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and incur the condemnation and punishment of his avowed enemies.

That we may expose such conduct in its proper colours, we will venture to pronounce it

3. Absurd; because it is the direct way to deprive ourselves of the only kind of happiness which is adequate to the wants of the soul; which can never be happy, but as it becomes holy through faith in Christ our Redeemer. The vain things which the worldling pursues with so much avidity have no power whatever to gratify a spiritual mind; and they often leave an aching void, which proclaims their insufficiency

The testimony of the accomplished Lord Chesterfield, who had largely drank of the intoxicating cup of worldly pleasure, is so decisive of its emptiness, that it should stop the ardour of carnal men, and save them the trouble of wading through so much mire, to grasp at bubbles, that will soon burst, and disappoint their hopes for ever. “I have run the silly rounds of business and pleasure ; and I have done with them all. I have enjoyed all the pleasures of the world ; and know their futility, and do not regret their loss. I appraise them at their real valuewhich, in truth, is very low'; whereas those who have not experienced, always overrate them : they only see their gay outside, and are dazzled with their glare. I have been behind the scene; I have seen all the coarse pulleys and dirty ropes which exhibit and move the gaudy machine, to the astonishment and admiration of an ignorant multitude. · I can hardly persuade myself that all that frivolous hurry, and bustle, and pleasure of the world had any reality ; but I look upon all that is passed as one of those romantic dreams which opium commonly occasions; and I do by no means desire to repeat the nauseous dose, for the sake of the fugitive dream."

fc Eccl. i. 14.

Is it then, O sinner! for trifles such as these, you are willing to part with heaven, and relinquish all its glories ? Is it for such toys, you will consent to barter away an “inheritance which is incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away?" Is it for “the pleasures of sin, which are but for a season," you will venture to provoke God, and incur eternal wrath? Surely you will do well to reflect upon the wretchedness that must finally result from such a choicé, before you resolve to make it, and to continue in practices which are so replete with danger to your soul.

4. We may pronounce a neglect of our spiritual welfare highly criminal.

God positively enjoins us to repent of and forsake our sins ; and to seek from Him a new heart and holy affections, in order that we may be purified froin vain thoughts and vicious desires, and walk before him unblameably in love.

Now, to despise his injunctions, or to neglect to obey them from any motive whatever, is to defy his authority, to deprive him of his Sovereignty over us, and to engage in overt rebellion against him. To act in such a spirit, even towards an earthly monarch, would be deemed a capital offence. And, is it less wicked and treasonable thus to behave towards the Mighty God, " by whom kings reign, and princes decree justice?"

5. The neglect of our salvation is attended with the utmost peril. We cannot be destitute of faith in Christ and those holy dispositions and habits which it generates, and at the same time be fit for everlasting life. It is the irrevocable decree of God, that “ without holiness no man shall see the Lordd.” “There shall in no wise enter into heaven any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination or maketh a lie; but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life e. This sanctity of heart must be sought for in the use of those means prescribed by the Gospel.

Now, if, in this way, men will not, through sloth or love of worldly vanities, try to acquire the glory of Paradise, they must be abandoned to their fate, and fall victims to an obstinate attachment to evil.

And do not they justly deserve to perish eternally, who will not make the slightest sacrifice, nor the weakest effort, to secure those blessings of salvation which the mercy of God holds up to their view? Should we not think a dying man extremely culpable, if he were to reject the medicine which would effect his restoration to health? And will not they be worthy of punishment, who deliberately refuse “ to believe and to obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ',” which is the only remedy for the recovery of their souls to spiritual life and happiness?

What should we say, if we were to see a man lying in a state of calm unconcern, whilst he knew his house was on fire, and himself liable to be burnt to death every moment ? We should not hesitate to affirm that such stupidity was the effeet of insanity, rather than of courage ; yea, of a total disregard to that self-preservation which is the first law of nature.

And what judgment must we pronounce concern& Heb. xii. J4. • Rev. xxi. 27. 12. Thess. i. 7-10.

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ing those persons,

who can hear, from the mouth of God, of “the worm that dieth not, and the fire that is not quenched ?” who can behold the flames kindling and raging around them, without trying to escape from the wrath to come?" This is a species of madness which cannot be sufficiently reprobated.

6. Art thou, Reader, one of those thoughtless beings, who canst suffer death and judgment to come suddenly upon thee, without any concern, without any care to provide thyself with that righteousness of Christ which alone can

present thee faultless before the throne of God with exceeding

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great joy?

Oh, remember, before it be too late, that a thousand considerations suggest to you the wisdom and the necessity of cultivating an acquaintance with the religion of Christ !

The hour of your dissolution is drawing nigh, when you must give an account of yourself to God. Will the death-bed of that man be free from anguish and fearful anticipations of future wrath, who has insulted his God, and trifled away the gracious season allowed him for working out his salvation? To prevent the remorse which a review of a misspent life will sooner or later occasion, be wise now, and consider your latter end: yea, through the grace of God, “ work out your salvation with fear and trembling.

Furthermore, constantly recollect, that soon the trumpet of the archangel shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible;" and then all the glory of this world, and every vain object which has ensnared your heart, will vanish away" And how painful will the reflection be, that, for the sake of such transitory things, you have lost the favour of God, and plunged your soul into eternal ruin! The re collection that you might have been happy, if you had listened to the voice of God, will add new horrors to your exquisite sufferings.

ff 2 Pet. iii. 10-12.

Think about these momentous truths; and, by earnest supplication, strive to attain that spirituality of mind which is “life and peace S.” The grace of God can alter the bias of your heart from evil to good. And when you submit to its Divine influence, it will impart a felicity of which

you
had

previously no conception-pleasures, satisfying in their nature, and eternal in their duration. Follow, then, “after godliness, which is profitable unto all things ; having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come b.” & Rom. viii. 6.

ni Tim. iv. S.

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IMPEDIMENTS TO A RELIGIOUS LIFE.

LECTURE LXVII.

ON UNBELIEF..

Heb. iii. 12. Take heerl, brethren, lest there be in any of you

an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the Living God. THERE are many ol structions in the way of a man who is desirous to walk with God; which must be removed, before he can advance, with steady and certain steps, towards the kingdom of glory. These impediments, every one, who is solicitous to honour God and to secure eternal happiness, will be as anxious to remove and surmount, as the racers in the Grecian Games were to cast off their superfuous garments, that they might not be hindered in their course a

* Heb. xii. 1,2. 1 Cor. ix. 24-27.

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