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THE CARE OF THE SOUL RECOMMENDED.

We live in awful times!- menaced with invasion by a fierce, powerful, cruel, and tyrannic enemy. Politicians and patriots, both nobles and plebeians, unite in arms with their King, for the defence of their country, their property, their liberty, their constitution and national existence. Scarce a village do we pass but what resounds with the noise of buglehons and drums. It is to be hoped the united, patriotic, and well-timed zeal of the nation, may check the impetuosity of the enemy, and cause his proud and ambitious schemes to prove abortive; but should he be permitted to land, it is more' than probable that blood will be shed, and many souls hurried into the eternal world. As such, how needful is it, that while, as a nation, we fortify against the French, we do so as individuais, in respect of our souls, against the attack and shock of the great and last enemy, Death! To rouse attention to this "one thing needful," is the design of this paper. In attempting which, it may be proper to take a survey of the dignity and importance of the soul, with the care and attention included and required in securing its salvation,

it inust be acknowledged that the soul is a mysterious subject. It is indeed easy to prove its existence, and to describe many of its operations; but fully to unfold and discover its nature, requires more than the tongues of men; perhaps, more than the tongues of angels. Man is a mystery to man: he sometimes" trembles at himself, and in himself is lost." To estimate the value of his soul, is by him utterly impossible; because there is nothing within his knowledge to which its value can be compared. "What shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" Let us keep in memory its divine origin. It was not the production of the air, the earth, or the waters; but breathed immediately from the ever adorable Jehovah! Our earthly parents are styled Fathers of our Flesh, in distinction. from the Father of Spirits, to whom the soul returns when once the body dies. But some may enquire, “ If God, in the present time, form the spirit of man within him, as the prophet Zechariah speaks, in chap. xii. 1, and that by infusion, as in the case of Adam, whence is it that the soul, coming immediately from God, is the subject of moral evil?" And how is it that" we are conceived in sin and shapen in iniquity ?" — These are difficult questions, perhaps the most so of any in the whole body of divinity. It is not to be supposed, that he who is supremely glorious in holiness can create a soul with a propensity to sin; and yet the universal depravity of Adam's whole posterity, and that from the birth, is too evident for the contrary ever to be demonstrated. In Nature, there are many things we know to be true, which yet, for their origin and man3 G

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ner of existence, we are incompetent to ascertain; and in the present case, it is better to confess our own ignorance than proudly charge God with foolishness. Till a better answer to the enquiries be found, it may suffice to say, That though a holy God necessarily creates the soul holy, yet he does not possess it of supernatural grace to resist the flesh; and, therefore, being infused into a body that is corrupt and defiled, as being propagated by corrupt mortals, the pure soul, by its conjunction with a defiled body, may receive its contagion imme diately; and which may be considered as a just punishment of the sin of our first parents. Thus we discern a wide difference between the soul, as created with sinful propensities, and receiving them from sinful bodies, propagated by sinful mortals; and so the Former of the soul is holy, while man is shapen in iniquity.

Besides the soul's divine origin, we further contemplate its wonderful powers and faculties. How capacious is the human mind!-how wonderful its understanding! By the exertion of its own energies, under proper cultivation, to what amazing heights hath it soared, and discoveries made, in the knowledge of philosophy, astronomy, physic, music, trade, and navigation, with a variety of particulars too numerous to mention! How astonishing is the human imagination! It can transcend the bounds of reality it can imagine a huge mountain to be a mass of gold; the ocean to be replete with milk or wine, and all the sands that bound its shores to be so many valuable pearls! Some have written on the pleasures of imagination, but more have experienced the miseries of imagination; and all have to lament that, naturally," the imagination of the heart is evil continually" but Christians may rejoice in knowing, that, capacious as the imagination is, "it hath not entered into the imagination of the heart of man fully to conceive what God hath laid up for them that love him." How surprizing the power of thinking! What crowds of thoughts pass through human hearts! How silent, and yet how quick they move! They can ascend to Heaven in the twinkling of an eye, — and, in as short a space of time, penetrate the depths of Hell! What a pity that so many of then are foolish and vain!

The memory likewise is a choice faculty: therein many things are deeply engraven, particularly such as greatly affect us at the time they occurred. The aged soldier, mariner, or minister, can entertain and surprize with accurate relations of various transactions which long since took place. How desirable that this repository be sacred, and only retain what is worth remembrance!

The will is another of the mental powers, which, alas! is often at variance with the will of God. Were it not sʊ, how often should we be happy in our several stations, relations, and circumstances, in which we are wretched!

But of all the powers of the soul, let us attend to conscience :

this is either the best friend or the worst enemy of its possessor. It is indeed a noble and mighty power; it is God's vicegerent. Sooner or later it will speak so as to be heard and obeyed. Happy they in whom it abides void of offence, both in the sight of God and man! Men are often cowards or heroes, according to the state of their consciences. "The wicked flee when none pursue, while the righteous are bold as a lion.” Concience can account for this.

But in respect of the soul, let us further consider the immensity of its desires. Nothing sublunary can possibly satisfy its boundless cravings. If it had all the world, it would still ory, "Give, give." Those who have had the best opportunities for making experiments, to try what the things of time and sense could do, have been known to confess that all are va nity; and, instead of satisfaction, prove vexation of spirit. The choicest blessings earth can yield, starve the hungry mind, Besides the immensity of its desires, there is to be considered the immortality of its nature. If men kill not the body, diseases may; but whether or not, it will, in time, wear away and die. Not so the soul. The body is but its tenement, or rather prison; and when it quits the same, its powers expand in a state of endless bliss or endless woe!

But the value and dignity of the soul will abundantly appear from the price of its redemption. It was not to be redeemed by corruptible things, such as silver and gold; nothing less than the precious blood of Christ was sufficient. This infinite price was paid to put away sin's infinite offence, and redeem the soul to God. Strict justice could not require too much; and when the Redeemer laid down his life, he paid no more than divine justice required. He died, the just for the unjust, to bring us to God. Now, on such accounts and considerations as these, the wisest, the greatest, and best of men in all ages, have made the salvation of their souls their main and chief concern. Rather than lose their souls they would deny themselves, and suffer the greatest afflictions. They would submit to the spoiling of their goods, the loss of their liberty, and even of their lives, and rather die martyrs than deny their Lord and Saviour! They wisely considered, that no savings could compensate for the loss of the soul. If it were safe, all things else would be secure, and work together for good; but if its state were wretched, nothing could give satisfaction. Wealth, honour, splendor, and power would all be miserable comforters. The dread of death, judgment, and eternity would embitter every thing. What care then is necessary to prevent the loss and secure the eternal salvation of the.soul! On this care, let us expatiate a little further, and particularly remark, that it must bear some proportion to the magnitude of its object. Persons cannot properly be said to care for their souls all they care for them as such: while they care most for their

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bodies, they may truly be said to neglect their souis. This unplies a due consideration of the soul's dangers. The defenders of a city or nation must pay particular attention to the weak and vulnerable parts: they must watch the enemy. If the mariner neglect the leaks in his vessel, he may perish with her in the mighty deep. The divine oracles abound with caveats to apprize men of the dangers incident to their souls. Such watch-words are not superfluous. He who daily cares for his soul, takes heed to them all. Finally, this care includes the diligent and persevering use of all the appointed means of grace: they are kindly instituted to facilitate the working out of our salvation. No one who understands their design can think of making a merit or boast of his attendance upon them. He knows, that the more of them he enjoys under the greater obligations he lies to the giver of them, and the more he improves them, the more he loves them. They who neglect outward ordinances as beggarly elements, have not experienced what it is to hold communion with God therein; they who are most careful of their souls will be most attentive, constant, and diligent in their attendance on divine ordinances; they will not forsake those ministers who watch for their souls; they will be giad to go to the house of God, that their souls may be fed and feasted with the rich provisions thereof; they will listen to that word, by the hearing of which faith comes; they will wait where the Lord waits to be gracibus. In a word, the care of the soul includes putting on the whole armour of God, and standing fast in the evil day, in the exercise of prayer and watchfulness, and abounding in what ever may be the work of the Lord. S. B. Scarborough.

AWFUL WARNINGS.

THERE was in a populous Swiss village a pious and exceltent clergyman, who preached and lived with such holy zeal and exemplary piety, that many were converted under his ministry. But there lived in the same place a wicked and aban doned character, who not only slighted all the means of grace, but turned the most serious matters and expressions of his minister into ridicule, and made them a public laughing scoff. Once he came very early in the morning to the public-house, and began to intoxicate himself with liquor, repeating his old wicked tricks, profaning the name and word of God, and ridiculing the term of conversion. "Now," says he, "I myself also will become a convert," turning himself from one side to the other, and dancing about in the room with a variety of foolish gestures he quickly left the room, fell down the stairs, broke his neck, and expired as an awful monument of God's most righteous vengeance, which sometimes, even in this life, overtakes them that abuse his name, and prove a scandal to

A worthy Protestant Clergyman in Montpelier, related the following Awful Warning, upon the authenticity of which the Reader may rely

A FEW years ago, several French soldiers, quartered in that part of the country, assisted a good honest peasant in gathering in his harvest. A thunder-storm, accompanied by a torrent of rain, overtook them in the midst of their work. Being thus interrupted, they got so angry, that they broke out in the most blasphemous language against the Holy One of Israel. Had I but my gun," said the most impious among them," I would soon put this troublesome thunderer to silence." His wicked comrades laughed applause; but the simple good peasant was so shocked with the enormity of his crime, that he fled, as it were, from the immediate destruction, which he was afraid would overtake them: and so it was. The blasphemer had hardly finished his vain threatenings, when a tremendous clap of thunder was heard; four of the soldiers were struck dead on the spot, and the fifth was carried senseless to the city. C. F. S.

ANECDOTES.

THE Rev. David Some, of Market Harborough, was a person eminent for" piety, zeal, prudence, and sagacity," accord ing to Mr. Orton's expressions in his valuable biography of Dr. Doddridge. His advice was highly prized, not only by the members of his own congregation, but by his brethren in the ministry of the gospel. Dr. Doddridge himself, when in the twenty-fourth year of his age, removed from Kibworth, where he statedly preached at that time, to reside at Market Harborough, for the sake of being near Mr. Some; and has recorded, "That in him he found a sincere, wise, faithful, and tender friend; and from him had met with all the goodness he could have expected from a father, having received the greatest assistance from him."

This excellent man, after having lain several days in a very serene and comfortable frame of mind, and expressed a very cheerful hope of approaching glory, fell asleep in Jesus, May 29, 1737. On his death-bed, he said, "If it be asked how David Some died, let it be answered, That he sought, and he found Mercy!

DR. DODDRIDGE was one day conversing with his pupils in the lecture-room of his academy at Northampton, on the various manner in which real Christians died. He said, "I wish that my last words may be those lines of Dr. Watts:

"A guilty, weak, and helpless worm,

On thy kind arms I fall;

Be thou my strength and righteousness,
My Jesus, and my all !"

Book ii. H. 90.

Whether he uttered those words on his death-bed is not certain; but it is well known that the spirit which they breathe

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