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in arts and sciences, or skill in tongues, and yet was full of knowledge in heavenly things, that, being asked how he came by that knowledge, having not read books, he said, he had a book which he read continually, which had three great leaves, the heaven, the earth, the waters; the creatures contained in these were as so many letters, out of which he spelled many mysteries and comfortable truths. Though the creature is not able to lead us into a saving knowledge of the mysteries of Christ, yet it gives us such advantages to know God as will leave us inexcusable in our ignorance.


TO THOSE THAT BE UNREADY. THERE is a number among us, young and old, of all sorts almost, that swarm up and down towns, and woods, and fields, whose care and work hitherto hath been, like bees, only to get honey to their own hives, only to live here comfortably with their houses, and lots, and victuals, and fine clothes, etc., but not to live hereafter eternally. Suppose the Lord should stop thy breath, and cut thee off, what would become of thee? Sayest thou, I trust to God's mercy; I hope I should go to Christ, though I am not assured.” But are you ready for Christ ? Yes, I hope I am.” Oh, poor wretch! why dost thou hope so, if thou never hadst one hour's serious thoughts, “What will become of me? or, How shall I be ready ?” feeling thy unreadiness and unfitness thereunto? But you have slept quietly enough in the night, and cast fear away in the day, and thy heart never had one hour’s fit of shaking and trembling at eternity to come, when it is the nature of true fear ever to have the eye upon what it fears, till it is taken away, and if difficulty attend the same, to remove it; it cannot be quiet, but will cry for help, if possibly help may be had : this you never did. A spirit of slumber hath been upon thee. Thou sayest, it may be, that thou dost hope thou art prepared. Thy lamp is out; nay, thou never hadst any light at all, never madest profession at all, as one ready for Christ; but all is to do with thee. If so, then remember, that if thou diest now, thou shalt never have communion with Jesus Christ in glory.

T. Sheppard.

THE LAST HOURS OF L. E. THERE is a deep solemnity in death which can never be described': who has ever returned from the world of spirits to tell us how he felt when passing through the dark valley of the shadow of death, or who can tell how he will feel when that dread hour arrives? The Christian will doubtless make it the frequent subject of his meditation, which will ever be found profitable to the soul; still there is something in the reality which can never be known but by experience. We are then called to quit the body for a season- that body, which has either answered the end of our creation, by being the instrument through which we have glorified God, or the means of dishonouring him, and so sinking the soul into everlasting perdition. The body will then moulder into dust, but the spirit must return to Him who gave it. The soul of man is not fitted for, neither can it enter, the presence of a holy God-one who is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity, till it is redeemed by the precious blood of Christ. In its natural state, defiled by sin, it cannot enjoy the presence of God, even if it could enter there.

That many do enter eternity without seriously reflecting upon this important truth, is a fact that none can deny. How cheering to a minister of the gospel, after long sowing of the precious seed, in faith and prayer, to find even one among his people, even though at the eleventh hour, of whom he may venture to hope that he is seeking pardon and reconciliation with God through the all-atoning sacrifice of Jesus! He can rejoice in the tender compassion of his heavenly Father, who thus graciously condescends to strengthen his faith by confirming his promises, even in his day. Such instances are sometimes permitted that none may despair; they occur very seldom, that none may presume.

L. S. E. was once gay and thoughtless as many others, and like them thought himself satisfied with his state, because he had never seriously reflected upon the end of these things; but before he had reached the meridian of life, symptoms of a disease appeared, which ultimately confirined the apprehensions of his friends. Some time about the latter part of October, a cough, attended with great weakness, rapidly exhausted the powers of nature. A few months after, by the aid of medical skill, the cough abated, and his strength increased; then his mind was filled with the hopes of recovery and lengthened days. But soon were these bright clouds overcast by returning sickness, rapid and irresistible. It was then he first felt the deep conviction that with him time was fast drawing to a close. Without entering into particulars, let me state, that he rebelled not against his

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Maker by resisting his will, as is too often the case; he meekly listened to the testimony of Scripture concerning the meetness of the soul for a happy eternity; he searched and found his own was not in this state. He sought, and I trust that he found, mercy where alone it is to be found ; and so great was the change, that those who knew him well considered it was evident that he was become a follower of Jesus. There was no longer a desire to continue an inhabitant of this lower world; the fear of death was removed, and he was calmly looking forward to that period when he should see his Saviour face to face. This they could believe was the result of a scriptural hope of salvation implanted in the soul. He saw in himself 'nothing but sin and infirmity—in his Saviour, nothing but love, mercy, and tender compassion; and this he found as an anchor to his soul. From the first moment of his new birth till the last effort of expiring nature, he had a deep and abiding view of the love of Christ in dying for sinners, and the innumerable benefits which, by his precious blood-shedding, he hath obtained for them; and from this source, no doubt, arose his settled peace of mind. In the waking hours of night he was privileged to enjoy sweet intercourse with his Saviour, so that even the loss of sleep was not materially felt. In a season of violent pain, a friend endeavouring to direct his mind to the example of those who, through faith and patience, inherit the promises, observed that St. Paul felt peace, even in the deepest affliction, by looking forward to that period when he should enjoy the fulness of his Saviour's presence, and inherit all that his dying love had procured for him, or he would not have said, “I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” He replied, “I know that is true; and when I consider the exceeding sinfulness of my past life, I am astonished that I suffer so little.” Thus he felt that his severest sufferings were far less than his iniquity deserved.

As the last painful struggle approached, his sufferings increased, and he feared lest he should dishonour God by impatience again; his mind was directed to a comparison of his Saviour's sufferings with his own, as the surest ground of comfort. “You are surrounded by kind friends, all anxious to alleviate your sufferings, and, if possible, to soften the pains of death; when the Redeemer accomplished the work of man’s redemption, no voice of sympathy cheered his soul: the crown of thorns, the vinegar and gall, the hidings of his Father's countenance in the agonies of death, were more than you are called to bear. Your Saviour is with you still; he

will never leave the work he has begun.” He answered, “Yes, he is,” smiled, looked upward, and in a few hours he ceased to suffer.

What a lesson is this to the young men who had been his companions in sin! Could you have seen him in his sick chamber, and have known how deeply he mourned over his past sin, this feeble attempt had not been made. Could he now speak to you from the grave, how earnestly would he entreat you to read the Bible in faith and prayer while the lamp of life is burning brightly. It will all be found true at the last, when you cannot hope to have an opportunity of doing that which has been left undone. This is the only knowledge that can profit you in the hour of death; and this he found afforded him more solid comfort on a bed of languishing and pain, than he ever knew when in health. But the sound of his voice can no more reach your ear; nor is it necessary that it should : for if those means which are now so affectionately used, prove ineffectual by your neglect, to the salvation of your souls, you would not be convinced though one rose from the dead.

The young

TRANSIENT IMPRESSIONS. IN the general services of God, men may have wishings and willings, and good liking of the truth, and some faint and floating resolutions to pursue it, who yet, having no firm root, nor proceeding from the whole bent of the heart, from a thorough mortification of sin and evidence of grace, but from such weak and wavering principles as may be perturbed by every new temptation, like letters written in sand, they vanish away like a morning dew, and leave the heart as hard and scorched as it was before. man whom, for his ingenuity and forwardness, Christ loved, came in a sad and serious manner to learn of Christ the

way to heaven : and yet we find there were secret reservations which he had not discerned in himself, upon discovery whereof by Christ, he was discouraged, and made to repent of his resolution, Mark x. 21, 22. The apostle speaketh of a "repentance not to be repented of,” 2 Cor. vii. 10, which hath firm, solid, and permanent reasons to support it; therein secretly intimating, that there is likewise a repentance which, rising out of an incomplete will, and admitting certain secret and undiscerned reservations, doth,


the appearance of them, flag and fall away, and leave the unfaithful heart to repent of its repentance. St. James tells us, that “ a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways," James i. 8, never uniform or constant to any rules. Now, this division of the mind stands thus ; the heart, on the one side, is taken up with the pleasures of sin for the present; and, on the other, with the desires of salvation for the future; and according as the workings and representations of the one or other are at the time more fresh and predominant, in like manner is sin for that time either cherished or suppressed. Many men at a good sermon, when the matter is fresh, and newly presented, while they are looking on their face in the glass; or in any extremity of sickness, when the provisions of lust do not relish for the present, when they have none but thoughts of salvation to depend upon, are very resolute to make promises, vows, and professions of better living; but when the pleasures of sin grow strong to present themselves again, they return, like a man recovered of an ague, with more greediness to their lusts again. As water, which hath been stopped for awhile, rusheth with the more violence when its passages are opened.


LABOURS OF A TRACT VISITOR. WHEN the New York City Tract Society adopted the plan *of monthly tract distribution, to be accompanied with the personal efforts of Christians for the salvation of men, it was regarded by many as a new era in the operations of benevolence. Among others, my own mind became deeply interested; and as I saw the moral power of the system developed, from year to year, in the labours and successes of such men as Harlan Page, and others of kindred spirit, who have gone to their rest, I resolved to be no longer an idle, though interested spectator of this blessed work, but to share in “its toils, its self-denial, and (if such should be the will of God) in its conquests.”

I accordingly, in 1831, took charge of a district, comprising about seventy families. My first object was to survey my field of labour, and become acquainted with its inhabitants; and when I contemplated the ignorance, wretchedness, and depravity of many of the families, my heart failed me, and I exclaimed, “Who is sufficient for these things?”

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