« السابقةمتابعة »
house, to reside in a family where God is not worshipped —where his creatures are all unmindful of him. Another star of hope has disappeared from the horizon.
He is still in early life. Time has not yet blunted the sensibilities of his nature. His feelings are easily reached. He can still be softened by the tender and melting voice of the Gospel. Neither is he yet engrossed in the cares of an extensive business, nor is his mind filled with the many perplexities which are incident to more advanced years. True, he is not exempt from cares, but they are now light in comparison with those which the future will bring to his mind. Now is the summer time of his life, but he is letting it glide by, without reaping the harvest he might secure. He marries, engages in business, and the summer is ended, and he not saved. One more star has expired, and now the darkness of hopelessness begins to gather about his path.
He is in the habit of attending the house of God; where the word is preached in its simplicity and purity-where he hears the truth as it is in Jesus. But although the minister of God faithfully and feelingly exhibits before his mind the ruined condition he is in because of his sins; and tells him of the provision which has been made by the sufferings and death of the Son of God for his forgiveness and salvation; and spreads out before him the great and infinite considerations which the Gospel contains to influence man to exercise faith in the Redeemer; he hears all that is said as though it was addressed to and concerned others, not himself. There are times, however, when the Holy Spirit accompanies the word preached, and so brings it home to his heart as to make it impossible for him not to think, and to feel upon the solemn realities of which it treats. The Spirit strives to bring him to Christ. He urges him to renounce his sins and live. He works within him to bring him to repentance. Though resisted, his influences are not withdrawn. He still lingers about his heart, waiting for admittance. It is another harvest time. Alas, alas! it passes, even
as did the others, and leaves him unreconciled to God. And now, from the firmament of hope another star has gone, and feeble indeed is the light shed by those that
Year after year rolls away, and he passes the meridian of life, and begins to descend its declivity. The mercy of God gives him one more summer season. Death enters his family. One of the objects of his affection-it may be his companion, or a child is removed. His heart is softened by his affliction. He is made to think of his own departure. Solemn reflections enter his mind. He follows the loved one to the grave. As the dust is committed to its kindred dust, he almost resolves that he will prepare to meet his God-that he will now commence in earnest to redeem the little time he has yet to stay upon the earth. He returns to his melancholy home. Day after day passes, and his serious thoughts are all banished.
Finally, he is taken sick. The physician is sent for, and comes. Contrary to the sick man's expectation, he is told that he need not think of recovering; for in all probability, his sickness is unto death. Then, like the lightning's flash, a sense of his deep sinfulness rushes upon his mind; and he sees, as he has never seen before, the folly of his course of life. The agitation of his mind will not permit him to think calmly, and when he is directed for comfort and hope to the Gospel, it only awakens within his mind "a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation." The close of his mortal race draws near. The last star of hope has gone out; and now, while struggling in the pangs of death, we may hear him say-" Oh! I never meant to die thus. Ever since I was a little child, it has been my purpose, at a convenient time, to seek an interest in Christ. I always thought, I always expected to die a Christian, and have my last end like his. Never, never did I mean to neglect the subject of religion always; I only deferred its consideration, as I thought, till a more convenient season should arrivebut now-oh! my lost soul-my lost soul!"
READER! may you not have read your own history? Think, I beseech you, think, may not you permit the harvest to pass, the summer to end, without securing your salvation?
IS IT NOT TIME TO STOP?
This question might be asked with reference to many classes of our fallen race: Is it not time to stop? Ye young and vain, it is now time for you to stop and consider! Your race is short-life is uncertain—the soul is precious-and you are yet in your sins! Like the ball rolling down a declivity, the longer you continue in your course the faster you move onward. Solemn thought! Easier to sin-to cast off restraint and the fear of God-to reject the overtures of mercy -to restrain prayer, and live in rebellion!
If these things be so, where will you stop, and when will you be likely to stop, unless you heed the warning voice now! Stop, young sinner, stop, and think. "Boast not thyself of to-morrow." To-morrow's sun to thee may never rise. "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth." "Behold, now is the accepted time, and to-day the day of salvation."
Is it not time to stop? Ye men of business, who have long paid your Lord in promissory notes! your youthful days have passed away, and your early vows have not been paid. Business now fills the mindthere is but little thought bestowed on eternal things! Are you a parent? What a prayerless parent! Is it not time for you to stop and ask, how shall I meet my dear family at the judgment-seat of Christ? There you must meet them; and how awful will be that meeting, if you continue in sin! Now you are anxious to lay up for them treasures on earth; then you will realize that anxiety should have been felt for your own soul, and the souls committed to your care. Here, money is the chief good; there religion shall be so acknowledged! Oh! the contrast, when viewed in the light of eternity! Man look into your Bible; and if
you lack wisdom, ask of God. "Incline your ear, and come; hear, and your soul shall live."
Is it not time to stop? Ye aged who are unpardoned, and whose gray hairs bespeak a speedy departure! surely, you will heed this last warning. Childhood, and youth, and riper years, have all gone by. God has permitted you to live, while many, very many, have fallen around you. A life, a long life spent in sin! "Laden with sin." What a solemn thought! "The sinner being a hundred years old, shall be accursed." Your account-what is it? The days, the months, the years you have lived-the health, the influence, the money bestowed-the Bible, with its Saviour, its warnings, and invitations-the living teacher, his sermons, prayers, and tears! Oh how can you, my aged friend, meet all these in judgment! Where will you find shelter when the great day of his wrath shall come! Can you abide the day of his coming? You are yet the subjects of Gospel address, and for you there may be pardon. Come to Jesus, even with all your guilt, and he will have mercy, and abundantly pardon.
Reader, is it not time to stop? If it be so, that you are engaged in promoting the cause of our Immanuel ? No. Go on-pray on-give on-work until life's last sand shall have been spent, and then "crown him" your Saviour, "Lord of all."
THE GREAT DAY.
The transactions of the day of judgment will be awfully and inconceivably grand. Imagination staggers under the load of magnificent images by which its dread occurrences are represented in Scripture. When the last sand has dropped from the hour-glass of time, then shall the whole system of nature begin to give way. The sun shall grow dim, the moon become as blood, the stars be quenched by the brilliancy of a more glorious light. The vaulted arch of heaven shall open, and the mighty Judge appear in his ow glory, in the glory of his Father, and attended by all his angels. The archangel shall herald his approach, and blow the trumpet
which shall announce the commencement of the last assize. Then shall the throne of judgment be set, and the books be opened. The graves shall give up the dead that are in them, and the sea the dead that are in it. Then the living shall be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, and all the generations of men shall meet in one vast assembly, in the presence of faithful and fallen angels, to receive their changeless doom. Methinks I see the great white throne-the universal Judge-the mighty throng; there you shall stand there I must appear. At that dread tribunal we must meet face to face, and give an account of all our privileges. Then the sentence shall be pronounced, which shall never be removed. Hear it, ye faithful followers of the Lamb: "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world." Then shall ye receive the crown of life, and be admitted into eternal glory. Hear it, ye neglecters of the great salvation, and tremble at your awful doom: "Depart, ye cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels." "Then shall the heavens pass away with a great noise, and the elements melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are therein shall be burnt up." Then an eternal order of things shall commence. Hell shall remain to be the prison-house in which the ungodly shall be tormented for ever with the devil and his angels. Heaven shall remain to be the endless habitation of the righteous, when they shall dwell with Jesus and all holy beings, and cast their crowns at the feet of Him whose death saved them, and sing without ceasing, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing-salvation to the Lamb that was slain."
Oh! if the soul when trembling on the verge of eternity, when the last fibre of the thread of life is parting, can only look backward with tormenting regret, and forward with more tormenting doubt and despair! What a state for an immortal and accountable creature to feel the torturing conviction, that he has been trifling, or worse than trifling, all his days; that he has thrown his life away on “vanity," and has nothing left as the result but "vexation of spirit ;" that it is too late to make provision for the world