Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

faithfully returns its mild and sweet season of grace, that earthly objects may not engross your thoughts, and pre

vent your attention to immortality. The sanctuary un25 folds its doors; and invites you to enter in and be saved.

The Gospel still shines to direct your feet, and to quicken your pursuit of the inestimable prize.

Saints wait, with fervent hope of renewing their joy over your repentance. Angels spread their wings to 30 conduct you home. The Father holds out the golden

sceptre of forgiveness, that you may touch, and live. The Son died on the cross, ascended to heaven, and intercedes before the throne of mercy, that you may be ac

cepted. The Spirit of grace and truth descends with 35 his benevolent influence, to allure and persuade you.

While all things, and God at the head of all things, are thus kindly, and solemnly employed, to encourage you in the pursuit of this inestimable good, will you

forget, that you have souls, which must be saved, or lost? 40 Will you forget, that the only time of salvation is the

present? that beyond the grave there is no Gospel to be preached? that, there no offers of life are to be made! that no Redeemer will there expiate your sins; and

no forgiving God receive your souls? 45 Of what immense moment, then, is the present life!

How invaluable every Sabbath; every mean of salvation! Think how soon your last Sabbath will set in darkness; and the last sound of mercy die

upon your ears? How painful, how melancholy, an object, to a compas50 sionate eye, is a blind, unfeeling, unrepenting immortal!

See the gates of life already unfolding to aamit you. The first-born open their arms to welcome you to their divine assembly. The Saviour, who is gone before to

prepare a place for your reception, informs you, that all 55 things are ready. With triumph, then, with ecstasy,

hasten to enjoy the reward of his infinite labors in an universe of good, and in the glory, which he had with the Father before ever the world was.

20

EXERCISE 84.
Character of Richard Reynolds.—THORPE.
Look at mighty Athens, and you will every where
perceive monuments of taste, and genius, and elegance!
Look at imperial, Pagan Rome in all her glory! You

will behold all the grandeur of the human intellect unfold5 ed in her temples, her palaces, and her amphitheatres

You will find no hospital or infirmary; no asylum for the aged and the infirm, the fatherless and the widow; the blind, the dumb, the deaf; the outcast and the des

titute. 10 How vastly superior in this respect is Bristol to Ath

ens, is London to Rome. These, Christianity, are thy triumphs! These are thy lovely offspring! they all

bear the lineaments of their common parent. Their 15 family likeness proves the sameness of their origin

Mercy conjoined with purity is the darling attribute of our holy religion.

Its great Founder was mercy embodied in a human form, Those virtues which shone ir. him shone in 20 Reynolds also; though with a diminished lustre, when

compared with his great original:—yet in a brighter lustre than in the rest of mankind.

But whence, it may be demanded, came it to pass that this man rose so high, above the great mass of pro25 fessed Christians? The answer is obvious. The great

mass of professed Christians are Christians only by profession. Reynolds was a Christian in reality. His Christianity was cordial-ardent-energetic.

empty name-a barren speculation; but a vital principle. 30 Vital Christianity is not so much a solitary beauty, as it is an assemblage of all beauty.

It combines the wisdom of the serpent, with the innocence of the dove; the gentleness of the lamb, with

the courage of the lion. It adds a charm to the bloom 35 of youth, and converts the hoary head into a crown of

glory. It gives dignity to the palace, and brings heaven into the cottage. The king upon the throne is not so venerable by the crown that encircles his brow, as by

the religion that renders him the father of his people, 40 and the obedient servant of the Sovereign of the world

Not an Exercise 85.

Address of the Bible Society, -1816.-Mason. People of the United States

Have you ever been invited to an enterprise of such grandeur and glory? Do you not value the Holy Scriptures? Value them as containing your sweetest hope;

your most thrilling joy? Can you submit to the thought 5 that you should be torpid in your endeavours to disperse them, while the rest of christendorn is awake and alert?

Shall you hang back, in heartless indifference, when princes come down from their thrones, to bless the cot

tage of the poor with the gospel of peace; and imperial 10 sovereigns are gathering their fairest honors from spread

ing abroad the oracles of the Lord your God? Is it possible that you should not see, in this state of human things, a mighty motion of Divine Providence?

The most heavenly charity treads close upon the 15 march of conflict and blood! The world is at pence!

Scarce has the soldier time to unbind his helmet, and to wipe away the sweat from his brow, ere the voice of mercy succeeds to the clarion of battle, and calls the

nations from enmity to love! Crowned heads bow to the 20 head that is to wear

many crowns;” and, for the first time since the promulgation of Christianity, appear to act in unison for the recognition of its gracious principles, as being fraught alike with happiness to man and honor to God.

What has created so strange, so beneficent an alteration? This is no doubt the doing of the Lord, and it is marvel

But what instrument has he thought fit chiefly to use? That which contributes, in all latitudes

and climes, to make Christians feel their unity, to re30 buke the spirit of strife, and to open upon them the day

of brotherly concord—the Bible! the Bible!—through Bible Societies!

Come then, fellow citizens, fellow Christians, let us join in the sacred covenant. Let no heart be cold; no 35 hand be idle: no purse reluctant! Come, while room is

left for us in the ranks whose toil is goodness, and whose recompense is victory. Come cheerfully, eagerly, generally.

lous in our eyes.

EXERCISE 86.

The Roman Soldier ;-Last days of Herculaneum.

ATHERSTONE.

PART I.

There was a man,
A Roman Soldier, for some daring deed
That trespassed on the laws, in dungeon low

Chained down." His was a nòble spirit, rough, 5 But génerous, and bráve, and kind.

He had a son, it was a rosy boy,
A little faithful copy of his sire
In face and gesture. From infancy the child

Had been his father's solace and his care. 10

Every sport
The father shared and heightened. But at length
The rigorous law had grasped him, and condemned
To fetters and to darkness.

The captive's lot 15 He felt in all its bitterness: the walls

Of his deep dungeon answered many a sigh
And heart-heaved groan. His tale was known, and

touched
His jailer with compassion;-and the boy,
20 Thenceforth a frequent visitor, beguiled

His father's lingering hours, and brought a balm
With his loved presence that in every wound
Dropt healing. But in this terriffic hõūr

He was a poisoned arrow in the breast 25 Where he had been a cure.

With earliest morn, Of that first day of darkness and amaze, He came.

The iron door was closed, for them
Never to open more! The day, the night,
30 Dragged slowly by; nor did they know the fate

Impending o'er the city. Well they heard
The pent-up thunders in the earth beneath,
And felt its giddy rocking; and the air

Grew hòt at length, and thick; but in his straw 35 The boy was sleeping: and the father hoped

The earthquake might pass by; nor would he wake
From his sound rest the unfearing child, nor tell
The dangers of their state. (.) On his low couch

'The fettered soldier sunk—and with deep awe
40 Listened the fearful sounds:with upturned eye

To the greāt göds he breathed a prayer;—then strove
To calm himself, and lose in sleep awhile
His useless terrors. But he could not sleep:-

His body bùrned with feverish heat;-his chains 45 Clanked lòud although he moved not: deep in earth

Groaned unimaginable thùnders:--sounds,
Fearful and ominous, aróse and died,
Like the sad moanings of November's wind,

In the blank midnight. (..) Deepest horror chilled 50 His blood that burned before;-cold clāmmy swēats

Came o'er him:-(=) then anon a fiery thrill
Shot through his veins. Now on his couch he shrunk,
And shivered as in fear:-now upright leaped,

As though he heard the battle trumpet sound, 55 And longed to cope with death.

He slept at last,
A troubled, dreamy sleep. Well,-had he slept
Never to waken more! His hours are few,
But terrible his agony.

[ocr errors]

PART II.

Soon the storm
Burst forth: the lightnings glànced:—the air
Shook with the thunders. They awoke; they sprung

Amazed upon their feet. The dungeon glowed 5 A moment as in sunshine,-and was dark:

Again a flood of white flame fills the cell;
Dying away upon the dazzled eye
In darkening, quivering tints, as stunning sound

Dies throbbing, ringing in the ear. Silence, 10 And blackest darkness. With intensest awe

The soldier's frame was filled; and many a thought
Of strange foreboding hurried through his mind,
As underneath he felt the fevered earth

Járring and lifting—and the massive walls
15 Heard harshly grate and stràin:-yet knew he not,
While evils undefined and yet to come

« PoprzedniaDalej »