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EXEMPLIFIED IN THE TESTIMONIES AND EXPERIENCE OF PERSONS
DISTINGUISHED BY THEIR GREATNESS, LEARNING, OR VIRTUE,
'Tis immortality,—'t is that alone,
AUTHOR OF AN ENG
ESTATE OF LINDLEY MURRAY.
LINDLEY MURRAY, the author of this work, in his last will, bequeathed certain funds to Trustees in America, his native country, for several benevolent objects, among which is the gratuitous distribution of “Books calculated to promote piety and virtue and the truth of Christianity" -and of which books he desired that “The Power of Religion on the Mind” might form a considerable part.
NEW YORK, 1836.
The Life of James Gardiner has been omitted in this edition.
* To excite serious reflections on the unsatisfying and transitory nature of temporal enjoyments; and to promote a lively concern for the attainment of that felicity, which will be complete and permanent; are the objects of the present publication.
Piety and virtue, abstractedly considered, are truly amiable, and appear worthy of our earnest pursuit. But when recommended by the lives and testimonies of eminent persons, who have known the world, and experienced the emptiness of its honors, wealth, and pleasures, they derive additional importance; and constrain us to acknowledge, that the greatest happiness of man is to be found in religion.
Among the most important blessings, which the Divine Being has conferred upon mankind, may
bered, the happy display of good and pious examples. In every age and country, perhaps in almost every
little district throughout the earth, he has placed some of his faithful servants, or returning prodigals, to bear witness of his power and goodness, and to encourage others to a life of purity, piety, and beneficence.
The following pages exhibit a few of those striking
2113fer from Circ. Dept. Boleh B, FEB I
examples. In the quiet hour of reflection, they may contribute to arrest the careless and wandering; to animate the sincere and virtuous; and to alarm those who have rejected the most important truths, and who contemn the restraints of religion and virtue.
A number of our fellow-creatures, of different periods, countries, and conditions in life, standing on the confines of mortality, and bearing a uniform and undisguised testimony to the power and excellence of 'religion, presents a solemn and interesting spectacle. With the prospect of immortality before them, and no longer influenced by those concerns and passions which obscure the understanding and harden the heart, they must be supposed to view their objects through a proper medium, and to speak the language of truth and soberness.
May the important testimonies of these preachers of righteousness, lead us to just and seasonable reflections on the state of our own minds; and produce a reverent application to our heavenly Father, for the aid of his Holy Spirit, to enlighten and strengthen us, and to conduct us safely through the paths of life! May his gracious protection be afforded at the close of our day, when the shadows of the evening shall approach, the glittering vanities of the world be obscured, and all its Friendships and resources be found unavailing!
Trials and discouragements may, indeed, be expected to assail us, in this state of being.-On surveying our past lives, we must all be conscious, that, in numerous instances, we have violated the Divine Law, and incurred the penalty due to our disobedience. And this view of our condition often occasions deep regret; and is sometimes apt to overwhelm the drooping and diffident mind.
But whatever may have been our deviations from the paths of rectitude, we are encouraged to ask, and to hope for mercy. The goodness of God has freely offered to pardon all our sins, and receive us into favor, if we sincerely repent, and unfeignedly believe in Jesus Christ the Saviour of the world. In the Revelation of his will to mankind, the great design, conspicuous throughout, is, to manifest his love and compassion towards our fallen race, and to accomplish our salvation. “His tender mercies are over all his works.” “He taketh pleasure in those who hope in his mercy." “As a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame : he remembereth that we are dust." The blessed Redeemer came into the world to save sinners—to seek and to save that which was lost." And, to increase our gratitude and trust, he has graciously assured us, that “there is joy in the presence of the angels of God, over one sinner that repenteth.”—These, and many other passages in the Holy Scriptures, afford an abundant source of consolation and encouragement, to the truly humble and penitent believer in Christ. And when applied to the heart by Divine Grace, they produce in us a holy confidence and joy.
Though the love and mercies of God are great beyond expression, yet, for wise purposes, his children