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1. Is there a man, who after what hath been faid, can lay his hand upon his breast, and fay he firmly believes that the religion of the heart is all a fable? One fhould imagine it impoffible. But if fuch an instance is to be found, we may be bold to affirm, and that without any breach of charity, that a sentence thus pronounced in favor. of vice and fin, can never be the genuine dictate of the confcience, To believe that religion is all a lie, is a kind of faith which one should suspect, is too hard to be attained by a human mind: a mystery, I had just faid, beyond any thing the bible reveals. No. Unbelief is the proper offfpring of a judgment unnaturally overpowered and proftituted by fenfe.

Say not then that you have reason on your fide. No one fober dictate of it can support you in your infidelity. While therefore you treat this great object with contempt and ridicule, you betray a weakness and folly, which will be an eternal reproach to your understanding; and a bitterness and enmity of heart, which will one day bring upon you inexpreffible mifery. What if all you have heard fhould happen to prove true? How great will be your confusion in the hour of death! And how great your furprize the inftant you launch into eterVOL. I. nity!

G

nity! How will you lift up your eyes before

the tribunal of that God, whofe revealed will you have trampled under foot, and whofe reafonings by the voice of confcience itself you have rejected and defpifed! O confider these things all ye that forget God, left he tear you in pieces and there be none to deliver. But to haften,

2. If the condemnation of the infidel will be dreadful, how much more that of the hypocrite! - the man who in order to answer fome fecular purposes to himself, puts on the form of godlinefs, while he inwardly denies the power of it, and laughs at the whole as a cheat. A more unnatural bafe and deteftable character than this cannot be imagined. It expofes a person to the refentments both of the good and the bad, and betrays a meannefs which renders him abfolutely unworthy of fociety. Whether religion be or be not true, such a man must in the end be a lofer. If it be not true, though he escapes future mifery, yet it is a thousand to one, but his hypocrify is fufpected, and of confequence his schemes defeated; however it is certain that fooner or later he must fink into contempt in the opinion of all around him.

But if on the other hand religion should prove true, what tenfold vengeance will fall on

the

the guilty head of this wretched man, in the great day of account! - that day when the fecrets of all hearts fhall be laid open, and the God of truth fhall with the loud applaufe of angels and men, and indeed the full approbation of the condemned himself, frown him from his presence into the lake of fire and brimstone which burneth for No excufe can be offered for him, and every circumftance which can be imagined will croud upon him, to aggravate his guilt and heighten his misery. Bethink yourself, O man, in time. Religion

evermore.

is true.

Ask your confcience, and it will tell you fo. Increase not then your guilt by your hypocrify. Neither in this way bring the blood of any others around you on your own head. But throw the mark afide. Acknowledge your fin, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of your heart heart may forgiven you. To close the whole,

be

3. And lastly. How great, Christian, is your felicity! You have believed religion to be a reality, and have found it to be fo in your own experience. You have the witness in yourself, and you have the pleasure to see every other kind of teftimony concurring with this of your own mind and confcience. Few indeed around you are duly affected with this great concern; yet few

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dare look you in the face, and fay it is all a deception. But though the whole world did think differently from you, if neverthelefs you have the bible and the feelings of your own heart on your fide, what will it fignify? And though in the end you fhould be mistaken, yet you will have no cause to repent that you have given firm credit to fuch matters, as have tended to make you a happier and better man, and a more chearful and useful member of fociety. But the truth is great, and it will prevail.

Religion is a reality, and built on such principles as cannot deceive. Rejoice then, O believer, amidst all the contempt that is caft upon you by a profane and wicked world. Rejoice in the truth. Place a firm confidence in Christ as your Saviour, and give all diligence to make your calling and election fure. Be confirmed in the grounds of your faith, and pray to God that the fruits of it may may fo appear in your heart and life, as to put the truth of religion itfelf and your own intereft in it beyond all dispute. And look forward with pleasure and triumph to that day, when all doubt and fcepticism fhall be for ever absorbed and loft, in the brightness and certainty of the heavenly world.

DISCOURSE

DISCOURSE III.

The Sameness of Religion.

PART I.

I COR. xii. 13.

-And have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

T is a reflection highly pleafing to a ferious mind, that religion, the nature and reality of which we have explained and proved, is one and the same thing in every good man. Nor is there in this argument entertainment only, but the most important use: for on the

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