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ny and occupations of the world. this misconduct, and uniformly As Christian sincerity is inimical leads the mind to humiliation to every art of injustice and and repentance when concious of fraud in the transactions of busi. being thus guilty. Like the aposness, even when there is little tle Paul, he “counts not that he probability or even possibility of has already attained, either is aldetection; it is equally hostile to ready perfect, but this one thing every thing that encourages self he does, forgetting those things deceit or hypocrisy, in his secret which are behind, and reaching intercourse with God. It re- forth unto those which are before, proves, and represses languor in be presses towards the mark, for devotion : excites to fervor of the prize of the high calling of spirit and cheerfulness of service: God in Christ Jesus.” removes and prevents carelessness Reader! examine thy own in duty; and aims at the total heart. Withdraw thy attention destruction of that deceitfulness from the scenes of life: from the of sin, which endeavours to com- character of other men; from pensate for the commission of one the thousand objects which would trespass by abstinence from anoth- interrupt the intercourse with er, or by diligence and fidelity in thyself; and survey the princithose parts of obedience, where ples by which thy heart is actuaneglect or unfaithfulness would ted; compare thy conduct with be more easily noticed, and more thy professions, and both with the certainly condemned.
standard of truth and duty, which Finally, sincerity will not ad. the gospel contains. mit either of reserve in the obedi. Reader! Art thou trusting ience that Christianity requires, that thou art righteous and despior of palliation for neglecting it, sing others; or satisfied with out. but embraces the whole extent ward decorum of manners; or and every particular instance of ignorant of the devices of a deceit. duty arising from the circum. ful heart, or led away by error stances, the station and the rela- from the path of Christian doctions, in which a Christian is plac. trine? Thy condition is danger. ed. All that is known to be du- ous, thy hopes of heaven are ty, he must study to perform, fallacious ! Hast thou never pray. whatever hazard may be incurred; or dost thou neglect daily red, or difficulties encountered, prayer for grace to guide thy feet or trials endured. In all places into the way of peace? Thou and at all times sincerity should must be treading in the way of animate the heart, and direct the death! Destruction awaits thee eonduct. Imperfection, indeed, in the land of spirits, except thou is inseparable from the present repent! service, even of the most advanc- Reader! Hast thou never sus. ed Christian. There is always pected the danger of thy state as something which he ought to a transgressor of the law of God? have done, which he has neglec- or dost thou not with an earnestted; or something from which he ness of mind proportioned in ought to have abstained, which some measure to the importance he has performed; but sincerity, of the subject, ask the direction instead of vindicating, condemns and blessing of God, that thou mayest know thyself, and live stance. The way of the wicked is by the faith of the gospel? as darkness. The sick bed tries Dost thou never say from the the correctness of principles, and heart with the Psalmist,“ Search the king of terrors, as he apme, O Lord, and know my heart, proaches, sweeps away all the uy me and know my thoughts, false hopes of the unbeliever, and and see the wicked way that is in scatters them to the winds. lnme, and lead me in the way ever- fidelity may give her votaries the lasting?” Consider, I entreat thee, satisfaction of being free from the danger of insensibility, the enthusiasm and superstition; she danger of insincerity.
may harden their minds ; but she By the gospel thou must be furnishes them with no support judged in the great day of the under the various evils, which Lord; self-deceit will then be we are called to suffer. unavailing, when every thought The death of Mr. Gibbon was will be brought into judgment, such as we might expect from the and every secret work, whether it principles, which he professed. be good or evil. Examine, then, Speaking of the decease of lady thy heart; thy conscience must Sheffield, in a letter to her husbe purified from dead works, in band, he observes; “She is now order to enable thee to serve a. al rest; and, if there be a future right the living and the true God. state, her mild virtues have surely The blood of the Son of God entitled her to the reward of alone has this efficacy; and if pure and perfect felicity.—The thou despise it, there remaineth only consolation in these melanno more for thee a sacrifice for choly trials, the only one at least in sin, but a fearful looking for of which I have any confidence, is the judgment and fiery indignation, presence of a real friend.” In which shall devour the adversae these passages the writer expressries.
es a doubt respecting his future The Lord give thee under- existence, stumbles upon the error standing in all things to do his of the self righteous, that the ordiwill. So shalt thou in simplicity nary virtues of social life merit the and godly sincerity fulfil his plea- reward of everlasting blessedness, sure. Remember the words of and gives up at once all the rich Solomon, “He that Jwalketh consolation, which a belief in the uprightly, walketh surely ; but righteous government of the Fa. be that perverteth his way shall ther of mercies is calculated to afbe known.”
D. D. ford us under afflictions and trouMarch, 1806.
In his memoirs he says, “ I must reluctantly observe, that two
causes, the abbreviation of time MR. GIBBON.
and the failure of hope will al. Os reading the life of Gibbon, ways tinge with a browner shade and observing the cheerless the evening of life.” This is the gloom, which shrouded his mind gloomy sentiment of an atheist, at the hour of death, I was whose views terminate with this struck with the confirmation of world, who considers himself as truth afforded by this circum- the offspring of chance, and who
is cheered with no glad expecta- disturbed by the footsteps of liv. rion, that “the evening of life" ing beings, he would not have exwill be succeeded by a glorious pressed his conviction, that hope morning
must necessarily fail, as life apIt is true that the aged are fre- proaches its termination. If he quently peevish and unhappy. had not been destitute of the joy The acuteness of their senses is ful hope of immortality, which only blunted by long action. Their is the glory of man, such a sentieye is no longer delighted with ment his pen never would have beauty, nor their ear enraptured recorded. by melody The agitation of And what was the death of Mr. business no longer exhilarates Gibbon? It was cheerless and awtheir minds. Besides this, they ful. We hear no expressions of find few or none of their early resignation or hope. We behold companions, with whom they no delightful anticipations of may recal the days that are past. blessedness. We see not even an
These are the causes, and not intimation of his belief, that those assigned by Mr. Gibbon, another state of existence would which will always operate in a succeed that, which was approachgreater or less degree to diminish ing its end. All was silent as the the enjoyments of those, who have grave, to which he was going. travelled far into years.
He said to his servant, just be. But to the aged saint, whose fore his death, “ Pourquoi est ce gray hairs are found in the way que vous me quittez ?” Why do you of righteousness, " the abbreviation leave me? And the last words of time” is a subject of joy, not a which he uttered, expressed his source of grief; and with “the desire that his servant would not failure of hope" he is unacquainted.leave him. . He exclaims in the language, and Thus perished this insidious with the exulting anticipation of enemy of Christianity. I said to St. Paul, “ The time of my de- myself, if infidelity can throw no parture is at hand! I have fought ray of light upon the darkness of a good fight, I have finished my the grave; if she can give no supcourse, I have kept the faith. port to the sinking spirit; if shie Henceforth there is laid up for can administer no consolation, me a crown of righteousness, when this world has lost its pow. which the Lord, the righteous er to please; if she can stamp upJudge, shall give me at that day, on the pale countenance of the dyand not to me only, but unto all ing no impressions of hope, of them also, that love his appear. joy, of triumph; then, “O my ing." Had not Mr. Gibbon been sond, come not thou into her sefearful of this appearing of Jesus cret,” and let not her delusions Christ, when he shall decend beguile thee!
W. from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God,” to pun
SKETCH OF THE CHARACTER AND ish the despisers of his words; or
EXERCISES OF MISS A. D. had he not looked upon all beyond the grave as one hideous “ Religion,” says one of its night, whose silence will never be most distinguished champions
and ornaments, “ dispenses its of God. Often, in the latter choicest cordials in the seasons years of life, did she express her of exigence, in poverty, in exile, wonder and astonishment at her in sickness, and in death.” It former insensibility, at the pa. can not only refine and elevate "tience of God in waiting thus all earthly enjoyments, but long upon her, and at the oversupply their loss. It can do flowings of that condescension more. It can convert the great- and goodness, which could parest outward calamities into posi- don and save one so unworthy tive, substantial, everlasting bles- and vile as she. Her patience, sings. Nor can any thing be serenity, and even cheerfulness more truly honourable to the under her sufferings (her páin gospel and grace of our DIVINE being, for years, literally without REDEEMER, than the sweet intermission) were remarkable peace and cheerfulness with indeed. Some, 'who familiarly which they have inspired thov. knew, and often visited her, have sands, on whom a thoughtless declared, that they never witworld has looked down with pity, nessed a solitary instance of im• mixed with horror.
patience, manifested either by Among these happy sufferers, her countenance or lips. Not few occupy a more conspicu- unfrequently, when every nerve ous place, than Miss A. D. a of her frame was agitated by exyoung woman recently deceased. tremity of pain, and when her For several of the last years of bed trembled underneath her, her life, she was confined by a
has she conversed at length on complication of maladies, to a religion, and on the many merbed of unutterable, and almost cies vouchsafed her, without unparalleled distress. In the once adverting to her sufferings. early period of her sickness, she It was remarkable that some of seemed a stranger to religion, her best enjoyments seemed to and its comforts. But between occur in seasons of this kind. two and three years previous to She once remurked to a friend, her decease, she exhibited a re that for a few preceding days, she markable revolution in her senti- had enjoyed a sweeter savour of ments and feelings. Of this divine things, than ever before. bappy change, her afflictions Every thing,” she said, “ seemwere, under the divine blessing, ed sweet. Oh," she exclaimed, the principal instrument. Un « there was such a sweetness in der their pressure, she was led Jesus! My soul ran out in love into very distinct and evangelic- to a chastening God, and rejoical views of the evil of sin, the de- ed in him! He was all in all. pravity of her heart, the glory of Oh, that all would praise him! the Redeemer, and the infinite My soul delights in him. Oh," worth of gospel blessings. Her she added, my body was filled beart seemed gradually moulded with pain, but my soul was more into a temper of sweet submis- filled with comfort. Compared sion to the divine will, of hum- to one view of such glories, and ble confidence in the divine mer. the enjoyment of one half hour's cy, and of joyful complacency in communion with God, these af. the perfections and government fictions are not worth mention. Vol. II. No. 2.
ing, ought not to be named ; er and goodness of God shine