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hour when he shall join the general assembly and Church of the First-born, in singing the song of Moses, and the song of the Lamb ; ascribing blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, unto Him that sittelh upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever.

Peculiarly applicable and instructive, my brethren, is this passage of Scripture, with reference to the more particular purpose for which we are this day met together. We, too, are come up to present an offering to the Lord. Let us, therefore, take heed to the warning given us, lest coming empty, we go away unfilled ; lest offering an unbidden sacrifice, we draw down upon ourselves the anger of the LORD, provoking him to take away his Holy Spirit from us, and deliver us over, like Cain, to the devices and desires of our own sinful hearts, to the snares and delusions of the enemy of our souls.

Furnished, as we are, with the clear discoveries of the gospel, with the substance to which all the types and shadows of the law pointed; having our faith confirmed, and our hope exalted, by the coming of the promised seed; Gop having provided and furnished us with a Lamb for a burnt-offering in the body of Christ, once offered to bear the sins of many, and having called us to be partakers of the benefits of this unbloody sacrifice ; let us bear in mind wherefore Christ hath thus suffered for us, and what we are pledged to by thus confessing him before men as our only hope and means of salvation. Let us look to those who have gone before us, whom God hath set forth as examples of that faith and patience which inherited the promises ; who, though they saw them only afar off, yet were persuaded of them and embraced them, confessing that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. The flaming altar and the bleeding victim are no more indeed required from us ; but the. same sense of guilt and danger, the same need of an Almighty Saviour, the same reliance on the atoning merits of the blood of CHRIST, the same faith in his will and power to save, the same obedience to and observance of the duties enjoined, which were manifested by them, must now accompany our offering, that God may have respect to us and to it. Thus shall we rightly discern the Lord's body broken for our sinful bodies, apply his shed blood to the cleansing of our polluted souls, and reap the fruit of pardon and peace--the increase of faith, hope, and

charity. For the Christian sacrifice of the body and blood of Christ offered up in this sacrament, is to every worthy communicant the pledge of God's mercy through the satisfaction of Christ's death, relied upon for the pardon of repented sin, and also a means of grace for renewed spiritual strength. It is the blood of sprinkling which speaketh better things than the blood of Abel. For, as that cried unto God from the ground for vengeance on the murderer, this crieth continually unto God for mercy on the sinner who flees to it for refuge. Let us, then, my brethren in the LORD, lift the eye of faith to him who, by his one oblation of himself once offered upon the cross, made there a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world'; and, laying upon the altar of our hearts the Lamb without blemish and without spot, let us approach this solemn commemoration of our Lord in the humble confidence that with such sacrifices God is well pleased; entreating him for the love of his dear Son, to "forgive us all our sins, negligences, and ignorances, and to endue us with the grace of his Holy Spirit, to amend our lives according to his holy word;" beseeching that merciful and compassionate Saviour, who hath redeemed us from the power of the grare, to redeem us from all iniquity, to “grant us in this world the saving knowledge of his truth, and in the world to come life everlasting."

A few words by way of application, will impress upon all your hearts, I trust, the infinite importance of a diligent and careful attention to God's holy word.

In that word it is written of Abel that, he being dead yel speaketh. May not the same be said of Cain, my friends ? Abel speaketh by example of faith and obedience; Cain by example of unbelief and rebellion. And, alas ! are not multitudes directly interested in the solemn warning given them in his miserable fate, seeing they stand in the same danger? How many, (I speak of those under the gospel,) how many, more perverse even than him, make no acknowledgment whatever of God as the Almighty Creator and Ruler of the universe, by any mode of worship either public or private ? What multitudes among us make no account of the mercies revealed in the gospel, of the


salvation it offers? In this Christian assembly, what a small proportion entertain even an outward regard for the unspeakable interests of their immortal souls. How numerous are they who, though they know the truth, yet love it not; though they hear the warning, yet heed it not; but go off, one to his farm and another to his merchandise—this to his profession and that to his pleasures. Yea, what numbers even in the professing world, skim over the word of life, and take only what suits their indolence or their convenience, setting their own careless thought in opposition to the clearest declarations of the Holy Spirit in the Scriptures, and forsaking the fountain of living waters, hew out for themselves cisterns of salvation-but, alas! they are broken cisterns which can hold no water-building on the sand, and with untempered mortar, a wall of defence for their souls-part Scriptural, and part the invention of man. Oh! that they would, all of them, carefully consider and meditate upon this fruitful passage of Scripture, this double warning of God's word, teaching by example as well as by precept, and weigh well the dreadful consequences which followed this first departure from God in his appointed worship; that they would understand that Cain became not envious and a murderer until, in the pride of his heart, he thought himself wiser than God, and sufficient to prescribe a mode of worship for himself—a self-righteous intrusion into God's almighty prerogative of appointing the conditions and the means of salvation for sinners; that even then he was not given over to a reprobate mind, until he had slighted an expostulation on his folly, and a call to repentance! O, bethink you, my careless hearers, how often God hath expostulated with you by his ministers, by his word, and his Spirit; and learn to fear that though he is longsuffering, he will in no wise let you go.

Oh! that those who slight altogether the duties of religion, and live without God in the world, would hear the deep exclamation of one of Cain's descendants, and with him lay to heart, that if Cain shall be avenged Sevenfold, truly shall such be avenged seventy and seven fold! Oh! that those who pretend to believe the gospel, and yet slight the means and mercies it presents--who talk of the merits of Christ, and yet are strangers to the appointments of Christ, would now learn, that a Christian hope is only given to a Christian life ; that the hope of the hypocrite is like the spider's web, like the chaff which the wind scattereth away from over the face of the earth. Oh! that the professing world would from hence learn, that though there is a way that seemeth right unto a man, yet the ends thereof are the ways of death-that not every one that saith unto CHRIST, LORD, LORD, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he only that doeth the will of God, as revealed in his word and enjoined in his most holy worship. And Oh ! that we may all search deeper, see clearer, and live holier ; that

God may have respect unto us and unto our offerings of worship and praise; that he may guide our feet into the way of life, and bring us to his everlasting rest, with righteous Abel, and all the blessed company of heaven, to glorify his matchless grace to us ward in Christ Jesus, world without end. AMEN.



JOB xiv. 14.

"If a man die, shall he live again ?"

Din the inquiry contained in my text embrace only a common interest, little need would there be, my brethren and hearers, to put to you a question, which all present are competent to answer. Did the death of our friends and relations involve in it the gloomy and comfortless thought of extinguished being, small reason could there be, for assembling together on such melancholy occasions; and still smaller the expectation, that from so common, so inevitable, and so frequently recurring a circumstance, any thing of hope or comfort, of warning and instruction, could be drawn. They who are bereaved by death of an object of affection and regard--the mourning husband—the disconsolate wife-the afflicted father—the weeping motherthe helpless orphan and distressed friend-might be left to grieve alone, over blasted hopes and blighted expectations, seeing no consolation could be offered, no comfort derived, no instruction received, of a higher grade than would be equally applicable to the beasts that perish.

But when the answer to my text, which by the gospel we are all enabled to give, leads us beyond the grave, to the confines of an eternal world, where death shall no more be the object either of hope or fear; when the grave of a fellow creature utters its uniform warning to those who are expectants of the same appointed end, the purpose for which we are met together assumes its proper character; the sympathies of our common nature expand to the sorrows of our kind; the warning presented to us strikes on our own personal concern; and the softened heart learns to realize the deep and solemn truth

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