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coals of fire, upon his head. This, at the least, we know, that the infamy and reproach of them were continually attached, by inspiration from God, to his name and memory amongst mankind. Here indeed is a very awful consideration, and one which can hardly enough be laid to heart. The higher a man's station may be, the further, no doubt, his corrupting influence will extend itself; and Jeroboam was much higher than any of us. However, by reason of the naturally pervading corruption, a bad precept or example will always more readily attract followers, and more easily retain its influence than a good one. Scarcely any, therefore, are so low and insignificant, as not to have some opportunities, some power, if they will use it amiss, to lead astray, or settle others in transgression. A profane word, or an ungodly deed, not only of a king before his subjects, but also of a father before his children, and, I will say generally, of a man before his neighbours especially those of them who are younger than himself-has not unfrequently had the effect of inducing generations yet unborn to sin. Whatever things one adopts from another in this way, he will, oftener than not, hand down to his children, or companions, and they again to their's, until the corruption becomes too extensive and inveterate to be corrected by ordinary means. And, though the plea of bad example must not be supposed at all to excuse the sin of any, who might have known, or have learned, better, nevertheless, the person who hath left such example, or hath been the author of an evil custom, may have to experience an aggravated condemnation, bearing proportion to the number of those who shall have been beguiled into following his steps. Being dead, he yet seduceth men by the practices of wickedness which he hath invented, and left behind him.

Wherefore, my brethren, in conclusion, flee from all approaches to the evil character of “ Jeroboam the son of Nebat, who made Israel " to sin.” That you may stand decidedly clear of his ungodliness and final destruction, resolve to continue steadfast in the fellowship and doctrine of Christ's apostles, and in the sacraments, and holy ordinances of His church : “ hate the sins of unfaithfulness," determining that none such shall cleave unto you; and take especial care never to come forward as the inventors of unlawful things, or as, in the smallest degree, encouraging and promoting them. Sure

6 the curse of the Lord is in the house of - the wicked : but He blesseth the habitation “ of the just.” (Proverbs iii. 33.) Endeavour then, to exhibit in your conversation to

ly,

wards Him, a suitable reverence and godly fear. Study to adorn the doctrine of God your Saviour with all good fidelity, in all things; and, instead of starting aside from the only true way of His commandments, continue steadfast in it until your lives' end, with a view to inherit the blessing which He hath promised even life for evermore.

SERMON XVIII.

2 Kings xxii. 11.

It came to pass, when the king had heard the words of

the book of the law, that he rent his clothes. THE history of those godly men—whether kings, or inferior persons—whose praise is in the Old Testament, should be esteemed by us continually interesting and instructive. If we are possessing any spiritual discernment—any sense of, and pure affection towards goodnesstheir good examples will proportionably enliven, and refresh it. Also, in reading or hearing of them, we should consider, that, as living under a better covenant, and having inherited higher privileges, we may justly be required, not only to come up to, but to surpass them,“ in “ all holy conversation and godliness.” Since stronger motives to repentance, and more abundant promises, and means of grace, are presented to us by the gospel, than by the law, our righteousness, it must be acknowledged, ought, accordingly, to exceed the righteousness of the Jews, or our shame and contrition should be more sincere.

However, in my text, and in the history connected with it, we have an account of a Jew, who appears to have greatly exceeded the generality of Christians in devotion and godly fear. It is recorded of king Josiah, that, upon hearing the words of the book of the law, he rent his clothes ; so vehemently was he agitated by the convictions, which took hold on him, both of his own, and of his people's guilt. Now sin hath surely become more sinful, or rather, the sinfulness of it hath, in these latter days, been most affectingly declared by the sacrifice of the death of Christ; yet our prevailing habit is, frequently to look into, and lay aside, the same book, without any such distressing sensations, In order, therefore, to explain the causes of this too common indifference, and in a degree to remove, or diminish it, I design, my brethren, on this occasion, to set before you, first, the case of Josiah rending his clothes; and then, secondly,our own comparative condition with respect to the holy law of God, and His gospel.

First, then, let me begin with stating, that Josiah was only eight years old when he began to reign, and that he had been born of idolatrous parents, and had been brought up in the midst of idolatry. Notwithstanding, however, such his birth and education, he began,

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