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ye thus requite the Lord, O foolish people and un"wise? Is he not thy Father that hath bought thee? "hath he not made thee and established thee ?" What madness! If you abide by this determination you are undone; "because of these things cometh the wrath of "God upon the children of disobedience." Have you duly considered the work you decline? It is a service the most reasonable; the most honourable; the most pleasant; the most profitable: it is "profit"able unto all things, having the promise of the life "that now is, and of that which is to come." Here we cannot labour in vain. The reward is sure; the recompense is glorious. Nor are we called to labour without assistance. He who employs us has engaged to make his strength perfect in our weakness, and to render his grace sufficient for us. To which we may add, that it is a work the most indispensable; it is the one thing needful; and it is at the peril of thy soul and thy eternal happiness to say, "I will not." not." But I HAVE said this, and lived accordingly. "O that 66 my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of "tears." Returning sinner, there is hope in Israel concerning this thing. There is forgiveness with Him, and repentance secures it.
Raise thy downcast eyes and sce
What forms his throne surround;
Have full salvation found.
He has pardons to impart,
Grace to save thee from thy fears:
See the love that fills his heart,
And wipe away thy tears.
Thy present distress is a pledge of a preparation
for the discovery of his forgiving love. He repented and went. Go and do likewise, and encourage thyself under every gloomy fear by representations the most appropriate and tender. "I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus. Thou hast chas"tised me, and I was chastised as a bullock unaccus"tomed to the yoke; turn thou me, and I shall be "turned, for thou art the Lord my God. Surely af"ter that I was turned I repented: and after that I "was instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was asham"ed, yea even confounded, because I did bear the re"proach of my yoke. Is Ephraim my dear son? is "he a pleasant child? for since I spake against him "I do earnestly remember him still; therefore my "bowels are troubled for him; I will surely have દર્દ mercy upon him, saith the Lord." "And he said, "I will arise and go to my Father, and will say unto "him, Father, I have sinned against Heaven and be"fore thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And "he arose and came to his Father; but when he was
yet a great way off, his Father saw him, and had "compassion on him, and ran, and fell on his neck, " and kissed him-And said to his servants, bring forth "the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on "his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring hither "the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat and be mer❝ry. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he "was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry."
Are you saying with the second-"I go, Sir?" This is well; but, O beware of insincerity. riously the solemn profession you make.
But remember to whom you say this; a Being, whose eyes are as a flame of fire, and who desireth truth in the inward parts. Thou art not lying unto man, but unto God. I go, Sir! But remember that the vows of God are upon you; that you have raised the expectation of your friends and foes; that heaven, earth, and hell are looking for a practice which will verify your pretensions; and will you tell them all, "I am "only a liar a hypocrite?" I go, Sir! But remember that your doom will be determined not by "fair "speeches" and a "show of godliness," but by your actions and your lives. "Not every one that saith "unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom "of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father "which is in heaven." I go, Sir! But remember nothing is so dangerous to the soul as false dealing with God; that no character is so rarely converted ▾ as a false professor; that no state is so tremendous as the end of an apostate. I go, Sir! But remember, it is the language of God, "if any man "soul shall have no pleasure in him."
draw back, my "For it is im
"possible for those who were once enlightened, and "have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made par"takers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted of the
good word, and the powers of the world to come, "if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto re
pentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son "of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. But, "Beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, "and things that accompany salvation, though we thus "speak."
2 PET. i 5-7.
AND BESIDES THIS, GIVING ALL DIligence, add to your faith virTUE; AND TO VIRTUE, KNOWLEDGE; AND TO KNOWLEDGE TEMPERANCE; AND TO TEMPERANCE, PATIENCE: AND TO PATIENCE, GODLINESS; AND TO GODLINESS, BROTHERLY" KINDNESS; AND TO BROTH÷ ERLY KINDNESS CHARITY.
MY Brethren, it is a very easy and it' is a very difficult thing to be a Christian. It is a very easy thing to be a nominal Christian; but it is a very difficult thing to be a real one. It is a very easy thing to be a modern Christian; but it is a very difficult thing to be a scriptural one. Do not imagine that we mean to trifle, or advance a paradox to awaken your attention at the beginning of a discourse. We speak "the words of truth and soberness." It is undeniable that we have many Christians among us who are strangers even to common decency and morality, "being abominable, and disobedient, and to every good work reprobate." Others make a much stricter profession; but, alas! their Christianity leaves them as it finds them, and in their lives there is very
little difference discernible between them and the people of the world. Their tempers are unsubdued; their tongues are unbridled; "they mind earthly "things;" they make no sacrifices, no exertions. Their hope is a lifeless expectation. Their faith is a scheme of doctrine which they have laid asleep in the mind, and which never disturbs or stimulates them."
But is this the religion of the New Testament? Search the Scriptures. Observe the delineations of the Gospel, and compare yourselves with them. In these a profession is found to mean a practical dissent from the spirit and manners of the world. The hope which maketh not ashamed is held forth as purifying the possessor from the love of sin and the dominion of sense; and the faith by which we are justified and saved, is distinguished as a vital and a vigorous principle, drawing after it a train of graces and good works. Witness the language of our apostle. "And "beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith "virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowl
edge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; "and to patience, godliness; and to godliness, broth"erly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity." Christians, these words specify, I. The additions which you are to make to your faith. And, II. Prescribe the means by which you are to make them.
I. The apostle does not exhort Christians to seek after faith. This he supposes them to possess already, He addresses them as believers, and calls upon them to pursue a course worthy of their faith, correspond ing with their faith, and to which their faith binds