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of iron, and hereafter he will dash them in pieces like a potter's veljel. Let us, therefore, consider,

1. How the Lord MESSIAH rules over impenitent and obstinate finners in the present life. They attempt (in vain) to withdraw from his subjection. They oppose his holy will. They refuse to submit to his golden sceptre. He will, therefore, rule them with a rod of iron. For though they boast of their liberty, and presume to say Who is Lord over us * ? yet in the thing wherein they speak proudly, he is above them to. They cannot hide themselves from his notice, nor avoid the intimations of his displeasure.

1. One branch of his iron rule over them, consists in that certain and inseparable connection, which he has established between fin and misery. The fruit of righteousness is peace I. They who live in the fear of the Lord, and yield a willing obedience to his word, not only possess peace of conscience, and a hope which can look with comfort beyond the grave; but are thereby preserved from innumerable evils, into which they, * Pf. xii. 4. + Exod. xviii. II. I James iii. 18. VOL. II.

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who attempt to cait off his yoke, unavoidably plunge themselves. On the contrary, the way of transgressors is hard *. It is hard in itself, if we set aside, for a moment, the confideration of the dreadful end to which it leads. Could you see what passes within the breast of a man who disdains to be governed by the rule of God's word, you would fee his heart torn to pieces by the clamorous, insatiable demands of the various, violent, inconsistent appetites and passions, which, like so many wild beasts, are continually preying upon him. Not one of them can be fully gratified, much less all, for many of them are diametrically opposite to each other. The boilings of anger, the gnawings of envy, the thirst of covetousness, the anxieties attendant on pride and ambition, must make the mind, that is subject to them. miserable. There is no peace to the wicked; there can be none. Farther, their evil tempers and irregular desires, produce outward and visible effects, which publicly and manifestly prove, that the service of fin is a hard drudgery, and that whatever pleasure it may seem to promise, its pay is misery and * Prov. xiii. 15.

pain. Who bath woe, contentions, and wounds,
without cause * ? The drunkard. Lewdness
and drunkenness, are high roads, if I may
fu speak, leading to infamy, disease, penury,
and death. Such persons do not live out half
the days which their constitutions might have
afforded, if they had not fold themselves to
do wickedly. Again, look into their houses.
Where the Lord does not dwell, peace will
not inhabit. How frequently may we ob-
ferve, in their family connections, difcord
and enmity between man and wife, unkind
parents, disobedient children, tyrannical
masters, and treacherous servants ? Thus
they live, hateful in themselves, and hating
one another of. If they have what the world
accounts prosperity, their hard master, fatan,
so works upon their evil dispositions, that
they can derive no real comfort from it.
Every day, almost every hour, puts some
new bitterness into their cup. And in
trouble they have no resource; having no
access to God, no promise to support them,
no relief from him against their anxieties and
fears, they either link down in sullen com-
fortless despondency, or in a spirit of wild
* Prov. xxiii. 29. + Tit. iii. 3.
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rebellion,

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rebellion, blafpheme bim because of their plagues * In society, they are dreaded and avoided by the fober and serious, and can only affociate with such as themselves. There, indeed, they will pretend to be happy; they carouse, and make a noile, and assist each other to banih reflection ; yet frequently the drink, or the devil, break their intimacies, and stir them up to quarrels, broils, and mischief. Such is a life of fin. The Lord rules them with a rod of iron. They renounce his fear, and he refuses them his blessing. Nothing more is necessary to render them miserable, than to leave them to themselves.

2. He rules them with a rod of iron, by his power over conscience. They may boast and laugh, but we know the gall and bitterness of their state, for we, likewise, were in it, until the Lord delivered us. Let them tày what they will, we are sure that there are feulons, when, like him whom they serve, they believe and tremble' t. They cannot always be in company, they cannot always be intoxicated; though this is the very reason why many intoxicate themselves {o often, because they cannot bear their own * Rev. xvi. 21. † James ii. 19.

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thoughts when sober. They are then a burden and a terror to themselves. They feel the iron rod. Howawful are the thoughts which sometimes awaken them, or keep them awake, in the filent hours of the night! What terrors seize them in sickness, or when they are compelled to think of death! What a death warrani do they often receive in their fouls, under the preaching of that word of God, which fills his people with joy and peace ! Many will not hear it. But why not? They will not, because they dare not. I am persuaded there are more than a few of the brave fpirits of the present day, who would willingly change conditions with a dog; and be glad to part with their reason, if they could at the same time get rid of the horrors which haunt their consciences. Is there one such person here? Let me entreat you to stop and consider, before it be too late. There is yet forgiveness with God. Your case, though dangerous, is not desperate, if you do not make it so yourself. I would direct your thoughts to Jesus. Look to him, and implore his mercy. His blood can cleanse from all fin. He is able to save to the utterinost.

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