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make such a stir about religion are alike, and are hypocrites at heart.
Ans. What if they were? would that set aside death and judgment, to which you are hastening? would it unmake heaven and hell, one of which must be your eternal dwelling? would it render the favour of God less valuable, or his anger less dreadful? would it excuse your neglect of him? You are not to answer for them, but for yourself. But perhaps the faults that have given you disgust, were those of persons, sincere in heart, but unhappily drawn, in an unguarded moment, into sin, which has since cost them many a week of bitter grief. Now, if this were the case, should their unhappy fall be a reason with you to neglect your God? Should you cut your throat because they have cut a finger? O do not then, because some, in the main sincere, may, by sin, have wounded their own souls, cast yours into the pit of eternal perdition.
Obj. 9. But I do not believe that God will be so strict as he is represented. Nor do I believe that he will be offended with me for following my pleasures, and gratifying the inclinations of the nature he has given me.
Ans. So then your objections come to infidelity at last. You do not believe what God declares; for it is he that in his own
word represents himself thus righteously strict; it is he who there assures you, that the end of a life of vanity and sinful pleasure is eternal death. You do not believe God, but listen to the tempter in preference to him. Thus was the world at first ruined. The tempter said to our parent, "Ye shall not surely die." The lie was believed, and they were undone. As for following the inclinations of your nature, you might safely do so, if your nature were what it was when man came from his Creator's hands. Then were his dispositions holy; but now your nature is corrupt and fallen-its dispositions "earthly, sensual, and devilish."
The young reader entreated to make his
Now you have read thus far in this little volume, what is your decision? I have endeavoured to set before you some of the pleasing, and some of the dreadful motives which urge you to embrace the gospel of the Lord, yet think not that the thousandth part has been told. Faint is the represen tation, here attempted, of the love of Christ; the worth of the soul; the joys of heaven; or the terrors of hell. Those awful realities, in solemnity and importance, more exceed the account here given of them, than a thunder-clap exceeds the faintest whisper; or than the noon-day sun outshines one glimmering spark. What then, again I ask you, is your decision? Have you chosen, or will you choose, the way of life? Can you see that you have, from your heart, devoted yourself to God? that you have seriously and deliberately chosen him as your God, and Christ as your Saviour? If you discern nothing of this kind, depend upon it the reason is, that
you are as yet perishing in your sins. Transactions between God and the soul, of so much importance as these, cannot possibly have taken place without your notice and remembrance. When a servant has changed masters, is he not aware of his change? and if you had changed the service of the world and sin, for that of God and Christ, would you not know that you had done so? Alas! you cannot have a plainer proof that you are in your sins, than having no knowledge of any alteration of this kind in your views and feelings. But should I leave you thus? God forbid! I beseech you to be reconciled to Christ, and to choose the way of life.
Youth is your choosing time. The years between fifteen and twenty-five are an awfully important season. What you are at the end of that period, you will probably be for ever. Behold life and death are before you. You have to decide whether you will be a child of God, or a slave of the devil; an inhabitant of heaven, or an outcast in hell.
By the infinite worth of religion, I beseech you, make your choice. More than a thousand lives depend upon it, even a whole eternity.
By all the joys and glories of heaven, I beseech you, embrace early religion. If you wish ever to enter those blessed abodes; if
you would ever obtain a crown of life eternal, make this your choice. You may enter heavenly rest; the crown of glory, peace, and blessedness, the sweet society of angels, and the love of God, all may be yours; and will you refuse them all? By these, and ten thou sand heavenly blessings, I entreat you, seek God as your God. Then welcome death! welcome eternity! welcome all the scenes beyond the grave! welcome the great judgment! welcome heaven!
By all the solemnities of death, I beseech you choose the way of life. Think of your dying hour, of your physician saying, "There is no hope," of your friends bidding you a last farewell, of your pulse stopping, your voice failing, your eyes closing, and your soul taking its everlasting flight. And will you, for the pleasures of a moment, undo that immortal soul? Think of yourself stretched lifeless in a coffin; of your grave opened; of your funeral over; of your body the prey of worms and corruption; and, in a little while, that nothing will remain of you in this world but a heap of dust. O think of these things! and by these be persuaded, to make that choice now, which will yield you satisfaction
when you die.
By all the eternal Father's kindness, I be seech you, yield your heart to him. By his