Imatges de pàgina

his confession. He is guilty of a notorious contempt of the Divine Majesty, in banishing God from his soul, after having invited him in, and introduż 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 therein, are less than a grain of sand, if compared to thee: what then must 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.

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Consider, thirdly, the dreadful danger 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 insolence. 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 Giii madness

madness at any time to risk eternity by consenting to mortal sin, how much more to provoke the Almighty 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 wo, where the worm never dies, and the fire ne ver is quenched! Unhappy wretches! they designed as little to damn themselves, as any of us; but God will not be laughed at.

Consider, fourthly, another evil which the sinner, who frequently falls back into the same sins, has too just reason to apprehend, is the insincerity of his past repentance. For, in reality, what appearance is there that his sorrow and resolution of amendment have been such as God requires, when after so many confessions he is still the same man? True contrition is a Sovereign grief, by which the peni tent 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 sinner detests sincere



ly his sin above all, evils,' with firm purpose of amendment, when he is so easily prevailed upon by the first temptation to return to it again

Consider, fifthly, the remedies and means, by which we are to be preserved from this pernicious eyil,of re lapsing into mortal sin, The first is to avoid the dangerous occasions, which have or probably may draw us into the same sins: without this care to fly the occasions of sin, the strong est resolution of amendment will prove ineffectual, as we daily see by wofal experience: for be that loves the danger shall perish in it, Eccl. iii. No pretexts of worldly concerns must here be put in the balance with eternity: we must part with hand creye, sooner than lose cur 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 to strive with all possible diligence to root out, that wretched propensity to sin, which former sins have deft in Giv


the soul. Ab how hard it is to main Pain a castle, where the enemy has already surprised the avenues, and has a strong party within, ready to open the gates to him! The third and chief remedy against relapse, is for the penitent to nourish carefully in his heart a truly penitential spirit, daily to renew his sorrow for his sins, and to recount in the sight of God, in the bitterness of his soul, all his past iniquities; daily to admire and adore that mercy, which has borne with him so long; and to value above all treasures that grace of reconciliation, by which he has been drawn out of so much misery, daily to beg of God with all the fervour of his soul, sooner to take him out of this world, than to suffer him any more to die by mortal sin. Good God! grant that this may be always the disposition of our souls. Amea Anien

On doing Penance for our Sins.

Onsider, first, those words of Christ, Luke xiii. 3, 5. Except you do penance, you shall all perish. Behold

Behold here a general rule, nor does our Lord make any exception. Penance then is necessary, first, for all those whose conscience accuses them of mor-" tal sin alas ! such as these must e ther do penance for their sins, or burn for them for all eternity! Poor sinners! their state is most deplorable! they are playing, upon the brink of hell, and every mo nent one or other of them is tumbling into that bottomless pit; and is it possible they should be unconcerned under so great and evident a danger? Why then do they not lay hold of the grace of penance, the only plank that can save them after shipwreck; the only means left for the salvation of their souls. Secondly, Penance is necessary for all those, who, though their conscience accuses then not at present, yet have in their past life been guilty of such mortal offences. Ah! Christians, one mortal sin is enough for us to do penance for alhour life. And how can we do less, if we consider what mortal sin is; what it is to have been the enemies of God; what it is to have been under the sentence of eternal damnation; and never certainly

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