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« searcher of hearts,” before whom our private judgments must shortly come under a review : has any book a smaller share of the time, the memory, or the affections of many of us than this book of God? Do not the successive returns of business and amusement so far engross our time and our thoughts, that we have either no leisure or no disposition, to attend to the things which pertain to our peace? Consider, " in " them we think we have eternal life." We know we are posting to eternity as fast as the wings of time can carry us; we know, that the consequences of our behaviour in this span of life will attend us into an invisible unalterable state ; and we confess, that the necessary directions for our conduct in these most important and precarious circumstances, are to be found only in the Bible: what words then can describe our fatal insensibility, if, all this acknowledged, we have no heart to consult, or to value, this inestimable treasure put into our hands?
Many inquiries, more curious than useful, have been started concerning the divine procedure with the Heathen nations, and those who never heard of the Gos
peace. “ The Judge of all the earth will, (undoubtedly,) do right,” Gen. xviii. and will be justified at the great day, when every man shall receive according to his works. Till then we must wait for the knowledge of what he has not seen fit to reveal. But thus much he has already told us, that, however it may go with those who know not the Gospel, dreadful will be the doom of those who, having it published among them, refuse to obey it. “ The servant who knew not “ his master's will, shall be beaten with few stripes," Luke xü. But this will not be our case ; at least our ignorance will be rather an aggravation than an ex
cuse; a wilful, obstinate, infatuated ignorance. We have the words of eternal life in our hands ; “ line
upon line, precept upon precept :” but how do we imitate those, (whom perhaps we have been ready to blame,) spoken of in the parable, who, when they received a kind and gracious invitation to a royal feast, made light of it, and “all with one consent began to “ make excuse !" Luke xiv. It is easy to apply this to the Jews of old : so David could clearly judge in the case of the rich man who killed his poor neighbour's lamb, 2 Sam. xii. ; but had not the prophet helped him, he would not have collected that he hiinself was the person intended. But to bring the general truths of Scripture home to the heart is the work of God; and perhaps, while I am speaking at random, he may rouse the consciences of some to say in particular, Thou art the man. Then they will soon see how much it behooves them to search the Scriptures, when they understand the weighty meaning of the words, eternal life.
Some of us, I hope, do already make conscience of frequent reading the Scriptures; but let us remember the force of the word search. It is not a careless superficial reading, or dispatching such a number of chapters in a day, as a task, that will answer the end. I have already reminded you, that it is a business will need your best application; a serious, impartial, humble, persevering inquiry, accompanied with earnest prayer for the light and assistance of God's Holy Spirit. When we set about it in this method, we shall soon find happy effects ; pleasure and instruction will go hand in hand; and our knowledge advance as the growing light. The precepts shall inspire us with true wisdom; teach us how to order all our affairs, respecting both worlds, to fill up our several stations in life with propriety, usefulness, and comfort; and to avoid the numerous evils and distresses which those who live by no rule, or by any other rule than God's word, are perpetually running into. The promises shall be a support in every trouble, a medicine in every sickness, a supply in every need. Above all, the Scriptures will repay our trouble, as they testify of Christ. The more we read of his person, offices, power, love, doctrine, life, and death, the more our hearts will cleave to bim: we shall, by insensible degrees, be transformed into his spirit. We shall, with the apostle, say, " I know in “ whom I have believed,” 2 Tim. i. Every thing we see shall be at once a memorial to remind us of our Redeemer, and a motive to animate us in his service. And at length we shall be removed to see him as he is, without a cloud, and without a vail; to be for ever with him: to behold, and to share the glories of that heavenly kingdom “ which, (Matth. xxv.) he has pre
PREACHED IN THE PARISH CHURCH OF OLNEY,
ON THE FOLLOWING SUBJECTS :
1. The small Success of the ; 11. Of Believers' rest in Gospel Ministry.
Christ. 2. The Mysteries of the Gos- 12. Of the Yoke of Christ. pel hid from many.
13. The Service of Christ easy 3. Of those from whom the and pleasant.
Gospel Doctrines are hid. 14. Believers cautioned against 4. The Nature of Spiritual Re- Misconduct in their Profes
velation, and who are favour- sion. ed with it.
15. The Extent and Sanction 5. The Sovereignty of Divine of the third Commandment.
Grace asserted and illustrat- 16. The Christian Life comed.
pared to a Race. 6. Of the Person of Christ. 17. No Access to God but by 7. Of the Authority of Christ. the Gospel of Christ. 8. The Glory and Grace of 18. Of a Living and a Dead
God revealed in Jesus Christ. Faith. 9. Labouring and heavy-laden 19. Guilt removed, and Peace Sinners described.
restored. 10. Of coming to Christ. 20. Of the Assurance of Faith.
Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall
walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance. In thy name shall they rejoice all the day, and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted. Psal. lxxxix. 15, 16.