Imatges de pàgina

the bliss of heaven; yea, I shud- It is the glory of Calvinism, that der at the thought, it would be it faithfully describes that God, such a treacherous desertion of whose holy administration is 'an his office, as Ruler and Guardian unwelcome reproof, disturbance, of the universe, and give such a and alarm to impenitent transstamp of imperfection to his gressors, and excites the enmity character, as would render it un- of the carnal mind. But it has fit to adore him, and even justify this glory too, that its God is open rebellion.

venerated and loved by all the The last objection, which you holy, in whose view he is clothed specify is, that many are ready with infinite excellence. to say, they cannot feel a perfect Such, my brother, is the spirit veneration and love for such a of genuine Calvinism. I glory character, as Calvinism ascribes to in being its professed and conGod. I allow the fact, my scientious advocate, not because brother. Yet nothing results I value it as the ensign of a parfrom it unfavourable to Calvin- ty, but because in my view it ism.

contains the substance of sacred It is possible the persons al- truth, and echoes the voice of luded to have such a temper of God. Such, as I have imper. mind, as indisposes them to love fectly described, is the character and venerate God in his true it has taught me to ascribe to the character. Through the influ- great Being of beings. How atence of a depraved heart, the tractive, how yenerable, how gloHoly One of Israel may be an rious ! object of dislike and aversion. This, then, is the sum. If The God, whom the Bible re, you ask, what is God? I an, veals, is by no means pleasing to swer, God is love. If you ask, the wicked. The sight of him what prompted his eternal defills them with dismay, This crees? I answer, love. If you we esteem no small part of his ask, what is the great motive of purity and glory. What agree. all his operations ? My answer ment hath light with darkness ? is, love. If you ask, what object If God's character is infinitely he aims at in the great variety of benevole:it, it must be repug, natural and moral evil, which ex: nant to the feelings of the self- ists under his all directing ish; if holy, to the feelings of providence ? I answer, the ob. the impure. If he is a just ject of perfect benevolence. He Judge, his face must be dreadful means it for good. Love is the to guilt. It is the glory of Cal- sum of Jehovah's excellence, vinism, that it does not adminis- the ornament, the crown, the ter soporific poison to the con- glory of his character. In the sciences of men; that it does bosom of divine love originated not give peace to the wicked by all created existence, and the concealing or discolouring the grand system of the universe. character of Jehovah ; that it Divine love shines forth in the does not seduce and ruin the whole series of providential dissouls of men, by inculcating such pensations. Love exceedingly a notion of God, as they can abounds in redemption. Its alcasily associate with their crimes. mighty energy founded, has pro. tected, and will enlarge and ex- for which preparation is more alt the kingdom of Christ. Di- serious, more important, more vine love will be inexpressibly necessary; the hour of death. admired and glorified at the Though it is appointed unto judgment day. The clear sight all men once to die, yet few know of it, will, at that awful, decisive the time of their death. Hence period, fill the saints not only the propriety and even necessity with resignation, but with trans- of constant readiness for that awports of serenest joy ; and the ful event. Many persons, how. fruition of it will create an eter- ever, by a gradual decay, or *nal heaven in their souls. That the malignant nature of their infinite love, which is the moral

disease are

sure the time of glory of Deity, has every thing their departure is near. How to allure our affection, to gain serious the day, how affecting our confidence, to raise our ado- the moment, how overwhelming ration and praise. It sweetly the scene, when a person gives attracts us by its most amiable up the last hope of life, and mildness ; while it awes us by makes not another effort to live. its superlative majesty. It hum- Perhaps the hour of death itself bles us by its transcendent dig- is not more terrible ; yet such a nity ; yet exalts us by its en- certainty of death takes place gaging condescension. With sometimes days, or weeks, or warm affection for your soul, I months, before the last hour arbeseech you, my beloved broth- rives. er, to be reconciled to God, and When disease and despair from this moment, let it be your have banished hope, and the dublessed employment, to under- ties of hope, a peculiar course stand and imitate his love. of conduct, a particular class of CONSTANS. affections, should direct

the person. Though you be not now, reader, in this state, yet probably you may be, when

it will be too late to read or ON PREPARATION FOR DEATH.

hear instructions on the mo" All should be prophets to them.

mentous subject. If you read

and selves; foresee

remember the following Their future fate, their future fate hints; if they afford you direcforetaste :

tion and comfort in the day when This art would waste the bittemess

you are descending to the dark of death. The thought of death alone, the fear valley and shadow of death, hapdestroys.”

py will it be, that you have taken

up this pamphlet; happy will be Men of prudence habitually the heart, which presents you prepare for future events, for fu

this paper. ture hours, days, and years ; in What then are the duties inthe morning for the day, and in cumbent on the person, who desummer for winter. In child- spairs of life, who feels the senhood preparation is made for tence within himself, that the youth, in youth for manhood, time of his departure is at hand ? and old age. An hour hastens, Justice puts in her claim; justice

demands his first attention. Jus- would not be important, when a tice is the first step in religion. head or member of the house is Unless a man " do justly,” it is in departing ? What brother or sisvain that he pretends “to love ter would not utter some words of mercy,” or “to walk humbly.” tender affection? What mother To point out all the particulars would not wish to give some adof justice, is impossible. vice respecting her daughters, man's own business, engage- her sons ; their education and ients and connexions, will be destination in life? What father an index to show him his duty. would not have much advice and

Sometimes will the father find many commands? justice to his children a delicate The person having discharged and arduous service. All the his duty in the domestic circle, he children of an house have the may examine whether somewhat same claim on the father's sup- is not to be done to promote religport. Those fathers, therefore, ion. Has the person no fault to who, from partiality, or a pride confess, no forgiveness to ask, no of keeping their estates undivided, restitution to make, no thanks to make a favourite of one son, in- express to his instructor, no restead of securing him a portion proof for any offender, no comwith the rich, only entail on him fort for any sorrowing Christian ? the judgments of God. God Has he no testimony to give in does not suffer this robbery of behalf of God? These things one part of the family to enrich being accomplished, it may be another to pass with impunity. time for the person to separate Many instances are known of himself from the world, to exthose denied an equal inherit- clude all unnecessary visitants. ance, who are in affluent circum- Time is precious to the dying. stances, while the favourite of the They have not a moment for visfather is in poverty and obscurity. its of form or curiosity. In gen

In dying circumstances men eral, company is injurious to should carefully discharge the their lives; it is not friendly to duties of generosity, gratitude their self recollection, their de. and charity. These may be se- votion, their spiritual comfort. rious duties. The heart of the Undoubtedly this was one gra. man may be much fixed on re- cious design of God in so genewarding a benefactor, making a rally ordering sickness to pregratuity to some friend, or be. cede death, that by their suspenstowing some charity; but these, sion of business, and their secluthough perhaps indispensable du- sion from the world, men might ties of the dying, cannot lawfully be made to consider, to combe performed by his executor. mune with their own hearts, to

Justice being done, the person acquaint themselves with God, has a right to the confidence of and prepare to die. the family ; then is a time for Having excluded the world, a advice, and sometimes direction serious review of past life may respecting domestic concerns. be greatly instructive. Now is Whose domestic system is so a proper time to recollect the nicely arranged, so precisely ex- days that are past, the years that ecuted, that direction or advice are gone. God's dealings with


the soul should be set anew be- favourite pursuits, and the dearfore the mind, his bounty, his est objects of your heart, placing mercy, his forbearance, and his all that is most delightful in fair chastisements. The soul may view of the mind, detach your now recollect its wanderings, its heart from them, give them up, ingratitude, its impiety, its im- bid them a last adieu, and with penitence, or its faith and obe- the greatest solemnity and cheerdience. Now *should be ascer- fulness give yourself to God, saytained the spiritual state of the ing, “What have I to do any soul. Perhaps you have enjoy- more with pleasures, with honed a hope of the divine favour, ours, with the praise of men, and of your own gracious state. with the enchantments of sense ? If so, review, re-examine the I will give myself to God; it is ground of that hope. Were all I can do. Now, oh my God, your convictions genuine ? Was I am thine, forever thine." your enmity slain ? Have you Now, as well as before, it is known the joys of pardoned sin, proper, especially if any doubts of peace with God, of fellowship or spiritual troubles cloud the with saints ? Have you been ho- mind, to call in a minister of the

a ly in heart and life? Have you gospel, or if this favour cannot given diligence to make your be enjoyed, some experienccalling and election sure ? Doed Christian, to counsel and you know in whom you have be- comfort you in your serious lieved, and whether he be able situation. His more impartial to keep what you have commit- and dispassionate view of your ted to him ? Can you say not state may be of immense advanonly, that the time of your depart. tage. Such a minister or Chrisure is at hand ; but, that you are tian may solve distressing doubts, ready to be offered ?

answer perplexing inquiries, reIn ascertaining your spiritual lieve from great distresses, and state, it will be necessary to con- in some sense prepare you to die. fess before God, and repent of After this, it may be duty all known sins. Not one sin must to spend the residue of life, be remembered with pleasure. chiefly in secret devotion. Your Not one lust must be spared. affecting situation, your serious You must judge and condemn prospects must impel you to yourself, and repent in dust and make known your desires in ashes, loathing and abhorring

strong cries."

You may, in yourself. This must be done sighs and tears express those sincerely, with a deep, affecting wants, which cannot be uttered. sense of God, the day of judg. Your words are the breathings of ment, and eternity on the mind. dependence, of danger, of dis

Your repentance must be ac- tress, of affection ; “If it be not companied with a dedication of possible to save me from this yourself to God in the name of hour, O my Father, not my will, Jesus Christ. To consecrate

but thine be done." Now may yourself to God is proper at all you also commit your family to times, but when your soul is on the mercy of God, your friends, the wing for another world it is ministers of the gospel, the necessary. Recollecting your church, and the world,

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