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God a Refuge

God a Refuge

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Published by glennpease

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Published by: glennpease on May 15, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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GOD A REFUGEPUBLISHED BY THE AMERICA TRACT SOCIETY.There is not a son or daughter of Adam but has wantsand woes. While the desire of happiness is predominantin every breast, there are multitudes who seek it by a lifeof continual labor and solicitude, and never find it. Theyform an erroneous judgment in respect both to the natureof real happiness, and the means of obtaining it. Man ispossessed of two natures. He has an animal nature, incommon with other living creatures on the earth ; and aspiritual, immortal nature, in common with angels. Tomake man happy, the wants of both natures must be sup-plied ; and he must find some certain and sufficient refugefrom the woes to which he is exposed. The union of souland body is so close, and the sympathy between them sogreat, that wherever one is entirely neglected in the pro-visions for happiness which we make, the other will be asufferer. Hence arises the dissatisfaction and wretched-ness of those, who, while they pursue carnal enjoyments,make no preparation to satisfy the wants of their immortalsouls.When we look for a refuge in creatures, they alwaysdeceive us ; but of this they give us warning. God has soformed everything about us, that it speaks the languageof admonition. Yonder ancient house, as we pass it, tellsus that time impairs the structure reared by mortal hands ;it whispers in the ear of reflection, that those who built it,and probably looked for peace and happiness within itswalls, now moulder in the grave. Yonder ancient treetells us, that he who planted it, and multitudes who havesat beneath its shade, are now in the shadow of death.When we pass the repository of the dead, innumerablevoices issue from the tombs, and warn us that we have norefuge — no abiding-place on earth. The very ground onwhich we tread every day admonishes us that it has beentrodden by feet which are now undistinguishable from it.The constant changes and succession which we behold in2 . - GOD A REFUGE.all the world around us, warn us that there is no stabil-
ity or security of any permanent happiness in terrestrialobjects.The man who cannot say, " My refuge is in God,"cannot say he has any refuge. I ask you where you finda refuge in pain and distress ? From these you cannot fly.It is not more certain that the sun will pursue his courseto-day, than that these will overtake you. Will you fly toa physician ? But how numberless are the cases in whichno art can assist you ; and how certain it is, that a timewill come when such a refuge will only disappoint yourhopes. Your past pleasures and your present possessionswill then serve only to convince you of their vanity, becausethey cannot save you, be your cry ever so strong. Youhave lost your property on the ocean, by accident, or byfraud ; you find yourself exposed to all the wants and mor-tifications of poverty, and your family involved with you insuffering. Where do you find a refuge ? In the charityof your fellow-men ? This is a cold comfort. It is onewhich neither your pride will admit, nor their generosityextend, so as to coUvStitute any adequate recompense foryour losses. You are persecuted by injustice, assailed bythe tongue of slander, or have exposed yourself to the en-mity of those who can do you much injury. Where is yourrefuge ? Is it an appeal to the tribunals of your country ?But these are so imperfect that they will neither blunt thedart, nor extract the poison with which it has racked yourbreast.Your country is divided by hostile parties, is threat-ened by foreign invasion, or is actually engaged in war;you tremble for the security of youlr family and friends,of your life, liberty, and property. Where is your refuge ?Is it in the hope that your party or your country will pre-vail ? But this is altogether uncertain ; and if it were cer-tain, the victory may cost you the loss of all for which youare alarmed.The wife of your bosom, the dear child on which youraffections are set, a beloved parent, or an affectionate rela-tive, is taken away by death. Where is your refuge ? Incomplaints ? These will increase your misery. In weep-ing? This will administer no consolation. In plunginginto worldly cares and pleasures ? This will only be open-ing one source of misery to shut up another.
GOD A REFUGE. 3Your immortal soul, deluded so often in its hopes of happiness from carnal pursuits, will sometimes feel anaching void ; the thoughts of guilt, of immortality, the fearof future judgments, will sometimes plant thorns in yourpillow. Where is your refuge ? Will you drown all theseanxieties in oblivion ? Will you go to mirth, and wine, andthoughtless company, that you may cast them away ? Afterall, they will return. There will be seasons in which they\vill overwhelm you ; and on a death-bed, and in eternity,they will be a thousand fold worse than ever.A few days more, and you will be gasping for breath ;all human aid and skill will be useless ; there is onlyanother step, and you are on the ocean of eternity. Yourpleasures, your riches, your gay friends, your honors, arenow so many daggers to your soul, because they havedrawn you away from God, and left you without any sup-port in his place. Where is your refuge ? Unhappy man !you have none. God will not receive you, when you havetrifled with him so long ; and the world is worse than no-thing. You have only to draw another breath, and awakein the realms of despair.You cannot say that I am describing fictions of the im-agination to alarm you. The evils which I have enumer-ated are, in almost every instance, among those which noson or daughter of Adam can escape. Pain, distress, lossof friends, apprehensions of insecurity from national con-vulsions, despondencies at future prospects, agitations aboutdeath, which will tear you from every beloved earthlyobject — are woes from which no station nor circumstanceswill exempt you. I speak of real and certain evils — evilsfrom which, if your peace is not made with God, you havenot found, and cannot find, a refuge.You confess yourself, that, after all your efforts to findhappiness from enjoyments of this world, you are disap-pointed. Thousands of times you have set your affectionson objects which you have not been able to attain ; and asmany times more you have found anticipation far exceedactual enjoyment. When you know that the most desira-ble objects on earth, if already in your possession, may notcontinue so for a single hour, it casts a gloom over yourfairest hopes, which cannot be dissipated.

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