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66 This is the ground of all the tumultuary business, – of all the trifling diversions amongst men; in which our general aim is to make the time pass off our hands without feeling it, or rather without feeling ourselves,
“ I have often said, that the universal cause of mens' misfor. tunes, was their not being able to live quictly in a chamber. A person who bas enough of the uses of this world, did he know the art of dwelling with himself, would never quit that repose and security for a voyage or a siege. This a version to bome, this roving and restless disposition, proceeds from the native unhappiness of our frail and mortal state, which is incapable of all comfort, if we have nothing to diyert our thoughis, and to call us out of ourselves. The principal thing which supports men under great employments, otherwise so full of toil and trouble, is, that by this means they are called off from the penance of self-reflection. For, pray consider, what is it else to be a supers intendent, a chancellor, a prime president, but to have a number of persons flocking about them from all sides, who shall secure them, every hour in the day, from giving audience to their own inind ? . 6 Whence comes it to pass that men are transported to such a degree with gaming, hunting, or other diversions ? Not be, cause there is any real and intrinsic good to be obtained by them, not because they imagine that true happiness is to be found in the money which they win at play, or in the animal which they run down in the chace ; for should you present them beforehand with both thesc, to save their trouble, they would be unanimous in re, jecting the proposal. 'Tis not the easy part which they are fond of, such as may give them leisure and space for thought; but it is the heat and hurry, which divert them from the mortification of thinking. Hence it is that a prison is a seat of horror; and that few persons can bear the punishment of being confined to themselves.
« I speak of those alone who survey their own nature, without the views of faith and religion. Having no remedy against ignorance, misery, and death, they imagine that some respite, at least, may be found, by banishing them from their meditations. This is the only comfort they have been able to invent; but a miserable comfort it proves, because it does not tend to the removal of these evils, but only to the concealment of them, for a short season; and because in thus concealing them, it lyinders us from applying such proper means as should remove them. Man grows sick and weary of every object, and engages in a multitude of pursuits, because he still retains the idea of his lost happiness; which, not finding within himself, he seeks it through the whole circle of external things; but always seeks without success, because it is indeed to be found not in ourselves, nor in the crcatures, but in God alone.
" It is indeed one of the miracles of Christianity, that by re. conciling man to God, it sestores him to himself; that it makes
him bear the sight of himself; and, in some cases; renders solitude and silence more agreeable than all the intercourse and action of mankind. Nor is it by fixing man in his own person that it produceth these wonderful effects ; it is by carrying him to God, and by supporting him under the sense of his miseries, with the hopes of an assured and complete deliverance in a better life. .
" Let a man examine his own thoughts, and he will always find them employed about the time past, or the time to come. We scarcely bestow a glance on the present; or; if we do, it is only that we may borrow light from hence to manage the future. The present is never the mark of our designs. We use both past and present as our means and instruments; but the future only as our object and aim. Thus we never live, - but we ever hope to live; and under this continual disposition and preparation to happiness, it is certain we can never be actually happy if our hopes are terminated with the present life." .
Happy, and truly wise, is the real Christian, who, sensible of his sin and misery, looks for both present and future happiness in Christ, who hears his instructive and saving voice while it is called to-day, who considers the present as the acceptable time, the day of salvation; and who, while he enjoys, amidst the mia series of life, the well-founded hope of future glory, is concerned to live to God, and to serve his generation according to his will. Thus the Christian is the true philosopher, and learns to make a right use of time, the past, the present, and the future. In a word, he is “ wise unto salvation."
FRAGMENT OF A VISION.
« Önce more Eugenia," said my celestial guide; with as much complacency and sweetness as could possibly shine in an angel's face, " once more will I bear thee hence; and to thy wona dering sight present a fairer prospect of the unbounded love of Christ, manifested to the sons of men. Thus far my commission extends; and then I leave thee.” With humble submission I bowed assent, my heart glowing with delight at the pleasing reflection of being indulged with a still nearer view of the exhaustó less treasures of mercy and grace continually flowing from the wounded side of my blessed Lord. “Is it possible," exclaimed I, “ under a self-abasing view of my unworthiness, will yet my heavenly Conductor condescend to comply with the inquisitive desires and inclinations of one so undeserving:" “ I am but a creature, and servant of the same Master with thec," replied he: " then cease to wonder, and know this, that it is the delight and happiness of the angels of light to be the ministering attendants on those that are the sealed of the Lord."-Silenced at the gentle reproof, I prepared for Slight; and encircled in the arms of my refulgent guide, mounted aloft, borne on the floating beams of tlie sun. With incredible swiftness, we traversed the regions of ether; and with no less than angelic speed, alighted on the fertile plains of India!
“ Here observe," said Serenus, " the different objects that may arrest thy siglat.” I looked; and with amazement beheld innumerable crowds of the swarthy inhabitants of Hindoostan celebrating an idolatrous festival. The barbarous rites, the horrible clangour and confusion, with the dreadful superstition of the poor blinded votaries, displayed to my imagination a scene that rent my heart, and filled my breast with sorrow and tumult. I be. held with anguish their lamentable state, I pitied them ; and nought but pity could I bestow. My attentive ears were pained with the loud and noisy babblings of the multitude; my eyes, wearied at the, unwelcome sight, voluntarily turned aside. Then I said in my heart, “ Turn them, O Lord, and they shall be turned !" then shall this dreary “ desert blossom as the rose.” Serenus perceiving 'my distress, said, in accents that spake comfort to my soul, “ Be not disquieted, thou fearful one; yet a little while, and thou shalt see of the glory of God and be satisfied; but now direct thy sight to the banks of the serpentine Ganges. Tell me, Eugenia, is there any thing thitherward to attract your attention ?" I beheld, and, to my sorrow, the prospect was not of a more pleasing nature than the preceding. I could have wept; but tears would avail me nothing. Willingly would I have shed even tears of blood, to have convinced the throng of the crror of their ways. I wished to invite them to the fountain that cleanseth from sin and uncleanness, instead of beholding them reverence and adore the waters that at the last day shall be dried up. The feeble cries of the helpless infants, who in vain struggled against the swellings of the Hood, were as daggers to my breast! And are the inhuman parents so deluded,' cried I, 'as to believe that in drowning their offspring they are performing a righteous deed?' • Even so," replied Serenus. Pity the Heathen world, thou Sovereigu Ruler of the Universe! How long shall the prince of darkness reign, and not be confounded? When wilt thou pluck thy lilies from among the thorns, of this barren wilderness ? Hasten the bappy period, thou blessed Immanuel! My heart thus prayed in silence. Serenus, acquainted with its inmost recesses, gently lisped " Amen!" The rustling breezes long retained the sound, and on the surface of the Ganges swiftly flew the whispering echo.
My angelic guide, now willing to revive my drooping spirits, signilied his intention of proceeding. Accordingly, we directed our course towards the lowly habitation of a poor Hindoo. We entered invisibly; and found him emaciated with disease, and streiched on a bed of languishing. Death had arrested him ; but the oil as if unwilling to quit the body, still lingered te
breathe the last testimony of Jesus' love. Around the bed stood two or three men of miki deportment * ;' and, to my joy, Serenus told me they were faithful labourers in this part of Christ's uncultivated vineyard. I was delighted with their assiduous attention to the dying Indian ; and beheld how carefully they wiped away the cold and death-like sweat that sat on his brow. Nature was fast decaying ; but each convulsive throb, or beating of the fluttering pulse, spread over his countenance a divine lustre that diffused itself around, and kindled in tlie breast of cach spectator a fire of heavenly joy! - ei
I felt myself reanimated, my heart glowed with gratitude to Him who had thus so abundantly dispensed his favours in this place, - every one seemed to partake of the love and joy that abode with the departing saint, - the unction of the Spirit was shed abroad copiously!' Then I experienced the truth of the poet's words :
* The chamber where this Ilindoo meets his fale
Is privileg'd beyond the common walk
of virtuous life, - quite on the verge of Heaven!” YOUNG. The chain of thoughts that naturally crowded on my mind, was broken by the strugglings between Death and Nature. The quivering flame of life that bad been nearly extinguished, now seemed to rekindle, and kindly gave the almost breathless Indian an opportunity of telling the world that his Jesus was still faithful, though he was encompassed about with the pains of Disso, lution. “I wish,” said he, fetching a decp sigh, “ I could im. part to my dear brethren in God half the joys I now experience! I was sick of lovc; but my beloved Redeemer 66 stayed me with flagons, and comforted me with apples.” Glory, glory, be to my heavenly Father, for sending the blessed gospel to save such an unworthy wretch as I am! I feel the arms of my Saviour en. twined about me; and though I am passing throug'i the deep waters, the billows shall not go over my head, neither will he suffer me to sink." After regaining a little breath, he again spake : 25 May God abundantly bless your labour of love, my dearest brethren! Whether my countrymen will hear, or whether they will forbear, I beseech you not to relax in your endeavours to save their souls from death! Tell them, I bowed to idols; but did I put my trust in iclols now, I should sink lower than the grave! Tell them, I performed the rights of the Ganges ; but there is no water that cleanseth from sin, besides the water of the river that “ proceedlcth out of the throne on God and of the Lamb! I would say more, but I faint. I shall soon sleep in Jesus: in his smiles I am happy !" Here he resteil ; and Serenus having strengthened my sight, I behelil, with astonishment, the lean and ugly monster Death, grasping in his cold embrace the dying Indian (but I perceived he had lo:1 his
sting); to comfort him were radiant angels kindly supportinig bis head, and pointing him upwards to the regions of boundless light. .66 True it is," I exclaimed, “ blessed are the dead that die in the Lord !” and as I spake, the last and dreadful conflict with the world and sin was nearly over. With à faltering and tremulous voice the Indian breathed his last farewell; and as the happy soul burst through the apertures of Nature, “ Jesus receive my spirit” was heard to languisb on his tongue. Thus fled the immortal part, and left the body still in the cruel gripe of Death. The vision likewise fled ; but yet the grateful recollection cheers my soul, and leaves behind a wish to win a soul to
" The sultry climes of India then I'd choose;
There would I toil, and sinners' bonds unloose !
A PLAIN HINT
SUPPOSED PROFITING UNDER THE WORD PREACHED.
Ir frequently happens that in the occasional ministry of a stranger, the novelty of his manner, or some new and striking temark he has dropt, produces such an effect on some hearers, that they can easily imagine themselves to be wonderfully profited; and they directly conclude that it would conduce much to their comfort and advantage, if they could but sit under such a man for a constancy. They do not seem to consider that sensations of this kind are often mere nature, and generally transitory; for nothing is more certain than that they usually decline and disappear with a few times hearing of the same person. Nor do they reflect that the stated hearers of this very preacher may find as much canse for complaint of want of profiting as themselves. This is not, however, “ mixing the word with faith," but with sense; because it is not the faithfulness, power, love, or authority of Christ that is recognized, but some peculiarity of the speaker. Should any feel a backwardness to believe this, let them only recollect that it may not be unusual for their own minister to excite similar reflections with the congregation of the identical preacher they so much adınire; some of whom may as well fancy, in their turn, that they could profit much more under such a one than with their own. Facis, however, sufficiently evince that this is for want of duly considering what sterling profiting is, and in what way it ought to be expected, and is usually obtained,
It seems precisely the same state of mind which has actuated many to go several miles from home to hear a stranger of some