How are you spending your precious moments? Are you filling up the hours of probation, that God has allotted you here, in studying his Word, to learn how you can best show yourselves approved unto him? Or is your mind, which should be turned to serve the Lord perfectly, and keep his commandments, occupied by reading exciting stories and idle tales? Are not the golden moments which God has given you to prepare for heaven, misspent and abused, while you are filling your mind with worthless stories, which will not tend to make you holy and pure like your Saviour; but serve to corrupt your mind and fill it with pride, vanity and selfishness.
Dear Friends, has not the word of God been slighted, and the truth neglected, and by some of you even made light of? Think seriously upon the course you are pursuing, while living a life of vanity and folly, and grieving that Saviour who died that you might live.
How can you rest, knowing that Jesus does not smile upon you? That you have no tender look of compassion from him, because you reject offered mercy, and sin against him every hour?
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There is danger of your slighting him too long. Your time is taken up with the vanities of the world, and you seldom retain thoughts that you have a soul to save or lose. Have you forgotten that there is one who was wounded for your transgressions and bruised for your iniquities? One who is now pleading with his Father, and presenting his wounded hands and feet, and pierced side and spilt blood, and pleads with him to spare you a little longer; for he hung upon the cross to redeem you. O, what love! what unbounded love and condescension the Son of God manifested for us. He died to give life to those who were his enemies!
Mercy’s sweet call is now sounding; but it will soon die away. Probation’s hour will soon be ended. The seven last plagues will fall, and then those who have chosen the pleasures of the world and rebelled against God, will cry for mercy when there will be none to answer their prayers. But a voice will be heard,—“Thou art weighed in the balance and found wanting.” And as they realize that they have no shelter from the dreadful storm of God’s wrath, they will plead for one little hour of probation that they may again hear the sweet voice, inviting “every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters.” It will then fall upon the ear, in that dreadful hour. “Too late! too late!” “Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded. But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof. I also will laugh at your calamity, I will mock when your fear cometh.”
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Dear young friends, your case is not now hopeless. Jesus so loved you that he died for your sins, and requires of you in return for so great a sacrifice, to love him. He is ever ready to listen to your prayers, and accept the offering of a broken heart and contrite spirit, and receive you into his fold.
Your companions may scorn you, but what if they do? Remember they are weak mortals like yourself, and death can lay them low in a few moments. O, do not resist the sweet Spirit of God, for such company. They cannot save you when the wrath of God shall come upon all the wicked.
If you leave the ways of sinners, and choose the narrow path that leads to heaven, it may convince your young companions of their folly and the danger they are in without a Saviour. They may at first laugh at you, but be patient. Meekly refer them to the word of God. Tell them, by making it your study, you are convinced it will judge you in the last day. That it is the foundation upon which you have built your hopes for heaven, and by searching its pages with a prayerful heart, you have ascertained how you could obtain durable riches. Live out your profession, meekly follow the lovely Pattern; and by a well ordered life you may be the means of winning them to Christ.
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As Jesus was about to leave his sorrowing disciples, and ascend to his Father, he comforted them with the assurance, that in his Father’s house were many mansions, and he would go and prepare a place for them, and come again and take them to himself, that where he is, there they may be. Do you want a home with Jesus? a mansion in glory? Will you be a humble child of God, that you may have a share at last in the saints’ immortal inheritance?
If you love God and keep his commandments, when Jesus takes his faithful children home, he will give you a crown that will never dim; and you may freely eat of the immortal fruit of the tree of life, and of its healing leaves, and never more know sickness or sorrow; but your happiness will be complete, as you sing redemption’s song.