« السابقةمتابعة »
THIS Abridgement of "Persuasives to Early Piety" is particularly designed for Sunday Schools, and for benevolent persons who give away religious publications, and who find a book of this size most suitable for their purpose. should, however, be understood, that this volume does not contain more than half the original work, which is interspersed with prayers and meditations, adapted to the state of mind referred to in the various chapters.
The original work is published by Thomas Richardson, Derby, and is sold by him; and by Hurst, Chance, and Co., London.
Do not let a stranger be more anxious than yourself for your eternal welfare. If you have been thoughtless hitherto, be serious now. It is time you were so. You have wasted years enough. Think of sir Francis Walsingham's words, "While we laugh, all things are serious around us. God is serious, who preserves us, and has patience towards us; Christ is serious, who shed his blood for us; the Holy Spirit is serious when he strives with us; the whole creation is serious in serving God and us; all are serious in another world; how suitable then is it for man to be serious! and how can we be gay and trifling?" Do you smile at this grave address, and say this is the cant of enthusiasm? O think that those who laughed at these solemn truths, when they were first delivered, now laugh no more! The friendly warning may be neglected, and the truths of the bible disbelieved, but death and eternity will soon force on the most careless heart a deep conviction, that religion is the one thing needful.
Yes, my young friend, "One thing is needful;" so said the Lord of life-needful to you, to me, to all. The living neglect it, but the dead know its value. Every saint in heaven feels the worth of religion, through partaking of the blessing to which it leads; and every
soul in hell knows its value by its want. It is only on earth that triflers are to be found; and will you be one of them? God forbid!
Read, I beseech you, this little book with serious prayer. Remember that it is your welfare which is sought. I wish you to be happy here, and, when time is past, happy for ever. I plead with you a more important. cause than was ever conducted before an earthly judge. Not one which concerns time only, but which concerns eternity. Not one on which a little wealth or reputation depends; but one with which your eternal poverty or eternal riches, eternal glory or eternal shame, a smiling or a frowning GOD, an eternal heaven or an eternal hell, are al! connected. And it is your cause I plead and not my own, and shall I plead your cause to yourself in vain? O may God forbid that I should!
I know, my young friend, how apt we are to read the most serious calls as if they were mere formal things, of little more consequence to us than the trifles recorded in a newspaper; but do not thus read this little book. Believe me I am in earnest with you, and read, I entreat you, what follows, as a serious message which I have from God for you; and let such considerations as the following persuade you to attend.
Consider what will be your thoughts of the advice here given you a hundred years hence. Long before that time, you will have done with this world for ever. Then, your now vigorous and youthful body will be turned to dust, and your name probably forgotten upon earth; yet your immortal soul will be living in another world; and far more sensible of joy or grief than it can possibly Then, my young friend, what will you think of this friendly warning? How happy will you be if you have followed the advice it contains. Fancy not that it will be then forgotten. Calls and mercies forgotten here must be remembered there, when every sin is brought to the sinner's remembrance. If now you think me over-earnest, you will not then entertain the same opinion. If you now slight this humble effort for promoting your salvation, and carelessly or contemptuously throw this book aside, or read it and forget it, then, if ten thousand worlds were yours, they would appear but a trifle, for another season of salvation, like that you now enjoy; and which perhaps you now waste: but now is your day of grace, then another generation will have theirs.
Think, again, that while you are reading this, thousands are rejoicing in heaven, that they, in past years, attended to such earnest
calls. Once they were as careless as you may have been, but divine grace disposed them to listen to the word of life. They regarded the warnings addressed to them; they found salvation; they are gone to rest; and now with what pleasure do they recollect the fervent sermon, or the little book, that, under God, first impressed their hearts. About one hundred and fifty years ago, a gentleman went into the shop of a Mr. Boulfer, a London bookseller, to inquire for some plays. Mr. Boulter told him he had none; but showed him Mr. Flavel's treatise of "Keeping the Heart;" and assured him that it would do him more good than plays. The gentleman, glancing at different pages, said,
What a fanatic was he who made this book!" Mr. Boulter advised him to read it, and assured him he had no cause to censure it so bitterly. He bought it, but said he would not read it. "What will you do with it then?" said the friendly bookseller. will tear and burn it," said he. Mr. Boulter told him then he should not have it. Upon this the gentleman promised to read it. About a month after, he went again and spoke to Mr. Boulter to this effect, "I most heartily thank you for putting this book into my hands-I bless God who moved you to do it-blessed be God that ever I came into