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future state of retribution, which is a dictate of nature as well as a doctrine of revelation, what complicated guilt does their conduct involve, who contribute to the seduction and ruin of others, whose blood will be required at their hands! Consider, then, the awful interests that depend on the decision which you form on the subject of religion. Examine the claim which it has to demand your assent and obedience, with all the seriousness which such a subject requires. And being once satisfied of the truth of Christianity, and persuaded that it is the cause of God, the cause of truth and righteousness; make it your constant prayer to the Father of spirits, to strengthen and establish your faith, and to preserve you from temptations of every kind. Let not unbelievers deceive you, by those arts by which they unhappily deceive themselves turning away their eyes from the clear light, the bright evidence with which the gospel is surrounded, to those obscurities, those difficult passages of scripture, which are not so easy to be explained or accounted for, by reason of our distance from the times when those affairs were transacted, and those parts of scripture were written. Consider whether these men will be prepared, when brought to the bar of the Almighty, to vindicate their rejection of the scheme of mercy and redemption offered to them in the gospel, on such vain and trivial pretences as these. Instead, then, of affecting to be men of wit-instead of substituting raillery for argument-instead of treating the most serious things with licentious levity, as is their
invariable practice, let us ever maintain a solemnity of spirit and a serious temper of mind, in all our researches into matters of such everlasting importance. Let such awful admonitions as these be deeply impressed upon our minds, and let us think, and speak, and act under their influence. If we sin wilfully, that is, renounce the gospel of Christ, after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sin, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment, and fiery indignation which shall consume the adversaries.-It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost; in whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel should shine into them, and they should be saved.
In the 2d place, and to conclude-How solicitous should they be, who, by a public profession of religion, declare that they have made choice of this good way, to recommend it to others by their example and influence?
A public profession of religion, such as many of us were lately making at the table of the Lord, is a solemn engagement made before the world, that whatever others may do, as for us we will serve the Lord, and walk in his ways. Let not your practice give the lie to your profession. Deprive the enemies of Christianity of that argument by which they are so apt to attack it—the dissimilarity which
they observe between the principles and the practice of professing Christians. As purity of manners and uniform integrity of life, are the brightest ornament and surest evidence of your own faith in Christ; so they will render your holy profession venerable and amiable in the eyes of a discerning world. Whereas, if you act contrary to your solemn engagements, you will bring a reproach upon religion; you will grieve the good, scandalize the weak, and open the mouths of the profane in blasphemy. The glory of God, the honour of Christ, the credit of religion, your own happiness, and the good of others, are deeply involved in your conduct and behaviour. Go on then in the strength of God the Lord. Be constant and unmoveable, always abounding in his good work, knowing that your labour shall not be in vain.
I have now finished a series of discourses on this important subject. From the attention with which they have been listened to, I would fain hope that my labour has not been in vain. I may be deceived, but the God with whom you and I have to do cannot. The time is fast approaching when we must give in our account-I, of what I have spoken and you, of what you have heard, and of what improvement you have made. Once more, then, I address to you a command, not in my own name, but in the name of God; and, in the same name, and by the same authority, I add a most gracious promise. The command is, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where
is the good way, and walk therein. The promise is, And ye shall find rest for your souls.-Now is the accepted time. He that hath an ear, let him hear. And may the Lord give you understanding, and make you wise unto salvation. AMEN.
INSTRUCTION TO BE DERIVED FROM THE REVOLUTION OF DAY AND NIGHT.
PSALM, XIX. 2.
Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
THE revolution of day and night is a common appearance, and, on that account, is too seldom reflected on with the attention which it deserves. It is a subject, however, which, if duly considered, will be found to be of the utmost importance, and capable of affording the most salutary instruction— instruction which it constantly presents to the mind, but which it repeats in vain to a world that regards it not. One would imagine, that the contemplation of the wonders of creation, on account of the dignity and sublimity of the subject, independently of the moral instruction it conveys, would become one of the most frequent and delightful employments of every intelligent mind. But so it is, that the very circumstance which should render the impression of these great and glorious objects deeper and more abiding, prevents almost any impression at all. Whenever appearances grow familiar to our minds, we become indif