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and pure, will delight the understanding-good, supreme and perfect, occupy the operations of the will-excellence, infinite and eternal, entrance the affections; for the understanding, the will and the affections will then be exercised in the contemplation of God-of his glory, as far as a created being can contemplate its ineffable effulgence-of his glory, as displayed in the glorified human nature of his eternal Son-of his glory, as manifested in his works, in his counsels, in his dispensations, in the exalted intelligences whom he has created—all which will be the subjects of contemplation and the source of bliss to the saints in heaven. Their glorified bodies will administer to the felicity of their beatified souls; and in the circles of the just made perfect, with whom they surround the throne of God, knowing as they are known, they will find all those with whom in holy faith and love they served the God of their salvation in his temple below; and, through the revolutions of eternity, no change awaits them but an increase of bliss.
On the contrary, the Christian life, when its obligations have been contemned, and its holy character deformed by sinful indulgences, and its duties violated, what is its termination in the scenes of eternity?—in misery for ever!-in misery, by the uncontrollable nature of things; for the unholy soul must be miserable-in misery, by the voice of justice; for he who, called to be the son of God and the heir of heaven, has spurned from him these celestial privileges, trampled under foot, in his career of sin, the Son of God, and, devoted to the indulgence of his sinful passions, counted the blood of the covenant an unholy thing; he who would have none of the counsel, of the mercy, of the VOL. II. 15
grace, of the love of his heavenly Father and Redeemer, and of the bliss of heaven-justice pronounces that he ought to be miserable; and the decree of God, holy, just, and almighty, pronounces -miserable for ever. Misery for ever-no change through the revolutions of eternity, but an increase of unutterable anguish to the soul, of intolerable pain to the body-the worm never dying, the fire never quenched.
If these scenes do not impress you, brethren, by what considerations can you be urged to make your calling and election sure, to fulfil the obligations of your Christian life in holiness and righteousness?
You who are now publicly to enter on the Christian life in the ordinance appointed for the purpose, never lose sight of the termination of your course, in happiness for ever, or in misery without end. Keep steadily in view heaven, the reward of your faithful devotion to your God and Saviour, and be animated to attain its glories. Think of the misery that awaits your disobedience, your violation of your Christian duties, and your neglect of your Christian privileges. Ask, What will the pleasures of sin profit me, if their end is misery for ever?' Remember, that, whether living or dying, you are the Lord's; you are his, for he created you; you are his, for he hath redeemed you; you are his, for to him you were devoted in baptism. In the lively sense of your obligations to him, of his claims upon you, you will now publicly acknowledge that you are his, in renewing the engagements and your title to the privileges of that covenant in which you were devoted to him. Making this acknowledgment in the sincerity of your hearts,
he, the Lord of heaven and of earth, will receive you as his own; he will watch over, defend, bless, and save you. Continuing devoted to him, through the Christian course that is before you, in the discharge of its duties, when that course is terminated, he will claim you as his in death-his chosen ones, over whom death and the grave shall have no power; he will claim you as his in that day when he decides the destinies of mankind; and he will claim you as his, admitting you to the vision of his glory, to the participation of the fulness of bliss in his presence, through the ages of eternity.
JOSHUA XXIV. 21.
We will serve the Lord.
SOLEMN was the assembly, when, seated in the promised land, after the various dangers and changes through which they had passed, all the tribes of Israel, with their elders, and heads, and judges, and officers, were gathered together, and presented themselves before God. Interesting was the scene, when their noble leader, "waxed old and stricken in age," about to terminate his arduous course, recounting the signal deliverances and blessings which the Lord had dispensed to his people, submitted to them the choice of the service of the vain gods of their fathers, or the gods of the nations among whom they dwelt, but announced the inflexible resolution, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." And most animating and impressive the response which rose from all the assembled tribes of Israel, after reiterated cautions as to the difficulty of the service to which they pledged themselves, "Nay, but we WILL serve the Lord."
You will witness this day a scene scarcely less solemn and interesting: you will behold the young members of the tribes of the spiritual Israel-the children, the relatives, the friends of many of you
-the young Christian brethren and sisters of us all-gathered together, and presenting themselves before God, to renew that covenant with him which they made, or which was made in their name, in the holy sacrament that marked them to his service. And, instructed and admonished as they have been in the holy nature of this covenant, in its all-sufficient aids, in the threatenings and the promises which sanction it, and now called on for their determination and their choice, I trust you will hear from their interesting ranks the animating and impressive resolution-(Gracious God, as thou wilt hear and record it, accept and bless it!)-" We will serve the Lord."
My young friends, this is a noble, it is a wise, it may prove a happy resolution. It is noble; for it is made in opposition to pleasures that allure, to difficulties that threaten, and to temptations that assail you. It is wise; for it is the highest wisdom of intelligent creatures to serve the Being who made, who governs, and who is to judge them, and who alone is the fountain of goodness and of happiness. And it may prove a happy resolution; for, if carried into effect through the whole of your mortal course, it will be attended with God's peace and favour here, and followed by the fulness of his felicity hereafter.
God grant that it may be a resolution of serious consideration, of determined intention, of unreserved devotion, of sincere penitence, of deep humility, of entire dependence, of active faith, and of lively hope.
May it be a resolution of serious consideration.