Page images

cares and concerns of the world and are too busy to think, to read, to hear, to meditate, or pray. They are standing all the day idle and refusing to enter into the vineyard of Christ. They neither worship God in secret, in private, nor in public. They neither serve God, nor their generation, according to the will of God, but serve themselves supremely and entirely ; and throw their whole weight and influence to obstruct the cause of God, their own good and the good of their fellow men. And is it safe to stand and live and act in such a manner, while God has need of you, and calls you into his service ; Are you willing to live in this manner, are you willing to die in this manner? What account can you give of your time, your talents and the religious advantages God has given you? Though your Lord has gone to heaven, he will soon and perhaps suddenly and unexpectedly call you to an account. Your feet stand on slippery places ; and it is as much as your precious souls are worth, to wait for a more convenient season ; it may never come ; and if it does not, you are lost forever.

Finally, this subject and the late instance of mortality, in this place, calls aloud upon those in midst of their days, to prepare to follow one of their own age into that vast eternity, whither he has gone and never to return. He lived stupid, thoughtless and secure in sin, until he was brought to the very sight of death. He was carried away with the vanity of the world, and the pleasing prospects of living and abused the calls, the mercies and patience of God, which gave him pain, self-condemnation and remorse. He was constrained

“The world, the world has ruined me." He was brought to give up all his vain hopes and expectations from the world and to feel the duty and importance of choosing the one thing needful. But whether he did ever heartily renounce the world and choose God, for his supreme portion, cannot be known in this world. In his own view, he did become reconciled to God and derived peace and hope from his supposed reconciliation. But it is more than possible,

to say,

[ocr errors]

that like others on a sick bed, he built his hopes upon a sandy foundation. Let his case, however, be what it may, he is dead and called away from his relatives and friends, just as he entered the meridian of life. His death, therefore, speaks with an emphasis to parents, brothers and sisters ; and especially to those of his own age, to be wiser and better than he was and not delay seeking and serving God, to a dying hour. It is not I, but my son,* who now preaches to you, whose voice once sounded pleasant in your ears. Be pleased, therefore, to hear his voice from the dead ; and prepare to follow him to heaven, if he has been permitted to enter there.

*ERASTUS EXMONS, who died 13th March, 1820, aged 33 years,



Psalm, v. 5.— Thou hatest all workers of äniquity.

David was conscious that he loved God; which «consciousness gave him confidence to believe, that God loved him with complacence, in distinction from those, who were the objects of his displeasure. This filial spirit prepared him to call upon God, with full assurance, that he would hear the voice of his supplications. He addressed him in this free and familiar language ; “Give ear to my words, O Lord ; consider my meditation. Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King and my God : for unto thee will I pray. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will l direct my prayer unto thee and will look up. For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness; neither shall evil dwell with thee. The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: Thou hatest all workers of iniquity.” Here is a plain declaration, that God hates the persons of impenitent sinners. And to set this subject in a proper light, I shall,

1, Show that God does hate the persons of impenitent sinners;

II. Show why he hates their persons ; And,

III. Show that this is consistent with his love of benevolence towards them. I. I am to show that God does hate the persons of

I impenitent sinners.

It is often said, that God hates sin, but not sinners. The point now before us to be proyed is, that God


This appears

David says,

[ocr errors]

hates sinners themselves, as vile and odious creatures. It is universally allowed, that God loves the righteous, the godly and all, that love him with the love of complacency; and it is equally true, that he hates those, who hate him. He hates the persons of sinners, as really as he loves the persons of saints.

of saints. This not only from the character of God, but from the declarations of his word. It is asserted in the text, that God hates all the workers of iniquity. God says concerning his sinful people, by the mouth of Jeremiah, “Mine heritage is unto me as a lion in the forest ; it crieth against me: therefore have I hated it.” Again, he says, by the prophettiosea, “All their wickedness is in Gilgal ; for there I hated them.” “God is angry with the wicked every day.” Moses says of Israel, that they forgot God and provoked him to jealousy, “and when the Lord saw it, he abhored then." The Old Testament abounds with passages too numerous to be cited, in which God expresses his displeasure, his wrath and his indignation towards sin

John says, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life ; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life : but the wrath of God abideth on him.” Paul says to the sinner, whom the goodness of God does not lead to repentance, “ Thou treasurest up to thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; who will render to every man according to his deeds : to them, who by patient continuance in well-doing, seek for glory and honor and immortality ; eternal life : but unto them that are contentious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness; indignation and wrath ; tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man that doeth evil.” It appears from these passages of scripture, that God feels hatred, anger, wrath and indignation towards the souls of sinners, which comprise all their intellectual and moral powers, that constitute them proper persons, or moral agents. II. I am to show why God hates the persons of sin

Many are fond of making a distinction between



sin and the sinner ; and while they allow, that God hates sin, they deny that he hates the sinner himself. They consider sin in the abstract; and God as hating it in the abstract. But though they can speak of sin in the abstract; yet they connot conceive of it in the abstract. Who can conceive of sin without a sinner? or of a sin, that no person ever committed ? Every sin is a transgression of the law and renders the transgressor both criminal and hateful. The transgression cannot be separated from the transgressor, any more than his reason, or conscience, or any other property, or quality of his mind can be separated from him. The nature and criminality of sin consists in the free, voluntary intention, or design of the sinner, which is an essential part of his moral existence and corrupts and contaminates the whole. The apostle represents sin as corrupting all the powers and faculties of sinners. He says, “unto the pure all things are pure : but unto them, that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.” And this moral corruption of sinners he represents as rendering them vile and hateful even in their own sight. “ For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.” Every thing, that is morally evil and odious in sinners, lies in their hearts, which are as essential parts of themselves, as their natural powers and facul,

. ties, or as the apostle says, their mind and conscience. And their evil hearts render their persons morally evil and hateful in the sight of God. He hates their persons on account of their sinful and hateful hearts ; just as he loves the persons of saints, on account of their holy hearts. God hates those, who hate him, just as he loves those, that love him. The holiness of saints renders their persons holy and lovely in his holy eyes. Hence be calls them his children, his friends, his heritage, his portion, bis treasure, his jewels, to express his pculiar love and affection towards them.--The prophet Zephaniah says to Zion, “The Lord

« PreviousContinue »