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he hath promised to bestow on his people, and many similitudes he hath condescended to use, that their slow minds might be assisted in conceiving his bounty; but no where hath he said, this is all your portion, or beyond this no more is to be expected. No, his bounty will be an everlasting fountain, and benefits for ever shall nourish eternal gratitude in the bosoms of the redeemed. “ For he that spared not his own Son, but gave him up to the death for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things.” Peruse the valedictory discourse of our Lord to his disciples, and learn from it what you may lawfully expect from a reconciled Father. All your prayers shall be heard. The Comforter, even the Holy Ghost, shall come into your hearts, and lead you into the knowledge of all truth. Ye shall be made fruitful in the works of righteousness. God himself shall make his abode with you. Ye shall be kept from the evil of the world while in it, and at last ye shall be where your exalted Redeemer is, to behold his glory, and to partake of his bliss.
And shall these considerations be still insufficient to determine your choice? O wonder not at the unbelieving Jews, who persecuted and slew the Lord of life. Let not your indignant sentiments rise at their injustice and cruelty. Their sin and folly were light compared with yours, who now reject his counsel and despise his grace. Their scorn was excited by his mean appearance, and they hid their faces from him, because disguised in the form of a servant. But I will tell you a thing more horrible and astonishing. The Son of God, clothed in all the mild glory of an exalted Saviour, and stretching forth his hands to bestow all the blessings purchased with his blood, is still despised and rejected. And thou, O impenitent sinner, art the man guilty of this con
tempt and ingratitude ; yet, blessed be God, though you may justly be charged with this almost incredible guilt, I am still warranted to beseech you, in the
3d and last place, Not to receive the grace of God in vain, by the consideration of the riches of his long-suf. fering and forbearance. Long as his mercy bas been insulted, it is still in your offer. I need not appeal to par. ticular passages of Scripture to confirm this comfortable truth. It appears conspicuously through the whole tenor of revelation, every page of which contains the language of love and compassion to sinners. Review the history of Jesus, and after you have seen what he hath already done for our sakes, try if you can possibly question his good-will. Did be condescend to be clothed with our mortal flesh, and will be disdain the entertainment of an affectionate and grateful heart? Did he bleed and die on the cross for our sins, and will he fail to perfect his work in our salvation ? It was a powerful argument which the apostle Paul employed on a certain occasion with Aggrippa, “ Believest thou the Prophets ?” So say I to you, Do you believe the history of your Sa. viour, as recorded by four evangelists? How do you read them? What was it that affected him with grief? was it not the hardness of men's hearts? What was it that drew tears from his compassionate eyes ? was it not the view of Jerusalem, that impenitent city, which knew not, or regarded not, the day of its merciful visitation ? Nay, what was the errand on which he solemnly declared himself to be come into the world? was it not to “ seek and to save them who were lost?" And O will ye counteract, by your obstinate folly, all these gracious intentions on his part? Will ye persist in rejecting his grace, until ye bave extorted vengeance and indigna
tion from him whose heart is love? How dreadful, in that case, must your doom be! As ye love your souls, be warned in time against this desperate, this ruinous madness. The gracious call still resounds in your ears, “ To-day, if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” And we, as ambassadors, are still charged to “ beseech you, in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God."
And now let me ask, what impression these plain and obvious remonstrances have made on your minds? What may be their effect, I cannot foretell. This I know, that could I hope to succeed better, I would with pleasure come down, and address each of you, even on my bend. ed knees, obtesting you by every solemn, every tender argument, to fly from the wrath to come. I easily fore. see the time when the remembrance of this offered
grace shall either fill you with joy unutterable, or with fruitless and everlasting anguish. For whatever thoughtless singers may imagine, no word of God shall ever return to him void, but shall accomplish the purpose for which he sends it. “ We are a sweet savour to God," saith the apostle Paul, “in you that belieive, and in you that perish; to the one we are the savour of life unto life, and to the other of death unto death.” I am aware that plead. ings of this kind are sometimes treated with ridicule; but the time is at band when the scoffer shall be made sober. The view of death may do it—the day of judg. ment certainly will.
Now then is the accepted time. Now you may obtain an interest in this Saviour; and if you apply to him, as sure as God liveth, you shall find mercy. Thus far I can go, but one step farther I cannot proceed upon sure ground. I cannot promise you on any future time. If you reject the counsel of God now, I cannot assure even the youngest of you of another opportunity. Before to. morrow your doom may be fixed ugalterably. May God enable you to profit by these instructions, and to his name be praise. Amen.
1 John ï. 15.
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the
world: If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
ROM these words I propose, by divine assistance,
1. To describe that excessive or sinful love of the world, from which the Apostle bere dissuades us.
II. To inquire wherein the malignity of this sin consists.
III. To lay before you a few symptoms of a worldly mind, and examine some of the apologies upon which men flatter themselves with being free of it. And,
IV. To enforce the exhortation, and give some di. rections how to get this undue affection towards earthly things mortified and subdued.
I. It will readily occur to you, that the exhortation is to be understood under certain restrictions. The place of his works which God has appointed us to inhabit, cannot in itself be supposed an object deserving our aversion or dislike. This would be to impeach the good.
ness of our Creator, and to tax his bandy-work with imperfection. We may lawfully love the world, as it is the workmanship of God, and the mirror in which we behold the perfections of the invisible Creator. Creation is a large instructive volume, and the sense of every line is God. The proper use of all the creatures is to lead us upwards to him that made them, and to kindle in our souls the warmest gratitude to that unwearied Benefactor, who has provided so liberally for our comfort and happiness. They are naturally the means of supporting our bodies while we are employed in those duties which we owe to God, and they also enable us to supply the wants of others, to lessen the miseries, and to heighten the lawful joys of our fellow creatures. On all these accounts we may and ought to value them as real blessings, which may be improved to the most important purposes.
But our love of the world becomes excessive and sinful, when we give it that room in our hearts which is on. ly due to God; when it is desired for its own sake, as a sufficient portion independent of his favour and friend. ship. If the world will keep its due place, it may be valued and esteemed in that place; but if it usurp an higher station, and promise more than it is able to give, it must be rejected, as a deceiver, with abhorrence and contempt. When we seek after earthly things, merely that our inordinate desires may be gratified, that the pride of our bearts may be cherished, or our ambition attain its object; when we are not contented with our daily bread, and that portion of the good things of life which is sufficient to sustain us during our pilgrimage to a better country—then is our love of the world undue and excessive; and the more we desire it under sucha