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The thing is not impracticable. Facts have evinced the contrary*. “ The Friends”—of humanity, will
* The Gospel has already gained a partial admission to these places. True, the accommodations are poor, in the Almshouse and Hospital ; but in the different wards one hundred have gladly assembled, at a time. Some on beds and some on benches have listened with eager attention ; and, without doubt, some have been savingly benefitted. In the Almshouse some appear to have been awakened from stupidity, so that they pray for mercy; and others, who were groping in darkness, unable to read the Bible, and deprived of divine light, have been enlightened and comforted.
In the Hospital also, some good effect seems to have followed the preaching of the first sermon. An avowed Deist, of more than common intellect, had for some time lingered in the consumption. The superintendant had often warned him of his approaching dissolution, and tenderly urged him to consent that some Gospel minister should be invited to converse and pray with him. He declined, with much of the infidel cant, excusing his sins, and saying, that his heart was his altar, and himself his own priest to offer sacrifice to “ Nature's God.” On his death bed, he was necessitated to hear the first sermon delivered in the Hospital ; for the speaker was in the same room with him, and stood beside him. For the first and last time he listened to the unsearchable riches of Christ. The truth had such an effect upon him, that in the afternoon, he requested earnestly that the minister, whom he had heard, might be called to converse with him about his perishing soul. But the minister was engaged in preaching elsewhere, and did not see him until Monday morning. Then his speech had fled. He was, however, still in possession of his reason.
“ Are you now convinced that you are a poor, miserable, and justly condemned sinner ?” He nodded assent with all his remaining strength.
“ Do you now renounce your infidelity, and feel that your past rejection of Jesus Christ, through unbelief, has been the greatest of all your crimes?" He rolled up his eyes, in apparent amazement, fixed them on the speaker awhile, and then burst into tears. Penitence appeared in those wasted eyes, “ which had almost forgotten to weep."
He then indicated, by signs, that he wished the minister to take a seat on the bed, and put his ear nearer to his moving lips. He attempted to articulate, but could not.
your need of a Saviour, and are you willing to commit your soul to Christ, guilty as it is, believing that he is able and willing to pardon the chief of sinners }” Again he assented, and with great exertion scarcely framed to pronounce, in a whisper, “O that's the thing!”
66 Do you
not forbid any pious, prudent man, to speak to the poor in the Hospital, and the Almshouse, when he shall be “moved by the spirit," and the “ Spirit shall give him utterance.”
The presbyterians, who are of one heart and one mind, can support one minister for the poor, who shall be appointed by the weekly association of their own ministers. If other denominations are disposed to place other chaplains upon similar establishments, it is well. There need be no interference. The field of usefulness is wide: but the labourers are few.
Christians, are you alive in Christ, and do you hope to die in the Lord ? Work while the day lasts. Be not weary in well doing. Soon you shall rest from all labour. Soon your works shall follow you to heaven. May God give you the happiness of
“I hope," resumed the minister, “ you will die with this prayer in your heart, ‘God be merciful to me a sinner !"" He lifted up his eyes, and trembling hands towards heaven : then smote upon his breast, and sighed deeply.
May God pardon you, for Christ's sake. FAREWELL." the night of the same day he died.
Why did he not learn the way of salvation before ? He did not know the riches of Christ, and no professor of religion attempted to teach him, no preacher of Jesus was sent to say, “ Why so madly bent on ruin! Sinner, you are condemned: Christ offers you free pardon ; believe, accept, and live.”
Christians, how many shall die, more neglected than this man, in a city full of wealth, pleasures, and prosperity ; full of CHRISTIANS ?
meeting thousands there, who shall say, it to your liberality in supporting a chaplain for the poor, next to the sovereign grace of God in Christ that we enjoy eternal life.” Amen.
If any, who may read this note and the preceding sermon, shall fee a disposition jeeringly to say, young man !
.“ quoque ipse misserrima vidi, Et quorum pars magnafui:"I can only answer, that youth is no crime, the cause is a good one; an even to fail in a laudable attempt is glorious.