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III. CONSIDER THAT BOTI THIS WORLD, AND ANOTHER WORLD, THERE EXISTS A MANIFEST DIFFERENCE IN THE CHARACTERS AND STATES OF MEN.
In reference to this world, it must be evident to you, even though a slight observer, that there are two classes of persons. On the one hand, there is a class, however small, who fear God; who trust in his promises and submit to his commandments; “ who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit ;". who are concerned, not to please themselves, but to glorify God in act, and word, and thought. On the other hand, there is a large class of men, who are visibly and emphatically “ of this world ;” who“ mind earthly things ;” who consult not the will of God, but seek their own pleasures; who live “ without God in the world;" who offer him no confession, no prayer, no thanksgiving: and who are alienated from the hopes and joys of a spiritual and an eternal state.
The difference which is so clear in this life, is carried out and made more distinct in the unseen world. " As the tree fol!s so it lies.” The righteous are received into heaven; they are accepted before God; and they are made unspeakably happy in the enjoyment of his presence, his favour, and his service. The worldly and the wicked are cast down to hell, where there is “ darkness, and weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth"- without hope and without remedy! Is this true ? And is it also true, that
have admitted it, and have forgotten it? This heaven—this hell - this connexion of what we must be in an endless life, with what we really are in this world-have you never seriously thought of it? You should think of nothing else! Consider it now! Desire the faith by which it may
itreturn to it again and again-till it fills the whole mind, and is as real to you as the objects which you touch and see !
IV. Then, when the soul is impressed by the subject,
CONSIDER TO WHICH OF THESE CLASSES DO
YOU AT THIS
MOMENT BELONG. Cast away excuses and pretences. Amuse not yourself by admiring the state of one class, and deploring the state of the other ; but demand of your conscience, as
in the sight of God, who is to judge you, in which class you are found—and insist on a reply. Can you, by any possibility, delude yourself into the presumption, that you belong to the safe and happy class ? Must you not, with whatever reluctance admit that you rank with that class who live only to gratify their own appetites, or passions, or inclinations ? Consider, whether you have not lived without hope in heaven-without affection to God? What sin do you resist for his sake? What homage do you offer to his name? What confidence do you place in his word ? Consider whether, at this moment, the love of the world does not predominate over the love of God; whether your most serious wish in relation to the future, is not, that the world might last for ever, and that you might live always to enjoy it?
V. Then consider, THAT IF YOU MUST INEVITABLY PERISH ! Put not away this terrible conclusion, I beseech you, by any plea that you are better than others of your class. “ Be not deceired, God is not mocked.” You may not have run into such excess as some; you may have restrained yourself from some grosser vices; but you have “ loved darkness rather than light,” and the world more than God; and “ THIS IS THE CONDEMNATION.” You are condemned already. In the state in which you are, you cannot be saved! There is just as much hope of your salvation as there is of your repentance, your regeneration-and no more ! If
you do not repent,—are not converted, then you will be lost, for ever lost! You can scarcely endure the thought; yet do not reject it! You are undone, if you reject it. Consider, when this short life is ended, what it is to sink down under the just frown of your great Creator! Can you dwell with consuming fire? Can you wrestle with “ the worm that dieth not ?" You, who have sacrificed every thing here to the poor pleasures of the world, are you prepared to suffer without relief, and without end? You, who could not live but in the society of the vain and the gay, how will you endure to be the companion of devils ? To be shut out from heaven-to know no joy—to fall a prey to anguish and despair—to live only to curse your beingto be always dying, but never dead—this it is to be lost ! This is dreadful--but it, is true! And it is not the less true because
you have striven to forget it. O consider it, while the consideration of it may be available to your salvation !
VI. CONSIDER BESIDES, THAT IF YOU PERISH, IT WILL BE UNDER VERY AGGRAVATED CIRCUMSTANCES ! However you may have disregarded it, your state has been one of great privilege. What, have you not derived your being and sustenance from the hand of God ? Do you not possess the word of God, “which is able to make you wise unto salvation ?” And have you not his sabbaths, in which to seek and worship him, under the assurance, that “he is the rewarder of them who diligently seek him ?” Has he not promised his Spirit to guide you into the way of peace, in answer to your prayers
? Has he not sent his own Son from heaven, to work out salvation for you, and directed you to look to him that you may be saved ? Has he not repeated invitation on invitation, that you might consider these things? Has he not chastened you by affliction, and comforted you by mercy, that you might be drawn or driven to the only Refuge of sinful men ? And have you resisted all these expressions of Divine love? What, never sought the Divine mercy! never asked for the teachings of the Holy Spirit ! never looked, as a sinner ready to perish, to the Son of God for your redemption! And still are you in a state of mind to repeat all this negligence and wickedness again? Oh! what an aggravated state of disobedience and crime is yours! The fate of Sodom is intolerable in this world and in a future; but it shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah than for
you die in your sins ! Horrible as were their crimes, they had not your knowledge, your privileges; and they could not sin with your provocations. Ah ! how will your abused mercies in this life constitute your severest misery in the life to come! Writhing with anguish and self-reproach, you would then exclaim, "I am lost, but I have destroyed myself! How have I despised instruction,
and hated reproof! How have I insulted the Divine goodness by neglect, and sinned against my own soul, by plunging it into perdition ! What folly, what madness, what guilt, what misery are mine! I am lost, and I have destroyed myself !”
Reader! give thanks to God that you are still in the state of hope! Receive the suggestions of this tract as the voice of mercy, yet once more employed to awaken you to a just view of your condition. Cast them not from your thoughts so soon as read, as if you had done your duty by them; but give them a willing entertainment : they may be painful, but they will be salutary. Consider them OFTEN ; consider them alone; consider them DEEPLY; above all, consider them PRAYERFULLY, that God, of his infinite mercy, would give you light and grace to see and to feel them.
Return not, I most earnestly entreat of you, to the thoughtless and worldly life in which this address found Ask not 66 what
you shall eat, what you shall drink, or wherewith you shall be clothed ;” ask rather, “what must I do to be saved !” Ponder your state, and your prospects. THINK THAT THE WORLD YOU MUST LIVE FOR EVER! THINK THAT HITHERTO YOU HAVE NOT BEEN HAPPY_AND
ARE IS TO PERISH-AND THAT YOU CAN ONLY BE SAVED THROUGH TIIE MIGHT AND THE MERCY of Jesus THE
SAVIOUR! Above all things—THINK. Every vice leads to. destruction, but no vice has destroyed such numbers as INCONSIDERATION.
THE ENGLISH MONTHLY TRACT SOCIETY,
27, RED LION SQUARE, LONDON;
J. F. SHAW, BOOKSELLER, SOUTHAMPTON ROW, LONDON.
J. & W. Rider, Printers, Bartholomew Close, London.
SOPHIA LAURA CLEMENTINE CUVIER was the daughter of Baron Cuvier, whose name is as familiar to men of science as a household word. She was born at Paris, in 1805. From her childhood she displayed a vigour of mind, and a desire for knowledge peculiarly promising in one so young : her disposition was gentle, her health never robust; but though frequent illness interrupted her studies, her progress was astonishing. Reared by her parents in the pure principles of the Protestant faith, she early manifested a lively interest in the Scriptures, and read them with an avidity which, under the Divine blessing, was followed by a most minute and accurate acquaintance with their contents.
At the age of thirteen, Clementine accompanied her father on a visit to England, and during this excursion a circumstance occurred which revealed the habits of her mind at that early age. She lost a book of prayers which she was accustomed to
It was found by a friend who assisted the Baron in the education of his daughter, when it was discovered that all the prayers contained in it were not only in her own handwriting, but had actually been composed by herself. As she advanced in years, her amiable and excellent qualities were rapidly developed ; in every good work she took a lively interest. During several years preceding her more decided profession of faith in the doctrines of the gospel, it was easy to discover, on public occasions, by the fixedness of her intelligent countenance, the earnestness of her manner, and the frequent suffucion of her eyes with tears, that her whole heart was occupied with the truths and facts of Christianity to which she was listening
She was one of a committee of twelve ladies who superintended the female school connected with the Lutheran church in Paris. By her instrumentality a society was formed of young Protestants, belonging to the Lutheran and the Reformed communions, the object of which was to supply food and clothing to the poor. She was, besides, a collector for the Female Auxiliary Bible Society, and the Evangelical Missionary Society, and frequently visited the Hospital for Aged Women, where the Protestants among them were collected in a room while she read to them the Scriptures, and addressed them with much modesty and wisdom.