« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
conversation becoming the Gospel.” “Give thanks to the Father who hath made you meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light;" and consecrate to his service all the powers
and faculties, natural and acquired, of which you are possessed. Walk as the lights of the world, and “ let your light so shine before men, that others
may see your good works, and glorify our Father who is in heaven.”
But it is too probable, that there are some into whose hands this tract may come, who have never thought seriously on the subject to which we have adverted, who are living without God and without hope in the world, and are altogether unconcerned about their everlasting interests. With regard to such, we would
Oh! consider the danger to which you are exposed, while you
remain in such a careless and ungodly state; you can enjoy no real and substantial happiness while you remain in this condition; you run the risk of losing for ever the heavenly world—the enjoyment of the blessed God, and all those pleasures which are at his right hand, for evermore; you run the risk of being banished for ever from his blissful presence, into those regions of sorrow and doleful shades where peace and hope can never come. For we are assured by Him who cannot lie, that the wicked “ shall go away into everlasting punishment, where there is weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth ;" and that “they who obey not the Gospel shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.” All that interposes between you and eternal misery, is the brittle thread of life which is liable to be broken at every moment. Time, like a rapid river, is sweeping you along towards the ocean of eternity; and while you are reclining on the lap of ease, or rioting in vicious indulgence, ere ever you are aware, you may be plunged into the unfathomable gulf, to rise no more. Every day that passes over us, more than sixty-eight thousand souls pass
from this world into the eternal state, and two thousand eight hundred every hour; and you know not how soon you may be called to follow them to the world unknown. You need not be told that your life is uncertain. You have no assurance, that before tomorrow's dawn
your may not take its flight to the world of spirits, and you be placed irrecoverably beyond the reach of salvation. Every day you behold Death cutting down both young and old, without giving warning of his approach. A flash of lightning from the angry clouds, the starting of a horse, the overturning of a carriage, the fall of a tile, the bursting of a blood-vessel, or even the most minute accidents, may be sufficient to overturn the tabernacle of clay, and to place your souls in the midst of all your sins before the Judge of all. You are
like heedless children, sporting themselves on the edge of a tremendous precipice in the gloom of evening, whom the least gust of wind, or a single false step, may precipitate to the bottom, to be dashed to pieces and to rise no more. O, consider what is included in that one awful word, ETERNITY! Duration that has no boundaries or termination, and which, when ten thousand ages have rolled away, and ten thousand times ten thousand more, will only be beginning. Connected with this vast eternity is happiness which will never be diminished ; and misery, anguish, and torment which will never be assuaged. Hasten, then, ye deluded and careless men from the coming wrath. Betake yourselves to the city of refuge. Hearken to the declarations of the Gospel —“ Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and besides me there is no Saviour.” Incline your ear and come unto me; hear, and your souls shall live. Behold the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world; for God hath set him forth as a propitiation to declare his righteousness in the remission of sins. Break off your sins by righteousness ; forsake the foolish and live ; quit your sinful pursuits and your vicious companions; consecrate yourselves to the service of God; avoid every known sin, and perform every known duty. And, in order to this, set apart some time to reflect with seriousness on your sin and danger. Apply to God by fervent prayer, and implore the assistance of his Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth, to subdue your corruptions, to purify your souls, and to direct you in the paths of righteousness. Peruse the Holy Scriptures with reverence and attention ; for they are the oracles of God, and the only sure guide to eternal blessedness. Frequent the company of the godly, and attend on the public ordinances of Divine appointment. “ If thou criest after wisdom, and liftest up thy voice for knowledge and understanding, if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hidden treasures, then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.” Then shall ye find joys and comforts which the world cannot give nor take away. Then shall ye experience “strong consolation,” even in the prospect of the awful realities of the eternal world; you shall “stand with boldness at the day of judgment,” and “not be ashamed nor confounded, world without end.”
THE ENGLISH MONTHLY TRACT SOCIETY,
27, RED LION SQUARE, LONDON ;
J. F. SHAW, BOOKSELLER, SOUTHAMPTON ROW, LONDON.
J. & W.Rider, Printers, Bartholomew Close, London.
If we had seen one of our neighbours struck dead by a flash of lightning, just after he had been committing one of our own often indulged sins, it is to be supposed it would make a serious impression upon our minds. If we afterwards beheld two or three more of our acquaintances blotted out of life in the same way, and for the same reason, we should probably bring the case a little more home to ourselves. If there should afterwards fall another, and another, and another, and we were in the habit of seeing God's wrath executed every day, the moment it was provoked, it is surprising what a change we should presently observe among all the careless and bold-faced sinners of society;-drunkards shrinking from the flowing bowl, as if it were filled with poison; the impure rushing from the threshold of sin and pollution, as they would from the flames of hell; liars, swearers, and blasphemers setting their finger upon their lips, lest they should perish before the evil word was fully pronounced; misers and extortioners flinging away their darling profits, lest they should be struck dead as they touched them.
Then, too, when men should see sentence executed speedily against evil works, they could not think of the sin without thinking of the punishment along with it. How cautious should we find them of venturing too near sin, even in their tempers and conversation! We should see a man turn pale whenever an evil thought or an evil wish came into his mind; for how could he tell but the thunderbolt would fall at that moment, if he ventured to indulge in it? Then should we see men watching and praying, that they might not fall into temptation, who never knew what it was to pray before; and it is probable, that those who were witnessing the wrath of God coming down every day upon the heads of sinners, would be so sensible of their danger and their weakness, that they would renounce all trust in their own powers and their own righteousness, and seek for His glorious strength, who is able to shelter us from the storm and tempest, and to give us the victory over sin, through our Lord Jesus Christ, and to make us “ more than conquerors through him who loved us, and gave himself for us.”
It seems to be very plain, that something like this would be the case if God were to interfere every day to execute sentence upon evil works. Now, mark the difference. Only observe with what perfect ease men can bring themselves to indulge in sin, as a matter of common and ordinary occurrence, as naturally as they partake of their sleep or their meals; and they go into the way of temptation, and approach the brink and borders of sin, and say,
“ There is no danger !" Now, what can be the reason of this astonishing difference? Is it that men have calmly made up their minds, after enjoying the pleasures of sin for a season, to resign themselves quietly and contentedly to the “worm that never dieth, and the flame that is never quenched ?"
This can hardly be the reason; it must be something else—and what is it? The Psalmist has informed us in few words: “ The wicked hath said in his heart, Thou wilt not require it.” He does not believe that God will fulfil what he has declared; he does not say so with his lips, but he says it in his heart. With his lips he says-It is all very
true-the sentence is gone forth—he is a God that “ will by no means clear the guilty:" “ the soul that sinneth, it shall die:” and “cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the Book of the Law to do them.” It is also true that “ God is not man that he should lie, nor the son of man that he should repent;-hath he said, and will he not do it? hath he spoken, and will he not bring it to pass ?” It would be rather a bold thing for a man to say, in the face of all this, that God would not require it. One would think we might take God's word for more than this; and yet so it is, that a man, because he does not see sentence executed against an evil work, either in the case of others or in his own-because he does not hear and see God's justice every day in thunder and lightningbegins to think that God only intends to frighten him by such sentences. There is a chance, he thinks, that God may not be in earnest; and upon this chance he persists in disobedience to his law. “ Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” - Eccles. viii. 11.
It may be well to spend a little time in considering this case. Now, before we go a step further, one single question might decide the business. What does that man deserve, who ventures his soul upon any chance, allowing for the sake of argument there is such a thing as chance ? Make the chance as great and as plausible as you please ;-suppose, if you like, that God had never passed regular sentence upon sin-had never published and registered his wrath—and that there was only a confused murmur through mankind, a light whisper now and then stirring in the world, that there was sentence to be executed against the soul of every man that doeth evil, that there was a hell of