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and that by his just judgmeat those who presume to tenpt him in this manner, generally speaking, die in their sins ? Ah! it is too tue, that he who has promised pardon to the sinner that is sincerely converted, bas neither promised time nor efficacious grace to those who defer their conversion.
Consider, thiraly, the great folly of sinners, who put off their conversion to God will apother time, upon pretence of doing it more easily hereafter : y bereas, both reason and experience make it evident, that the longer they defer this work, the more difficulties they meet to compass it. And how can it be otherwise, since by this de. lay, and by adding daily sin to sin, their sinful babits gather strength; the devil's power over thein increa. ses; and God, who is daily more and more provoked, is by degrees less li. beral of his graces, so that they be. come less frequent and pressing: till at length, by accustoming theinselves to resist his grace, they fall into the wretched state of blindness and hardness of heart, the broad road to final impe. nitenceI
Consider , fourthly, the unparalo deled madness of those who defer theje conversion upon the confidence of a death bed repentance; designing to put a cheat upon the justice of God, by inc dulging themselves is sin all their life time; and then making their peace with God, when they can sin no longer Unhappy wretches ! consider tbat God is not to be mocked :that what a mai soweth , the same shall be reap, Gal vi, 6. The general rule is 's that as a inan lives, so he dies : a rule so general, that in the whole scripture we have but one example of a person who died well after a wicked life, viz. the good thief: an example so singular in all its citi cuinstances, as to give no encourage merat to sinners who enteitain a prer meditated design of cheating the juis tice of God by a death bed conversion, Ah! how dreadfully difficult must it be for a dying simner , in whom the babit of sin sis, by long custoin turned into a second, nature, to attain to a torough change of heart, sincere sor. row and detestation of sin, love of God above all things, which he ne. ver thought of in his life time; and
which now become indispensiblý netessary. Ah ! how deceitful are those tears, which are often shed by dying sinners, (as may be seen in the case of King Antiochus,) which being whollg influenced by the fear of death , prevail not with the just Judge And if there be so much danger, even when tears are plentifully shed, what must the è be, when, as it commonly happens , either the dulness and stupidity caused by the sickness, or the pains and agopies of the body and mind, are so great as to hinder any serious application of the thoughts to the greatest of all concerns ? For if a headach be enough to hinder us from being able to pray with any devotion , what an obstacle to prayer must not the agonies of death be? No wonder then, that the saints and servants of God make so little account of those death-bet péro formances. Especially since; as we see by daily experience, that those who made the greatest shew of repentance when they were in danger of death no sooner escaped that danger, but are still the same men they were before. O Christians, let us not then be im.
posed upon by the false and flattering discourses of men, who are so free in pronouncing favourably of all those who after a life spent in sin, make soine shèw.of repentance at their death. Let us rather tremble at the deplorable case of such souls ; and remeniber that the judgments of God are very differa ent from those of men,
On Time and Eternity.
Onsider , first, how precious a
we to squander away, as if it were of no value. Time is the measure of our, lives, and as much as we lose of our time, so much of our life is absolutely. lost. Time is given us in order to gain eternity; and there is not one moment of time, in which we may not work, for eternity; and in which we may not store, up immense and everlasting treasures. As many there ore as we lose, of these precious moments, are so many lost eternities. The present is the only time of working : it is the only time, ve, can call
our own , and God only knows how long iß will last. It is
stort, it flies away in an instarit, and when once it is gove, it cannot be recalfed; the very moment in which we are reading this line, is just pässing, never , no, never more to return. Every hour is posting away, without stopping one moment till it be'svata lowed up for the imniense gulf of eteto nity: and as many of these hours or snoments as are lost, are lost for ever; the loss is irreparable. Learn hence, O my soul, to set a just value upon the fresert fime, learn to Husband it well; by employing it in good works.
Consider , secondly, Christian soul, what they shrughts will be , at the ap. proach of death, of the value of time whnorthou makest so little account of at present. What wouldest thou mine Then give for some of those hours which now thou losest in vanity and sin? Aht the dreadful anguish: that will? reck the sout of the dying sitnet when seeing himself at the brink of
a miserable eternity , ke shall wish thousand times, but in vain , that he could recall one day, or even one hour of His past time , afvá had but the same Health and strength as he formerly had,