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received no benefit from my ministry, but who are even offended at it. That vital and practical Christianity, like its Author, should often prove an offence, was foretold by its Author repeatedly, and that in the clearest terms. He bids every Christian, and especially every Minister, weigh the consequences of becoming his Disciple.-—Which of you,' says he, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first and counteth the cost ? Luke xiv. 28. And who, let me ask, was ever exempted from this cost, that was a real builder ? Not the Prophets; nor the Apostles ; nor Christ himself; nor any real Minister of Christ, that ever I heard or read of. This arises from the very nature of things; for, (to change the metaphor) till man has some sense of his disease, he will, like a sick man, who fancies himself well, oppose the kindest friend, who offers him a sovereign remedy.—Having therefore counted the cost, and knowing the natural indisposition of man to the remedy of God; I hope we shall neither be sur-. prised nor discouraged, in meeting those consequences, which, as Ministers of Christ, we are forewarned by him to expect.
As one, however, that watches for your souls, and must give an account of his Ministry, I earnestly entreat you to consider what an awful thing it is to walk in the counsel of the ungodly,' to 'stand in the way of sinners,' and to sit in the seat of the scornful.' But if, whilst the whole counsel of God is declared, you should be found so lost both to your duty and your interest, as to continue to reject or neglect it, this, by God's help, shall not prevent my continuing to seek your good, in the use of the only means that can promote it. It shall not provoke me to return evil for evil,' and 'railing for railing, but contrarywise blessing :' 1 Pet. iii. 9. It shall not prevent my hoping for the recovery of a bit
ter opposer ; having formerly been myself more bitter than be. It shall not prevent my endeavouring to affect bim by invitations and persuasives. I will call upon my heart to wait, and hope, and pray, for his return to God. I will watch for the first appearances of it. I will omit no means to cherish it when it appears : nor dare l omit, if such a one stiil persists in his opposition, to declare to him fully and plainly the dreadful and inevitable consequences thereof.
Men and brethren, think seriously on these things things that belong to your peace'—and that before they are hidden from vour eyes. I shall soon cease to speak to you of them, and you to hear : but both of us assuredly must give an account of them to God. That we may be so prepared to meet Him, that 'he that soweth and they that reap may then rejoice together,' is the sincere and fervent prayer of
Your affectionate Minister,
A WORD ON THE PEACE,
A HINT FOR A LASTING ONE;
IN A LETTER TO G. S., ESQ. OF B
Second Thoughts are best.
Oct. 15th, 1801. DEAR SIR,
I RECEIVED your letter, desiring a few thoughts on the Peace, which you wish to disperse in your populous neighbourhood. Though I can say nothing as a politican, yet, rather than disoblige you by saying nothing at all, I will tell you what occurred on my first receiving the welcome news.
You know I am an invalid, and growing into years; and, as age and sickness naturally seek quiet, I retire during the summer months to a small village in Surrey, wbieh lies some miles from the high road. Here, indeed, I obtain a relief which the town does not afford : but one inconvenience attends our situation-we have no means of knowing what is going on in the busy world, except the tidings which a gentleman from the city brings, who visits his family here once a week; and also
what we learn from our weekly paper. Now, our friend, whose return on the Saturday we eagerly watch, came down, and astonished us with the unexpected news of_PEACE! A knot of neighbours was soon assembled to hear the account: but, though
a few rejoiced that a stop would at length be put to the effusion of blood and the cries of widows and orphans, that provisions would be cheaper, trade flourish, and the occasion of much enmity be removed, &c. &c. yet I could perceive other springs at work: One, who had a house and land to sell, listened eagerly, and hoped Peace would bring Purchasers : A poor Labourer crossed the road, and tried to edge in his thought, that bread, though fallen, would be still lower: A Farmer stood thoughtful, but said nothing: Another, who had served a neighbouring camp, doubted, after all, what sort of a peace this might turn out: But, our carpenter was loud on the occasion : "Peace, at any rate," said he, "is best for the nation : deals will come down finely now,
I'll warrant ye.”
We, however, set the bells a ringing immediately, though late on the Saturday evening : we went to church the next day, but thought and talked too much of the Peace, and its consequences; and, on the Monday, we were all alive in preparing to celebrate it. Though I bear the character of a precise and retiring kind of man, I endeavoured to join my neighbours in their expressions of joy. I lighted up my windows: I suffered my children and servants in the evening to be the endangered spectators of the blaze and noise with which the village was filled : I contributed to the ringing, though I feared it would end in drunkenness; and rather encouraged the discharge of guns, squibs, and crackers, though disorder and mischeif were the probable consequences.
But the occasion was great, and I was willing to appear pleased, as I really was. “These expressions," said I to myself, "of our general joy must not be strictly scrutinised as to the manner."
At length I put out my snuffs of candles; and, after
hearing the narrow escapes of my children from being set on fire by the squibs, and reproving my maid for staying out too late among greater mischiefs than squibs, we retired to rest.
Presently after this came our Newspaper, and amused us afresh. We found that the display which had thrown our villagers into amazement, was but as a rushlight in the general blaze of joy. We read of the ingenious and expensive devices with which the metropolis and other great towns were illuminated ; of feastings, of processions, of bands of music, of military salutations, and of mails coaches covered with trophies, met by parties, and drawn home in triumph without horses.
“Well," said 1, "the occasion is great ; and big with benefits of various kinds, far more extensive than we can fully comprehend. What kind of man is he, that can be unmoved ?. Certainly he must be stupid and infatuated to a high degree! He must be But, stay a little: may we not mistake on the other side? May we not be so carried away by a present benefit, as to quite lose sight of a GREATER ? Let us think again. Is the Bible a fable? Is time of more importance than eternity ? Are we, perishing sinners, quite sober in being so alive to temporal events, while eternal ones seem constantly forgotten? Let us think again—"
Repeating this in different ways, as I sat dosing by the fire-side, my imagination presented to me a number of persons in a vessel at sea, which had nearly been wrecked by a violent storm. The Pilot told them that they could stay but a little while longer on board ; but, if they took to the boat, and, by the help of their compass, made directly for the next harbour, they might yet be secure: "but," said he, "if you stay here, talking of the late storm, and riotously enjoying your es