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all-piercing eye is upon them, it were better we had never been borimto think of this, is it not enough to make us tremble at ourselves ? To consider the prospect we have, and the hope set before us, if we endeavour, with sincere diligence, to act worthily our part—is it not enough to overwhelm us with rapture? If we are not stocks and stones, if we have in us either hope or fear, desire of our own happiness, or horror at the thought of misery and ruin; here is what ought to alarm us to the highest pitch. There is not one here present, whose condition may not hereafter be blissful or calamitous, beyond imagination. And zehich of the two it shall be, depends upon every individual himself. Then surely no man, who thinks for a moment, can imagine, that the period of our present existence, however transient, is to be trifled with. No one, who has ever heard of a future appearance of a general Judge, a's in the text, can think it a matter of indifference what life he leads. Hear the voice of inspiratior. on this iinportant point : 6 Be noi dereized; God is not to be mocked. "Whatsoever a man soweth, that he shall also reap. (1) God shall render to every man according to his works to them, who by patient continuance in well-doing, seek for glory, honour, immortality, and everlasting life : but to them who are contentious, and obey not the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, tribulation and arguish, upon every soul that worketh wickednes, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile ; for there is no respect of persons with God.”' (2) What can be more awful than this warning! It is not for vain parade, like the triumphant entry of a conqueror, that the son of man is to come with the sound of the trumpet, attended with hösts of angels, and armed in flaming, fire. Every one of us is interested in the solemn busia ness of that dreadful day. It is, therefore, my
(1) Gal. vi. 7. (2) Rom. ii. 6.
Protestation Christian brethren, in the sincerity of my heart,
and the agony of my soul, (1) that I stand forth Alarm.
to warn you, in the name of the great and terrie ble One, who sitteth upon the throne of heaven, whose creatures we are, and to whom we must answer, and to declare to you without flattery, without reserve, that there is no safety, no chance of escape for you, but by a constant and faithful attention to the performance of every one of ihe duties I have mentioned to you, and a fixed ave;sion against every one of the vices I have pointed out, and all others. You have the word of God for it: and his word shall stand; he will do all his
pleasure;(2) and the Judge of the earth will do what Remonftr. is right. (3) Would you have the preacher say
smooth things ? Would you have him betray the truth of God? Shall he, like a faithless hireling, (4) leave his flock unwarned, a prey to the Enemy of mankind? Would you have him heap
on his ou n soul, the damnation of a whole peoProtestation ple? (5) No, not for the riches on this wide
world. By the help of God, I will be faithful to Warning. my trust. I will set before you life and death,
the blessing and the curse. (6) It shall appear, in that day, when you and I shall stand before the general Judgment-seat, that I have done the duty of iny office ; and, if you listen not, those above, who now look on, though to us invisible, shall witness against you, that you have murdered
yojir own souls. Alarm. I would not have you imagine, that it is so
easy a matter to secure your own salvation, as to render care on your part, and apprehension on mine, unnecessary.
He, who best knezo, has de clared, that the way to happiness is strait, and the gate narrow ; that the way to destruction is broad and the gate wide ; and that the number of those who shall reach happiness, will be small,
(1) Rom. ix. 1, 2, 3. (2) Isaiah xlvi. 10. (3) Gen xviii. 25. (4) John X. 13. (5) Ezek. iii, 18, 19. (6) Deut. xi. 26.
compared with that of those, who shall go to destruction. (1) Can I then address you with indifferenee, when I know that you are in danger,
?But why should I say you ?-I am myself in danger. Every individual, who shall come to salvation, will be one escaped from extensive ruin and wreck.
Yet I would not have you think, my Chris Comfort. tian brethren, that the charge of your souls is a burden too grievous to be borne ; or your duty, a task impossible to be performed. Though it is true, that the reward offered, and the punishment threatened, by the Christian religion, are motives sufficient, if we think aright, to excite in us desires and fears to carry us through any abstinence from pleasure, or any suffering of punishment; though this is true, yet so little does our kind and merciful Lord deserve the character of a hard task-master, that all he requires of us—of us, who enjoy these happy times, untroubled with the terrors of persecution-all he requires of us, is-To be happy here, and hereafter. Even in the life that now is. (2) I appeal to the feelings of every man of common decency in this assembly, (for I hold not the abandoned profligate a judge of what virtue is, or what its effect,) I appeal to every heart that is not hardened beyond feeling, whether virtue is not, even in this world its own reward ? And I ask thy conscience, O sinner, whether vice be not its own tormentor ? Canst thou say, the imaginary pleasure, the profit and the honour, which vice bestows, are sufficient to arm thee against the pang of guilt ? Does not its envenomed sting often pierce thee Arguish. through that weak, though three-fold armour of defence, to the very soul? What, then, dost thou gain by thy fatal attachment, if thou art not by it secured from suffering ? Thou hast but Remonstr one objection, and that, God knows, a wretched (1) Matth. vii. 13.
(2) 1 Tin. vi. 6,
one, against a life of strict virtue; that it may chance to deprive thee of some fancied pleasures, and subject thee to certain imaginary austerities. Now, if thy favourite vices were capable of affording thee, at present, a pleasure untainted, unpoisoned, and of securing thee against all pain; and thou knewest, that virtue is, in the present state, pure misery, thou mnightest pretend thy scheme of life had the whole advantage against a course of virtue, as far as this world goes ; and
for the next, thou mightest, if thou wert despeChallenging rate enough, set it at defiance. But thou darest
not pretend, that vice will yield thee, even in this life, the copious harvest of substantial happiness which virtue gives. Which of thy lawless pleasures, affords on reflection, an untroubled enjoyment ? Does the smile of the great, bought with perjury, light up in thy soul the sun shine of undisturbed tranquillity ? Does the glittering trash, by unjust means wrested froin the reluctant hand of industry, satisfy the ever-craving thirst of gold ? Does lawless lust indulged, does virgin innocence betrayed, do broken marriage-vows,
yield, on reflection, a continual feast to thy Horror. mind ? In what condition is thy breast from the
moment of conceiving wickedness, to that of its execution ? Does the dark conspirator enjoy himself in quiet? Can happiness dwell with anxiety, tumult, and horror ? Will sweet peace take up her habitation with discordant desires, with wara ring passions, with fear of discovery, with apprehension of public shame, and exemplary punisha ment? Is the reflection on revenge, gratified by
the shedding of blood, a subject of calm enjoyTrepidation ment ? Why then, is the murderer afraid to be
alone? What is it that breaks his slumbers, whilst all nature is at rest? Why does he start at every noise ? What does he see. With what does his scared imagination fill the void ? Does not the horror of his conscience even raise the murdered out of the earth again ? Whence caine
the frightful imaginations of charnel houses opening, and graves casting forth their dead? What is it, but guilt, that presents the bloody apparition of the mangled innocent, dumb and ghastly Horror. before the eyes of the assassin ? We know, that the dead, (excepting a few raised by miracle) are to sleep till the resurrection. Yet the murderer does not find himself safe, even when the bapless victim of his cruelty is dust. The pang of remorse proves so intolerable, that a violent death
Despat. is relief. He flies from his internal tormentor to the more friendly halter or dagger. To deliver himself from his present ceaseless gnawings, he is content to lose this blessed light : he throws himself headlong into eternity; and, committing the crime, which cuts itself off from repentance, seals his own damnation ! Such are the fruits of atrocious wickedness. Do not, therefore, O pre- Charging: sumptuous sinner! I charge thee on thy soul, do not pretend, that the ways of vice are ways of pleasantness, or that her paths are peace. (1) The history of mankind-thy own feelings will give thee the lye.
Didst thou but consider, what figure thou Contempt. inakest in the eye of the discerning among thy own species, thou wouldst think of altering thy conduct. Thy wisdom is easily understood to be at best but low cunning. Thy honours are but the applause of fools, dazzled by thy riches; or of knaves, who flatter thee for what they hope to gull thee of. Thy arts over-reach only the weak, or the unguarded. The eye of experience pierces the cob-web veil of hypocrisy ; not to mention a more penetrating eye, which thou art sure thou canst not deceive. But go on, if thou wilt. Take the advantage, while thou canst, of thy honest neighbour, who suspects not thy worthlessness. It will not be long that thou wilt have it in thy power to over-reach any one. Craft is
(1) Prov. iii. 17.