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masters can afford to give them more than they do. Mas ters must be considered as well as men. In short, I take it that a discontented and encroaching workman, and a hard, oppressive master, are both alike, and that neither the one nor the other is a creditable character. Masters cannot do without workmen, nor workmen without masters; so the one ought to consider the welfare of the other.
You may say that workmen's wages are not high enough, either in town or country, and that a man with a family has many a pinch to make both ends meet; but, bad as it is to have low wages, it would be a great deal worse not to receive wages after they had been fairly earned. How would
you feel if, on a Saturday night, your master should say that he did not intend to pay you your wages? You would tell him that you had worked hard and honestly for your money, and were, therefore, entitled to it; and in telling him so, you'would speak the truth. But, let us see if you
ouldy on all occasions, be equally anxious to receive your wages.
You either are, or ought to be, a servant of God, high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity.” wages, then, do you consider yourself entitled to receive at his hands? If, as an humble follower of Christ, relying wholly on his atoning sacrifice, and giving all glory to God, you work while it is called to-day, doing the service of your Master with a willing mind, you will have no reason to complain of him hereafter. Grace here, and glory hereafter, is not to be despised. But, remember, “The wages of sin is death,” sure, certain, and eternal death. Remember, that even the great apostle Paul complained of the evil of his heart, and that the word of God tells us there is none righteous, no, not one! If, then,
“ the labourer is worthy of his hire,” will you venture to demand your wages ? If God, the Almighty Master of his servants, is ready to render “ to every man according to his work,” are you equally ready to receive your wages? This is a serious inquiry, and may, perhaps, lead you, not only to reflect on God's forbearance during your past life, but also to seek his grace in time to come, that you may be “a. workman that needeth not to be ashamed."
“ Time moves with rapid wings; but when shall fly
Of how little importance are the wages of time, compared with those of eternity? If you
have done the works of iniquity, and feel afraid to reply to the inquiry, “ Tell me, what shall thy wages be ?” take up
the language of the poor prodigal, “ I will arise, and go to my Father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.” If thus, with a contrite spirit, you are enabled through mercy to enter anew into the service of God, you will receive from him more than you can ask or think.
“ For kingly crowns, though freely given,
Are dross, compared with that reward,
Prepared for those who love the Lord."
THE LAST MOMENTS OF A CHRISTIAN. FAR different are the last moments of one who has been engaged in the service of God, from those of an unbeliever. At that moment the recollection of past events is revived, and memory seems to be exercised in an unparalleled degree; the actions of our lives are called to remembrance, and sin appears more glaring than it ever did before. This review, though in some respects it is painful to the christian on account of his sins, yet in others it is delightful ; for, to behold the way in which the Lord his God had led him, must awaken every grateful feeling which exists in his mind; that mind which is soon to be employed in the contemplation of objects transcendently glorious, without any intermission occasioned by the creeping in of worldly thoughts, which is too often the case in this vale of tears. And as the Israelites could, at the end of their journey, bear witness to the goodness which God exercised over them for forty years, in not letting their raiment wax old, nor their feet swell, so the christian can, at the end of his earthly pilgrimage, bear witness, likewise, that, as his “ day was, so was his strength;" and though the battle might sometimes go hard with him, and he might be sorely wounded with the archers, yet the God of Israel has been his God, and enabled him to triumph over danger.
And not only does the recollection of past events delight the christian, but the anticipation of future glories fills hiş mind with “joy unspeakable.” He looks beyond the narrow confines of the grave, beyond the stream of Jordan, and there he will behold that which will recompense him for the frowns of the world, and for the sneers and persecutions of the ungodly multitude. He can already imagine himself chaunting with those whose number is "ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands,” “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.” And, in the midst of these raptures, he will not forget to remember, with all humility, his own unworthiness, and will adore that love which'snatched him as a “brand from the burning."
But the unbeliever will have nothing to recall to his mind but the magnitude of his sins, and the heniousness of his crimes; and as to futurity, he sees nothing before him but“ fiery indignation, and everlasting burnings."
May it be the happiness of both him who writes, and those who peruse this, to be able, when the hour of death draws near, to
read their title clear, To mansions in the sky."
THE INVITATION. “Come thou with us, and we will do thee good." WHITHER are you going this fine Sunday morning ? Where should we be bending our steps on this day, and at this hour; a day set apart by God himself, in kindness and care for the health of our bodies, as a day of rest, and in love to our never-dying souls, as a day to be kept holy; in which we are commanded not to speak our own words, nor to find our own pleasure ? Isa. lviii. 13. Where, we reply, should we be going, but to the house of God, the place set apart for his worship, who has a right to command us, but who does more, who beseeches us to accept of the blessings freely offered in his word, 2 Cor. v. 28. Now, we invite you most affectionately, we intreat you most earnestly, to “Come with us,” where you will “ hear of heaven, and learn the way." O, come with us, and listen to the voice of the minister, while he points out the only way of salvation, even by Jesus Christ, the Redeemer, the friend of sinners. We are all sinners : you are a sinner; for “ there is none righteous, no, not one,” Rom, iii. 10: whatever are your circumstances or situation in life, you need pardon and a change of heart; you are not .fit for heaven, nor can you be admitted, where“ nothing entereth that defileth," unless you are the subject of that mighty change which is called by the Saviour, being "born again,” John iii. 3. Consider then, that you have never-dying souls, which must soon be launched into a world of endless bliss, or eternal misery; and throw not away, we beseech you, in idleness and folly, these sacred hours, which another day you would give worlds, if you had them, to recall. Oh," said one to a near relative, well known to the writer, whilst standing by his death-bed, “how have I thoughtlessly wasted my time, my precious time: oh, what would I now give for a few calm hours to think on my state, and prepare for my great change. Oh, Lord, grant me six hours; six hours is all I ask; six calm hours. Oh, I would give hundreds of thousands to possess them: but six hours, they would be more than all the world to me!” This is no fable; it was seen and heard, Now, then, is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation." 'Have compassion upon yourselves, and come where you will learn that you may find forgiveness if you cast yourselves upon Christ, and come to him as guilty, perishing sinners; where, if you seek his Holy Spirit, he will give it you, Luke xi. 13. Come and learn that “the ways of wisdom are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace,” Prov. iii. 17.
Do you find peace and happiness in your own ways? we know you do not; “ for there is no peace to the wicked," Isa. lvii. 21; and such are they who neglect the house and worship of God, who spend the hours of this day in the pursuit either of business or pleasure which God has forbidden in his word. Is it keeping holy the sabbath day, to pass any of the sacred hours in roaming the fields, or, as we fear is the case with many, going where scenes of riot and intemperance drown the sense and destroy the soul ? Will a sabbath thus spent bear to be thought of in the stillness and silence of the midnight hour, when no eye
before you go
but that of God is upon you ? will it make a dying bed easy ? for it is most true, as has been said, we make our dying bed soft or hard, by our daily conduct ?" and, above all, at that great day, when “every secret thing will be brought into judgment, whether it be good or evil," can you stand the severe scrutiny ? I would intreat you, as you
love your own soul, as you would wish then to appear with joy, and“ not with shame, and everlasting contempt,” Dan. xii. 2, consider your ways, pursue a different course, make but the trial, attend some place of worship regularly, where you can find most benefit, and pray for a blessing
and when you returu. Do not mind the laugh and ridicule of those who neither care for their own souls nor for yours, who may laugh at prayer now, but who one day will themselves pray
to the rocks and mountains to fall upon them, and cover them from the wrath of the Lamb, and him that sitteth upon the throne,”. Rev. vi. 16. He then will not be heard, if they now turn away from Him who invites, and beseeches them to come to him, and has promised, that " whosoever cometh, he will in no wise cast out,” John vi. 37. Believe him, then, take him at his word: whatever has been your past conduct in breaking and misspending his sabbaths, or other sins, which often sadly follow in its train, if you are willing to forsake these ways, and to come to Christ, he is now willing to receive you. Hear his language,
" Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon," Isa. lv. 7. Your sins are not too great for the blood of Christ to cleanse; “The blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanseth us from all sin," 1 John i. 7. Your heart, and every heart, by nature, “is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked," Jeremiah xvii. 9, but he will change it, and give you, if you ask him for it, a new heart, Ezek. xxxvi. 26.
Once more, we intreat you to come with us, to take a little time to think of these things. Do we ask for any thing unreasonable? Do you suppose that we have any motive but your good ? It is not, indeed, an uncertain good that we ask
you to pursue : we have tried for ourselves, and we join in saying with all who have made the trial, that, "a day spent in the courts of the Lord, is better than a