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of God's children have realized it; and I make this remark for their comfort, lest they should think it a condition of being saved that they should feel to a certain degree the burden of sin. It is not, I again repeat it, how deeply it is felt, but whether it is so felt as to lead the soul to the cross of Christ-whether it is so realized as to draw forth from the consciencestricken soul the earnest inquiry, “What must I do to be saved ?" If sin be so felt as to induce this earnest question, the end will be gained; the soul will be so far awakened as to feel its danger and its need of salvation.

As a natural consequence of this sense of sin, fearful forebodings are awakened in the mind: there is a terrible prospect drawn out before the


of the soul -"a looking for of judgment and fiery indignation," about to devour God's adversaries—an anticipation of that fearful time, when the guilty soul shall be banished from God's presence for ever, and condemned to the experience of everlasting woe; thoughts of the coming judgment—thoughts of the “great white throne”—thoughts of a seated Judge—thoughts of a terrible assize-crowd into the affrighted mind, and cause it to feel that the arrows of the Almighty are indeed drinking into its spirit.

These forebodings will be likely so to affect the mind as to produce visible uneasiness. A sinner, with his conscience thus awakened, and so ill at ease, will scarcely fail in some way to make it apparent. He cannot now take pleasure in the ways of sin in which once he unthinkingly indulged; be can hardly now occupy himself even in the customary avocations of life: it seems to him that the care of the soul is the first and “the one thing needful,” and till that be secured, the world has no attractions for his mind, and no claims upon him. What is pleasure--what is business—what is anything here—whilst his soul is in danger? We shall not wonder, even if sleep flee from


his eyelids-if, during the night watches, he is tossing restlessly upon his bed. How can he sleep peacefully and tranquilly, who realizes God's wrath, as impending over his soul ? His friends may wonder at this strange uneasiness—may wonder at this singular alteration; they may try to dispel the gloom which rests upon his spirit; they may endeavour, in a kind, but mistaken way, to draw him into pleasure, hoping that thereby he will lose what they call lowness of spirits and unaccountable melancholy. But how vain is the endeavour! To him mirth, worldly mirth, is an empty, hollow thing, a mere mockery; he can take no pleasure, and he wonders how he ever could take pleasure, in those things which still have attractions for his friends, and to which they again endeavour to allure him. Or they may try ridicule; they may endeavour to reason or to tease him out of this melancholy; they may express their apprehensions of his becoming over religious; they may assure him that we were made to enjoy life, and that if religion be a thing we ought to attend to, it could never be designed to lessen what they style our innocent gratifications; they may point out to him how singular he is becoming, and that if he persist in his melancholy course, he will be “a by-word and a proverb” amongst his friends and neighbours. They may even proceed to harsher measures; they may think it right to force away his religious feelings by a well-intentioned system of persecution; they may think they are acting rightly, in excluding him from religious scenes and religious people ; they may tell him that his continuance in this new kind of life will occasion the forfeiture of their regard and intimacy. But all in vain !

And so deep will be the agony of his mind, that even now the dearest friends fail to afford him consolation. There was a time when this man, under the pressure of any calamity, when his mind was at all uneasy, when the course of worldly events occasioned

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disquietude, was accustomed to lose those gloomy feelings in the presence of his beloved family. He forgot, by the side of his wife, and of his dear children, gathered about his knee, the cares, the disappointments, the vexations, and the difficulties which had crowded into the experience of the day. The world, with all its distracting influences, was shut out from

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that little domestic circle; it was a spot where love and kindness made ever for him a little haven. But now, even in his family, he is still the same gloomy and distracted man; he is even more gloomy and more anxious, because he remembers that these beloved ones are in danger similar to his own; the sight of their peril, therefore, still further increases his anxiety, and makes his spiritual agony more intense.

III. How important that such an anxious soul should receive proper instruction! How precious, then, the opportunity of meeting with a Christian Friend! I have said, that it is by means of the Word of God that the sinner is awakened, that the Holy Spirit proceeds in commencing that process whereby we are brought “out of darkness into marvellous light;" let me add, that there is a connexion between the Bible and Human Agency. God's plan of converting the sinner is by the Preaching of the Word; and it is in this way, generally, that conversions are effected. We will not enter into any discussion of the question, how the employment of our fellowcreatures to make known the Word of God, tends to the quickening of the soul which that Word effects: it is sufficient for our present purpose to notice the fact, that it is not the Bible by itself, but the Bible as forming the subject of human ministry and human preaching, that the Holy Spirit employs as the moral agent in recreating the soul.

The anxious siuner stands in great need of instruction. Light has come into his mind; but so intense is the darkness of that mind, that for a time it is but a season of twilight. The sinner sees, it is true; but his spiritual perceptions are somewhat like those of the man in the parable, who saw “men, as trees, walking." His vision of Divine things is dim and imperfect: he has realized his danger; he believes there is salvation; but he needs to have its way clearly pointed out. Some Christian friend meets him, and directs his earnest inquiring look to that “ Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world.” He is told of the Saviour; yet at first even his notions of that Saviour may be indistinct, and he may need to know the way of the Lord more perfectly. He sees only a little light; but if that little light come from the Bible-if it be light streaming, however faintly, from the cross of Christ-if it be

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light which, possessing only a twilight power, is cast upon his mind by the illuminations of Calvary, it is sufficient for his guidance. Our duty is to say to such a sinner-Do you see that light?-assured that if it come from the Word of God, it will eventually lead him close to the cross—that however indistinct his spiritual perceptions at present may be, they will gradually become clearer and brighter, till eventually they possess the full power and radiance of the perIV. We suppose the awakened sinner, thus instructed, to make his Escape. He has many temptations to remain. The world has not quite lost its power to enchain his affections; the cares of life, the absorbing influence of worldly occupations, pleasure in various forms, combine to resist his endeavour to escape

“the wrath to come”-combine in their attractive power to keep him here. His natural affections, the way in which his heart clings to his family, and attaches itself to his friends, may assist in making it more difficult for him to commence the Christian course. But one thought, one anxiety, overpowers all

; Life, Eternal life, is his motive and his object. Turning a deaf ear, then, to the voices

which bid him linger in the scenes of pleasure, which are scenes of danger, and thinking only of the interests of his soul, he starts off earnestly in the pursuit of Life.

And yet some have lingered—some have tarriedsome have allowed temptations to gain a present advantage over them--some have, notwithstanding their anxiety, postponed the endeavour to secure the salvation of their souls. Why have they done so ? There are two reasons which account for this strange procrastination. They have not realized their danger, or they have not realized it as immediate. They have some strongly absorbing worldly interests, which seem to be almost religious duties. I have often met with parents, who acknowledged their need of salvation, who con

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