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ruptly breaks into a country, he take up with the shorter compari. creates instant terror wherever he son, and then it is easy to see what approaches: even the mest ignorant the conclusion will be. and stupid ate alarmed, and put “ The slow progress of this disupon making use of every method order also creates less alarm, as it of defence; whilst he who proceeds affords hope from futurity, which mure cautiously by sap (whatever other disorders will not give time alarm he may give the garrison, for. The patient finds himself inwho are aware of the danger of such deed, growing weaker; but it is a proceeding), seldom alarms the owing to the excessive heats of the inhabitants much, till they see all summer: in autumn he shall be betabout them ready to tumble into ter.' Perhaps he finds himself a ruins. Thus, when those more fu- little recruited by that mild season. rious emissaries of that great con•. The winter then, he becomes contiqueror death, the plague, the fever, dent, will perfect all, and quite the apoplexy, the palsy,&c, appear, brace him up. On the contrary he they create instantaneous alarm; tinds his cough increase by that sepersons cannot have the least appre- vere season, and that the confinehension of their approach without mcnt it occasions contributes furterror: but the consumption gives ther to break down his constitution. no such alarm: its approaches are Well,--He hopes, and his friends so gradual, that it does not appear encourage him to hope, that the to bring death much nearer to view spring will set all right, and free him than whilst in health. On the first from all his complaints. So the ex seizure what is more common than cellent Watts was dealt with, as he for a person to say, “ I have only himself relates in the following lines: got a little couglı, or a slight fever; Yet my fond friends would speak a word it will soon go off again; I have of.

of hope. ten had such complaints before Love would forbid despair.-Look out, they now, and never was any worse for

cry, them: colds generally affect me in Beyond these gloomy damps, while winter this manner, but I shall be better in

hangs a few days?” In a few days, proba- Heavy on nature, and congeals her power, bly, his disorder abates a little, and Look cheerful forwards to the vital influence then he concludes he is well. It Of the returning spring.-returns again; again be hopes and

Miscel. Thoughts, No. 47, p. 178. talks as before, He sees his flesh Thus do our friends fatally flatter waste, and feels his strength abate, us with hopes of a May sun-beam, but hopes soon to get rid of his whilst not one of them is kind enough cough, or fever, or sweats, and then to hint at those cold north-east he shall soon recover his flesh and blasts we must feel before the arstrength, he does not doubt. Thus rival of that reviving season, and by he goes on deluding himself, while which so many thousands of inva. all around him see his danger plain- lids are, in this unsettled climate, ly enough. And what enables him every spring sent into eternity; and to do it the more easily is, that as so many more so broken down as this disorder does not in general soon to fall a prey to the heat of bring a person down very fast till the summer. Fatal friendship! towards the last; in order io be sen• “But this is not the only instance sible of his decline, he must compare in which our friends cruelly lend what he is to-day, not with what he their assistance to help forwards the was yesterday or the day before, but delusions of this naturally too deluwith some more distant period; sive disorder. One brings you a rewhich a person in such circuin- medy for a consumption that has stances is seldom disposed to do. It cuted this person and the other peris natural 10 every one, I believe, to son, and never was knowa to miss,


if taken in time. If you have faith Yes, there are. Oh! the agonizing in such kind of nostrums, this is sure pains some feel, when every breath to keep up your hopes till the event they draw is, as it were, tearing to undeceive you, and shews it to be pieces the tenderest membranes in: a broken reed, which pierces the the human body. Oh! the iperhand instead of supporting it. Ano pressible anguish which others feel other bids you not to be discou- from an obstructed respiration, when raged; nothing is more

the lungs refuse to fill, and the pathan for persons to continne weak- tient is brought almost to the agoly a long time, and after all recover nies of death: Oh! the insupporttheir health again. I myself was able depressions of others, when told of one who recovered after be their souls faint within them: what ing confined to his house for five. they feel none can tell, but those years. When you are a little re- who have felt the like.

But these, covered from one of the paroxysms reader, are times for exercising, not of the disorder, they are sure to tell for acquiring Christian graces. The you how much better you look than Christian, in such circumstances, when they saw you last, and this not finds it quite labour enough to keep only during the first approaches of his mind in a composed frame, and the disorder, but even to the last, if with a filial temper to submit to the they can but recollect any one pe- afflictive will of his heavenly Fa. riod in which you looked worse. ther. It cost me, in these paroxysms, In short, as the danger of this dis- many a sigh and tear to keep mine order is well known to be more cer- so; yea, and after all, I had frequent tain than that of any other what. occasions to humble myself before ever, and the case of those who are God, that I bare not his will more seized of consequence more hope- submissively. Is this then a time less, so there is no one in which it (I appeal to thy conscience) is this seems to be more the united view of a time to begin to do auy thing for all around them to keep out of sight eternity ? If thou suspectest me of as much as possible whatever might misrepresenting matters, or setting create any alarm. If any are so things out more strongly than is thonghtless, or so much your friends needful, take the opportunity of apas to act a contrary part, and plain- plying to the next of thy acquaintly tell you their opinion, if you are ance, who is in such circumstances: not peculiarly happy in those about I will not say, Go and ask him what you, 'tis odds but effectual care is ability he finds to settle the great taken that they shall never more see account between God and his soul? you again : whilst, whenever the The question might probably get distemper will permit, your friend's thee an immediate exclusion from of a different stamp will as certainly his room. But take an opportunity be encouraged to get about you as to ask him to settle some account, much as they can, in order to keep or talk over some intricate affair: his up your spirits, or in other words, to answer, I dare say, will be, ? Do keep off reflection: and in this they not trouble me with your accounts are generally too successful. Thus now; am I in any condition to atdo friends and disorder join to- tend to business, do you think? I gether, to keep the patient ignorant could not do it were it to save my of his real case, and prevent him life.' Indeed! Then where will from making any spiritual improve thy prudence be, reader, if thou ment of it.

leavest the great account between “But it may be asked, are there God and thy soul to be settled in 10 periods in this disorder wherein such circumstances? If he cannot this deluder cannot cheat; when run with footmen without being the patient cannot but be sensible wearied, how wilt thou be able to that he is in very imminent dangers contend with horses. Jer. xii. 5.

“ But when this extremity of pain great preacher, yet not more bold is a little abated, may it not then be than true, ' Though God were to hoped that season will be favourable! shake an unconverted sinner over No. The old delusions soon return, the pit of hell, however it might The intermissions, even to the last, frighten him, it would not convert are regarded as the sure earnest, at him. No, reader; to this something least as attording good hope, of a else is necessary, even that divine recovery; and no sooner is the se- blessing, without which Paul may verity of pain, or languishing of the plant and Apollos water, without suca disorder, a little gone off, than the cess, But what reason hare we to patient begins to think himself in hope, that God will afford his conbut little danger. I speak this from verting grace to those who have experience. Perhaps thou wilt not wilfully trifled away their season of think it reader, yet I assure you it grace, and refused to work till the is true; that though my legs have time of working is over? Where is begun to swell, so as to be burden- there one instance in all scripture, some to me; though I am every except that of the thief upon the night emaciated with the most dread- cross, (which being a case that can ful sweats, and every morning cough never happen again, is by no means up large quantities of thick matter a proper precedent) of a person from .ny lungs; and though my pen, savingly called, after the season for which used to be the pen of a tolera- working was over? I know of none. ble ready writer, now so shakes in I read, indeed, of persons of the my hand, that I can scarce write , most abandoned characters washed legibly; yet if I did not exercise and sanctified, and justified in the my reason and judgment, there are name of the Lord Jesus, and by the times in which I should think my- spirit of God, i Cor. vi. 11. and of self in little danger. But what room a Paul obtaining mercy ; that in him, is there to believe that he will ex- a3 the chief of sinners, Christ might ercise his reason, who is conscious shew forth a pattern of all long-sufthat he is utterly unfit for death, and fering to them that should hereafter expects to behold nothing after it believe, 1 Tim. i. 15, 16. Nay, and but blackness and darkness? How I read of some being called into the much more ground is there to fear vineyard at the eleventh hour, Matt. that he will indulge the pleasing de- xx. 6. when they had but one hour lusion, till it end in his everlasting to work; but none of them called ruin?

after the tweifth. No; the door “ The above is designed to shew seems then to be shut, and nothing how little prospect there is, that a left but for the Lord to take an acsinner will ever be awakened to count of his labonrers. An awful faith and repentance during a de- consideration this for a sinner, who cline, and therefore, how highly neglects to prepare for the coming dangerous it is to delay one moment of Christ, in hopes of a death-bed in the great things that belong to repentance. Reader, whoever thou our peace, in hopes of dying of such art, may it have its due weight with a disorder, Give me leave now to thee. Methinks it may well make .change the scene, and to add, that thee tremble, if thou art an unconsupposing it had all that tendency verted man, to think upon what a to awaken to faith and repentance, precipice thou standest. Oh! think which some seem so fondly to ima- of it, and dread to trust to any thing gine, what reason have we to hope to be done, when thou art capable that God will, by his grace, give of active service no longer. To-day, efficacy to it? And yet without this, while it is called to-day, begin to what hopes can we have of success, prepare for eternity, lest the Lord even from the most likely means? swear thou shalt not enter into his It was a bold expression of a certain rest at all. And concerning whom have we more reason to tear he is orders as we are now treating of. uttering this awful excluding oath, The body being weak, and the spithan concerning those who have rits for the most part brisk, such im. wilfully tritled away all the time in pressions on the fancy, either from which they were capable of serving the operations of our own imaginahim, in hopes of repenting when tion, or the great enemy of souls, are they could serve him no longer. easily made.

We often perceive “But supposing all these difficul- them in persons in such circum. ties got over; supposing that, by a stances, with regard to common miracle of divine grace, thou art things; and what strange agitations awakened in this most dangerous are sometimes occasioned thereby! state to such a sense of thy undone “No wonder, then, if (without condition as humbles thee thorough- any divine operations in the case) ly at the foot of Jesus, produces that the terrified uninformed mind be godly sorrow for sin which worketh elevated with religious imaginations; repentance not to be repented of, such as that God is theirs ; Christ's and which would have brought forth blood is shed for them; the devil has fruits meet for repentance, if oppor, no part in them, &c. after conversing tunity had not been wanting. In with persons of an enthusiastic turn, this case, I doubt not thy state is whose whole discourse consisted of safe. But what evidence canst thou such phrases as these, injudiciously in such circunstances have that it applied: and therefore every prureally is on? Our Lord says, by their dent person will be very cautious fruits ye shall know them, Matt. vii. how he rests on such evidence, or 20. and orders us to discover the indeed takes any comfort from it, reality of our relation to him by lets till he has had some opportunity ting our light so shine before men, of proving its genuineness by its that they seeing our good works, fruits. may glorify our father which is in " Indeed it may justly make one heaven, Matt. v. 16. In like manoer very cautious with respect to all also the apostle James says, that by kinds of evidence not accompanied works is faitb made perfect, Jam. ii. by works, when we consider how 22. that is, illustrated and discovered few of those who have been awak. to be real. But we have no other ened on what they imagined to be scripture criterion that I know of. a death-bed, ever kept their vows All others are the inventions of men, and resolutions when they recoverconsequently liable to deceive. What ed. For my own part, I do not know reasonable evidence then canst thou one. And though I believe there have that thy state is good, even have been some few instances of supposing that it be so I know well this kind, yet the number is so very there are some who will encourage few, compared with those who have thee to trust to certain impulses and returned again to their folly, and feelings; who talk of receiving sa- perhaps become seven fold more the tisfactory assurance of seeing Christ children of hell than before, as may holding out his arms to receive well make a man tremble who thinks them, from dreams, and strong im- of a death-bed delusion, and doubt pressions on their spirits, which as- of every evidence of his own change, sure them they are the children of if he has not an opportunity of pror. God: but as these are no Scripture ing it by its fruits. marks, a wise man will be very caur " How uncomfortable then, readtious how he trusts to them. When er, must thy sitnation be, even suphe considers to what a pitch the posing thou art really converted, imagination may be worked up, he in this most inconvenient season! will always doubt such evidences as While the Christian, who served these; especially he will always God from his youth, is rejoieing in have a doubt of them in such dis- the consideration that he remem


bers, and ever will remember, the son for so great a work! Oh! that I kindness of his youth; and taking could lay before thee, in a view one encouragement thence, not only to half as striking as they have often stay himself upon his God, but to appeared to me, the delusions of the rejoice in him amidst all his trials former, and the extreme languor and afflictions, thou art beclouded and listlessness of the latter part of with donbts and fears, with only a this most tedious disorder, wherein, bare Who can tell but the Lord may literally speaking, the grasshopper be gracious ? And when, on the other is as a burden! But I cannot. My hand, these sensible joys are fled weak shattered frame forbids it. It from thy fellow-Christian, and he is a wonder I have been able to say can only trust in the name of the so much. But from what I have, Lord, and stay himself upon his judge of what I have not, been able God, because conscious that in the to lay before thee, and then ask thymain he has feared the Lord, and self seriously, whether it be not best obeyed the voice of his servants; immediately to fall in with the how dismal must thy soul be, how wise man's advice, Eccles. ix. 10. full of doubts, fears, and suspicions and whatsoever thy hand findeth as to all thou hast felt, and of dismal thee to do, to do it with all thy forebodings concerning what is fu- might? Then mayest thou hope to

die with comfort whatever death is “Come now, then,and let us reason appointed to thee, and to lift up thy together. Is the consumption a de- head with rejoicing, amidst all the sirable season, to which to put off future horrors of a dissolving world. the great work of faith and repen

• W. W.” tance? Is it a disorder in itself like- The reader will perceive that in ly to awaken thee, or afford thee any the foregoing address, the pious aupeculiar means of awakening? Is thor, in dissuading persons against there any reason to hope that God deferring the momentous concerns will ever bless thee with the aids of of the soul and eternity while health his good Spirit, if thou thus wile and strength are continued, has arfully triftest away the time of health, gued on the supposition that they in hopes of a death-bed repentance? should die of a lingering illness, and Or canst thou have any thoroughly thus have timely warning of their satisfactory evidence of thy good latter end. But all who depend upon state, supposing thee converted, if this, might here naturally be rethou delayest to this most unfavoura- minded, that they are chargeable ble season, or canst thou ever die with a most unwarrantable presumpcomfortably without it? Say then, tion. Supposing a decline were ever does a consumption appear a favour- so favourable to a due preparation able season of acquainting ourselves for death and judgment, it were with God, and preparing for eterni- madness to defer this necessary buty? Does it not appear less favoura- siness, since none have the least rable to thee than it once did, from tional ground to expect such indulwhat has now been suggested? Yet gence, there being numberless other I have not been able to tell thee disorders by which mortals are carhalf. Oh! that I could describe to ried to their long home; and we thee half what I have felt in myself, frequently see death sent withont a of the extreme unfitness of this sea- moment's previous notice,

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