Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

bound with the ftrong cords of affection, yet looks upward evidently longing to depart and be with Christ, which, as the Apostle says, is far better. Though he may feel this, yet often times he feels strongly bound with the cords of love to remain with the objects of his affection here on the earth, to whom his ftay at present seems needful. He, however, does not confider this world as his abiding-place; he has it beneath his feet, he is looking upward, and waiting for his tranflation to one above.

Thus the Chriftian ftands ready prepared, and longs to depart and be with Chrift; but the interefts of earth exercise an influence over him and bind him down with the golden bands of affectionate love. When a finner becomes a faint, his relations become changed, "old things have paffed away. Behold all things have become new." A "new heart" is given, filled with love to God and man. A new world is prefented full of glorious realities, fubftantial and eternal. A new God is given, Jehovah is His name. He formerly worshipped the gods of this world. A new Saviour is embraced, who is the

altogether lovely." New companions, the nobleft, the wifeft, and the beft. He is the fubject of another King, one Jefus,-the citizen of another city which is out of fight, whofe Builder and Maker is God,-the heir of an inheritance, which is incorruptible, undefiled, and which fadeth not away.

No wonder, then, if he fhould often times de

F

fire to depart in order to poffefs all this happiness. Wandering on earth, “here he has no abiding city;" aftranger and pilgrim as all his fathers were. Nevertheless, he has interefts, affections, and duties of an earthly kind; thefe have a weighty claim upon him; they are connected with God and eternity. The religion of the Bible, while it ftrengthens the powers of the intellect, and fanctifies the foul, does also increase the power of natural affection, and makes us capable of the most lively emotions.

The true minifter of the Gospel, like the great Apoftle, would cheerfully lay down his work and away to Jefus, but the interefts of his Mafter demand that he should stay, and build up the wafte places of Jerufalem; therefore he fays, "All the days of my appointed time will I wait till my change come.

The pious parent, when vifited by fickness, would fain regard it as a call to heaven, but the dear pledges of love are weeping round the bedfide, and their youthful ftate demands a faithful guardian. He can only fay, "I am in a strait betwixt two, having a defire to depart and be with Chrift, which is far better. Nevertheless, to abide in the flesh is more needful for you; the will of the Lord be done."

"How happy is the pilgrim's lot!

How free from every grovelling thought,
From worldly hope and fear!
Confined to neither court nor cell,
His foul difdains on earth to dwell,
He only fojourns here.

"Nothing on earth I call my own:
A ftranger to the world, unknown,
I all their wealth despise;
I trample on their whose delight,
And feek a country out of fight,
A country in the skies."

WESLEY.

[graphic]

66 Efcape for thy life."-GEN. xix. 17. "The courfe of this world."-Ephes. ii. 2.

THE FATAL CURRENT.

See! where the fatal current, broad and deep,
Rolls its swift waters down the awful steep;
While from below the fteaming clouds arise,
And fpread and mingle with the distant skies;
Two men, behold! near the tremendous verge,
A moment finks them 'neath the boiling furge,
One rows for life, he pulls with all his ftrength,
And from the danger well efcapes at length:
The other ftops, lays in his oars to drink,
While nearer drawing to the dreadful brink;
His jeers and taunts he ftill perfifts to throw,
And finks unaided down the gulf below.

THE engraving fhows the fatal current hurrying on its rolling waters to the dread abyfs; fee where the boiling cataract fends forth its cloudy vapours; like volumes of thick smoke

they rife and mingle with the furrounding atmosphere. On the stream, and near the fatal gulf, two men are feen in their frail barks. The one on the left hand, knowing his danger, pulls with all his might. Life is at stake; he stems the current. By dint of mighty, perfevering effort, he escapes the vortex, and gets beyond the reach of danger.

The one on the right, careless and unconcerned, fuffers his little boat to glide down the ftream; he dreams not of danger. See! he has laid in his oars, he is drowning thought by drinking the intoxicating draught. He points the finger of fcorn at his more thoughtful and laborious companion. Notwithstanding his unconcern, the stream bears him onward; nearer and nearer he draws toward the awful brink; on,, and on he drifts, till all at once, over he goes; and finks into the roaring, boiling gulf below.

The above is an emblem of what follows: The gulf, with its rifing curling vapours, may represent the regions of the damned, where the fmoke of their torment afcendeth up for ever and

ever.

The fatal current fignifies the "course of this world" leading thereinto-the ftreams of fin that eventually lead to the gates of death. The man on the left, rowing against tide, represents those who stem the torrents of fin, who oppose themselves to the course of this world, no longer fulfilling the lufts of the flesh, nor of the mind." Eternal life is at ftake; they agonize

« AnteriorContinuar »