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even millions of ages before crea- 1. You neglect the Sabbath and tures were made - God existed, its sanctuary. You do not rememand was as old as he is now, or as ber it to keep it holy. Your he will be when millions of ages 'thoughts are worldly: Your conmore are passed away. From ev- versation is not in heaven, but on erlasting to everlasting he is God. some worldly subject. More than
What is the eternity of crea- one hundred years ago, on a Sabtures ? Existence without end. bath-day, the pio's Brainerd wrote Such is our inheritance, to live in his diary: “ Was distressed as forever and ever. No period of soon as I awaked, hearing much years, or revolution of unnumbered talk about the world and the things ages, will diminish aught of the of it. Oh! thought I, wbat a hell duration which will still be before it would be to live with such men
Here we have no abiding to eternity!" Not so with you. place ; time is hastening us into It gives you no pain to hear such eternity; all we do is for eternity; converse, or to mingle in it. we are forming characters for eter
2. You neglect prayer.
The nity. The thoughts we indulge, family altar- where is it? How the feelings we cherish, the words seldom do you gather around it! we utter, the works we do, are all Or if you are regular in this duty, drawing the features of our moral how cold and heartless are you in likeness. How short and uncertain its performance! Oh! these lifeless is the period of our probation! how prayers, how odious to God are soon will our deathless souls arise they! The duty of secret prayer to the joys and employment of is sadly neglected, and your desire heaven, or plunge into the world for a revival is so diminutive, and of hopeless despair !
you care so little about the Saviour,
you do not even attend the prayer"I wish I enjoyed more Religion.” known only by your presence ; for
meeting. Or if you do, the fact is So you ought. So ought all you do not blend your voice with Christians ever to hunger and others in prayer. You have no thirst after righteousness, to press gift. You do not recommend onward, to grow in grace. Not so Christ. You have no words. with many who make this asser- 3. You do not give as you ought tion. It is heartless-false! They to sustain missionary labors. You do not mean it. It is offensive to know that the heatben in all their God! They are incurring awful guilt and pollution are going down guilt! I wish I enjoyed more re- to death, but you have so little ligion? Let me place beside this anxiety for their salvation, you conthe words of our Saviour. It is tribute little or nothing to effect it. high authority, I know. “Blessed You do not even attend the Monthare they who do hunger and thirst ly Concert. after righteousness, for they SHALL 4. You are not a subscriber to BE FILLED.” Such was the experi- a religious paper. Political papers ence of Paul — of Payson. Why you have, and they are read with inare you not thus filled ? Now I terest, read even on the Sabbathbelieve the words of our Saviour day. But no religious paper. are invariably true, and I think know you pray, Thy kingdom your assertion is false. I will tell come; yet you care not to learn you why I think so.
of the advancement of that king.
dom. You are anxious to learn dred souls. “Herein is my Father the progress of the Mexican war; glorified that ye bear much fruit." but of the prevalence of revivals “I wish I enjoyed more religion.” you care not to know. Well, So you ought; you need more. where the treasure is, there will be God and your eternal well-being the heart also.
demand it. Oh! work, pray, labor 5. You stand aloof from the tem- for an abundant entrance. perance cause. If you are not its open enemy, you are not its secret friend. Although you profess a The Revival of Religion. regard for the cause, you love strong drink. You are guilty of It is a remark of President Edits occasional use. You sometimes wards, that, from the fall of man pray for a revival when your breath to our day, the work of redemption is redolent with rum. Your ex- in its effects has mainly been carample and influence favor its use, ried on by remarkable communicatend to increase and perpetuate the tions of the Spirit of God. Though, alarming evil of intemperance, he adds, there be a more constant How can you enjoy more religion influence of God's Spirit always in while you cling to this sin, this some degree attending his ordidebasing indulgence ?
nances, yet the way in which the Finally, you are making no ef- greatest things have been done, forts for a revival. Your neigh- toward carrying on his work, albors, your relatives, it may be your ways has been by remarkable effuchildren, are without God; the sions at special seasons of mercy. world is perishing; there is no re- If such is the fact in regard to the vival, and you are at ease. You past, may we not expect the same have no time to attend the prayer- in regard to the future ? meeting, no time to pray and labor Again, it should be noticed that for a revival. What fearful evi- revivals of religion have always dence this, that a love of the world been connected with the earnest predominates in your heart ! "I preaching of Christian doctrine. wish I enjoyed more religion,” and Search all history, and the result yet unwilling to use the appointed will be in favor of doctrinal, rather means to secure the end desired. than hortatory, or what is called Christian, you have all the religion practical preaching. A writer in you wish, all you will have. There ihe Herald of the Prairies illusis no room in your heart for more. trates this very bappily by the fok The peace of God would rule in lowing statement: you, but you will not let it. Oh! “We are acquainted with a minwhat transports, what joys might ister who, twice during his minisfill the soul! Such ravishing fore- try, commenced a
, course of lectastes of heaven did Payson and tures on the Epistle to the RoBrainerd enjoy, that at times they mans. His own mind and the were “almost insupportably bap- minds of his hearers became interpy." Why are not your joys the ested. In both instances the lecsame? Unlike them, you neglect tures were interrupted by the comyour duty. You do not labor for mencement of interesting revivals. God, as did they. Harlan Page Christians were much quickened, was, under God, the means of the and many hopeful converts were conversion of more than one hun. added to their number,
“ On another occasion this same self-denying in life, unwearied in minister set himself to work for a toil, uncompromising in principle, revival. Duty, duty, duty, in some and instant in season and out; the form or other, was the burden of guardian of youth, the counselor his sermons. He was much in earn- of the perplexed, the consoler of est, and continued his labors day sorrow, the visitor of the afflicted, after day for six weeks. An im- the advocate of the widow, the pression was made, but it is not friend of all, the enemy of none; known that any valuable perma- holding forth the word of light, nent results were the fruit of that breaking the bread of life, dispensprotracted effort."
ing the healing virtues of the cross, When the churches are in such and proclaiming to the wretched the a state as at present, active in the acceptable year of the Lord. things of this world and sluggish His subjects are from heaven in in regard to those of the world to their source, of heaven in their revcome, it is natural for a minister elations, and to heaven in their who longs to see the work of God tendency. revived to preach“ duty, duty, His style should be clear, his duty,” as the writer says, to be thoughts well ordered, his enuncihortatory and driving, rather than ation distinct, his manner earnest, to feed the flock of God with the and his language plain. Not exstrong meat of doctrinal truth. hibiting self, but Christ; Christ
always, and Christ all in all. Not
the minister of mystery, but revelPreachers and Preaching.
ation; not a perplexer, but solver The preacher is the steward of of doubts; not a herald of despair, God, the messenger of mercy, and but of hope; not clad in the habthe servant of the Church.
iliments of sorrow, but of joy-enHis commission is from heaven, lightening the ignorant, cheering his calling from on high, his qualifi- the penitential, comforting the discations divine; the Scriptures his tressed, reproving the wayward, adarmory; righteousness his vesture; monishing the thoughtless, warning truth his girdle; salvation his hel- the reckless, and threatening the met, and faith his shield; his mes- obdurate ; preaching repentance, sage, mercy; his theme, Jesus; his faith, and salvation; preaching merglorying, the cross; his aim, human cy, truth, and holiness; preaching salvation; with a heart of benev- justice, benevolence, and piety; olence, bowels of compassion, and preaching death, resurrection, a conscience of fidelity; with a judgment, and eternity; preachclear perception, a discerning judg. ing supreme homage and love to ment, a magnanimous spirit, and an God, self-government and self-deenduring perseverance.
nial, worldly non-conformity, and He should be faithful to his soul, kindness and good-will to men; zealous for God, and compassionate preaching the law and the Gospel, to men; heavenly in his aspirations, grace and truth, the prophets and disinterested in his motives, gener. the evangelists; but preaching ous in his emotions, and devotional Christ as the end of all, the in his spirit; a lover of good men, sum of all, and the glory of all; a hater of iniquity; not greedy of preaching down sin, and preaching lacre, not thirsting for power, not up purity; preaching down selt, eager for fame, not given to wine; and preaching up grace; preaching
down error, and preaching up truth; scarcely familiar. Our churchpreaching hope to the self-con- yards are crowded with slumberdemned, abasement to the proud, ing inhabitants; new cemeteries spirituality to the formal, and a are formed, and are daily visited heaven of rest and blessedness to by groups of afflicted mourners ; the renewed pilgrims and sojourn- the habiliments of death are to be ers of earth.
seen in every street, and almost in Preacher of righteousness ! how every company; and the solemn high thine office, how sublime thy kneli reminds us that another, and calling, how arduous thy work, yet another immortal, has passed how onerous thy charge! but if from time into eternity. Nature faithful, how transcendently glori- lifts her voice, and cries : ous thy reward! For as heaven's flesh is grass, and all the goodliness resplendent orbs, or the brightness thereof is as the flower of the of the milky way, shalt thou sbine field.” Providence repeats the forever and ever.
mournful story, and exbibits hourly instances of the fact. The
Scriptures assure us that “ It is apMonitors.
pointed unto men once to die, and Every thing around us, indeed, after death the judgment.” The assumes the character of a moni- ministers of religion urge the extor, and reminds us that we must hortation : “Watch, therefore, for die. The rising and setting of the ye know not what hour your Lord sun; the constant succession of day doth come.” Experience tells us and night, summer and winter, that the seeds of mortality are seed time and harvest; the chang- planted thick within us, and will es which are daily taking place on soon grow up, and ripen into death. the surface of this our world, and And conscience reads to us, in a on the strongest battlements of deep, sepulchral tone, the sentence nature-are so many proofs of the of our speedy dissolution, creature's tendency to dissolution and decay. In the evening we retire from the bustle of the world,
The Christian's Duty to Himself. lay our head upon the pillow, and Tue Christian's first duty is, to sink into a state of sweet repose and take care of his own heart, the forgetfulness: and this is an emblem passions must be subdued, its zeal of the long sleep of death. The aroused, its faith strengthened, its withering grass, the fading flower, hope enlivened. To do this: the passing cloud, the waning moon, His heart must be examined. and the setting star, teach us that IIe must narrowly watch his conthe short day of life will soon be duct and his feelings. He must over that the beauty and the regard self-examination as an imstrength of man must alike fail. perious duty, to be frequently and One family removes from our faithfully performed. Seek a place neighborhood, and another suc- of retirement and explore the ceeds; houses continually heart. Know thyself. No other changing their occupants; the knowledge is so important. You children of the past generation can not be useful, happy Christian, are taking the place of their without this knowledge. fathers, and a new race is spring- Secret prayer is indispensable ing up, with whose faces we are to personal holiness. Go to the
closet. With great particularity folded, thought must range that enumerate those sins which self- blissful world, till the heart glows examination has revealed to you. and burns with anticipated joys. Confess them humbly. Mourn The precepts, the penalties, and over them sincerely. And in this the rewards which the Bible preintimate and confidential inter- sents, must be made the subject of course with your Maker, you will earnest attention, and of continued get purified from sin; you will get thought. Is there a member of girt with an angel's armor; you a church who does not study his will get your spirit imbued with Bible? He is a soldier without lowliness and with love, which will armor. He is a useless member melt down opposition, and which of the sacramental host. Friends, will allure and win to Christ. If the day is far spent. Bind on the any member of a church is neg. Christian armor. Go forth to the lecting secret prayer, bis heart is Christian conflict. in a state which chills vital religion, wbich discourages inquiring sinners, which deadens the con
Prayer in Death. sciences of those who are already stupid in sin. There can be no life
A Christian should die praying. in religion, unless that life is ani- Other men die in different ways, mated by secret prayer. There according to their character and can be no joy in religion unless
temper. Julius Cæsar died adjust
ing his robes, that he might fall In secret silence of the mind
gracefully. Augustus died in a Your God, and there your heaven, you find. compliment to Livia his wife ; Ti
There can be no successful effort berius, in dissimulation; Vespasian, in saving souls, unless the zeal of in a jest. The infidel Hume died, the heart be quickened and puri. with pitiful jokes about Charon fied by sacred prayer.
; with The Bible must be studied. It guage of presumptuous boasting; is the guide to duty. It is the stim. Voltaire with mingled impreca ulus to effort. To read it with a
tions and supplications; Paine with listless and slumbering mind, an
shrieks of agonizing remorse. Mulswers not the purpose for which titudes die with sullenness, some this volume was given. We must with blasphemies faltering on their come to it with our intellectual tongue. But, brethren, the hum
ble Christian would die praying. energies. We must enter deeply into its meaning. We must in
Well says the poet : bibe thoroughly its spirit. As we “Prayer is the Christian's vital breath, read, we must pause and ponder.
The Christian's native air; When the doom of the finally im
His watch-word at the gates of death, penitent is announced, we must
He enters heaven with prayer." meditate upon that doom till we “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit !" feel its terror, till emotion floods This is the prayer of faith, comthe heart, till constrained to say: mending the immortal spirit to the “Oh! that my head were waters covenant care of Jesus. The spir. and mine eyes a fountain of tears, it does not die with the body. that I might weep day and night None but God, who gave it, can for the slain of the daughters of take away the soul's existence, and my people.” When heaven is un- he has declared that he never will.