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our tender-hearted children should through ignorance insult the majesty of God, and “ crucify his Son afresh,” by blindly paying money into the hands of menial priests, to rescue our souls from purgatory—that unreal place of torture, the existence of which was invented for mercenary ends—that cursed doctrine which puts limits to the infinite efficacy of Christ's death?
What the consequence of these things, but that the heavy wrath of God should come upon our land, and what but that he should require the souls of our children at our hands ? Certain it is that all those who refuse to exert themselves to the utmost, to avert so frightful a calamity, will be to all intents and purposes doing as much as lies in their power to bring it on. Rome is strong enough herself, and has no need of our aid. She has men as learned, and as plausible as ever, and all she wants now is to quench by degrees the Protestant spirit of the country. If only the present generation could die away without having imparted the same determinate spirit of resistance, the same detestation of her errors, to its successors, she well knows how much she has to hope. This, therefore, is what it must be our aim to prevent; and to this end all of
may contribute much essential service.
Many of them are, I dare say, teachers and Sunday school teachers; all of them have it in their power to impart the saving knowledge of the truth to others less favored than themselves. Let it then be the undeviating aim of every one of you, to imbue the minds of those whom you instruct, especially the children of our schools, with a profound love of Bible truth, that they may know how to refuse the evil, and choose the good. In order to do this, let them have “ line upon line, precept upon precept,” that they may“ be wise concerning that which is good, but simple concerning evil.” Let them be taught so to love their Bible that they may be very jealous of any movement that would deprive them of it; teach them that there is only one Mediator between God and man—the man Christ Jesus; and not many as some teach. Remind them again and again of the hateful and cruel character of every Antichrist, and that none of his developments are or can be in any way altered or modified. If such teaching can but be made general, I am persuaded we have every thing to hope.
We all know from experience the influence which an early sound and scriptural education has had upon our principles in after life: is it not then our imperative duty thoroughly to saturate the education of as many as possible with the religion of Jesus?
Let not any of my young friends fancy that this paper is not suited to their age—that is the very mistake I would most carefully guard them against. It is the youth of the present day that must give a tone to the coming generation; it depends upon them whether that be a scriptural tone. In conclusion, I would urge every one of my readers to be very
zealous for the truth, and never to be beguiled by those who would fain persuade them that charity and decision are incompatible; the charity of the Gospel, true charity, is not, and must “ begin at home."
LAST HOURS AND UTTERANCES.
(A Meditation for December.) THOSE opinions which will not bear the test of a death bed, are not fit to live by; and however men may delude themselves in the day of health and prosperity, with erroneous notions or deceitful promises, the stern messenger, the pale visitor, the determined truth-seeker, Death, will not be satisfied with anything short of a direct reference to his
and master, Christ. On death-bed repentance we place little or no reliance, but we value highly the dying testimony of those who lived by faith, whilst the dying declarations of those who rejected Christianity, are suggestive of solemn thoughts to the living who may be in danger of following their pernicious example.
MATTHEW HENRY.-"You have been used to take notice of the sayings of dying men. This is mine; that a life spent in the service of God and communion with him, is the most comfortable and pleasant life that any one can live in this world.”
DR. JOHN LELAND.—"I give my dying testimony to the truth of Christianity. The promises of the gospel are my support and consolation. They, alone, yield me satisfaction in a dying hour. I am not afraid to die. The gospel of Christ has raised me above the fear of death, for I know that my Redeemer liveth."
LORD WILLIAM RUSSELL.—“Neither my imprisonment nor fear of death, have been able to discompose me in any degree. On the contrary, I have found the assurances of the love and mercy of God, in and through my blessed Redeemer, in whom I only trust. And I do not question but I am going to partake of that fulness of joy, which is in his presence: the hopes of which do so wonderfully delight me, that I think this is the happiest time of my life, though others may
upon it as the saddest."
JOHN CLAUDE.—“I am so oppressed that I can attend only to two of the great truths of religion, the mercy of God, and the gracious aid of his Holy Spirit. 'I know whom I have believed, and I am persuaded he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.' My whole recourse is to the mercy of God: I expect a better life than this. Our Lord Jesus Christ is my only righteousness.”
REV. SAMUEL WALKER.—"I have been upon the wings of the cherubim! Heaven has been in a manner opened to me! I shall soon be there! O my friend, had I strength to speak, I could tell you such news as would rejoice your very soul! I have had such views of heaven! but I am not able to say more."
REV. JAMES HERVEY.-"I have been too fond of reading every thing valuable and elegant that has been penned in our language, and been peculiarly charmed with the historians, orators, and poets of antiquity; but were I to renew my studies, I would take leave of those accomplished trifles ; I would resign the delights of modern wits, amusements, and eloquence, and devote my attention to the Scriptures of truth. I would sit with much greater assiduity at my divine Master's feet, and desire to know nothing in comparison of Jesus Christ, and him crucified. How thankful am I for death! It is the passage to the Lord and giver of eternal life. O welcome, welcome, death! Thou mayest well be reckoned among the treasures of the Christian ; to live is Christ, but to die is gain! Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy most holy and comfortable word ; for mine eyes have seen thy precious salvation."
DR. LEECHMAN." You see the situation I am in; I have
not many days to live; I am glad you have had an opportunity of witnessing the tranquillity of my last moments. But it is not tranquillity and composure alone; it is joy and triumph; it is complete exultation. And whence does this exultation spring ? From that book, (pointing to a Bible that lay on the table) from that book, too much neglected indeed, but which contains invaluable treasures ! treasures of joy and rejoicing! for it makes us certain that this mortal shall put on immortality."
Rev. WILLIAM ROMAINE. I have the peace of God in my conscience, and the love of God in my heart. I knew before the doctrines I preached to be truths, but now I experience them to be blessings. Jesus is more precious than rubies, and all that can be desired on earth is not to be compared to him. Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty! Glory be to thee on high for such peace on earth, and good will to men.
A distinguished Oneida chief, named SKENADOAH, having yielded to the instructions of the Rev. W. Kirkland, and lived å reformed man for fifty years, said, just before he died, in his hundred and twentieth year, “I am an aged hemlock; the winds of one hundred years have whistled through my branches ; I am dead at the top ; (he was blind) why I yet live the great good Spirit only knows. Pray to my Jesus, that I may
wait with patience my appointed time to die ; and when I die, lay me by the side of my minister and father, that I may go up with him at the great resurrection."
A pious SCOTCH MINISTER, being asked by a friend, during his last illness, whether he thought himself dying, answered,
Really, friend, I care not whether I am or not; for, if I die, I shall be with God; if I live, He will be with me.”
DR. GOODWIN.—"Ah !” said Dr. Goodwin in his last moments, "Is this dying? How have I dreaded, as an enemy, this smiling friend !"
Rev. EBENEZER ERSKINE.—A friend, calling on the Rev. Ebenezer Erskine during his last illness, said to him, “Sir, you have given us many good advices; pray what are you now doing with your own soul ?" “I am doing with it,” said he, “what I did forty years ago ; I am resting on that word, “I am the Lord thy God;' and on this I mean to die." To
another he said, " The covenant is my charter; and if it had not been for that blessed word, 'I am the Lord thy God,' my hope and strength had perished from the Lord.”
The night on which he died, his eldest daughter was reading in the room where he was, to whom he said, “What book is that you are reading, my dear?” “It is one of your sermons, sir.” " What one is it?” “It is the sermon on that text, I am the Lord thy God.” “O woman,” said he, 66 that is the best sermon I ever preached.” And it was, most probably, the best to his soul A little afterwards, with his finger and thumb he shut his own eyes, and, laying his hand below his cheek, breathed out his soul into the hands of his Redeemer. Happy the man that is in such a state ! happy the man whose God is the Lord.
JOHN DODD.-"I am not afraid to look death in the face. I can say, 'Death, where is thy sting?' Death cannot hurt me.
THOMAS PEACOCK, B.D.-" The Lord hath honored me with his goodness; I am sure he hath provided a glorious kingdom for me.
The joy I feel in my soul is incredible. Blessed be God! blessed be God! I am a thousand times happy to have such felicity thrown upon me, a poor wretched miscreant!"
HANNAH MORE.-" What can I do? What can I not do with Christ? I know that my Redeemer liveth. Happy, happy are those who are expecting to be together in a better world! The thoughts of that world lift the mind above itself. My God, my God, I bless thy holy name! Oh, the love of Christ, the love of Christ! Mercy, Lord, is all I ask! I am never tired of prayer. It pleases God to afflict, not for his pleasure, but to do me good, to make me humble and thankful ; Lord, I believe, I do believe, with all the power of my weak, sinful heart! Lord Jesus, look down upon me from thy holy habitation, strengthen my faith, and quicken me in my preparation ; support me in that trying hour when I most need it! It is a glorious thing to die !"
REV. JOHN ELY.-"Pardon, peace, acceptance-Christ the depository of it all. I am pardoned, accepted; I shall not perish, but have everlasting life. Blessed Jesus! I come to thee; I accept thy salvation. What should I do without a divine Saviour?"