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CONTENTS OF THE PRAYER-MEETING
PAGR. The Prayer-Meeting.... 20 Compassion for Souls.
86 Fulton Street Prayer-Meeting 21 A Pastor's Troubles.
87 A Day on the Iceberg..
21 Reasons for Family Worship. 88 Co me with all thy Family. 23 Prayer is Power with God.
89 Lights hid under a Bushel. 24" It is Finisbed,"
· 89 Unspotted from the World. 24 | The Funeral. :
90 The Celestial City--Going Ashore. 25 Six melancholy Facts.
98 The voice of God, . 27 Rev. Charles Stewart.
94 Prayer-Meetings. 28 Str Walter Scott...
121 Pray for your Minister.. 29 The Anxious Young Lady
121 The Night in the Garden.. 30 A Father's Request.
122 The Little Coffin...
31 The Fulton Street Prayer-Meeting. 122 A Council in Heaven. 32 Washington on bis knees..
128 Go to the Prayer-Meeting. 32 The Beauty of Heaven..
123 A Catechism on Prayer-Meetings. 52 I hope to be a Christian.
124 The Four Circles.. 53 Holp your Minister.
125 Christ an Interceder, 54 " It is all my own,"
55 The Fulton Street Prayer-Meeting. 143 The Wonders of Prayer..
55 Persevering Prayer Necessary. 146 Strange Questionings. 56 Risen with Christ..
147 Historic Prayer... 56 The Dying Nobleman.
148 Fire Low... 57 Rev. Nr. Opportunity.
148 Some of our Brethren. 57 Family Prayer..
143 Sabbath-School Children.. 38 The Nominal Professor.
150 Prayer. 58 Prayer.
150 Prayer is this. 58 | Population of the Grave.
151 Leaps the Live Thunder. 58 A Dread Eternity..
151 What is Prayer.
59 " I wish I enjoyed more Religion," 152 What is not Prayer. 59 The Revival of Religion.
153 Silence in Heaven .. 60 Preachers and Preaching.
164 Prayer Meeting Week.
61 Monitors... Double Answer to Prayer.
62) The Christian - Duty to Himself... 155 Don't you see the Angels. 62 Prayer in Death.
166 lateresting Conversions. 63 Conscience..
167 Count the Cost
64 Singular Efficacy of Social Prayer. 157 The Unity of the Spirit. 80 Privilege of Prayer,
168 " How Far is it to Heaven?" 82 Fulton Street Prayer-Meetings. 183 Lessony of ... litt. 83 Prayer All-Powerful.
183 The Few Encouraged. 84 Prayer-Meeting in Camp.
184 Brotherly Kindness.. 84 Secret Prayer..
186 Furniture of the Spiritual Dwelling 85 The Caravan of Life.
'186 Pray ou. Toil on... 86 A True Idea of a Sermon..
PAGE. The Dying-Bed..
186 Terse sentences from Jeremy Taylor 313 Religion Practical.
187 The Salvation to be Prayed for... 314 The Unexpected Visit. 188 Never Distrust God..
315 The Happy Island. 188 The True Test of Piety.
315 Gently glides the Stream of Time. 189 Not the Sinner, but Satan. 316 The Bible a Compass.
190 " Awake, Thou that Sleepest,' 316 Prayer
216 “ Not with Enticing Words, 317 Humiliation and Glory of Christ.. 216 Youth given to the World. 317 Temporal Benefits of Piety 217 Where is Paradise ?.
318 The Rebellious Prayer. 218 a Perverted Conscience.
318 Cbristian Unity... 219 The Alchemy of Grace.
339 Trials and Cares. 220 Have you Glorified God ?.
339 Fulton Street Prayer-Meeting.. 221 | The Child of God Secure.
340 Rev. H. W. Beecher's Experience. 221 God's Right in us Acknowledged.. 341 Beware of Delay.... 222 The Terrors of Guilt..
341 Letter from a Pastor.. 240 Living to Die..
342 Fulton Street Prayer-Meeting. 241 | The Only Cordial.
343 A Voice from India. 242 Make You a New Heart.
343 Power in Prayer.. 243 The Watchword...
344 Time's Soliloquy 244 Look at the Preacher.
344 Solemn Appeal to Christians. 245 Serious Questions to the Unconl'assing Away.. 246 verted.
345 Christian Emotion. 246 " There is but one Book,”.
346 A Call to Duty.
248 Death Ministering to Life. 347 The Harvest Past. 249 | A Praying-Wheel..
348 The Monthly Concert. 250 Small Sins...
348 Activity in Heaven. 251 Fulton Street Prayer-Meeting.
349 The Christian a Stranger. 251 Among the Stars.
850 Demand of the Times on the Pulpit 252 Religion in the Army.
361 Prayer... 253 The Endless Rest.
352 • Time Enough Yet," 254 A Coming Eternity.
352 Pastoral Letter,. 306 Bridging the Stream.
352 Fulton Street Prayer-Meeting. 308 The Repetition of Sin. The Highest Honor. 311 Appeal to Youth,.
. 376 The Curious Mirror..
" For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”—Gen. 3 : 19. “Por what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.”—JAMES 4: 14.
MEETING you upon this the first Sabbath of the new year, and yielding to the suggestions of the hour, I have chosen the above Š-riptures, as an appropriate basis for our present meditation. The first of these passages you will at once recognize as the language of God, pronouncing the decree of mortality upon our first parents, and through thern upon the race. The second is the language of the same God, drawing a picture of the fleeting character of our present life. Both are suited to impress and profit à meditative mind. In each we find a fact which it is not the part of wisdom to ignore or forget. The theme of man as mortal and transient is, I am aware, quite familiar to your thoughts; the Christian pulpit is often reminding you of the truth on this subject; your daily observation enforces and illustrates that truth; look where you will, it meets you with its solemn admonition; and perhaps one reason why we bestow so little reflection upon what is so obvious, may be found in the manifest, the palpable, and undeniable character of the facts themselves. Let us, if possible, dismiss this apathy, and arouse our thoughts to that twofold view of human life, presented in the words chosen for a text. I begin the meditation,
I. In the first place, with the divine decree of mortality,
Our first parents, created in the image of God, and with moral natures pure in their tendencies, became trespassers under the law of Eden, involving themselves and their posterity in the condition and calamities of sin. With them began the dark and terrible problem of sin in the history of man. Falling from their “first estate," they lost the moral harmony of their original being, and were justly exposed to the curse of offended Heaven. Uttering the great germinal prophecy of redemption, in the promised seed of the woman, which it was reserved for the future to develop and complete, God also pronounced his curse upon man. “ And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it; cursed is the ground for thy sake: in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life: thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field: in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken; for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”
What would have been the divine disposition of human beings but for the catastrophe of sin—whether they would have been translated as were Enoch and Elijah, or bave been made immortal on earth?—these are questions in regard to which revelation gives us no light. We know, that “ by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin.” We know, too, that the sentence of death hath “passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Nothing is clearer than that the Bible connects mortality with sin, making it one of the consequences of sin. If in the pre-Adamic state of the world referred to by geologists, animals lived and died, it still remains true, that mortality in respect to man is a special appointment or order of nature connected with, and founded upon, the fact of his sinfulness. So the Bible teaches, and so we believe.
This mortality, whether of the individual or the race, is bence no accident in the providential government of God. " Seeing his days are determined,” says Job, “the number of his months are with thee, thou hast appointed bis bounds that he can not pass.” “It is appointed unto men once to die.” God is the auihor of the appointment. Our mortality is the fixed and unchang.
ing law of his providence. He might have made us immortal on earth-s0 firm and undecaying in the structure of our bodies that no cause could peril the springs of vitality; he might have assigned to each member of the race even more than patriarchal longevity; yet, in the circumstances arising out of sin, he has otherwise decreed. Hence we die. Death as a law of nature, is such only because it is the will of God. Death is his minister; and when it comes, and wherever it comes, there God appears in the exercise of his power, being as distinctly seen in the event of death as he is in the laws and processes of life.
Moreover, the time, the place, the circumstances, and the causes, in the case of each individual, are as much settled and determined in the mind of God as the general appointment itself. Though unknown to us, they are not unknown to him. In the scheme of providence there is to every man a dying moment; and when that moment comes, he will certainly die.If by disease, it will be such as no medicine can cure; if by accident, it will be such as no human foresight can evade; if by the gradual decay of years, it will be an exhaustion from wbich no power can recover the victim. The causes which to us seem contingent, and often irregular, with God belong to the mechanism of an infallible law, and do their work without a single instance of failure. No human skill can dodge them, and no human power disarm their fatal force. Death is their errand, and the victim on whom they fall, must die. If this be fate, so be it. It is that kind of fate which results from the sovereign and irreversible appointments of that God in whom we live, and move, and bave our being. He holds our life in his own hands; and where he sets down the mark, there we pause. Let us not glory in our strength, or boast of our youth. Let us rather remember, that God is the keeper of our lives from year to year, measuring their periods by a counsel alike infallible and good. If the Lord will, and not otherwise, we shall live, and do this or that.
Observe also the fact, that death, though an event perfectly certain, ordinarily baffles all our calculations as to its time. We have no means of knowing beforehand on whom, or when, or where it will fall. No age or condition is exempt. No man penetrates his own future. No one is able to say, that the year or the day upon which be has just entered, may not be his last. No one embarks in any plan or pursuit of life with the certain knowledge that he will live to complete it. He who leaves his family in the morning, has no positive assurance that he will return in the evening. He may find death in the counting-room, or in the street; yea, be may find it any where. Often when men least expect it, and are perhaps least prepared for it, the event is nearest. To the race God says, “ Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return;" to the individual he publishes the same decree; and yet, for wise