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TAE TEMPER OF HIM THAT GOES ABROAD.
NOW I leave my native land in peace with all, and wish well to friends and foes, as no doubt I have both.
Gratitude binds me not to forget my friends; grace, to forgive my foes. He carries but a poor principle in his breast, that goes away swoln with rage, in hopes to return and revenge ; for “ anger rests only in the bosom of fools." Ii is a Christian grace to forgive even the worst of injuries ; for it ennobles a man more to conquer the wicked principle of his corrupt nature, than to take a city. Would I revenge a personal quarrel on any at the day of judgment ? Surely
Shall I, then, carry rancour to the very grave, or lie down in a condition in which I would not wish to rise? Therefore my passion shall be converted into pity, and I will not only forgive men what they may have done amiss to me, but implore forgiveness for them in that wherein they may have offended God. Thus shall I golightly, compared with the mental madman who cherishes revenge. He continually carries about with him a load of hurtful two-edged weapons, in hopes to find his foe, and satiate his revenge upon him ; but, while he waits his opportunity, he slips a foot, and falls among the pointed weapons,
which wound him unto death. So must every malicious person fare at last, who falls over the precipice of time into eternity, full of envy, and inflamed with wrath.
ON FINDING MANY PASSENGERS ON SHORE.
Leith, March 1758.
BEFORE I came from home, I knew not of a single person but myself that was to set out froin the same port to the same place; but, on my arrival here, I find a great many from every corner of the land, waiting a fair wind to forward them in their intended passage. And may not this call to my mind, that, though only now and then, one here, and another there, departs this life, yet on the confines of endless ages, on the borders of the invisible world, what numbers of departing suuls are daily passing from every part of the inhabited giobe, to appear before the tremendous bar!
If we glance the mortality bills of well peopled ci. ties, the numbers that daily die are astonishing. And though nothing be more common than death, yet nothing is more affecting than dissolution.
I have taken one step, which may remind me of another that shall overtake me, and that, being my last translation, shall never be succeeded by a future. Let not, then, my improvidence in spiritual things, cause me to repent, when repentance, though perpetuated, may be too late.
ON ARRIVING AT A STRANGE CITY.
THOUSANDS and ten thousands are the inhabitants of this place, and yet few or none of them do I know. How soon is man a stranger among his fellow.creatures ! He may be acquainted with the people where he was born and brought up, or where he dwelt; but a few days journey convinces him, even among the multitude of men, that he is a stranger on this earth; for where he is acquainted with one, he is unacquainted with ten thousands. This admonishes me to account the world a strange country, and myself as only passing through it to my native country, and therefore to fix my affections on the things that are above, whither I am hastening.
My next reflection leads me to admire thine omniscence with astonishment. Not a person among these many thousands but thou knowest their business, their actions, and their way of life, yea more, their words and very thoughts. Thou also rulest and governest them in all their various actions, numbers of whom have never known thee. Nor does the conduct of thy providence only extend to this circle of men, but to every individual through the extensive universe. O wisdom to be adored! O power to be depended on! And shall not I, who am but one, trust in thee who orderest all the world so well! Not only the peaceful village in its ordinary round of human life, but the hostile plain in all the tumult and confusion of war, confesses thy sceptre. Then, if all have an interest in thy common providence, shall not I have an interest in thy special care?
My next reflection is on the almost incredible numbers of my fellow-creatures who inhabit here ; and if I throw my thought through the world, what greater numbers, what nations are held in life ! what then must the general assembly at the great assize be, if, according to some, every thirty or forty years sweeps the world of all its inhabitants ? By the same great God, who now governs with wisdom, shall all this mighty assembly be judged with equity, who will render to every one according to his works. While thou. sands hang their head for shame, may I be among those who shall lift up their face with joy before the great congregation.
GOOD AND BAD MEN MIXED TOGETHER IN THE
London, April 16, 1758.
NOW the world of mankind is a mingled multitude; good and bad are mixed together ; wheat and tares grow in one field; yea, they dwell now in one house, of whom at the last day one shall be taken and the other left. This is a grievance which cannot be avoided, for we must have connexion with the wicked in the affairs of life, else we must go out of the world. But to some persons, as to me at present, there are certain stages of life, in which they are as it were, chained with the wicked, and handcuffed with the sons of vice, to whom the things of God are foolish
ness, and by whom the concerns of the immortal soul are never taken into consideration. They live as if they were to live for ever in this present state, or as if when they die they should never see a resurrection.
What comfort, then, should it be to my soul, that He who once made all things, will again make all things new ! He will, as in the old creation, divide, not only between night and day, but between the sons of night, and the children of the day. And while those are covered with shame and confusion of face, and cast into the blackness of darkness for ever, the righteous shall shine as the stars, and as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Then shall the people speak a pure language, and to the people of a pure language will the Lord turn, in all the brightest manifestations of his glory. Perverse thoughts within, and profane talk withouty shall no more disquiet. Neither wicked company nor wandering cogitations shall vex the child of God any more in the house of God. Then they that walk with him in white, shall talk with one another on the sublimest subjects of eternity, on the love and sufferings of the Son of God. Idle words in that state of perfection shall cease, where every speech is pure and spotless, every whisper celestial, every word divine, and all is one ravishing encomium on redeeming love!