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of his sincere piety and his fervent desire to serve God in the ministry.
While he admires the sovereignty and grace of God, let, then, every christian reader persevere in prayer for those around him, even though all be darkness and death, assured that though but one be converted at first, many, and some missionaries and pastors in the church, may at length be gathered to the praise and glory of the Redeemer. FIDELIS.
From the Philadelphian. A SOLEMN WARNING TO, MERCHANTS
AND MEN OF BUSINESS.
During the progress of one of the recent revivals of religion within the bounds of the Presbyterian Church among others who assembled in the weekly anxious meeting, on a certain evening a middle aged man in a genteel habit entered the room and seated himself in the midst of this enquiring circle.
The minister who used to converse with all present on such occasions, soon came to him and taking him by the hand, affectionately inquired whether he understood the object of this meeting and whether by his presence he designed to signify his determination of immediately seekng an interest in Christ. To these and other similar questions he answered with an emphasis in
After listening to the remarks which were made, as applicable to the case of awakened sinners, he, together with the others retired. For several weeks in succession, he was found in this meeting-still deeply exercised, but without having received any relief.
On one of these occasions, as he was about to retire, he was asked why he thus delayed complying with the terms of salvation-why he declined throwing himself upon the mercy of Christ, by submitting unconditionally to his demands. Others who had been awakened more recently than himself were daily fleeing to Christ their refuge.
His case, in consequence of his thus lingering, was continually becoming more and more alarming. He was therefore urged to lose no time in searching out that bitter thing, (whatever it might be) that prevented his finding mercy, and that engrossed his affections, to the exclusion of the Savior."What is there (said this ministering friend to him,) with which you cannot part for an interest in the love of Christ ?" Said the gentleman in reply, I cannot now give you the particulars of my alarming case, but I will thank you to call at my house tomorrow, for I wish very much to have a conversation with you."-The next day, in compliance with
this request, the clergyman called on him. The gentleman met him at the door, and immediately conducted him to the parlour. After signifying to his family that he wished them to retire, he turned and addressed himself to the minister in substance as follows :-" Mr. knowing that you were ignorant of the history of my life, I have had a desire for some time to see you under favorable circumstances for a free conversation. In regard to the communication which I am now about to make to you for the first, and for the purpose of obtaining your advice, I have to acknowledge that I have resisted the dictates of conscience, which have long urged me to this step, until I can resist no longer. I am now, as you may be led to conclude,
in easy circumstances as respects this world. About one year since, I removed from the city of
to this country seat, with an accumulation of property which would warrant me in retiring from the pressure of an extensive mercantile business for the enjoyments of domestic life. My happiness since I left the city has been uninterrupted until the commencement of this revival. The scenes which I have since witnessed have very forcibly called to my mind the resolutions I often used to form, for the purpose of pacifying my conscience, while in eager pursuit of the world, that after I had accumulated a certain
amount, I would retire from the noise and business of the city, and spend the remainder of my days in preparing for a better world than this.
With these resolutions
in recollection, I have often felt, as you have urged me to an immediate decision, that I had now no excuse remaining.
I have leisure and every convenience for attending upon all the means of grace. For several weeks past, my mind has been more excited perhaps than it ever was before, on the subject of my welfare in eternity. I have tended your anxious meetings; I have attentively listenedto your preaching, and I see clearly the propriety of immediately surrendering myself into the hands of God as many others have done in the mean time.
I have examined myself, agreeably to your request, for the purpose of ascertaining, if possible, the obstacle in the way of my salvation; and I am now, for the sake of relieving my mind and knowing my duty, about to reveal to you what I never revealed to any man.
While engaged in mercantile business, as many others have done, I allowed myself in the innocent practice, (as custom would seem to render it,) of misrepresenting and over-reaching, not even exercising bowels of mercy for the poor, the widow or the fatherless. And, in many instances, my eager grasp for gain has resulted in
bringing poverty and distress into many families.
Wherever I could render a claim legal, the law of right or wrong was not consulted. And in one instance, by failure in business to a large amount, I ruined certain individuals; and although I have long since had it in my power to relieve them from distressing poverty, I have until this day been inexorable to their pleas. I have, in short, discovered to you the manuer, in which myself, and as I fear many others, have secured the treasures of this world.-Now, the question with which I have felt myself straitened, and for the solution of which I ask your advice, is this-Is it my duty so far as my recollection can make discovery, to restore to the full amount wherever individuals have suffered loss through my injustice? But, before you answer this question, let me apprize you that, in so doing, I must probably surrender my property to the last farthing. And, to tell you the truth, although my conscience has given me co peace for several weeks past, in consequence of my refusing to correct every act of injustice, however trifling it might have appeared at the time of its occurrence; yet I cannot make up my mind, as I am now passing into the decline of life, however reasonable it may be, to surrender all my possessions into the hands of those whom I have injured."
As he gave this relation it was very apparent that there was an alarming struggle between the dictates of conscience and the unyielding inclinations of a proud heart. After a short pause, said the minister, in reply" My dear friend, I have listened with the deepest interest to your recital; nor can I wonder that a review of your life should fill your soul with anguish: but I was sorry to hear you say that you cannot make up your mind to do what both reason and conscience decide to be an act of justice.
Your case is indeed a peculiar one, and I feel that it requires the wisdom of some one more experienced than myself, to designate to you, in this awful dilemma, the path of duty. But remember! no man can be saved until he places such a value upon his soul, that he would be willing to make any and every sacrifice for its salvation.* No man can be pardoned, until he is willing to perform whatever God commands however self-denying and inconvenient it may be."
With these remarks he left him: but, (as he afterwards said) not without strong apprehensions that, rather than perform evident duty, himself being judge, he would cling to his possessions with an unyielding grasp, and risk the fearful consequences.
The minister embraced the first opportunity of consulting some of his most judicious brethren; and after listening to the painful
circumstances of his case, they and finally be found among the were unanimous and unhesitating- wretched, who for the love of ly decided in the opinion, that money have already drowned the word of God and the dictates themselves in destruction and of his conscience were in union; perdition, and pierced themand that if he could not " bring his selves through with everlasting mind" to an act of justice, it clear- sorrows. MARTUS. ly evinced two facts:
1. That his sorrows for the errors of his past life did not amount to any thing like ingenious repentance, else he would be willing to correct them at any expense. 2. That his " easy circumstances" were held dearer to his affections than the salvation of his soul, else he would have felt no difficulty or hesitation in practically solving the fearful problem--" What shall it pofit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul; or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?"
But to conclude this affecting narrative. A few days only elaps ed before the solemn interview was renewed; and, awful to relate, it now appeared that, instead of implicitly obeying the voice of God and of justice, without any darling reserve, this convicted and "almost persuaded" man had returned to the world--virtually bidding the Holy Ghost, which had aroused conscience from her slumbers--Go thy way for this time, when I have a convenient season will call for thee." And what is now most to be feared, if not most expected, is, that, instead of ever retracing his steps, he will hold fast his possessions,
*We presume that nothing more is here meant than that a higher estimation should be set on the soul than on any other personal interest.
Natural ability is the intellectual and bodily strength of a man to perform every action which God requires of him. Ability relates to action: and all men, according to this acceptation of the word, are able to perform what God requires. For, God is infinitely reasonable in his requirements. It is as much impossible for God to require more of us than we have intellectual and corporeal strength to perform, as it is for him to be unjust. There is a perfect correspondence between the commands of God, and the natural ability of the subjects of his command. Accordingly he does not command the idiot to be a philosopber; nor those who are naturally blind, deaf and dumb, to see, hear or speak. Nor does he require infants to do the work of men: for they are unable. God requires no natural impossibilities. But he requires those actions and those only which men are able to perform if they choose to obey him. Accor
dingly he requires children to obey their parents; parents to provide for their children; and the rich to give to the poor. In a word, God commands all men every where to repent, and love him with all the heart, because they have natural ability to comply with the command. And, I may challenge an instance either under the law or gospel, of God's requiring men to perform, that which exceeds their natural ability. The command of God never exceeds the natural ability of man. Accordingly he says, are not my ways equal?-And, if there be first a willing mind it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.
Dr. S. Spring.
From the Utica Repository. THE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY-BY BUNYANUS.
Then the Interpreter took the pilgrims out into a field, which they saw a man carefully ploughing, and preparing it to cast in the seed. Then he bid the pilgrims ask the man why he did so; and the man answered, that he carefully prepared his ground, and sowed his seed, because he believed that all things take place according to an immutable decree; and that this decree establishes a firm connection between the means and the end; and that if it was decreed
that he should reap a harvest, it was equally decreed that he should plough his field, and sow his seed. He was therefore using the appointed means, in order to secure the desired end.
Then the Interpreter took them to an adjoining field, which was untilled, and growing up with weeds, while the owner was sitting idle, with his hands folded, and looking at his ground, to see what would take place. So the Interpreter bid the pilgrims ask him why he did so differently from his neighbor, and he answered, that he did not, like him, believe that events take place according to any fixed and established order; and consequently, that he thought he should be just as likely to reap a barvest, if he did nothing to his field, as if he should cultivate it with ever so much diligence; and not wishing to bestow his labor for nought he was taking his ease and waiting to see what his ground would produce.
Then said Thoughtful, I think I understand the meaning of these things. But the men act contrary to what is frequently represented as the natural effect of their belief. The belief that every thing takes place according to a fixed decree is often thought to be adapted to discourage men from using means, instead of being an encouragement.
In. That is often said, indeed; but it must be said without much reflection. These men act in ex