ON THE NECESSITY OF CONSIDERATION
Consider first, and take a view of the whole Christian world, and see how much Satan and sin everywhere reign. See how many thousands in every nation, of all degree and conditions, pass their lives in mortal sin, with little or no concern, or apprehension either of death, judgment, or hell: see how they indulge their passions, and prefer every empty toy, mere bubbles, before their immortal souls, before their God, and a happy eternity: see how numbers of them even live without God, and in a total forgetfulness of him: then see how hell opens wide its jaws, and daily swallows down thousands of them; cut off, alas in the midst of their sins, when they least expected it, and hurried away in a moment from their short-lived, empty, and deceitful satisfactions, to dreadful and everlasting torments. And whence proceeds all this dismal scene of evils, but from the want of consideration. ‘With desolation is all the earth made desolate,’ saith the prophet, ‘because there is none that considereth in the heart,’ Jerem. xii. 11.
Consider 2ndly, the great truths which the Christian faith teaches. That there is a God infinitely good, whose eye is always upon us; a God infinitely good and infinitely just, and who hates wilful sin with an infinite hatred; a God who is our first beginning and our last end, our Creator and Redeemer, to whom we belong by all kind of titles; who made us for himself, and sent us hither upon no other errand, and for no other business, but to love and serve him in this world, and to be eternally happy with him in the next: that there is another life hereafter, in comparison with which the present is but a moment; that death will quickly separate us from all these visible things, and send us into another region, where all that worldlings have set a judgment to come; and that there is a heaven and a hell. all these are articles of the Christian faith, and all most certainly true, and in themselves very moving. and do all Christians believe these truths? They must believe them, or they are no Christians. But how, then, is it possible they should live as the generality do? How is it possible that such as believe all these things should live on in sin and walk in the broad road that leads to hell? O! tis for want of consideration? ‘Tis because they don’t think.
Consider 3rdly, that the great difference between the good and bad Christian is, that the one thinks well on the truths he believes, and by that means lets them sink deep into his soul, and take root there, so that they bring forth in him the fruits of all virtues: whereas the other does not think, and therefore is little or nothing affected with the truths of the gospel; they make no impression upon him, because his faith is asleep, or rather dead, for want of consideration. O what wonderful effects have we often seen produced in the world by consideration? How many, even of the greatest sinners, have been reclaimed by it, and drawn back from the very jaws of hell? How many has it sent out of the midst of Babylon, to seek their God in solitude, and to consecrate their lives to him? O! that men would but think! What a reformation should we see in the world! O ’tis thinking is the true way to heaven; and not thinking, the high road to hell!
Conclude to allow thyself daily some time to meditate upon some or other of the great truths that relate to God and eternity. ‘Tis one of the best means thou hast to secure thy soul. They that will not think of these things now, will infallibly think on them hereafter, when their thinking will only serve to increase their eternal misery.