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man perceiveth it not." Reader, how repeatedly has his voice been addressed to you? Has your table been stored with abundance? This was "the goodness of God," to lead you to repentance. Has the rod of affliction alighted on your family? This is a father's hand, to reduce you to obedience. Has the aspect of public or domestic affairs been enveloped in gloom? This is the sign of the Almighty's thunder, to drive you to the Saviour's arms; 'tis the voice of Christ to gather you to himself. Have you obeyed the voice? Have you cried Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth?" or may it still be said of you, “ye would not?” Perhaps, instead of coming with weeping and sup plications, you have remained careless and unconcerned? The Saviour has spread his arins, and spoken gracious words; but you have set at nought his counsel. He has held out his scepire, but you have scornfully replied, “ I will not have thee to reign over me.” He has sent you the epistles of his love, but you have returned them unopened. “Ye would not. Ah, you have leagued with his enemies, despised his Sabbaths, abused his name! miserable, infatuated creature! and can you suppose he will not rise up to vindicate his honour?
Yes, fellow-simer; he will proceed to his work, his strange work of judgment !
The sentence pronounced against Jerusalem is awful and affecting: " Behold, your house is left unto you desolate!" How striking were the calamities of the Jews! What vast numbers were slain! When the Saviour deserts it, then the signal is given for its cnemies to lay it even with the ground. Thus, when the Sun retires, the shadows of the eveniny boldly advance, and the beasts of the forest rush forth for devastatiin and murder.
Jerusalem is deprived of means and opportunities. No longer shall the silver trumpet of the gospel sound mercy and pardon ; no more shall the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, nor the songs of Zion give life and ani. mation to the soul. Jerusalem is exposed to the rage of its all versaries.
66 Your house is left unto you desolate;" without protection; will out defence. Who has ever read the account of the siege of Jerne salem, without recollecting the Saviour's prediction of its de. solations and miserics ?
Numerous reflections arise from these remarks. Reader, you are cautioned not to trust in mere privileges; for, if abused, they but enliance your condemnation. “ Not every one that saith Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven." Thie design of your privileges is to gather you to Jesus. O then frequently enqnire, whether they have brought you to his arms. He will not be unmindíol of your abuse of those means lie has put into your hands. Remember, 0 professor, that their abuse frequently precedes their removal.“ Repent,” saith the Saviour,
or i will remove the candlestick from thce.”
Finally, Let us all be concerned that we do not live and die Jerusalem-sinners, lest the Saviour, offended at our contempt of gospel blessings, should say, “ Thése, mine enemies, that would not that I should reign over them, bring them hit her and slay them before me.” While the Saviour waits to receive sinners, and while there is one promise to encourage us, let us fly to the hope set before us in the gospel. Holy Spirit, lead us and guide us hy thy word, “ Take of the things of Christ and reveal them unto us!"
“ And bear thy witness in our hearts
" That we are born of God.” L.
Love, apart from religion, and as a merely natural affection, is excellent in itself, and a source of much felicity to the world; but love, as a Christian principle, is truly noble, and assimilates its possessors to the holy angels; angels, who glow with love, as the sun fames with an inextinguishable fire.
But dissimulation is a radical disease in our fallen nature; and the sacred ternis, Love and Friendship, have been unhappily prostituted. Genuine love hath its seat in the heart, and arises naturally from a similarity of manners, of disposition, of prin. ciple, of pursuit, and from mutual interest. Not that it is, in a carnal sense, an interested and mercenary regard; no such thing: it is free from this low imperity, the very gangrene of all sterling friendship. True Christian affection is noble, disinterested, and pure. This love, as it comes to perfection, is strong and lively; it is not a cold indifference, a mere resolution not to do an injury; it is spiritual and holy: it delights in holy things, an holy Saviour, holy ordinances, and holy ends.
Christian love is steady and permanent. It is not an ignis fatuus, which glares for a moment, and then disappears. This love is the soul of religion : it is as the sun in experimental and practical godliness : it preserves its station, and maintains its splendor: its effects are great and excellent : it is sure to promote the felicity of families : 'it enables and disposes “brethren to dwell together in unity :" it brightens every countenance, and gladdens ewry heart: it supplies the want of wealth, and cherishes contentment.
Christian love promotes the general welfare of society. The very example of a pious, orderly, and affectionate family, hath a great degree of influence on a wliole neighbourhood : and, as two or three constellations in the heavens produce a greater lustre, and extend their influences farther than any single one, so two or three such families enhance the general benefit. Christian love promotes the peace of nations and of the world; inasmuch as it damps and extinguishes the flames of envy and ambition.
Christian love promotes the salvation of souls.. Direct your eye to Missionary Societies: read the “ Missionary Transactions,” and see a proof, - a lively demonstration of this assertion, in the lottentots, men raised up from the lowest state of human degradation, advanced to a state of civilization, and, by religion, rising to the throne of God and the regions of eternal life!
We do well to remember, that the authority which commands us to love one another is divine, absolute, and eternal. It was Jesus Christ who said, “ By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” In short, a want of love is a want of every thing.
That we may duly cherish Christian love, let us guard against “ evil surmisings,” suggested by pride, envy, and distrust. These tend to undermine and destroy all Christian communion. Meek-eyed « Charity thinketh no evil.” Pride, envy, and distrust have kindled endless animosities, and occasioned infinite distress to thousands ! Let us be always ready to serve, rather than to be served. Let us guard our words, and never speak in anger. Let us uniformly cherish the noblest sentiments, and the warmest benevolence. Dear reader, be as the sun in the firmament, and diffuse light and heat in every direction. “Let love be without dissimulation."
ON A SUNDAY.
The bells from the several churches were sweetly chiming, to call to the house of prayer; - and whether it was the effect of imagination, or from some higher source operating upon my mind at the moment, I know not, but so it was, they seemed to form in my apprehension an echo to the gracious invitation of the word, as if they said “ Whosover will, let him come and take of the water of life.”
“ Bountiful Lord," thought I," was it not enough to provide so rich a Saviour for poor sinners as Jesus, but dost thou open also in him “ fountains and streams from Lebanon? Dost thou cause channels of ordinances to be running through the king. dom for conveying the blessings of redemption, where the poor and the needy may come and receive freely, “ without money and without price?”
Happy nation! happy people! O England, didst thou but know how rightly to appreciate thy mercies! · Surely, it may be said of our highly-favoured island as it was of Judea of old,
What nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for!” We
e can enjoy our Sabbaths free and unmolested, while multitudes upon the face of the earth know not what a Sabbath means, nor ever heard the sound of the church-going bell!" Nay, to come nearer home, thousands of our neighbours on the Continent have lost the very distinction of the holy day amidst the din of war, and the horrors of revolution !
I was hastening to the house of God, under the sweet impression of these thoughts, and in my mind anticipating the riche enjoyment this hallowedl day opened to my views, when my mind was suddenly arrested with the noise of passengers, some on horses and some in chariots, driving with eagerness towards the Turnpike-Gate, as if the attainment of every thing which could constitute happiness was thrown open to their pursuit.
I paused as I beheld the affecting sight. “Is it possible,” I said to myself, as the busy throng glided by me,“ is it possible that these can ever once have considered the great end and desiga of man, or the mercy of a Sabbath? Surely, they have never seen thy loveliness, thou blessed Redeemer of mankind! for had they known thee, this day would have been endeared to them as thine, bringing with it, as it doth, the blessings of salvation! And yet, methinks, even now, as the giddy crowd is hastening by, I behold thee (as thou art beautifully represented in thy sacred word) “ standing at the gates, and at the entering in of the city,” lifting up thy voice with all the tenderness which distinguishes thy character, saying, “Oye simple, when will ye
understand knowledge ? and ye fools, depart from folly !"
I felt my heart melting as I looked on. Oh, had I but the power of persuasion (1 said to myself) what a subject is here for entreaty! Here Eloquence might find scope to lavish forth all her noblest powers!"
Nothing but the consciousness of an inability to the service could have restrained the impulse I felt to go forth in argument or persuasion. Methought I could have caught one and another by the arm, and with all the winning affection of an a svakened concern, I could have said, “My poor, unthinking brother, had either of you an idea that this Sabbath might be your last, would you, or could you, consume it in the manner you
intend? Would you wish to be found ending time and beginning eternity in the very act of bidding defiance to one of the most positive commands of God? Have you never heard the solemn unalter. able precept, “ Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy;" And supposing (what no human being can be sure may not be the case) supposing that before the shades of night close in upon the earth, the shades of death should closc in upon your existence, how would your soul be harrowed up to all the possibilities of misery, to hear the first tremendous voice hailing your approach into the world of spirits, with saying “ This is the wretch who bade Omnipotence do his worst, and found death in the moment of breaking his Sabbath!"
The thought wounded as it passed over my mind. It brought, to my recollection an awful circumstance of this kind, which took place in the town of Devizes, near Bath (the Lord only knows how numerous they may be elsewhere); the particulars of which are recorded on a morument in the church-yard there. It affect. ed me so much in the perusal, that I could not resist the desire of transcribing it. If the reader should ever pass that way, he may find it near a row of trees, at one end of the burying-ground. It stands in the form of an obelisk, and holds forth to the passenger this awful history :
“ In Memory
Of the unfortunate end of
Martha Carter, and Joseph Derham,
On Sunday the 30th June;
On another compartment of the stone is added,
" Remember the Sabbath-day to keep it holy.
Was erected by Subscription." But to return. Amidst the group which I beheld turning their backs on the house of God, as if judgment and not mercy was to be expected there, one party caught my attention with more than ordinary concern: it was a young couple, with a lovely child of about (ins it should scem) a year old. They were in what is called a Gig; and the sweet unconscious babe lay in its mother's
The father's whole attention was engaged to drive a borse, apparently not much used to the service; and he himself still less accustomed to the province he had assumed.
Independent of the danger arising from the restiveness of the poor animal, and the want of skill in the driver, there was cause of continual apprehension, from the number of coaches, and chariots, and horses, passing and repassing on the road. As I looked fon, they seemed to me as if, in the moment they drove by, they had several narrow escapes from being crushed between the larger carriages, running in every direction. “What! (I said te myself) , if a single untoward circumstance should happen! Should the horse lake fright, or the wheel on either side get entangled, or the gig upset, -- in either case what can preserve