Imatges de pàgina
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declare to them, that I never knew depart from me, ye workers of iniquity. Good God! what will become of us, if those , that have even done miracles in thy name, shall nevertheless be excluded thy eternal kingdom?

Consider , secondly, how many ways this frightful truth has been declared. or prefigured in the Old Testament, Of all the inhabitants of the earth only eight souls, viz. Noah and his family, were preserved by the ark from the waters of the deluge : of six hundred thousand of the children of Israel, who. came out of the land of Egypt under the conduct of Moses , only two pere sons , Joshua and Caleb, entered Canaan, the land of proinise ; which fis gure the apostle St. Paul expressly applies to us Christians, I Cor. x, To the same effect the prophet Isaias chap. xxiv. 15,

likens those that shall escape the divine vengeance, to the small number of olives that is left on the tree after the fruit is gathered, or to the few bunches of

grapes that are found on the vines after a well gleaned vintage. Ah ! Christians hear then and obey the voice of your

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Saviour, who bids you , St. Luke xiit. 23. Coutond (that is , strive with all your force) to enter in at the narrow gate, for many, I assure you , shall seek to enter, and shall not be able : because the generality of Christians though they are some endeavours to enter, yet they do not strive with all their force; they are not thoroughly in earnest in their seeking , and therefore shall never find. Hear again with fear and trembling the great apostle St. Peter, when he tells you, that if the just shall hardly be saved, where shall the sinner appear? First epistle, chap. iv. ver. 18. O my soul, let us then take care ,

as the same apostle admonishes, 2 Pet. i. By good works to rake our election sure : and if others will go in crowds to hell, let us resolve not to go with them for com

pany sake

Consider, thirdly, that though the scripture had said nothing of the small number of the elect, yet this truth must appear evident to us, if we compare the lives of the generality of Christians with the gospel of Christ, and his holy coinmandments. If thou wilt enter into life , says our Lord, Matt, xix. keep the cominando ments : there is no other way to life everlasting. And the first and greatest of all the commandmeals , is this, thout shalt love the Lord thy God with alt! thy heart, with all thy soul, with att thy mind, and with all thy strength, Matt. xxii. Now how few are there that keep this commandment? It is: easy to say, with the generality of Christians, that we love God with our whole heart ; but what is the practice of our lives? Does not self-love, vainglory, sensuality, &c. on every occasion take place ? If so, it is in vain to say we love him above all things. And yet there is no salvation witliout this love. THINK WELL ON THIS. Besides the apostle James declares, chap iv. 4. that whosoever will be a friend of this world, becomes an enemy of God. And St. John , epist. i. chap. ii. ver. 15. If any one love the world, the love of the Fether is not in him And Christ himself declares , that we cannot serve two masters , Matt. vi. 24 How then' can we think to reconcile the conduce of the greatest part of those who call

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themselves Christians (whose whole study is to please the world, and to conform themselves to its false maxims, corrupt customs, and deluded, vanities ) with their expectation of the kingdom of heaven, which is not to be obtained but by using violence to: ourselves, by rencuncing this sinful world, and by a life of self-denial and mortification ?

Consider , fourthly, how great a corruption is generally found events amongst the greatest part of true beer lieving Christians, and from thence make a judgment of their future lor. How few are proof against human reso. pects, and the pernicious fear of what the world will say ! Alas! what numbers sacrifice their eternal salvation to this accursed fear, by rather chusing to forfeit the grace of God, than the false honour and esteem of this world! How many of those , whose birth and fortune have advanced thein above the level of their fellow mortals, continually in the state of damnation , by a cursed disposition of never pute ting up with an affront, and of preferring their worldly honour before

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their conscience ! Unhappy men ! who, by conforming themselves now to those fa se maxims of deluded worldJings will be trampled under foot by insulting devils for all eternity! How few masters of families are sincerely solicitous for those under their charge , to see that instructions be not wanting , devotions be not neglected, &c and that nothing scandalous or sinfut lurk under the favour of their nesligence or connivance ! and yet the apostle assures us, that if any man neglects the care of his family, he is worse than an infidel, 1 Tim, v. 8. How few parents effectually take care to bring up their children from their infancy in the fear of God, and to inspire into them an early horror of sin above all evils ! Ah! what a double damnation will the greatest part bring upon themselves, by sacrificing these. tender souls to the devil and the world, which they might with so much ease have consecrated to heaven! In fine, not to run over all states of life in particular, is it not visible that injustice , impurity, pride , detraction, &c. every where reign among Christians ;

and

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