Page images
PDF
EPUB

ness for God, which cannot be bribed. It is blunted with difficulty, but never wholly dead, and it emits a testimony for its Creator and Judge, which would, if heard aright, warn you of danger, and conduct upward through the clouds and darkness that lie beneath his throne, to the mercy-seat o. Him you have wronged.

Providence would turn you. What are the sicknesses you have endured, great distress and of long continuance, or the terrible disasters which have overtaken you in your own, or the person of some beloved one, but so many monitions from God? The goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance. By events like these, he openeth your ear and sealeth instruction.

The Revelation of the Divine will in the Scriptures would turn you. All doubt and difficulty of interpretation here take end. Turn ye, turn ye, why will ye die ?-As I live, saith the Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that he would turn and live. God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. - It is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. - Look untc me and be ye saved, for I am God, and there is none else. Come unto me, all that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Add to these and a thousand more such gracious messages, the fact that the Saviour commands his disciples to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, and you must see that God now seeks to recover you from your apostacy, and to bring you back to himself. The Holy Spirit would turn you. For besides that he has dictated every word of the Scriptures of truth, and consequently may be said to speak and to strive with men in them, there is, doubtless, an influence more gentle or more wgent, as He pleases, exerted on the consciences of men under the hearing of the word. We are warranted to conclude that the inward drawings out of the heart, ofttimes experienced, bearing home, and pressing the soul to a surrender of itself to Christ at his command in the gospel, are from that gracious Being, according to the text-I will make known my

words to

you,
I will

pour out my Spirit unto you. Thus the workings of natural conscience, the mysteries of providence, the language of inspiration, and the suggestions of the Eternal Spirit, all conspire to stop you in your downward progress to arrest your attention, and to reconcile you to God through Jesus Christ-to restore you from all your wanderings, and to bring you to permanent peace, contentment, and delight, in the friendship and fellowship of Him who is alone the satisfying portion of the immortal spirit.

IV.-But this work of mercy has limits. There is a time when all those blessed means of salvation will cease, or be withdrawn. I am weary with repenting!

Yes, threatenings are held over you, sinner, enough to make the ears of every one who heareth them to tiugleenough, one should think, to rend the heart of adamant in pieces. Oh, how terrible are these words :-Our God is a consuming fire-O wicked man, thou shalt surely die-He that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him-If he turn not, he hath bent his bow and made it ready. Yea, and allurements are spread out before thee, poor sinner, of the most winning character,allurements most inviting, yet genuine-most glorious, free, and unfettered, yet honest-incredibly lovely, yet true. Return to me, and I will return to you -Come and let us reason together, though your sms were as scarlet, they shall be as wool; if red as crimson, they shall be as snow-He that cometh I will in no wise cast out-He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved. And while God has been plying thee with both kinds, his patience has been drawn out into days of forbearance, years of long suffering, thousands of sermons, and millions of reproofs, warnings, invitations, and admonitions, so that in thee has been fulfilled the old saying - All day long I have stretched out my hands to a disobedient and gainsaying people. But this state of things cannot always continue I am weary with repenting! Jehovah is the God of patience ; but, although this be his character, why should he delay any more? Longer endurance would only deepen the cup of wrath, sharpen to a yet finer point the arrows of vengeance, and heat the furnace of His indignation seven times more than it was wont to be heated. Angels! ye who have been long the wondering spectators of His compassion, ye who are the ministers of His

mercy, or the messengers of His displeasure, witness to His long-suffering, and say whether justice itself were just by longer endur

Children of men ! where shall righteousness reign if not in the destruction of those who have tried to the utmost the forbearance of Him who is “merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and slow to anger ?” Lost soul! thyself be witness whether thou hast not destroyed thyself, shutting thyself up against light and gladness in the forlorn den of sorrow and despair! Sinner, you must either turn or die! There is no alternative-certainly none. No half measures will do; no sham repentance, but a hearty, self-loathing, thorough repentance. Ceasing from sin will not suffice, even were this in yonr power, no more than ceasing to go in arrears would pay off the debts already contracted, no more than ceasing from insult would appease the ire you had awakened, no more than ceasing to murder would satisfy for blood already shed. You must approach Calvary-look on Him whom you have pierced - believe that only the blood of Christ can that the blood of Christ shall cancel the crimes of many years. “ As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so is the Son of man lifted up, that whosoever believeth in him may not perish, but have everlasting life!" This must be a personal act of your own. Prayer by others for you can do yoù nó good in the absence of repentance towards God, and faith towards the Lord Jesus Christ. Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, says the Lord God, yet my mind could not be toward this people. No, not so long as they remain callous and impenitent. The cry of the saved world rising up at once, and rolling towards the eternal throne in one deep volume of pious entreaty, could avail nothing if you still went on in your frowardness. There is a Mediator with God, and but one, the request of whose lips was never denied ; but in vain shall you expect his kind offices if you reject his atonement or trifle with his grace. Do this, and the hour is not distant when your own prayers for yourself will be unheeded. Then shall they call on me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me-I will laugh at their calamity- I will mock when their fear cometh— I will stretch out my hand against thee and destroy thee; I am weary with repenting.

ance.

The conclusion is this. That alarming crisis in your history is not yet 'come, but it may arrive in a moment. This is the time, the very time, the only time you certainly have to flee from the wrath to come. Now, as you read these lines, and before you cast them away, now is your golden opportunity. God waitsthe Gospel is preached,the Spirit calls-saved sinners beseech you-death alarms— conscience urges; despairing of salvation from your own ineffectual endeavours, which in fact would sink you deeper in condemnation-away to Jesus ; fly as doves to their windows from the gathering storm, and find immediate security, and life eternal, in the LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

The tract which you have now read, sets forth that-it may be—your last warning. Not that every one of the many thousands who will read it, shall be summoned to repentance no more, but because a vast number of them, it may be fairly concluded, shall find it even so. Such is the uncertainty of life! It is certainly true of many; and who are they who, having perused these lines, shall be seized with mortal sickness and hurried away into the world of spirits? Who of all them into whose hands this warning falls, are marked off from the world of dying men, for speedy dismission from the body? Reader! art thou the man ? the very possibility of such an event is fearful--the probability is appalling! And now read it again, read it as your last admonition; if it is not so, yet the impression under which you read will do you good; if it shall prove otherwise, and that you are in fact putting aside God's last message as a Saviour, just as he is about to address you as a Judge, then the pen

of the writer can employ no terms sufficiently expressive of your solemn position. The Lord help thee, poor sinner, to a seasonable and instant application of these things; if so, and you thenceforward turn to God, still will this be your last warning: the last in an unconverted and therefore dangerous condition, the last you shall ever abuse, the last you shall ever disregard, the last you shall

ever tread under foot, for now, believing in the Lord Jesus Christ and obeying his voice, you enter into a new state: a new character, having new prospects, hopes, and joys attached. The last warning having, through God, taken glorious effect, you, perishing sinner, guilty and vile as you are, shall be enrolled among the trophies of victorious grace, over whom saints on earth will rejoice, and heaven itself hold high jubilee for your eternal redemption. This day will stand dear to memory as the epoch of your second birth,—the course on which you enter will scatter light and gladness around your steps, while it bears you along to the world of perfect vision--the land of rest—the region of bliss and immortality.

Those who may feel disposed to aid the Society in continuing and exA CONTRAST.

tending the gratuitous circulation of these Tracts, are respectfully solicited to give their Subscriptions or Donations to the distributors of the Tracts, or to send them to thSecretary at the Office, 27, Red Lion Square, London.

THE ENGLISH MONTHLY TRACT SOCIETY,

27, RED LION SQUARE.

J. & W.Rider, Printers, Bartholomew Close, London.

There is something awfully real in death; levity and indifference are most unseemly at that moment.

Who can leave all he has loved on earth; who can have the ties rent asunder which made life precious; who can enter on a new state of which he has no experimental knowledge, without the most solemn reflections, unless conscience has been previously hardened by unbelief? This is generally the moment for con. fession and truth; the real sentiments of the soul are exposed The motives for concealment, evasion, or pretended indifference, cease to exist ; and the expiring tongue declares the fears or hopes, the miseries or joys of the departing spirit This, then, is the time for the trial of those systems on which we have rested our hopes of salvation. If our theory will not support us then, it is worthless, because the hour of death is the period in our history in which we need most support and consolation. Well, the systems of Infidelity and the doctrines of Christianity have both been tested at that moment; let us, see with what result.

Some infidels have manifested the greatest insensibility and presumption in their last hours; as if they were either utterly callous to every thing which relates to them as accountable creatures, or were daring the Almighty to his face after labouring to subvert his authority. When Hobbes drew near to death, he declared,“ I am about to take a leap in the dark;" and the last sensible words that he uttered were, “ I shall be glad to find a hole to creep out of the world at.” And although Rousseau had pretended to doubt the very existence of God, and lived in unbridled licentiousness and vice, he presumptuously claimed the favour of his Creator, expiring with the most impious appeal ever made to the Divine Being. A short time before he departed, he said to his wife or mistress, “ Ah!

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »