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but for a day. O fool! whom art thou deceiving ? Even thy wretched self. And of what art thou cheating thyself? Of thy reputation, thy prosperity, and thy peace; to say nothing of thy miserable soul, which thou art consigning to the enemy of man, for what thou hadst better a thousand times be without, if the future consequences were nothing. Remember I have told thee, what thou acquirest by lawless means, whether thou hast been used to dignify it by the name of profit, pleasure, or honour ; and the wickedness' thou drinkest in with greediness, will either poison thy life, or else must be disgorged, with the horrible
pangs of remorse. Where then will be thy gains? Teaching.
say, therefore, were there no state ordained for us beyond the present, the wisdom of a man would direct his choice to virtue. To be conscious of that cloudless serenity within, which proceeds from passions subdued under the superior authority of reason ; to feast upon that uninterrupted joy, which this vain world can neither give, nor take away; to bless, and be blessed; to love, and be loved; to be eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame ; (1) to be a guardian angel to his fellow. creatures ; to serve Him, whose service is the glory of those who sit enthroned in heaven ; (2) to have neither thought, nor wish, which would not do him honour, if published before the universe; what sense of dignity, what se!f-enjoyment must not this consciousness yield ? I tell thee, thoughtless libertine ! there is more joy, in repenting of, and flying from vice, nay, in suffering for virtue,
than ever thou wilt taste in the cloying draught of swinish impurity, (3) What, then, must be the undisturbed fruition of that which makes the
happiness of every superior nature ? Alarm. But this life is not all. There is there is full Reverence. surely, another state abiding us. The soul of
man feels itself formed for something greater,
(1) Job xxix. 15.' (2) Rey, iy. (5) 2 Pet, ii. 22.
than all that is here below; and it cannot think what is noblest in its nature to be given in vain. The power of lifting its thought to its Creator ; the unconquerable dread of an account hereafter to be given ; the thirst for immortality: (to say nothing of that surest proof given by the Messenger of Heaven, who shewed us, 'in himself, man actually raised' froin the grave to immortality) (1) all these confirm that there is a life to come.
And if there is what is thy prospect, O remorseless obdurate ?
The present state would teach thee, if thou Remonftr. wouldst be taught, what will be prevalent in the future. The world is now under the incral
Teaching goverment of the One Supreme. The life to come will be under the same direction. The present state of things, for the most part, brings Apprehe on vice the present punishments of fear, remorse, with worldly shame, and often bitter poverty, and death, from a constitution shattered by vice, or from the iron hand of justice. The natural course of this world, rewards the virtuous with peace of inind, with approbation from every worthy character, and generally, with length of days, prosperity, and affluence. (2) What does this conclude 3 Is it not from hence evident, that Arguing when the temporary irregularity of the present state which hinders equal retribution from being universal, when the influence of the Enemy (3) is at an end, under which this world now groans, (4) and, when at the appointed tiine, order shall spring out of confusion ; then, what now appears in part, will prevail universally ; then virtue will rise superior ; and evil be, for ever, sunk to its proper place.
To a generous mind there is little need of ter- Rousing ror. Such are better won to goodness by the
Thame. view of its own apparent excellence, which wants
(1.) 1 Cor. xv. 20. (4) Rom viii 20–24.
(2) Prov. iii. 16.
(3) Matth. xiii. 39,
only to be held forth to be perceived ; is no soon. Grief. er perceived, than admired. But, alas, I sadly Rousing fear the generous-minded are but few. For, if
otherwise, how could the number of the wicked be what it is. Every hardened sinner, is one lost to all that is truly great or worthy in the rational nature. And are there any in this assembly, is there one, fallen to so low an ebb of sentiment, so stupified beyond all feeling, as to go on to offend, without remorse, against the goodness of his heavenly Father ? Think, wretched mortal, that
thou art insulting the very power which supports Sftness. thee in thy insolence against itself. The gentle
mercy of the Almighty, like ihe fructifying moisture of the Spring, droppeth on thee from on
high ; and, instead of producing the fruit of Rage. repentance in thee, is, by thy impiety, dashed Reiponftr. back in the face of Heaven. What could thy
best friend on earth, what could pitying angels, what could the Author of all good, do for thee that has not been done? Thy Creator hath given thee reason to distinguish between good and evil; to know what is thy life, and what will seal thy ruin. He hath placed conscienee in thy breast, to warn thee in the moment of thy guilt. He hath sent down to thee, Him, whom he held
dearest in all heaven, to give thee yet ampler Moving instruction in the way to bliss. And the Son pity. condescended to come with the same willingness
as the Father sent him, though with the certain knowledge, that, like a patriot, rising in defence
of his country, his coming must cost him his life. Reproach. The richest blood, that ever flowed, has been
shed for thy worthlessness, and for such as thou
Shame and torture have been despised for the Persualion. sake of bringing thee to good. And wilt thou which the sun would not look upon. (1) View with dry eyes, what inade angels weep. Harden thy heart at an object, which rent the rocks, (2) and brought the dead out of their graves. (3) His arms stretched on the cursed (4) tree, invite thee to bliss. Though now feeble and languid, they will quickly raise a world from the
grudge to forego a little sordid pleasure, to shew Aninated thyself grateful for all this goodness ? Go with reproach.
me then, to Golgotha, and insult thy suffering Saviour in his agonies. Behold there a sight,
grave, Awe. and lay the angel of death full low. I am not describing a fancied scene. The witnesses of the Affirming. death and resurrection of Jesus have sealed the truth of what they saw, with their blogd. But canst thou find a heart to crucify him afresh, (5) Remonftr. by persisting in the crimes, which brought on him this cruel death ? If thou hast been so wicked, Warning. bethink thee of thy obstinacy. If thou dost, even Encouragenow, repent, he has prayed for thee, “ Father, for- inent. give them ; for they know not what they do." (6) Behold how deadly pale his sacred countenance ! Pity. Cruel are the agonies which rend his tender frame. His strength fails ; his heart breaks ; the strong pangs of death are on hiin. Now he utters his last solemn words>" It is finished.”(7), Pathetic. What is finished ? The suffering part, to which 'Question. his dear love for mankind, exposed him. The Pity. rest is victory and triumph ; and the salvation of Joy. world will reward his glorious toil.
But what Question. salvation ? Not of the obdurate, with all their Informing. vices about them ; but of the heart-bleeding penitent, whose streaming sorrows have washed away his impurity, and who has bid a last farewell to vice, and to every temptation, which Aversion. leads to it. To such the blessed gospel which I Comfort. preach, speaks nothing but peace. For them it has no 'terrors. Be of good cheer, then, my disconsolate, broken-hearted mourner. Though thy sins have been as scarlet, they shall be white as the wool, which never received the tincture. (8)
(1) Matth. xxvii. 45. (2) Matth. xxvii. 51. xvii. 53. (4) Gall. iii. 13. (5) Heb. vi. 6. xiii, 34. (7) Johin xix, 30. (8) Isaiah i. 18.
They shall be blotted out, as if they were covered with a cloud. (1) They shall no more come into rencembrance. (2) For our God is long suffering, and of great mercy, and will abundantly par
don. (3) Besecching. O suffer then, my unthinking fellow-creatures,
suffer the word of exhortation. (4) Every encouragement, every invitation, is on the side of virtue. It has the promises of this life, and of that which is to come. (5) Let me beseech you by the superior love of your Maker ; by the streaming blood of the Saviour, and by the worth of your immortal souls ; to cast of your ruinous vices, and to return to Him, who is ready to receive the returning sinner, and never casts him out, who comes to Him. (6) Listen! Oh listen to him, who speaketh from heaven. It is not the voice of an enemy. It is your heavenly Father, who calls you. Behold! the very Majesty of the universe bends forward from his throne to invite you. He veils uncreated brightness to allure you to return to your own happi
He proclaims himself the “ Lord meriiful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness." (7) He condescends to assure you
with an oath, that he has no pleasure in the death Bescêching, of him that dies. (8) He encourages, he threat
ens, he promises, he remonstrates, he laments, he woos his wretched creatures, as if his coun unchanging happiness depended on theirs. He leaves the door of mercy open; he gives them
space to repent, he does not take them by surPity.
prise. Return_O yet return to the Father of spirits, my poor deluded wanderers! Whom have ye forsaken? What have you been in pursuit of? Whose conduct have you put yourselves under ? You have forsaken the fountain of your happiness. You have pursued your own ruin.
(1) Isaiah xliv. 22. (2) Isaiah Ixv. 17. (4) Heb. xiii. 22. (5) 1 Tinothy iv. 8. (7) Exod, xxxiv. 6. (8) Ezek, xxxiii. 11,
(3) Isaiah lv. 7. (6) John vi, 37.