Sayfadaki görseller


We are all bound for eternity-a dread eternity. But to what port in that eternity- to what place of final destination-to what unchanging and unalterable state of being—to heaven, or to hell ? There are but these two-there is no intermediate region ; but you must be in happiness or misery-in joy or sorrow-in degradation or diguity-with saints or demons—with God and holy beings, or the devil and his angels, for ever. You know that you must die, and appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that the books will then be opened—those awful volumes, in which are written, with unerring accuracy, every sinful action, every idle word, every evil thought ; and that you must be judged according to the things written in the books, whether they be good or bad: so that by their testimony your final and unalterable doom will be pronounced-either, “Come, thou blessed,” or “Depart, thou cursed," to life eternal, or eternal death. And do you never think of this day of judgment? Does the prospect of it give you no concern ? Do you never pause, and ask yourseli the question, Where shall I have my station, and what will be my doom, at that great and dreadful day? Shall I appear with terror or with joy?- shall I stand at the right hand or the left ?—shall I hail or dread the coming of the Judge ? - shall I meet his smile of approbation or his frown of anger? Oh, these are solemn and momentous inquiries ! And it is wise to make them now, ere it be too late ; for when that final sentence is pronounced it can never be repealed, nor the condition in which it fixes you altered or reversed. Then lie that is unholy must be unholy still ; he that is filthy, filthy still ; he that is miserable, miserable still-miserable for ever.

IV. What Cargo DO YOU CARRY? This is another very important inquiry, and it bears directly upon those which have gone before ; for we can tell your owner-your port--your destination, if we know this. In other words, what is the state of your heart before God? For the Lord looketh on the heart.” The state of the heart determines the character in the sight of God. “ Is thy heart right, then, in the sight of God P" for if the heart be not right, rest assured that all is wrong.

What then does your heart relain and cherish, as its fondest attachment, and most precious treasure? Is it lust, and appetite, and passion? Is it the love of the world--the love of self- the love of sin ? Is it scepticism and infidelity, so that you ridicule the Bible, and laugh at religion, and make a mock of sacred things ? Is it enmity against God-and his Son—and his service- and his servants? Oh, if your heart is filled with such things as these, be assured that they will prove your ruin ; and in that awful day, when the secrets of all hearts shall be exposed, you will hear that awful mandate issued forth against you—" Those mive enemies, who would not that I should reign over them, bring them hither, and slay them before me.”

Ah! how different is the treasure which the good man carries in his bosom, when the heart which sin has polluted, and defiled, and alienated from God, is renewed, and sanctified, anıl made holy! It is the temple of the living God, the throne, the dwelling-place of Deity; for, though He is “ the High and Lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, yet to that man will he look, and with him will he dwell, that is of a humble and contrite spirit, and that trembles at his word.” There a peace that passeth understanding is diffused, and, in the midst of outward peril and alarm, all within is sweet serenity and peace. There purity is cherished, and sin detested and abhorred. There a hope full

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of immortality, “ as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast," enables the weather-beaten mariner, in the voyage of life, to weather the fiercest tempests, and ride out every storm. Oh, that you could be prevailed upon this night to make the happy exchange, if hitherto you have been a stranger to the possession and enjoyment of such things as these. For you cannot be happy, even now, without the favour and friendship of God; and must, if you die without reconciliation to Him, he lost and undone for ever :

“ for his favour is life, and his lovingkindness is better than life.” O make then, I beseech you, the wise and happy choice. “ Forsake the foolish and live, and go in the way of understanding: Now let enmity be exchanged for lovepollution for purity-disquietude for peace-despair for hope-the world for Christ—the service of sin for the service of God-and hell for heaven! Allow me to inquire,


Have you a chart—a pilot—a compass, on board, so that you may ascertain and pursue the right course, and reach the haven in safety? Seek the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and His grace shall be your compass, ever point. ing out to you by his divine influences the course you should pursue, and giving you certain and timely information, whenever you are inclined to go astray. Take the Bible as your CHART; read it, study it with deep, with constant, with devout attention, and with undeviating accuracy it will indicate to you the rocks, the shoals, the innumerable perils to which you are exposed. And let Jesus be your pilot. He is the Captain of salvation ; and if you desire it, he will be yours. He will come unto you.

He will make his abode with you. He will take the command and direction of the vessel, and will conduct you to the port in safety : for he is to all that believe, “the author and finisher of their faith." In other worils, yield yourselves to Christ. Let hiin rule in your hearts by faith. Let his love constrain you.

Let his Spirit guide you. Let his word direct you. And riotwithstanding the dangers by which you are encompassed, you shall ride out every storm, weather every gale, and at length, when the voyage of life is finished, peacefully, if not triumphantly, enter the haven of eternal rest. Here, then, let us pause for a few moments, and ponder,








Oh, how sweet to the tempest-tossed, weather-beaten mariner, is the safe and peaceful haven, where, it may be, his family and friends wait to greet his arrival, and where he may repose for a season ; or, if he has completed his last voyage, where he may remain in rest and quiet for the remainder of his days ! And such, though in a degree far surpassing any conceptions of it which we are able now to form-such is heaven to the true believer. It is a peaceful haven-it is a happy home—it is a father's house--and its blessed inhabitants, though gathered from every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, cons stitute but one holy and united family. Think, I beseech you, from how many, and from what abundant and prolific sources, the bliss of heaven will be derived, and perpetually supplied and augmented.

"The memory of the past will perpetually awaken within you emotions of adoring gratitude." When you think how many of your companions who began the voyage of life with you are lost-when you ponder the course which you yourself were once steering—when you consider bow insensible you were

to your danger, and how reluctant, for a while, even when the danger was discovered, to 'bout ship and take another tack-when you reflect, what a miracle of mercy was your conversion--how unexpected, how unlikely—by what a strange combination of circumstances, perhaps, it was brought about, you are overwhelmed with amazement, and gratitude, and joy. The greatest wonder that you see in heaven is yourself. It is a marvel that any of the fallen chile dren of Adam should be there, but most of all that you should be amongst them ; you, who once were afar off-who once were dead in trespasses and sins-sunk, deeply sunk, in pollution and in crime-serving divers lusts, and appetites, and passions-led captive by the devil at his will--that


the chief of sinners, should be washed, and justified, and sanctified, in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God, and now numbered with his ransomed, in the glories of the celestial world. Oh, what ecstacy do these considerations awaken in your bosom, and with what inconceivable rapture do you cast down your diadem at the Redeemer's feet, and cry,“ Worthy is the Lamb that was slain ; who hath redeemed us by his blood, and hath made us unto our God kings and priests, that we may live and reign with him for ever!"

But who can picture to himself, still less describe to others, the perfect and the perpetually augmenting felicity of the heavenly state ? "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." There you will be perfectly holy, beyond the reach of temptation or the possibility of sin. There you will see Jesus-see him as he is-see him in all the glories of his exalted humanitysee him, and be with him, and be like him--and at the morning of the resurrection you shall receive your body from the ruins of the grave, fashioned like unto his glorious body, no more to know corruption or sink into decay; and thus body and soul shall have their perfect consummation and bliss in his eternal and everlasting glory.

In heaven, there will be “the utter and perpetual absence of every thing that could grieve or annoy.” Now you ofttimes lament that sin which still remains with you--that law of your members which wars so incessantly against the law of your mind, and brings you so frequently into captivity to the law of sin. Now you lament that when you would do good, evil is so often present with you ; while even the good you do is so imperfectly done, and mingled with so much that is sinful. Now you are continually annoyed by the presence, and bowed down beneath the power, of temptation. Like a living man chained to a dead body, you loathe, but cannot escape from, the monster, sin ; but cry out, in the bitterness of your soul, “O, wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death !" But in heaven your deliverance shall be complete and final. No tempter shall ever be admitted-even your once depraved and abandoned associates, if any of them should meet you there, must first be made boly as you yourself will be-and even your body, whose senses and whose members are now so often the medium of temptation and the instruments of sin, will be fashioned like unto the glorious body of Christ, ere it is allowed to enter the celestial city, and m.ingle with the blessed inhabitants of heaven.

“Those holy gates for ever bar

Pollution, sin, and shame;
None shall obtain admittance there

But followers of the Lamb." And there, too, “the service of God will be without interruption, imperfection, or weariness.” Alas! while engaged in the service of God on earth,


how painfully conscious you often are of imperfection and sin,-how soon do weariness and fatigue come over you, -and the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak! What wandering, vain, and wicked thoughts! How often do you suddenly discover, and blush at the discovery, that, instead of listening to the preacher-instead of thinking on the momentous topics to which he is directing your attention, your mind, like the eye of the fool, is wandering to the very ends of the earth—the incidents and occurrences of the last voyage, or the anticipations of the next, wholly occupy it; and you wonder at the patience and forbearance of God, that you are still permitted to enjoy these means of grace, of which you make so scanty an improvement. But in heaven this state of things will be unknown. No wandering thoughts or vain imaginations there, Your profoundest attention, and warmest affections, and sublimest powers, will ever be concentrated and fixed on the supreme object of your regard,-even Jesus,—who is now in your esteem chief among ten thousand, and altogether lovely; of whom now you say, “Whom have I in heaven but Christ, and there is none upon earth that I desire beside Him." And if now, “having not seen Him, you love Him, and believing in Him, rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory," what will be the rapture of that moment, when your emancipated spirit shall see him as He is, and gaze on all the glories of His exalted humanity. I believe-I have no doubtthat we shall know each other in heaven. can form no idea of a family,of a society, without such knowledge ; but I think we often lay too much stress upon this circumstance, as a source of our future felicity. It will give us joy, no doubt, to see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of God; to see the prophets, the apostles, the martyrs there ; to see our own dear and long-losi relatives, companions, and friends, and all the holy and excellent of whom we may have heard or read; but, most of all, it will give us joy to see Jesus !--that will be the most transporting, ravishing sight of all!'“Oh!” said a dying saint, on one occasion, to the partner of his life, when she asked him the question, “Do you think you will know me in heaven ? “Oh!- I cannot tell; but this I know, that I shall be so fully occupied in gazing upon the glories of my Saviour when I get to heaven, that I shall not think of you for a thousand years at least !" Yes, you will see Jesus, and be like Him, and be for ever with Him,--and that will be heaven to you!

And now, suffer me to ask, who amongst you has set sail for heaven, or who will commence the voyage this night? If hitherto you have been pursuing the downward course which leadeth to eternal death, it is now high time that you should pause, and stand on a different course, and bear up for a better haven. Now you may,_every thing favours your doing so. Christ, the Captain of salvation, is ready to take the helm, and, by the guidance of his Spirit, to conduct you safely into port. Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation! Now the church of God is concerned for your welfare ;-110w pious and holy men, who have power with God, are praying for your salvation ;--now faithful ministers are prepared to preach to you the word of life ;-now the great Intercessor pleads for you before the throne ;-now, the Eternal God, against whom you have rebelled, is waiting to be gracious, and ready to forgive. And will you refuse—will you delay ?-To-morrow it may be too late! — Boast not ihyself of to-morrow, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth."--Your breath is in your nostrils.-This night thy soul may be required of thee.--Prepare to meet thy God!

Shipwrecks and Disasters at sea.


STEAM-BOAT. Accounts have been received from Londonderry of a most awful catastrophe on board a steamer conveying emigrants from Sligo to Liverpool. These accounts have varied in form, and many of them contained gross exaggerations, but, unfortunately, it is only too true that there has been a great loss of human life. The following statement, which would seem to disclose the real facts, appeared in the Dublin Pilot of 6th inst. :—“Yesterday week a steamer left Sligo for Liverpool, having on board 203 human beings, principally emigrants. She did not pass the bar until Saturday morning, when it came on to blow a severe gale. The captain ordered the hatches, companion, &c., to be closed and battened down, leaving, unhappily, inadequate means of ventilation. In this state the passengers continued all that day and night, and the consequence was, that want of air, and the pressure of so many human beings in the hold of a rather small steamer, caused suffocation. The result has been the horrible sacrifice of upwards of seventy human lives. The captain and crew are now in custody in Londonderry, awaiting the result of an inquest. It was the course of the steamer ordinarily to call at that port on her way to Liverpool, and the unhappy passengers were not permitted to escape on deck until the arrival of the steamer at Moville, within eighteen miles of Derry.The following letter gives the least horrible, and it is to be hoped, therefore, the truest account, of this appalling disaster :-"Londonderry, Dec. 4.--It appeared, upon the evidence of a very credible and respectable passenger, who was examined yesterday evening in the Town-hall, that on last Friday morning the steamer Londonderry put to sea at Sligo, bound for Liverpool, having on board 203 souls, consisting of 174 steerage passengers, three cabin passengers, and the captain and crew-twenty-three in number. Captain Johnston, who commanded the vessel, was unable to get over the bar from Friday morning until late in the evening, from want of water. About twelve o'clock on Saturday morning, a violent storm arose, upon which the captain, very injudiciously, put the whole of the passengers into the steerage, and nailed down the batches, which prevented any air or respiration whatever. From the great number of individuals huddled together, the heat and perspiration became so intense as to cause suffocation. The unhappy sufferers in this deplorable state screamed most dreadfully, which does not seem to have attracted the attention of the captain or crew, partly, perhaps, from the violence of the storm. The witness deposed that, seeing that nothing but death was inevitable, he resolved upon a new project. He ascended a short ladder, and by a great pressure, burst out one of the hatches-and it must not be forgotten that either the captain or crew pressed a tarpauling lightly round the companion, which was productive of the whole result. The witness also deposed that, having related to the mate the state of the passengers, he in return told him that he cared not for the Irish rascals. At last, the crew coming to the hatches, and taking off the tarpauling, the heat which issued out of the steerage was intolerable, and almost stifled them. The unhappy sufferers who survived were told by the crew that they were then in the river Mersey, and the fact was, that they were in Moville Harbour-a small port,

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