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mankind would take pity on his deplorable condition, pardon his sins, and rescue him from that everlasting destruction which awaits all such characters. He told his friend, therefore, that if he departed with a smile, he might hope for the best concerning him; but if he should be seen giving up the ghost with a frown, there would be reason to fear the worst.
This was about three o'clock in the afternoon, and he lived till four the next morning. A little before he expired he way heard to speak these words softly to himself-“ Oh! that I had possession of the meanest place in heaven, and could but creep into one corner of it.” Afterwards he cried out four several times together" ( dear! dear! dear! dear!"--and near a minute before he expired, his friend perceiving him to look full in his face, with a smiling countenance
There we leave him till the resurrection morn*.
23. When Count STRUENSEE, Prime Minister of the kingdom of Denmark, had been disgraced and imprisoned by his Sovereign for certain misdemeanors of which he had been guilty, he was brought from a state of Infidelity to a serious sense of his situation. He then declared, “ The more I learn Christianity from Scripture, the more I grow convinced how unjust those objections are with which it is charged. I find, for instance, that all what VOLTAIRE says of the intolerance of Christians, and of blood-shedding caused by Christianity, is a very unjust charge laid upon religion. It is easy to be seen, that those cruelties, said to be caused by religion, if properly considered, were the production of human passions, selfishness and ambition, and that religion served in such cases only for a cloak.--I am fully convinced of the truth of the Christian religion, and I feel its power in quieting my conscience, and informing my sentiments. I have examined it, during a good state of health, and
* It is impossible for any man to say with certainty whether the change, which seems to pass upon the human mind, upon these nelancholy occasions, is real and saving, or only apparent and delusive. We have known various instances, where every sympton of genuine repentance has been exhibited upon a sick bed, but no sooner has health returned, than they have returned to folly with accelerated speed; fulfilling the old Popish distich:
“ When the Devil was sick, the Devil a Monk would be:
with all the reason I am master of. I tried every argument, I felt no fear, I have taken my own time, and I have not been in haste. I own with joy I find Christianity the more amiable, the more I get acquainted with it. I never knew it before. I believed it contradicted reason, and the nature of man, whose religion it was designed to be. I thought it an artfully contrived and ambiguous doctrine, full of incomprehensibilities. Whenever I formerly thought on religion in some serious moments, I had always an idea in my mind how it ought to be, which was, it should be simple, and accommodated to the abilities of men in every condition. I now find Christianity to be exactly so; it answers entirely that idea which I had formed of true religion. Had I but formerly known it was such, I should not have delayed turning Christian till this time of my imprisonment. But I had the misfortune to be prejudiced against religion, first through my own passions, but afterwards likewise by so many human inventions, foisted into it, of which I could see plainly that they had no foundation, though they were styled essential parts of Christianity. I was offended when God was always represented to me as an angry, jealous judge, who is much pleased when he has an opportunity of shewing his revenge, though I knew be was love itself; and am now convinced, that though he must punish, yet he takes no kind of delight in it, and is rather for pardoning. From my infancy I have known but few Christians who had not scandalized me by their 'enthusiasm and wickedness, which they wanted to hide under the cloak of piety. I knew indeed that not all Christians were such, or talked such an affected lauguage; but I was too volatile to enquire of better Christians after the true spirit of religion. I'requently I heard sermons in my youth, but they made no impression upon me.
That without CHRIST there was no salvation was the only truth which served for a subject in all sermons; and this was repeated over and over again in synonimous expressions.
But it was never get in its true light, and never properly proved. I saw people cry at church, but after their tears were dried up, I found them in their actions not in the least better, but rather allowing themselves in every transgression, upon the privilege of being faithful believers. -He said he observed in St. Paul, a great genius, much wisdom, and true philosophy. The Apostles write extremely
well, now and then inimitably beautiful, and at the same time with simplicity and clearness. The Free-thinkers extol the fables of ÆSOP, but the parables and narrations of CHRIST will not please them; notwithstanding they are derived from a greater knowledge of nature, and contain more excellent morality. Besides, they are proposed with a more noble and artless simplicity than any writings of the kind, among ancient and modern authors."
24. Count BRANDT, the companion of STRUENSEE in guilt and misfortunes, with great freedom owned before me and others, that his imprisonment was the means of setting bis soul at liberty; and he found bis chains so little troublesome to him, that he would oftentimes take them up and kiss them." “ For," said he,“ when I believed myself to be free, I was a miserable slave to my passions; and now since I am a prisoner, truth and grace have set me at liberty.” He pitied the miserable condition of those who were under the yoke of unbelief and sin, which he himself had worn, and kept himself in it by reading deistical writings. He mentioned, among the rest, the works of Voltaire, to whom he owed very little that was good. He said he had spent upon his travels four days with this old advocate for unbelief, and had heard nothing from him but what could corrupt the heart and sound morals. lle was very sorry for all this, but was much pleased that he had found a taste for the true Word of God; whose efficacy upon his heart, since he read it with a good intention, convinced him of its divine origin*.
It is usually said, that example as a more powerful effect upon the mind than precept. None can deny that these are respectable ones. They are such as every Deist and Sceptic in the kingdom should well consider, before he ventures his salvation upon the justness of his own principles. If equal danger, or if any danger attended our embracing the Christian scheme, the Unbeliever would be in a certain degree justified in with-bolding bis assent to that scheme: but as all the hazard is on his side of the question, and none on the other, language
furnishes no other words to express the extreme folly of treating religion with levity, much less with ridicule and contempt.
* See Dr. Hee's History of Count ENEVOLD BRANDT.
III.--EXAMPLES OF DYING CHRISTIANS WHO HAD LIVED
IN THE SPIRIT OF THE WORLD.
This shall ye have of my hand, ye shall lie down in sotrow._Isaiah. i. 11.
35. Hugo Grotius is said to have possessed the brightest genius ever recorded of a youth in the learned world, and was a profound admirer, and a daily reader, of the Sacred Writings; yet after all his attainments, reputation, and labour in the cause of learning, was constrained at last' to cry out, «Ah! I have consumed my life in a laborious doing of nothing ! I would give all my learning and honour for the plain integrity of John URICK !"
This JOHN URICK was a religious poor man, who spent eight hours of the day in prayer, eight in labour, and but 'eight in meals, sleep, and other necessaries *.
GROTIUS had devoted too much of his time to worldly company, secular business, and learned trifles; too little to the exercises of the closet. This is forsaking the FOUNTAIN of living waters, and hewing out to ourselves broken cisterns that can hold no water.
26. When SALMÁSIUS, who was one of the most consummate scholars of his time, came to the close of life, he saw cause to exclaim bitterly against himself. : “Oh!" said he, I have lost a world of time! time, the most precious thing in the world! whereof had I but one year more, it should be spent in DAVID's Psalms and Paul's Epistles !”-Oh! " Sirs,” said he again to those about him, " mind the world less, and God more!
27. Dr. SAMUEL JOHNSON+, whose death made such a noise a few years ago, was unquestionably one of the first men of the age, and a serious Believer in Jesus CHRIST for many years before his death. Mixing, however, too much with men of
* ALFRED the Great, King of England, who fought fifty-six battles with the Danes, many of which were gained by his own personal courage and great example, dedicated, with strict punctuality, eight hours every day to acts of devotion, eight hours to public affairs, and as many to sleep, study, and necessary refreshment.
† Dr. Johnson's Life by Bos WELL appears to me one of the, inost entertaining narratives in the English language,
no religion, his mind was kept barren of spiritual consolation, and he was grievously haunted with the fear of death through his whole life. “ The approach of death,” said he to a friend,
very dreadful. I am afraid to think on that which I know I cannot avoid. It is vain to look round and round for that help which cannot be had. Yet we hope and hope, and fancy that he who has lived to-day may live to-morrow. To another friend he said, “ He never had a moment in which death was not terrible to him.” On another occasion he declared in company at Oxford, “ I am afraid I shall be one of those who shall be damned-sent to hell, and punished everlastingly.” When this great man, however, actually approached dissolution, « all bis fears were calmed and absorbed by the prevalence of his faith, and his trust in the merits and propitiation of Jesus Christ.” He was full of resignation, strong in faith, joyful in hope of his own salvation, and anxious for the salvation of his friends. He particularly exhorted Sir Joshua REYNOLDS, on his dying bed, " to read the Bible, and to keep holy the Sabbath-day.” The last words he was heard to speak were, “ God bless you !"
28. Baron HALLER, a famous Swiss Physician, the delight and ornament of his country, was at the same time a great philosopher, a profound politician, an agreeable poet, and more particularly famous for his skill in botany, anatomy, and physic. During his last sickness he had the honour of a visit from Joseph, the late Emperor of Germany. Upon his death-bed, owing probably to the variety of his literary pursuits, the multiplicity of his engagements, and the honours heaped upon him by the world, he went through sore conflicts of spirit concerning his interest in the salvation of the RE+
His mind was clouded, and his soul destitute of comfort. In his last moments, however, he expressed renewed confidence in God's mercy through Christ, and left the world
29. Sir John Mason, on his death-bed, spoke to those about him in the manner following "I have lived to see tive princes, and bave been privy-counsellor to four of them. I have seen the most remarkable things in foreign parts, and have been present at most state transactions for thirty years together; and I have learnt this after so many years experi