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disgusted. In the same manner, when God, by his Spirit, visits the true Christian, it fills him with joy and gladness; his presence is life; and when he hides his face, nothing can afford pleasure or satisfaction. But when thoughts of God enter the mind of the sinner, he feels uneasy, and tries to get rid of them. He may, from selfish motives, affect to seek God; but his heart is not in it, and he longs after the pleasures of the world. This is the way, in which all awakened, yet impenitent sinners, seek God; and yet they are displeased, because he will not accept such heartless services."
"We are apt to feel as if, by our prayers, we laid God under obligation to save us; as if our feeble, imperfect services were "profitable to him." Suppose a poor beggar should say of some rich nobleman, "He is under great obligations to me.' And when asked, "Why?"-should answer, "I have been, every day, for a great many years, and told him a long story of my wants, and asked him to help me." You can see how absurd this appears; and yet it is precisely similar to our conduct, except, indeed, that ours is much more absurd, because the disparity between God and us, is infinitely greater than can exist between any two mortals."
"When sinners have been awakened to see their guilt and danger, and are invited to come to Christ and be saved, they frequently make such excuses as these " I cannot believe that the invitations of the gospel were intended for such sinners as I am; I am afraid I do not feel right, and that Christ will not receive me." Suppose a table set in the street, and loaded with all kinds of food; and that a herald is sent to make proclamation, that all, who wish, may come and partake freely. A poor man comes, and stands looking very wishfully at the table; and when he is asked why he does not eat, replies—“O, I am afraid the invitation is not meant for me; I am not fit." Again he is assured that the invitation is intended for all those who are hungry, and that no other qualification is necessary. Still he objects" But I am afraid I am not hungry enough." In the same way do sinners deprive them
selves, by their own folly, of those blessings which are freely offered them by their Creator."
"Suppose the rebellious subjects of a very wise and good king, condemned to death. The king has a son, who from compassion to these poor wretches, offers to make satisfaction to his father for their crimes, if he will pardon them. The king consents on one condition. He places his son at the door of his palace, and makes proclamation, that every one, who comes to him for pardon, and is led in by his son, shall be forgiven for his sake. One of the culprits comes, and rejecting the proffered hand of the prince, rushes to the throne himself. Can this man expect mercy ? Thus God has provided a Mediator, and commanded all to approach in his name; and none can expect to be received, who do not come to God in this appointed way."
"One mark of a true convert is, that he continues to repent of his sins, after he hopes that they are pardoned. All that the hypocrite desires, is salvation from punishment; and when he thinks this end secured, he feels no concern respecting his sins. But the true Christian desires to be saved from sin; and his hatred of sin, and repentance for it increase in proportion as his assurance of heaven increases. Another mark is, that all disposition to make excuses, is taken away. The repentant sinner feels willing to lie at God's feet, and confess his sins, without even wishing to excuse them."
"It evinces more depravity not to repent of a sin, than it does to commit it at first. A good man may be hurried away by temptation to commit a sin, but he will invariably repent of it afterwards. To deny, as Peter did, is bad; but not to weep bitterly as he did, when we have denied, is worse."
"We may have the form of godliness without the power; but it is impossible to have the power without the form."
"The promises in the Bible to prayer, are not made to one act, but to the continued habit, of prayer."
The same subject-Bible class-pastoral visits-social parties-special, and casual interviews-charm of his conversation-singular rencontre-whence his competency-his publications.
IF there is a spectacle on earth, peculiarly animating to the thoughtful Christian, who waits and prays for the salvation of God, it is the faithful, affectionate pastor, with the Bible in his hand, surrounded by the "lambs of his flock," and leading them into "green pastures, and beside the still waters." It cannot be witnessed without a thrill of unusual delight, and anticipations of the most cheering character. There may be more of immediate personal enjoyment in the communion of saints, and in that foretaste of an eternal feast, which is granted to the redeemed of the Lord, when, gathered around the sacramental board, they glory in the cross, and celebrate the love of Him, who died on it, and their faith anticipates the hour when they "shall see Him as he is," and come to the heavenly Zion, and commence their everlasting song. But the same principle, which causes "joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, who need no repentance," is eminently a principle of benevolence, which is gratified with every prospect of increase, to the "great multitude whom no man can number;" and it is called into action, and operates with no ordinary effect, in view of a collection of youth, grouped around their beloved spiritual teacher, engaged in investigating the truths of the Bible, and ascertaining the duties, which it enjoins. It is a sight full of hope and promise. It is not presumption to expect from it the choicest spiritual fruits, which a minister is ever permitted to reap. It is among this class of his charge, that he may, eminently, "sow in hope." The promises of God authorize him to expect extensive and glorious results. It was upon the youth, that Mr. Payson
expended some of his best exertions, and these labors brought him a "harvest of golden sheaves."
His heart was drawn towards the rising generation, and meditated various expedients for advancing their welfare. He does, indeed, record and lament, among his deficiencies, the neglect of special efforts for their instruction and salvation. But compared with the ordinary standard of ministerial practice, he abounded in works of this description. Though, from the first, he did not fail to give them appropriate instruction, yet it was not till the latter years of his ministry, that the interesting group, who periodically gathered around him, took the designation of Bible class; and at that time, his manner underwent a slight modification. The subjoined specimens were furnished by young persons, to whom they were blessed.
"A way-faring man stops at a tavern, and, to beguile the time of his stay there, looks round for some book. He sees, perhaps, a newspaper, an almanac, and the Bible; but chooses to pore over either of the former, in preference to the Word of God,-thinking it hardly possible. to be amused or interested in that. Even a Christian will sometimes do thus.-This is, as if a man should be introduced into an apartment, in one division of which were Jesus Christ and his Apostles, and in the other the most dissolute and frivolous company; and, on being invited by the Saviour to sit with them and enjoy their company, should refuse, and seat himself with the others. Would not this be a most gross insult to the Saviour? and do you not equally undervalue and refuse his company, when you thus neglect and despise his holy word-through which he converses with you, and invites you near to himself,and choose some foolish production instead of it?"
"God holds out to you, as it were a thread, no stronger than a spider's web, and says "Take hold of this thread; I will increase its strength, day by day, until it becomes the line of salvation to you.-So it is with the little interest you feel in the Bible class. If you cherish this, if you reflect upon what you read and hear, and daily pray to be made wise by these instructions, God will increase your interest to its consummation, till you become perfect ones
in Christ Jesus. But if you lose your hold on this thread, you are lost."
The following paragraph illustrates his manner of stating the argument, and its application-the subject before. the class being, the evidence from the light of nature, that there is a God.
"Suppose, my young friends, that, in travelling through a wilderness, a spacious garden should burst upon your view, in the midst of which is a splendid palace. Upon entering it, you perceive, in every apartment, proofs of the agency of some living person, though you see no one.. Complicated machinery is moving, and various operations are carried on; but still the agent, who produces these effects, is invisible. Would you be the less convinced that they were produced by some intelligent agent? And if you should be told, that the palace came there by chance, and that all the movements you witnessed were caused by no power whatever, you would regard him, who should tell you thus, either as a fool, or a liar. Now you have the same proof of the existence of God in his works, that you would have, in the case I have supposed, of the existence and presence of some invisible agent; and it is just as unreasonable to doubt of his existence, as it would be to doubt whether the palace had been built by any person, or was only the work of chance. Suppose you were informed, by a writing on the wall, that the palace was inhabited, or haunted by spirits, who were constantly watching your conduct, and who had power to punish you, if it displeased them; and that you were also informed, at the same time, of the course of conduct which it would be necessary to pursue, in order to obtain their ap probation. How careful would you be to observe the rules, and how fearful of displeasing these powerful spirits. And if you were further informed, that these were the spirits of your deceased parents, and that they were able to hear, if you addressed them, how delightful it would be to go and tell them of your wants and sorrows, and feel sure that they listened to you with sympathy and compassion!-I tell you, my young friends, this world is haunted, if I may so express it,-haunted by the Eternal