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mortification in his bowels soon after made him serious, and then he discovered his fatal mistake. He sent for me in the greatest anxiety, but too late for conversation. The agony, however, of his mind when dying reminded me of that observation, “ Hell is truth seen too late.”
And is this all that the god of this world can give his servants for believing his lie? One thing more perhaps, he may add :-the opiate of a stupid conscience to make them die quietly. But I cannot be content with such wages. Annihilation, which is the Unbeliever's best hope, is the Christian's worst fear. He alone stands a candidate for an enduring substance: the Bible alone purposes it: and what has the world to offer, in its sophistries or satisfactions, which should dissuade him one moment from thus standing ?
On the other hand I see a wild fanatic mangling the Scriptures till some are ready to call them in question : but I see no question arise from hence. Had this deluded creature ceased to follow his imagination, and trod the humble and practical path of his guide, he would have ceased to be a fanatic.
Nòr am I a whit more stumbled at the hypocrite. Like Simon Magus, I see him paying homage to excellence, while he has no part nor lut in the matter.' Like a spurious miracle, he derives all his credit from those that are true; as a counterfeit coin or note would deceive none, if true had never existed. “Tell me not,” said your old friend Mrs. — to her relation, “how many hypocrites you find in the Church. I tell you I know I am not one myself; and that is enough for me.”
To set before you the objections which have been made to Revelation, and the satisfactory answers which bave been repeatedly given and are in every body's
hands, would be but to trifle with your time. And, indeed, were not such solutions at hand, we know that a well-founded fact is not to be overthrown, because objections may be started against it, which we are not prepared to answer. Many of us, who have been objectors, know also that the "carnal mind, which is en mity against God,' lies at the root of such objections; and that those, 'who receive not the love of the truth, are in the way to be punished with that 'strong delusion of believing a lie.
Hear the just laws, the judgment of the skies !
In this way, Madam, has God enabled me hitherto to examine my foundation. Or, if I may be allowed at the conclusion to change the metaphor, I stand like one who, for a long time, has been imposed upon hy toys and tinsel; but, at length, feels satisfied that he has found gold. Some, indeed, try to persuade me that I am still imposed upon, and that what I take for gold is but base metal. I therefore proceed to prove my gold by every method of trial which I can devise: I put it into the scale : I try it in the fire : I bring it to the touchstone: I place it under the hammer : and I find it still pure gold. After all this, shall I regard their cry who have never thus tried it; and whose fears and lusts oppose
the trial ? your request, I have now put down the substance of iny unconnected remarks; and since, in that form, they afforded you relief in discourse, I have avoided giving them a more regular one in paper. I have also been sparing of practical inferences from the truth thus established ; as I need not demonstrate to You, what
Reasons for Action must necessarily arise from these Reasons for Repose. You are also fully aware that the Truth before us must be infinitely momentous, or nothing: that it cannot be nothing, we have full proof in our own breasts: infinitely momentous therefore it must remain, and such may we ever feel it !
But, after all these considerations, I cannot expect you will ever have so strong a conviction of the energy
of divine truth as our venerable friend Mr. N-, or as myself. Like the demoniac Legion, we must needs sit with more admiration in our right minds at Christ's feet, than Lydia did. Yet I feel comfort in speaking to a Christian on this subject, since we can both, like David, 'enter in the Sanctuary' in order to clear up our doubts, and behold the end of those who will not follow us thither. We have the witness in ourselves,' when a mist, like that which lately overspread your mind, does not rise to obscure it. For, whether the world will believe it or not, we know there is such a thing as a Common Sense among the real disciples of Christ-a heartfelt conviction and experience of the truth of the Gospel. We know that nothing did us good till we received that Gospel : that, till then, we had no well-grounded hope in view of affliction, death, and judgment. I must repeat the term well-grounded, because an ill-grounded confidence is worse than none at all.
With a mind fully made up on the subject, 'all the days of my appointed time I hope to wait till my change come.' Such a change we all know must soon take place in every one of us; but a strange infatuation leads fallen man, like one walking in his sleep toward a precipice, to plunge into the abyss before him, without so much as inquiring whither he is going, or how he may go safely. On the contrary, as one awake, I would anticipate the change before it takes place: I
would provide against it: I would descend to the grave, taking hold of the Almighty Hand stretched out for my help: 'crying, as I descend, 'Remember the word unto thy servant, upon which Thou hast caused me to hope.
Till then, as we cannot but pity such as slight these Results of our Inquiry, so let us also pray for them; endeavouring, by every step in our conduct, still further to demonstrate the more excellent way. And
permit me to add, that, till then, I must remain, Dear Madam,
Your affectionate Friend,
WRITTEN IN AN ILLNESS, IN THE YEAR 1799.
in a way
As a traveller, who has left his house but a few hours, finds himself in an entirely new situation; so, shut up for a few hours in a sick bed, and with a prospect of death, I look backward and forward, and seem in a new world. I feel the truths which I have taught,
I never before felt them. I marvel at the stupidity of man, and most of all at my own stupidity. I desire to live, only that I may live and act under the impressions that I now have, as I clearly perceive nothing else worth living for.
I just now called for one to help me, who would go through fire and water to do it; but received no an
What a mercy that He, who always can help me, always hears me when I call !
I feel many sweet and strong ties to the present life, in my family and in my Church, to which all earthly possessions bear no comparison ; yet 'to depart and be with Christ is' doubtless far better.' . But I have been this morning perplexed with the consideration, that when I shall see him as he is,' I shall not be able to forgive myself for not having served him better. I know not how to separate the idea of self-reproach from heavenly enjoyment.
Our three grand enemies are the World, the Flesh, and the Devil : but we are sure to conquer ;