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opinions of some, and the unchristian practices of others, hath it filled our hearts with griefi? Or, rather, have we not been in great measure un concerned about these matters little caring whes ther the cause of Christ sink or swim, so long as our own worldly concerns go on with success ?But is that friendly sayo mata pengorb Again Christ, with all the warmth of friendship, loves the company of his people. Do we love his, and seek it? Are we diligent and constant in out attendance upon ordinances; and are we unsatisfied with ordinances, unless we have more or less of Christ's presence with them, and his blessing upon them? Or, rather, have we not, on very slight pretences, neglected ordinances; and when we do attend, have we not been satisfied with that, with out caring whether any thing pass between Christ and our souls? Is this friendly?
Farther: Christ, like a true friend, is mindful of us, though absent; pleads our cause in the court of heaven; defends us from dangers, known and unknown; and is busily preparing for our future aggrandizement. Are we so mindful of him? Do
remember his love more than wines Are our meditations of him frequent, and sweet; and do we openly espouse his cause, and stand up in his vindication, when the world is running him down? Or, rather, is it not too much the case, beout of
of sight out of mind? Are we not so immersed in the cares," or enamoured with the pleasures, of the world, as to forget our connection with Jesus? Or, if we do secretly love him, are we not shy of owning it? Do we not many times cowardly hold our peace, when his honour is
traduced by impious tongues; and make as if we did not know the man?"Is this friendly? Oh Christians if Christ's friendship were not truer and warmer than ours, we had been little the better for it. carma to hola todd lo
But methinks I know not how to close, without dropping a tear over a Christless multitude.-You cannot say any thing more wretched of a man, than that he hath not a friend in the world. What a deplorable situation must that be! If he be in difficulties, no friend to advise with; if in straits, no friend to apply to; if he be sick, no friend to attend him!-You pity such a man: and, yet, it is the case with every unconverted soul in this assembly. A Christless person is a friendless person: he hath no one to consult or apply to in his greatest extremities. argu
"No matter!' you say, with an air of indifference: it is time enough when these extremities come: fat present we meet with no troubles but what the friends we have can soothe and comfort us under,' -It may be so: but when God enters into judg ment with you, and sets your sins in order before you, and breaks out upon you in all the terrors of his holiness, will your friends venture to stand between you and a consuming fire? You beg them to do it; you go to them, and with horror in your looks and anguish in your hearts, beseech them to help you: Pity me, pity me, O ye my friends! for the hand of the Lord hath touched me.. ned me. Tell me something to quiet my raging conscience ; help me to still the enemy and the avenger. < Can none of your prevail with God Almighty to turn away his fierce anger, that I perish not ?—
What are ye good for? You have always promised to assist me: I never wanted you till now; and now you are dumb and inactive, Fool that I ⚫ was to trust you! Miserable comforters are ye all! I have heard much of Christ, what a friend be is to publicans and sinners: but I have been such a bitter enemy to him all my life; I • have so hated his person, hated his people, hated his doctrine, hated his ordinances, hated his com• mandments, that he never can take notice of such a wretch as I am.---Oh that I had applied to him sooner!---But there is no hope !---No!'
This is sad. But to have these reflections upon a death-bed--to feel yourselves summoned to the bar of God, and no accounts ready, no debt paid, no peace made, no curse removed;---to have a lively sense of all this, and to have no friend to commit your departing soul to; no friend to speak for you to God, the Judge of all--that, that must be dreadful indeed! Let me beseech you to think of it, to provide for it, in season. Death and judgment will certainly come: as sure as you are now sitting before me, shall you, ere long, stand be fore God; and if Christ be not your friend, you are undone--undone for ever!
Well, but it is not too late yet, Behold, he stands at the door and knocks," Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near.” "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighte ous man his thoughts, and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon."
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PSALM XXV. 18.
mine affliction, and my pain, and forgive all my sin.
THESE words are not the hasty effusions of a person desirous only of ease and indolence, but they are the fervent prayer of an eminent believer, who valued the presence and favour of God above every thing. Whether David laboured under any great bodily pain when he composed this Psalm, or whether he speaks only of the grief and pain of mind he felt, under the afflicting circumstances he was in, is uncertain; nor is it material to inquire. This we know, that he was exercised with a variety of sorrows and sufferings; and in all of them his first refuge, and his principal relief was prayer. It is a common saying, "Suffering times are searching times;" and we may add another saying to it, that "Times of affliction are times of discovery." Affliction is a fire that tries every man's work, of what sort it is: whether it is hay and stubble, or gold and silver, and precious stones. It tries a man's temper, of what sort it is: whether he is meek and patient, or fretful and passionate. It tries a man's state, of what sort it is: whether he is yet in the gall of bitterness and the bonds of iniquity, or a
child of God and an heir of glory.—I say, “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh :" you may guess at the situation of the mind by the fruit of the lips. The carnal man (I mean, the man that hath no fear of God, no sense of religion, and no hope but in this life,) if any trouble come upon him-especially if he be in great danger--is presently all confusion and uproar within. A sense of sin upon the conscience raises a storm in the soul ten thousand times more troublesome than any wound in the flesh can be. See him confined to a sick bed; his body wasting, his strength declining: his food doth not nourish him, his physic doth not cure him his feelings bad, and his apprehensions a great deal worse !--- Hence he utters nothing but angry, almost blasphemous, speeches: If it had not been for such an one, this would never have happened. Never was any one so plagued as I am. This evil is of the Lord: why should I wait for the Lord any longer? If he will not relieve me, another shall.' And thus," the evil "the evil man, out of the evil treasure of his own heart, bringeth forth evil things; but the good man, out of the good treasure of his heart, bringeth forth good things." God being pleased with him, he is pleased with every thing. He is thankful that he hath so many friends about him; thankful for every little office of kindness that is done for him; thankful even for the rod that makes him smart, knowing that it is laid on in love; and, conscious that he has done enough to provoke God to lay on much heavier strokes than this, he throws himself on the divine mercy, and prays, "Look upon mine affliction, and my and forgive all my sin."true lo to ba