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you have reflected, decided, firmly carried out your decision, and adhered to it to this day; but, whether to confess your sin to God, or to cloak it,--whether to come to Christ for pardon and life, or to reject Him,- whether to become a man of piety and prayer and peace, or to live and to die a hard-hearted and despairing man of the world—about this, unspeakably the most momentous subject that can occupy the mind of man, so many years of life are gone, and yet, about this, you continue to“ halt between two opinions !
Reader, go with me a step further, try to realise to yourself how this may end. Soon, at the farthest, life's race is over. 'How continually we are reminded that it is appointed to men once to die! Ah! if men could live over again -if they had to die twice-how differently they think they would live their second life! But that cannot be. to die." We may see others die more than once, but to ourselves that eventful scene occurs but once,-no more than once, and then, after that, THE JUDGMENT!
Imagine the character of which we have been speaking summoned to give an account of himself to God. What is his life's history? In worldly matters perhaps prosperous, perhaps discouraging. Few will think much about that in another world. But what is bis real history ? The books i are open. The man at twenty was under deep conviction,- | felt the value of salvation, -was half resolved, - but, he halted then ; youth had too many pleasures to be sacrificed for the sake of religion, so he spent those years as others | d0,- he delayed and neglected. He lived to be forty. He placed himself under some awakening minister; he thought it a good thing; others were serious around him, and he concluded he was sure to become serious himself. Sometimes religion prevailed, sometimes the world, -he was often impressed, but never decided ; and so again years rolled on in worldliness, irresolution, and neglect. Then he received new calls. Trouble, perhaps death, visited his household; he wept,—he reflected, -he repented, he pro- | mised. He thought of his long delay, and reproached himself. Time however abated his grief, his serious desires abated too; and he yet hults between two opinions. Life
is yet spared, and he reaches perhaps his sixtieth birth-day. It awakens some grave reflections to find that he has now entered upon the last decade of man's mortal journey. Now, what will he do ? Troubles come more thickly, as they must do when life itself is going to break up; he feels too evidently, in some sense, that he is destined soon to be a failing man. His former hindrances to religion are removed in some degree ; the fiery passions of youth are burnt out; the heavy burdens of business and its cares are, one way or other, less pressing; but now he finds how hard it is for an old man to begin any thing new,—his energies are enfeebled, -his habits are formed,-he has less inclination to any change,--he cannot brace his mind to anything decisive. The time is now gone by. “The harvest is past; the summer is ended,”—and he is not saved. Oh, the agony of mind such an one must then endure, when he awakes to this reflection!
How unspeakably wise will be your decision, reader, if this rery day you should lay these things to heart. For only think what God may call you to go through, if he should, as it were, resolve to force you to a decision. This, no doubt, is the secret of many a heavy trouble. Gentle means fail to make you serious. Therefore he uses strong measures,-imprisons you in your sick chamber, and there gives you time to think;-touches you in other ways,perhaps entangles you 'with worldly difficulties, -strips you of providential comforts,—withers the fair flowers that made life look pleasant,-empties you from vessel to vessel, in the hope that, perhaps, in your affliction, you will seek him early.
No doubt, this is one grand purpose in God's dealings with men.
The various storms which sweep over the earth,—the blight that withers the earth's fruits,- the pestilence that poisons the air we breathe,—the earthquakes that shake the kingdoms,-the wars now raging, that threaten to drain off their strength, strew plains with corpses, and redden seas with blood, -all these things have a voice-a voice proclaiming to the weary church that her redemption draweth nigh, and her Lord is near
at band;—but they have a voice so solemnly remonstrating with careless, Christ-neglecting souls,- How long halt ye
between two opinions ?
O that ye were wise, that ye understood this, that ye would consider your latter end ! Gone hence soon-we know not how soon-all this indecision will be over. man may go on to the age of twenty,--forty,—sixty,seventy,—he may go up to the very gate of death halting all the while-every step of life's journey—between two opinions. But once entered, he has but one opinion then ! He thinks over the past, and all its neglected mercies; he has but one opinion,- he can have but one,-hopeless regret! He thinks of the future, and all its realities; he has but one opinion,-he can have but one,-tormenting despair !
Oh then, begin now. Enough has been said-enough done-enough suffered—to bring you to decision. Be on the Lord's side. The way to the Saviour is now open. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Receive Him who has made peace by the blood of his cross; and the great question will be settled. Many around you bless God that they have come to this determination. And so may you. Only begin.
Reader, my message is delivered. With what results remains to be seen. The seed is cast upon the waters, not to perish and be forgotten, but to be found as the word of life and salvation,-found as a message that led you to Christ, and to prayer, and to heaven! God grant it may! God grant that when we may stand together in the last day, it may be said, “I was one who long halted between two opinions ; but God sent his message of mercy to me, and now, God has brought me home to himself !”
Tract by Rer, W. B. Mackenzie. “THE SABBATH-BREAKER AND THE ICE." But few persons merely passing through the ancient village of — would be either struck with its beauty or impressed with its importance. It is small, and for the rest, irregularly built. Many of the houses have thatch roofs, small windows, and low doorways. Some of the houses, however, are of more modern date, and far less quaint in their style. Among the latter, is a large well built, comfortable looking house, with a very considerable general shop attached to it. Nearly opposite, is a large, strongly built, well lighted school, but without any pretensions to either external ornament, or internal comfort. But the place of the greatest interest, especially on the Sabbath, is a large, though somewhat ill-proportioned Wesleyan Methodist Association Chapel. It is a lovely sight, to see persons from distances varying from a quarter of a mile, to two miles, directing their footsteps to the house of God, with a seriousness which strikes the beholder, that they are not going merely to see and hear, but to join in the worship of God. In the morning, the congregation is generally good, intelligent, and attentive; but in the evening, it is often overflowing. There is also a good Sabbath-school connected with the Chapel. It will be seen, that the children of the village of Twell as those who have reached to riper years, have privileges, if not of the highest, yet of a high order. A good day-school, and a very good Sabbath-school. Of them it
may be said, “The lines have fallen to them in pleasant places, and they have a goodly heritage.” But it has too often happened, that the children of T-, as well as those of many other villages and towns, have been unmindful of, therefore have profited but little by their privileges.
There is yet another object of considerable attraction, especially to the youthful portion of the inhabitants. It is a large pool, whose water is not of the purest or cleanest description, therefore to those boys who like to try both,
it is far easier to find the bottom, than see their owu image reflected. Most of the children of the village, sooner or later, manage, though unintentionally, to sound the depth of the pool, not with line and lead, but with their own persons, and some do it several times, and not unfrequently with the head downward. But this pool is most attractive when frozen over, and hard enough to slide on. Like most sliding places, while it has been the scene of great amusement and pleasure, it has sometimes been the scene of hard falls, large bruises, and other misfortunes, though seldom of any very serious consequence. In the year the ice had been thick, but it was now thawing extremely fast, so that it was dangerous to venture on it. It was on a Sunday afternoon, when two boys of whom better things might have been expected got upon the frozen pool. For awhile all went on well, which only tended to embollen the youthful adventurers in the further prosecution of their dangerous expedition. But presently a noise was heard, it was the voice of warning. «The ice was giving way!' And the warning was of too solemn a nature to be disregarded by the now anxious youths. They turned their faces towards the shore, and hastened to reach it with all possible speed. Danger stared them in the face, vibrated on their ears, and made their accusing hearts beat violently within them. The smaller boy sueceeded in reaching the shore unscathed. But not so his more daring, and less fortunate companion, who having ventured further on the ice, required longer time to reach the shore. He had almost gained the land also, when the ice gave way, and he was plunged into the water. But the water being shallow in that part of the pool, the terrified boy escaped with no further harm, than as thorough a wetting as any boy need desire on a cold winter's day, and with all his Sunday clothes on. Although the young Sabbath-breaker had now escaped oce trouble, there were others awaiting him at home, because he had not only broken the Sabbath, but he had also greatly offended his parents, by leaving the house, after being strictly charged not to do so. The breaking of the