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given of this text, and others which | We perfift, notwithstanding all the have appeared in this magazine.

R.

methods, which God takes with us, in his word, in our adherence to fin. And we remain refolutely

Thoughts on Matthew xi. part of determined to perfevere in a state the 21ft and 23d verses. "For if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in fackcloth and afhes.

"For if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day

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"

If, therefore, nothing more be done for finners, not one of them would be faved. If, only the gofpel be provided, and set before us, with all the most winning invita tions, and earneft entreaties to accept, not one of us fhould ever be brought to faving repentance. This may be learnt from the marriage fupper. We fhould, like thofe who were there bidden, all go our

of impenitence. Our finful inclimoral motives, no arguments, and nations have a fixedness, which no cred word, are able in the least, to no evidence and light in God's faalter or abate. Every mean, the ral heart, makes out to refift; it moft cogent and preffing, our natu will not fuffer itself to be wrought upon, by either God's word or providence; but remains ftill unCONCEIVE, we are to un-renewed, and firmly fet in the love derftand from feripture, that and choice of fin. the means and methods of grace, are not, of themselves, faving, or do not produce true repentance. They are made effectual, only by the fpecial operations of the Holy Spirit. The finner is inclined to refift all means that are ufed with him; all the methods which God takes for his falvation. God, indeed, affords him most powerful Fight and evidence; but thefe he oppofes, and ftill remains deter-ways, one to his farm, another mined to cleave to fin. His inclination or love to fin, is not altered or abated, by all that is done for him, in the way of means, but remains in full force. The methods of grace, are indeed, wifely ordered and well adapted. We may believe, that they are the moft perfect and belt that can be. And it is altogether reasonable that we fhould fubmit to them if we acted agreeably to our duty, we fhould do it. But, instead of this, we ftand out against them. And they have no effect to alter the bias of our hearts. They may, perhaps, put us under fome reftraint, and produce a fort of external reformation, as in the cafe of Ahab, but they are wholly ineffectual to oduce any real heart-felt change.

to his merchandize." We should, perfift in our fins, and live and die Chriftlefs and impenitent. This we learn, likewife, from our Saviour's words, " Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.”— Sinners will not come to Chrifti will not hearken to the gracious call; will not accept the procla mation made in the gospel. And, were there nothing further done, all would alike want a defire or will after Chrift and holinefs. All would alike be totally deftitute of faving evangelical repentance.

This being the cafe, God does more for the Ginner, who is renewed.

He adds his special faving grace, in applying the redemption purchafed by Chrift. He sheds down the enlightening, renewing

think is not probable) then the meaning of the mighty works' muft be extended, fo as to include the fpecial influences of the Spirit, by which alone holiness and real gofpel repentance, are produced. And the effect is afcribed to the mighty works, which is actually, the effect of the Holy Spirit. This is a manner of expreffion which often occurs in the fcriptures "The word," it is faid, "is able to fave our fouls." But this can mean only when attended, and fet home, by the influences of the Spirit. And all the efficacy which the word has to fave, it derives from God's fpecial and fovereign grace.

operations of the Spirit. Thefe | pentance, in the palage, (which I operations are effectual, in changing our hard and ftony hearts. Thefe produce a moral change, confifting in regeneration and converfion. They excite holiness, or true gospel repentance. And nothing fhort of the energies of the Holy Spirit, is able to effect any radical change, or, in the leaft, to alter the inclination. The Holy Spirit, in the view of gofpel means, fubdues the heart, flays its enmity, and brings us to lay down the arms of rebellion, in a cordial fubmiffion to Chrift and his government. All holy exercifes and affections in man, are the effect of the Holy Spirit. And by his influence alone, divine revealed truth, and all religious inftitutions and means, become efficacious and falutary.flections. Paul "planted but God gave the increase." "It is the Spirit that quickeneth." The gofpel ftands "in demonftration of the Spirit, and of power."

We will now close with two re

1. We hence learn the totally loft, and wretched condition of mankind.

Our hearts are naturally fo en, tirely bent on fin, that no means can prove effectual to our repentance and faving good. We obe

If, reader, this be a just reprefentation, then the repentance fpoken of in the paffage above, muftftinately refift all the gracious mean, either imperfect repentance, fuch as was that of Ahab, and many other wicked men; confifting, not in a radical moral renovation, but in a strong check and reftraint, laid upon their finful inclinations, and which may be produced, by means, without fpecial grace.-This fort of repentance is, fometimes, availing to avert God's threatened judgments. It was fo in the cafe of Ahab: and in Sodom, if there had been even fuch external reformation and repentance, it would have remained until this day." And fuch a kind of repentance, Chrift afferts, his 'mighty works' which were done in Capernaum, would have produced in Sodom.

Or, elfe, if it be evangelical re-
VOL. II. No. 8.

methods which God kindly uses with us; and refolutely perfift in fin, continually acquiring greater degrees of obduracy and hardness of heart. We are fixed in our oppofition to God. Our natural hearts are fo firmly inclined to fin, that if God leave us, barcly to the effect of his word and providence, we shall certainly perfift in our wickednefs, and plunge ourselves into remedilefs woe. Here, then, we fee our great finfulness, and wholly loft ftate, fince all the gra cious methods which God in his infinite wifdom has contrived, have no faving operation upon us, and produce no holy affections.

2. We are taught the neceffity of the Spirit to renew the heart. We have need, not only of a MeP P

diator to be fet before us, but of divine fovereign grace to change the heart. Tho' Chrift has been provided for us, yet we are difpofed to reject Chrift and the gofpel, and it is fure that we shall not accept, unless we are made willing in the day of God's power. The infinite almighty power of the eternal Spirit, is alone fufficient to operate upon, and effect a moral renovation of our natural hearts. Unless God, by fovereign, rich, and all-powerful grace, fave us, we perifh. Let us then feel the need we have of the new-birth, and of the Holy Spirit to produce it. And let us be deeply impreffed with this confideration, that we must be faved, "by the wafhing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghoft."

was a very docile child, poffeling a lively and ingenious fancy, a quick difcernment, and a clear judgment. At twenty years of age, her figure was agreeable, her manners pleafing, having been improved at a boarding fchool in a diftant town; and her profpects in life were fuch as the world call the moft favorable and happy. But, though from her education and good manners fhe paid decent outward refpect to religion, at this age, it did not appear, that he had any real experience of its vital power and heavenly confolations. Dress and fhow, and the amufements of youth feemed to banish from her mind the plain duties, and more fubftantial joys of religion. She then feemed not to comprehend a Saviour's ineffable love, nor con. fiderately to feel a finner's guilt and wretchednefs. Returning home, one rainy night, from a ball, the took a hard cold, which brought on gradually a comfumption, of A true record of the tri-long duration. Though this flatumphs of religion, in the day of tering difcafe, which fo often dedeath, is calculated to produce encouraged the hope of a reftoraceives thofe whom it afflicts, often a happy influence on fociety, by tion to health; yet, as affording recommending to gay and inconfiderate youth, in the most feeling was turned upon the great duties Louifa retirement, her active mind manner, a life of early piety. I am of religion, and the weighty contherefore induced to communicate She became ferious, prayerful, and fideration of changing worlds.

Y. Z.

*Admonitions from the Death-Bed.

(Continued from p. 233-)

NUMBER V.

the following imperfect sketches of the life and death of a young la. dy; being real facts which happened a few years fince.

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defirous of Chriftian converfation.

She read confiderably, gained a general knowledge of the great gofpel doctrines, and became awakened to a feeling fenfe of her deplorable condition, as a guilty, miferable finner, who had greatly

a

OUISA, (for under this name I fhall defcribe the perfon the circumftances of whofe death I am now to relate) was born of reputable parents, who liv-abufed her religious opportunities ed in a country town in Connecticut, and were profeffors of religion. As might be expected, in the enjoyment of fuch advantages, fhe was early inftructed in the doctrines and duties of religion. She

and privileges. Her conviction of fin was not accompanied with fo many legal terrors, as is fome. times the cafe with awakened finners in times of great religious revivals; but it feemed to flow

hopes beyond the grave-A few days before her death, the fent for me, for the last time, to come and pray with and for her, as the expected daily to die. I found her greatly debilitated in body, (her voice reduced to a kind of loud whisper) and threatened with every appearance of speedy death but her understanding was found, and her mind completely tranquil

from an enlightened underftanding, and a full belief of the neceffity of regeneration for admiffion into the kingdom of heaven. She, at length, admitted the hope of having experienced this defirable change. Her anxieties and diftreffes were removed; and the appeared to be filled with a fweet tranquillity of mind, daily rejoicing in Chrift, and often fpeaking with delight of the aftonishing wonders-Finding her elated with spiritual of redeeming love. She obtained the religious diary of an eminent Chriftian, which the often read with pleasure, feeling her own experiences correfponding in many particulars. At this period, the looked forward to an approaching day of death with great tranquillity of mind, and profeffed a readinefs to die, at God's will; appearing to have the moft lively hopes of joining glorified faints and angels in heaven, in finging the fong of Mofes and the Lamb. The distance of time prevents me from diftinctly recollecting many of her own words, which were fome of them peculiarly expreffive and interesting. She lamented that the had done fo little for God and the interests of religion in the world, and that the had spent the most interefting and impreffible period of this life, in walking in a vain fhow. She longed to redeem that precious time, which had been inconfiderately walted in the vanities of youth -but knowing this to be impoffible, her only refuge was in the all-mind; but, that fhe felt that full fufficient righteoufnefs of the great belief and joy in Chrift, which the Redeemer, whom he believed to could not think to be a delufion.have been wounded for our fins I told her, that death was in its and bruifed for our iniquities, that very nature terrible to man, as fe with his ftripes the penitent believ-parating the foul from the body, er might be healed.-During her and closing our eyes upon our fickness I frequently vifited her, friends, the world and all its enand converfed freely with her upon joyments; and asked her what imthe nature and duties of faving re-preffions the thoughts of it made ligion, and upon her own views and upon her mind. She replied, "I

joys above the terrors of death, and fully fenfible of its near approach, the converfation was chiefly turned upon the interefting nature of a change of worlds. I told her that death would close her probationary ftate forever; that as fhe died, a finner or a Chriftian, fo fhe would arife, and be found in the day of judgment, and so she would remain to all eternity. She appeared to be fully fenfible of this, and in subftance replied, that the hoped fhe had humbly and feriously confider ed the matter I then told her, that if fhe was deceived in her hope of being interested in Chrift, in whom the now profeffed to truft with fo much confidence, when the should come to appear before the great fearcher of all hearts, her profeffions here would be in vain, and she must fail of being an heir of falvation. She, in fubftance, replied, that fhe felt this to be a very folemn thought, and a moft weighty confideration, which had confiderably tried her

"have no defire to live any lon- | fed! Bleffed !"--Meaning, by

"ger in this vain world. I fee "nothing in it worth living for. "I am not afraid to die; nor am "I afraid to be dead.-My friends "I leave in the hands of a merci"ful God. I hope to fee them "again in a better world."--She spoke these words in a most fweet and tranquil manner, expreffive of the genuine feelings of her heart. To fee, and hear a perfon of her age, natural talents and improvements in life, with the moft pleafing worldly profpects before her, (feeling herself to be on the very brink of the grave) converfe in this humble, rational, refigned and tranquil manner, on death and the profpects of eternity, naturally impreffed the mind of the beholder, with a deep fenfe of the propriety of Balaam's wifh, "Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my laft end be like his "How great must be the power of religion, how lively its joys, and how ftrong its faith to raife a naturally timid, feeble mortal, in this triumphant manner, above all the terrors of death-But, the trying moment, which, like the refiner's fire, tries all hearts, was not yet come. Perhaps, thought I, this bright ftar, in the gofpel firmament, will yet go down, in a dark cloud. Let me wait, and watch its laft appearances.-A few days after, Louifa died. After fitting up fome time, in an eafy rocking chair, he was led to her bed, and gently laid upon it, upon which, The immediately appeared to be dying. A friend itanding by her, told her fhe was dying. Louifa turned her eyes upon the perfor, with a wifhful look, accompanied with a tranquil countenance and a gentle file of triumphant joy, and clafping her hands together, fpake with an audible voice,- Oblef

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"How eafy the foul that has left "This wearifome body behind." If ever the appearance of death was lovely, it was lovely in Losifa.O redeeming grace, how fuperior thy glory!-Never did vain philofophy yield up the immortal fpirit to the Almighty Creator, with fuch compofure, dignity, and fweet refignation, joyfully anticipating an immediate entrance into the paradife of God-Louifa's faith overcame the world. She knew in whom he had believed. She trufted in the covenant mercy of the living God, and in the all-fufficiency and glorious promifes of the great Redeemer. She was truly a pilgrim on earth. fought an heavenly country, fearlefs of the ufual terrors, which are experienced in the valley of death. Perhaps, nothing will better ferve to fhow the power and glory of religion manifefted in her death, than contrafting it with the death of Leonora, a different character, as recorded in the 275th page of the first volume of the Magazine. For both were much alike in their natural figure and vivacity;—both died at nearly the fame age of life; and both were carried to the grave by the fame difcafe. Seriously read then, the hiftory of the one and of the other; and if I mistake not, you will fign your approbation of a life of early piety, and join the great cloud of witncffes, which have gone before sin faying, "Blcfled are the dead which die in the Lord." ZEPHO

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