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few words, as soon as we ask you to observe a few pre. fatory truths.
Truth 1. It would not do for you, as an innocent man, to die for one condemned by our human law; for in taking out of life a just man, and leaving a bad man in it, the community is injured; but when Christ died for those Heaven's law had condemned, he laid down his life and took it up again.
Truth 2. If Christ suffered for others, but did not suffer as much in the garden and on the cross as they deserve to suffer in hell, still a full equivalent was offered in this sacrifice, because of the dignity of the individual who was bleeding.
Truth 3. If the Judge is willing to take the Calvary death, as a satisfaction for the Divine law, in place of your death, you may very well be willing.
How to get Religion. This conversion, designated by the expression change of heart, new birth, and so many different names, is to be obtained by asking for it. This is strange. Many will not believe it: the terms are so mild. We refer the reader to the Bible for confirmation of this statement. We will endeavour to explain asking (should it need explanation) as soon as the reader has looked at the Saviour's invitations in the blessed book. By searching there you will find that the Saviour is calling, “Come unto me,” &c. He is declaring that applicants he will not “cast out." “ Whosoever will, let him take,” &c. “ Ask, and ye shall receive," &c. &c.
Explanation-It does seem very strange, indeed, to speak of explaining what it is to ask for any thing. It is never necessary except in matters of true religion. It is true there, that men lean toward mistake, every step.
Ministers talk of freely offered salvation, of God's willingness to receive penitents &c., whilst their unconverted hearers misunderstand every word. The uncon. verted think, perhaps, that the change of heart is something exceedingly strange, which they are to wait for. Perhaps others fancy that they are to see light, or hear a voice, as Saul did; or they interpret every word concern. ing penitence, submission, forsaking the world, going to God, receiving pardon, &c., as having some strange spiritual meaning. Others think that they must be distressed in mind so intensely, and suffer so extremely as to move the Lord's compassion ; or they wait for this anguish, thinking that none apply properly but those in great mental agony.
Such kinds of mistakes, delusions, and erroneous in. terpretations, are so common and so universal, that it is necessary to explain the plainest things.
Asking God.-1st, The time. It seems that he urges us speedily, for he always says now. This word now, being the only one used in reference to time, we infer that expedition is meant.
2d, Place. That we may choose ourselves, for he is everywhere. He is always near to us, and can hear us whatever we say, so that place cannot be material. Some, when they go to ask for pardon and heaven, choose to be in secret and alone. Others do not wait for this.
3d, Manner.—The only way to ask acceptably with God, is to wish what you ask for. He does not love hypocrisy; and if any should tell him that they wished to be saved, and wished to be Christians, when they did not, they cannot deceive him, for he sees the heart.
Questions asked and answered Question ist.How am I to know he will pardon if I ask ?
Answer.-Go and read of him in the New Testa. ment. After observing his kindness, and patience, and meekness, and compassion and readiness to hear requests, you will begin to suppose, that had you been there, offering a reasonable request, he would not have turned away from you ; but if it had been a petition which he had told you to make, you would confidently expect his compliance. Now you have to recollect that he is unchangeable ; he is as kind now as he then was ; he is as ready to hear as he was; he has told you to ask for pardon, and He will not refuse you.
Ques. 2d.How am I to know if I am sincere, if I ask in a proper manner ?
Ans.—You are sincere if you wish to quit sin. Those who wish to quit sin, try; those who wish to do right, to overcome sin, &c., ask God to help them to leave it. They are sorry when they fail, and try again; and when they fall into sin again, they are concerned the more, and make a stronger effort. In short, they wish to do every thing they find required in the Bible; and, being sorry for every failure, they keep up a struggle and a warfare against sin.
Ques. 3d.-If I ask for the pardon of all my sins, and to be taken into the number of the children of God, and to have my name with the ransomed, how am I to know when it is done ?
Ans.-He has had it written down for your encouragement, that, if you ask, you shall not be refused. He had it written because he does not appear to sinners, and they will not hear his lips pronounce words on this subject. When you ask, wanting pardon, you have rea
son to believe that he does not refuse, because he says he will not.
Ques. 4th.-Am I to hear no whisper, or to have no strong indication, hear no voice, or have no singular impulse to let me know that my sins are blotted out!
Ans.-No. Christ has made you no such promise. You will not see the angel that blots out your sins; yon will not see the Saviour to inform you that it is done: « Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” Blessed are those who believe the Saviour's word as it stands on the page of his Book, as promptly as they would believe his word, if they had with him a personal interview.
Ques. 5.- If I were to ask for the remission of all my sins, and were to believe that my words were regarded, and my transgressions blotted out I should surely rejoice : might I thus take comfort ?
Ans. If you ever believe Christ's real statement as it stands in the Bible, it will be faith, and joy is one concomitant of faith. There was one who once de. clared, that, under a hope of recently pardoned sin, his predominant feeling was a desire never to offend God again. Such a wish is connected with repentance. It is often the strongest feeling observable at the time. Often, the sinner does never notice the goodness of God; and never has his attention turned toward that affecting kindness of the Saviour, until his own case brings it be. fore him, and until a hope of pardon arouses his obser. vation.
Farewell.-Reader, if you believe that you never sinned, we bid you farewell in despair; for sin has benumb. ed your soul into a stupidity which is hopeless. If you know you are a sinner, seek pardon forthwith, for this
is the only wise course. If you wish pardon, our fare. well advice, as to the manner of seeking it, is to act just as you would do if you saw the Redeemer.
Without seeing the Saviour, ask as you would if you did see him; without hearing him speak, attend to his written words just as you would do if you heard him speak them. “Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”. Without seeing the white throne, before which we must certainly stand in judgment, act as you will wish you had when
do it; without seeing the bright glory of the peaceful abode, and the joyous features of the white-robed society, act as vigorously as the worth of such a residence should prompt. without looking down into the red atmosphere, where are thrown together “the fearful, and the unbelieving, and abominable, and the murderers, and dogs, and sor. cerers, and whoremongers, and all liars," act so as to avoid their company and their eternity. Farewell.
The Author's unbelief and the means of
One way to make plain the cure of infidelity, is to give examples of deliverance. Facts are not read with less interest from being presented as the lever by which other minds have been moved; and as the particulars of our own history can be given