ページの画像
PDF
ePub

delivers us from its influence ; and no way can man more effectually dishonour God, than by countenancing errur, and rejecting the truth. Hence I am so earnestly endeavouring, to eradicate from the minds of the miserable, the barrier which precludes them from participating the most pleasur. able gratification ; I mean the false apprehensions they have of God, and the works of creation.

I can but lament my inability to do justice to this subject. However, God, who frequently confounds the wisdom of the wise men of this world, by the most simple argumentation of those who are fools in their own esteem, perhaps will bless my weak endeavours for his glory, and the relief of the miserable.

If my capacity and limits would allow it, gladly would I point out the harmony, beauty, and beneficence of nature, and answer the objections of unbelievers, on what they call the disorders of this terraqueous

globe, in general, and the animal and vegetable creation in particular, as well as the calamities of the human race; the last of which, I think I have satisfactorily proved, to be imputable to man himself, and not to God; natural evils are most assuredly blessings in disguise ; even labour, hunger, pain, sickness and death. Without labour, there is no coming to rest, as without a battle, there can be no victory; without hunger we could not enjoy food; hence the rest and food of the honest

poor man, hoyever homely, are incomparably more sweet than those of the rich lazy glutton: Without sickness, we would not appreciate the great blessings of health ; and without the midwife death, we never would be delivered from the womb of time, nor see the golden liglıt of eternity. This life is but the dawning of our existence, a mere preliminary to a more happy state ; that is, if we bear with patience the probationary and salutary ills of this life, and submit with

gratitude to the will of our gracious God. In order to do this, we should accustom ourselves to view our light afflictions, which are only for a moment, in a less hideous light; the same as a sick man views the most salutary, though nauseous medicine, which is calculated to cure all his disorders. Were we always to view the miseries of others, and not forget the blessings we enjoy, we would be grateful to God for our comparative happiness. I wish I knew what more to say,* which would

• Was one of your nearest and dearest relations to arise from the dead, he would no doubt declare to you, that “every encouragement, every invitation, is on the side of virtue. It has the promises of this life, and of that which is to come.

He would beseech you, by the superior love of your Maker, by the streaming blood of the Saviour, and by the worth of your immortal souls, to cast off your ruinous vices, and to return to Him, who is ready to receive the returning sinner, and never casts him out, who comes to him. • Listen! be would say, Oh listen to Him, who speaketh from Heaven. It is not the voice of an

have the happy tendency to eradicate the doubts of the desperate child of misery.

enemy, it is your heavenly Father who calls you. Behold the very Majesty of the universe bends forward from his throne to invite you. He veils uncreated brightness, to allure you to return to your own happiness. He proclaims himself the Lord, merciful, and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness. He condescends to assure you with an oath, that he has no pleasure in the death of him that dies, He encourages, he threatens, he promises, he remonstrates, he laments, he woos his wretched creatures, as if his own unchanging happiness depended on theirs. He leaves the door of mercy open; he gives them space to repent, he does not take them by şur. prize. Return-Oyet return to the Father of spirits. my poor deluded relatives. Whom have ye forsaken? What have ye been in pursuit of? Whose conduct have ye put yourselves under ? You have forsaken the Fountain of your happiness. You have pursued your own ruin. You have given yourselves up to the guidance of the Enemy of souls. But it is not, even now, too late to retrieve all; all may yet be well, if you will yet be wise.

Can you shut your ears, and steel your hearts against all that is tender? Are you determined on

Unbelief works in secret, preys upon the soul, and often ends in self-murder; and all for the want of listening to the voice of truth. Of all the miseries in this miserable world, there is no misery comparable to a miserable wife : The devil himself could not invent a greater punishment for an honest man, than a bad wife ; and yet even this great curse, is intended as a great Llessing; for had the good man a beautiful

your own ruin? Shall the blessed message from heaven prove your death, which was intended to be your life? If you will not listen to the still small voice, which now speaks to you from the mercy-seat, the time will quickly come, when your ears, if they were of rock, will be pierced by the thunder of that voice, which will terrify this great world from the throne of judgment. Think, O hardened offender, think, the time will quickly come, when, as sure as thou now readest this awful warning, thou shalt hear (-it would be thy wisdom to think thou now heatest-) the sound of that trumpet, which will startle the silent dust, and, break the slumbers, which were hegan before the general flood.'

« 前へ次へ »