Imatges de pàgina

digal son squander hog' away thy suba stance iu a strange land, hasť sought in ran to satisfy thý appetite with the husks of swine. Recati ro thy remema, brance, in the bitterness of thý soul, alf the years of thy past life ; and see what treasures of iniquity, in thought word, an deed, will discover thema selves to thy eyes : see how long thout frast' unconcerneily sported on the briuk of a dreadful precipice, having no more than a hair's breadth betwitt thy soul and hell. Be confounded at thy past folly admire and adore the goodness of thy God ;'ånd' now at least resołye to embrace his mercy.

On the relapsing Sinner.

Onsider, first, that if one mortal

the sovereigt 'majesty of God, as we Have seen in the foregoing thapter; lf etery such sitt be an abomination to Our Lord, and the death of that unhappy sinner who is guilty of it, what must we think of the miserable condition of relapsing kiniers', that is, of such Christians a's are continually fala Gij


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ling again and again into the same mortal sins, after repeated confessions and solemn promises of amendment ? Alas! what can we think, but that by this method of life they are treasuring up to themselve wrath against the day of wrath : and will in all appearance , sooner or later, draw down a dreadful vengeance upon their own beads. Because by every relapse their srime is aggravated, and their latter condition becomes worse than the fora mer.

Consider , secondly, the ingratitude the perfidiousness, the contempt of God, whicle the relapsing sinner is guilty of, as often as, after his recon. ciliation, he returns like a dog to the vomit. He is guilty of the highest ingratitude, in treading under foot the grace of reconciliation, by which he had been a little before raised from the dunghill of sin, and even drawn out of the jaws of hell; and by a distinguishing mercy restored to the friend ship of God, to the dignity of a child of God, and heir of heaven, He is guilty of a base perfidiousness, in breaks ing his solemn word given to God in.

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his confession. He is guilty of a notosious contempt of the Divine Majesty in banishing God from his soul, after having invited him in, and introdu: cing Satan in his place; and this after a full knowledge and experience of both sides. Good God! to put the whole universe in balance with thee; would be a most heinous'affront ; since heaven, and all the powers thereof, the earth and seas, and all things thereio , are less than a grain of sand if compared to thee : what then mušć we think of the unparalleled injury done thee by the relapsing sinner when putting thee and Satan in the scales, he gives the preference to the Devil,

Consider, thirdly, the dreadful dançer to which the relapsing sinner is daily exposed, from the sword of the Divine Justice hanging over his guilty head, and daily provoked by his ingratitude and insoience. Alas! we are all mortal; we neither know the day nor the hour that will be our last; if we be surprised by death in the state of mortal sin , as millions have been ; we are irrevocably lost. If then it be

G iii madness

selyes , as any

Dadness at any time to sisk eternity by consenting to mortal sin, how much more 40 provoke tlae Alınighty by frequent relapses, and by a practice of abusing his grace and mercy at every turn? Ah! what multitudes of souls have been thus betrayed into that dis: mal pit of never-ending we, where the worm never dies, and the fire ne, ver is queenched ! Unhappy wretches! they designed as little to damo them

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but God will not be daughed at.

Consider , fourthly, another evil which the xinner, who frequently falls back into the same sins, has too just reason to apprehend, is the insincerity of his past repentance. For , in reals ty, what appearance is there that his sorrow and resolution of amendment bave been sucia as God requires , when after so many confessions he is still the sanie man ? True contrition is a Sovereign-grief, by which the penitent detests his sin above all other evils , with a full determination and firm resolution of never returning to it any more. Now how is it likely, that the relapsing signer detests sincere


Jy his sin above all evils ,' with me firm purpose of amendament, when he is so easily prevailed upon by the first temptation to return to it againg

Consider, fifthly, the remedies and means, by which we are to be

pre served from this pernicious eyilof rer Japsing into morial sin. The first is to void lae- dangerous occasions , which have or probably

. Inay draw us into the same sins : without this care to ly the occasions of sio , the strong est resolution of endorent will provę ineffcctual, as we daily sex by wofal experience : for be that loves the danger shall perish in it, Eecl. ii. No pretexts of worldly concerns must here be put in the balance with eternity : we must part with hand creye, sooner than lose our souls. Another main preservative against relapse, is to labour by fervent prayer , and diligent frequenting of the sacraments, to suppress the unhappy dispositions that insensibly lead thereunto ; vigorously to resist the first motions to evil; and te strive with all possible diligence to foot out, that wretched propensity to sini ,, which former sins have defe in



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