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give yourself wholly up to him. “Will you then go with him ?” What is it that troubles you that makes you hesitate? Is it this, “I know not the way? sincerely wish to know it? If so, then let me tell you that Jesus is a PROPHET, and that he who sends for you, will
“I am the way, the uth, and the life.” He teaches by his word which you have in your hands-search it diligently, with much prayer to him who is the Author of it, for the effectual teaching of that Spirit who is the great Instructor of all who would come to Jesus, and who alone can make the word to become “spirit and life.” Take this promise into your mouth, “ I will send the Holy Spirit the Comforter, and he shall guide you into all truth.” (John xv.)
Or, is this your reply, “ I am so vile a creature, and have so often rejected Christ, that I am afraid to dare to come to him ?" Then let me remind you that Christ is a Priest, a great High Priest; and that, by the enduring of those sorrows, and the suffering of that death which we have already been considering, he has so taken away sin, that whosoever comes to him in sincerity, shall find his own individual sins already pardoned. Behold the Man of sorrows on the cross, enduring all those awful agonies for sinners, and can you doubt but he will now receive you? The thief on the cross said to him in the midst of that agony, “Lord, remember me!” and what was the reply? “ To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise !” He intercedes for his murderers—and is there less hope for you? “ His blood cleanseth from all sin.” (1 John i.) Oh! come, then, to this open fountain, with all your sins and wickedness! ever liveth to make intercession,” (Heb. vii.) therefore, “ He will save to the uttermost all that come to him.” Take hold of this invitation and promise of his own, and plead it earnestly with God in Christ's name : “Come unto me, all you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matt. xi.)
Or, lastly, do you reply, “Willingly would I go with Jesus; but I feel that I cannot rouse myself from this hardened indifference, nor break myself off from sin to turn to him?" I say, then, Jesus is a King, and to him is committed all power in heaven and in earth, and this power he employs in saving. Tell me, is not He that made your heart, able to renew it? Is not He who has already turned to himself myriads of sinful hearts, able to turn yours? How cheering to hear the Father say to him, “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power.” (Psa. cx.) Strive,
therefore, to come to Jesus, looking up to him and confidently trusting in him to make you willing by his power, and by the power of his love : for thus saith the holy apostle, once a blasphemer, “The Love of Christ constraineth me." (2 Cor. v.) Remember that “ Jesus is exalted as a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance," as well as “forgiveness." (Acts v.) And is not repentance-to be grieved for sin, to hate it, to turn from it to God? Is not this what
wish for? and is it not freely given to them who will receive it?
Oh! come, then, to Jesus with that ignorance, that he may instruct you—with that guilt, that he may remove itwith those bonds and chains, with that weakness and helplessness; that once more he may “ bind up the broken thearted, proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the pr son to them that are bound!” (Isaiah Ixi.)
THE ENGLISH MONTHLY TRACT SOCIETY,
27, RED LION SQUARE.
J. & W. Rider, Printers, Bartholomew Close, London.
THE END OF TIME.
A New year has commenced ; its first morning has dawned upon me; the last year is finished, and gone over my head, in order to make way for the present. I have one year less to travel through this world, and to fulfil the various services of my travelling state. Soon to me the words of the apocalyptic angel will be fulfilled, “ Time shall be no longer !" May my diligence in duty be doubled as the number of my years is diminishing!
Another birth-day has come and gone over me—the day wherein I was born into this world of sins, frailties, and
I am hastening hourly to the end of that life which began at my nativity. How have I spent this mortal life? How am I prepared for my dying moment? Let me arouse and inquire, Am I yet born of God ? Have I begun the life of a Christian? Am I prepared for that awful day which will determine the number of my months on earth? Am I fit to be born into the world of spirits, through the gate of death? Am I renewed in all the powers of my nature, and made meet to enter that unseen world, where there shall be no more a revolution of days and years, but where one eternal day fills up all the space with ineffable pleasure, or one eternal night, with long and deplorable distress and darkness?
Do I observe the apparently slow motion of the shadow upon the sun-dial ? It passes over the hour lines with an imperceptible progress, yet soon it will touch the last line of daylight. So my hours and my moments move onward, with a silent pace! So decline the days of life, the hours of labour, and the seasons of grace! They will arrive with certainty at their last limit, how heedless soever I am of their motion, or of the due improvement of them. Do I see the moon gliding along the midnight sky? This
planet is also measuring out my life, and bringing the number of my moments to an end. May I be prepared to take leave of the sun and moon, and bid adieu to these visible heavens! O may I finish my work ere the light be filed! May I improve the hours of grace, ere the shadows overtake me, and my time of labour be no more! These are but the measures of my time, and hasten me on towards eternity.
Am I standing in the church-yard, paying the last honours to the relics of a friend? What numerous monuments of death appear around me! And what are all the tomb-stones but memorials of departed generations, to inform me of the period of their lives, and to point out the day, when it was said to each of them— Your time shall be no longer ? Oh! may I readily learn this important lesson, that my turn is fast hastening on. A little hillock shall shortly arise for me on some unknown spot of ground; it shall cover this flesh and these bones in darkness, and shall hide them from the light of the sun, and the sight of man, till the heavens be no
Some surviving friend may engrave my name with the number of my days upon a stone, as a fresh monument of the frailty of nature, and the end of time. Some friendly foot may visit the place of my repose, and some tender eye bedew the cold memorial with a tear: one or another of my acquaintances may attend there, to learn a silent lecture of mortality from my gravestone, and show his companions the year and day of my decease; but my dust shall be insensible to their kindest tokens of respect. And think, O my soul, that while friends are engaged on that spot, and reading the date of thy departure, thou wilt be fixed under a decisive and unchangeable sentence-rejoicing, through the abundant mercy of God, in the reward of time improved, or suffering the endless sorrows that shall attend the abuse of it.
Are these your reflections, my dear reader, as you ponder the solemn truth that the hours of your time on earth are determined, and shalì soon, very soon, end ? Ah, what a momentous event is the end of time to man ! Now, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, are variously indulged. Then shall cease all earthly gains and enjoyments : then the miser is forced from his gold; the lofty are brought low; the drunkard no longer calls for his glass; the lewd no longer glory in their shame. Then, too, closes the season for conversion. We come into the world ignorant, and are naturally prone to sin. The image of God is lost, and life is the only space allotted for its recovery.