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CONCLUSION. baina "Joy, far superior joy, that much outweighs The comfort of a few poor added days, Invades, possesses, and o'erwhelms the soul Of him, whom Hope has with a touch made whole. "Tis Heaven, all Heaven decending on the wings Of the glad legions of the King of kings ; "Tis more— tis God diffused through every part, « ?Tis God Himself triumphant in his heart.”
1:"1. Get into the way. 2. Then study on it. 3. Then strip and lay aside every thing that would hinder. 4. Beware of By-paths. 5. Do not gaze and stare too much about thee, but be sure to ponder the path of thy feet. 6. Do not stop for any that call after thee, whether it be the world, the flesh, or the devil, for all these will hinder thy journey, if possible. 7. Be not daunted with any discouragements that thou meetest with as thou goest. 8. Take heed of stumbling at the cross. And, 9. Cry hard to God for an enlightened heart, and a willing mind : and God give thee a prosperous journey.”- Bunyan.
Having now conducted you, my young readers, through a series of remarks on religion, with the supposition that by divine grace you have entered into the subject, and are now to be considered as the true disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, it only remains for me to conclude my work. In the course of it, I have set before you the nature of religion and of the religous life: I have spoken much to you both of the world without, and of the world within. In every chapter I have endeavoured to advance plain truth, without any compromise, and without any exorbitancy. I have not written with the least reference to any human system: I advocate plain, sound, vital, and practical Biblical religion: and in so doing I think that I act most consistently with the doctrines and spirit of the Anglican Church, and also in a manner most conducive, if it please the great Head of the Church to prosper my labours, to the real interests of my readers.
And now, instead of advancing any further remarks of my own, either in the way of exhortation, encouragement, or warning, I shall suppose that one of my young readers, to whom the book has been rendered useful, concludes it: I hope, therefore, that I do not wander far from the truth when I suppose him, having withdrawn to the retirement of his own chamber for the exercise of serious reflection, to speak to the following effect.
" I was young and thoughtless, employing myself as others in the common routine of daily business, and enjoying those things which are agreeable to the youthful heart. I was lively in the company of my coevals; listening to their conver
sation, partaking of their merriment, joining them in their amusements, and walking in their ways. I sometimes looked forward to future years,
and amused myself with dreams of happiness, giving to the pictures of imagination all that was graceful in form and exquisite in colour. Religion was made a subordinate subject, frequently forgotten, and never seriously regarded. I thought it superfluous to give it any decided attention: for I was guilty of no gross sin, I performed the common duties of my place, and adorned myself with many pleasing and amiable qualities. I was extolled by some, commended by others, and approved by myself. But meanwhile I knew not God, myself, my circumstances, or the proper business and the great end of human life. The world were pleased with me, and I was pleased with the world. This was the season of trifling and carelessness, of ignorance and death.
“But the merciful and gracious God did not leave me to remain in this state. The season of light, of feeling, of inquiry came. A divine influence, such is my full persuasion, was put forth: it effectually wrought upon my immortal soul : I was led to meditate upon, and to examine, with a serious mind, the nature and condition of man, and the things that belong to his peace. Thoughts of God, of my soul, of sin, of salvation, of eternity occupied my mind and heart. I thought, I read, I prayed as well as I could. I
soon found that religion was not to be a secondary subject; that the world could not make me happy; that an intelligent and immortal soul could only be happy by enjoying the divine favour. I discovered that the notions of persons in general respecting religion are superficial and mistaken, and that their prejudices against true piety are altogether unjust. I was led on to enter into divine things more closely: new light broke in upon my mind, and new feelings and desires sprung up in my heart. This was the season of twilight, of the dawn, of incipient life.
“I meditated on God, and I saw His awful as well as His engaging perfections. I meditated on myself, and I discovered my sinfulness and my iniquities. I saw and felt the need of a Saviour and of a Sanctifier, and I was prepared to think of Christ who died for simuers, and of the Holy Ghost who sanctifies sinners. Then I found religion to be a series of spiritual facts of the deepest interest. A sinner needs salvation: without the possession of it, he lives in sin, far from God, and sinks into eternal destruction.
“I now saw that the true Christian is one who enters, by a divine influence, into the Gospel of Christ with all his mind and heart and soul and strength; to be saved from sin—from guilt, from defilement, from corruption, from disobedience, from misery ;—to be brought into a state of reconciliation with God, and to be made like Him, by faith in Christ and by the participation of the Holy Spirit. I was brought to such a state of mind as to renounce my former notions, ways, delights, and objects, and to enter on a new path, to be saved by the divine mercy in Christ, to be renewed by a divine power, to be guided by the divine law;-to put my trust in Christ, to build my hopes upon Him, to love Him, follow Him; to be holy in heart and life; so to live in faith and love and holiness, as to be with Christ for
“To renounce myself, to renounce the world, to abase myself, to receive all good from above as an absolutely unmerited gift—these things, as well as some others, occasioned a struggle. But I
I felt, that salvation is every thing; and that it could be found only by a complete submission to the Gospel-by a cordial reception of it. The might
blessed be God, overcame the perverseness of nature; and whatever I had to contend with, I was enabled to devote myself to God and His service in the Gospel of His Son-my only wish being to be a partaker and follower of Christ.
“I attended with a teachable spirit to the voice of instruction. I was taught that I was exposed to a great variety of evils. I was admonished to attend to the great truths of religion, and to walk with humility, circumspection, and diligence in duty, remembering God and waiting upon Him.