« PreviousContinue »
actions and sufferings be ineffective; but make me capable and receptive of thy mercies, and then I am certain to receive them. I am thine, O save me! thou art mine, O holy Jesus! O dwell with me for ever, and let me dwell with thee, adoring and praising the eternal glories of God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.
END OF THE LIFE OF CHRIST.
I HAVE Soberly considered these holy and devout
Contemplations of the State of Man in this Life, and in that which is to come;" I never read any thing with more comfort, or which made a greater impression upon my soul. Therefore, hoping they may have the like effect upon others, I commend them to all persons, who desire happiness in this life, or blessedness in the future. Here thou mayest see the uncertainty of mortal life, the instability of human greatness, the fate of kingdoms, and the period of empires; the world's funeral, time laid in the dust, and the dread and horror of the last judgment. Here thou mayest have a prospect of the grandeur of heaven, the glory of the blessed, and the miseries and infelicities of the damned. The due consideration whereof will beget in thee holiness of life; nothing can be of more consequence, in these worst of days, to promote thy future happiness and glory. True piety sows the seeds of the most solid greatness. Men endowed with moral virtues, they are like diamonds, rich,
but unpolished; it is the fear of God that adds the true lustre, and sets them fair.
In the service of God, all the items of happiness and blessedness are summed up.
Dost thou desire riches? Serve God, and thou canst never be poor. Dost thou desire preferment? Live a holy and devout life, (as these Contemplations are the best introduction to it,) and thou shalt g0 ἀπὸ χάριτος εις δόξαν, from grace to glory ; go grace is " Aurora gloriæ;" glory, nothing but a bright constellation of graces; and happiness, nothing but the quintessence of holiness. I shall not detain thee longer, but beg of God that these holy Contemplations may so influence thy soul, that thou mayest be made partaker of that eternal weight of glory, which is laid up for all those that love and serve him.
I am thy Friend, and
Servant in Christ Jesus,
B. HALE, D.D.