, for God dwells there. But there is a power ever busy in alienating the soul from him,—a subtle power, which works itself into every thing, and pervades every thing--a malignant power, which aims at nothing short of the ruin of all that is morally right and lovely in the creation of God,-a power, moreover, incessantly at work, pursuing its cursed enterprise with sleepless activity. Alas! the human heart is itself in league with it, and cheerfully lends its energies to the fearful work of its own destruction. To carry away the heart was the original design ; to keep it away from God is now the unwearied effort of Satan.
All sinful pleasures are just so many substitutes for God; poor, wretched substitutes they are! no matter, the sinner will have them.--They have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewn them out cisterns, broken cisterns, which can hold no water. My people would have none of
up to their hearts' lust, and they walked
me, so He
in their own counsels. What are the lusts of the flesh and mind but idol gods, invented to supersede Jehovah, and by amusing inconsiderate and lost souls, shut out the recollection of their irreparable loss?
II. Sin is a destructive thing.- I will stretch out my hand and destroy thee.-Fearful words these, and as spoken by the only blessed God, full of awful considerations! Yes, in every case, sin is a destructive thing. The hook may be adorned, but the instrument of death is there. The sting may be artfully concealed, but it is the more deadly on that account. The poison may be sweetened, but it is but poison after all. Sin may be smiled upon, bowed to, applauded, crowded after, yet none but fools will be deceived by it. Who would place the opinion of a whole troop of insane people against the sober judgment of one sound and enlightened mind? True, it may be slow in its operation, nay, pleasant, and every effort employed with success to make it so. There may be long years of gratifying association with the wicked, years of prosperous iniquity, years of exuberant health and wealthof ardent friendships and flattering prospects,—all the while the dregs of the cup of trembling remain, the syren's enchanting song only draws the wretch nearer destruction every hour, as the torch of the wrecker throws its deceitful glare, only to dash the unwary bark on the fatal rocks. The destruction of the impenitent sinner is sure at last. God is not a man that he should lie, nor the son of man, that he should repent. If sin be a road, it has but one termination, --if a disease, but one issue,- if a fire, it will burn to the lowest hell; Sodom's riches and luxury, pride and lust, though encircled by salubrious skies and enchanting scenery, sunk into a fiery lake at last, and Jerusalem's idolatries levelled her towers, and ploughed up her foundations in the end. The graves that lie around you and on every side, choked with the bones and skulls of former generations, read us the same lesson. All these once lived and laughed in the face of serious religion; they danced their little day, and night has spread its dismal pall over them, proclaiming to all who have yet ears to hear, the solemn truth, that the soul that sinneth shall die !
III. But the Lord God Almighty seeks to turn sinners from their purpose of self-destruction. So much is implied in the text. I am weary of repenting, expresses the fact, that He gave opportunities and put forth efforts to save these incorrigible sinners from their impending fate. Conscience seeks to turn you. There is within you a wit