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THE GREAT DAY.
BY REV. J. FOREMAN OF BERBICE.
plead innocence, for you know you are guilty. You cannot hope that your sins will not be known? For God, the all-seeing God, will be your Judge, and your companions in wickedness will be swift witnesses against you. They must speak out they dare not lie, nor hide the truth, with God's eye upon them. What is your hope? Is it this, upon which so many trust? That your sins are but trifles, and that God is so merciful? Say you so? Sin a trifle? Sin a little thing? Is this true? Are you happy? Have you ever been ill? Do you know what trouble is? Do your friends die? Will you live always? Why all this trouble, sickness and death? What has caused it? Sin!
Look at all the misery that has existed, and exists at this moment, in the world in which we live, and what has produced it? Sin! See our first parents driven from Eden; they are out of the gate, and there stands the angel and the flaming sword, to prevent their return. They go forth" in the sweat of their face to eat bread, until they return to the dust from whence they were taken," and why this sudden, awful change in their circumstances? One word affords the answer-Sin!
Behold, "The fountains of the great deep are broken up, and the waters of the sea are rushing in upon the land. The windows of heaven are opened, and the rain descends in torrents. The waters rise higher, higher, HIGHER, until the top of the highest mountain is covered, and all
mankind are dead, except those eight persons in the ark; and why this devastation and death? Because of sin!
Look at that man in Pilate's judgment-hall. He is mocked, scourged, and spit upon,
"See the sufferer falls-and all the rabble laugh,
His hands are bound with thongsHis thick damp hair all clotted is with blood;
And, as he rises and creeps with pain, One cries,' How will He bear the cross? And all the rabble jeer again."
Only on this side of the grave: be sure of that. God is so merciful, that "He delighteth in mercy." Listen: He says to you, "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him turn unto the Lord and He will have mercy upon him, and to our God for He will abundantly pardon." Listen again: "He that confesseth and forsaketh his sin shall find
Behold, they have nailed Him to the cross, and His life's blood is fast ebbing out. Do you know who that is? Draw near, read the inscription nailed above His head-what is it? "This is Jesus, the King of the Jews." Yes, this is Jesus, God's only begotten Son. Do you ask, why is He crucified? What evil hath He done? None; "He did no sin, neither was guile found in His mouth." He died
"For man the creature's sin." For your sin and mine, and yet you say, sin is a little thing. You must die, and you must be judged. God has coupled death and judgment together in His holy word. "It is appointed unto man once to die, but after this the judgment." The day of your death will come, as certainly as this day, and the day of judgment will follow with equal certainty; and when you stand at God's bar you will find you have lost your soul, for what you call a trifling thing. How then can sin, your sin, be but a trifle, when it costs you your soul?
But you say," God is so merciful.” Yes, that He is, sinner, more than your heart has ever yet conceived Him to be. But His mercy is only to be had in time, remember that.
mercy." Listen: He calls you.
"Whosoever cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out." Let your heartfelt prayer be, "God be merciful to me a sinner." Decide this day for God, and then this will be the greatest day of your life.
THE REVIVAL SPIRIT. THE revival spirit is a tender, humble, heart-broken spirit. This is essential to the spirit of prayer. "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit. A broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise." This is accompanied with feelings of deep self-abasement. The prayer of Daniel previous to the return from the captivity is a specimen of revival feeling. A great portion of this prayer is the language of Christians on awakening from a long season of spiritual slumber; and whenever this melting spirit becomes general in a church, great and glorious is the work of the Lord.
This spirit is far removed from noise and confusion, and vain confidence. The accents of humble, broken penitence will be heard in the pulpit, in the social meeting, and at the family altar; and the secret places will witness the deep
struggles of spirit, where the humble souls wrestle with their God, for spiritual blessings upon themselves and others. The unhumbled heart cannot approach near the mercyseat, "for He knoweth the proud afar off." He will not accept the sacrifice of the self-confident, or of the vain-glorious, even though, like Baal's priests, they cry aloud from morning to evening.
This is a most tender, melting spirit. It meets a response in kindred hearts, and an affectionate, loving spirit pervades the little band of praying souls. It administers warning, exhortation, and entreaty to impenitent souls, in a tender, kind, and gentle manner. Repulse, and even abuse, is met with meekness. It is opposed to harsh, austere, and bitter rebukes, which stir up the wrathful passions of men. Even opposition and violence are disarmed before it, and rebuke from such a spirit enters into the soul like a sharp, two-edged sword. But this spirit cannot be acquired without deep struggles of soul, nor maintained without great watchfulness and care. It shuns the noisy scenes of carnal strife, and dwells not with the souls that harbour envy, ill-will, bitterness, wrath, or an unforgiving temper. O, that such a spirit pervaded the whole church militant! How soon would the banner of the cross be displayed over the ruins of Satan's empire!
What a comfort it is, after a fatigu ing day's work, to be able to lie down, and receive that refreshment which is necessary, in order to perform the duties of life. The Bible declares that there "remaineth a rest for the people of God:" a rest from the temptations of this world, from this sinful nature, from God's enemies, who here assail and fight against those who are on His side. Here we are soon tired, "The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak;" duty, however pleasant, soon wears us down; and yet we do not look forward enough to this rest, prepared for all those who have received the forgiveness of all their many sins through the blood of Christ. Jesus declared, when on this earth, that in His Father's house were many mansions, and that He went before to prepare a place for us.
Reader, are you looking forward with much anxiety for the time when God shall see fit to call you to enjoy rest-from all your labours and trials in this world of sorrows, where we are soon wearied, to thy rest in the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world? or, are you forgetting that Christ has proclaimed a rest, to be enjoyed for a long eternity after His people leave this earth? "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest," said Christ. "Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out."
"Come! said Jesu's sacred voice,
Do you expect to enjoy this sacred rest? Those that believe on the Lord Jesus Christ will enjoy this rest; those that have received remission for all their sins through the cleansing power of Christ's precious blood will enjoy rest. "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life"-(John iii. 36). Do you, dear reader, believe? or do you say, "I am afraid I am too great a sinner?" Listen, "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." (Isaiah i. 18). "Jesus Christ came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." "Whosoever will," is Christ's invitation; therefore, He does not consider you, nor anyone, too vile to come to Him; but those that come to Him must come in faith, believing "that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him." "Those that seek me early shall find me." Therefore, if you have not sought Christ and yielded yourself up to Him and His cause, may He bow your stubborn will; 66 for 'Behold, now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation." It is dangerous to delay seeking salvation, for you know not what an hour may bring forth; before this day is past you may be numbered with the dead; you may have left this world-which will be either for the place of everlasting torment in company with the devil and his angels, or to enjoy rest in heaven, there to be continually singing the song of Moses and the Lamb.
"When shall I reach thathappy place,
And be for ever blest? When shall I see my Father's face, And in His bosom rest?"
DELAY OF CONVERSION. AN accurate examination into the periods of life in which those, whose lives of godliness give evidence of true religion, first began to be followers of Christ, furnishes an amazing demonstration of the folly and danger of delay! The probability of conversion diminishes rapidly as years roll on.
Make up a congregation of a thousand Christians. Divide them into five classes, according to the ages at which they became Christians. Place in the 1st class all those converted under 20 years of age: 2nd class, all those converted between 20 and 30; 3rd class, all those converted between 30 and 40; 4th class, all those converted between 40 and 50; 5th class, all those converted between 50 and 60. Then count each of the five classes separately. Of your thousand Christians, there were hopefully converted,
Under 20 years of age,
". .. 11
19 "9 19
Here you have five classes! But you complain of me: you ask, "Why stop at 60 years old ?" Ah well, then! if you will have a sixth class, and call it a class-converted, Between 60 and 70 years of age ...1 Just one out of a thousand Christians converted over sixty years old! What a lesson on delay! What an awful lesson !
I once made an examination of this sort in respect to two hundred and fifty-three hopeful converts to Christ, who came under my observation at a particular period. Of this
way of salvation, they cry to God and ask of man, "What must I do to be saved?"
4. Very hopeful is the case of such. Whatever may have been the darkness and guilt of former days, or whatever their present errors and gloomy fears, through the Lord Jesus Christ, and by the faith of Him they may be saved; and there is reason to hope that their deep concern and anxious inquiry are the real beginning of that most blessed and infinitely desirable consummation.
5. But this point of hope is always the point of danger also. The work is not done, nor the victory won, as yet. The soothing language of consolation may possibly be spoken too soon-too soon for the safety of the inquirer too soon for the honour of Christ's cause. An ardent spirit, longing for the multiplication of converts, in the excess of charity hopes and believes that to be the work of God which is but little more than natural sympathy, or the work of conscience. Oh, it is a great mistake to reckon the bulk of the yield by the quantity of blossom. The most promising appearances are but too frequently the precursors of the bitterest disappointments. Many have asked and learned the way of life who have never walked in it, and many have mistakenly concluded themselves converted and saved, because they once in agony asked, "What must I do to be saved?" Let the sincere inquirer look to a crucified Saviour as the bitten Israelites to the brazen serpent, and he shall be saved; and let him fully follow Christ, and he shall have the